Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Empty The Yeshivos!

When it's a matter of sending a small proportion of yeshivah students to share the burden and fulfill the mitzvah of defending your nation - the charedim say God forbid! Everyone has to be in yeshivah! National security depends on it!

When the nation is at war, and our boys in uniform are being killed, the charedim stay in yeshivah. Learning is the best way to help!

When society demands that charedi students learn secular studies or skills to prepare them for the workforce, charedim respond that they must not take any time away from Torah studies. Hashem will provide parnasah!

But when there is elections, and charedim want to rally support for votes in order to get more money - it's time to empty the yeshivos!

 

(Pictures from today's election rally, from Life In Israel)

56 comments:

  1. Amazing post. Short, to the point, and impact full. I'd say I loved reading it if it wasn't so depressing

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  2. As I tried to exit Bnei Brak earlier today and saw the throngs all heading in the same direction, I had exactly the same thought. No issue of bitul torah today, it seems.

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    1. One wonders if the first scenes of the coming zombie apocalypse will look just like this when it hits Bene Beraq.

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    2. So you've revealed more Chareidi hypocrisy Boker tov.
      One could also point out that the same Torah study that protects Israel isn't enough to protect them from the draft. Otherwise, why not dedicate the day to even more intensive learning?

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  3. imagine the zechus of this guy http://awesomescreenshot.com/07f4lobv19

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  4. How is taking one day off of studying at ALL comparable to taking 3 years off? This post is ridiculous.

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    1. 1. This is taking EVERYONE out of yeshivos. The army draft was only for a small proportion of students.

      2. The charedim wouldn't even take off one day to do a prayer rally for the IDF.

      3. The charedi argument is that limud haTorah is the most powerful form of hishtadlus. It protects against missiles, it protects against terrorists. So why can't it protect against politicians?

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    2. 1. Its not a small proportion who would serve. Its a small proportion (Iluyim) who would stay. Don't fudge the facts.

      2. They would absolutely do a prayer day for the IDF if they felt it was needed. Obviously they believe that Torah is a bigger Zchus for the IDF than prayer.

      3. That's not the Chareidi argument at all. The argument is that since the manpower is not really needed by the IDF (obviously true), the secular Israeli should agree not to press "Shivyon Bnetel" when the true reason for all success is Torah and Mitzvos. The chiyuv of Hishtadlus is not in question, and never was questioned by anyone except those who wish to attack the Chareidi lifestyle. Go ahead. Who cares.

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    3. 1. The army is only for three years (or less). After that, you can go back to yeshivah.

      2. So why isn't Torah a bigger zechus for elections than prayer?

      3. That is a separate argument. The charedim also argue that Torah protects. And that less hishtadlus is therefore necessary. As with parnasah. In general, they argue that one should minimize hishtadlus - except when it comes to politics, when they maximize hishtadlus.

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    4. In header yeshivas everyone serves and yet the yeshiva is always full. How?
      Because in addition to the people serving there's other people pre/post service.
      The people serving at any given time are a minority.

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    5. Rav Slifkin-

      1. 3 years is a huge chunk of a persons life! Also, its very difficult to return to intensive studies after leaving. Its the same for intensive secular studies as well.

      2. The rally was a political rally, pure and simple. It wasn't a prayer meeting. The goal was to rally the troops, as every single political party does.

      3. Bitachon (Charedi version) is believing that G-D does everything for us and we have to do Hishtadlus. Hishtadlus is based on the amount of effort that is reasonably necessary to reach the goal Bderech Hateva. Therefore, "minimizing" or "maximizing" Hishtadlus is a misnomer. Political parties require rallies. That's the required Hishtadlus.

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    6. John Jay:

      Your first three arguments:

      1. Charedim go nuts even if a few dozen charedim join the IDF today. And the plans really, really watered things down.

      2. That's the excuse. The real reason is that they've never made their peace with the idea of the State of Israel and can do nothing for it, even a Mi Sheberach for one minute on Shabbat morning.

      3. That's not even the excuse. The excuse is that "learning protects." For the real reason, see above.

      Your second set:

      1. And yet somehow, many, many Dati Leumi types go back to full time learning after the army. And huge numbers of Israelis, secular and religious, somehow manage to do years of intensive secular studies after the army (and learning). The only ones at a disadvantage are professional athletes, some of whom get special arrangements.

      And, to elaborate on R' Slifkin's point, if you've got a population learning for, say, 15 years, then even if every single one served for three, you'd still have 80% learning full time at any time.

      2. Rally them? How many people at that rally needed to be convinced to vote UTJ? How many non-charedim did this convince to vote UTJ. (Answers: Zero and zero.)

      It's kind of sad: Every other voter in the State of Israel is busy weighing their vote, whether it will help this coalition or that, how it will all matter, etc. etc. UTJ voters don't have to care about any of that stuff. Just vote UTJ and keep getting your special benefits. Sad.

      3. Charedim stopped believing in derech hateva around the time of the First Zionist Congress.

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    7. 1. That's untrue. And as a person who worked for 3 years and then tried to go back to Yeshiva I can testify that its nearly impossible.

      2. Even Chareidim have to be rallied to go out and vote. Your derision don't change these facts.

      3. Not on point and irrelevant.

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    8. Moreover, everyone in the universe votes for the party which represents their personal interests and beliefs. Why are UTJ voters different? Because you don't like them?

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  5. You don't think that there is a difference between a half a day and three years?

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    1. 1. You don't think that there is a difference between a small proportion of people in yeshivah and everyone in yeshivah?
      2. Sure, there's a difference. But it's not a relevant difference. See points 2 and 3 above.

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  6. Very damning. Nicely done. Not a shock, obviously, but still needs to be highlighted over and over.

    And someone sent me a youtube video of a jingle the charedi party made. Even has the Vienna agudah footage, I guess that is somehow considered "inspiring", don't ask me why. Obvious question - how can anyone see the video, if the internet is ossur? And how did they take time off from learning to make it?

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    1. So they're using the famously non-political Chafetz Chaim, who never got into a fight in his life, and who walked out of the convention when someone badmouthed Rav Kook and refused to return, as a political prop. Lovely.

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    2. The Chafetz Chaim was an Agudist. The Chafetz Chaim opposed secular studies in Yeshivos, going so far as to fight the inclusion of basic language study.

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    3. He was also a revolutionary in being (one of) the first to appreciate and support the idea of Beis Yaakov. He may have opposed secular studies in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, but who knows how he would deal with the modern world, where even medicine has advanced to unimaginable levels in the past 50, never mind 100, years.

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  7. The yeshivah world talks endlessly about maximizing Torah learning, minimizing hishtadlus, and implementing bitachon. But when it comes to getting votes, they minimize Torah learning, maximize hishtadlous, and do not implement any bitachon.

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  8. You Said It. Sadly.

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  9. I will say this again and again. The Charedim have departed from Torah true Judiasm more than reform Judiasm. And the latter group also has the honesty to admit it!

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    1. And it doesn't get any less ridiculous every time you say it.

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    2. Keep on preaching, my man. Won't chang a thing.

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    3. I would say they are more like neo-Christians. They are a break-away religion with their own Bible. Early Christians were practically indistinguishable from Pharisaic Jews. Perhaps in a couple hundred years Charedim will be as distinct as Christians became in the same time span.

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  10. Natan, they can easily respond with "עת לעשות לד' הפרו תורתיך" as a perfectly legitimate reason (within their own paradigm) to completely empty out the Yeshivos for elections. Remember that they view the current government as being anti-Torah period.

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    1. You know that argument has been used, perhaps, once in halakhic history (writing down the Torah Shebe'al Peh), and even that isn't certain. The plain meaning of the Pasuk is, of course, the exact opposite. Overuse it, and you can have, say, gay marriage.

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  11. Yaakov's comment is much more damning.

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  12. The question of hishtadlus is always a tough one. There are many factors involved in every decision. However in this case I feel that it is comparable to desecrating one shabbos for the sake of keeping others.

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    1. And what did this rally accomplish? How many people there wouldn't have voted for UTJ? How many non-charedim did it convince to vote for UTJ? (None, and none.)

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  13. Sometimes bitulo zehu kiyumo (the cancellation of Torah sometimes is the establishment) . So for the yeshivos to close for a few hours to help the future of the yeshivos is actually the same as learning.

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    1. Well, it's not actually the *same* as learning! And why can't they help the future of the yeshivos by learning?

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    2. Let me repeat: And what did this rally accomplish? How many people there wouldn't have voted for UTJ? How many non-charedim did it convince to vote for UTJ? (None, and none.)

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    3. Let me repeat: Every single political party has rallies; not to gain voters but to rally its own base. Every political party knows this. The reason the Democrats lost the latest Congressional election was not because the Republicans won over the Independents, but because THEIR base did not turn out. That's what the rally is doing; getting out the UTJ BASE.

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    4. And getting everyone out of the Bais (Medrash)

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    5. Well they usually do it's the same reason the roshei yeshiva of yeshivos all around the world have to leave their yeshiva and go collect money to keep the yeshivos going. And yes being mevatel torah for a few hours to make it possible to learn for a much longer period of time is just like learning itself

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    6. Of course all political parties do it. But only for UTJ is it 100% hypocrisy.

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  14. Regarding John Jay's comment repeating the falsehood that the IDF 'neither wants nor needs Haredim', all I can say is that is THE most infuriating claim I hear from their spokesmen. NO ONE has the right to self-exempt themselves from national service! Does it make sense to say "I have checked IDF manpower figures and I have decided they don't need ME," or "they don't need blue-eyed people". The army belongs to the PEOPLE and only the people, through their elected representatives can decide these things. Even if all the Generals were to say they don't want Haredim, that would still have no significance because the Generals are the servants of the people and the IDF, not its owners.
    Now, I should point out that I am in favor of exempting ALL Haredim from conscription, even those who are not studying Torah full-time, but for other reasons, some of which are given in Parshat Shoftim of Sefer Devarim. But, as I said, they can not self-exempt themselves from national service, it can only be decided by the people at large.
    Now that I have mentioned "the generals" I must digress regarding that very upsetting, vile attack on Netanyahu by a load of supposed "security experts" and generals yesterday. They claim Bibi "is a threat to national security". These same "experts" all supported Oslo and the destruction of Gush Katif which brought death and destruction to Israel and thousands of missiles and wasted hundreds of millions of dollars. These men have NO credibility. One must understand that the Israeli security establishment is nothing like that in the US. IN the US, an officer keeps his political views to himself. In Israel, the security hierarchy is infected with hyperpoliticization. The heads of the police, IDF, SHABAK and Mossad are chosen less for professional expertise than for political reliabililty, because Ben-Gurion and Isser Harel wanted, like many 3rd world leaders, to use these forces to suppress internal dissent and not just for external security. (It should be noted the Air Force seems to be less politicized and you will notice the few Air Force commanders go into politics, unlike the IDF brass.
    In the 19th century, the idea spread that the national army is the emobidement of the "national essence" and the Generals were true guardians of national security and the trans-political national interest. Unfortunately, too many Israelis still have that view. It must be remembered that most soldiers in history were mercenaries, and they fight for whomever pays them the most. Ehud Barak himself said that if he was a Palestinian, he would have been a terrorist. For him and many, many other IDF brass, service has nothing to do with national values or "patriotism", it is simply a matter of liking moving soldiers around and being well-paid to do it. A good example was George Patton, a great general who was a virulent antisemite and who stated that the Allies fought the wrong side in World War II.
    Finally, the next time you hear "senior security people" blasting Netanyahu, just remember what President Harry Truman said once. He was asked why he fired General Douglas MacArthur at the height of the Korean War. Truman said "the reason I sacked him was not because he was stupid, which he was, but rather because he was insubordinate. If it was because he was stupid, I would then have to fire half of the generals." Well said!

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    1. "Regarding John Jay's comment repeating the falsehood that the IDF 'neither wants nor needs Haredim', all I can say is that is THE most infuriating claim I hear from their spokesmen. NO ONE has the right to self-exempt themselves from national service! Does it make sense to say "I have checked IDF manpower figures and I have decided they don't need ME," or "they don't need blue-eyed people". The army belongs to the PEOPLE and only the people, through their elected representatives can decide these things. Even if all the Generals were to say they don't want Haredim, that would still have no significance because the Generals are the servants of the people and the IDF, not its owners."

      You are confusing two separate issues. Yes ultimately the people have the right to make laws about conscription, but that doesn't mean that its good policy or needed. The fact is that the IDF is not understaffed and it doesn't need the Chareidim. The Chareidim are therefore not undercutting the protection and strength of the State, and they have the absolute right to work politically to achieve their objective which is non-conscription of Charedim. If the people don't agree, then let them vote for Lapid and watch conscientious objectors be dragged off to jail.

      "The heads of the police, IDF, SHABAK and Mossad are chosen less for professional expertise than for political reliabililty, because Ben-Gurion and Isser Harel wanted, like many 3rd world leaders, to use these forces to suppress internal dissent and not just for external security."

      Absolutely incorrect. To the extent that these positions are political, they are the same all over the world including the US, UK, etc. Israel is not about "suppressing" anything, and only quacks believe that.

      "For him and many, many other IDF brass, service has nothing to do with national values or "patriotism", it is simply a matter of liking moving soldiers around and being well-paid to do it. A good example was George Patton, a great general who was a virulent antisemite and who stated that the Allies fought the wrong side in World War II."

      General Patton was a great patriot, and his anti-Semitism is absolutely irrelevant to that fact. His statement that we were fighting on the wrong side was based on his hatred of Socialism/Communism, NOT Judaism. Wake up.

      "Finally, the next time you hear "senior security people" blasting Netanyahu, just remember what President Harry Truman said once."

      Harry Truman wasn't a tenth of the man General MacArthur was. He was correct about the prerogative of civilian authority, but he was wrong about his approach to that war. Senior Security people are just as knowledgeable as Netanyahu and have what to add to this debate before Netanyahu goes off and does something stupid (such as destroying the US-Israel relationship)...

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    2. John Jay-
      You repeatt the claim "the IDF neither needs or wants Haredim". PROVE IT. Why do they have units that cater to the Haredim, if it is such a bother to them?
      Netanyahu is NOT threatening ties with the US. Obama is not "The US". Just ask the Ukrainians, or the people of Nigeria who are being terrorized by the Boko Haram about the importance of being on the good side of Obama and what good he is doing for them.

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    3. 1. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-IDF-wants-you-or-does-it
      Just one example. It really needs no proof. The Israeli secular population is growing while technology is reducing the size of armies worldwide. Its simple arithmetic.

      2. Obama is the US! He won the election twice in convincing fashion! The Democratic Party is in the driver seat and will probably win the next presidential election. Going over the head of the president to court the Republican party is a shortsighted and idiotic move by Netanyahu. Its time that we recognize that Israel is a small and insignificant country, and that we shouldn't play around with the only country that (by the grace of G-D) supports us.

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  15. Can you distinguish between a short-term need and a long-term need?

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  16. Rabbi Slifkin,

    Once again, I implore you to go back to what you are good at - explaining science through a Torah lens, and Torah through a scientific lens.

    These constant anti-Hareidi sideswipes make you look petty and vindictive. While your core audience devours the red meat and cheers you on, you antagonize and alienate many of the people who need your guidance on matters of which you are expert.

    Moreover, your blog inflames rather than cools passions - passions that lead to contempt of Torah study and derision of Torah scholars. Is this the space you truly wish to occupy?

    The Chareidi world (like the MO and RZ worlds) has a lot of problems that need fixing, and you clearly have a burning desire to help Klal Yisrael. My advice: use that fire for more light, less heat.

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    1. Care to reply to the substance of his argument?

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    2. Dear Mr. CJ Srollowitz,
      I do not understand your post. Who are you to determine what Rav Slifkin should write about?
      The facts of the issue are that his points may "inflames rather than cools passions", however, is life all about Artsrcoll biographies which are just lies and falsehoods?
      What's wrong with inflaming passions?
      Did not the prophets of old 'inflame the passions'?
      If his points are valid, which many feel they are, then they are a catalyst for change and that change is a good change.
      Your reductionist and simplified view of life that all honest questions can lead to 'contempt for Torah' frankly turns me and many others away (and indeed far away) from precisely the life style you advocate for.
      As the Chazon Ish states, 'who is really the destroyer and who is the fixer'?
      I would contend that Rav Slifkin is the latter while you are the former.
      Frankly, your simplistic and white washing view of Judaism has driven me and countless others far, far away from the exact lifestyle you advocate for.
      You are the one who distances others and you are the true '"Oker Yisroel".
      Just a thought.

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  17. the destruction of Gush Katif which brought death and destruction to Israel and thousands of missiles and wasted hundreds of millions of dollars.

    This seems very doubtful.

    These men have NO credibility.

    This is a bald ad hominem argument as are most of the arguments in this comment.

    Ehud Barak himself said that if he was a Palestinian, he would have been a terrorist. For him and many, many other IDF brass, service has nothing to do with national values or "patriotism", it is simply a matter of liking moving soldiers around and being well-paid to do it.

    This seems fairly absurd. I don't know if Barak ever said this (I'm not saying he didn't), but I think that import is clear: I devoted myself to the IDF because of patriotism; a Palestinian in the same position is likely to become a terrorist because of his.

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    1. So "patriotism" isn't enough, then. You need a bit of God there.

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    2. From Wikipedia:

      Barak stated during an American television interview that he would "probably" strive for nuclear weapons if he were in Iran's position, adding "I don't delude myself that they are doing it just because of Israel". This comment has been criticized and compared to Barak's comment in 1998 during a television interview when he said that if he were a Palestinian he would probably have joined one of the terror organizations.[22]

      Of course you are absolutely right as to his intention. Ehud Barak is a patriot, and, though misguided IMO, worked to help the people of Israel. He is an honorable man.

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    3. David-
      So there is no difference between an IDF soldier and the Palestinian terrorists? The American boys who braved withering German fire on Omaha beach on D-Day was no different than the German Wehrmacht soldier burning down villages and killing on the Russian Front. I find it odd that a religious Jew would indulge in moral relativism.
      Tragically too many top brass in the IDF were trained to think there is no difference between us and them. Do you know how many ex-SHABAK people and generals went into business with FATAH terrorists? How about SHABAK man Yossi Ginnosar who became a paid advisor to Arafat? I know, the money's good and that is all that matters?

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    4. You are not seeing the other point of view. I have no doubt that if you or I were born Palestinians we would have hated Israel and its "imperialism", and if we were of a militant nature we would have joined a terrorist group. The German Wehrmacht Soldier is as morally corrupt as the American Marine burning villages in Vietnam. People are a product of their environment and beliefs, and it behooves us to understand that.

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    5. John JayMarch 12, 2015 at 8:52 PM
      From Wikipedia:

      Barak stated during an American television interview that he would "probably" strive for nuclear weapons if he were in Iran's position, adding "I don't delude myself that they are doing it just because of Israel". This comment has been criticized and compared to Barak's comment in 1998 during a television interview when he said that if he were a Palestinian he would probably have joined one of the terror organizations.[22]


      Thank you, for the reference, John Jay. Of course, his first comment is correct; even if there was no Israel, the various Islamic countries and religious factions would still be fighting it out for supremacy, as they are doing now.

      So there is no difference between an IDF soldier and the Palestinian terrorists? The American boys who braved withering German fire on Omaha beach on D-Day was no different than the German Wehrmacht soldier burning down villages and killing on the Russian Front.

      Neither Barak nor I said or implied such a thing. This is again an attempt to discredit the person rather than the argument.

      If the goal is to end an asymmetric conflict, you have to weaken the other sides resolve to continue. To do that you have to understand what drives them. This is true even if you think that the other side is immoral.

      Do you know how many ex-SHABAK people and generals went into business with FATAH terrorists? How about SHABAK man Yossi Ginnosar who became a paid advisor to Arafat? I know, the money's good and that is all that matters?

      Are you accusing Barak of supporting this? If not, what is you point? That collaborators exist? If they didn't, Israeli intelligence would be nearly blind.

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  18. Nathan Slifkin is a mvazeh Gdolei Torah and an ersatz Jew. Go play with your stuffed animals, that's something you're good at. Moshe Averick

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    1. In Natan's very next article, he writes a comment, the principle of which applies to you too:

      "Amazingly, of the various responses quoted in the article and in the numerous comments to the article which disagree with Gorlin, not one even attempts to present an argument as to why his argument is incorrect. Instead, they all hurl abuse on him for daring to argue with a Gadol B'Torah."

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  19. I think you all should be ashamed of yourselves Rabbi Slifkin was a purely innocent guy who thought he was doing the right thing when he was struck by a Tsunami of so called daas torah fueled by Bnei Blial. Your criticisms of him are ludicrous Just because you do nothing with your life that is mosif any kovod shomayim, and hide behind Gedolei Yisroel, doesn't mean that people are not entitled to think

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  20. There isn't anything Jewish left out of Slifkin. He's lost. Sad. He had potential...

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