Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Segue II
More respectful disenfranchisement, this time of Rav Aharon Soloveitchik and his hashgacha of Streit's Matzah. I expect this will be the tactic of the present and future, as the attempt to put in question even affiliated "Modern ultra-Orthodoxy" accelerates (his outlook being one that found more than mere "Torah u'Parnasah" value in secular education; also consider his relationship with RIETS, etc). If they can move adherents of a perspective to doubt themselves, the halachic positions of their leaders or their affiliations even the slightest (a "minor details issue" with hashgacha in this case), you personally will have to discern and pick a "side" within the perspective, for your sake and more importantly for your children (who they're really 'after').

And picking between to pick apart is just the matter.

Rav Hirsch symbolically pledged the disavowal of "civilization and culture" if the resoundingly-theoretical situation of chosing between "Derech Eretz" and Torah were to present itself [emphasis mine];

"We hereby declare before heaven and earth that if our religion required us to renounce that which men call civilization and culture, we would be ready to do so without hesitation...because it to us the Word of God to which all other considerations must defer.
We also hereby declare before heaven and earth that we would rather have ourselves branded as fools for the rest of our lives and renounce all the glory and splendor of culture and civilization than participate in an arrogant pseudo-culture such as the one demonstrated by the spokesman of this "Religion Allied with Progress"...[section expurgated for brevity, but definitely worth reading] if our choice were only between such madness, on the one hand, and primitive ignorance, on the other, again we would say: We would rather remain ignorant for the rest of our lives than stand before God for even one moment with such a godless culture.
But is this really necessary? Judaism was never alien to genuine civilization and culture. In almost every era, its followers stood at the very heights of the culture of their day; indeed, they often outstripped their contemporaries in this respect." Collected writings VI, p.120

Resoundingly-theoretical would seem the straight understanding of his statement - considering his willingness to seek accord between science and Torah in the most contentious matter - perhaps the defining 'matter' even now...evolution;

Judaism is not frightened even by the hundred of thousands and millions of years which the geological theory of the earth’s development bandies about so freely. Judaism would have nothing to fear from that theory
even if it were based on something more than mere hypothesis, on the still unproven presumption that the forces we see at work in our world today are the same as those that were in existence, with the same degree
of potency, when the world was first created. Our rabbis, the Sages of Judaism, discuss (Bereshit Rabbah 9:2, Hagigah 16a) the possibility that earlier worlds were brought into existence and subsequently destroyed by
the Creator before He made our own earth in its present form and order. However, the Rabbis never made the acceptance of this and similar possibilities an article of faith binding on all Jews. They were willing to live
with any theory
that did not reject the basic truth that “every beginning is from God."

Collected Writings, vol. VII, p. 265

Where Rav Hirsch so no literal place for alienation, and in fact saw the true path of the Sages - they see grounds for a "renewed" Austritt (secession). Where he saw the conjoined capacity of reason and faith to suggest scientifically-informed readings of Torah (emphasized text above), where necessary - they see...Gee, in comparison, I don't know what they see anymore.


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