Friday, June 11, 2010

Cops and Rabbis

I received the following letter from one of my fans about 2 days ago:

Dear R. Hirschman,

Here's a recent post from one of my old college buddies on Facebook. I hate to waste your precious learning time (so feel free to delete it and I won't follow up), but what the heck is this guy's (the blog's author) beef about? Is this another example of a disgruntled modern Orthodox, sick of Chareidi ('Yeshivish') people telling them what to do??

This is a letter worth answering "online". So here goes:

Dear One-of-my-Fans, LOY"T

Thank you for your letter.

The answer to your question is, "Yes." Your buddy suffers from a very common condition which I call the Korach Syndrome. The Korach Syndrome can be rephrased as the I-have-no-problem-with-G-d-but-can't-deal-with-his-little-helpers-who-keep-reminding-me-about-what-He-wants-from-us Syndrome. Your buddy says this himself in almost the exact same words in the last line of his post. And I quote:

So I remain an O Jew, with deep faith in Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and none in the Rabbinic/Yeshivish elite.

Now, it might be that in the olden days when we were all on better terms with G-d and we had real Kohanim with the Urim and Tumim, we didn't have to rely so much on His emissaries. Today, however, G-d and us don't seem to be on speaking terms and so we have no choice but to take advice from those who have spent lots of time reading up on His rule book. Some folks - um, actually I mean lots and lots of folks - have a very hard time with this.

But this is really nothing new.

I find it somewhat auspicious that your letter is coming on this particular week - Parshat Korach. It was just the sentiment expressed by your buddy that prompted me to write chapter 8 of my book - Cops and Rabbis (or, Dear Kindly Rabbi Krupnik) in which Korach (and his friends) are the main characters. So, if you really want to understand what this guy's beef is about, it may help to review the chapter.

I looked over the chapter myself to see if I could condense it and post it here l'chvod your letter and l'chvod Parshat Korach but I didn't think that I could pull out more than perhaps 20% before it loses its zing, so it doesn't really pay to condense it at all. I decided that I will post the whole chapter. It is actually one of the most powerful chapters in the book.

So here I present to all Chapter 8 - Cops and Rabbis. And let's daven for your old college buddy that he doesn't get swallowed up when things start to rumble!

Cops and Rabbis_Scribd

Again, thanks for writing and have a good Shabbos.



Harry Maryles said...

I think I finally figured you out form this humorless and insulting post. You think you know who Moshe is and you dare to define who Korach in the person of a wonderful and ehrilche young Talmid Chacahm (yes - I know who Adderabi is) who knows that your 'Moshe' is not Moshe at all.

You treat your 'Moshe' as though he is a 'Navi' (despite your disclaimer). You say that is so because he 'reads the law and knows more becuase lots of time reading up on His rule book.'

Problem is that there are some people who know His rule book better than your Moshe. Like my Rebbe and his brother... and didn't make half the mistakes they did and continue to do!

Do you think your Moshe could stand in the shadow of RYBS WRT to knowing His rules?!

But - keep on believing that you and your 'Gedolim' have the the inside track on the will of God. I don't realy want to spoil your party.

Yechezkel said...

My post is about emunas chachamim. It doesn't target anybody in particular.

Thanks for writing (even though I didn't really understand any of it.)

Harry Maryles said...

You compared the writer of the original post to Korach.

Dov said...

Yechezkel my friend you're missing the point.

Le'shitas'cha many chareidi people are becoming disillusioned by all the askanim, pashkevil-writers, school system administrators, and newspaper writers, none of whom are chareidi because they all flaunt the true gedolim.

See all the recent statements by R' Weiss and R' Elyashiv and R' Steinman and others (all SHLITA) that are against or are ignored by askanim and their ilk.

School principles that go against R' Elyashiv's and R' Steinman's direction are all non-chareidi le'shitas'cha. Pashkevil writers who go against R' Weiss's directives are all non-chareidi le'shitas'cha. Askanim who sign gedolim's names on pashkevilim without the gedolim truly agreeing are all non-chareidi le'shitas'cha.

The person who wrote this blog message is certainly chareidi le'shitas'cha, and is bothered by all the non-chareidim that are in positions of control in the chareidi world. You should support this blog writer to the hilt, le'shitas'cha, to defend true chareidim against the non-chareidim le'shitas'cha that are pretending to be chareidi, like heads of chareidi schools, pashkevil writers, etc.

Yechezkel said...

To Dov, LOY"T

IMHO, I think you are missing the point. I am not trying to sell the idea of looking up to askanim. I am trying to sell the idea of looking up to gedolim - such as R' Weiss and R' Elyashiv and R' Steinman and others (all SHLITA).

Incidentally, our friend QED (AIWAC) did not mention a word about askanim and pashkevillim. Only that the term "Oral Torah" has been turned into a lie, a fraud...



ChanaRachel said...

You write that it is the Rabbis job to tell us:
" much longer we have to wait for our wives to regain their purity, how many
people we can invite to our weddings, which cell phones to use..."
Do you not see any difference between the laws of family purity, which are halachot, and have been preserved in basically their present form for at least the last couple of thousand years, and a Rabbis edict for his community regarding wedding size or cell phone use? The blurring between halacha and community norms does not help you make your point.

In addition, I have a problem with an entire theology based on a single rashi. It's a very nice drash for your son's Bar Mitzva, but I don't think it can form a valid basis for our entire religious outlook. Your simplistic division of jews into "one above and seven below" (with your NHOJ's below) sounds very much like certain other religion's notions of saved and damned. Do you really think that G-d's heshbons are so simplistic?

Yechezkel said...

>>You compared the writer of the original post to Korach.

Yes, indeedy. I would compare anybody who writes: "I believe that the term 'Oral Torah' has been turned into a lie, a fraud. What we call "Oral Torah" is merely a collection several thousand Written Torahs on top of the original which no-one dares to consult." to Korach.

That's just the way I am.

Incidentally, QED (AIWAC) is not ADDeRabbi.

Yechezkel said...

To ChanaRachel, LOY"T

There are 8 other chapters in my book (seven of them came before this one). It doesn't seem like you've read them.



Dov said...

Yechezkel,you need to re-read what he wrote about through his whole article, not just the first paragraph. He's not complaining about Chazal or about Gedolim, but the "elite" that result in all the specific things he comments on in his post.

Now, for the record, I don't particularly agree with all of what he writes. I just note that the phenomena he discusses are about the "elite" aka askanim, not Gedolim themselves.

Yechezkel said...

>>Yechezkel,you need to re-read what he wrote about through his whole article, not just the first paragraph.

That's funny, because the part I quoted in my comment was from the third paragraph (and the line I quoted in my post was the last line).

I read the whole thing, Dov, and what I wrote in my comment stands.

Anonymous said...

Korach was a movement which would have undermined all of Torah, both the written and oral Law.
Moshe was unique, only he could receive Torah that would be binding on us for all generations.
After him no prophet or mystic could receive the word of G-d and translate that into a new Mitzvah binding on Israel for all generations.

"It doesn't seem like you've read them."

It appears that to comment on this blog reading the book cover to cover is required. That was not required of those who gave the actual Haskamot (formal Rabbinic approvals without which none of the "frummer" publishers would dare to publish) for this book.

As far as I am concerned, a Haskama in which the reviewer does not state that he is fully fluent in the language that it was written and has read the book cover to cover is worthless.

Dallas Jew

Yechezkel said...

>>It appears that to comment on this blog reading the book cover to cover is required.

Not required. Recommended.