Monday, March 07, 2005

Anti-Charedi sentiment in Israel

There is a huge amount of animosity in Israel to the Charedi public. As someone who could be considered quasi-charedi I understand where it is coming from.

I work in hi tech and make a good salary for Israel. However, every month almost 50% of my salary goes to the government, in addition I pay high property taxes. If I get a bonus, stock options, etc. 50% goes right to the government.

In the past (this is changing) the more kids you had the more money you got in child allowances. For the first 3 kids it was minimal, after that it went up a lot. What this means is that someone who learns in kollel ends up with a nice sum of money every month. A few thousand shekel in child allowance, the stipend from the kollel (let's say $1000) a month, a massive reduction in property taxes and other benefits.

The average chiloni who works with 1 kid sees 50% of his salary going to teh government and what does he get for it. He gets a pittance in child allowances. He sends his kids to public school but then pays a lot of money for chugim etc, (after all the school day ends at 1 PM). He pays a lot of property tax etc. If hew wants to send his kids to university he has to pay.

The picture he sees of Charedim is a bunch of people doing nothing all day getting money from the government.

While I understand the value of limud hatorah, I think that it is a mistake for the government to give money to kollelim, yeshivos etc. If someone wants to sit and learn fine, but they shouldn't expect the government to support them. It creates such hatred of Judaism that it just isn't worth it.

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