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Sunday, October 23, 2005

False choices

There is a false perception in the religious world that a individual has 2 paths to choose.

  1. A modern orthodox life that largely disregards the opinions of Gedolei Torah regarding one's personal and communal life. This community identifies with the national mission of the Jewish people in an abstract fashion but is often swayed by the opinions of the gentile world and can not be counted upon to stand up for Torah ideas and ideals when they are contridicted by modern ethical thinking.

  2. A Chareidi life that largely disregards the modern world, at least in the realm of moral thought and cultural participation. This community upholds the honor of their own Gedolei Torah but has a tendency to de-legitimize the Torah opinions of Gedolim who view things differently. This community sometimes descends into historical revisionism and may sometimes "paint the target around the arrow." This community generally stresses the importance of personal mitzvot and Torah study but often ignores its responsibility towards the national mission of the Jewish people. In some segments of this community, the mitzvah of yeshuv Eretz Israel has been completely ignored.
These choices should be seen for what they are: false choices.

While on a societal level, it is true that most communities fall into one of these categories, a third option is gaining strength in Eretz Israel. Torah communities that uphold the ideology of Maran HaRav Kook Zt"l have been established in Israel during the past few decades. Communities that uphold the standards of Torah learning and observance while still feeling a responsibility towards those mitzvahs that apply on a national level.

This blog hopes to explore current issues from a Torah perspective that is holistic. All legitimate Torah sources and arguments are welcome. Outright statements of Kefira will not be tolerated and will get your comment deleted. Also this blog will not tolerate any Bizui Talmidei chachamim (disparaging statements regarding Torah sages) whether the comment is about Rav Soloveitchik or the Satmar Rav, all comments must be respectful.

I hope you will find the posts enlightening and thought provoking. I will certainly try to keep them so.