R’ Mendel Kessin, Shabtai Tzvi & more – 05/02/2015

R’ Mendel Kessin, Shabtai Tzvi & more – 05/02/2015 [Download]

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One thought on “R’ Mendel Kessin, Shabtai Tzvi & more – 05/02/2015

  1. This brings to light many questions that have long bothered me.

    I have seen possibilities that making the simcha the center of life is detrimental and in spite of the Kamtza-Bar Kamtza incident, which I have never seen or heard delved into in its full depth or realization of its damage to our image or its real lessons, the simcha remains untouched as a real or possible source of danger.

    Yet Acher is used to assur reading secular materials and the Shatz is used to assur kaballa. In other words, we censor intellectual materials because of a particular individual and we ignore social practices regardless of their real or incident illustrated damage? I find that curious.

    I have long observed simchas playing negative roles by softening our principles and social standards and distracting from real problems that desperately need our attention, our thought and our money and instead directing our valuable resources towards making us a ceremony based culture.

    This adds to our emotional culture and directly subtracts from thinking about and solving social problems and creating a more sober culture. It places ceremony above substance and generates a series of unrecognized, but serious problems of its own, including the ubiquitous smalltalk about simchas instead of more intellectual matters.

    And in spite of assuring Greek Philosophy we are even today using an Aristotelian form of logic to see the world instead of a more empirical method of careful observation, which would give a more sound picture of our world. Those who fail to see their world realistically can, in my thinking, not really learn Torah, which is intrinsically tied to the world as its blueprint.

    I wonder who the eruv rav are? I always thought of people within the central Torah group as being the only ones capable of eruv rav type damage and that would exclude reform and conservative Judaism, for example, but would certainly include bad leaders and bad speakers, most notably the flatterers and goy bashers who refuse to rebuke us and thereby only make things worse. Hatred and lack of hakores hatov have plagued us, but to not see America for what it is or to blame all non Jews for our own problems is an example of the Dunning Kruger Effect, a syndrome that every one of our bad leaders likely suffers.

    As one wrongminded friend pointed out when I tried to show him where we are going wrong, “you cannot judge Jews by Lakewood”. If we are a makum Torah for our own pleasures, yet a hillul Hashem to outside observers we likely have inherited many problems worth solving and perhaps we should work on them instead of celebrating ourselves.

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