But it did a lot more than just that. It socially engineered a society whose reaction to the government today is based on the fears of the past – fears that are no longer valid. At least not anywhere near to the extent that they once were. While it’s true that there are those in the government that would love to destroy the Charedi world in its entirety – it has long been the case that it is not so. The government as a whole is no longer interested in that and see it as an impossible goal in any case.
All they want is for the exponentially growing Charedi world to become more contributory to the state’s welfare and to become more self sufficient. There is no real attempt by anyone to destroy a single Yeshiva despite their protestation to the contrary. The opposite is true. They are happy to leave this world as is – provided they accomplish those two things. If this were not the case, there would be no Nachal Charedi in any of its incarnations. And Charedi schools would not get a dime even if they had a core secular curriculum. But the facts prove otherwise. Shas, the Sephardi political party founded by Rav Ovadia Yosef ZTL, has agreed to that mandate and will therefore be fully funded.
If this is social engineering, I am in favor of it. The claim made in Agudah may be a valid one. The government of Israel is trying to socially engineer change. But the change is for the better. If social engineering was valid when Charedim employed it – it is just as valid now because it will produce a change for the better. A change that is sorely needed without requiring even the slightest change in the Hashkafos they teach their young or the lifestyles they will lead.
The Sephardi community realizes it. And I would be willing to bet that in their heart of hearts many members of the Agudah Moetzes in America know that too. Including the speaker at that convention.
Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .