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Thursday, July 28, 2016

83 percent of Charedi parents in Israel would like their sons to attend high schools that teach secular subjects


It seems that the Gedoilim are out of touch with the  "hamoin am" the regular people!

In an article in Commentary Magazine by Evelyn Gordon, she noted that younger Charedim, while remaining passionately committed to Orthodox Judaism, are increasingly rejecting their rabbinic leadership’s hardline positions on numerous issues, including work, army service, academic study, and communal isolation.

Officially, the rabbinic leadership still holds that men should study Torah full-time. 
But the proportion of Charedi men entering the workforce is rising steadily, and last year, it exceeded 50 percent for the first time since Israel started tracking the data. It’s now 51.2 percent.

Today’s Haaretz has a fascinating profile of Yisrael Porush, the 36-year-old mayor of the Charedi city of Elad, whose father and grandfather were prominent Knesset members and deputy ministers. The elder Porushes focused on traditional Haredi concerns. But the young mayor has a different goal: In the words of reporter Meirav Arlosoroff, it’s “for as many of the city’s residents as possible to work.” To this end, he has not only brought business ventures like a software development center into town, but has negotiated agreements with two neighboring local governments–a secular Jewish one and an Arab one–to create joint industrial parks.

On education, the change is equally dramatic. Not only did the number of Charedim in college jump by 83 percent, to 11,000, from 2011-2015, but attitudes toward secular studies in high schools are also changing.
You wouldn’t guess this by looking at the older generation of politicians: On Sunday, at the Charedi parties’ behest, the coalition agreed to repeal a law imposing financial penalties on Charedi schools that don’t teach the core curriculum.
But the next day, the Jerusalem Post quoted a new survey which found that 83 percent of Charedi parents would like their sons to attend high schools that teach secular subjects alongside religious ones, as Charedi girls’ schools already do. Another 10 percent would consider this option. Moreover, the article noted, the number of Charedi boys attending yeshiva high schools, which prepare students for the secular matriculation exams, has doubled since 2005. Though the number remains tiny (1,400 enrollees last year), the survey results indicate that this may be due less to lack of demand than to lack of supply: Today, just over a dozen such schools exist.
On army service, too, change is apparent. In 2014, 2,280 Charedim enlisted – about one-third the number that would have enlisted if all Charedi men joined the army at 18. And in some places, the numbers are higher: In Porush’s Elad, about 40 percent of men do army service.
Moreover, the stigma against army service is rapidly crumbling.
Army service no longer disqualifies Charedim for prominent rabbinical positions. Today, you can serve and still be appointed to the Supreme Rabbinical Court, with the unanimous approval of a panel that includes the Charedi chief rabbis and a Charedi Knesset member.


 Leading Charedi rabbis are in their nineties, and their replacements will be men of similar age. In other words, they are products of a very different world – one where the Holocaust had wiped out most of European Jewry, where Israel’s army and school system actively sought to create “new Jews” in the mold of the ruling secular elite, where rebuilding the Torah world was the overriding imperative, and where isolation from secular knowledge and secular society was deemed essential for achieving this goal. This is the worldview they imbibed in their formative years, and they won’t abandon it in their old age.
But younger Charedim grew up in a very different world–one where Torah study is flourishing, the religious population is growing, and state institutions from the army to the universities now welcome Charedim without trying to make them stop being Charedi. Consequently, this generation feels less threatened by the secular world; it’s confident of its ability to work, attend college and even do army service without losing its Charedi identity.
Bottom-up change is usually slower than the top-down version, but it also tends to be more lasting. And therefore, the headlines of recent months are misleading: Developments in Charedi society as a whole actually provide strong grounds for optimism.

12 comments:

Meir said...

They are beginning to understand that learning full time is not for everyone. Having a job and supporting a family is not a disgrace like many of our grandparents did. Opportunities in Israel in high tech are enormous. The gedolim should embrace this because it will mean more support in terms of MAASAR.More support will be coming in which would allow the elite learners to be supported better. YISSACHAR-Zevullun. There is a place for everyone. However, many Charedim still look down on working people. It's changing. I think the number of 83% is too high. It's probably 50%. Just my opinion. But even if it's 50%, it's a shift.

Harry said...

The Satmarer Rebbe Z"L didn't believe that people should stay in learning full time. On the contrary he encouraged most of the yunger leit to go to work and only encouraged the elite few, those who REALLY belonged in learning, to stay in learning. Yet he didn't allow most secular studies. The Yerushalmi, in addition to the 18 gzairos mentioned in Bameh Madlikin adds Gazru al leshoinam which means that we shouldn't be margil our children to speak the secular language. Learning a trade is to be limited to exactly the trade but not to additionally secularize. The purpose of these gzairos is to create harchaka from the goyim, that we shouldn't really feel comfortable among goyim, but rather we should be and feel like outsiders in those circles.

Anonymous said...

% Harry,
How come all our rabbis throughout the years who also knew the yerushalmi and except for most recent, learned and knew languages and knew secular subjects, especially astronomy medicine poetry and much more because secular subjects aren't against the Tora.
the only gzeiru against goim is yayin nesech. How come you don't adhere to yerushalmi and speak English?

Anonymous said...

Harry,you better explain the eYerushalmy because you look like a hypocrite, since you probably don't speak Yiddish, or at least most yeshivishe people and rabbis don't speak it nor write it, yet you write in English. Yiddish is also a German secular language, so the answer is to speak Hebrew, which you probably are against . This type of hypocracy drives people away.

Dusiznies said...

1:09
I don't know about the Yerushalmie, I do know that all Contemporary Gedoilim gave an Haskama for Artscroll to translate in English ... that'a a fact
What is also a fact is that the Rambam wrote most of his seforim in Arabic, and so did the Rabbeinu Bachyeh ...
So before you comment ....think!

Anonymous said...


Torah Umaddah

By Rabbi Norman Lamm

Maggid Books, 2010, 247 pages



Reviewed by Israel Drazin


*** Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) emphasized that the study of non-sacred subjects is not only allowed, but is a religious obligation. He describes the first Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, who lived at the beginning of the common era, and how he viewed Judaism from the perspective of the pagan Greek philosopher, Plato, who preceded him by several generations. He offers a chapter on similar views by the German scholar Samson Raphael Hirsch who spoke about an “enlightened Orthodoxy,” and another chapter on the similar teachings by the mystical first modern chief rabbi of pre-Israel Palestine Abraham Isaac Halevi Kook. Each thinker, as well as others who he discusses, including Hasidic rabbis, had their own ideas of how to integrate Jewish law with the contemporary world, but each realized that failure to combine the two leaves Jews mired in the lowest level of ignorance.

There is nothing wrong in learning from non-Jews, even pagans, and accepting their teachings. The Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 16a, states: “He who pronounces a word of wisdom, even of non-Jews, is called a wise man.” Maimonides wrote: “The truth is the truth no matter what its source.”***

Harry said...

Wow! I just checked in and saw all of these comments responding to me. Let me begin saying that I didn't speak disrespectfully towards anyone, or ridicule anyone's shittos. I wonder why I was not treated with the same dignity. Or should we conclude that only chassididshe 'shventz' have any manners? Just asking.

I am not here to take sides. I am not the one to be machria between gedolay Yisroel. It is known, however, that there were many many gedoilim who were apposed to what they referred to as gymnasium, which means formal study of secular studies. I'm not speaking about an isolated gadol or a single gadol, or only recent gedoilim, but a large number of gedoilim including gedoilim from earlier generations, such as The Chasam Sofer. I am giving a small glimpse and providing a source which they have sited, in order to shed some light on their position. They were not fools, and their words deserve, at the very least, some representation. They deserve, at the very least, to be heard and understood.

The very fact that Yiddish was the predominant language spoken by Yidden in several countries over the course of more than five centuries shows that this isolation was adhered to. It shows that Yidden for the most didn't converse in the language of their country but rather in Yiddish. Yiddish is an adulterated dialect of German. They also called the cities by names which were deviations of their secular names. Krakow was called Krookeh. Auschwitz was called Oshpitzin. And so most other cities, as I only mentioned these because they known by everyone. So this shitta was a mainstream Jewish position, and it doesn't deserve to be ridiculed but rather to be understood and respected. Again I'm not saying how to be machria. I'm just asking for some respect for those Yidden and gedoilim Z"L

Anonymous said...

You make excellent points, but your position that this is a mainstream shitta, can be argued. It only became mainstream in the last few centuries, primarily in Poland. From the Gaonic times until then, Jews were well versed in secular knowledge, especially the Sephardim and especially in Spain. Being from Sephardic families,I'm very familiar with our traditions and have plenty of proof and literature to back up what I say .This information is available to you also if you do research. Over the centuries, the nation with most secular knowledge were the Jews, while most common folk were ignorant except for priests.
The Sephardic Jews were highly talented in science, languages, philosophy and music of all kinds. Don't forget the Ralbag who invented a device that helped Columbus on his voyages.
The Ashkenazi community should recognize that their point of view is not always universal and there's another side and there was another world besides Cracow and Slovakia.

Anonymous said...

An important point that I forgot to emphasize is that is was the Sephardic rabbis and gedolim themselves, many of them Rishonim, who served as physicians, advisors and financial advisors to the rulers There was no secular knowledge that they didn't know. In general, the great artisans, mathematicians and writers were all very religious and frum Jews. While we respect the Ashkenazi prevailing minhagim and halachot, it should behoove them to study a bit more about our traditions and realize that there are some big differenes, both which are dear to G-D.

Anonymous said...

Gymnasium to which you refer was assered because it was as you say, formal and it involved mixing with goyish students and also chillul Shabbos in some places, so if this is formal, then you're correct.
But secular knowledge without gymnasium was not assered, and it wasn't just isolated gedolim who knew it but many .
The problem is that no new books are written about this subject, and the sources we have in Hebrew book stores, and the teachings in yeshivas are diluted and falsified and excerpted to revise what really happened. The impressions that we have about this are not completely true.

meir said...

So why did the Sanhedrin have to know 70 languages? They had to know it well for testimony purposes. These were kosher witnesses. Also, Mordechai foiled the plot because he know a different language. Many Hungarian Hasidim speak Hungarian, and had Hungarian names. Knowing a language will not force you off the derech. Knowing math will not force you off the derech. Knowing chemistry will not force you off the derech. Knowing medicine will not force you off the derech. The gedolim feared Haskallah. They say Horav Dov ber SOLVEICHIK, Z"L (the original) spoke perfect Russian in front of the Russian parliament. He was praised for his use of language. It was to keep the masses under control. Also, why is it permitted for woman? The Torah need not fear anything especially knowledge. If people are afraid of knowledge because of going off the derech, then our understanding of Torah is weak. We must be confident in our belief.

meir said...

I also forgot to mention. Rashi used French to translate words. It seems Rashi knew French, and Rashi translated words into French so that persons learning Chumash could better understand obscure words in their mother tongue, French. I'm waiting for these French words to be conveniently removed. Can you imagine French in Rashi's commentary. Unbelievable. Many persons went off the Derech because of it. I never heard of one person leaving the fold because of Rashi's perush on chumash. To better understand Rashi, one would have to understand French. My G-d, the world is coming to an end. Rashi knew French, and included it in his commentary. The humanity! Languages are treif except for French. Perhaps? When will Rashi on Chumash be altered? We must save the children. A chedar yingel might go off the drech because of Rashi. Stop the insanity.