Saturday, November 27, 2021

A Time to Build,” Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller

 There is another aspect to the "with us" syndrome: Give us what we want. "We want spirituality," so we give them spirituality. "We want meditation," so we respond with lectures on meditation. "We want Kabbala,"and we deliver Kabbala. This, it can he argued, is only used as a means of attracting them. But then we have to "bait and switch." And"bait and switch" does not always work. A person coming into Judaism searching for mysticism and Kabbala may not be so happy to be sold the halachos of Shulchan Aruch. And when he's not satisfied with ourbrand of mysticism, he may explore other forms of mysticism. Our goal is not to produce Mitzva Machines, but to make bnei Torah, andto spread Torah, which is the lifeblood of the Jewish People. "Spirituality"seekers are in reality "hungry to hear the words of Hashem." When people are hungry and thirsty, you do not feed them potato chips and diet cola with cotton candy for dessert. And when they really want to hear the word ofHashem, you do not feed them puffand platitudes and pop Kabba/a before you teach them the basics of Torah'. Otherwise, the result can be a hybridization of Judaism - "feel good,'' and do-it-yourself religion, and in the worst scenario, introduction into messianic cults. Not all outreach is kiruv.


  1. well said
    he was quite rational at times
    except when he attacked Modern O.

  2. A further comment - he omits to mention the contributions made by MO and Lubavitch in Kiruv. This was even before Ohr Someach and Aish were founded. Actually, hsi nemeis, Rabbi Rackman ztl was very active in Kiruv in his heyday, in the 40s, 50s and 60s. This was before it became fashionable. The same also applies to campaigns for Soviet Jewry. Lubavtich perhaps wasn't always a messianic cult (at least not openly) - when the Rebbe had a heart attack in the 70s, Rav Moshe told his bochrim to help in teffilin campaign in the zchus of a refuah for the rebbe.

  3. Source for Lubavitch kiruv? / Rav Moshe tefillin? Or Rackman kiruv?

    Rav Moshe is story told in Lubavitcher circles.
    Rackman was born in 1910, so was doing outreach before r riskin, Rav Noach ztl etc. He spoke very eloquent English and was doing outreach to majority non orthodox. R Ruskin followed this example, actually did kiruv by bringing an entire conservative Shul back to orthodoxy.

  4. Decades ago I met a guy named Harry. I remember because his nickname was "Zoharry". He was totally into the Zohar. Owned a complete English translation and read through it over and over. That was his Judaism - all the fun mystical stuff. When you mentioned "What about the Talmud?" his response was "Waste of time. Only the Zohar matters, baby!"

  5. couldn't find any reference to Rackman and kiruv - it is not mentioned in Rabbi Lamm'shesped.I lived in Far Rockaway and never heard it mentioned!

    Changing a synagoue's affiliation is not kiruv
    I know Orthodox shul's that became Conservative solely to allow Bingo is that kiruv?

    I have contacts with Lubavitch and never heard the claim, the story about Rav Moshe - I doubt it is true
    They normally mention the story about Rabbeinu Tam tefillin -which is in the Igros for which he was criticized and even accused of senility

  6. Bingo - why do you need to be conservative to play bingo?
    So if chareidi make non frum people orthodox, it is kiruv. As soon as riskin does it, you talk about bingo.

    Reminds me of aryeh Kaplan. In one of his dumb essays, he starts my espousing the 13 principles. Then just a few paragraphs later he goes on to deny them.

  7. No idea if the story is true - ask your lubavitch friends. It was making the rounds in the rav shach days,.

    Lubavitcher rebbe sent rackman to Australia for 6 months to do kiruv work for the community there.
    I think Charles S liebman mentioned in one of his articles about MO that hareidim like to attack rackman, but privately concede he had done more kiruv than anyone else ( at the time).
    Actually rabbi Dr Gottlieb of ohr somayach in his critique of Mo says he was himself MO for 10 years and credits them for work with baalei teshuva.

  8. "Changing a synagoue's affiliation is not kiruv
    I know Orthodox shul's that became Conservative solely to allow Bingo is that kiruv?"

    You have to learn to stop living and talking in denial. Anyone on your hatelist is 100% wrong, 100% of the time. Any simple conversation involving your adversaries leads to denial. I'm not referring to Trump.
    So you wrote an index to igros Moshe. Well done. Does that mean you know everything and heard everything that ever happened or was alleged to have happened?

  9. You refuse to deal with facts and always turn to ad hominem attacks instead

  10. What's ad hominem? Shlomo riskin was a famous MO rabbi, who was close to both the rebbe and the Rav. He turned a conservative, non frum community into a frum , MO community. Is the problem giving recognition to someone who you now disagree with?

  11. Wow do you always make comments that don't express what you think?


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