Thursday, June 23, 2005

Lighting the way

I was recently speaking with a Rav who's opinions hold great weight with me. Amongst other issues, I raised the Slifkin issue (bundled of course with the Kamenetsky issue, the shaitel issue, issues with the yeshiva world in general...etc.) and mentioned the damage this has been doing to many people in the frum world. I don't wish to get into details of the discussion, but he did say something that I thought was beautiful and appropriate.

A person can complain about the darkness in this world, or add light. A true Godol will focus his efforts in adding light; not in complaining about the darkness.

30 Comments:

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't that just another way of saying, why wallow in self-pitty when you can step up and make a difference?

 
At 1:48 PM, Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Not sure what he means.

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

see and all the comments

http://litvshe.blogspot.com/2005/06/daas-torahshocking.html

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Anon: You could see it like that. It struck me better this way because he was referring to the majority of todays "gedolim" and the mainstream 'litvishe' leaders today. The point was that it seems that today, to qualify as a "godol", you need to rant, rave, preach and ban about issue's plaguing yiddishkeit. Rather than complain about all the darkness, offer some light. Show me some gedolim today in the yeshiva world that offer some light; make yiddishkeit warm and appealing..(I'm not questioning their immense knowledge in learning, but their connection with people)

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Krum, what aren't you sure about?

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Amshi, while I liked the comments that touch on issues I also have trouble with, I'm not sure of the connection to here. It's pointing out that those leaders that the masses follow can be wrong, and sometimes those wrong calls can affect many people who've blindly followed. Agreed.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

I assume he is somehow criticizing gedolim who issued bans on the Slifkin and Kaminetsky books for "complaining about the darkness" rather than "adding light." I don't think that the books (Slifkin's in particular) are correctly considered to as representing "darkness."

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Point taken. To clarify, this comment was not referring to specific instances, but rather a general mentality in most circles.

This particular person said in reference to Slifkin that while he's not versed in the books, the ban or the issues, his response is that this whole hubbub is all probably naarishkeit. (as clarification, he specifically said that Rav Eliyashiv and others have probably been mislead and this is something that unfortunatley happens when youre surrounded by a bunch of "thugs")

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Air Time said...

so was that quote meant as a criticism of most of the gedolim or a criticism of those criticizing the gedolim?

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Leave it to Air.
It was directed to those causing all the ruckus.

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Air Time said...

Here is how I am reading your post. Is this accurate?

JPT to Rabbi: I am having problems understanding Gedolim's actions in a numbe rof contemporary issues

Rabbi to JPT: It is the people who are complaining who are the real problem, not the gedolim

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so why complain about kids playing ball on shabbos when they don't have anything else to do on long shabbos afternoons?

 
At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, you told me who you were going to speak to, don't worry this is s/o you don't know. When can I hear about the rest of the conversation?

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Air, no. We were talking about many issues. When this issue came up, it was more like:

JPT to Rabbi: I am having problems understanding Gedolim's actions in a numbe rof contemporary issues

Rabbi to JPT: Don't let it trouble you or affect your committments. The term "godol" or "gedolim" seems to be too awarded for the wrong reasons or to the wrong people. A real godol won't spend his time complaining about darkness.

(disclaimer: this is not to say that the "gedolim" are not great chachomim; they're just often out of touch, kept out of touch by the kanoim & handlers))

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Anon #1: "playing ball"? enlighten me here. I'm not following.

Anon #2: If I don't know you, how did I tell you who I was speaking to? e-mail me offline if you want to stay anonymous.

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget it. I'll ask you when I see you in shul. I guess my wording was a bit awkward. Still, are you wondering who this is?

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Air Time said...

why are you coming in as anonymous today?

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

you talking about the comment before yours? Thats not me.

Anon: I'm not sure who you are. I have a couple of guesses. Gimme a hint

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Air Time said...

he gave you a hint. I was talkiong to him. read his last line again.

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

I got it. That was my first guess. It's Friday & I'm a little slow on the uptake.

 
At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AT, I never cease to appreciate how brilliant you are. as for me, if I don't log on, then it's not really like I'm wasting time blogging....

...and to all a good shabbos

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Air Time said...

SW-

you must have just finished readng my notebook or excuse post.

 
At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds very familiar...

 
At 3:19 PM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Anon: Why do I have a feeling you're writing anonymously and really have a very 'holey' name? hmmm.

 
At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shhhhhhhhhhhh...

 
At 5:10 PM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

This rabbi was paraphrasing a famous quote by R. Kook:

" "The pure Zaddikim do not complain about evil, but increase justice; do not complain about lack of faith, but increase faith; do not complain about ignorance, but increase wisdom."

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Thank you Miss. Fred!

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Holey Man said...

We need to discuss. What is your email?

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Just Passing Through said...

try JPTblog@gmail.com

 
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