Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Won't Someone Show The Gedolim Some Compassion?

Kikar Hashabat (Originally published in Srugim) has published a clever satirical piece for Shavuot. I'm afraid I don't have time to translate it, but the general gist is that the story of Boaz and Ruth is told through a Haredi perspective - "A Gadol Hador Marries a Geyoret Who's Jewishness is Under Doubt". Immediately the Haredi press starts criticizing the Gadol Hador, and rabbanim suggest that he should leave his post at the head of a Beit DIn. And then the twist - the Gadol Hador who acted in such an inappropriate manner - was Boaz, grandfather of David.

Up until this point, while I rolled my eyes at the expected twist, I actually more or less enjoyed the article. However, now we get to the moral of the story:

הלקח הנלמד מכל הפרשה, שכאשר באים לבקר תלמידי חכמים ורבנים, לא צריך לעשות את זה בצורה פופוליסטית.
לפני שמבזים רב על פסיקה שלו, יש לבדוק היטב מדוע הוא פסק כך, מהם מקורותיו, האם עשה זאת לכתחילה או בדיעבד לכלל הציבור או רק ליחידים. פסילה על הסף של רב, ובפרט בגלל שיקולים לא ענייניים – הוא ציוני, הוא ספרדי, הוא מתון, הוא קיצוני, הבן שלו חזר בשאלה – היא לא הלכתית ולא קבילה.

According to the writer the moral of the story is that we shouldn't criticize the Rabbanim too quickly and in a populist manner. Now, I'm not objecting to this moral. A little respect for those who think differently from you, would go a long way towards making Haredi  world-view a little nicer. However, the Rabbanim are not exactly the most hard done by social group of the Haredi world.

 In the last year or two Rabbanim from Haredi circles have asked converts to perform sexual favors in return for accepting their conversion, and have attacked all conversions performed by the IDF. Really if the story of Ruth and Boaz should have been spun into Haredi modern life, the moral of the story should have been to be a little nicer, and a little more tolerant of those asking to convert. You never know but that somewhat hallachically doubtful convert may just be the grand mother of the messiah!

We will add one more thought. The chance of a Ruth type story happening in a Haredi community today, is somewhat less then Zero. Can you imagine a great Rabbi maarying a convert? what about a convert who attracted him by acting in a not so Tznius manner (I.E laying at his feet)? I am reminded of a story in germarah stating that Eliyahu couldn't visit a certain rabbi because his gate was always locked. In the same manner those who choose to live in a closed community, will never have a Ruth.

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