web analytics
September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



An Existential Analysis

If we are going to survive as a Jewish people, we must revise the system.

LR-PA-16-Version-2.jpeg

If the crimes are related to sex abuse, the Chilul HaShem increases exponentially. Who wants to be part of a religion that thinks its OK to cheat the government as long as you don’t get caught? Who wants to be a member of a religion that defends convicted rapists and smears innocent victims? Who wants to be a member of a religion where religious (looking) Jews spit on reporters, call 8 year old girls whores, and embarrass us in a myriad of other ways? When religious leaders are involved in Chilul HaShems like these, it is definitely a great cause for existential alarm.

It is interesting to note that feminism scored the lowest amount of voters. 11 people (3%) said this was the biggest existential threat. There are many people who feel that this is the defining existential issue of our day. , Among the first to express this view was Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg ZTL, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel. Even though I disagree with him, I can certainly understand why he felt that way. It is almost impossible to argue against equality. That is what feminism is all about.

That other denominations are responding to this issue by altering their long held views barring women from various rituals and rabbinic positions is a fact. Orthodox Judaism by definition could never fully do that. Some Orthodox women caught by the spirit of the times are hard pressed to fully understand Orthdoxy’s apparent unequal treatment of women. For some – it is hard to understand why Halacha should supersede equality. It is in fact difficult to explain even among many Orthodox women – and men – with modern sensibilities about the equality of the sexes.

But it is not an existential threat. Judaism does not reject the feminist goal of equality of the sexes in areas outside of religion. Equal pay and mutual respect is something the Torah favors. With the right education, the different roles of men and women within the context of religion can be explained.

It is also interesting to note that what the right wing says is the greatest spiritual threat of our day – the internet – came in 2nd from last with only 13 votes. I understand why there are those who feel it is. But it is very obvious to me that the widespread use of the internet by virtually all Orthodox Jews tells me that it is not destroying us. Its responsible use is in fact aiding us in our daily lives. Although the dangers are real and have lead some people astray – for most of us that isn’t so.

Poverty got 7% of the vote. 22 people felt that poverty will destroy Judaism. I don’t think that’s true. It may however destroy the Charedi paradigm of full time Kollel for all men without preparing them for a future. But that’s a good thing. The vast majority of Charedim should be working – and being Koveiah Itim. Only the elite should be learning full time and supported.

Tuition is a real problem for almost all of Orthodox Jewry. Without a religious education it is highly unlikely that our children will become observant adults. Assimilation will almost certainly overwhelm their Yiddishkeit. The fact is that few if any parents are pulling their children out of day school because of high tuition. It may be breaking the backs of parents to pay tuition even with the partial scholarships. But most Orthodox Jews know the importance of sending their child to day school. They therefore bite the bullet and pay even while struggling to make ends meet.

That leaves the number one issue- Jewish education. Rightfully so. By far.

Our children are not getting what they need. Educator after educator has spoken about the need to instill a love of Judaism in their students and the failure in many instances to do so has led to ‘the ignorant Jew’. He may end up knowing how to learn a Blatt Gemarah but he won’t know a thing about the meaning of Judaism itself. There is an over emphasis on Gemerah or academics to the detriment of other subjects that are integral to our understanding meaning in Judaism. Without meaning we cannot expect anyone to be observant in anything but rote ways.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “An Existential Analysis”

  1. In the last paragraph, the word should be "role" models with an "e" at the end NOT "roll" like a "roll call" or the rolls that we eat. I am an expert proofreader and find mistakes very quickly.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
The Palestinian Authority has produced a brilliant piece of propaganda to sow more seeds of war.
Hamas Propaganda Video Compares 9/11 with IDF Bombing of Gaza
Latest Blogs Stories
paramedikit-3

“I knew that being there would allow me to protect other soldiers.”

Kerry Repeats

JoeSettler asks what could still possibly be on the negotiating table with the PA after a summer like we just had…

Kurdistan Crisis

You did not want to listen because you could not blame my Israel.

iphone

Now everyone has easy access to the culture and all of its vices, both social and intellectual.

Connect the dots, please: All of these Muslim Arab terror organizations are connected.

“…while Hamas has been weakened it has not been destroyed…”

Jewish donors bought and donated the greenhouses to the Palestinians.

This week’s podcast discusses the need for transparency in international business dealings.

The new “Begin Plan” is an impending nightmare, it rewards the Bedouins for brazen land-grabbing.

There is absolutely nothing for Israel’s security in this American document.

Is it because of corrupt values and lack of meeting opportunities that we have a shidduch crisis?

Israel is fighting the war that none of the Western world has the ability or courage to fight.

Finish the job! Sayyem et a missima!סיים את המסימה!

Life after 50? You better believe it! Tips on how to prepare and enjoy life after retirement.

All civilian responsibilities will be given over to an Arab government. Education, health, a judicial system and taxes will be the responsibility of the Arab government. Any terrorist activity against the Arab government or Israel will be dealt with in the most severe manner. This situation will continue for 3 years. During that time, Israel will help build an infrastructure for […]

Hamas targeted the Erez Crossing when it knew that Gazans and Israeli Arabs would be there, out in the open…

More Articles from Harry Maryles
iphone

Now everyone has easy access to the culture and all of its vices, both social and intellectual.

A Jewish wedding.

Is it because of corrupt values and lack of meeting opportunities that we have a shidduch crisis?

If feminism is mentioned at all, it is usually to condemn it as an anti Torah ideal.

We all got degrees. We got married. We had families. We worked. We and were Koveih Itim

But the real culprit is William Schabas, who by comparison makes Richard Goldstone look like a saint

Israeli’s are a religious people; even secular Jews believe that God is active in this world.

If Hamas would simply stop firing rockets into Israel, all the carnage would stop instantly.

Inevitably when tragedies like this happen there is a sudden burst of Achdus. Tragedies unite.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/an-existential-analysis/2012/12/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: