Success Results In Greater Dependence On The State Of Israel

The great Haredi accomplishments bear the seeds of an upcoming crisis. For one, Haredi success results in greater dependence on the State of Israel. This dependence is primarily financial, and demands ever-greater political involvement (Berman, 2000, Ilan, 2000).

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

This trend has important implications. In order to sustain their privileges, the Haredim find themselves granting – sometimes quite unwillingly – legitimation to the state. In order to receive subsidies, one must vote and be chosen for the parliament, join coalitions and even serve in the government. This implies identification – even if qualified and spiteful – and sharing of responsibility for a national political entity, which was not long ago considered as an abomination.

This step also entails the establishment of a network of ties with the secular public and its institutions. The routine contact and intensive mutuality cannot help but influence both sides, especially the smaller and needier of the two. The erosion caused by Israeli-ness is manifest in all aspects of Haredi life, including their spoken language and their body language.

Gideon AranA society of learners means that what was originally, and apparently, meant to be the province of a select few became the universal norm, the standard for the entire community (Soloveitchik 1994a).

It is doubtful whether a society can afford the luxury of turning an ideal model of religiosity and communality as well as masculinity and physicality into a general norm, to be applied across the board. For such an ideal model can hardly exist without other models that can provide context, contrast and complementarity, thus lending it vitality and full meaning.

In such a situation, a society can barely survive, let alone prosper, as basic social functions remain unfulfilled. In order to rectify and compensate for this rather imbalanced state of affairs, obligations or expectations that would normally be fulfilled by the group itself are projected onto the external environment.

Taken from “Body, Violence and Fundamentalism: The Case of Jewish Ultra-Orthodoxy”, By Gideon Aran.



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