Recent comments

  • Reply to: Chasidic Pol Concedes After Absentee Ballot Count   5 hours 27 min ago

    MenachemP, thanks for the correction. I've fixed the story. - Amy

  • Reply to: Crunching The Numbers In East Ramapo Schools Row   16 hours 8 min ago

    NY State should mandate single member districts as we have in miami dade county. That would solve the problem. The Hasidim would end up with only one or two members, as they all live clustered together. As for their protest against paying public school taxes...another very successful strategy, in terms of serving particular populations, is charter schools. There is a Hebrew charter school here in Broward County, Fl. Small modifications to the Hasidic programs,for instance adding a little compare and contrast with other religious or civil canons to their standard Talmudic instruction, would make it entirely kosher as a publicly supported charter. Being able to read and write English, and do sums, is probably not anything the Hasidim would object to for their sons, presumably they get that much even in the Midrash schools they attend now. The girls are probably allowed much more secular instruction already.
    There should be creative, cooperative efforts to give all kids a good education that is up to standard. Apparently, the Hasidim are not doing that for the secular parents in their school district, a political institution the Hasidim don't respect, as they believe it taxes them unfairly. For this reason they want to shrink it as much as possible. It is this sort of insularity of interest that creates some conflict for them in U.S. communities, and much more conflict for them in Israel, where many Israeli's consider them a thornier threat to the Jewish state than the Palestinians under Occupation or Embargo. I respect their rights as conscientous objectors, which, however, most Israelis resent. The overwhelming majority of Israeli's are even more fed up with the enormous cost of maintaining the Hasidic community of Talmudic scholars who do not work, yet father huge families which the state must support. In the Israeli Parliamentary elections, the Hasidim vote as a bloc, and they are a potent force in the legislature, a swing vote that no one wants to alienate. Their only issues are the issues that affect hasidim, namely subsidies, and exemption from national service. They will trade on most other issues, since they don't consider the Israeli state to be legitimate, and so don't care about Israel's non-hasidic issues. I think they bring that same insular attitude here, which explains the real reasons for the conflict in this New York school district.

  • Reply to: Popular Rabbi's Parting Shot   22 hours 51 min ago

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  • Reply to: This American Life Takes On East Ramapo School Kerfuffle   1 day 6 hours ago

    Reminded me of Al Sharpton calling any criticism of him 'racist'.

  • Reply to: Yale Chaplain’s Resignation Reflects Larger Mainline Tensions Over Israel   1 day 6 hours ago

    This is a parable. The devil hatched a plan to sew extreme violence and division among the peoples of the world. He sent the message to the media that Jews were building 1000 homes on state land that Arabs coveted for themselves. People were outraged. Don't the Jews care about Arabs and their desires? The U.N. convened all the nations. Newspapers wrote stories against Israel. The attention of the world was on the Jewish nation. All eyes were distracted. Decades went by, while nearby, governments were cruel to their people. Freedom was non-existent. Poverty was widespread in the countryside amidst the riches of the rulers. Many citizens of the Islamic nations were angry. They blamed Israel, they revolted against their leaders, and they attacked non-believers - not necessarily in that order. The devil's plan was working. Divert the world's attention away from the death and destruction occurring in much of the world so that people are unable to fix the many serious problems. Harass Jewish people for building houses and living normal lives. The devil laughed. The world's citizens did not realize the devil was playing them for fools.