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A Religious Zionist Casualty

Ynet has an article (Hebrew) by Yossi Sofer of the Reshut ha-Rabim Beit Midrash of the Yaacov Herzog Institute. Sofer addresses a number of issues related to the laws of Passover that he thinks are out of sync with reality. What I found funny were some of the comments. Just so you know, the Yaacov Herzog Institute is a religious zionist institution, despite that, here are some of the comments. I know that comments on many Internet sites are ridiculous by definition, but I enjoyed these anyway.

“עוד ניאו רפורמי דתילוני עם כיפלה וסיכה”

“Another neo-Reform datiloni (play on dati [religious] and ḥiloni [secular]) with a kippaleh and pin.”

“עוד חלל ציוני דתי שנפל לזרועות הרפורמה”

“Another religious zionist casualty who fell into the arms of the Reform”

One Response to “A Religious Zionist Casualty”

  1. 1

    These comments are indeed pretty funny.

    The slippery slope, as you and I have discussed before, and as the author himself acknowledges, is always the enternal problem. There are loads more issues out of sync, like yomtov sheni, for one obvious example. But how do you throw out this “bathwater”, pardon the term, without throwing out the baby?

    By the way, this article serves as a useful example of an importnat point: the difference between changes in reality, and between alleged changes in attitude. That nobody leans today, that an olive is not as big as claimed, that a flashlight might be better than a candle – these are all physical realities. And indeed, often – though not always, naturally – the halacha quiety adapts to these differences. That’s why we eat machine matzah, for example, and many people do in fact search for chametz with a flashlight.

    But sometimes when reading an aticle like Sofer’s, the author will digress into discussions of supposed changes in women’s status. It’s that type of mistake which causes people to reject the whole enterprise. Because the “status” of women is not a hard fact; it is a social condition that currently prevails among some parts of society, in some parts of the world. But the Torah is for all society, not just parts of it. It SETS its own social conditions, and is not necesarily reactive to it. Moreover, even among these socities, the current attitudes can and will change. Orthodox Judaism, if it is to mean anythng at all, cannot change with every passing fad, it has to remain a constant.

    Sofer’s article, which widely sticks to observable changes in physical reality, and avoids the politics of social issues, is the right path for anyone wishing to bring some (needed) changes to orthodox practice.




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