Monday, October 30, 2006
Neo-Tzig is rethinking his belief system
This just in from the Neo-Tzig:
This Motzoei Shabbos I had the pleasure of spending time with friends (Hirshel Tzig & Faruq (yes, he lives) were in attendance). The Melave-Malka brought a collection of thoughts into focus. Tell me, am I sliding off the deep end? Here's some of what I'm talking about:
A number of years ago I believed:
1) Tzaddikim don't make mistakes.
2) Science and Torah can always be reconciled as long as they are understood properly.
3) Torah Yiddishkeit is basically black and white, with small areas of gray.
4) We're supposed to love every Jew deeply, and be able relate to them intimately.
5)Truth is a fundamental element of Yiddishkeit, (and especially of chassidus).
Today I lean towards the opinion that:
1) Tzaddikim are G-dly people, but unlike Him, they may err, and perhaps even err foolishly and often.
2) Scientific information we now have may not match the interpretation of Chazal. Time to get over it…
3) Yiddishkeit is all gray, with small black & white areas.
4) The common interpretation of Ahavas Yisroel is ridiculous, impossible and unhealthy. Let's redefine it to mean "respect and deal fairly with your fellow Jew."
It's all about "group think" today. Truth is irrelevant and despised – on a group level – and while many individuals may indeed seek it, they are discouraged and insulted if the dare expose that to others. Troublingly, it seems, however, that open-mindedness does generally lead to less frumkeit, while the more restrictive, regimented, and legislated Judaism being sold by the establishment does have a considerably higher rate of success (and if you don't believe me, just look at pre-war Hungarian Yiddishkeit vs. the Polish/Russian model!). Ugh.