Friday, August 26, 2011

Agudas Israel is a modern innovation needed to combat individualism

 from my sefer Daas Torah - translation copyrighted

Pardes Yosef(Bereishis 49:1): Many times I have talked about and publicly addressed the issue of joining Agudas Israel. Many people have asked, “If such an organization is so necessary why wasn’t it created in previous generations?” After all the foundation of our tradition is not to consider ourselves as wiser than previous generations - as we say that if the earlier generation were compared to angels…[then we are like donkeys…] Furthermore they assert that all innovation is prohibited by the Torah and that we should follow in the path of our ancestors who had no such  organization and nevertheless they were G‑d fearing people and succeeded in educating their children in the path of Torah? I have a good answer to these objections. In previous generation the masses listened to the great rabbis who were scholars and the righteous men of their generation. However now we live in a time that exalts individuality and rejects obedience to the leaders of the generation. While it is true that this is not universal, but they are only exceptions to the rule. There are in fact places that retain an organized community apparatus and I don’t disagree that these places have great people who are able to influence the community. We thus have a mixed picture of both proper community organizations with leadership and lack of community organizations and a lack of leadership. However in all cases it is dependent on the consent of the masses. In particular since World War I, the power began to be taken from the leadership of these various community organizations. Therefore now even the pious need an organization, even though there was no need for it in previous generations


  1. Rabbi Eidensohn:

    You should be aware that under US Copyright Law you cannot claim a copyright for the translation of someone else's work, unless the original copyright holder (in the original language), gives you that right.

    The exception to the above, is a translation of a work that is not under copyright. (i.e. It is in the public domain.)

  2. In your post title you have chosen emotionally charged words ( which I have little doubt was intentional ) to over simplify a piece that was already a simplification of the issue.

  3. Degel haTorah is a party that rejected Aguda, and is even more extreme.

    I have heard it said that one who doesn't accept their daas Torah is an apikores!

  4. NK marching in Berlin on Shabbes with rodefim,7340,L-4114510,00.html


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