Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Is Israel becoming Orthodox?

Seculars not going anywhere

Yair Lapid responds to study claiming that Israel's secular sector is on the decline
Kobi Nahshoni
Published:  12.05.07, 17:29 / Israel Opinion
About a week after Ynet reported about a study by the Israel Democracy Institute claiming that the secular sector in Israel has been declining over time, Yair Lapid responds to the findings in an article to be published this Saturday in the "Olam Katan" (small world) weekly.

"The figures regarding the change in the ratio of seculars in the country are simply false," Lapid says. "The study did not ask people how they define themselves, which is the main question in my view, but rather, it asked about their way of life. If they would ask me, for example, whether I go to synagogue on occasion, I would say I do. Yet nobody would ask if I go to a Reform or Orthodox synagogue, or whether I go because I want my kids to see Jewish tradition and feel the atmosphere. So saying that I'm a religious Jew based on this is unthinkable!"

"The real figure we should be addressing is the one by the Central Bureau of Statistics, and this figure has not changed for many years – 45 percent of Israel's population defines itself as secular, 35 percent as traditional, eight percent as ultra-Orthodox, and nine percent as religious. The only place where we sometimes see a shift in the numbers is between the religious and ultra-Orthodox. The Israel Democracy Institute is not suspected of attempting to deliberately manipulate data, certainly not of this kind, but in my view they asked the wrong questions research-wise. I don't think it is right to analyze modes of conduct and define belonging based on that. Therefore, I think the religious public's delight is premature. "

Lapid says that a change that did take place in the State of Israel in recent decades is that many more seculars feel they lost Judaism to the religious and have decided they wish to take interest in Judaism and deal with it in their own way.
 "In my view this is a positive thing," Lapid says, and adds: "Judaism is a great and noble thing, and to say 'we'll leave it to the Orthodox and religious without taking any interest' is irresponsible. For years Judaism has been a sort of product put on the religious shelf, and on holidays we would take it off the shelf and let seculars play with it for a bit. Now, Judaism is going back to being something that more closely touches everyone."

'Truly positive trend'

Lapid says his family visited religious friends on Friday evening two weeks ago "so that the kids see a Shabbat as it should be," but emphasizes that even though he did something that has to do with tradition, this doesn't turn him into something he is not, as he put it.
 Lapid adds: "My children receive education that greatly emphasizes the fact they are part of a human group that has tradition, collective memory, and a state. I am a great believer in the need for Israel to be a Jewish state. I certainly believe my children will pass that on to their children."
"By the way, this openness goes both ways," Lapid adds. "When I see today the great movement of ultra-Orthodox women to job placements at high-tech companies and secular companies, for me this means recognition on the part of Orthodox society that seculars are not about to disappear. I think that on both sides, the two parts of the nation are finally starting to know each other, and this, more than anything, is a truly positive trend."

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israël in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory