Unfortunately there are many in the right wing of the Chareidi community who either cannot or will not understand this basic point. The same folks who refuse to acknowledge the Jewishness of the State scream and shout when that same State does anything they believe contravenes their values.
One ongoing example of this is the Karta parking lot in Yerushalayim, the site of endless Shabbos protests by members of the Eida Chareidit and their friends. Initially these protests were large, noisy, violent and a great source of public chilul HaShem by Chareidim who thought calling secular policemen Nazis was the way to defend the sanctity of Shabbos. As time wore on the protests started dying down until recent weeks when, for various reasons, they seem to have ignited again. Yet even as this has happened it seems cracks are developing in the community as the leaders seem to realize what many of their followers choose not to:
Shabbat protests have returned to Jerusalem, but it seems that even the members of the Eda Haredit faction, which organizes them, are at odds over their necessity.
Shmuel Chaim Pappenheim, considered one of the faction's unofficial spokesmen, has slammed the decision to resume the protests against the operation of the Karta parking lot on weekends, claiming that most of the community members are against them.
On the other hand, the chairman of the Committee for the Sanctity of Shabbat is in favor of the protests and accuses the secular public of "bringing them upon itself".
According to Pappenheim, the former editor of the Eda Haredit's official journal, while in the past only the central stream of the haredi public was against the protests – now most members of the extreme faction oppose them as well.
He explained that Eda Haredit leader, Rabbi Tuvia Weiss, is almost the only one among the faction's rabbis and leaders who supports such protests, and that most of the participants do it in order to defend his honor.
Pappenheim says that only several dozen Eda Haredit members have been protesting against the Karta parking lot every Shabbat for the past two years.
This past weekend, following intense pressure, the Toldos Aharon Rebbe decided to lead the protestors for several minutes, and this prompted hundreds of his followers to join the demonstration.
"They nagged him constantly, also because of what happened at the slaughterhouse in Mea Shearim last week, and he agreed to go out and protest so as not to humiliate Rabbi Weiss," says Pappenheim.
"But in principle, the Toldos Aharon Rebbe – and many of the Eda Haredit members – doesn't appreciate these things. He understands that the lawlessness and desecration of Shabbat are not worth it."
Pappenheim believes that the desecration of Shabbat in places like the Karta parking lot, which are not located within or near haredi neighborhoods, is no reason for such a protest as the public has become more sober, and the influence of the radicals – even within the Eda Haredit faction, has significantly dropped
Now, there are obvious defects in Pappenheim's thinking. Blaming the secular authorities who actually took several steps to limit the chilul Shabbos involved with opening the parking lot is like a rapist blaming his victim. In addition, his blaming of the situation on radical elements contradicts the famous Daas Torah position of the Chareidi community when it comes to venerating their leadership. Who's really in charge? The Toldos Aharon rebbe or the lunatics that claim fealty to him?
In any community there will always be a group that believes itself to be the guardians of the purity of said group's ideology. Hopefully the majority of the Eida Chareidit will recognizes the idiocy of endlessly antagonizing the secular population around them and some peace will return to the situation.