Spared the Responsibility

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    ‘The ideal of long-term Torah learning for all males promoted by the Chazon Ish in Eretz Yisrael and Rav Aharon Kotler in America has completely transformed the Torah world over the past half century.’

    Rabbi Rosenblum,
    Without getting into the situation is Israel, what is your source for saying that Rabbi Kotler promoted the idea of ALL males learning in America, something that has not happened since the Jews lived in the Midbar with the Man falling? In his time, I imagine, he was happy to get whoever he could to join his Kollel.
    Secondly, I don’t understand this concept of there being one ‘ideal’, one derech for everybody.

  2. SM says:

    Isn’t it the other way around? The Internet provides untold opportunities to learn and communicate. The problem is that the subject matter is hard to regulate.

    This seems to me an important difference in two respects. Firstly, by acknowledging that the Internet is primarily positive we present a confident face to the world. The risk inherent in your approach is that anything that cannot be utterly controlled is dangerous. I am not part of your community (I am MO) but I cannot imagine the message is particularly appealing even to your own members. Speaking personally it leave me cold.

    Secondly, we can also eat what we like, go where we want and talk to who we wish to. Every area of life presents us with choices and included in those choices are the negative ones. I do not think for an instant that this is your view but – taken to its logical extreme – your approach would forbid anyone to leave their house unless chaperoned. And, que estos custodiat est? (as I believe the original Aramaic has it – ‘who shall guard the guardians?’).

    Surely it is better to encourage people to use the Internet with respect. We are a community which can manage to walk past MacDonalds without coming over all faint and dashing inside. We are capable of turning our backs on the violence and unpleasantness that certainyl exists. We can do it by replicating ‘non-kosher’ sites (as we do with restaurants and shops) and by giving a kashrut certificate to others (ditto). The latter might even allow for some income raising as there are advertisers who may wish to make it clear that they are NOT associated with various ‘products’.

    But bans and talk of bans simply send people where they should not go and demonstrate that those who lead do not trust those they lead. And, ultimately, leaders who don’t trust their followers find that the lack of trust is due to their own defects rather than the followers’ wickedness. Moshe Rabbeinue proved precisely that on several occasions. He overcame rebellion by demonstrating that the majority of the people would take the opportunity to stand with him when given the choice.

  3. Steve says:

    Your article reminds me of the levaya I went to one Rosh Chodesh. Someone there got up to give a hesped, and said, “Being that today’s Rosh Chodesh, we are not allowed to say hespedim. But if it wasn’t Rosh Chodesh I would say…”

    If you’re so grateful about not having the burdens of leadership on your shoulders, why not leave the job of deciding what problems to deal with to those who are the the leaders?

  4. LOberstein says:

    Excelent article dealing with very important societal issues. Two anecdotes that I would like to share. I was reliably told that a major philantropist who supports kiruv in a major way personally went to RavStheinman and offered to put up fifty million dollars to create a framework for avreichim to learn how to earn a living in a kosher environment. The offer was refused because the rav said that if that option existed there would be a mass exodus from kollel learning.
    Anecdote two: An American businessman asked a kollel wife I know well to hire other kollel wives (and others) to do telemarketing from their homes in Israel to cusotmers in the USA. The kollel wife sent her husband to ask Rav Yitzchok Berkiowitz who decided that as long as it was a laptop that could be put away when not in use that was properly filtered, then these employees could use the internet to earn a parnasah.
    From this we see that native English speakers can have the internet and not flee from their Torah way of life but Israeli chareidim are on much more dangerous ground. They cannot handle the choice, it is all or nothing.
    Am I drawing the right lesson? If so, what is the future for Israeli chareidim? Will they ever be able to combine Torah and Parnassah? Why is their society so afraid of any contact with the outside world and isn’t that a sign of weakness, not strength?
    I know someone who made aliyah to Beitar and his children made yeridah back to Canada because they couldn’t take the oversight, even though they are as frum as can be. This is a problem that begs fir Gedolei Yisroel to find a solution besides bans. Will they?

  5. Shmilda says:

    I confess to occasionally experiencing the temptation to add a few additional berachos beginning “she lo asani . . . ” to the list of those given by our Sages. Chief among those would be “she lo asani manhig b’Yisrael – that You did not make me a leader of the Jewish people.”

    I confess to occasionally experiencing the temptation to add a few
    additional berachos beginning “she lo asani . . . ” to the list of those given by our Sages. Chief among those would be “she lo asani charedi.” The chareidim can say “she asani kirtzono.”

  6. YM says:

    Dave, read the Rav Aharon biography that came out a few years ago. It is clear that he wanted as many men as he could get to stay in learning for as long as possible, for the sake of K’lall Yisroel, even when the individual’s own needs may have been better served by going to college or working. A specific case of this is mentioned in the book.

    Now, the definition of “as many men as he could” is limited by the reality of the times that Rav Aharon was living in. Whether he would still feel the same way now is an open question.

Pin It on Pinterest