Some charedim don't even like themselves.
There are flaws within the charedi community; I live in it and I know.
But it's important to look at WHY many people dislike the charedi community.
Yes, those people like to focus on this flaw or that flaw (as if their own community doesn't have the exact same problem or worse). It grants them extra legitimacy when the flaw is actually real.
But what is the underlying motivation for focusing on that flaw, whether real or imagined?
The motivation does not flow from ahavat Yisrael.
It does not flow from a desire to see halacha upheld correctly. This gets particularly blurry when the critics (like several writers & editors in the non-charedi Jewish English-speaking media) are themselves at least minimally shomer Shabbat and shomer kashrut and seem like they care about Judaism from a religious perspective.
But in reality, the dislike of the entire community as a whole flows from a desire to destroy the charedi community.
They refuse to acknowledge the many obvious benefits charedim have brought into society.
The real reason why people dislike charedim is because the charedi community has proven itself to be both uncompromising and demanding.
And these are actually good qualities (as long as you are uncompromising and demanding about the right things) and I'll show you how these qualities have benefited all frum people (and even non-frum people) in both large and small ways, and also support the values that even non-charedim say they care about.
You No Longer Need to See Photoshopped Females Used to Sell Stuff
This means that the credit card company or the mall marketing department will only send you envelopes of bills and announcements that don't contain any images contrary to halacha.
Why do they do that?
It's not because the company itself cares. They might even be sneering at the people who check the box.
It's because the charedi community has stood its ground about issues of tsniyut, and has protested breaches.
It's also because of the unchecked birthrate, which was not even slowed by the withdrawal of the Child Benefits (which did slow the birthrate in the Muslim sector, BTW).
So with the charedi community having become an important chunk of the consumer market with clear standards, companies have responded with accommodation.
This means that any person who wishes to receive material that does NOT exploit fake female attractiveness to sell credit card points, vacations, and merchandise – you now have that option.
Mehadrin Seating Scenarios
Also, whether we're men or women, some of us are more comfortable NOT being squished up against or bumping into the opposite gender.
And finally (and this is admittedly a very discriminatory benefit), if you're the mother of boys, you get some time for yourself while your children go with your husband, leaving you free to daven, nap, chat with another passenger, cuddle and/or nurse the baby if you have one, or just enjoy the scenery flashing by.
But if you're the mother of girls, then that opportunity goes to your husband. (And maybe he deserves a break too.)
And if you're the mother of both boys and girls, then everyone gets to an equal share of the fun 'n' bustle.
(You can also all sit together as a family somewhere in the middle.)
A Shabbat That's Truly Shalom
It's not the only reason, seeing as there are also non-charedi shomrei Torah & mitzvot who care about these things too.
And it's not in every city or neighborhood, but a big reason why you get to enjoy that at all is because of the charedim.
Ditto with kosher restaurants and the inaccessibility to treif food in many areas.
Spreading Torah & Chessed
As far as I can tell, most of the organizations are under charedi auspices.
However, in recent years, Garin Torani ("Torah Seed," which is dati) has been increasingly & positively impacting different communities with their family groups, kollels, and yeshivahs.
This is very good and my sister-in-law is grateful for the work Garin Torani has done in her community, as she was also personally influenced by them.
But a massive percentage of kiruv and other chessed organizations are under charedi or Chabad auspices.
The Continuing Baby Boom & Its Wonderful Impact
Options for both birth and post-partum recovery are vastly different than they were even 20 years ago.
This is mostly because of the booming charedi birthrate. Charedi women made a beeline for hospitals that offered them better births and better accommodations.
And while many charedi women pushed for unmedicated births, I believe there is even a bigger demand for unmedicated births among dati women, who are also having large families.
Either way, the options improved. Hospitals, though far from perfect, are less likely nowadays to impose their own narrow methods on your birth. You now have more choice, regardless of what you're looking for.
This also affected kashrut standards for yoldot who chose not to give birth in hospitals in which the kashrut was not up to their standards.
This in turn created healthy competition between hospitals.
Of course, dati women also have large families, as do some secular women.
But when I was at Bikur Cholim hospital years ago, nearly every yoledet was charedi, except for a handful of Muslim yoldot.
So if you have access to a Jerusalem birth experience that allows you more flexibility, and the option of rooming-in later (if you want it), plus much nicer accommodations for recovery, and proper kashrut, it's mostly because of the charediot.
And because enabling many births with faster recoveries is so important to charedim, you had chief doctors, like Dr. Yaffe at Bikur Cholim, who made it his goal to keep the Cesarean rate down.
In the secular world, some women opt for a Cesarean as their first choice, figuring that it helps them avoid the discomfort and inconvenience of regular birth, and anyway, they'll only need to do it once or twice.
But doctors recommend only a limited amount of Cesarean births due to the strain on the uterus. Plus, the recovery is generally more difficult.
Charedim women don't want to limit their number of births and their lives are too full to tolerate an unnecessarily difficult recovery.
So this propels those who attend to charedi births to find non-surgical options when possible.
Better Access to Health Needs & Cheaper Kosher Supermarkets
I had never heard of such a thing in America.
With so many medications either contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women, the frequent pregnancies & nursing within the charedi and dati communities produced a demand for healthy alternatives.
The fast-growing charedi community created a demand for more housing, which include the necessary facilities.
Even if you're a secular building contractor who hates charedim, you're probably building for them, which gives you money and creates jobs, plus supply and demand.
And again, because of the charedi needs with regard to large families, you have health clinics set up to provide the best services for gynecology and pediatrics. Health clinics in charedi neighborhoods remain in healthy competition to provide the most desirable doctors and services – these also include various therapies for children and weight-control services.
It's not uncommon to see secular people shopping in the supermarket in a charedi neighborhood because that's the supermarket with the widest selection and cheapest prices.
Why did the owner build a supermarket there? Because of the obvious supply & demand.
You see secular people coming into charedi neighborhoods to utilize the health services and the baby stores.
Again, why? Because the charedim need these facilities, so supply meets demand, and then everyone else benefits too.
Job Creation with Charedim
Doctors, reflexologists, massage therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, teachers, acupuncturists, and much more – charedim want female options for these roles.
This demand creates a wider variety of job choices for women (because they'll find work in that field due to the demand), plus a greater opportunity to find employment.
The whole industry behind the batei hachlamah (mother-baby recovery centers) creates jobs for women (in addition to providing much-needed post-partum recovery for mothers).
Actually, there is also job creation for men too in men-only outlets, or in a traditionally female venue that would also like to serve men.
In the cosmetics industry, for example, it's not uncommon for a charedi female cosmetician to advertise that there is a male laser practitioner available weekly to attract male clients.
Furthermore, because charedim prefer to deal with religious people who understand & respect their standards, this leads to companies actively seeking to hire frum people (not necessarily charedi, but religious).
As just one example: When I needed technicians to come during our Great Internet-Telephone Crash, I was surprised to see 2 guys in kippahs and tzitzit show up. That was the first time this company ever sent frum technicians.
Also, it's the first time they sent 2 guys rather than 1. While I believe one guy was there in training, it did make the yichud issue easier, although I usually prevent yichud by placing the upper bolt between the door frame and the door so it can't close all the way.
It's not the first time I've seen companies do this. And it is the charedi insistence and unwillingness to compromise that leads to this.
Frankly, I think it is a good way to support shomrei Shabbat, regardless of which group they belong to.
Anyway, these all are just a few examples.
The Ability to Unify & Organize
With regard to different "Jewish" politicians and self-proclaimed leaders & upstarts in Eretz Yisrael, regardless of whether the actual government was Turkish, British, or Israeli, charedi Jews maintained a healthy attitude of "Don't spit on my head and then tell me it's raining."
Charedim knew better than to glorify the likes of Ben-Gurion, Moshe Dayan, or Golda Meir. They never needed to re-write history and ignore blatant misdeeds in order to justify the above people and their like.
Charedim never needed to call so many of these people Socialists rather than Communists, just to make themselves feel more comfortable.
I grew up in a secular-traditional pro-Zionist Jewish community. Believe me, these people are glorified. A lot of outright garbage (like the whole kibbutz movement) is romanticized.
Also, because charedim are simultaneously uncompromising & actively protesting (and this varies within the charedi community; not everyone agrees on the best response), charedim are considered a force to deal with.
For example, it's hard to imagine an expulsion of charedim. Of course, the government could decide to uproot an entire charedi community; it's not beyond whatever's left of their integrity.
I'm not saying it couldn't happen.
But the charedi push-back can be very fierce.
There is also power in numbers.
Many charedi Rabbanim or Rebbes have the ability to call in thousands of men at the drop of a hat (or shtreimel, as the case may be).
When my son was learning in Geula, he found himself in the middle of a Chassidic group known to be particularly unified and dedicated to their Rebbe's ideals.
As the Rebbe was escorted through, the Chassidim were makpid not to turn their back on him. When my son turned around to get a better look at the group, a chassid behind him promptly turned him back around to face the Rebbe.
It wasn't done aggressively and my son felt both impressed and amused at the sense of brotherhood this chassid obviously felt for him ("We are one & must honor the Rebbe together, whether he's your Rebbe or not!").
Then there was a car in the way. So the chassidim promptly lifted it up and turned it over to allow the Rebbe to pass. (The Rebbe had his eyes down, so it's not clear whether he was aware of this.) Once, the Rebbe passed, they neatly turned the car back over and returned it to its place.
(My son said that no damage was done to the car.)
Now, whether you think that turning people or cars around l'chvod a Rebbe is appropriate or not, the point is that it's hard to argue with that level of dedication.
(Side note: I once worked for a chassidic couple from that group, and I was overwhelmed by their kindness. They really looked out for me and I was so grateful.)
Who Does Everyone Love to Hate, But Reluctant to Mess with Too Much?
Abortion, same-gender marriage, female military recruitment, and much more faces robust & unrepentant opposition from the charedi community.
You may not like some of the methods certain groups use and I may not like them either, but they work.
In fact, the lashon hara expert I spoke to before writing the series on my son's military service asked me what I thought of the anti-draft demonstrations.
I wasn't expecting the question, so it took me a minute to answer.
I basically said that I don't personally hold by that shitah and I would much prefer that if you can gather so many frum guys together that they should make a prayer rally rather than annoy traffic, but that I understood their motivation because the government is without conscience and is seeking to actively uproot everything good and impossible to reason with.
I just don't like the regular innocent Jewish citizen being inconvenienced for this.
He then told me in no uncertain terms that the demonstrations were halachically forbidden.
And he named a Gadol who said this, but I can't remember the name, although I think it's already well-known anyway.
However, as one son constantly reminds me, the demonstrators are following their own rabbanim, some of whom are pretty big.
Actually, he is friends with one of the main demonstrators, a guy who has gotten beaten up by the police and thrown in detention for a month. (If you ever see a big-boned carrot-top sitting on the front fender of a bus or blocking the light rail, he is apparently a very nice & approachable guy, plus a good learner.)
And as much as you have people pushing for a stronger government and to stand up to this group or that group (people either want the government to maintain an uncompromising stand against the charedim or against the Arabs), the only Jewish group that people both love to hate AND that even the most sociopathic Leftist leader hesitates to mess with too much...the charedim.
(This is partly why you need constant propaganda against charedim. The core haters are too afraid to attack charedim on their own and there's safety in numbers.)
For example, look at the difference between how the powers-that-be treated charedim in places like Yerushalayim and Mazkeret Batya (even though the term "charedi" didn't even exist back in the time of Mazkeret Batya; however these were very frum & uncompromising Jews struggling to keep Shemitah, and therefore treated the same then as charedim would later be treated), the assimilationists attacking them with everything they had because they knew no one would stop them, no one would care, and that the charedim had no way of defending themselves.
In fact, the only reason I think why they didn't make an outright physical attack is because that would make them look bad. But starving the charedim, denying them access to medical care and employment, and other forms of wicked sabotage – these were all sneaky underhanded tricks with obvious repercussions, yet the assimilationists got away with it.
It would be much harder to do that now. The charedi community is much stronger.
And there you have it.
The point is that if charedim would've compromised in the way many people still wish they would, a lot of the above benefits would have been lost.
And the above doesn't even begin to cover the great benefit of Jews keeping Torah & mitzvot in Eretz Yisrael (including learning Torah), which you don't need to be specifically charedi to do, but it is something that charedim do well and people hate them for it.