Sunday, September 06, 2009

Connecting the Dots

Is there a connection between the rioting Jews of Meah Shearim and the religious worldview that controls their every thought and action in every area of their lives?

I think there is. The more one delves into it - the more obvious it becomes :

What galls most are not the pervasive, threatening admonitions of the modesty police that blanket that neighborhood, nor a parking lot in Yerushalayim opening on Shabbat, nor the arrest of a mentally ill, allegedly child-abusing mother, nor sundry other alleged grievances that lead the unemployed and unemployable “activists” to block streets, set fire to trash bins, attack the police, etc. What galls is rather the shame caused to the public face of Torah by a segment of society that is proudly incapable of applying the Torah to the realities of modern life, that boasts of its unwillingness to educate its children to contribute meaningfully to the world around them, and that has therefore emasculated the Torah and made it a dead document that few normal people – seeing the way they live – would want to embrace.

That was an excerpt from Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s article called 'Haredi Follies'. I could not agree more. I am gratified to see strong and increasing criticsm from all segments of Orthodoxy by serious people. Yesterday I quoted Rabbi Horowitz’s take. Today it is Rabbi Pruzansky’s. His article should be read in its entirety.