Just look at these comments;
*Chasidim are notorious welfare cheats.
*The hasidic version is horse crap and excuse making.
*Haisdut is a historical error like Kariasm
*I just realized that the Rebbe seems to prefer gay men to serve him than women
*The big tzadik has spent his whole life immersed in Torah and he can't stop thinking about girls?
*And why is Ger a worthy charity anyway? So the Rebbe can have a Rolls Royce?
*Hasidic Rabbis wouldnt have lasted ten seconds in the time of Moshe, or Dovid, or the Tannaim.
Comments which bash Gedolim, Charedim and Chassidim.
No one says a word.
What is it about us that makes us take such joy in attacking others? And how is it that the worst of this hateful bigotry seems to frequently come from the same people would (rightfully) take umbrage at any comment insulting a minority or another sect of Judaism?
And I'm not saying that I like Chai Rotel, or the internet bans, or anything else of that kind. But I have to wonder why we feel the need to attack it. You don't see us jumping up every time the Reform movement makes a decision that we feel is wrong, or leaping on every rumor of corruption in, say, the Catholic Church.
And even worse is the feeling of self-satisfied self-righteousness that you can hear radiating out of people's comments, that sense of glee at exposing other people's failings and simultaneously confirming their own superiority. "We," scream the comments, "We are not like them. We are clever and moral and tolerant, not like those retrograde morons." I exaggerate for effect. But only slightly.
This is one reason that I'm grateful to my high school education. By being placed in an environment full of people more right-wing than myself, I was forced to defend my positions to myself intellectually, but equally much forced to love those with whom I disagreed. I saw that my teachers were good, devout, often intelligent people. I saw that my classmates were fun, spiritual, curious, and earnest.
I learned that they aren't evil and they aren't idiots. Which means that no issue that you're arguing is as simple and one-sided as you like to pat yourselves on your backs and pretend. And even if you don't like the points on the other side, do yourself the intellectual courtesty of acknowledging them.
But more basically, sometimes I have to wonder what it is that motivates this sort of vitriol. Is there some basic human trait that makes us want to have somebody to hate? Is it a sense of insecurity in the correctness of our own positions? Is it just simple ego massaging? Is it an attempt to disassociate ourselves with positions we find abhorrent to avoid any guilt by association, which implies that we feel a sort of responsibility for any craziness that other Jews may come up with?
And, for that matter, why is this kind of hatred more accepted than other forms of bigotry? Do we feel that religiosity is in some way a threat to us? Do we suppose ourselves merely to be reflecting hatred that others have for us? Do we feel as if we have some sort of proprietary right to any group that claims the title of Orthodox, so that its decisions theoretically reflect us and must be warded off?
And sometimes I wonder, are the Charedim our "Jews"? Our offensively overly-religious, crazy outsiders? Our scapegoat, our stranger, our "other", our danger? Our tolerated fringe minority? Is this what anti-Semitism feels like from the inside?
I can't say that I know the answer to any of these questions. But I know that it makes me sick at heart. Because there's no more excuse for this kind of hating than for any other version. I would advise us to try to apply the maxim "live and let live" to those who are further right than us, as we do to those on our left. For both, I would advocate vigorous intellectual discourse among ourselves to figure out whether or not we, personally, agree or disagree with a position. But there's a world of difference between that and self-satisfied insults to a community that dares to endorse views with which we disagree.