Jan 3, 2006

A real oxymoron

So, Tziviyah Greenfield, a Hareidi mother from Har Nof, has run for a slot on the Meretz party list and placed highly. I remember when she went out on a limb in the elections that Ehud Barak was running, and subsequently won, for Prime Minister and announced her support for Ehud Barak and Labor party, despite the Hareidi parties obviously not supporting that position.
It sounds like an oxymoron - a Hareidi representative of Meretz. Meretz is the ultimate liberal party and now even they have the gushpanka of a religious member.
This raises the question again what is Hareidi? Who is Hareidi? What are the prerequisites for being Hareidi? Does Tziviya Greenfield not count as a Hareidi anymore because of her decision to be a part of a party that has always been very liberal and usually anti-haredi?
There are a couple of ways the term hareidi is used. There is the political/social type of Hareidi usage. That is someone Hareidi is someone who supports the Hareidi parties and votes for UTJ. Such a person believes in the platform of the Hareidi public and follows the rules set forth by the Rabbis and will dress according to the uniform of the Hareidi public (white shirt, black pants, hat and jacket, etc..)
There is another way of defining Hareidi. The word "Hareidi" comes from the word "hareid" which is used in the Torah as defining someone who trembles before God and is careful about doing the right thing because of fear of God. My Rav has told me a number fo times, that it is not wearing a white shirt that makes you hareidi. Somone who is careful with his actions and tries to do everything properly and puts Torah as the central focus of his life - that is someone who is Hareidi.
I think according to both ways of looking at a Hareidi, being a member of Meretz is pretty weird. Her mantra of "Live and let thrive" can be used to support other parties as well - there is no need to go to such an extreme as Meretz...

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