28 December 2010

About Damn Time!

We are finally starting to see public questioning of the extensive subsidies for the ultra-Orthodox Heredim in Israel:
Chaim Amsellem was certainly not the first Parliament member to suggest that most ultra-Orthodox men should work rather than receive welfare subsidies for full-time Torah study. But when he did so last month, the nation took notice: He is a rabbi, ultra-Orthodox himself, whose outspokenness ignited a fresh, and fierce, debate about the rapid growth of the ultra-religious in Israel.

“Torah is the most important thing in the world,” Rabbi Amsellem said in an interview. But now more than 60 percent of ultra-Orthodox men in Israel do not work, compared with 15 percent in the general population, and he argued that full-time, state-financed study should be reserved for great scholars destined to become rabbis or religious judges.

“Those who are not that way inclined,” he said, “should go out and earn a living.”

In reaction, he was ousted from his own ultra-Orthodox Shas Party, whose leaders vilified him with such venom that he was assigned a bodyguard. The party newspaper printed a special supplement describing Rabbi Amsellem as “Amalek,” the biblical embodiment of all evil.
Actually, "Amelek" means more than the embodiment of evil.

The Torah says that they are to be killed, the men, women, children, their animals, etc.  There is an affirmative requirement that they and their families be murdered, and that their works be destroyed.

This is what happens when you f%$# with somone's welfare check, I guess.

As an aside, one of the towering figures of Judaism in the past 500 years, the Baal Shem Tov, worked digging lime, as a kosher butcher, and later running an inn, and it is ludicrous to suggest, as the Heredim do, that there are tens of thousands of people whose scholarship is so valuable that they cannot be allowed to do productive work.


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