Sunday, February 22, 2009

of Rabbis and Men of Spirit

A Guest Post by Rafi G
(originally posted on LII)

Yair Lapid gets upset when he finds out that the speakers before him at an army base course were all rabbis. When he asks why only rabbis and no secular "men of spirit" (media, authors, poets, etc.) were invited, he is told they are all invited. The only ones who come are the rabbis - they agree right away. The secular "men of spirit" never accept the invitations.

Yair Lapid does not come to any conclusion as to why that is. I wonder why that difference exists.

I am thinking out loud here - maybe the difference between the rabbis and the secular "men of spirit" is that the rabbis see themselves as leaders of the people, with the need to give direction, impart of their wisdom to others, etc. While the secular "men of spirit" see themselves as above the people, better than the people.

Or maybe the rabbis see it as an opportunity to reach out to people who would otherwise not likely be exposed to a religious personality of influence, and they jump at the opportunity to have some level of influence. While the secular "men of spirit" don't see the opportunity to share thoughts and wisdom as one that is necessary or important.

Or perhaps the rabbis are just happy to go meet with the people and talk with them and share wisdom, while the secular men of spirit will only do so for a large speaking fee, and if they are not offered a large sum, don't consider it worth their time.

what do you think?

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