Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy to see it...

If you're not interested in Chareidi politics, feel free to skip this post...

Pretty much everyone who knows me, and is somewhat interested in what goes on in Chareidi politics knows how I feel about Rav Elyashiv and what goes on around him. Suffice it to say, I'm not a big fan of how decisions are made and things are done. Besides the fact that I'm not 100% it's even R' Elyashiv making most of the decisions in any event. (I'm not the only one, by the way, I heard from a certain Talmid Chacham (really serious, well known Rav and Dayan, not just some Ra"M, he's in the top top level of Lamdanim) who is in the know that R' Elyashiv no longer really gives psakim and that it's all Rav Efrati. That said...I could care less if it's R' Elyashiv or R' Efrati, but I was really impressed with this:

Beis Ya'akov schools in Jerusalem will not be starting on time this year. That is unless a solution is found for all girls who applied, making sure there is no discrimination based on edah. It seems that up to 300 girls were not accepted due to the fact that the schools are Ashkenzi and the girls are from a Sfardi background.

So, with all my criticism of R' Elyashiv, I'm very happy to see he's trying to do something about the quiet racism of the Ashkenazi Chareidi world and how they treat Sfardi students. It seems he's been pushing this for a while. (check)

(Hebrew story here)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

17 comments:

~ Sarah ~ said...

that's interesting... it definitely is something quiet...never would have known there was such discrimination, such a distinction in that community.

Rebecca said...

I wish we could stop the racism/hate within our Am! It drives me crazy! I can go on and on about this but I'm sure you've seen my comments elsewhere on this topic! I'm glad the Rav made a good decision :)

Eshet Chayil said...

Absoultely disgusting. I see it all the time, too. Coming from a mixed background I've put up with crap from both sides. Seriously, disgusting is the only word I can think of to describe that. I'm usually not interested in any kind of politics but this post was a much needed one.

Scraps said...

Personally, I'll be more enthusiastic when I see the results. He tried something like this once before, and it backfired, because people's kavod daas Torah only goes as far as it gets them frum-points. The last time, which was a few years ago, he forbade all of the BYs in Yerushalayim to open until every girl had a place in a school, and schools weren't allowed to not accept a student based on stupid exclusivity rules. All of the schools were ready to comply and divide up admissions equally, except for one school that held out and refused to listen. Eventually, after Sukkot he finally gave in and allowed the schools to open without admitting the extra students, because this school was prepared not to open at all rather than give up its stupid policy.

However, I do think that it is encouraging and commendable that he is trying again.

Eliyahu said...

it's always worth while to point out the good done by someone. there is a hasidic story about calling on a rich man to contribute tzdakah, and getting only a small coin. being thankful for that opened his heart for more. on the merit of his decision, may the rav's heart be opened to the full delights of the widely divegent and wonderful world!

Ari Kinsberg said...

I think the something similar happened last year in Lakewood.

Ben Bayit said...

This "racism" exists within the Modern Orthodox and the Chardal worlds as well.
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/11/ART1/471/088.html

Let's be honest - were the "muqata" to start changing into a "mixed" neighborhood, and lots of the teens hanging around started to look like "arsim" (albeit ones with kippot - you know the type), do you think nice,sweet fresh-faced - and white - Olim coming on Nefesh B'Nefesh would continue to go to the Muqata - or to Joe Settler's hilltop if the same happened there? The honest deep down answer is, no - they wouldn't.

I have a new neighbor who - quitely - but honestly admiteed to me that he moved to his new home b/c his previous Yishuv was becoming too Sefradi/Russian/Social Problems heavy. and he's a mechanech in the national religious educational stream.

But I applaud the initiative. There is NO place for this in the school system. However, to the extent that parents still believe it is important to pass on "folk-lore" elements of yiddishkeit (and I for one believe that these elements are VERY important for a stable home life and good chinuch) then careful thought has to be given as to how this will play itself out for the children when they marry

Litvshe said...

Ben Bayit,

There is a difference between ethnic extraction and socio-economic standing. I wouldn't want Arsim in my neighborhood, not because they're Sfardi (of the 8 houses that abutt on my property 5 belong to Sfardim) but...well because they're Arsim. I will admit to being an elitist to some extent. I want my kids hanging out with others of certain level of Frumkeit. I could care less if they are brown or black or green, what nusach they daven or whether or not they eat rice on Pesach.

aliyah06 said...

This is terrific--let's hope it works.

The racism in the BY system here is horrific--and you can make all the excuses you want about 'levels of Frumkeit', but that's nonsense. Frumkeit isnt' taught at school alone--its found at home. What this boils down to is a total lack of Ahavas Yisroel coupled with exclusionary practices designed to make sure MY girls get ahead instead of THEIR girls....oh, yeah, and besides, what if MY girls actually met the brother of THEIR girls and wanted to marry him?! Horrors! Brown grandchildren, oh my!

Ben Bayit said...

Litvishe - that's simply not true. I'm sure that some of the sefardim that live next door to you are in the category of what's called "hishtaknezu". If your neighborhood were to be overrun by Shas types - even wealthier ones - you'd move out. B/C you know that even wealthy Shas types have "arsi" cousins and you don't want your kids playing with your neighbors' "arsi" cousins. Kal Vechomer if they are the cousins from the katamonim who made some money as successful sub-contractors and are now being "mitchazek beyahadut" and move into your neighborhood. Their new "upgraded" apartment still won't have any bookshelves in it. They'll still be "arsim" (I lived for a year in a town that was full of nouveau riche "arsim" - I know the type). So even if they are wonderfully frum, never talk in shul during davening (most Sefradim don't) and are shomer shabbos and kashrut at the same level you are - you will leave the neighborhood.

On the other hand were lots of "poor" Litvaks learning in Ponovish, or Brisk in Kollel for ten years and who feed their kids pasta day in and day out, lived in your neighborhood, you wouldn't think about moving out. You wouldn't think twice about the "cousins" their kids play with. So this issue has nothing to do with "socio-economics". It's cultural - and ethnic, period. "arsim" is ethnic - not economic. and Shas types can still be "arsim". So can academically educated Sefardi Mizrachi types. Deep down that's what elitist, racist Ashkenazi types think.

Think about it. We're all "closet racists". and elitists - I agree with you there. It's a fact of Ashkenazi life. However it does work both ways and there are still many, many Moroccan, Yemenite and Ethiopian fathers who will refuse to come to their child's wedding if they marry a "white boy". I personally know an anglo who married an Ethiopian girl who's father refused to come to the wedding because he was white. Still doesn't justify it, though - with the caveat that "kashe zivugim kekriat yam suf" and parents have to be very careful when their children are married off.

Litvshe said...

Ben Bayit,

Again...I'll have to disagree. My neighbor across the street fits exactly into your category (except he's not a Shas type). They always have family over who are much less religious. It doesn't bother us. My neighbor's on the other side are very much not in the "Hishtaknazu" mold. All their cousins are Shas types...and there are lots of them. Happens to be, all of my Sfardi neighbors are good people, who have, more or less, the same values. So some have TVs, but then again there are no lack of Ashkenazim on the yishuv who have them as well and no lack of Sfardim who don't. So, I'm very happy to say I don't think, I am in any way shape or form a racist (at least when it comes to other Jews). It wouldn't bother me in the slightest if my sons or daughters married Sfardim, Teymanin, Chasidim, Misnagdim, Litvakim, Parsim, Bagdadim, Hodim, or Gerrim.

Ari Kinsberg said...

please define "hishtaknazu"

Litvshe said...

Gone white. You know...daven in the Ashkenazi shul, take down the pictures of the Baba Sali and R' Ovadiah, put up pictures of R' Elyashiv. Don't go back to the old stomping grounds in Lod any more, avoid Netivot like the plague.

Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

More reasons I love living in Northern California...yeesh!

Seriously, this makes me a little queasy. People will really move out of a neighborhood because there are too many frum Jews from a different ethnic background moving in?

Schools will try to keep kids out because they're not Ashkenazi?

Racism between Jews? How stupid can we get? The world doesn't try hard enough to destroy us that we should adopt their tools and take it internal?

Ben Bayit said...

litvishe - what about Ethiopim? you didn't include them on your list.

Ari Kinsberg said...

ben bayit-
why should they be. does the haredi ashkenazi world recognize them as jews?

Milhouse said...

ari -
The converted ones, yes, of course.

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