Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pruz the time traveler

Had Pruz lived in the 1920s do you think he would have published long, angry essays accusing old Sarah Schenirer of being a dirty feminist? Would he have claimed she was suffering from undue societal influences and that maybe all she really cared about was money? Would he have denounced her for derailing the glorious and holy tradition of keeping women ignorant and illiterate? Would he have joined forces with the Minchas Eluzer who called Schenirer's school Bes Esav and somehow managed the impossible trick of being (a) a daas torah godol ; and (b) certain that the future of the Jewish people was in Eastern Europe. 

Let's say Pruz was there when the Kabalas Shabbos minhag started to sweep through Europe. Would he have claimed that the Hasidim were only modifying the Friday night service for the purpose of appealing to the unaffiliated? Would he have perhaps denounced the entire Hasidic movement on those grounds? 

See, this is one of the fundamental errors that makes conservatives so unbearable. They wrongly imagine that all they see is all that ever existed, and that any attempt to update, modify or acknowledge new situation is an assault on nature rooted in the most nefarious motives.

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