web analytics
December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ayala Shapira, 11, is fighting for her life after suffering burn wounds when an Arab terrorist threw a Molotov cocktail at the car in which she was riding.
‘Slight Improvement’ in Life-threatening Condition of Firebomb Victim
Latest Indepth Stories
Bill Cosby

It shakes our sense of justice when allegations against a famed role model are covered up or ignored

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Feiglin: Only true liberty will allow us to genuinely connect to our Jewish identity.

Knesset Logo

The silver lining with early elections is the chance to change the current dysfunctional government.

Cohen-122614

The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

The West needs to ensure Russia understands that aggression comes at a significant cost.

What benefit is a learning experience that leaves kids confused,disillusioned&harms self confidence?

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!

Obama’s comments calling Israeli settlements “unhelpful”are harsher than prior US administrations’

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: