Jul 25, 2010

turncoats and haters

Just because someone criticizes something a Jew does, does not make him an antisemite. Just because someone criticizes Israel on something does not make him an antisemite, or anti-Zionist. Just because someone criticizes something you say or do doesn't make him anti-you. And just because someone criticizes the haredim doesn't make him anti-haredi.

The problem is that the haredi community loves to boast when a secular politician or diplomat expresses admiration of the haredi community - often for their dedication to values, to a way of life, to education, or for anything else. Enough accolades, and the haredi community will love you and talk about you as a great friend of the haredim. They will say how you love haredi style education and wish to emulate it in secular schools. they will praise you to high heavens for your accolades of them.

Then suddenly that same person will offer some words of criticism, or perceived criticism, and suddenly they become anti-haredi, somebody who is mixing into our values and telling us what to do, a truncoat.

It happened recently with Gideon Saar, the Minister of Education. He toured haredi schools in a number of cities, and was impressed with the respect show to him and to teachers, with the vast knowledge of Torah, with methods of teaching, etc. In the past Saar has shown support for a certain level of independence of the haredi education system. Saar was hailed as a great friend of the haredi community. Suddenly he is hated. He made a comment on the issue of the "leeba" - the need to implement a core curriculum of secular studies, and suddenly he is the biggest anti-haredi in the Likud.

The latest is Stanley Fisher. After his comment last week, which was a QOTD here on LII, about the need to integrate haredim into the workforce for the good of the economy, suddenly media personalities in the haredi media are talking about him as a turncoat, somebody who hates the haredim when we thought he admired us. etc.

People need to realize that nothing is black and white. While someone might like you, they can still offer criticism on issues, they can still offer ways of improvement, they can still be friends and looking out for your good even if they offer a different direction.

And when that happens, it is sometimes worth looking to see if there is truth in that persons words. Chweck it out. see if there is room for improvement. Stop with the knee-jerk reactions "he hates us", "he is influenced by groups with ulterior motives", "they are afraid of our growth" they are anti-semites", etc. Take it as a sign that you should be "mefashfesh b'maasecha" - look into your ways - maybe you will see your way is still right and he is wrong, maybe you will see there is truth in his words and there is room for improvement.

That goes personally, for Israel, for the haredim and for every other group of people out there. Just because someone says something that does not meet your exact wishes, does not mean he hates you.

Just saying.


  1. stan is definitely the man.

    but reagerding the root cause named "army service" discusses in an earlier post that engenders the probelm stanley correctly observes:

    the possibility of of removing compulsory service in an interesting question.

    But this is not the point. there is no need to remove compulsory service to solve haredi employment issues.

    I think that if the army were to encourage Haredi enlistment by

    1) not just accepting but embracing the fact that ultimately a religious jew follows Halocho (of course pikuach nefesh plays a role but it not a carte blanche heter for hefkerus. responsible poskim can reasonbly delineate acceptable guidelines which responsible army field rabbonim have the authority to enforce R' Ovadia has many teshuvos on the army , l'moshol) and not some army commander -

    2) adapting army life to be suitable for a Torah Jew to partake of it

    then this might open floodgates for a) Haredi participation in the army b) societal integration as a consequence

    Right now Haredim rightly see the army as a form of shmad (not too mention suicide as the army routinely throws precious Jewish lives down the toilet order to avoid enemy deaths in order to appease the unappeasable jew hating world since the leaders of this state do not internally belive in our rights to Eretz Yisroel or in the Jewish right to exist at all w/o UN approval) and cannot condone sending boys there as choshuv as army service might be. and it is no doubt a very important thing.

    Symptoms - e.g. poor education for boys, sug Bet classification for those who work would dissapear if Haredim viewd themselves as part of the society of State of Israel - which they do not today but that could change if indeed the army would accept and embrace Hardeim as they are.

    One cannot expect the Haredim to start calling on the army to change itself to make itself more palatable for Haredim but a responsible army and political leadership should. THere are enough pressures in Haredi society today to respond positively to such a gesture. Yes, the mea she'orim kooks will continue to be kooks, but so what. aderaba when they see that haredim are changing they might be forced to as well.

    I think if such a thing were to happen it would be win win all around. It would be the biggest kiruv coup in history. maybe this is why the army is hesitant. otherwise it makes no sense for them to alienate tens of thousands of soliders each year for almost no reason at all. (the army has carried much more complicated missions than setting up for a Torah lifestyle. where there is a will there is way)

    I remember hearing that indeed the army was looking to start encouraging Haredim to serve. If they are interested in Haredi service w/o melting anybody in a pot or encouraging them, or placing them in an environment that is conducive, to sleeping on as many matresses as one can in a 3 year period (to do as much of one's melocho as one can in a 3 year period?) this can be a wonderful thing.

  2. right. but my point is that until now they had a great relationship with him. suddenly he says somethign they dont like and they start thinking he is a hater or influenced by haters, etc. Just because he isnt haredi himself and offers criticism or statements as per his worldview, he can still admire the community and try to help them improve, he is not automatically a hater just because he said something they dont like.

  3. and if he was hareidi the words would be any less harif? rosenblum wrote a couple articles about employment and has been flamed less right and center.

  4. Garfield: Two words for you: Nachal Charedi.

    No more excuses.


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