By now you know the story. The government attorney, son of Holocaust survivor and a observant Jew, is slandered by a haredi MK, a rabbi affiliated with the Gerrer hasidic sect, who accuses the attorney of being worse than the Nazis . The attorney warns the MK to stop or he'll slap the rabbi. The rabbi MK, tauntingly says, "I'm waiting." The attorney slaps him.
Writing in Ynet, haredi journalist Tali Farkash has this to say about the incident:
…What MK [Rabbi Yakov] Cohen said in rage was the essence of the Jewish experience in the world. It’s the spirit that’s important. The parent has the right to determine what his children learn in school. A parent who wants to leave the non-religious studies to the age of 20, as many in the religious public do, is entitled to do so. And no you, [attorney] Amnon [Dehartuch], or anyone else, are not allowed to slap him for this.
The haredi public is very protective of his children, and for a good reason. He will fight for the principle of the spirit, as he did in Masada and in medieval Europe. If it wasn’t for them and their bravery, where would we be today? The painful answer is that we would have been extinct, like the Moabites, the Canaanites and the ancient Egyptians. The inappropriate words were not said out of disrespect for the Holocaust, which I think also claimed the lives of many of Cohen’s family.
So people, we are 15 days away from Tisha B’Av and the clock is ticking. Tell me when will this ancient hatred die and we shall be free at last?…
What a load of crap.
The haredi rabbi called the son of a Holocaust survivor a Nazi, said he was worse than the Germans, and said he was anti-Torah. Haredi media and rabbis have been demonizing this attorney for years, all because he tries to enforce the law. The attorney, who is an Orthodox Jew, a yeshiva graduate affiliated with the National Religious movement, has blocked allocations for secular groups, National Religious groups, and haredi groups all based on the thing – equal enforcement of the law.
This rabbi surely meant no disrespect for the Holocaust, and no one has alleged that he did intend to disparage the Holocaust or Holocaust survivors. What the rabbi meant to do was demonize another religious Jew, and he did that rather well – and that is what he is being criticized for. That his curses do cheapen the meaning of the Holocaust is a byproduct of his shameful behavior, not its intended purpose.
Tali Farkash knows this very well, just as she knows the attorney did not slap the haredi MK rabbi becuase he doesn't want haredi children to study secular subjects in school – he slapped him because the rabbi called him a Nazi and worse than a Nazi.
Now Farkash leaves the area of poor logic and disingenuous argument and enters a fantasy world. Masada? Haredim were on Masada? With their kapotes and fur hats? The white knicker socks? Their rebbes and rosh yeshivas manning the ramparts? They were in Medieval Europe during the Crusades? Rashi, Rabbaynu Tam and the Hochmei Provence were haredim?
Please. Only someone wholly ignorant of history could make those claims. (Of course it is not surprising Farkash would make make those claims – she is a product of haredi schools, schools that do not teach science, math, civics or, you guessed it, history.)
Of course, the heart of her argument, that people have the right to educate their children as they see fit, is largely true. But societies have the right and obligation to set criteria for the education those societies pay for. If you do not want little Shmueli or little Raizy to learn algebra, basic science, civics, history and the like, fine. Don't 'pollute' their little minds until they're 20 (or older, or never, if the so-called gedolim get their way). Send them to private schools that do not teach those subjects. But do not expect the rest of us to pay for those private schools by funding them with our tax dollars.
Pay for your children's private education out of your own funds. If you don't have the money, ask for tzedaka (charity). Or home-school them.
How outlandish is it for haredim – who rarely serve in the army, who by choice do not work and therefore rely on welfare – how outlandish is it for these people to demand (note the word: demand) money to fund their non-compliant education in violation of the law?
"When," Farkash asks, will people be freed from this so-called "ancient hatred" of haredim? When haredim like Farkash stop lying to, cheating and defrauding the rest of us.