Apr 23, 2012

Haredim Should Not Even Trust Haredim

It is fairly natural for people to trust "one of their own" more than people from other communities. A haredi fellow will generally trust the integrity of another haredi fellow more than he would that of people from other communities. A dati fellow would trust another dati more than others. A person from a specific strain of a community (maybe from a certain yeshiva or from a certain side of town, or whatever) will trust someone else from that particular strain over others. It is natural - he seems more like me, he comes from a similar background, etc. If he and someone else is trying to sell me something, I would trust the one I have some connection to quicker than I would trust someone totally unconnected.

Such advanced trust is natural, yet we have seen numerous times that people have been burned by such trust. Whether it is someone selling investment services, or selling apartments, or insurance, or whatever. The news has stories regularly of frauds who burned dozens or hundreds or thousands of people when they took advantage of that increased trust.

Arial Attias, Minister of Housing, related to a number of incidents of fraud in the haredi community where someone was selling apartments and ended up not giving bank guarantees or whatnot and then walked away with the money. Attias said that when you are buying a house, trust nobody. It does not matter if the representative of the kablan is secular or haredi, do your own due diligence and don't trust him. No matter who the guy is, ask for the bank guarantee, ask for the security, ask for the necessary background so you know from whom you are buying, and don't just trust him because he looks a certain way. (source: Kikar)

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  1. Only a Sefardi would dare speak against Charedim like that.

  2. Well, it's good sound advice. And I've heard similar advice from Ashkenazi haredi rabbis - maybe not publicly. Just a recognition of human nature.

    But one thing I've always wondered - when an (outwardly) religious persons pulls this kind of shtick (doesn't have to be haredi), how do they justify it to themself? Do they really not believe in God deep down, and they're putting up a front? Or do they know they're doing something wrong, but get overcome by the yeter hara? Or do they find some kind of rationalization?


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