Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Tale Of Two Rabbis

See if you can find the differences. (To make this easier I emphasized the lines in question.)

Rabbi Gil Student:
Separate seating does not empower women. It doesn't have to weaken them either, if the community is sufficiently responsible. Israeli society is definitely not sufficiently responsible, including (or especially) the Charedi community. I don't claim that women are routinely beaten or humiliated on buses, but anyone who has been in Israel for more than 25 seconds recognizes that politeness... I can't continue this sentence because it is too painful. But you know what I mean.
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein:
After two millennia, we returned to the Land. Like Yaakov, one of the first steps we took was to establish a place for Torah. And how successful that step was! From the ashes of the Holocaust, we created a Torah revolution in the length and breadth of the Land, creating an entire subculture around the central pillar of the primacy of Torah. Tens of thousands of people live lives in which Torah study is put on its proper pedestal. The gem of Torah is restored to its luster. An explosion in Torah publication produces many mediocre works – but also works that will be appreciated for generations. America is a poor also-ran compared with the productivity of Israeli Torah. Thousands of families live with a deep, penetrating, unstinting faith in Hashem and His Torah. We send our children to Israel to breath in the atmosphere they created, beyond the natural kedushah (holiness) of the Land itself. We visit ourselves, to remind ourselves of how many non-Torah values have been foisted upon us by our tarrying in exile too long.

Does this remind you of something?


Avi said...

Um, what world is Rabbi Adlerstein living in?

I live in Israel and Rabbi Student is correct (although I wished he lived in Israel and could help bring up Israel's level of kedusha by bringing Torah and politeness to (at least more) Israelis).

Avi said...

I just clicked on the CC link and read the whole piece. I just want to point out that I don't totally disagree with R' Adlerstein -- he makes many good points. Much has been accomplished in the past 59 years of Israeli and Jewish political independence and we must look at all of it (certainly including Torah learning, but not just!) as a great and tremendous blessing that we are privileged to be a part of.

But we also do Israel or Israeli society no favors by tarnishing over reality, which isn't always pretty.

yaak said...

I've twice commented on another blog about this problem, which was much worse than what was said above.
Cosmic, I like how you give Mussar:
לשון רכה תשבר גרם

Akiva said...


amechad - it's not perfect, but it's all in what you emphasize. Don't pretend problems don't exist, but don't denegrate the country.

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