I left work at about 1 p.m or so today. I got home at about 4:30; about 2 1/2 hrs later than I should have been home.
The increased length of my trip was courtesy of those protesting the arrest of the Charedi parents who refused to return their children to the school of their non-choice. I hoofed it, from Bar Ilan back to the Tachne Merkazit (Central Bus station...go ahead, laugh at my transliteration skills).
Being as I home-school my children I am really can't say I'm against anyone else educating their child in the manner they think is best. I am even in favor of a voucher program. Parents get X amount of dollars for their children (based on age and special needs if any) and mom and dad get to decide where the money gets spent--as long as it gets spent on their children's education.
In terms of this argument, who is right, who is wrong? I think it is a bit of everyone being wrong; and I think what is happening is a big Chilul Hashem.
I find it difficult, near impossible to believe that grown people could not have worked this out in a more quiet, dignified manner and loving manner.. Scratch that; I find it SAD, incredibly sad that grown people could not have worked this out in a more quiet, dignified and loving manner.
How is it that we think we can defeat our enemies if we can't even reach across the table to each other and, disagree though we may on a variety of issues, say "you are my friend...."
Beit Hillel and beit Shammai as vigorously and as vociferously as they fought about halachic issues, never-the-less, married their children to each other, exchanged pots and pans, in short, treated each other as family. Which they were.
Which we all are.
We all come from the same tree; Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Misnagdim, Charedim, Modern Orthodox, the non-religious...we are from one family. One People, One Nation, One G-d.
So it is okay to fight. It is not okay to make our "mother" weep. It is okay to think that skirts much reach a certain length or that television is okay. It is not okay to say "my kids can't play with your kids..." It is certainly not okay to demean someone because of their race, ethnic background, or level of frumkeit.
We have a duty to each other EVERY SINGLE DAY. We are suppose to "love our neighbor as ourselves..."
The Moshiach (Messiah) will have a hard enough job as it is, uniting the Jewish people, vanquishing (I believe spiritually) our enemies, rebuilding the Temple and restoring Israel to malchut. Must we really make it harder for him?
Another post on this same topic by a friend.