I've received a lot of complaints in the past week. I was called a racist, an anti-Semite and a Haredi hater. Had I been a real liberal, people said, I would have shown tolerance toward the Jewish missionaries, because the state exists only thanks to the yeshiva students who spend all their time studying Torah, and not working.
True, many fully supported my article here last week ("End of the Third Temple" on July 28). But many secular people are so painfully naive, they don't understand this is a war for home and country, for secular people's right to live by their faith. They don't understand they are facing a well-planned occupation plan, with large, purposeful divisions set on robbing the secular majority of its spiritual and physical home. A halakhic state is not a mere slogan. It is an action plan.
Judaism is not a missionary religion, but it is missionary for internal purposes. The Lithuanian and Chabad Hasidim want to turn the people of Israel into ultra-Orthodox Hasidim like themselves. They want the state to abide by the Torah. They do not accept the halakhic obligation to follow the law of the land. The revolution they are planning is not like the Iranian revolution, which was carried out with weapons and violence. Here it's a velvet revolution of money, persuasion, smiles and kind words. But the goal is still turning Israel into a halakhic state.
The ultra-Orthodox see secular people as Jews because they were born of a Jewish mother. But as far as they're concerned, these are sinning, evil and delinquent Jews, as they do not observe the Sabbath or study Torah. And they are delaying redemption. Therefore, it's a mitzva to turn them into believers. They believe that if the entire nation observes two Sabbaths in a row, the messiah will immediately appear.
An advertisement in the Shas newspaper Yom Yom states: "Interviews for candidates for a spiritual center to save Israeli children in Rehovot. Yeshiva students are being accepted to advanced yeshiva studies combined with social activity at night, very high scholarship. Living on the premises compulsory."
It's enough for 10 yeshiva students and their families to arrive in that Rehovot neighborhood for them never to have to work one minute for a living. The municipality will open kindergartens for them, then a heder, yeshiva and kollel. And a mikveh, too. This is what political representatives in the city council are for. The local rabbi will help raise funds.
In the evening they'll set out on their mission. They will knock on doors and tell people about the kindergarten with a long day they're offering and the hot meals it provides. They'll go to parks and shopping malls to smooth talk teenagers. "It's clear you have a righteous person's soul," they'll tell them cunningly and add a few intimidating remarks about the hell they're in for should they continue to smoke on Shabbat.
They have no scruples about uprooting a 15-year-old boy from his family and sending him to a yeshiva - without his parents' consent. This is how they "save" one soul and ruin a whole family. In the yeshiva the boy studies the Talmud, about the red heifer and slave laws. Nothing that would help him get a job or make a living. He will never work again. Nor will he serve in the army.
They also teach him to hate Zionism and vilify Herzl and Ben-Gurion. This is how they took over neighborhoods in Tiberias, Ramat Gan, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Hadera, and they're even targeting Tel Aviv's green Ramat Aviv.
In the next stage more ultra-Orthodox people come to the neighborhood and rent more apartments, and the secular begin to flee. Real-estate prices plummet, and the ultra-Orthodox begin demanding streets be closed on the Sabbath, bus lines and municipal swimming pools be segregated and secular schools become yeshivas. One neighborhood after another is taken over.
This process must be stopped. The state must revoke all Shas and Agudat Yisrael's independent education systems and see to it that all children are taught the same general studies. In the afternoon each child may study whatever he likes. All ultra-Orthodox men must be drafted to military service - none of that national service malarkey. The state must rescind its support of yeshivas and kollels so all ultra-Orthodox men go to work.
This will offer a chance to save the Third Temple. Not by groveling and suicidal liberalism but by fighting for the principles of democracy, humanism and equality.
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