A Beautiful Response To Some Odious Suggestions

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14 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    “When we are in distress, Hashem is speaking to us, but in order to understand what He is saying we need prophecy or, at the very least, Ruach Ha-Kodesh (as in the case of the Arizal).”

    There is also a concept that HaShem sends individual Jews important messages they need in life. Are we supposed to ignore these until we are convinced we have Ruach HaKodesh?

    [YA – To say with certainty what the message conveys does take Ruach HaKodesh. How to deal with these messages is something I think you are going to hear very different approaches from different people. The only reaction that I can think of that is beyond cavil is responding to some unhappy occurrence by soul-searching, and seeing if one’s actions fall short of what they should be. This response is mandated by Chazal.]

  2. Rabbi Harry Zeitlin says:

    Words of reason and truth. Kol HaKavod.
    Events like this should make us humble rather than filling us with the arrogance of thinking we know Hashem’s thinking. As pointed out each of us can increase Kedusha in the world.

  3. Baruch says:

    With all due respect to Rav Aviner, he’s going against minhag Yisrael. The widespread accepted practice is to cast the blame for all misfortunes upon other groups of Jews, and view them as irrefutable proof to the correctness of one’s position. I don’t think Rav Aviner has the authority to go against this time-honored tradition that has been meticulously followed by virtually all segments of the Torah world.

  4. Raymond says:

    When we as individuals have an illness of one sort of another, we go to a doctor to get a diagnosis and hopefully a cure. When we as individuals need to make a living, we look in the Want Ads of a newspaper in the short run, and study for some vocation in college for our more long-term career goals. Our first response to problems in our everyday is not to seek some self-appointed, modern-day prophet, nor should it be. A rational, down-to-Earth approach works in virtually all episodes of our lives. And so common sense tells me that when seeking out an explanation for these three kidnapped Yeshiva students, we should also seek out the simplest, most realistic answer as to why this happened. Such an answer should be so obvious that it is barely worth stating, and that is that the single most civilized nation in the world, namely us Jews, happens to have our country located right in the middle of dozens of the most savage, brutal, murderous nations that have ever existed. If there is anything supernatural going on here, it is that even more Jews have not been kidnapped and executed by those savages. It reasonably follows that the way to solve this, is through the natural means of hunting down and immediately sending to Allah, as many of the worst of those savages as possible.

    As for any kind of metaphysical slant to this, we do not have the power to know this, and so my guess is as legitimate as anybody else’s. And it just seems to me that maybe G-d wants us to take a more active role in our lives, that we should follow the ways of Nachshon ben Aminadav, who did not stand there on the banks of the Reed Sea feeling sorry for himself against the approaching Egyptians, but instead courageously walked right into the sea, right up to his nose. Once he took that bold action, then G-d did the rest through the miracle of the splitting of the Reed Sea. In short, G-d helps those who help themselves.

  5. Toby Katz says:

    Baruch wrote:

    “With all due respect to Rav Aviner, he’s going against minhag Yisrael. The widespread accepted practice is to cast the blame for all misfortunes upon other groups of Jews, and view them as irrefutable proof to the correctness of one’s position. I don’t think Rav Aviner has the authority to go against this time-honored tradition that has been meticulously followed by virtually all segments of the Torah world.”

    This is not the time or place for this ugly cynicism. You are undermining the very point that Rav Aviner tried to make. You yourself by your sarcasm are doing the very thing you are criticizing everybody else for: denigrating your fellow Jews. Give it a rest.

  6. Menachem Lipkin says:

    Important sentiment, thanks for sharing. Just unfortunate that he felt it necessary to include the “everyone hates us” canard.

  7. L.Oberstein says:

    I am in Israel at present and the whle country is obsessed with these 3 boys. One really feels the close family connection to all of Klal Yisroel. In the Golah, many Jews who are involved in Jewish life feel the same way.
    Here is the rub: HamAS SEES HOW MUCH WE CARE FOR ONE FELLOW jEW.tHIS MOTIVATES THEM TO KIDNAP OTHERS.Hamas has already stated that they will take revenge for the mass arrrests on their people.
    Our strength is also our Achilles Heal. I was at Massada overnight . My granddaughters’s 6th grade end of year program was a night visit to Masada and a pre dawn climb up the mounttain. We saw a Soiund and Light show oon the wall of the mouontain and one point that I did not realize. The defenders were unwilling to throw rocks on the people buiding the ramp becaue they were fellow Jews, who were slaes of the Romans. We are very good hearted and it is wonderful but also dangerous. Please let’s take a stand in favor of Rav Aviner and demonstrate that those who make odious statements are not Daas Torah.

  8. Heshy Bulman says:

    Menachem wrote: “Just unfortunate that he felt it necessary to include the “everyone hates us” canard”.
    Sir, a canard is a lie, it is a fabrication. Are you taking issue with Rabbi Adlerstein’s irrefutable proofs to the effect that Jews are being increasingly maligned throughout the world? There are deep reasons for this, as taught us by our Chachamim, and they go back to the B’ris Bein Ha’Besorim – Avrohom Avinu was given a choice: 1) Father a great nation whose very existence would depend upon its adherence to the D’var Hashem, with the real possibility of annihilation – either by war or by assimilation – or 2) Father an ETERNAL nation, which, when deviating from the Derech Ha’emes, would be forcibly brought back – either by, Chas V’Sholem, National tragedy, or by nothing more than the irrational hatred of the nations of the world. Certainly, Achdus alone goes a long way towards our maintaining favor in the eyes of Hakodosh Baruch Hu, in the face of our myriad sins – both individual and collective.

  9. shoshana says:

    Thank you, Rabbi. You are restoring my trust and renewing my spirit with your wise words.

  10. Steve Brizel says:

    Great post-RAL , in a sicha about Yom HaShoah, wrote that we should emphasize the rebuilding of Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael, and avoid engaging in theodicy based discussions.

  11. tzippi says:

    Rabbi Oberstein said: Here is the rub: HamAS SEES HOW MUCH WE CARE FOR ONE FELLOW jEW.tHIS MOTIVATES THEM TO KIDNAP OTHERS.Hamas has already stated that they will take revenge for the mass arrrests on their people.

    May I suggest that the solution is to show how much we care for one fellow Jew in the good times. We excel in achdus in times of crisis. How about if we can fargin another Jew, if we can see the humanity and spark and commonality in each and every one of us. I cry at the thought of having to go through another three weeks and Tisha B’Av where well-meaning and thought-out speakers will attempt to get this through our skulls into our neshamos….

  12. L.Oberstein says:

    Ve ha Ro’im poshu bi.The Shepherds sinned against me is the phrase that comes to mind. I see again on Kikar HaShabat that another great rabbi, blessed with great insight, knows that the kidnapping took place because Shimon Peres joined in an appearance in the outside garden of the Vatican with gentiles. I had a long conversation with someone who is a top adviser to Mayor Nir Barkat over Shabbat,she is a frum lady. She told me that the fights among the chareidim and chassidim and Sephardim are much more intense than anything they have against the mayor or the secular. Each group is lobbying for their own interests.There is not even a fig leaf of holiness about it. She also told me that she is invited to many weddings where the couple eschew the rabbinate because they view it as corrupt and meaningless. She also told me that many are using alternative kashrus agencies because they believe that the Rabbaut is not really about kashrut but about enrichment of those in control. Yet these are the same people who say that G-d is punishing us because of the actions of the others, but never of themselves. Are they obtuse? It is eye opening to see what really goes on and disheartening.

  13. Menachem Lipkin says:

    Heshy Bulman, my comment was not directed at Rabbi Adlerstein, but Rav Aviner’s statement “We must not forget that there are 350 million Arab enemies surrounding us, who are supported by a billion Muslims, another billion Christians, and another a few million Arabs in our Land.” The “canard” is that ALL Arabs, Christians, and Palestinians are of the same mind with regard to Israel. That is simply false.

  14. AMK says:

    “Each group’s explanation came from its own biased outlook, with no regard for the idea: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways are not your ways” (Yeshayahu 55:8).”

    Was wondering if Rav Aviner was refering to the Satmer Rebbe & R Avigdor Miller both of whom have clearly spoken/written about the Holocaust?

    My wifes grandfather got the following advice from R Moshe Feinstien when writing a book about the Holocaust: dont claim to know why Hashem did what he did. Rather focus on the ‘possibilities’ and their lessons.

    While it is unsensitive and not smart to be giving concrete reasons for a current tzara, this should not cause us not to introspect as to possible causes of past national tzaros.

    May the day when we will know of no more tzar come now.

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