Thursday, December 29, 2011

If It's Not Ok For the Taliban - Why,Then, For Us?

AFTER VIEWING THE COMMENTS AND SPEAKING TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE ABOUT THIS (EITHER ONLINE OR IN "REAL LIFE"), I THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE TO POST THIS.  MY INTENT WAS NOT TO CHAREIDI BASH BUT RATHER IT WAS A CRY FROM MY "SOUL".  I HAVE BEEN VERY DEPRESSED ABOUT THIS THE LAST FEW DAYS AND I WANTED TO WRITE ABOUT IT IN MY JOURNAL.  THAT SAID, PLEASE (RE)-READ IT WITH THE GRAIN OF SALT IT DESERVES.


The last few days I've been struggling hard with images I've seen coming from Israel - the increasing civil war taking place between the Chareidim and non-chareidi Jews in Beit Shemesh (and other parts of Israel as well). 

I'm confused and sad and frightened by what I'm seeing.  How can this be?  How can Jews act this way?  If we saw Muslims saying these things about their women we'd laugh it off and call them insane lunatics.

How did it come to this

I do not pretend to be an expert on exactly what is going on there.  Nor am I any type of religious authority to speak of.  But I know "wrong" when I see it and this is wrong.  Spitting on women?  Calling them whores?  Doing the same to appropriately dressed seven year olds because their version of appropriate and yours is different?????

How can this be?  Where is the outcry?  Not an outcry from the non-chareidi world, which has been growing in recent days.  But where is the outcry from the charaedi leaders?

Cynical me would argue that the corrupt rabbis aren't only secretly supportig this, they are encouraging it.  Why?  Because every time they get the loonies to follow their words, they are increasing their power.  Their motives are clear to me.

But what about the other, supposedly "normal" ones?  Do they think it's ok to say nothing because their followers aren't joining in?  Do they think silence is the right approach?  Do they not understand that their silence is an act of condoning what's taking place?  And then, are they condoning these horrific actions or are they merely afraid that the chareidi world will no longer respect a rabbi who takes a stand?

And again the cynic in me wonders how the chareidi population can lack any sense of appreciation for the State.  The State that allows them to live on the dole - without even participating in the country's defense - yet still allows them to walk around like they own the fucking place.

I'm biased, you say.  Fuck yes I am.  I wonder what they would have done to me if they had seen me walking in their streets.  Would they have spit on me?  Called me a whore?  Maybe delivered a few blows or kicks to make their point?  I know what each and every one of those things feels like.  And to think that some rabbi (or in this case dozens) is approving of that makes me sick.

A very smart girl told me yesterday that she doesn't dwell on issues that she cannot pssibly fix.  And maybe the answer is to shut it out and forget it's happening.  After all, it's 6,000 miles away from me.

But i can't - it's managed to get inside of me.  I need an answer - I need comfort.  I need to understand how somethnig like this could happen - and what it means for our future.

And yes, to ask - If it's not ok for the Taliban, then why is it ok for us?

10 comments:

  1. Its not OK for them. What they do is beyond horrific. What makes it worse is that they claim to do it in the name of judaism.

    What it means for the future, nothing much. These type of people make a lot of noise and then fall to the side.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, and im not sure if your posts title had anything to do with this, but if not, its worth checking out http://drybonesblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/taliban-fighters.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. >A very smart girl told me yesterday that she doesn't dwell on issues that she cannot pssibly fix.

    People wonder why nobody cared that Hitler was gassing the Jews in Poland.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the Rabbis feel that anyone can see that the haters are a lunatic fringe group. They have nothing to do with any mainstream charaidism that I know or can see.

    It is beyond awful, and why they are not all in jail is beyond me, but they exactly what they apear to be: fringe (BORED!) lunatics.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Some rabbis are speaking out. Here is a summary: http://haemtza.blogspot.com/2011/12/one-event-two-reactions.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. e-kvetcher, you raise a solid point. Do you have any practical suggestions for stopping this other than davening? Does reading about machlokes help resolve the machlokes? Because reading of pain eats me up and leaves me empty, and I don't see how that helps.

    Even with the Holocaust example, I don't see how causing myself egregious pain helps. That's why 10th grade was the last time I exposed myself to Holocaust literature. My seminary took us to Yad Vashem, and as we were filing into the first room I started sobbing (granted, I had been to a six-year-old's funeral the day before) and made a choice: I left.
    What does it help? On Tisha B'Av, G-d says cry over the tragedies we caused ourselves, cry over the tragedies that befell us, and I cry. But I don't see why I should involve myself by reading all about a machlokes. I don't see how those detailed tears bring healing or resolution. I think it's more beneficial to distance myself from machlokes and try for a little more kavanah in Sim Shalom.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think what's happening now is along the right path. You can also vote with your wallet - where does the money that supports these guys come from? Maybe Cymbaline should ask her dad if his tzedakah goes into their pockets.

    >Even with the Holocaust example, I don't see how causing myself egregious pain helps.

    The Holocaust happened 70 years ago - your tears won't help those poor souls. But this is happening now. If you were in America and knew that Hitler was killing your fellow Jews in Europe, would you do nothing if you could help and instead say "Why expose my self to pain?"

    (I don't mean this as an attack - just asking rhetorically)

    ReplyDelete
  8. The OU and RCA have strongly and uncompromisingly condemned the action. Agudath Israel... not so much. Agudath's response, which I read in Lakewood Local, sounded almost like lehavdil a mealy-mouthed Arab "apology" for terrorism, G-d forbid that I should equate murder with what happened in Beit Shemesh.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you were in America and knew that Hitler was killing your fellow Jews in Europe, would you do nothing if you could help [emph. added] and instead say "Why expose my self to pain?"

    (I don't mean this as an attack - just asking rhetorically)


    Mwahaha... I upset the balance of the universe and answer a rhetorical question!! (Sometimes emotions die in type. That was me being silly because I absolutely cannot help it.)

    I agree with you, and I think that "if you could help" is the crucial qualifier. Hindsight is 20/20, right? And yes, there was some action to take in that situation, though short of owning a bomber, all possible individual action was grossly inadequate (write to your senators, try to sponsor immigrants, obviously daven). But the point is that by being better informed about that situation, better action could be taken (better letters, knowing that people are trying to emigrate and can't because of stupid laws, ???).

    In this situation, being better informed I guess makes for better davening, but it's balanced by getting involved in a machloket. Which is not cool. So it looks to me like they cancel each other out, so I don't subject myself to graphic detail.

    Also, thanks for the last line of your post: I guessed as much, but it's nice to hear :)
    Have a great Shabbos!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hmmmm... The rabbi of my shul disagrees with me completely. Might I (gasp!) be wrong? Strong possiblity. My rabbi's speech can be nicely summed up by Jameel's reminder that "Shtika k'Hodaa".

    ReplyDelete