Monday, May 24, 2010

What to Do When You're Feeling Overwhelmed....Write

I confess that, of late, I've been feeling quite overwhelmed.

On the home front there's teaching, a last minute rush by dilatory graduate students to get their research proposals in on time, research, writing, two deadlines for book reviews, the Bat Mitzvah of our youngest, preparing for Summer School, and marketing and preparing DKT's upcoming trip to the Baltics (aka Lita).

Then there are the larger issues, about which I've written so often here but whose real resolution I am skeptical about really affecting. You can't fight every battle, as deserving as they all are. I think I know which one I'll pick to fight. I've already started by picking up the pen in the cause.

You can guess which one I've decided on.


Anonymous said...

dr. woolf, i understand your frustration with the increased chardal influence in the rabbinic world. unfortunately, until the more moderate camp (of which i am a proud member) can produce a community of commitment and passion baale batim (like those of beit el, har beracha and the garinei torani), we will also be perceived to be bedieved.

the same tension exists in the YU world....

its a sad state of affairs

abbafive said...

Excellent choice.

These new inroads towards degradation of meaningful roles for women in secular and religious society is a matter of great offense and this could develop into a battleground issue. I'm no YCT progressive, but it is immoral for good and decent MEN to let this one pass by.

I had thought that the Dati Leumi Israeli society had already voted with their feet against this very strict (and minority) interpretation of Serarah with respect to these second-tier political positions.

Can we never cease to be disappointed by such overtly mysoginist viewpoints expressed in the name of the RBSO?

As Rav Uziel stated in his wonderful Teshuva addressing this very issue nearly 90 years ago, "and if it's due to Kalut Rosh, well then we should also exclude all dim witted men ... for which there is no shortage."

Anonymous said...

actually the Dati Leumi world has indeed voted. Which is why Dr. Woolf should leave Daniella Weiss (twice elected mayor of neighboring Kedumim) to fight the battle (never though she'd be your ally, eh?) This is a small local matter and really goes to the core of how much authority the mara d'atra of a community should have - and one would think that in a homogeneous community such as Elon Moreh, he would have more authority.

Frankly I find it more disturbing that the modern orthodox religious rabbi of Dr. Woolf's little town - Rabbi Shlomo Riskin - refuses to allow the construction of a municipal swimming pool or supports the adoption of a local ordinance removing the kashrut supervision from establishments that allow cigarette sales. These are MUCH WORSE cases of rabbinical infringement in the civil body politic - especailly as Efrat is a hetergenous town that has secular, slightly religious, very religious and exteremely religious elements that all have to learn how to get along and live together.