Tuesday, January 8, 2013

J.Post January 8: Accusation and Insult

Sir, – Kollel teacher Daniel Adin, in his pious, self-righteous zeal to protect his perceptions of certain Torah values and institutions, is evidently unable to do so without resort to ungracious accusations and personal insults (“Pundits from afar,” Comment & Features, January 6). It is of utmost importance to examine whether the targets of his condemnations are indeed deserving of his opprobrium.

Adin attacks the representatives of the American Jewish Committee for their focus on and criticism of the Chief Rabbinate while the organization itself has failed to curb the 50 percent rate of assimilation existing in American Jewry. Is the AJC alone guilty of this deficiency? Is he not at all disturbed by the persistent reality of this rate despite the existence of a vast network of Jewish day schools, yeshivot and kollelim that are active throughout the United States? [Have the glorious centers of Torah learning succeeded in curbing the encroachment of the Haskalah movement and the assimilation of European Jewry?]

In dealing with the magnitude and the serious ramifications that the conversion issue has for the whole structure and security of our Jewish state, I believe that Adin could be far more appreciative of the sacred work being performed by God-fearing people on behalf of the well-being of clal Yisrael.

Perhaps some hint of a proper direction can be found in Chabad, which insists on maintaining proper halachic standards while at the same time recognizing the infinite worth of that dormant Jewish spark to be found in all and creating the inclusive, warm and nonjudgmental atmosphere necessary for its revival.

Adin also chooses to vigorously condemn the late Rabbi Shlomo Goren and, unfortunately, goes well beyond stating wherein they disagree while maliciously accusing him of manipulating Halacha for purposes of personal political gain. I, however, firmly believe that the people of Israel, and particularly its religious element, owe a great debt of gratitude to Rabbi Goren for boldly using his great knowledge of Torah and Halacha to show how Torah and Jewish values can and must be applied to our new conditions of sovereignty and modernity.

[His well-deserved paratrooper wings went a long way in showing how a bearded and learned Hevron Ilui, can fully participate in all parts of the emerging Israel reality. The fact of Kashrut in the IDF kitchens is one of the many achievements whereby he has undoubtedly merited honorable recognition in the heavenly roles.]

Petah Tikva