Religion Magazine

The Mechina Opens in Bet Shemesh - is It a Victory Or a Defeat?

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Today Bet Shemesh inaugurated the IDF Prep School, the Mechina Kdam tzvait, that was slated to be opened and allocated a location a few months back. The opening happened despite the protests of the nearby Haredi community that was hoping to get the land for a school for their needs.
Interestingly, one Haredi News source considered it a victory, while a second Haredi news source considered it a loss. One considered it a victory saying that because of the Haredi protests the Mechina opened but in a different location (it does not say if the original plot was allocated to the Haredi community or not - but the fact that the Mechina itself was moved is a victory). The second source considers it a loss because the Mechina opened, despite Haredi protests.
To the Haredi community, life is black or white. Things are either a victory or a defeat. A success or a failure. Someone who says something regarding the haredim either loves Haredim or hates Haredim. There is no middle ground. There is no gray. Nothing in between.
In my opinion, life is complex, people are complex, society is complex. Things can be good, anywhere along the spectrum, without being perfect, and they can be bad without being horrible. Things can be a little better or a lot better, a little worse or a lot worse. Just because something was not resolved exactly the way you want does not mean it is a loss or a terrible thing. Not everything needs to be a victory or a loss. It is society trying to find way to work together with different priorities, sometimes even conflicting priorities, and sometimes compromise works and each side benefits a little and each side gives up a little.
In a case like this, if let's say the news report is accurate that an alternate location is the site of the Mechina, the city opened the Mechina, so the people who support that can be happy, and it was moved to a location that would not bother, or bother less, the Haredi "Bar Ilan" community. It does not have to be a victory or a defeat for either side, but a way to work together even if things are not exactly the way either side would have preferred it.
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