Haredim And The Holocaust

How do haredim relate to the Holocaust? Ha’aretz reports:

…Professor Menachem Friedman, however, one of the leading experts on ultra-Orthodoxy in Israel, attributes it to Haredi society’s reluctance to confront the most difficult questions arising from the period. Questions like "Where was God in the Holocaust?," and those raising doubts about the rabbis’ performance during those dark years. These questions were seen by ultra-Orthodox society as threatening to their way of life, and pushed it into a defensive stance.

"Even now, the Haredim cannot ask, at least not openly, how the Gerrer, Satmar and Belzer rebbes and others fled and saved themselves, leaving their followers behind. The question is not only why the rabbis refrained from warning their followers, but also why they prevented them from migrating to Israel for fear of ‘spoiling’ them," says Friedman.

Friedman says these questions, which Agudat Yisrael newspapers dealt with passionately immediately after the Holocaust, gradually became taboo over the years.…

The bulk of the article is about one woman, Esther Farbstein, who has changed this to a small degree:

…Farbstein, who presented the research at both Haifa University and Yad Vashem, believes these are historic documents that shed light on various issues and add insights into Jewish life before and after the Holocaust. …

The most interesting dilemmas are those pertaining to survival itself. Rabbi Weinberger of the town of Turka, in Galicia, contends with the question of whether or not to leave. Despite family pressure to leave, he decides to remain with his community. The prefaces also reveal that the option of pretending to be a gentile presented a halakhic dilemma, as adopting a non-Jewish identity can be tantamount to idol worship.

The question of whether to go to the Land of Israel also worried the ultra-Orthodox rabbis, many of whom strongly objected to Israel for ideological reasons.

For it’s part, Chabad was not different. The Rebbe Rayyatz followed in his father the Rashab’s virulent anti-Zionism. (Did you know that a significant part of Neturei Karta’s ideology is based on three hasidic Rebbes’ anti-Zionism, the Satmar Rebbe, the Munkatcher Rebbe and the Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch?) The Rayyatz told his followers there would be no war and Warsaw was safe for them. He did this in the summer of 1939, a couple of months before the Nazi destruction of Poland.

The Rayyatz was saved by American intervention. As he was being wisked out of bombed out Warsaw, what did he ask his American saviors for? To save more Jews? No. He asked for his book collection (largely secular books like Sherlock Holmes in Yiddish) and his household silver. The Rayyatz wrote several letters to President Roosevelt during the war. He never once asks Roosevelt to save Jews.

Only one man spoke with prescience regarding Europe’s Jews – Vladimir Jobotinsky. And it was followers of Jobotinsky who created and organized the so-called Rabbis March on Washington, which brought the ceation of the War Refugee Board, which saved more than 200,000 Jews. These followers of Jobotinsky were for the most part not Orthodox.

In other words, for the most part, listening to haredi rabbis meant dying on the ash heaps of Auschwitz. Never forget that.

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49 Comments

Filed under Chabad and the Holocaust, Haredim, History, Jewish Leadership

49 responses to “Haredim And The Holocaust

  1. Moshe

    However,you fail to mention that it was primarily the Orthodox in America & elsewhere who were involved in the rescue efforts once the war broke out.

  2. Isa

    A Kollel rabbi at my shul of old was asked about this and he replied “They [Heredim rabbis] were not allowed to see”
    It would seem to me that Vladimir Jobotinsky was a true navi (Ha Navi Jobotinsky?)

  3. Moshe –

    That is simply false.

  4. Anonymous

    Shmarya won’t tell you anything about the efforts of Rav Kalmanowitz, Rav Kotler, Rav Weissmandel and others. G-d forbid that it should get in the way of his campaign to smear Chareidi rabbis and kvetch like a bitter alter kacker.

  5. ed

    >In other words, for the most part, listening to haredi rabbis meant dying on the ash heaps of Auschwitz.

    Spoken like a true Apikores.

    Never forget that.

  6. YUGUY

    Yes, Ed, you are right. We should always listen to rabbis, even when they tell us to go like sheep to the slaughter. And we definitely shouldn’t care if those same rabbis run from the murder, as long as they tell us to not avoid death.

  7. Anonymous

    Shmarya, in the US – all opposition to the Shoah came from the orthodox and the Bergson group.

    Everyone else was silent.

    Chabad wasn’t a force or a factor.

    It’s a red herring.

  8. formellyfrum

    Yes it was the Haredim that suffered the most during the holocaust. The reason, least prepared and praying and waiting for Hasem to save them. Of course, this by no mean, every Haredi Rebbe. But in general the above article is on target according to most historians and scholars.

    I never got a good answer as to how one reconciles God as a savior, guardian of the Jewish people, or that he is our father and
    we are his children and the holocaust.

  9. Anonymous –

    Not true. The Joint and other orgs did rescue work. And, by the way, a lot of the haredi complaints about them are wrong. They could not transfer money to enemy countries, but they could – and did – transfer money to neutral countries to replace funds used for rescue.

  10. ed

    >Yes, Ed, you are right. We should always listen to rabbis, even when they tell us to go like sheep to the slaughter.

    To an Apikores, the words “Gezeirah Min Shamayim” are meaningless, of course.

    >And we definitely shouldn’t care if those same rabbis run from the murder, as long as they tell us to not avoid death.

    What those Rabbi’s accomplished here in a week, a YUGUY couldn’t do in ten lifetimes.

  11. ed quotes YUGuy:

    >And we definitely shouldn’t care if those same rabbis run from the murder, as long as they tell us to not avoid death.

    And then ed writes:

    What those Rabbi’s accomplished here in a week, a YUGUY couldn’t do in ten lifetimes.

    What those Rabbi’s accomplished here in a week, a YUGUY couldn’t do in ten lifetimes.

    Remember this well, RCA members. ed is a real live haredi troll. And he thinks your blood is very cheap.

  12. ed

    >I never got a good answer as to how one reconciles God as a savior, guardian of the Jewish people, or that he is our father and we are his children and the holocaust.

    With a name like “formellyfrum”, you’ll never understand the answer.

  13. ed

    >Remember this well, RCA members. ed is a real live haredi troll. And he thinks your blood is very cheap.

    Remember this well, RCA members. Shmarya is a real live haredi hater. And he thinks their blood is worthless.

  14. No, ed, I think your THEOLOGY is worthless and your LEADERSHIP corrupt.

  15. Nigritude Ultramarine

    And we definitely shouldn’t care if those same rabbis run from the murder….

    Don’t forget the silverware!

  16. Anonymous

    Quote Ed

    “With a name like “formellyfrum”, you’ll never understand the answer.”

    again not an answer

    PS Even when I was in Meir Bias Medresh learning 10+ hours a day I never got an answer.
    In addition, the Talmud states look not at who is asking the question, but look at the question itself.

  17. ed

    >No, ed, I think your THEOLOGY is worthless and your LEADERSHIP corrupt.

    Of course, it won’t occur to you that perhaps, its YOU who is corrupt.

  18. ed

    >No, ed, I think your THEOLOGY is worthless and your LEADERSHIP corrupt.

    Of course, it won’t occur to you that perhaps, its YOU who is corrupt.

  19. shmuel

    Ahh, good old Mr. ed, exhibiting all the good horse sense he demonstrates over at Rabbi Harry Maryles’ blog, Haemtza.
    Good of you to join us here, mr. ed. Now give an answer or two, if you can, to the question posed above. And stop insulting us apikorsim (yawn)with your silly, tired, “throw their words back at them” approach. There are no answers to the Holocaust. Admit it. Some people lost faith with a God who loves us yet allowed one of the worst atrocities in world history to occur to His beloved people. Though I believe, I can well understand the feelings of those who lived through it. Only a real “maamin” like you, who’s lived through…well, nothing terribly challenging, can judge others with your nasty tone.
    And let’s face it: it really is painful to consider that the only Jew in all Europe who had any vision at all was Jabotinsky, and not your precious gdolim with their alleged Daas Torah infallibility, who couldn’t see one week in front of them, let alone a Holocaust. The truth hurts. Be pained.

  20. Modern Jew

    Ok Hebrew experts if a big smart Rabbi is a “Gadol” what do you call a dumbshit rabbi?

  21. YUGUY

    Oh, I forgot, since I am looked down upon by Chareidim like you, you consider me to be worthless, even though I follow the same halachos that you do. It must be the envy because Im free to think on my own and not one of the sheeple like you.

  22. Anonymous

    This is already painful enough, no need for baseless personal attacks, stop and listen, then reflect, and be thoughtful when answering.

    No need for unfounded feel good stories, it just prolongs the continued denial, accepting the facts will not destroy anyone, it can only make one stronger.

    As regards Shmarya, many may disagree, but i find him to be a person who demonstrtes a lot of class and sophistication in the way he handles these delicate and painful matters.

    Lets Chill Out. There is enough pain.

  23. ed

    >This is already painful enough, no need for baseless personal attacks, stop and listen, then reflect, and be thoughtful when answering.

    Tell that to the writer of this post, and to the person mentioned in this post.

  24. Anonymous

    I like the answer that the gedolim weren’t allowed to see the holocaust coming. In the torah, Elisha didn’t know why the shunamite woman was coming to him (her son had just died), and it says, ” And she came to the man of God to the mountain, and she took hold of his feet; and Gehazi approached to push her away. Now the man of God said, “Let her be, for her soul is bitter to her, and the Lord HID IT FOM ME and did not tell me.”

  25. Yos

    If the gedolim had been able to appreciate the weight of what was to come in the course of WW2, I feel confident they would have intervened. It’s those who expect them to be pseudo-prophets who would be disappointed by inaction. And it is natural shame that prevented them from addressing the failure. Even now the heirs of those gedolim are encouraging immigration to Eretz Israel under the shadow of a second holocaust, but not for personal gain or malice.

  26. ed

    >I like the answer that the gedolim weren’t allowed to see the holocaust coming.

    aka “Gezeirah Min Shamayim”, a concept difficult for Kofrim and formerly frum people to comprehend.

  27. ed

    >I like the answer that the gedolim weren’t allowed to see the holocaust coming.

    aka “Gezeirah Min Shamayim”, a concept difficult for Kofrim and formerly frum people to comprehend.

  28. ed –

    Let me help you understand. Elisha did not know the woman’s son had passed away. Why? Because there was no NATURAL way for him to know. His comment, “God has hidden it from me,” reflects HIS LEVEL OF PROPHESY.

    Prophesy does not exist today. No one should be relying on prophesy or other supernatural forms of receiving information.

    In other words, decisions must be based on the real facts on the ground.

    Jabotinsky did that. The haredi gedolim by and large did not. They relied on the SUPERNATURAL idea that God would protect them. That, further beclouded by rampant anti-Zionism and anti-modernity, led these leaders to tell Jews Europe would remain safe for Jews and that Jews should not go to Israel or America. (Or Argentina and Canada, etc.)

    Those descisions got hundreds of thousands if not millions of Jews inceinerated in Auschwitz and other death camps, or starved to death in ghettos and labor camps, or shot dead.

    The point, I think, is relying on the SUPERNATURAL is wrong.

    After the fact, haredi leaders invoked the idea that God had “hidden” the threat from them. But the threat was very public, public enough that a man like Jabotinsky saw it, public enough that ordinary Jews saw it and, whenever possible, left – as long as they were not under the sway of haredi leadership.

    In short, God “hiding” the threat from haredi leadership is an excuse that does not hold up to scutiny.

  29. The theodicy is an old question, and forms the basis of Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism.

  30. formellyfrum

    aka “Gezeirah Min Shamayim”, a concept difficult for Kofrim and formerly frum people to comprehend.

    that the rabbis were blind to what was coming, or the holocaust itself

  31. Dave

    As for why the holocaust occurred.
    Because many Germans exercised their G-d given free will to choose between the good and the bad, and they chose the bad.
    Also the Allies chose not to intervene, which was a grave sin of omission.
    I still believe in G-d, despite all that happened. And I am not even Orthodox.
    On this subject the best book I have heard of is Victor Frankl’s “Man’s search for meaning”.
    As to why the Haredis in Europe supposedly did not see the Holocast coming, it is hard to understand.
    My parents were part of the (mainly) Iraqi Jewish community in Bombay, India. They remember that in the Early 1930’s some Jews came from Poland and Germany to India to escape the coming disaster. As far as I know these were “secular” Jewish people, including some doctors and dentists.

  32. chief doofis

    Ed; How thoughtful of you to attack YUGUY. I guess you think that since he’s a YUGUY, ergo, he’s an Apikores. That’s like saying that since you call yourself ed, you must be a horse!!
    What sort of nonsense is this gezera min hashamayim?
    Should every cancer victim say “Gezera min hashamayim, and decline therapy?
    Should we abolish all police forces and say,”if you’re going to get mugged it’s gezera min hashamyim”?
    What makes you think you are any more observant or believing than YUGUY?
    What will all your Rabbis be doing that YUGUY isn’t doing?
    You like the answer that the Rabbis didn’t see it coming. Great! Perhaps it’s because they didn’t read MEIN KAMPF!! (written in the 20’s). Perhaps it’s because’ like teh situation is nowadays, they don’t even allow their followers to read a book, listen to the news, or use the internet. Ignoramuses aren’t going to see anything coming!!
    Where were the so -called gedolim during the Soviet Jewry campaign in the 60’s and 70’s? I’ll tell you, I was there!! Don’t go to rallies, don’t write your congressman! Keep voting for anti – Israel Democrats, because they favor programs for Yeshivas!!

    WE didn’t listen ed. We went to the rallies, we helped get them out!! Rav Meir Kahane ztl did more and certainly cared more for Jews than 10,000 Haredi Rosh Yeshivas. And every night, after he did his work, he went to the Beis Medrash to learn!!
    I saw him there!!

    The “holy” Satmar Rebbe, with his dualistic (heretical) beliefs in a Sitra Achara (read Ahriman – check out the Zend Avesta), left the Neturai Karta as his heritage!!

    Lubavitch created a False Messiah, who is graduating into godhood (there is a Rebbe – god blog).

    And you’re calling YUGUY an Apikores!! Why? You don’t even know him!

    Look around, amigo, check out all the corruption in high places. Check out the sainted Rosh Yeshivas that wear sixty pairs of Tzitzes (bal tosif) and then abett child molesters!! Check out the Rabbis who teach students how to milk every government program that ever existed!!

    If I see how corrupt people are now, why should I think they were that much better 65 years ago?

  33. YUGUY

    Thank you to all who defended me. I couldnt have done better myself. Chief Doofis, you should know that there are only Apikorsim here at YU. All the people taht go to shiur or learn are faking it and we are just devising waysto dissolve Orthodoxy. (Sarcasm)

    Dave, the truth is that people do have bechira (free will) and that many people made bad choices during the times of the Holocaust. Obviously this does not eman that Hashem had no hand in the destruction, but we don’t have to BLAME god.

    It reminds me of teh stroy of the flood. There is a flood in a city and they issue warnings to evacuate. One man is found in his living room, and they say ‘come with us to safety.’ He responds ‘God will provide.’
    As the water rises, he must go upstairs, and a boat passes his window. They tell him they are tehre to rescue him, he says God will provide. Water rises to the roof and he is standing on the roof when a helicopter lowers to him. ‘Come, well save you’….’ God will provide.’

    He drowns, and goes to the Pearly Gates (or Beis Din shel Malah)and says, ‘I had faith! where was God?’ We all know the answer, God sent him rescue workers, a boat, and a helicopter. Why the hell did he ignore Gods gifts.

    Pop open a nach (OMG, I can’t believe I suggested that! Its not part of Shas!) and look in Isaiah. I believe there were clear warnings of impending disaster and ways out, but the people still sinned and lost Yerushalayim and 10 shevatim because of it. Luckily, this was recorded with premonition, so teh Chareidim of the time couldn’t claim that Hashem hid the truth from them. Yet, we dont seem to ask how can God reconcile loving us and wiping 85% (8.5 * 10) of the Jews out and destroying our golden city.

  34. Anonymous

    The Rabbi’s were selfserving then as they are now – the concept is that preservation of their way (Rabbincal traditions) surpasses any jew and community, peope are used as commodities for their benefit and privilege – people are made to follow them like children even when they have become adults – at this they have succeeded in spades, judging by some of the comments posted above, they will find any lame excuse to justify the irrational .

    Sigmund Freund noted that the “child is the father of the man” the Rabbis know this very well, and that is why the want to have the children as young as possible – many of these have posted here.

  35. Isa

    This is what happens when one follows rabbis:
    Who have ears and yet cannot hear, who have eyes and yet cannot see, who have a mouth but only babble comes out. [Is this akin to idol worship?]
    I was faced with an evacuation of Houston where 4 out of 5 milion did evacuate because of a hurricane. Did I follow retarded officials advice with regards to the proper routes? HECK NO! I figured out an easy route to Corpus Christi and found a hotel room for my family. I turned on the TV and sneered at all the ‘leemings’ who rotted on the roads for up to 20 hours.

  36. Yochanan Lavie

    After being an interested spectator in this discussion, I would like to jump in. I agree with those who say the Shoah is a mystery. We cannot wholly blame God, nor can we let Him off the hook. We can blame individuals for making bad choices, or choices that are purely selfish, but no one knows what s/he would have done under such extraordinary circumstances. What, for example, are we doing given the possibility of Shaoh II, courtesy Iran?

    Finally, unlike YU Guy (whom I also admire), I am an admitted apikorus. Yet I am still a believer. I believe in God, despite the Shoah, and in divine revelation. I also believe in science (for the “hows” not the “whys”). What makes me an apikorus is my mistrust in the rabbis and their self-serving mesorah. Although there are many fine individuals in the rabbinate, there are far too many phonies, creeps, and scoundrels. I don’t believe their self-serving myth that they are God’s appointed heirs. I think the Karaites were more correct about some things, but about others were too literalist.

    How are we going to be Jews going forward? As the Jewish people or the Jewish sheeple? And if we are sheep, we need better shepherds. The ones we’ve had have been leading us to (Rubashkin) shcheta far too long.

  37. chief doofis

    Yochanan;

    Questioning Rabbis doesn’t make you an Apikores. Don’t belittle yourself. If you are, as you say, a believer in G-d, Divine intervention, and Sinai, you are as good a Jew as anyone else!!

    Mistrust in the Rabbis means nothing. Many of them are not moral, many don’t believe the rubbish they spout! Of course, buried amongst that rubbish may be bits and pieces of real Torah, but how is a layman to winnow this chaff?

  38. zach

    There are no answers to the Holocaust. Admit it.

    Correct; that is the real lesson of Eyov (Job) – our understanding is very limited. Maybe the Holocaust was due to the Zionist movement (as many Hareidim hold). Maybe it was because of the Reform movement which developed in Germany (a common assertion of Aish and other kiruv organizations.) Maybe it was because God disapproved of the Hassidim (after all, they were about 1/3 of all of the victims). Maybe it was the (on-going) problem of sinas chinum. Or fill in your own pet theory. There are no naviim and we really don’t know. But if you believe in the “God of History”, there was a reason.

    Some people lost faith with a God who loves us yet allowed one of the worst atrocities in world history to occur to His beloved people.

    And we should never blame such people who had to undergo tribulations that most of us can’t even imagine…

  39. shmuel

    We’ll never know the reason for the Holocaust, as I wrote above, but the same exact question, regarding an earlier Holocaust, was posed to the Rabbis: “Why did God allow the Second Temple to be destroyed? Why did God allow the slaughter of tens of thousands of Jews by the Romans?”

    And their answer? Very painfully frank and honest: we all were the cause. We just hated each other. The infighting, the backstabbing, the political and religious fights, it just never seemed to end. The non-stop machlokes, the animosity between amei haaretz and rabbis, between Sadduccees and Pharisees, between Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel, between every rabbi and every other rabbi…enough was enough for God. And He wiped them all out.

    Same thing in Europe. See the Netziv’s introduction to Chumash; I’ll give you a snippet here:
    “…the generation of the Second Temple was a ‘perverse and twisted generation’ [Deut. 32:5] and we have explained that they were Tzadikim, Chasidim and Ameilei b’Torah. (!)
    But they were not upright, straight, in the way they conducted their everyday lives. Thus, because of the hatred in their hearts one for the other, they suspected those whom they saw not acting in matters of ‘Yiras Hashem’ exactly as they conducted themselves as [nothing but] Sadduccees or heretics. And they came, as a result of this attitude, to bloodshed through [internal] division, and all other bad things in the world, until the Temple was destroyed. And due to that [terrible behavior], God’s actions were vindicated, since God is straight and does not tolerate ‘Tzadikim’ like those, but rather He insists that Tzadikim walk in the path of uprightness even in their daily affairs, and not in crookedness/deceit, even if such deceit is ‘for the sake of Heaven,’ since that dishonesty causes destruction of the Creation of the world and an uprooting of the settlement of the world.”

    Let’s review. Know when God gets very angry? When His children can’t get along and mistreat each other. He destroyed many in the flood because they couldn’t get along (yet allowed the Tower of Babel to survive, because they did get along); He destroyed the Second Temple because of hatred, and He destroyed Europe’s Jews, I bet for the same reason. Reread the Netziv. He lived in the 19th century and wrote what he wrote for a reason. He saw the hypocricy, the dishonesty, the cheating in God’s name; he saw it all and lambasted them in his Introduction. It didn’t help, but at least we know why God does things: He hates our hatred of each other.

    And nothing changes. Yet we expect to get out of galus. That is the saddest part of all: we are very blind to our faults as a people, we don’t respect another because his hashkafiz differ from mine, I’m elitist, you don’t go to the same yeshiva, etc. And yet we keep on ramping up our bein adam l’Makom while hating our fellow Jew and thus not keeping bein adam l’chavero…and we wonder why God ignores our pleas for the geulah.

    Stupid. Stiff-necked. Stubborn. Never learning from history. Haters of one another. That’s us.

  40. Yochanan Lavie

    Shmuel writes:

    Stupid. Stiff-necked. Stubborn. Never learning from history. Haters of one another. That’s us.

    I respectfully disagree. That description can fit any ethno-religious group on planet earth, period. I am not an Uncle Tom Jew. We are a noble people, despite our failings. And even if we were the only “stupid, stiff-necked, stubborn, hating, non-history learning” people NOTHING justifies the Shoah.

    Because of Zionism, babies deserve to be skwered alive by bayonets? (Other people are entitled to a homeland, including our enemies. Why not us? The torah says so, it’s only SOME rabbis in the gemara that say not. For all the flaws of Medinat Yisrael, of which there are many, it is not North Korea- no other society under siege for 60 yrs was ever as vibrant & democratic & we can end galut in one flight [disclosure: I’m a hypocrite in that regard]).

    Because of hypocrisy, young virgins deserve to be raped? Because of elitism, innocent old men who were ehrliche yidden deserve to have their beards ripped out, get gassed, and be cremated, with the skin made into a lampshade?

    I cannot worship a God who would indescriminately make the guilty and innocent suffer together, and disproportionately. Since I do daven (disclosure: not as often as I should),it is because I don’t rely on pat answers that the rabbis have fed me about the Shoah. As it says in the machzor, the secrets belong to YHWH. The Shoah is one of them.

  41. chief doofis

    Yocahanan, once again, you confirm my opinion. You are no Apikores. We are all struggling through the miasma of questions that are never answered, following role models who aren’t.

  42. Yochanan Lavie

    Chief Doofis: You are too kind. Why the self-deprecating moniker? I may or may not be an apikores, but you are no doofis.

  43. YUGUY

    Its an inside joke. It isnt meant to be self-deprecating. Neither is mine, but apparently people look at it as self-deprecating. Chief Doofis is really chief of the doofi (plural)

  44. Anonymous

    Shmuel, I like what you wrote. Did the Netziv hint at all that the Jewish people in his time had the same sinas chinam as the time of the second temple?

  45. FormellyFrum

    To the comments above.

    Blame the victim, nice. God wanted to punish us. Well if god wanted to punish us I guess maybe the Nazis should get some reward for doing Gods dirty work. They were only doing
    what God wanted. On the same note, the twin towers fell because god wanted to punish America. Woman get raped because again god wants to punish woman etc.

    Also I thought god was just, and would not punish others for other people sins, is does say that in the Torah. God not following his own rules?

    The reason why the holocaust happened is that there are evil people out there and many idiot followers. When evil people gain power and has a nation of gullible and followers that is a very very bad combination.

  46. YUGUY

    Formelly, that is what I said. I can’t blame god for something that Adolf decided to do. It isnt like 6 million people died in a fluke epidemic like the balck plague that looks very much like God. I feel that if during the holocaust god would have sent a Bas Kol throughout the entire world proclaimin ‘The jews are my children, stop the slaughter. For every time that a jew is murdered I will kill the offender.’ or soemthing grandiose like that, there would be no bechirah. The bastards that want to kill us wouldnt be able to because of the threat of an omniscient omnipresence!

    If we believed all our actions would be punished immediately we would have no choice but to follow the will of God to the tee. The point of life is for there to be doubt so that we can sin or do good deeds, not knowing what will ultimately come of our actions. I belive 100% that I have chosen the right religious beliefs for myself *most logical in existence, for sure), but I have no way of knowing.

    When I die it may turn out that the angel Moroni will show me the Book of Mormon and say, hey, why didnt you follow my cult? Hell time for you. I doubt it, but its possible. Yet because of the doubt I have the ability to chose. That is What god wants us to do. chose the right path. The Hitlerites didnt. The rebbes that told their chasidim to stay in poland didnt. Dont blame the wrongdong on God.

  47. shmuel

    Shmuel, I like what you wrote. Did the Netziv hint at all that the Jewish people in his time had the same sinas chinam as the time of the second temple?

    Posted by: | February 01, 2007 at 06:50 AM

    I think so; it was a hint. He wrote this, I believe, because of what he observed around him: that’s what rabbis do. It’s a subtle blast at the communities of his time. Anyone agree or am I on my own on this one?

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