Monday, May 12, 2008

The Greatest Opportunities

In a similar vein to G's post from last week, R' Horowitz asked his readers to name three of the greatest threats to yiddishkeit today.

We're going to pose a similar question here: Identify three of the greatest problems or opportunities within today's Orthodox Jewish world.

I'm sure many people are thinking "What's the point? It will just sit here on some blog, a few people will read it, and nothing will happen. Same old thing." After all, much of what is discussed in the J-blogosphere or at Shabbos tables or in shul or wherever is simply ignored. Lots of people read, they nod, and... nothing happens. Once in a while, someone speaks up a little more publicly, people grunt in assent, and then... nothing happens again. Why is this any different?

Honestly, I'm not sure it is. Maybe it will all be ignored. But I've been discovering more and more lately that as these issues are discussed more and more widely, people are finally opening their eyes and ears and actually doing something. Some have found ways in which they can make small changes on their own. Some have actually brought issues to those who need to hear them and challenged them to change - whether in schools, shuls, or within the community as a whole. People have found that they're not the only ones who think Issues A and B are important, and that with enough people bringing them up, it's forcing others to stop and do something about it. Many who have in the past either cowered in the face of or ignored the problems of their friends and neighbors are now speaking up, making suggestions, and offering ideas and help.

On top of that, specifically in this instance, someone will be taking your suggestions and utilizing the best ideas as part of a submission they are giving. This blog will also try and continue to follow up on these issues as best as possible.

A couple of points. For the problems you identify, if you think there is a realistic solution, please post it. If you think there are ways to minimize the issue, please post those. If you have identified a problem but can't think of a way to solve it, please say so. If you agree with something someone else has posted, note that you think that it is an important issue as well.

So as not to steal the spotlight, I'm going to post my own list in the comments; please add your own.