web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Of ‘Torah Haters’ and Noah Feldman

Minister Lapid should not be judged by a few offhand comments spoken in angry response to being constantly attacked as a Torah hater.
American author and professor of law at Harvard Law School Noah Feldman.

American author and professor of law at Harvard Law School Noah Feldman.

There are two independent opinion pieces in Mishpacha Magazine that I feel compelled to comment upon. One is by Editor in Chief Moshe Grylak and the other is by Mishpacha’s resident pit-bull, Eytan Kobre.

Moshe Grylak’s editorial is actually a description of a wonderful experience he had spending time with Chilonim (secular Jews) in Israel. He noticed something that many of us already know which has been reported in the Jewish media many times. He noticed that Chilonim actually are not anti Torah. In fact it’s really incorrect to define Chilonim as irreligious. Many of them are fact religious albeit not fully observant. He noticed that when he went to the Kotel on fast day of Tzom Gedalia. What he saw surprised him. From the editorial:

At two a.m.on motzaei Tzom Gedaliah, I was at the Kosel. It was an amazing sight — the Kosel plaza was packed with people as if it were midday. So many had come to recite Selichos, you could hardly move. And the lion’s share of them weren’t even frum, according to our accepted definitions of the term — which brings the accepted definitions into question.

Indeed. This was quite an admission from someone who proudly represents the Charedi perspective. I give Rabbi Grylak credit for his intellectual honesty. This is not the first time I have seen it. I recall an earlier editorial where he praised the fact that the Kenesset now has more traditionally observant Jews than at any time in its history. Even secular parties, he noted, seek religious Jews as members of their party.

However there is one part of his editorial I found to be an unnecessary slam at fellow Jews- many of whom might be found among those he saw at the Kotel that day. And even more outrageously at fellow observant Jews. Here are the offending words in the opening paragraph:

While a gang of Torah-haters who are wielding power in the government (for the time being) have caused much pain and anxiety recently with their relentless persecution of chareidi Jewry…

Torah haters? Why does anyone who challenges the status quo of Charedi life have to be labeled a Torah hater?! Especially when some of those who are making this challenge are not only observant, but in one case a self described Charedi and in another a former Rosh Yeshiva. Rabbis Dov Lipman and Shai Piron are surely not Torah haters. How in good conscience can Rabbi Grylak imply that they are?

Perhaps he did not mean them but their mentor, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid. I realize that they blame him for all the pain the Charedi community in Israel is feeling. He is the one who designed the severe budget cuts that impacts on them more than any other segment of Israeli society – and he advocates the future conscription of Charedim into the military.

Even if Rabbi Grylak feels that Lapid is wrong, why assume that he is a Torah hater? Has he not repeatedly said that his goal is not to destroy them but to better their lives? That the Charedi world thinks that his ideas will destroy them doesn’t mean this is his goal. True – Lapid has made some outrageous comments about them. But can you blame him they constantly vilify him – as has Rabbi Grylak right here in his editorial?

Lapid should not be judged by a few offhand comments spoken in angry response to being constantly attacked as a Torah hater. He should be judged by what his stated goals are. Goals that I support… and that Charedim may themselves privately support – that their poverty should be alleviated by being able to go into the workforce better prepared to support their families.

Rabbi Grylak has every right to disagree with them. But he is so terribly wrong for vilifying them. Doesn’t he realize that the very people he praises in his op-ed are those who very likely voted for Yesh Atid… or at least support their goals with respect to Charedim? I think it would be prudent for him to re-think his vilification of themas Torah haters. For the most part they are not. (Although I suppose there may be a few exceptions.) He ought to instead consider their real motives and agree to disagree respectfully. You can certainly win more Chiloni friends and influence more Chiloni people by doing that than by vilifying the people they voted for.

In that same edition of Mishpacha Eytan Kobre has an interesting review of the recent Pew survey on American Jewry. Strangely enough I agreed with some of what he said – which is beside the point I want to make. In what has to be the most out of character way of making his point about the flourishing nature of Orthodox Jewry he quotes Noah Feldman’s salute to Lakewood that was published in Bloomberg.

The point Rabbi Kobre makes is that Feldman who was raised in a Modern Orthodox home and attended Modern Orthodox schools wrote an article that was highly critical of Modern Orthodoxy but sees the future of Judaism in a place like Lakewood.

The problem is that Noah Feldman has a more famous (or should I say infamous) claim to fame. He married a non Jewish woman. She did not convert. His children are not Jewish. This is a man who went off the Derech in the ultimate way by marrying out… someone that Charedim would hardly use to make a point. It’s like quoting the Al Capone about the beauty of following the law. Who knows… Maybe Charedim don’t think marrying out is so bad. At least not so long as they say nice things about them.

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.

5 Responses to “Of ‘Torah Haters’ and Noah Feldman”

  1. Ira L. Jacobson says:

    Mr. Maryles shpuld become familar with Israeli Hebrew usage. Hilonim are by definition non-religious. Masortim ar by definition traditional, meaning they pick and choose what mitzvot to observe.
    Having thus pointed out, the author's thesis crumbles away.

  2. Kenneth Mathews says:

    "Lapid should not be judged by a few offhand comments spoken in angry response to being constantly attacked as a Torah hater. He should be judged by what his stated goals are."

    Men certainly should not be judged by their stated goals (their words). Men should be judged by their actions (especially their habitual actions overtime.) By this measure, Mr Lapid is certainly shown to be an opportunist using the need to address unsustainable dependency to undermine those committed to rigorous Torah-observance. Mr. Lapid habitually strives to whip up maximum hostility and fear while intentionally designing his"reforms" to make any transition as difficult and disrupting as possible. Israel needs a statesman to address this issue unfortunately the job has been given to Mr. Lapid.

  3. Apparently Mr Maryles does not know Lapid's track record. He has been vilifying, slandering any & all orthodox group & rabbis for many years. Even before deciding to go from journalist to politics. He was brought up hating religious Jews by his late father. Lapid blamed orthodox Jews for every problem in the state, twisted misquoted fabricated statistics to "prove" that orthodox Jews are a cancerous parasite. e.g. "all hhareidim avoid the draft, while all hhilonim join the army". The truth being that many hhareidim do indeed serve & 25% of hhilonim avoid the draft but nobody says peep about that. Also hid that fact that a large percentage of hhareidim do alternative public/state service that no or almost hhilonim are willing to do. Also he hid the fact that the army is incapable of absorbing a full hhareidi draft. He openly stated when he announced his intention to enter politics that he planned to take apart the orthodox world.

  4. Lisa Kamins says:

    I think the saying,"the path to hell is paved with the stones of good intentions" can be applied to most of the people, writers and politicians, discussed in this article.

  5. Lisa Kamins says:

    I think the saying,"the path to hell is paved with the stones of good intentions" can be applied to most of the people, writers and politicians, discussed in this article.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Captain Or Cohen
IDF Selects First Female Commander of Navy Ship
Latest Blogs Stories
Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder

The malicious manipulation of frustrated fury is surely as egregious as merely perceived racism.

About 7 in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country. But the younger Americans get, the more they like some Arab countries.

Undoubtedly, once he’s “former president Obama” he’ll join anti-Israel Jimmy Carter against Israel.

train track grafitti

The silly people on the left have created a new campaign to try and force the rest of the country to capitulate to their suicidal fantasies, this time by riding trains and imposing themselves onto other people’s conferences.

Doug Goldstein

Find out how to set goals and take better care of your finances.

As events over the last couple of weeks amply demonstrate, the status quo isn’t working out either

Australian Ambassador to Israel ran to the hospital in J’m to visit the wounded and to donate blood

Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.

Pop quiz: The shortest book ever written? “Palestinian History and Positive Contributions” text book

We are the continuing generations from our Father Avraham who was given this Land by our L-rd.

When a country supports ($) the PA or Gaza or “recognizes,” “Palestine,” they promoting terrorism.

There is no question whatsoever that Odeh was behind the fatal bombing of a SuperSol market in 1969

As we Jews returned to the Holy Land and prayed at our holy sites, forces fighting holiness came too

Channel 10 TV published on Sunday a poll they commissioned asking Israeli Arabs a rather straightforward but important question:

Today”s discussion: “The effects of current geopolitical situation around the world on investing.”

According to PM Netanyahu, the bill would enshrine full equality under law to all Israeli citizens.

Master Sergeant Zidan Saif (Zt”L) a Druze from the Galilee, was shot and killed saving Jewish lives.

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Does this look like a scene where Israeli police might have shot "two Palestinian civilians," as CNN claimed?

As events over the last couple of weeks amply demonstrate, the status quo isn’t working out either

Funeral for Druze policeman Zidan Saif, slain in a gun battle Tuesday with the murderers of Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue.

Master Sergeant Zidan Saif (Zt”L) a Druze from the Galilee, was shot and killed saving Jewish lives.

The burden of proof that a person is against Israel but not anti-Semitic rests on that person.

It should be clear Israel’s existence is not the real issue; the issue is Islamic fundamentalism.

Artifacts are not what make the Jewish people great; it is our conduct that does.

The RCA stated their review will add protection for the convert and not tamper with Halacha.

It undermines the tenets the rabbi preaches to his congregants when his wife does not live by them

Argue with Rabbi Gordimer on the merits;Go ahead. What Rabbi Katz did went well beyond the pale.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/of-torah-haters-and-noah-feldman/2013/10/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: