Bnei Brak on a rainy day. A crowded city with neglected infrastructure - doesn't it make more sense to channel the funds there?/Reuven Castro
The celebration taking place in the Knesset, whether in the Finance Committee or in the Ministry of Finance, can be called the "Recruitment Law Festival," referring to the accelerated process in which huge sums of money are transferred to ultra-Orthodox society in order to compensate the ultra-Orthodox parties for what appears to be the rejection of the legislation of the "Recruitment Law," which was promised to them in the coalition agreements. It seems that to this generous compensation a considerable amount of yeast has been added, so that it grows day by day to unimaginable proportions.
Last week, the Finance Committee, headed by MK Yaakov Gafni of Torah Judaism, an ultra-Orthodox party that has a hand on the chip, approved 700 million shekels to finance coalition agreements, ultra-Orthodox education and yeshivas. Only a few days have passed since then, and yesterday the committee transferred NIS 150 million to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, including the construction of synagogues, salary increases for officials, funding the revelry in Ukraine and Netivot, Selichot tours and infrastructure development on Mount Meron.
Since even this was apparently not enough to assuage the anger over the broken promise, the Finance Ministry is now asking Gafni, not to mention urging him, to transfer another few hundred million shekels to ultra-Orthodox education and yeshivas.
My eyes are not narrow on the more than a billion shekels, which will pass with a blow from the depleted state coffers, at the expense of cutting new construction of classrooms and schools in the state education system, and supervision of construction sites.
Forget the sums, my ultra-Orthodox brothers, and yes, despite what has been said recently, your brothers, you are my flesh – and you deserve budgets too. Moreover, since we are a democratic country, if the political constellation allows you to raise and increase them, there is nothing to say except "with respect" and "sakhtain."
I'm not here to taunt or insult, but may God, yours and mine, forgive me: I don't understand your priorities. After all, the ultra-Orthodox public also needs to distribute its money wisely, right?
Haredi couple. Dude, you are, but please help me get into your head and explain to me the logic by which the billions you have won from the state budget/image processing, Shutterstock, are divided
I actually understand the transfer of millions in order to strengthen the infrastructure in Meron and rehabilitate the death trap, which claimed dozens of lives. It is worthy and even necessary - and it is a good thing that it has been done. But why should we fund the security of immigrants to the grave of Rabbi Nachman Bauman, or the revelry in Netivot?
Tell me these are your cultural events, and I won't interfere with your entertainment. It is clear to me that just as cultural events are funded for secular Jews, it is possible to fund culture for the ultra-Orthodox. I have no problem with that. Let culture and education too, but not just there. Because maybe it's time for you to take care of your public for a better and safer life?
To illustrate some such examples, let's take Bnei Brak as a parable. The infrastructure in the city is crumbling, sewage floods some of the streets, the sidewalks are broken, the poor drainage causes huge puddles when it rains a little. Why not invest the money there? Or perhaps eradicate the rats that have taken over the public space, biting and masking children and babies? Isn't it more urgent?
And at a time when the security situation is so tense, perhaps this is the time to wonder whether it was right, perhaps, to transfer some of this money to building safe rooms or shelters? Already in 2018, the Home Front Command warned that 80% of Bnei Brak's population was not prepared for war, like other ultra-Orthodox communities, and since then the situation has not improved, but the population has grown.
And what about reinforcing buildings for earthquakes that can be done along the way, when protecting the residents? After all, it is clear that the city, as well as the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Tiberias, will not survive a missile attack, but neither will an earthquake.
And here are two or three more ideas for better utilization of the huge budget you received, such as incentivizing employers to absorb workers from the sector, mainly ultra-Orthodox women. An employer who provides suitable conditions will receive a handsome bonus, or perhaps an "extra exit to work" for those who work, especially part-time workers, (after all, many in the ultra-Orthodox sector work part-time!).
I may not fully understand you. I don't realize that you're willing to live in financial distress and rely on scholarships, allowances and charitable organizations, to devote yourself to Torah study and not go out to work. But my father, a religious man who came out with the question, used to tell me that Pikuach Nefesh rejects even Shabbat. And there are so many things that cost and may cost lives that need to be dealt with before going for a walk in the alleys at night during the month of Elul. Blood is at least as important as the wind.
- More on the subject:
- Recruitment Law
- Bnei Brak