web analytics
May 3, 2015 / 14 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


As the World Turns…

BMG's leaders

Guest Post by Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer

Orthodoxy across its entire spectrum is in upheaval. One must go back to the triple pincer challenge of Reform, Haskalah and the Emancipation to find similar turmoil. Then, however, because of the state of civilization at the time, cataclysmic catalysts took longer to have an impact and the responses could be formulated and implemented over a longer period of time, affording some measure of the leisure of contemplation and analysis. Today’s civilization compacts, and therefore devastates all the more. We are all reeling.

But we are in a crucible, at high, rolling boil. It will take time – I do not know, of course, how long, but I suspect much less than the seventy-five or so years it took us to successfully adapt to those challenges of the early 19th century.

I do not foresee, at this point in time, that my generation – those of us who came of age in the 70’s through the 90’s or so – will be the heroes who successfully contend with the elemental forces at work. We were not brought up to be heroes.

The two generations that preceded us were heroic – in maintaining Torah through tribulation and tragedy, in fighting off the new challenges of secularism and Conservative Judaism, in establishing yeshivos and kollelim as axiomatic and widespread institutions.

When we came on the scene, there was – and is, to be sure – more of the same to accomplish. But it takes the form of another community Kollel in Chicago, another yeshiva in New Jersey, another Bais Yaakov in Monsey, an alternative community in Atlanta, another program to get Ba’alei Battim to learn, another lomdishe sefer on Bava Basra, etc.

We were also rendered timid – sometimes indirectly, sometimes directly – by the pioneers who preceded us, who were our Rabbeim and Roshei Yeshiva, our Rabbonim and the pillars of our community. They were men and women of vision and idealism, and we were along for the ride, and were given to understand – again, implicitly and explicitly – that we were to follow. They had more than enough creativity and leadership, and those were not our jobs.

There are so many clear manifestations and ramifications of our failure to overcome that timidity and passivity, the real and imagined limits and limitations in intellect, in spirit and in accomplishment.

The Internet has given us – somewhat belatedly – the ability to gripe and snipe together, to grumble and complain – but social media will not help us in the long run, but hinder us, as we mistake blog postings and Facebook comments for agents of growth that require the concrete rather than the ephemeral, the interaction of souls rather than their typed statements, the power of conclave rather than the curious notion of virtual reality.

We are outstanding at kvetching. We are utterly incompetent at doing.

Rather, in the absence of some major metamorphosis in my generation’s collective heart-and-mindset, we are relegated to the role of any sandwich generation. We can and must maintain streams of thought, perspectives and influences of earlier times, to serve as a resources for the generation that inevitably will arise someday to bring redemption to Orthodoxy.

I, personally, try to keep figures and writings that have moved me, at the disposal of our society, lest they be forgotten, compelling some future culturally primitive generation to reinvent a more deficient and imperfect wheel. This keeping of the flame is, in itself, an important mission. Especially when the seething cauldron might, at any moment, boil over and extinguish the flame. And thus we too will have played a role in bringing that redemptive time to pass, howsoever long this period of epic turmoil persists.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

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 “As the World Turns…”

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Hundreds of Israeli-Ethiopians clash with police in a protest in Jerusalem against  police brutality and alleged racism.
Hundreds of Israeli Ethiopians Protest in Tel Aviv, Block Ayalon Highway
Latest Blogs Stories
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Rav Riskin’s desire to strengthen ties with Christians is pure but his methods have crossed lines

A Soldier's Mother

A minute and a half? What if the kids are upstairs with earphones on and they don’t hear the siren?

Jimmy Carter (C-R) and former prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, both members of The Elders group of retired prominent world figures, lay a wreath of flowers on the tomb of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, on May 2, 2015

My gut says it’s the New Israel Fund behind the violent demonstrations by Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Doug Goldstein

Discover the meaning of financial freedom and if you’ll achieve the standard of living that you want

Today’s world and a shocking amount of Jews and Israelis support apartheid against Jews in of Israel

Let’s revel in Peter Beinart’s unintended “Ma Tovu” praise of the Jewish state: “It’s modern; it’s democratic; it’s pro-American.”

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

Israel has sent almost as many people to help Nepal, as the entire world combined.

Who dreamed of Jews hiding behind concrete in our renewed beloved land? Is this the best we can do?

Are consumers becoming too impatient? What happened to the concept of the long-term purchase?

Hilary standing by her man through thick, thin, blondes, redheads&brunettes won’t get votes in 2016

By not standing you are drawing distinctions between religious & secular, AND religious & religious.

Israel’s radio is like a voice from home…

Truly, in the modern world, we live in the time of ‘What’s in it for me?’ The time of the ‘selfie’!

My final reaction remains – who builds a mountain of ashes, who turns it into a “tourist” site?

Is the recent increase in Arab terror attacks related to the fact that there’s no new government?

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Rav Riskin’s desire to strengthen ties with Christians is pure but his methods have crossed lines

empirestatebuildinginnewyorkgeneralview4361.jpeg

Truly, in the modern world, we live in the time of ‘What’s in it for me?’ The time of the ‘selfie’!

Attackers of this innocent religious solider had been brainwashed that Israel is evil & illegitimate

He was a Torah giant, uniquely exemplifying the Hashkafa of Torah U’Mada (Torah & worldly knowledge)

It is the character of the individual that counts, not his sexual preferences.

“I am 100% convinced that she is not in any way anti-Semitic. She is in fact a philo-Semite”

Chumros-YES! But when it comes to the Chilul HaShem described in the article they couldn’t care less

Why are employers reluctant to hire Charedim? Legitimate concerns or plain old fashioned prejudice?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/as-the-world-turns/2013/12/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: