by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
I work on a project in Jerusalem with a wonderful Jewish Israeli fellow from the Tel Aviv area. He’s a nice guy, an incredibly dedicated and capable worker, and finds much moral foundation from the bits of Torah he learned in elementary school.
He’s also a “chiloni”. I thought I knew what this was, but his direct explanation REALLY says a lot…
A Chiloni Jew from Tel Aviv:
I’ve been working since I was 14 years old to earn my living. I learned to trust no one but my family. Everywhere I go in business there were people with interests, snakes everywhere, no one I could trust. I saw and still see in competitive business in Israel that all people see is money and numbers.
The truth is that I was educated by the people here in the center (Tel Aviv area) that charedi people (ultra-orthodox Jews) are the worse kind there are, and all they care about is themselves and money.
When I arrived to this project, I knew nothing about charedim and about religious Jews. Everything I knew was from the (Israeli) press and from the media. I had no connection with religious or charedim people before. The first time I encountered religious people is here in this project. Never in my life have I worked with charedim people before.
Before this project I was much sharper and thinking with my mind, no feelings were involved in my decisions, I worked like robot. Since I arrived something has changed inside me and I became more emotionally engaged to this project and people.
I don't know why. Maybe it’s the people [the staff is about 40% religious and 10% charedi], maybe it’s the city of Jerusalem, maybe both. Since I'm here, I’ve became more engaged. I can feel something has changed inside me.. not sure what.
I don't really know yet how to behave with charedim people. It will take me time to learn and understand them.
I'm glad to see that there are different people than what I'm used to in this project.
Never in his life interacted with ultra-orthodox or even religious Jews. We have truly failed our brothers, that a Jew could grow up in Israel and know nothing more than what the anti-religious media has fed him!
Oy oy oy!