One of my most memorable moments from my half a year in Israel was when I incited a shabbos riot at the intersection of Bar Ilan and Shmuel Hanavi streets in Jerusalem. I really didn’t incite it, I just added fuel to the fire by egging the kids on, and telling them that if they were ever to compete with Chabad for kiruv they had got to be progressive and move on to main intersections rather than the middle of the street. After all, how were they to show the beauty of shabbos to cars if there weren’t any to throw rotten fruit at?
The recent violent protests staged by Charedim who are pissed about a municipal parking lot staying open on shabbos in Jerusalem got me thinking…
I have been hearing about the shabbos riots for years, but I only got to witness one full fledged riot, in fact, the riot became so bad that they began to focus their attention on some hot Sephardic girls that were showing too much arm and the crowd started chanting “whores” at them. It was really a great thing, honestly, yeh it made religious Jews look bad – but we cant discount the fun in it.
Shabbos riots or protests happen for a few reasons, the first reason is really because Charedim are bored and need something to do, just look at all the other groups that riot, unemployed poor folks looking for excuses to burn down their own neighborhoods, and throw stones at something. The only difference between the Charedim and everyone else, is that Charedim don’t use guns or bombs, they prefer dumpster fires and bleach.
But can we really judge Charedim by a few protests? Seriously I am trying to figure out if Charedim support these protests in general or they are merely protesting the fact that parking lots encourage women to drive and that is assur by all Charedi rule books?
I know that not all of the Charedim support violent protests against shabbos breakers, I am kind of surprised because based on comments I have received Charedim don’t even think irreligious Jews are really Jews and since they aren’t in the kiruv business I am really trying to figure out exactly why they care so much, shouldn’t they be learning or davening or making more babies instead?
A lot of people are saying that this doesn’t represent the majority of Charedim, that Charedim don’t feel this way and just want to live a life of kugel and streimels. But if this were the case, why have no Rabbis denounced their behavior during the last shabbos parking lot protest? Isn’t this kind of like in the Muslim world when none of the leaders denounce terrorism? Its not the same I realize but its still pretty bad and I think there’s another one coming up this week.
What are your thoughts on the Charedim staging violent protests on shabbos?