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Feb 20, 2013

Learning from, and respecting, other communities

I like this response to a letter of inquiry - it is critical and praiseworthy of all parties involved, and points to where everybody involved can and should improve.

Rav Yosef Zeini, a rav in Ashdod, was asked why great talmidei chachomim from the "redeemed torah" (referring to rabbonim of the Zionist streams) had to bother to go to the Admors who wanted to speak with them, and not the other way around.

The letter-writer was clearly upset and considered it a sign of disrespect to the rabbonim of the Dati Leumi that they were called in to the haredi rabbonim = perhaps if the haredi rabbonim wanted to chat with them about politics and use their influence, maybe the haredi rabbonim should have gone to the Zionist rabbonim.

Rav Zeini's long response was, and I translate:
First of all, because the way of the world - see how Rabbi Akiva Eiger instructed his sons how to specify the names and titles of people who would receive responses. If so why be different. Second, some of these Rebbes are much older. And with all the sorrow, not for the travel of talmidei chachomim to Rebbes, but that the secular Zionism has not yet merited to have someone educate her on the necessity of Torah in Israel other than the ultra-Orthodox world - because of its political strength, not it torani position, we must give some respect to the ultra-Orthodox, for without them, today, secularism would be raging more.
It is true that their style of influence often does not look successful to us, because they do not delve into in-depth study of faith, along with some shocking side effects, but in the meantime this vision of the political reality has some things.
And if via the topic of drafting yeshiva students we and all of Israel are obligated to clarify the nature of the Torah and its study, although this is spiritual coercion like a tub over our small heads, despite all that, we must bless, despite the bittenress of the matter. Do the "srugim" populations understand what is a talmid chochom? What is devotion to the Torah? Besides for admiration of any military campaign images depicting soldiers wearing tallit and tefillinin the battlefield, on which to declare "See that although they are religious and keep mitzvos they are also serving in the IDF." As it used to be the "secular" were surprised to find people on the benches of the University and the Technion wearing a yarmulke.
We all respect, value and appreciate the army and its achievements, and bless it every minute for its continued successes. But we must not forget that beyond that there is a world of Torah for which in its merit the entire country is becoming more sophisticated. True, that must be explained at length, and not in the way that is being heard right now, but we cannot teach the entire Path of Torah of the Maharal on one leg.
What must be mentioned is, as the Rambam said, at every opportunity, the source of our life is Mount Sinai , And that there is an Israeli timelessness that is not dependant on technological advancements. This is the source of our faith and our very existence.
And an important achievement has already been recorded due to these meetings, and that is that some Rebbes was not aware at all that there are large Zionist yeshivot where hundreds of students learn day and night. One of our rabbis was in shock by the fact that for years he was in contact with the Haredi public but only now noticed that they thought he and his students were all religious farmers growing bug-free lettuce, and nothing more than that.
And if so, we must ask why all the books of our rabbis are not sold in Haredi neighborhoods. Maybe we have a little bit of fault in this, and if so we must fix it before dealing with issues of honor at rabbinic visits with each other..
And do not forget that the purpose of our teacher Rabbi Kook when he founded the Chief Rabbinate of Israel was his desire to bring together all the gedolei yisroel to a conference once or twice a year in Jerusalem, convening scholars lshem shamayim, even if they would not release halachic decisions from the conference, but to accustom the sages of Israel to sit together. Because this is a condition to bringing back the semicha in the future, that all the scholars must agree on one person that he is worthy to be given semicha, and then we will be able to progress with the spiritual redemption.
"Torah scholars increase peace in the world" - are only they are told that? Rav Tzvi Yehuda would ask, dont  we every day mention the Gemara that says that every person must engage in bringing peace between people? but real scholars know to increase peace between scholars and lucky are we that these are our rabbis.
(source: Srugim)

I like it. Everybody bears some blame, everybody can learn a lesson, everybody can improve. they have learned that we do learn torah and have serious rabbonim and yeshiva students, and we can learn from their dedication to Torah and their focus on Torah as to what is really important for the Jewish people.

Most of the time, we take all the credit for ourselves, justify our approach, and blame the other for problems and deride the others way of life. This is a new approach


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4 comments:

  1. And if so, we must ask why all the books of our rabbis are not sold in Haredi neighborhoods.

    Depends on the neighborhood; he should have a talk with manny in meah sharim about his experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It should be noted that Rabbi Zalman Melamed did not go the Rebbes:

    http://www.srugim.co.il/42248-%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91-%D7%9E%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%90%D7%93%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%94%D7%97%D7%A8%D7%93%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%96%D7%9C%D7%96%D7%9C%D7%95-%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%9D?di=1

    ReplyDelete
  3. Everybody bears some blame, everybody can learn a lesson, everybody can improve. they have learned that we do learn torah and have serious rabbonim and yeshiva students, and we can learn from their dedication to Torah and their focus on Torah as to what is really important for the Jewish people.
    ==============================
    Without commenting on the specifics, it's not always true that I'm OK, You're OK. Life is grey but sometimes you have to make a point and not be so open minded that your brains fall out.
    With regard to focus on Torah, I suggest the true measure is what one does with the marginal extra minute of time they have.
    KT
    Joel Rich

    ReplyDelete
  4. We need a lot less ego on both sides - Haredi and Dati-Leumi. Unfortunately, the Haredim continue to stereotype all dati-leumi based on some old mixed hora dancing at Bnei Akiva 'mizrohi' and do not differentiate between the parve and the torani, of which I really think ties could have been created and strengthened a long time ago, but certainly now. I think that only Otzma LeYisrael was able to bridge the gap between the two sectors and that the Bayit Hayehudi is mostly still stuck in its stereotyping of the Haredim in a similar way the non-religious do, and is not really interested anyway. A major problem with the Mafdal types is that they 'have no rav'. Very hard to deal with people who's word is good only for the time they are in power as opposed to the Haredim who have long-term leaders.
    Josh

    ReplyDelete

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