Chazal Were Correct - And The Facts Prove It
There are some statements by Chazal which have recently been challenged by people who claim to be Orthodox Jews. These people don't come out explicitly and declare Chazal to have been mistaken, but they do make it very clear, by their policies, that they are disputing Chazal. They seem to think that Chazal were wrong, or that the social conditions of our time have made Chazal's declarations obsolete, or that when Chazal made blanket statements they intended there to be numerous exceptions.
This is very disturbing. There is no reason not to think that Chazal were correct in these cases. Furthermore, recent evidence clearly shows that Chazal were indeed correct.
I am referring to the following statements of Chazal:
"Whoever does not teach his son a trade... it is as though he has taught him to steal." (Kiddushin 29a)
"Any Torah that is not accompanied by work, will end in neglect [of Torah] and will lead to sin." (Avos 2:2)
Yet in most parts of the Charedi world, they act otherwise. After all, official educational policy is not to teach their children a trade, and not to accompany the study of Torah with work. They clearly demonstrate that they do not believe these words of Chazal to be true.
But Chazal were correct! From the graves of these giants of wisdom and purity emerges the truth that can never be repudiated by the midgets of our generation. Ve’ain leharher achar divrei haGemara.
These rules of which Chazal spoke rest not upon transient psychological behavioral patterns, but upon permanent ontological principles rooted in the very depths of the human personality, which is as changeless as the heavens above. It is based not upon sociological factors; it is an existential fact. It was true in antiquity; it is still true, and it will be true a thousand years from now.
And the facts prove it.
Last year: Police: Haredim embezzled millions in ID fraud
This year: 10,000 yeshiva students allegedly defraud Education Ministry
(This post was inspired by Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitvchik ztz"l, and, yibodel lechaim, Rav Mattisyahu Solomon shlita and Rav Uren Reich shlita. And while the tone of the post is satirical, the underlying point is very serious. Chazal made these statements for a very good reason. Living in Israel, I see the catastrophe of people who ignore Chazal's words, and I am horrified to see well-meaning Anglos who think that it is the derech haTorah to bring up children in a system that discourages working.)
On a different note: I still have openings in my summer lecture tour in the US. Please be in touch ASAP if you would like to arrange Shabbos or weekday lectures in your community - you can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.