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Jul 30, 2009

are some secular on 9 Av like some haredim on Yom HaZikaron?

Dan Meridor, a minister in the Israeli government, was spotted today, on Tisha B'Av, eating in a restaurant in Tel Aviv. His response was that he does not think it should be a day of mourning.

Follow my thread and train of thought for a moment as I work this out..
  1. Dan Meridor is a minister, and not a specifically private person. Anything he does is representative of the government.
  2. Even if he is to be looked at as a private person, he is breaking the spirit of the law, if not the law itself (the law does not allow eateries to be open, but I do not know if people eating there are also breaking the law).
  3. Aside from the law about restaurants not being open, there is a law that declares Tisha B'Av as a day of national mourning. Going out to eat in a restaurant with other people is not exactly mourning.
  4. When some religious people do not respect the siren and spirit of the day publicly on Yom HaShoah/Yom HaZikaron, the secular go crazy talking incessantly about how wrong they are (and they are wrong).
  5. Why is Tisha B'Av any different from Yom HaShoah in this regard? i.e. why is it ok for some secular to open restaurants and eat out on Tisha B'Av, but not ok for some religious to not stand during the siren on Yom HaZikaron/Yom HaShoah?


  1. You know the REAL reason - its because they are secular and therefore the media is not out to get them.

    Why are the cops out the fine every business open on YH, but not on 9 Av?

    Same as above.

  2. Meridor is wrong. You've made that clear. Therefore, so are the Chareidim, as you pointed out.

    What's your point? The Chareidim should make a fuss about this too? There are enough things whipping them into a frenzy right now. Let's keep this one off of their radar please.

  3. Menachem - just the opposite.

    If they are willing to write this off and not care about it (not necessarily him specifically, but he is a good example), then I would like to see far less of the publuic discussion on Yom Hazikaron/Yom HaShoah focus on haredim who were spotted not standing for the siren.

    If national identity is not really so important, stop making it into such a big deal when it is the haredim not identifying.

  4. I think there is a difference. Tisha B'Av is a religious holiday, and I don't expect secular Jews to keep it. But Yom Hazikaron is a national holiday honoring soldiers who died in the service of their country, keeping all of its citizens- secular and religious alike- safe. So it does offend me when the haredim won't stand to recognize the chayalim who died for them.

  5. Just realized that you also mentioned Yom Hashoah- well, I think the same sort of reasons apply to that holiday as well. I think it's disrespectful that the haredim don't stand in a show of mourning for 6 million murdered Jews. Again, I don't think this is really comparable to Tisha B'Av, a religious holiday which I would expect only religious people to follow.

  6. Was the TA stock exchange closed today?

    I thought I saw earlier in the week that it was going to be a short business week ala 9 av but globes has charts for today's maof.

  7. I was interested to see that a lot of the kosher restaurants/cafes here in Golders Green, ( NW London) were closed today - i don't think i remember that on previous years, but maybe i just didn't notice. It's a toss up between not encouraging people to eat, or if they are going to eat out anyway - there are always tourists here, better they should eat kosher than not. Different for someone at home who's eating today - certainly they should avoid eating out. wasn't there a recentish story about not serving refreshments at a cabinet meeting on a fast and when one of the ministers brought in a sandwich, she put it on one side when they told her what day it was? Shame Meridor doesn't have the same sensitivities!

  8. The answer to this blogpost's question is yes and we shouldn't behave like either of them.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Rafi,

    It's not really symmetric.

    Regardless of whether or not Tisha B'Av is codified, it's a religious holiday. Whereas Yom Hashoa is a patriotic holiday.

    Patriotism is between man and his country, which in a democracy is really between man and man. As such a public violation of Yom Hashoa does and should have an impact on the society as a whole.

    Tisha B'Av is a religious holiday whether or not someone eats is between him and G-d.

  11. Charedim's disregard / contempt for the minute of silence is a sign of not having hakaras hatov for those who have died for their benefit and for the families who have given up sons towards that cause.

    Their disregard / contempt is intentional and meant as a statement.

    Secular disregard of Tisha b'Av is not motiviated by the desire to demonstrate contempt, but by not wanting to be bothered with something that they do not realte to and has nothing to do witht heir lives.

    All the charedim need to do is to be respectful for the two minutes that the siren blares. Could you compare that with asking the secular to be careful for an entire day?

    Halivei we should have the same sensitivity for the loss of our Mikdash that soldier families feel for the loss / maiming of their sons.

  12. It's interesting that no one has mentioned the obvious: Yom HaZikaron is an Israeli national holiday. Just as an American has no obligation to take time off work on Memorial Day or do anything to recognize fallen American soldiers, netierh do Israelis have to do anything on YZ. It's just considered proper behaviour to recognize the sacrifies of Tzahal.
    However, 9 Av is a religious holiday and all Jews technically have an obligation to observe it. So for a government minister to announce that he doeesn't feel like mourning isn't a matter of bad manners but of going against Jewish law. Hence the two situations aren't analogous.

  13. I believe on all three Israeli national days of mourning (Tisha Bav and LHavadil Yom Hashoa and Yom Hazikaron) restaurants cannot be open at night, but they can be open duirng the day.
    That said, the whole thing is still insensitive and shows a disconnect between some of the Likud leadership and its voters.

  14. Should the government really have laws regarding whether or not a business may operate on a holiday?

    I love how Israeli ministers go around the world talking about what a vibrant democracy exists in Israel, when in reality laws such as these undermine such a claim.

  15. Laundry-All-NightJuly 31, 2009 3:28 AM

    On the one hand I was thinking that it might indicate that the Charedi motives are more political than religious in nature.

    On the other I realized that another Charedi policy is to not (completely) recognize the State as an entity, so they are making a different kind of statement by ignoring an Israeli Minister's lack of observance of an Israeli law.

    (Did Charedi parties ever make statements against political corruption?)

  16. Oh please.

    You know the REAL reason - its because they are secular and therefore the media is not out to get them. And the chareidim usually let these things fly. (Exception being the most recent "secular child murderer" case)

  17. You know why we still have Tisha B'Av? Because of discussions like these. What is going to come from this thread? A legal requirement on either side? Or just a decision as to who was right or wrong? Good! Then what?

    Because they represent the government? Since when is the government observant of halahca? How about if Meridor was seen driving on Shabbos?

    How about we stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and worry about our own conduct?

    Have a good Shabbos.

  18. From what i've heard, Thursday was a normal working day in Tel Aviv. Those who live in frum neighbourhoods are accutely aware of the sadness and importance of the day. But away from the 'ghetto' it is life as usual. I'm sure that there were many in Tel Aviv who had no idea that it was a fast day on Thursday.


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