Thursday, June 17, 2010
I am completely puzzled by the massive protest in Israel. Ashkenazi parents want to segregate their children from children of Jews from Arab countries. Why? If we are talking about children whose families are committed to Torah, then there should be no problem. Some families have the custom of waiting 6 hours after eating meat. Others wait 3 or 1 hours. What is wrong with letting children know that people differ on such matters? Some people eat rice on Pesach. Others do not. Can a school not teach that we all follow our gedolim and chachamim and respect each other?
What about parsha commentaries? What is wrong with a commentary on the Parsha from the Ben Ish Chai and the Vilna Gaon or Shimshon Rafael Hirsh? I would hope that every child would grow up with respect for the different traditions within orthodoxy.
I follow Ashkenazi dietary laws and Lubavitch prayer customs. I am delighted that one of my children married someone of Iraqi Yemenite background. In my family, we are united. I can not understand parents who say that they will go to jail rather than send their children to school with Jews from Arab countries. We can maintain our respective traditions and still learn Torah together. Perhaps that would hasten the coming of Moshiach.
It saddens me beyond words that such a huge demonstration took place in Israel around this issue. I love Israel. I wish I were there. But it would have pained me to hear the echoes of such divisiveness in the holy streets of Bnei Brak and Jerusalem. These children are all religious Jews. We are one people. This demonstration was a disgrace. Even greater is my sadness that a secular court had to call religious Jews to their senses. There were actually people who compared mixing Jews from Arab countries and Ashkenazim to mixing Jews and Arabs or having coed classes. Have we lost our minds? I am sick at heart at this lack of unity. Enough already! Sphere: Related Content