What a way to smear an entire segment of the American people, rabbi. Simply by virtue of going to church or synagogue once a week, tens of millions of other Americans are better people than I or any other atheist American?
But if you want to talk about parasites on a society, Rabbi Lapin would perhaps do better to focus on a growing segment of the population of Israel, Ultra-Orthodox Jews.
This article from The Jewish Daily Forward gives a good summary of the demographic dilemma faced by Israel.
Under a rule enacted at the time of Israel’s founding, draft-age men are excused from serving if they are engaged in full-time Torah study at a recognized academy through age 40. The rule has the dual effect of removing yeshiva students from both the military and the work force. The more Haredim, experience shows, the fewer potential soldiers, and the fewer taxpayers.
When the exemption was first approved in 1948, it involved barely 400 men. Four decades later, in 1992, the Torah-study exemption was granted to 5% of that year’s conscription-age cohort of 18-year-olds. This year, 2007, the proportion reached 11%. In 2019, the exempted yeshiva students are projected to top 23% of the cohort, which is the proportion of Haredi students among this year’s first graders — the most straightforward predictor.
Nonreligious exemptions have declined in recent years, but Torah exemptions have soared. The main reason is fertility: The Haredi community averages 7.6 children per woman, roughly triple the rate for the population as a whole, according to the Israel government’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
But even peace will not solve the problem of Haredi men removed from the work force by their prolonged yeshiva studies. At present, just 30% of Haredi men participate in the work force. Almost half the Haredi population lives below the official poverty line. As the Haredi share of the population grows, pressure will mount on the tax rolls, the welfare system and inter-communal tolerance and civility.
A prime example of this lack of tolerance and civility happened this past June as per this article from the BBC:
Police said 120,000 Ashkenazi Jews rallied in Jerusalem and near Tel Aviv.
They turned out to support parents who refused to let their girls share classrooms with Jewish pupils of Sephardic or Middle Eastern descent.
The Ashkenazi parents, who are of European descent, want segregated classrooms because they say Sephardi families are not religious enough.
"There is a set of rules [in the ultra-Orthodox community]. We don't want televisions in the home, there are rules of modesty, we are against the internet," Mr Litzman was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.
"I don't want my daughter to be educated with a girl who has a TV at home."
Ultra-Orthodox Judaism is a mental disorder.