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Many moons ago my father came home from work one day with a set of books the contents of which would change my life forever. Many years later I constantly refer back to the aforementioned set of books. They are the most thought provoking and intellectually stimulating books I have read to date. In addition they provide me with much needed guidance in my everyday life. If you are interested I think you can find these books in your local Jewish bookstore. They are called "Talmud Bavli".
One of the problems I have with certain segments of contemporary Jewry is its close-mindedness. From my trusty Talmud I have learned among other things the value of diverse opinions and the importance of openness to those opinions. So I am going to offer some opinions that might not conform with popular thought and ask you to consider them. Remember we must be openminded!!!

Here I go!!

Many scientific studies have concluded that T.V. promotes laziness, violence, promiscuity etc. etc. [Please refer to my shiur on the topic]. Plus [and for this we don't need scientists] it is a mammoth waste of time. Not to mention the fact that it is assur. Maybe we shouldn't own one.

Maybe the Lubavitchers are right and we DO want Moshiach now!!

Maybe Maran HaRav Kook was right when he said that in a child's youth he should first be filled with Torah and Yiras Shomayim and only when he gets older should we consider his secular education and livelihood. The state of ignorance in our Day Schools is simply appalling. Parents pay monumental sums of money for 12 years of Jewish education and in return receive a child who cannot translate a Rashi in Chumash or even the prayer that he says [we hope] daily.

Maybe R' Tzaddok Hacohen was right when he said that you should believe in yourself!!! Maybe you do have a unique task to fulfill in this world. And maybe Hashem really does love you [more than you love yourself]as we proclaim daily in our prayers.

Maybe King David was right when he said that when you die you can't take it with you. Shouldn't we then live our lives for something lasting and real.
Maybe your mother was right when she said :If you don't have something nice to say don't say it at all.

And finally, maybe R' Chaim of Volozhin was correct when he said that we are on this earth to perform acts of kindness for others [and not for our own personal gratification].

Food for thought.

And Dad if you are reading this - thanks for the books!!!!!

Love your friend, Elchanan Ehrman

Interestingly enough, last summer, when attending camp, the much celebrated Torah giant Rav Reuven Feinstein shlita paid us a visit. He made a simple comment that created a rippling furor throughout the camp (or at least those old enough to think about the implications of such a statement). The gist of his statement was that we should daven for moshiach but not necessarily that he should come now (i.e., in our time). One of his points was that it's not clear that at this point in time we want the tzaros associated with it. I am sure he made other points but my memory proves elusive. Interesting, indeed.

Dear willworkforfood
Since according to the Rambam at the end of Hilchos Melachim such a statement constitutes no less than heresy. And since the Torah giant Rav Reuven Feinstein shlita is anything but a heretic I have a hard time [to say the least] believing that he made such a statement!!!
But thanks for taking the time to comment and regards to Avi Bennison!!

After speaking to more people who were there (including rabbonim), i would like to clarify the statement made above: Rav Feinstein's position is that we should daven for moshiach, and, in accordance with Rambam, we believe that he can come at any moment; however, we should not adopt the attitude of Lubavitch that "we want moshiach now!", because at our present state it is likely that many will go through painful times with the coming of Moshiach, if not death (his remarks were not made in the context of an anti-Lubavitch diatribe, chalilah!, i am just using them as an example). Rather, our slogan should be "we should do t'shuvah and continue to improve ourselves so that we are ready for moshiach!".

In other news, I'm fairly sure you'll be happy to see this: http://photos1.blogger.com/img/39/3439/640/tolna%20rebbe.jpg

Rav willworkforfood shlita,
Thanks for the clarification and picture!!!
Ally Ehrman

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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