Jan 28, 2014

An Honest Critique

R' Berel Wein is intriguing because his books are published by Artscroll, which means he has the imprimatur of the black hat-brand of frum Judaism.  And yet, his views are not party line.

He wrote a column earlier this winter (which I read eight days ago) entitled "The Truth of Satire." In it, he refers to a satire that describes the dissonance between the lifestyle of the Chashmonaim heroes of the Chanuka story and Israeli chareidim.  He then goes on to say that today's black hat rank and file and their leadership are out of touch with reality.  Rather than castigate the gedolim, he lambastes their "handlers" (as though that helps take the onus off the gedolim).

His primary complaint is that they support a system which cannot sustain itself, i.e. deliberate poverty and expectations of support, and refuse to consider change.  It was refreshing to read an open critique by "one of our own."  Read it here


  1. I agree that we have become very unrealistic in the way that we promote learning above doing honest work and supporting one's family. I also agree that when people come from Israel to collect tzedukah with no more of an explanation than that "life is tough," it can be overwhelming to the American who is opening the door and is also strugglling. Thanks for an eye-opening article that I shared with my family.

  2. I don't consider it at all surprising that he said this; although he lives in EY, he's an American, and the culture of EY "black hats" is vastly different from their US counterparts.