Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rav Aviner's 2000 Year Screwup

I didn't actually see the question in this week's Shabbat pamphlets but suppsedly Rav Aviner was asked the following question via SMS:

Q: Why are there more Haredi talmidi hahamim (impressive torah scholars) than Religious Zionists ones?

So what would you guess would be his answer? an outright denial? perhpas praising haredi commitment to torah, while stating the cost of their culture? stressing how many torah giants Religious Zionism has?
none of the above.

His actual answer:

A: Because Haredi talmidi hahachamim started 2000 years ago and Religious Zioninst only started 100 years ago. However, their number and quality has been rising steadily. 
I don't even know where to start on that answer. ignoring the factual question whether or not the assumption that there are more Haredi talmidi hachamim is true, the most serious critque of his answer is that it reveals Rav Aviner's  view that Religious Zionism is a break from the supposedly unbroken chain of torah learning. This is a serious problem for anyone who wishes to be a true Religious Zionist. The flip side is a weird acceptance that the Haredi world is somehow an unbroken chain of torah continuity. If Rav Aviner truely believes that Haredim are the true (or at least) only embodiment of 2000 years of torah leaning (why 2000?) one fails to understand how he can be Zionist.

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