Wednesday, September 07, 2022

a question of survival?

I noticed an ad for a Labor Day program featuring some prominant Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim speaking on the topic of "Can We Survive in the Medina Shel Chessed?"  

You can say a derasha on almost every word of the title.

Firstly, I've never really liked the term "Medina Shel Chessed."  I mean, I guess if your point of comparison is the threat of government sponsored pogroms, then yes, living here is a great chessed.  But if you were on the St Louis in 1939 and had to turn around and go back to face near certain death in Germany because the US would not allow the ship to dock, then maybe you would not think of this as such a Medina Shel Chessed.  

Secondly, who is the "We" in "Can **We** Survive?" Jews in general?  Orthodox Jews?  Orthodox Jews who identify with a certain movement?  The answer may be very different for each of those groups.

Lastly, and most importantly, the fact that the question "Can We Survive?" even needs to be asked should set off alarm bells.  We are not talking about whether we can build another yeshiva or kollel somewhere, or whether we can get more people involved in yiddishkeit.  The bar is being set at bare bones survival.  Assuming the speakers are not all simply alarmists, the fact that the question needs to be asked should tell you already what dire straits we are in.

If only there were a country with a Jewish majority, a place where Jews could live freely, where they could defend themselves against external physical threats, where they could run their own affairs and not be subject to the whims of a secular, outside government.  Hmmm....   : )

1 comment:

  1. Proper reasons to move to Israel aside, the government is still secular and driven more by Western values and trends in the US and Europe than by Yahadus. The problem "can we survive" is no less true in Israel, where the literary still consider our attitudes toward LGBTQ+ to be dark and prejudicial, and who feel that -- as brother Jews -- they have more right to involve themselves in Yeshiva curricula. What holds all that at bay? Are you going to say that a major reason to live in Israel is the number of chareidim who represent voting blocks of people who don't care about the government or the furthering of general society and vote nearly exclusively to extract what they can for their own narrow community from the system?