How do haredim repair their relations with their fellow Israelis?

Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer on the coronavirus and rethinking the relationship between haredim and Israeli society.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Funeral of haredi rabbi
Funeral of haredi rabbi
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

In the last week of January 2021, thousands of Israeli haredim protested and rioted in Bnei Brak.

The rioters were angry at the government’s efforts to enforce a lockdown―not Israel’s first―meant to suppress the coronavirus. Several days later, over 10,000 haredim congregated to mourn the passing of an eminent rabbi, again in violation of the lockdown.

For all the frustration that Israel's haredim feel, their refusal to comply with the lockdowns has generated an equal measure of frustration and resentment among non-ḥaredi Israelis.

Haredim make up a significant part of Israel, and the coronavirus has brought long-simmering tensions between them and the rest of the Israeli public to a boiling point.

Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver speaks with the rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer, a ḥaredi leader and the editor of the haredi publication Tzarich Iyun, to explore how his community might repair their relations with their fellow Israelis.

In a recent essay, one discussed here, Pfeffer offers a framework for good citizenship, rooted in traditional religious sources, which he hopes can serve as the foundation for a renewed haredi civic virtue.