Here in Israel, communities tend to segregate themselves voluntarily. Chareidim like to live with fellow Chareidim, Secular Jews live with other Secular Jews, and Religious Zionists build communities with like-minded RZ's. We don't mix very much. We tell ourselves that we do this for our children. After all, what could be bad about living in a community that meticulously adheres to the Shabbat? Why not choose to live in a place without the enticements of the outside world? What's wrong with insularity?
And yet - the facts don't seem to justify our choices. Speaking anecdotally, it's well-known here in Israel that many of the most religious yishuvim struggle with children who question and abandon their religiosity. So is our desire for uniformity and insularity necessarily a good thing? Or are we somehow doing more harm than good?
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