Friday, April 07, 2006

Sof Sof...

Readers of this blog can guess what kind of nahas I got when I read this, on Arutz Sheva (which comes out of Bet El):

"After a generation of settlement and army-building, the time has come for a new Zionism: building true Jewish identity based on Jewish values." So said Rabbi Shimon Cohen at a Jerusalem seminar.

Educators and rabbis convened at a seminar sponsored by Machon Meir in Jerusalem this week, spotlighting the topic of "Face-to-Face" - meeting Israelis in their homes and re-introducing them to observant Zionist Jews and observant Judaism.

Rabbi Cohen, the head of the Beit Moriah Kollel in Be'er Sheva, said, "In today's world, taking up more space and attention than before is the 'individual.' We must talk the language the people speak, and show that we are on the same side. We must work on the simple fundamentals that we are familiar with from our upbringing and study, and turn them into the inalienable assets of the entire nation."


zeevveez said...

You are invited to read about new Zionism on my Blog
I'll be happy to read comments...

Ben Bayit said...

I disgree. The principle of טוב שכן קרוב מאח רחוק has established halachic basis. Specifically in the area of Education as it relates to nation-building on Pesach. See Tosefta Psachim 8:7 and the reference in the commentaries on this Tosefta to the section in Talmud Bavli in Ketubot 85: that discusses this idea.

A mass kiruv movement would destroy the educational value of MO and RZ communities leaving the Haredim as the only serious communities to pass the mesorah onto the next generation. Rav SR Hirsch was correct - on occassion there is a time for Austritt as an educational value. Now is that time - otherwise MO and RZ are doomed. We simply can't afford to do kiruv work on the backs of our own children. It will fail.

The people that are saying otherwise - such as Rabbi Coehn you quote and others like Benny Lau - are afflicted with an ailment of having absorbed the attacks of the majority culture to the point of self-affliction and self-abengation. See "The Oslo Syndrome" by Kenneth Levine. Strong communities are the ONLY solution. See the discussion at the end of this book on the value of communities for the Jews as described by Kurt Lewin.