Friday, June 28, 2013

The latest Avi was worse than usual.

Avi Safran has something new up in which he draws an analogy between a single mother named Cindy and Israeli kolel families. Here's his nimshal, with my fisking
Over the past decade or so, their social services – primarily in the form of child allowances – have been drastically cut, several times. 
So why don't they get jobs?
Now what is left of the allowances is under the knife again. 
So why don't they get jobs? Or, better question: Why don't they prepare their kids for the next round of cuts by preparing them for a vocation?
And charedim are being pressured to forgo full-time Torah-study, their “most important asset” and first priority. 
They are not being pressured to forgo full-time Torah study. They are merely being pressured to pay for it themselves. 
They are told that they must enter the army, even though there is no need for them in the military (as its leaders have repeatedly stated) and they fear the impact Israel’s “military melting pot” will have on their lives. 
If enough of them join the army, they won't have to worry about that.They can have their own battalions, divisions - whatever.
They are vilified without pause, and cajoled to act not in what they consider their best interest (and the best interest, ultimately, of the entire country) but rather just to do what they are told. All, of course, for “the economy” and the “greater good.”
Haredim know a thing or two about vilification don't they? If the community hadn't done such a good job of villifying the greater Israeli society, they wouldn't be petrified about joining it.  

No one, to be sure, can claim a “right” to social service entitlements.
Well, that's not true. You can claim any right you like, and various entitlements are recognized as rights in some paces.
 And one can, if he chooses, take the stance that no citizen of any country should expect, for any reason, that the government needs to take care of him in any way. 
Those people are called selfish morons.
That’s a perfectly defensible position, at least from a perspective of cold logic. But every compassionate country recognizes the rightness of assisting the poor. 
They are being assisted. They are being encouraged to change their economic status, to leave the category of poverty and to join the middle class
And a country that calls itself the Jewish one, it can well be argued, has a special responsibility to underwrite the portion of its populace that is willfully destitute because of its dedication to perpetuating classical Judaism 
(1) They's not why they are willfully destitute. They live in poverty, not by choice, and not because they wish to perpetuate anything. They are driven by superstition, peer pressure, and things like that. Not by any desire to keep anything alove other than their own, modern, sect.
(2) Classical Judasim doesn't tell people to stay poor and learn all day. It tells people to work and earn money. That's what all of the great classical Rabbis did. 
(which, as it happens, is what kept the connection between Jews in the Diaspora and their ancestral land alive for millennia, and allowed for a state of Israel in the first place).
The founders of Israel were atheists who wanted Israel not because of any silly affection for an ancestral land, but because they desired a safe place for Jews to live as free men.
Gratitude for what one has received is a deeply Jewish ideal. And Israeli charedim should indeed feel and express gratitude for all that the state provides them. 
Right, but they don't.
But absent are calls for non-charedi Israelis – or the rest of us – to consider feeling and expressing gratitude for the charedi willingness to live financially constricted lives in order to remain immersed in Jewish practice and learning. 
Why in the world should a secular Israeli feel any gratitude for that? Why should even an ordinary Orthodox Jew who slaves all day and pays extra at the market and for his school tuition to cover low earners feel gratitude for able bodied people who are gaming the system?
Instead, just the opposite is seen: Israeli charedim are used as political pawns, regarded and portrayed and treated as Israel’s misfortune.

They are used as pawns by their own leaders, who are interested in protecting their empires, and who often demonize secular Jews as "Israel's misfortune".

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