Givers don’t absorb

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11 Responses

  1. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Interesting. What do you think is the difference between the Orthodox in your previous post and those placed by Ayelet Hashachar? Why is one group perceived as antagonistic, and the other welcomed?

    Is it that the ones placed by Ayelet Hashachar realize they are on foreign territory and have to represent Judaism, whereas US Orthodox who just move to the suburbs are looking for a place to live, not a mission in life? Is it that chiloni Jews in Israel are not worried about fitting in with the gentiles like heterodox Jews in the US?

  2. Rivka W. says:

    But they were NOT welcomed initially. Note the extreme antagonism of comments like, “I don’t care if you are living here; I will never let you shop in this store” and “I hate Judaism and I hate you.”

    The difference is not initial acceptance. The difference is time. And maybe nothing more?

  3. zalman says:

    “Few of us who are fortunate to live in a thriving Torah community are likely to pick up anytime soon to move to the Jewish boondocks.”

    I assume that all of those placed by Ayelet Hashachar were indeed fortunate to live in a thriving Torah community but chose to move to the Jewish boondocks. Too bad you don’t believe strongly enough to apply their example to the rest of us.

    We who live in thriving Torah communities ought to acknowledge that such communities have costs to ourselves as well as the greater Jewish community. If we can’t handle the boondocks perhaps we should move to a “mixed” community. It does not have to be all or nothing.

    Ein hapoleit boleia contains a more profound point. Perhaps we should all be more inclined to join in initiatives that are designed to bring the unaffiliated closer — even if “it could lead to” a decline in our own immediate individual observance.

  4. Shlomo says:

    Ori – as is reported at the top of the article, secular Israelis are certainly capable of being hostile to the Orthodox. The difference in this particular case is that in the case of Ayelet Hashachar, we are talking about a very small elite of volunteers who dedicate their lives to the task of spreading Torah. Whereas in suburban Philadelphia, you just have “normal” people. Of course they don’t inspire people the same way. Most religious Israelis are just “normal” people too…

  5. jerusalem joe says:

    fascinating article. i wish a lot more orthodox people would mingle with the rest of am israel – it’s not like secular jews are contagious , is it?

  6. Mordechai says:

    Interesting to see this written.

    In the past the shita of the part of the Haredi world that R. Rosenblum is associated with was that we don’t send shluchim/individual families out for kiruv, as others do, as they might become negatively influenced and worn down by their surroundings over time. Instead, we only send out groups, where the different people/couples can support each other.

    However, here he seems to be shifting and saying that ein hapoleit boleia, so we can now adopt the tactic that we took issue with in the past.

    So will the rest of the Haredi world now accept the Lubavitcher model ?

  7. joel rich says:

    Jerusalem Joe,
    Actually that is of concern to many (present company excluded)

  8. Jacob Haller says:

    Mordechai (Response 6)

    There is ample evidence that kiruv has been embarked without the direct influence of Chabad Lubavitch. The Navarodok Mussar movement set up small Batei Midrash throughout Europe to work with smaller communities. Torah U’Mesorah founded yeshiva day schools throughout America.

    Has Lubavitch activity been a positive influence on the “yeshivish” world to increase their own brands of kiruv activity? Very likely. Are kudos in order for Chabad for their mesirus nefesh? More than very likely. Is Lubavitch the sole progenitor of this idea? Not likely.

  9. Dovid Eliezrie says:

    There is not question that that others outsdie of Chabad has done much good. However I see here the strand of historical revionism that exists in the Frum world. For the record Torah Umesorah was started after Chabad founded Merkos L’inyonie Chinuch and launched the first national day school movement, and as insiders know it was largely a reaction to the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Y. Scheerson.
    The model that this group is following in the Kibbutzim is a reflection of the system of Shluchim that move to a town to become part of the community and mold it from within.
    Dovid Eliezrie

  10. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Shlomo, so the Ayelet HaShachar couples are full time Kiruv workers who do not also have to contend with the challenges of earning a living? Or is it just that they are an elite group within the Charedi world, able to show it in the best possible light?

    BTW, I assume that they are also trained. Maybe it would be a good thing if Orthodox moving into the suburbs could also take a training class in “Heterodox Jews – how to deal with Posh’im, Kofrim, and other Skilah candidates”.

    Note: I’m mostly kidding above, but the fact is that I barely met Charedim growing up in Israel. Prejudice can flourish best when there are no counter-examples.

  11. Moshe Schorr says:

    “Raising children in an all-religious environment can also make parents a bit lazy: They assume that their children will absorb all that they need to know by osmosis or they rely on their schools to instill Torah values. Parents in smaller communities know better than to make any such easy assumptions. Rabbis in such communities know, for instance, that they must learn with their sons if they are not to be behind when they go off to yeshivah. As a consequence, those sons are often surprised to find themselves ahead of their classmates when they arrive at yeshivah.”

    I am reminded of Reb Yitchok Zilber ZT”L. He lived in an “unreligious neighborhood” – Communist Russia. He had many stories to tell about his difficulties there, especially in raising children. When his son applied to the Mirrer yeshiva they were loath to accept him since they assumed he didn’t have a sufficient background. When tested however, he put them all in his pocket! He went on to be the son-in-law of a prestigious Rosh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. He still continues his father’s outreach activities among Russian Jews.

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