Mar 10, 2013

Chinuch Q and A part 2

continued from previous post in the rabbi's own words:

That is what I am saying. Proof: Ask the average frum teenager (or even adult) why they are frum and you will see the response. I once told a wonderfully concerned teacher in a BY school that she should ask her students, 12th graders, why Hashem cares if they are frum, and she will see that they have no idea. Her answer to me was, "Why does Hashem care if we are frum?"

The curriculum today is much different than it was 100 or 200 years ago, and our lifestyles are much, much different. Jews used to see sincerity, Mesiras Nefesh, Tzadikim, and strong Emunah even if you grew up in the most average of homes.

Today, our religion is a business for everyone from social and educational institutions to Seforim publishers. Torah is huckstered by Madison Avenue magicians in the same way, and with the same sincerity, as Nike sneakers.

Bochurim today know they are "consumers" where Yeshivos vying for their "business" and the Baalei Batim's dollars. Ask an 8th grader if he thinks the determination of whether he will be accepted to a Mesivta depends more on (a) whether the Mesivta will be an asset to him, or (b) whether he will be an asset for the Mesivta. I tried this. "B" won, like every single time, hands down, and that's sad.

Torah life isn't what it used to be. When I graduated high school in 1976, if a kid said he wanted to go to Yeshiva and not college, but he wanted to go to another Yeshiva for Beis Medrash, the Hanhalah would kiss him and consider him a success. Today, the bachurim feel that the Yeshivos will not be happy or consider his stay there a success unless he stays in his own Yeshiva.

Balabatim, who have no idea whether they are allowed to take their temperature on Shabbos, spend years of their only learning time on Daf Yomi, because it has become a fad. They wanna finish shas.

Our entire Torah life has become plastic, consumerist, faddish. In other words, we have assimilated into the American consumerist, plastic mind set, and it has affected our religion.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in a Conservative shul and much of what people did was all for "show". Most kids dropped out of religion after their Bar Mitzvah or confirmation from Sunday school. Marrying out was an embarrassment at first and the shiksa was required to "convert" but as time went on, there was no such requirement anymore and a Reformed clergy would happily perform the ceremony. If their feelings for their parents were as disingenuous as their feelings for other things normally considered important, they would cremate the parents after death. The divorce rate was at least 50% as well.
    If the frum world is following in that "all for show" mentality, frum parents should spend their next dollar on a cemetery plot and prepay for their funeral.