If you follow the Jewish or Israeli news or read Jewish blogs, you've probably heard about the woman in Jerusalem who was beaten for refusing to sit at the back of a public bus. Stories like this make me wonder why I get upset over things like what rabbis eat when we have such serious problems. But then, they also make me question the reality of that "we."
I was raised with the concept of klal yisrael, corporate Israel, the greater Jewish people for whom I am supposed to have unconditional love. And I do feel a sort of kinship with other Jews most of the time, no matter how much I may disagree with them. But practically everything I see or hear having to do with the charedi community in Israel leads me to wonder whether I share anything significant with them at all, other than being human.
Yes, I know, they're like family. I'm supposed to love them no matter what they do. But no one in my family has beaten a woman for sitting on the back of a bus, so it's hard to know how to react.
I might feel differently if I learned that charedi rabbis were denouncing these men's actions without in the process somehow suggesting that the woman got what she deserved. So far, though, it seems like they're too busy building up legions of modesty police to make sure that little girls cover their ankles.
If you have any information that contradicts this impression, please let me know. It would be a kiddush hashem.
* Not my line.