Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Gedolim"? You mean a bunch of fundamentalist fanatics?

There's a trend among many Modern Orthodox folks. They don't like the direction of the Charedi world and what their leaders are saying.

But these Modern Orthodox folks are still hesitant to be too harshly critical of the leaders of that world. Instead they say that they've been manipulated by askanim, and don't really know what's going on. But why are these men being absolved of responsibility?

This attitude persists despite the fact that those leaders are taking their followers into a demographic disaster.

Despite the fact that they compare the state of Israel, and secular and even many religious Israelis to the worst things possible.

Despite the fact that they encourage public burning of the Israeli flag in disgusting displays of ingratitude.

Despite the fact that every month they come up with a way to demean and repress women ever further.

Despite the fact that they refuse to cooperate with any effort to root out evil in their communities.

And these people have become "gedolim" only by happening to sometimes be particularly skilled in Talmud, as long as they also toe the fanatical party line. Others, specifically Chassidic rebbes, don't even have the intellectual accomplishments, and are just hereditary leaders. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever that should place them above your average man on the street.

Every person who sees through the lies of the Charedi leaders, and that includes you and me, is better than any of these supposed "gedolim". Yes, I said it. The way I live my life and the way I view my Judaism makes me better than these "leaders". They are deserving of no respect whatsoever, and certainly none of the ridiculous reverence heaped upon them.

It's time to call them what they are. Fanatics. Fundamentalists. Cult leaders. Destroyers of lives. Failures. The sooner every Jew not under their thrall internalizes these truths, the better off we'll be.


  1. The "Gedolim" live in a different reality. They are intelligent men with no access to TV, radio or the internet. They do not read newspapers other than rarely the heavily censored Chareidi ones. They are completely dependent for their knowledge of the "real world" on their askanim and they answer questions based on this.
    They have been like this their entire lives, hermetically sealed away from the unwashed masses and told they have special "Ruach haKodesh" and a duty to guide the Jewish people away from any impurities.
    Imagine you came from an isolated community where everyone believed Elvis was alive. You make it through the first 8 decades of your life and only rarely even encounter someone who thinks he's dead. Why wouldn't you enourage people to attend his concerts?

  2. Yeah, that's the problem that I have with the gedolim worship. They pride their intelligence on the fact that they have separated themselves from the world and because they know nothing of the world I find it hard to take them seriously when they pontificate.