Ask the ever-so-gentle-and-thoughtful Haredi critics why they criticize Rabbis. Do they dispute the idea of leadership in Klal Yisroel? They’ll respond, ears red with righteous indignation, “Of course not! It’s today’s Rabbonin that we have a problem with”. “You know, the ones who think Judaism is all about prohibitions and bans”. “There’s a “negative attitude” prevalent in Rabbanic circles today, which is contrary to the Derachea Darkei Noam we saw in previous generations”, etc. etc.. In fact, they may say something like this:
Even worse than these are the teachers and rabbis, who know nothing of governance or circumspect judgment, or how to lighten the burden of the masses. All of their efforts are devoted to multiplying customs and prohibitions, and stringencies upon stringencies, which have no source in the Torah or tradition. Instead, these customs come from foreign sources, or the practices of old women, or foolish men . . . If I would enumerate them all, there’s be no respite.
As for the Haredi community in general, the following is a good sample of their thinking:
Another illness which has spread among all the people is to rush to marry their boys and girls, even babies, and by multiplying the size of their families, they invite problems, physical illness, and oppressions, and they shorten their life spans. Before a boy knows how to earn a dime, he finds he has ten mouths to feed. All his days are nothing but problems, and pressures which never cease constricting him – and in his middle age he lives to see the same problems also in his own sons and daughters!
Want to know when this was written? In 1846 by the oiber chacham of his time, Adam HaKohen.
Folks, there is nothing new under the sun. The critics of Haredim today are the ideological descendents of the critics of yesteryear. They predict our demise today with the same certainty and conviction they did then, and for the same reasons. While, now as then, Haredim have much to improve on, reports of our demise have been and will always be, premature Be”h. Haredism is strong and getting stronger, contrary to what you may read online and hear from people who wish it were otherwise, B”H.