Volume 22 Number 70
                       Produced: Thu Jan  4  1:03:36 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Charedi and Dati
         [Avi Feldblum]
Charedi and Dati - United and Divided
         [Carl Sherer]
         [Miriam Birnbaum]
         [Zvi Weiss  ]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 00:59:55 -0500
Subject: Administrivia - Charedi and Dati

There are a number of posts on this and related topics in this
issue. After careful reading, it is my opinion that none of the articles
are flames or are meant to attack other Jews. Such a posting would not
be appropriate for this forum (or any other one in my opinion, but here
I have a say in the matter :-) ). However, I do recognize that there are
some strong emotions that are involved here. I do think that the topic
is one of those that are very important for us to discuss, so I will cut
people a bit of slack, but at the same time ask really nicely that you
please reply to articles here with a strong sense of respect for all
Jews, irrespective of whether they are part of your "group". There is
one posting that I think may ahve appeared here in the past, in the form
of a verse/poem that was submitted that I think should help give us some
pause as we get ready to respond, so although it is a bit long, I'm
going to include it.

Avi Feldblum
Shamash Facilitator and mail-jewish Moderator
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 96 23:19:23 IST
Subject: Charedi and Dati - United and Divided 

Steve White writes:
> I am definitely what you would call Modern, or dati, but I see no place
> in this list whatsoever for "dati vs. charedi" squabbles.  I almost even
> hate to use the terms, because IMHO there is much more that unites us
> than separates us -- and what's more, I believe that there is much more
> difference in observance, "being medakdek about mitzvot," and so forth,
> within each of these two groups than between them.
> I suspect there are a number of things Esther would like to see dati'im
> do differently, as there are things I wish haredim would do differently.
> But frankly, we can't afford not to stay united in our mutual dedication
> to HaShem, Torah, and klal yisrael, and to bringing our non-observant
> fellow Jews back.
> Besides, haven't we had enough fun, in terms of mutual recrimination,
> for a lifetime this fall?

This is a pet peeve of mine, and frankly writing this letter is a
catharsis for me so that even if Avi chooses not to publish it, I will
get frustrations out writing it.  What Steve writes above is all quite
correct, as were Rabbi Wasserman's and Esther Posen's posts on this
matter.  Unfortunately, here in Israel society attempts to force one to
choose between being "charedi" or being "dati".  The pressures come from
both sides:

Item - There is now a Beis Yaakov in Yerushalayim that will not accept
       girls from homes where the fathers work in areas unrelated to
       Talmud Torah.

Item - I recently heard a Rav here refer to "Torah Im Derech Eretz" as
       an American idea (I should add that this was said as a compliment -
       the feeling was that it would never work for an Israeli).

Item - In the Dati amuta from which we bought our apartment in the new
       Charedi neighborhood in Yerushalayim, refernces are constantly
       made to "us against the Charedim" and an attempt was actually made
       at the beginning to put a restrictive covenant in the amuta's
       (association's) Articles of Association prohibiting selling apartments
       to Charedim.  B"H it failed.

Item - Children in the schools here who wear the "wrong" kippa for their
       school are often teased mercilessly.  The kids doing the teasing
       hear it at home.  References to "Dosim" (a derogatory term for
       Charedim) abound in both chiloni (secular) and dati society.  What
       much of dati society here cannot see is that as far as the chilonim
       are concerned, the datiim and the charedim are one and the same.
       Girls in charedi schools will routinely not play with girls from 
       non-charedi schools - and vice versa.  Again, this *must* be coming
       from the parents.

Item - Charedim are rapidly becoming an underclass in Israeli society.
       They suffer discrimination in much the same way (and worse) than
       Arabs do, and much of secular society equates them.  Many jobs
       are advertised in the papers as being only for "yotzei tzava"
       (people who have done the army) in an attempt to keep charedim
       who are in the job market from applying.

Item - We do a bit of work on another list called Tachlis which is designed
       to give information for those who are planning aliya.  Each year
       we hear from 5-6 families just like us - college educated but wear
       a hat and/or black kippa to daven, have regular learning sdorim and
       want their children to have the best of both worlds - to be admitted
       to the charedi Yeshivos after high school, but to be able to take
       the bagrut (matriculation exams).  The schools that enable your children
       to do this may literally be counted on your fingers.  Most have been
       forced out of Yerushalayim.  Many have been put in cherem.  I
       recently proposed a shidduch to an acquaintance where the boy had 
       learned in one of the bagrut-granting high schools and is today in 
       one of the finest black Yeshivos Gdolos in Israel.  The answer was 
       no - while the Americans in that Yeshiva Gdola are the best bochrim, 
       he claimed, the Israelis coming from that high school aren't "serious 
       enough" (despite the fact that I have heard from many people in the 
       Yeshivos Gdolos that the boys from the high schools that do the bagrut 
       happen to be the top boys in the Yeshiva once they get there).

Item - A friend's daughter in Beis Yaakov wants to do a bagrut.  The one
       Beis Yaakov that offered it recently announced that they were stopping.
       Her brother feared that if she did a bagrut he would be denied entry
       into a top Yeshiva (and his fear had *plenty* of basis).

IMHO what is really needed here is more schools like the Yeshiva high
schools in the States which would give a real secular education and yet
leave their graduates open to the possibility of going to any
Yeshiva/seminary they want to after high school.  I know dozens of
Americans who would love to send their children to those types of
schools.  But they are few and far between, the peer pressure to choose
is enormous, and what I keep hoping will happen - that those of us who
try to straddle the lines between Dati and Charedi can make a difference
in Israeli society - isn't happening for a lot of reasons that most
people who don't live here would have a hard time understanding.  But
I'd be interested in hearing how many other people out there are unhappy
with the Israeli method of categorizing (as an aside I was actually
asked on a psychometric test a couple of years ago if I characterized
myself as chiloni, dati or charedi.  I circled dati and charedi) people.
Am I the only one? And does anyone have suggestions for doing something
about it? Is there a way we can emphasize what we share instead of what
we don't? Or is it inevitable that we too chas v'shalom will be like the
generation of bayis sheni (the second temple) which will lose its right
to this country through sinas chinam (unwarranted hatred).

Enough frustration for tonight....  And I've put on my asbestos suit.

-- Carl Sherer
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: <Miriam_Birnbaum@...> (Miriam Birnbaum)
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 96 00:41:18 -0500
Subject: Chareidi/Dati--arghh!

Most postings on m-j initiate or continue a debate.  I hope this one
will help _stop_ a certain discussion.  I am referring, of course, to
the Charedi/Dati quibbles on our list.  Rabbosai, mail-jewish is one of
the only truly diverse and (usually) sane forums for Torah-Jewish
discourse.  Keep it that way.  The following poem was written by a
prominent Rabbi here in Toronto.  It won't win any awards for brevity or
style, but the message hits hard.
	b'shalom v'rayus,
	Miriam Birnbaum

"Yeshno am m'phuzar umphurad"

'Twas the night of the geulah, 
and in every single shteibel,
sounds of Torah could be heard 
coming from every kind of Yeidel.

This one in English,
some in Hebrew, some in Yiddish,
some saying pshat,
and some saying a chiddush.

And up in shomayim 
The Aibishter decreed,
"The time has now come
for My children to be freed.

Rouse the Mashiach
from his Heavenly berth,
have him get his chariot
and head down to Earth."

The Mashiach got dressed,
and with a heart full of glee
went down to the Earth, and entered
the first shteibel he did see.

"I'm the Mashiach,
Hashem has heard your plea,
our geulah has come, 
it is time to go free!"

They all stopped their learning,
this was quite a surprise.
And they looked at him carefully
with piercing sharp eyes.

He's not the Mashiach!"
said one with a grin.
"Just look at his hat, 
at the pinches and brim!"

"That's right!" cried another
with a grimace and a frown,
"Whoever heard of Mashiach
with a brim that is down?!"

"Well," thought Mashiach,
"If that is the rule,
I'll turn my brim up
before I got to the next shule!"

So he walked on right over
 to the next shule in town,
confident to be accepted
since his brim was no longer down.

"I'm the Mashiach!" he cried 
as he began to enter.
But the Jews there wanted to know first,
if he was left, right or center.

"Your clothes are so black!:
they cried out in a fright.
"You can't be Mashiach--
you're much too far right!

If you want to be Mashiach,
you must be properly outfitted."
So they replaced his black hat 
with a kipa that was knitted.

Wearing his new kipa,
Mashiach went out and he said,
"NO difference to me
what I wear on my head."

So he went to the next shule, 
for his mission was dear.
But he was getting a bit frustrated
with the Yidden down here.

"I'm the Mashiach!" he cried,
and they all stopped to stare.
And a completed eerie stillness 
filled up the air.

"You're the Mashiach?!"
Just imagine that.
Whoever heard of Mashiach 
without a black hat?!"

But I do have a hat!"
the  Mashiach then said.
So he pulled it right out
and plunked it down on his head.

Then the shule started laughing, 
and one said, "Where's your kop?
You cant have Mashiach
wit a brim that is up!

IF you want to be Mashiach 
and be accepted in this town,
put some pinches in your heat,
and turn that brim down!"

Mashiach walked out and said,
"I guess my time hasn't really come,
I'll just have to return
to where I came from."

So he went to his chariot,
but as he began to enter,
all sorts of Jews appeared
from the left, right, and center.

"Please wait, don not leave,
it's all _their_ fault!" the said.
And they pointed to each other,
and to what was on each other's head.

Mashiach just looked sad,
and said, "YOU don't understand."
And then started up his chariot
to get out of this land.

"Yes, it's very wonderful,
that all of you learn Torah.
But you seem to have forgotten,
a crucial part of our mesorah."

"What does he mean?
What's he talking about?"
And the all looked  bewildered, 
and all began to shout.

Mashiach lookeDdback and answered,
"The first place to start,
is to shut up your mouths,
and open up your heart.

To each of you, certain Yidden
seem too frum or too frei,
but _all_ Yidden are beloved,
in the Aisbishter's eye."

And on his way up he shouted,
"IF you want me tom come,
try working a little harder 
on some ahavas chinam."

CYZF Toronto 1992.  This may be freely reproduced an distributed under
the following conditions: 1) That it is reproduced _exactly_ as it
appears here, including the heading, _all_ 30 stanzas, and this note; 2)
it is distributed free of charge; 3) it is not used by _any_
organization for promotional purposes.  Any breach of these conditions
shall constitute gezel and a breach of copyright.


From: Zvi Weiss		 <weissz@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 09:11:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Smoking/Chareidim

> From: <eposen@...> (Esther Posen)
> Date: Thu, 28 Dec 1995 10:07:00 -0500
> Subject: Charedim on mail-jewish
> Do we all feel better now that we've thoroughly bashed the chareidim   
> again?  Would it be considered appropriate for me to submit a post that   
> asserted that modern orthodox jews violate every rule in the book... (a   
> more authoratative book I might add.)  I will not be so bold to list the   
> mitzvot that I see being blantantly violated on a daily basis but I may   
> do so the next time I'm provoked.
> Esther Posen
> Chareidim make it a point to be medakdaik (careful) bmitzvot.    

 While, on the whole, I feel that Esther Posen's comments are very
well-placed, after seeing the conduct of *some* Chareidim in the matter
of smoking, in particular the matter of smoking even when it seriously
bothers or *harms* other people, I would ammen her statement to:
Chareidim make it a point to be medakdaik (careful) in some (perhaps,
many) Mitzvot.
 I make such a comment because I have seen an example of someone UNABLE
to properly learn in a Yeshiva because of the attitude of the
INSTITUTION toward the matter of its Bachurim smoking (This is an
Israeli Yeshiva of some import).  It is to me MORE distressing when I
see such conduct on the part of people who are considered specifically
to be careful of Mitzvot..


End of Volume 22 Issue 70