Author Topic: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)  (Read 170768 times)

Offline yfr bachur

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1500 on: October 25, 2023, 06:02:54 PM »
What about the later one: Permission To Believe: Four Rational Approaches to God's Existence

What about it?

Offline CountValentine

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1501 on: October 25, 2023, 06:06:44 PM »
What about it?
Better or the same as the one you posted?
Only on DDF does 24/6 mean 24/5/half/half
Dow Jones Industrial Average Tops 40000 for the First Time

Offline yfr bachur

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1502 on: October 25, 2023, 06:07:59 PM »
I posted both, maybe not clearly enough
both are good though I havent read the second in a while.

Offline EliJelly

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1503 on: October 25, 2023, 07:56:03 PM »
You see "my" catch 22?

Everything from G-d is through the bible. The bible was written/inscribed by man. Man is corrupt. Therefore the ...  :-X

I find it an interesting discussion with no answer.

A few million saw God chose and trusted Moshe to do the miraculous redemption from Egypt.
A few million saw God chose and trusted Moshe to split the Red Sea.
A few million saw God chose and trusted Moshe to give the Torah on Mount Sinai.
A few million saw God chose and trusted Moshe lead the Jews in the desert for miraculous 40 years.
A few million saw how God punished Moshe for deviating slightly from his word. He would not enter the Land of Israel.
A few million saw Moshe standing on his last day, after his completion of the Bible, at the age of 120, in prefect health like a young person, saying that today I'll die and my disciple Joshua will continue the miraculous journey of the Jewish people into the Land of Israel.

A few million people witnessed all of the above. A few million saw God was happy and satisfied with the chosen person of humanity he trusted with fulfilling his duty, from beginning to end.

Offline imayid2

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1504 on: October 25, 2023, 08:17:17 PM »

Offline flyingace

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Offline EliJelly

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1506 on: October 25, 2023, 09:26:34 PM »

Offline imayid2

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1507 on: October 26, 2023, 02:29:43 PM »
Rabbi Moshe Meiselman on recent events. Discusses the music festival and ‘Never Again’ among other things.

Offline yungermanchik

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1508 on: October 26, 2023, 02:41:30 PM »
Rabbi Moshe Meiselman on recent events. Discusses the music festival and ‘Never Again’ among other things.

Rabbi Moshe Meiselman
Rosh Yeshiva
Yeshivas Toras Moshe

PARSHAS NOACH
תשפ"ד

It is very difficult to talk about anything publicly without confronting
the events of the day. This is true specifically when speaking about the
parsha.
The story of Yetzias Mitzrayim is interesting just from the aspect of
human psychology.
When Yaakov and his family came to Egypt, Yaakov and Yosef took
specific steps to avoid any involvement in Egyptian society. They wanted
Klal Yisroel to remain separate from Egyptian culture and Egyptian life.
They made an excuse that they are shepherds and can’t be involved in
regular society. Klal Yisroel are secure and safe when they are separate
and alone among the nations.
But after the generation of Yaakov and Yosef passed away, the Jews
wanted to spread out of the Goshen ghetto and live among the
Egyptians. On the one hand, Egyptian culture was the most advanced
and sophisticated culture of the ancient world, but on the other hand,
it was the most degenerate and morally corrupt society of the ancient
world. When the Torah warns us against committing despicable acts
of arayos, it describes all of them as being the standard practices and
behaviors of the people of Egypt.
The Jews were impressed by the accomplishments of the Egyptians
– the Sphinx, the Pyramids, engineering feats that till today we don’t
understand how they were made – and the Jews were attracted by it. Klal
Yisroel tried to integrate into Egyptian society, and they stopped bris
miloh, and this created a completely opposite reaction. The Egyptians
suddenly started hating the Jews and wanted to brutally subjugate them
and make them slaves.
In the last year of slavery, Moshe comes along and the makkos start
happening one after the other. It becomes exceedingly clear to
everyone that the Egyptian way of life and their whole belief system is
utterly bankrupt and false. You have to be absolutely blind not to wake
up and see that the drive to assimilate and become Egyptian was total
mistake and a complete disaster. The Egyptians never accepted you –
they immediately and totally rejected you and wanted to enslave you.
Naturally you would think that by the time makkas choshech came
around, all the Jews who had previously tried to assimilate would
have given up on it and come to their senses. But 80% couldn’t bring
themselves to adjust to the reality and they couldn’t leave Egypt. You
can blast people’s minds with the most obvious things, but they are
mentally stuck where they are. Hashem says they can’t be taken out and
they die during that makkoh.
The night of makkas bechoros was an unbelievable gilui Shechinoh. But
before that, when Moshe talks to Pharaoh, Moshe is careful to predict
that the makkoh will occur ‘around midnight’. Rashi explains this with an
unbelievable insight into human psychology – had Moshe said it would
happen exactly at midnight, and someone’s clock would have been off
by one minute, the Egyptians would dismiss the entire makkoh! They
would say the prediction didn’t come true because by their clock, it was
off by a minute! People just don’t budge – even when they want to
change!
What did Klal Yisroel have to do to come to the level where they could
leave Egypt?
The Rambam says sometimes there is a din on the individual, a din on
a country or region, and a din on the entire world. At each level, we
have to look at what we did to contribute to that din. When the Corona
pandemic happened, I noted that it was a din on the entire globe that
had not taken place since the mabbul, and we were obligated to take a
look at what was happening and how we contributed to that din.
We will give two examples of a din on a country or a region. The night
of makkas bechoros, Klal Yisroel were instructed to take a lamb and
slaughter it in front of the Egyptians and take its blood and smear it
on their doorposts for everyone to see. It was a very public statement
renouncing the avodo zoro of their Egyptian masters and it sent a
message that they are no longer connected to them. Moshe also told
everyone that no one may leave their house to go outside while the
makkoh was going on. Why? Rashi explains that once the destructive
force was given the license to destroy an area, it will not distinguish
between tzaddik and rosho in that area. Rashi is telling us that the way
Klal Yisroel could avoid being impacted by the din on Egypt was to
completely dissociate from the Egyptians. They needed to show that
they are no longer a part of the region that the din was decreed on and
they will be spared from that din.
When Hashem took Lot out of S’dom, the malochim warned Lot and his
family not to look back at S’dom while the destruction was happening.
Looking back at that moment would mean that you still feel emotionally
connected to S’dom and you aren’t making a clean break. This will make
you susceptible to the din on S’dom since you still identify with them
and you are a part of that place.
Let us discuss a number of issues from last week’s parsha and this week’s
parsha.
The parsha says Lemech named his son Noach because this son will
comfort us and relieve us from our back-breaking toil. The Yalkut brings
a midrash which asks: was Lemech a novi? Did he already know that
his son will be the one to save humanity from the mabbul 600 years
later, and named him Noach now because of that? The midrash tells
us a story that is frighteningly relevant today. The world was sinking
lower and lower in morality, to the point where the midrash says people
became so animalistic that they started to resemble monkeys. And as
a result, Hashem punished them and it required tremendous effort to
grow anything from the ground. There was extreme poverty from the
lack of fertility of the earth.
But at the time of Noach’s birth, Hashem decided to try something
different. He reasoned that if the nisayon of poverty isn’t inspiring
them to do teshuvoh, perhaps making life easier will inspire them to
do teshuvoh. So there was a tremendous blessing of prosperity and
wealth right when Noach was born and this is why Lemech named him
Noach. But as a result of all their wealth, the people started to become
consumed with taivoh and turned to extreme practices of znus. They
weren’t satisfied with the natural taivos, and started to enjoy unnatural
taivos, and then totally unnatural taivos.
Then Hashem was vacillating between destroying mankind or sparing
mankind. He decided to wait another 120 years for them to do teshuvoh
and if they don’t turn around by that time, there will be no choice but
to bring a mabbul.
Then at the beginning of Parshas Noach, we read that society falls apart
and the world must be destroyed. Noach builds a taivoh not just to
protect himself physically from the flood waters, but to disconnect and
isolate himself from the corruption and the chaos of the world in order
to be spared from the din that was being acted out on that corrupt,
chaotic world.
When it comes to tragedies that befall the Jewish people there is a
very unpopular Rambam that I always mention. We need to constantly

review this Rambam. When tragedies happen, we are required to make
a cheshbon hanefesh – individually and collectively – to see how to
correct the spiritual failings which brought the tragedy about in the first
place. Klal Yisroel just experienced a tremendous tragedy. But now we
will approach this from a totally different point of view.
For the past 8 months, Israeli society collapsed. In the name of all these
stupid, liberal slogans – saving democracy, etc. – the Israeli Left decided
they were going to destroy the country. They intentionally downgraded
the economy, they intentionally destroyed the morale of the military,
and there was no social cohesion remaining in Israeli society.
In the middle of Chodesh Elul, a sincere, well-meaning Jew, who for
years has been involved in exposing secular Israelis in Tel Aviv to
Torah concepts and Torah observance, brought a well-known rabbi to
participate in his public exhibition of Judaism. Violent protests ensued
and the police came in to escort him out. All in the name of freedom and
democracy. Hateful speech like Torah is forbidden.
This individual tried to organize a public minyan in Tel Aviv on Yom
Kippur – like he did for many years in the past for the secular Jews who
still want some connection to Torah and Yiddishkeit. But a group of
people sued him in court and they forbade it. He had the tefilloh anyway
and it ended in violence. The court also forbade hakafos shniyos which
he always conducted. It means Torah cannot be observed in the public
square by force of law – in the name of democracy. But it has nothing
to do with preserving democracy. They hate the frum Jews and society
is falling apart because of the fear that someday soon, Torah will take
over Israeli society.
Then an unbelievable thing happens. Simchas Torah – the end of Succos.
What is Succos about? The pesukim in Nach say they made an incredible
chag haSuccos at the beginning of Bayis Sheni that hadn’t been seen
since the times of Yehoshua Bin Nun. The gemara in Arachin asks, didn’t
Dovid and Shlomo make incredible chagim of Succos in their time? The
gemara answers that at the beginning of Bayis Sheni, Anshei Knesses
Hagedolah were concerned that avodo zoro would return and destroy
the second Beis Hamikdosh like it destroyed the first! So they davened
to Hashem to remove the yetzer horo for avodo zoro. When their
tefillos were answered, they celebrated by making a tremendous chag
HaSuccos.
There is another midrash in Bereishis which asks why Hashem allowed
Alexander the Great to be so successful in conquering the world and
thereby spread Greek culture throughout the ancient world? The
midrash answers that Hashem wanted to undermine the belief system of
avodo zoro that dominated the world at that time. If Klal Yisroel would
stay pure and continue developing Torah Shebaal Peh in isolation from
the rest of the world, the Greeks and their philosophy could be used to
dismantle the beliefs of avodo zoro and pave the way for Torah to fill the
vacuum and bring Moshiach.
Alexander got all the way to India and he died there. And in fact today,
the western part of India is Muslim and the eastern part, where Alexander
didn’t reach, is still under the influence of ancient avodo zoros. So this
part of Hashem’s plan was successful. But Klal Yisroel also got involved
in Greek culture and the plan to show the world the beauty of Torah
to the world and bring Moshiach had to be delayed and he allowed
Christianity and Islam to emerge as bridge religions instead. This is how
the Rambam concludes.
So Succos is a chag which focuses on the eventual accepting of Hashem
and the Torah by all the nations of the world. But Shmini Atzeres changes
the focus. It is a day which celebrates Klal Yisroel’s special, unique
relationship with Hashem. Simchas Torah is the simcha of Torah Shebaal
Peh. And this year, on this very day that we are celebrating, something
fascinating happened.
There are 22+1 places in the Negev that are near Gaza. There are 22
yishuvim and a small city called Tifrach. It is a totally frum city with a
major Yeshiva with thousands of bochurim at the heart of it, and other
smaller yeshivos and kollelim around it. There are two frum yishuvim
and 20 non-frum yishuvim.
Then there was a music festival which came for the first time to Israel –
led by Hindu worshippers celebrating with avodo zoro and music and
psychedelic drugs and znus, etc. On Simchas Torah!
Not one incident happened in any of the frum yishuvim. Tifrach had a
simple lock and somehow this stopped the heavily armed terrorists. It
makes no sense. Ofakim is a mixed Yishuv of frum and secular and there
is a yeshiva there, and there was a weird story and the yeshiva wasn’t
touched. You have to be blind to not see there is something happening
here.
Nothing happened in any frum yishuv. The other 20 were devastated.
260 participants in the Hindu music festival were killed, many wounded
and others captured.
What happened in Tel Aviv? Remember, they don’t want religion coming
to Tel Aviv. The army was totally unprepared and they needed food
supplied from outside. They kashered 100 treif restaurants in Tel Aviv
because the army was desperate and they needed these restaurants to
prepare kosher meals for their soldiers! Hashem is sending them a clear
message. You don’t want davening and hakafos and Torah and mitzvos
coming to Tel Aviv, but I will see to it that 100 treif restaurants become
kosher despite all your best efforts to stop Torah from coming in! There
won’t be hakafos shniyos in Tel Aviv – but not because of you. The
secular Left wanted to tear Israeli society apart and undo any achdus in
the nation, and Hashem sends something that forces complete achdus
in all Klal Yisroel worldwide at this time.
Let us try to understand what happened and what it means for us,
relating to what I mentioned last week.
People are under the illusion that it is not safe here in Israel and it is
safer back home in the U.S. and the U.K. It is nothing other than a false
sense of security. There are certain basic ideas of emunoh and bitochon
that people are missing in a very drastic way.
I was told of a seminary girl who was here from Cherry Hill, New
Jersey, and her family was worried and brought her home. And what
happened in Cherry Hill, New Jersey? A bunch of people dressed up
like Hamas terrorists and went into a Jewish high school and beat up
a bunch of students there! In Manchester, England, there were mass
rallies supporting Hamas chanting ‘kill the Jews’! Tens of thousands of
people! Jews in England were terrified last Friday when Hamas called for
an International Day of Rage because of the siege placed on Gaza by the
Israeli army. In New York, they had helicopters over Jewish schools at the
time of dismissal to ensure it was safe for the Jewish kids to leave school.
Why do people think it is safer anywhere? They have no idea about how
Hashem runs the world.
It is true that we need an army and a police force. The truth is that none
of it will make us safe if Hashem isn’t protecting us from harm. The
gemara in Bava Basra says you collect taxes in the city to support all the
city’s needs. For basic necessities like water, taxes are collected from
everyone without exception. But for defense of the city, Torah scholars
are exempt because their Torah contributes to the protection of the
city. This idea comes straight from the gemara and it is paskened by
the Rambam. It wasn’t made up recently by some contemporary radical
right-wing chareidi. Torah has tremendous protective value.
People’s sense of security can come from different sources. People in
the West rely on their egos and their gaivoh. In Israel, it is common
for people to feel protected because of the superior technology,
intelligence, and advanced weaponry of the IDF. But every now and
then, Hashem sends a message that all their power and abilities are
utterly useless. A few years ago, Hamas designed balloons carrying fires
to float over the border fence and start blazes in nearby Israeli farms and
yishuvim. They caused tremendous damage and the IDF was powerless
to stop them. Just imagine – the fourth most powerful army in the world
was rendered totally ineffective by a bunch of balloons!
The Torah used to be ridiculed as primitive and immoral by the intellectual
class because of mitzvos like wiping out Amoleik and the seven nations
of Eretz Cana’an. But now you hear these same intellectuals saying
Hamas is an existential threat so we have to wipe out all of them – not
leave a single Hamas member alive. The irony is rich.
The total bankruptcy of the people who think they understand how the
world works and how to defend the country and how to run a society
without Torah and leave Hashem out of the picture, is being shown in
the most extreme way for everyone to see. Open your eyes.
We can talk about all the political and geographical reasons to explain
why Yerushalayim is safe. But there is no guarantee of anything. We
cannot figure out the cheshbonos of Hashem. We have to look at
ourselves and ask ourselves to what degree is my sense of security
coming from the gaivoh of human ego, and to what degree is it coming
from bitochon in Hashem? The human ego has led the State of Israel to
complete disaster and collapse. The Leftist understanding of the world
simply does not understand the reality of evil, and they are completely
unequipped to deal with evil when it confronts them and tries to destroy
them.
When I visited Radin, I spoke with the old non-Jewish mayor of Radin
who was around at the time of the Holocaust. He described how the
Germans came into Radin and rounded up all the Jews, led them to
the cemetery and shot them. What was the reaction by the non-Jewish
population, I asked? He told me they were in their homes and they heard
the shooting. They waited for the shooting to stop – which signaled
to them that all the Jews of Radin were killed, and went out to loot
the empty Jewish homes. That means they didn’t care about innocent
Jews being slaughtered. They only cared about taking advantage of the
German invasion to enrich themselves with Jewish wealth.
There is video footage of the immediate aftermath of the invasion
of Kibbutz Beeri which suffered a massive slaughter of the Jewish
population. Before the Israeli Army had a chance to retake the kibbutz,
the regular civilian population of Gaza heard that the kibbutz was
overrun by Hamas, and they came out of Gaza by the hundreds to loot
all the Jewish homes. These aren’t innocent, peace-loving civilians as
the Left likes to portray them. They are all the same.
There is a time when you have to wake up and see how twisted and
cynical the Left is regarding morality and civilized behavior.
How did the United States win the war against Japan? Very simple. My
father was stationed in Hawaii towards the end of the Second World
War. They were getting ready to ship off the soldiers to China as a
launching area for the invasion of Japan, and they expected a million
soldiers to die in the final battle. Instead, they bombed Hiroshima and
Nagasaki and killed a few hundred thousand people and ended the war
with much fewer casualties.
Is it moral? Of course it is moral!
Why? The Meiri in Sanhedrin asks: how do we know the halacha of הבא
להרגו השכם להרגך ?Most people would answer that it comes from the
posuk of במחתרת בא. But the Meiri says it comes from the instruction
to wipe out the Midianim when they sent their women to seduce Klal
Yisroel. The Meiri is telling us that there are two types of rodfim. There
are individual rodfim and there is a nation of rodfim. When an entire
nation is being represented by its soldiers who fight and attack you
on their behalf, the entire nation gets the din of a rodef. There is no
distinction of innocent civilians.
When the U.S. wanted to defeat Germany, they carpet-bombed the city
of Dresden which was the major industrial center. When it was over,
there wasn’t a single building which was left standing and all life was
eliminated. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed and it broke the
spirit of Germany to continue fighting. But here we see Biden claiming
the overwhelming majority of Gaza citizens are innocent civilians. It is
twisted and dishonest and morally bankrupt. Unfortunately, we have
assimilated much of this western morality into our minds.
You can’t talk about Torah in public because it is too provocative. But
they have all kinds of gay pride parades in Yerushalayim and pro-Hamas
demonstrations because that is freedom of expression! This is a twisted
mentality and many of us have bought into their morality and sense of
security.
We can learn a simple lesson from 9-11. One maamin who believed in
the koach of sheker was able to take on the entire United States, The
Taliban are true believers who defeated the U.S. military. But at least
they were armed fighters. For us, the Maccabim weren’t trained fighters,
they only had the koach of Torah and the koach of tefilloh – and they
defeated the mighty Greek armies.
Every Jewish life is precious and many soldiers are now in danger and
we will do all we can to help materially. But we can help much more
with our koach of Torah and koach of tefilloh. We have nothing to do
with the western sense of gaivoh and ego which has been shown to
be totally bankrupt in a matter of days. Hashem is showing it to us so
clearly and we have to be blind not to see it.
I was interviewed when I was in Auschwitz. I said many millions of Jews
died in the Holocaust, but something else also died here – the adoration
and belief in the progressive, morally advanced, sophisticated culture of
the West – epitomized by German academia. And in a few short years
those at the height of Western culture became the most brutal and
barbaric depraved animals.
In the 1880’s there was tremendous anti-Semitism in Russia. The Jews
were desperate to find some solution. The gedolim of the time all said
that assimilation is not only not going to help, but it will make things
worse. It is just like golus Mitzrayim – where the more the Jews tried
to be accepted into Egyptian society, the more they were hated and
persecuted.
And then there was the solution of Zionism – if we only had our own
land and our own nation-state, no one would have any hatred toward
us. We are hated in Europe only because we are seen as stateless
foreigners who don’t belong to any nation. No-one hates nations who
have their own country in some distant continent, like Guatemala. We
should be just a nation like all other nations with our own homeland,
language, flag and literature. It is assimilation on a national basis, which
was supposed to solve anti-Semitism.
And after the Second World War, the secular Zionist rallying cry was
“Never Again”. Why? Because now we have our own country and our
own army capable of defending Jews from their enemies. The holocaust
was possible only because the Jews didn’t have a country to flee to and
an army to protect them.
But now, ever since World War II, the greatest source of Jew-hatred
world-wide comes from Anti-Zionism. Instead of solving the problem of
Anti-Semitism, it has simply taken its place. “Never Again”? Really? We
see now, after all the pro-Hamas demonstrations calling for gassing the
Jews and killing Jewish babies, it can happen anywhere.
All the secular intellectual elites of this country are being exposed for
all their sheker and hypocrisy in front of our eyes. 99% of the country
is now united. The army is now forced to function. Hashem made sure
there is achdus and there is religion in Tel Aviv.
The only security we have comes from Hashem. We can’t minimize
the loss of a single Jew – certainly not 1300 Jews who were brutally
murdered, and almost 200 people captured. But we have to look inward
and see how much we have bought into this bankrupt Western ideology.
We have to get the message that the world stands on our learning and
our davening, and that is how we contribute the maximum that we can
to protect Eretz Yisroel.
Small people talk about other people.
Average people talk about things
BIG PEOPLE TALK ABOUT IDEAS.

Offline EliJelly

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1509 on: October 26, 2023, 03:22:02 PM »
Rabbi Moshe Meiselman on recent events. Discusses the music festival and ‘Never Again’ among other things.

As a descendant of the Brisker family, but still grew up modern, attended various universities and earned a doctorate, it is comforting to see him so strongly in line with the views and lifestyle of his holy ancestors. 

Offline yfr bachur

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1510 on: October 26, 2023, 06:11:09 PM »
Rabbi Moshe Meiselman on recent events. Discusses the music festival and ‘Never Again’ among other things.

Slifkin has quite a compeling takedown of the shiur on his blog.
or is he stil asur to read these days?
I'm not saying I agree, just its compelling

Quote
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised, but we should still be dismayed. And while some will be angry at me for writing this rebuttal and drawing attention to the phenomenon, the blame lies with those who are spreading the message that needs rebutting.

In the wake of the horrors that have taken place, some people have taken a very disturbing approach to theodicy - the vindication of a compassionate God in the face of evil. Instead of taking the Iyov(Job)-style approach that we cannot understand God’s ways, or the approach of a personal cheshbon hanefesh (examining ourselves for shortcomings), they are declaring that they know exactly why God enabled these terrible things to happen.

It’s a Divine punishment for the sins of the secular Zionists, of course.

In order to pull off this explanation, people make two claims: that it was secular Israelis who suffered, and that there’s a clear secular sin that was committed. Let’s examine each of those claims.

I. Is there a message in who was harmed?
There were a deluge of claims that only secular kibbutzim and towns were attacked by Hamas, not the religious ones which had their gates locked for Shabbat. Now, even if this were true, it would simply illustrate the rather obvious fact that having locked gates is a good security measure. It wouldn’t demonstrate anything about the divine value of religion. You could just as well argue that the awful Har Nof and Neve Yaakov massacres happened because charedi Jews don’t have guns, and the Meron tragedy occurred because charedi Jews tend to have little regard for professional safety regulations and the venue was a disaster waiting to happen. These things are true, but not evidence of any Divine messaging.

As it happens, though, it’s not even true. Yes, there is a video of Hamas terrorists stopping at a locked gate. But afterwards, they broke through another way and opened the gate.

The latest and most extensive presentation of this sort of theodicy comes from Rabbi Moshe Meiselman, rosh yeshiva of Toras Moshe. In an article that is being quoted and spread by his fans, he repeats the claims that only secular yishuvim were harmed:

“There are two frum yishuvim and 20 non-frum yishuvim. Not one incident happened in any of the frum yishuvim. Tifrach had a simple lock and somehow this stopped the heavily armed terrorists. It makes no sense... You have to be blind to not see there is something happening here.”

Yet as a mathematician, he should know that if there’s 20 secular towns and 2 religious ones, it’s just statistics that the religious ones are less likely to be attacked. And one of the religious yishuvim was saved as a result of a very alert head of security who was female - perhaps this shows that women should serve in the IDF?

But his claims are not even true. Alumim is a religious yishuv, and people were killed. Tifrach, on the other hand, is to the east of Ofakim, and it was safe because the terrorists didn't get that far - they were stopped by the armed Jews in Ofakim.

And even if it were mostly secular Jews who were killed, would that be a Divine message that their way of life is wrong? What about the fact that it happened on Simchat Torah, and will forever mar that chag for us - maybe that’s a Divine message that there’s something wrong with the Torah community? And again, what about the terrible massacres in Har Nof and Neve Yaakov? What about the greatest non-terrorist civilian tragedy in the history of Israel, in which 45 charedim were killed in Meron, and no secular Jews at all? Was that a Divine message that their way of life is wrong? Of course not; in those cases, people like Rabbi Meiselman say that we cannot understand God’s ways (or twist it to make it still the fault of the secular). Only when secular people are killed do they triumphantly claim that it’s God’s punishment for their ideology.

II. What was the alleged sin?
So, what is the clear secular sin that brought this on?

Rabbi Meiselman points to two sins. First, he claims that the “Israeli Left,” in the name of “stupid, liberal” claims about saving democracy, decided to “destroy the country” and “they intentionally destroyed the morale of the military“ and “there was no social cohesion remaining in Israeli society.”

I must point out the irony here. This is a rabbi who, a few years ago, sat on the dais at an anti-Israel-government rally with 20,000 anti-Zionist Satmar chassidim, in Manhattan, where the speakers described Israel as an "evil regime," and talked about how “the very existence of the state is a rebellion against God” and about how “the [Israeli] army was founded on murder and blood spilling.” He argues against praying for the welfare of soldiers because it’s a “political” action rather than a religious act of concern for those who risk their lives for us. And he’s accusing others of destroying army morale and harming social cohesion?!


Meanwhile, R. Meiselman’s entire take on this tragedy is that it’s a Divine punishment for those who opposed judicial reform, which is about half the population. That helps army morale and social cohesion?!

And in any case, with regard to his claim, Hamas did not succeed with their attack because society lacked cohesion or military morale was low. They succeeded because the IDF made a gigantic mistake in underestimating them, and was slow in its response.

III. A sin of secular arrogance?
Later, Rabbi Meiselman explains the main secular sin that brought on this tragedy, and it’s a refrain that I’ve heard from several others. The sin was in thinking “kochi v’otzem yadi,” attributing too much power to the IDF and not enough to Hashem:

“The total bankruptcy of the people who think they understand how the world works and how to defend the country and how to run a society without Torah and leave Hashem out of the picture, is being shown in the most extreme way for everyone to see.”

First, note the irony of R. Meiselman criticizing others for being overconfident about understanding how the world works, while he is absolutely confident that he knows God’s own calculations.

Second, what on earth is he talking about? This is the most right-wing and religious that the country has ever been! There’s more people being supported in full-time learning than ever before in history! The government is the most religious (in the charedi sense) ever! If there’s any message here, it’s surely that being religious and right wing does not bring greater security.

Third, the problem here was not that the IDF overestimated its own power. It’s that it underestimated Hamas. The IDF easily had the power to stop Hamas doing such a thing (and it is very unlikely to ever happen again); they just didn’t take Hamas seriously enough to place sufficient forces there, and they were not organized enough in their response. (And if you want to argue that the IDF really isn’t powerful enough, then I know of 150,000 people in yeshivah that could help.)

IV. Does the protection of Torah and Tefillah replace army service?
Rabbi Meiselman then claims that the message is that we need to learn more Torah, because it is Torah rather than the IDF which is protecting:

“We have to get the message that the world stands on our learning and our davening, and that is how we contribute the maximum that we can to protect Eretz Yisroel.”

The audacity is extraordinary. Here’s a claim that davenning provides the maximum protection coming from someone who for years has proudly opposed davenning for the soldiers. So maybe it’s his fault that several hundred soldiers were killed?

Meanwhile, to support this very extreme claim, R. Meiselman cites the Gemara:

“The gemara in Bava Basra says you collect taxes in the city to support all the city’s needs. For basic necessities like water, taxes are collected from everyone without exception. But for defense of the city, Torah scholars are exempt because their Torah contributes to the protection of the city. This idea comes straight from the gemara and it is paskened by the Rambam. It wasn’t made up recently by some contemporary radical right-wing chareidi. Torah has tremendous protective value.”

Yes, the idea that Torah scholars (not students!) do not need to pay certain taxes is in the Gemara. However, R. Meiselman, despite being rated as a great Torah scholar, is apparently unaware that Radvaz 2:752 greatly restricts the extent of the Gemara's ruling. This includes stating that it does not apply in cases where the rabbis consider themselves in need of protection. And Chasam Sofer says that it only refers to exemptions from city taxes that are placed upon Jews in exile, not for defense against genuine military threats. Radvaz and Chasam Sofer thus accept the obvious truth that in the threat posed to Jews by their Arab neighbors, whatever protection is provided by Torah scholars is not significant enough to release them from their shared obligations towards defense.

V. The Unity That Has Resulted
Rabbi Meiselman later claims that as a providential response to secular Israelis trying to tear the country apart, “99% of the country is now united... Hashem made sure there is achdus.” Well, first of all let’s point out that the students of the yeshivos represented by Rabbi Meiselman are certainly not involved in any real achdus. They’re not serving in the army, they’re not doing any chesed for soldiers or their families (that’s only being done by the non-learning side of the charedi world), and they don’t even daven for the soldiers who risk their lives for us.

Second, to the extent that people are regretting the split over the last year, it seems to be the people on R. Meiselman’s side who are reversing their position. Consider former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff and left-wing Meretz Party lawmaker Yair Golan. A vocal critic of the government over the past year, he was branded a “left wing traitor.” Yet his actions on Simchat Torah were incredible and saved many people. And there’s a beautiful story in The Times of Israel about a charedi volunteer for Zaka who met Golan, hugged him, and said to the cameras, “I was incited by the poison that the right-wing public poured on the left-wing public. I hated him. Now I love and admire him. And I’m really sorry.”


As for the rest of the country - we are united against Hamas, not with charedi beliefs, and not behind the government. In fact, there is overwhelming public agreement that the current government - the most religious and pro-charedi government in history - is a complete disaster.

Meanwhile, everyone knows that the charedi demand for a full legal exemption from the IDF for people in yeshivah, for which their MKs were recently urgently pushing, is now a total non-starter. No non-charedi MK will vote for it. Nor are they likely to get their enormous and ever-growing budgetary demands for yeshivos. Israel is taking a gigantic financial hit from this war, and there won’t be billions thrown at those who refuse to work. And so the chareidi way of life is going to take a massive blow.

Is that a sign and punishment from God?

Offline imayid2

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1511 on: October 26, 2023, 06:12:14 PM »
Slifkin has quite a compeling takedown of the shiur on his blog.
Nothing compelling about his drivel there, it’s a pure straw man.
is he stil asur to read these days?
Dunno but where do you think I got it from ;)

Offline yfr bachur

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1512 on: October 26, 2023, 06:16:32 PM »
Nothing compelling about his drivel there,

At least the first half

Offline imayid2

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1513 on: October 26, 2023, 06:21:13 PM »
At least the first half
Eviscerated in the comments section as usual

Offline imayid2

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Offline EliJelly

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1515 on: October 27, 2023, 12:21:33 AM »
Slifkin has quite a compeling takedown of the shiur on his blog.
or is he stil asur to read these days?
I'm not saying I agree, just its compelling

Perhaps when discussing animals he makes more sense?


Offline AsherO

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1517 on: October 27, 2023, 07:38:53 AM »
DDF FFB (Forum From Birth)

Offline imayid2

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1518 on: October 27, 2023, 09:25:04 AM »
Perhaps when discussing animals he makes more sense?
Just to pick on one thing he writes there:
Quote
Third, the problem here was not that the IDF overestimated its own power. It’s that it underestimated Hamas. The IDF easily had the power to stop Hamas doing such a thing (and it is very unlikely to ever happen again); they just didn’t take Hamas seriously enough to place sufficient forces there, and they were not organized enough in their response.
The idiocy of this statement is stunning. No reason to see any hashgocha regarding כחי ועוצם ידי because truthfully they are stronger they just “underestimated”. Now any sane person would realize that כחי ועוצם ידי doesn’t mean overestimating your own power, it means relying solely on your own might without the need for G-Ds involvement. But to a nonbeliever in hashgocha denying any godly messages overrides everything.

Offline notyettaken

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Re: Torah & Hashkafa Questions (PC Free For All)
« Reply #1519 on: October 27, 2023, 10:50:15 AM »
We agree on something but here comes "my" crazy part.

Moses has what I call 100% free will. He could have written anything down.  :-X
that is actually an old question. there are those who say he lost it when he received the torah for this very reason (his reward was based on what he did till 80 )