web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Dear Brother: Who Are You?

Eisenman-011312

Hey Yankel, how are you doing?

Thanks for the pics you sent me. You and your son really look well fed and robust. However, since you asked me how I am doing, I have no choice but to be honest.

Yankel, I have known you all of my life; after all, you are my older brother and I have always attempted to emulate all your ways.

I live in “treif America”; you settled in Eretz Yisrael. While I use English as my spoken language, you insist on exclusively speaking Yiddish. While I wear “Western style” clothing, you are obsessive in maintaining what you emphatically describe as “authentic Jewish” dress.

Although sometimes I kidded you for your obstinacy, in truth I envied you for what certainly seemed to me at the time to be your “more Jewish” lifestyle.

You are living in Meah Shearim; you have the freedom to teach your kids the way you want to; you are protected by the state; and for the most part no one — and I mean no one — interferes with your life.

When I would visit you I was always amazed by your financial stability and the growth of your neighborhoods. You now have air conditioning, cell phones and beautiful Shabbos clothes. You purchased apartments for all your children when they married.

In short, you were blessed by He whose blessings count and I was happy for you.

Even though you complained at times about all the Americans who come through your neighborhood, privately you admitted to me that it was those American dollars that pour through the shops and collectors of your streets that enable you to make beautiful weddings for your children.

I remember how at the last wedding of your daughter you had two videopeople – one for the women and one for the men. It did make me wonder why you needed that – after all, I (the Modern American) had no videoperson at my son’s wedding while you had two! However, I let it pass and was happy for you.

When the incidents occurred in Beit Shemesh, I believed what I read in the haredi media: that this was not indicative of the feelings of most “authentic Jews”; that this was the work of a “fringe group.”

Perhaps I did not really believe this, but I so wanted to believe it was true that I let it pass.

All that was before Motzaei Shabbos week before last, when I turned on the computer and there you were with your son – my nephew – Yossele.

Yankel, how could you do it? And how could you do it to our Yossele?

Look at your smile, Yankel, as you proudly set your eyes on your son whom you manipulated to raise his hands in a grotesque, sickening pose, mimicking the iconic photo of a young Jewish boy being rounded up by Nazi soldiers.

Yankel, I am sending you a copy of the authentic (as I know you always want that which is authentic), original photograph of that scared little boy. He is terrified, not knowing what life has in store for him.

Look at the other people in that old photograph (I know, most of them are women, but let’s be honest, Yankel, you must have studied this photo intently before you offered your son on the altar of hate) – they are petrified and to be pitied.

Look now at yourself, Yankel, and at the other people in the picture from Motzaei Shabbos. All of you are dressed in your Shabbos finery, and none of you appear frightened.

Yankel, what did you say to little Yossele before you sullied him with the badge of hate?

What words of chizuk did you offer to his pristine neshamah as you told him to pose in that position of mockery?

After that Motzaei Shabbos demonstration – and you often pointed this out to me – no one can claim you are “just a few fringe people.”

There were hundreds if not thousands of people involved in the planning and execution of that event.

You had women sewing the concentration camp uniforms. You had technical assistance in surfing the web to get the best Holocaust pictures. You had people printing and translating your signs into Hebrew and English.

And as you noted to me many times, although we have seen rabbinic bans and protests against concerts and books and women rabbis and individual authors, there has not been a single signed pronouncement appearing with the names of any prominent haredi rabbis protesting or denouncing your actions.

All that being said, Yankel, the reason I am writing to you is because you are my brother and I do love you dearly.

I love you with all my heart and soul and I cherish the good and wonderful and spiritual times we spent together singing and discussing Torah.

About the Author: Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman is rav of Congregation Ahavas Israel in Passaic, New Jersey. His new book, “The Elephant in the Room,” is available either directly from the author (mail check for $24.99 – cost includes shipping – to Rabbi Eisenman at Congregation Ahavas Israel, 181 Van Houton Ave., Passiac, N.J. 07055) or at Amazon.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.

No Responses to “Dear Brother: Who Are You?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iran's nuclear enrichment facility at Fordow is in an underground bunker.
Congressmembers: No More Money for Talks With Iran
Latest Indepth Stories
Safran-032715

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]

Gerstenfeld-032715

Many so-called “humanitarian NGOs” frequently abuse Israel by applying false moral equivalencies

Bibi0303.jpg

Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers

In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

In any event, Mr. Netanyahu after the election sought to soften his statement on Palestinian statehood and apologized for what he conceded were remarks that “offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli Arab community.”

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

There is something quite distinctive about the biblical approach to time.

The Waqf kept control of the Temple Mount due to Dayan’s “magnanimity in victory” after 6 Day war

The event promotes “1 state” solution (end of Israel as a Jewish State), BDS, lawfare against Israel

I rescued you?! You’re doing me a favor letting me help you!

“Tzedakah tatzil mi-mavet: Charity saves from death”; No death & a tax break? Where do I sign up?

InsideIL targets MBA students at 12 of America’s top programs for its paid Israel summer internship

More Articles from Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman
Eisenman-011312

Hey Yankel, how are you doing?

Thanks for the pics you sent me. You and your son really look well fed and robust. However, since you asked me how I am doing, I have no choice but to be honest.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/dear-brother-who-are-you/2012/01/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: