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7 Responses

  1. Derek Fields says:

    While I think that the point of the post is important, I would point out that just as the Charedim are individuals and not just a mindless group of lemmings, so too are those who are not Charedim. Just as non-Charedim engage in stereotyped thinking, so too the Charedim immerse themselves in the fiction that those who are not immersed in frumkeit lack their passion for HaShem. Each person needs to be judged on his or her own merits. When each person stands before HaShem, they will not be asked why they were not more like Abraham (or some Charedi or Chassidic Rebbe) but why they were not more themselves.

  2. Yaakov Menken says:

    I would gently point out that Mr. Fields’ statement is further evidence of the assumption that all Charedim think alike.

  3. Garnel Ironheart says:

    There are two ways of looking at a group – as a homogenous group with some unifying characteristics, and as a group of individuals with some things in common.
    For example, we have no problem talking about “Palestinian” hatred of Israel yet there are probably many Arabs in Israel who don’t hate the country and may even have some Jewish friends.
    I would suggest that what Rav Rosenbloom has identified is the innate tension between the two approaches. On one hand, there is a stereotypical view that non-Chareidim have of that community. Unfortunately, there is much to bolster that impression, whether it’s another riot in Meah Shearim, another mugging in Ramat Beit Shemesh, or another pronouncement from some official-looking figure that the reason bad things happen to Israelis is because they aren’t religious.
    What gets lost is that when one actually goes one-on-one with members of the community, many of them, just like anywhere else, turn out to be fine upstanding people who are sincere in the beliefs and their love of their fellow Jews.
    And it does go the other way as well. For all the portrayals of the base nature of Chiloni culture that some Chareidi publications revel in producing, there are many Chilonim who are proud to be Jewish, enjoy aspects of Judaism in their life and would probably make good friends with Chareidim if given the chance.
    What is needed is for people to remember that we are all individuals first and give that idea a chance when meeting someone.

  4. cvmay says:

    “Since I was traveling “out of uniform” in a blue-striped shirt, my first reaction was to deny it”. Reb Y, clarification necessary for this line.. why deny your identity since you were traveling ‘out of uniform’? Don’t we wear attire (uniforms) depending on the occasion? sports, leisure, formal affairs, work clothes, hiking, office verus home, etc.
    Sterotyping is a learned trait, usually modeled by parent, teacher or mentor. There can be a comfort and security in sterotyping, minimizing the reason to explore and engage with others that look ‘out of uniform’. Since individuals look for the easiest path to travel, avoiding strangers (not in uniform) is a comfort zone. Unfortunate as it is!!!
    Rabbi YR, as editor of Jewish Media Resources, there is no surprise that a title of ‘Charedei Columnist’ is attached to your name. BTW what is a “Tzfonit”?.

  5. Baruch Horowitz says:

    ” And I have a number of close chassidic friends, who no more resemble one another than my Litvishe friends. So if I still have a bag full of stereotypes about all those chassidim whom I don’t know personally, how can I expect…”

    It is also true that from the other direction, stereotypes would be much worse if we wouldn’t have the individual relationships; I have had chavrusas and acquaintances over the years from chasidic backgrounds, and I realize that I have gained from these relationships.

    “On the way back from London, I was seated next to the stereotypical Tzfonit…”

    I’m guessing that the parenthetical phrase about her luggage might have been inspired by the Cross Current discussion on “Plane Lessons” this past December. Perhaps other JP articles should also be tested here on CC so as to take advantage of the free criticism? 🙂

  6. One Christian's perspective says:

    Each person needs to be judged on his or her own merits. When each person stands before HaShem, they will not be asked why they were not more like Abraham (or some Charedi or Chassidic Rebbe) but why they were not more themselves.

    Comment by Derek Fields

    In reading your comment about being more ourselves, I am reminded of Psalm 139. Can anyone of us really know ourself unless HaShem reveals this to us ? Do we not all stand “naked” before HaSHem who sees through our outer trappings right to the heart of the matter – our attitude toward Him ? Most of us desire to be accepted by others and act towards that desire. We become experts at presenting different masks of who we are when, in fact, we often really do not know who we are but who we want to be…..before others; we covet acceptance. Yet, it is HaSHem who created us uniquely in His image to become a person who is fruitful and who will glorify His Name. This is a not too subtle shift away from who we are toward who He is. Abraham made this move. He left his homeland – his pagan society in UR – and even his family to go where HaShem would lead him. Abraham’s journey began with leaving everything he knew one step at a time. Following HaSHem means we get to drop our masks one by one not easily but willingly. When I stand before Him at the end of my journey, I pray that I will have left all of these masks behind so that I appear before Him as who he created and changed me to be.

  7. Norm Depalma says:

    Your real mistake of course lies in your understanding of the ‘spontaneous’ minyan…They are a chiyuv only in 2 situations

    1) the second you enter a wedding—
    2) the second you fall asleep on a plane to Israel.

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