Wednesday, May 19, 2021

outside the pale

I recently heard an interview with the great Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi and she spoke about the outpouring of sympathy and help from across all segments of society in response to the tragedy in Meron.  Two chiloni Jews came to be menachem aveil by a chareidi family and they asked her what the right words to say -- they didn't know the words "haMakom yenachem...," and they wanted to say the right thing.  This is nosei b'ol im chaveiro.  When a Jew is in pain, it doesn't matter what his/her hashkafa is, what his/her level of shmiras hamitzvos is -- we all suffer as one and we can all, no matter what our hashkafa or level of shmiras hmitzvos, offer comfort to those in need.

Whether or not you think people shouldn't have gone to Meron in the first place, whether or not whoever was managing things there should shoulder blame or whether the police did a bad job and are responsible for letting things get out of hand -- that is not the discussion for beis ha'aveil or for the time when people are in pain.  The fault finding and investigation can take place later.  Now, we just need to be there and offer our support.

The same is true during the current crisis in Eretz Yisrael.  No matter what your hashkafa is, no matter what shul or group you affiliate with, no matter what you think of the current or government of Israel, now is the time to step up and offer whatever chizuk you can to those in Eretz Yisrael.

What makes the "progressive" movements in Judaism no more than JINO's (Jews in Name Only) is not the fact that they discard basic mitzvos like shabbos and kashrus, not the fact that they condone intermarriage, not even the fact that their concept of G-d is kind of fuzzy and their notion of Torah min ha'shamayim is not at all in sync with ours.  What makes them chutz la'machaneh more than any of the above is that they lack this trait of being nosei b'ol and empathizing with the plight of the rest of Klal Yisrael.  

As the Rambam writes in Hil Teshuvah ch 3:

הפורש מדרכי צבור אף על פי שלא עבר עבירות אלא נבדל מעדת ישראל... ולא נכנס בצרתן ולא מתענה בתעניתן אלא הולך בדרכו כאחד מגויי הארץ וכאילו אינו מהן אין לו חלק לעולם הבא

If you go at the OU website, you are immediately hit with a big banner that says "Support Our Communities in Israel."  If you go to, you will see a "Response to Events in Eretz Yisrael."  There are hosts of other organizations also mounting campaigns to help.  On the other hand, if you go to, you will be greeted by "The Reform Movement's Racial Justice Campaign."  Nothing about Israel, nothing about our communities being attacked. Recently the news reported that over ninety "rabbinical" students from these progressive movements "issued a public letter accusing Israel of apartheid and calling on American Jewish communities to hold Israel accountable for the “violent suppression of human rights.”"  Instead of offering comfort and support to innocent Jews who have rockets raining on their heads day and night, they chose now to voice their criticisms of Israel's policies.  Even if every criticism they say were to be true (which is undoubtedly not the case), is now the time for such a letter?  Where is the nosei b'ol?  Where is the humanity and decency?

1 comment:

  1. Even better, our own ubermensch, Bernie.