What's to be done on Haredi civil disobedience?

How do you ladies suggest the government should deal with haredi civil disobedience?

YAD AVRAHAM volunteers collect blood samples from haredi men who have recovered from COVID-19, at a Jerusalem yeshiva on October 27. Their plasma will be used to treat patients hospitalized with corona.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)
YAD AVRAHAM volunteers collect blood samples from haredi men who have recovered from COVID-19, at a Jerusalem yeshiva on October 27. Their plasma will be used to treat patients hospitalized with corona.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)
I am a traditional woman who has always loved living in Israel. But during this pandemic I have watched the haredi behavior here (and abroad) in horror. They seem to be a law unto themselves and it is causing chaos, illness and despair. They again opened their schools against government orders, for example, and nothing seems to stop them. How do you ladies suggest the government should deal with haredi civil disobedience?

Extremely worried
Jerusalem
Pam Peled:
In the documentary A Life on Our Planet, David Attenborough notes that in his 93 years the human population has grown from some two billion to over seven billion souls. This unsustainable population explosion is killing our world, yet the iconic natural historian is optimistic: people are heeding the warning and having fewer kids.
But not the haredim. Ultra-Orthodox parents do not care about the planet, or the country, or their town. They take orders from their god only, and their rabbis. If the government decrees schools closed, droves of them defy the law and go to schools anyway. And if we all go into lockdown because of their infection rate (and because they have Netanyahu and his henchmen in the pockets of their black gowns), well, god must have wanted it that way.
Some back their arguments up with “science,” quoting studies proving schools are safe zones. But even if they are, even if the government is wrong to lock education down, can one segment of society simply ignore civil rules?
Of course not.
There is one easy answer: stop enabling this insanity. The state must immediately stop funding large families, slash child support, and heavily tax parents with multiple kids. Educational institutions ignoring the core curriculum must be immediately defunded; not one penny of our taxes should support grown men who study forever in yeshivot. If they won’t abide by state laws, let them get zero state benefits; their god can look after them.
God help us all if Israel becomes a theocracy; we’ve seen how that works. Two thousand years is an awfully long time for us to wait out another diaspora.
Tzippi Sha-ked:
The country is falling into a cauldron of hate. Contempt toward haredim is rarely disguised in the media. Pam and many others are marinating in this disdain. Some wonder if there is any good future for Israel if haredim continue on this path of civil disobedience toward government COVID-related regulations and other societal issues.
I get Pam. Haredi behaviors do tax the country. Haredi leadership has failed its constituents; I wouldn’t be surprised if COVID is not the only factor thinning their ranks. I concur: Stop funding yeshivot and all institutions that won’t adhere to a core curriculum. I don’t believe in pharaonic decrees of punishing large families; I’d rather incentivize, providing financial benefits for smaller ones. I’m against stoking flames of hatred toward any sector!
The many mask-less residents on the streets of Tel Aviv should not be an excuse for haredim to practice the same reckless behavior. Mass weddings and funerals are ridiculous and unsound during a pandemic. Although some haredim view the permissible mass demonstrations as legitimizing any gathering, this is not valid. Although it does seem to me that when political congregation trumps religious congregation in a Jewish state, we’ve lost our raison d’être.
Haredi noncompliance is spiking homegrown resentment and global antisemitism, although die-hard antisemites don’t really need a reason to hate.
Pam claims haredim are destroying our “culture” and impacting planetary sustainability. Yet Jews represent 0.1912% of 7.69 billion people. Numerically we fall far short of our pre-World War II stats. If sustaining Jewish numbers globally is at all important, let’s not discount the value of haredi life!
Their behaviors? Well, that’s another story.
Danit Shemesh:
Halacha obligates us to the concept that “the law of the state is the law” – we absolutely must abide by government doctrine. Those who don’t are outlaws. Haredi leadership therefore instructs us to comply with government dictates. Quorums are held outside with masks and social space. Masks are worn by all in our streets; our weddings are capsulated, as well as our yeshivot. Social distancing is much more challenging for us, mostly because of our large families and communal mentality.
Still, our credo is “The people of Israel, with the Torah of Israel, in the Land of Israel.” Leaders do what leaders must: lead their people to their destination. All decisions point to that unwavering goal. This may come off as brazen to others. But we live according to our ani ma’amin in the politically egalitarian space the country created. If we seem to be less obedient, that is mostly because we are so very different. Communication breaks down in the face of fear and hatred of us.
We cannot stop weddings altogether – our young people do not touch before marriage – so we marry in capsules. We cannot skip the mikveh (ritual bath) for women – it is a sacred mitzvah and the center of the home. We cannot stop our children from learning – it is the purpose of childhood – so we teach outside in parks.
“Haredi disobedience” is a misnomer created by misinformation. We are by nature obedient and trusting of authority. But we will never actively go against Torah rulings.
If we were “disobedient,” how did Bnei Brak turn from the hottest red in the country to green?  
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