web analytics
August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
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



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Social Nation

Staum-032814

Two Friends
By David Ignatow

I have something to tell you.
I’m listening.
I’m dying.
I’m sorry to hear.
I’m growing old.
It’s terrible.
It is. I thought you should know
Of course and I’m sorry. Keep in touch.
I will and you too.
And let me know what’s new.
Certainly, though it can’t be much.
And stay well.
And you too.
And go slow.
And you too.

 

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

At first glance, Parshas Tazria seems to have limited relevance to our daily lives. Although the lesson of the severity of slander and gossip is as applicable as ever, the details about the laws of the metzora and the process of his purification seem to be non-applicable without the Bais HaMikdash. However, if one examines the process more deeply there are tremendously pertinent ideas to be gleaned from the Torah’s timeless words.

The law is that the metzora is obligated to leave the Jewish camp and dwell in solitude until the tzara’as is pronounced healed by a kohain. “All the days that the affliction is upon him he shall remain contaminated. He shall dwell in isolation; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.”[2]

Rashi[3] explains that tzara’as is punishment for slander, which causes husbands to become distanced from their wives and friends to become distanced from one another. Therefore, it is fitting that the punishment be isolation from society.[4]

 

The feeling of loneliness is not only the result of the metzora’s sociological state, as an outcast who was rejected from the community, on a more profound level the loneliness is internal, a sense of being scorned and banned from society. The metzora may in fact not have been completely alone; there may have been other metzoraim in his vicinity.[5] Yet his alienation ensures that he will still feel essentially “alone” and estranged.

This tragic and painful experience has existent parallels in our community. One of the tragic realities of our world is that of adolescents who are searching for identity and a social network falling into the depraved world of drugs and street-life. Their search to feel connected and part of something erroneously leads them to the mirage of brotherhood that the streets present. They have their “love-hug,” but it’s all disingenuous.[6] They may have fun together and they may even feel protected and connected but it’s not real. The “love” is a bond of commonality at best. They may be sitting together, but they are still all alone.

The book of Eicha, which expresses the profound grief that Yerushalayim experienced after the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash and the exiling of the Jewish people, begins “Alas, she sits in solitude!” There is no greater pain than solitude and loneliness. That is the greatest tragedy of all.

Our society which seems so “connected” is actually mired in loneliness. People define their social circle by how many Facebook friends they have, how many people follow their tweets, and how many contact numbers are in their cellphones. But the overwhelming majority of those friendships are tenuous and superficial.[7]

Oprah Winfrey once quipped, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

Our technologically advanced generation is so lonely – yearning for empathy, sensitivity, warmth, and care. The sense of community and the security of family is often sorely lacking.

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead in Monsey NY. He is also Guidance Counselor/Rebbe in ASHAR and Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch. His website is www.stamtorah.info. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.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 “Social Nation”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Man protecting his son on the side of the highway, as rockets fall. (Archive: July 17, 2014)
Live Updates: Morning Barrages & Rockets on Gaza Border Communities (10:26am)
Latest Judaism Stories
Leff-081514

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

Business-Halacha-logo

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

The-Shmuz

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

“But they told me to come in today,” she said. They gave me this date months ago. It’s not my fault if it’s the wrong day.”

Tosafos there takes issue with Rashi’s view that the letters that are formed in the knots of the tefillin are considered part of the name of Hashem.

Blind obedience is not a virtue in Judaism. God wants us to understand the laws He has commanded us

What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other and the awesome heritage He gave us.

Israel is the only place where we have the potential to fulfill our mandate as the chosen people.

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

“Do I have to repay the loan?” he asked. “Does Yosef have to reimburse me? What if doesn’t have that sum, does he owe me in the future?”

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-080814

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

Staum-062714

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

It is one thing to do a chesed for someone one time or when it is convenient. But for a person to go a few hours out of his way every year for a stranger demonstrates incredible selflessness.

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

Even if he has committed sins that warrant his rejection from the community, he is never rejected by G-d.

Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school. He twice failed the exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up!”

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/social-nation/2014/03/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: