Either they start to study and we return to the modern ethos or we continue on our swift path towards the sunset. ”
Hartman says the haredi community fears such a scenario just as much as the secular and national-religious public. “Historically, the haredi community has survived only as a minority. There was never a situation whereby the ultra-Orthodox were a majority outside the ghetto. They need a secular majority to be ultra-Orthodox; they need very clear borders with the outside world, because when these borders do not exist, things such as assimilation occur,” he says.
“You can remain detached from modernism only when you are part of the minority. They (haredim) are prepared to become the majority (when the messiah comes), but we’re not there yet, and they are scared to death of the possibility that their community will be connected to Israel’s public affairs.”