Photo Credit: Aryeh Ehrlich - Mishpacha Magazine
An article in Mishpacha Magazine that begins in Arabic, begging Arabs to not kill Hareidi Jews, as Hareidim have no connection to the Temple Mount.

There’s nothing like an inspirational Mussar article in a Hareidi newspaper to get everyone angry.

Yes, their examples can be foolish, simplistic, naive, offensive and even revolting, but that’s only how non-Hareidim read it, and not what they meant, and not how their target Hareidi readership understands the content and context.


I never thought I’d be defending Mishpacha Magazine (Hebrew edition), but here I am. Mashiach must be on his way.

Discussions about an an article by Aryeh Ehrlich in this week’s Michpacha magazine went viral.

People read the first two or three paragraphs, where he begged the Arabs not to kill Hareidim, because Hareidim don’t go up to the Temple Mount and therefore have no part in this war.

And boom, the forums went wild about Hareidim being self-centered parasites who only care about their own sector.

Aryeh Ehrlich’s wrote his opening paragraph in Arabic, as a message to Arabs, which he then translated into Hebrew, the short version being (paraphrased):

‘We, the Hareidim do not go up to the Temple Mount, you do not see Hareidim on the Temple Mount, Hareidim do not want to change the status quo, and the Hareidim have no part in this – so please, stop murdering us.’

If you stopped there, it’s no wonder you’d get upset.

I don’t think much of Mishpacha Magazine, but I couldn’t believe they would sink to that level.

So I drove over to a nearby Hareidi community and began searching for a Mishpacha newspaper.

Not an easy task, let me tell you.

Very few Chareidi stores actually carry newspapers. Everyone was looking at my loaded M-16 as I went from store to store.

Eventually, I found a copy, paid my NIS 17.90, and opened it up to the article.

Now, let me tell you what Ehrlich actually did say…

Ehrlich, in this poorly structured article, was trying to bring across a point or two, which he only managed to accomplish at the end of page two (which no one else actually read), and it wasn’t a message for the Arabs to not kill Hareidim because they don’t go up to the Temple Mount.

Like many typical Hareidi articles, he’s writing to a Hareidi audience, insecure with their religious identity and place in this world. He’s trying to give them a morale boost, along with some inspiration and a dose of Mussar for everyone else who is unlikely to be reading his article.

Erhlich continues with his discussion with Ismael, an Arab employee in Rami Levy.

He asked Ismael, “Why are Arabs attacking Hareidim, when the Arabs claim this is about Al-Aqsa, and Hareidim have nothing to do with the Temple Mount, Zionism, or the Army?”

Ismael’s answer is the beginning of the point Ehrlich is struggling to bring across.

The hate-filled Ismael said, it is because Hareidim are the most identifiable Jews and Hareidim are the most religious of Jews. The Arabs want to kill religious Jews as this is a religious war. Arabs don’t want Islam to be harmed (because the unstated bottom line is that Judaism is a danger to the legitimacy of Islam).

Ismael continued that Arabs sometimes can’t tell the difference between a secular Jew and an Arab, but they can always identify a Hareidi Jew.

Ehrlich’s first point that he was finally trying to make is that Hareidim are on the front line because to the Arabs and to the world they look the most authentically Jewish. (Remember this article is for Hareidim who need to be repeatedly reminded that only they represent authentic Judaism).

In page two of his article, which no one on the internet read (since it wasn’t scanned in and uploaded), Ehrlich begins to philosophize about Hareidi Judaism and how they represent authentic Judaism to the world and to the Arabs. Ehrlich goes on to talk about how Hareidim are the most hated Jews in the world because they are the most visible and authentic Jews.

Like I said, insecure.

But Ehrlich’s main point is only at the end of his article. Remember, it’s a Hareidi Mussar article, and non-Hareidim don’t understand how inspirational Hareidi Mussar articles are written.

He writes that now when there is no longer a real differentiation between right and left in Israel, and we are stuck with a confused government, now is the time to for unity, and more so, now is the time for all Jews to join them on the front line and be more Jewish.

Ehrlich was trying to be inspirational in typical Hareidi fashion.

His Hareidi audience understood what he meant, and they appreciated his message confirming their authenticity and his Mussar for others to be more Jewish (Hareidi).

Along the way he explained that this is Islam’s religious war against the Jews.

The Temple Mount disclaimer in Arabic was merely the poorly chosen literary foil he used to reach this last sentence of “be more Jewish”, and to explain that this Islamic war is against Jews and not about the Temple Mount at all.


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