Dear secular Israelis, the haredi Jews are Israel's bulwark
Dear secular Israelis, the haredi Jews are Israel's bulwark

It has been said that the population of Israel will reach 20 million inhabitants in 2065. Of these, about a third will be haredi-religious and religious Zionist orthodox Jews.

The never born new government of Benjamin Netanyahu has just fallen ovr these religious Jews whom the secular Israel Beytenu party, led by Avigdor Liberman, wanted to force to enlist in the IDF.

Slowly but surely, it is already happening: about 7200 haredim served in 2017, several thousand are serving right now and more will be enlisted in the national service. More haredi men and women are entering the job market. It is a natural process of integration in a successful capitalistic society such as the Israeli one.

The point is another one. The point, here, is the secular contempt for the haredi Jews. 

At the first glance, Israeli society presents, sometimes exasperatingly, the same secular characters of the most advanced Western societies. It is important this Israel exists and continues to bring about all the successes of contemporary economy and culture. But, to survive and strive, the Jewish state also needs the "other Israel," all those rabbis and students, their enduring marriages blessed with many children, with their continuous passage from earth to heaven, a mysterious and intransigent society, made up of black-suited young men swaying in prayer. 

In the last several years, Israel has seen a wave of religious fervor, not only among the orthodox Jews, but also among the secular ones returning to religion. At national level, with the law of the nation-state. Israel, a modern democratic state, is taking in fact the opposite path of the West, which repudiated its own religious history, culture and tradition and it is now culturally and physically exhausted.

That pious, humble and religious Israel, with its the prodigious familiarity with God and Jewish religious tradition, has been essential in keeping Israeli society strong, especially such a besieged society encircled with enemies. 

The religious communities are the bulwark of Israeli society. If you try to integrate them into general society, Israel will benefit from it. If you try to assimilate then, Israel will lose the baricenter of Jewish strength.