If They Ask the President

Even worse than Peres? talk about the Ponevezh Yeshiva?s ?brilliant minds? was his comment that the ultra-Orthodox should not be blamed for the fact that they don?t work.

The president spends a lot of his time touring the country and listening to people's problems. But what would Shimon Peres tell a man who woke up one morning with a stomachache and it turns out he has kidney stones? Would he advise him to consult the "brilliant minds" Peres met this week at the Ponevezh Yeshiva, or simply go to an ordinary hospital run by secular people?

It's possible that after his self-effacement and fawning in Bnei Brak this week, Peres will send the man to Ponevezh. There the patient will hear from the yeshiva's rabbis what the Talmud says about methods for treating stones in the urinary tract.

Healing according to the Sages. In Tractate Gittin, Folio 69b, it says: "For stone in the bladder let him take three drops of tar oil and three drops of leek juice and three drops of clear wine and pour it on the sexual organ of a man or the corresponding place in a woman. Alternatively he can take the handle of a waterskin and hang it on the sexual organ of a man or the breasts of a woman. Or again he can take a red thread which has been spun by a woman of ill repute whose mother is also a woman of ill repute and hang it on the sexual organ of a man or the breast of a woman. Or again he can take a louse from a man and a woman and hang it on the sexual organ of a man and the corresponding place in a woman; and when he makes water he should do so on dry branches near the hinge of the door, in order to examine the stone that separates from the urine."

Interesting. In any case, Peres should know that when a Ponevezh Hasid falls ill he immediately runs to secular doctors, because he has less trust in the Talmud that Peres praises so highly. The Hasid knows that the "brilliant minds" of Ponevezh spend all their days in long-winded debates about virtual problems that don't really exist. They don't study science, mathematics, physics, English or history. That's why there is no chance that a single doctor will emerge from the ranks of the Ponevezh.

After so much flattery of the extremist Lithuanian Hasidim - "A yeshiva is a spiritual fitness room ... I would do anything to have all Jews observe the Sabbath" - Peres forgot that the secular, humane and educated world is responsible for the revolutions that advanced our living standards and quality of life in the past 200 years. No aspect of global wealth has been contributed by the ultra-Orthodox.

The world has advanced thanks to the science they hate so much and dismiss. Thanks to people like Charles Darwin, the inventor of the theory of evolution, Louis Pasteur, the inventor of vaccines, Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric lightbulb, and Albert Einstein, the inventor of the theory of relativity. And also thanks to computer engineers, software developers, communications technicians and the inventors of the Internet, none of whom emerged from Ponevezh.

This is an anti-Zionist and anti-democratic yeshiva. The late Rabbi Eliezer Schach, who was the leader of the Lithuanian community and the head of the yeshiva, said that "democracy is like cancer." He said the Knesset has no legitimacy because "there are people sitting there who have intercourse with women who are nida [menstruating, ritually impure] and who violate the Sabbath in public." And these are the culture and values Peres wants us to adopt.

But it was even more infuriating to hear the president saying that the ultra-Orthodox should not be blamed for the fact that they don't work. The actual culprit is the secular community, which did not create conditions "that suit their lifestyles, because it's time to end this seclusion, [to stop] treating anyone who walks around with ritual fringes as though he were different."

This is already a real libel. How dare Peres blame the secular public for the idleness of the Haredim? They're the ones who want to seclude themselves in their communities, disdain the secular community and shun any contact between their children and secular people's children, for fear they'll fall into bad company. They're the ones who don't want to work, but rather to live on handouts and let the secular donkey continue to bear the burden.

And if all that were not enough, it turns out that Peres is also in favor of the Haredi evasion of service in the Israel Defense Forces. "I'm very proud the State of Israel agreed to release those who dedicate their lives to Torah study from military service," he said. In other words, tens of thousands of Torah scholars are the important ones, who deserve to be released from service, but those who dedicate their lives to studying philosophy, biology, brain science, physics or electronics in the universities, the Technion or the Weizmann Institute have to both work and serve in the army. A new scale of values a la Peres.

Despite the disgraceful self-disparagement, we should remember that the State of Israel was established by secular Jews, contrary to the propaganda of the Haredim who wanted to wait for the Messiah. The economy was built by secular Israelis contrary to Ponevezh wheeler-dealers, who sanctified idleness. Our culture and literature were also promoted by the secular community, as was the IDF that protects everyone, including the draft-dodging Haredim.

So maybe, in light of these accomplishments, Peres should advise the guy suffering from kidney stones to go to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. After all, the hospital is not far from his beloved Ponevezh Yeshiva.