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5 Responses

  1. zalman says:

    Assuming that those who are more concerned with outreach constitute the silent majority of the haredi community, why are they silent?

  2. HESHY BULMAN says:

    There is a very simple explanation for the “silence” of the silent majority who genuinely care about their fellow Jews. While many in the frum world are quite knowledgeable about Hashkafah they know that they do not have the tools to overcome either the skepticism or, quite often, the sheer animosity encountered in initial contacts with the secular Jew. As well, in an often hostile world, insularity is a natural reaction. Let us not make light of the courage and conviction it takes for the frum individual to engage in Kiruv work.

  3. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    Zalman, I don’t think they are silent at all. I think that the secular media purposely don’t tell you things which will spoil the stereotypes. This is true about their portrayal of national-relgious-settler types as well. You didn’t hear about the cooperation between the Arabs and Jews in Hevron against the international agitators whose immodesty as well as agitation upset both groups. You didn’t hear about when Hevron Arabs asked Rav Levinger to adjudicate their internal disputes, being a fair and unbiased outsider. I just read Friday’s Hamodia in English and found that their discussion of the difficulties of high-ranking police commander Uri Bar-Lev didn’t even mention his part in the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif three years ago or the issue of police brutality. They also like to feature pictures of President Shimon Peres in kosher-looking poses. You have to look at different media and correct for their bias. They would all take you for a ride if they could.

  4. Baruch Pelta says:

    On the one hand, there are those whose entire focus is on protecting the “purity of the camp” and erecting as many barriers to the outside world as possible. Then there are those whose primary concern is with sharing their own joy in Torah life and study with the broader Jewish society.
    Sounds to me like the latter group is bringing those that they are mekarve into a world of “those whose entire focus is on protecting the ‘purity of the camp’ and erecting as many barriers to the outside world as possible.”

    I think to some extent a good degree of the latter represents a group which is more philosophically or polemically inclined and cannot stay in the bubble which is the chareidi world. So they draw others into it instead. Whether their hashkafas change depends on how open-minded they are. But after all those years in yeshiva of having Orthodoxy defined for them as Daas Torah, stringent observance, and the primacy of Talmud in Torah study, one doubts that the majority will make any shifts of major proportion.

  5. Chaim Wolfson says:

    “Assuming that those who are more concerned with outreach constitute the silent majority of the haredi community, why are they silent?” (Comment by zalman — September 7, 2008 @ 5:42 pm).

    Perhaps it’s because they are “doers”, not “talkers”.

    “Sounds to me like the latter group is bringing those that they are mekarve into a world of `those whose entire focus is on protecting the ‘purity of the camp’ and erecting as many barriers to the outside world as possible’.” “Comment by Baruch Pelta — September 9, 2008 @ 9:30 pm).

    Sounds to me like you’re saying that to take “joy in Torah life and study” one must be be a Chareidi. I think there are many people out there who would find that insinuation very insulting.

    “I think to some extent a good degree of the latter represents a group which is more philosophically or polemically inclined and cannot stay in the bubble which is the chareidi world. So they draw others into it instead.”

    What makes you think so? Do you know these people well? Were you even aware of their existence before you read Jonathan’s post?

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