Sunday, December 02, 2007

Chutzpah Redux

Looking over my archives, I see I've already once used the phrase "It takes some kind of chutzpah..." Well, I'm going to use it again regardless, and still about charedim:

Reading reports from the Agudah convention (and posts done before then), it takes some kind of chutzpah to carry on for over seventy years about how modern Zionism is wrong, is un-Jewish, has failed (a favorite meme among them, and patently false to anyone who can see), the modern State means nothing, etc. etc., and then, when access to your precious Koysel is threatened, to moan and complain and say that Yerushalayim must remain under Israeli control. Can't these people see the cognitive dissonance they live with? Didn't they realize, all these years, who it was who was enabling them to go to the Kotel, to have yeshivot, to live off the dole? Do they even recognize it now?

Come to think, it takes a really special kind of chutzpah to have actively enabled the turnover of territories and expulsion of Jews for years, and then only wake up now. What, the people of Gush Katif weren't "black" enough for you?

Eventually, it all becomes quite sad, as even halakha is trampled underfoot. Poor man. I wonder if I could ever be a mouthpiece.

Speaking of which, yasher koach to the Machon HaMikdash. When I heard the tzitz was being remade a year or so ago, I was a little nervous they'd mess up the lines to be more "frum" or something, but they did a really good job. (Didn't touch the lines, in fact.) There's a group I'll depend on over the Agudah (and their spokesmen) any day. That said, I think I'm a bad Jew for laughing when I hear "New research has come to light."

Oh, and here's a good piece from R' Mandel. An oldie and a goodie.

Anyway, it was a good weekend. At the Kollel Yom Rishon this morning (two very good shiurim, as always), Dr. Goldberg asked me what R' Leiman spoke about. "Well, there's this new Artscroll book on Aleppo..." I began, "...and he ripped it to shreds," he concluded. Hee. What's especially pleasing is that I smelled something fishy about that book lo these two years plus past, but you need a scholar like him (and Dr. Zohar) to put their finger on it. That, a Carlebach Friday night, and a good session with the chavrusa, and...

...yes! Take a look at these photos. Sorry they're a bit dark- it was snowing today and not much natural light was coming in. The Eldridge Street Synagogue has been undergoing renovations for decades (I've visited a few times during that period, so I can attest to the huge amount of work that's gone into it), and they finally reopened to the public today:The view from outside, which my ultra-cool camera flipped automatically.

A few interior shots- the western rose window, the ceiling, and the eastern view- note how one of the two luchot is new, as they had to replace it, while the other was left in the state they found it. Finally, the famous pushke. When we visited with Dr. Gurock once, he pointed out how the shul collected for Yeshivat Etz Chaim (later YU) when it needed it, and we should reciprocate the favor- which I did today.

Finally, here's a shot from a month or two back. The Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society (I am a member of the latter) sponsored a book tour for Clarence Thomas consisting of luncheons around the country. He spoke marvelously, and the book is magnificent as well. Here he is signing a copy for me. If he looks a bit distracted here, it's because some tables accidentally fell over at that moment and he was concerned about his wife. But he was very nice, gave me a hearty handshake- but my camera didn't get that. Ah well. It was great meeting him.

Still no Wilde, I know. Soon. Instead, here's a funny video. My apologies to those I forwarded it to whole instead of looking for a link first. (And before learning, from YouTube, that it isn't an uncommon "shtick," although this is one of the better ones.) And speaking of wedding dances and YouTube, I had no idea.


An Islander said...

You look FAB

Ha-historion said...

Any way to get Leiman's take on the Aleppo book?

Nachum said...

Posted over on your blog.