Charedi rioters made me laugh... then feel anger

I HAD mixed feelings when I read in last week’s Jewish Telegraph about charedim rioting in Jerusalem over “non-kosher phones”.

My first reaction was to laugh, but then I felt angry as I questioned what kind of world do these people inhabit?

Do they have nothing else to worry about and are quite happy to violently demonstrate, which meant police had to be called — all at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer, no doubt.

But then I don’t understand why the charedim actually want to live in Israel.

They don’t believe it should exist in its present form, they refuse to serve in the Israel Defence Forces and, for the most part, they do not work and just study Torah all day.

And, don’t forget, the way some of them blatantly disregarded all the rules during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown while, for the most part, the majority of Israelis abided by them.

Some secular Israelis see them as a fifth column, even more than those Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship — they may well be right.

But I am torn when it comes to that claim as, after all, they are devoutly practising Jews and should be considered to be our brethren.

There is an argument to be had that they are the ones who are keeping Judaism going.

However, many charedim do not see secular Israelis as Jews, despite being just as Jewish as they are.

There is definitely a problem here, but one I cannot see ever being resolved.

Ari Klein,
Tel Aviv.

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