Monday, May 14, 2007

The Chareidi View? "Sub-Par"

As an almost perfect follow up to yesterday's post, here are two recent statements that strike at the heart of the mindset of many in the Charedi and yeshivish worlds. To me, the second is more troubling, in that it is coming from a Rav who is well-respected and listened to by many typical American students who go to Israel for a year or two. Please go and read the entire e-mail conversation from #2 - your jaw will drop.

{UPDATE: I almost forgot this excellent post by R' Horowitz on the same subject.}
  1. (excerpt from Harry) When Rav Steinman was asked about ‘men who had left the yeshivas and cannot find themselves either here or there…would it be possible to set up a yeshiva for them where they would also learn a trade… his repsonse was,
    ‘You are saying that since he is already not good, then we should send him to learn a trade? That is merely adding poison to poison. A trade is poison.’
  2. (excerpt from Moshe) [bold mine]
    AL: so to insinuate that somehow we are 'sub-par' and not as good as those in Yeshiva to the point that you advise girls that should they really want a Torah home that they should only seek out a certain kind of boy- is hurtful and harmful to those of us that are precisely looking for that kind of girl.

    Rabbi B: I see. However, the truth is precisely that: you ARE sub-par!! However, don't worry, most girls don't understand a word about what I am speaking. So many many of them are exactly like you: they have no idea what real Torah is all about and so are very happy to marry a working boy so long as he opens a sefer from time to time.

    AL: Far be it from me to challenge Rebbe- I am a big believer in das torah- but I cannot feel that in some way that you classify us as second class- and frankly, I cannot understand why.

    Rabbi B: I don't see what the problem is. Your desire to have a comfortable life of gashmiyus has caused you to convince yourselves that learning one hour a day is acceptable. However, it most certainly isn't.

    AL: I wonder if Hashem sees things that way also.

    Rabbi B: Of course He does.
I'm not sure where to start, so I won't. Feel free to in the comments, though. As a note, and this was part of my point yesterday, this is not how all Charedim (such as my cousins) think and act.

Again, be sure to read the full e-mail conversation (and comment there if it's specific to the e-mail).