Monday, May 13, 2024

Conformity and Revisionist History

Many of the issues I deal with here have been placed on the back burner. Not because they are no longer important. They are as important as ever. But  because of what has been going on in Israel since October 7th  of last year. 

When our very existence as a people is threatened, everything seems to pale in comparison. But they do not go away. One of those issues was brought to my attention recently by a reader who forwarded a video to me. (See below.) It reminded me that life goes on and all the old problems still exist. And may even be getting worse. .The video was in the form of an astute observation by a  religious woman who recognizes the malady and explains it well.

In this particular instance the problem is the move to the right, the pursuit of conformity, and the lengths some people are going to assure that.

Many of the unnecessary Chumros (strictures) and customs now taken for granted by the right hardly existed a generation or two (or three) ago. Being religious back then meant something entirely different than what it means now. The religious woman of yesteryear would not be considered religious at all today.

To name just a few examples, the idea of separate seating for men and women at banquets or weddings hardly existed in the Yeshiva world prior to the 70s. To the extent that it did, it was almost exclusively found among Chasidim.

The ‘cookie cutter’ look of Yeshiva students (black pants, white shirt and black hat) did not exists at all when I was in high school. When I was in Telshe, we wore any kind of shirt we chose and a baseball cap was perfectly fine for Davening. The velvet Kipa with the outer rim that is now virtually mandatory didn’t eve exists back then. We could wear any kind of Kipa we chose as long as it was big enough.

Things have only gotten worse since then. Need I even mention pictures of woman are now completely forbidden in  many mainstream Charedi publications?

To insure the perpetuation of this move to the right, revisionist tactics are now being used in order to perpetuate the myth that things have always been the way they are now. The implication being that non conformity is not considered to be Torah true and never was. How so? Watch the 2 minute video below and weep!