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Monday, June 15, 2015 

Shtetl mentality

The Economist wrote about Britain's own Haredi communities, which have been bringing attention to themselves that Muslims aren't quite as likely to achieve, though the House of Saud is mentioned here:
MOST Britons would associate a ban on women driving with Saudi Arabia rather than north London. So reports in May that schools in the London borough of Hackney run by the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Belz sect had informed parents that children driven to school by their mothers would be turned away prompted outrage. The education department and the Equality and Human Rights Commission questioned the legality of the move. Jewish leaders, including Britain’s chief rabbi, condemned it as objectionable and at odds with Jewish values. The schools have since backed away from the edict but the furore has drawn attention to Britain’s haredim.
And what makes this an outrage is how their tactics take away attention from graver issues involving Islamofascism. There are crazies out there who can use this as an excuse to claim Judaism isn't all that different from Islam, and maybe that Judaism is a socialist religion, without even researching Rambam book's arguments for why self-reliance is important.
Britain’s Jewish population has been dwindling since the 1950s, largely as a result of ageing and assimilation. It is now growing, albeit only slightly. That is almost entirely caused by high birth rates among the strictly Orthodox. Their households are more than twice the size of those of secular Jews. According to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research they account for less than 15% of the total Jewish population, but about a third of Jewish children under five have haredi parents. Even as they struggle to stay true to their beliefs in the face of modernity, the haredim are becoming an increasingly influential force among Britain’s Jews.
Yeah, but that's also because in the UK, this is actually considered acceptable in some cases. Not mentioned is that Haredi communities may also be growing because a lot of other, more sensible Jews have left the isle due to Islamofascism and other forms of anti-semitism that have been growing and festering for decades. Haredis who're part of the most isolationist tribes like Satmar, the biggest thorn in any decent society's side, have long exploited socialist welfare concepts to their advantage at the expense of more sensible people, much like many Muslims have too. And from a financial perspective, the Haredis are likely to become England's second biggest problem after Islam, if only because of how they run their inconveniencing lifestyle that ruins many a mind.
Unlike the Amish, a devout group in rural Pennsylvania who shun the trappings of modernity, the haredim are not self-reliant. They have had to be savvy about limiting their interactions with the rest of the world, says Keith Kahn-Harris, a sociologist and author of several books on Judaism, getting the most out of the state, through benefits and funding for their schools, while also relying on a few high earners who can maintain a sophisticated internal welfare system. But the government’s squeeze on welfare payments has prompted some to consider the possibility of more worldly work. In recent years Mr Alderman has been visited by young haredi men secretly studying for university degrees in subjects such as computer science. “Some naively think that because they have created a ghetto, which is no less real for being spiritual rather than physical, that they can shut out the outside world,” he says. “They cannot.”
Well I'm glad to see that attitudes towards education that doesn't involve religious subjects is changing. But they're also going to have to change some of their lifestyle conduct, like decreeing that men cannot function around women in all sorts of situations (eg-sitting next to a woman on a plane). And they have to teach menfolk and womenfolk alike how to build self-confidence, and think for themselves. Only that way will they be able to succeed in life.

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