Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mixed signals / competing pressures

Orthomom links to an article in Ha'aretz about a piece in the Israeli haredi weekly Mishpacha, complaining about the discrimination newly religious families experience when trying to get their kids into school, which started an enormous and emotional debate.
Discrimination against chozrim bitshuvah is not new in that community, although some of the statements in the article are particularly shocking -- read Orthomom for all the right points. What is new, and what should be pointed out, however, is the fact that the issue was raised so openly in a haredi publication. Regular readers of blogs might have become used to open criticism of such matters in the haredi world, by haredim -- but the blogs are there mostly to say things that can't be said in regular haredi papers. The issue of discrimination shows pressure in one direction -- to close haredi society off -- but the fact that this particularly sensitive issue was aired so publicly and vigorously debated shows some pressure in the opposite direction and is actually a sign of progress and increasing openness.

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