Rabbi Rosenblatt is a Charedi Rabbi who is now in the Kosher meat business. Living in Dallas he has become what I refer to as a moderate Charedi. And in virtually every column that I’ve read of his, I have agreed with him… I have written about him before. More than once.
But it pleases me greatly that someone with the intellect and talent of a Jonathan Rosenblum likes him as much as I do. Jonathan speaks admiringly of Rabbi Rosenblatt’s values:
(Rosenblatt’s) greatest contribution lies in his discussion of a topic not sufficiently talked about in our media — the “manly” (his word) pleasure to be found in supporting and protecting one’s family.
The answer unfortunately is yes, they can. When one abdicates his own logical mind to others they believe are greater than themselves - one can unfortunately easily do that. This is what thinking Charedim do when they encounter what they call ‘Daas Torah’. They say that their rabbinic leaders’ Torah knowledge entitles them to have the final word on public policy. How dare they (they think) contradict them with their own puny (by comparison) level of Torah knowledge?! Thus any and all logic goes out the window and they simply walk in lockstep with what their rabbinic leaders tell them to think. I believe this is particularly true among Charedim who live in Israel. The fact that their rabbinic leaders might be wrong is irrelevant to them. Because their Torah knowledge is so superior that they consider it anti Torah to disagree with them.
|Daas Torah - R' A. L. Shteinman|
I hear that argument. But I don’t agree with it. The pace of change is too slow and may never pick up beyond the few that are actually taking advantage of it. And it does not address the issue in ways that will help the immediate needs of the masses. All while the poverty keeps increasing and the pressure to stay in Kollel remains.
The poverty rate is so great now that the Charedi rabbinic leaders are desperate. They are begging for more financial aid from Americans than at any other time in history. Even if American philanthropists respond, it cannot possibly replace what was lost in the budget cuts via the government’s austerity measures. Wealthy American Charedim are not money machines. The pressures on them to keep increasing financial aid eventually will reach is limit.
|Daas Torah - R' Shmuel Auerbach|
I don’t think that Jonathan’s attitude is based so much on the illogic of saying that Rabbi Lipman is undermining the progress that has already been made. I believe it is more directly related to his view that ‘The Gedolim have spoken!’
This is a schizophrenia that the world of Torah can no longer afford. While I agree that we should always get input from rabbinic leaders; listen to what they have to say; and always factor it in to public policy decisions - their views should not be the only thing to consider. The idea that rabbis can err should not just be theory but it should factor into our decision making process. It would in my view be prudent for Jonathan to be more proactive in placing Rabbi Rosenblatt’s ideas on the Charedi table instead of bashing Rabbi Lipman.
*I use the term Schizophrenic in the colloquial sense and not the clinical sense. Schizophrenics are psychotic individuals that have broken from reality… of which there are several types - paranoid type being the most common. In the colloquial use of the term, it is refers to what is clinically called a multiple personality where an individual may unwittingly contain two or more distinct personalities that are radically different from each other.