Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Thinking for Oneself

In a previous post, I touched upon the Chareidi world merrily putting people into Cherem in order to prevent their "dangerous ideas" from spreading and "infecting" those living in the Chareidi world.

Along the lines of leaving the rest of us alone, here is what Rabbi Natan (formerly Nosson) Slifkin has done: He has extracted himself from the Chareidi element and has directed his writings to people who do indeed prefer to think for themselves and are looking for logical, good explanations to a slew of questions, including that of the Age of the Universe (can it really be 13.7 BILLION years old?! Answer: Yes, it can.)

Realizing he does not need the Chareidi world for support and certainly not to tell him how to think, R' Slifkin stopped worrying about how he appears to the Chareidi world and continues to write and revise his wonderfully intellectual books.

Along the lines of my previous post, I think a wonderful solution is that of Rabbi Natan Slifkin's. If we all have the courage to not worry about what the Chareidi world will say about us, we would, as a Klal, have the power to institute changes within our own, mainstream Orthodox world, changes that will do away with too many chumras and allow us to start seeing Torah Judaism, not as a financial and intellectual burden.

Chareidi society has stopped thinking for itself. Its members are content to allow its leaders to do all the thinking for them, tell them how to everything, what to do, and when to do it. This is a society that has stagnated. Its leaders keep heaping on the chumras and stirring the pot with all sorts of made up controversies, like the R' Slifkin Cherem, and before that the Sheitel incident. They keep doing this because they know they have stagnated and they know if they don't create these controversies and keep making up new chumras that its members might just awaken from their stupor and start thinking for themselves again.

Insead of being upset about the Chareidi world, it's time for the Orthodox world to completely disassociate itelf from the Chareidi world, consider the Chareidi world not part of the Orthodox world, and start repairing the damage the Chareidim have inflicted on the rest of us.

1 comment:

Selena said...

What would you say the proportions are of charedi vs. non-charedi orthodox? 50/50, 40/60?