A group of adult men spat on, shouted at, and generally terrorized an eight year old girl. They did this because they didn’t like the way she was dressed. She was not wearing a bathing suit nor shorts; she was dressed in a long skirt and a shirt with long sleeves but they were the wrong kind of sleeves. So they called her a whore.
This was not in Iran. This was not in Afghanistan or Egypt or Yemen or even Saudi Arabia. This happened in Israel and these people were Jews. The men were haredim, the little girl, modern orthodox. And this was not an isolated incident in Beit Shemesh; it was just one more in a long and bitter religious war. Fortunately for Israel, Jews don’t suicide bomb each other….they just throw rocks and spittle.
The problem is that just like the Taliban, the Salafis, and the Muslim Brotherhood, the haredim want to control Israel. Not that they agree amongst themselves, which makes it very confusing. This is not new; it’s a 2000 year old problem:
Why was the First Temple destroyed? Because of three evils in it: idolatry, sexual immorality and bloodshed . . . But why was the Second Temple destroyed, seeing that during the time it stood people occupied themselves with Torah, with observance of precepts, and with the practice of charity? Because during the time it stood, hatred without rightful cause prevailed. This is to teach you that hatred without rightful cause is deemed as grave as all the three sins of idolatry, sexual immorality and bloodshed together.
Babylonian Talmud Book III: Yoma 9b
circa 500 CE
circa 500 CE
The ultra-orthodox do not share equally in the maintenance of the State of Israel. For the most part, they do not serve in the army, and certainly their girls are exempt. The men receive state subsidies for studying holy books instead of working. They do not pay taxes at the same rate, yet they demand more than their fair share of services. They verbally abuse those who do not conform to their standards, and that abuse can, and does, escalate into stone throwing and other physical abuses. They want all the benefits of living in a free country …one that is virtually tax-free for them….without any of the responsibilities and obligations. They want the law bent to their specifications and the rest of the country be damned.
Well, that’s not acceptable.
|Sign in Beit Shemesh:|
Women - Move to the other side
of the street
Israel is mired between plurality and halacha (religious law) and it sure looks like plurality is losing. (Come to think of it, there isn’t really a word for plurality in modern Hebrew…so that should be a real big clue right there.) I’m not about to go into all the details of how this is broken; the list is endless. If you’re interested, you already know. If you’re not, it doesn’t really matter, does it? But if you’re more than just plant life and follow world politics, you know this is not the biggest problem Israel is battling.
The State of Israel faces many more pressing problems. Here is a tiny little country in the center of a sea of countries that want it gone. The charter of the incipient Palestinian state even calls for the destruction of the “Zionist entity known as Israel.” So what does it say about the haredim plotting the destruction of the modern state from within?
In light of the ongoing onslaught of sinat chinam, baseless hatred, as practiced by the haredim, how about we have a 3 state solution instead? Draw a line around the haredi communities beginning with Mea She’rim in Jerusalem, and give Haredistan its freedom. They can be their very own country with all the rights and privileges therein along with all the obligations that comes with running your own state.
This would serve a twofold purpose: first, it would allow the haredim to structure all the laws they want. They can argue amongst themselves and it just won’t be our business, will it? Their women can strap themselves onto the tops of buses, a la Mitt Romney and his dog, or go around wearing refrigerator boxes for modesty with just two eye holes cut out. The women could run all the shops and businesses so the men wouldn’t ever have to do a day's work. They can have their own police and fire brigade. They would have to run their own services and pay or not pay their workers as they see fit. They can dictate whatever they want whenever they want. And the rest of Israel can get back to the business of running a democracy without having to pay for haredi mishugas.
Of course, there’s no expectation for longevity here. The Arab states will overrun Haredistan as soon as possible; because they never bothered to establish diplomatic ties with Israel or anyone else, there will be no allies on whom to call for assistance. But all things considered, they might find sharia more palatable than the Knesset.
I bet you think I’m kidding. I’m not so sure. But I do know that if the other 80% of Israelis do not stand up to those hate mongers, Israel as we know and love it will cease to exist.
No one wants to see Israel collapse under the weight of its own Taliban. But if it does, Midinat Yisrael will have no one to blame but themselves.
Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you don't live there, having an opinion about Israel is dicey at best.
It's always good policy to fly it by an Israeli
just to make sure you're not completely off base.