Monday, January 29, 2007

Protecting Our People from the Truth

It is so telling of the mindset of the Charedi world when one sees an event taking place like the one described in Rafi’s Blog. The event I am taking about is the banning of yet another set of books. It is the thinking of the family of the author of those books that they do not eant him to be “tainted” by his past. So they apparently requested the ban. What books are we talking about here? Another Nosson Slfkin Book? ...The family can’t take the controversy anymore and they just want to keep it off the shelves? Nope. It is a ban of a Halacha Sefer . One written by the Tzitz Eliezer. From the blog:

“The Tzitz Eliezer wrote a set of books in 1952 called "Hilchot Medina" - halachos of the State [of Israel], dealing with issues involving Medinat Yisrael and rulership.”

The family wants the Tztiz Eliezer firmly ensconced in the Charedi world.

“The Bada"tz has assured the book, possibly at the urging of the family members against it, and has banned it. In addition, they have sent out enforcers to local bookshops in Meah Shearim-Geula and in Bnei Brak to make sure the reprinted books are taken off the shelf.”

As I said last Friday, the current rabbinic leadership is “Takana happy”. And this is just another example of it. It is an attempt to so control the minds of its flock that they refuse to countenance any deviation from their narrow Hashkafos... even when it involves a Posek of the stature of Rav Eliezer Waldenberg.

And so they revise history. Any attempt at accuracy that does not reflect their narrow Hashkafa is deemed ban worthy. Ask Rav Nosson Kaminetsky. I’m sure he would agree, I guess he is a Charedi or Gadol basher too.

So, too, do we have an archival post in Frumteens referred to me by “Happy”. This post is that is so rejecting of the kind of Yiddishkeit taught at YU, they have to lie about Gedolim they venerate just to make the point:

“Rav Aharon Kotler ZTL, and Rav Schneur ZTL after him, would under no circumstances even walk into YU. Rav Elchonon Wasserman ZTL also, when he came to America in the '30s, was invited to speak in YU, and he refused to even walk in to the place.”

History has recorded that at the same time that Rav Wasserman refused an invitation to give a Shiur at Yeshiva College, Rav Aharon Kotler accepted. He gave a Shiur and was very well received. And Frumteens also conveniently ignores the fact that Rav Shimon Shkop was the Rosh HaYeshiva there for a year... and many other Gedolim of that stature taught there over the years.

It is interesting to note that cross-currents has just made the same point I have been making. That is quite amazing. Cross-currents is basically, though not entirely, a Charedi blog. They rarely take positions that would not accord with the Agudah Moetzes position. In fact they list Agudah spokesman, Rabbi Avi Shafran amongst their team of posters. Yet they had the courage to post the following statement in a blog-post by a guest poster:

“In his introduction to BeReishis (Genesis) the Netziv (Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin, pre-eminent 19th century European sage) suggests that lack of tolerance for Torah viewpoints other than one’s own is the very cause of destruction(of the Beyis Sheni).”

In the final two paragraphs the post on cross-currents states:

“We have reached the stage at which there is only one ‘acceptable’ view on most topics, the opinions of previously-well-respected Jewish thinkers are no longer considered party line; we have our own censored publications to ensure that no-one finds out about them anyway. Suggesting that this impacts only on a small part of Israeli society is to bury our heads in the sands of a global Jewish reality.”

“Hardly a week goes by without another decree: a few weeks ago it was the banning of higher-education courses for Israeli women, last week, the emphasis on policing ‘kosher’ clothes shops in religious districts.”

To readers of this blog, these two paragraphs should sound very familiar. It is an affront to the Elu v’Elu Chazal spoke of when a set of Halacha Seforim by a Gaon Atzum like the Tzitz Eliezer has to be Assur'd by the rabbinic leadership of the Edah HaCharedis whose definition of Daas Torah is amongst the narrowist of Torah Judaism.