Monday, March 3, 2014

between wisdom and sweat

Ultra-Orthodox protesters fill Jerusalem streets Sunday.
In Israel, a country that fairly bristles with self-righteous assertiveness, hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews turned out in Jerusalem yesterday to protest a piece of legislation that would end the exemption of their membership from military service. "A draft bill sets quotas for ultra-Orthodox men to join military or civilian public service."
Exemptions from military conscription were given to the ultra-Orthodox when Israel was created in 1948. At that time there were only 400 yeshiva students.
Now owing to their high birth rate, the ultra-Orthodox account for about 10% of the country's population of about eight million people.
They are a relatively poor social group. Most ultra-Orthodox men are unemployed because of their religious studies and rely on donations, state benefits and their wives' wages to live.
The high-minded luxury of religious principle and learning -- the 'immutable bedrock' -- shapeshifts into a less enthralling wisdom.

It's much the same for individuals, I imagine. 'Immutable and eternal' values have a way of snickering.

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