Friday, June 15, 2012

Re: The Attractions of Haredi Life

I'm not sure why Hadassah Levy's guest post on TorahMusings "The Attractions of Haredi Life" is being so widely attacked in the comments section. Yes, she makes some generalizations -
 "Haredi society is perceived by many to contain more spirituality and more religious sincerity than the national religious camp."

(news to me...the Israeli public I'm in contact with would probably choke at such a statement)  or :

"Values such as hesed appear to be stronger in this society, making the community more attractive." 

However, overall the essay is interesting and well argued. One point which I strongly agree with Levy -

Anglo-Saxons are particularly vulnerable to misunderstanding this society, because the Israeli Haredi society is so different from ultra-Orthodoxy in their country of origin. In the United States, most Haredim participate in the workforce and are much more open-minded than their Israeli counterparts.

I've had this discussion numerous times, especially with young British boys studying a year at the Gush Yeshivah. Wearing a black hat in Israel is a completely different statement than wearing one in England. Happily I can testify that most of them "get it" by the end of their year in Israel. Normally after they spend a Shabbat in Bnei-Brak.  

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