Sunday, 31 May 2015
THE GLORIOUS POOR
The following is an extract from a recent pamphlet distributed by Kupat Haír, a charity endorsed by many contemporary Gedolim: "..when you give a poor man money - you feel great, but....With Kupat Ha'ir you get to be part of feeding tens of thousands of poor people, each a evyon mehudar...We're not talking about people who need a bit of assistance...we are referring to twenty-five thousand people who truly lack bread to eat."
What amazes me is that notwithstanding what is being described here as a humanitarian disaster and tragedy by any standards, if you were to offer these 25 000 people the possibility to work - how many of them would accept your offer? Any way, their leaders forbid secular studies which to a large extent precludes the possibility of ever being able to earn a living. Is it really such a mitzvah to help people who refuse an opportunity to better their lives and instead opt for charity in the first instance?
And the crowning insult to humanity is calling these poor people 'mehudarim' (glorified).
Counter this attitude with someone like Rabbi Soloveitchik who rejects views held by religious thinkers who see no religious significance in participation in secular society. He was fascinated by space exploration, established Yeshiva University and encouraged religious people to get degrees and professions. He said; "I hardly believe that any responsible man of faith, who is interested in the destiny of his community and wants to see it thriving and vibrant, would recommend the philosophy of contemptus saeculi (contempt for the secular)."
Rabbi Soloveitchik tells us that the concern should rather be for secular man, not secular knowledge.
He also warns us not to confuse religious faith for religious culture.
This is yet another example of the reform and radicalization of Judaism slowly moving across the globe, and an utter misrepresentation of genuine Halacha.
This, however is not a new innovation of the Chief Rabbi. Even the illustrious scholar Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky said; “It is forbidden to be in possession (of an iPhone) and one must burn it.”
2. Yeted Ne’eman June 18 2014.↩
3. Jewish Press. Com Feb 9 2014.↩
4. May 2014.↩
5. According to Channel 2 Israel. ↩
6. January 2014. ↩
7. Asurei HaMelech by R Mordechai Agasi.↩
8. Kikar HaShabat April 2013.↩
9. Mishpacha quoting R Shteinman Nov 2011.↩
10. Mishpacha April 2013.↩
11. Yated Ne’eman Dec 30 2011.↩
12. Kikar HaShabat June 2014.↩
13. There may be some uncertainty as to whether this was a repeat of an earlier ban. Some of these bans can be viewed here .↩
14. Rabbi Wein’s weekly blog Aug 2014.↩
UPDATE; 16 June 2015
Talking about the growing shift to the right, this is what Rabbi Berel Wein says about the institution of the Chief Rabbinate in Israel: