In the last two decades the National-Haredi (ultra-orthodox) community has become a central part of the religious public in Israel. This research shows how the national-haredi community recently identifies with extreme right wing political trends and is often reviewed in the general media. Despite that, it has neither been clearly defined nor has it justified an in-depth examination of its cultural, social and spiritual characteristics.
This research is a first attempt of its kind to define the characteristics of this group, highlight significant milestones in its development and the way in which it influenced the religious public and its relationship with the Israeli public at large. It analyzes the transformations witnessed by the religious public which gave rise to this phenomenon, as well as endeavors to predict its future course.
This study pursues the roots of conflict in Haredi society against instituting general studies in Haredi High School Yeshivas. Whereas a silent consent exists for colleges and vocational frameworks which provide such education, the few Yeshivas promoting them are faced with an all-out war. These Yeshivas were established in recent decades to address the growing demand for training ultra-orthodox married men to earn a living, by integrating general education in their religious curriculum. The conflict is associated with ideological justifications, which present the introduction of such studies at this stage in life as prohibited from the very outset. Haredi leadership prefers to present this breach as a new phenomenon, born in Israel, and condemned. Dr. Lupu's study adds historic perspective to the conflict showing that it has plagued Haredi society since its "golden era" of Eastern European Yeshivas even prior to the inception of the State of Israel, and that integrating general studies in the religious curriculum was endorsed by some of the Torah sages in Haredi society.