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Gd demands of us to love our fellow


I was extremely disappointed with the driving thread that popped up yesterday, and the amount of sinat hinam that was megaleh. I have seen this in many posts. Even in posts by orthodox people, or asking for orthodox perspective, the idea that halacha and minhag is oppressive, outdated, immoral, etc etc etc comes up nearly every time. It’s one thing if someone is telling you how to live, and another to tell someone that they shouldn’t live the way they live.

Our job description here if we know we are responsible to keep the mitzvot and the details on how to do so, is to keep them. If we don’t know what mitzvot we are responsible for, then our job is to live our lives while not interfering with others’ mitzva observance, and not to hate our fellow Jew in our heart, no matter how different their lives are, no matter what they have done, no matter how we feel about their beliefs. In both cases, the job itself is to cleave to Hashem.

Make no mistake, for a Jew, there is genuinely no greater joy than truly understanding and accepting your role in life and living according to halacha. If you don’t feel that way, that’s perfectly fine, you can live according to how you see fit, but you have no right to tell us that you know better than us, and better than the rabbanim.

You can do and be whatever you want to be. There’s not currently a Beit haMikdash, or a Sanhedrin, so you can eat unkosher, you can break shabbat, you can dress however you want, no one is forcing you to be orthodox. If you see someone ask about orthodoxy, to reply that orthodoxy is oppressive and to talk over orthodox people is nothing but sinat hinam and ego-stroking.

The more Jews insist on hating their fellow, the more drastic the situation is going to get. Look around you. The antisemitism in the world is here as a reminder that we are all Jewish and no matter how different our lifestyles. If you want to see a better future, stop speaking lashon hara, stop presuming that you know better than chazal (even if you don’t want to follow Halacha) and stop hating any particular group of Jews. I’m talking also to any of the few orthodox people on here who judge liberal Jews, to Ashkenazim who judge sefaradim and vice versa, to people who hate on Chabad or Breslovers or other hasidim for their beliefs. Hate is hate.

The situation is dire.

Last year 4 sets of siblings were murdered, in this war, boys from the same class in school and gan, and brothers are falling. I wake up each morning to the news on WhatsApp that there were at least another 2 chayalim that were killed overnight. I’m listening to the radio right now where they’re broadcasting a tikkun and the hazan is sobbing tehillim.

Gd is literally writing it on the wall. We need to stop hating each other. We don’t all need to be orthodox, we don’t need to agree with each other’s actions, but we need to stop hating each other.

Hashem yaazor if things don’t change.

It’s not just Medinat Yisrael in danger, you all see how things are going out there in chutz laretz. Things will get worse and worse and worse until we get it and love each other. This will not “go away” like the past. Geula is close, there are several scenarios. If people keep up with the sinat hinam, the lashon hara, the motzei shem ra and rechilut, best case scenario those people miss the boat and wake up in techiat hametim, worst case scenario we will end this chapter of history out with the “bad ending”.

It costs nothing to love your fellow and not speak badly about people. You don’t need to sacrifice any part of your life.

Re the thread yesterday:

The attitude of many tends to be that haredi and hassidic women have no agency, that we think men are smarter and for that reason we dress batzanua, don’t drive, have many children, generally don’t study Torah shebaal peh, etc etc etc.

That is not the reason. Both the written and oral Torah were given at the same time, and for over a thousand years, the mesora was given over unchanged. The tradition recorded in the mishna, baraitot, and early midrash (mechilta, sifra, sifrei, bereshit raba etc) wasn’t just the result of Tannaim sitting and saying “how can we control the population”, nothing is new and everything is sourced. That there is argument in mishna and gemara and on is not a result of fallibility of the Torah, or misunderstanding, rather the requirement of argument to bring out the details is due to the effects of the splitting of the community on the amount of refinement needed to understand the halacha for each consecutive era. You can read more about this on my first two Intro to Halacha posts. You should be able to see them on my profile, if you have trouble finding, please message me.

The priority of chazal is first and foremost to prevent us from being over on aveirot and other sins, and to help us to fulfill our positive obligations. Judaism is not a religion, but a privilege and a responsibility to behave according to the laws given. The Torah is Hashem’s will in writing, it’s how the world was created, it’s how the world is maintained, it contains elements of the itinerary for past present and future, and we, Bnei Yisrael, were made agents with tangible effect on the world through our actions, speech, and thought, on the condition that we keep ourselves bkedusha via mitzva observance. If you read Sefer Devarim, that our lives and our presence in our land are a privilege dependent on mitzva observance is clear.

Chazal and subsequent chochmei Torah bring down halacha according to how things work for who it’s relevant to. Yisrael arevim zeh lazeh- we are responsible for each other. We are one soul, one body, and what benefits one Jew benefits the rest of us, and the opposite is also true chas vshalom. There are laws for kohanim, leviim, yisrael, people who weren’t born jewish, normatively abled people, differently abled people, men, women, neither and both, children, farmers, kings, etc etc etc. The laws are not biased, they aren’t commenting on the worth of any status Gd forbid, they are just what is relevant for someone in a gilgul of that status, and as we get on in generations more and more people are born in statuses that are not the default, but rather are an opportunity to make up for something we missed out on in a previous gilgul, which means if you have the privilege of being aware of the halacha, you’re only cheating yourself by trying to find loopholes and live differently.

Chazal and subsequent chochmei Torah spent and spend their lives learning Torah, and don’t just say things according to how they feel about subjects, even today, every suggestion and directive is well-sourced and quoted. The goal is not self-oriented, or patriarchal, rather it’s the collective good of the klal, and the repair of the world.

The vast majority of haredi and Hasidic women I know are aware of our responsibilities, and we also want what is best for the klal, and therefore are not just willing to behave according to the directives of the rabbanim, but in fact very much want to do so. We are not undereducated, we are not oppressed, we are happy with the status we were born into and what that means in terms of Jewish life, we don’t want a different life, we don’t want our husbands to work full time instead of learning, we don’t want to drive, we don’t want photos of women everywhere, we don’t want to dress differently, we don’t want abortion. While there is the occasional story like “Unorthodox” (which was contested by people who personally know the author), there are other stories about leaving the derech for other reasons, and there are the same problems that exist in every society nowadays, what you don’t hear is the rest of us, approximately 1 million of us worldwide (as there are approximately 2.1m haredim as of 2022) currently, who are very satisfied with our lives. The majority of haredi girls nowadays are educated in Beit Yaakov/Beit Rivka/Beit Chaya Mushka/Beit Chana, etc etc etc if they grew up orthodox. There are also many of us who are BT, and chose to be haredi.

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