Thursday, July 08, 2004

The House of Hock takes on an attack on Ephraim Zuroff by Jonathan Rosenblum. I'd like to make a few observations about other parts of Rosenblum's column:

"That leads Modern Orthodox parents, like their chareidi counterparts, to a greater recognition of the necessity to shield their children from much of contemporary society."

This is wrong on a number of counts. First, chareidim never meant to shield their children from "contemporary society." After all, they existed before contemporary times. Rather, they meant to cut themselves off from everything outside Torah. Ergo, shielding one's children from a corrupt modern culture does not make one a chareidi. One can still, say, read Shakespeare and listen to Mozart (or watch a good modern TV show), something an honest chareidi would not.

"For instance, it is now possible for chareidim to earn their B.A. degrees without ever setting foot into a secular college."

Um, it's been possible to do that for over 75 years, through the good offices of Yeshiva University. I earned my B.A. without "setting foot" in a secular college, and I'm no chareidi.

"The Schottenstein Talmud, for example, has led to an exponential increase in Talmud learning..." [Here he is listing chareidi accomplishments.]

And the Schottensteins are anything but chareidi. And exactly what their Talmud accomplishes is another question.

"The huge resources, both human and monetary, invested by the chareidi world in kiruv work completely refute Efraim Zuroff’s claim that the chareidi world shows no concern for secular Jews, and seeks to live in total isolation from them."

Putting money into kiruv doesn't neccesarily demonstrate being open to the outside world- quite the opposite. It arguably shows you only care about others to the extent they'll become more like you.

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