There are certain ultra religious Jews who want to have as little to do with what you and I would call the real world. One of the reasons given for this stance is that they do not wish to be misled from the true path of Judaism, and to lose their Yiddishkeit. They certainly do not want their kids to ‘fall by the wayside.’ On a certain level, I can undertand this. I might not agree with it, but I can understand it. For example, for an ultra orthodox boy to go into the IDF, he is sure to face many challenges to his beliefs, lifestyle, and practices. So, some say, better not to serve, for it is more important to study Torah.
I won’t try and give the argument the full attention it deserves, but the article Haredim – American Style in today’s Jerusalem Post, is one way of showing that the hardline rejection by many parts of Israeli haredim, is long-standing nonsense. To put it another way, it’s garbage. (I’m struggling to stay restrained, here.) Judaism has a long, long list of followers who were as much a part of wider society, as they were orthodox, Torah observant Jews. And that is how Judaism is meant to be: a living religion.
From the article:
“It all starts from the top. The Torah giants in America attended public school and are living proof of the reality that one can have a secular education, and even function in the secular world, and still reach the highest levels of Torah scholarship and righteousness.”
I think that might be a wee bit of a stick pointed at the haredi leadership here. It’s long overdue. Well done, Dov Lipman.