First, obviously, this has to be in the top 10 sweetest back-to-school or first-day-of-school images in the history of schools. These boys are lined up on a sidewalk in the ultra-Orthodox, super-Orthodox, mega-Orthodox neighborhood of Meah Sheaim, in Jerusalem, where even God has to show papers before they let Him in.
This year, as the Jewish Press has written recently, better than 50 percent of pre-school age children are religious.
Deputy Minister of Education Menachem Eliezer Moses (United Torah Judaism) was quoted as saying that only 15 years ago the percentage of Haredim in Israeli educational institutions was only 12.6%. “Today we comprise 32%; and the National Religious are another 20%, and that included Chabad.”
First reaction: Yeah, more frummies!
Second reaction (half a shake later): Is the state of Israel going to come up with ways to make these children, in, say, 12 years, pull their share as soldiers and, later, as tax payers? Or are they going to be such a burden on the rest of the citizenry?
Third reaction: Yeah, more frummies, and God will provide. In 12 years who knows what will happen.
Fourth reaction: Seriously? That’s how you’re planning for the future? “God will provide”?
Fifth reaction: OK, G-d will provide. Feeling better?
Sixth reaction: You are a disgrace.
Final reaction: Oooh, look at the cute babies… Who’s a cute baby? Who’s a cute baby?
Been going on like this 150 years.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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