The right. Note the last word in that sentence. Of course the ultraorthodox have long since alienated the political left in Israel; now, Haviv Rettig Gur observes, they’ve lost much of the right. And forget the center.

That leaves… that leaves nothing at all. That leaves the haredim where – in principle – they’ve always wanted to be. More or less where a lot of don’t mess with Texans wanted to be before the lights and the water went out. On their own. Snug as a bug in their own little rug. Dreaming of secession. Stop the world I want to get off.

And if checking out of civilization means that a Jew living in a first world country in the twenty-first century conducts his wretched existence at a seventeenth-century level… if it means that a contemporary, proto-cultic Texan enthusiastically endorses for her entire political leadership degenerates who detest government in any form and respond to state-wide crises by leaving the country…

If it means that, okay. Most people think basic solidarity with your fellow creatures improves life; but if you disagree, go for it. Ride ’em cowboy. Choose cult over culture.

Just don’t expect people to agree with you when you complain to the Knesset that

“It’s not our fault! You, who sent us to live in such crowded conditions, it’s your fault!”

It’s not Israel’s fault that, like all cults, the ultraorthodox cannot change. Cannot improve themselves or conform even a tad to any mainstream or reform any aspect of their practices. Cults become desiccated; they cannot grow – except, of course, in sheer numbers. They cannot thrive. Everyone knows that except cultists.

Over here, it’s not our fault Texans are literally as well as figuratively off the grid. We didn’t elect Ted Cruz. Just like the haredim, you make your bed, you lie in it.

Freedom ain’t free, huh?

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