they were ignored for over 20 years! So why all the fuss now? imo, two things happened. Firstly, in May the courts ruled that they are allowed full access to the kotel wearing anything they want and davening however they please (up till then, they had restrictions although they ignored them) Second and more importantly, since the religious parties were tossed out of the governing coalition, the charedim have been looking for ways to stay relevant and show they have power. Hence all the strum und drang.
right on target regarding the chareidim
Everytime there is a ton of noise about them I think about what Chazal did when they went to discuss Yom Kippur with the Cohen Gadol in times where an irreligious jew might hold office. The Mishna in Yoma clearly states that they went to talk to him, and then turned aside and wept for thinking he might not fulfill the Torah properly. Woe that we live in a time where instead of weeping, we must throw stones and shout.
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