על שלשה דברים העולם עומד, על התורה ועל העבודה ועל גמילות חסדים
A still life photo by my son Nesanel Dov - 10 yrs old.
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It is not my desire or intention to make distinctions or categories within observant Judaism. We are all the children of G‑d the Father. He says so Himself, “Sons are you to Hashem your G‑d; you are not to make leagues…”  This can be understood not as two distinct statements but as one relational statement - because we are all equally the sons of G‑d the Father, we, therefore, have no business dividing ourselves into separate “leagues”.
But G‑d does designate two camps. He says Im b’chukotai telechu which He calls “et haChaim v’et haTov” (the source of life and all that is good) and he says V’im b’chukotai timasu which He calls “et haMavet v’et haRah” (the source of death and all that is evil) and he tells us, all of us, where to stand – “u’bechartem b’Chaim!” (And you shall choose life!) He does not make distinctions between His children, but by our choosing to stand in different places, we segregate ourselves.
MK Yaakov Asher says pretty much the same thing. For Charedim, the isolationism is intentional, he says. Charedim dare not be exposed to what he calls ‘ the defilement of Israeli society’!
The secular interviewees are on the exact opposite track. They want to integrate Charedim into their world and value their contributions. They point to Charedim who have made the jump into the workplace and note that they are among the most reliable and ethical workers and have a very strong work ethic.
So there you have it. I wish it weren’t so.