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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Are the Violent Demonstrators Considered Haredim?

Two separate articles I just read answer that question with a resounding "NO!".

In a Matzav editorial:
What bothers me as much was a quote sent in by A. Steier, a reader of this site. The quote, from a frum online media outlet, stated, “What used to be an oxymoron, ‘chareidi hooligans,’ is now a reality.”

I take umbrage with that. Those who engage in such behavior may be hooligans, but not chareidi hooligans. They don’t represent us or our views. They don’t represent us any more than those people dressed like Jews who meet regularly with our generation’s Hitler from Iran.

In addition, Ladaat quotes a Yom LeYom article that says, in part:
כי חרדי הוא מי שחרד מאלוקים ועושה את דברו, וכדי לדעת את נכונות דברו והבנת מצוותיו והנהגותיו קבלם משה רבנו בהר סיני והעבירם לתלמידו והוא לתלמידו וכך איש מפי איש עד דורנו אנו. כך היה בכל הדורות שגדולי ישראל ידעו דעת עליון ובהתאם הנהיגו את עדתם החרדים לדבר ה'. מי שאינו כרוך בשושלת הזו אינו חרדי. מי שאין לו רב ואינו מכיר ומוקיר את התובנה המוענקת לו מאת גדולי ישראל, אינו חרד לכלום.

So, if they're not considered Haredim, what should we call them?

אספסוף from this week's פרשה comes to mind. Or perhaps, בריונים like before the חורבן. Or perhaps, the ערב זעיר.


At Wed May 26, 04:30:00 PM 2010, Blogger Neshama said...

I think they're more like the biryonim! Very very misuided, but maybe Hashem needs to hold back the geula a little bit more?

At Wed May 26, 04:51:00 PM 2010, Blogger Devorah said...

I know what I call them, but it's not printable.

At Wed May 26, 05:43:00 PM 2010, Blogger joshwaxman said...

while it makes for a good denouncement and distancing from those who employ such tactics, it simultaneously strikes me as something of a No True Scotsman fallacy.

See here:

kol tuv,

At Wed May 26, 05:48:00 PM 2010, Blogger joshwaxman said...

Furthermore, while they cite *specific* prominent rabbis against it, it may well be that these people are following their own prominent rabbis.

for example, from a few months back, over free parking on Shabbos in Yerushalayim:

we see the Gavad of the Edah Chareidis make this declaration before a violent demonstration:

"Rabbi Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss, a leader of Jerusalem's hareidi-religious community, threatened Friday "to burn the city" over the opening of the Safra municipal parking lot on the Sabbath. The rabbi's threat broke up a meeting with Mayor Barkat, in which he unsuccessfully attempted to convince the rabbi to call off the demonstration.

Protestors charged that the police used unreasonable force against them, but law enforcement officials said that fire hoses were employed in order to disperse stone throwers, who injured several policemen. One officer was hospitalized for head wounds."

kol tuv,

At Wed May 26, 06:00:00 PM 2010, Blogger yaak said...

The difference between this and "No True Scotsman" (which I never heard before - thanks for the link) is that the word "Haredi" by definition goes against what these guys are doing. Haredi meant G-d-fearing all along. משא"כ, by the Scotsmen.

Regarding your second point, no Rav worth his beans would endorse the level that they have taken this and the demonstrators know it.

At Wed May 26, 06:07:00 PM 2010, Blogger yaak said...

Also, lest you think that most Haredim agree with the demonstrators, another article today in Ladaat says that Rabbanim in Bnei Brak have denounced the demonstrations.

At Wed May 26, 06:17:00 PM 2010, Blogger joshwaxman said...

in terms of (1), it depends if we are engaging in etymological analysis, or using the name as describing the group which self-identifies as X.

yeah, No True Scotsman is very useful (and not to be confused with "True Scotsman") because this fallacy comes up over and over again.

is it a useful point to say, e.g., that there are zero instances of child abuse in the religious Jewish community, because anyone who abuses a child is not *really* religious? it is a nice rhetorical point, but it depends on how it is then used.

in terms of point (2), i am not so sure. these riots went on week after week for the same cause, accompanied by violence. heChacham, einav berosho. and these religious leaders were calling for protests, Shabbos after Shabbos, despite repeated violence. if they endorsed the protest (i am not talking about refraining from condemning them) after the second instance, they should have really known better. and using terms like threatening "to burn the city" seems to indicate that they knew that there would be at least some level of violence.


At Wed May 26, 07:45:00 PM 2010, Blogger Devorah said...

They should all examine themselves, their actions and their rabbis, and think about Groucho Marx's words: "PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER".


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