Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Comment of the Day

From Y. Aharon regarding this post

Dov Bear, yasher koach for a well written and thoughtful post. The analogy of the more recent history of the Orthodox world to the Christian Reformation in the 16th century has some validity. The drift of the yeshivish or Hareidi world towards a Catholic approach is evident. It started with the Hassidic reformation wherein the leader became a demigod and the avenue for personal salvation - just like the Catholic Church. This veneration of religious leaders then became adopted in the yeshivish world in the post-war period. Said leaders, usually called rashei yeshiva, were considered entitled to have their pronouncements treated as "daas torah", i.e. infallible. Given such authority by the movers and shakers, they then offered pronouncements on subjects far from their areas of expertise - as if they were really entitled both to an opinion and to have their flock bound by it. Of course, what was usually or often the case was that said leaders were manipulated by the real movers and shakers to satisfy their own egos, or for personal profit.

However, the solution to this situation need not lie in creating a new form of Judaism, but in supporting those elements in the modern Orthodox world who are similarly minded. While the current demographics certainly favor the growth of the Hareidi sector, there is a revolution brewing there due to the self-destructive ideology that their "infallible" leaders have created. There is simply no way that the yeshivish communities can sustain a life style where large families are dependent on overworked mothers to support them since the father is supposed to be dedicated to full-time torah study. How, then, will they be able to support grown children and their families?

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