Tuesday, June 22, 2010


From the Inside

image003 (2) by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

 Responding to comments on “I am Committed”.  (An article explaining how to include the spirituality of the mitzvahs will follow.)

When I wrote the article, “I Am Committed,” I did not think that I would receive the type of responses which I received. Although I received a number of positive responses, the loudest responses were extremely negative, which really surprised me.

    This article followed an article posted on Mystical Paths concerning the same subject, written mostly by teens who have left Judaism. The article was called, “Why Judaism Sucks,” and it contained a number of harsh (but true) charges against the religious system. However, there was, to my knowledge, not a single harsh response to that article. After all, who is going to yell at those kids?

     “I Am Committed” pointed out, from the inside (really, guys I am on the system’s side) what may very well be the exact reason why those kids (read the vast majority of Jews) want nothing to do with the yeshiva system. And instead of us getting together and addressing these problems, those responders, said, in essence, “Shut up! Burn the article! Do not talk about these things.” In other words, pretend that the problem does not exist, and let’s just keep on going the way we have been going.” But guys, you know what? You got a flat tire, and you are saying to keep on driving.

    I imagine half of the Jews who read these articles are somehow involved with the system, and half are somewhat interested in coming closer to a Torah life, and hopefully, the articles will help them. At least, this certainly is the intention. But, if we do not tell those within the system to improve what is obviously wrong, it will not change. And if we tell those who are thinking about coming into the system that they can choose any yeshiva (or shul) they want, and none of these problems will be there waiting for them, then they will join one yeshiva for one week, and run away from all of them forever.

    Dear fellow “religious” Jews, if we do not adjust the system, so that it will reveal at least some of the spirituality that is hidden within the Torah, if we do not teach the students how Torah and mitzvahs are truly loving and enjoyable, then we will not be able to help those many hundreds of thousands (actually millions) of Jews who are either entirely secular, or somehow loosely connected to Buddhism, Yogaism, or some “ism,” other than Judaism.

Here are a few of the negative comments:

    “This post serves no constructive person (sic?). It creates divisiveness and is bad for the image of yeshivas, Please take it down.”

    “I suggest you remove this piece. It only ferments evil gossip and negative press about ‘haredim.”

    “This was a mistake.”

   Here are a few of the positive comments that came to my home email. The first one is from a rabbi who started a yeshiva in America.

    “Touchy subject, but I love what you are doing about it. I totally agree with you here.”

    “Who will remind them?”

    “G-d bless you. I love you. This is really speaking to me right now.”

    “Tooooo true.”

You be the judge.


  1. the piece was a serious mistake. no one is saying don't adjust or repair the system. the piece 'judaism sucks' was also too harsh. it does not represent the majority of religious youth as was implied.

    it is unfortunate that you don't see how you baited and aggrieved the yeshiva bocher you spoke to. had you tried my suggestion, you would've had different results. i.e. spieaking to him warmly first, and encouraging his hard work.
    similarly with any rosh yeshiva, with any person. you have to see their good points first. reb nachman teaches us this. then, if you have suggestions or concerns you express them gently and with consideration. the goal being mutual understanding and assistance. this way you strengthen am yisrael.

  2. What you don't understand is we don't want the Matrix, they system you refer to. We prefer our direct connection, some call it emunah, to haShem (while doing the Torah mitzvot). The Matrix you are part of is nothing more then control, the same 'energy' as the Erev Rav who even haShem did not want allowed with Israel, Thanks Moshe!!. Since they are here, it is them, causing us continual harm, only to attempt to tell us how good it is for us in this world and the world to come. You are right though, that the system must be corrected, and you will be assured it will be. But will you help or be a continual part of the problem. From what I have seen, certainly not part of the solution. Jews don't need man made mitzvot, they must reconnect to haShem. Emunah! Man made mitzvot only do one thing, that is to have Jews think they are Holy when in actuality only inflate their ego's and we all know the source of that and it's not the Light.

    We will not listen, we will be redeemed with the Mashiach we never wanted. That you can be assured of.

  3. shiloh,

    please, you are adding to the problem! you are speaking lashon hara on the yeshiva system!?
    calling it a 'matrix'. and then blaming moshe for the erev rav. it is very disrespectful to do so.
    you are welcome to not like or approve of the system. but to call it a 'matrix' is absoultely terrible! there are many different yeshivas. most of them do great work in fostering torah committed and devoted jews. if there are issues that need correcting, it must be done in a toradich way. not thru such brazen and distorted bad speech!

    akiva!!! see? this original piece is only creating divisiveness.

    discussion,argument for the sake of heaven is fine. but if you start with content that is divisive or potentially volatile, nothing good can come of it.

    please, please remove the initial piece and the subsequent one.

    it is damaging to am yisrael!!!
    please remove it.

  4. Whats with the "anon" label? So afraid to publish your name. The Yeshiva system is not Derech haShem. Sorry to burst your bubble. Censoring does not help correct the breaches of the Torah. Censoring which you would like to do. Do you actually think that the Mashiach will endorse a system that is so contrary to derech haShem, I rather doubt it. The Rambam says he will repair the breaches of the Torah. Do you want to censor him too when he is revealed because you don't agree with him, probably, as the religious will reject and have a huge problem accepting him. The one haShem will choose, not the Rambam or you by the way. We are to serve only haShem via His derech and prophets, not a system of control, of micro managing our lives. Of focusing on the microscopic while ignoring some major mitzvoth of the Torah. Does the one about the Land ring a bell? Did we replace haShem with a matrix, absouluty, without a doubt.

    Its obvious we have never left Egypt or the getto's. Why we don't want to be free is baffling. Why we don't want to rid ourselves of idolotry is amazing. You wonder why we encounter so much trouble. It's simple.

    There is nothing wrong with what Akiva, Gutman and Nati are trying to do, trying to repair the breaches. They are of course within the system of what they believe is normative and we all know that. But it's a start and I think it's the responsibility, their tikun, of the orthodox to do just that. And that is within orthodoxy, we don't need another franchaise. Let's get the right one back on track. Most important.

  5. shiloh,
    no one is talking censorship. for you to say:
    "The Yeshiva system is not Derech haShem" is terrible. it is the worst form of lashon hara to completely denounce the entire foundational system of our people.
    whatever lead you to such a horrific statement, i only hope that Hashem will guide you to a more proper and accurate view. criticism,repair, i'm all for it. but not the kind of language used in the piece or that you use.
    i am sorry to say that at this point, i must stop reading this blog. i warned akiva about this.
    i cannot and will not tolerate such sinat chinam. may Hashem help to cleanse israel of this terrible thing. i cannot do it.

  6. shiloh, gutman; please see this
    re not speaking ill of any jew

    and this:
    keep away from everything that causes disunity, only engender unity.

    constructive criticsim done with love and affection is one thing. the kinds of things in shiloh's comments and gutman's piece are not appropriate (to say the least) of any torah true blog.

  7. Anon, how do you know that I don't have haShem's backing. I am certainly not concerned about you and your opinion.

  8. shiloh
    it is really too bad that you can't see this. i said, again: criticism, improvement, repairing whatever needs it in the yeshiva system is fine. but the kind of statements made by you and gutman are not constructive.
    you want to fight? join the army.
    i want unity with am yisrael for moshiach. end of discussion.

  9. I fight for the Torah, not for mitzvoth of men. You want Mashiach, then careful, one of limited sight.

  10. you cannot be for the torah if you engage in lashon hora...speaking so negatively of the enitre yeshiva system. have you been in every yeshiva? do you know what it reall is, what it is supposed to me? are you a mekubal? no.
    you imply that you are greater than the torah gedolim of the generation saying that you are for the torah and not what men say. 'what kind of confusion is that?
    we are to respect our gedolim tremendously. you know more than they do? no.
    i have tried in all my comments to be as civil as i could. my last comment bordered on missing that, which i don't want to do. you are a jew and i am commanded to love you too.
    sadly, your commitment to your own misconcepton and apparent arrogance, that you know better than our gedolim only saddens me.
    i told akiva at the start, but he doesn't read these or disagrees: do you see what the initial piece has wrought?!
    lashon hora multiplies and engenders more of the same.
    please, remove the post!!
    it is only creating divisiveness; not any constructive dialogue.
    are you listening, akiva?

  11. this second piece does not reflect the harshness of the first piece.
    i is really frustrating that religous people who post this blog do not see the lashon hara.
    you get one rabbi from america to agree with you and we're supposed to say, oh, okay.
    no!!! for the last time..the first piece is lashon hara on the yeshiva system. period.
    yes to making constructive changes.
    but no to sinat chinam....that's what you are doing!!! please stop!!!!

  12. R' Locks!
    Thank you so much for speaking the Truth!
    I don't understand the comments.
    As I read your posts, many times I get a little misty-eyed because you 'know' what is going on.
    I these days of 'sound-bites', we don't have the capacity to hear the Torah in full, so we need it 'standing on one foot'. You have the ability to do that. Thank you.



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