Sunday, July 8, 2012
For the sin which we have committed....
"I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons"
I can forgive those writers whose passions lead them astray, yet I cannot forgive them lowering me into this hellish abyss. But yet, she fought the war in 1973 as a valiant leader and courageous tactician. And I, with the help of the almighty, will attempt to salvage the remnants of sanity, of honesty, and of truth.
I know, we all know, that those who dare gainsay the mighty Harry, those who audaciously oppose and deny the wisdom of Gil and now David, are of course men of limited scope and perception. We are naïve and foolish. We are uneducated and primitive.
For the sin which we have committed before You for giving safe haven for child molesters.
For we care less about our children. For we value adult dignity over the youth's. We harbor and find refuge for these perpetrators because our Rabbis tell us to. We watch movies against the Rabbis wishes, go places against the Rabbis wishes, read blogs (yes we do) against the Rabbis wishes, yet we forgo the welfare of our children to obey their wishes. Maybe, perhaps, possibly, here their wishes make sense. Perhaps, maybe, possibly, we should think twice before destroying an individual's reputation. Maybe.
For the sin which we have committed before You for not attending the heterogeneous Siyum Hashas
For they backed out of the event in Shearith Israel because they don't speak at modern orthodox events. For they believe that the modern orthodox is heretical and anyone involved "Can no longer trust their Kashrus? …or drink from their wine? …or intermarry with them without a Yichus check? …or accept their children into our schools? …or even allow our children to play with theirs?" (http://haemtza.blogspot.com/2012/07/moving-backwards.html). Are you kidding? Did Rabbi Scherman not write in publication together with Dr. Marc Shapiro and Rabbi Adam Mintz (http://www.yumuseum.org/pdf/order_talmud.pdf)? Did Rabbi Weinreb not defend the poster boy of modern day heretical accusations, Rabbi Natan Slifkin? Perhaps Rabbis Weinreb and Scherman were misled or given misinformation? Maybe.
For the sin which we have committed before You for having fidelity to the irrational observances
For keeping קטניות, and for wearing black hats. For not cutting children's hair before three and not keeping our TV's on for shabbos. For "because of our traditions, we've kept our balance for many, many years. Here in Anatevka we have traditions for everything... how to eat, how to sleep, even, how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered and always wear a little prayer shawl... This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, how did this tradition start? I'll tell you - I don't know. But it's a tradition... Because of our traditions, everyone knows who he is and what God expects him to do." Maybe, perhaps, possibly, this is what has fortified our continuity, invigorated the future with connections to the past, and encouraged the weary that they are living something greater than they perceive. Maybe.
For the sin which we have committed before You for becoming accustomed to modernity in gradations
For not having a live twitter feed of the Rosh Yeshiva's every move, where he is eating dinner, and with whom. For not liking on Facebook the most recent Billboards #1 hit, and, possibly never having heard it. For not attending the Metropolitan Opera (http://forward.com/articles/14724/a-musical-evening-/) or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perhaps we prefer to shelter our children from promiscuity, maybe avoid seeing things we shouldn't see or hear things we shouldn't hear. Maybe we worry that though modernity has value, it "comes in a package that includes Yahoo!, The Matrix and MTV. In most cases, it’s the latter set, and not the former, which most compellingly attracts attention."( http://www.kolbrener.com/omt/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/voicefromacademy.pdf). Maybe.
For the sin which we have committed before You for making Torah learning so hackneyed
For not spending hours in undergrad courses in pursuit of an education. For mass producing thoughtless zombies who live in Lakewood and Jerusalem and spend all day muttering unintelligible phrases. For focusing on torah study at the expense of the soul of Judaism and wasting time on "lomdus" at the expense of practical Halakhah. Perhaps, we believe that we must "orient ourselves to the entire cosmos and try to understand it by utilizing an ideal world which we bear in our Halakhic consciousness…. We are not aggrieved by the fact that many ideal constructions have never been and will never be actualized… that the foundation of foundations and the pillar of Halakhic thought is not the practical ruling but the determination of the theoretical." (Halakhic Man pgs. 23 -24). Maybe we understand the words והגית בו ימים ולילה and the statements of the Rabbis "תלמוד תורה כנגד כולם" literally. Maybe.
For the sin which we have committed before You for not being gregarious in mixed gender settings
For referring to others' wives as Mrs. and not by their first name. For feeling uncomfortable at mixed kiddushim. For not seating singles together at weddings as they used to meet in the good old days. For building this terrible shidduch system which stereotypes and impedes, obstructs, and holds back, true relationships to flourish. Can it be that there is less inappropriate behavior in my community? Can there that there is less infidelity, less premarital sex, that Touro would never have a Beacon article? Maybe it is feasible, possible or logical, to have a normative relationship with a spouse, a loving and caring relationship, although they may have met through a shadchan. Maybe.
For all these, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us.