Monday, April 04, 2005

Here's A Rant From A Reader

In response to this post, Dave Bogner writes:
Hatikvah Bashing? I'm shocked...SHOCKED I say!

For years the Haredi community (Hassidim and Misnagdim alike) have studiously avoided any direct mention of Israel (the state). If they are going there or talking about it in any context, it is always 'Eretz Yisroel', a neat formula that pretends that there is no such place as the modern State of Israel.

Here's the deal.

You want to argue about whether the modern State of Israel is indeed 'Raishit 'Tzmichat Geulateinu', I can see intelligent arguments being made on either side of the issue. You don't want to say the 'Mi'sheberach for the state or the army on Shabbat... OK, fair enough.

But when the government of Israel is, in effect, the word's wealthiest (and most indulgent) father-in-law (think about how many thousands of haredim get government subsidy checks, health insurance and childsupport payments for sitting in kollel!)... listen politely to the damned song! Nobody said you had to sing along.

Considering that every bus station in Israel has a kosher sukkah on sukkot... every Israeli hospital has a kosher kitchen /food court... and the Israeli government maintains the Rabbinate's monopoly on marriage, divorce, conversion and many other issues, it is wildly inappropriate to treat Hatikvah as though it were Wagner (and don't get me started on THAT!).

This topic reminds me of one of the guys at yeshiva who would run out of the room anytime the yeshiva band would start playing a Carlebach tune. One Purim, we figured out that if we started a Carlebach tune when this fellow was at a certain point in the circle, he'd just swing out of line and straight through the door right next to the band. Since he was a little tipsy, his exits were er... not graceful, to say the least. Though it's years later, in my mind's eye,I still have the image of of this guy sailing out of the circle and staggering straight through the door. I don't think he realized that the band was timing its segues around his position in the circle.