Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Crying Wolf.... Again

The Chareidi public, and especially their leadership, are very sensitive when it comes to attempts to meddle in their private educational system.  Even well-meant suggestions are generally met with a fire and brimstone response that makes one think that the advice was something as bad as a law outlawying ritual circumcision.
What the community has never seemed to grasp is that if every confrontation with the outside is reacted to with hysteria and shouting, eventually the outside will conclude that the Chareidim are a bunch of spoiled children with no perspective and whose shouts of outrage are about as meaningful as those of a three year old who has been denied a second scoop of ice cream.
In the past, the anger and outrage has been directed that those who had the temerity to believe that Chareidi kids should get a good basic eduction in mathematics, science and language skills.  But now it's gotten far worse, as this article from Ynet demonstrates:
The leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox community, Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv called for protest measures against the Supreme Court following its ruling in the matter of ethnic separation in the Beit Yaakov religious school in Emanuel.
In a meeting with Deputy Education Minister MK Meir Porush on Thursday, the rabbi said, "This is a dreadful ruling. This should prompt a great outcry."
The ultra-Orthodox public is furious with Judges Edmond Levy, Edna Arbel and Hanan Melcer, who fined the school and issued a contempt of court ruling against it and also subpoenaed the parents of Ashkenazi students who stopped sending their children to the school.
So what was the reason this time?  Mandatory viewing of Hannah Montana videos during hashkafah classes?  Mandatory shortening of the uniform skirts to Catholic lengths?  Oh no, something far worse: a demand by the state for an end to discrimination against Sephardi girls.
Imagine a school in the United States announcing that it won't accept black or Chinese children.  Well no, you can't imagine that because the laws in America rightly ban such behaviour and threaten violators with stiff penalties.
Now imagine a group of parents and their community leaders screaming and shouting about how wrong such rules are and of their intention to flout them.  What would we call such people?  Racists, bigots, and probably far worse.
So, any good reason why Ashkenazim who are willing to destroy their children's already limited education are any different?


Mordechai Y. Scher said...

If Rav Elyashiv is really supporting and perpetuating the separation, then I am not likely to pay any more attention to anything coming from his offices. Mind you, it is impossible to know anymore what he really thinks and says, and what the manipulators place in his mouth. A reason by itself to not pay any mind.

The idea of separation is abhorrent. It is pretty simply against any of the values I was taught as Torah. What's more, from a practical standpoint, it prevents the wonderful broadening of understanding Torah that comes from bringing different Jewish subcultures *together*.

I learned in mixed batei midrash. In fact, we didn't even notice. It was just normal at Mercaz Harav and all the yeshivot Bnei Akiva and Hesder that people would come from all over to learn and teach together. Only when I came back to the US to teach did I realize what a blessing Israeli yeshivot are, that they allow for the reuniting of different communities and *their Torah*. It is educationally stupid to keep things completely distinct.

As for the S'fardi student being kept out: have some pride. Don't agree to go to a small-minded school that doesn't want you anyway. Let the folks at that school stagnate in their own ignorance while the rest of Am Yisrael and Torat Yisrael moves on.

Bartley Kulp said...

Mordechai Y. Sher said...

"As for the S'fardi student being kept out: have some pride. Don't agree to go to a small-minded school that doesn't want you anyway. Let the folks at that school stagnate in their own ignorance while the rest of Am Yisrael and Torat Yisrael moves on."

If I could just add to what Mordechai said from a quote by Jackie Mason on anti-semetic discrimination. "I would not like to be a hang out in a club that would accept me as a member".

Bartley Kulp said...

Sorry, it was Groucho Marx who said "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member".

Rye said...

I have to think this is a story plucked from the news wire akin to the lesbian teen denied a prom (they canceled the whole prom because she wanted a date). There are other issues with this school. It could be a real toxic environment filled with people who want to leapfrog over each other to better jobs.

Or, it could be a really disturbing slice of reality.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Bartley, I always thought it was Henny Youngman who said that but I doubled check and thank you for the clarification.

David said...

Actually, I think it was Groucho Marx.