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Jan 25, 2011

Survey At The Kotel

There is a survey being conducted by the Kotel. The survey is being run by activists from the secular organization (can an organization be secular?), "Hitorerut", in an attempt to fight what they see as the haredization, and the move to the extreme, of the Kotel.

Activists are giving out the questionnaire by the Kotel. The questionnaire contains a mix of questions, some with no connection to the issue, such as which way they came in, if the information desk was helpful, etc., while other questions are specifically targeted to the issue, such as did they see signs separating the sexes in the upper plaza, were they approached and instructed how to dress, were men told to put on a kipa, etc.

Representatives from the Eida are upset about this, considering it a provocation. However, they are saying, they would like to keep an eye on it and would be happy to see the results. The real concern is, supposedly, that the results will be skewed by impartial activists. if the activists hand out the questionnaire, that is fine. If the activists hand out the questionnaire in a way that prejudices the answers, such as by making anti-haredi comments or suggestions, than the answers will be improperly skewed and influenced.

Shmuel Peppenheim, the Eida "spokesperson" (unofficial?) expects that most people will be against such provocation and expect that there is a certain acceptable code of conduct and dress, just like when going into a mosque. (source: NRG)

Peppenheim and the Eida are expecting that the results of the survey will surprise the activists and validate the Eida. We wait and see.

I would suggest to the activists of Hitorerut that the best way to oppose the haredization of the Kotel is that they should promote more people of all types, secular, traditional, etc. to come more regularly to the Kotel. Since it is the religious people who come the most to the Kotel, they are the ones who set the tone.

Questionnaires won't really help much in changing things, when facts are being established on the ground. The only thing that will work is establishing new facts on the ground, in the sense of getting more people to come.

11 comments:

  1. Why can't an organization be secular?

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  2. Hitorerut is not secular and it's also not religious. It's a new Jerusalem city council party that headed by a woman who went to my shul in Yerushalayim: http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/806/548.html

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  3. I would suggest to the activists of Hitorerut that the best way to oppose the haredization of the Kotel is that they should promote more people of all types, secular, traditional, etc. to come more regularly to the Kotel. Since it is the religious people who come the most to the Kotel, they are the ones who set the tone.

    Exactly.

    Let's see a majority of non-religious coming to say Tikun Hatzot at 3:00 AM and then we'll talk.

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  4. I disagree that the secular need to increase their presence in order to prevent the charedization of the kotel. Let's not forget that we wouldn't have any kotel to charedize or say tikun chatzot at if not for the "secular" army. The army makes constant use of the kotel for swearing in ceremonies (at least that used to be the case. hope it still is). Non religious and non-Jewish tour groups visit the kotel all the time as well.

    Women at the wall and the masorati movement have been making efforts for years to have a presence at the wall and they have all been thwarted. (and I think you've supported this thwarting, Rafi).

    So I find this call to encourage "more types of people" to use the kotel a bit disingenuous. Non religious/ non Orthodox people have been using or trying to use the kotel for years, with varying degrees of success. The charedi still have a stranglehold on it.

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  5. Let's not forget that we wouldn't have any kotel to charedize or say tikun chatzot at if not for the "secular" army.

    Let's not forget that if there were no secular army, the religious would have taken over the army, including Hareidim. The secular only control the army due to their sheer numbers. So yes, I thank the secular Jews for joining the army, but I don't thank G-d that there's bedavka a secular army.

    I think you missed my point about Tikkun Hatzot. The religious consider the Kotel their home and feel so much at home that they can pray Tikkut Hatzot at 3:00 AM there. The secular consider the Kotel a nice place to visit for that special ceremony. So yes, a "stranglehold" is warranted.

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  6. Interesting article about Rav Malinowitz on www.theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com

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  7. I am not in favor of haredization of the Kotel. I believe it should be open and accessible to all people equally. It has basically become a shul. A certain appropriate level fo dress should be obvious (though it clearly is not), the panhandlers should be chased out of the area, etc.

    I am just saying that l'maaseh, the fact that the haredim are the ones there the most, it means they set the tone.

    I do encourage the secular to come more often, and come regularly, and grow their attachment to it, and in the process change the tone of the area. But right now, questionnaires wont help as the people who are actually there set the tone.

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  8. "Let's not forget that if there were no secular army, the religious would have taken over the army, including Hareidim."

    Yes, if the sun wasn't in the sky it would be be night. I don't think I've ever read a sentence in a comment that made less sense. Additionally, since most charedim have are philosophically against joining the army, on the basis of bitul Torah (forget about having to fraternize with chilonim) I have a hard time understanding how they would or will eventually take over the army if and when they are a majority.

    I don't know where you got the idea that we have to thank Hashem for making the army secular. My point to Rafi was that secular Jews have just as much a "right" to the kotel as religious Jews, that they certainly make use of it and they are continually thwarted.

    Since Hashem gave the Beit Hamikdash, and hence the Kotel, to the entire Jewish people (and I don't remember it being written that He rescinded this and only gave it to the charedim, and I don't believe you've been the recipient of a special message from Hashem regarding who has more of a "right" to the kotel) then no, a stranglehold is not warranted, no matter how many religious people go at 3 am.

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  9. Abbi,
    You've touched on a number of subjects that don't make sense to you. Let me try to explain.
    The Hareidim don't join the army because the secular are running the army. Bittul Torah would be overridden if there were no secular army obviously for Piku'ah Nefesh.

    I agree that the secular have a right to go to the Kotel as much as anyone, and I encourage them to do so. However, those who set the tone of the Kotel and how it operates should be left to those who respect it the most - the religious.

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  10. Yaak,

    Please explain the following to me:

    My son, a very religious soldier, serves in Netzach Yehuda (Nachal Charedi).

    His unit is not allowed to have ceremonies at the Kosel.

    Do you know why?

    Because the presence of religious soldiers with yarmulkes and tzizis hanging out "offends the sensitivities" of the Charedim who don't hold of the army at the wall. His unit has to hold tekesim at other locations.

    So answer me yaak:

    1. Why aren't the Charedim running to Nachal Charedi? It is possible to be very frum and a soldier but their numbers are still very low.

    2.If the Charedim don't have a "hold" on the Kosel why are my son and his friends kept away while all other units can have ceremonies at the Kosel?

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  11. Many Hareidim got lazy and used to the status quo, what can I tell you?
    I agree that such a position is wrong. However, putting the Kotel in the hands of the secular would be 100x worse.

    ReplyDelete

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