Friday, September 04, 2009

"Staggering Social Pressure"

A Diet Anti-Zionist Living In Israel commenting on A Conversation About Zionism & Anti-Zionism :

My understanding of what Chabakuk Elisha said was that the medinah should be accepted because Hashem has sent it here and therefore it must be His will. Now this is an interesting theory. I am not sure I agree with it either, since a kanay (anti-Zionist) would reply that if a plague broke out, chas v'shalom, this shows us all that Hashem wants us to daven and work in whatever way we can to be healed, not to accept it as Hashem's will that people be killed.

The Gemara tells us that those who cause others to sin are worse than those who kill them physically. How many children speak flawless Hebrew but have never even HEARD of Shema Yisrael or virtually anything else that is relevant to Torah? Many many thousands. Do these children even feel that there is anything truly wrong with marrying non-Jews?

In any event, Rav Wolbe said that Rav Kook held that the medinah was a necessary stage towards the ultimate redemption since when the non religious mingle with the religious for long enough in the holy land, they will surely be drawn to keep Torah and mitzvos. (Halevai!) So this is not a necessary evil as much as one of the stages of the redemption. It is similar to a moth which must molt before it finally finds its wings.

If this is true the strongest questions of the kanayim do not apply.

Rav Wolbe pointed out that most of the Gedolei Yisrael held that this was unrealistic and incorrect. Quite the contrary, they held that the chilonim will be a force that will need to be reckoned with, since even very religious and connected Jews will have to work assiduously to ensure that they or their children are not influenced by the anti-religious here.

Unfortunately, we see that even those who are religiously observant here in Israel either move to the right or fall to the left by dropping mitzvos as a result of the staggering social pressure applied by the anti-religious here.

What can we say about those who are not religious? Most Gedolei Yisrael held that helping the non-religious is predicated mostly on the avodah of those who do know better, since all Jews are really one and if I move closer to Hashem, I move everyone else a bit closer too. Only teshuvah en mass will really help those of us who are most distant return.

Hashem should help all of His children do teshuva m'ahava in this most holy month!


At September 4, 2009 at 9:51:00 AM EDT, Blogger Akiva said...

"Unfortunately, we see that even those who are religiously observant here in Israel either move to the right or fall to the left by dropping mitzvos as a result of the staggering social pressure applied by the anti-religious here."

While these pressures are not to be discounted in the least, statistics show as of this year 49% of school children are now CHAREDI and Arab. The statistics further said national-religions stayed at the same proportion, and non-religions fell by 10% (versus previous survey 5 years ago).

Since national religious have large families also but are not growing, they're losing some to non-religious and some to charedi. Non-religious are losing to charedi.

Yes, charedi lose some to non-religious, and every soul is a world. But statistics show the charedi population is the future - which btw terrifies the Israeli establishment who's been trying for 20 years to stem the trend. But now the trend is too far along to throw up minor blocks.

The situation has changed, the positions of the past must be adjusted by the gedolim to apply to the now and the future. And frankly, the Charedi community has to start to prepare the skills and abilities to be involved in running the country they are quickly becoming a major part of - and the future majority of.

(Similarly in the US, as the active non-orthodox Jewish population dwindles and moves farther away from anything Jewish - the orthodox community must start to step in as the active part of the wider Jewish community.)

At September 4, 2009 at 10:19:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Diet Anti Zionist said...

Akiva: Interesting yet very frightening comment. We need siyatah D'Shmayah now more than ever. Hashem should protect us all and give us the tools to do genuine teshuvah and become a light unto the nations--and our estranged brothers.

At September 7, 2009 at 4:16:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

asj:please explain the context of this disturbing photo. it does not convey our essential need for ahavas yisroel. it could ch'v create antagonism toward the IDF.
please explain the context if you are going to use this.thanks

At September 7, 2009 at 7:37:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

The picture illustrates the "staggering social pressure".

At September 7, 2009 at 2:52:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

asj: i must disagree here. the photo promotes a false and dangerous impression of the IDF as anti-religious and oppressive.
this is not the case.
i do not think this photo serves a constructive purpose at all; ch'v, it creates an wrong impression that is possibly harmful.
there is a difference between 'making a point' and using images that could be harmful.
i urge you to consider this.

At September 7, 2009 at 6:58:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post, Akiva. It's true that Charedim will be the majority within a few decades. I can think of at least a couple reasons to consider it a positive thing that a secular Israel exists with a religious minority, besides the fact Akiva pointed out that the religious have plenty of time now to think about what they need to do to prepare to govern the country.

First, having experienced the difficulties of being a minority, often a hated one, one hopes that when they are in the majority they will be more careful not to alienate or oppress the secular (or national religious.)

Second, if a religious state had been created half a century ago, I would worry that it might have become a little too much like Iran. Now that we've seen how bad Iran, the Taliban, and other authoritarian theocracies have turned out, I hope that will prevent a charedi majority from going in that direction once it has a majority of voters. I don't mean to offend anyone by making this suggestion, which is made in the understanding that there have been and are at least some religious Jews who are against democracy and civil liberties and such.


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