Monday, November 30, 2009

Arrogant Sinners

How much more evidence do we need to recognize evil? If this report in Ynet is true, then yet another massive Chilul HaShem is happening in Charedi Israel. How can they justify stealing from the public coffers? Stealing is still a sin, last time I checked. And yet this community feels absolutely no compunction in doing so.

From Ynet:

In recent months the Education Ministry has employed the services of private investigators following information received of suspected fictitious registration of children to ultra-Orthodox schools in Jerusalem. The inquiries revealed that in several of the establishments children who were listed as students did not attend classes. It is suspected that school administrations allegedly provided the Education Ministry with false data in order to receive extra funds allotted according to the number of pupils.

Then there is this:

A preliminary inquiry indicated that some of the ultra-Orthodox schools in Jerusalem registered children who are affiliated with factions of the Eda Haredit.

What was the response of the Edah:

A source at the Eda Haredit said that the phenomenon involved some 20,000 children. "We are not interested in dealing with the State of Israel's losses," he said. ""It's not our problem. We solve our problems in our courts."

20,000 children who are involved in this scam and the Edah doesn’t care! It’s not their problem!

Many Charedi schools are guilty of stealing. Plain and simple. And by their refusal to deal with it, the Edah is aiding and abetting it. They are stealing from every Israeli taxpayer, which includes everyone who lives in Israel and ever spent a dime! It seems like every day another news story comes up that embarrasses me as a Jew. It sickens me to think that the wider world of both non Jews and secular Jews see the most religious looking Jews among us behaving like either primitive savages, the mafia, or perpetrating some fraud.

I am so tired of their defenders. They always crop up when news like this hits the media. The typical comment is “Are you going to trust the secular anti Charedi media?” Or “Look at all the good they do. Their Gemilas Chasodim is incomparable!” Or “Their Mesiras Nefesh for Yiddishkeit is so admirable!” Or “Who can blame them - the Israeli government is so hateful of Charedim and Torah that they probably deserve it!”. Or “Oh yeah? MO is worse because a lot of MO women don’t cover their hair.” Or “Stop with the Lashon Hara already!”

Here is my response: Stop supporting evil! That is what you do every time you defend them in any way.

We have a right to take our religion back from these people and not allow them to define Judaism for us to the world. We need to strike back and make them feel our pain at what they do. We cannot idly stand by and watch them sink our beautiful ship of Torah.

To those who say that their Midos and Maalos – fine character traits far surpass their Chesronos - their character flaws, I will just say the following - which is my admonishment directly to these people: What good are all you good deeds if by even one bad deed you besmirch the name of God and His people? What good is helping a fellow Jew if you steal from all of them?

All pressure must be brought to bear on them. We must use any non violent means at our disposal to sink their ship instead of letting them sink the ship of Torah! This includes talking to your Rabbis and urging them to speak out strongly against what they do. It means Frum Jews in Israel who wear Kipot demonstrating in counter protests whenever they protest. It means reporting lawbreakers to the police and testifying against them. And it means making sure those schools who steal from the government are heavily penalized!

As for the Edah itself - is there any question any more about the constant Chilul HaShem these people make? I have called for boycotting Edah Hechsherim. Many people have countered that it is too difficult. That too many products have the Edah Hechsher. OK. I accept that. But at the very least if given the choice between an Edah Hechsher and any other reliable one, choose anything but the Edah Hechsher!

Some have said that the Edah operates out of conviction and that boycotts won’t work. OK. But that doesn’t mean we should try and do what we can – including all of the above and more.

Boycotting them should not be rejected. We need to send a message that the Hechsher they put on the food that goes into their mouths is not as important as Chilul HaShem that comes out of them!