Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Charedi Memes, "viruses" and the Deep Hack

I'm going to do a few posts referring back to and expanding on previous posts, as the issues keep asserting themselves ever more strongly in the public arena, and then hopefully a much more hopeful post on the future.

A very important post was an excerpt from an essay by R. Jacobovits from the "Encounter" volume. I'll give you time to read it...OK?..done? So, I really do think that Charedim have done such a very deep "hack" to the Operating System, have engineered and disseminated such effective memetic "viruses" (in the sense of computer viruses), that one literally has to 'given in' to whatever degree one needs to "compute" on a communal level (sending kids to "modern" schools were most of the teachers are out of work Kollel guys or their Bais Yaakov-trained wives, study offhours in their "community" kollelim - which reflect only their fraction of the community, attend their proliferating shuls and minyanim, etc, etc). I don't think it's a matter of pendulums swinging back or whatever optimistic metaphors people want to think, to say that things will "normalize" again. This is the Normal now...and they've even retroengineered the communal and global past to fit their comfortable present, and expect everyone else not only to not notice - but to accept it - not as it clearly is to everyone who had shared ancestors or studied the natural world to any real degree - but as their sages say it is (or more often as they SAY their sages say it is), as their sages decree the world to be and have been.

It doesn't matter, then, whether what's been done is wrong or right or even self-destructive or contrary to physical reality; like Windows Vista or disastrous city planning - it simply is what IS.

I agree on a certain level with those in Israel in b'Chutz who forsee, if not suggest (I, II, III), a seperation of some kind; the divides, the REAL divides, are that deep. We know it. Much like many Talmidei Chachamim agree with R. Berger that Chabad in general is on shakey ground and Moshiachists headed off the track - we know it, few speak it. Individually, it's wonderful that certain Charedim harbor whatever nice/achdus-y feelings they want about other kinds of observant Jews, etc...but once their selected Daas Torah has spoken, that's it; bitul hayesh!! - one's personal, open, tolerant views were/are *clearly* in error, and one must actually FIGHT these erroneous inclinations that are from the yetzer hara - and submit to the counsel of ones [chosen] Sages, "whether they say left is right and right is left" - which is fine as long as neither of you drive, as I ride a bike and don't want to share the road with such people...literally - and increasingly, metaphorically.

I think it's significant that the respondant to my post cited from rabbinic literature for the temporal historical, sociological claims. I am speaking of explicable, sociological, temporal causes and affects, and respond to him with an illustration, also well within the causal realm, of the profoundly amplified changes in human affects on the world; these things are unanimously acknowledge as unique from the past. I don't think he answers me or the triumphalism of the Charedi world by pointing to Meshech Chochma - and I can expect that the Charedim and their Sages would resoundingly read him to be joyous at such a turn of affairs.


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