Deri Praises Chareidim Getting Academic Degrees and Learning Trades, Denounces Shabbos Protestors


deriSecular Judaism “brought us Haskalah and maybe ‘Big Brother,’ but Jewish culture that provides a new Jewish language – this it did not bring,” former Shas leader Aryeh Deri said on Tuesday at the annual Herzliya Conference.

Deri, who has been waiting for a long time to reenter politics,was speaking on a panel on education along with former education minister and Labor MK Prof. Yuli Tamir, and Maj. Gen. (res.) Elazar Stern, former head of the Israel Defense Forces human resources branch and the Education Corps.

Stern, who is frum, said the national Jewish camp’s identification of Judaism with the Greater Land of Israel is “the tragedy of the state and the tragedy of religious Zionism.”

Tamir – not surprisingly – criticized chareidi educational institutions, which she said were insular and “built on the desire to create distance from others.” As opposed to many of her friends, she said, she is not worried about the level of involvement of the chareidi in the daily life of the country, but rather is worried that “this is a group whose Judaism is defined inwardly. It does not share with us the discussion of what Jewish education is.”

“Forget about religion,” Deri told Tamir, in response to her comment that “the argument is over whether one says to children ‘those who don’t keep the Sabbat won’t get to heaven.'”

“We have a way of life and a culture from the time a child is born until 120 years of age,” Deri said, “which gives content, gives life, gives us a common language. All that has disappeared. What is the fear of teaching these things? I’m not going to get into the Sabbataccording to Jewish law or not according to Jewish law… Until 200 years ago, it was only religion that was the culture. Then, 200 years ago, they decided to establish some new secular Judaism. Unfortunately, this did not bring us another culture, with all due respect.”

“We need there to be an educational system here where graduates will say ‘I am proud to be Jewish,'” Stern said.

Deri offered praise for the large number of chareidi Jews getting academic degrees and learning trades. “It’s not a revolution that [will happen overnight],” Deri said, but “in a few years they will say that the chareidim have also taken over higher education.”

Deri denounced the chareidi protesters in Yerushalayim last year who he said “slander us all.” The former Shas leader said he was against the demonstrations, “and you should know that most of our community is against them.”

{With Haaretz/Yair Israel}


  1. Tamir – not surprisingly – criticized chareidi educational institutions, which she said were insular and “built on the desire to create distance from others.”

    Instead of ignoring her question, Deri should have acknowledged that the Chareidi community does distance themselves from the secular community. He lost an opportunity to reach out to her and to other secular Jews who feel the same away.

  2. GO DERI GO!!! Great guy with terrific global ideas except for being a pacifist when it comes to Arabs, nu, nu… Many Sefradim who were raised in Arab countries still have this irrealistic viewpoint of the friendly-next door neighbor, sharing sugar, Arab family. It just ain’t so..