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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Torah only is like chemotherapy

No, I didn't make this up, Yonasan (Jonathan) Rosenblum said it. I am thrilled to see a prominent Charedi spokesman make the statement that Torah only e.g. every male sitting and learning is a "horaas shaah" and is not the ideal. Unfortunately, the Charedi educational system is not saying this (and understandably so, it is very hard to promote a system as a horaas shaah). The question now is what happens next.

Chemotherapy As a Metaphor

Let us think of the destruction of the major centers of Torah learning during the Holocaust as the “disease.” The body of Klal Yisrael could not go on after the Holocaust without its heart – the talmidei chachamim produced in the great yeshivos. Time was of the essence, for how long can a body survive without its heart?

As a hora’as sha’a, in the wake of the Holocaust, the Torah leaders of the post-Holocaust generation advanced a societal model that had no obvious precedent in Jewish history. That new model was one of long-term, full-time Torah study for virtually all males.
The societal model adopted in the wake of the Holocaust was a radical departure from all pre-Holocaust models. In pre-War Lithuania, for instance, usually only one or two boys from each town were sent off to one of the great famous yeshivos. That is why yeshiva bochurim were known by the name of the town from which they came; there was rarely anyone else from the same town.

And the model of women bearing the principal responsibility for parnassah is not only new, it is seemingly in radical contrast to the Torah model. Adam, not Chava, received the curse that he would wrest his livelihood from the earth by the sweat of his brow. The husband gives his wife a ketubah in which he undertakes to support her. The woman, in Torah literature, is always described as the mainstay of the home and as bearing the principal responsibility for the nurturing her children.

What he fails to state, is that chemotherapy is by necessity a short term treatment. Chemotherapy for long periods of time will kill the patient. Chemotherapy is never for the life of the patient. The question that needs to be answered is have we passed the critical period that required the chemotherapy, I believe that we have, and how do we stop the chemotherapy and get Charedi society to move on to normal life.


At 8:26 PM, Blogger Chaim B. said...

>>>is very hard to promote a system as a horaas shaah

Interesting that you use that term - the RW world has always argued that Hirschian Torah im Derech Eretz is the hora'as sha'ah.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger bluke said...

I just quoted Rosenblum, he used the term.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger mevaseretzion said...

>the RW world has always argued that Hirschian Torah im Derech Eretz is the hora'as sha'ah.

They do so ignoring many places where RSRH made it clear that it is most definitely NOT a hora'as sha'ah.

Anyway, מה ענין שמיטה אצל הר סיני?

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Nephtuli said...

Interesting that you use that term - the RW world has always argued that Hirschian Torah im Derech Eretz is the hora'as sha'ah.

I was thinking the same thing. Pretty ironic if you ask me.

At 1:57 AM, Blogger Garnel Ironheart said...

The problem with Rav Hirsch was that he was so learned and so fiercely observant that the Chareidim couldn't legitimately criticize him. He was also fighting and holding his own against the secular threat, something they weren't doing near as well. On the other hand, they disapproved of any philosophical system other than Torah-Torah-Torah. So they decided that his Torah Im Derech Eretz must have been a horaas shaah and that way they could still see him as a legitimate rabbinical authority despite his interaction with the real world. Trouble is that there's no evidence Hirsch thought that way other than that he never groomed any successors and his philosophical system today is essentially confined to one shul in New York.


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