The UOJ Archives - August 5, 2006
"I will be attacked with ridicule from all sides. But what can I do? A fire is burning within me, and within a thousand Jews like me... A fire, which cannot be extinguished." .... Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt"l, the "architect" of Torah in America, written in 1923.
" Lishmoa lillmod u'llelamed, lishmor v'laasos u'lkayem es kol divrei talmud torahsecha b'ahaava".... from the Ahava Raba in our daily tefillos.
Lillmod k'dei l'lamed...We learn our holy Torah to be able to pass it on to our children for the generations. We learn the holy Torah, kdei likayim, in order to fulfill "all" of the learning of your (our) Torah with love!
Judaism is a religion of practice; Hashem did not gift us with the Torah to study for knowledge sake and then to discard the practices that separate us from the other nations of the world. We are to serve God so we can be better people for it.
The Torah is a prescription medicine for life, it was meant to be a cure-all for the illnesses that all humans suffer from. It was not meant to be a tool to hurt people, it was not meant to be used and abused to make money for our personal gain at the expense of the weak and the downtrodden. It was certainly not meant to punish the innocent with harm that will endure for a lifetime.
Rabbonnus was meant for the morally and ethically superior people in the mold of Moshe and Aaron; to lead us away from our temptations and human frailties. It was not meant for people to capitalize on it to create institutions from public funds to enrich their personal fiefdoms.
As Moshe and Aaron "suffered" for being great; Moshe not being permitted to enter Eretz Yisroel and Aaron losing his two sons to a fiery death, we demand accountability and moral purity from our "leaders." Our leaders are NOT to be given a pass when their mistakes cause great harm to the masses. They, by their positions, are to pay a very dear price for their foibles. So much more so when their sins are either intentional or out of ignorance!
Yes, there's a fire in me that I can not extinguish, nor will I. We are hemorrhaging internally. The bleeding is getting worse as we continue to ignore the patient...all of Am Yisroel! Our "doctors" are out to lunch and causing death and destruction to the people destined to be a light unto the world. They are mocking God by pretending to take care of the patients entrusted to them; but instead are injecting them with a spiritual poison.
Why have we not learned? How many more fake Messiahs do we need to learn that we have been taken by the Moshiach hucksters who have seen him in a dream or a vision?
Why have we not learned that the people that predict the date of his arrival are cruel opportunists using religion as a form of crowd control to the ignorant?
Why have we not learned from the utter failure of a particular Movement to bring authentic Judaism to the masses, and instead turned their organization into one big global soup kitchen?
Why have we not yet learned that "kollel" is for the mitzuyonim, the best and the brightest, and l'maan Hashem let's force the others to get up early and go to bed late learning Torah...but must earn a parnassah for their family?
When Rav Bick z"l cried out "the yeshivas are producing inferior humans", the Torah world went into a feeding frenzy; "what can you expect from a person who was a product of Y.U."?
Why have we not yet learned that we must reconcile science and Torah; When science contradicts Torah, Torah wins. But if we can reconcile the new scientific findings WITH the Torah, if we don't, the intelligent b'nei Torah among us will question the validity of the entire Torah?
Why have we not learned that the chitzonyus, the exterior, the l'vush, the clothing, is absolutely meaningless if our hearts are not pure. We can not clothe ourselves one way, when our actions are in total contradiction to the way we appear.
Why have we not learned that we were m'kabel the Torah at Sinai, which includes the Neviim and the K'suvim...all the rest that came later was NOT incorporated in our Torah. The feel-good writings of the various people are not Torah, they are theories of individuals, albeit many individuals. Z'miros does not take the place of learning. D'veykus and Tzimtzum are not theories that were given to us at Sinai. Being m'dabek to a human is Christianity and is not part of Judaism. To idolize a person is to violate the basic precepts of the Torah. "Tzimtzum" is in direct contradiction to the way the Torah describes the sheshes y'mei breishis.
And NO, I do not believe for one second that metziza b'peh is an integral part of the milah. The vast majority of frum Jews would never permit their child to be subjected to that distortion of the emes. No, I do not believe for one second that Avraham Avinu performed metziza b'peh on himself - as per Rabbi Yisroel Reisman! Some people who know better made a horrible judgment call when they decided to become the spokesmen for Satmar and that entire group of illiterates and peasants. Children are getting ill and dying and we're playing politics. Shame on you!
There is no common folk. All Jews are very special. For people that find it difficult perhaps to study Torah the conventional way; there is Art Scroll, Torah Tapes, Daf Yomi on the Internet....etc. Singing songs does not constitute learning Torah although it feels good. We have suffered throughout time from charismatic leaders who caused much pain and destruction to our people. When their views conform to the Torah it becomes acceptable, not the other way around.
Let's not forget that a few short years ago Rabbi Aaron Kotler zt"l would not permit a shtreimel in the Bais Midrash of Lakewood. Let us not forget that Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt"l would not permit his talmidim to wear their arba kanfos (tzitzis) over their shirts. What do you think he would say if a bochur walked into the yeshiva bedecked in 80 pairs of tzitzis?
As far as R' Elchonon's actions; the concept that talmidei chachomim are infallible has let us down time and time again. R' Michoel Ber Weissmandel zt"l was writing letters to the U.S.A. about the horrors going on in Europe as R' Elchonon kept going back, time and time again after his fundraising trips to America. He clearly knew what was at stake, and chose death over life for himself and his talmidim. He was photographed in the U.S.A. in the summer of 1939 (see The ArtScroll), when there were no questions in any person's mind about Hitler's plans for the Jews, and he chose death for himself and his talmidim.
So I can not sit idly by as this fire is consuming me, but I will not let it destroy me...." V'heenei boer b'aish, v'hasneh aneinu ukal". I see the Establishment yawning as the sex abuse issue goes un-addressed in a meaningful way. Yudi Kolko is still employed by Lipa Margulies and the Establishment is singing z'miros. Since I have now secured the attention of the media, I will conduct my own Jewish global warming experiments, and will keep turning up the heat until the "climate is right" to fix the ills that are destroying us. There will be another informative article in the secular media on Monday.
Wake up from your slumber dear Yiden; I am pleading with you!
Why have we not learned yet that there are people who really care about Yiddishkeit, and genuinely love klal Yisroel even when there's no "profit" to be made?
I'm here to stay! If you don't like it, add another hechsher (third) to Empire chicken!