Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Promoting Hate vs Expanding Our Internal Eyesight

   About two weeks ago, I wrote a post “TheNext Soldier? (Obsessing over Options)
   And since it was one of my posts which I felt has interest to the non-“special-needs” crowd of readers, I sent it in to "Havel Havelim", a weekly compilation of blog posts relating to Jewish and/or Israeli topics.
     Now a lot of Israeli bloggers are used to getting ugly comments; it seems to come with the territory. But since I rarely post on particularly Israeli themes, I usually am spared that flack.
    [Of course I understand that if one posts stuff on the internet, one has to be willing to receive negative feedback. The internet is a great forum for both promoting our views, and discussing things with others. (Although I have often noted that in public forums, there is a tendency to do a lot of “bashing” of others, without “derech eretz” –manners-, and that people rarely, if ever, change their minds by what they read in such places).]

      But what I find inexcusable, and certainly a waste of time, is when people write hateful things, without really reading the post they are commenting on. Some people are so intent on promoting discord that they jump in to do so, it would seem, with absolute glee…..  
  And one of these commented on the post noted above. Probably few of my regular readers saw the comment (nor my reply to him); it being made a few days after the post appeared.
    But it wasn’t a pro-Arab poster, but an anti-Chareidi* one.

   Someone called “Alan” wrote the following comment:
 I cannot imagine that the Army would NEVER be able to find a suitable job for your daughter. She graduated high school somewhere? She speaks Hebrew fluently?
I also don't buy the narrative that keeping modest girls out of the Army is a good way to do Tikkun Olam on to the Army.
My suspicion is that you don't trust that your worldview-as-transmitted-to-the-kid, can stand up face-to-face with other realities that your daughter would meet. You're a scaredy-cat.
You turned your now-adult daughter into a child again: "because I'm the mommy, that's why!"
Look, you can't have it both ways. You can't run around saying (as Mr EsserAgaroth likes to do) that Army girls dress like zonot; and then claim that it's not your job to set a fashion example for Army girls.
If you claim to be the leadership vanguard of the Jewish people, you can't be picky about who you're going to lead.
If you don't make that claim, then get out of my way while I lead the campaign to cut off y'alls subsidies.
the next step will be to give those Filipinit kids who DO SERVE IN THE ARMY, that money we took away from you!!
Looking at the pages of history, I gamble that y'all will end up in the same dusty footnotes as Shabtai Zvi.

[For my non-Hebrew speaking readers, translations and explanations:
Tikkun Olam – to rectify
Mr EsserAgaroth – a noted Israeli blogger
Zonot - harlots
Filipinit- people from the Philippines (here he would be talking about children of foreign workers  in I.srael, who where born and raised here)
Shabtai Zvi- a false Messiah from the time of the middle ages ]

And here is my answer:

     I must say that I suspect you have a lot of anger and pre-made assumptions here. May I point out that:
My husband worked for a living (until he retired). 
My husband also served as a combat soldier for several years. I worked as a nurse in a mental hospital, and with elderly patients. We worked to make our living. The subsidies we received are similar to tax breaks given by any normal country for children and those with special needs.
I have 2 sons who serve(d) in the army. (In the Oketz unit  and on the Hermon). 
     Oh, and did you read enough of my side bar (or read my post itself carefully enough) to understand that my daughter is mentally retarded? I am pretty sure that you didn't.
Yes, I am scared that if my very impressionable daughter went to a place where religious moral standards are not kept, she would be influenced, because she does not have the mental reasoning to understand that what others do may not be correct. ESPECIALLY since I refrain from criticizing those who are not as religious as I am.
I would like to add:
I made no objections to my younger sons to serve in the army (even though I realized that they would probably become less religious as a result), because since they were not doing their part in protecting the land spiritually with consistent, full time study, they had a moral obligation to serve. I felt that I could not impose my world-view on them.
     By the way, if anyone is a “scardy cat”, YOU are! On clicking your name one reaches a page with NO WAY to contact you. You don't give me a chance to answer you except here.
I personally think that you owe me an apology.

    I think I understand his anger at the chareidi community, who generally do not serve in the army (although that is slowly changing). But my post had nothing to do with promoting non-service in the army for regular draftees, and personally I would not be opposed to some type of modified  (and carefully planned) non-Army “national service” in their own community for chareidi girls. I also believe that more chareidi men should be working, and that those who do need to serve. (Although if the army keeps pulling stunts like expecting  religious men to listen to women singing, this is not going to happen.) At the MINIMUM, some type of national service could be done.  But Mr. Alan jumped in to spill his hate, without even TRYING to see what I was really writing about. (Which was, incidentally, about the frenzy we often work ourselves into when choosing between two options, a very human pitfall.)

   So maybe we all need to read other people’s posts with the aim to understanding WHERE they are coming from, and try to expand our internal eyesight of others and what motivates them.

* (For my non-Jewish readers: “Chareidi” is the Israeli word for the Jewish “ultra-Orthodox”)

1 comment:

belehcar said...

I remember that post. I thought you conveyed your point very well. He obviously didn't read the entire post or even think about where you were posting from. I hope he received your comment and has to eat his words.