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Saturday, March 15, 2014 

Haredis are threatening to join leftist boycotts of Israeli products

Nadav Shragai commented on the disturbing derangement consuming some Haredis seething with vengeance against the wider public's wish that they share the burden in building Israel:
"Revenge will come," vowed MK Moshe Gafni, of United Torah Judaism's Degel Hatorah faction, in response to the enlistment law. "It will be cold and it will be painful. At the first opportunity, I will make sure to strangle the budget and shutter the hesder yeshivot."

Gafni is not alone. Ultra-Orthodox politicians have been intimating the possibility of a haredi boycott against settlement products. Shas MK Yitzhak Cohen suggested the initiative on Army Radio. Yated Ne'eman, the Degel Hatorah daily, has joined forces with the Left and European supporters of boycotts, publishing several pieces attacking the settlement enterprise and its funding. Meanwhile, Shas leader Aryeh Deri issued a warning: "Don't take the ultra-Orthodox public in the national referendum for granted. The opposite may happen."

Hearing is not believing. Is this the Torah, which the haredi politicians claim to uphold? In all fairness, United Torah Judaism MK Meir Porush and Shas MK Eli Yishai are disgusted by these pronouncements. Are you out of your minds? Were you shot in the foot? Perhaps. But now are you shooting yourself in the other? Are you planning to die with the Philistines? "My enemy" shall take vengeance against me, even if we fall together? Does one act of "betrayal," as you've defined it, warrant another? And against whom? The settlers? So many of them study the Torah just like you. But they also serve in the army.

According to such logic, you also need to throw wrenches in the wheels of the Old City's glorious settlement. On Hagai Street, near the Iron Gate, Jews, especially haredim, were expelled during the Arab riots of 1929 and 1936-39. Indeed, religious Zionists live there today. What would Rabbi Zerah Epstein, the "haredi" head of the Torat Haim yeshiva, who was attacked and forced to flee during those same uprisings, have said? Would he have welcomed the onslaught against the very community working to revive the voice of Torah and promote Jewish settlement in the heart of Jerusalem, simply because such individuals weren't haredim? Isn't settling the land of Israel a mitzvah in your Torah? Have you read Nahmanides' "Book of Commandments," Chapter 4?
And, are they not aware some of these "settlers" happen to be Haredi too? It's clear the leaders of the Haredi community is going off the rails, letting their disagreements get the better of them to the point of taking bizarre revenge, even if it means trashing everything the Torah is all about. This is another sign they hardly have any respect for what they're allegedly promoting. In fact, Aryeh Deri's just declared his support for the Labor party's Isaac Herzog, seeing them as a perfect way to spite the Zionist side for wanting Haredis to be more productive. While it may not help Herzog and company, since many leftists actually do have a problem with the Haredis, for both good and bad reasons, it's still very disturbing.

This is something everybody should pay careful attention to, since there's telling signs the Haredi society is heading down a very slippery slope.

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