Apr 9, 2018

throwing the baby out with the bathwater

This issue has been on my mind, and since it was published in the news yesterday I waited to write anything as I thought about the issue. I am just going to write my thoughts, somewhat conflicting thoughts, but I have no conclusion and I am not sure what the right approach is.

A course had been developed to train members of the Haredi community in public service. When the course was originally designed, it was designed for men only. Efforts were put forth and they added a separate track for women and while initially they wanted the course to have 20% women (again, actual course work would be gender separate, but the overall course had to be 80% men and 20% women), and then the final agreement was on 50-50 - equal tracks for men and for women.

A women's lobby went to court against this program because of the gender segregation. Yesterday morning the courts accepted the argument of the lobby and decided that the course is damaging to women and the ideal of equality in society. The court said that when weighing the damage caused by canceling or freezing such a training program against the constitutional right of equality, the right of equality is more important. The court has given the State 30 days to add at least 10 women to the men's course to allow it to continue, or it would be canceled indefinitely.
source: Kikar

On the one hand, if the State wants to bring Haredi society out of the shtetl and into society, at least a certain amount of it has to be on Haredi terms. Even if just for practical reasons, as if certain red lines are crossed, in the name of equality or any other ideal, that goes against Haredi ideology, the Haredi community simply won't participate. If the State wants Haredim in the workforce, if the State wants to train Haredim, one of the Haredi red lines is no co-ed schooling. Forcing co-ed education at the expense of training Haredim is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

On the other hand, the Haredim want opportunities as well. The Haredi community is largely less educated and trained for the workforce, and programs like this are a big boon to the community as it gives them opportunity for many jobs that are so valuable to them. The Haredi community cannot just expect everyone else to always compromise in favor of the Haredi community and they sometimes must make concessions as well.

Is co-ed education a concession? To whom would they be conceding on this? This would be a concession in the face of an ideal held by the larger society of providing equal opportunities to people of both genders.

Should the Haredi community concede on this? I do not know, but this is not the basic ideal of not having any co-ed education. Keeping that red line makes sense for children in school, but for adults who will soon anyway be working in mixed-gender environments? Is it really such a strong ideal to keep them separate in the classroom when in just a few months they will be working together, shoulder to shoulder (but not touching) in some government office, providing services to both men and women?

I don't know what is right and what is wrong. I do not know which is more important. The Haredi community desperately needs, and seems to want, the State to pull it out of the shtetl, because they won't do it themselves - at least not on a communal level. The State desperately wants to promote increased Haredi involvement in society, and especially in the workforce. The State wants to uphold the ideal of gender equality. Which is more important? I don't know. The court says gender equality and equal opportunity is more important, but it bothers me that such an important opportunity will be lost because of it.

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  1. It's quite obvious, it doesn't matter what the chareidim want; the agenda is to secularize, secularize the Jewish people, no matter if they're chareidi or modern, etc., because as long as they have love and fear of H' and our Torah, makes them a threat to their agenda.

  2. Good article .

    Though that is an overly broad brush, amongst those who pull most of the strings it is appropo.
    Present aggressive feminism,genderism is only a couple of strings among others,

    V'hi She'amda ..?

  3. There are numerous Charedi education institutions supported by the State that are separate gender. Virtually every cheder, girls elementary school, mesivta, Beis Yaakov and Yehiva Gedolah is. So what is so different about this program?

    1. there is definitely a difference between children and adults, though I am not sure that is an important distinction. What is it about sitting in a classroom together that is so bad but sitting for the next dozen years together in an office setting that is ok?
      I wanted to include this anecdote in the post but was not sure how - when my daughter was in a Haredi college, they had a number of receptions parents were invited to, including the graduation ceremony. They always had a room with food for the reception and then the speeches and ceremony in another room. In the food room, everything was mixed and people would mingle and talk with each other. When we would go to the speeches and ceremony, they would have separate seating with a mechitza. It did not bother me personally but I still cannot understand why it was ok for men and women to mingle at the reception but once someone gets up to speak we had to separate with a mechitza.

  4. It seems to me that every time the state tries something, people are yelling that the state wants to secularize all Chareidim. Is it true? Is the Zionist of 2018 the same as 1948? In always saying "we won't change because if we do we will disappear like every other culture", the Chariedi community puts itself in more and more danger. And I mean also from within. As you say, they themselves want change. They just fear their leaders and perception. But perhaps they fear the reality of being poor more and more, so they change by smaller degrees.
    There is a point though about what the courts view as rights and moral vs. what the Torah says. The problem being that those lines do get blurred, sometimes on purpose. In the USA for instance, I was at a college that now has bathrooms that just say "use whatever gender bathroom you feel comfortable with". Those things that a court may force onto a community in the name of equality sometimes are corrupt and beyond the pale. And IMHO, that's what the masses fear bringing home. Corrupt ideas.


    1. the Bigger ? ought to be where are we all going?
      where should we be?
      what are their goals

      Anwhile the methods and players changed, have their goals ?

      "secularize all Chareidim"

      Both sides and yourself as well prefer to narrowly sectorize and get it wrong.'Tis easier to keep the cycle going 'round rather than moving everyone forward.

      Where is it we all religious should wish to be moving towards? Is theirs somehow consistent?

  5. The whole story really puzzles me. On the radio this morning they said that the court judgement quoted the us Brown vs Board of Education as a precedent which i really don't understand, as if we could use this as a precedent (i.e, separation of sexes if equivalent to racial segregation), than single-sex high schools would also be illegal, and single-sex schools are common not only in Israel (not just for Charedim), but also in the US where Brown vs Board of Education is the law.

    Also, this is a major step backwards for integrating Charedim into the workforce which should be in the interests of the courts.

    Either there is a back-story which we are not aware of (or at least I am not aware of), of the courts are evil, destroying people's lives and ability to make a living because of a PC agenda.

    Smotrich has an interesting article comparing the Israeli Supreme Court to the court system in Sdom where the courts took a positive notion (equallity) and applied it to an extreme in such a way that it destroyed lives.

    1. Brown, contrary to popular belief, didn't say that "separate but equal" is wrong; it said that separation is oppressive in and of itself.

    2. Does "Brown" only refer to separation based on race, or could it be extended to separation based on Gender? If the latter, why are single-sex schools (at all levels) legal in the US?

    3. because there is no ERA

    4. Basically, it's all meaningless. First, Chareidim have the right to live as they please!!! People have to wake up and be aware that there is a worldwide agenda, which is no longer secret, which is to turn upside down the Torah; i.e., not only our Torah, but what most of the nations have adopted from us - the basic Ten Commandments, the Seven Laws of Humanity, which are H's Laws for all mankind. Separation of everything is what keeps the world turning. Jews are separated from the nations, Torah separates the way of life within our people from those who are completely unobservant, etc., and the nations of the world are obligated by G-D to observe the Seven Laws of Noach, in order for humanity to continue and not to be destroyed. Plain and pashut,

    5. If Charedim have a right to live as they please, everyone else has a right to not pay for it. But Charedim won't hear of it. They demand their inactivity be subsidized by productive people. They are evil.

  6. Avi,
    Them overly strong words

    Treat & consider them as our " barrack men and women" for our mission for the world

    Just as one keeps soldiers hanging around barracks till the moment needed,
    And gov't workers sitting around till called upon

    1. ..Someone however should inform Them this too


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