Saturday, September 12, 2009

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The Threat of the Moment

by Rabbi Bar Tzadok of KosherTorah.com

...The greatest threat I see today facing Torah Judaism is not the threat of the radical secular, but rather the radical religious!

The internet is full of stories, websites, philosophies and beliefs that scream out radicalism and polarization. Loud voices screaming out, "only I (we) are right, everyone else is dead wrong!" These voices insult other groups, individuals and Rabbis by name, condemn sacred legitimate Torah beliefs, offend the memories of holy Sages and condemn and outright curse complete segments of the Torah religious community simply because "they are not right, like we are!"

This type of radicalism and division is evil! It is more than wrong, it is outright dangerous!

It is the reincarnation of the spirit of the evil "biryonim" spoken of in the Gemara whose radicalism and defiance of Heaven led to the destruction of the Holy Temple and the holocaust of over a million fellow Jews under the hands of the Romans.

Look around! This same ugly face has risen again and it is threatening to destroy our communities and to again make Jews and Judaism a pariah in the eyes of the world. We have enough enemies in this world who hate us and want to kill us for no cause; we do not need to make matters worse and give our enemies good reasons to hate us!

The nation of Israel today seethes with such extreme religious radicalization. Hatred abounds towards other religious individuals, Sages and even entire communities. How on earth does one expect Mashiah to come and magically make all the hate go away?

Torah teaches us that there is no greater blessing than unity and no greater curse than division!

Look around! See with your own eyes! Are we soliciting the blessings of Heaven or are we soliciting the curse?

When will this end? When will we rise up and yell out with a loud voice, "enough insanity." We have to make things rights...

There is a time and place for conflict and fighting, but I do not believe that Torah is the right place and certainly, with all the dangers facing us, now is not the right time! ...

Torah is about HaShem; the Torah Way is about connecting to HaShem.

Therefore, I believe the great solution to all the divisiveness going on around us and destroying our very core is that we must stop placing emphasis on divisions and start placing emphasis on unity. Unity awareness can only be achieved when we stop looking at each other and instead start looking again to Heaven, directly and personally.

We need to revitalize individual personal relationships with G-d.

Each of us as individuals need to stop paying so much attention to what is going on outside and start focusing on what is going on inside. We must stop the radicalization of those claiming to speak for G-d and instead we ourselves must approach G-d as individuals and silently contemplate and listen to what Divine insight we might individually glean.

No one is going to be able to "hear" anything from G-d if their spiritual ears are clogged up with all the nonsense and noise coming out of from every corner of the religious communities.

The politics and the infighting have got to stop. Radicalism and extremism must be confronted and marginalized. If we do not take these necessary steps, then we are destined to face the outcome of our lack of action. This is not a prediction; this is rather the natural outcome. ...

We may not be able to change the world, but maybe, just maybe, we can change some of the people in it for the better. And if we can better the lives of those we can reach, then as far as I am concerned we will have accomplished something big.

2 comments:

josh said...

I always thought the "biryonim" were radical religious dudes, not secular.

In any case, the ultra-seculars are dangerous in that they are explicit evil sitra achra. On the other hand, a dying breed. Most Israelis, who are traditional and proud Jews, think they are wacko self-hating, though tolerated, and unfortunately even encouraged by the mass media here. Many can be saved, most never had real love as children.

Neshama said...

Interesting. I view these different factions as a replay of the same groups that threatened Yerushalayim before the fall of the first & second B"M. They have been reincarnated in order to do teshuva or forever disappear.

The Baal Shem Tov said it will be the erev rav who will hold back the redemption, and they are all around us.

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