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Why I Am Not Charedi: The Continuation

A Reform Jew once explained to an Orthodox Jew "I am Reform therefore I am allowed to drive on Saturday. You are Orthodox - so you cannot." The truth of course is that if G-d commanded us to keep Shabbos even a Reform Jew is not allowed to drive. And if He didn't then even an Orthodox Jew is allowed to drive. [You know where I stand on the issue.] The question is: What is the EMES? - not irrelevent meaningless labels.

There are some segments of the Jewish community who allow themselves to enjoy all forms of entertainment and when questioned as to the Halachic validity of such behavior will dismiss the question by saying "I am a Modern Jew so I am allowed to watch this movie/hear this opera/read this magazine. Only the fanatics [best definition I have heard of "fanatic": Someone more religious than myself...] don't allow themselves to enjoy this form of entertainment. BE NORMAL." [Normal is best defined as what I deem normal. Abnormal is what my neighbor deems normal.] People hide behind a label to allow themselves to act according to their hearts desire.

Other people feel completely comfortable living in Chutz Láretz even though every time they daven, bentch and usually when they learn - they mention Eretz Yisrael. It is the thread that runs throughout the entire Tanach and much of Torah Shebeál Peh. They might explain that they are not Zionists so they are exempt from coming to Israel. It is not their "thing". Funny. The Chofetz Chaim definitely did not identify himself as a Tzioni but his fervent wish was to come and live in Israel - even before Moshiach!! He explained that [besides the Mitzva of living in Israel] every Mitzva that one performs in Israel is worth many times that of a Mitzva performed outside of Israel. I am not saying that every Jew must come to Israel right now. I am saying that one should not hide behind labels to justify ones behavior. One should clarify what Hashem wants from them and act accordingly.

The examples abound but I think my point is clear. Our task in this world is to fulfill what Hashem wants of us personally without regards to the dictates of society. Even if that society happens to consist of Jews.

So lets drop silly meaningless labels and attempt to become TRUE OVDEI HASHEM B'SIMCHA. For this we need the guidance of a Talmid Chacham who is open enough to realize that not everyone is cut from the same cloth. Some people should be in Kollel learning day and night. Others should be taking the mantle of Zevulun and supporting Torah. But they to must learn. The Rambam rules that every male is obligated to reach the level where he can paskin!! [See Hil. Talmud Torah Ch. 1] Loshon Hara is categorically forbidden - even about those people with whom we disagree. Every Jew and Jewess is obligated to be HOLY. Not cool. Not with it. Holy!

After 120 years we stand before Hashem and He will want to know if we were generous with our money, kind to others, in control of our anger, if we truly believed in Him etc. etc. etc. Not if we were "Yeshivish" or "Modern". Those are terms that are VERY important to superficial people. Not to those who visit Alleyways - namely YOU.

Love and Everlasting Friendship

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I think that most people agree that they need a talmid chachom/Rabbi with whom they seek guidance and ask their questions to. However, their are many Rabbi's who themselves have TV in their homes, and are sending their kids to certain camps/schools, and whose sermons from the pulpit are making references to current events in Hollywood. I have even seen 'Rabbis' hug and kiss their congregants ( and I am not talking about the male ones). So- if a portion of the leaders themselves are acting in a way that might not necc. be ideal or according to Halacha ( acc. to most poskim at least) then how are we to expect any change from their followers?
Perhaps their needs to be some change from the pulpit and only then can we expect a follow thru to the rest of the community.

A friend of mine named Rav Yitzchak sent me the following email:" Labels are for cans, not for people".

Well said Chacham Yitzchak!!!

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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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