Time With Sharansky

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7 Responses

  1. Baruch Gitlin says:

    As [much as I was not excited about the] previous article in Cross-Currents on this subject, that’s how excellent and informative this article is, and then some.

  2. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    How do we get more people in the hareidi world to listen to people like Sharansky and think more like RYA and other CC writers? It seems vital, otherwise the hareidi world is going to be in big trouble, and soon.

  3. SPA says:

    Rabbi Adlerstein,

    I wanted to chime in with an amen to your comments about Natan, but I think you should know that his gadlus extends beyond the professional. As you know, I worked with him for a few years during a period during which I worked with a lot of Very Impressive People but not all of them were all that impressive as lower-case people. Natan was. He is a genuine mensch. As an example, when my then-7-year-old nephew was diagnosed with leukemia, Natan –with no bidding from me–wrote him a letter giving him chizuk (Bogie Ya’alon did as well). He then almost never failed to ask after him, no matter what else was going on.

    I also saw that he is loyal to people (his staff) to a fault. He is a reliable, caring, genuinely humble (ie, he knows exactly who he is and what kochot he has, but he recognizes that they’re Gd-given and are an obligation, not something to be impressed with himself about). He is truly gadol.

    Having the opportunity to work with him was one of the great schuyot of my life so far.

  4. Raymond says:

    I do not understand why something that is not broken, needs to be fixed. The way that the holiest site for us Jews, namely the Western Wall, has worked things out until now, is for it to be considered a sacred site, and as such, run according to the rules of traditional, Orthodox Jewish law. At the same time, however, nobody in their right mind has ever stopped individual people of any kind, Orthodox or not, Jewish or gentile, from approaching the Western Wall, each in their own individual way.

    Where the Women of the Wall go wrong, is in institutionalizing these deviations from Orthodox Judaism, as if they are as legitimate in their expression of Judaism as the most traditional Torah Jewish scholar. But such a claim is so obviously absurd, that it is actually kind of sad that this even needs to be pointed out.

    This idea, namely that a distinction needs to be drawn between individual deviations and institutionalizing these deviations, by the way, works not just at the Western Wall, but anywhere in the world: it is one thing for any given Jewish individual to deviate from following Orthodox Jewish law, but it is something quite different if that person then proclaims his or her deviations as somehow religiously sacred. If we would only stop for a moment and think with our heads rather than following our hearts, then all of this would be so obviously clear.

  5. DovK says:

    Kol HaKavod on a great article, until the final three sentences. Given what you wrote in the body of the article, that “there are no villians… the Kotel serves as a place to pray for those who believe in prayer. But it also serves as a powerful focus of non-religious Jewish yearning and aspiration…” your final three sentences are off the mark. As you wrote, the other side views things differently, and this isn’t a chiddush. But our confidence in our “understanding,” our perspective, shouldn’t depend on disenfranchising or insulting the other side based on our perspective,. the perspective that inherently (by Sharansky’s logic) has nothing to do with their actions, which fit their perspective not ours. Your final three sentences reflect either insecurity in our position or a lack of understanding of the meaning of two groups acting within two different perspectives.

    [YA Believing that others are not villians should not be confused with firmly knowing that their message is wrong, and to be fought – thrugh discourse rather than violence, but still to be opposed. We can interact respectfully, we dare not validate what is foreign to Torah. Some – not all – of their values and principles are just that]

  6. dr. bill says:

    excellent piece. curious what you would propose going forward? i do wonder if it is reaction to haredim in general, independent of WOW, that is forcing this and other issues?

  7. dina says:

    Sharansky is a truly incredible and sane individual. Halvai more people were like him.

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