Friday, January 16, 2009

Is this the Attitude of a Maskil?

By the Bray of Fundie

The Netziv of Volozhin is a lightning rod attracting furious energy releases from Kharedi and MO camps both claiming him as their own and both accusing their opponents of historical revisionism. Was he a classic "all Torah all the time" Rosh Yeshiva , a forerunner of Rav Elya Svei, or, if not a Maskil himself then at least soft on Maskilim.

But an insight of his from this weeks parsha seems to reveal a distinctly Kharedi sensibility. Based on the dikduk of the word אֹתָם versus מהם (as an ex Yeshiva bokhur innocent of any grammar I will have to take his word for it) he explains the juxtaposition of these verses:

ז וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, פָּרוּ וַיִּשְׁרְצוּ וַיִּרְבּוּ וַיַּעַצְמוּ--בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד; וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ, אֹתָם. {פ}
7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. {P}
ח וַיָּקָם מֶלֶךְ-חָדָשׁ, עַל-מִצְרָיִם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַע, אֶת-יוֹסֵף.
8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.

to mean that It was only because the Jews left the Jewish canton of Goshen to live among and assimilate with the Egyptians that "a new king arose" i.e. one with a genocidal anti-Semitic sensibility. As long as the Hebrews kept to themselves the Egyptians were tolerant of them. Once they chose to become Egyptians themselves the natives felt insecure and threatened and lashed back with genocidal fury.

Furthermore IIRC he goes on to say that this is the recurring pattern of ant-Semitic spikes in the graph of our long diaspora history. As long as we keep ourselves separate and unequal things are tolerable. but whenever we attempt to assimilate onerous and genocidal persecutions ensue.

Sounds like kharedism 101 to me. In any event he sure looked the that the FACE of a Maskil???

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