By Rabbi Lamech Somayach Meshumad Meshubach
Special to MeshumadMeshubach.blogspot.com
In light of removing the kollel exemption from the Israeli army draft, new signs have been posted at the entrance to the gated community in front of the Jersualem neighborhood of Meah Shaarim and their anti-work statements have been causing quite a stir.
The neighborhood was already famous for signs requesting that women wear a restrictive dress code and asking that no tourist groups come through, now they have signs in German declaring studying Torah makes a person observant while work makes people leave religion.
In a large metal letters on an arch across all entrances to the gated city are the German words, “Arbeit macht frei, Kollel mact frum.” The first half of that phrase was famously posted over the entrance to Nazi Labor internment camps during the 1930's and 1940's to make the gay, Gypsy, Jewish, and Communist people inside work even harder. However, residents of Meah Shaarim say they saw they have reclaimed and revitalized the phrase.
“I have never worked a day in my life and I don’t want my children to either. The only thing is the study of Torah,” said Rabbi Alter Klein of Meah Shaarim. “Working at a job is a sign of secularism and leads people off the path of study,” he said. "Besides, Moshiach is coming, and then all true Jews will be studying Torah while the goyim and fake Jews wait on us hand and foot. I know so because my Kiruv teacher taught me."
Many of the so called "normal" residents of Jerusalem think this is yet another sign that the frummies have lost their minds, with the frum sheep merely echoing another crazy drasha designed to keep them obeying and financially supporting the rabbis of Meah Shaarim.
“I worked year in and year out to grow this beard, and studied a lot also. Now I have my followers trained to think like children. I have been running out of innovations, and this should keep them so busy they never realize I’ve embarrassed them again,” Rabbi Klein said. "Also, My father, alav haShalom, worked hard to generate a trust fund so I don't have to work. This is the only respectable way to be Jewish."
“The people of that neighborhood have long been an eyesore in the area. This is no different,” said Mark Goldberg, who settled in the area because of his Jewish roots, but feels no compunction to keep up with the frummies. “All four of my grandparents died in the gas chambers during the Holocaust, and I find this latest move offensive, but that is also nothing new.”