Spitters and splitters: what have the charedim ever done for us?

Everyone’s been talking charedim here, this past week, after ultra-Orthodox Jews spat on a 7-year old girl as she walked home from school in Bet Shemesh (The Independent). And I am not going to hide behind the journo’s favoured “allegedly” because, even if this child has been telling tales, such incidents have been regular occurrences in the city – 15 miles west of Jerusalem, and with a large, modern Orthodox, Anglo expat community – over recent years.

And, the thing is, I just don’t buy the spurious, disingenuous even, “It’s not all of them” defence employed usually by more moderate, but still observant, Jews – for whom such extremism perhaps poses uncomfortable questions – as a smoke screen to conceal the fact that it is most of them. While having little time for the arrogance of so many of Israel’s chilonim (see Doss vs. Chiloni, Parts I and II), I couldn’t help but ask myself this past week: What have the charedim (unlike the Romans) ever done for us? (Suggestions by comment, please, below.)

As a (peculiar perhaps) child, I owned more black-hatted, long-bearded and sidelocked figures – collected on frequent family holidays to Israel – than Action Men. In fact, I was enchanted by chassidim, and – attending Orthodox schools, and possessing a precocious fascination with the “Old Country” (as well as grandparents who would relay the more juicy details, unfit for a child’s ears, in Yiddish) – they seemed the closest link to my matrilineal Galician forebears (to whom I was more drawn than the rather more clinical Litvak misnagdim on my father’s side).

Easily the most memorable aspect of our fourth year Hasmo Israel Trip (see fifth bullet point here) was the Friday night tishen in Mea Shearim and Bnei Brak, at which I had been mesmerized by the spectacle of thousands of chassidim gathered around the table of their Rebbe. And immediately upon making aliyah, I trained as a tour guide at Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial Museum), largely because – as well as allowing me to look the Teuton in the eye as I presented him with a less palatable account of his recent history than that fed him by Germany’s postwar educational system – it enabled me to really ‘touch’ this past. And, in 2000, I visited the south-eastern Polish city of Ropczyce, and its satellite towns of Radomyśl Wielki and Sędziszów Małopolski, which at least some of the Reiss Dzikówer chassidim had the vision and/or good fortune to abandon in time.

To you, too, mate!

Something, however, has changed in me – perhaps I have lived here for too long – because I just don’t see charedim in the same light anymore: I no longer see warm, charismatic, spiritual guardians of our wonderful religion. What I do see are ridiculously anachronistic, lazy, chutzpadik, and in many cases (as in Bet Shemesh) violent, spongers and parasites, who threaten our democratic, tolerant values differently, but no less meaningfully, than our Islamofascist cousins in Gaza, Lebanon and Iran (see The Good, the Sad and the Ugly).

Following a Friday night dinner, last year, at my cousin’s home in the ‘normal’, Anglo part of Bet Shemesh, we took a late night wander up the hill into the charedi area on the other side of the valley. Stuey and Dexxy were on their leashes, and I didn’t let them get close to any of the ‘penguins’ whom we passed on the road. But the intimidation to which we were subjected – one particular nutter following us and muttering “noshim ve’yelodim” (women and children) as if he had never seen a dog – made us beat a hasty retreat. And how I resented that: these leeches, the overwhelming majority of whom, neither paying taxes (can someone please explain why they are allowed to vote) nor serving in the army, contribute nothing to this country, telling us – like the skinheads and “yobs” of our boyhood in England – on which of its streets we could and could not walk.

One lad who'll never have a problem with indecent girls

Sikrikim, a splinter group of Neturei Karta – the scum whose distinguished roll of honour includes kissing up to the little brown Hitler in Tehran (can any Jew ever have witnessed anything as sickening as this?) – are believed to be behind recent events in Bet Shemesh (see the darlings in action here). But they, to my mind, are just the worst of a generally bad lot. Charedi discrimination against women (it goes without saying that they are also viciously homophobic) – closing roads to them, forcing them to the back of buses, and even defacing female faces on advertising hoardings – has become commonplace in Jerusalem. And why would a secular Israeli choose to visit his capital on Saturdays when ultra-Orthodox pressure has succeeded in virtually closing it down (it is well-nigh impossible to even grab a cup of coffee in most areas of the city)?

Chassidic sects are also, on the whole, extremely exclusive – with the notable exception of Chabad Lubavitch (one of the main reasons that it is viewed so suspiciously by the others) – with frequent outbreaks of violence between them (the most recent just a month ago). While the rest of us may joke about our tendency to factionalism – “splitters!” – we also cherish our common brotherhood. Seemingly not so, however, charedim. A chassid of the Gerrer sect (considered amongst the more moderate), living in Tel Aviv, informed me that he considers secular Israelis “goyim”. And after helping constitute his struggling minyan – even dragging in reluctant “goyim” from the street – during my year of kaddish for my father, I was only once invited to any of their homes . . . and then only on the morning of Pesach for that evening’s seder (sure enough, though, at the end of the 12 months, I was asked for a donation!)

Ayatollah Ovadia

I exclude the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox from much of the above, though their Shas party is a toxic mix of religion, political patronage and social welfare, led by a small-minded twerp, and formerly by corrupt demagogues such as Shlomo Benizri (in jail) and Aryeh Deri (out of jail), all backed by a loose-tongued, rabble-rousing lunatic posing as a spiritual leader (should be in jail). Hamas without the virgins, if you ask me.

If charedim wish to live in the past, rather than in a modern, democratic Jewish state, I suggest that we ship them – or, at the very least, those amongst them who refuse to abide by the law of the land (and I would make all of them pay taxes and serve in the IDF) – back to eastern Europe. Let them see how their shenanigans are tolerated there.

One thing is for sure, though: we would be better off without them.

Happy (Goyishe) New Year!

Meidlech Power: Women protest against discrimination in Jerusalem, last week


151 responses to “Spitters and splitters: what have the charedim ever done for us?

  1. Steve Jellyfish

    I just finished reading Boychiks in the Hood by Robert Eisenberg, which is a rather endearing look at the Hassidic world and posits that in the next fifty years that the general Jewish populace will polarise to ultra-orthodox/hassidism/haredi and non-religious.

    Personally I hold the view that as a relatively nascent land, we have far to go and these are just adolescent hiccups in our growth. Extremists always use their version of religion to hide their bigotry and racism behind.

  2. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    Well I’m glad you got that off your chest. However I do NOT subscribe to your generalization about ALL Haredim. Like any stereotype and collective grouping it is gotsllh disingenuous to tar everyone with the same brush. Yes there are definitely wrongs being perpetrated if citizens of this country do not serve in the army or pay taxes – but these same Haredim serve on ZAKA and other volunteer groups.

    The actions of a group of disgusting arrogant and in my opinion totally NON religious Jews should not be used to malign a whole group. Unfortunately our media have done just that. And just as unfortunately so have you!

    On a completely personal note, what is your connection to Robczyce? My husband’s family came from there so any information would be most welcome!

  3. Told you so Mike – almost a year ago. Thought I was pissing in the wind. What you and the ever decreasing majority going to do about it – apart from moan that is……….

    Happy new year.


  4. Jeremy Cohen


    No one is saying that all charedim spit at little girls, weasel out of military service, cheat on their taxes etc. The claim is that most charedim are extremists who support those who do.

    If the claim is false, then where are the protestors? Where are the conscientious objectors? Are we really to believe that hundreds of thousands of charedim are sitting at home in silence, day after day, inexplicably failing to complain publicy about these sickening chilulei Hashem?

    There are moderate Muslims who risk life and limb to speak out against antisemitism in their communities. They go on TV, they publish books. And I am proud of them. Charedim would not be risking fatwas or suicide bombs. Yet they don’t speak out. They don’t protest. Not a single charedi rebbe goes on record to protect these little girls.

    I think we are entitled to draw our own conclusions from their silence.

  5. Mike, I’m kinda gld you’ve seen the light, but I’m extremely sad that light – or more correctly, darkness – exists. It’s a shande – for us “goyim,” for the real goyim & for clal yisrael.

    BTW, speaking of us goyim, 1 of my former B/M students – a (don’t faint) Reform Jew from SoCal (no less) is now serving in the IDF. He’s 1 of the last kids I would have expected it from, but here’s a link to a J-post article: http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=251213. He’s the 3rd from the right in the photo. As teachers we plant seeds … but we never know what or when they’ll grow. Maybe there’s hope …

  6. I knew someone would pull the “generalization” trigger! You’re not a “moderate, but still observant, Jew” are you perchance, Alexa? As I wrote above, it may not be “all of them” . . . but “it is most of them”. And I’ll go further, it is well over 90% of them.

    “ZAKA and other volunteer groups”?! Pleeeease!! The former, according to its own website, “coordinat[es] nearly 1000
    volunteers”. Out of 800,000 charedim in Israel? Anyway, it’s not for them to pick and choose what they fancy doing instead of the army. Perhaps some of them would prefer strawberry picking!!

    “No one is saying that all charedim . . . weasel out of military service, cheat on their taxes etc. The claim is that most charedim are extremists who support those who do.”

    No, Jeremy! I am saying that close to 100% don’t serve and don’t pay taxes. According to Wikipedia, “in recent years as many as 1000 Haredi Jews have chosen to volunteer to serve in the IDF”.

    Adam, what exactly do you suggest? Pogroms?! Perhaps don’t answer that one. 😉

    And one last thought for the morning: (in no particular order of dangerousness) Ovadia, Osama, Osher . . . what’s in a letter?!

  7. What a lovely can of worms you’ve opened here…
    I actually happen to agree with you and most certainly DO NOT buy the platitude of ‘It’s not all Haredim’. It is all Haredim! As the Rev J. Cohen points out above, if it weren’t all Hareidim, then why don’t we hear of any Haredi protest!?
    Where are the “Pashkevilim” (posters) that the Haredi establishment love to use when publicly condemning, denouncing or excommunicating everything & anyone of whom they disapprove? Has anyone seen any Pashkevilim denouncing the ‘Sikrikim’ and their behaviour that has brought such a public ‘Hillul HaShem’?!
    The bottom line is that the Haredi establishment is incapable of condemning anything done by other Haredim because it will mean an admission that their community is as complex and as ordinary and as fallible as everyone else’s and therefore not entitled to any preferential treatment. The whole premise by which they operate in this country and receive preferential treatment such as tax breaks & deferment from military service, is because they are officially recognised as being exclusively involved with the study of Torah (thus maintaining the spiritual well-being of all Jews in the Land of Israel) . As such, they must maintain high levels of humility, modesty & morality, which make it difficult to fully integrate with the rest of society. Once you expose & condemn the type of vile behaviour that we are witnessing in bet shemesh (as a small example), then you turn that premise on its head and must logically conclude that they aren’t entitled to anything in particular and should be expected to shoulder their share of national duty and civic responsibility.

  8. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    Point taken and thoroughly supported that the Haredi establishment – rabbis politicians etc have not spoken out against the extreme behavior. And yes I am an observant Jew – whatever that means- but if by moderate you mean that I am not happy to hear a whole group of people maligned- without taking into account exceptional individuals (probably like your own great grandparents Mike!) then so be it.

    Look we have a big problem with these SICKrikim here- but we also have an even more massive problem with domestic violence and murder, rape, political cronyism and corruption. Where are the media on those- especially the first one?

    My kids proudly served in the army, we pay taxes etc – but I suppose I am just uncomfortable with the very black view of an entire group. I am a teacher so am attuned to 7th grade kids saying things like “I hate all Arabs because all Arabs are are terrorists”. Is this something you would support? No? Then switch the word Arab for Haredim and terrorist for whatever you like and you may see where I am coming from.

    Or even to go further – “I hate all Jews. All Jews are……”

    We live in a time of extremism on all sides. I suppose I just feel alarmed when I hear such a one-sided view from someone as erudite and well informed as yourself!

  9. Well said, Josh. You remind me (once again) of the words of the Legendary Ivan Marks (though I am sure he would not claim any prescience in the matter) . . .

    “It is always the frum ones.”

    I wonder whether getting Chich out of retirement and sending him to charedi areas with a spanking new Dunlop might sort things out. A certain character in Jaffa going by the name “Murgraff” has suggested another Hasmo Trip, this time to Cyprus, to visit the great man. We’ll bring it up with him there. I can imagine the response . . .

    “Uh-sack-sohn . . . noh . . . uh canna . . . uh am too old nah to deal wid dem spasteecs.”

    Alexa, I suggested above that readers provide a list of what, indeed, the charedim have ever done for us. Perhaps you could get the ball rolling . . .

  10. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    What are we going to do about it ? Well we need to break the political stranglehold these so called ultra orthodox parties have on the government. Cut the benefits, get the people back into the workforce – while at the same time allowing for genuine Torah scholars to go to Yeshiva and learn, but not necessarily funded by the State, even though that was the original idea.

    Let’s return to the status quo and take the religion out of politics otherwise the backlash and hatred of certain groups for others will only spiral.

  11. “Cut” off their goolies more like, Alexa!

    “Back into the workforce”? They were never bloody in it!

    And what “status quo”?! All I can ever remember is spongers and parasites.

    What bloody planet you living on, Alexa? Don’t tell me . . . Ra’anana?! 😉

  12. If the bulk of the Charedim say”its only a few lunatics” perhaps they can be persuaded to do a self policing exercise.
    Within their community they could stop this within one week.
    “Moishele, either you behave like the majority or you get no Kibbudim in Shul or you may even be put in cherem for Chillul Hashem”
    This is the sure way to test the bona fides of the `majority`

  13. The Judaism that the Hareidim purport to be espousing on the matter of the girls going to the Orot school in Beit Shemesh does not even begin to come close to the Orthodox Judaism I learned growing up as a datia in the UK, nor does it reflect any kind of Orthodox Judaism that makes sense to me.

    I’m not even going there with the generalization debate. It’s really simple. I echo Josh — If it isn’t everyone, then why are we not hearing dissent and displeasure with such actions?

    As a child I was taught about the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Hassidim, which is what we used to call Hereidim back in the old country (Hendon). His teachings and outlook indicate a completely different direction of ultra-Orthodox Judaism that are absolutely not connected with, nor anything like the violent, abusive and frankly sick behaviour exhibited over the past few months in Beit Shemesh*. It bears remembering that Naama Margolese was only one of many girls who were verbally and physically abused on the basis that as datiot-leumiot, they were not dressed modestly enough. And this is what upsets me more than anything. How is it that no one has publicly (by which I mean beyond Facebook) pointed out that to look at 8 year old girls and be concerned with their “modesty” is paedophilic in its intentions anyway. I mean, seriously. If you can look at an 8 year old girl and the first thought that pops into your head is that she’s not dressed modestly, consider if this is because her sockless legs turn you on. You disgusting creep! Busha ve’cherpa.

    * Or over the last 20 years w/r/t ripping female imagery from posters, spitting, verbal abuse, ironic rock-throwing to protest the desecration of Shabbat (protest desecration by desecrating, why not?) Srsly. WTF?

  14. And I’m totally baffled by the defaced sign on Derech Hebron in Jerusalem, where the face of Jill (Jack and Jill- the movie), has been blackened. Didn’t anyone tell them that both roles are played by Adam Sandler…..
    Is spitting required in this instance?

  15. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    Once again you have chosen to misinterpret what I have said and turned your comment into an attack on where I live- as if Raanana is any different from Tel Aviv where Haredim are concerned. Let’s leave that out of the equation. I reiterate – there needs to be a stringent rethinking of the political makeup of this country so religious leaders do NOT have so much power and then these parasites would not be able to get away with abusing the system as they have done and are doing.

    Surely we can agree on that? And this comes from someone living in Raanana – where I have many Haredi friends and acquaintances who all work and pay taxes!

    As far as I am concerned the minute one group starts imposing its views on another there is a problem, whether it be Haredi, secular, or any other group.

    Again the behavior of a group of sick individuals should be stopped. But it won’t happen if it is part of a larger agenda which says that everything this group does represents the belief of the whole and that every act is sexual harassment – that is missing the point. And the point is that this type of behavior does NOT represent Torah values, whether it is against women or men!

    And let me throw another spanner in the works – if a group of people wants to live a segregated life in their own communities – and ONLY there – who are we tell them they cannot? Think of the Amish. The problem in my opinion is when this is forcefully and violently imposed on others who do not share their views, not on the lifestyle itself. We need to separate the two and recognize which is which. I mean how arrogant is it for TV news anchors to challeng a Haredi woman who is perfectly ok with her lifestyle and suggest that it is not the way to live! Especially when she has reiterated her condemnation of extreme behavior.

  16. Every now and then there is an eruption in Israeli society of the sort described above.

    In truth, Israeli society is like the boundary between five tectonic plates which, when they rub against each other, lead to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis.

    The five tectonic plates are Charedim, Religious “Chardal” Zionists, Moderate Religious cum Traditional Zionists, Secular Zionists and Arabs.

    Each of these groups has its own entirely self-contained recipe for life with an absolute monopoly on the truth (with the possible exception of the moderates but that doesn’t make any practical difference to the discussion).

    We, like most of Europe today, are not a homogeneous society – but in contrast to European society, we do not even have a traditional base (and, PLEEZE, don’t try and argue that the country is traditionally secular – Ben Gurion’s lot just understood Marxism better than everyone else and took control of all the means of production from the twenties onwards so that they had effective control of the Yishuv).

    Because every group thinks it has a monopoly on the truth and none has the power to impose that truth on the rest, we will continue colliding for the foreseeable future. Ironically, for a liberal like myself, that is the optimal situation because the alternative would be to submit to the strongest single group, which would result in the tyranny of the majority.

    Intelligent people should, when the plates crash, seek to disengage them rather than try vainly to smash one or more of them or try to undermine their legitimacy.

    How? That is where we should be applying our minds.

  17. I haven’t “misinterpret[ed]” anything, Alexa. You have, however, moderated your argument.

    Quite frankly, I couldn’t care if they lived on Mars. In fact, I’d prefer it. Though I would care if they were sexually abusing their children there . . . which is a whole other subject I didn’t even touch upon (try searching it on YouTube).

    “ . . . how arrogant is it for TV news anchors to challeng a Haredi woman who is perfectly ok with her lifestyle and suggest that it is not the way to live!”

    Not that “arrogant”, Alexa . . . at least not nearly as “arrogant” as those chatzuf parasitim who tell all of us how to live.

    As for Ra’anana, just having a bit of fun, Alexa (the point of the smiley face) . . . though it is another planet!

  18. There is a definite distinction to be made between various Hareidi factions — not all Hareidim are, ideologically speaking — anti-Zionist. The Neturei Karta, of which the Skirikim are a splinter group, were always singled out as a particularly insidious group of people who were more focused on anti-Zionism and hatred of those who choose to believe differently to them.

    Alexa — no one is saying that a segregated group cannot live their own lives, according to their own beliefs and doctrines. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s when those who live segregated lives begin to impact on others — actively or passively — that the problem begins. And by not paying taxes, and not performing any kind of army or other national service, these groups are claiming superiority over me and those like me, by allowing me to work like a slave, my children to go and serve in the army to protect everyone in this country INCLUDING THEM, and my taxes to go towards funding this exclusionist lifestyle — when all I get out of it is heartache, stress and grief. No, this is NOT all hareidim. Nor is it all hareidim in the case with the abusive and despicable behaviour exhibited in Beit Shemesh — not to mention the outrageous demonstration held last night (see here: http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-4169412,00.html). I know it isn’t, and I do not generalize.

    But ask me if i have issues with those who refuse to support themselves and have me and those like me do it for them. Hell, yeah. Do I believe that they should be allowed to live such a parasitic life? No I effing well do not.

  19. **Goddamn typos. Sikrikim, or as a local paper would have it, Sicarii — which sounds more like something out of Star Trek. 🙂

    (O caffeine, you have deserted me, come back, all is forgiven.)

  20. I hope that the Right Honourable Member for Ra’anana will not put me to the trouble of trawling through his comment history (if not my personal knowledge of him) to disprove his claims to being “a liberal”.

    I also trust that he did not write of “eruption[s] . . . rub[bing] against each other . . . [and] Moderate Religious cum” – and all within three short, consecutive paragraphs – to test my well-known inability to avoid dragging this blog, on occasion, into the gutter.

  21. You caught every point.

    BTW – did I notice Greg raising his head out of the bunker?

  22. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    Trollmamma, I couldn’t agree more!! Possibly without the effing but then, well, I AM from Planet Raanana :). We should actually get together and DO something about it. And as for last nights demo – the mind boggles. Nazi imagery etc is so beyond the pale that it makes me wonder how the situation got to where it is today. And maybe that is my point. If we want a just democratic society run on Jewish values – which in my opinion is what a Jewish State needs to be – then we have to find common ground between all its various groups. It really saddens me that a group that stood for something fine has turned itself into the object of such vilification. That’s why I was so disturbed by the tone of Mike’s original blog

  23. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    But that’s exactly my point Mike- the parasites ARE arrogant which doesn’t mean the other side should be as well

    BTW, if you are tired of Tel Aviv and not quite sure about Jerusalem – why not try Planet Raanana? I’ve heard the aliens are very friendly…:) actually on a more serious note, maybe its because I live in such an open tolerant city that I take the middle path between excoriating when necessary but respecting other ways of being Jewish . We have a very good religious/secular mix here so that coercion by either group would not be tolerated. And lots of Anglos who make lots of noise!

  24. Jeremy Cohen

    OK, we’re going off the point a bit here. So allow me to derail in a different direction.

    I also object to “effing”. You’re pretending not to swear but making the word “fucking” appear in my mind and in the mind of every reader. In my opinion this is dishonest. If you feel uncomfortable swearing, find another word to emphasize your point. There are many from which to choose.

  25. Tamar Meijers

    One thing is for sure, though: we would be better off without them.
    That is not extreme at all 🙂

  26. “That’s why I was so disturbed by the tone of Mike’s original blog”

    Would you have preferred me to express my affection for the misogynists and homophobes, Alexa? (And if you tell me that not all of them are . . . ;-))

    “I take the middle path between excoriating when necessary”

    Alexa, this is a family blog. What you choose to do in the privacy of your own home, you should perhaps keep to yourself.

    And, Jeremy, you are just being a künte (is that “dishonest”?!)

  27. Jeremy Cohen


    I am not just being a cunt, although I do not deny the principal accusation. I will leave it to you and the other readers to decide what else I am being/doing 🙂

    Abbreviations are not dishonest because they deliberately set out to communicate the words which they represent. If I type “bc” or “wrt” I expect the words “because” or “with respect to” to manifest in readers’ minds. But if you type “f word” or “CU Next Tuesday”, you cause “fuck” or “cunt” and all their associated imagery to appear in the minds of your readers, while pretending you haven’t said anything dirty.

  28. Dear Jeremy,
    I’m more than comfortable.
    Fuck you.
    Better now?

  29. Jeremy Cohen


    I’m more than comfortable

    I’m not entirely sure why you told me that.

    Fuck you.
    Better now?

    I prefer an honest “Fuck you” to an “Eff you” any day of the week. So if you were intending to say “eff you” then yes, much better now, thank you.

    Which begs the question why you were intending to say either to me.

  30. What have the Charedim ever done for us?

    Well according to this article which appeared in the Jewish Telegraph months ago. A lot!


    Question: I WENT to a lecture by a charedi rabbi about Israel. He said that it is more important to preserve one’s own life than to endanger one’s life through self-sacrifice in the Land of Israel. Is he right?

    Answer: I DO not know who that rabbi was or where he was from, but what I can tell you is that I have never seen any ruling by any charedi rabbi which says that mesirut nefesh (self-sacrifice) for the Land of Israel is not a requirement. This is despite an explicit verse in the Torah Devarim 4:15 of “guard yourself carefully”, referring to the obligation to preserve and care for one’s health and well-being. I am aware of the political nuances in this question, but being of the Modern Orthodox religious Zionist camp I still believe that this is an unfounded assumption based on very little knowledge that may, God forbid, place an entire camp of Torah-committed Jews in a negative light.I think that it’s crucial to set the record straight. Over the generations, charedi Jews have showed immense mesirut nefesh (self-sacrifice) for Eretz Yisrael in all sorts of ways. A good example is the establishment of the city of Petach Tikvah by ultra-Orthodox Jews from Jerusalem in 1875. This was an enormous undertaking with an enormous price in lives and health. Living in Israel in those days was a big self-sacrifice. There was Arab aggression and a real danger to life – disease, plague, poverty and a lack of food. Yet these holy and pious Jews never wavered and sacrificed much in order to live in Eretz Yisrael.In 1923, riots took place across British-mandated Palestine. Arab rioters ran through the country, looting and murdering. The mufti, Haj Amin Al- Husseini, encouraged a mob to march through the streets and attack the Jews of Jerusalem. They chanted the words itbach el yahud (butcher the Jews) while brandishing knives, clubs and carrying rifles. At the helm was an Arab sheikh who was egging them on, screaming jihad – holy war. Two charedi youths with flowing peyot emerged from Mea Shearim and walked towards the mob. One of the youths pulled out a pistol and shot the sheikh leading the mob, killing him on the spot. The remaining rabble panicked and fled. Thus they saved the Jewish community of Mea Shearim from untold tragedy.This youth was Rav Aharon Fisher, father of the great posek (halachic authority) Rav Yisrael Yaakov Fisher, the great halachic authority of the Edah Charedit in Jerusalem, which is certainly not what we would call in modern terms a Zionist enterprise. Is that not self-sacrifice? He placed himself in mortal danger so that he might save Jews.The following day the great Rav of the charedi community in Jerusalem, the saintly Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenefeld, had to go to Mea Shearim to perform a brit as a mohel. His family were concerned and asked him not to go for fear of his life. The Rav walked calmly and with purpose through the Damascus Gate – a dangerous route at the time – and returned through the Jaffa Gate wearing his tallit all the while. When asked if this was wise or even permitted since he was placing his life in danger, he responded that it was necessary so that the Arabs would not think that they had succeeded in banishing Jews from even one street or corner of Jerusalem. Yet Rav Zonenfeld opposed modern Zionism for all sorts of reasons with which I and many others disagree. He and the great Rav Kook did not agree on many issues in this regard – but to claim that he did not have mesirut nefesh for Eretz Yisrael? To say that charedim did not sacrifice themselves for the Land of Israel is a distortion and simply untrue. These holy Jews sacrificed themselves for the mitzva of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael – settling the Land of Israel – and ignoring this is to do them a great disservice. If only the political leadership in Israel would share the same mesirut nefesh, self-sacrifice, love and commitment to Eretz Yisrael as these Jews did, perhaps our national situation would be different today.

  31. @Dovid

    Let me get this straight. You haven’t seen any ruling by a charedi rabbi that says that mesirat nefesh for Eretz Yisrael isn’t a requirement for Jews. Is that about right?

    Well I haven’t seen any ruling by any charedi rabbi that says that grown men mustn’t terrorise small girls for wearing skirts they don’t like!

    With regard to the article you pasted…

    Old news. No longer relevant.

  32. Jeremy, oddly enough, I had no wish to tell you to fuck yourself prior to my writing the comment where I did just that. All I was originally intending to do was write a comment and, as I did so, consider the sensitivities of some of the readers here. Not you, clearly, but I can live with that.

  33. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Well apart from being the first group to build outside the old city walls, keeping the flame of judiasm burning in Israel for 2000 years, being the first group to organise mass aliya (before Herzl), providing untold help to the resistance and underground movements, I will tell you what they have done…………. Absolutely nuffink.

  34. @Ellis

    At the risk of repeating myself. Old news. Today’s charedim can claim no such honour.

    “Judiasm” – [beavis-type snigger]


    Understood, fair enough.



  35. Great quote (relayed to me, yesterday evening, at the above mentioned cousin’s wedding) by Rabbi Mordechai Blau, head of the Mishmarot Ha’tzniyus movement (Hebrew source):

    “When the bus reverses, the women are at the front.”

    Though I bet he wasn’t trying to be funny.

  36. …..What do I suggest Mike? Change the electoral system, or at least raise significantly the threshold for minority party representation; deny all those who don’t – or won’t – pay taxes the vote; withdraw all state benefits from same and massively tax all charitable donations to same (after all – “God will provide for his own” or some such tosh); outlaw misogynistic and anti-secular education in the yeshivot; introduce draconian sentencing for all religiously motivated antisocial behaviour and finally; revisit and redraw the constitution of the State of Israel to stress and more clearly define the separation of state from religion.

    Ellis is correct in much of what he says (hi Ellis by the way, I’m that Adam from Rosh Pinah) about the Hasidic contribution to the the pre-history of Modern Israel but he is wrong if he believes that any supposed indebtedness for that legacy should be allowed to trump the identity and the internal harmony of the modern state. What was arguably one of the embryonic cells of the Zionist construct has now mutated into a cancer, which if allowed to progress untreated will destroy the state from within – and soon. My suggestions for treatment described above may seem harsh, but cancer requires strong medicine.

    The way things are going now, the very best we can hope for is that Israel will become a Jewish form of Turkey within the next ten to twenty years, with a secular and moderate religious elite – living within a few secular ghettos – sustaining and protecting the (by then) ever-growing Haredi majority. Or, even worse, Israel will have turned into a Jewish form of Iran with all that that implies…

    Make no mistake. This will happen if the situation is not grappled with now. As things stand, the only possible delaying factors in this doomsday scenario I am painting might be endemic internecine Haredi squabbling (for if the Haredi’s hate any people more than apicoruses like me, it’s the members of rival Haredi clans and groups).

    In all seriousness Mike, I’m relieved that you and your readers are finally at least discussing this.For the two years I just spent in Israel, for much of the time I felt like I was through the looking glass. I could see all this weird and unbelievable stuff going on all around me, but whenever I mentioned or complained about it to my Israeli friends all I got was shoulder shrugging or more often than not, complete denial.

    I have spent my life supporting Israel. But how will I feel if my prediction comes true. How will I feel about supporting a misogynistic, intolerant theocracy which represents none of my values and is as alien to me as North Korea or Iran? And, more important still, how will the majority of rational Jews within the Diaspora view such a state? I fear that we approaching a crisis of international Jewish unity such as we have never known in our lifetimes – how tragically ironic that the Jewish State is the cause.

  37. Thanks, Adam.

    Re your proposed changes, however, how do we enact them when their very objects are already so well represented in the government and Knesset? No, pogroms are a far better idea! And to which end all those new immigrants of dubious Jewishness from the former Soviet Union could be enlisted to do what their ancestors did best. 😉

    Anyway, being comfortably ensconced back in Blighty now, shouldn’t you be more concerned about your rather more beloved “Yids” giving away sloppy late goals?!

  38. Jeremy Cohen

    Ugh, deflection and a fumble, gutted. But credit to them, Swansea weren’t bad at all and deserved the goal on balance.

  39. That’s below the belt Mike, about Spurs I mean, not the pogroms – which might be the only resort remaining – or some sort of secular coup. However, the way the Manchester clubs are wobbling at the moment, and seeing what Swansea (who I agree are really not at all bad Jeremy – in fact, they are very good) are doing to Villa as I type these words, the point at the Liberty might turn out to have been very valuable…

    Anyhow, at present, I’m comfortably ensconced, not in London, but on my mountain top in southern Spain about to watch my temporarily beloved Cottagers put one over the Gooners – I hope. Finally, seeing as we’re on the subject, you might like to try this link – http://mypremium.tv/ – for often excellent live Sky Sports streaming. Do try all the various streams on offer, and with a good laptop, with a good processor, you should be fine.

  40. After gifting Tottenham so much talent in recent times, the gratitude we (Leeds) get is shite Spurs reserves on loan. Today, Andros (should probably take a second “s”) Townsend made his home debut, as we overcame 10-man Burnley in the 7th minute of extra time! Last season, we had another Spurs clown by the name of Livermore. Think I prefer talking charedim . . .

  41. Jeremy Cohen

    Gratitude lol.

    …more usefully though, go to footyroom.com to see highlights.

  42. Anthony Mammon

    no taxation no representation

  43. Geoff Melnick

    Well obviously something has got to be done about this.
    I recommend a slutwalk through Ramat Beth Shemesh. If they shout out “pritzus, pritzus” I think we should bring them pritzus.
    Obviously this one is mainly down to the women, but men will be allowed, provided that they cross-dress.

  44. “When the bus reverses, the women are at the front.”

    Not everyone is so lenient. There is a view that in order for the bus to reverse, the women must move nearer to the driver, and the men move to the other end. However, the Rabbis forbade this as the gangway is not wide enough for men and women to pass each other with 4 amos and a 6-foot wall in-between them.

    Some sects prefer that the women get off the bus from the rear exit, that the men use the corridor to move away from the driver, and that the women then re-enter the bus from the door nearest the driver. Others say this is not permitted, due to the risk that when men and women move at the same time, there is a risk of mixed dancing.

  45. (Love the “slutwalk idea” ….)
    We’re just glad to be of service Mike, I hear that we might about to loan you Gomez too.
    Well done the Cottagers!! Accepted with typical grace and good sportsmanship by Monsieur Winger.

  46. I feel singularly ill-qualified to comment with a substantive opinion on this post, from chutz la-aretz, where the relationship between charedi/chassidic/black hat yeshivish Jews, modern Orthodox, and non-Orthodox, is so much less fraught than in Israel; the holyland seems to act like a pressure-cooker and accentuate the differences, rather than unify the factions under any kind of shared identity. Perhaps because there’s a sense of one lot serving itself at the expense of the other, whereas in the diaspora everyone is trying to fend for himself under a gentile umbrella.

    It might perhaps behove some of the other commenters on this blog to reflect on whether they have locus to opine on this issue with such purported vehemence, from outside Israel, or in the alternative, whether they are simply displaying the arrogance of the downright pig-ignorant in jumping on an easy bandwagon.

    Only 2 tangential thoughts on the issue really:

    1. How often have I been irked at the presumptuousness of some Stamford Hill meshulach (“charity emissary”) or another hassling me in shul for some cash towards whatever allegedly worthy institution he is representing………only to raise an invoice in my office later that day for a signifcantly greater sum, addressed to some Orthodox Stamford Hill businessman or another, whose commercial undertakings are complementing my own?

    My point being as mentioned above, how different things are outside Israel; we’re all working together in many ways more than we’re competing.

    2. Do non-Orthodox Israelis, and the anti-Orthodox Haaretz-type cabal in particular, ever distinguish sufficiently or at all, between the Charedi camp, and the non-Charedi, fully-Orthodox, Dati Israeli?

    To me, the latter are the unsung heroes of Israel, the whole essence and raison d’etre of the State. Honest, hardworking, tax-paying, army-serving, communally minded and G-d-fearing.

    But if the Labour/Shinui/Meretz lot can tar them with the same brush as the Charedim, how much simpler that makes life for the whole intellectually dishonest, history-rewriting, frankly vomit-inducing lot of them.

    Like I say, just a couple of thoughts from an outsider on this one.

  47. Great article – http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/ultra-orthodox-jews-ask-israeli-media-to-help-rid-them-of-extremists-1.403778 – Jeremy! Thanks for that. But I wonder – how prominently was that shown in the paper? Probably not on the front page, because it doesn’t make such good copy. So you see – NOT all haredim agree with what is going on! 🙂 And another question – surely the objection to the whole bus situation should be the gender segregation, NOT that the women have to sit at the back?? Or have I missed the point…? Many religious – and not necessarily Haredi – women prefer to take a literal and metaphorical “back seat” in many areas of public life, while at the same time there are many prominent women in both Dati – Leumi AND Haredi circles, in the fields of business, education, commerce etc. So I feel the argument in the press is as usual misguided. And anyway you know the old saying – “Behind every successful man there is an (exhausted) woman’!!

  48. Re tangential thought no. 1, Dan, I used to beg my mother to let me put a “No Schnorrers” sign on her former Prothero Gardens (NW4) front door. They were quite shameless, knocking at 10, 11, and even midnight. Left to my own devices, I would probably have electrified the knocker! Is there a shortage of legitimate Jewish or Orthodox charities? Why would anyone give anything to those fat, chauffeur-driven f*cks?!

    Re thought no. 2, chiloni Haaretz readers can, and do, clearly distinguish between charedim and dati’im leumi’im. Even the most extreme of them would have no problem with the latter . . . though they would despise them even more than charedim if they were right-wing and/or (especially) Settlers.

    “But if the Labour/Shinui/Meretz lot can tar them with the same brush as the Charedim . . .”

    Quite, Dan. We wouldn’t want to tar totally different groups/parties with the same brush, would we now?! 😉

  49. Oh Dan! Oh Dan! You just don’t get it do you? Israel – the Modern State of Israel is being destroyed from within. Yours or my sensibilities about who’s being tarred or not tarred with which brush is totally irrelevant, as is whether these observations are being made from mountain tops in Spain or the Golan Heights. Whether you or I like it or not, or agree with it or not Israel is rapidly being transformed into a theocracy. At the current rate of change and given the disparate birth-rates of all the many groupings, from totally secular to ultra religious in all its many and varied forms Israel will have an orthodox voting majority within twenty years – at the very most! Nobody, but nobody in their right mind on the rational side of this argument wants that, or believes that that will or can be good thing for Israel itself or the Jewish People in general. It may be inevitable, it may be that many of the future orthodox majority will be fundamentally good, well intentioned people, but it can only be a disaster, for Israel and the Diaspora, and even Stamford Hill. An Israel where it will be a crime to drive a car on Shabbat: where it will be crime for a woman to dress “immodestly”; where it it will be a crime to express one’s sexuality; where it will be crime to farm or eat pork; where it will be a crime to import traifer cheese; where it will be crime open your store on Shabbat, etc etc, add infinitum….Do you really want this? Is this what thousands of Israelis – frum and non-frum alike – have sacrificed their lives for? Really? Do you really want Israel to become a Jewish version of Saudi Arabia – but minus the oil? Do you really despise people like me so much, and think us so worthless, and so beneath contempt that a Jewish totalitarian theocracy would be preferable to a pluralistic State of Israel – warts (i.e. the likes of me) and all. Because I’m telling you my friend, that’s where we are heading if we continue down this road of indulging and encouraging religious extremism.

  50. Adam, I don’t think we are that doomed – and yes I may live in Raanana but I DO live work and VOTE in Israel. And the Israel I live in has some problems at the moment but really is a thriving and working democracy! And I don’t want to hear any comments about naivety etc – I have lived here for half my life and still remember in the 1980’s when Shas first came into the Government, and everyone, myself included, was afraid that it was the end of the world as we knew it – and that was 30 years ago. And the world as we knew it didn’t end. There is now less tolerance of Government corruption (not less corruption, but less tolerance of it !) and we have a formert President in jail, we are reforming our social laws, as well as DAILY dealing with existential threats! I don’t think your doomsday scenario is going to come about because there are too many sensible people – in all shades of relifiosity – to allow it to happen.

  51. Mike
    After reading about these disgusting events early last week, I kept checking your blog and wondering, “When is Mike going to comment about this story?” Now I see you have finally put pen-to-paper and I cannot but wholeheartedly agree with your conclusions. Only on one point will I make an alternative suggestion. You suggest shipping them all to Eastern Europe. Not a bad idea, but I have a better one. How about shipping them to Saudi Arabia? I have spent some time in Eastern Europe and also recently in Saudi Arabia. I can tell you with confidence that the Charedim would be very comfortable in the latter. They would find themselves living amongst people with very similar religious, political and philosophical values (the differences are simply nuances). The other advantage would be that the severe and fast-growing costs of subsidizing their lifestyles could be easily born by this extremely wealthy nation.

  52. I hope you’re right Alexa, as I live and breath. In the mean time Keep up the good fight…………

  53. No Adam I don’t want to see Israel fall to Iranian style religious fundamentalism. Nor to the former Soviet Union’s brand of anti-religious totalitarianism. The latter less obvious, but just as pernicious in its creeping paralysis of rational thought and societal norms. And its practitioners want us to think they’re broad-minded, to boot !

    And by the way I don’t “despise” you.

    (Some of my best friends learn gemara for less than 3 hours a day, and one of them used to call it “studying the Talmud”. A distant cousin of mine also paid some tax a few years ago).

    I’m none too keen on self-righteousness coupled with intellecual dishonesty though – therefore not a massive admirer of Sarid and his ilk (anyone remember them)? – but presume you don’t buy into those traits either.

    Mike…why does the thought of overweight chasidim at your door, make you fantasise about electrified knockers?

  54. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=251916

    I think this sums up some of what I was saying…

  55. The charedim could, instead of just eating them, learn a thing or two from Latka’s simple approach to life . . .

  56. > why does the thought of overweight chasidim at your door, make you fantasise about electrified knockers?

    …cue Ronnie Barker…

  57. I don’t get where the corollary of not becoming a theocratic dictatorship is becoming communist Russia? What an odd, and dare I say, extreme reaction to what I was saying Dan. The USA, the UK, Holland, Australia etc etc are not theocratic dictatorships, and for all their many imperfections are far from being totalitarian alternatives. On the contrary- the greatest fault of nearly all these nations is a tendency to indulging religious-cultural extremism and intolerance in the name of – paradox of paradoxes – religious-cultural tolerance… (And purely incidentally – I spent five years – two hours a day – studying Gamara at school. And I know more about ox goring legislation and how to overcome the problems of building a succah on a 10th floor balcony than I care to admit. And, while I’m on the subject, can anyone explain to me why such a high proportion of Hasidim – including the Lubavitch Rabbi who taught me Gamara – smell of fried fish?This is something I’ve noticed from Seattle in the US to Melbourne Australia, and at all stops in-between – including and especially the monit sherut taxi from Netanya to TA…all explanations welcome.)

  58. Excellent observation re the “smell of fried fish”, Adam, a feature of Hasmonean that I overlooked in my twenty-plus posts on the place . . . but which floods my nostrils, once again, at the very mention of it.

    It can only be the food – or the women – they eat.

  59. You’ve just reminded me, that my brother, who also went to Hasmonean often came home smelling distinctly fried gefilte…unlike Carmel, which often smelt of pig manure from the fields across the river. It always seemed to be worst on Shabbat (a mischievous farmer perhaps?). Many were the times when our shacharit Amida contemplations were marred by the intrusive odour of porcine digestive “product”. Someone without a sense of smell passing by the synagogue would have been fooled into thinking that the congregation were particularly pious and contemplative as nearly all the boys and male teachers had their faces buried deep in their talesim for much of the service; whereas, many, if not most of us had sprinkled Brut onto our prayer shawls before leaving our dormitories and were merely giving thanks to “Our ‘Enry”!

  60. “. . . unlike Carmel, which often smelt of pig manure . . .”

    Until the chaypenny dropped (I was still on women), Adam, I thought “Carmel” was an ex-girlfriend! 😉

  61. Look, in short words, I don’t like seeing some rabid dinosaur from Neturei Karta foaming at the mouth about trying to shut down Israel, nor appreciate an unhinged Lapid or Aloney or whoever has assumed their mantle nowadays, preaching about religious education breaching someone’s Human Right to pretend to be a gentile.

    If that’s extreme, I’ll cope, thanks.

  62. Your corollary is extreme – and I’m glad you’re coping – truly.

    And Mike, sorry for confusing you, although I did once have a girl friend from Toulouse (no olfactory pun intended)………… but that’s another story. Not for this blog.

  63. Yes, Adam, you wouldn’t want to offend my delicate sensibilities. 😉

    C’mon!! What have you got to lose?! We all promise not to tell . . .

  64. Enough to say that I learnt much about the French and their bodily hygiene – or lack thereof – from my time with her, and that Napoleon’s notorious request to Josephine would not have raised an eyebrow…in all other respects however, Dominique was quite wonderful.

    More personal evidence of this French fear of soap comes from our time living in a bed-sit for nine months in Boulogne-sur-mer back in 1994. We (my exceptionally clean wife and I) never had any hot water on a Friday evening, because that was the day of the week when everyone washed. Small wonder that the glove flannel and the bidet are French inventions…

    That’s it from me for now, I’m off to pick some olives.

  65. But Adam, my Toyota is a Prius.

  66. If Carmel had been a girl, Mike, the pronoun would have been who, not which…ah all those years of a Henrietta Barnett School education have finally paid off….

    So is my Toyota a Prius, Dan – but what has that got to do with anything on this blog???

  67. Anybody know if the Israeli police are charging the people who spat at the girl with public order offences?

  68. Does Dovid not think it sad that when researching “What have the charedim done for us,” he had to pull out his history book and quote dates such as 1875 and 1923?

  69. Alexa, Adam seemed to find my Corolla extreme. Wrong model.


  70. Alexa Raine nee Bloch

    Groan….obviously, I missed that! I was trying to work out what it had to do with Haredim taking over Israel…

  71. Groan, indeed . . . I just hope Gins isn’t writing big bruv’s sermons!

    “If Carmel had been a girl, Mike, the pronoun would have been who, not which”

    Alexa, have you never heard of “It’s a lovely totty”? Or “I’d give that one!”?

  72. Here is a profile of my favorite Haredi sponger/parasite…. Here’s to Shmeelu.

  73. What was it that Marx (Karl, not Ivan) said about opium and religion?

    Judging by the complete lack of cohesive structure in this abysmal excuse for a documentary, I wonder whether one of Samuel’s erstwhile suppliers slipped a bit of white powder into the hapless interviewer’s coffee before the recording.

  74. LOL Mike not really! Well never to me anyway 🙂

  75. If any melchett mike readers are looking for a worthy cause to which to donate, please see the following, received by a friend of mine by e-mail, yesterday, from “Kollel Skver” (kollel@kst.org.uk).

    It is comforting to know that there are still some bona fide, hard-working ultra-Orthodox out there . . . and, as Eluzer (“A loser”?) assures us, “it is definitely the right investment!”

    Dear xxxx

    We’d like to share with you this very rare and unique occasion!

    20 of our Choshuva Talmudim of Kollel Skver will B’ezras Hashem be travelling to Eretz Yisroel this week for 8 days where they will gain סמיכה לרבנות from the leading גדולי הדור שליט”א.

    The reaching of this stage of getting Semicho, is a direct result and a continuation of the Chizuk the אברכים received from the גדולי הדור at their previous major and successful trip 5 years ago to Eretz Yisroel, were they were tested by the גדולים on the entireהלכות שבת, and from what the גדולים were highly impressed – as can be seen from their letters.

    And hopefully, this trip again, will encourage them to reach even higher levels in תורה, and which will בעזרת השם result in them taking up positions, and repay the Kehilah for its many years of support and investment.

    The cost of the trip is around £25,000. Although in the current economy, it would maybe not be sensible to undertake this additional financial burden, but as they were already promised 5 years ago to make this trip at achieving Semicho, we can’t let them down… Especially, considering the gain that such a trip brought in the past – it is definitely the right investment!

    Half of the trip is already sponsored B’’H, and we still need around £12,500. You can have the Zchus in sponsoring 1 Talmud for £1250.00, or give any donation possible.

    (Your kind donation can be spread over 2 years)

    Whilst in Eretz Yisroel they will have a lifetime opportunity to meet many גדולים,

    Daven at the כותל המערבי, recite ספר תהילים on Lag Ba’omer at the Kever of רבי שמעון בר יוחאי, and also visit the Kever of רבי מאיר בעל הנס

    Please contact me to give us your Kvittel in order that we can Daven for you and say Tehillim (x20) in your name.

    07813 773 287

    00972 54 295 2515 from Tuesday

    Thanks so much

    Yours truly,

    Eluzer Hopstein

    Please find enclosed our details

    Kollel Skver Trust
    P.O. Box 44633
    London N16 5WS

    Santander Bank

    Charity number 1087348

  76. When they alter the destination of their trip to Medinat or Medinos Yisroel, I will consider donating to this monumental cause.

  77. John Fisher

    I think this is a pyramid rather than a square.

  78. A little research shows the Skverers to be buddies of the Spinkas . . . the sect followed by “Bottyboybashing” Meyers, no less!


    We Dzikówers, of course, have nothing to do with such riffraff.

  79. Yitzchak Landau

    Thought you were a staunch Ropczycer Mike?! Assume you didn’t say tachanun on the Rebbe’s yahrzeit last Thursday!!

  80. John Fisher

    Thanks to 21st century technology I finally managed to put flesh on a story I first heard 40 years ago from a charedi friend. Steven Hill, star of the first Mission Impossible series (before the days of that fellow who was married to Nicole Kidman), left the series to become a Skvere Chossid. See link below. Please note: There is no need to worry. In this digital age this video will not self-destruct in 5 seconds


  81. Outcome Improbable!

    Same dynasty, Yitzchak. Eliezer of Dzików z”l was the son of Zvi Naftali of Ropczyce z”l . . . though you are correct, I didn’t say Tachnun – capital “T” please (where’s your respect?!) – last Thursday. 😉

  82. John Fisher

    Steven Hill has got to me. The charedi who told me about him orginally was a Spinker but even he could not have come up with this:

    According to Desilu executive Herb Solow, once William Shatner burst into his office, claiming “Steve asked me how many Jews worked on Star Trek. He was recruiting a prayer group of ten guys to worship together on top of the studio’s highest building and only had six Jews so far from Mission. He asked if I would come and bring Nimoy and Justman and you.”

    I have a serious Halachic question. Can a Vulcan, who has many attributes of a human being but is from another planet, be a Jew?

  83. A similar shayle to that asked about many of our former ‘rabbonim’. 😉

  84. Yitzchak Landau

    Maybe there is a clue in the expression “bima me up Scottie”?

  85. John Fisher

    With all those Jews, maybe it really was originally called Star Drek.

  86. While the pair of you are giving puns a bad name, let me express my sincere hope that neither of the aforementioned Rebbes ever get caught up in a sex scandal. “The Spinka’s a Spanker!” and/or “A Sqvere Peg in a Round Hole” are headlines we could well do without.

    Dzików and Ropczyce (pronounced “Jikev” and “Ropshits”), on the other hand, do not, fortunately, lend themselves to such crude wordplays.

  87. John Fisher

    I wouldn’t dare start with Ropczycze – my wife and kids are also descendants

  88. Your kids as well as your wife?

  89. Mike, on 25th Tammuz, taking Raphael to put tefillin on, for the first time, to the Rebbe, you are more than welcome to join us

  90. John Fisher

    Regarding that Mission Impossible/Star Trek Minyan for Mincha with Captain Kirk and Mr Spock it occurs to me that while Jews may not rule the world, they clearly do rule places where men boldly go where no man has gone before.

  91. Do the Spinkas put on a good spread afterwards? Bridge rolls?

    Would love to. If Dexxy doesn’t get at them first, that is . . .


  92. You’ve gotta love the charedim . . .

    There’s a front page Haaretz article today about how 65,000 of them – men only, of course – attended a mass rally in New York on Sunday against the dangers of the Internet: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/behind-the-scenes-of-the-ultra-orthodox-anti-internet-rally.premium-1.431796

    Our old friends the Skverers (see comments above) were there again, while the Skulener Rebbe is quoted as saying, “Whoever uses the Internet without a filter is a beast, because the source of Internet is beastliness . . . all the diseases and weird deaths inflicted on the People of Israel are only because of the Internet’s spreading to their homes.” All of them?

    Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, meanwhile, called the Internet a “device for idolatry and incest.” Excuse me for splitting hairs, Rabbi, but where does incest come into it?!

    I am reminded of the Hasmo rabbi’s (mythical?) “We are only seven miles from Soho . . . and I know because I’ve measured it in my own car.”

    “Several of the speakers,” the article continued, “decried the Internet’s potential to distract yeshiva students,” while the event’s spokesman “mentioned online pornography and gambling as examples of Internet dangers that disturb “our ability to pray uninterruptedly, to focus and to concentrate.””

    All I can say, in the Internet’s defence, is that porn never distracts or disturbs me for more than a weekend.

  93. “All I can say, in the Internet’s defence, is that porn never distracts or disturbs me for more than a weekend.”

    LOL! That’s b/c you iz an apikoros (& yes, it takes 1 to know 1). 😉

    The biggest problem is that their hypocrisy would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. 😦

  94. Quite, Greg. Between the charedim and the reform, what hope is there for Am Yisroel? 😉

  95. Perhaps the hope does indeed lie between …

  96. “our democratic, tolerant values” as long as these conform with YOUR definitions – the philosophies in this blog do not reflect an iota of ‘tolerance’ on your part. No, I am neither a Haredi nor a supporter of any form of extremism – be it Hareidi or its counter-balance. There are many who do sponge off the state. And there are many many more who do work and contribute to the state. These sectors are ignored by ‘democratic, tolerant’ others as they quietly live their lives. I do not see the ‘democratic, tolerant’ secular groups setting up hospitals, or working with the geriatics who have no one to look after them (many of these have Israeli children – living out the country) or running/funding soup kitchens etc etc. So instead of bashing a very small group, an dash of your philosophy of tolerance could be applied

  97. I haven’t a clue what you are on about, Ari. Define “democratic, tolerant values” however you like . . . sickos who spit on 7-year old girls because their skirts don’t cover their ankles – and their fanatic, parasitic ilk – don’t meet them! Anyway, you clearly didn’t read my post . . .

    “I just don’t buy the spurious, disingenuous even, “It’s not all of them” defence employed usually by more moderate, but still observant, Jews – for whom such extremism perhaps poses uncomfortable questions – as a smoke screen to conceal the fact that it is most of them.”

  98. Your belief that “most Charedim” do this, that and the other is nothing but ignorant bigotry. Crapping on millions of your brothers and sisters makes you on par with the worst Leftist. Are there Charedim who do disgusting things? Of course but by and large they are no worse than any other Jewish demographic in Israel. That you do not agree with their lifestyle has no bearing on anything. They are not making you do anything. Those that mistreat other people should be dealt with AS individuals.
    People like you who lump in Ger Chassididm with Litvaks, Brtatzlaver (“Breslov”) and everything and anyone else in Frum garb make no sense at all. The only thing each group has in common is that they have lifestyles you would not choose for yourself. That is your problem. Stop projecting it on others.
    As for the canards you aped? That Charedim are parasites? Their rate of dole recipents is less than that of Chilonim on a per capita basis so maybe all Chilonim are parasites as wel. In fact, Charedim donate more time to volunteerism in mainstream society than any other demographic in Israel. They also donate more to charity. Pethaps you might actually research these issues instead of lurking on “False Messiah” and cadging “facts” from a mentally ill man in his elderly parents’ American basement. Of course that is where you lifted your entire spiel- the “Sikarim” was invented by that nutter.
    Nothing is worse than a Jew who wastes time and energy attacking fellow Jews in blanket fashion. Not enough Jew Hating Goyim to suit your tastes? Dont worry because your post will generate more.

  99. Thank you for your comment, Rachamim. And shana tova.
    It is clear, however, that you have made no attempt to understand, or to address, what I actually wrote.
    And is the following, for instance, from last week’s Daily Telegraph, also merely “[my] belief” . . .
    It must be the delightful smell that prevents women from keeping their hands off.
    Re “their rate of dole recipents” being “less than that of Chilonim on a per capita basis”, I will be happy to stand corrected. Where did you get that from?
    Send the parasites back to Poland, I say. I volunteer to help them pack.

  100. Mike,
    Rachamim may be right about “rate of dole recipents less than that of Chilonim on a per capita basis”. Given that being in Kollel is not considered “dole” and that “per capita” causes the number of dole recipients to be diluted by differing proportions of children and high-school students – in pure statistical terms, he may be right.

  101. Melchettmike: You link to a British tabloid to bolster your argument about the adverse effect that Charedim have on Israeli society? You turn to Goyim shi**ing on Jews to support your own prejudices. It is called “Bias Confirmation.” What one or even 50 Charedim do on a single plane- IF it even is true- has nothing to do with an entire demographic. If I have my walket lifted in Tel Aviv by a junkie should I go online and say all Chilonim should be expelled from Israel??? Brother, you really need to get your head straight because not only are you irrational you are feeding Anti Semites.

    As for you asking me for data that you can freely have gotten on your own in a 5 minute websearch? If I post it is it going to change your perspective? A man who has the audacity to label 700,000 Israelis as having bad body odor?

    Lastly, talking about sending Charedim “back to Poland”? I am a Jew whose family, both sides, have been in HaEretz always. We did not make Aliyah because we never left so how about I tell you to pack your bigoted crap and move back to whatever corner of the Diaspora you and yours came from? No Jew ever has a right to try and deny any other Jew a place at the table. Do you imagine the Eurocentric Humanism seeping out of your pores has served the Jewish People in a constructive manner? As bad as any individual Charedi may be, he is keeping alive the Jewish Faith and the Jewish People. All you are doing is dragging both down.

  102. Last time I checked, The Daily Telegraph was a broadsheet. And my opinion comes from what I see and hear . . . oh yes, and smell. My dogs think they are in Reich’s every time we get anywhere near them.

    These parasites (with few exceptions) do far more damage to our people than your beloved “Goyim” and “Chilonim” ever could. And the only thing that they are “keeping alive” is the contempt that so many Israelis, tragically, have for our religion . . . a beautiful one that their ugly shenanigans merely pervert.

  103. Perverting Judaism? You who apparently fail to understand that Ahavat Yisrael is among the most basic axioms within Judaism only make yourself seem bizarrely ignorant. Tell me, do you know what a Moser is? No Jew with an iota of self-knowledge would ever attack millions of fellow Jews and do it in a fashion that strengthens Anti Semitism. THAT has always been a capital offence. Even informing a tax collector about another Jew is punishable by death so you must have no Jewish education at all to be talking about “perverting” Judaism. You have been perverting it far, far worse than any individual Charedi does in “spitting.”

    There are people who feel empowered hiding behind ridiculous made up names online and being as obnoxious and as antagonistic as they can be. If you are even a Jew, much less a Jew that lives in Israel, your issues are manifold and you need serious help. Whether your endgame is just to antagonise or if you truly are a self-hating Jewish bigot, the result is the same. You are consumed by loathing. IF you are a Jew? 69 years ago our People survived a mass genocide that killed off 1 out of every 3 Jews alive at the time. Yet here you are repeating Nazi canards word for word.

    If you have siblings and your brother or sister erred would you consign them to the rubbish heap? Publicly insult and shame them? Empower those outside your family who would do that and much more? A person who would even consider doing as much to a sibling is a true bottom feeder. I really do not cotton to ad hominem attacks but you definitely need a wake up call.

  104. Rachamim, do you really believe that telling the taxman about a fellow Jew is punishable by death? What fantasy world do you live in?

  105. Rachamim, you clearly have never heard of “Dina demalchuta dina”, or you would not have made your preposterous statements.
    If you believe that a community should cover up for one another’s tax evasions, domestic violence and institutional child abuse – you really deserve the worst that Mike can say about such communities.

  106. Rachamim – your combination of really difficult words I had to look up in a dictionary, with original syntax and dart-board punctuation, left me quite exhausted. But, pray, what is a ‘Moser’? The only word that came close in the dictionary was ‘Moses’.

  107. Come to think of it, 5 years in Hasmonean (which produced its fair share of ethically-challenged alumni… this is the Hasmo blog after all), and I never once saw the term “moser”, or “moiser” used. I think it was a BBC drama that raked it up a decade or so ago.
    Maybe “Rachamim” is simply an agent provocateur?

  108. Daniel: Not to put you down but you have no idea what you are saying. First, though it is entirely irrelevant vis a vis the subject matter, the “Law of the Land” is ONLY to be obeyed in cases where there is no direct conflict with Jewish Law and is NEVER to be obeyed in cases where it will hurt ANY Jew.

    With that out of the way, the admonition is personal, as in YOU must abide by the “Law of the Land.” It has ZERO to do with informing on a fellow Jew. To inform on a fellow Jew is non-negotiable though in the last two decades Charedim in the US have tried to modify it to the degree that if and when a Bet Din cannot effectively mete justice in cases like- for example- sexual crimes- then one is not violating the Holochot of Mesirah by informing Goyshe’ authorities IF one can be absolutely sure that Jews will be judged fairly. In cases where you know a Jew who cheats on his taxes? The example I utilised earlier? I used it because it is expressly and quantifiably articulated in the Talmud as a non-negotiable capital offence. What YOU do in relation to a law and what ANOTHER Jew does with regard to said law are two entirely different things.

    As to “Melchetmike,” he is empowering Anti Semites and as such is as degenerate as they come. To do so while of a sound mind is inexcusable. As for you believing that he is right about crapping on millions of his fellow Jews? Then you are just as much of an ignorant bigot. A Jew that errs is a Jew, not a group of Jews. To discuss expelling more than 700,000 Jews from Israel? If you feel he has a point than you are just as much of a degenerate…just as I would be were I to take his and your bigotry and insult all Chilonim over it.

  109. Jeremy Cohen: The “fantasy world” that I live in is called “cheder level Judaism.” Obviously you never read a Talmud. The admonition is not to direct a Jew today to kill over such a transgression though it is legal to do so under basic Halacha but to illustrate how serious an offence it is to dirty fellow Jews and to endanger them in any manner.

  110. “Goyshe’ authorities” [sic]??? We’re talking about Israel. The authorities are Jewish.

    And how dare you accuse Mike of empowering anti-Semites? It is people with disgraceful, elitist attitudes such as yours who give fair-minded people good reason to hate you.

    If a fellow-Jew (or anyone else) commits a crime, be it child-abuse or tax evasion, reporting him to the authorities (goyische or otherwise) is a moral imperative. “Dirtying a fellow-Jew” – he already dirtied himself by committing the crime.

    I wonder how you’d behave if one of your loved ones were swindled by a Jew. According to you, reporting him to the (goyische) police would render you chayav mitah.

  111. John Fisher: A “Moser” is any Jew who endangers any other Jew by speaking negatively about Jews, Judaism and/or Jewish Culture to Goyim (non-Jews). There is a genre within Halacha (Jewish Law) known as “Mesirah,” which basically means “(The Law of) Informing.”

    In the Talmudic example I stated, there were two rabbis, a third Jew entered and admitted that he was going to inform the (non Jewish) authorities about the man having a large amount of livestock fodder and lead him to it. One rabbi questioned the Jew and attempted to dissuade him by reasoning. The Jew refused. The second rabbi, who had not said a word then came up behind the Jew and literally snapped his neck. That isnt to say that one should do such things- though it is perfectly legal according to Halacha- but to show how very grave it is to harm fellow Jews by going to Goyim.

  112. Daniel: If you never heard of a Moser until whatever on the BBC I suggest you start reading your Talmud. If you need help with a Daf Yomi programme let me know.

  113. Oh! You meant a ‘Moysser’. Far vus hostu nisht gezukt?

  114. Jeremy Cohen: First of all, you do not even know what is being discussed. It helps if you actually read as opposed to skimming or whatever it is you do. Noone is discussing Israeli authoroties. My comments to “Melchettmike” addressed his bigotry against millions of fellow Jews AND his empowerment of Anti Semites who use such blogs, etc as “proof” of their delusions and hatred, as in “inside source.” So let’s scratch that one off of your list.

    Second, as for “giving fair minded people a reason to hate me,” you obviously imagined I am a Charedi which speaks volumes about your own bigotry. I do not even keep Shabbat genius but I do have a Jewish education and I do resent Jews crapping on entire Jewish demographics- to say nothing of millions who have diverse customs and way of life. Lumping in a Litvak/Litvish in with a Bratzlaver and then including a Bostoner or Ger (Gerrer)? The only thing they have in common is black hats. There is no “Charedi mentality.” There is no “Charedi way of life.” To imagine otherwise is incredibly ignorant and to do so in a negative manner is the epitome of Anti Semitism.

    Third …As for what I would do if a fellow Jew defrauded me? Again, you have not bothered to read but for the sake of discussion I will answer you. What I would NOT do is go online and start talking crap about ALL Jews. Is it getting clearer yet Jeremy?

  115. John Fisher: I have no idea what you are saying. If it is phonetic Yiddish, which would make sense given the post, I am a Mizrachi from Israel so I do not understand more than a few words of the language.

  116. Rachamim, I have no idea of your level of observance, nor did I pretend that I did. It is abundantly clear from your excruciating punctuation and hilarious lack of manners that you transcend categorization, so I will not begin to attempt to guess where you imagine you fit in.

    Although it is unreasonable to tar all charedim with the same brush, it is right and proper to hold the charedi community responsible for attitudes it supports, even if not every member of the community agrees with those attitudes. It’s worth noting at this point that the charedi communities you are defending so stoutly against Mike’s putative bigotry are fairly unanimous in their disgraceful :

    1) condemnation of homosexuality
    2) attitudes to women’s rights
    3) separatism and elitism

    You may find you have more in common with them than your level of observance might imply! I wouldn’t care to guess. I might guess though that these stone age attitudes cause more dislike for Jews than Mike’s blog.

  117. Rachamim,

    There is an unwritten rule of web etiquette that when someone is polite to you (as in “Daniel: Not to put you down”), one should attempt to be polite back. Unfortunately I cannot abide by that rule in this post.

    So… you are someone who does not keep Shabbat, but is insisting on exposing a very narrow halachic world-view as a non-negotiable fact. I’ve heard of self-hating Jews before… I guess you must be a self-hating haredi. In one fell swoop, you represent both the extremes of haredi society, and the extremes of stirring up hatred of haredim.

    It’s one thing for you to go crapping on my and Jeremey’s gemara skills… but I don’t think it will be too hard to find halachic luminaries who do a much better job reconciling halachic and civil law than your simplistic “moiser approach”. A taste here: ( http://www.estatelawcanada.ca/rabbi-moshe-feinstein-and-halachic-wills/ ). Again, it’s amazing to think that corners of the haredi community have stagnated to the extent you imply… and amazing to think that someone who has rejected practical Judaism could be expounding such a stagnated approach.

    Maybe you are not a self-hating Haredi. Could you be:
    – A loony?
    – Schizophrenic?
    – A general trouble-maker?
    – Doing research on discussion boards?
    – Mike’s alter-ego trying to boost the ratings of his blog?

    Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve come across many haredim in my time… am related to them, work with them, was taught by them – but none have even in a private conversation alluded to the extreme view that you post in public. The only reason I can think of that you brought the whole think up is to increase hatred of Jews and haredim… are you a Muslim intellectual, perchance?

  118. “. . . you must have no Jewish education at all . . .”

    When you are right, Drek, you are right . . . though I do still look forward to a source for your contention that the Poles’ “rate of dole recipents is less than that of Chilonim on a per capita basis”. Daniel has very kindly offered to analyse the stats.

    But send ’em back, I still say! They come ‘ere, they take our jobs . . . well, okay, that’s one charge you can’t level at them!

  119. Rachamim Dwek

    Jeremy Cohen: If you think insulting my English is going to deflect attention away from you ignorantly assuming things and engaging in rank bigotry, guess again.

    As for you saying in one breath that it is wrong to denigrate all Charedim and in the very next breath telling me that the “Charedi Community” needs to answer for things, I can only laugh. By the way Jeremy, what is “the Charedi Community”? Would it be the Ger who serve in the IDF? Or would it be the Toldot Aharon who would die before doing so? Is it the Lubavitcher who are Pro Zionist? Or the Satmar who are anti? If it is the Satmar, which Satmar? Imagining that hundreds, perhaps thousands of disparare groups form a monolithic entity is ridiculously ignorant (second time I have had to tell you this).

    Lastly? No Charedi group hates homosexuals. Most hate homosexual sexual relations which is merely basic Halacha.

    As for separation of genders, if you mean Hadarat, that is sinful behavior and is not even widely engaged in within the few groups that have dabbled in it. If instead you mean N’gee’ah? That is basic Halacha.

    As for separatism and elitism, you must have never spent any time in Israel, or any large Western city for that matter. Who is doing Kiruv? Who is engaging in charities dealing with non-Charedim? An example, Yad Sara, saves the Israeli social welfare net $220 million US each year by aiding non-Charedim. Elitist? You mistake modesty and not striking up a conversation with you as elitist but is anything but. That said, given the history in Israel I would not blame 100% of Charedim if they wanted nothing to do with Chilonim. The Yossele Schmuacher affair is reason enough and is just one of hundreds of sinilar examples.

  120. Rachamim Dwek

    Daniel: Net Etiquette? What are you, 12? I could not care in the least what tone you use.

    As for hyper-linking to a Da’ati paper on Canadian Probate Law, are you kidding me? In fact, if you actually read your own source you will find that he states that virtually every Charedi Rabbi agrees with what I said (i.e. On inflexible axioms Halacha takes precedence over Secular Law when the two conflict). If you actually read it you would not have used it since it disproves your entire argument.

    As for me being a “Self Hating Charedi,” I would have to have first been Charedi. Again, try making some sense. As for imagining me to be a Muslim, I can only laugh at you. Do you imagine you anger me? That you insult me? Or, are you really that pathetic that you think such bizarre things? What a putz.

  121. No, clearly none of us are getting to you, Rachamim. But you should get some sleep . . . you are spending more time at your PC than a paedophile whose mum’s gone away for the week.

  122. Jeremy Cohen

    I agree that “charedi” is a wide-ranging term, and as such it is easy to find sub-divisions and sects with some opposing views (as you just did). Nevertheless, charedim are a coherent group, a community with many common goals and attitudes, particularly towards halacha. As such it makes sense to speak of them together.

    Your words: “most hate homosexual sexual relations…”

    You’ve proved my point for me. It’s one of the things the charedim have in common with fundamentalist Muslims and Christians and it’s plain wrong. I don’t give a damn what the halacha says, and clearly neither do you or you wouldn’t boast so loudly about breaking Shabbat.

  123. Rachamim Dwek

    Jeremy Cohen: “This.” If you mean that a few Charedi supposedly spat on a Chardali girl in Beit Shemesh years ago and that this means all Charedi are this, that and the other, were it so I reckon the streets in Israel would be flooded with saliva.

    As for the actual story, it was a lie. Beit Shemesh is a Mizrachi Development Town from the 1950s, mostly Maghrebi. Then, in the late-1980s Anglo Da’atim who just made Aliyah moved into town and staked out entire neighbourhoods. Lastly, in the mid-1990s Charedim moved in. All 3 demographics competed for space and entitlements. Mayor Abutbul was inept and tried to please everybody but in doing so- for example in housing estates- he exacerbated the issues.

    The woman who claimed her young daughter was spat upon was a single Anglo who follows a particular rabbi who has been engaged in a battle over a school site- the school being the one the little girl attended. The mother did not file a police report but instead ran, at her rabbi’s advice, to Ha’aretz and Yediot Aharanot, the two media outlets most hostile to Charedim in Israel.

    Once she did that and it was picked up abroad feminists and Leftists galire pressured her to file a pilice report. Despite that school having a CCTV array in front of it and the municipality having its own areay, there was no documentary evidence. Then, when police pointed this out the woman refused all further co-operation and refused to even discuss it with the journalists that she heraelf initially sought out.

    That saud, IF a Charedi spat on anyone, let alone a little girl, he should be thrown in gaol and if I had any say in it he would caned as well. He, as an individual, not all Charedim.

  124. Jeremy Cohen

    Oh man I just read your latest post:

    “virtually every Charedi Rabbi agrees with what I said” – and this is the group of disparate individuals that can’t be categorized together? LOL

  125. Rachamim Dwek

    Melchettmike: If think mispronouncing my name should be the last thing on your agenda given your ignorance and bigotry but far be it form me to rag on the mentally challenged and/or those with serious self esteem issues.

    As for asking me to do something that will not change anything you think, you really must be as slow as I pegged you to be. If you actually understand what “per capita” means statistically speaking, and actually care about the answer, Israel publishes a statistical almanac each year- as do all large municipalities in Israel.

    As for the childish crap at the end of your post, wallow in your ignorance. I understand how people with major self esteem issues need to over-compensate at the expence of others.

  126. Rachamim Dwek

    Jeremy Cohen: There are basic tenets in any belief system. In Islam the belief that Muhammad is the “last prophet” and that he represents the paragon of humanity are such pillars and are adhered to universally by ALL Islamic variants. Only a very ignorant person however, would imagine that a Sunna and Shi’a are one and the same. Moreover, noone with even scant knowledge of Islam would imagine that a Shi ‘a 6er and Shi ‘a 12er are one and the same. The same is true within Judaism. All Charedim believe that HaShema is the basic creed of Judaism. All Charedim believe that a Brit should take place on the 8th day but that does not mean any two Charedi groups together form a cohesive demographic.

  127. Jeremy Cohen

    I didn’t say they are the same. I said they form a coherent group. And so did you mate!

  128. Rachamim Dwek

    Jeremy Cohen: Halacha varies incredibly widely between Charedi groups. With Halacha a directly articulated Mitzvah or pattern of behavior built atop such Mutzvot- is non-negotiable. For example, the Talmudic axiom on Holochot Mesirah that initiated this exchange. It is nearly universally perceived as non-negotiable. But on most things Halacha varies from group to group or even generation to generation within one Charedi group. The Satmar are a great example. When Rebbe Yo’el was alive Satmar Halacha had a direction, a unified tone. After his death there was a schism between two if his sons and the Satmar split between them. Now Halacha varies widely so your supposition that because Charedim almost universally acknowkedge the perspective on Mesirah that I spoke about is 100% wrong.

  129. Jeremy Cohen

    Contrast the statement:

    “halacha varies incredibly widely”


    “universally perceived as non-negotiable”

    Even you must spot the obvious non sequitur.

    Worshipping different idols (sorry Rebbes) doesn’t count as variety.

  130. Rachamim,
    When you write “If you mean that a few Charedi supposedly spat on a Chardali girl in Beit Shemesh years ago” – and then proceed to spin this as a case of a single mother with a political agenda – the game is up. You live in a fantasy world.
    We have all heard from Anglo friends exactly what is going on in Bet Shemesh. Intimidation of non-charedim (including chikdren) is a regular practice by some of the Haredi sects and a political tool. Let’s say nothing of election fraud which you probably consider permitted also.
    But answer me this if I sitting next to a woman on a plane is against the Haredi interpretation of halacha, and the plane company’s rules say that they will put anyone wherever they want do – why can’t haredim uphold both Halacha and the law of the skies but simply not getting on the plane in the first place or by making sure they travel with enough friends of the same sex to fill a row? What gives them the right to eject a woman from an adjacent seat?… Or are you going to tell me that never happens either?

  131. The news, this morning, that El Al does not have a policy to deal with incidents of the kind that erupted last week, when large numbers of passengers on a flight from New York refused to sit next to strange women, is worrying.

    The Charedi community continues, after nearly 70 years of statehood, to miss the plot, and El Al plods along with them.

    Israel is an open, liberal-democratic society. That does not mean that any individual or group in that society can take it upon themselves to act in a manner that affects the freedom of choice of other members of that same liberal-democratic society.

    If parts of the Charedi community consider that a service being offered by a private enterprise is not to their liking, they have the consumer’s right to look elsewhere. If their needs are not met by the market, it is for the entrepreneurial among them to fill the gap in demand.

    I, personally, like the idea of a Charedi airline. As the biblical ‘El Al” has already been used, they could go for ‘Hashomaim Kisi’. Men would sit in Business Class and be served by stewards who, preferably for them, would not be gay. Women and children would sit in Cattle Class and be served by secular women – because, after all, that is what Shikses are for.

    In-flight entertainment would be Daf Yomi in Business Class, and Meam Loez (in Ladino with subtitles) in Cattle Class. Food would be served throughout the flight (“Ich vil noch a bissel chulent”).

    Flights could be direct to Borough Park and Golders Green, landing heavily and unexpectedly in the local High Street. Not to worry if the local police force (not to mention the dead pedestrians) object – Eysov (yemach shemo) can always be schmeared.

    I would be delighted to hear of any other ideas for a Charedi airline, to enable me to help them put together a business plan.

    A bi gezunt!

  132. Charedim (huge majority of) for Dummies (though there is only one here) . . .

    Religiously intolerant.
    Animal phobic.
    No army.
    No work.
    No tax.

  133. Rachamim Dwek

    Jeremy Cohen: “I didnt say that. I said they form a coherent group , and so do you.”: What is a “coherent group”? The phrase makes no sense- not to mention that you contradict yourself in every post. Still no mea culpa though. Pleased to see you are at least consistent.

  134. Rachamim Dwek

    Jeremy Cohen: “Contrast ‘Halacha varies widely’ with ‘pillars are non-negotiable’.”: You are like a drowning man Jeremy, desperate for anything to hide your ignorance and your major errors in your first 3 posts, errors owing to your bigoted assumptions about Charedim and even about me. Surely anyone who is not retarded would understand what the term “pillars” means, vis a vis belief systems. You though are hoping to avoid attention over your extremely basic errors.

    “Worshipping different idols.”: Hahaha. Now you imagine all Charedim are Chassidim? AND all Chassidim engage in Rebbe Adulation? Not to mention your belief that “adulation” is synonymous with “worship.” And assuming that “Charedi” is synonymous with “Ashkenazi” much less “Eastern Ashkenazim.” Do yourself a huge favour Jeremy. After you learn to actually read the threads you post in, actually research Charedi Jewry because you are bone ignorant on the subject.

  135. Rachamim Dwek

    Daniel: “We have all heard from Anglo friends in Beit Shemesh…”: Meaning that you have heard from one of three partisan groups involved in a turf feud. Brillant Jeremy. You continue to prove me correct. What have you heard from Mizrachim there? From Charedim? Were I to say to you, “Charedim in Beit Shemesh told me how degenerate the Anglos are,” would you take me seriously? You just get worse and worse. Here is a tip, do some objective research instead of listening to partisan sources. It will work wonders on your integrity-related issues.

    As for “Election Fraud,” the wonderful thing about Israel is that there is sufficient juridicial oversight and freely accessible juridicial remedies. The High Court has dealt with the issue and has not accused a Charedi Organisation of malfeasance. Not to mention that the mayor in question is not Charedi, but a close to secular Mizrachi. But I reckon you would know all that because you talk to Anglos hahaha. Ask your Anglos why the woman ran to Anti-Charedu media outlets as a first course of action. Then ask them why she refused to press charges. I liked you much better when you accused me of being a Muslim. Without the paranoia you are simply drab.

    As for assuming that I would condone Election Fraud? Given your ignorance of cheder-level Judaism I can
    understand that you have no idea what is and is not permissable within Judaism. Aa I told you yesterday, if you need a good Daf Yomi programme do not hesitate to ask. You really should learn about your own religion and culture just as all Jews should.

    As for your question about Charedim on planes, yet again you stereotype Charedim. Because a handful have done something that you find abhorrent it means-in your mind- that literally millions of other Charedim do the same thing? If it were true I can assure you that El Al would offer segretated flights since their concern is the bottomline as opposed to whatever arbitrary ethical boundries. They could not care in the least so long as flights are sufficiently booked.

    Charedim that go to that extreme, and they are a miniscule number, can use a Mechitzah. El Al offers them and has for a while. Do you actually inagine that such things occur regularly? Or even that they occur more than a couple of times ? Or is this something else your Anglo “sources” tell you as well?

    I travel as part of my job. I literally cannot count the number of times that people- including Chilonim- have gotten drunk on a flight and engaged in obnoxious behavior. It would be pathetically ignorant of me to assume that all Chilonim are obnoxious boors who cannot handle their alcohol. If I were to say ALL Chilonim do so and ask you why Chilonim do not simply refrain from drinking on flights you would be correct to call me a ridiculous bigot. Perhaps you should look in the mirror.

  136. Rachamim Dwek

    John Fisher: El Al is a business, not a state. It has offered an optional Mechitzah to any man or women who desires it. Moreover, the incident itself is incredibly rare. Just about every single El Al flight has a significant number of Charedim aboard and yet this incident has only happened two times to my knowledge. The assumption that all Charedim have something to do with the obnoxious actions of a couple is rank bigotry.

  137. Rachamim Dwek

    Melchettmike: Your list is ridiculously stupid. Charedim do not serve in the IDF? K’fir Brigade’s 97th Battalion, which is not being severed from K’fir to serve as the nucleus of an entire Infantry Brigade is 100% Charedi except for 3 or 4 senior officers. AMAN’s Unit 8200 has a large number of Charedim. HaShachar, which is an all-Charedi formation in bith the INS and IAF? And then there are a faur number of Charedim serving in non-segregated formations as well. For example, the son of the founder of ZAKA is a Golanchik and just made Sayeret so I realky think you have never spent significant time in Israel, and that doesnt even touch upon Chardalim. Chardalim firm 1/3rd of the IDF Officer Corps and serve at a higher percentage than any other demographic in Israel with 86% induction- almost all in Infantry and Tzan. You really should try researching these issues because you only make yourself foolish.

    As for “Animalphobic,” what a laugh. Halacha tells us that humans ahould only keep animals whose work benefits humans. It does not say “Animals are bad.” In fact, Chardalim are the largest breeders of trained guardogs in Israel.

    “Homophobic.” No Charedi group hates gays. Gaysex and crossdressing though are a capital offence. A person can be effeminately gay but so long as he does not openly indulge himself ir publicly crossdress noone cares.

    “Dont pay taxes.”: Totally wrong in that they are not remiss any mire than any other Jewish demographic in Israel. The worst demographics in that regard are Arabs, which according to the Israeli system includes Druze. Only 18% pay their assessed municipal taxes. Do you hare Arabs and Druze?

    “Dont work.”: So there are no Charedi businesses now? You really must have never spent more than a couple of days in Israel. Who has shoppes in B’nei Brak? Me’a She’arim? Such nonsense you spew.

    “Misogynistic.”: Believing that women are favoured more than men before G-d but that each gender has a role in society is a form of hatred?

    “Seditious.”: In Israel’s 66 years there has been just one Charedi arrested for espionage and he was a Ba’al T’shuvah so you really failed on this one. If you are talking about Neteuri Karta and its powerbase, Toldot Aharon, they number less than 2,000 WORLDWIDE and only NK-USA and its branch in Brussels even talk to Arabs (if that is your point). In fact, the Satmar have issued a Cherem against them as Moses and Rodefs. 2,000 out of roughly 4 million. Spoken like the true bigot you are.

    “Poland.”: Do you know what “Litvish” means? Moreover, there are Yemeni in, for example, Satmar. The more you run your mouth, the stupider you sound.

  138. Jeremy Cohen

    Rachamim: You consistently fail to coherently (there’s that word again) answer most of my objections. When you remember anything I’ve said your responses are alternately insulting and nonsensical.

    Oh well, at least you’re persistent.

  139. Okay, Drek, I am persuaded . . .

    Most charedim do not sponge off the state, but have a superb work ethic, serve gallantly in the IDF, and generally pull their weight in Israeli society. They love their country, and respect all fellow Jews, women and homosexuals.

    Moreover, they do NOT: refuse to sit next to females on public transport and aeroplanes, get the horn from 8-year olds’ ankles, or keep many of Israel’s prostitutes in gainful employment.

    In fact, it is an utter mystery why most of their fellow countrymen cannot stand the very mention of them.

    Happy now?

  140. Rachamim
    Bet Shemesh – I have a number of dati friends who decided to leave the city because their teenage daughters were getting accosted in the streets and being told that their skirt wasn’t far enough below the knee. Ramat Eshkol – likewise – dati people being made uncomfortable enough to move out – to say nothing of a shul built by datiim 40 years ago being subsumed by haredim and the original founders being made to feel pariahs in their own shul.
    Election fraud – I have an immediate relative who despite zero knowledge of Israeli politics was picked up from her old-age home on election day and “helped to vote” as an “outing”. No prizes for guessing that she had now idea what she had actually voted for (someone helped her choose the slip) or that their policies were anathema to her.
    El-Al – say what? I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens on more flights than not! And I know first-hand of people who have been moved from cattle to business class in order to allow a haredi seat-rearrangement. It’s simpler and less contentious than segregated flights. Mind you, it’s a while since I’ve seen the “mincha takes priority over turbulence and the seat-belt sign” behavior – so maybe things are improving!
    You can go on believing that ‘anglos’ like myself and Mike have it in for haredim. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are just revolted by your presentation of a haredi-view, even if you no longer are part of that wordld.
    My example from Rav Moshe Feinstein was merely to show that there are some who reject this approach whom you cannot accuse of needing help with their Daf Yomi. I fail to see how you can defend extreme haredi views at the same time as rejecting Shabbat. Maybe it makes sense in your world – for the rest of us it does not.
    Whatever you are doing this Shabbat Shabbatot – may it be meaningful and worthwhile!

  141. Rachamim Dwek

    Melchettmike: Do you think you are cute? Talking garbage with a fake name? I factually disproved your ignorant assumptions. You had no idea that there is an entire Charedi Infantry Brigade that is a decade and a half old yet you still run your mouth like a little bitc*. You must be one miserable piece of shi* to attack millions of Jews even when you have been proven wrong. So, am I happy? I am as happy as when I first posted in this thread. I do not expect a wilfully ignorant little bitc* to turn around and suddenly admit that he has been extremely ignorant. My posting is for those that might read your bullshi*. So, by all means, keep hiding behind a fake name, making fun of my surname just as you making fake shit up about Charedim because others will see and will know that you havent the slightest clue. Pontificating about social problems in Israel when you know less than a Goy tourist about the nation. What Israeli would not know of Netzach Yehudah? Shachar? ZAKA, Yad Sara and a tonne of other Charedi endeavours? You tip your hand way too easily. Maybe some Goyim will inagine you know something about Israel but that would be the blind leading the blind. I suggest that if you actually have an interest in Israel and Jewish Culture that you begin researching it because at this point you are clueless.

  142. Rachamim Dwek

    Daniel: “Daniel knows Datim who have moved out of Beit Shenesh because their daughters were accosted for immodesty.”: As I told you previously, that is nonsense. There was an issue where about 3 dozen Charediim, Black Slonim Chassidim, put up placards on the municipality’s main street requesting modesty. THAT was not the issue. It was a symptom of the actual issue, as I also told you, entitlements for schools and housing. Ironically the Datim in Beit Shemesh, almost entirely Anglos, barged into a Mizrachi Development Town and caused a housing shortage and over-burdened Mizrachi schools. Then when Charedim did the same to them they not only whined like little bitc*s but invented libelous garbage like the Anglo single mother who claimed her daughter had been spat upon. Datim move because the housing shortage that they initially caused has now bit them on their ars•.

    “A shul built by Datim 40 years ago was subsumed by Charedim. A shul is not a public building. If it was owned by a Dati or Datim then Charedim could not possible to do anything like that. If Datim allowed Charedim to worship there, expand and then assert a Halachik Path that the Datim are uncomforable with it would be their own fault for letting it get to that point and yet all it woukd take is 2 to 3 hours to get a legal injunction banning charedim from trying to override the wishes of the shul’s managing entity, board, so on and so forth. However, what would THAT have to do with 4 million other Charedim?

    “Daniel has an elderly close family member who was picked up from her resthome on Election Day to vote for a party she knew nothing about.”: First, it us incredibly tragic that Jews like you ape Goyim, leaving family in rest homes? Disgusting. That is the Haskalah for you. Keep loving Humanism. That said? ALL demographics in Israel do the sane thing. My first cousin is a man named Avraham Burg (his mum was sister of my father). Burg was K’nesset Speaker, and tried to take control of Labor. He engaged in a mass voter fraud in that attenot by having Druze sheikhs stuff ballot boxes in the north. He is Leftist garbage though he uses a Kippah as a prop. So should we also say all Druze are corrupt? Or shall we say Baladi Mizrachim- like Burg- are all dishonest? You are taking individual actions and trying to tar millions of people. It is disgustingly bigoted. Charedim were involved in trying to throw a mayoralty race but Burg tried to usurp what was- at the time- Israel’ second largest party, a party most responsible for creating Israel and that ruled it for 29 straight years but I am sure you will not start shi*ing on Druze because of it.

    “Daniel wouldnt be suprised if Charedim refuse to sit with women on El Al more often than not.”: If that were so the nedia would not report it as a singular incident and would not suddenly focus on it after so many years. Seeing as how I fly at least once every two weeks and usually take El Al when flying out of Ben Gurion I can assure you it almost never happens but subjective anecdotes are worthless. Actually research the subject and look for recorded incidents. All you are doing here is guessing.

    “I can jeep believing that Anglos like Daniel and Melchettmikee have it ib for Charedim…”: I think no such thing. Anglos are no more monolithic than Charedim. I judge individuals, not entire demographics. In Shemesh though there is only one Anglo group, following a single movement so that it is possible to examine the group dynamic. Charedim in Shemesh come from at least 20 diverse groups. Big difference. I DO feel both you and he are rank bigots against Charedim, an irefutable fact given your and his negative stereotyping of them.

    “Both are revolted at my representation of Charedi views…”: Really? What views? Be specific because I have not mentioned more than one pillar of Charedi Judaism. Make no mistake, Charedi Judaism is by and large simply traditional Judaism. Even Datim believe things you would (apparently) revolted with, Collective Punishment and the killing of civilains being a fair example. You have very little knowledge of your own faith.

    “Even if I am no longer part of tge Charedi World.”: You must have missed the part where I stated that I have NEVER been a Charedi. I was a Chardali, a Dati. That is a huge difference.

    “Daniel thinks it makes no sense that I harbour extreme Charedi belies while not being Shomer Shabbat.”: You need to go back and read the thread because I explained WHY I do not keep it. More importantly, I do not hold Charedi viewpoints. I offered examples that are from mainstream, non-Charedi Judaism.

    What are you celebrating at Purim? What are you sanctifying at Chanukkah? Some old wives tale about miraculous olive oul? Purim saw us slaughter 80,000 Persians and steal all their possessions. Chanukkah is about slaughtering Chilonim and Erhni-nationalist violence. The oil fantasy was invented nearly 500 years after the fact. You imagine Judaism to be some Western Humanist mumbo jumbo. Yours is an Ashkenazi Pist-Haskalah invention.

    “Rabbi Feinstein would not have needed Daf Yomi…”: But unlike you he would not have assumed it does not exist. You had no idea and THAT is one point. The other is that you imagined that no rabbi would ever support that perspective. Moreover you offered some noname Canadian rabbi’s subjective interpretation of what Rabbi Feinstein would have thought- a silly waste of time.

    Sincerely thank you on your warm wishes for Shabbat.

  143. Dwek by name, Drek by nature. Even Rachamim must have its limits, and you have crossed them.

    I presented you with a more than fair opportunity to defend what most right minded Jews and Israelis consider indefensible. But you merely demonstrated to us all that you are as small minded and hateful as the bigots whom you so admire.


  144. Due to his resorting to scattergun insults, I decided to draw a line under Drek’s amusing little cameo, designating his contributions (appositely) “Trash”.

    I must, however, allow him the following parting shot, because his own words damn him – and the very ugliest aspects of our religion, which he stands for and defends – far better than we ever could . . .

    Melchettmike: Well you certainly have convinced me with your deft word play about my name. Such deep intellectualisms would make anyone see how right you are. We have always had Apikoros like you and we have always left you with the chaff where you belong. A spineless little faggot with a fake name boosting his badly damaged self esteem by putting down anything and everything that doesnt match his extremely narrow views. With 11 million Jews on the planet and 70%+ of Anglos such as yourself intermarrying you presume to deny 4 million+ of your brothers and sisters a place at the table. Absolutely brillant. Of course, as noted, it is the Apikoros who sniff at the arses of Goyim who are always left in the rubbish heap while those retaining the most basic aspects of Jewish Culture- tiny things like Ahavat Yisrael- continue not only to exist but to thrive. By all means, continue doing you. dont worry about facts.

    Ahavat Yisrael. 😉

  145. Jeremy Cohen

    Anyone fancy Googling Rachamim Dwek? It’s quite incredible how much energy he puts into trolling.

  146. A nice piece on the plane-seating saga:
    ‘I was curious to hear a Haredi perspective on this problem, so I had a chat with Rabbi Avi Shafran, the director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America (the ultra-Orthodox umbrella organization in America) who told me his personal thoughts on the matter:
    “The principle that should govern all plane-seating situations is the same one that we are to employ in all human interactions, namely, menschlichkeit [i.e. being kind and considerate] not causing people discomfort or harm.’

  147. I really truly dearly hope you all do teshuvah as what you have written here is not only a HUGE chilul hashem it is an aveirah and full of lies. You act as if two wrongs make a right. The extremists misbehave so you can go online and say anything you want and make it believed as truth. It makes me want to throw up how much sinas chinam there is. Why don’t you ask a rebbe why he tells his followers not to serve in the army instead of making up excuses, ask them how much tzedaka and work for klal yisroel they do, how many people they pray for every day, how many children they educate and bring up with values, even if its not to serve in the IDF. I pay taxes and so does my husband, my fil and brother in law and daughter and son. we are all haredi, we all abhor violence towards other jews of any kind, even with words. We want to live according to the torah without being harrassed just like you.

  148. Pinchos Chalk

    Different varieties of Jews were never designed to co-exist and it is not necessarily advisable that they do so.

    In a shrinking world (the first e-mail was sent as recently as 1971) we are entering an emotional black-hole where personal interfaces are crushed together by social and economic pressure.

    This is normally terrifying for all concerned and may or may not be a hiccup on the way to a state of total chaos and meaninglesness.

  149. Rachamim Slonim Dwek

    Only ignoramuses and/or bigots would treat Charedim as a monolithic group. They are as diverse as any demographic can get. Comparing a Satmar and Lubavitcher is nonsensical, how much more when comparing Chassidim with Litvak?

    As for what have they done? Just off the top of my head, ZAKA and Yad Sarah? I suggest you stop spitting on your brothers and actually do some research.

  150. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.

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