Thursday, January 26, 2012

The overwhelming majority of Jews in Israel believe in God

YNet has published a comprehensive study about religious attitudes among Israeli Jews and the results should once and for all destroy the myth that the Chilonim are anti-religious and out to make the Charedim not religious.

Here are some of the important numbers:

How do you define yourself?

7% Charedi
15% Religious
32% Traditional (Masorti)
43% Chiloni but not anti-religious
3% Chiloni anti religious

Belief in God, reward and punishment etc.

80%  believe in God
80% believe that people are rewarded for good deeds
77% believe that God intervenes in the running of the world (the hand of God)
74% believe that evil deeds are punished
72% believe that prayer is effective
67% believe that the Jewish people are the "Chosen People"

Life events (birth, marraige, death)

94% do a Bris Mila
92% sit shiva
90% say kaddish for parents

Observance of Shabbos

84% spend time with family
69% have a special meal
66% light candles
The bad news is that there still is a long way to go in terms of Shabbos:
65% watch TV
37% do sports
16% go shopping


63% separate between meat and milk
76% eat kosher in their house
70% eat kosher outside their house
72% will not eat pork under any circumstances

I have to say that these numbers are in many ways a welcome picture. Most of the people believe not only in God but in reward and punishment, prayer, and in the uniqueness of the Jewish people. This should tell us that there are tremendous opportunities to bring people back to mitzvos if only we approach them in the right way. The basis/spark is there, we only need to figure out how to light it. Unfortunately the events of the past few weeks have only made things much harder.

1 comment:

WOACARE said...

This data is precisely why the charaidim have the view that the secular are out to get them. It would be better for them if the secular didn't believe in God at all. However, once a continuum of observance can be posited then how do we differentiate between an us and a them? We need new distinctions to know who our true friends are, politically, socially, and religiously. Bring back to mitzvos? Which mitzvos? The ones I think are important? The ones you think are important? Who decides?