Thursday, March 06, 2014

My Friend Barry's Essay on the Current Events

My friend Barry's essay in this week's 
The 5 Towns Jewish Times

I would like to start a "third" (or fourth, or fifth, or sixth, depending on your sociological perspective) camp in Orthodox Judaism, independent of the existing streams. I would like to call it Mevakshim, invoking the pasuk (Shemos 33:7):

והיה כל מבקש ה' יצא אל אהל מועד אשר מחוץ למחנה

Let me know if you want to join...


  1. He asked why Teshuvot have not been publicized. Perhaps, they were not publicized, or perhaps even suppressed, within his circles, but there are sources.

    See, for example, Rav Benizri's Kuntras.

    In that link, he denies Rav Zevin wrote that Teshuva (see page 30 there).

    See also the Seforim blog.

  2. The same Benizri who served time in prison for corruption...

    Definitely credible...

  3. Yes, the same Rav Benizri whom Rav Ovadia ZT"L described as:

    ידידנו רב הפעלים, שעוסק בכל ימיו בלהרביץ תורה ולהאדירה

    Definitely credible...

  4. Watched the video. ROY never asserts that Benizri is honest...

    But it's irrelevant. If you want to refute what Barry writes, you have a platform here. Marei Mekomos are not arguments.

  5. A full refutation is too long for a comment and would require a full blog post on my blog, which I don't really want to do.

    In essence, Barry's heart is in the right place, and he does make some good points. I still disagree with most of his points and his main one.

    I'll just have to leave it at that for now. If you want to have an email discussion about it, I'll be more than happy to do so.

    Kol Tuv

  6. very intresting...
    The only reason to learn torah is to learn better charachter traits?!
    Wondering what you have to say about that

  7. Check this out:

    Question No. 879
    Category Eretz Yisrael (Israel Topics)
    Date Posted 10 Jul 2005
    The Question Dear Rabbi Leff, is the situation today in Israel considered a milchemet mitzvah and if yes how can yeshiva bochurim be exempt from serving in the army? Does the fact the Palestinians are attacking us mean that we are? Who and how do we decide if we are in this kind of milchama or otherwise? Thank you. —Anonymous, Israel

  8. Random,

    It is an oversimplification, but see the Hakdama to Sha'arei Yosher:

    and the Gra to Mishlei 3:14.

  9. And this:

    I understand that the soldiers in the IDF gain their strength from the people learning Torah and davening, but how can we decide not to fight in the army, because many people (Hezder Yeshiva for example) do both, and there will always be people learning Torah all over the world giving the soldiers strength. It seems unfair that we don't fight as well. —Anonymous, toronto

  10. And this:

    What's your opinion on going to the army. Is it forbidden, frowned upon, tolerated, encouraged or admired? I can see the most promising yeshiva students being exempted. There are today so many people learning Torah, if we let the top 10% learn without going to the army, and everyone else did a certain amount (even short) of time in the army, would that make a Kiddush Hashem, and the yeshiva students could go and have a positive effect on the rest of the population. It seems, in my humble estimation, that we could do alot more good that way. Thank you for your time.

  11. Go to the links for his answer

  12. Thanks for the Marei Mekomos. So what dose he say?

  13. And one more:

    Dear Rav Leff; I recently voted, again, for Agudas Yisrael on the advice of my Rav. I realize that there's a need to mechazek the Torah/Yeshiva world and limud haTorah. But I'm not thrilled with the choice. Specifically, I can't understand why they're making SUCH a big deal and putting up SUCH a big fight (even threatening to leave Eretz Yisrael, which I'm sure would make the leftists very happy)rather than send their sons to the army. I consider myself Chareidi. I was also in the army. Rather than fighting and making an even bigger chilul Hashem, why not work together to build a chareidi unit in the army. No women. Daily minyanim, learning and mehadrin food. Anything else they want. The top tier of talmidim would be exempt, and (cont.) —

  14. Barry makes good points and most of them were included in Rabbi Melamed's column in the weekend paper on page 44

    Barry's last paragraph left me wondering how anyone can sit in the USA, where his child will not be drafted, where those who came before him would get semicha in 'hilchos netilas yadayim' to avoid korea or vietnam, and judge a parent who hesitates to offer his child as cannon fodder in an army with which he is not really familiar (an army where many kids give up the religion of their parents, where boys are asked to expel Jews from their homes and destroy synagogues and are lied to in advance about what the mission really entails so that they won't refuse, and an army where boys lives are endangered by an immoral battle code (not a Jewish one) that often values the lives of the enemy more than of its own soldiers. I only hope that the phenomenon of shishim reeboh standing at the gates of Jerusalem declaring the achdus of Hashem (even if they got there for the wrong reason) is a sign that the Geulah is near and I won't have to worry about my boys and that choice.