Discover more from Rationalist Judaism
Aren't You Scared?
In an article by Eytan Kobre in last week's Mishpacha magazine entitled "Aren't You Scared?" there were some basic errors of logic, as others have already pointed out. I'd like to take issue with the title and final part of his article, which argued that in light of the nuclear threat from Iran, people should be scared to draft yeshivah students into the IDF. To quote Mr. Kobre:
Aren’t you scared to support tinkering with the single greatest protection there can possibly be against that threat?
Um, no. Charedim themselves, including Gedolim, didn't consider the Torah study of charedi yeshivos sufficient to provide protection against missiles from Gaza on par with Iron Dome. Whereas the residents of the South mostly stayed during Cast Lead (as did the hesder yeshivos), the charedi yeshivos - including Grodna, Petersburg, Belz and Ger - fled from the South. Aren't you scared to be trusting the Torah study of charedi yeshivos to provide meaningful protection from Iran, when the Gedolim don't even believe that it provides meaningful protection from Gaza?
Mr. Kobre concludes by arguing that we should also be scared to ignore the guidance of the "leaders of our generation" - by which he means the charedi Gedolim - in this area:
When all the smoke clears from the battlefield of rhetorical jousting and endless punditry, this really isn’t about the views of Yonoson Rosenblum or Eytan Kobre versus those of any other Jew of whatever stripe. It is about what maranan v’rabbanan, the leaders of our generation — those about whom we beseech Hashem with the words v’ruach kodshecha al tikach mimenu, please don’t remove ruach hakodesh from our midst — have said and done, versus what Lapid and Bennett and Netanyahu have said and done. And so, aren’t you scared, or at the least, a bit humbled? —
Mr. Kobre, I have a similar question for you. Aren't you scared to be putting national security decisions in the hands of the types of people that told their followers to ignore Jabotinsky and to stay in Europe in the 1930s, leading them be massacred by the Nazis? Aren't you scared to be taking direction from people whose interpretation of Torah leads them to deny factual reality, such as insisting that there was no age of the dinosaurs but there is such a thing as spontaneous generation? Aren't you scared to place your connection to God and Sinai with people who are so out of sync with the philosophy of the Rishonim that they take positions that are diametrically opposed to them, again and again and again and again? Aren't you scared to be putting your trust in a system of rabbinic authority which caused Gaza to be sold out for 290 million shekels, Leib Tropper to be given immense power, and the monster Elior Chen to be declared a righteous person?
I'd be scared. That's why I'd rather take guidance from the Torah, Chazal, the Rishonim, and Rabbanim with a rationalist outlook, and whose worldview has Klal Yisrael consciousness, relating to the concerns of the entire nation rather than to the narrow interests of a seceded sector of society.
UPDATE: See too this article by Rabbi Berel Wein