Monday, August 8, 2022

Fluffy Spirituality vs. Real Issues

There is disturbing news today from the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. It's a perfect example of the crucial practical difference between (re)interpreting Tisha B'Av to be about fluffy inspiration regarding vague "connection with Hashem," versus actually listening to what the Nevi'im actually said about the Fall of Jerusalem.

As pointed out, when Yirmiyah and Yeshayah (and the authors of the Kinnos) bemoaned the Fall of Jerusalem, they spoke about the disgrace and death and persecution and exile. It wasn't the loss of a proper connection with Hashem - the prophets explicitly stated that that was already lost a long time ago. And when they spoke about the sins that brought this on, the major themes that constantly recur are corruption and not helping those who need help, even (and especially) among those that are revered as important and spiritual people:

"Alas, she has become a harlot, the faithful city that was filled with justice,
Where righteousness dwelt—but now murderers...

"Your rulers are rogues and cronies of thieves,
Every one avid for presents and greedy for gifts;
They do not judge the case of the orphan,
And the widow’s cause never reaches them." (Isaiah 1:21,23)

"They are all greedy for gain; priest and prophet alike, they all act falsely." (Jer. 8:10)

Well, public exhibit number one of these sins is MK Yaakov Litzman. When Malka Leifer was due to be extradited to Australia, to stand trial for seventy-four counts of sexual abuse of her students, Litzman took advantage of his power to pressure people in the Health Ministry to falsely declare Leifer unfit for extradition. Until he was eventually caught out, he was successful for years in committing this miscarriage of justice and causing tremendous pain to the victims. Inexplicably, instead of being punished for this terrible corruption, Litzman was given a plea deal by which he admitted guilt, paid a symbolic fine, resigned from the Knesset, and only received a suspended jail sentence. Naturally, he remains a respected figure in the charedi community and there is no condemnation or even acknowledgement of his actions.

If people want to really absorb the lessons of Tisha B'Av, then instead of running fluffy inspirational presentations, they should be rallying to protest actual travesties of justice such as this one. And what kind of lesson does it send about corruption, if all that actually happens as a result is that you have to resign from the Knesset?

Of course, people will just condemn me again as a "hater of God" for saying terrible things about the Torah world. Which is a pity, because as we just heard in the haftorah before Tisha B'Av, God Himself makes it clear that uprooting such evil is much more important to Him than knowledge of Torah:

"Thus said the LORD:
Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom;
Let not the strong man glory in his strength;
Let not the rich man glory in his riches. 

"But only in this should one glory:
In his earnest devotion to Me.
For I the LORD act with kindness,
Justice, and equity in the world;
For in these I delight
—declares the LORD."

175 comments:

  1. "Naturally, he remains a respected figure in the charedi community and there is no condemnation or even acknowledgement of his actions."

    Naturally. Although some exceptions exist a Yid can never hand someone over to secular authorities.

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  2. "Naturally. Although some exceptions exist a Yid can never hand someone over to secular authorities." Cause it's better to destroy the life of a child due to sexual abuse...NOT.


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    1. You can't write you're own Torah.

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    2. The abuse happened in Australia. Sending her back to Australia is not a way to prevent abuse. It may achieve 'justice', but that is not a reason to permit Mesira.
      If she is still a danger in EY, she should certainly sit in jail, but if she is not, her victims can't demand she sit in jail. Jail is not an acceptable punishment in Torah.

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    3. Firstly, you are wrong that jail is not an acceptable punishment in the Torah. The Torah allows, and indeed demands, ad hoc. punishments in order to maintain society. As the Rashba famously says, if you just follow the dinei Torah without adding punishments and laws as needed, you will "destroy the world." Leaving abusers unpunished would be a prime example of that.

      Secondly, the Rambam says we should drag her mother out into the street and humiliate and embarrass her in public. Have we even done that?

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    4. So you think that Australia is well served by not going after those who have allegedly abused, in the extreme? Why so? I live in Australia. The case has been all over the news. What in heavens earth is served by thinking that Australia and Australian girls haven't been touched by the alleged crimes. As to jail not being acceptable in the Torah, that is nonsense. Jail was used to protect society, and in this case, provided she isn't abused in Jail (which she won't be, and has all the support of the Charedi community here material wise) then it is the Dina DeMalchuso which is Dino. Period.

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    5. "Sending her back to Australia is not a way to prevent abuse. It may achieve 'justice', but that is not a reason to permit Mesira."

      One could speak similarly about an accused murderer, c"v. Extraditing them would certainly not prevent murder, it may achieve "justice", mesira is assur, etc. Ein la-davar sof

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    6. Dave - you are misunderstanding the Rashba. If a person is a danger to others, he must be locked up. Even if he does not 'deserve' to be locked up, he must receive things that he does not deserve to prevent danger to others.
      But ad hoc punishments, that don't maintain society but 'punish' evildoers, are not for us to do.
      Dina Demalchusa Dina has nothing to do with this. The sources of Dina Demalchusa Dina do not support this.
      I am not saying Litzman was right, I don't really know the case. I was just reacting to the guy who wrote that Litzman's actions destroyed a child.

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    7. Anonymous,
      I don't know if you're genuinely confused, but I said nothing about dina d'malchusa. The Rashba, Rosh, Tur, BY etc. allow, among other things, cutting off noses, public beatings, shamings, even capital punishment all not in accordance with the stated halachos of the Torah in order to preserve society. The deterrent factor preserves society, which is fully applicable in this case.

      It's ironic that just a few days after Tisha B'Av you're advocating for a strict application of the Torah's laws, which the Rashba says is the reason Yerushalayim was destroyed. (of course, that's a difficult and innovative reading of the Gemara in BM, but that's another story.)

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    8. You added the words 'preserve society' that do not have any actual clear meaning.
      I said that the Rashba is telling us that we can remove a danger from the streets, even in an extra-judicial fashion. A loose woman without a nose will perform less aveiros with men, which is the purpose of the Rosh's pesak.
      I am basically claiming that you are missing a detail in that psak.
      No child was destroyed due to Litzman's actions, as corrupt as they were.

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    9. The *poskim* add the words "preserve society" not me, try again.
      "I said that the Rashba is telling us that we can remove a danger from the streets, even in an extra-judicial fashion."
      Yeah, and you're wrong because he says no such thing. And neither do the Tur, Rosh, or Beis Yosef. You can write your own halachah if you wish, but please keep your hands off Judaism's and please don't defame us b'rabim.

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    10. https://achaslmaala.blogspot.com/2019/08/revisiting-kamtza-and-bar-kamtza-or.html

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    11. "But ad hoc punishments, that don't maintain society but 'punish' evildoers, are not for us to do." This is not only wrong, it also misunderstands what 'maintaining society' is.
      The purpose of these punishments is to deter others from acting in a similar manner, irrespective of whether the offender in question currently represents a danger. Creating such a deterrent is absolutely for us to do.

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  3. My goodness! A connection with God is "fluffy" spirituality! Real issues are real, and need to be dealt with. No one is denying that we shouldn't be horrible people. But to blame these problems on those who dare talk about God is ridiculous.
    Yes, focusing only on this and ignoring basic policy and betterment of society is silly, but seriously, you're conflating everything into this bubble. I can even agree that those who focus on God sometimes tend to ignore some very important policy issues and this is a big, big problem. But I don't understand why you think these things can't coexist. Why can't we come together, where we focus more on policy issues and you focus more on God? Why must this be a fight?
    I guess my point is that you have obvious points that are worth dealing with, but when you put it out as an attack on those who focus on God - even if that is a weakness of their position - and you make it my way or your way, you are alienating the people whom you speaking out against. And I think, sounding silly.

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    1. "But to blame these problems on those who dare talk about God is ridiculous." That's exactly what the Neviim did. They blamed those who talk about God to the exclusion of dealing with real issues.

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    2. This is actually not correct. The Nevi'im criticized the people of the times for "idealizing" the Beis Hamikdash, thinking that they can do whatever they want, and just come to the Beis Hamikdash and it will all be fine. This can be seen blatantly at the beginning of chap 7 of Yermiyah:

      "3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying: 'The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, are these.' 5 Nay, but if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbour; 6 if ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt; 7 then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. 8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. 9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and offer unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye have not known, 10 and come and stand before Me in this house, whereupon My name is called, and say: 'We are delivered', that ye may do all these abominations? 11 Is this house, whereupon My name is called, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it, saith the LORD."

      The people in question are literal murders, adulterers and idolaters. It is inconceivable that their "talk of God" and the "temple of the Lord" meant that they were really into "fluffy spiritualism" at the expense of real issues. The issue was not "spiritualism", but the fact that they thought that the Temple was invincible, so why not commit all the evil in the world, since what can we lose?

      If one looks at the beginning of מדרש עשרה הרוגי מלכות, one will see that they thought the same way about... Rabbi. "We can do whatever we want, we have the Rabbis, who are invincible".

      Here is what it says:
      כשברא הקב״ה את האילנות, היו מתגאים בקומתן ומגביהין עצמן למעלה למעלה, וכיון שברא הקב״ה את הברזל היו משפילין עצמן ואמרו אוי לנו שכבר ברא הקב״ה דבר שיכרות אותנו. כך אחר חרבן הבית היו פריצי הדור מתגאים ואמרו מה הפסדנו בזה שנחרב הבית, הרי יש בינינו ת״ח שמדריכין את העולם בתורתו ובמצותיו. מיד נתן הקב״ה בלב הקיסר של רומי ללמוד תורת משה מפי חכמים וזקנים
      The point of what I am saying is that the problem at the time was not spirituality or over focus on the מצוות בין אדם למקום, but... lack of focus on ALL מצוות. They literally didn't keep any except those they did in the מקדש.

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    3. "The people in question are literal murders, adulterers and idolaters."

      Sorry, I'm not buying it. The נביאים are transmitting an eternal message to all of us. As such, it's inconceivable (maybe I should a different word) that they'd be speaking exclusively to an "elite" group of extreme sinners.
      The נביאים often speak in exaggeration, referring to "ordinary" sins in extreme terms. It's a wake up call.

      Please check the מלבי"ם on these פסוקים. A narrow interpretation sequesters the prophet's message into the past, making it irrelevant today. There must be an interpretation that provides contemporary relevance to those who confidentally cry out "היכל ה' היכל ה!"

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    4. Let us recall that Benei Yisrael were punished with a painful civil war because they responded only to the terrible episode of Pilegesh Begivah (bein adam lachaveiro) and had failed to respond to rampant sins against Hashem (bein adam lamakom). Clearly we must devote ourselves to addressing both.

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    5. Luigi Vampa - it seems that Klal Yisroel used the Beis Hamikdash as a מערת פריצים. They knew that their Kappara was so easy, that aveiros were considered unimportant. It is true, the Beis Hamikdosh did bring a Kapparah לינת הצדק, but that was misused. People did averos because they knew a Kaparah was easy to achieve. Which is why the Beis Hamikdash had to be destroyed. But we are still sad that we lost that madrega of לינת הצדק, as we mentioned in the Kinnos (in one of the ציוןs, I forget which).
      The equivalent nowadays would either be a person saying, "I know I don't keep that much, but I have a Jewish heart, I planted a tree for JNF". The JNF is what allows him not to do Teshuva. Or a Yeshiva bochur saying, "I learn all day, it isn't so terrible if I cut in line/daven without concentration etc". His learning is becoming his problem, and when he does this too often, Hashem may react with his own churban.

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    6. @ZD
      I agree. But are we arguing? The fact that Yirmiya deemphasized the Beis Hamikdash wasn't because the people at the time overemphasized it, but because it had kind of turned into it's own עבודה זרה. But one can still emphasize both עבודה ה׳ in the spiritual sense and also justice. See what I wrote below about how there is a false dichotomy being presented.

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  4. Really? Haskel v'yadoa osi is earnest devotion? And not knowledge/connection? Certainly not how rationalist Rambam understood it. Where is that translation from? What means earnest and what means devotion? And doesn't earnest devotion describe most of those who go for inspiration more than your approach? Count me confused. This pasuk actually highlights the central value of connection to God (daas always means knowledge in the sense of relationship, whether relating to knowledge or as relative (Boaz) or Adam and Chava. I'm fairly certain without reviewing the sources that most rationalist rishonim, etc understand it this way and recognize this as central to the purpose of Creation. In fact, this goes to the heart of everything missing from your world view (based on your writings).

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    1. I took the translation from Sefaria. But I don't understand how you manage to completely ignore the concluding part of the passuk, about WHY it is important to know God "For I the LORD act with kindness, Justice, and equity in the world; For in these I delight."

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    2. You're misreading the pasuk. Those are *how* to know God, not why. God is describing Himself to us there. It is part of the principle of v'halachta bidrachav as how we become similar to and thus close to God. I'm sorry but you cannot reinvent Judaism/Torah with everything leading to God. Social order is a value so the world can be more Godly. Rambam certainly saw all social mitzvos as preparation to know God. Can you please make it more clear that you are not writing God off as "fluff"? Your whole world view is on the line here.

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    3. You are correct about Rambam but he was absolutely not representing normative Judaism in this regard. Tanach and Chazal are all about mitzvos.

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    4. Tanach and chazal are all about mitzvos done with ahavas Hashem. If you want to quote rishonim, please do. But Tanach and chazal are all about mitzvos done with ahavas Hashem. See especially the last part of parshas Nitzavim where Moshe sums up the whole Torah. Please don't tell me you believe the Torah is utilitarian.

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    5. Also, Rambam was not normative only in his exclusive focus on the intellect as haskel v'yadoa osi. He was 100% normative in placing connection to God at the center of Torah. Does anyone whose opinion you find at all normative disagree with that?
      For the record, I think you're right about most of your individual positions (and a brilliant scholar and engaging writer) but your fundamental error is in imagining that the "rationalists" were any less in love with God than the kabbalists. It's a monumental error and you distort the Torah because of it. [Connection to God can happen on the social level when the people follow the mitzvos even without each individual immediately sensing that connection.]

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    6. "Tanach and chazal are all about mitzvos done with ahavas Hashem." Correct. Not about having a spiritual connection, but about MITZVOS.

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    7. But the point is clearly the ahava, don't you see that? You say it twice a day: וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְותַי אֲשֶׁר אָנכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּום לְאַהֲבָה אֶת ה' אֱלקיכֶם וּלְעָבְדו בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁכֶם:
      And that source I cited earlier summarizing the whole Torah:
      הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם, אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ--הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ, הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה; וּבָחַרְתָּ, בַּחַיִּים--לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה, אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ. לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-ה אלוקך, לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה-בוֹ: כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ, וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ--לָשֶׁבֶת עַל-הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע ה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב, לָתֵת לָהֶם.
      The purpose of everything - all the mitzvos, life itself, EVERYTHING - is the "spiritual" connection called love of God and connection to Him (dveikus). Thank you for engaging with me on this.

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    8. RDNS, perhaps it would be useful for you to tell us what you mean by "having a spiritual connection", since in all its fluffiness no one seems to know what you mean by it. There are numerous מצוות at are all about intent, like fearing God, loving God, praying, having the correct intent in Korbanos, putting on Tefillin and tzitzis. The list can go on. The halacha is that for מצוות דאורייתא, intent is מעכב. There are a number of places where the "spiritual" reason behind a מצוה appears in Halacha. One example is the מצוה of Sukkos.
      Books of Jewish thought are absolutely bursting with the meaning of Shabbos. A late example of this is "the Sabbath" by A. J. Heschel, but such thoughts preceded him for centuries. It is precisely here that you say that "keeping shabbos is not some fluffy and spiritual thing", and while obviously it isn't *just* that, it is *also* that.

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    9. Next:
      In terms of the Rambam. It appears that you are forgetting your מורה הנבוכים. The very last chapter is about this very פסוק that everyone is arguing about! He presents four types of wealth, the last being השכל וידוע אותי, and concludes by saying that *even that is not enough, if one does not fulfill כי אני ה׳ אוהב משפט וצדקה בארץ".
      In this I'm actually supporting what you were saying: you shouldn't be writing off the Rambam as "non-normative" (which is kind of dumb in this case), being that the Rambam literally said exactly what your point is. Can you suddenly make the Rambam normative now? 😬

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    10. The above comment by anonymous that begins with "RDNS, perhaps..." was by me, Luigi Vampa.

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    11. הִגִּיד לְךָ אָדָם מַה טּוֹב וּמָה יְהוָה דּוֹרֵשׁ מִמְּךָ כִּי אִם עֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט וְאַהֲבַת חֶסֶד וְהַצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת עִם אֱלֹהֶיךָ.

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    12. ועתה ישראל מה יהוה אלהיך שאל מעמך כי אם ליראה את יהוה אלהיך ללכת בכל דרכיו ולאהבה אתו ולעבד את יהוה אלהיך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך.

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    13. Right, that's another good source. Especially with what the meforshim say.

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    14. Meforshim like the Seforno?

      שאינו שואל דבר לצרכו כי אם ליראה. וזה תעשה כהתבוננך באופן שתדע גדלו:
      ולאהבה אותו וזה תשיג בהתבוננך אל דרכי טובו. וכל זה הוא שואל לטוב לך כדי שתזכה לחיי עולם:

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    15. RDNS,
      I think you got a nerve on this post and suggest you write a follow up clarifying your views I what is fluff and what is vital when it comes to - choose your term: spirituality, connection to God, dveikus, holiness [the concept of shleimus is central here but since it has not come up I won't push that].
      You've made a valid point that eicha and to a certain extent the kinnos focus more on the human toll of the churban than on the relationship between Israel and God. But it is nevertheless clear in countless sources that the BHMK was all about God's presence and also that the tragedy of its destruction is ultimately about the loss of that ideal.
      How far do you really want to take your point that Torah is primarily focused on mitzvos as opposed to on a relationship with God? Isn't the overwhelming weight of opinions, from rationalists to mystics throughout the centuries that Torah is about using mitzvos to achieve - as individuals when possible but overall as a people - a very real, experiential relationship to God? In our day maybe that's aspirational to some extent but is that not the definitive goal of Torah?
      Your support of rationalism, I fear, has leaned too far towards a non-theistic rationalism. You have never really properly defined your use of the term rationalism, which so many philosophers have used in various ways (which is what left you open to that criticism in the record in Tradition that you were not rationalist enough).
      This was the first post post I've commented on but I've been a long time reader and admirer of your writings, with this one enormous concern. However rational you are, you cannot write God and meaning and holiness and some central role for at least metaphysics if not spirituality out of the purpose of a Torah life. I hope you choose to consider this seriously and dedicate a post to it.

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    16. " Isn't the overwhelming weight of opinions, from rationalists to mystics throughout the centuries that Torah is about using mitzvos to achieve - as individuals when possible but overall as a people - a very real, experiential relationship to God?" That's definitely the view of mystics, and also (in a different way) of Rambam. But it's not the position expressed in Tanach or Chazal or most of the Rishonim. It's the opposite - the love and fear of God serves to motivate one to do mitzvos. That's certainly the case with Bein Adam l'Chavero, and even somewhat true with Bein Adam L'Makom.

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    17. Sorry, but you are flat wrong on your reading of Tanach and chazal if you think it's the opposite. Love and fear of God are clearly meant both as a motivator AND in an enhanced manner an outcome of mitzvos in any careful reading of Tanach and Chazal and also in the substantial majority of "rationalist" rishonim. If you believe I am wrong about rishonim (Tanach and chazal is too much to try to argue about - though I would direct you again to the sources I cited earlier which are hard to beat), I would be very grateful if you would take the time to give me sources that state otherwise. And if you find even one that says greater love and awareness of God are NOT meant to come from doing mitzvos, I will eat my digital hat (meta-hat?), whatever that means.

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    18. Sure, they are also an outcome. But that's not why we are doing them. The reason to give tzedaka is not to become closer to Hashem.

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    19. "But the point is clearly the ahava, don't you see that? You say it twice a day: וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְותַי אֲשֶׁר אָנכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּום לְאַהֲבָה אֶת ה' אֱלקיכֶם וּלְעָבְדו בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁכֶם:"

      Absolutely not. The passuk is saying that the ahavah is in order to lead to the avodah.

      "And that source I cited earlier summarizing the whole Torah:
      הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם, אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ--הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ, הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה; וּבָחַרְתָּ, בַּחַיִּים--לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה, אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ. לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-ה אלוקך, לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה-בוֹ: כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ, וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ--לָשֶׁבֶת עַל-הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע ה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב, לָתֵת לָהֶם.
      The purpose of everything - all the mitzvos, life itself, EVERYTHING - is the "spiritual" connection called love of God and connection to Him (dveikus). "

      Again, I disagree. The "Ki hu chayecha" is not referring to ledavka bo - it's referring to the entirety of our avodas Hashem.

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    20. D G, how would you categorize yourself hashkafically?

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    21. "That's definitely the view of mystics, and also (in a different way) of Rambam."

      In presenting the mystic view of Service of God in your "Defining Rationalism vs. Mysticism" post, you don't say this. You instead say that mysticism views the service of God and the performance of mitzvos as simply a way of accomplishing mechanistic manipulations of metaphysical forces. If you believe developing a closeness to God through mitzvos is a uniquely mystic view as opposed to rationalist, you should update your post to include it.

      Here is the link to that post:

      http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2018/12/defining-rationalism-vs-mysticism.html

      Delete
    22. This is so unbelievably stupid. If I didn't know you grew up orthodox, I would think you were somebody who heard nothing about Judaism other than what you read in a pamphlet about Reconstructionist Judaism. I don't think there is another post of yours that could do so much to discredit the idea of "Rationalist Judaism" as this.

      You really don't know that avodah and mitzvos are a relationship with God??! You cannot be so insane as to think the entire point of all the hundreds of mitzvos bain adam l'Makom is for humanistic purposes (which are covered by plenty of other mitzvos). You must know this. You must know that these mitzvos are a relationship with Hashem. This is besides for the hundreds of pesukim all over Tanach that describe the Jewish people's special relationship with Hashem. 

      How is it possible that somebody who grew up frum could be so appallingly ignorant?? What is it about being a museum curator that makes one forget the entire Torah and all the fundamentals of Judaism?? And if you do know this, but don't care, then where is the intellectual honesty?? At least admit that these ideas are your own, and in no way represent the Torah c"v!

      Is there any point in me quoting stuff, that you will just ignore? Should I quote Krias Shema? Should I quote the rest of davening? 

      " But it's not the position expressed in Tanach or Chazal or most of the Rishonim."
      "Absolutely not. The passuk is saying that the ahavah is in order to lead to the avodah."

      What in the world are you talking about?? The relationship with God is all over Tanach.  And who is "most Rishonim"?? Is it all the Rishonim who count ואהבת את ה׳ אלהיך בכל לבבך as its own mitzva? is it all the Rishonim who count את ה׳ אלהיך תירא as its own mitzva? I'm not even going to talk about the Chovos Halevavos. WHAT Rishonim???

      Is it Ramban?
      ועתה אומר לך כלל בטעם מצות רבות הנה מעת היות ע''ג בעולם מימי אנוש החלו הדעות להשתבש באמונה...כי הקונה מזוזה בזוז אחד וקבעה בפתחו ונתכוון בענינה כבר הודה בחדוש העולם ובידיעת הבורא והשגחתו, וגם בנבואה, והאמין בכל פנות התורה, מלבד שהודה שחסד הבורא גדול מאד על עושי רצונו,,  

        וטעם הכתוב שאמר כי קדוש אני ה' אלהיכם לומר שאנחנו נזכה לדבקה בו בהיותנו קדושים   

        ואנשי קודש תהיון לי, כלומר אני חפץ שתהיו אנשי קדש בעבור שתהיו ראויים לי לדבקה בי שאני קדוש,  

      Is it Ibn Ezra?
      ושננתם. מגזרת חץ שנון. וידוע איך ישונן החץ הנה נרא' כי עיקר כל האדם עבודת השם ועבודתו להכיר פעליו והמעתיקי' העתיקו שעת ק״‎ ש וכלנו נסמוך עליהם:  

        יאמר שצוה השם ללמד אתכם התורה והמצוה והחקים והמשפטים לעשותם בארץ בעבור שתירא את ה' אלהיך כי עיקר כל המצוה יראת ה'

      Is is the Seforno?
      שאינו שואל דבר לצרכו כי אם ליראה. וזה תעשה כהתבוננך באופן שתדע גדלו:

      ולאהבה אותו וזה תשיג בהתבוננך אל דרכי טובו. וכל זה הוא שואל לטוב לך כדי שתזכה לחיי עולם:
      ולדבקה בו שתהיינה כל פעולותיך לשמו:

      Is it Rabbeinu Bachya? Is he too mystical?
       כי האדם שהוא תכלית הכונה בבריאת העולם להכיר בוראו ולעובדו היה אחרון לכל הנבראים ונבחר מכולן  

         באר בכתוב הזה כי הכוונה בכל המצות שבתורה תכלית אחת, והיא היראה, וכן באר משה במעמד הקדוש כי אין תכלית הכונה בנתינת התורה אלא היראה,  
      Is it the Ralbag? Is he too rationalist?
      התועלת העשירי הוא בפנות התור' והוא מה שהודיענו כי בזכו' שמירת כל המצוה שהוא מצוה אותנו היום שתכליתה הוא לאהוב השם יתע' וללכת בדרכיו כל הימים

        ו כי תכלית הצלחת האדם הוא כשישכיל מאמתת הש' לפי מה שאפשר.  

      Is it Abarbanel? Is he too Spanish?
      והתכלית השני הוא בעבור תהיה יראתו על פניכם לבלתי תחטאו כלומר שתראו מלפניו ואין היראה הזאת יראת העונש אלא יראת המעלה והשלמות והגדולה והגבורה והתפארת וההוד שראיתם ממנו יתברך במעמד הזה שאותה יראה תשאר קבועה בנפשותיכם באופן שלא תחטאו באמונותיכם.

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    23. “The reason to give tzedaka is not to become closer to Hashem.”

      Nobody as far as I’m aware, says that the intention when we give tzedaka, should only be to develop our relationship with God. One who does so would miss the obvious purpose of tzedaka, which is to help the needy. Indeed, if one were to theoretically give tzedaka *only* to develop his relationship with God, he would be missing out on the very aspect of tzedaka that is actually developing his relationship with God. In the act of being merciful and helping someone in need, we are imitating God’s mercy, becoming like God (so to speak), and bringing Him into the world. By imitating God’s mercy, we naturally and by definition develop a relationship and closeness with God, and an awareness and love for Him. When we act with oppression, we naturally and by definition distance ourselves from God.

      Closeness with God is not just a lucky side effect of giving tzedakah - they are fundamentally intertwined. The fact that God is merciful explains why we help the needy in the first place (i.e. to be merciful), and the fact that we imitate God’s merciful ways in helping the needy, explains why tzedaka develops our relationship with God. They are two sides of the same coin, not mutually exclusive interpretations of the correct reason/intention.

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    24. Happy, you are partially distorting my position and partially distorting those that you quote.
      As I always said, there are various mitzvos about our relationship with Hashem, such as the mitzvah of ahavas Hashem. And those are fundamental inasmuch as being foundational in some ways. There are also aspects of our relationship with Hashem that result from our doing all mitzvos, as MK points out above. But they are not the GOAL of all those mitzvos. The GOAL of giving tzedaka is not to develop our relationship with Hashem.
      As for the sources that you quote, you are simply ignoring half of what they say in the very quotations that you bring.

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    25. I didn't distort anything, it is you who are doing the distorting here.
      What does "foundational in some ways" mean? What do those WEASEL WORDS mean? They are indeed foundational, because one of the primary goals of the Torah, if not THE primary goal, is the relationship with Hashem! The mitzvos bain adam l'Makom are not for no reason c"v, but they are for this relationship, or they are PART of this relationship.

      "But they are not the GOAL of all those mitzvos"
      What is unclear about ועתה אומר לך כלל בטעם מצות רבות...כי הקונה מזוזה בזוז אחד וקבעה בפתחו ונתכוון בענינה כבר הודה בחדוש העולם ובידיעת הבורא והשגחתו??
      What is unclear about יאמר שצוה השם ללמד אתכם התורה והמצוה והחקים והמשפטי לעשותם בארץ בעבור שתירא את ה' אלהיך כי עיקר כל המצוה יראת ה??
      What is unclear about כל המצוה שהוא מצוה אותנו היום שתכליתה הוא לאהוב השם יתע' וללכת בדרכיו כל הימים??

      What part am I ignoring? You want some agreement from me? You want me to throw you a bone? Ok. I will agree that the main goal of Tzedaka and many other mitzvos bain adam l'chaveiro "ללכת בדרכיו" is not to develop a relationship with Hashem, but for "humanistic" purposes. But certainly one cannot have a relationship with Hashem without them. And certainly they are not unrelated to our relationship with Hashem, but are part and parcel of it, as MK points out above, and as expressed everywhere in Tanach.

      And certainly the main goal of the hundreds of mitzvos bain adam l'Makom is not for "humanistic" purposes, there is nobody insane enough to actually think that. There is nobody insane enough to think the purpose of Tefillin is humanistic. But rather they are for our relationship with Hashem.

      Delete
    26. "I will agree that the main goal of Tzedaka and many other mitzvos bain adam l'chaveiro "ללכת בדרכיו" is not to develop a relationship with Hashem, but for "humanistic" purposes." Super! (Though I'm sure that you mean ALL the mitzvos bein adam lechavero, not just "many.") So there is no disagreement with us about all those mitzvos. (I also agree that there is an aspect of improving our relationship with Hashem whenever we do such mitzvos.)
      I'll take on the mitzvos bein adam l'makom in another post. For now I will just say that while there is certainly an aspect of our relationship with Hashem in all of them, many of them are also about making us into better people.
      Finally, I want to add that I was very surprised that what I said here turned out to be controversial for some people. I went to classical Lithuanian yeshivos and I was always taught that the purpose of mitzvos is to make us into better people. Rav Dessler writes about how the overall goal of Torah is to make us into givers rather than takers.

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    27. @RNS
      "D G, how would you categorize yourself hashkafically?"

      RNS, I would like to ask you the same! Because on the one hand you have a whole blog devoted to attacking Chareidi Jewry (still not sure why you didn't publish my comment about that yesterday), but on the other hand, a few weeks ago, in response to a comment where I pointed out the inadequacies of the MO approach, you wrote "I never said that Modern Orthodoxy is the real thing!" So what DO you identify as??

      Delete
    28. Happy looks like he won this round.
      RDNS was asked to back up his statement that 'most Rishonim' disagree, and he ignored.
      The idea that Rishonim are on one side and Tanach and Chazal are on the other side is just ludicrous. I don't think it needs to be explained.

      And the Gemara is quite clear that the purpose of Tzedaka is NOT that the needy have what to eat. G-d can provide for them too.

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    29. You think that the purpose of tzedaka is to create a relationship with Hashem?! That's the kavanah that you have when you give?!
      (Yes, of course God can provide for the poor. The mitzva is to ensure that we become compassionate people.)

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    30. I know you are not going to post this comment, but it is important to me that you see it. And since you and I know that you are not going to post it, you know that I am writing this not to score "points", but לשמה, because I care about you.

      "The mitzva is to ensure that we become compassionate people"

      Correct. And what is the point of that? Says the Sefer Hachinuch, on the מצוה אם כסף תלוה את עמי

      שרש המצוה, שרצה האל להיות ברואיו מלמדים ומרגלים במדת החסד והרחמים כי היא מדה משבחת, ומתוך הכשר גופם במדות הטובות יהיו ראוים לקבלת הטובה, כמו שאמרנו שחלות הטוב והברכה לעולם על הטוב לא בהפכו, ובהטיב השם יתברך לטובים ישלם חפצו שחפץ להטיב לעולם. ואם לאו, מצד שרש זה, הלא הוא ברוך הוא יספיק לעני די מחסורו זולתנו, אלא שהיה מחסדו ברוך הוא שנעשינו שלוחים לו לזכותנו.

      On the Mitzva of  וגר לא תונה

      משרשי המצוה, מלבד מה שכתבנו, כדי לכף את יצרנו לעולם לבל נעשה כל אשר נמצא בכחינו לעשות לרעה, על כן הזהירתנו בזה האיש שהוא בינינו בלי עוזר וסומך ויש כח ביד כל אחד ואחד ממנו עם אוהביו עליו לבל נעביר עליו את הדרך כלל אפילו בדברים כאלו הוא כאחד ממנו, ומתוך גדרים כאלו נקנה נפש יקרה ומסלסלת ומעטרת המדות הראויה לקבלת הטוב, וישלם בנו חפץ השם יתברך שחפץ להטיב.

      Even in these "humanistic" mitzvos, the point is not for humanistic purposes in the secular sense, for עולם הזה purposes, but  ומתוך הכשר גופם במדות הטובות יהיו ראוים לקבלת הטובה. It is something for our soul, so that we get טובה from Hashem. If this is not a relationship with Hashem, what is? But even if you refuse to call this "a relationship with Hashem", it is clearly something far, far beyond physical, utilitarian purposes

      Look what the Chinuch says in the most "humanistic" mitzva of all, the mitzva of ישוב העולם

      משרשי מצוה זו, כדי שיהיה העולם מישב (גיטין מא, ב במשנה), שהשם ברוך הוא חפץ בישובו, כדכתיב: (ישעיהו מה יח) לא תהו בראה לשבת יצרה. *והיא מצוה גדולה שבסבתה מתקימות כל המצות בעולם*

      The reason why ישוב העולם is such a great mitzvah is not for its own sake, but  שבסבתה מתקימות כל המצות בעולם.

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    31. "The mitzva is to ensure that we become compassionate people."

      The immediate kavana is to help the needy and become compassionate, but we want to be compassionate in order to emulate Hashem. They are simultaneous goals, looked at from different perspectives. It's not fluffy spirituality to say that everything, even Bein Adam L'Chaveiro, ultimately leads back to Hashem and His ways.

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    32. Happy, I let it through just to illustrate once more why I have had enough of your comments. You bring sources to allegedly support your position when they do nothing of the sort. None of these sources talk about a relationship with Hashem. The Sefer HaChinnuch's primary explanation for the reason for the mitzvah is שרצה האל להיות ברואיו מלמדים ומרגלים במדת החסד והרחמים כי היא מדה משבחת. I.e. that it makes us into better people. He then adds that it makes us worthy of receiving reward. But there is nothing about building a relationship with Hashem.
      And once again you distort my position by claiming that I said that mitzvot are for "physical, utilitarian purposes." I never said any such thing.

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    33. MK - wanting to emulate Hashem may have the result of building a relationship with Him but it's not the goal of it.

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    34. Excuse me, you totally ignored the rest of the sentence. It's not "he then adds it makes us worthy of receiving reward". It's the whole point!

      שרצה האל להיות ברואיו מלמדים ומרגלים במדת החסד והרחמים כי היא מדה משבחת, ומתוך הכשר גופם במדות הטובות יהיו ראוים לקבלת הטובה, כמו שאמרנו שחלות הטוב והברכה לעולם על הטוב לא בהפכו, ובהטיב השם יתברך לטובים ישלם חפצו שחפץ להטיב לעולם.

      The whole point ובהטיב השם יתברך לטובים ישלם חפצו שחפץ להטיב לעולם!

      The same is with the other mitzva

      מנו, ומתוך גדרים כאלו נקנה נפש יקרה ומסלסלת ומעטרת המדות הראויה לקבלת הטוב, וישלם בנו חפץ השם יתברך שחפץ להטיב.

      The point is  וישלם בנו חפץ השם יתברך שחפץ להטיב.

      Again, he makes this very clear in the mitzva of ועשית לי מקדש

      דע בני, כי כל אשר יגיע אצל השם בעשות בני אדם כל מצותיו איננו רק שחפץ השם להיטיב לנו, ובהיות האדם מכשר ומוכן בעשית אותן מצות לקבל הטובה אז ייטיב אליו השם, ועל כן הודיעם דרך טוב להיותם טובים, והיא דרך התורה, כי בה יהיה האדם טוב. נמצא שכל המקים (המקבל) מצותיו השלים חפצו באשר הוא ראוי אז לקבל טובתו, וכל שאינו מכין עצמו לכך, רעתו רבה, שיודע חפץ השם בזה, והוא יעשה מעשיו כנגד חפצו.

      This is what any honest person would call a relationship. The Mitzvos are part of a relationship where וישלם בנו חפץ השם יתברך שחפץ להטיב. You may call it a transactional relationship, but it is a relationship! I didn't say anything about "building a relationship". I said the mitzvos, the bein adam l'chaveiro ones, are part of a relationship with Hashem, which is clear from EVERYWHERE. But you called a relationship with Hashem "fuzzy spirituality", ח"ו. You are very stubborn, I have never seen you admit a mistake yet, but עוד חזון למועד!

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    35. RDNS - When you speak of a relationship, you are referring to the love and attachment that one feels for Hashem. That happens as a result of contemplating, learning, praying, emulating, etc. But there is another kind of relationship, which is becoming one with Him, by making your will equal to His will. And even if were true that a relationship only results from emulation, how do you know that that’s not a purpose or even the ultimate purpose of emulation?

      I believe R' Aharon Lichtenstein, not exactly one who would be described as spiritually fluffy, would disagree with your stance on all of this. Here are some quotes from "In All Your Ways Know Him":

      The Rambam interprets the saying, “Let all your deeds be for the sake of Heaven,” in terms of knowing God. The verse which he quotes at the end, “In all your ways know Him,” provides him with a certain measure of support...Regardless of how one defines the term ["for the sake of Heaven"], it denotes that the totality of a person’s existence is oriented towards his relationship with God, towards avodat Hashem.

      In discussing the approach one should take towards work, he writes:

      But the question of whether or not a person is doing things be-khol kocho applies not only to interpersonal relationships with one’s boss, but also to one’s relationship with “The Boss.” The Almighty has commanded us to engage in yishuvo shel olam—doing something constructive within society—but one can do that either half-heartedly or with full dedication... Regardless of what he is doing, he must work with the sense of being an oved Hashem—“Be-khol derakhekha da’ehu.

      ...and:

      Whatever a person does can be geared ultimately to fostering his relationship with God.

      Note that R’ Lichtenstein is saying here that working should be geared toward fostering your relationship with Hashem. You maintain that the purpose of working should be to contribute to society, but that is not what R’Lichtenstein says, although surely he acknowledges the immediate intent. The fact that it is ultimately about our relationship to Hashem does not in any way detract from the immediate intent of contributing to society. And if this is how we should view the ultimate purpose of working, how much more so should directly emulating God’s mercy be geared toward fostering our relationship with Hashem?

      Delete
    36. Again, I know you won't post this, and even if you do, nobody will read it as everybody is on to your next thing, so I write this לשמה.

      I echo what MK said. You seem to have a strange, idosyncratic definition of the word "relationship", which you think means only love. But a relationship where we are וישלם בנו חפץ השם יתברך שחפץ להטיב is a relationship. I don't see how you can possibly dispute that. I also don't understand why you say "He then adds that it makes us worthy of receiving reward" when it clear from the Chinuch that it is the ultimate point, not just a nice "addition". I brought you from the Chinuch in the mitzvah of ועשה לי מקדש yesterday where he talks about the point of ALL the mitzvos,

      דע בני, כי כל אשר יגיע אצל השם בעשות בני אדם כל מצותיו איננו רק שחפץ השם להיטיב לנו, ובהיות האדם מכשר ומוכן בעשית אותן מצות לקבל הטובה אז ייטיב אליו השם, ועל כן הודיעם דרך טוב להיותם טובים, והיא דרך התורה, כי בה יהיה האדם טוב. נמצא שכל המקים (המקבל) מצותיו השלים חפצו באשר הוא ראוי אז לקבל טובתו, וכל שאינו מכין עצמו לכך, רעתו רבה, שיודע חפץ השם בזה, והוא יעשה מעשיו כנגד חפצו.

      But he is even more explicit in the introduction, he even says by doing His רצון we are יתקרב אליו

      וע"כ הבטיחתנו התורה בקיום המצות בעה"ז לומר שלא נהיה טרודים במזונות ובמלחמות האויבים ונוכל להשתדל בעבודות האל *ונשיג רצונו* ואין צורך להאריך עוד ולומר וכשתשיגו רצונו תזכו לתענוג העולם הבא כי ידוע הדבר מאליו שכל נברא אשר ישיג רצון בוראו יתעלה יתקרב אליו ויתענג בזיוו.

      We should all be זוכה, yourself included, to build a solid relationship with our Creator!

      Delete
  5. Focusing on G-d, if it is perverted into NOT doing what he says he wants of us, is absolutely the horrible fluffy BS that is referred to here. I would presume that the rabbi would agree, that if the so called leaders of the Torah world were doing just what you say, then the fluffy would cease to be hypocrisy and would be honest "spirituality" and true dveikus H'

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    Replies
    1. No! This is a perversion! Yes, iis important to focus on 'real' issues because we are in this world where there are problems and we have to do our best to fix them, "לעבדה ולשמרה" and the like. But our connection to הקב"ה is not just a side thing. It is an end unto itself. And if people are working on connecting in the ways prescribed in the תורה that itself is a good thing. But the issues must also be dealt with.
      There will be people in the position to be activists. There will be others who will spend their time in the כותלי ביהמ"ד. There has been a major problem in our דור, whether right or wrong, that there is huge majority in the ביהמ"ד and very few activists. This is a theme that RDNS has been critical about, and to me it's good to have such a voice in כלל ישראל so that things will get done. What I'm not clear about is why its a fight and we can't understand that we need two sides. Why is it always a criticism of the Chareidim if traditional Judaism needs the יששכר's as well? Why can't we come together and agree. This criticism is very much on the Chareidi side as well for not having any activism, an for being allergic to a voice of activism, but I think that RDNS's approach also feeds into this divide.
      If RDNS would be less edgy, then we could put the blame square on the Chareidim; instead there is a fight with two sides.

      Delete
  6. Is your point that all Charedim are Yaakov Litzman?

    This is ridiculous posturing. The kippah-donner's version of social justice, activism and agitation and community organizing, minus the organizing.

    There is not one iota of practical advice for anyone here, Charedi or otherwise. For most people, 99% of them, the most practical way to self-improvement is being a better husband, father, son, brother.

    How is your shalom bayis? Any divorces present in the ranks here? Estranged from any offspring or parents or siblings? Do you think it's seemly or appropriate to keep expending so much energy criticizing a group who, at best, pays absolutely no attention to what you say?

    The commenting audience is mostly men, so consider this directed towards the general you, and not just the proprietor. Pointlessly condemning a man who is undoubtedly guilty of many misdeeds hardly is a metric of character worth, especially since most Charedim are simply not that interested in the news or current events, nor should they be to suit your irrational whims.

    Personally, I was publicly condemning the man back in 2015 for his bizarrely heroic efforts to undo the one good thing his reprehensible predecessor did, which was stop the fluoridation of the water. I have been aware of his role in the Leifer affair for not many fewer years. I know of pedophile victims personally, even incest. What do you think you actually achieve with these posts? Are you butthurt (the medical term, I assure you) over what Rabbeinu Yonah defined as "hater of Hashem" and its obvious connection to your hashkafa?

    The first thing mentioned in what one should glory in is devotion to Hashem. That comes first. The rest follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nata Slifkin's condemnation of Haredi society is not just based on the action of one man, Litzman, but on the fact that Haredi society still admires and respects Litzman. That speaks to the values in practice of the community. Not every individual in it of course, but the group culture for sure.

      Delete
    2. Actually, I think the germane sentence is this one:

      "Naturally, he remains a respected figure in the charedi community and there is no condemnation or even acknowledgement of his actions."

      The PERCEPTION that Litzman is a hero for abusing his position and corrupting the judicial process is problematic.

      Where is the compassion for the (alleged) victims of Leifer's abuse?

      Delete
    3. The party he ran got 248,391 votes in the last election. The equally corrupt Shas got 316,008 votes. (In fairness, many Shas voters are not charedim. And the quite corrupt Lieberman got 248,370 votes.) So, yeah, it's a lot of charedim at least.

      Delete
    4. Do you have any source that Charedim 'admire and respect' Litzman? Why would they? He is a politician, like a window cleaner, TSA inspector or grocery bagger. He did a necessary job and people ignored him as much as possible. Politicians aren't admired and respected, they are just politicians.

      Delete
    5. Cover story on MIshpacha: https://mishpacha.com/magazine/mishpacha-688/

      Delete
    6. I'm sorry - I'm not able to comment on Israeli politics or the halachos of mesirah, but I have to point out the one thing that Shimshon highlights as an accomplishment is to stop putting fluoride in water. I thought that that position went out of date with Dr. Strangelove, but here we go! Latest reports, including studies from literally around the world have not found toxicity, corrosion, or environmental damage from putting fluoride into the water. So even when he agrees with RNS, he is on the wrong side.

      -Yosef R

      Delete
    7. So front page of Mishpacha shows whom we respect and admire.
      Wow!
      The less you know, the more you talk.

      Delete
    8. Yosef R, I was born and raised in the benighted city of Los Angeles, which did not have fluoridated water until 1994, after I made aliyah, B"H. Somehow we Angelenos were still considered civilized.

      Delete
    9. " I have to point out the one thing that Shimshon highlights as an accomplishment is to stop putting fluoride in water."

      It's a קיום of אף אתה הקהה את שיניו.

      Delete
    10. Wow, we're up to the fluoridated water conspiracy! Have we already run through all the good ones? These guys never cease to entertain. If you're feeling chatty can you please let us know your theories on area 51?

      Delete
    11. He also believes that the moon landing was a hoax. He said it in a recent comment.

      Delete
    12. Oh so clever. Are you going to post my response? Or do I need to point out again that I said nothing about fluoridation beyond being against it. You are so desirous to disqualify any opponent you seek pretexts that don't even exist. Besides being a classic case of the Genetic Fallacy.

      I also didn't exactly say the moon landing was a hoax. But I did point out correctly that the data to rebut such a claim does not exist. And unlike you, I worked in the space program.

      Delete
    13. If you want to ban me, you should at least do so directly and publicly, with or without an explanation. You did so once before regarding a comment of mine you didn't publish. Why nothing now? Let your audience know. Passive-aggressive behavior such as silence by you and leaving my comment unpublished are not surprising. Although I am surprised I lasted as long as I did. Gershon Pickles is right, hypocrite and coward. Why did you ban him?

      I haven't violated a single one of your stated rules. However, numerous commenters routinely violate your "no anonymous comments" rule with impunity.

      Delete
    14. I've stated that I won't let conspiracy theorists take over the comments section. So yes, I am gradually reducing the number of comments that I allow from people such as yourself.

      Delete
    15. "I worked in the space program! I worked in the space program! And the lunar landing was a hoax!" Why haven't you been on 60 minutes blowing the whistle?! Go to the WSJ, or the nypost, they'd be happy to print your whistleblowing. What a clown - but an entertaining one, nevertheless.

      Delete
    16. @Nachum
      "The party he ran got 248,391 votes in the last election. The equally corrupt Shas got 316,008 votes. (In fairness, many Shas voters are not charedim. And the quite corrupt Lieberman got 248,370 votes.) So, yeah, it's a lot of charedim at least."

      You obviously have no clue how UTJ works. It is a mini-coalition of all the Israeli Chareidi factions. Litzman represents Ger and Ger only. The "Litvish" dislike Agudas Yisroel (the micro-coaliton of Chassidim which Ger heads), Belz dislikes Ger, Gafni and Litzman are almost not on talking terms... Chad gadya chad gadya. Yes, Sinas Chinam is alive and well. But no, Litzman is not the face of Chareidi Jewry.

      Delete
    17. @Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin "Cover story on MIshpacha: https://mishpacha.com/magazine/mishpacha-688/"
      The Mishpacha magazine has the picture of some advocate/politician/rabbi/tycoon every single week! Following your logic, they are all the heads of Chareidi Jewry! Sounds like Ashmadai born in Chernobyl!!!

      Delete
    18. I was referring to the content of the article, not the fact of his being on the cover. I was also on the cover!

      Delete
    19. I don't know what is said in the article, but I somehow doubt that the mild Chareidi-lite Mishpacha claimed that the political representative of the radical Ger faction is the face of Chareidi Jewry.

      Delete
    20. Why didn't that last post have your editor badge?

      Delete
  7. I may have misunderstood. Yes, focusing on God without listening to the תורה is terrible. But that isn't the discussion here. The discussion is if people are supposed to be major activists. People who aren't involve in the political field and do good in their small communities are also okay. Nothing 'fluffy' about that. RDNS is asking everyone to be activists in public matters. That isn't so simple There are people for that.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like you never actually learned Nach. I am talking about seriously learning it, with Targum, Chazal, Midrashim, Rishonim and basic commentators. It looks like you read some other guy's half-quote from a third website and cut and paste.
    That is why context is missing, mistranslations and misunderstandings abound, and ועל כולם - you have such definite opinions. Definite opinions are usually a product of little knowledge, especially when it's purpose is attacking someone else's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before "Targum, Chazal, Midrashim, Rishonim and basic commentators" it pays to know the plain meaning of the text.

      (By the way, Targum and Midrashim *are* Chazal, "basic commentators" are Rishonim.)

      Delete
  9. I think public exhibit number one is the IDF: In just one year.

    "Out of 1,542 IDF sexual assault complaints, just 31 indictments filed"

    https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-691641

    "Israeli Military Covered Up Negligent Killing of Six Gazans During Recent Conflict"

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2021-08-03/ty-article/.premium/idf-covered-up-negligent-killing-of-six-gazans-during-recent-conflict/0000017f-dbe0-db5a-a57f-dbeac0040000

    Like Reform Jews, rationalists are awfully selective in their use of Scripture. Let's take a look at just a small selection of what the Neviim have to say about some other things.

    מלכים ב יז
    וַיָּ֣עַד יְהוָ֡ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל וּבִיהוּדָ֡ה בְּיַד֩ כָּל־נביאו [נְבִיאֵ֨י] כָל־חֹזֶ֜ה לֵאמֹ֗ר שֻׁ֝֠בוּ מִדַּרְכֵיכֶ֤ם הָֽרָעִים֙ וְשִׁמְרוּ֙ מִצְוֺתַ֣י חֻקּוֹתַ֔י כְּכָ֨ל־הַתּוֹרָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי אֶת־אֲבֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם וַֽאֲשֶׁר֙ שָׁלַ֣חְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶ֔ם בְּיַ֖ד עֲבָדַ֥י הַנְּבִיאִֽים׃וְלֹ֖א שָׁמֵ֑עוּ וַיַּקְשׁ֤וּ אֶת־עָרְפָּם֙ כְּעֹ֣רֶף אֲבוֹתָ֔ם אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹ֣א הֶאֱמִ֔ינוּ בַּֽיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶֽם׃ וַיִּמְאֲס֣וּ אֶת־חֻקָּ֗יו וְאֶת־בְּרִיתוֹ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּרַ֣ת אֶת־אֲבוֹתָ֔ם וְאֵת֙ עֵֽדְוֺתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֵעִ֖יד בָּ֑ם וַיֵּ֨לְכ֜וּ אַחֲרֵ֤י הַהֶ֙בֶל֙ וַיֶּהְבָּ֔לוּ וְאַחֲרֵ֤י הַגּוֹיִם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר סְבִֽיבֹתָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ אֹתָ֔ם לְבִלְתִּ֖י עֲשׂ֥וֹת כָּהֶֽם׃

    ירמיה יז
    וְאִם־לֹ֨א תִשְׁמְע֜וּ אֵלַ֗י לְקַדֵּשׁ֙ אֶת־י֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת וּלְבִלְתִּ֣י ׀ שְׂאֵ֣ת מַשָּׂ֗א וּבֹ֛א בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֥י יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בְּי֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֑ת וְהִצַּ֧תִּי אֵ֣שׁ בִּשְׁעָרֶ֗יהָ וְאָֽכְלָ֛ה אַרְמְנ֥וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וְלֹ֥א תִכְבֶּֽה׃

    ירמיה מד
    לֹ֣א דֻכְּא֔וּ עַ֖ד הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְלֹ֣א יָרְא֗וּ וְלֹֽא־הָלְכ֤וּ בְתֽוֹרָתִי֙ וּבְחֻקֹּתַ֔י אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥תִּי לִפְנֵיכֶ֖ם וְלִפְנֵ֥י אֲבוֹתֵיכֶֽם׃ (ס) לָכֵ֗ן כֹּֽה־אָמַ֞ר יְהוָ֤ה צְבָאוֹת֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הִנְנִ֨י שָׂ֥ם פָּנַ֛י בָּכֶ֖ם לְרָעָ֑ה וּלְהַכְרִ֖ית אֶת־כָּל־יְהוּדָֽה׃

    ReplyDelete
  10. These last few days have shown an impressive showing of the Charedi position on this blog. An outsider would not think that the so called 'rationalist' position has won any of these debates.
    Is it because Bein Hazmanim is here? Or is it because the truth is emerging? Who knows? But the coherent position is now on the side of the Charedim. The sources and the sechel are on their side regarding Tisha Be'av. Indeed, the very need to find some irrelevant story about a has-been politician shows that the blog host has given up on actually winning the debate from the sources. He has reverted to a personal attack on an entire group because the sources are not with him.
    How rational and intellectually honest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "An outsider would not think that the so called 'rationalist' position has won any of these debates." Your idea of what an outsider would think are amusing.

      Delete
    2. And as for sources, i quoted them and they are explicit and unambiguous.

      Delete
    3. You quoted some of the sources.
      The reason the Charedim are winning this one is because it is a Sugya that any intellectually curious Charedi has actually learned. The average Yungerman, by the time he has reached the age of 30, will realize that he needs to find his own Tisha Be'av his'orerus and he learns the sources. That is why they know what they are talking about, and don't get tricked by the cherry picked quotes, that are mostly either out of context or irrelevant.
      The reasons for the Churban are enumerated in Tanach, some of which are due to public corruption, which is usually not relevant to the average person, and others are due to personal aveiros דבקו בו חטא ליצני הדור as we said in Kinnos, which is more relevant to the average person.
      Why we mourn is not necessarily related to the reasons for the Churban, and Eicha and Kinnos are sufficient. We were an עיר רבתי עם, which is explained by Chazal as רבתי בדעות. We lost that wisdom that the Medrash spends many columns explaining. We were respected as the רק עם חכם ונבון because of our חקים ומשפטים צדיקים and now we need to pay taxes to others, having lost our respect that the Mitzvos brought us. And that's just the first possuk.
      Explicit and unambiguous.

      Delete
    4. "And as for sources, i quoted them and they are explicit and unambiguous." Actually, the one source you did bring is very ambiguous. Did you even bother looking at the meforshim? No, of course not.

      והשאין האדם רשאי להתהלל כי אם בה כמה שאמר כי אם בזאת יתהלל המתהלל בידיעת האל ובלמוד תורתו אשר היא חסד ומשפט וצדקה בם ראוי שיתהלל המתהלל.

      וחוזר ומפרש במה שהשכיל ויודע אותי אשר אני ה׳ ואין עוד מלבדי ואני הוא העושה חסד לאוהבי ולשומרי מצותי ואני הוא העושה משפט להפרע מן הרשעים ואני הוא העושה צדקה לקבל את השבים ולהסיר מעליהם המשפט

      Now about about some real unambiguous statements, about the "fluffy spiritual" things?

      שמות לא
      וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם֙ אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת כִּ֛י קֹ֥דֶשׁ הִ֖וא לָכֶ֑ם מְחַֽלְלֶ֙יהָ֙ מ֣וֹת יוּמָ֔ת

      ירמיה יז
      וְאִם־לֹ֨א תִשְׁמְע֜וּ אֵלַ֗י לְקַדֵּשׁ֙ אֶת־י֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת וּלְבִלְתִּ֣י ׀ שְׂאֵ֣ת מַשָּׂ֗א וּבֹ֛א בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֥י יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בְּי֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֑ת וְהִצַּ֧תִּי אֵ֣שׁ בִּשְׁעָרֶ֗יהָ וְאָֽכְלָ֛ה אַרְמְנ֥וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וְלֹ֥א תִכְבֶּֽה

      פסחים מט
      אמר רבי אלעזר עם הארץ מותר לנוחרו ביום הכיפורים שחל להיות בשבת אמרו לו תלמידיו ר' אמור לשוחטו אמר להן זה טעון ברכה וזה אינו טעון ברכה:

      Delete
    5. וידיעת האל היא ללכת בדרכיו לעשות חסד משפט וצדקה כי כן עושה אותם הוא

      Delete
    6. Shemiras Shabbos is not a fluffy spiritual thing.

      Delete
    7. So after finally getting around to looking at the meforshim, only after I told you about them, you found one who explains like that. Big deal. Are you going to walk back your incorrect statement that it's "unambiguous"?

      I'm glad you agree that Shemiras Shabbos is not a fluffy spiritual thing. When are you going to finally call out your compatriots for violating it? Do you know that by your tacit approval, you are enabling them? Did you learn the lesson from the Navi yet? וְאִם־לֹ֨א תִשְׁמְע֜וּ אֵלַ֗י לְקַדֵּשׁ֙ אֶת־י֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת וּלְבִלְתִּ֣י ׀ שְׂאֵ֣ת מַשָּׂ֗א וּבֹ֛א בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֥י יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בְּי֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֑ת וְהִצַּ֧תִּי אֵ֣שׁ בִּשְׁעָרֶ֗יהָ וְאָֽכְלָ֛ה אַרְמְנ֥וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וְלֹ֥א תִכְבֶּֽה

      Delete
    8. Eicha and the rest of Tanach are unambiguous that the prime aspect of mourning is for the fall of Jerusalem and the suffering - not the loss of a connection with Hashem. And that the sins that caused it are, to a significant extent, the reliance on "spiritual" things rather than decency and integrity.

      Delete
    9. "Eicha and the rest of Tanach are unambiguous that the prime aspect of mourning is for the fall of Jerusalem and the suffering - not the loss of a connection with Hashem." Ok, so you admit השכל וידע אותי IS ambiguous. We are off to a good start. As for the rest of Tanach, your interpretation is only if you deny the Torah sheBaal Peh, which connects the spiritual to the physical, and emphasizes the the loss of the Bais Hamikdash and Shechina.

      ולירושלים עירך ברחמים תשוב, ותשכון בתוכה כאשר דיברת

      וְתֶחֱזֶינָה עֵינֵינוּ בְּשׁוּבְךָ לְצִיּוֹן בְּרַחֲמִים. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתוֹ לְצִיּוֹן

      Let us see what the rest of the Tanach says about people who ignore the Bais Hamikdash and are focused on "improving society"

      חגי א
      זְרַעְתֶּ֨ם הַרְבֵּ֜ה וְהָבֵ֣א מְעָ֗ט אָכ֤וֹל וְאֵין־לְשׇׂבְעָה֙ שָׁת֣וֹ וְאֵין־לְשׇׁכְרָ֔ה לָב֖וֹשׁ וְאֵין־לְחֹ֣ם ל֑וֹ וְהַ֨מִּשְׂתַּכֵּ֔ר מִשְׂתַּכֵּ֖ר אֶל־צְר֥וֹר נָקֽוּב׃ {פ} כֹּ֥ה אָמַ֖ר יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת שִׂ֥ימוּ לְבַבְכֶ֖ם עַל־דַּרְכֵיכֶֽם׃ עֲל֥וּ הָהָ֛ר וַהֲבֵאתֶ֥ם עֵ֖ץ וּבְנ֣וּ הַבָּ֑יִת וְאֶרְצֶה־בּ֥וֹ (ואכבד) [וְאֶכָּבְדָ֖ה] אָמַ֥ר יְהֹוָֽה׃ פָּנֹ֤ה אֶל־הַרְבֵּה֙ וְהִנֵּ֣ה לִמְעָ֔ט וַהֲבֵאתֶ֥ם הַבַּ֖יִת וְנָפַ֣חְתִּי ב֑וֹ יַ֣עַן מֶ֗ה נְאֻם֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת יַ֗עַן בֵּיתִי֙ אֲשֶׁר־ה֣וּא חָרֵ֔ב וְאַתֶּ֥ם רָצִ֖ים אִ֥ישׁ לְבֵיתֽוֹ׃

      Let us see what people were mourning about at the actual time of the Churban

      ירמיה מא
      וַיָּבֹ֣אוּ אֲ֠נָשִׁ֠ים מִשְּׁכֶ֞ם מִשִּׁל֤וֹ וּמִשֹּֽׁמְרוֹן֙ שְׁמֹנִ֣ים אִ֔ישׁ מְגֻלְּחֵ֥י זָקָ֛ן וּקְרֻעֵ֥י בְגָדִ֖ים וּמִתְגֹּֽדְדִ֑ים וּמִנְחָ֤ה וּלְבוֹנָה֙ בְּיָדָ֔ם לְהָבִ֖יא בֵּ֥ית יְהֹוָֽה׃ רד"ק: מגלחי זקן וקרועי בגדים. על חרבן בית המקדש:

      Let us see what people were mourning about in the time of Ezra

      עזרא ג
      וְרַבִּ֡ים מֵהַכֹּהֲנִ֣ים וְהַלְוִיִּם֩ וְרָאשֵׁ֨י הָאָב֜וֹת הַזְּקֵנִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר רָא֜וּ אֶת־הַבַּ֤יִת הָֽרִאשׁוֹן֙ בְּיׇסְד֔וֹ זֶ֤ה הַבַּ֙יִת֙ בְּעֵ֣ינֵיהֶ֔ם בֹּכִ֖ים בְּק֣וֹל גָּד֑וֹל וְרַבִּ֛ים בִּתְרוּעָ֥ה בְשִׂמְחָ֖ה לְהָרִ֥ים קֽוֹל׃ רש"י: זה הבית. כשהיו רואין בניין בית זה היו בוכין מתוך שהיו זוכרים אותו בניין גדול של בית ראשון :

      נחמיה ח
      וַיֹּ֣אמֶר נְחֶמְיָ֣ה ה֣וּא הַתִּרְשָׁ֡תָא וְעֶזְרָ֣א הַכֹּהֵ֣ן ׀ הַסֹּפֵ֡ר וְהַלְוִיִּם֩ הַמְּבִינִ֨ים אֶת־הָעָ֜ם לְכׇל־הָעָ֗ם הַיּ֤וֹם קָדֹֽשׁ־הוּא֙ לַיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֔ם אַל־תִּֽתְאַבְּל֖וּ וְאַל־תִּבְכּ֑וּ כִּ֤י בוֹכִים֙ כׇּל־הָעָ֔ם כְּשׇׁמְעָ֖ם אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַתּוֹרָֽה׃ רש"י:כי בוכים כל העם. מפני שלא קיימו התורה כראוי:

      " And that the sins that caused it are, to a significant extent, the reliance on "spiritual" things rather than decency and integrity."
      Where do you get this nonsense from??? First you say that Shabbos is not a spiritual thing, then you say that worshipping idols and then bringing korbanos in the Bais Hamikdash is a spiritual thing? And sorry, your secularist society certainly does not know anything about decency and integrity.

      Delete
    10. Alas, the comments section does not allow me to paste in THE ENTIRE SEFER EICHA.

      Delete
    11. Sorry, saying THE ENTIRE SEFER EICHA won't help you. What makes you think Tisha B'Av is only about Eicha?? Do you also think Succos is only about Koheles? Where did you get Tisha b'Av from in the first place? You don't need the whole Eicha. All you need is a Mishna in Taanis (do you at least believe in that?)

      חמשה דברים אירעו את אבותינו בשבעה עשר בתמוז וחמשה בתשעה באב בשבעה עשר בתמוז נשתברו הלוחות ובטל התמיד והובקעה העיר ושרף אפוסטמוס את התורה והעמיד צלם בהיכל בתשעה באב נגזר על אבותינו שלא יכנסו לארץ וחרב הבית בראשונה ובשניה ונלכדה ביתר ונחרשה העיר

      Clearly they put חרב הבית בראשונה ובשניה at the forefront of the tragedy.

      Or you can look at Nacheim

      נחם ה' אלהינו את אבלי ציון ואת אבלי ירושלים, ואת העיר האבלה והחֳרבה והבזויה והשוממה. האבלה מבלי בניה, והחריבה ממעונותיה, והבזויה מכבודה, והשוממה מאין יושב. והיא יושבת וראשה חפוי כאישה עקרה שלא ילדה. ויבלעוה לגיונות, ויירשוה עובדי פסילים, ויטילו את עמך ישראל לחרב, ויהרגו בזדון חסידי עליון.

      They put the actual Bais Hamikdash and the physical city of Yerushalayim at the forefront of the tragedy. And they put ויטילו את עמך ישראל לחרב last.

      Or you can look at Shemoneh Esrei

      ולירושלים עירך ברחמים תשוב, ותשכון בתוכה כאשר דיברת

      וְתֶחֱזֶינָה עֵינֵינוּ בְּשׁוּבְךָ לְצִיּוֹן בְּרַחֲמִים. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתוֹ לְצִיּוֹן

      Or you can look at Musaf of Shalosh Regalim

      וּמִפְּנֵי חֲטָאֵינוּ גָּלִינוּ מֵאַרְצֵנוּ. וְנִתְרַחַקְנוּ מֵעַל אַדְמָתֵנוּ. וְאֵין אֲנַחְנוּ יְכולִים לַעֲלות וְלֵרָאות וּלְהִשְׁתַּחֲות לְפָנֶיךָ. וְלַעֲשות חובותֵינוּ בְּבֵית בְּחִירָתֶךָ. בַּבַּיִת הַגָּדול וְהַקָּדושׁ שֶׁנִּקְרָא שִׁמְךָ עָלָיו. מִפְּנֵי הַיָּד שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּלְּחָה בְּמִקְדָּשֶׁךָ:
      יְהִי רָצון מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלהֵי אֲבותֵינוּ. מֶלֶךְ רַחֲמָן. שֶׁתָּשׁוּב וּתְרַחֵם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל מִקְדָּשְׁךָ בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים. וְתִבְנֵהוּ מְהֵרָה וּתְגַדֵּל כְּבודו:
      אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ. גַּלֵּה כְּבוד מַלְכוּתְךָ עָלֵינוּ מְהֵרָה. וְהופַע וְהִנָּשא עָלֵינוּ לְעֵינֵי כָּל חָי. וְקָרֵב פְּזוּרֵינוּ מִבֵּין הַגּויִם. וּנְפוּצותֵינוּ כַּנֵּס מִיַּרְכְּתֵי אָרֶץ. וַהֲבִיאֵנוּ לְצִיּון עִירְךָ בְּרִנָּה. וְלִירוּשָׁלַיִם בֵּית מִקְדָּשְׁךָ בְּשמְחַת עולָם. וְשָׁם נַעֲשה לְפָנֶיךָ אֶת קָרְבְּנות חובותֵינוּ תְּמִידִים כְּסִדְרָם וּמוּסָפִים כְּהִלְכָתָם:

      Or you can look at all the kinnos that mention the Bais Hamikdash and Avodah extensively.

      You talk about the rest of Tanach, but clearly you know very little of it. From just reading Eicha, from ignoring Chazal, from ignoring the rest of Tanach, you don't understand how important the Bais Hamikdash was, and how people mourned it. And you are even wrong about Eicha. (you don't need the whole sefer, just these parts for this purpose! 😊)

      דרכי ציון אבלות מבלי באי מועד כל־שעריה שוממין כהניה נאנחים בתולתיה נוגות והיא מר־לה. אבן עזרא:שהיו באים במועדים. והטוב בעיני שהוא המקדש

      איכה יעיב באפו  אדני את־בת־ציון השליך משמים ארץ תפארת ישראל ולא־זכר הדם־רגליו ביום אפו. רש"י: הדם רגליו. שרפרף מרגלותיו, וזה בית המקדש:

      ויחמס כגן שכו שחת מעדו שכח יהוה  בציון מועד ושבת וינאץ בזעם־אפו מלך וכהן. רש"י:שחת מועדו. בית קדשי הקדשים, ששם היה נועד לבניו, שנאמר "ונועדתי לך שם":. אבן עזרא:מועדו – כמו באי מועד

        נפלה עטרת ראשנו אוי־נא לנו כי חטאנו. אבן עזרא:בית המקדש מקום השכינה 

        עֵינִי֙ עֽוֹלְלָ֣ה לְנַפְשִׁ֔י מִכֹּ֖ל בְּנ֥וֹת עִירִֽי׃. רש"י: מכל בנות עירי. משפחתי יש לה לבכות מכל משפחות העיר, שהיתה נבחרת לקדשה ולעבודת הקדוש ברוך הוא מכל ישראל: 
       
        השיבנו יהוה  אליך ונשובה חדש ימינו כקדם: אבן עזרא: השיבנו – לעיר משכן שמך, ונשוב לעבדך כימי קדם:  

      Now you see the mourning for the Bais Hamikdash and Avodah is woven throughout Eicha. You see from the rest of Tanach that they mourned the Bais Hamikdash at least as much as the loss of life. You see that was what Chazal focused on. What more do you need? I am sorry about the messed up formatting in the previous post, I hope you still read it carefully. But it's not nearly as messed up as your hashkafa. השיבנו יהוה אליך ונשובה חדש ימינו כקדם.

      Delete
    12. "Or you can look at Nacheim
      נחם ה' אלהינו את אבלי ציון ואת אבלי ירושלים, ואת העיר האבלה והחֳרבה והבזויה והשוממה. האבלה מבלי בניה, והחריבה ממעונותיה, והבזויה מכבודה, והשוממה מאין יושב. והיא יושבת וראשה חפוי כאישה עקרה שלא ילדה. ויבלעוה לגיונות, ויירשוה עובדי פסילים, ויטילו את עמך ישראל לחרב, ויהרגו בזדון חסידי עליון.
      They put the actual Bais Hamikdash and the physical city of Yerushalayim at the forefront of the tragedy." Er, where do you see a reference to the Bais Hamikdash?

      As for the rest of your comment - I find it amazing that you can quote about five pesukim from Eicha which only obliquely refer to the Beis HaMikdash and then claim that it's "woven throughout." Likewise you speak about "all the kinnos" whereas in fact it's only a tiny fraction in comparison to those that speak of the destruction of the city and the loss of life.

      Delete
    13. Why do you persist with your bizzare denial of the importance of mourning the Bais Hamikdash and Shechina?

      Did you bother to look at the Mishna in Taanis that I showed you, the reason why they instituted Tisha b'Av in the first place?? Now look at the words of the Rambam

        תִשְׁעָה בְּאָב חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים אֵרְעוּ בּוֹ. נִגְזַר עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּמִּדְבָּר שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנְסוּ לָאָרֶץ. וְחָרַב הַבַּיִת בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה וּבַשְּׁנִיָּה. וְנִלְכְּדָה עִיר גְּדוֹלָה וּבֵיתָר שְׁמָהּ וְהָיוּ בָּהּ אֲלָפִים וּרְבָבוֹת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיָה לָהֶם מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל וְדִמּוּ כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּגְדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁהוּא הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ. וְנָפַל בְּיַד הָרוֹמִיִּים וְנֶהֶרְגוּ כֻּלָּם וְהָיְתָה צָרָה גְּדוֹלָה כְּמוֹ חֻרְבַּן בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ.  

      Especially look how he explains why the genocide of Beitar was a terrible tragedy! -
      וְהָיְתָה צָרָה גְּדוֹלָה כְּמוֹ חֻרְבַּן בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ.
      Oh, maybe this is also because the Rambam is too rationalist for you 🤣

       "Er, where do you see a reference to the Bais Hamikdash?"

      It does not mention בית המקדש or בית אלקים explicitly. But the primary part of ציון and ירושלים is the Bais Hamikdash
       
      וְֽהָלְכ֞וּ עַמִּ֣ים רַבִּ֗ים וְאָמְרוּ֙ לְכ֣וּ ׀ וְנַעֲלֶ֣ה אֶל־הַר־יְהוָ֗ה אֶל־בֵּית֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יַעֲקֹ֔ב וְיֹרֵ֙נוּ֙ מִדְּרָכָ֔יו וְנֵלְכָ֖ה בְּאֹרְחֹתָ֑יו כִּ֤י מִצִּיּוֹן֙ תֵּצֵ֣א תוֹרָ֔ה וּדְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה מִירוּשָׁלִָֽם׃

      יְפֵ֥ה נוֹף֮ מְשׂ֪וֹשׂ כָּל־הָ֫אָ֥רֶץ הַר־צִ֭יּוֹן יַרְכְּתֵ֣י צָפ֑וֹן קִ֝רְיַ֗ת מֶ֣לֶךְ רָֽב׃  

      Did you ever think about why Nacheim mentions the city of Yerushalyim separately from its people? It is because it is the place of the Bais Hamikdash and the Shechina. It is clearly not just mourning the physical suffering of the people. Also, in the nusach in the Yerushalmi it says explicitly על ציון משכן כבודך.

      A tiny fraction of the kinnos? Did you actually read any of the kinnos?? This is just from the first four, and it's not even all the verses in those four that reference the Bais Hamikdash

      שָׁבַת מְשׂוֹשׂ לִבֵּנוּ אוֹי. כִּי נִבְטְלוּ עוֹלֵי רְגָלֵינוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ: נָפְלָה עֲטֶרֶת רֹאשֵׁנוּ אוֹי. כִּי נִשְׂרַף בֵּית מִקְדָּשֵׁנוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ: עַל זֶה הָיָה דָוֶה לִבֵּנוּ אוֹי.

      כִּי נֻטַּל כְּבוֹד בֵּית מַאֲוָיֵנוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ: עַל הַר צִיּוֹן שֶׁשָּׁמֵם אוֹי. כִּי נִתַּן עָלָיו שִׁקּוּץ מְשׁוֹמֵם. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:

        אוֹי כִּי בָתֵּינוּ שִׁנּוּ. וּבְתוּלוֹתֵינוּ עִנּוּ. וּפָנֵינוּ נִשְׁתַּנּוּ. וְגַם הֻשְׁחֲרוּ כְּמַחֲבַת. וִיהִי נֹעַם נִשְׁבַּת. בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת:

      אוֹי כִּי נָפְלָה עֲטֶרֶת. וְגָבְרָה כָּתֵף סוֹרֶרֶת. וְחָדַל הוֹד תִּפְאֶרֶת. צִמְצוּם שֶׁכֶן חִבַּת. וִיהִי נֹעַם נִשְׁבַּת. בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת: 

      אוֹי כִּי נֻטְּלָה מְנוֹרָה. וּקְטֹרֶת לְבֹנָה הַטְּהוֹרָה. וְנִבְזָה גָּזִית מְיֻקָּרָה. אָכְלָה אֶרֶץ זָבַת. וִיהִי נֹעַם נִשְׁבַּת. בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת: 

      בְּלֵיל זֶה יִבְכָּיוּן וְיֵילִילוּ בָּנַי. בְּלֵיל זֶה חָרַב בֵּית קָדְשִׁי וְנִשְׂרְפוּ אַרְמוֹנַי. וְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל יֶהְגּוּ בִיגוֹנַי. וְיִבְכּוּ אֶת הַשְּׂרֵפָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂרַף יְיָ:...

      בְּלֵיל זֶה הַגַּלְגַּל סִבֵּב הַחוֹבָה. רִאשׁוֹן גַּם שֵׁנִי בֵּיתִי נֶחְרְבָה. וְעוֹד לֹא רֻחָמָה בַּת הַשּׁוֹבָבָה....

      בְּלֵיל זֶה קָדַרְתִּי וְחָשְׁכוּ הַמְּאוֹרוֹת. לְחֻרְבַּן בֵּית קָדְשִׁי וּבִטּוּל מִשְׁמָרוֹת.
      וְאָהֳלִיבָה תִּזְעַק: "נִשְׂרְפוּ אַרְמוֹנַי!" וַתֹּאמֶר צִיּוֹן: "עֲזָבַנִי יְיָ!"....

      וְנִשְׂרַף הַהֵיכָל אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ נִכְבַּדְתִּי, וּלְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה בְּבָבֶל נִפְקַדְתִּי, וְשַׁבְתִּי לְצִיּוֹן עוֹד וְהֵיכָל יָסַדְתִּי, גַּם זֹאת הַפַּעַם מְעַט לֹא עָמַדְתִּי

      There is nothing "oblique" about the pesukim I quoted and they are in fact woven throughout. It is your secularist hashkafa that is oblique.

      Delete

    14. Let us see what they mourned at the time of the Churban, when many people were killed

      ירמיה מא
      וַיָּבֹ֣אוּ אֲ֠נָשִׁ֠ים מִשְּׁכֶ֞ם מִשִּׁל֤וֹ וּמִשֹּֽׁמְרוֹן֙ שְׁמֹנִ֣ים אִ֔ישׁ מְגֻלְּחֵ֥י זָקָ֛ן וּקְרֻעֵ֥י בְגָדִ֖ים וּמִתְגֹּֽדְדִ֑ים וּמִנְחָ֤ה וּלְבוֹנָה֙ בְּיָדָ֔ם לְהָבִ֖יא בֵּ֥ית יְהֹוָֽה׃ רד"ק: מגלחי זקן וקרועי בגדים. על חרבן בית המקדש:

      Let us see what the Cohanim mourned during a famine
      יואל א
      חִגְר֨וּ וְסִפְד֜וּ הַכֹּהֲנִ֗ים הֵילִ֙ילוּ֙ מְשָׁרְתֵ֣י מִזְבֵּ֔חַ בֹּ֚אוּ לִ֣ינוּ בַשַּׂקִּ֔ים מְשָׁרְתֵ֖י אֱלֹהָ֑י כִּ֥י נִמְנַ֛ע מִבֵּ֥ית אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם מִנְחָ֥ה וָנָֽסֶךְ׃

      Let us see what Daniel mourned 
      דניאל י
        בַּיָּמִ֖ים הָהֵ֑ם אֲנִ֤י דָֽנִיֵּאל֙ הָיִ֣יתִי מִתְאַבֵּ֔ל שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה שָׁבֻעִ֖ים יָמִֽים׃ רש"י:  כשראה שביטל כורש מלאכת הבית 
       
      דניאל ט 
      אדני ככל־צדקתך ישב־נא אפך וחמתך מעירך ירושל͏ם הר־קדשך כי בחטאינו ובעונות אבתינו ירושל͏ם ועמך לחרפה לכל־סביבתינו .ועתה  שמע אלהינו אל־תפלת עבדך ואל־תחנוניו והאר פניך על־מקדשך השמם למען אדני

      Perhaps you only like secular sources? Let us see what Josephus says they cared about the most

      Josephus, Wars 2:16
      Have pity, therefore, if not on your children and wives, yet upon this your metropolis, and its sacred walls; spare the temple, and preserve the holy house, with its holy furniture, for yourselves; for if the Romans get you under their power, they will no longer abstain from them

      Josephus Wars 2:10
       The Jews said, "We offer sacrifices twice every day for Caesar, and for the Roman people;" but that if he would place the images among them, he must first sacrifice the whole Jewish nation; and that they were ready to expose themselves, together with their children and wives, to be slain.

      Sounds very humanistic, eh?

      Delete
    15. "Why do you persist with your bizzare denial of the importance of mourning the Bais Hamikdash and Shechina?"
      Why do you persist with your bizarre distortions of my position? I didn't deny the importance of mourning those things. I simply pointed out that if you look at the earliest sources, the focus is much less on that and much more on the destruction of the city and the human suffering.
      You chose to quote Nacheim, and it's a perfect example of both why my position is correct and how you are misinterpreting even the sources that you yourself bring. Let's take a look at it again:
      נחם ה' אלהינו את אבלי ציון ואת אבלי ירושלים, ואת העיר האבלה והחֳרבה והבזויה והשוממה. האבלה מבלי בניה, והחריבה ממעונותיה, והבזויה מכבודה, והשוממה מאין יושב. והיא יושבת וראשה חפוי כאישה עקרה שלא ילדה. ויבלעוה לגיונות, ויירשוה עובדי פסילים, ויטילו את עמך ישראל לחרב, ויהרגו בזדון חסידי עליון.
      The focus is very clearly the city and the human loss. The Beis Hamikdash is not actually mentioned at all! (Incidentally, the word Tziyon is used with different meanings in different contexts, but in the Kinnos it is generally used in reference to Eretz Yisrael.)
      I'm not going to keep going in circles and I'm closing the discussion here. Here is a source that YOU YOURSELF chose to bring, and yet which very clearly supports what I wrote in the post and does not at all support your position.

      Delete
  11. normally i'm with you, RNS, but here i think you overstate your point, to ill effect. certainly there is the dimension of national destruction, spiritual hypocrisy, and ethical lapse in eichah and the nevi'im. but why the need to separate these themes from another, which is and should be connected with it: the rectification of our root in the Divine. I understand that you are reacting to an overemphasis of what you regard as an obfuscatory mystical position that entirely eclipses the national and ethical. But the other extreme is just as bad. Yes, we should repair our connection with G-d, and Torah, because our connection with G-d and Torah should not be severed from our connection the the land, to the people writ large, to politics, and to ethical practices that transcend the letter of the law. You cannot win an argument if you go to the opposite extreme. Like Beis Hillel, you should be incorporating the opponents' views (ideally with compassion). Your certainly on this subject is a bit frightening. We know you love the state of israel, and think it is a miracle and fulfillment of prophecies. i bet you would be surprised how many of your apparent antagonists on here agree with that, at least in part. but then there is the eretz yisrael that lives within, the bechina of eretz yisrael, that is mitpasheit in our whole being, and in the whole world. this is penimius hatorah. it doesn't need to be irrational or unethical and it doesn't need to stand in "opposition" to the anti-hareidi coalition you represent. the layers of the pardes are not mutually exclusive chas v'shalom. mysticism is not opposed to ethics. it can be, but then you could say that it is ersatz mysticism--because G-d is good, and true. we should be learning more torah, and sitting in kollel-- but torah and kollel should grow to encompass all the layers of the pardes. chazal were far more multidimensional than any of our fragmented views. which is why it is foremost necessary for us to realize that we must get it together, together. you need the hareidi aspect of this holiday and this peirush, and in a way you are calling out for a good chavrusa. politics should never alienate us from the good and essential in our opposing shitas. perhaps you are in denial a bit about what and who your own "zug" might be. It is probably someone who bears an uncomfortable resemblance to your former self. this too is part of the external fulfillment of the return to our land. we come together, we remember that we are all parts of each other. the torah is sweet and the world is just when we are areivim zeh b'zeh. sh'yavo moshiach bmheirah beyameinu.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey bro, you got some extra weed for me as well? If I smoke some I might understand your comment!

      Delete
    2. Just because you don't understand the comment doesn't mean that HE'S on drugs. LOL. Maybe you lack the vocabulary or attention span, or imagination?

      Delete
    3. It kind of makes sense until 3/4 of the way in where it goes off the rails and morphs into some Breslev-inspired stream of consciousness gibberish. I guess that's where the high kicked in.

      Delete
  12. Public corruption and sexual misconduct in a public office is endemic in Israel. From the president who was convicted of rape, the 15 percent of IDF women who report being sexually assaulted in the army, to the COGAT officer who raped Palestinian women and sexually abused subordinates for 10 years, to the Israel prison service scandal such was buried under the carpet for 2 years. The judiciary allowed Leifer to roam, free to harm, for 8 years. The psychiatrist who in any normal system wouldn't acede to manifestly improper political interference. The astonishingly mild punishment for Litzman.

    This is bigger than Charedim, and making this a case of good (us) versus bad (them, the Charedim) is an astonishing case of apathy.

    This sectarian induced apathy to widespread failures puts your own daughters at risk.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "to the Israel prison service scandal such was buried under the carpet for 2 years."

      Yeah, who was doing the raping there?

      Delete
    2. Allegedly a Palestinian, with the connivance of several Israeli prison service officers.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, only allegedly is most crime in Israel committed by Arabs.

      Delete
    4. Crimes of abuse of power are something that only the powerful can commit.

      Delete
    5. Hat, the common denominator in all your posts is anti-Zionism. No other issue seems to concern you. Even kefira, such as suggesting that the whole purpose of the Torah is to make us into more socially just, and 'fluffy spiritual' things like a connection to God don't really matter. You may have some good thought provoking points from time to time but this single minded obsession of yours makes me a little suspicious.

      Are you an Iranian troll??

      Delete
  13. “Naturally, he remains a respected figure in the charedi community and there is no condemnation or even acknowledgement of his actions.”

    It is arguable that under the Israeli Proportional Representation system Litzman, as an MK, did exactly what his constituents voted for him to do. Unlike a district based electorate, where the member of parliament represents all of the constituents in a geographical area (which should be – unless it is gerrymandered – a fair representation of the overall population in that local area and the representative should act in the interest of the voters who live in that district) under the proportional representation system in Israel, the MKs electors represent a sector of the population.
    Representing his electors does not excuse corruption on behalf of his constituents, but Litzman’s willingness to do so does explain his enduring popularity in that sector of society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part of the issue is at the time of Litzman's obstruction in this case, he was more than just an MK -- he was part of the Cabinet (the executive branch of government) and in that role he is certainly not supposed to only be serving his electors.

      Delete
  14. Let's be frank here, Litzman may have money and power, but knowledge, especially of Torah? Probably not.

    ReplyDelete
  15. In the past (many years ago) Israeli law forbade extradition of a Jew to foreign countries. Later on they shamefully cancelled this law. Litzman apparently tried to do what Halacha says- not handing a Jew to a gentile court where she would be tried not according to Jewish laws (unless a person is a rodef).

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with R' Slifkin that the Litzman-Leifer affair is a great example of what the Nevi'im warned about (and tied explicitly to the Hurban) -- a society in which people in leadership positions, who are ostensibly frum Torah Jews scrupulously observant of mitzvot bein adam la-Makom, nonetheless perpetrate or enable horrendous abuses against the vulnerable.

    ReplyDelete
  17. People never come at the expense of your own personal connection God in halacha; though, yes, there is an innate tension. That was the whole reason Reb Yisroel Salanter launched the mussar movement, and why the Chofetz Chaim stresses not to wake someone up so you can wash your hands in the morning, for example.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "there is an innate tension." There is indeed. What does an ostensibly observant secularist do when he reaches this mishna?

      יבמות פז:
      האשה שהלך בעלה למדינת הים ובאו ואמרו לה מת בעליך וניסת ואח"כ בא בעלה תצא מזה ומזה וצריכה גט מזה ומזה ואין לה כתובה ולא פירות ולא מזונות ולא בלאות לא על זה ולא על זה ואם נטלה מזה ומזה תחזיר והולד ממזר מזה ומזה

      Does he skip it? Ignore it? Say it's wrong? Say it's obsolete? Is this an example of halacha at the expense of people? Of course, every chareidi posek will try to be matir an agunah or a potential mamzer, but sometimes, יקוב הדין את ההר. I agree with the rest of your comment.

      Delete
    2. Thank G-d, that mishnah is mostly obsolete now because we have much better tools for tracking down missing people.

      Delete
    3. CY, indeed thank G-d for that. If that's all you're trying to say, good. But if you're addressing happy's point, the Mishna becoming obsolete B"H, has no bearing on its principle; happy's point will remain.

      And let us not forget Moshe Kleinerman. May the best possible outcome happen asap!

      Delete
  18. I just ignored the Judge. B"H everything was ok
    I don't know what is true spirituality? Because I do not agree with some Chareidim that
    means I am secularist?




    ReplyDelete
  19. The Jews are described as being idol worshippers, not simply frum.
    YA

    ReplyDelete
  20. The past three posts have presented a complete false dichotomy, that one who emphasizes עבודת ה׳ in the spiritual sense downplays עבודת ה׳ in the spiritual sense. There is absolutely no reason to make such a dichotomy. All the pesukim quoted above only prove that justice etc are of extreme importance. The show nothing about the importance of the עבודת ה׳ that is being maligned by RDNS. For instance, the pasuk about השכל וידוע אותי includes both ידיעת ה׳ and עשות חסד. Likewise we say מה ה׳ דורש ממך כי אם עשות חסד, but also הצנע לכת עם א–להיך.

    As an aside I would like to point out that the "rationalism vs mysticism" dichotomy is also false. Just read עקידת יצחק and you will know someone who was both.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sorry for that post with gibberish in it. Here is what it's supposed to say:

      The past three posts have presented a complete false dichotomy, that one who emphasizes עבודת ה׳ in the spiritual sense downplays עבודת ה׳ in the *physical* sense. There is absolutely no reason to make such a dichotomy. All the pesukim quoted above only prove that justice etc is of extreme importance. *They* show nothing about the importance of the עבודת ה׳ that is being maligned by RDNS. For instance, the pasuk about השכל וידוע אותי includes both ידיעת ה׳ and עשות חסד. Likewise we say מה ה׳ דורש ממך כי אם עשות חסד, but also הצנע לכת עם א–להיך.

      Next: I simply cannot understand how RDNS quotes the Rambam to support rationalism, but when it is quoted back to him, he can simply say that it is not "normative". There is even an entire chapter in his book about how there really is no such thing as "normative". In this case, there is not even a shred of doubt that the thinkers among the Rishonim put a literally HUGE emphasis on what RDNS calls "fluffy spiritualism". One needs only to read ibn Paquda and the Rambam, not the least to say many Rishonim after that incl. the Ramban, Ran, and R. Bachya who all emphasize אהבת ה׳, יראת הרוממות, hope for the future, trust in God, punctiliousness in Mitzvos and all things pilloried as being over emphasized by RDNS. They DID NOT deemphasize justice. They DID emphasize both.

      The fact that RDNS can quote all of איכה prove nothing. The mourning on ט׳ באב is about all that is in איכה and more, and this includes the loss of a special connection between us and God. This is what חז׳׳ל call השראת השכינה, no doubt ALSO dismissed as "fluffy spirituality" by RDNS.

      My point is that it is a false dichotomy.

      Delete
    2. "The past three posts have presented a complete false dichotomy, that one who emphasizes עבודת ה׳ in the spiritual sense downplays עבודת ה׳ in the *physical* sense." I certainly did not intend to give that impression and I don't think that I did. The point was talking about the meaning of Tisha B'Av.

      "I simply cannot understand how RDNS quotes the Rambam to support rationalism, but when it is quoted back to him, he can simply say that it is not "normative". "
      Rambam was exceedingly unusual in his approach. He maintained that mitzvos are ONLY to help bring you to correct intellectual levels. If you don't reach those intellectual levels, then you don't get Olam Haba. The normative approach is that Yiras Hashem and Ahavas Hashem are important, especially as motivators for mitzvos, but the most important thing are the mitzvos.

      The loss of the shechinah happened a long time before the events of Tisha B'Av. The Beis HaMikdash was an "empty shell" by the time it was destroyed. And the Neviim bemoaned that the alleged special connection was a fraud, because it was not accompanied by ethical behavior.

      Delete
    3. Ok, I get it. You don't like comments questioning your faith. But nobody does a better job of that than yourself with your posts. When people are talking about the loss of the connection to Hashem and the loss of the Shechina, and you criticize them with "fluffy spiritual", that certainly implies that you consider those things "fluffy spiritual" ר"ל.

      Delete
  21. One thing I don't understand here is why many are taking Slifkin's implication on this post that the Chareidim (he doesn't use the word straight out but seems to be attacking Litzman and those concerned on improving their connection with Hashem - AKA Chareidim) as being inadequate in being fair and just for granted! Anyone who knows anything about the Chareidi world (and Slifkin seems to be quite obsessed with it) would know that Ger in general and Litzman in particular are highly unpopular with the general Chareidi public, and the actions of one individual, certainly a marginalized individual, are not indicative of the community as a whole. I don't think that anyone would judge the entire 'rationalist' community because of the actions of Barry Freundel, amongst many others. Yes, Litzman was wrong. R' Osher Weiss and many other poskim rule that it is mutar and a chiyuv to hand a molester over to the authorities and Litzman should have done so. But in general, the Chareidim have unparalleled chessed apparatuses, be it Tzedaka organizations, Gemachs, help for those needing medical, psychiatric or any other type of care, selfless askanim and much more. (I know of someone who r"l became sick with the dreaded disease, and had a Catholic colleague who was so breath taken by the myriad of individuals and organizations that stepped in to help that he said he wants to convert!) Yes, we are busy with "fluffy" things like Avodas Hashem and doing our best to strengthen our connection through Torah and Mitzvos. But that's not to say that it comes at the expense of our Bein Adam L'chaveiro, which to the best of my knowledge excels that of any other community.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "I don't think that anyone would judge the entire 'rationalist' community because of the actions of Barry Freundel"

      I certainly would! 🤣 Don't worry, I can easily come up with plenty more names of secularists like that. They are in the news every day. Both individual secularists and secularist organizations and power structures that cover for them and celebrate them. As I mentioned above

      "Out of 1,542 IDF sexual assault complaints, just 31 indictments filed"

      https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-691641

      Delete
    2. "But that's not to say that it comes at the expense of our Bein Adam L'chaveiro, which to the best of my knowledge excels that of any other community." Actually, that is only true if you define Bein Adam Lechavero extremely narrowly. If you take other things into account - helping pay for communal institutions, sharing the burden of defense, protecting the weak from those who harm them - the charedi community comes last.

      Delete
  22. Our Rabbis teach us that we are not allowed to understand the Tanach in whatever way we want, but only through the lens of our mesorah. Since our Rabbis have said that these parshiyos in Navi are really about our connection with Hashem, even if that’s not what is literally written, we are commanded by the same G-d to understand it that way too.

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    1. I wouldn't put it exactly like that. Many parshiyos in Navi, including Eicha, are definitely talking about physical destruction. But in Tanach, the spiritual and physical are connected. And our Rabbis teach us that the primary concern is the spiritual. The primary glory is the spiritual, and the primary destruction is the loss of the Shechina and connection to Hashem. And if we look throughout Tanach, we can see that as well. I brought several examples above. There are many more.

      For example, in the middle of a famine, this is what they were mourning
      יואל א
      חִגְר֨וּ וְסִפְד֜וּ הַכֹּהֲנִ֗ים הֵילִ֙ילוּ֙ מְשָׁרְתֵ֣י מִזְבֵּ֔חַ בֹּ֚אוּ לִ֣ינוּ בַשַּׂקִּ֔ים מְשָׁרְתֵ֖י אֱלֹהָ֑י כִּ֥י נִמְנַ֛ע מִבֵּ֥ית אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם מִנְחָ֥ה וָנָֽסֶךְ׃ קַדְּשׁוּ־צוֹם֙ קִרְא֣וּ עֲצָרָ֔ה אִסְפ֣וּ זְקֵנִ֗ים כֹּ֚ל יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָאָ֔רֶץ בֵּ֖ית יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֑ם וְזַעֲק֖וּ אֶל־יְהֹוָֽה׃ אֲהָ֖הּ לַיּ֑וֹם כִּ֤י קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם יְהֹוָ֔ה וּכְשֹׁ֖ד מִשַּׁדַּ֥י יָבֽוֹא׃ הֲל֛וֹא נֶ֥גֶד עֵינֵ֖ינוּ אֹ֣כֶל נִכְרָ֑ת מִבֵּ֥ית אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ שִׂמְחָ֥ה וָגִֽיל׃

      Delete
  23. "instead of running fluffy inspirational presentations ..."

    The elephant in the room, standing unnoticed by the author and all the commenters, is the CCHF Tisha B'av event. The current Galus began due to Sinas Chinam, and as the Chofetz Chaim says, Lashon Hara. The continuation of the Galus is hence due to the continuation of those sins. If those sins cease, so does the Galus. Let us therefore cleanse ourselves of them, and end the Galus. Let everyone come to videos of leading inspirational speakers and walk away with a commitment to improve. This is the CCHF program. If others have other ideas, great.

    CCHF claims to draw international audiences combining to 50,000 people in 700 locations. The presentations are produced by American "Chareidim", and the audiences I believe span the Orthodox spectrum. This has been going on for about 30 years, but originally it was smaller and grew with time. Every year an aspect of Bein Adam Lachaveiro is treated, this year Kavod Habriyos.

    CHEERS CHEERS! - to our 50,000 strong, UO and MO, who use Tisha B'av so productively, to upgrade their Bein Adam Lachaveiro and get us out of this Galus!

    https://www.tishabav.global/

    ReplyDelete
  24. I would ask anybody who is still convinced by RNS's offensive distortions: Do you have a relationship with your wife? Do you have a relationship with your child? With your parents? Are these relationships of the utmost importance to you, or are they just "fluff"? Are all relationships simply "fluff"? If you consider these relationships very important how much more so should you consider it with God! And how very much more so should you consider the communal relationship between God and the Jewish people!

    And I am not going to start quoting pesukim to prove this relationship, as I would have to quote THE ENTIRE TANACH.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Slifkin, I must say, I am totally bewildered as to what you are getting at in this post. Are you really trying to oversimplify Judaism as to being only about being fair and just?? Of course Bain Adam L'Chaveiro is a major pillar of Avodas Hashem, but so are Torah and Avodah. Of course there are many layers to Judaism, and they are all important, and not at the expense of each other!

    The cause of Churban Bayis Rishon was a lot more complex than some pious, self-righteous people being too caught up in "fluffy" spirituality to be concerned about their fellow man. In fact, the Jewish nation was in really bad spiritual shape. The Talmud describes it in detail:

    מסכת יומא דף ט עמוד ב
    מקדש ראשון מפני מה חרב? מפני שלשה דברים שהיו בו: עבודה זרה, וגלוי עריות, ושפיכות דמים. עבודה זרה - דכתיב כי קצר המצע מהשתרע מאי קצר המצע מהשתרע? אמר רבי יונתן: קצר מצע זה מהשתרר עליו שני רעים כאחד. והמסכה צרה כהתכנס, אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני: כי מטי רבי יונתן להאי קרא בכי, אמר: מאן דכתיב ביה כנס כנד מי הים, נעשית לו מסכה צרה! גלוי עריות, דכתיב ויאמר ה' יען כי גבהו בנות ציון ותלכנה נטויות גרון ומשקרות עינים הלוך וטפוף תלכנה וברגליהן תעכסנה. יען כי גבהו בנות ציון - שהיו מהלכות ארוכה בצד קצרה, ותלכנה נטויות גרון - שהיו מהלכות בקומה זקופה, ומשקרות עינים - דהוו מליין כוחלא עיניהן, הלוך וטפוף תלכנה - שהיו מהלכות עקב בצד גודל, וברגליהן תעכסנה - אמר רבי יצחק: שהיו מביאות מור ואפרסמון ומניחות במנעליהן, וכשמגיעות אצל בחורי ישראל בועטות ומתיזות עליהן, ומכניסין בהן יצר הרע כארס בכעוס. שפיכות דמים - דכתיב וגם דם נקי שפך מנשה [הרבה מאד] עד אשר מלא את ירושלים פה לפה.

    So in fact, Klal Yisroel during the period of Churban Bayis Rishon on which Eichah was written were not caught up in "fluffy" spirituality at all.

    The above gemara goes on to describe that Churban Bayis Sheini was much different. It was a period that people were on a much higher level in Torah and Chessed, but the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed nonetheless because of Sinas Chinam. But this is not disputed by anyone, and if you were to ask any Chareidi Yeshiva student what the cause of the Churban was, they will tell you unequivocally that it was such.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The above gemara goes on to describe that Churban Bayis Sheini was much different"

      I don't have a yoma handy but the gemorroh in gittin gives examples during churban bayis sheini of terrible aveiros.

      Delete
    2. The gemara in Giitin describes the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, which was the manifestation of sinas chinam, as alluded to in the gemara in Yuma.

      Delete
    3. ML, there are other aveiros mentioned. Such as zenus.

      Delete
  26. I really cannot comprehend how someone with the educational background in Hashkafah that you have can try to narrow Judaism into one simple concept. Of course our beautiful Torah is a kaleidoscope of layers! How we serve Hashem and develop a relationship with Him, how we treat our fellow man, how we do business, how we think, how we act, and how we utilize our spare time. But if you insist, Chavakuk Hanavi did it for you already.

    מסכת מכות דף כד עמוד א
    אלא, בא חבקוק והעמידן על אחת, שנאמר: וצדיק באמונתו יחיה.
    The Navi doesn't seem to think that the end-all definition of the Torah as being fair and just. The Meforshim are quite explicit that Emunah means trusting in Hashem.
    רבינו בחיי שמות פרק יד
    וייראו העם ויאמינו. היראה והאמונה עקר לכל התורה. וכתב רבינו חננאל: כי האמונה מתחלקת לד' חלקים, אמונה בהקב"ה שנאמר: (דברי הימים - ב כ, כ) "האמינו בה' אלהיכם ותאמנו" וזהו שכתוב: "ויאמינו בה' ובמשה עבדו", אמונה בנביאים שנתחייבנו לשמוע דבריהם, שנאמר: (ישעיה נג, א) "מי האמין לשמועתנו", אמונה בעוה"ב שיש להאמין כי יש עולם הבא ויש שכר טוב מעותד לצדיקים, וזהו שאמר דוד ע"ה: (תהלים כז, יג) "לולא האמנתי לראות בטוב ה'", אמונה בביאת הגואל שזה פנה גדולה בתורה, ז"ש: (ישעיה כח, טז) "הנני יסד בציון אבן אבן בחן פנת יקרת מוסד מוסד המאמין לא יחיש", וכל המאמין יש לו זכיות הרבה הוא שנאמר באברהם שהיה שרש האמונה: (בראשית טו, ו) "והאמין בה' ויחשבה לו צדקה", והנה הוא זוכה לגן עדן שנאמר: (ישעיה כו, ב) "פתחו שערים ויבא גוי צדיק שומר אמונים", וזוכה לחיי העוה"ב שנאמר: (חבקוק ב, ד) "וצדיק באמונתו יחיה", ומי שאינו מאמין בכל אלו, עליו הכתוב אומר: (איוב טו, כב) "לא יאמין שוב מני חשך וצפוי הוא אלי חרב", ואינו זוכה לגאולה, שנאמר: (יחזקאל כ, לח) "וברותי מכם המורדים והפושעים בי", וכתיב: (תהלים לא, כד) "אמונים נוצר ה' ומשלם על יתר עושי גאוה", פירוש ה' יתברך נוצר אמונים, ועל אותן שאין בהם אמונה משלם עונשם, כי הם עושים בגאוה ואינם זוכים לחיים, שנאמר: (חבקוק ב, ד) "הנה עופלה לא ישרה נפשו בו וצדיק באמונתו יחיה", עכ"ל הרב ז"ל.
    ומפני שהאמונה יסוד כל התורה כולה תקנו לנו רז"ל בתפלה ובברכות לענות אמן, שהוא נגזר מלשון אמונה ומלשון הודאה שמקבל עליו דברי המברך ומודה בהם, וזהו שאמרו רז"ל: (שבועות לו א) אמן קבלה, אמן שבועה, אמן קיום, ועל זה אמרו: (נזיר סו ב) גדול העונה אמן יותר מן המברך...

    Or:
    אברבנאל חבקוק פרק ב
    אמנם הצדיק והוא המאמין שכל דרכי ה' משפט ואין עול והוא מצדיק את דינו באמונתו יחיה מבלי ספקות וחקירות עיוניות, ואמר זה כנגד חבקוק שרצה להתוכח עם השם יתברך בטענות עיוניות בענין רשע וטוב לו ולכן אמר לו הספיקות האלה הם כולם דרך חשכה לא ראו אור כי הנה עופלה ואפלה הנפש אשר לא ישרה באדם אבל יש בה ספקות שהם מפני הנטיה מהיושר אמנם הצדיק לא יעשה כן ולא יהרהר אחר מדת בוראו אבל באמונתו יחיה באומרו תמיד הצור תמים פעלו כי כל דרכיו משפט (דברים לב, ד)...
    In other words, Emunah Peshuta. Not getting involved in deep philosophical exegeses about Hashkafic questions, just believing in Hashem. Also known as the Schmeltzer method, or as Yaacub would call it, "Christian!!" (assuming he spells it correctly).

    Or:
    מלבי"ם חבקוק פרק ב פסוק ד
    הנה עפלה לא ישרה נפשו בו. מי שנפשו אשר בו לא ישרה הנפש ההיא תתפעל ותתחזק לחשב קצין ולדחק את הקץ, הודיע לו כי רבים יכשלו ויעפילו לעלות בכח ובתוקף להביא את הקץ, כמ"ש ופריצי בני עמך יתנשאו להעמיד חזון ונכשלו, שיעמדו כמה נביאים מזוייפים ויגרמו כמה רעות לישראל, ושיעמדו רבים שיעפילו להעמיד חזון ולחשב קצין וכשלא יבא בזמן הנחשב להם יצאו מן הדת, אבל וצדיק באמונתו יחיה, הצדיק אשר ישרה נפשו בו, לא תעפל נפשו לחשב קצין ולהעמיד חזון, רק יחיה באמונתו ויאמין כי יש יום לה' וידום לה' ויתחולל לו:
    Sounds very similar to the difference between the Zionist/Mizrachi vs Chareidi approach to the Geulah, but I really don't want to get involved in that discussion now.

    I really would like to post in all the other Meforshim's approaches to this very important Pasuk which is the summary of all 613 Mitzvos, but alas, the comments section does not allow me to paste them all in!

    Again, I am not trying to over-simplify Judaism and say that piety is all that counts, and interpersonal relations don't matter. Hillel Hazaken's one line summary of the Torah was in fact ואהבת לרעך כמוך. But to try to portray justice as the only thing that the Torah is all about is being egregiously disingenuous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting.
      How can we reconcile the Malbim's warning against messianic speculation with his own calculation (דניאל ח:יד) that redemption will occur by 1928?
      "ויגיע הגאולה לא יאוחר מה' אלפים תרפ"ח"
      Elsewhere, the Malbim speaks of a gradual redemptive process. None of this necessarily contradicts the quotations you've stated here, but a single citation doesn't present the Malbim's view fully.
      One could support all/most of the activities of religious Zionists without making it into a activist messianic program.
      So if the Malbim sees the initial קיבוץ גליות as a early stage of redemption, does that mean that any program to foster settlement is necessarily messianic and would be considered "forcing the end"? Does the Malbim's warning against "forcing the end" include forcing earlier stages of redemption?

      Delete
    2. Ephraim - very valid point about the Malbim's own prediction for the Geula.

      As for your second point, I did not claim to be completely represent the Malbim's view on the Geula with this one paragraph. However, other than the most radical anti-Zionists such as the Satmar Rebbe ztz"l, who maintain that it is impossible that the fact the entire Jewish nation coming together in Eretz Yisroel is in any way connected to the eventual Geula, there exists a normative viewpoint amongst Chareidi Jewry that it is in fact the Hashgacha bringing everyone together for that eventuality. Not that the Zionists or the secular State of Israel are the manifestation or the realization of the Geula ch"v, but the fact that since the second world war, with the globalization of society and the easement of travel and the fact that Eretz Yisroel has become hospitable to Jews. I know that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztz"l was of this belief as were others. (Unfortunately the Zionists and anti-religious are still very much the power brokers in terms of what goes on, and until something changes, it is a major impediment to the Geula. We have to daven that we shouldn't experience ולא תקיא הארץ אתכם in the interim).

      Indeed, such a concept exists in the Rishonim as well. The Rambam, Ramban and Kuzari all explain that the reason that the Torah was was adopted (and adapted) by the Christians and Muslims is because the Geula is slowly taking effect and the world has to be conditioned with the proper moral value set to be prepared for it.

      So if that is all religious Zionists are all about, then I guess we haven't been disagreeing after all for the last 125 years! Glad we finally cleared things up!

      Delete
  27. Lend Slifkin a Hand!August 11, 2022 at 8:25 AM

    The problem is, it seems all the articulate MO commentors have disappeared off the thread and it this point it is just the UO ganging up against RNS. No fair! No fun! We need some MO back here to keep the excitement going!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alas, the problem is that most of the articulate MO commentors have at least some Torah education. You don't need a lot to know just how utterly, unbelievably wrong Slifkin is here!

      Delete
    2. As an MO reader of this blog I found the last two posts confusing for two reasons:

      1. Relationship to Hashem is a crucial part of Judaism not "fluffy spirituality."

      2. RDNS's attempt to distinguish between Tanakh and Chazal and later commentators is untenable. We must read the Written Torah through the eyes of the Oral Torah.

      CNS

      Delete
    3. 1. I used the term "fluffy spirituality" with regard to how some people try to avoid talking about the sort of concrete issues that the Neviim were concerned about.
      2. There is often a gradual evolution of Judaism and split into different directions. The focus of contemporary charedi discourse is not "The Oral Torah."

      Delete
    4. 1. By using the provocative term "fluffy spirituality" you give the impression that relationship with God is something non-substantial or unimportant.

      2. Many later ancient, medieval and modern commentators interpreted Tisha B'av as a rupture in the Jews' relationship with God. You give the impression that these interpretations are not legitimate.

      If you'd phrased the post differently, it might have reduced misunderstanding.

      Delete
    5. @RNS
      "The focus of contemporary charedi discourse is not 'The Oral Torah.'"

      What exactly do you mean by that?

      Delete
    6. "I used the term "fluffy spirituality" with regard to how some people try to avoid talking about the sort of concrete issues that the Neviim were concerned about."

      I don't think you were that clear about it, even if that meaning was implicit. You should expand upon the idea.
      In the meantime, these back and forth comments are getting more tiresome as they get more verbose and encyclopedic in stressing one point and missing another.

      Delete
  28. We must emphasize observing the Torah in this world because it is G-d's Will.Emphasis on the rewards of the World to Come is not our role in this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wrong, for most people. Certainly for most people who would come to this website. The Torah spoke in the language of reward and punishment for a reason. לעולם יעסוק בתורה לשמה שמתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה

      Delete
  29. ML- Abarbanel is far from an example of Emup Sh פשוטה. His commentaryp on Tanach is full of questions! Without understanding you can lose your belief. Of course there comes a point where you are committed
    even if you have questions.because you believe in Hashem and his Torah and Revelation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ??? most commentaries on Tanach are full of questions. Abarbanel was completely committed to Emunah Peshuta in countless places, which I can furnish you with upon request.

      "Of course there comes a point where you are committed
      even if you have questions."

      Correct, and I wish the "rationalists" would understand this. But they don't have questions, only answers. Like the famous story with R' Chaim Volozhin (I think?) "For answers, I have no answers".

      Delete
    2. Of course you have to understand! What the Abarbanel is prostesting are people who think that they have to understand EVERYTHING. Also known as 'rationalists'.

      Incredibly, according to Chazal, the Navi is saying that this concept of not understanding everything is the underpinnings of the entire 613 mitzvos! Quite different than RNS's narrative here.

      Delete
    3. What do 'rationalists' care about R' Chaim Volozhiner? Don't you know he opposed secular studies in Volozhin?? I actually heard the story with R' Chaim Brisker. You will anyhow gain more points quoting him here, after all he is the "Rav's" grandfather. (That is from amongst the MO readership at least. RNS himself is smarter than the "Rav" and draws inspiration directly from the 'rationalist' Rishonim). I have even heard that some of them have recreated him as an enlightened Zionist!

      Delete
  30. What kind of translation is this of the possuk in Yirmiyahu? How does "Haskel veyodea osi" mean "In his earnest devotion to Me? I know you generally don't know your sources, but this is embarrassing.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh boy, oh boy, oh, boy, you'll never believe what I found on the RATIONALIST JUDAISM website!

    http://www.zootorah.com/RationalistJudaism/mezuza-gordon.pdf

    Keep in mind that these quotes are not from a hassidic rebbe, nor a litvishe rosh yeshiva, nor a sefardi mekubal, but from an academic professor who is putting forth the RATIONALIST position.

    "An ongoing contemplation of the inscription affixed to the doorpost
    fosters a profound relationship with God, with its attendant providential dividends. "

    "A serious ideological difficulty plagues the protective view namely, its corrosive implications for the quality of the God-man relationship"

    " it is, indeed, in the depth of the spiritual relationship-and only in that relationship-that the source of protection ultimately
    lies. Having encountered God, the Jew, to the degree that he
    has drawn meaning from the mezuzah, will be under the protective grace of His hashgahah (Divine providence)."

    "One may argue that one element does not preclude the other,
    that the mezuzah itself yields a direct protective effect, in addition to its primary function of fostering a relationship with God."

    "indeed, it is exclusively as a spiritual force that mitsvot such as mezuzah function, fostering a relationship between the Jew and God."

    But maybe even the academics are too into "spiritual fluff" these days 🤣🤣🤣.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Right, the commentators raise many questions and submit answers. That is not Emunah Peshutah. Raising questions and trying to answer them instead of just accepting everything without question.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yaacub, your comments are incomprehensible, this one and quite a few others. Who and what are you addressing?

      By the way, there's a contradiction in some of your other comments. On the one hand you say ad nauseum that we don't focus on Olam Haba. But on the other hand you tell others to read מסילת ישרים. But you should read מסילת ישרים. So that you not need to search, here it is.

      CHAPTER ONE
      "The foundation of piety and the root of perfect service [of G-d] is for a man to clarify and come to realize as truth what is his obligation in his world and to what he needs to direct his gaze and his aspiration in all that he toils all the days of his life.

      "Behold, what our sages, of blessed memory, have taught us is that man was created solely to delight in G-d and to derive pleasure in the radiance of the Shechina (divine presence). For this is the true delight and the greatest pleasure that can possibly exist. The place of this pleasure is, in truth, in *Olam Haba* (the World to Come). For it was created expressly for this purpose.

      "But the path to arrive at the "desired haven" (Ps.107:30) of ours is this world. This is what our sages of blessed memory said: "this world is like a corridor before the World to Come" (Avot 4:16).

      "The means that lead a person to *this* goal are the commandments which the blessed G-d commanded to us. The place of the performance of these commandments is only in this world. Therefore, man was first placed in this world so that through these means prepared for him here, he will be able to reach the place prepared for him, namely, the *World *to *Come, there to be sated with the good which he acquired through these means. This is what our sages of blessed memory said "today to do them, and tomorrow to receive their reward" (Eruvin 22a).

      "When you look further into the matter, you will see that true perfection lies only in clinging to G-d. This is what King David said "But as for me, closeness to G-d is my good" (Ps.73:28) and, "one thing I asked from G-d; that I seek, that I may dwell in G-d's house all the days of my life, to gaze on the pleasantness of G-d..." (Ps. 27:4). For only this is the good, while anything besides this that people consider good is really emptiness and mistaken worthlessness.

      "For a person to attain this good, it is proper that he first exert himself strenuously to acquire it, namely, to exert himself to cling to the blessed G-d through the power of deeds whose consequence is this end. These deeds are the commandments ....

      "... Rather, man's creation was for *his *state *in *the *world *to *come. Therefore, this soul was placed in him, for it befits the soul to serve G-d; and through it a man will be rewarded in proper time and place. Thus this world will not be something despised to his soul, but rather beloved and cherished by it. This is evident.

      "Behold, after knowing all this, we will immediately realize the grave obligation of the commandments upon us and the preciousness of the Divine service which lies in our hands. For these are the means which lead us to the true perfection [in Olam Haba]."

      ----
      Quite explicit--we are to focus on and maintain an awareness of Olam Haba.

      -
      REGARDING THE LARGER ISSUE of these posts, part of the above quote may be relevant:
      "When you look further into the matter, you will see that true perfection lies only in clinging to G-d [in Olam Haba] .... For a person to attain this good, it is proper that he first exert himself strenuously to acquire it, namely, to exert himself to cling to the blessed G-d through the power of deeds whose consequence is this end. These deeds are the commandments ...."

      It can be argued, though not necessarily so, that the fundamental aspect of the commandments is that they are a form of clinging to G-d and for this very reason they result in the clinging to G-d in Olam Haba. Like mother like daughter ....

      https://dafyomireview.com/mesilat.php?d=3

      Delete
    2. Yaacub, this latest post of yours exposes you as utterly ignorant. (I originally ignored it because I thought happygolucky would do it justice in a way I cannot, with his uniquely eloquent, cynical, and clever style, but now that it appears that he has been banned I'll address it).

      This whole discussion about diverging approaches in Emunah, whereas the Chareidi tradition is generally to embrace 'Emunah Peshuta', whereas the Modern Orthodox may tend to appreciate more of a rationalistic approach (both approaches which have sources going back at least to the Rishonim), is about philosophical questions of Emunah only.

      Of course the Chareidi approach encourages questions!! In fact, the overwhelming amount of scholarly seforim printed are from Chareidi scholars. Our Kollelim aren't full with guys chanting "Na Nach..." or some other incantations the whole day. These scholars are asking questions and searching for answers on Torah topics that you did not even know existed!

      RNS, please allow happygolucky back! He is quite an eloquent voice for the Chareidi perspective. If he does at times distort the words of those he is debating, or of sources he is using, he is definitely not alone. To quote John Stuart Mill, "He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of even that."

      Delete
    3. "Of course the Chareidi approach encourages questions!!" This is inaccurate. They encourage questions within very narrowly defined parameters. Questions outside those parameters are absolutely not acceptable.

      Delete
    4. RDNS, did you read the first paragraph of ML's comment?

      Delete
  33. Ha! You banned all my comments. You really are not liking this one bit, are you!

    It's amazing you guys complain about censorship in the Chareidi community but you are the first ones to censor anything that contradicts your secularist worldview. Especially when it is substantial and backed up with TONS and TONS of sources.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I stopped your comments because I got fed up with your repeated misrepresentations of my position and your endless citations of sources which you triumphantly declared to state the opposite of what they actually said. This comment of yours is a terrific example of your tendency to make outrageous claims. After allowing you to totally take over the comments section, when I finally put an end to it, you claim that it shows that there is more censorship among the non-Charedi (or "secularist," as you bizarrely call us) than in the Charedi community. This isn't just wrong or mistaken - it's utterly preposterous.

      Delete
    2. Foul play!! No fair (and no fun)!! Bring back happy

      Delete
  34. RNS, I think this is a record for you. I don't recall another post ever garnering 150 comments from the peanut gallery! I think you should write another post congratulating yourself on this new milestone you have met!

    ReplyDelete
  35. One thing is for sure, some of the commentators here are"Prust", without middot and without character.

    ReplyDelete
  36. "...man was created soley to
    delight in G-d and to derive pleasure in the radiance of the Shechina." You don't know what this means as you are a material being and will never experience this as a human being. Those ,like the Rambam,
    who suggest
    reasons for the Mitzvot do not emphasize this as the goal of performing the Mitzvot.
















    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yaacub, thanks for the gibberish.

      Delete
  37. Anonymous as usual you have nothing to say,limited understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous, כמו השם כך הוא.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From now on you'll say who and what you're addressing?

      Delete
    2. Your first language is English?

      Delete
    3. Your phone or computer lets you write regular comments just like everyone else?

      Delete
  39. Anonymous, is your first language Yinglish?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, if you still disagree with a few commenters and myself who enumerated some problems that make your comments incomprehensible, so be well and keep it up.

      Delete

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