Ashkenazic Trauma

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    Yabia Omer

    I think Ashkenazim have deep seated internal trauma which has led to debilitating neurosis. Maybe from Haskalah schism, maybe Holocaust. But all these posts are Litvish vs. Chabad, Chareidi vs. MO, Kollel vs. Working, Zionism vs. Anti. etc.


    absurd. come on, man.


    That’s exactly what Nazis and other anti semites have said about Jews. Enjoy their company.


    I think the Sephardic trauma from the Inquisition, Expulsions and forced conversions to Christianity hasn’t yet abated. The reality is that for the last 400-500 years the seat of the Torah world and the vast majority of Torah scholarship.

    Reb Eliezer

    ‘The reality is that for the last 400-500 years the seat of the Torah world and the vast majority of Torah scholarship.’ ujm, can you explain what you are saying, the reality is what?

    Red Adair

    Am I missing something?
    Is there a sinas chinam deficit that must be made up?
    Do we really want a thread where we can bash each other over the minahgim we’ve followed for centuries?


    Lets get back to really important issues facing klal yisroel like the end of the Shiduch crisis, Trump’s cognitive decline or was techeles really purple….the new topics over the past several weeks have been really bizarre


    *The reality is that for the last 400-500 years the seat of the Torah world and the vast majority of Torah scholarship has been in the Ashkenazic world.
    (the few missing words from the end of my previous comment)

    Shimon Nodel

    Sfarfim are traumatized by Arab rule stifling their Judaism. That is why the sfardi population slowly declined over the centuries.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    boy did we all fall in to the hateful troll trap! Here’s a poster who is almost exclusively rude, condescending, cynical or confrontational. He claims “all” these posts are about that and we for some odd reason feel a need to respond.

    Here’s the response – Where your heart goes, Hashem will lead you. Try not to look for the rotten in everyone and you’ll notice the other conversations going on.

    Red Adair – Spot on.


    Dear Yabia, let me prove your point.

    Dear Avira, your post is exhibit A.

    Dear Ujm, your post is exhibit B.

    The OP observed that a large portion of the discussion here devolves into the same long held communal divisions. And these divisive viewpoints come with the territory, maybe they even are the home turf, of largely Ashkenazi ideologies. This is an observation of this site and it is a factual one. You observed that this is because of trauma. And you mentioned two possible circumstances.

    Now, we all know that the holocaust and the enlistment had profound influences on the Ashkenazi communal structure. This can be regarded as a casualty of history in two ways.
    1. Reactionary
    2. Trauma
    We can come up with more, but this will be enough to prove the OP’s point. How we can test which one? Just post it! If the responses come back as well, it was not the trauma it was natural communal progression away from the pitfalls of enlightenment, or it was the way different communities conceptualized the European experience, then there is no trauma involved just different types of communal thought. But if The purpose is to attack, then we can assume there is no real communal rational, rather it is the result of trauma.

    In Exhibit A, we have exactly that. And, it lends a justification that anti Semites made a similar claim. Which implies that Judaism is attacked as contentious, so you cannot claim that being divisive is a result of trauma.

    Exhibit B also is not an attack, but a counter attack. Again no reason is offered as to the cause of the schism. It also implies that being the seat of Torah is the real cause. Which is absurd. If they really were the seat of the Torah world, why did they not have the answers to their communal challenges? And why they divide and subdivide into all these denominations? Could it be that they were not interested in the truth? Yet none of this is explored. So even though EXHIBIT B hints at an alternate hypothesis, the unwillingness to investigate, again points to trauma.

    Though this gives a new source for the trauma. It was the trauma of being unable to get answers to basic communal problems from their own Torah. Hey look dear Ujm, I agree to the basics your hashkafah!

    Now it should be pointed out that we only have responses from one side of the common spats. But it can be pointed out that if only one group was traumatized they would be mostly left alone.from that there debates are continuous, it seems like there is trauma all around.

    Yabia Omer

    No one is addressing the very real concern of divisions and neurosis.


    I was referring to the claim that Jewish people have “debilitating neurosis”. Nazis said that Jewish people were collectively mentally and physically ill


    These sort of threads do not benefit anyone.


    Yabia is right that Ashkenazim we’re affected by haskala, while Sephardim were not. Modernity arrival was probably the most dramatic event in Jewish history after destruction of 2 beis mikdash with whole fabric of society changing. The problems we are discussing now are just an echo of what was happening 100-200 years ago. Without going into all ways it affected us, one outcome is that we indeed divided into factions, while Sephardim still see themselves as one community, some more observant, some less … Wherever they do fight, I am reminding them not to learn the worst from us


    Sefardim were just as divided over the issue of philosophy in the times of the rishonim. I don’t believe Ashkenazim ever participated in book burning (at a time before the printing press no less) as sefardim burnt the rambam’s moreh nevuchim.


    Yabia Omer, this trait of Ashkenazim is a ma’alah. It is called guarding the mesorah to prevent deviations and guarding against sin — as opposed to anything-goes Judaism (like in many of your communities). Ok, not mamash anything goes, but too lax.



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