Hello Jane, I'll try to answer your question. - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Fortuna Benmayor
    • 06.01.11 | 16:10 (IST)

    Israel is 80% secular, just like the Czech Republic. Families have about the same number of children as in the Czech Republic, and things work similar. Haredim, which are 10% of Israels' population, are Jews who believe time stopped somewhere in the 17th century, in Poland, and they follow the very first precept of the 613 precepts of the Torah, that says "be fertile and multiply". So they don't use -to the large part- any contraceptive, and women keep having children all along their fertile life, 6, 7, 8, 9, sometimes 10 or 11. Some add to this p`recept of the Torah, the notion that just as the Jewish people suffered the Holocaust, and 6 millions Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices, so Jews must replenish -so to speak- the number of Jews. Unfortunately, these Jewish children from Haredi parents, don't become like that 80% of secular or traditional Israelis, but keep the ways of 17th-Century Poland, with malism, parasitism, fanaticism and other evils, even if they themselves are good people to the most part, devout and pious. But the ways of a human life nowadays are not as simple as in the 17th Century. Some of these so many children may indeed come out of that limited worldview, and while keeping beeing good Jews, open up to modernity in shades and nuances. Nowadays, Haredim are in collision course with the majority of Israelis, who don't want their coercion on their free, western, modern lifestyle. In the diaspora, -outside Israel- Jewish streams are very progressive, liberal, women rabbis, egalitarian in every way, and open to the mainstream societies in which they live, like in the Czech Republic for example. Best regards, Fortuna Benmayor, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

    from the article: High Court: Gender segregation legal on Israeli buses - but only with passenger consent
    First published 11:25 06.01.11 | Last updated 11:25 06.01.11
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