Gafni: ‘We Chareidim Are Not About to Change Our Way of Life’


moshe-gafni“I don’t know where the entire orchestrated attack on the chareidi public is headed, but we’re not about to change our way of life,” MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni declared before the Knesset plenum during a speech he gave this¬†pastw eek during the debate on a no-confidence motion. The remarks came in response to various assaults journalists and public figures recently launched against the chareidi sector.

“I don’t know which way all this is going to develop,” said Rabbi Gafni, “but I’m concerned about what has been taking place in this country in recent weeks. I think every thinking person, anyone who has a sense of responsibility, should be concerned. I don’t know what we, the chareidim, did during the past three weeks. I’m searching for the answer. I’ve been looking high and low to see if something happened, and I can’t find anything. Nothing happened. The world continues to spin on its axis. I’ve come across 1,001 issues that appear to me to have been orchestrated. Someone is paying for this. I don’t think it’s something else.”

Rabbi Gafni pointed out that the media has been deliberately blowing out of proportion developments among extreme figures who represent a very small percentage of the chareidi public and in no way reflect what takes place among the vast majority of the chareidi public. “Do you want me to start talking? Today an investigation was published about someone who was in a certain school, in Tel Aviv if I’m not mistaken. Do you want me to start talking about this and attribute it to the secular population in general?”

In response to recent comments by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who said that the chareidim do not take part in the job market, Rabbi Gafni said the fact of the matter is that they are not wanted in the job market and are not given work. Their years of study and their grades are not recognized. “No government has seriously sought a way to send them out to work.”

Rabbi Gafni said chareidim who have studied a profession and went out in search of work do not get hired by employers – even if they have a Ph.D. According to a survey on the subject, chareidim are the last to get hired in the job market, below Ethiopians, Arabs and new immigrants from the FSU.

“The chareidi is not hired for the job because he is chareidi. Now, what do you think? Was Gabi Gazit really right? Should we be packed in boxes and shipped to Brooklyn? Is that under consideration? We’re here to stay. And now not a single leader from the political and public establishment has come along and said, `Gentlemen, let’s sit down at the table. Let’s see what should be done, which claims are real, which are lies.’ Do you think we’ll keep mum on this? Are we going to let a Gabi Gazit of this sort or a Ron Huldai of this sort get away with it and not say anything when we know the truth of the matter? Everyone lies when it comes to us. We’re populist, we can be attacked, any lies can be told about us.

“We’re given the opportunity to work? We get hired? If Ahmad Tibi and I come to work at some office, he’ll get hired before me according to the survey. He’ll get hired before Shlomo Mulla, but Mulla gets hired before me. I’m the last on the list. You liars – we’re fed up with you.”

Rabbi Gafni also touched on false accusations of racism in the chareidi education system and forecasts of a chareidi takeover in 30 years. “Today the chareidi is portrayed as a fiend and the mother of all sin in the country, but we’re not going to remain silent.”

MK Rabbi Menachem Eliezer Moses also chimed in during the Knesset plenum, saying that Mayor Huldai crossed a red line when he said the chareidi education system should not be funded. “I think Education Ministry representatives can attest that only in the chareidi system do parents pay for their children’s education,” he added.

{Eliezer Rauchberger-Deiah veDibur/Yair Israel}


  1. Knowing the language of the land, math, science and your country’s history will not change us charedim will just set us on an even kheel with others as we ILLUMINATE the world.

  2. Why does it bother everyone so much what we learn, how we learn, how we dress etc.. It does not seem to bother anyone how the Amish, Arabs, Christian Clerks, Buddhist ect. act, dress and do. There is one answer: when people see a Yid {who acts the way he should} they see the image of G-D. It makes them feel inferior and they need to react.

  3. If you acted the proper way, that would be the “image of G-d”. Dressing in Eastern European garb is an external superficiality that has nothing to do with kedusha. Lacking skills necessary to support your family and contribute to society, while at the same time looking down and disparaging those who support your lifestyle and protect you from enemies is not kedusha. No one feels inferior to you, stop deluding yourself. Better to engage in some introspection and see how you can improve yourslef, rather than always bleming others.