Nov 29, 2009

Lack of understanding in the Jerusalem protests

The haredi groups are upset about the secular protest against religious coercion this past shabbos.

R' Goldknopf, head of the rabbinic committee for guarding the sanctity of shabbos, doesn't understand them. He says we are all Jews, and how can they protest for chilul shabbos. We all heard the same commandments to keep shabbos. "I don't understand how any Jew can protest against the shabbos".

That might actually be a large part of the problem. They don't understand. The secular are not protesting against shabbos. They are protesting against people who are trying to enforce their way of life on others who do not want to be bound by that lifestyle. The seculars say you keep shabbos and leave us alone.

The seculars are not protesting against shabbos, at least not most of them (perhaps there are some more extreme secular who are, but that is not true for most of the secular). They are protesting against the haredi coercion.

This lack of understanding is also the source for the shock the haredim have expressed that religious people took part in the protests. They do not understand that the protest was not against religion or against shabbos, but against religious coercion.

Perhaps if we would spend less time protesting and fighting, and more time listening to the other side and understanding their concerns (this applies to both sides of the protest lines), it would be easier to come to agreements and arrangements..


  1. All protests are because people aren't being listened to, it's socilology 101

  2. Rafi,

    Your finish sounds a little to "cycle of violence-like" to me. The seculars would not have protested were it not for the Chareidi behavior. (It's more then just "protesting".)


    I really don't think so. If one lives a zero-sum life then protest is inevitable. To the fundamentalists understanding the "why" is completely irrelevant. They are protesting a behavior which, to their mind, has no nuance. It's just wrong and wrongs must be righted. By any and all means necessary.


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