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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Various musings

Arutz Sheva reports that a recent study showed 44% of chareidi men are actively engaged in the work force. I have to assume that this number will increase as the community grows and as economic reality becomes more pressing.

The reason I am posting this is so that next time someone starts ranting about how the chareidim live off the backs of others, this should be brought up. nearly half support themselves to the best of their abilities and the other half (many of whom dedicate their time to learning) can hardly be considered to be living in the lap of luxury on the backs of others.

I have seen many blogs bring up sectarian issues lately. I think this is wrong and harmful - especially in this month of Elul when we should be concentrating on that which binds us and not that which separates us. All who choose to accept upon themselves the framework of Torah are bound together in an eternal covenant. There are very serious disagreements and debates that will probably continue for a long time - sometimes these disagreements lead to speech and terms that cross the lines of propriety. However, at the end of the day we must re-assert the covenant that ties us together. We must reassert that we share a common destiny and that we are all part of an organic whole.

There is an anecdote about the Ariz"l. The Ariz"l once stated that the purpose of galut is to collect the 'sparks' that are latent among the nations of the world. A student challenged him and said, "If the Jewish people had not sinned and gone into exile, then what would become of those 'sparks'?" The Ariz"l answered that when the Jewish people act as an organic whole and use all their strength in a combined fashion, then the sparks are attracted to that organic whole and 'rise' by themselves. In other words, our task of redeeming the world must be accomplished - it is built into the fabric of reality - it is up to us if we want to accomplish it through the beauty of what we could be or, God forbid, through a less than ideal set of circumstances. In the end, reality will force our hand - it will just be better if we change the reality so that it won't have to force anything.