Haters of Torah, Lovers of Torah
Over the last few months, many people have used the phrase "haters of Torah" to describe those opposed to the Israeli charedi lifestyle (or even just to describe those who vote for mayors that they believe will manage cities more professionally).
I'm amazed at the gall of people who use such a phrase. Rambam was strongly opposed to people who study Torah and expect to be supported, describing such a person as having "profaned God’s Name and brought the Torah into contempt, extinguished the light of religion, brought evil upon himself, and has taken away his life from the World-to-Come." Was Rambam also a "hater of Torah"?
Of course, it's not just the mass-kollel system to which people object. It's also attempts to force one's lifestyle upon others, slander, offensive and violent behavior, abusing the power of rabbinic authority, and so on. None of these are "Torah"; rather, people hate them because they are the opposite of Torah. In a particularly ironic twist, many of the people who use the term "Haters of Torah" are precisely the people who engage in this behavior - or who effectively enable it by refusing to protest it.
Anyway, here's an item that came my way which illustrates exactly which kind of Torah people hate and which kind of Torah people love:
Alon Davidi, former director of the Sderot Hesder Yeshiva was elected the new mayor of Sderot.
Why did a town with only 25% religious people vote this way, while in Jerusalem you can't get a religious candidate to win?
The answer is simple - what kind of Torah example are we living?
Is it a Torah of Kiddush Hashem or Chilul Hashem? Is it a Torah of Messirut Nefesh or self-interest? Is it a Torah that connects with the community or a Torah that seeks to cut itself off from the community? Is a Torah that gives or takes?
Sderot Hesder Yeshivah has Torah of kiddush Hashem, mesirut nefesh for people in need (giving support for people living under rocket fire in Sderot, and ultimately serving in the army themselves), seeking to connect with the community and to give. That's the kind of Torah that everyone loves.