Wednesday, May 16, 2012

If you love Torah Judaism stay home on May 20

You're required to attend Met games.
 Otherwise we'll look bad in in front of the Yankee fans.

If a Met fan tried this argument, he'd be laughed right out of the room. And with good reason. We understand that the Mets have to earn our support. Unquestioned loyalty invites laziness, and even corruption, from the objects of such loyalty. Why should the Mets pursue free agents or invest in their farm team, if they can count of the fans to show up anyway? For the matter, why should General Manager Sandy Alderson put in an honest day's work if the stadium is going to fill up irrespective of his efforts?  If Met fans don't punish bad teams with poor attendance, players and management are encouraged to coast.

This is why any loyal fan of charedi Judaism should be deeply offended by the message currently being used to promote the CitiField Asifa on May 20. Instead of telling us why the Asifa is important, we are being urged to save the organizers from embarrassment. Rather than put a good team on the field, the event organizers are asking us to prop up a bunch of farm hands and, through our attendance at the Asifa, shield them from the consequences of their own failures.

I agree that the gedolim will look bad, if the stadium is not filled on May 20, but I think we owe it to ourselves and to the community we cherish to make them look bad. If you stay home on May 20, the message will be clear: We do not agree with your leadership on issues such as the Internet. We think your positions to date on this subject have been flawed. By "making them look bad", we make plain our disagreement with their approach. And though some of the sheep in the audience my be reluctant to deliver such a strong message to the Sages of Israel, consider the alternatives. If you don't let the leaders know when they're not performing up to expectations, they have no incentive to change their ways.

Autocracy is founded upon the Gedolim's self-understanding of themselves as the depository and bearer of absolute truth and it is the duty of people to conform to the truth. Democracy is based upon the understanding that truth is available to human beings only in partial ways and therefore all people can contribute to the search for truth in "creative mutuality [Adapted from here Leaders, even autocratic leaders, derive their power from the people. They lead us because we let them lead us. As a wag said about the Pope, "He has primacy over the council because the council gives him primacy over the council" So to with us. The gedolim have primacy over us, because we grant them primacy. If we're not happy with their leadership, we have the right, indeed the obligation, to refuse to be led. Staying home on May 20 is a start.

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