Friday’s Yediot Acharonot carried an extraordinarily positive article about the Charedi community’s reaction to the current situation in Israel. For those unable to read the Hebrew, here are the first three paragraphs in translation:
Someone passing by the central synagogue of Meah Shearim this week would have had to rub his eyes. In this Yerushalmi neighborhood, considered a citadel of the Eidah HaCharedit, hundreds of neighborhood residents were saying chapters of Tehillim [Psalms] for 72 hours straight “on behalf of the People of Israel.” In the North, members of Charedi organizations volunteer in medical services and giving out essential food and goods. Members of Charedi congregations may not be fighting visibly, but they are also Charedim [Trembling] about the fate of the People of Israel and their country.
It is accepted to think that the Charedi population lives in a “bubble,” closed and enclosed, and is uninterested in things not directly relevant to it. It has become clear, however, that members of congregations in Bnei Braq and Meah Shearim tremble [Charedim] also for the fate of the People of Israel and their country, and not only for the Word of G-d. In the past weeks, from the beginning of the war in the North, the Charedim have organized special prayers for the well-being of the kidnapped soldiers, the soldiers of Tzaha”l, and the citizens of the northern communities.
“50 years ago already, the Charedim said ‘you fight, and we’ll pray,'” said a worker in the Prime Minister’s office this week, who also was a close aide of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. “Now it is true that we always come to them with complaints about this, but on the other hand, they truly stand up in time of danger. They don’t slack from their obligation that they took upon themselves. The Charedim pray because they truly believe that this is what helps, and perhaps it is necessary that someone do this.”