Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Above and Seven Below - The Secret of Parshas Bechukosai

And so, for the first time since I opened this blog last July, Parshas Bechukosai has arrived.

For those of you who have read my book, you know that the first section of Parshas Bechukosai is the heart and soul of Judaism for here, G-d is telling us in no uncertain terms what makes a proper Jew and what does not. And it is the secret of the Chareidim.

However, as the few people who comment on my blog seem to indicate, most of the readers have not read 1A7B. And so, l'chvod Parshas Bechukosai, I have transferred the pilot chapter of my book to iPaper in its entirety and am posting it right here.

I also transferred Yaakov's Story to iPaper and will post it after the feature chapter.

Enjoy, and when you review the Parsha this shabbos, pay attention to Rashi!

One Above and Seven Below_Scribd Edition

And now - Yaakov's Story

Good Shabbos!


Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion.

Artscroll has a convention whenever they use a word that has a meaning in English, but when they want to refer to a specific usage, they write an asterix ("*") beforehand. So in their Mishna translation they write "tying" whenever they refer to tying in general, but "*tying" whenever they refer to the melacha of kosher (the knots, not the food) as defined by the Mishna.

You should do the same whenever you refer to the word "chareidi." You're not meaning the word in the sense that it's used, you're meaning it in the sense that you've defined it in your book and here.

Now, we all know that your definition of chareidi, which I'll write *chareidi, is in fact referring to about 25% of non-chareidi Jews, the more "Torani" or "kovea itim" ones. Also, *chareidi is only referring to about 50%-75% of the people in Israel who call themselves chareidi, since it's not referring to anyone who only learns because its what's expected of them, or people who work part time but lie to the government and have themselves listed as Toraso Umnaso, or Kollel members who sleep late and daven around 11am and then go off to Kollel, or to anyone who cheats on taxes or scams school loans. So there are a lot of chareidim who are not *chareidim and a lot of non-chareidim who are *chareidim.

I think that this terminological change would make your posts clearer, and avoid responses from people who confuse what you say about *chareidim to be referring to all chareidim and only to chareidim.

Yechezkel said...

>>I think that this terminological change would make your posts clearer, and avoid responses from people who confuse what you say... No. I think that reading my book would make my posts clearer and avoid responses from people who confuse what I say...

You obviously have not done so, but you are certainly not alone. Join the crowd.

I wrote about this in my Rules for Comments post.


Anonymous said...

More from the same "Anonymous" - actually I did read about half the book, I really liked it, great discussion of what a Torah Jew should believe and act. But again, you're defining "chareidi" in a way that covers a chunk of chareidim and a chunk of non-chareidim, and definitely doesn't cover close to 100% of people that are considered by themselves and the rest of the world to be "chareidim." You admit this in your book and in several posts - why debate it now?

Yechezkel said...

>>"actually I did read about half the book"So you have half an idea of what I am saying (perhaps). If you have the book, read pages 73 (bottom)-74, 119-121, and chapter 9 (at least from page 217 to the end)and get back to me.

>>"and definitely doesn't cover close to 100% of people that are considered by themselves and the rest of the world to be "chareidim." Like who, for example?



E-Man said...

Just thought you should know, there are several commentaries that are on the chumash that are shunned by the charaidi community like Ralbag. So if I learn all the commentaries and Ralbag does that make be a new, superhuman like Jew?

Rather, you should say that a charaidi learns and understands the bible according to their current "Gadol." Charaidim are quick to rip the Ralbag and other ideas from rishonim that they find untenable, but will not dare say anything against the Chafetz Chaim or the Chazon Ish. That is probably a more accurate definition of a charaidi. Someone who does not go against the Rabbis of his current time.

Also, in regards to your definition that differentiates between charaidim and other Orthodox Jews, the toiling in Torah refers to toiling in Torah so you can perform the commandments properly. If the charaidim learn Gemorah as well as chumash they will see that in kedushin on 40 b there is a whole discussion of what the purpose of toiling in Torah is. That is to perform the commandments. SO in essence, the whole reason we toil in the Torah is, according to Rashi on the Gemorah, to perform the mitzvos.

Its not worth going into everything, but I don't understand why you constantly insult non-charaidi orthodox jews so much in your book. Does it make you feel better or something about your yiddishkite? Or is it so you can sell more books? I read parts of your book, but I just couldn't keep reading once I got to the discussion you overheard about what Moshe Rebbeinu would wear. It was really ridiculous to me and I didn't understand your point other than you thought Moshe would wear 18th century polish garb. That was just confusing. How do you know he wouldn't wear a suit in formal settings and khakis and polo shirt in informal settings. I actually am privy to info about some big Rabbis that do this, but shhhh don't let that leave the room.

Anyway, I also looked at your haskamos and at least one of the Rbbis was against the label of charaidi used here. He said that you described a torah true Jew. Which I, for the most part agree with. However, your constant knocking of non-charaidi orthodox Jews just left such a bad taste in my mouth. I am not anti-charaidi or anything, just anti a definition that seemingly makes them so much greater than a guy that believes in the Maimonides or Gersonides approach, science is helpful and can be used to describe parts of the bible. That is for sure not charaidi and you say he learns less?

Maybe next book you write can just be what a Torah true jew is, instead of just hat you consider a charaidi, since that definition is, at best, flawed.

Otherwise, keep up the good work.

Yechezkel said...

I posted a lengthy response to E-Man's comment in my current post.

Click HERE to view.