Especially after our recent trip to Israel, where we were given the honor of a local-eye view of the Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, we’ve been watching the news with interest. If you haven’t read, there has been significant internal turmoil, especially amongst the Haredi.
As I understand it, and witnessed, the Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) are opposed to many forms of “modern morality” being imposed upon their culture and beliefs. That’s a response I can respect.
And that’s a response that we were privileged to observe, for a few brief moments, during our visit to their neighborhood as the locals were protesting the passage of a city bus through the neighborhood. It wasn’t a protest about the buses themselves, but the advertisements on the sides of the buses.
Advertisements that offended the communities sensibilities and traditions.
Which drove protests.
That I can respect.
Even though certain words were shouted that I cannot respect. Regardless of the forum.
That word is “Nazi“.
It was a word shouted much more freely that I would have expected. And I see it’s still being used.
To quote a well-known movie – “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means“.
But especially now. In the news the past few days has been a conflict between the Ultra-Orthodox and the surrounding community about standards. Standards that the Ultra-Orthodox would like the surrounding community to abide by.
And when the community doesn’t abide by the standards and moves to protest its citizens, the protectors are greeted with the epithet “Nazi”.
Again, a word that is too freely used.
Because the protection of citizens by the government from the actions, sometimes violent, of another segment of the population is certainly not a core value of the Nazi movement.
I do wish the Haredi good luck with their endeavor to keep their neighborhoods as free from outside influence as they’d like.
However, I do not wish them luck in forcing their belief on the local populace.
Shimon – I know your thoughts on our experience in Me’a She’arim. I also know I’ve simplified the issues, perhaps overly so. Feel free to take me to task for any misrepresentation.