189 Comments

Rabbi Slifkin, I don't think you're posting about this very important topic often enough. To you 10 articles a week repeating the same thing may sound like a lot, but if you want to really make a difference, that's not nearly enough. So I'd like to urge you to put in even more time to this holy endeavor of Chareidi bashing. I understand that you already spend close to 10 hours a day repeating yourself again and again and again, how evil the Chareidim are. I'd just like to urge you to spend at least an additional 5 hours a day on this. The Mesorah dinner can take back seat. Nobody likes grasshoppers anyhow. But if one person gets a filter on their smartphone, because they weren't sufficiently aware of the dangers of a chareidi lifestyle, then that's all on your shoulders. I know this may sound harsh, but as a deep admirer of you and your repetitious blogposts repetitious blogposts repetitious blogposts, I feel it is my place to give you this constructive criticism. So keep on repeating yourself, keep on slandering the evil chareidim, and keep on turning gray as a result. Hazaq veemats!

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Please surprise us with a new topic. Maybe something that falls squarely within your area of expertise. Like animals.

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For those who are unaware.

In Williamsburg/Boro Park, the filters on computers are controlled by the Mosdos. It is insufficient to sign that you have a filter, you need to show them that you have a specific filter, or one of a number of approved filters. Satmar, the largest operation in Brooklyn, allows filters that permit ivelt.com (the Yiddish site linked to in the post), but not those that allow kaveshtiebel.com. The reason for this is, Ivelt follows their rules, and kaveshtiebel does not.

For this reason, Ivelt must strictly self-censor to the Satmar standards. They cannot allow a post that would not be permitted in Der Yid. Most people writing there, when corresponding in private, chafe about these rules. But they know that they have no option, the filters will stop allowing ivelt through if 'Zionism' is permitted, and the parameters of Zionism are very strict, perhaps even stricter than Satmar, because they are too scared to allow anything.

So Ivelt does not represent anything more than Satmar, who always held that Zionism is evil, and the Tzahal is more damaging than helpful, and that we must pray for salvation without the assistance of Tzahal. I don't agree with them, but this is one opinion.

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So there are many different people called Charedim, with many different attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyles.

What an insight!

There is no central command controlling people's thoughts, there are no belief police out there. The only thing they have in common is that they have dedicated their lives to keeping Torah as best as they understand. They are not looking to compromise with their Yetzer Hara, they are not looking to put a hechsher on their assimilation. That is Charedism in a nutshell. Whether they support soldiers or not is immaterial, that is mere details. Some believe that supporting soldiers is a spiritual danger, others believe that it is not. But both take spiritual dangers seriously.

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Can someone please sponsor some groups to the museum. I’m afraid it’s reached a point of pikuach nefesh. The poor Doctor has become so obsessed, he’s in danger of completely losing it!!

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His name is Lipa Schmeltzer and he has a long history.

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Could be I thought the numbers were smaller than they really are. People should have no problem davening for soldiers. Period. For our brothers. They're how we're meant to look at it. I have no idea how that will turn into glorifying them over talmidei chachamim.

But for sure in America the numbers of people who share the ideology that there's something wrong with this is very small. There are lampreys me letters and cards with names circulating all around and people are definitely talking about the war and sakana as if they truly care. They do.

I wonder how many people in Israel share this sentiment. It could be brisk thinks like this so that probably includes a whole bunch of people. But they are a smaller number than you think, and not the mainstream opinion at all at all.

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Your daughter is a hero of the Jewish people

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"bemoans the fact that this has become something that needs to be said."

Yes I bemoan the fact that a Palestinian group whose ideology isn't much different from that of the Nazis started a war and (1) Jews aren't 100% unified against them, and (2) they are getting tacit support from poltical extremists on both the Right and the Left in the United States.

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You still haven't answered why you care if we daven for the IDF if it doesn't change things....

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I have read all the posts that accuse the Rabbi of charedi bashing. But I have a question to all those offended people. The soldiers of the IDF are risking and in some cases losing their lives in order to protect the country from being overrun by terrorists. If Moshe Rabbeinu had hakarat hatov to the nile why can't your communities have the same for the soldiers who are risking their lives for them? And why won't you daven for the safety of people who have put themselves in danger to protect you?

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Charles Joseph claims that RNS is obsessed with charedi bashing, but Charles has posted more comments bashing RNS than RNS has posted threads bashing Charedim

Pot calling kettle, anyone?

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Beautiful video at the end from Lipa, who has a long history of supporting the IDF (in spite of the fact that he grew up in New Square which is far from Zionist) - however there has been pushback against him in the community. I read recently that a concert of his was cancelled because of his support for soldiers, however in spite of that he did not apologize or back down from his support.

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Nov 27, 2023·edited Nov 27, 2023

Rabbi Slifkin, it appears that you are conflating not davening for the soldiers specifically with not being grateful to the soldiers, or not caring for the soldiers, or not having them in mind when davening. But this is a totally unwarranted conclusion. Although in my very yeshivish community, we daven for specific soldiers through specific names, I know plenty of communities where they don't, yet still are grateful for the soldiers and care deeply about them, and have them in mind when davening and saying tehillim for acheinu.

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It would appear to me that most of the commentators arguing with you take the notion that Tefillah works as a "soft factor." That is to say, there are some "hard factors" in war, such as military production, amount of soldiers, and technology. But there's other components as wells, known as "soft factors." These are harder to measure things, such as morale, ergonomics of equipment, and communications.

Soft factors are clearly important, but it is very difficult to measure the specific marginal benefit of incremental increases of them. How much does one extra hour of sleep impact a soldier's performance? It's hard to tell.

I don't think there is much analysis done beyond this. It's just, "learning torah is a soft factor contributing to the success of the IDF, and therefore, we should continue as things are."

I don't have a solution about how to balance Torah as a soft factor. There seems to be a complete refusal to seriously engage in calculation for these. For example, with regards to R' Feldman - there are approximately 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza. If 1000 women would recite 20 tehillim every day, then that would wipe out the entire Palestinian population living in Gaza in under four months.

We are obviously not seeing this, meaning that R' Feldman was "exaggerating," because how can we calculate these soft factors?

So, in the same sense that we demand less sleep for our soldiers because the hard factor of another solider on duty is greater then the marginal benefit of him being more alert, I think it's reasonable to say that the marginal benefit of reducing overall Torah learning would be compensated via the hard benefit of having more soldiers.

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Even if many can't bring themselves to say the word "soldiers", who do you think they're davening for? The danger away from the front isn't that significant.

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