Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another salvo in the Jewish Civil War.

I have taken to calling this segment of the right-wing ultra-Orthodox the "harediban." — David Kelsey

I love it. That's a keeper. It's origin is a comment on another article by Schmarya, this time at Jewcy:

The Heretic: Modesty Patrols and Vigilante Violence
by Shmarya Rosenberg, August 6, 2008

...Ultra-Orthodox lawlessness is not new. Ultra-Orthodoxy has a clear disregard for laws it considers secular and non-Torah-based, and ultra-Orthodox Jews have long sought ways to skirt or completely evade inconvenient laws and government regulations.

Violence also has a long ultra-Orthodox pedigree, especially considering ultra-Orthodoxy itself is only about 200 years old. My favorite example is what happened after the head of the religious court in Brody – one of Eastern Europe’s most famous shtetls, now located in Ukraine – ruled leniently, allowing machine-ground wheat to be used for Passover matzos. (In the mid-19th century, this was revolutionary.)

Enraged by the ruling, hasidim harassed and threatened the rabbi, trying to force him to retract. When that failed, under the cover of darkness they hurled bricks through the windows of the rabbi’s home, narrowly missing the bed of his sleeping infant son. The rabbi refused to give in to the mob, and his lenient ruling stood.

But most often, violence works. Rabbis are not willing to confront it, and so they tailor their public rulings to placate thugs. They remain silent as women are beaten and harassed, sometimes condemning in private what they fear to confront publicly...

We have to understand that we are combatants in this Civil War whether we want to be or not.

Standing by in silence while the Cherediban imposes racism, misogyny, educational ignorance, economic dependency, stringencies and superstitious fairy-tales on us and on our children is not an option - unless your goal is for Judaism to disappear forever. It certainly can't survive under these circumstances.

Either tolerance of all Jewish sects and races is restored to Judaism, or Judaism's Decline will be into complete annihilation instead of just a transformation into a new phase of development. History, which the Chereidi choose to ignore, will not be gainsaid. The path of Imperialism leads to hate, anger, and destruction and nowhere else. It's very cliche to say those who refuse to learn from History are doomed to repeat it, but being cliche doesn't make it untrue. This is a predictable and preventable path. The Civil War isn't going to go away - it will sweep across your life, your children's lives, and your grandchildren's lives, ad infinitum. Ignoring it will only give them the power to decide you are "not Jewish" enough, and legally enforce that opinion, against your will, and deprive you of your right to freedom of worship and the right to aliyah as a Jews and even the right to even call yourself Jewish.

If these things don't matter to you, then Judaism truly is dead, and I'm wasting my time and yours writing this.

As their ignorant and incompetent numbers grow and they gain more and more power over ordinary citizens, the very existence of the state of Israel will be endangered. Chereidi who deny other people basic human rights of worship and marriage and conscience, refuse to be educated, refuse to work, and refuse to fight cannot hold a country together - they will only tear it apart. And the oppressed peoples are not going to take being treated like second class animals forever, either. They will either abandon Judaism and Israel, or there will be a Civil War indeed, with guns and bombs instead of acid and 2x4s.

The Chereidi have turned Judaism into a burdensome, hateful, imperialistic and oppressive thing of scorn and ridicule. Either we take Judaism back from them, or let Judaism die. It's our choice.

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