Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ami article

There is an article in Ami magazine (a magazine I have been fortunate not to read until now) which describes the issue of outwardly Orthodox people who have lost their faith.

There is a scan of the article here:

I am actually shocked by the level of hatred and lack of understanding presented in this article. There are so many negative words, but not a single real answer for someone with such doubts.

Apparently kiruv answers only work on people who are not frum. And I think this is part of the problem. Even though the article blamed the internet for all ills (even though the evidence presented doesn't back up that claim) I think that kiruv has to take a lot of responsibility for this.

Once upon a time people believed in Torah and Judaism because that was how they were brought up, that is what they knew, and that was good enough. Suddenly kiruv workers come along and try to 'prove' that Judaism is true. For an intelligent person who can think critically, these proofs are all full of holes, and suddenly kiruv has taken away that old time belief and replaced it with lies, false arguments, and intellectual bullying. I know of several people who only began questioning and doubting after they heard the so called 'proofs' of kiruv people. In my opinion it would be far better if outreach people left the FFBs alone.

It is not the internet that causes people to doubt. It is not even reading 'outside books' (though many of the so called 'kiruv' books do pose serious problems). Most of the things that people find very difficult in Judaism come from a reading of Shas and Rishonim.

To be honest, the whole ban on Slifkin made things a lot worse. Kiruv started using 'proofs' of Judaism, then when they had questions asked Rabbi Slfkin to write answers for them. Then those answers, for no real reason, because forbidden. So now the situation is that kiruv raises many questions, the answers are kefirah, and many people have lost their faith in the Gedolim, who seem to be anti-science and very backward in their attitudes (or manipulated by Kannaim, which is possibly even worse).

Why must we assume that someone who doesn't agree with our emunah is 'mentally ill' or a 'fifth columnist'? Shouldn't we try to find answers which are intellectually satisfying, rather than simply trying to push them out even further?

Does the author of this article really believe that a person who keeps Torah and Mitzvos, but has some doubts about G-d is actually worse than someone who breaks Shabbos publicly? Does that actually make sense?

1 comment:

  1. Pesach reflections: Tornados, flooding, forest fires, runaway inflation, massive foreclosures, food shortages, record unemployment and gay marriage; aside from the fact that we are at war for our very survival against unseen enemies who are plotting who knows what. We have weather woes, fiscal firestorms and a public character plunging into moral chaos, while we worry about terrorists being among the thousands of illegal aliens pouring across the Mexican border every day; perhaps this is the perfect storm. America, the society that G-d has blessed with more power and wealth than the world has ever known, is facing enormous challenges on all fronts. Yet most of us seem to be living our lives still intact, thank G-d, so we need to look at all these unfortunate circumstances as a series of warnings. If you would ask what these warnings are about, take your pick. We have a social order that has clear distinctions between moral and legal. Immorality can be legal and the police can arrest people for doing the right thing. That is very different from living a Torah life where morality is the law.