I received a link to a video which explicates the positive acts performed by Charedim (hat tip Moshe)
It’s important to not fall into the trap that sees all or even most Charedim as lazy parasites who spit on little girls. We all know that it only takes one group of extremists to tar many others. In Melbourne, although our own Adass community has many more extreme Neturei Karta, Toldos Aharon extremists than 30 years ago, one has to say that there are exemplary icons who are more visible and who also contribute to a positive image for Charedim. Icons like Izzy Herzog ז’ל come to mind immediately. I know from many people, including my Uncle, that Izzy was magnanimous with his Chesed. He didn’t check to see if the recipient was ‘truly‘ frum before he interacted with them in exactly the same way that he would react with members of his own community. The Charedi volunteers from Hatzola are an incredible group of people. I know some of them personally after having performed at their children’s weddings. They are Mentchen in the true sense of the word and still stand poles apart from the growing extremist fringe that questions every Eruv string and Animal Sinew, but won’t bother saying “good morning” if they see you in the street because you might infect them. So while we should be positive and proud of the special Chesed acts performed in our own Charedi community, we should not be afraid to voice our opinions.
Last night, in a matter of ten minutes, two young men came to our house. One was a Vizhnitzer Sofer Stam, who needed help with his children, and the other was the son of the Stropkova Rebbe who was collecting for a Kollel for “off the derech” types. I could have just pulled out my wallet and given them something, but I was in somewhat of a fiesty mood. After ascertaining that they weren’t Satmar, I asked them about their attitudes to the Sikrikim. Both condemned them as a Chillul Hashem. I suggested to the Sofer that he find a new gig so that he doesn’t have to feel so bad as to have to knock on people’s doors for a crust. I felt sorry for him. What can he do? A Melamed? He’s a prisoner of his system. Mind you, he had “married off” three kids, and looked a lot younger than me (no smart comments please).
The second guy said that his father the Stropkova davka lived in Kiryat Moshe because he wanted to live amongst a range of “normal” people. I asked him why a Kollel was appropriate for “shvacher” people? Perhaps they should be taught a trade. I asked him what intervention was in place for people like this when they were in Cheder. At any rate, I gave them both. I felt I did the right thing. If you travel out to Australia, I’ll tell you what I think of the extremists who are associated with your dress code.