Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rabbi Wein: The end of an era

Rabbi Wein has a fascinating article about Tu Bishvat where he states that we have reached the end of an era in Jewish history and today there is a tremendous lack of leadership in the Jewish world and that we need a new approach (within Torah).

Thus there is a great feeling of apathy and emptiness in the Jewish world today. In the realm of traditional Jewry, much of Religious Zionism has lost its steam; Chasidut has pretty much frozen and atrophied and become insular; the yeshiva world has become a place of narrow focus and elitism; the Mussar movement no longer exists; and modern Orthodoxy has not found its voice and parameters.

Therefore we are witness to the end of an era. The old is going and the new has not yet arrived. Hence the apathy and ennui, and the seeming lack of leadership that grips the Jewish world today. It is at such moments in Jewish history that a renewal of faith and idealism has always occurred.
The old tactics are no longer efficient for the solution of today’s problems. The answers are available within the framework of tradition and halacha as they were when Chasidut revolutionized Ashkenazic Jewry in the eighteenth century and Mussar created the yeshiva world of the late nineteenth century. We will not be able to live forever based on Holocaust memorials or Zionistic slogans that belie the reality of our situation here in the Land of Israel. We need a new way to govern here, to reform our politics and make it more representative.

The Torah should be freed from the chains of party politics that currently smother it.

I wholeheartedly agree with him, the current systems (Charedi or MO) are just not working.

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