Much discussion has taken place here on Matzav.com about whether one has a right to take umbrage with someone else ignoring halacha and thereby influencing those around them.
It should be noted that certain things are not simply midas chassidus. Covering hair properly, covering elbows and the like are clear-cut halachos, as is talking in shul. People have a right to be offended when others do evil things in front of them, influencing their surroundings (especially vis-a-vis tznius) and others’ children.
I can understand wanting to live in a community of bnei Torah while not living up to the correct standard , but at least with things befarhesya, like Shabbos and tznius, one must conform to strict halacha or get the boot, plain and simple.
Does that mean that I should tell my neighbor that he’s in violation of halacha? Does it mean my wife should tell my neighbor that she doesn’t follow halachos of tznius as required by the Torah?
Absolutely not. That job belongs to their rov or moreh derech.
But in principle, when it comes down to it, one has every right, living in a frum community, to desire that the other frum Yidden follow Torah law.
People who violate halachos that are clearly written in Shulchan Aruch do not belong in a Torah community. If someone walked around unclothed, you’d aree that we should throw them out if they didn’t agree to dress, correct? Well, the Torah calls hair of a married lady ervah. There you have it. And no, there really is no distinction. It is just that many have been so influenced by the secular society that we think there is a difference.
No one has any problem with more liberal people living in a community – if they dress tzniusdik. We are not talking about chumros, just plain halacha! (And for the record, communities have a right to make takanos. If you don’t like it, or you feel it’s backard, then leave and join the fast track to noweher with the rest of those who walk around in total rebellion against Hashem and Torah, flouting how ‘modern’ and with-it they are).
And before you start bashing Lakewood, know that I am not talking about Lakewood. I actually leave a good two hours from that special city, which I admire and love. I have children living there and wouldn’t want them to live anywhere else. I live in a different community in the tri-state area, and everything I am writing is based on my experiences there. (Somehow, unfortunately, when these discussions take place, people love to kill Lakewood for no good reason. Most of these people have never even been to the Ihr Hatorah and know nothing about it. And even those who have been there just repeat the canards they have heard and read.)
Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein once gave a nice moshol from a certain rosh yeshiva. There once was a bird who fell out of its nest and broke its wing. A cow walked near it and relieved itself on the bird. Now, the bird, being naive and innocent, and ostensibly lacking the ability to smell, was very happy ; it was in a nice warm blanket. Along comes a farmer, and hearing the beard tweet, cleans it off, and sets the wing. He then nurses the bird back to health. When it’s old enough to be on it’s own, the bird ‘says’ (again, this is a moshol) that it’s very unhappy with the farmer. He was enjoying his ‘pile’ just fine until the nasty farmer cleaned it off of him and hurt his wing by setting it. Of course, the bird is foolish, as it’s terrible to be under excrement.
The rosh yeshiva compared this to us in America. America did its business on Klal Yisroel, filling them with tumah she’ain kemohu. One can lose kedushah in a second that would have taken 70 years back in europe.
The difference between Torah jews and other more “progressive” people who “get it” is that while Torah jews understand that there may be negative results when you shelter your children, and that it’s not always possible, and that yes, eventually they will get exposed, we understand that tumah = bad, that this hurts neshamos, and that we’re not willing to make cheshbonos about injecting tumah into a poor child. Much like a doctor will not put a dead virus as a vaccine into his patient without knowing he can handle it, there’s just too much at stake.
To assimilated minds, with ‘enlightened’ ideas, it is more important to practically preserve whatever feeble level of Yiddishkeit one expects his children (and himself) to have, than it is to guard against the disgusting culture in which we live.
Those who are entrenched in society are that bird. Their crawling in filth their entire life, and they mock the ones who are clean. Their so entrenched in tumah, movies, television, etc., that they think it’s not even hamrful, or that if it is harmful, it’s a small price to pay for being ‘engaged in society’ and not being ‘cavemen’, backward in our holy lives.
This is the indictment of those who lead this lifestyle – not the ridiculously low standards of observance, not the tolerance of apikorsus, but this.
I once heard from a kid who thought that shomer negiah (a phrase most yeshivos have never heard of; they simply know it as the issur deoraysoh of touching women) was not obligatory. And this is in a frum community. It is all a result of ignoring the words of the Shulchan Aruch.
The answer to this is more kedushah, not less. Whatever cheshbonons you may have, whatever sevaros, they just dont cut it. Tumah is something to avoid, plain and simple; be close-minded, be closed off, be a cavemen, but at least you’ll be a cavemen with an olam haba and a kedushah that will make those ‘integrated with society’ red in the face.
Frankly, I’m sick of the American, ‘let everyone do their own thing’ way of thinking. No one’s judging anyone. Actions, however, are to be judged. Nothing I said comes from a ‘Taliban’ mentalit. It is simply that there is tumah in the world. We do not want that tumah. We want to be as far from it as possible. Pretty simple.
This is not ‘yeshivish’ vs. not yeshivish, frum vs. modern. It’s simply Torah vs. tumah. It only becomes ‘controversial’ because there are those foolish enough to chuck mesorah as given over by our gedolim and instead believe they know better by thinking they understand better, sort of like the Conservatives who believe in interpreting things their own way. These people impart secular biases and values and interpret Torah to fit their own agenda as opposed to pure mesorah.
Loving someone doesnt mean approving of their sins or living among tumah.
I love jews; even those who sin. (Incidentally, bepashtus you’re allowed to hate a sinner, or at least you used to be – maybe not nowadays though. My rov says it’s better to just hate that part of the person – chatoim velo chotim), but it doesnt mean I’d want to be around them too much.
Spiritually, who’s really the caveman?
It’s not kanous ; it’s pashut Torah hashkafa. We dont want to live around aveiros.