web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


What If Rabbi Akiva Would Visit Boro Park or Bnei Brak

For God’s Sake!?, Chapter 1
rabbi akiva in boro park

For example: After the destruction of the Temple (70CE) most laws of ‘purity’ were abrogated. Therefore the mikva (ritual bath), which had held an important place had in daily life, was relegated to a position of less importance. While in Jerusalem and other places in ancient Israel the mikva had been an integral part of the wealthy person’s home – the less frequent use of the mikva later in history made it a community– not personal project.

After the Exile (70CE), the change of status from ‘rulers of their own land’ to a ‘people dependent on the good will of others’ caused a major upheaval in Jewish thinking and practices. For close to two thousand years living as second-class citizens at the whims of despots placed the Jews in an unenviable position. The threat of assimilation, whether forced or by choice, on all levels was a major cause of fear and Jewish leaders had to act and react quickly before this phenomenon could spread and the Jews would disappear.

From the Dark Ages onward, Jews very often lived in an area by the grace of some nobleman or government functionary, and had to adapt their life style so as to keep a balance between the uniqueness of their Jewish life and the demands of their patron and environment. The limits and restrictions imposed upon the Jews demanded the establishment of modes of coexistence with the population around them –living together but without surrendering their deeply rooted beliefs.

In some cases the attitude of isolation and insulation prevailed while in other communities a dialogue and modus vivendi were established. But each of these styles came at a price.

The very active role that the Church played vis-a-vis the subjugated Jews was a major concern to the Jewish community. The active attempts to convert Jews to Christianity – to a somewhat lesser degree Islam had the same agenda – posed many problems both to individuals and the Jewish community as a whole.

Within the Jewish community major changes were taking place. Some of these can be directly attributed to the progress of science and man’s inventiveness. The Jews accepted the printing press, long opposed by the Church, with open arms because they understood that the printing press would expand Jewish knowledge – by making prayer books and study books available to the Jewish masses. This brought about an increase in literacy.

The new sources of power and new implements at hand presented the rabbinate with a new set of questions and problems that had to be solved.

Although throughout the ages, the social history of the Jews changed drastically and dramatically, from one extreme to another, from place to place, from primitive to sophisticated, and the situation of the Jews vacillated from good to bad, from safe to insecure, from optimism to pessimism – the Torah did not change.

The ingenuity, profundity and complexity of halachah enabled it to fit into the framework of the varied and sometimes contradictory conditions.

The Torah has never changed and remains eternal – it is halachah – both the lenient and the more stringent points of view – that has undergone change after change after change.

Unlike Rabbi Akiva who accepted ‘ol malchut shamayim ‘ (the yoke of heaven), people today are taking on ‘ol malchut (the yoke) of Bnai Brak, Boro Park, Monsey and Lakewood‘.

For God’s Sake!? is available for purchase at CreateSpace eStore ($18.), and at Amazon.com ($18.)

About the Author: Chaim Burg was born in New York and was strongly influence by the teachings of Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik and Rabbi Z.D. Kanotopsky. A graduate of Cooper Union, Burg spent most of his active business career as a communications consultant for major U.S. and international corporations. A well regarded author and lecturer, he mainly deals with thought provoking views on the evolution of Halacha. Burg made aliya in 1975.


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 “What If Rabbi Akiva Would Visit Boro Park or Bnei Brak”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Donald Trump announces he is running for the Republican party presidential nomination.
Trump Ranks No. 2 GOP Candidate in Nationwide Poll
Latest Sections Stories

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

Food-Talk---Eller-logo

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

Emmer-052915-History

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

Everyone in the kehilla can get involved, she added, and mothers can network with each other.

On her first ever trip to Israel last week, popular radio talk-show personality and clinical psychologist Dr. Joy Browne, whose spirited broadcasts regularly attract millions of listeners across North America, paid a visit to OneFamily headquarters in Jerusalem in order to learn more about the physical and emotional challenges faced by victims of terror in […]

With the famous Touro Synagogue, a variety of mansions, each with its own distinct personality, as well as the beautiful coast, Rhode Island makes for an excellent vacation spot.

To avoid all this waste and unnecessary anxiety, let’s break the task down step by step and tackle each one at a time.

While there are those who insist they need full-color photos to be truly entranced by a recipe, I suggest you get over that particular requirement because the written word here will draw you in and cause you to salivate as you peruse the recipes scattered throughout The Well-Spiced Life (Israel Book Shop).

For those who couldn’t go off base, a personal parcel was priceless in its ability to convey a feeling of home.

More Articles from Chaim Burg
God and creation

For God’s Sake!?, Chapter 3

Our Glorious Gutsy Past

For God’s Sake!?, Chapter 3

You don’t have to be ‘right’ – to be correct.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/the-book-shelf/for-gods-sake/what-if-rabbi-akiva-would-visit-boro-park-or-bnei-brak/2013/04/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: