Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Why Square Happens

Overheard at minyan this morning:
That's the real issue in Skvere. The fact that violence is winked at, condoned, or even encouraged in chareidi circles
And why do we wink at it? Because charedi community truths are considered absolutely true in the written in the sky sense. So of course its legitimate if people get a little rough when they act in defense of those valuable and important  truths.

True story: I was once working on a skit for a camp. The script came from another institution and it had a scene depicting shabbos protests. Our campl director wasn't happy with how the protesters were portrayed and demanded that we add a line about how much the thugs loved shabbos and how sincere they were.

Same in Sqaure. The arsonist loves the rebbe and, come on, what's wrong with loving your rebbe? And, the non-square person says to himself, shouldn't we all love a rebbe - some rebbe, any rebbe - as much as Spitzer loved his? I'm reminded again of something stupid a friend of mine who should know better said about Hasidut "That's Judaism!"

Well no. It isn't. Hasidut is one flavor of Judaism and its not an old or authentic flavor of Judaism. Its a modern flavor. Just like all the other Jewish flavors extant Hasidut has changed and developed and morphed and transformed over time as it responded to new threats and opportunities.

Until we realize that, we're not going to stop treating hasdim with kid gloves and until we stop treating Hasidut with kid gloves the violence won't end.

One of my commenters pointed out the Judaism has no right edge. The slightest attempt to moderate or reinterpret or in some cases to rehabilitate old ideas and old practices is enough to make people like the aggudah bosses foam at the mouth but by them no expression of fantacism is judged too extreme. Its all good. Its all "coming from the right place" Its all sincere. After all, says our guilty, nostalgic and historically ignorant conciounse "That's Juddaim!" Were it not for Hitler wed be living in a town just like Square. Wouldn't we? Great grandpa also loved his rebbe and loved his Shabbos. Didn't he? So why don't we? Why don't we love the rebbe and the shabbos as much as he did? And, come on, people, what's wrong with a guy who gets a little rough in their defense?

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