More than anything, the most regrettable conduct is that of Mizrahi Jews here: Their self-depreciation, their renunciation of their delightful tradition, and their desire to be accepted at any price into the terrible, zealous, and ignorant Ashkenazi education system in Emmanuel. They just have so much more to offer.
Instead of going to study at some Ashkenazi Yiddish-speaking institute, which preserves a Diasporic, outrageous culture, all the Sephardic parents should have gathered and announced: We don’t need this. We have no interest in studying with people who earmark spots for us as a form of affirmative action. We have our own places, which are more open and more tolerant, just like Sephardic Judaism is more tolerant, open, and accepts any worshipper with a welcoming smile.
It’s a shame that Shas, whose political power is at least double that of Agudath Israel, does not back the Sephardic residents in Emmanuel and in Bnei Brak, granting them more funds and more power in order to become independent and build places that Ashkenazi students want to get into, rather than the other way around.
It’s also a pity that the one Supreme Court judge who is Sephardic was chosen to head the panel that started this fire. The haredi sector is one that includes very racist and discriminatory groups, yet this cannot be solved via the courts. Let’s assume, for example, that anyone reading this column does not think that 18-year-olds who wed after two dates can maintain a good marriage. Yet can we ban this by law? Is there any law in the world that can change one’s perception?
Bringing Shinui Back to life
Containment and dialogue is the only path we can take. By listening to the other you reach their heart and try, via in-depth dialogue, to bring them into a place which you feel is more enlightened, modern, and befitting the era we live on. Any aggressive act will achieve the opposite result.
And then there are those bored yeshiva students, oh, those bored ones: The haredim from the very margins who do not join the army, don’t go to work, and don’t really experience anything in life that would truly challenge them. These people experience the buildup of great frustration within them, the ones who respond with great violence and vulgarity in the face of police officers – curse words and blows that have nothing to do with God.
This anti-Jewish conduct is premised on supposed faith in God, yet ends up as far as possible from the pleasant ways of the Torah. Yet this conduct is also helping to reestablish that terrible movement, Shinui; a movement that was premised on hatred, and will be established yet again, against the same backdrop of hate.