Archive for January, 2012

Misyavnim in BP!

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Oy Gevald!

The headliner over at vosizneias today: “Charedi Football League Scores Big in Borough Park”!

Yes, you heard that correctly! “football league” is the predicate for “Chareidi”! And the picture of the guy with the red beard? That’s worth a million dollars! I’m only wondering whether these guys have internet access!

Just to show you how far we have come as a society, I remember a couple of years back when this circulated as the funniest clip of the year!


For more of the fun you can watch here.



Categories: Chareidim, Humor, Sports

Ruchi Freier

Ruchi Freier, a female Chareidi lawyer, has shattered many glass ceilings as it relates to Chareidi women, and serves an exemplary model of the heights you can reach by being fearless to pursue your goals and courageous enough to assert your individuality. What interests me even more is how she squares all that with her religious beliefs. Having become a lawyer and then pursuing feminist issues in the community can give an impression of someone being a closet orthoprax; however, her work in B’derech negates that.

Regardless, she wrote a piece today about the equal and respected status of women within the Chareidi community. I just found it odd that she couldn’t get her picture posted together with it – most probably just to ensure that women remain equal, right? In any case, I decided to rectify this problem. Here she is:

Morality and Chareidim

Slifkin hit it off in this latest article which was cross posted in Jpost.

It is true that the vast majority of haredim would never dream of spitting on people and cursing them. These are the actions of a fringe element that are feared and detested by the rest of the haredi world. But the mainstream haredi community is supportive of the ultimate goals, and does not see such actions as being terrible enough to justify joining with “outsiders” in order to condemn it. A letter expressing support for Banot Orot and condemnation of the extremists was signed by over a dozen national-religious and moderate haredi community rabbis in Beit Shemesh, but not one mainstream haredi rabbi signed on to it or made any similar such public declaration.

As someone who is living in a Chassidic enclave, albeit in the US, I do agree with the general presumption made by Slifkin that many if not most Chareidim (whom I know personally) see the MO community as a lesser Jew. If you ever mention this to a Chareidi, they will always fall back on safe arguments and trudge out the Satmar Ruv and other Gedolim who they would want you to believe had an unequivocal love to every Jew, regardless of their affiliation or religiosity. This is of course not the subject of the current controversy at all. The question is only what the community thinks and how they act. Not what their Rabbonim say from the pulpit, but rather what the people understand implicitly, which one would assume is the more authentic, unfiltered, and uncontrolled message.

The interesting thing though that I feel Slifkin missed, is the reasoning behind the lack of aversion by many Chareidim to violence – when not directed internally. There is no moral value within the Chareidi community that does not stem from the way they perceive Halacha, and not all Halachot are created equal. Violence is not always a problem and in the mind of many a Chareidi, although he may not be comfortable enough to do it himself, it is the right way to go. In fact, I have heard many people explain how they feel that the only reason they themselves aren’t on the forefront of the religious battles is because their own morality and musardike development is lacking, and thus they are happy that other people are doing the job for them.

So yes, Yossi Sarid does indeed have a point! Despite all apologies, the violence is still happening in the name of religion! And the only real religious problem a regular Chareidi will have with this is a tactical/strategic one, not a moral problem in of itself! However, I must point out that I do agree with some of the critique against Sarid, but not because his arguments are not valid. It would rather be nice for Sarid to acknowledge that not all Religious Jews are Chareidi and not all people who appear Chareidi are indeed so.

“What a Chilul Hashem” – the Defining Comment!

What a “Chilul Hashem”! What a standard refrain! It’s perhaps the most common refrain to be uttered out of the sacred mouths of Chareidim upon hearing news of bad deeds committed by a fellow Jew. Despite all the talk of the haredization of American Orthodox Jewry, this may indeed be one of those undefinable dividing lines between Chareidi and your run-of the-mill Orthodox Jews. Just tell the man some bad press another Chareidi got, or maybe only that Matisyahu shaved his beard, count to three, and wait for that moan: what a Chilul Hashem! If that moan doesn’t come, you’ve discovered an impostor! The person who doesn’t instinctively grouch about Chilul Hashem is no Chareidi, has no connection to Chareidism, and will just never “get it.”
For evidence to this supposition one must only examine the difference between the statements made now, in the aftermath of the Beit Shemesh spitting debacle, by the OU, RCA, and Aguda. The OU and RCA perhaps consider themselves reall Torah Jews, but with their protest mostly directed at the violence, and the media anti-Chareidi indulgence only mentioned in passing, one is led to believe that they have other concerns as well – not only Chilul Hashem, but other acts, perhaps spitting on little Na’ama Margolis, are worthy of condemnation. Their statements are laudable, but unfortunately for them, this really puts them outside of the Chareidi camp. The Aguda on the other hand – they are better at their game! They know what matters! You read their so-called condemnation, and you’re left wondering whom they are condemning! This is no mistake – this is by design! Their main problem is Chilul Hashem. If you want to spit on little Na’ama, that’s completely ok – just make sure to have enough brains and do it out of sight of the media!