457 Comments

Guys, let's utilize Natan's rabble rousing and hate mongering to promote achdus in Klal Yisrael! I created a Rationalist Judaism charidy team on Shai Graucher's campaign. I set our goal at $2,000 and already donated $100 in Natan's honor. Let's hit our goal!

https://www.charidy.com/Chessedvrachamim/43640

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And we have another donor! Thank you Dumb Tzefardea for your gracious donation in honor of the Rabbi Dr!

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Thank you to Anonymous who just donated lzchus our wonderful soldiers!

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Thank you to ChayaD for her generous donation! Thank you to Shaya Grosskopf for his generous donation!

Mi K'amcha Yisrael!!!!

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If he is just reporting facts than I don't think that counts as hate mongering, but hope that doesn't hurt ur campaign. Hatzlachah

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Right. Just reports the fact. Exactly the way David Duke "just reports the facts" about the Jews.

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Kol HaKavod.

May I suggest a little menschlichkeit may get you a long way? Here's what you could write instead:

"Wow, thanks to R' Slifkin for alerting me to Shai Graucher's campaign! I have created a Charidy team for Shai Graucher's campaign. I set our goal at $2,000 and already donated $100 in Natan's honor. Let's hit our goal!"

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The Truth becomes not "menschlichkeit". R. Slifkin praises R. D. Gaucher's extraordinary of Chesed by a Chareidi.

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I was trying to politely suggest that Mr. Banana's first sentence was not too politely worded.

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He is not "R' Slifkin". "R'" stands for "Rav". and a kofer can't be a Rav.

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Oh. I thought "R" in this context stood for "Retard".

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Unless you're joking, that's very crude as well.

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I'm fairly certain I wasn't speaking to you. Go learn some mussar.

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As per Mussar the R word is socially unacceptable and indicated you to be low class…

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You know he's the host of this blog, right? You are really, really showing a lack of middot.

Also, if he was really a kofer, you'd be barred halakhically from reading his posts. So that makes you a sinner just for being here.

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What lack of middos (middot)? It's a statement of fact. It's like calling the Pope "Rav". I hereby demand that you start calling me His Majesty, otherwise it's a lack of middos (middot).

Sorry, when I want to take halachic (or "halackhic") advice from somebody who thinks King Menashe represents the mesorah, I'll ask you.

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h

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" somebody who thinks King Menashe represents the mesorah"

This has been explained to you several times. מנשה was not cited as a paragon of the מסורה, but as an example of a king who retains legitimacy at some level, despite his sins.

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Because a novi said so and he was appointed in accordance with halachik procedure.

None of that apply to the current shellfish fressing shabbos desecrating leader of the state. When a novi comes along and gives him kovod, there might be something to discuss.

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Nope, Nachum was specifically citing him as a paragon of mesorah. Otherwise, why not cite Nebuchadnezzar or Kim Jong Un, who also retain legitimacy at some level?

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Very funny you mention menashe. Learn Sanhedrin recently? You seem like a bitter person, making fun of people for no reason. Shame on you. You lack basic middos.

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If you would have seen the previous discussion with Nachum, you would see why I mentioned Menashe. Not for no reason.

Learn Sotah recently? You would see why women shouldn't learn Gemara. Reserve your criticism of middos for people like Slifkin, I'm the good guy here.

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Understandable why you post anonymously. Aiding and abetting a known "mazzik" as declared by the Gadol could get you thrown out of your shul and ruin your grandchildren's shidduchim.

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Exactly! I started davening with the pineapples. My granddaughter just got engaged to a watermelon!

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There is no moral dilemma here for me. I have no idea what Reb Dov Landau is talking about, nor do I know the situation. I assume there is more to the story than presented here. If not, I disagree with his condemnation.

I agree with Rav Landau that Torah (read: Teshuva) is truly the only, yes only way to win this war. But chessed to the soldiers, for those that can, is also an absolute must, and if so, my Rabbeim, and my lowly self, would disagree with Rav Landau.

That being said, there surely is more to the story.

I'm glad Slifkin's day was made when this came out though.

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I don't want to elaborate on this here, but to mix in another two controversies here, see the first 5 minutes of the speech Rabbi Meiselman publicized about Chaim Walder (wow, all in one line!) in which he separates between the תלמוד חכם involved in the world, and one in his ד אמות. His example was Rav Refoel Shapiro and the Netziv. I don't want to spend much time on this but this is nothing new. ותן לחכם

I personally don't understand the position, because when does Chesed come in then? Forget army but terrorized Chareidi victims should be ignored? Just Kollel? Something doesn't add up.

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Dec 26, 2023·edited Dec 26, 2023

Thank you Natan for not banning comments here. I expect you feel that there would only be pretzel twisting and/or people calling our Rav Landau Shlit'a which you wouldn't do without.

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I'm utterly disgusted by you saying that it "made my day" when he said that.

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"I'm utterly disgusted blah blah blah..." Yeah, tell it to the marines.

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But Natan, am I wrong? An opportunity to bash charedim didn't make you happy?

I'm utterly disgusted that you think you are doing good by spreading lashon hara about Torah leaders.

I'm usually very nice, and I'm sorry for falling out of character. But you do make my blood boil sometimes. And I slip.

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Yes, you are wrong. I am not happy when people do horrible things. And I am disgusted that you think otherwise. Frankly, it says a lot about you.

(As an aside, it's amazing that you consider it lashon hara to publicize a statement from R. Landau that he asked to be publicized!)

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Come on. Stop hiding behind a thin veil of false righteousness. We all know you LIVE for this. And then you go guilt poor Shulman into groveling apology. For shame.

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RNS days it like it is. It's called criticism.

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Dw I already felt guilty as I hit "Post"

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Dec 26, 2023·edited Dec 26, 2023

Again, I apologize for stepping out of line.

It says little of me other than the fact that I have a set of values which prioritizes Toras Hashem above all for so many reasons and posts like these do nothing but make people think ill of those who stand for this highest value.

The fact that he said to publicize it was, I promise, not meant to be done by people like you who already don't respect Torah leadership.

You felt an achrayos to publish this post, why Natan? Matzav publicized it already.

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author

For sure. But it means that he very much stands by it. You don't think that people should know what the "Gadol HaDor" sets as policy?

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If you really believe what you are saying about R' Slifkin, you should stop reading this blog. If he is such a wicked person in your eyes, it's literally assur to be here.

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i don't for a second think slifkin is wicked. misguided, yes. not wicked. but either way, i kinda agree, see my comment here: https://irrationalistmodoxism.substack.com/p/daas-torah-vs-daas-shotim/comment/45422511

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What you want is that when ducks quack noone should call them ducks!

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What you want is that when the ducks quack Noone should call them ducks!

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And what I want is that when AKs squawk no one should call them AKs!

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No respect for the seniors.This also defines a person. "Grubbe Yoong".

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I apologize for slipping. I just fell and I am getting back up. Mussar taken.

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You can calm down. If he bans you, you can come back with another ten usernames. Take it from a pro.

Chillax.

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Haha:)

I don't care about being banned. I care about being a mentch. Though I enjoy all the snarky comments back, it's not me. I'll do me, you'll do you

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Ya looking back I should chill a bit tho

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Dec 26, 2023·edited Dec 26, 2023

Can I ask, Natan, were your fingers trembling as you wrote up this post? My heart was racing just because I was going to badmouth you, a fellow Jew. At the time I did it anyways because I thought you should be called out. But it wasn't done lightly. If you felt that this post was the right thing to do, knowing the (probably irreversible) damage, and did it anyways because you feel it is your heavenly achrayos to do so, my blood will cool off a lot.

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shulman

This is a great example of why Liberals often beat Conservatives in arguments. Conservatives tend to fold and need to act morale, Liberals never give in. Or an analogy to Israel always giving in and professing morality when the world in truth doesn’t give a damn about morality.

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Dec 28, 2023·edited Dec 29, 2023

Tbf I don't mind saying something sharp but what I said here was actually a mean thing to say. I think slifkin didn't feel enough heaviness as he wrote this post. I don't think he even understands the damage he's doing. But that doesn't mean he was happy about it. That was a low blow

(also slifkin has and is constantly getting hit over the head by chareidi commentators (and gedolim for that matter) so i can't well blame him for not folding)

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But not MAGAs though.

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Can we all agree that the only thing that will save us in this Eis Tzarah is Ahavas Yisroel? It’s easy to find something you don’t like about a fellow Jew, but it’s critical, especially at this crucial time, to find something to like about every Jew!!!

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It's amazing how you totally distort R. Landau's words. He didn't say teshuva, he said Torah!

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השיבנו אבינו לתורתך וקרבינו מלכנו לעבודתך והחזירנו בתשובה שלימה לפניך

in chareidi lingo, torah is the first step to teshuva, and the practical step to it as well. torah is the will of God manifest to us, and our "return," our "teshuva" to Him is through the devotion to His word

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Rubbish. In Litvishe yeshivos, Torah is learned for the sake of Torah. If R. Landau had meant teshuva he would have said so. You have no right to change what he said.

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no one older than like 20 thinks torah is just torah. they know that it is a vehicle to get closer to Hashem. if it's rubbish, that's on you and that's your projection

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When the Mussar Movement started it was Not well accepted by many Rabbanim who considered it ביטול תורה. Later it was limited for the same reason. So traditionally Torah is just Torah learning not anything else.

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That does not disprove anything I said even if you were somewhat correct. But besides for that, your understanding of what the mussar movement was about and why it was rejected by many is not what you think

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"I agree with Rav Landau that Torah (read: Teshuva) is truly the only, yes only way to win this war."

Can you really be sure? The implications of that are pretty staggering. Hundreds of soldiers killed for no reason along with many thousands of Palestinian citizens with no connection to Hamas.

I presume that to avoid starvation, in addition to Teshuvah you also eat. Is it really traditional to assume that have such a fix on Providence that we can say that "only teshuvah" is relevant? Can you say with certainty that the Rishonim who had a different view of Providence were definitely wrong?

Also, can you say what "only teshuvah" means? Could it mean possibly that the less focus on private Talmud study and more on practical help for Jews through other means might be right type of Teshuvah?

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"the Rishonim who had a different view of Providence"

Which Rishonim? It seems like you've built you're entire life around one out of context sentence in a letter from the Rambam which you never even read in its entirety. Read the darn thing! You're gonna be in for a big surprise!!

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Dec 27, 2023·edited Dec 27, 2023

thx, as always, for your pointed questions.

to clarify what we believe, we most definitely do not believe that we don't need hishtadlus, which are in this case those brave soldiers who we have nothing but hakaras hatov for and we worry and worry to no end of their fate because that front is extremely important.

but at the same time that Hashem runs this world through teva which we need to deal with being that this is the world we live in, for 'real' what 'really' happens is that behind the scenes there is this method of schar v'onesh. when we do good, Hashem bestows good upon us and saves us from our enemies. when we do wrong, he brings tzaros and let's the mashchis be mechabel, this time hamas.

how these two very different operations work simultaneously is way beyond us and we must fight on both fronts. back then when they were living closer to Hashem and further away from teva, things were more clear. now we are pretty much stuck in the teva way of things, ad ki yavo shiloh, and it's probably impossible to say that we are going to reach the proper level of teshuva to see a complete yeshua without doing our hishtadlus. but whatever yeshua we will see will be because of my teshuva and your teshuva, and our neighbors teshuva and our cousin's teshuva.

in this regard, each person has to do his own part - i can't change everyone else. and each leader will strengthen his community to up the ante of avoda Hashem. for those who are not as learned, their teshuva will not be to sit all day and learn, but to be more honest, nicer, more medakdek in halacha, and learn a bit more and a bit better.

for the yeshiva guys, they need to do a lot more. they need to work on their single task of making learning and connecting to Hashem on that high madreiga only obtainable through torah, they need to make that their goal. including giving up breaks, learning more bretzifus.

basically, everyone should be doing what they always should be doing given their lot in life, and that is the personal teshuva everyone will do and that is the teshuva the leaders are pushing everyone to do.

that is how klal yisroel responds to an eis tzara, through teshuva. this is not at the expense of hishtadlus in our time, but it is the driving force of the win.

of course helping others is important, and is most definitely a part of teshuva. but there are rules, such as efshar al yedei acheirim and things like that that are included in this equation of personal teshuva. i fail to see how nosei be'ol and tzedaka to help other people in need is not part of teshuva. that *is* a *big* part of teshuva. again, i can't defend reb dov, but the essential point is true, our (the bnei yeshiva's) job is to maximize torah.

also i'd like to clarify which rishonim you are referring to that disagree with this view.

i sort of rambled so let me know if this helps clarify my position and if you still disagree/have questions on me.

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" hishtadlus, which are in this case those brave soldiers "

Since when is doing מצות demoted to mere השתדלות?

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Dec 28, 2023·edited Dec 28, 2023

"to clarify what we believe, we most definitely do not believe that we don't need hishtadlus"

Well, then you are not saying that teshuvah is only way to win this war. You need a lot more than Teshuvah. And as Ephraim points out, why are these essential acts of protecting others including risk to life only "hishtadlus" and not Mitzvos or themselves Teshuvah?

"how these two very different operations work simultaneously is way beyond us and we must fight on both fronts". This is correct. Which is why these pronouncements make no sense. The obvious thing to do is to react to what happened and try to solve the problem. Claims that "I know that the 'real' problem is X; let's attack that instead" are completely misaligned with our understanding that workings of providence are almost unknowable.

"basically, everyone should be doing what they always should be doing given their lot in life"

I mean isn't that the opposite of doing Teshuvah? Isn't the point of Teshuvah to re-examine what we are doing and refocus our efforts in other directions. If the result of that examination is to just do double down on what you were doing before anyway, that is a very suspect Teshuvah. Maybe the Teshuvah that needs to be done is to pick up our heads and spend more time dealing with societal issues and not to stick our heads deeper into the Gemara and disconnect even more from the rest of society as the Rabbi suggests.

To dispute your premise though, how do you have any idea how this ends? Even on the view that every particular bad thing that happens to us is the result of divine justice, maybe it is divine justice that ends this by saying that justice has been extracted. Did the holocaust end because of Teshuvah? I don't think that we see that the holocaust ended on a wave of Teshuvah. In fact we have tefilos that say exactly that: you've already extracted punishment; please stop now. I don't think that anyone knows.

The Rambam, Ran and Ramban are all of the opinion that divine justice operates directly only for certain people in exceptional cases, at least on the individual level. In other times, we are not connected to God and therefore not protected and left to ways of the world. For the Ran and Rambam, this is the explanation of Tzadik VeRa Lo. If you don't want to look inside yourself, you can see many of these statements qutoed in the first volume of Siftei Chaim which records the teachings of R Chaim Friedlander.

I'll add one more thing. The Rabbi didn't actually say to do Teshuvah. I certainly like your message better than his, but it's not proper to farbessser his shitah.

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My friend, you're very confused. The Rambam says quite clearly, both in his letter to the Sages of Marseilles as well as in Moreh Nevuchim 3:17-18 that even on an individual level, that Hashem brings puranios on people in this world as a result of their sins, and rewards people for their mitzvos. He says that this is the Torah view and that those who believe that everything is by chance and not a result of our actions are the Greek philosophers.

What you seem to be getting confused with is the idea of Hashgacha Pratis in the way that it is commonly understood nowadays, that every wind gust to plant a seed or dew drop for an ant to drink is Divinely ordained. The Rambam does not hold of that.

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Dec 28, 2023·edited Dec 28, 2023

the rambam is quite clear that the response to an eis tzarah is teshuva. what is teshuva? seems like a vague word. but we know what teshuva is. it means "returning" to Hashem. not in the physical sense, Hashem is not physical, but in coming closer to Him and being more connected to Him. what does that mean? that means that we separate ourselves from the lives of physicality and base pleasures, we do not what we want, but what He wants. it is false to say that teshuva entails a complete refocus. that is true for someone who is totally off focus. but to someone who is generally keeping the mitzvos, doing what Hashem wants, what he needs to do is do it way better. most people are doing the motions to a certain extent and for them teshuva would be to connect everything back. davening shemoneh esrei with kavana is a struggle. to stand there talking to Hashem and feel the "Attah" that there is a "You" opposite yourself requires a certain detachment from this world and focus on Hashem. it's truly a difficult thing to do, especially to do it consistently. our bodily inclinations, that we feel our "selves" (אנוכיות) so strongly clouds this ability. i can talk for myself, and you can let me know if we are on the same page here -most people are. we can all use teshuva. i use tefila as an example, but this is true of brachos, of our wasting time with shtusim, our everything is lacking this connection. we can't focus on Hashem all the time; we have families jobs, responsibilities, to each their own, but we have times where we are davening or just alone and we can focus on Him then. see moreh beginning of part 3 and chapter 51 at length for how he describes how to reach this connection.

fixing the situation on the physical front is nice, and perhaps necessary, but that is not teshuva. in regards to teshuva, we can only do what He wants, which is our part. i can't do your part; you can't do mine. anyone who is a leader can do more and inspire his followers to teshuva, but for most of us, we just have to look inward and fix our connection, our personal modem. "fixing the problem" by societal changes has nothing to do with teshuva. that is the way non-jews respond to tragedy. "we're in charge and we'll fix it." we say, no "i'm not in charge, He is, He'll fix it. while i do my part and live a more Godly life"

the fact that protecting people is also a mitzva, first of all the rambam would have a cow if anyone did that without having in mind that he is doing God's work. if a soldier does this because it is God's work, and he uses this opportunity to get closer to Hashem, that is teshuva, sure. but protecting without that is nothing but hishtadlus, not teshuva.

it isn't our place to ask how this ends. our place is to let God run the world while we do His will. that is the jewish response.

as for your last point, torah happens to be the ticket to connection with God, for a variety of reasons. learning b'retzifus allows a tremendous gateway to getting into the world of God. like the chazon ish says, learn for 4 hours straight, you start to feel it. 5, more, 6...7...8 he goes on to describe each part. and 10! "No eye has seen but you God (an expression obviously) but he is being serious. these levels of fighting your guf and learning hour after painstaking hour without interruption, allows immediate feeling for God in a way that cannot be seen otherwise. your welcome to try. Torah is the first step of teshuva. that is what any chareidi leader means when he talks about torah. you can ask any of them

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This is such a revealing comment. In the charedi world, the outlook is always personal, never societal.

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author

And so even the obvious lessons from Meron are not learned.

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Dec 28, 2023·edited Dec 28, 2023

this is such a revealing comment. in the non-chareidi world it is never about Hashem, the outlook is just what seems right without proper context

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hey hates not cool. Cut it out

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Dec 28, 2023·edited Dec 28, 2023

no in the chareidi world a person first fixes himself and then creates a family to raise them happily and healthily and then fixes his community and then the world. your comment is actually pretty small-minded. honestly someone who is too lazy to brush their teeth and take care of their hygiene should usually not be trusted for community affairs. we can get into this if you'd like. it's not even a chareidi thing, it's actually basic sociology. or you can keep repeating your small-minded mantra that chareidim are selfish, when you don't even know what selflessness is

no one is saying that people shouldn't do chessed but at the end of the day, your job is to do what God wants, not what you decide is important. and the chessed is a part of that. being a good personal, strong and solid brick is the best thing for the building and the world

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Dec 28, 2023·edited Dec 28, 2023Liked by Natan Slifkin

"he rambam is quite clear that the response to an eis tzarah is teshuva."

Yes, of course. That is not all the same as saying that only teshuvah will end the war in the best possible way. We should always be looking into our ways to see how we can improve.

"that means that we separate ourselves from the lives of physicality and base pleasures, we do not what we want, but what He wants. it is false to say that teshuva entails a complete refocus. that is true for someone who is totally off focus."

How do you know if you are doing what God wants? Did he tell you directly? Very few people can say that of those who do say that we believe even fewer. Maybe God wants you to focus less on your personal learning and more on helping others. Certainly one could draw that lesson from the kinds of things that are needed now. God presents you a giant Chessed opportunity and you turn even more to your sefer? Is that really responding with Teshuvah to the situation?

"fixing the situation on the physical front is nice, and perhaps necessary, but that is not teshuva"

Why not? Most of us spend too much time focusing on ourselves and not enough time on others. Giving up your normal routine to help people who are displaced seems like a great tikkun for that. And risking your life to save others is just "nice, and perhaps necessary"? Are you saying that Teshuvah is only bein adam lamakom and not bein adam lechavero?

"the fact that protecting people is also a mitzva, first of all the rambam would have a cow if anyone did that without having in mind that he is doing God's work. if a soldier does this because it is God's work, and he uses this opportunity to get closer to Hashem, that is teshuva, sure. but protecting without that is nothing but hishtadlus, not teshuva."

I don't know about your Rambam interp, but appears to be a very tone deaf statement. The percentage of Jews in Israel who are atheists is something like 10-20% of the population. This notion that no change in action is Teshuva only what is inside your head (which you can't know about these others) is completely novel and not aligned with any theoretical or practical description of teshuvah that I've seen. We are always supposed to take concrete action.

"it isn't our place to ask how this ends. our place is to let God run the world while we do His will. that is the jewish response."

The Essenes passed from the scene long ago. There is simply no Jewish prescription to simply let God run the world and not worry about how to bring the war to the best possible end. That would be a very non-Jewish response.

Since you mention the Rambam who is the most extreme in considering an intellectual pre-occupation with God to be the highest goal of Judaism with many of the mitzvos having the practical value to order society. He personally took time away from Torah learning and teaching to get involved in community political affairs, pesonally raise and distribute money to redeem captives, and then tend to sick people until he had no energy left.

Thank you for your description of learning. I also sat in Yeshiva and learned. Yes you can get a wonderful feeling from it. That learning Torah for 10 hours straight is the always the the first step in Teshuvah in every situation for men is to close your eyes to the suffering around you.

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Dec 28, 2023·edited Dec 28, 2023

a lot of great points.

1. "Yes, of course. That is not all the same as saying that only teshuvah will end the war in the best possible way. We should always be looking into our ways to see how we can improve."

k this is a step in the right direction. we can establish that we both think the proper response is to do teshuva. i'm not sure if you'd be willing to go further and say that if we could actually do teshuva properly, that's all we would need, and only because we can't rely on this do we need other ideas like hishtadlus, but you let me know. either way, we are not holding at this point and as such we still need hishtadlus when it comes down to it. we both agree on that. but when you say that we should always be looking to improve, well, yes, but if so why does Hashem ever need to send a message to do teshuva (assuming like the rambam that that's hat an eis tzara is)? we're already supposed to be doing that. the answer is sure, but sometimes we get wake-up calls. when the mezuzah and tefilin and shema koleinu aren't doing it, we get disasters. sometimes personal, sometimes public, sometimes natural disasters, sometimes enemies, but it is always a wakeup call to teshuva.

2. "How do you know if you are doing what God wants? Did he tell you directly?" we have a shulchan aruch, and rabbeim. most people shouldn'tbe making these decisions on their own. no one can know for sure what the right thing to do is, but if someone is learning and there is a need to save lives and no one else can do it, he should stop learning. that is God's law from His mouth to our ears. equally He tells us that if there are others to do the mitzva, keep learning. to tell thousands of bachurim to stop learning to do a mitzva, even a great mitzva of saving lives, is simply not such aneasy thing to say. halacha tells us to keep learning. others may ridicule them for burying their noses deeper in their seforim and say they are insensitive, but yes, there are rules.

now if the situation was clear that if chareidim wouldn't join there would be obviously more people killed or hurt, that would be called א"א ע"י אחרים, and that would call for some people to give up their learning. it's hard to say that we've reached this point. the israeli army is robust. and in all of the larger klal situations, it's hard to say any individual is supposed to go because others can. people over 40 who aren't learning can also go if it came to that. although if it truly came to that R'l the situation would obviously change for chareidim as well. right now there is nothing a chareidi can do as far as actually joining the army that can help. as far as other services, find some that aren't being taken care of and that no one else can do. chareidim are giving money. plenty of it. and they should continue to. but askanus, tha's already being done. the conjecture that agriculture is going amuck seems too speculative and besides the war effort is draining israel billions, including severing connections with great financial allies, and a little chareidi work, even if thouands of them do, that's aint boosting this economy.

of course it shouldn't need to be said, but it seems to anyways, that no bachur or kollel yungerman should be insensitive. they should go to a levaya once in a while, perhaps not as a policy but individually. they should spend a long time just thinking about one tzara happening during this war and really focus on it to feel it. our brothers are suffering; we should be very involved. i would suggest sending a letter to some soldiers or taking one day off to do some help. because the facts are that if your head is buried in the gemara and you don't care in a 'lemaasah' way, it can turn cold. if there is such a weakness, one needs to fix that, and of course that is a part of teshuva.

i hope that addressing your point that tehuva is of course in bein adam lchaverio, but this call for people to go the army is a talking point. someone who is not learning well and simply can't get himself to, he should for sure help the cause, but we also need people helping the cause in torah learning.

3. "There is simply no Jewish prescription to simply let God run the world and not worry about how to bring the war to the best possible end. That would be a very non-Jewish response."

i'm not sure what you mean. you think that if people would have done more hishtadlus the holocaust would've been averted? very hard to say. Hashem had a plan. the only thing we can say is that if everyone would've done teshuva then we would've won. otherwise these things are all hypotheticals that have no basis in our mesorah. this doesn't mean we don't do hishtadlus, but it does not change the fact that our main goal is teshuva.

4. "Thank you for your description of learning. I also sat in Yeshiva and learned. Yes you can get a wonderful feeling from it. That leaning Torah for 10 hours straight is the always the the first step in Teshuvah in every situation for men is to close your eyes to the suffering around you."

"you can get a wonderful feeling" obfuscates the point. it's not about a wonderful feeling. it is about connecting to HaKadosh Baruch Hu who we ignore way too much. the next sentence is just a talking point. chalila to say that we are closing our eyes. and i call out anyone who is. and i totally agree that there is a problem in the chareidi world of being insular and cold and complacent, and that needs to change. but that doesn't mean that the change is not to learn those 10 hours. that is mixing emotions with facts. if someone is learning and there is an eis tzara where the hishtadlus front is out of his personal hands, Hashem tells him to keep learning. if this will make him cold, he mustn't let that happen and spend some time making sure he is not being a cold achzar as above, but yes, continue learning. (my rabbeim have given constant schmoozen since oct 7th that our job is to not let ourselves forget that our brothers are suffering. i'm in kollel away from my yeshiva but anything i've heard form him since has been along these lines, including form bachurim who i know tell me this is his theme.) but on the action level, his job is to keep learning. even in EY, where people can do more, do you think it is a מצב of א"א ע"י אחרים? if yes, i'd agree with you. i think this number 4 sums up what i said earlier. but to recap, no one should be insensitive, but how to act, should everyone be closing their gemaras? depends on if it's אפשר ע"י אחרים, and at this point it's not clear to me that it is

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" And as Ephraim points out, why are these essential acts of protecting others including risk to life only "hishtadlus" and not Mitzvos or themselves Teshuvah?"

All you got to do is open the רמב"ם to הלכות מלכים ומלחמות and count all the מצות he lists that are relevant to soldiers. To use the term השתדלות in the context of war, risks denying the existence of these מצות and may well approach heresy.

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1) You should probably close the comments on this one. I have been getting tired of the nonstop trolling.

2) I do think that something is telling that you could not report on Shai's beautiful efforts until a 'gadol' bashed it. Had you been trying to present the Chareidim fairly, Shai deserves a post even without this ridiculous controversy.

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1. To be fair, Natan is also just trolling. He gave up sensical, reasonable discourse for raging, rambling bigotry. Trolling begets trolling.

2. I had the same thought. Somehow I think the only way he can bring himself to write such glowing things about a Charedi is in the context of pointing out how absolutely absurd it is that anyone does not agree with what he is doing. In fact, over the last two and a half months, he has already made light of any Charedim contributing in any way other than direct combat service.

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I'm hungry would you mind if I take a bite out of you?

You look yum!!!!

Btw, who opened the peel? If I remember correctly, last week your peel was intact.

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Yes! Someone did open me! Stay peeled (ha ha, get it?) for the bite!

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Not sure if I get it. But it's illegal in this business to explain a joke, so please don't try. My apologies.

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1) You don't need to look at the comments, you know. You can just read Slifkin's wonderful and constructive posts.

2) Agreed.

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Dec 26, 2023·edited Dec 26, 2023

Representing the charedim fairly doesn't mean highlighting their war efforts more than the efforts of others; and reporting on every large scale war contribution is not only out of the scope of this blog, it would also take a lot of time and I'm not sure the charedi contribution would end up looking huge. Shai may deserve a post, but why more than the others who do such huge efforts? And why should this blog become a platform for reporting these initiatives?

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Slifkin has been non-stop attacking the chareidim daily, so yes, a specific chareidi contribution merits its own post. Some soldier who goes to his son's bris merits a post, but this doesn't? No, it's obviously chareidi hatred (which Slifkin justifies all the time, he doesn't even pretend otherwise).

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He isn't attacking the haredim, he's criticizing the haredim leadership. You may not agree with these critics. For months we've seen on social media what verbal attacks really look like, and this blog is light-years away from that kind of vitriol. Or from the kind of vitriol you can see in the comments here, actually.

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You are really trying to defend this guy? Fuggedaboutit. It's easier to defend Hamas.

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Hilarious comment proving my point.

Slifkin is a long long way from stooping half as low as such comments.

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He's much worse. He has called chareidim the second worst problem for Israel, second only to Iran, and that they are a catastrophe that will lead to the destruction of the country, and has defended people who hate them.

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hates not cool. cut it out.

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To show Chareidi leadership i.e. R. Landau.That's the reality. Face it!

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hates not cool. cut it out.

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"Those who do believe that R. Graucher is a tzaddik have uncomfortable questions to face about R. Landau."

Lol, in another display of amaratzus, Slifkin shows he is totally unacquainted with the concept of machlokes.

In other news "those who do believe the Brooklyn eruv is kosher have uncomfortable questions to face about R. Moshe."

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Sometimes a dispute this big shows a difference which is very שורשי, יסודי. If i think someone is a צדיק but someone else things hes a מזיק גמור it shows that there is a vast difference in core values. Its not like an עירוב or a specific השגחה.

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That's like saying, "if I think something is oneg Shabbos and somebody else thinks its chillul Shabbos, that shows there is a vast difference in core values"

Total nonsense. You would have to show that Rabbi Landau is always against chessed of any type to show "a vast difference in core values". Anyways, if chareidim don't feel there is a vast difference in core values between themselves and Rabbi Landau, who are non-chareidim to dispute that? They know about chareidim's core values better than chareidim? Ridiculous.

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Im sure many charedim are realizing that their גדולים dont truly represent them. וכן ירבו.

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"I'm sure many datiim are realizing that there is no mitzvah of yishuv ha'aretz and are preparing to move to Argentina. וכן ירבו. "

-That's exactly how you sound.

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Machlokasim have to be explained, no? Isn't that the alef beis of 'knowing how to learn'? 'B"mah nechleku and all that.

Shittos need to be defended against the other.

So go on, defend. If you can.

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It's easy, he thinks there is already enough money going to soldiers and huge reduction of money going to yeshivos.

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That does not create a 'mazik gomur'. Words mean things you know. And it's not even well-founder. Who says less money is going to yeshivos as a result of money going to soldiers?

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Words mean nothing actually. They are just a bunch of salads 🥗

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Since when are salads 'nothing actually'?

If you are talking about olive salad, you are right. But Caesar salad isn't 'nothing actually'!

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Why is it not a mazik gamur if he is right about the impact on yeshivos? He is not talking from a strictly halachic point of view. I'm sure R' Landau is better acquainted with yeshiva finances than you are.

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Dec 26, 2023·edited Dec 26, 2023

Chosing to donate to tzedoko X instead of tzekodo Y is not being a 'mazik gomur'. A person is free to give his tzedoko money were he wishes.

Calling somebody who doesn't give to MY tzedokoh a mazik is a typical 'magiah li' attitude through and through. That is exactly the problem. As you write there is no halachik requirement to give tzedokoh dafka to yeshivah. So why the strong mazik langauge?

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The mazik gamur is promoting X over Y when Y is more important. Not the choosing to give.

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No, you have WAY bigger problems than that!

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Could be! Where are those who disagree in the Chareidi leadership?!

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I wholeheartedly agree, even though there is a difference between this case and your example.

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"those who do believe opening bottles is ok have uncomfortable questions to face about those who say it's chillul Shabbos."

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Still halacha is different than hashkafa. People have a harder time understanding that there can be differences of opinion on hashkafa because it truly is less "fact" or "text" based. Despite this difference I totes agree that there can be differences of opinion on hashkafic matters, as there have been throughout the generations, and we can still respect the other side. (Such as with the gr'a baal hatanya dispute, or even the shammai and hillel yeshiva policy dispute)

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The issue isn't about halacha vs hashkafa. It's that RDL's position strikes the vast majority of frum, including charedi, as beyond the realm of normative judaism. Just as we don't simply say, "well, I guess some people light fires on Shabbos, machlokes, eh?" most people find it impossible to accept that someone running around doing mountains of chassadim is a bad guy. What's the other tzad here?

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" It's that RDL's position strikes the vast majority of frum, including charedi, as beyond the realm of normative judaism. Just as we don't simply say"

Well, that's clearly false, because most chareidim don't think of Rabbi Landau as beyond normative Judaism. Just messed-up ex-chareidim like yourself.

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I'm your group, R. Landau is part of normative Judaism. There are Talmidei Chachomim whose Normative Judaism is different.

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I can't properly defend a position I disagree with, but I can speculate.

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If you don't have a haschalas devarim to explain, then it makes perfect sense that it would make people feel uncomfortable. I have no clue how a person doing such chessed can be a bad guy, and even must be dragged b'rabim because of it!

Bishlama if the guy was shtelling a shitah that his chessed trumps learning, that's ein zach. But has he ever said any such thing? All he's doing is chessed. We all have boundaries of what we consider acceptable discourse. A mitzvah being labeled as "bad," without any justification, is the line for many.

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Just see all the Gedolim who gave him lots of encouragement (the only name I remember now is R meir tzvi Bergman) and you'll see it's not the only position taken.

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So R. Landau's position is

reasonable?! That's where it's at?! Oy VA Voi!?/

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What the heck? Have you read a word I wrote??

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I know you said you don't agree with R. Landau. But you want to be לימוד זכות. I believe statements of R. Landau,with all due respect, are far over the line. And some with much jatsher words that I have refrained from expressing.

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So if someone is fighting to save Jewish lives, you shouldn't help him so that? That sounds very strange. During the Holocaust, the gedolim didn't say "only learning Torah will help, everything else is foolishness". They moved heaven and earth to try and save them!

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I assume reb dov is fighting a culture war

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author

Right, the culture war between those want to help Israel, and those who don't.

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The culture war is between those who want to uphold the Torah, and those, like yourself, who want to destroy it. Remember, there is no Israel at all without the Torah.

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Right that one. You're only seeing one side, as always

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So he's fight a culture war at the possible expense of Jewish lives and being kofui tov? I believe there there is a serious flaw in his hashkafa if he considers showing public support and praising fellow Jews who are risking their lives to defend Israel as "fighting a culture war".

@Hashkafic halfway house What on earth does it have to do with "upholding Torah"? So the Mir and Ponevezh don't want to uphold the Torah? Reb Aharon Kotler spent years actively trying to save Jews from the Holocaust, and didn't of say "I'm just going to rely on my magical learning powers to take care of this".

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Upholding Torah means against kofrim like Slifkin and others who actively seek to destroy it. Rav Landau feels that this is the main agenda of those who want to divert funds from yeshivos, and I'm not sure if he is wrong or to what extent. Others may disagree.

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author

Aren't there halachos about reading kefirah? Have you asked your posek if you're allowed to read my blog?

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I asked my Maharat/Rabbah and she said it's ok because of "sha'at hadchak".

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author

Seriously. Isn't this a halacha?

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as i constantly say, i don't understand his position, but the idea of a culture war is that there are casualties but the gain and benefit is worth it. if Torah is being destroyed and the only way to rebuild it in a political or public way is to ignore other important things, i can hear the arguments in favor. i disagree with the take for many reasons but i imagine this is where he is coming from.

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It is very sad to see R Landau say this. It’s a distortion of Yahadut, Torah and Hashem.

Lishuascha kiviti Hashem

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😶😶😶😶

How could anyone follow a Rabbi who denounces chesed? I'm in shock.

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It’s sad that anyone could write anything against and opposing the tremendous chesed being done to support the soldiers and their families.

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Slifkin has denounced chessed several times and bragged about it.

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author

Huh?

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can't help myself from chiming in here - i have no clue what the heck h^3 is talking about. but Torah *is* the greatest chessed. Not that we ignore other chessed at all, but denouncing torah is unwittingly denouncing chessed. Just saying.

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Dec 26, 2023·edited Dec 26, 2023

Absolutely. As many others have said, it is the fear that the money to their yeshivas will dry up. I have always heard that if one learns hard enough and sincerely enough, the money will come. I have no doubt that the bochurim learning are learning hard and sincerely, but R' Landau seems to have his doubts.

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my hebrew brothers you gotta learn tolerance.

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The חסד being done in Givat Shmuel (just one example) is to me quite eye-watering.

Families, who have a father serving, are provided with cooked meals; now domestic cleaners are being sent to these families. Baskets of candies have been delivered to families from groups of unknown people, I'm assuming from the US.

Greetings in shops are completed with the words בשורות טובות.

Living in חוץ לארץ, it is difficult to comprehend how different Israel is now.

One has to be in Israel to feel this.

בשורות טובות

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I live in America. That the stores say בשורות טובות really got me. Great comment

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Let’s first see if no one criticizes. We can hope people do. And more important of a barometer to me is that at least here in the USA, most chareidi people will/have been giving money to the Chesed funds for the soldiers. That seems to say more about their mentality. Money talks and week old chulent walks. So imho statements like that are more likely to be ignored because right now we need Achdus. And the Chareidim know it, hence their giving to the funds for the IDF.

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Most Chareidim, even if they disagree with a gadol, will keep it to themselves out of kavod, so yes, the wallet will tell.

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When I see these opinions I feel that in some way Rav Landau knows his battle is being lost. That is the battle to keep the Charadi community from feeling like part of Israel the nation state. The reality of this war is that everyone woke up from their slumber. In the US we see real antisemitism. In Israel people realize that fighting amongst themselves is a luxury belief that is unsustainable.

The acts of Chesed show the great love that Jews have for each other. And please don’t forget the Druze that have fought valiantly and didd defending Israel. The way forward is more acts of chesed. More love. More support for families of soldiers. The way is so clear and I believe this is the future.

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I must say I love the idea of recruiting seminary girls to help moms whose husbands have gone to fight.

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In what way has R' Graucher's initiative led to less Torah until now?

In what way will it do so in the future?

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In the video of Rav Asher Weiss that I previously linked he discusses not only appreciation to the IDF but explicitly states that he recognizes that some will give money to the IDF and the evacuees instead of yeshivot

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By the way, what is it with the grandsons in these situations? It's like they're waiting in the wings for their grandfather to be crowned and then they step in.

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Ok, ok. You can be annoying sometimes but that was a keen and funny observation.

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Funny? The einiklach need a parnasa. Taking advantage of zeyde seems to be a winning ticket.

It's not like they're chassidim who can just inherit the title of "gadol hador."

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Yup.

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Dec 26, 2023·edited Dec 26, 2023

I wasn't following you a couple years ago. I'm just curious- did you write a post every time Rav Gershon Edelstein would say something in support of Israeli soldiers?

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Dec 26, 2023Liked by Natan Slifkin

Why would one report about something that is the least someone can do?

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"Rav Dov Landau didn’t just say something negative about R. Shai Graucher. He condemned him in the harshest terms. He described him as a mazzik gamur, a “totally destructive person.”"

Calling someone a 'mazzik gamur' isn't the 'harshest terms.' Also, you mistranslated what it means. It doesn't mean he's a totally destructive person. It means he's causing absolute harm.

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Nope, a mazik is most certainly a person. Seems like you should be doing some of the current daf Yomi rather than being here. Granted that’s true for all of us.

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First of all, it's simply not true that "mazik is most certainly a person." There are non-human mazikim, e.g. bor or aish. Second of all, the question isn't whether Graucher is a person. Obviously he is. The question is what the 'gamur' modification of 'mazzik' does.

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