Wednesday, 22 February 2012


If you don't live in a hole you know that there has been much ado lately about Chareidim in Israel, spitting on little girls in Beit Shemesh, making women going to the back of the bus, burning down un-tznius stores.  (I'm a little bit late to this but whatever...)

The chareidi warcry about all this is: "It's not us, it's the extremists!"

I think a lot of people miss this point so i'll elaborate on it. Even if most Chareidim disavow the sikrikim  (=Chareidi extremists) - which isn't even necessarily true - this does not address the problem. What people have to realize is that extremists don't exist in a vacuum.

Why do we not find Modern Orthodox people reaching the same levels of extremism? The answer is obvious: Fundamentalism breeds violence. Chareidism (which is obviously not a monolithic thing but we will use the term to characterize Ultra-Orthodox Jews, forgive the stereotype) and its uncompromising ethos allows such behavior to thrive. Although Chareidism may not openly advocate violence like this it prepares the ground for it.

The only difference between sikrikim and more quiet Chareidim is that sikrikim, unlike their more moderate brethren, take Chareidism seriously If Modernity and Secularism and the outside world truly are existential threats to the Jewish people then why be quiet about it? If everyone is out to make the world tamei (impure) then why sit down and let it happen? Grow some balls and bring a stop to it! This is the attitude of these extremists and it directly follows from a Chareidi philosophy that sees secularism as an existential threat.

So people who blame the atrocities on extremists are failing to realize that extremists come from somewhere and in this case they come from communities that see the outside world as evil and threatening.


hey folks! (if anyone still follows this blog)

was wondering if anyone would be interested in me continuing my old series on the Documentary Hypothesis. Maybe I'll just write an Ebook and upload it here?

Or does anyone have anything they'd like me to post about it?