The Price of Disunity

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10 Responses

  1. Moshe P. Mann says:

    As someone who used to be an Agudah’nik but is no longer, I fully understand Jonathan Rosenblum’s concerns, and I dare to suggest a maverick solution: Adopt the Dati Leumi religious model of separation between religion and politics!

    You see, not all Dati Leumi Jews vote for the Mafdal, and many even despise it. There are Dati Leumi MKs in Labor, Likud, Kadima, and Israel Beiteinu, and yet none of this constitutes a “crisis” for the religious Zionist community, because the RZ camp knew from the start that gedolim do not force their views on politics! They may positively INFLUENCE political action, as does HRH”G Mordechai Eliyahu shli”ta (may he have a speedy refuah shleima), but not ENFORCE it.

    The RZ camp was never bothered by this sort of disunity because they never bantered about the “daas torah” that pretends it doesn’t exist! Unfortunately for Agudah voters, this insistence on homogenous daas torah stems from the same tendency by Artscroll authors to paint the gedolim of the past as having virtually the same hashkafos regarding contemporary issues, and (without opening THAT can of worms) are visibly crestfallen when the homogenaiety proves false.

    So my advice to Agudah fans is that perhaps it is time to accept the fact that Orthodox Jews can and will disagree, especially in the realm of politics. And don’t just be a chickenhawk cheering for the American forces spreading democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Spread it among yourselves, too.

  2. tzippi says:

    This was so painful to read. I have avoided reading anything about the Israeli elections, no matter how sanitized, and presumably lashon hara-free the news source, as I figured that there was nothing I could do about this terrible situation.

    And there I was davening this morning, “Hashem, we’ve proven how we can completely feel and unite for all Jews everywhere, through Merkaz HaRav, Mumbai, and huge prayer gatherings for the current situation in Israel such as the one I attended last night. Please bring galus to an end and give us the chance to prove how happy we can all be for and with each together.” I guess we’re not there yet.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    That is the well-known problem. Jonathan, what steps do you recommend now to try to solve it?

  4. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    It should be pointed out that the Jerusalem municipal coalition is now wall-to-wall with, I believe, 30 council members out of 31 aboard. Mayor Nir Barkat may have a considerable merit in achieving this accomplishment. Time will tell as to the long-term success of the arrangement and how much, if any, substance there is to it.

  5. confused says:

    “We totally lack a professional staff to help provide the gedolei Torah with the best possible information prior to their decision-making and with the ability to execute their directives”

    Where would this professional staff have emerged from? Weren’t they advised by the gedolei Torah, before they could become professionals, to remain in the Beis Medrash?

  6. LOberstein says:

    “Adopt the Dati Leumi religious model “. In case you haven’t noticed, the Mizrachi has ceased to be a force in Israeli politics. It has merged and gone out of business. That is a bigger tragedy than intra-mural squabbling in the Agudah. The disunity in the Religious Zionist camp has led to numerous parties, has squandered the opportunity to make religious zionism the model for religion in Israel. If theer is hatred of religion , it is partially the fault of the impotence of the Mizrachi which abandoned its core principles to put a neshama into the state and became obsessed with one thing only. It is a crying shame.

  7. LOberstein says:

    Where would this professional staff have emerged from? Weren’t they advised by the gedolei Torah, before they could become professionals, to remain in the Beis Medrash?

    Comment by confused — January 7, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

    There is much to criticize,but in this one you are confused.
    Many of the finest askanim, people like Rabbi Sherer and Rabbi Neuberger never went to college. Bright people self educate, stupid people get diplomas but remain ignorant. Agudath Israel of America has regional offices around the country, they are doing a great job and college degrees have nothing to do with it.
    That being said, we have to recognize that there is a problem with denigration of the value of learning skills that will help parnassah.Maybe the economic situation will show some of these people why they need a high school education and professional training. Money talks and if there is no money , they will appreciate having a skill.

  8. dovid says:

    “That is a bigger tragedy than intra-mural squabbling in the Agudah.”

    What are you trying to establish? Who is a bigger fool? Isn’t it a tragedy to be a fool, whethter big or less big? Rabbi Meir Porush was pelted with food by a group that opposed his candidacy, when he arrived at a simcha. Neither party to the fight had college diplomas. Jonathan Rosenblum’s article is about our own backyard that needs some seder and direction. Leave Mizrahi to the NZ crowd to deal with.

  9. Jewish Observer says:

    “In case you haven’t noticed, the Mizrachi has ceased to be a force”

    – In case YOU haven’t noticed, Dati Leumi does not equal Mafdal!!

    Love,

    JO

  10. Chaim Wolfson says:

    “I dare to suggest a maverick solution: Adopt the Dati Leumi religious model of separation between religion and politics!” (Comment by Moshe P. Mann — January 5, 2009 @ 6:29 am).

    How right you are that this is a fundemental difference between the Chareidi and DL approach to politics! It has always been this way. The Chazon Ish commented on this distinction almost 60 years ago in a letter to one of the leaders of Poalei Agus Yisrael. The letter is printed in Shlomo Lorincz’s book “BeMechitzasam” (pg. 59 in the English edition, “In Their Shadows”). “Ayin sham, v’dok”.

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