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August 14, 2007



"left leaning institution"

I thought you were a YU guy with all your Revel quotes.
Now you are calling YU a "left leaning institution"??


I will follow your lead to ignore the content of the quotes (I think all three can be legitimately criticized or defended) and focus instead on the general approach. Each of the quotes (certainly 1 and 3, I'm less sure about 2) responds to a significant social or religious difficulty faced by Orthodox Jews today. You apparently prefer to whine about these problems rather than to solve them. But I can assure you that the people who really care passionately, who really feel anguish in their hearts, who really have yiras Hashem, are hard at work on the solutions. The rabbi you quoted may be one such person, though you wouldn't notice that, since your head is so completely enveloped in clouds of "spirituality".

And by the way, the Torah is not "left-wing" or "right-wing". You debase it by labeling it with either of those political terms.


I respect and owe a great deal to YU where, you are correct, some of my education has taken place. It is due to this debt of grattitude that I spoke as I did.

However, overweighing brilliance over pnimiyus has always been a characteristic of non-mussar intitutions. YU is not unique in this regard. When such an institution possesses a leader with both brilliance and inwardness, it fluorishes, if not, it stagnates. I give RIETS a brocha -may you continue to produce good fruits and no bad fruits.

We learned one thing from history - not all problems need, will or can be solved. Time resolves many pains. Our primary responsibility is to take a long view, to protect and pass the heritage on as intactly as possible, to fix what can be fixed but not to spoil what we had received. First let's identify what the burning issues are for most of our people. They are not the ones addressed in the 3 quotes. On those, we should keep silent (in public). Others are better addressed by action, not talk. Importing foreign values ( I support, by the way, outside widsoms as cooks, bakers and servants in the Study Hall) can cause irrepairable damage, no matter how good the intentions.

Re: clouds of spirituality - http://www.avakesh.com/2007/01/faith.html

Finally, thank you for the emotion. It reassures. That was exactly what I preached - let us not divide over non-essentials but also let us not be flippant about "inyanim haomdim brumo shel olam".


Displays of emotion (which, oddly enough, are what you seem to mean by "pnimiyus") do not imply true emunah.

I wonder if you judge the people you know as superficially as you judge this rabbi.


A person with more pnimiyus than me would likely have said what I said - but more diplomatically.


We have to learn from observing others because we are love ourselves too much to learn much from observing ourselves (beginning of Ohr Isroel). There is awful lot to learn anda pity to miss it all. It is a part of that whole non-judgmental left leaning outlook to accept everything and to reject nothing. We must discern but there is no wisdom without distinctions and no tsidkus without rejection. One just has to be careful and broad minded while not abandoning the goal of separating good from bad.

I accept your criticism with grattitude and all due humility. Perhaps I see in these quoted comments where (shudder :) I could have been myself... 2o years ago, if not for Hashem's kindness... at that time and always.

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