Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Kiddush HaShem... Or Maybe Not

In a democracy there are ways to protest and ways not to protest. It's one thing to gather large numbers of people, obtain the proper permit and stage a public demonstration. Such things should be allowed in an open and free society. Unfortunately some people, swelled with feelings of righteousness or indignation, feel that these rules, which balance the right for public demonstrations with the need for public safety, don't apply to their cause. We saw this recently as Tamils in major cities around the world desperately demonstrated as their mini-state collapsed.
And so it goes with the Chareidi population of Yerushalayim every time something happens that they disagree with. This time is was a public parking lot that was opened on Shabbos. Previously it's been bus shelters with immodest ads, the to'evah parade, and traffic on Rechov Bar Ilan, amongst other minor issues. It seems the standard response for the residents of Meah Shearim to anything they don't like is to descend into barbarity. In order to preserve the holiness of Yerushalayim, they are prepared to fill its streets with dirty diapers and burning garbage cans.
Not being a Talmudic scholar of the highest order, I cannot understand how such things enhance us in the eyes of the non-religious population, much less the nations of the world. It also escapes me how such behaviour enhances the holiness they are fighting to protect.
It's one thing to demand that Yerushalayim observe Shabbos as much as possible. As citizens of the country they have that right. Perhaps a more effective method would be to line people up and down the street leading to the lot silently holding placards reminding people of the concept of Shabbos in the first place.
Rioting and ranting like spoiled children accomplished only negative outcomes.


E-Man said...

Well, they see what the arabs get when they do that, so why should they act with grace if disgrace gets a better outcome?

David said...

Hear, hear!

"Perhaps a more effective method would be to line people up and down the street leading to the lot silently holding placards reminding people of the concept of Shabbos in the first place."

That would be really persuasive! Until someone cut the eruv, and they had to leave their signs home.

Orthowatch said...

Other issues such as the homosexual parade are different than this. Homosexuality is forbidden to all by the Torah. Having indecent advertisements affects everyone nearby. Shabbos laws don't apply to everyone. Non-Jews are under no commandment to keep Shabbos - in fact, they're forbidden to keep it. Having non-Jews drive doesn't take away from the holiness, if anything it enhances it, by showing that Shabbos is unique to Jews.
I don't understand their problem. Let the non-Jews have their parking lot. Yes, many Jews drive on Shabbos also, but protesting a parking lot is not the way to stop them. The parking lot isn't the problem.

Dr Mike said...

Rav Shlomo Riskin said years ago that the best way for religious Jews in Israel to convince non-religious Jews to keep Shabbos would be to lobby for a two day weekend.
Unfortunatley the Chareidi population believes Judaism should be spread by beating people over the head with it instead of demonstrating its pleasantness.