Friday, August 9, 2019

Open Letter to Errant Rabbis


In this unsettling time of year in which we mourn the absence of the Beis Hamikdash and yearn for its rebuilding, let's consider our sages' ominous words in the Talmud (Shabbos 119b):

אמר רב המנונא לא חרבה ירושלים אלא בשביל שביטלו בה תינוקות של בית רבן שנאמר "שפוך על עולל בחוץ" וגו׳ מה טעם "שפוך"? משום ד'עולל בחוץ'

"Rav Hamnuna said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because schoolchildren there were interrupted from studying Torah, as it is stated: '[And I am filled with the wrath of God, I cannot contain it], pour it onto the children in the street...' (Jeremiah 6:11). Rav Hamnuna explains: What is the reason that the wrath is poured? It is because 'children are outside in the streets' and are not studying Torah."

Nearly 1,950 years later, Jewish children are yet again 'outside on the streets,' being barred from attending school, prevented from learning Torah.

These innocent children are the unfortunate victims of the wrath of a frenzied, mob-mentality that has been insidiously indoctrinated, engineered, and fomented by overreaching government and media, under the disproportionate influence of the pharmaceutical industry and the mainstream medical establishment that it funds.
Sadly, many uneducated rabbis, educators and lay leaders have become willing participants to this grave injustice and blatant violation of halacha.

To these errant rabbis and leaders, I submit the following word to the wise:

Your hypocrisy is appalling. Do not claim to mourn the Temple when the very reason it was destroyed is happening again in your own community while you sit by silently and complacently, and perhaps even condone or endorse this travesty.

Or even worse, perhaps you "spewed wrath" yourself and abused your authority in attempt to strong-arm Jewish parents into vaccinating their child against their own personal beliefs or medical concerns. Perhaps you wrathfully accused them of being rodfim and irresponsibly endangering their child or the children of others.

[While you are entitled to your own opinion, you are by no means a medical expert, nor is it your jurisdiction to enforce medical opinions of experts, even if it’s a majority opinion. Your personal opinion is not halachically binding on them, and even if it were, you have absolutely no halachic grounds for banning their child from school as a punishment for not complying with state-required vaccine schedule that includes immunization for Hepatitis B, Tetanus, and other diseases for which the child’s lack of immunity poses no immediate danger to anyone. Your ill-advised zeal to coerce Jewish parents into compliance is a grave abuse of your rabbinical authority.]

To you, I say: enough of your wrath! You've caused a churban. Now go fix it.

Until every single Jewish child in your community is attending a Jewish school, your kinot are meaningless lip service.

Instead of lamenting our millennia-long exile, go lament the unprecedented exile and banishment of Jewish children from yeshivos and schools in your community that you caused (or were party to).

Do not hide behind the specious excuse of "dina d'malchusa." That excuse existed at the time of the Churban too, but it is irrelevant.

As the leader in your community, you are responsible that every Jewish child learns Torah. כל עיר שאין בה תינוקות של בית רבן מחריבין אותה ומחרימין אותה. Any rabbi or leader who sits by idly (while Tinokos shel beis Rabban are thrown out into the street) deserve to be excommunicated.

Before you claim to care about the churban beis hamikdash, START CARING about the CHURBAN in YOUR community. Get those children back into school. Resist unjust government laws that order you to throw innocent "children out into the street."
Stand up to the destructive wrath that has been unleashed in your community.

As a rabbi or leader, YOU are responsible.

Yes, I know there is societal and financial pressure, but as Harry Truman famously observed, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

If you can't take the pressure of leadership and are too afraid to stand up to govt and/or influential community members, then RESIGN and let someone more competent take your place. If you are unfit to lead, then stop leading.

Meanwhile, Jewish children are on the street. עולל בחוץ.

Can we afford to let this happen again?

Haven't we been through enough 'wrath'?

When will start to see some real Jewish leadership?

עד מתי? Until when?

May these days be transformed from days of sadness to days of joy and celebration.

3 comments:

Jewish Stories said...

כל הכבוד

Unknown said...

Yasher Koach!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing such a letter