Apropos “Haredi rabbis condemn yeshiva that teaches secular subjects” (August 8) and the week preceding Tisha Be’av, the same “baseless hatred” between Jews that, according to tradition, was the cause of the destruction of the Second Temple is being demonstrated by various haredi rabbis against the Chachmei Lev yeshiva high school.
Their venomous, hate-filled rhetoric is matched only by the campaign to try and literally kick the school out of Jerusalem’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood because its very presence will destroy the area’s “quiet and tranquility” thanks to the fact that “rabbis of the neighborhood direct and lead the neighborhood.”
An editorial in the haredi Yated Neeman newspaper called the school a “trojan horse” against haredi Judaism.
Besides not saying much for a lifestyle that is so easily threatened by a few haredi boys studying basic math, English and science, the school and its leaders were accused in the editorial of being no less than “spiritual murderers of the Torah giants of the next generation.”
Apparently, in their hateful rage against Chachmei Lev, these rabbis and leaders are blind to the historical fact that the vast majority of the most famous and influential sages in Jewish history, from ancient to modern times, were not only giants in Torah, but also well versed and often expert in science, math, philosophy, medicine, world literature and much, much more.
Given such attitudes against fellow Jews – and especially now – I fear that this year as well, the Messiah will not come knocking at Israel’s door.
Isn’t it child abuse for the government of Israel to not insist on a core curriculum of science, math, computer technology, English, history, etc. for all its children? Doesn’t this ensure that many Jewish children will reach adulthood unable to support themselves or a family? Many will live in abject poverty unless supported by rich relatives – as if they were still children.
The Jewish way is to embrace the world and work to make it better. Maimonides and many others made contributions in fields such as medicine, science, philosophy and business, and were great Torah scholars.
Any closed society where the members must think and know only what the leaders want is ripe for abuse of all kinds. For a government to aid and abet the lack of education for so many of our children would, I believe, be classified in most societies as child abuse.
The writer has ultra-Orthodox relatives who are “valued as family members,” and wishes to remain anonymous.
It is clear that editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz has not followed how the UK government has decided to reorganize and restructure the BBC when he states in “An alternative reality” (Editor’s Notes, August 5) that “for the first time in Israeli history, the country is going to get public broadcasting that has the potential to be like the BBC.
Not just in the quality of its content, but also in the sharpness of its bite.”
Obviously, he is referring to the current BBC mode of operation.
In May 2016, the UK government published its long awaited report “A BBC for the future: A broadcaster of Distinction,” which recognized that the BBC in its current form was no longer suitable, as outlined in the key recommendations. The proposed reorganization for the broadcaster would have three areas of responsibility – educate, entertain and inform – which would effectively herald an abolition of the traditional divisions between BBC television and radio.
Those responsible for modeling the new Israeli broadcasting authority Ken along the lines of the BBC should take cognizance of the UK government’s decision to review the operation of the obsolete corporation.
Certainly, olim from the UK, as well as the vast majority of Anglo Jewry, would not agree with Katz as to the BBC’s content quality when it comes to the coverage of Israel, in which it is known to have an inbuilt anti-Israel bias, having been this way for almost four decades. This has resulted in several independent monitoring organizations being set up to identify this bias, like BBC Watch.