Weekly Digest – News and Essays In and Out of Orthodoxy – Parshas Behar 5776
US House protects shechita and brit as religious freedoms
Watch: Chief Rabbi Rav Yitzchok Yosef’s Critique of Those Who Think It Is a Mitzvah to Visit Meron
Thousands Mourn Reb Chaim Parnes, z”l, and Reb Yitzchok Rosenberg, z”l
What Israel can learn from New York’s kosher meat riots (My great-grandfather and namesake was very involved with the 1937 and 1943 kosher meat episodes; FYI here.)
Inside the Western Hemisphere’s Only Romaniote Synagogue — and Its Greek Jewish Festival
Meet New York’s Torah Truck King
The Modernization of Chabad – So much more to say. I would add in the likely effects of extreme focus on the greatness of the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l and the Geulah (irrespective of the Meshichist faction); despite the intent, this is bound to take focus away from the regular (Torah and Mitzvos) aspects of Yahadus, which always need to be most central and dynamically reinforced. Not to mention the impact of a massive movement not having a live leader to guide his following and set standards, and to craft responses to the many changes in society and the Jewish world which we currently experience. A movement with a grand and illustrious legacy, and now with such problems as well. I hope the recent discussion makes its way into Chabad and leads to constructive response.
The Land of Israel DOES NOT Belong to the People of Israel – Snippet: “We act as if God’s promise of the land is equivalent to absolute ownership and as if absolute ownership allows us to trample the rights and the dignity of the indigenous Palestinians. We behave as if the Land is ours and as if the Palestinians are therefore ours to do with them as we please. It is not and they are not.” Here is another example of this Open Orthodox rabbi’s many articles on this topic. I do not think that these articles are helpful. While one is free to agree or disagree with this rabbi, I suspect that his articles can be quite damaging.
Last week’s installment of Weekly Digest – News and Essays In and Out of Orthodoxy can be viewed here.
I must take issue with a number of comments on the Lubavitch issue
1) Don’t forget that geula and waiting for geula are part of the 13 ikkarim so why should they receive any less emphasis than the other 12? If there is any issue it should be with the Rambam who included it as an ikkar of Judaism. How can focusing on an ikkar take away from Torah and mitzvos? Especially with the Rebbes teaching that it is up to us to actively bring moshiach specifically through strengthening Torah and mitzvos.
2) This is not more of a problem in Lubavitch than in other circles in fact Lubavitch as a whole is a lot less modern than some other segments modern orthodox, modern yeshivish etc.
3) there are leaders in Lubavitch just not one central leader. This is the same situation in many modern orthodox or yeshiva circles were any serious oved Hashem goes to their own Rav for guidance the same now happens in Lubavitch. There are plenty of Lubavitch rabbonim or mashpiim and anyone who seriously follows the Rebbes guidance would seek guidance from them just as the rebbe demanded (even during his lifetime).
4) with all the problems, which lubavitchers as a whole do not have much of a culture of secrecy and bring these things to open discussion, I wouldn’t say Lubavitch has more problems than other segments , personally I would say it has less!
Now that I actually read the Lubavitch blog article, as someone Lubavitch I was disappointed how quickly the comments to pretty much bashing Lubavitchers and making over generalizations without much real information. One part I would vehemently disagree is that we’ve replaced Gd with the Rebbe somehow in our over emphasis on the Rebbe. I think this is a big misunderstanding and doesn’t reflect the reality. I’m posting here and not on the blog because frankly, the tone was extremely unfriendly and I’m somebody who they would put in the minority group. I honestly don’t care who Moshiach is at this point and it really isn’t part of my avodas Hashem.