May 25, 2009

Le-SheeTascha Criticism

There recently has been a debate in the secular press about how to deal with a phenomenon of a haredi takeover of a secular neighborhood.

Ramat Aviv is a high end secular stronghold in Tel Aviv. It is a well-to-do neighborhood, and the "elite" of the secular world live there.

It seems that an increasing number of haredi families have been moving in to the area recently. I think they are mostly chabad, if I got the correct impression from the articles. With them moving in, it does not just mean you suddenly have haredi neighbors. It means they need a shul, they need schools and kindergardens. Maybe stores that sell foods with the kashrus levels desired by these families. etc.

The papers have been running articles written by various residents -some against the haredi families "taking over" the neighborhood and justifying trying to stop them - they claim they are trying to make the kids religious, they are putting up illegal structures and ruining the style of the neighborhood, they are noisy, etc., and some saying there is nothing wrong with them and being liberal and open-minded means putting up wit and accepting people who live differently than you.

The Yated Ne'eman last week ran an editorial blasting the secular movement to get rid of the haredim who have been moving in. The editorial said that the secular who live their lives claiming modernity and liberalness and accepting of everybody then go ahead and chase out religious Jews, it is pure hatred of religion and hypocrisy of their standards, etc.

The editorial basically was what I call the le'shee'tashcha form of criticism. "Le'Shee'tascha" is a term used to mean "according to your logic". meaning I personally don't necessarily agree with what you are saying, but according to what you are saying, it means you must do x, y and z. So the Yated was saying that these secular residents live by morals they believe to be x, y and z, but they are not really living by those morals, as soon as it relates to religious Jews.

I call this "Le'Shee'Tascha" by the Yated because the Yated does not really believe in such openness and acceptance of everybody. Anybody who lives in a haredi nieghborhood knows of stories where residents were pushed out because they did not live according to the standards of the local haredim. Even among the Dati Leumi there are many communities that have acceptance committees and reject applicants who live different lifestyles.

So, on the one hand we can say that they are hypocritical - criticizing the secular for not letting religious live in their neighborhoods when they also do not let secular live in their neighborhoods. but on the other hand we can say they really agree 100% with the sentiment of not letting other lifestyles live nearby, but the criticism is "le'shee'tascha" - according to your liberal beliefs, you should be more accepting..


  1. Rafi-
    check ot this response

    I agree by the way.
    Solly G.

  2. interesting.
    you agree with what? with what he writes that they have a right to reject haredim based on the fact that they do not bring peaceful co-existence?

    I do as well, but only because of that reality. Really, everybody should be allowed to buy an apartment wherever he wants to live. Perhaps gated communities would be an exception, but I am not sure why.
    But because the reality is that the haredim are nice until they get close enough to a majority and suddenly they are chasing everyone else out (see rbs as a fairly good example of this), I agree with that as well.

  3. These folks have no choice but to fight.

  4. True co-existence means accepting your fellow man according to his own lights. It does not mean you approve of his values and his lifestyle. You just accept people's differences while maintaining your own values and lifestyle. In an ideal world, every one would be the same. But that will never be the case with human nature.

  5. not G.

    I am not familiar with the details. What I have understood is that there are Habad moving in and also a HaRDaL contingent.

    It is extremely hypocritical to even criticize in a LeShitatkha way. The crowd that the editorial line of Yated represents are not people who live and let live. Therefore it is hypocritical to attack liberal people for not accepting into their neighborhood with open arms an influx of extremists who will enforce their views on their neighbors.

    This is like saying to woman (and I am sure this will offend someone) - you believe in free love so let me rape you.

  6. B"H

    I lived in one of the absorption centers in Ramat Aviv 11 years ago. I remember the ruckus caused by 20 Chabbad yeshiva bochurim coming into the neighborhood.

    I remember the ruckus when they opened a men's miqweh.

    I remember the secular Ramat Aviv table next to the Chabbad tefillin table, yelling nasty things at them, and printing "Secular Ramat Aviv" posters as shiva announcements and posting them all over.

    I remember when Ramat Aviv residents protested the then new mall being closed on Shabbath. They later realized how noisy it would be and stopped their fight against the frum mall owner.

    Remember the brief protest against the Azza expulsion by sleeping in Ramat Aviv streets? They would have none of that.

    It's a nutty place.

    At least one resident, a certain Michael Kleiner, is not anti religious, and he's proud of his frum son.

    May he be an influence to them all.

    We're coming whether they like it or not.


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