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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Haredi press’

Haredi Paper Equates Lapid and Hitler Speeches

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Haredi author Chaim Walder compared policies and newspaper columns by Finance Minister Yair Lapid with speeches by Hitler, stating that although “those who hate religion do not want to physically destroy hareidi Jews, they have wicked plans…to strip us of basic rights.”

Lapid’s office called Walder’s column “dangerous incitement.”

Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, successfully campaign in the last elections on a platform calling for “equal burden,” meaning that Haredim in Israel should serve in the IDF or do national service, work and pay taxes instead of receiving money to be enrolled at yeshivas.

Since taking the post as Finance Minister, Lapid also has called for eliminating child support benefits, which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu drastically reduced when he was Finance Minister in the Sharon government. His move was one of several actions that pulled the Israeli economy out of the doldrums and helped spawned unprecedented growth and stability.

Other Haredi sites defended Walder’s potshots in his column, pointing out that he did not compared Lapid with Hitler, while non-religious media reported the column in a negative light.

Walder indeed took pains to point out that Lapid does not want to physically kill Jews, but he used a line in a column that Lapid, a journalist, wrote two years ago, and compared his expressions with Hitler’s death wish for Jews.

Lapid, whose late father Tomy Lapid was a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, had written, “Forget ideology; forget that I do not understand how it doesn’t bother you that you live at my expense. I can’t continue paying for it for there is nothing left. I have nothing to give your children and nothing for my own….

“We have to find a way my friend or this will not end well. What does it say in Taanis [in the Talmud], ‘Friendship or death.’” That  statement is similar to those of Hitler, according to Walder.

The Haredi writer referred in his column to “someone famous” who insisted Jews must participate in “productive work” to avoid a calamity. After identifying the “famous person” as Hitler, Welder continued, “Those who hate religion don’t want to physically annihilate Haredim” but have “wicked plans regarding quality of life, the ability to live a normal life. To strip us of basic rights like payments, tax discounts, welfare, food for our children… there are even those who speak of taking the freedom to vote, or of leaving Israel, which is true dictatorship.”

Quality of Life?

Haredim argue that life is better if one learns Torah and does not work for a living.

There no statistics to support either side in the argument over how many Haredi men really learn while receiving stipends for learning. Many learn a bit, or not all, and indeed work, receiving money “under the table” without paying taxes.

That does not make them any different from tens of thousands of secular “independents” who also do not pay taxes. They accept payment for work without reporting the revenue when filing tax returns.

But to say it is a basic right to receive benefits for learning Torah and not serve in the army or do national service essentially demands that the government adopt those values and ignore the value taught by Torah sages – learning Torah and also working.

There actually are many Haredim who do both.

For example, Chaim Walder.

12 Good Reasons Why Secular Israelis Reject Haredim

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Rabbi Dovid Bloch is the official spokesman for the Nahal Haredi, the Netzah Yehuda IDF battalion, was among its founders, and is the spiritual guide (mashgiach ruchani) of its recruits. This part of his record is impeccable, as far as secular Israelis are concerned. Rabbi Bloch studied at Yeshivat Ponivez and for many years served as Rosh Yeshiva of the Midrashia in Pardes Hanah. He currently is a Ram (Rosh Metivta) in Nahora Yeshiva High School and a Rosh Kollel in Jerusalem. That makes his record impeccable for Haredim. This means that his opinion carries a great deal of weight in both camps, and that should give all of us reason to hope for a good resolution of the Equal Burden issue which has been troubling coalition talks these past three weeks.

Now, I ask the reader not to take away from the following text the position that the Haredim are the only ones to blame for the severe gap on so many levels between the two societies inside Israel. But it’s refreshing to read a respected Haredi source with a clear eyed view of the Haredi contribution to the problem.

In an article titled “Maybe the Secular Are Right?” that was published this winter in the Haredi Kikar Hashabbat, Rabbi Bloch asks: “Why is it so common for Haredi pundits and public figures to pin the motives for secular hatred against Haredim only on the formers’ bad qualities, their emptiness, anti-Semitism and the ignorant man’s hatred for the scholar? And another question we should ask ourselves is whether, in some cases, the value benefits from this conduct or another are worth the consequent heavy price of hilul Hashem (desecration of the Holy Name).

Rabbi Bloch then poses 12 questions which he encourages his Haredi readers to ponder.

1. We’ve chosen, for understandable educational reasons, to withdraw and live in exclusively Haredi cities and neighborhoods, avoiding as much as possible any social contact with the secular.

This is legitimate and understandable, but as a result they don’t really know us, amd so they naturally view us as bizarre, in our manner of dress, our behavior, and our language. This creates aversion and alienation. Why, then, we are angry at them for treating us this way?

2. We chose, for educational reasons—although some of us really believe it—to teach our children that all secular Israelis are sinners, vacuous, with no values, and corrupt.

This could possibly be a legitimate view, but, then, why are we shocked when the secular, in return, teach their own children that the Haredim are all primitive, with outdated and despicable values?

3. We have chosen, for the sake of the preservation of Torah in Israel, to prevent our sons from participating in carrying the heavy burden of security, and instead tasked them with learning Torah.

Of course we could not give that up, but why are we outraged and offended when the secular, who do not recognize nor understand this need—or rather most of them are familiar with the issue, but argue that there should be quotas—see us as immoral, and some despise us as a result?

4. We chose for our sons who do not belong, by their personal inclination or learning skills to the group of Torah scholars (Yeshiva bums and worse), to also evade enlistment—including into perfectly kosher army units. And when it comes to the individuals who have joined the Haredi Nahal, we do not praise them, but despise them instead, and we certainly show them no gratitude, while the Haredi press ignores them—in the best case.

Why, then, are we outraged when the secular don’t believe our argument, that the purpose of keeping yeshiva students from enlisting, is to maintain Torah study and not simply the Haredim’s unwillingness to bear the burden?

5. We chose to teach our children not to work for a living, and to devote all their time to Torah study. Clear enough, but, then, why are we shocked when the secular—who do not consider Torah study an all encompassing value—feel that we are an economic burden on their necks, as a mere 38% of us take part in the labor force, and they hate us for it.

6. We chose not to teach our children any labor skills, and we condemn those who do pursue a profession. As a result our kolelim include all of those who do not belong among the scholars and still prefer not to work for a living.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/12-good-reasons-why-secular-israelis-reject-haredim/2013/02/16/

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