Monday, May 01, 2006

Yom HaZikaron

In today’s Ha’artez we read about yet another inexplicable error on the part of the Charedi community. Why oh why can’t Charedim just accept that there are Jews on this earth that aren’t Frum, NOT because they are anti Torah but simply because they don’t know any better.

Yom HaZikaron is the day Israel memorializes its fallen. If there is any day that should be universally observed it is Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Memorial Day. But even this day gives some Charedim heartburn. It is true that most Charedim do not insult the memory of those who sacrificed their lives or embarrass themselves by ignoring the sirens that go off on that day. That is to their credit. Those sirens stop almost everyone, including most Charedim, in their tracks while they pay their respects in memory of those who have given their lives in defense of their country and their fellow citizens. But there are always a few Charedim who totally ignore the sirens as if they couldn’t care less. One could, I suppose almost be forgiven if it was just absent-mindedness that caused such insulting behavior. But most of those Charedim ignore it B’Shitah. They want to send a message that they do not support the government in any way even to the extent of honoring those who died protecting them. Such lack of simple Hakaras HaTov and common decency is beyond contemptible.

The vast majority of Charedim realize that such behavior and even passively ignoring it as has been the case all these years is wrong and needed rectification. So they have attempted to do something about it. They have now arranged to their own ceremony separate and apart instead of joining in their unified ceremony.

"There are always complaints about the ultra-Orthodox community, and photos in the press of them going about their business during the memorial siren," Kalmanovitz (the first person injured in the first Palestinian uprising) said Sunday. "It was important to me to show that another option is possible."

That would be bad enough but there is more. They have decided to pay special attention Charedim who were killed:

"a special song will be dedicated to victims of the August 2003 bombing of Jerusalem's No 2 bus, most of whose passengers were ultra-Orthodox"

This does not win any real points with me. If there is any time for Achdus in Israel, it should be on this day. Singling out Charedi victims for a special dedication is wrong. Every single person killed in a terrorist attack died al Kiddush HaShem. In my view, separating out Charedim does nothing more than push Chilonim even further away from Torah.