Reversing the Decay of London Undone

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11 Responses

  1. DF says:

    Nearly all of the ills described by Rabbi Sacks can be tied to the breakdown of the family, and the breakdown of the family can be tied directly to one thing: feminism. The astronomical jump in the divroce rate began at exactly the same time as feminsim, through Title VII, began to use the force of law to obtain its goals. Because of feminism, no one outside of traditional homes is sure of his or her role any more. Young people no longer know how to court in a direction that leads to marriage. Once married, the couple has no idea what their roles are to be. Supposedly little things, like who will prepare dinner and who will be the one to work, create tension and conflict and lead inevitably to divorce. All of this stems from feminisim.

    Unless and until Rabbi Sacks and others began speaking publicly on this most politically-incorrect of subjects, the decline of Western civilization will not be reversed.

  2. Bob Miller says:

    DF, is feminism a cause or a symptom?

  3. cvmay says:

    Excellent article, read it on the Wall Street Journal.

    DF — Do not see the connection to feminism, even though that is a component of the breakdown of families. The ‘Materialistic/Entitlement Generation” puts me first…..and me can’t always function within a family with a spouse and children to care for, support and love.

  4. E. Fink says:

    As I have written elsewhere, I disagree with many of the assumptions in this article.

    How many dozens of mobs and riots have been fueled with Judeo-Christian righteousness? How many value systems not built on Judeo-Christian principles (was Ghandi a rioter? Did he base himself on Judeo-Christian values? Were there riots in Japan after their disasters like we have in the United States of Judeo-Christian Values America? Have you ever heard of a Holy War in the name of Buddhism?) must find success before the idealization of one set of highly politicized values ends?

    The real issues are obscured when this (relatively) new idol of conservativism is invoked to explain social phenomena that cannot be explained away with broad brush strokes that fail to consider the gravity of their assumptions…

  5. Simcha Younger says:

    Feminism advocates single motherhood, easy divorce, automatic custody for the mother + child support, and overall sees the family as an oppressive patriarchal institution.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=feminism+family

    In our community, it is presented as the aguna crises and extortion in exchange for a get. The result is the same – giving the woman freedom from the commitments of marriage and family.
    DF is correct – this is all about feminism, and the religious community has also let feminism in.

  6. Chizki says:

    E. Fink,

    “Have you ever heard of a Holy War in the name of Buddhism?”

    Perhaps not exactly, but Buddhists and Buddhism did play a role in supporting and enabling the highly destructive Japanese militarism of the 1930’s and ’40s. You might want to check out the book “Zen at War” by Brian Daizen Victoria. Below is a quote from its description at Amazon.com:

    “A compelling history of the contradictory, often militaristic, role of Zen Buddhism, this book meticulously documents the close and previously unknown support of a supposedly peaceful religion for Japanese militarism throughout World War II. Drawing on the writings and speeches of leading Zen masters and scholars, Brian Victoria shows that Zen served as a powerful foundation for the fanatical and suicidal spirit displayed by the imperial Japanese military.”

    I’ll note that the book’s author is a Soto Zen Buddhist priest who received his ordination at one of the main Soto Zen temples in Japan (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_at_War).

  7. Chizki says:

    E. Fink,

    “Have you ever heard of a Holy War in the name of Buddhism?”

    Perhaps not exactly, but Buddhists and Buddhism did play a role in supporting and enabling the highly destructive Japanese militarism of the 1930’s and ’40s. You might want to check out the book “Zen at War” by Brian Daizen Victoria. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but here is a quote from the book’s description at Amazon.com:

    “A compelling history of the contradictory, often militaristic, role of Zen Buddhism, this book meticulously documents the close and previously unknown support of a supposedly peaceful religion for Japanese militarism throughout World War II. Drawing on the writings and speeches of leading Zen masters and scholars, Brian Victoria shows that Zen served as a powerful foundation for the fanatical and suicidal spirit displayed by the imperial Japanese military.”

    I’ll note that the book’s author is an ordained Zen Buddhist priest who received his training at one of the main Soto Zen temples in Japan.

  8. Daniel Weltman says:

    >The truth is, it is not their fault.

    I disagree with this point in an otherwise insightful article.

    The first step to these riots is a culture of victim-hood. These unfortunates believe the world has dealt them a bad hand and because of that they have permission to “take back their taxes”, in the famous words of one of the rioters.

    We need to teach responsibility rather than justifying what people do by saying that “it is not their fault”. You are not responsible for the circumstances of your birth. However, no matter what situation you are born into, you can rise above it. If you do not, if you wallow in your underachievement and criminality, then it is, most definitely, your fault.

  9. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    It is and it isn’t their fault. There is in principle free will for every human being who is not developmentally challenged. But as Rav Dessler points out, there are levels of freedom of will. The point at which there is a meaningfull choice is variable. The yeshiva guy bein hazmanim is challenged about getting to minyan and keeping up some learning. The guy knocking off the candy store is debating internally whether he should knock off the old man behind the counter so he won’t testify. That is a pretty low level of free will, and these dudes don’t seem to have even that. Perhaps they won’t be too harshly judged in the Heavenly Court, but it’s still a catastrophe on the sociopolitical level in this world. Those of us who care should get cracking at working on a solution that works.

  10. Allan Katz says:

    I prefer to focus less on religion but more on the quotes from Putnam – the breakdown of community , the sense of belonging to a caring society and going alone. Even in our schools it is hard to promote good midos when schools rank kids, use competiton to get kids to learn – yet the real message they learn is the success of others is the obstacle to my success, if I am ‘mitztayein’ , I am worth something. We need structures that promote cooperation and caring, not winning and losing. Religions promote community and conflict. It is we against them, good guys vs the bad guys. We have the same thing – the askenazi chareidi community , sefardi community, religious zionistic community finding it difficult to go beyond labels , them and us and focus on ahavas yisrael.
    caring community yes , religion maybe

    I think the Jewish community stands out by keeping their dignity and high moral values even in times of persecution

  11. Shea says:

    As usually the Lord Chief Rabbi has come up with a very strong analysis. There is often an undue focus on agency of the individual in social problems with out efforts to understand structural issues in society which frame and influence individual agency.

    Regarding the above comments on feminism, respectfully they are nonsense. A far bigger in pact on the inner city communities, from the UK to North America, has been the decline of manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs and other jobs like them gave a salary that a man could support a family on with out a college degree. In the UK and US since the 1970’s we have seen a major decline in those kinds of jobs and we have inadequately reeducated people to learn skills in new industries.

    The above has also lead to major issues in our own communities, for example Williamsburg and Boro Park have been hit very hard over the last 30 years with the decline of industries that you do not need a degree to go into such as garments, diamonds and factory jobs. Neighborhoods like the Upper west side and Flatbush have also been hit by the most recent down turn of the economy, but on average have fared better than the above mentioned specifically because their skill sets and education make them more employable.

    We are lucky as Torah Yidden to have 1) the cultural & ideological structure that creates a strong community that supports mutual aid 2)Resources (read well off individuals) who look at it as their obligation to support our mosdos and poor. Not all poor communities are as ideological cohesive or have as many resources.

    The unfortunate lack of education(read hishtadulus) in many of our communities has lead to dependence on welfare programs as a way of life and is leading to unfortunately many of the same problems found in other urban poor communities.

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