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Our "Leaders"

Can they be trusted?

In Parshas Vayera we read about how Avraham told Avimelech that Sara was his sister. Avimelech takes her and then G-d appears to Avimelech in a dream and tells him "Don't touch her!! She is a married woman." Avimelech goes back to Avraham and demands to know why he wasn't forthright with him and instead deceived him by saying that Sara was his sister. Here Avraham says words that resonate throughout history.
רק אין יראת אלקים במקום הזה והרגוני על דבר אשתי

There is BUT no fear of G-d in this place and they will slay me on the matter of my wife."[20/11]

Avimelech, explained Avraham, I couldn't tell you the truth for only ONE reason. You don't fear G-d. And someone who doesn't fear G-d is liable to do ANYTHING. How could I trust that you wouldn't kill me.

People used to think that if one was educated and cultured then they would be moral. This theory was proven spurious by the Nazis. I once heard that two thirds of the leaders of the Nazi Party had doctorates. They listened to classical music. Art. Philosophy. They had it all. And world history has never seen such beasts in the guise of human beings. There are still some people who make that claim. It is absurd. An education does not make one a better person. If one doesn't fear G-d there is nothing preventing them from commiting the most heinous acts.

Some people say that you CAN be a moral person without faith in G-d. Maybe, maybe not [that is for another post bezras Hashem]. But there is nothing COMPELLING such a person to be moral. All of ones scruples easily go out the window when confronted with a large financial gain or an attractive woman. There is only one thing that can stop a person: A strong internal sense of Yiras Shomayim. There is a judge and there will be a day of judgement. And the judgement is for eternity!!

That is more compelling than a few million dollars or the prospect of a few minutes of sensual pleasure.

I don't buy newspapers because newspapers talk about politics. And I don't trust politicians. I see people who believe in politicians. "He will save us!!" Those who know what is going on in Israel sees that our "leaders" are a band of common thieves [sorry if I am offending anyone]. Corruption is ubiquitous. Right Wing, Left Wing Hawks, Doves, one common denominator - SHEKER. Some have been caught. Some have not yet been caught. But anyone who knows Chumash [or read Rav Elchanan Wasserman's "Kovetz Maámarim"] is not surprised at all of the financial and sexual indiscretions. There is no Yiras Shomayim. So maybe there are honest politicians. But who knows how long they will remain honest. And have you ever heard of a humble politician. Being elected entails bragging about and publicizing your accomplishments!! Putting your face on buses, street signs, TV etc with the caption reading something like "I AM THE BEST". Showing that you excel over all others. [Can you imagine Rav Moshe Feinstein or any other gadol embarking on an advertising campaign lauding their achievements and proclaiming that they are the Greatest Rabbi Of The Generation. Everybody should follow their psakim. The very thought is laughable]. The only exception would be politicians who not only dress as religious Jews but their externals honestly represent their deeply held beliefs.

So I take Dovid HaMelech's advice. I trust in G-d. And people who live with a constant awareness of his presence. Anyone else? I try not to waste my time and energy thinking and talking about them. And I certainly can't trust them. That is what my Grandpa taught me.

My Grandpa Avraham.

Is Rebbe saying that Religious people should not be involved in politics because of the corruption?

Better go into computers.

Unless you are sent by a tzaddik.

Ah, but you see, therein lies the opportunity; the greater the risk the greater the opportunities. Imagine if we had some actually moral people running some of the important affairs of Israel, or anywhere for that matter. Without getting into a discussion of whether we like the government, etc., the fact is that right now it exists. And even if one thinks that ultimately it's all in HaSheim's hands, no-one will deny that the people in government have, in the past, had the power to cut funding to yeshivos, etc. They have impact and yes it does affect even the frum communities. Righteous people in those "high" places could really do a lot. But we discourage everyone from that attempt, and I don't knowthat it is such a good policy. That does not mean that there is another, better policy, and, in fact, the current policy of discouragement might arguably be the best. But that does not mean that some gedolim should not give the go-ahead to a select few they deem capable of attempting success without foreseeing in him or her outright failure. There is no possibility of reform, let alone reform itself, if we just keep pumping and providing the system with the same people unfit for leadership. Those sanctioned personally and found to be fit by our religious leaders are our best option.

Very well put Reb Will. I have to agree with you on this point and disagree with our holy rebbe. How can rebbe complain about a system that is clearly broken without trying to return the Jewish government to observant hands? We cannot say anymore that this job is to curropt for a frum person. Imagine if Moshe Rabenu turned down his position - We need frum people to step up and lead. (knowing Rebbe as I do, he will have a great retort)

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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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