Every year a few dozen parents, no more, decide to yank their children from the juddering state education system and educate their kids themselves [in Israel]. The Education Ministry abhors home schooling, however, and requires the parents who really insist to submit the planned study program, to make sure that the child receives basic living skills. If the ministry doesn't like the parents' proposed curriculum, it simply won't provide the hoped-for home-schooling permit, even though the parents aren't asking the state for a budget.

The Education Ministry's concern for the quality of education given to our children, including children not educated on its dime, as it were, is praiseworthy. Until, at least, we realize that the very same Education Ministry isn't applying the same rule that governs a few dozen home-schooled children to a vast population of 145,000 children in the ultra-Orthodox school system.

De facto, the ministry is simply abdicating responsibility for the quality of education that those children receive. Deliberately, it does not supervise the quality of teaching in ultra-Orthodox schools and it is now suggesting at the High Court of Justice that the ultra-Orthodox schools for boys be exempted from all standards.

The Education Ministry is officially proposing to allow teenage ultra-Orthodox boys who are receiving their high-school education at small yeshivas, to devote their entire time to religious studies.

Not one single hour would be devoted to regular studies such as English, any of the sciences, computers, mathematics, history, Zionism or democratic values, and these boys constitute 15% of all schoolchildren in Israel, and counting.


From: "Hard look / Handing the Haredim a noose," by Meirav Arlosoroff. Haaretz April 10, 2008.

The article goes on to worry about discrimination, since only the Orthodox would be allowed the exemption. It also worries that the Orthodox schools are tax-funded. It also worries that without other subjects, the Orthodox children wouldn't grow up to be employable by the capitalists.

I don't agree with Jewish Orthodoxy, of course, or I'd convert to it. Most of them hate Jesus more than does any other group. They stand against Jesus's message and exemplary life. Jesus exposed their spiritual ancestors as hypocrites. Frankly, he exposed everyone's ancestors as hypocrites. He exposes each of us to ourselves for our own individual hypocrisy. Why be offended rather than glad for the correction — the good lesson? An earnest "thank you for the proper instruction and sound advice" is just part of a righteous reaction.

That said, who granted the Israeli state the authority to coerce the orthodox parents to educate their children in secular ways? Who made that state infallible enough not to err in such matters? Who's to say that educating people with their future employment under capitalists in mind is the best policy? In truth, it is not. That's not to say that the Orthodox instruction is right or better. It is to say that the proper path is to simply discuss matters with the Orthodox and if they see some light, good. If they don't, then so be it.

State-advocates (false state) imagine they are looking to protect children and future society in general. What is truly best for the children is not the system that has been forced into existence by militarists. Coercion engenders more of itself. The coercive can and do shift on a dime — a whim. The only true state (real and error free) is the one that is entirely non-coercive. Heaven is not forced upon anyone. Only those who freely volunteer enter. Hell is coercive.

Teach the children correctly. Then they will look out for each other's best interest in total peace, which is their best interest.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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