Feb 17, 2009

The Coca Cola Jews

Rabbi Horowitz just posted a new article. This one he calls "Charedi Classic".

Rabbi Horowitz compares the success and failure of the current generation raising frum jews to the previous generation that raised frum Jews. He also compares us to Coca Cola...

I think that you and your generation followed that sage advice when you passed on the Torah values of your parents and grandparents to us. You kept things simple. In fact, I could probably fit all the instructions you gave us on the back of an index card. Be a mentch. Learn and master our Torah. “Farbreng nisht der tzeit -- make the best use of every minute of every day. Make a kiddush Hashem wherever you go – don’t ever forget that you are wearing a yarmulke. Get an education, be self-sufficient, and give something back to the community. Yet these simple themes encapsulated all the major components of our tradition.

It is humbling and difficult to come to terms with, let alone say this publicly, but I think that your generation had a far better recipe than ours, though both generations have their successes and failures. You prepared us for secular culture whereas we shelter our children from it. You played offense; we play defense. You celebrated the enrollment of each and every Jewish child to a Mesivta or Bais Yaakov; we send rejection letters. You raised children; we tried to raise gedolim.

Over the past few years, I’ve increasingly felt that the most effective way of reversing the exploding number of kids and adults abandoning Yiddishkeit is to revert to the old-fashioned “Charedi Classic” education my generation was fortunate to receive from yours; and pass on those core values to our children and grandchildren.

I just wish we knew how to do that....

Go read the whole article...


  1. Great Article. Yes, the frum world is garbage. I actually REGRET doing tshuva and since last month for the first time ever I really prefer the Hiloni world. Shocked eh?

    READ And comment on my latest post. Voiceofzion.blogspot.com.

    Frum world has completely lost their mind.

  2. I think his "Haredi Classic" is now called "Modern Orthodox".

  3. MbD. I can understand your grips at frum world as I have my own as well. But your blog does not seem to me to be doing anything constuctive. It is just one big rant with many irrational elements. I could debate some of the points you raise but from your tone and attitude I do nto think I would be wasting my time.

    BTW, I could not find any post there relating to this discussion.

    Or was that just an unrelated word from our sponsor?

  4. Is this post somehow related to the "15%" post?

  5. Great article - he's right. We are under so much pressure to put our kids under even more pressure that in the end we all feel like we are living in one big pressure cooker. Some kids thrive on it; others don't.

    M b D - most BTs feel exactly the same, but you have to remember the following: The Torah is emes, it's people that aren't.

    Follow the Torah and be a Kiddush H'; don't get sidetracked by the shtut in the street.

  6. Anon,

    Was mainly just a plug to get people to view my site.

    I would love for you to debate me. I can't seem to find anyone that has the knowledge to do it. I am looking for someone to present to me their point of view. Cause I'm not seeing ANY opposition here. When there's no oppisition usually that means MBD is right.

  7. Thanks for posting this article.

    Rav Yaacov Haber posted this interview about how the education system is putting klal yisrael at risk.

    Here's a quote to whet your appetite:

    I don’t think the issue is “kids at risk.” That expression is used because it makes us feel good. It implies that it’s the kids’ fault, that something is wrong with them. The underlying assumption is that the system is okay, just something went wrong with this or that kid who “fell through the cracks.” Really, the opposite is true. They are being pushed through, not cracks, but gaping ditches and huge holes. We have to decide if we’re willing to lose them.

  8. @MBD
    I think you have much more in common with Shas and UTJ than you realise. After all they are virtually the last vestiges of early Zionist socialism, together with the Arab parties and Amir Peretz.
    How ironic.

  9. What he says makes so much sense. I feel that when we invite yeshiva bochrim to spend shabbat with us. When we ask them to give a dvar Torah, they may not even know which parsha it is this week - They only learn gemara.
    Time to go back to basics, back to opening a chumash and looking at the foundations of our faith.

  10. Simon,

    MAYBE the first group PRE STATE.

    UTJ, SHAS, Amir Peretz and myself have nothing in common these days besides the fact as being Jews which in today's day an age doesn't mean anything (i,e, which camp are you in).

    Amir Peretz refused to work with the heredim saying "I REPRESENT PEOPLE THAT WANT TO WORK! not people that just suck the system dry".

    Socialism = working

    Socialism =/= taking money from hard working moroccans in sderot barely getting by given to a population that looks DOWN on working.

    Nyet - Leiberman for PM.

  11. @MBD
    Of course I'm being somewhat playful with my comparisons. What they do seriously have in common is the inability to realise that in order to have wealth to distribute, you have to CREATE wealth.

    You can't keep supporting people who are not creating wealth because that gives them the strongest incentive to remain where they are.

    Furthermore, if you take money from people who are creating wealth (successful businesses, entrepreneurs especially) in order to fund those who aren't, then they do everything they can to funnel as much of that wealth out of the country and the local economy.

    These are the lessons of history and economic history.

    Yes, there's a mitzva of patoach tiftach but that each person's private business, not the government. We need to see much less government handouts and much more entrepreneurship in the non profit sector to raise tzedaka to get people to work rather than perpetuate the neediness.

    We need gemachim to help people start a business or get a degree, or learn a trade, rather than to give you the money to pay off your previous loan. (In halakha it may even be prohibited to take such a loan - I'll be honest I can't remember if it's ossur or just not recommended, but at least that.)

    This is far more in the spirit of Torah than socialist ideas of wealth distribution.



  12. interesting. in this super interview of R. Haber he says something that contradicts R. Horowitz.

    He says that our current 'elitist' system was created purposely in order to create 'gedolim'. (the truth is IMn-s-HO, this is a crock. Gedolim existed after the war as well and built up frum life in the US and EY and elsewhere. Why all of a sudden was there this shift to 'produce gedolim'. It still makes no sense to me and remains a big kashya)

    This would explain the difference btwn our gen. and the forebearers. We are this way cuz we were trained to be this way. The falut lies in the past generation.

    L'maaseh. What to do about it.

    Look, on an individual level - anyone with seichel who understands these issue needs to simply buck the system and find how to live the 'Right Torah lifestyle' by themselves. Yes, there will be difficulties in explaining to kids why we are different than 'them' but in the end I think honesty with children wins out and the dangers of exposing bolgna are much less than covering it up.

    For the Klal, well if anyone out there has leadeship abilites and 'breita pleitzes' both as a recognized TC and someone who is not afraid to speak the truth they can start talking and being forceful, while RESPECTFUL, but very forceful nonetheless about ridding our world of all of this crap, excuse me, (how is that for respectful?)

  13. This is all just a replay of Haym Soloveitchik's Rupture and Reconstruction.


    I think we'll be seeing big changes as this worldwide economic crisis filters through the Jewish community. Simply put, we will not have the money to support these outrageous lifestyles any longer. The kollelim will just die out from lack of funds, as they well should. Once they die out, I think the chumras of the week will go with them. This whole era of rising chumras along with the rising economic tides will make a great PhD thesis.

    Nothing like a good recession to knock the sense back into people.

  14. Simon,

    you write "Furthermore, if you take money from people who are creating wealth (successful businesses, entrepreneurs especially) in order to fund those who aren't, then they do everything they can to funnel as much of that wealth out of the country and the local economy."

    That is FALSE. Why do you think the big whales out there WARREN BUFFET and GEORGE SOROS support some level of socialism and BACKED Barak "The Rock" Obama? When your workers are happy, productivity is higher driving PROFITS to all time highs.

    It's this neuve-riche moronic capitalism that brainwashed everyone from seeing the truth. KARL MARX was right after all. Granted, I am not a communist, BUT MARX Predicted this would happen to capitalism in the long term.

    A REAL Torah approach would work! But don't tell me that Shas and UTJ Are following that approach..

    Granted you'll always have some parasites that will be in the minority milking the system in socialism, but overall everyone is happier.

  15. Rafi, I wonder if you could take a survey. Who has seen pictures of their grandmothers (when they were our age) with either 1. short sleeves 2. uncovered or partially covered hair ??? I bet the numbers would surprise you. Yet here we are, the children of the generation that they educated and influenced and we are driving ourselves crazy trying to outfrum each other...

    really really bizzare.

  16. Here's a great idea. How bout a new Humra. This time for the frumworld to not being F**())@ing stupid!

  17. @MBD
    It might be that if everyone was as altruistic as you are, then the milder forms of socialism wouldn't kill productivity and economic growth.

    But most people aren't and neither does the Torah assume them to be. In fact Chazal recognised that the yetzer harah in it's different forms is the seat of creativity and growth. The trick is to recognise the yetzer (what are you really passionate about?) and channel it towards good.

    People are essentially self interested - that's not sad - it's how HKBH made us. He also made a world in which we can gain satisfaction and live an uplifted life by finding a way to pursue our interests in the service of others, as defined by Torah and mitzvos.

    None of this can be imposed by governments. It has to come from each individual making free choices. Socialism and government interference with markets suppresses creativity and encourages laziness.

    Ironically it also makes people more money grabbing - think magiyah li - as they constantly find their efforts to make money legitimately blocked by one stupid bureacracy or other.

  18. Simon,

    Look at America, now they want socialism. That's because people got greedy and realize now the best system for the people is the socialistic approach.

    OK. I'll work with you on this. Let's let NETANYAHU run the show and go to 100% Capitalism. I'll still have a job and probably make 4 times more than I'm making now. Israelis that work will start turning into Americans :(.

    I guess you can help me pick up the 20% of the population that starves to death (The Heredim) because they refuse to work and learn a skill. The one Netanyahu ever did right was cut their child allowances.

    I have a question - you're FFB aren't you?

  19. @MBD (sorry to Rafi G and all for completely going off the subject but it's clearly MBD's fault ;))

    I'll be honest with you, growing up in England, I didn't pay much attention to the US election. However to say that they chose socialism is awfully simplistic.

    Yes greed has been a major cause of the financial crisis on many levels. BUT, as I said socialist culture actually makes people more greedy as it becomes harder to get your hands on money.

    Read Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, set in Moskow in the 1930's for a brilliant portrayal of what I mean.

    Regarding your strange question about my upbringing, it kind of defies definition using the 2 or 3 letter classifications. I mean I was shomer shabbes and kashrus from a young age but didn't know how to read a gemara till I was 18. I can't imagine what bearing that has on this discussion though.

    If you wanna get any more personal details maybe you should email me simon.synett[at]protekzia.com - feel free ;)

  20. Hey Simon,

    You never lived in US Capitalism therefore you can't really talk on the subject. However if Pipi Netanyahu gets his wish I'm asking you to help pick up the bodies of people that starve to death with me from Kiryat Sefer, Mea Sharim, and Bnei Brak.

    Then you'll see the reforms to come back to good ol' Yiddisha socialism that our forefathers who were closer to the torah truth stressed before we became stupid, shunned a wordly education and became a bunch of ingoramuses.

  21. Does this mean we should go back to the original way of thinking? FDR Democratic ideals? INstead of this moronic Republicans love Jews attitude. I think when we started cutting out common sense and understanding the world around us it lead to making mentally retarded decisions. So much for DAAS TORAH!

  22. ANON (any relation to Annon Yizhak>?)

    You still not post once on my blog: voiceofzion.blogspot.com with a rebuttal to any of the points I bring up. PLEASE DO! No one has and it's just more fuel to the fire for me run my point with zero opposition... NYET you lose.

  23. Actually instead of New Charedism Rav Horowitz should have called it Charedi Zero.(like coke zero)

    False sweeteners
    Double caffeine (pressure)
    Artificially black

    Basically..no content to keep kids connected


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