Reply To: Charedi a Reaction to Haskalah

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Lilmod Ulelamaid

ZD – when I said “comes up in a conversation” I wasn’t referring to their personal actions. I didn’t mean “if they start talking about what they do”. I meant if they bring it up as a philosophical discussion – for example, if they ask you your opinion on this issue. But you’re right – even then it can be sticky, especially if you are dealing with relatives, and especially if it’s a personal issue for the person.

Each situation is different and requires a lot of thought as to the best way to handle that particular situation. So it is not really possible to talk about what should be done in any specific given situation.

My point was simply that one should not be embarrassed or uncomfortable sticking up for the Torah’s point of view. When dealing with not-Frum people, it can be hard not to feel uncomfortable or apologetic. Especially in today’s pluralistic mind-set. That is where LB’s comment about Amalek comes into play. We have to make sure that we are unaffected by the world around us, and we have no problem sticking up for the Torah, and most importantly, we are not uncomfortable or embarrassed about our beliefs. And this is a challenge for everyone.

How this plays itself out in a specific situation will depend on many factors. But the important thing is that if you choose not to say something in a given situation, it should not be out of discomfort or embarrassment or even a “live-and-let-live” attitude, but only because you don’t think it will be helpful to say anything in this particular situation.

And if you do choose to say anything, it should not be out of hatred or judgmentalism, but only out of love for the person, passion for the emes of Torah, and a desire to stick up for the Torah and to help the person come closer to Hashem.