Thursday, May 6, 2021

Denying the Reality of Physics

In the wake of the Meron disaster, Mishpacha magazine put a lot of thought and care into publishing appropriate responses. There are some articles that are very sensitive and appropriate. And then there are others that doubtless many readers will see as spiritually uplifting, but which are downright dangerous.

Eytan Kobre, one of the editors, writes about the crucial importance of taking this event as a spur to investigate the ways in which we need to spiritually grow. He introduces this as follows:

There will be investigations of how this happened and how it was able to happen, and there will be news stories and opinion pieces about those investigations. Endless questions will be asked, answers will be sought, demands for accountability will be made, changes will be instituted. And, as a form of hishtadlus, all those are perhaps necessary.

But it’s no contradiction to say, at the very same time, that all those investigations and articles, all the back-and-forth about the how and when and where and who, are a smokescreen. It’s a distraction from the one question that all of us who aren’t government officials or safety inspectors or askanim should ask ourselves, and that is “Why?” It’s a question that each of us can answer on our own terms, in our own individual reality.

From Kobre's perspective, the physics of the disaster - the consequences of crowding a hundred thousand people into a small antiquated area - has no dominant or even genuine significance. It's just a "smokescreen." It is "perhaps" (!!!) necessary to investigate that, but only as a form of hishtadlus - which, in modern yeshivish terminology, means that it's just a knas, a make-believe charade that has no genuine reality. This reflects a view that Kobre has previously described in more detail:

Welcome to Jewish reality — also known as reality, period — where spiritual causes bring about material effects, both positive and negative; where the “action” all takes place in the spiritual realms, with the ensuing this-worldly results, substantive as they seem to the human eye, being mere afterthoughts. Our deeds, ours alone, activate spiritual forces on high that, in turn, determine the course of human affairs.

Kobre's version of "reality" or even "Jewish reality" is in fact the standard charedi anti-rationalist view, which is not at all rooted in classical Judaism. The late Rabbi Dr. Menachem-Martin Gordon blames the spread of this approach on Rav Dessler:

Rav Dessler’s book, Mikhtav me-Eliyahu, whose impact on the yeshiva world in recent years has been enormous, represents a radical departure from the Talmudic position (Hullin 105a, Niddah 70b), as well as the medieval philosophic tradition (Rambam, Moreh Nevuchim, 3:17), in its denial of the reality of natural law and the cause-and-effect nexus of human initiative (Mikhtav, I, pp. 177-206). For Rav Dessler, the study of the sciences - even medicine, for that matter - is pointless, since the exclusive determinate of human welfare is the providential hand of God responding to religious virtue. Similarly, serious financial initiative is unnecessary. The diagnostic skill of the physician (Mikhtav, III, p. 172), the financier’s business acumen (Mikhtav, I, p. 188), ostensibly critical factors in the effectiveness of their efforts, are only illusory causes, argues Rav Dessler. Admittedly, he concedes, one must “go through the motions” of practical activity (the notion of hishtadlut, Mikhtav, I, pp. 187-88) - visiting a physician, making a phone call for financial support - but such is necessary only as a “cover” for the direct Divine conduct of human affairs, which men of faith are challenged to discern. Recognizing the immediacy of the Divine hand behind the facade of human initiative is the ultimate test of faith. One should be engaged in practical effort only for the purpose, paradoxically, of discovering its pointlessness! Therefore, asserts Rav Dessler, to the degree that a man has already proved his spiritual mettle, his acknowledgment of Divine control, could the extensiveness of his “cover” be reduced. Or, alternatively, to the degree that a man is not yet sufficiently spiritually perceptive - wherefore pragmatic initiative might “blind” him to Divine control - should he limit such recourse. Accordingly, b'nei yeshiva are implicitly discouraged from any serious financial initiative - or involvement across the board in any area of resourceful effort, be it technological, political, etc. - since the circumstances of life are, in reality, a spontaneous Divine miracle.

Yet this not only goes against the approach of the rationalist Rishonim; it goes against the worldview of the Torah and of Chazal. The mitzvah of maakeh, the mitzvot of war, are about the inherent reality of physics. Contrary to popular belief, when the Torah condemns those who say Kochi v'otzem yadi, that it is "my strength and power that accomplished things," it does not mean that it is instead Hashem's power; rather, as the pesukim continue to make clear, a person should realize that Hashem is the ultimate source of a person's (very real) power. And the Sages - in this very week's Daf Yomi! - responded to problems of crowding in the Beis HaMikdash with practical adjustments, and did not even mention any kind of "personal spiritual improvement" required.

The anti-rationalist approach was lampooned in a fake pashkevil that was circulated in response to the ban on my books. "Chukei HaTeva Hem Chukos HaGoyim! - The Laws of Nature are the Laws of Goyim! And one should not take them into account at all!" It's a biting satire that is tragically on the mark. Once you dismiss the reality of the laws of science, the obvious next stage is that people will not take them seriously.

The ramifications of the anti-rationalist approach are far-ranging. It results in, for example, various charedi rabbis and public figures claiming that the IDF isn't really doing anything. It results in the widespread charedi perspective, as taught in my own neighborhood by Rav Steinman, that education and effort have nothing to do with parnasah (and the fact that people who go to college and to work tend to earn more money than people in kollel is not even addressed). It results in charedi leaders declaring that one should not even discuss how the charedi community should deal with economic realities, since the charedi community runs according to entirely supernatural principles. And it results in Aryeh Deri declaring that visitors to Meron need not be limited by the Misrad HaBriyut's concerns regarding Covid, and not because Covid has died down, but rather because Misrad HaBriyut doesn't appreciate how Rav Shimon Bar Yochai's merit determines what happens. Which is also echoed in an article in HaModia (displayed below) from a few years ago, about how Meron is, from the perspective of physics, a disaster waiting to happen, but the workings of Hashem and the merit of Rabbi Shimon prevents that from occurring.

The charedi community does not only forbid the study of science in their educational institutions. They do not only teach a hostile approach to "atheist scientists." They reject the fundamental reality of physics. All this is obviously and inextricably linked to their prioritizing charedi control of Meron over nationalization of the site and subjecting it to standard engineering regulations (which would never permit such a large gathering in such an unsuitable site).

Mishpacha magazine says that Meron is really about personal spiritual growth. This spiritual growth is to be found in such things as the Torah study and modesty called for by Rav Chaim Kanievsky, or overcoming the sinas chinam which Jonathan Rosenblum describes as being the culprit for Meron identified by all the Gedolim. Mishpacha describes the science of the Meron tragedy as a smokescreen, as only perhaps of importance, and only then as a hishtadlus of no real significance. This creates a widespread attitude, seen in a letter to HaModia about security precautions, that because hishtadlus has no real significance it therefore does not need to be taken all that seriously. Ironically, if you want to know the real reasons why the Meron tragedy happened, it's partly because of a mindset like this.

 

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112 comments:

  1. This is your best article on the topic so far. I will try and spread it.

    I discussed these very points with my very charedi Rov in London. I asked if the response to a tragedy has to *always* be that it's rotzon hashem (a la Rambam castigating those who call a tzoroh a mikreh) even when we know the physical actual cause, in which case why can't the only (or main) response be to remedy the factors that caused the event?

    I conceded that tragedies with no (or less) obvious causes such as cancer or the Holocaust or covid be attributed only to rotzon hashem.

    But not one such as this where it is clear that overcrowding and poorly designed exits for an enormous crowd were to blame.

    He told me my approach was divrei Kefirah.

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    1. The חינוך writes that while every injury below is decreed below, we are all (some ancient saints excepted) subject to the laws of nature & must avoid all hazards.
      I don't know if the חינוך is the final word on the subject, but it could be that the Charedi rav was alluding to that concept.
      It's too bad he only declared "heresy!" without citing a source as useful guidance.

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    2. Everything has some physical cause. Even cancer according to “the China study “ diet plays a major role.

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    3. Ironically, anyone who subscribes to the "divrei kefira" approach forces the adherent to ignore Hashem's direct message to them and come up with some new innovative idea why Hashem did a particular thing. So an overcrowded event that directly led to 45 deaths R"L - with plenty of warnings from all sides - over the course of many years - must have a different reason. Ignore Hashem's direct message and then let's pin it to one of our personal pet peeves (too much internet consumption, the length of skirts, or whatever you fancy). Now if you don't subscribe to this view, then you automatically see it as ignoring Hashem and a form of Avoda Zoro itself.

      Given this epic schism, what does Rabbi Slifkin assume he can accomplish with his essays? I am lost as to how to bridge the gap of these two diametrically opposing viewpoints and with each passing day, I see those not taking Hashem's direct message as engaging in avodah zoro.

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    4. Find a better Rabbi

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    5. How about this is Hashem's way of telling us that we should be careful about crowd safety and שמירת הנפש

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    6. If everything is decreed, why does the Torah advise us to never take risks? "V'nishmartem me'od lemafshoteichim"

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  2. Well, halacha works precisely the same way. No one takes metzius seriously. It's all kli shlishi or bittul instead of chemical tests.

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    1. Why not? I was told by many rabbonim that the halachic metzius is the real metzius. (Cue story of goose lungs). If we followed reality, we'd need to throw half of hilchos Shabbos and niddah down the drain.

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    2. Things like kli shlishi were a way that Chazal tried to get to the metzius as best as possible, in a way that could be codified for the average person. It has since become canonized in halacha. It's not a matter of halachic metziyus being the "real" metziyus - it's just the legal metziyus.

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    3. @Rabbi Slifkin
      This is probably not the place to discuss it, but specifically כלי שלישי is, as far as בישול is concerned, not mentioned in חז"ל, and the very source who points the איסור of כלי שני for קלי הבישול (ספר יראים) explicitly says it's the same for כלי שלישי. Those אחרונים who make the distinction probably didn't see it, but the point is: you should probably not put קלי הבישול in a really hot כלי שלישי.
      That being said I agree with you on the general approach, maybe ביטול בשישים would have been a better example.

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  3. Any frum person understands the quandary that follows if you say that
    1. Gd orchestrates every minutiae of every second of everyone's life and
    2. Gd only does good to everyone and never bad
    So when terrible tragedies occur, the only explanation can be that the tragedy was deserved or the tragedy occurred to save a bigger tragedy.
    And when you can't really say a 8 year old at Meron deserved to die, they have to say it's because of the gays, women's skirts, frei Jews etc.
    It's a logical conclusion for them assuming the 2 points above.

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  4. Leviticus 10,3

    Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD meant when He said: Through those near to Me I show Myself holy, And gain glory before all the people.” And Aaron was silent.

    Leviticus 10, 8-9

    And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying:
    9 Drink no wine or other intoxicant, you or your sons, when you enter the Tent of Meeting, that you may not die. This is a law for all time throughout the ages

    Hashem clearly gave instructions how to remedy the problem so it wouldn't occur again.

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    1. There's a Parsha break in between the pesukim. from where do you derive that it was a direct response?

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  5. A complete perversion of what Kobre said and holds.

    "And, as a form of hishtadlus, all those are perhaps necessary."

    He doesn't say that hishtadlus has no genuine significance. To the contrary, he thinks hishtadlus is necessary. Your cartoonish narrative about chareidim not believing in cause an effect would be laughable, if not for the tragic situation. As for the army, you yourself have written previously about the real reason for their resistance.

    At this point, you are just dancing on the graves of the niftarim.

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    1. Happy,
      I don't know or care about Kobre but iirc Rav Dessler days precisely that: hishtadlus is ajust a cover for God's explicit machinations in the world, i.e., it's just pretend and has no "genuine" significance."
      Something I never understood about the adherents of that approach, is that when a major rabbi needs heart surgery or the like, they are not satisfied with getting a very good doctor nor even a major expert in the field. They usually insist and spend great sums on getting one of the biggest experts in the world. They flew an entire medical staff and world renowned surgeon in from Ohio to treat R Elyashiv. Why wasn't a good doctor - or even the biggest expert in Israel chutch - sufficient for mere hishtadlus? Doesn't seem like they believe the party line themselves.

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    2. Dave that's my point! You said it better than me! They believe in hishtadlus, lots of hishtadlus. Therefore, the best doctors. Therefore the roshei yeshivos work very hard collecting tremendous sums of money for their yeshiva. Therefore the community leaders invest tremendous amounts of effort into politics and getting out the vote. Even Meron, besides for the terrible safety has an enormous amount of logistics.

      What Rabbi Slifkin says is a cartoonishly ridiculous perversion. And he knows it. As I said, cynically using the tragedy for his own agenda.

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    3. There's no deist in a foxhole"

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    4. No, he believes that is necessary only insofar as a knas. But it's a "smokescreen."

      "At this point, you are just dancing on the graves of the niftarim." If you keep issuing slander like that, I might ban you. I'm the one actually trying to address the factors that caused people die and which will cause others to die. You're the one insisting on whistling past the graveyard.

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    5. I won't talk that way any more.

      But you are not addressing anything. Any more than the Satmar Rebbe "addressed" terrorism with his anti zionist speech.

      You are slandering the entire chareidi society with the most twisted reasoning.

      What is the difference between you and the Satmar Rebbe? Simply that you think you are right and he is wrong?

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    6. Happy,
      You conveniently ignored my first paragraph. My point is that the movement seems to be hypocritical. They espouse one view of hishtadlus when it suits them (e.g., learning in kollel, when disaster strikes) and another when it comes time to pay the bill (medicine). I believe R Dessler provides the intellectual framework for the former, and they loudly accept that, but in practice they do like the latter.. (and kollel is supported by the govt and Americans kyeduah).

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    7. Dave, it is not hypocritical. "Learning in kollel when disaster strikes" is a ridiculous strawman. Of course they agree that those who have the power to do something should do it, including fire and building codes. Davening and mitzvos are the main thing, so that Hashem shines his countenance upon us, and we don't come to such tragedies. Not that we shouldn't work to prevent them. You seriously misunderstand chareidim and chareidi society.

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    8. As I said and I know, the vast majority of chareidi, if asked if they believe in building codes and fire codes, would say unequivocally "yes". How is blaming them, based on your spurious connection to their opposition to army service, addressing anything? The dots might connect in your head, but to them, it is just ridiculous and crazy, and they are being unjustly slandered.

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    9. Another mashal:

      A group of children are tragically gunned down in their school. Now, if people called for gun control, I would understand. But instead, somebody says "It's all the fault of small business owners. They are always pushing against government regulation and intrusion in their businesses. That exact same mentality prevents us from having gun control". That is bad enough. If the parents of the victims would be small business owners, it would be seen as horribly insensitive.

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    10. I meant to say "learning in kollel, when disaster strikes," as two separate things. How many shmuessen does that high school rebbi give trying to convince his talmidim that they should learn in kollel because "everything is in God's hands, and He just as easily provides for you in kollel as out. What about hishtadlus? Your wife will work a little, you'll find a kollel with a stipend, maybe a little tutoring. That's enough for hishtadlus." (If you haven't heard this, then you are the outsider in the Charedi world. This is maasim bchol yom.) Now when a person is seriously sick chas vshalom, that same system/rebbi will say to run to the *biggest* doctor, because the basic hishtadlus of a regular or even a good doctor apparently isn't enough (see, e.g., R' Elyashiv). That's hypocritical. (Btw if you were a real insider charedi apologist, you would say, ורפא יפרא is anderish, because it's a special gezeirah to go to doctor so the dinim are different. Hogwash of course, but that's the standard charedi fare.)

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    11. Dave, am I correct that you are quoting American high school rebbeim? In America, that IS enough for hishtadlus for the first few years of marriage. Look at these "kollel" guys a few years later, the vast majority are working. They go to school online, or go to law school, or take CS courses, or become CPAs, or go into business. Mostly after speaking to their rebbeim!

      In Israel, the situation is different, mostly because of the army issue, but not because they don't believe in hishtadlus. They do plenty of hishtadlus in politics! Rabbi Slifkin himself, elsewhere, has cogently explained the situation in Israel, it seems he has forgotten about it here.

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    12. Happy,
      I don't know what modernishe yeshiva you went to, but the yeshivishe places I know urge their talmidim to stick to the kollel life way past the first few years (based in part on the extreme framing of bitachon/hishtadlus). If it were just for a few years I would agree with you.

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    13. Dave, modernishe yeshivos...like BMG? How many people there learn for more than 5-6 years? Very few. You just notice them more, but they are a small percentage of the thousands that go through that yeshiva every year.

      The truth is, every rebbe wants his talmidim to follow his footsteps, and learn for life. It is an ideal. But in countless cases I know, people left kollel at the advice of the very same rebbeim! And usually, those rebbeim had to do a lot of hishtadlus themselves to get the job! So anti-hishtadlus is the wrong diagnosis.

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    14. Please list several names of yeshivishe RY who regularly counsel their bochurim/yungerleit to leave learning after 5-6 years. I think I'm accurately presenting the view of R' Elya Svei, R' S Berenbaum, the four current RY of BMG, R' Wachtfogel, R' Swerdloff, R' Uren Reich, R' Shlomo Feivel, probably R' Aharon Shechter, etc. Regardless of whether others hold otherwise, that's plenty to establish it as a major Charedi position, which, I think, is hypocritical. But I'm pretty confident that's the mainstream view among the major yeshivishe RY in America.

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    15. See Nefesh Hachaim שער ג, י״ב
      והדביק עצמו בקדושת מחשבתו לבעל הכחות כולם אדון יחיד המלא כל עלמין ואין כאן שום שליטה ומציאות כח אחר כלל. לכן היה נכון לבו בטוח בזה שלא ישלטו עליו פעולות הכשפים הנמשכים מכחות המרכבה טמאה. ז''ש לא מסתייע' מילתיך אין עוד מלבדו כתיב:
      חובאמת הוא ענין גדול וסגולה נפלאה להסר ולבטל מעליו כל דינין ורצונות אחרים שלא יוכלו לשלוט בו ולא יעשו שום רושם כלל. כשהאדם קובע בלבו לאמר הלא ה' הוא האלקים האמתי ואין עוד מלבדו יתברך שום כח בעולם וכל העולמות כלל והכל מלא רק אחדותו הפשוט ית''ש.

      See the intro of Madregas haadam-Regarding the gemarah in rosh hashana-"השלך על ה" יהבך והוא יכלכלך"
      See the ramban parshas bechukosai on refuah and parnassah
      See noam Elimelech וזה הוא וכי תאמרו כו' שהתורה מלמדת לאדם דרכי השם שיהיה שלם בבטחונו על אלהיו ולא יאמר כלל מה יאכל כי כאשר חלילה יפול מן הבטחון לחשוב מה יאכל הוא עושה פגם חלילה בהשפע ואטרחו כלפי שמיא לצוות מחדש * וכי תאמרו פירוש כאשר תאמרו כך ואז תטריחו אותי וצויתי כו' אלא לא תתנהגו כך ותבטחו בה' בכל לבבכם ואז תלך השפע בלי הפסק כלל תמיד לא יחסר כל בה.

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    16. No Rosh Yeshiva in Chutz La'aretz will counsel a person to ignore his financial stresses and stay in Kollel relying on Hashem. None of those that you mentioned.

      If anything, they tell people not to worry about years down the line, because הרבה שלוחים למקום. But when a person has bills to pay, and Kollel isn't cutting it, no Rosh Yeshiva in Chutz La'aretz tells his talmidim to ignore it.

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    17. I don't think they regularly counsel yungerleit to leave learning after 5-6 years AS A RULE. But they do counsel people to leave learning when they need to, as in when they ask "I need money, there is no hope of me getting a shteller, should I go out to work?". Which is commonly after 5-6 years. As I said, puk chazi mah ama davar. Very few people who start learning in kollel in BMG are still there after 6 years. I think I am accurately presenting the metzius.

      But if you dispute my metzius, please tell. You know of cases of people who really needed money for their families, asked those rabbis the question I mentioned, and were told to stay? I won't deny that it happens, but I definitely know of the opposite cases. Cases which involved names from your list.

      Unfortunately it's hard to find stuff in print, but is Rav Elya Brudny mainstream enough for you? Here he talks about the "right" way to leave kollel. https://mishpacha.com/checks-and-balances/ I think that is an accurate presentation of how mainstream RYs feel.

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    18. Unknown,
      Exactly my point. Setting aside whether that shtims with the mainstream view of the Rishonim (see my comments way below), according to the views you pasted here there is no justification for R Elyashiv's court to have run to America to fly the world's expert in a certain cardiac surgery and his entourage to Israel to treat him (wasting a boatload of yiddishe gelt noch!). Obviously, getting a good doc or even the best in Israel would have been a complete kiyum of the chiyuv for hishtadlus. So, what does that say about what they truly believe about hishtadlus/bitachon?

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    19. ZD, thank you, you said it much better than my lengthy blather.

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    20. "No Rosh Yeshiva in Chutz La'aretz will counsel a person to ignore his financial stresses and stay in Kollel relying on Hashem. None of those that you mentioned." This is true only if you define "financial stresses" as acute extreme circumstances.
      Anyway, if our bitachon is so weak that we insist on the best cardiac surgeon *in the world* and nothing less will do, how in the world can we be confident that a thirty-three year old guy with/without a high school diploma can suddenly go out and earn for the needs of a family of 6-7? Of course he may very well succeed, but you know, a good doctor often heals his patients too. For some reason we don't have enough bitachon to use a good doctor.
      (Regardless, I'm not sure why we need to argue about American RY. What about people learning in Israel who are aged out, too many kids, or american and aren't subject to the draft? I assume you are well aware that they are often counseled to be soimech on bitachon despite very poor financial prospects.)

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    21. Not true, not acute extreme circumstances, it depends on the person If a yungerman feels he needs to go, no RY will say no.

      But I finally see what you are asking. It is, why are they more "meikel" in hishtadlus when it comes to parnassa vs. when it comes to other things, like doctors? Why not send the kids to the best secular private schools (while giving them Torah lessons in the afternoon), to maximize their chances of being accepted into Ivy league schools? The answer is, it's not worth it. It's not worth giving up all that Torah learning to maximize this particular hishtadlus. Not that they don't believe in hishtadlus.

      BTW, the same applies to health. Sure, they will go to the best doctors if sick. But what happens when the doctors tell them that they must shut down all shuls and yeshivos, potentially FOREVER (we didn't know there would be a vaccine)? Well, we saw what happened the past year.

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    22. That calculus is indefensible: firstly, bitachon is a chiyuv, not voluntary. You don't get to slack off on your bitachon because it's easy. Secondly, it isn't easy - how many tens of thousands (maybe hundreds?) of Jewish dollars were wasted on chartering a special plane for an entire medical team to treat R Elyashiv. Living in America I know dozens of israelis who need the money desperately and it's essentially wasted money since *really* it's just hishtadlus that would *just as well been mekuyam* through a much less expensive method.
      Whoever did that clearly thought they needed the absolute tip top hishtadlus (without an ounce less because of bitachon) - which is never the yardstick in bitachon/hishtadlus shmoozen in yeshiva.

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    23. Now you're just going off the rails. You're asking, why wasn't the money spent on hishtadlus to save R Elyashiv, spent on some OTHER hishtadlus to help other people? This is your big kasha on hishtadlus?? Do you know the scale of hishtadlus that is being done, by Jews all over the world, all the time, to help those other people??? Many, many, many orders of magnitude greater than whatever was done for R Elyashiv!!!

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    24. You're not following. Why was money spent on the highest level of hishtadlus (which according to any shmooze in yeshiva or the sources cited by unknown above) which is not willing to relent in the slightest for bitachon, while countless Jews don't have money for basic needs such as food, proper medical care etc. which ranks for them close to the *lowest* level of hishtadlus. The fact that plenty of people already help the poor is irrelevant - there are still thousands in extreme need and it's an utter waste of Jewish gelt to spend gigantic sums on a level of hishtadlus which is unnecessary and even betrays a chisaron in bitachon.

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    25. Some gvir(im) decided it was a mitzvah to save R' Elyashiv, so they paid for the best doctor. He didn't demand it or ask for it. So what's the problem here, exactly? That they didn't spend it on causes you find more worthy? That R' Elyashiv didn't refuse their help? You are making no sense.

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  6. I don't understand why - by the same measures - you don't condemn the actions of religious Zionist settlers, who have opted for known danger by opening schools in Itamar or similar locations targeted by terrorists, and their children travel there through Tzomet Tapuach, all in the name of some dubious national strategy fueled by the Kabbalistic Kookian vision of the flowering of the redemption. Not too rational, nor conceding to natural law.

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    1. I don't understand why - by the same measures - YOU, Walter, don't condemn the actions of Hashem, who has opted for known danger by placing Eretz Yisrael in the Middle East, a location targeted by millions of Aran enemies, and His children, Am Yisrael, have to travel and exist there, and defend themselves from 21 surrounding Arab countries, all in the name of some dubious national strategy fueled by the Torah's vision of the flowering of the redemption. Not too rational, nor conceding to natural law. "The Torah commandment to settle the Land of Israel is comprised of two components – a general mitzvah and a personal one. The general mitzvah is incumbent on Clal Yisrael (the entire congregation of Israel, past, present, and future), and demands that the Jewish Nation, as a whole, conquer and settle Eretz Yisrael."

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    2. Perhaps you misunderstood. I was not making any theological statements, merely pointing out the hypocrisy of Rabbi Dr. Slifkin's never-ending obsession.

      Delete
    3. The tragedy at Meron is a consequence of negligence. There were 100k people in an area that could fit 20k people. The issue was known for tens of years and nothing was done about it. If responsibility was taken to make sure that Meron was run properly, the deaths wouldn't have happened.

      The situation with the religious Zionists in Itamar is not due to negligence. They've decided it's important enough to risk their lives and their children's lives in order to live in certain areas.

      Sometimes there are goals that are worth fighting for and even dying for. I mean, people die in wars. But dying at an event because you were unable to create proper safety precautions is simply a waste.

      The cases are fundamentally different.

      Delete
    4. Walter, you are not completely wrong.

      But one could make the arguments that sure, "settlers" recognize the dangers, and they do their best to overcome them with extra security and the like. Also, to say that they are going in harm's way because ANOTHER PERSON might act based on it can be construed as blaming the victim (partly). In the case of Meron, there is no person who could have stayed his hand. It was math and science that was unfortunately arrayed against the event.

      Perhaps we should approach terrorists as if they are a force of nature? And not try to change their minds or win the war?

      Also, for "Settlers," the issue of yishuv Eretz Yisrael perhaps overrrides the risk. Or the need to demonstrate that yes, this is Our Land. The terrorists and the UN and the EU and the world need to see that we are not cowed. There is nobody to convince in the case of Meron.

      As many a T-shirt and bumper sticker have said: "Gravity: it's not just a suggestion, it's the law."

      Delete
    5. Settlers acknowledge the danger and consider the risks worthwhile, at the same time doing what they can to mitigate them. The Hardin in meron denied the danger and of course did nothing to mitigate it.

      Delete
  7. "And, as a form of hishtadlus, all those are perhaps necessary."

    This is undiluted heresy. All the efforts put into transforming Meron into a safe site is a miztvah. As the Chinuch (מעקה) puts it:
    "להסיר המכשולים והנגפים מכל משכנותינו"
    And the Rambam:
    כן כל מכשול שיש בו סכנת נפשות--מצות עשה להסירו ולהישמר ממנו ולהיזהר בדבר יפה יפה
    Yet, the editor relegates the מצוה to mere hishtadlus. As such he denies the מצוה & is thus a heretic.

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    1. You guys are more fanatic in your heresy hunting then Charedim.

      It's a very simple, very basic health and safety issue / police negligence issue that we should be taking about.

      Not a Rambam, not Charedim, not Theology, not Covid, and not any of the other elements in your puritanical culture war.

      Delete
  8. "He doesn't say that hishtadlus has no genuine significance. "

    Wrong. The term hishtadlus (almost?) always refers to human effort which is just a "smokescreen" for divine action. (Mitzvot are not hishtadlus, per se.) The editor contrasts it with introspection/repentance. The latter has genuine significance. The former is a "smokescreen" & a "distraction" - it has less significance.
    Don't sanitise the editor's remarks by distorting what he wrote.

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    1. Trying to discern subtle theological points from the opinion page of Mishpacha Magazine, whose editors had a sharp deadline to meet, and where the author is just trying to make his words flow smoothly and cogently, is similar to giving serious gravitas to pashkevillin (oh yes, Dr. Slifkin does that too!).

      Delete
    2. I second Walter here. Of course Kobre means serious hishtadlus, similar to the Rambam you quote.

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    3. Of course he doesn't. He makes that very clear. Yes, you have to do hishtadlus, but only as a knas. It's a "smokescreen."
      Incidentally, the pashkevil was genuine. It was discussed a lot at the time. There were numerous similar ones.

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    4. Of course he does. "Smokescreen" is just a fluffy way of saying all of reality is really Hashem. Not that one shouldn't do serious hishtadlus.

      Delete
    5. What is the evidence that the paskevil is genuine? That it was discussed a lot and there were numerous similar one? That is evidence?

      And even if you somehow confirmed all those rabbis signed, what is the evidence they knew anything about the safety issue?P0p

      Delete
    6. Walter,
      Very good point. Thanks. Deadlines & other pressures doesn't make for well thought out hashkafot. His writing style betrays no pressure of deadlines. The contents reveal, at best, a rashly thought out hashkafa.

      As such, HGL is giving the editor too much credit. "Of course Kobre means serious hishtadlus,". Again, you're using the word "hishtadlus" which by definition is not serious. The Rambam is talking about performing a mitzvah, not hishtadlus. (I'm not denying that hishtadlut can also be a mitzvah.)

      Delete
    7. Happy, you can argue it out with Zichron Devarim. I quote from his comment below:

      "When a person says Hishtadlus is less important than Divine mercy, he isn't saying that Hishtadlus is pointless. Hishtadlus is necessary, but because it is a chiyuv from Hashem, not because of its connection to the outcome."

      Delete
    8. Ephraim, I don't think hishtadlus is by definition not serious. Maybe in a very narrow mussar sense from certain schools of mussar. I don't think that's what Kobre means.

      Rabbi Slifkin, when people say "not because of its connection to the outcome", they are using it in the sense that everything comes from Hashem. Not that we shouldn't do what we need to do. ZD, can you confirm, or explain what you meant? Again, you can see chareidim doing all sorts of hishtadlus all the time. As for the army and kollel, you yourself have written about it before. It's not because they don't believe in serious hishtadlus.

      Delete
    9. Zichron DevorimMay 6, 2021 at 4:19 PM

      There seems to be some serious reading comprehension issues here.

      A person must go out and choose a profession that is most likely to cover his bills. He must get up each day and remind himself that this is the Ratzon Hashem, he is obligated to get up and work, and do the best job he can in order to fulfill his chiyuvim that were placed on him בגזירת הבורא who said בזיעת אפיך תאכל לחם.
      However, he should simultaneously know that this is not the source of his parnossa. It is quite likely that his work will not produce anything, and he will find a large sum of money in the street afterwards. He did his Hishtadlus, but Hashem sent him the money in a different way.

      Anyone in the real world can attest to this happening. How the job you chased didn't work out, but something else just happened to come up. And not just regarding money, it is all issues of this world.

      The Messilas Yesharim explains this at length, as well as the Chovos Halevavos.

      The intersection between pre-determination and personal autonomy is a fascinating one in מחשבת ישראל, and it does not lend itself to short statements. People who have only read the dustcover version of the issues, not the actual source material, can perhaps impress themselves with their understanding of the issues, and feel competent enough to denigrate others, but they really come across as ignorant fools.

      If you truly want to quote the Rambam, learn his Seforim slowly and with understanding. These tertiary quotes show themselves up.

      Delete
  9. The point that we should each self reflect is always true. What's interesting to me is that there is no call for communal self-reflection on issues that we act on as a community (e.g. where do we prioritize our communal safety {are building codes for freiers?}, how do our leaders and populations interact{are wedding takanot for freirs?.....)
    KT

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  10. Zichron DevorimMay 6, 2021 at 3:36 PM

    Someone who quotes Rav Dessler as the source for this opinion, shows that he has precious little background in מחשבת ישראל. Yes, girls in Gateshead Seminary meet 'hashkafa' in Rav Dessler's Seforim. But this is sourced long before Rav Dessler, and is a part and parcel of Judaism. See Rashi on כי יפול הנופל ממנו for a start.

    When a person says Hishtadlus is less important than Divine mercy, he isn't saying that Hishtadlus is pointless. Hishtadlus is necessary, but because it is a chiyuv from Hashem, not because of its connection to the outcome. I don't know how anyone thinks that is a zilzul in the need for Hishtadlus. On the contrary, it makes Hishtadlus more important.

    But for those of us who have no input on the Hishtadlus being done, but can control our own actions and thoughts, there is no point in dwelling on the crowding factor, and every benefit in bettering our spirituality. Because the former is not in our hands, and the latter is.

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    1. Wrong - Rav Dessler puts it very starkly - that hishtadlus is just pretend, with no real world implications, while God *really* does everything. Were there others before him who said that as well? Probably, but not necessarily as clearly or "lemaaseh." Of course the Rashi you cited is far too ambiguous to draw any concrete lessons vis a vis this question. One could possibly imagine Rashi shtimming with the Rambam (MN, a leaf *doesn't* fall because of a decree from God), Ramban (al HaTorah/Iyov, God leaves certain people to mikrah, now what about hishtadlus), Chinuch (very rachuk from logic that God decrees on the leaves to fall) v'od. Rav Dessler though is operating with an entirely different worldview (akin to Abarbanel perhaps), but one that is highly questionable, especially when put in practice. But, fortunately, as I said above, when it comes to medicine and the like, no one actually puts it into practice.

      Delete
    2. Better yet, R' Dessler is akin to the Meiri in Moed Katan (iirc), but far from the mainstream view among the Rishonim

      Delete
    3. Zichron DevorimMay 6, 2021 at 5:15 PM

      Hishtadlus is pretend, wrt the outcome. A person is still obligated to do this 'pretending' and nobody is permitted to ignore that chiyuv.

      We find the top doctor, but the success is in Hashem's hands. Or, as Chassidim say, "the greater the doctor, the greater the Malach sent along with him".

      Learn the sugya, not the dustcover.

      Delete
    4. When you say the "sugya," is that restricted to MY, CHHL, Ramban in Shemos and Chinuch 241? Do we include the MN, Ramban to Iyov et al, Chinuch 171-546 iirc, DHR, SHI, Shut Rashbash? I've only ever heard kvetches to explain the latter to shtim with the former and not vice versa (or a machlokes, ch'v). You are aptly describing the modern Besht/Gra and on view of hishtadlus, but one that does not seem to do the Rishonim justice. For all your condescension and arrogance, are you claiming to have "learned up" the MN on the topic well with all of the commentaries? You're really holding in it? Or can you answer the stirah in the Ramban about mikra? Color me skeptical that such a teefa gaon in machshavah is lurking in the comments on Slifkin's blog.

      Delete
    5. Zichron DevorimMay 6, 2021 at 9:59 PM

      Dave - you may want to find that quote where I said I learned it. I merely said that people who haven't learned it, sound stupid when they pontificate, mention 'most Rishonim' and denigrate other people's opinions.

      Delete
    6. You say this is a complex subject not given to pithy statements. How long is "every bullet has its address." Or "Hishtadlus is pretend, wrt the outcome. A person is still obligated to do this 'pretending' and nobody is permitted to ignore that chiyuv." These seem like gross oversimplifications.

      Delete
  11. When you convert a tragedy into a theological argument, you show you really couldn't care less about concrete reality either.

    45 people are objectively dead, but you don't care about that reality of stopping it happen again.

    You care about abstract theological arguments (which really have nothing to do with the very practical measures either a hishtadlus or concrete reality model would require).

    You care about othering Charedim, blaming Charedim for a political culture which is uniformly corrupt, and mostly about your own bruised ego after you were Cheremed. You would exult in the next Meron because to you the 45 dead are just ammunition to relitigate the Cherem.

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    1. You're either stupid or sick. Or both.

      The whole point is that it's the abstract theological worldview which LEADS TO real-world consequences.

      You care more about defending Charedim than about doing something about the 45 people who died.

      Delete
    2. I refer you to my third paragraph and in particular what is my written in brackets, which anticipated and defeated the notion that health and and safety is a matter of theology. It is thoroughly uncontroversial. It's not a matter of abstract theology any more than looking before crossing the road is.

      Only if you are determined to use this event as a wedge will it become controversial. You've chosen to make it a wedge issue for sectarian grounds. By doing you ensure the uncontroversial practical steps will be drowned out by sanctimonious finger wagging, religious nonsense, and far fetched claims made without evidence linking theology to very real issues when much simpler explanations are available.

      This is a culture war you obviously are happy for others to literally die in again and again and again to make you feel good about how right you are.

      Delete
    3. ...doing something to prevent the death of the next 45 people

      Delete
    4. @ The Hat,

      "45 people are objectively dead, but you (RDNS) don't care about that reality of stopping it happen again."

      A breathtakingly stupid and insane comment so completely, blatantly, and obviously false that it makes you either insane or a vicious liar. (You're probably better off claiming insanity.)

      Delete
    5. Let's take the hypothesis that Rabbi Dr Slifkin really wanted to save Charedi lives. He wouldn't make blanket tribal statements about 'charedim' which are comic over generalisations. He wouldn't make any theological comment at all. He would promote the voices of sensible Charedim. And he would talk simply about common sense measures which everyone wants to get behind. If course, if Rabbi Dr wanted to relitigate his culture war, he would do everything he has done. Make inane sectarian generalisations. Tie everything into his abstract world view. Pretend there are no Charedi voices of reason. And do anything other than talk about health and safety.

      He stated previously he was more interested in 'wider societal concerns' than why 45 people died. That's a matter of public record.

      Actually when I last accused Rabbi Dr Slifkin of concern trolling over Covid here http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2020/04/who-caused-death-by-daas-torah.html?m=1 he said he was furious rather than gleeful. But he did not deny that he was not approaching the misfortune of Charedim from anything other than a sectarian perspective. He has a particular sectarian agenda, and this is grist to his mill.

      Delete
    6. As I keep pointing out, there are indeed sensible charedim, who agree exactly with the points that I am making. See, for example, https://www.mekomit.co.il/ps/111578/.

      Delete
    7. Counterproductive over generalisations include (this piece alone).

      "the widespread charedi perspective, as taught in my own neighborhood by Rav Steinman, that education and effort have nothing to do with parnasah (and the fact that people who go to college and to work tend to earn more money than people in kollel is not even addressed).

      "charedi leaders declaring that one should not even discuss how the charedi community should deal with economic realities, since the charedi community runs according to entirely supernatural principles."

      "The charedi community does not only forbid the study of science in their educational institutions."

      Not a single quote attributable to a sensible Charedi leader.

      Try harder, Rabbi Dr, or at the very least stop being part of the problem.

      Delete
  12. 1)I haven't read the article in the Mishpacha but my understanding from the Rishonim and the Chazon Ish is that the more the person is close to Hashem the more he will be protected by Hasgocho Protis this is the explanation of Chazal השׂטן מקטרג בּשׁעת הסכּנה as explained by Chazon Ish. Chazon Ish also says that some people are thrown to Teva (as a punishment)and will not be saved by a miracle. I personally never went to Meron on lag baomer when I lived in Israel as it is a מקום סכּנה.
    2)The bigger problem in my view is that unfortunately the Health and safety enforcement/legislation by the state of Israel is chaotic. This is due to terrible corruption and not caring enough about human life. I will bring a few examples although there are many more:
    a)Most buildings built in Israel prior to 1980 are extremely dangerous in case of a earthquake. This is a mass disaster which can g'd forbid happen any minute. Israel is in a high risk area. The government warn about it just to cover themselves with no enforcement whatsoever on :https://www.mapi.gov.il/Earthquake/Pages/reinforcement.aspx
    b) In Jerusalem it can be very dangerous to drive in Arab areas however there are no warnings or signposts etc. Waze can take you anywhere and people have almost been killed -no one cares.
    c)Cranes collapse almost on a yearly basis-no one cares
    d) A corrupt individual built a wedding hall called Versaille in a very unsafe manner -23 people died -no one cares
    e)Ahrele yakter a chareidi askan in Meron warned the police years ago about a disaster in the making he even went to court to force the police to act showing the video's -they said he is mad
    https://www.kikar.co.il/391127.html

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    1. Zichron DevorimMay 6, 2021 at 5:16 PM

      Afaik, the builder of the Versailles sat in jail.

      Delete
    2. @Zichron Devorim
      1) You say "Afaik, the builder of the Versailles sat in jail" Yes but how was this allowed? Were there no Health & Safety checks by the government?. The Pal-Kal method was also authorised by the State when it shouldn't off
      2) on Meron : Charedi askonim in 2016 complained to all official government departments that the Toldos Aharon site is DANGEROUS particularly by those stairs. They showed video's of people fainting and asked to please change the venue. They were told that they are MAD. They then went to the Israeli Supreme court at their own cost and showed the video to try enforce Health and Safety but were turned down and assured by Police and Judges that it is safe. This is absolutely ASTONISHING for a modern state. Now who should sit in jail??? Charedim who complained or the police and the supreme court judges. See below the ruling:

      https://lite.takdin.co.il/%D7%91%D7%92%20%D7%A6%203036%2015%20%D7%90%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%9F%20%D7%99%D7%A7%D7%98%D7%A8%20%D7%A0%20%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%A8%20%D7%9C%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%AA%D7%99%20%D7%93%D7%AA_hd_5209061.html

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    3. Everyone cared about Versailles. A bunch of people went to jail, alot of money was paid out, building standards were changed, alot of halls built according to previous standards were condemned.
      Are you saying we should do the same for meron?

      Delete
  13. You seem intent on looking to assign blame. Fine. Some people would call that thoughtless, but fine, go ahead, look for blame. The sole question is: Who erected the narrow passageways that led directly to the tragedy, and who closed off full access to them on the holiday? If it was Charedim, then yes, Charedim are responsible. If it was the Police, then the Police are responsible. In either case though it was Jews, so the world must intervene, because Jews obviously cant be trusted with running their own country. (Lest you accuse me of anti-semitism, I can point to other Jewish voices, like the Neturei Karta, who also say the same thing.)

    This is what you sound like to anyone not in your choir.

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    1. So it's "thoughtless" to look at how this came to happen and how to stop it happening again. Got it.

      Delete
    2. As I said, you are not stopping this from happening. Just blaming a bunch of innocent people that had no fault in this, because you imagine there is a connection to their "mentality". Such talk doesn't help the situation at all, and certainly doesn't stop anything from happening.

      Delete
    3. Who's fooling who? Your thoughts aren't motivated by a genuine desire to help anyone. You know it and we know it. You just see this (as you see everything) as an opportunity to criticize the community you left.

      Delete
    4. Let's put it another way. You may believe your intentions are pure. In fact, I'm sure you believe that. But my intentions (to improve you and your blog) are also pure. And the intentions of every Jewish reformer, from the Hellenists to the Yesvektsiya to Reform Judaism, was also pure. What of it? The motive behind a suggestion isn't relevant when the suggestion itself is wrong.

      Delete
  14. Apologies I forgot to put a link to the court case in 2016 Ahrele Yakter against the police which was by denied by Bagatz due to the fact that POLICE said they take full responsibility (according to RNS Chareidim also control bagatz)????:

    https://lite.takdin.co.il/%D7%91%D7%92%20%D7%A6%203036%2015%20%D7%90%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%9F%20%D7%99%D7%A7%D7%98%D7%A8%20%D7%A0%20%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%A8%20%D7%9C%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%AA%D7%99%20%D7%93%D7%AA_hd_5209061.html

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  15. Forgive me for being rational and all but isn't linking real life problems to abstract theology rather irrational. You have a hypothesis and an n=1 cherry picked observational study.

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  16. The hishtadlus model is by design intended to give exactly the same outputs as a WYSIWYG model of reality for the same inputs. It is unfalsifiable. It is meaningless and it isn't even worth arguing with.

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  17. Ah, the Vaad d'Chachamim of Queens.

    I recall going to the hundredth anniversary of Allenby entering Jerusalem. Avshalom Kor, standing on the "porch" of Migdal David, proudly announced, "The Turks built this and ran the place for four hundred years and never built a railing. Then the British ran it for thirty-one years and never built a railing. Then the Jordanians didn't build a railing in the nineteen years they controlled it. And in 1967 we took it, and immediately put up a railing, because the Torah says so."

    My own rabbi mentioned to specific instances of trampling- one in the Book of Maccabees and one in the Gemara- that lead to real, serious gezerot to keep that from happening again.

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  18. Can someone familiar with R Dessler/this school of thought explain if "hishtadlus" changes the outcome of a scenario? And if not how is it not simply determinism?

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  19. So following Rav Dessler the Nefesh Hachaim is bad and definitely wrong ?

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  20. Excellent article. The mystical approach seems to negate, indeed deny, the laws of nature. This worldview is a huge problem when this is applied to episodes like the Meron disaster.

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  21. Regarding the position of Rabbi Dessler I wouldn't hurry to blame him on this issue, I recommend to read first the introduction of his talmid Rav Carmel on "nature and miracle" Strive for truth book 2 page 236.

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  22. https://www.haaretz.co.il/news/law/.premium-1.9779794

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  23. Per the link "Hashem is right here with us, stopping that rasha [Nazi soldier] from killing us. Is that not reason enough for joy?!” Nu, so where was Hashem as 6 million burnt ? As I wrote in my blog this was one of my 10 reasons for my rejection of Orthodox Judaism. P.S. One main reason for the The drivel coming out of the link is to bolster the God Virus. ACJA

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  24. Lets see. Thousands attend an event and tragedy ensues. Going theology would indicate Hashem is displeased with this sort of worship. Remember we do not know where Moshe Rabbeinu is buried for similar reasons. It is why the aveiruh of the Golden Calf. ACJA

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  25. Is it not true that Judaism has a rather long history of blaming natural events on moral failings - eg all of Tanach. This is not to claim that the proximate physical cause is not viewed as genuine, but it seems to be taken for granted that there is a spiritual/moral component even where there exists a natural explanation.

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    Replies
    1. But this was NOT a natural disaster - it was a man-made disaster!

      Delete
  26. The theological issues really confound me here. The Talmud clearly states that divine providence (hashgacha) is not applicable in circumstances that are naturally (tzinim u’pachim) or circumstantially (kotel noteh) dangerous, even if the activity involves the performance of a mitzvah. Indeed, the Talmud’s formulation of it’s principle almost suggests all God will do, to some extent, is sit back and watch (i.e., hakol bidei shamayim chutz...). I’ve been to Meiron for Lag Baomer and found it to be nothing short of a death trap waiting to happen. I experienced no Simcha being swept up by a jetty of dancing chassidim and exerted mighty effort just to escape to a corner to breath fresh air. It’s not even clear to me what mitzvah - biblical or rabbinic - one could even argue is being performed by going to Meiron on any day of the year, much less Lag Baomer with its Shmirat Einayim and avodah zara like segulot and other pitfalls lying in wait. This whole episode is just awful but not because the Almighty is disappointed in our actions but because we did not take simple action to prevent disappointing the Almighty. Hashem Yerachem v Hamakom Yinachem.

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  27. RNS
    Chazall tell us that a person is killed inadvertently it is due to his transgressions :הקבה מזמינם לפונדק אחד etc. These pour souls were murdered inadvertently ,you claim by their own community based on anti charedi propaganda media. I say it is the state departments , police and Supreme Court. I have backed this up by factual Supreme Court rulings. The only criminal proceeding currently undergoing are against the POLICE. Why don't you wait for official invertigations before you come to your warped conclusions??? You are causing immense pain to the families! I wouldn't off blamed the police as I think it is not currently appropriate, but I had to defend against your accusations on my community. I don't expect you to change your ways. Have a Good Shabbos.

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  28. Article with details as to the particular people in charge of Meron:
    https://rabbidunner.com/facing-the-music-in-meron/

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    Replies
    1. Why haven't they been arrested or at least interviewed yet?

      Delete
    2. Very good article. Also from the state report: ריבוי המחלוקות והתביעות המשפטיות על הבעלות על מתחם רשב"י ועל ניהולו מונע זה שנים רבות הפעלה יעילה ותקינה של המתחם ומקשה את פיתוחו
      Basically, a very old ownership dispute prevented the site from being properly maintained. Of course, ownership disputes are unique to chareidim, and only chareidim resist state confiscation of their property. This never happens anywhere else or with any other people.

      Delete
  29. Zichron DevorimMay 7, 2021 at 4:25 PM

    This post, and the comments on it, are Exhibit No. 1 in how people misunderstand others.

    The speeches given to the masses, are geared to them. They aren't politicians, crown control experts, organizers, or Rabbis. They are individuals, who were dealt a terrible blow with this tragedy. They are looking for direction, a method of how to deal with their feelings and confusion. You may not believe it, but they certainly believe that 'every bullet has its address', and if they were hurt, there was hashgacha pratis involved. They cannot fix the overcrowding, they cannot change the political system, but they need direction. Telling them to blame someone else serves no purpose.

    This is how the target community hears the message. If you have a connection to the leaders, by all means demand that they revamp the whole thing, knock down all of the buildings, remove all chazakos, and have one central fire, lit at the first minute, and left for 24 hours. No Hachnosas Orchims within one kilometer of the tomb, no food and no drink anywhere close by. No shnorrer apparatus' and no speeches. Every Rebbe can make a fire in his own Shul, and give speeches there.
    But that is the purview of others, not the masses and not the target audiences of the letters and speeches.

    ReplyDelete
  30. From hefkervelt :

    A survivor of the miron tragedy denies the viral stories that he was in bes din shel maalah and was told to go back because he didnt talk in shul. In a phone conversation with a chizuk line Rav Avrohom Meir Krauss says he was convinced to say that he was clinically dead in order to inspire and get people to do teshuva. In truth he was left unconscious among the dead in Miron when he was found after they made rounds and transported to a hospital in tzefas . He beleives that he was saved because he does not talk by davening and published a sefer on kavod Bais Hamedrash.

    ReplyDelete
  31. On April 30, you wrote a post that was so sensible and sensitive, I could hardly believe it was coming from you. I was extremely inclined to begin to see you in another light. You finished it by saying that there are things to discuss, but that they should wait for another day. I thought that was very impressive for someone who can barely hold in his venomous animosity most of the time. At least you agreed that it might be worthwhile to wait until after shiva, or shloshim, or a year before using a colossal tragedy as fuel for hateful slander! But then it became clear that "another day" was meant quite literally- ANY other day; even the next one will do! And now, of course, it's back to the regular venting, belittling and bashing in the guise of "focusing on the solution" etc.... There is a certain strange comfort of familiarity in knowing that this particular person has not, in fact, changed one iota and he is continuing kiminhago noheg... but in truth, my real feeling is of sadness. Once again I wish you a refuah sheleima- a complete refuas hanefesh to this truly tormented soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll be shocked to discover that plenty of people in the charedi world reacted in the EXACT SAME WAY as me.

      Hopefully one day you will be able to be as honest as they are.

      Delete
    2. If by "EXACT SAME WAY" you mean they share your opinions regarding the technical approach to all this, then no, I am certainly not shocked. But if you mean they also spew it with hate and mockery, then that is also possible although I am not aware of them- but again, I am never "shocked" to learn that emotional adolescents abound.

      Delete
    3. Actually, the "spewing of hate and mockery" is a figment of your siege mentality.

      Delete
  32. https://www.kikar.co.il/391192.html
    דיווח מדהים נוסף שפורסם בעקבות האסון, הוא על צ'ק פתוח של עשרות מיליוני שקלים, שהעמידה בעבר 'קרן ספרא' לטובת שיפוץ המתחם ותיקון הליקויים הרבים בו, אך בעוד רוב חברי 'ועדת החמישה' המפורסמת, האחראית על המתחם, שמחו על כך, אברהם פרויליך, העומד בראש ה'הקדש' של הקנאים, סירב - בשל העיקרון שלהם שלא ליהנות מ"כסף ציוני".

    ReplyDelete
  33. A very disappointing article (to put it mildly) :(
    While the chariedi press has been filled with articles about the need for unity between all jews (including secular), and including articles about the need for reforms in meron in safety standard,
    on the other hand dr slifkin feels the most important message is to deride/blast the chareidem (again)

    ReplyDelete

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