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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Must read article by Yonasan Rosenblum

In response to the comment that I quoted here Different messages for different people, Yonasan Rosenblum wrote a long response, Kollel is Not Always Forever. He said things that I have not heard anyone in the Charedi world explicitly say.

...In a similar vein, the Chazon Ish is also widely reported to have said that two generations of full-time learning were necessary to rebuild from the ashes of Europe. Those two generations have now come and gone.

And if KollelGuy asks, so why no announcements in Yated Ne’eman, I suspect he already knows the answer, or should. Ori, a non-Orthodox Jew in Austin, Texas, knows it: The last thing the gedolei HaTorah want to do is destroy the striving for greatness in Torah learning that characterizes the Israeli chareidi community. And any such public announcement would be interpreted as a statement that everything we did, everything we have built over the last sixty years was a mistake. (I emphasized in “Living with Complexity” that just the opposite is the case.) In other words, it would lead to an overreaction more dangerous than the situation it sought to cure.
There is another reason that there will be no such public statements. Any such statement would be met with vicious attacks by the “kenaim,” who would say about the gadol in question precisely what KollelGuy asks me: Who are you? The Chazon Ish did not say what you are saying; Rav Shach did not say it.” Perhaps KollelGuy remembers the attacks on one of the Sages he mentions for his tacit support of Nahal Chareidi. (Even Rav Shach used to say that he was afraid of the stone-throwers.) One of the members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of the United States told me recently that the gedolim cannot even discuss questions surrounding poverty because if they did the “street” would just label them fake gedolim.
especially when one remembers that there are no historical precedents for a Torah society built around the ideal of full-time learning for every man forever – an entire society of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai’s. (The number of those learning full-time in Eretz Yisrael dwarfs by many times the numbers of those doing so in pre-war Europe.) The denigration of “working” that one sometimes hears in the Torah community in Eretz Yisrael has scant support in the Torah, and countless sources refuting it


At 1:42 PM, Blogger The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

The ultimate problem with this is that the Chareidi world has, for the past 2 generations, presented kollel-only as the ONLY valid lifestyle, not to be questioned!
To suddenly change that now and say that working is muttar would create a nervous breakdown in the community.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger bluke said...

That was exactly Rosenblum's answer when asked why the Gedolim haven't made such a pronouncement. They can't, this kind of change needs to be made slowly in steps.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Eliezer StrongBad said...

I know it's the elephant in the room here, but how great a leader can one be if they lack the ability/drive to communicate to their constituency to he point in some instances of being afraid of their own "followers" ?!

Not to mention the culpability they may have in creating and fostering such a mindset in their communities...
Kind of reaping what you sow.


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