Monday, January 16, 2012


Religious Jews are the Worst Kind

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!


  1. I agree. However there are so many problems. First, I do not think Chareidi see all frum as equal. Therefore even of outreach is done, none of these people will be FFBs. They will be to some people always "tamay". "Insular" and "outreach" are not synonymous. Therefore true, it's sad that "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!" But just who is the media presenting to seculars? And why are the Chareidim so scared of controlled outreach?

  2. Akiva, from my experience with Charedim, first of all, there are some incredible, wonderful Charedim. There are the same within the knitted kippa, secular community etc.

    Overall, my experience with them, as you know over the years is less then steller. In my opinion it stems from a distortion of the Torah and their opinion of those who are not like them. In my opinion they have forgotten the morals and ethics of the Torah as a whole.

  3. What's the difference between religious and Chareidi?

  4. Anon, probably like Dati and Chareidi

    We definitely need to do more. Like the people who invite people to their homes Baruch Hashem, or even just smiling and saying shalom

  5. There's a huge division between the religious and the chiloni mindset. The thought process is almost a mirror image of US Liberals and Conservatives. Unfortunately here in Israel the chilonim persecute a religion where as in the US the Liberals persecute simply a way of thinking.

  6. I agree with almost everyhthing shiloh says except shiloh please return to unity of Hashem judaisms creed your light years ahead of other jews in your chachmah it would be a tikkun for all of us . Try to leave jc for what he is not god not the messiah yes he is an aspect an enlightened teacher . For so many thousands of jews in christianity hes such a dinamic force with no rabbis to counter him its not even a fair fight . And amalak attacked those who were weak and strageled behind . Jews caught in jc's grip are these SAME jews . Come back shiloh i for one ask !

  7. I can't help thinking that if the early religious leaders at the time would have joined together with Rav Kook and his approach to working with the non-religious that were building up the Land, there would have been a greater sensitivity toward the 'religious'.

    Any comments on this?

  8. And what do Chareidim hear about chilonim?

    How many Chilonim have Chareidim met or worked with?

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Rav Kook said religious Jews should love chilonim very much because they are doing a very important mitzvah just by living in Israel. Chabad says love every Jew and don't be pushy in the slightest -- don't even mention the word sin; talk about how great mitzvahs are again, but only in a very gentle way, almost as if designed by a public relation firm. Breslov says be happy, smile on your brother, sing a happy tune, etc. These three groups need to do kiruv to the rest of the religious world, teaching them how to treat chilonim! These three approaches make sense -- yelling and spitting and forcing others doesn't! It's so obvious but they won't learn it on their own.

    The fact is, Pirkei Avot says in not one places but two places, receive each person with a cheerful countenance (smile at everybody!) Now, Thailand is called "the land of smiles," but it should be Israel! Just think what it would do for aliyah (not to mention geulah) if both secular and religious were smiling all the time, and Israel no longer had a reputation as a place with rude manners and rioting zealots!

  11. this is a very touching article, thanks for posting.


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