Sunday, August 18, 2013

Everyone Just About Had It With Ultra Orthodox Israeli Jews – Us Too

What in the Name of Jesus, Joseph and Mary is Wrong with These People?

[Editor’s note:  The Sunday religious themed commentary.  Yes the DPE is Jewish, No, don’t bother to send the hate mail. Yes the subhead above is offensive]

Let’s have a one question test.

  1. Which of the following is the greatest threat to the state of Israel

  1. Egypt
  2. Iran
  3. The Palestinians
  4. Hamas
  5. Hezbollah\
  6. Orthodox Jews

Yes of course the answer is f.  But the real question is why?  From the Wall Street Journal the report is that the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel is now openly verbally and physically attacking orthodox soldiers in the Israeli army.

Yet another soldier was attacked on Thursday. The embattled servicemen are among the several thousand ultra-Orthodox youth who have enlisted in Israel's armed forces against the wishes of many in their community, known as Haredim. The soldiers have become the target of a campaign of shaming and intimidation, and violence also has played a part.

See for some reason the Orthodox community in Israel thinks that everyone else should fight and die for the country and that they, the Orthodox should be given handouts and subsidies while they sit at home and study.

Following Israel's establishment in 1948, they were allowed to forego military service in favor of religious studies. At the time, the decision affected only a few hundred people. But as of 2009, the ultra-Orthodox made up about 10% of Israel's 7.5 million people. Today, some 80,000 ultra-Orthodox of military age are exempt from service, parliament member Nissim Slomiansky told Israel Radio.

And what about protecting Israel and the Jewish population from all those people who want to murder them (that is an ancient and  modern tradition you know).  Oh, studying will protect Israel.

The ultra-Orthodox place great value on religious scholarship and believe that Torah study plays a role in protecting the Jewish people. 

Sure, there is nothing a Nazi or KKK member or Anti-Semite or Iranian Ayatollah or white supremacist fears more than an unarmed ultra-Orthodox Jewish man coming at them spouting quotations from the Talmud.

Here’s a suggestion, those folks should study Nazism and find out how well Torah study worked in preventing millions of Jews from being murdered by Hitler and his gang.

 Look, everyone appreciates that ultra Orthodox Jews should be allowed to meditate and study and converse about the meaning of Jewish law and what it means to be a Jew. But that right does not supercede the right of any person to participate in the defense of a nation under attack.  And prevailing over that right are two words with respect to the 20th century and Judaism, NEVER AGAIN.

As for why the Orthodox community is so concerned, well there is this.

Many ultra-Orthodox hard-liners fear that army service will expose members of their cloistered community to various modern temptations, threatening their religious way of life. 

But here’s a well used response, which is that if the Orthodox faith is so weak that mere exposure to a more secular world will destroy it, then the problem is not the secular world, it is the weakness of the faith.

Israel is moving to end special treatment for the Orthodox who want to live off of the rest of the population, and some ultra religious leaders are threatening open defiance.

The estrangement went public this summer, as the draft law cleared a parliamentary committee and advanced toward a final vote. A newly coined Hebrew nickname by the ultra-Orthodox, "hardakim"—a combination of Haredim and kal dat, or frivolous—likens the soldiers to germs who threaten their community's Jewish character. (Hardak sounds like the Hebrew word for germ, haidak.)

In recent weeks, posters appeared on walls in Mea Shearim soliciting cartoons denouncing Haredi soldiers. A poster bearing a red ribbon and a "first prize" label soon materialized, depicting Haredi soldiers emerging from tanks and chasing ultra-Orthodox children, who sobbed: "The Hardakim are destroying us for our entire lives."

Israel is strong enough to survive its external enemies.   Judaism is and has been strong enough to survive attempts at extinction by mass murder.  Presumably it can survive the hatred of the ultra Orthodox, but that still leave answer (f) as correct, at leasts as of this Sunday afternoon. 

1 comment:

  1. Your friend in BRLA. Great article TDPE! Religious extremists and/or fundamentalist are such crazy people irrespective of their choice of religious faith! I think this country should have 2 year of compulsary service to the military or state. In fact, I think all countries should. One day I'd love a more detailed discussion about the two state solution. I have a major problem in believing the two parties are to start negotiations about disputed territory whilst one side is still building in the disputed land. I can't see how that is acting in good faith! Maybe we can discuss this more some day.