Abandoning the Masses

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12 Responses

  1. Menachem Lipkin says:

    Bulls eye Rabbi, bulls eye.

    We need you here!

  2. Miriam says:

    How many spend time, and encourage their talmidim to spend time, worrying about unemployment, the growing gap between rich and poor, homelessness, the constant slaughter on the roads, growing crime in schools?

    Um, is that “unemployment” I see at the head of the list? Since when does the Charedi camp in Israel see unemployment as a problem?

    But seriously if you want one good example, search online for the Jewish Opportunities Institute, directed by Stephen Bisk. While their aim is ultimately spiritual, often their first initiative in a school will be to fortify their general studies library, build a gymnasium, etc.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    I’m always amazed by Rav Hirsch’s vision and eloquence (even as I read his works translated into English!). Often, it seems as if he is living in our own modern world.

    One of the questions Torah-true Jews have to face is “If we ever achieved the power and responsibility to run Israel on Torah principles, how would we address all pressing domestic and foreign policy issues?” As a minority without much clout, we can try to address only the narrow, immediate needs of our communities, but that leaves us without a sufficiently detailed vision and program for the broader society. Even if their chances of running Israel appear remote, the Orthodox political parties all need to prove themselves worthy to be chosen for this larger task. This goes against the concept of such parties as merely political machines to bring home the goodies.

  4. Garnel Ironheart says:

    > Forgetting the special relationship between G-d and Man, (אנוש) even while retaining belief in Him, must lead to dissatisfaction with religious life.

    The old joke: How does a chassid know there’s a God? His Rebbe told him it was so. How does a Litvak know? He saw it in the Rashba somewhere.

    At some point, concentrating on the leaves makes you forget about the forest.

    > This leads in a following generation to an excessive preoccupation with material things simply for the sake of possession (קינן).

    Like $2500 for a pair of tefillin, weddings clocking in at over $100 000, $3000 custom human hair sheitls, $1000 bar mitzvah suits and the spiraling cost (upwards) of kosher food because the regular hechshers aren’t “machmir” enough.

    > so the next generation declines (ירד) once more. Detecting the stumbling, some look to educating a new generation (חנוך), ennobling them with something more meaningful.

    Such as Torah-only education with a complete abandonment of secular stuff necessary to be economically successful in the world.

    > Such intensive education, however, remains the province of only a minority. The next generation is therefore one of “giving up the masses,” מתושלח.

    Who was it that said “Let a thousand enter the bais medrash and be ruined. As long as one gadol hador it produced it’s worth it”?

  5. lacosta says:

    physician, heal thyself?

    if many facets of frum society are sick or worse, in crisis– employment, tuition, shidduchim, infighting, sin’at chinam of frum jews of the wrong hat/streimel/kipa– how in the world is that society supposed to have the energy to deal with anything else?!!!!

  6. cvmay says:

    National verus individual…
    Kehilla verus the yachid….

    These two sides of the coins rub together and cause friction & sparks. It takes ‘Strong & Confident Personalities’ to address these issues.

    Look at the awesome gathering in Rechovot at the hachnochas bayis of a new yeshiva open to the residents of the city. Rechovot, a city of pleasantries, achdus, ahavah between residents of different cultures, torah observance and goals. WHY? A leader/chief rabbi with a vision of the uniqueness of a Yiddisha Neshama, a mesorah of ahavas yisroel begun by his great uncle, Rav Avrohom Yitzchak Hacohen Kook. If you love your fellow Jew, their needs become yours—Can we rise to these heights?

    Thank you, Rabbi Adlerstein for giving us the ladder so that we can ascend to the heights of ‘unselfishness’…

  7. Adam says:

    I applaud the article.
    It is sad that you mention the ‘dati leumi camp’ which many on the right automatically ignore.
    as the dati leumi ‘camp’ are, generally becoming more makpid and also more inclined to be less starry-eyed about Israel and the ‘right-wing’ camp are usually pro-Israel (e.g. get outraged at the vilification of Israel at the UN [to quote your example]) isn’t it time to try and remove these labels and arbitrary barriers between us. To be sure, there are differences in hashkafa and levels of observance but we have far more in common.

  8. lacosta says:

    adam did you miss r adlerstein’s point? *YOU* maybe want to ignore labels of ‘camps’ like dati leumi, but some of the rabbonim who make them into halachic and hashkafic non-entities [at best]certainly don’t ignore that they ‘are not us’……

  9. another Nathan says:

    We make our neighbourhoods into a Teiva, while the people outside are drowning. But just as before, they mock the Teiva, and think us fools for living in it. To extend the metaphor, they wait for the opportunity to turn our boat into firewood. At a certain point, they bear responsibility for their fate.

  10. Chaim Wolf says:

    “and I personally have no compunctions about adding “our State.”

    So at least in one respect, Rabbi Adlerstein is not a true Hirschian.

    [YA – I guess I will have to live with that. But, hey, if the world calls RSRH “neo-Orthodox,” what’s wrong with being neo-Hirschian?]

  11. L. Oberstein says:

    Rabbi Berel Wein has pointed out that we Jews have a lot of “baggage”.Israeli politics is based on cleavages that existed in pre-war Poland. The orthodox are too insular and the secular too ignorant. Why is Yom Kippur “observed” by all the little kids riding their bikes in the empty streets instead of setting foot into a syangogue. Why do the ultra orthodox refuse to do their share in keeping the country going, why are they unwillng to work, to get a secular education or profession and come out with new prohibitions every week. The middle ground is where the leadership should have been but isn’t. The so called Dati leumi camp has lost the cream of its youth in the army, they have too much trouble keeping their own children observant to really care about the rest of the country’s Judaism. The settlers only care about the settlements to the detriment of the rest of Israel. There just is a lack of normal Jewish Jews, too much factionalism and those who thrive on machlokes. It took 2,000 years to get a Jewish State and, if the Arabs made peace, we’d have our own civil strife.

  12. Bob Miller says:

    L. Oberstein wrote “The settlers only care about the settlements to the detriment of the rest of Israel.”

    A broad accusation of this type needs some factual support; we can’t simply take this on faith.

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