Monday, October 16, 2006

An open letter to R' Harry Maryles

Look, Harry, don't take this the wrong way, but I'm surprised at you.

After an entire Tekufah of the Yamim Noraim, and Succos and Simchas Torah, where we have all tried to make strides in our commitment to come closer to the Ribbono Shel Olam and in our attempts to bring about Kiruv Levavos between all our brethren, "Hofa V'Heenasei Aleinu L'einei Kol Chai", couldn't you kick off the blog posts with something other than the conformity of the Levush of the Charedim and the sucked-dry Daas Torah debate?

You can't really think that you are going to change the mindset of those who want to follow their Gedolim on issues beyond Shulchan Aruch proper (and let's be honest - people asked the Roshei Yeshiva about what career path to take, or whether to move to EY, and the like, in Lita as well - and if the Alter had insisted on a particular mode of dress, the Slabodkers, by and large, would have followed it just as assiduously as those who follow RYSE today).

Rav Kook writes - the Tzaddikim do not complain about the darkness, rather they add light. You have the audience's attention by much complaining about what you view as darkness - how about adding some light?

I can direct you to alot of information about, let's say, the Gerrer Chassidim- about the absolutely unparalleled Chessed orgs., the individual attention that each and every student gets (do you know that they have individualized tests for each Talmid in their system, based on the Rebbe's assessment of the Talmid's capabilities - who else can say that), their vocational training programs in Israel, their initiative in building the only emergency medical center facility in Ashdod - the 4th largest city in Israel - with no hospital and many terrorist attacks! (They are literally saving lives!), their willingness to jettison Iyun when they realized how sorely lacking the Beki'us level of their Talmidim was, and much more.


I could direct you to the multiple exhortations of people like Rav Zilberstein of Ramat Elchanan, RYSE's son in law, about the need to adhere strictly to issues of Dinei Mamonos, discussing both the gross violations of some, and the more eideldik standards that should be adhered to, some of which I am sure you never even thought may be violations of Shulchan Aruch.

I could really say much more - and I think this approach would enhance your credibility a thousandfold as one who critiques from 'within' as opposed to a vociferous opponent, which is the perception (not unwarranted) right now. One who is unable to say virtually anything positive about the Jews that HaKadosh Baruch Hu loves most (Hashem Ohaiv Tzaddikim, Rotzeh Hashem Es Yereiav), focusing on the negatives of those who would like to live their lives in a way which is in complete conformity with the Ratzon Hashem, even if they sometimes fail to measure up, while never failing to praise other people and entities who do not even begin to place this on the banner of their raison d'etre, cannot legitimately state that he is one of them.

B'Ahavah Geluya,

Bari

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