Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Thursday, 10 May 2012

How Are You Going To Do That?

There is no question that the current state of the Chareidi community in Israel is a source of stress.  It stresses the secular population which supports the "learn, don't earn" lifestyle and it stresses the Chareidim themselves, condemning them as it does to a life of poverty and near-illiteracy.  There is no question the society they live in has to change to benefit themselves, secular Israel and Torah in general.
The only real question is how to do it.  As I've noted before, forcing change will result in bad results.  Leaving things along will cause a community implosion at some point.  There needs to be developed a strategy to encourage a functional evolution of the community.
However, what is not needed is a simplistic solution with threatening overtones such as this one in Ynet:Hasn’t the time come to openly say what we feel? Haredi society educates people to be parasites and cultivates poverty. Indeed, it is the most powerful agent of spreading ignorance, prejudice and all sorts of other nonsense. It is an enemy of the sciences, shuns the arts, disparages the rule of the people, hates women and exploits them. It despises those who are different, regardless of whether they are foreigners or members of our own people. The strengthening of haredi society is a guarantee for weakening Israeli society to the point of ultimate defeat. Hence, the intellectual effort dedicated to the issue of IDF enlistment should be dedicated to the great challenge: Shrinking the ranks of the haredim.
Really?  Their numbers need to be reduced?  Chareidim are suddenly rabbits in Australia or roaches in New York city?
Pray tell: how will that be done?  I doubt the author means an actual physical culling of the Chareidi "herd".  Despite their enunciated hatred for them, even the most radical elements of the Israeli left would shudder at the thought of Jewish soldiers mowing down Charedim in the street.  (Well, at least I hope they would)
Should it be a forced indoctrination, similar to the efforts of secular Zionists to destroy the religious culture of the Yemenite olim of 60 years ago?  Again, while radical elements on the left might enjoy such a campaign I would like to think that the average secular Israeli is quite uninterested in forcible conversion to secularism on a mass scale.
What is required, as I've noted before, is an attempt to reach out directly to the Chareidi population by bypassing their dysfunctional leaders and appealing to those common values that all Israelis have: love of children, desire for a stable, sustainable lifestyle, respect for law and order.  Much of the Chareidi world is locked in an intellectual ghetto and many of those who would open the gates to that world carry keys that just don't fit the lock.  But it is only through slow, cooperative integration that Chareidim can remain Chareidim but also become productive members of society.
Not through veiled threats.


AztecQueen2000 said...

I think a veiled threat is also more likely to backfire and cause even more closing of the ranks. A leader could even point to such a statement as evidence of secular hostility, thus keeping even more Charedim from exploring the outside world at all.

A Proud Member of the People of the Book said...

There is much that I could write, but suffice it to say that Chareidim are not "near illiterate" They spend their days pouring over books!

Sparrow said...

Given tbhis commitment to reducing the rankss, I'm suddenly and horribly reminded of pharoah
"Come, let us deal craftily with them"

Anonymous said...

Improvement will have to come from within, as with any threatened group. No one takes kindly to scolding from enemies.

Anonymous said...

"Poring", not "pouring".