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Friday, August 29, 2008


Treating the symptoms, not the disease

I don't know whether the blogosphere is the cause or simply an outgrowth of the crises facing frumkeit today, but I will say that I've learned far more than I ever wanted to about chasidishe infighting, charedi misdeeds in Israel, modern-orthodox apologetics, and kosher food scandals.

And the end result, if one judges from the buzz and boards, is that the bad far outbalances the good.

So I'm left fairly cynical and unhopeful.

One example that ticked me off, today, was this gem from Vosizneias, which reported that on a very limited grassroots level, Satmar and Lubavitch are making inroads. The story ends with: It is the hope that the latest developments in intra-Hasidic relations will be a portent of the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkainu Amain.

Well, I certainly hope so, too.

But are they so naive and foolish as to believe one Lubavitcher donating money to a Satmar project is a portent of Moshiach? When Ashkenazi charedim still discriminate horribly against Sephardim? When mobs in Geula and Meah Shearim burn garbage cans because thugs from the Mishmeres Hatznius were lawfully arrested? When chiloni families chase a charedi family out of a playground? When Judaism is still as fractured and divisive as ever?

Come on, people. We still have a long ways to go.

I was heartened, however, to read this piece about Rabbi Marc Angel. He seems to have a better idea of how to bring Yidden together. It's called respect and tolerance. Let's see which mehalech takes hold.

Like I said, I'm not hopeful.

Gitten Shabbos and choidesh!

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