For the most part Emunah and Hashkafah is not part of the traditional Yeshiva and Beis Yaakov curriculum. Many talmidim and talmidos have lingering questions on Emunah and Hashkafah that were never dealt with by Rebbeim and Moros.
Unfortunately, in the contemporary information age, many frum people go online or to secular books to receive answers to their questions. The answers they receive are most often very antithetical to Torah and can border of pure apikorsus (heresy). Rav Yitzchok Fingerer, Rav and Rosh Kollel of Brooklyn Jewish Xperience (BJX), Brooklyn’s Kiruv and Chizuk Center in Flatbush and author of the acclaimed Hashkafah book Search Judaism, says that there is an onslaught of frum people that are r”l closet atheists who no longer believe in Hashem and are no longer Shomer Torah u’Mitzvos.
Many of these people are married and even have children and in many instances their wives and children have no idea of their spouse or father’s secret identity. BJX believes that the Torah must be the first address where people turn to with their questions and not secular sources or organizations such as Footsteps that are rabidly anti Yiddishkeit. BJX’s rabbis and faculty are exceedingly tolerant and open minded and their classes refreshingly openly deal with Emunah/Hashkfah and Machshava issues.
Rav Fingerer feels that if more attention was given to Emunah and Hashkafah in Yeshivos, the drop out and off the derech rate would drastically decrease. Questions such as “How do I know there is a Hashem?” or “Is there proof that the Torah is really Divine from Hashem?” “Does Hashem really love me?” “Why do Bad things Happen?” are critical for every thinking person. BJX will be offering a seminar for the frum and heimish community to give adults answers to these questions so they can be stronger Yidden and stronger parents and teachers for their children. The seminar will be at the Center (2915 Avenue K) and begin Motzei Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah (October 26) and run four consecutive weeks.
(YWN Desk – NYC)
I think “the onslaught” is even bigger than what you think. I look like some of the most yeshivish people in Lakewood, and my emunah has gone downhill.
There are good reasons too.
Think: If you would know the truth about the new “Bnei Torah” party and what kind of destruction they have caused in the past few years, you would be shaking your head in disbelief at how so many people can be fooled into joining a destructive cult. Yet, people did join, because the leader is a “Godol B’yisroel”.
Which makes one wonder. How do we know Chazal weren’t anything more than cult leaders? Perhaps Bais Shamai and Bais Hillel were no different than two rebbes fighting today?
It confuses today’s youth, to say the least. The least….
When I started reading this article I realized there must be an “Agenda”.
When is the Seminar on Emunah again?
i suggest that the “yeshivah students of today”/and so called “frum” people should go to this program more so than the so called “non-frum” whose brains are just mixed up do to outer influence. besides for the handfull /percentage that do…the typical yeshivah guy has no idea about the meaning of life, let along the “you must know how to answer an atheist” rule… besides for learn learn learn learn learn, basically till your nose false off. Besides for limud hatorah hakdoshah, wich is of much impirtance,there really are other aspects of avodas HASHEM that are greatly ignored, if not abbused! see pirkey avos
“…there is an onslaught of frum people that are r”l closet atheists who no longer believe in Hashem and are no longer Shomer Torah u’Mitzvos…”
This is pure hyperbole. How does Rabbi Fingerer define “onslaught” and where does he get his numbers from?
Hashkofo education is always a good thing but it doesn’t have to be accompanied by alarmist statements that have no factual basis.
Is there a number to call in? Available online?
Rabbi Fingerer might be right that there are many closet atheists in our community. He might also be wrong. The exact number of atheists, agnostics and true believers is impossible to ascertain.
However he is wrong to place the blame on Yeshivos and Rabbeim. The challenges to Emunah are varied and many. The answers that are sufficient for some are insufficient for others. For some that struggle with doubt even the best “Kiruv and Chizuk” presentations are not always entirely convincing.
For many the warmth and geshmake of the sugyas of shas (especially as taught in Yeshivas),the experience of true mussar, partaking in the enjoyment of kiyum hamitzvos, and being part the spiritual high of Shabbos and Yom Tov provides a better connection to the divine than any “kiruv” seminar.
Im assuming that because he is in the business and he probably gets calls, emails and hears a lot of what is going on, he knows what he is talking about. What gives you the right to attack him?
Its an uphill battle because I think many of the “closet atheists” just dont believe because they are fed up with all that corruption and chillul Hashem that surrounds us constantly from frum people who are titled Rabbi and supposed to be role models. If its not the direct cause it certainly has an effect on weakening ones faith when he sees Rabbonim act like mobsters….
anybody like the point i brought out? anyone agree?
@ #7: “Attack”? If someone (not one of our gedolai yisroel) makes an astonishing statement in a public forum there is nothing wrong with asking him to justify it.
I’m sure Rabbi Fingerer sees lots of people with hashkofo problems. He’s in that “business”. But a podiatrist sees lots of folks with ingrown toenails. That doesn’t mean there’s a worldwide ingrown toenail epidemic.
I don’t know rabbi fingerer
but I applaud him for speaking up and bringing out to the public this truth
todays youth have serious crisis of faith that are not being addressed
most health teenagers (boys) in yeshiva if we think about it with all that’s available in the big wide outside world should have no interest in gemara
why should they care about two cows hitting each other etc
however if the rebeim would spend more time in teaching haskafa emuna proving that torah is mshomayim (both bcasv and baal peh) then the youth would take pride in being jewish and frum and would look differently at the gemara
as rabbi mechanic once said that 9out of ten teenagers cannot answer a simple question like “why be frum”
this is a serious problem
the days of my father was frum so I am frum are long gone
kudos to rabbi fingerer
I’m in chinuch for 18 years and this problem is real. Even more so; many of the most popular by seminaries that girl dream about getting into are hashkafaless and machshavaless. They are scared to ask questions for fear of being labeled. Teachers; many of them wouldn’t even know the answer. The BY system began as a system of kiruv. sarah shenirer had a curriculum full of emuna and bren to yiddishkeit. Today it works by peer pressure and the fearfactor. It is very unfortunate. This generation more than any other needs teachers that know kiruv. That can teach a discovery class or the basis and foundation of emuna and yiddishkeit. I”ve had many bachurim eat at my house on shabbos and frankly those with the most emuna and articulate understanding of the tafkid of the bria and emuna and bitachon are those that have gone through the kiruv system. They’re often much stronger than the guy that has gone through the whole system. Very scary!!!!
I used to tell my students that every by girlneeds to find at least one friend that has “become” wether it’s become frum or frumer even if she still looks more modern. Cus when you stand next to someone that has become and is so clear about her path to becoming frumer and is so inspired by everything then it wakes something up in those that have taken it for granted and do it just because bubby and zeidy did it. We need to be woken up!!! shaken up to excitement towards mitzvos and hashem. And the system is not doing enough….. There’s actually one seminary that I heard has tons of hashkafa and machshava with it being very academic. The principals allow the girls to ask and are so so learned on everything that they bring mekoros and examples from the most fundamental and hard to learn sefarim based on emuna and hashkafa. The name of that seminary is Binas BY. But otherwise and having been in quite a few seminaries too/working. I realized that the general high by high school and most seminaries really need a tikun in that.
There arent as many frum Jews as you think. If he even gets a 500 calls texts and emails over the year of supposedly frum married people in our community with serious Emunah issues that means theres likely 1000’s or 10,000 more who arent calling or emailing him. There are also other Rabbonim who lament this issue like Rabbi Wallerstein, Rabbi Mordechai Becher and others. There is a serious problem and people with your attitude are not helping the situation. There are people that like to live with their head in the sand and brush things under the carpet. Unfortunately all the carpets that we have brushed all of our issues under are full. We are officially out of carpet.
This post comes the same day someone starts a topic in the coffee room about rampant orthopraxy. Seems a little, um, I dunno, just saying…
(Risking comment not being published)
It’s not just a question of lack of teaching of hashkofo.
It’s also what the talmid sees as apparent hypocrisy from his rebbeim & Roshei Yeshiva that results in people going OTD.
Menahel gives lecture on honesty & paying workers on time. “Top” bochur after sits down quietly next to the menahel and asks, “So how do you do it?” Menahel refuses to answer this chutzpa. Bochur two years later is now OTD.
Rosh Yeshiva give shmuz on honesty when some bochurim did something dishonest that cost the yeshiva almost $100. All the bochurim start laughing at “the pot calling the kettle black”.
Rebbeim teach how important learning is and then the talmid is not allowed in unless he pays so many thousands in tuition.
Rosh Yeshiva lectures on how wonderful it is to stay in learning and then tells bochurim to ask for large amounts before going out, leaving the talmid chochom who stayed in learning unable to marry his daughter off.
Rav sign “kol korei” that susc & such is assur. When asked privately he admits that he disagreed, but signed it because of politics.
These are all real stories!
And you want to know why people are “turned off?”
As the parent of teenagers who have attended both Israeli Chareidi and Dati Le’umi schools, I find that the issue of “why do we believe” is addressed in Dati Le’umi schools much more than in the Chareidi system. Machshevet, as it’s called, is taught as a serious subject in one son’s school, and questions are encouraged. In the other’s school, Machshevet was treated as a joke, and questions of Hashkafa were taboo. I’m not saying this is the case in all Chareidi or Dati Le’umi schools, but it seems to also reflect my experience in Yeshiva, over 25 years ago. Whether it’s an “epidemic” or not, I can’t say, but it is definitely an issue.
an Israeli Yid
Alas, Yeshivas and kollels are busy with complex meforshim on a piece of gemorrah for days , months and years. Kollels are even worse. Very little is discussed about the beauty of our Torah and religion, about Odom L’chavero, about Hashem’s beauty in this world and where and how to seek it.This is indeed also Torah. There is absolutely no explained connection attempted between Hashem and the student/adult. There is a dryness and mechanically rote way of doing mitzvos, not to mention the recent spate of additional chumras and turn of Chareidi mainstream to the right.Doeas anybody feel frummer now?? Yeshivishe shidduchim are are now in the category of how long will the boy learn without earning a living.
The obsession with money, status and one- upmanship is sadly all around us whether its spoken or felt. The result is a stress recipe for heart attacks and/or nervous breakdowns…… OR… leaving the fold altogether.
I bet that there is no other ethnic group in the USA that has so many financial obligations, many which could be alleviated if real rabbis who have real yerei Shomayim would care to deal with it.
This, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg.
You can’t fool children and teens. They see the infighting, corruption and platitudes of some who are supposed to lead us and they don’t trust them.
There is no warmth to understand them but brutal pressure to be like everybody else, especially in the yeshivot. Thank Hashem for the few that are now being established in the NY area, but for many it already too late. They’ll dress, look and play the part through adulthood but they don’t believe anymore. How sad.. I know some of them and suspect some others… many others.
There’s something fundamentally wrong with orthodox Judaism today. It’s a crisis.
Not to mention, that a good girl whose parents are not rich can’t get a date because all the other party is interested in is money and support of a lifestyle which has become a pandemic and against the Torah’s work ethic.
Young people see this and no wonder they start shedding stuff.
#10******* “If someone (not one of our gedolai yisroel) makes an astonishing statement in a public forum there is nothing wrong with asking him to justify it. -”
Sorry, but we Jews question everybody, gedolai yisroel or not. We have no” infallible” pope and hopefully we are not cultists.
To Eli Willner…..By excluding, as you put it, gedolai yisroel from being questioned, you hereby unwittingly provided a clue as to why people are turning away from Yiddishkeit.
Did you ever see a run of 2-3 pages in a gemorrah where nobody, Tana or Amorah is questioned? Absolutely not.It’s practicalyl on every page.
Ezlev–I liked the point you brought out especially “learn learn learn basically till your nose false off.” LOL
You guys simply don’t get it!!
There are only two things that will keep a yid connected to hashem. Middos and an understanding that the mitzvahs are here to increase our spiritual connection and sensitivity. Regardless of what people are doing around us. It’s the yeshivash class standard today thats driving them away! Examples:
You must spend at least $10000 for a wedding. What’s wrong with getting married in the backyard of a Shul?
Girls MUST go to seminary in Israel or boys won’t be interested in them.
I must know shas or I’m simple. Most yidden don’t even know standard Halacha. I must leave the house every night to learn. No doubt your chavursa is more important then having a good relationship with your wife. Oh and one of my favorites “I’d rather take welfare and tzadoka then work. There are many more but the intelligent will understand. Please rabbonim wake the heck up!!!
Why do so many otherwise frum people keep just half-Shabbos? Is it because they believe just 50%? If there’s just one person in your neighborhood that doesn’t have Emunah and s/he is strengthened from this Seminar –then in my opinion- it’s 100% worth it. Why? When a person comes back to the Emes it’s saving generations. Make it your business to prevent another onslaught of frum doubting, half-Shabbos keeping otherwise Torah u’Mitzvos people by 1) offering your seat to the next black-hatter who steps foot into your shul, 2) attempting to be far more friendly, 3) not being judgmental (like some who posted here), 4) learning more Emunah, 5) attending Chizuk shiurim/seminars 6) finding yourself a Rav you can trust 7)acknowledging that there’s indeed a serious problem that needs to be addressed ASAP.
Finally, why isn’t the seminar available online for those who live in 5 Towns? 8:30 pm is too early.
It appears that a whole slew of issues are getting conflated here.
Rabbi Fingerer is promoting a course that addresses such topics such as ” How do I know That There Is A G-D” and ” How Do I Know That Torah Is From G-D” these topics are often not discussed in Yeshiva and often for good reason.
Others are promoting the teaching of what Yiddeshkeit means and what is the purpose of doing Torah Umitzvos. This is a great idea but ultimately seems unrelated to Rabbi Fingerers project. Furthermore such a project is not as simple as it seems because on many issues there exist differences of opinion. However for those interested in a Halachik worldview the writings of Rav Hirsch are a great place to start.
Let’s not put all the blame on rebbeim. The horrible focus in the haimish communities on outlandish materialism -even if it means getting money unlawfully -the oneupsmanship, gouging people’s eyes out with mansions and vacation homes and lexuses, the need to make circus weddings, getting drunk on shabbos on the best single malts, etc., the kids see the phoniness of it all, that the real focus is $$, not Hashem. And the large percentage of frumma yidden who can’t afford this lifestyle get depressed and start questioning all they have learned and whether there is yashrus in shomayim. Our parents
especially the shearis haplyta, never acted this way. Where in G- ds name did all these shvitzers pick up the horrible midda of shtochen ois de oigen? Hashem Yirachem what our kids are exposed to.
The amount of kefira and apikorsus that comes out in these anonymous postings, in a single thread, is amazing. Rabbi Fingerer would have his work cut out for him just in dealing with the people who hang out here. Hopefully many of them will sign up for his program.
But, b”H, I doubt that the anonymous posters here are representative of the klal.
To answer the person who posited, “If he even gets a 500 calls texts and emails over the year…”, um, maybe. But we don’t know how many calls, etc., he gets, or the formula he uses to extrapolate his conclusion about the extent of the problem. His assessment seems extreme to me so I ask for that data. What’s the problem with that?
To the person who wrote, “Sorry, but we Jews question everybody, gedolai yisroel or not. We have no infallible” pope and hopefully we are not cultists”, thanks for illustrating the point I made in my first paragraph. In fact there is a mitzva of lo sasur and people who belittle gedolim are called apikorsim. We certainly should strive to understand what our gedolim are telling us but we are not permitted to take issue with them even though we know that no one is infallible.
After reading all the comments of why so many are leaving the fold I have no idea how these lectures will help the problem. it seems hashkafah and emunah are not the problems rather the sheker of the system seems to be the problem.
Rav Fingerer is mixing up two different things – belief and practice.
The standard Party Line is that people leave frumkeit because they want to experience illicit pleasures and don’t have the discipline to act according to tradition and Torah. After they leave they stop believing in Hashem.
That may be the case for some. If so one has to ask how Community standards have changed in the last couple generations. And they have changed.
The more difficult cases are those where lack of belief leads people to lack of practice and finally separation. They don’t lose emunah because they lack the willpower to follow halacha. They stop following halacha because they are convinced the answers they’ve been given are wrong.
Groups like Aish try, but let’s be realistic. Their Science is poor. Anyone with a background in biology, physics, geology, astronomy or statistics can refute their screed easily, and that includes the Torah Codes.
Restricting access to information won’t work. This is an age when the knowledge of the Ages is available everywhere. Trying to keep Jews unable to function in the modern world leads to welfare dependency, poverty, antisemitism and persecution. The challenges are real. Adding yet another Aish seminar won’t cure them
My kids went to a D”L school in E”Y, and they had machshevet. It’s good they did – I could see by their class work and tests that it was a serious subject. When my oldest brought up some questions she had to me, I told her to ask a Rav that she liked. She went back to the school and spoke with him, and he treated her questions very seriously and gave her great answers. I’m glad it was treated so well!
Some of you are making good points while others are spitting your own personal issues in the wind.
From what my experience shows me, perhaps its time for yeshivas to realize the same way they learn chumash, mishna, gemora etc etc etc they need to devote serious time to hashkofa of the current times. Its hard for someone to learn mussar of the great leaders of the past and apply it to 5774. Most dont understand that nisyonos are nisyonos. Their biggie was not starving to death and not being killed by rabid anti-semites. Our biggest one is probably internet followed very closely behind by the overall openness of shmutz in the “everything goes” era.
I would really love to hear or see what someone like Reb Yankel Bender would say about this. He’s a rosh yeshiva who “gets it.” (No, I am not a talmid of his. I know some talmidim and I also see how he answers chinuch questions in the yated.)
to # 23
you sound very arrogant but most of all ignorant
aish does a great job
and if a person is intellectually honest you can try to refute but it wont work the codes cannot be refuted there is no other book in the world that has them
as well as all the other proofs that torah both the written and the oral are divine
this needs to be taught not just to the non frum who are seeking answers but in all the yeshivas
the world wont come to an end if the boys take a break in trying to figure out why the rashba didn’t learn like the ritva and learn some hashkafah
There is a saying, “don’t judge Judaism from Jews.” Meaning, their actions as opposed to whatthe Torah says we should be.
I know a case of a family of Baalei Teshuva in their early days, who went to a hotel for Pesach and saw how “Frum” people treated the Goyim on the hotel staff and how the childsren ran wild and showed disrespect for others. They rejected Frumkeit because they didn’t want their children to be like that. While that’s not representative of most of our children, it’s still a hugh proble,
I think Yeshivas and day schools should teach counter-missionary issues. Not only will it help in protecting our people, but people who fight for a cause, get stronger in their beliefs and the more knowledge the better.
Are all kids orphans?
ONLY teachers and schools teach hashkofo!
If the child sees the beauty of yiddishkeit at home,if the shaboss table is full of meaning,instead of bemoaning politics,if children are free to ask any question to parents who are confident in their own knowledge-then most of the above comments are irrelevant.
I see so many sincere b’nei Torah who are successful with their children-perhaps because they are confident enough in their own yiddishkeit to find no need to denigrate others?
Just interesting how the words of the Rambam rings so true and is part fo the problem: He says that one starts talking bad about righteous people and at the end one denies in G-d and miracles. With the passage of time when see (also here) so much of badmouthing all jewish leaders from every stripe and no one is good…what do you expect that the children will beleive in Torah and in G-d….Puk chazi: most of talmidim who study in yeshivot without the invective given to them from people who denigrate all gedoyley yisroel are filled with more Emunah in Hashem and ELokey Yisroel and Torat Yisroel.
26- Eli Wilner – 1) Questioning gedolim is not synonomous with bellitiling Gedolim. There is no basis for calling one an apikorus for questioning Gedolim. 2) The issur of lo sasur applies to the Bais Din Hagodol (see sefer hachinuch) and not Rabbonim and Gedolim.
Eli Willner***You’re quoting me in #26 and you’re only reinforcing what’s partially to blame. To wit, you knee-jerk and call people apikorsim because they dare question ‘gedolai Torah.” By questioning, Mr. Willner, one seeks the truth, and our truth is Torah.
Untold thousands went off the way because people called them apikorsim , exactly what you’re doing instead of answering their questions or simply acknowledging that they don’t have all the answers. You’re confusing “questioning’ with “belittling” and there’s a big difference.
In fact, can you explain why it’s ok for you to question Rabbi Fingerer and not other rabbonim? So , this one’s is a gadol and we don’t question him. This one, on the other hand, is not such a gadol ( according to your misunderstanding) and him I’m allowed to question.By questioning Rabbi Fingerer, are you belittling him? Of course not.
My brother told me a story yesterday of a married Chareidi woman who worked for him years ago. They went with a bunch of others from his company to a trade show which went over Shabbos. He saw her in the hotel they were staying at on Shabbos on the phone, hair uncovered wearing jeans. He was shocked to say the least. He had a quiet conversation with her later about it. She said that there were lots like her and they go on vacations together. This, btw, was in Israel. So, although anecdotal, it seems that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Kudos to Rabbi Fingerer, onslaught or not is irrelevant.
#26……”…we are not permitted to take issue with them even though we know that no one is infallible…”
Show us please, exactly where this is written.
There are machlokes’s among Rishonim, Achronim contemporary poskim and rabbonim ad infinitum.
Therefore, different people follow different rabbonim whose shitos are exactly opposite the others. As long as this is done with respect, affirming that the other side is entitled to differ , there is no problem.It has always been this way.
However, you don’t automatically label someone a kofer just because he disagrees or asks questions. Unfortunately, your state of thinking is a big,, big issue with so many because they’re afraid to ask questions due to the many people who have the same mindset as you. Which, I must quickly add, is exactly why this crisis is burning.
#34, you write:
most of talmidim who study in yeshivot without the invective given to them from people who denigrate all gedoyley yisroel are filled with more Emunah in Hashem and ELokey Yisroel and Torat Yisroel.
Puk Chazi: ….Halevai it would be true. You’re living in an igloo. Ask Aish and Rabbi Fingerer.
..”His assessment seems extreme to me so I ask for that data. What’s the problem with that?”
Exactly. And so why isn’t anybody allowed to ask those whom you call gedolei yisroel about THEIR data (sources)?
You describe the amount of kfira that comes out in these anonymous posts as “amazing”, yet you cannot believe Rabbi Fingerer that there are so many apikorsim.
Are you being intellectually honest?
You have the gall to question Rabbi Fingerer; yet you label as “apikorsim” those who question your “gedolim”. What makes someone your “gadol”?
Rabbi Fingerer is a bigger gadol than all the so-called “gedolim” and “rebbes” who fight with each other, cheat, and inherited their positions.
I know a choshuver rov that has contact with many yidden in different contexts and he says that there is a magayfa of hidden kfira in the olam of those apparently kosher yidden.
I know of a very good girl who had an exceptional class in Bais Yaakov and she said that the majority of them, herself included, didn’t know why Yiddishkeit was any better than other religions. This girl is very medakdek in mitzvos and does not deviate from halacha at all but she didn’t have a solid foundation in hashkafa.
There is a crying need for limud of the yesodos of emuna for the tzibbur and Rav Dovid Sapirman and Rabbi Mechanic and others are beginning to address this issue.
However, this is a huge issue and is nogea to the neshoma of klal yisroel and may Hashem Yisborach provide us with a refua for this makah.
To “Yungerman from Lakewood” and the other posters who hide behind silly and hypocritical aliases in order to spout kefira:
Show some intellectual honesty yourselves – and some guts – and post your opinions using your own names, and then you’ll deserve a response. Otherwise I and anyone with common sense will view you the same way we view most anonymous posters on secular websites – who are basically a pack of malcontents and misfits, representing the dregs of society, using the internet to vent their spleen with no regard for truth or decency and with no accountability.
Baruch Hashem you are emphatically not representative of the vast majority of anshei shlomeinu hakedoshim.
Rabbi Fingerer came to the right place to publicize his program, that’s for sure, but his implication that the problem he addresses is widespread is, frankly, hard to believe and requires documentation, which I still await.
This is actually a huge problem, not so much because people who have doubts will be “Orthoprax” or “go off” but because frum people living as frum people have doubts! How will that transmit to the next generation, and how are they supposed to be excited about their yiddishkeit. Thank you Rabbi Fingerer and all those out there trying to inject passion into our community.
You’ve proved the point. Without addressing the issue, you have simply attacked me and others.
We cannot state our names precisely because if we do, you and your ilk would disown us, convince our friends and families to disown us, and remove us from a community of which we are part.
For all you know, I could be one of your family members; we cannot disclose our names. How is that intellectually dishonest? (And what is hypocritical about my screen name? I really am a Yungerman in Lakewood.)
But you are intellectually dishonest, as I’ve written in my previous comment, and you failed to address that point.
Worse than that, you will not be able to solve the problem, because you are in denial. So just continue attacking us; let’s see how that works out for you and your ilk.
I addressed your point, Yungerman, several times, but you chose not to get it. I did not say there isn’t a need for Rabbi Fingerer’s seminars. I did say that I found his claim that this problem was widespread hard to believe, and asked for documentation. And I pointed out that the anonymous posters here are hardly representative of the frum world at large.
As for you, it’s a good first step that you admit that if you were open about your beliefs you’d be ostracized – as indeed you should be. But living a lie is hardly an admirable thing and you ought to think about how long you want to continue doing it. The Torah gives us a choice – chaim/tov or moves/rah. Sitting on the fence isn’t presented as an option so you should make up your mind which way you want to go and head in that direction. (Hint: the Torah provides some valuable advice about which direction to choose.)
Yungerman expressed well the sentiments of we the anonymous.
You, however, have not answered any of the concerns addressed here, except throw the usual stale, rancid mud; “apikorsim, kofrim,” etc.
Just understand that you and your ilk are accountable for so many going off the derech with your irresponsible and closed-minded approach.
Calling us these vile names means only one thing:
You’ve been hit hard in your most sensitive area and we, the anonymous have touched your raw nerve.
You’re a little overconfident, methinks, of what percentage of representation of the whole we are.
With the help and abettment of others that dictatorially think like you , it may get Chas V’shalom worse.
If instead of addressing the reasons that people lose their emunah, you choose instead to give mussar (in other words, a condescending attitude), I will take the liberty to give you mussar too.
Why are you on the internet Eli Willner? Did your rosh hayeshiva not tell you that you should not use the internet except for business, and only when necessary? How does writing comments on YWN jibe with your rosh yeshiva’s directive?
Do you listen to your rosh yeshiva? Or are you a hypocrite? Does it not say in the torah to listen to your “gedolim”? Or did you choose moves/ra over chayim/tov.
Did you tell your rosh hayeshiva that you are not listening to him? How does it feel to a lie? I suspect that either you’ve left your cult and do not listen to your rosh yeshiva anymore, in which case you are pretty otd yourself, or you’re a glaring hyocrite.
Hypocrites like you are what make honest people like ourselves go otd.
“*****who are basically a pack of malcontents and misfits, representing the dregs of society,*****”
With a filthy mouth like yours it’s confusing as to who is actually the dregs of society.
Your arrogance is a turnoff and if you’re a Rebbe someplace, I guarantee that you lost most if not all of the students. You’re an open disgrace hiding behind yeshivish/lomdish posts.
You, Yungerman, make non-factual assumptions about me and then proceed to criticize me on the basis of those assumptions. I on the other hand am responding to your own declaration that if your community knew your true hashkofos they would spit you out.
To #47: As I said before, I’m not here to be mekarev pseudonyms. Come out of the closet and we can have a serious talk. Or you can simply continue to toss stink bombs over your wall of anonymity.
As for the other anonymous venom-purveyors, thanks for proving my point.
Eli Wilner. Please stop the name calling and answer these points directly.
You erroneously apply the issur of “lo sasur” to those who do not follow the dictates of Rabbonim and Gedolim. Please provide a basis for your claim. The chiyuv of “lo sasur” as explained by the Rishonim is limited to the Bais Din Hagodol and cases of Zaken Mamre.
Furthermore, your equating of questioning to belittling and calling all anonymous posters apikorsim is really beyond the pale.
So if you are really convinced of the merit of your points than by all means, stick to them, prove them, and leave out the overheated rhetoric.
Hey, Crazy. I don’t take mussar from anonymous and I don’t talk in learning with anonymous. I can, however, refer interested parties to the Chazon Ish’s Emunah and Bitachon as an excellent primer on emunas chachomim and from there anyone can make their way to additional and earlier sources.
For the record, I did not call *all* anonymous posters apikorsim; my postings are online for all to see. The gemara in Sanhedrin (samech aleph, if memory serves) defines “apikorus” and “megaleh ponim baTorah shelo k’hahalcha”. Compare the explicit statements of many of the anonymous posters here to those definitions and draw your own conclusions.
Finally, for the non-apikorsim who are reading some of those anonymous postings in shock and horror, reflect: are your children permitted access to this forum?
Eli Willner – Saying the violation of “lo sasur” applies to questioning Gedolim is quite probably “megaleh ponim batorah shelo k’hahalcha”
Eli Wilner….. For all your bombastic prattle, you haven’t responded to any of the concerns above. Not a’one.
Obviously, you’re hiding your real ignorance , using anonymity of posters as an obsessive mantra to hide behind.
Meanwhile, you’re responding one by one to anonymouses like an ongoing waterfall repeating the same yenta babble. You get my point. Enough said.
Mr. Wilner****** Seriously, why can’t you answer even a single issue by posters on this board??
Or do you get some deviant delight by attacking people who have concerns and are bothered by real crises in our community?
You haven’t answered Yungerman’s question as to why you’re disobeying rabbonim who asser the Internet.
Talk about megaleh ponim batorah…..
#’s 43,52….etc. wherever you are above.
You’re not listening to people here. They’re in pain as most of us are. There are charlatans who are NOT gedolei yisroel, there are well-meaning rabbonim who unfortunately have no clue, and then there may be gedolim, but you and the rest of us can differ as to how great they are.
Having said that, you are a sad microcosm of the problem. Instead of looking for solutions to a REAL problem, you attack and offer nothing but petty, crude and gutter name calling. You seem to know a couple of verses and maybe a few gemorras here and there, but you and those in power who feel threatened take out their baseball bats and swing at “apikorsim and koffrim” because that’s all they want to see.
Let me assure you that this this will NOT go on. There is a simmering revolution in the rank and file. Those rabbonim who will respond with name baiting, macho’as, posters, hate droshos or use people like you to be their SHICK-YINGEL will fail.
Kudos to the great Marans Fingerer, Bender and others who do holy work. The others…. those whose oxen are being gored here …. will be relegated to the scrap heap.
Rabbi Wilner, you expect people who don’t like what they see to give their real names? My husband and I lived in Lkwd. in the early years and other then some snobs I can’t say I saw any hypocrisy, except some of the women I knew were very unhappy because they couldn’t cope with lots of very young children/babies and felt no rav would listen to them. My daughters, married to kollel men (serious ones) know they can talk to me about such things, and more, because while we’re all not in full agreement, we discuss hashkafos, etc. And in my out of town high school years ago we asked every kind of question, and got answered as best as possible. My old community here has changed since I grew up, and only $$ talks. Lots of crazy stuff goes on, yet the rabbanim ignore much of it, cause these families are what keep the shuls, etc. going, and they got honored regardless of the “quality” of their private or business ethics. Unfortunately, kids and adults who do drop out have lots of nasty things to say about the hypocrisy on sites you and I don’t need to mention here. It’s time for “yeshivish”/black hat/chareidi Jewry to clean up, get back to basics, learn more middos and hashkafa and make sure all our kids are comfortable and functional in shul even if they’re not all top learners. Our yeshiva systems sacrifice too many essentially nice boys who can’t learn all day, yet what normal alternatives are out there? I could go on and on. Sadly, the points about obsessions with money and status are true, and aren’t helping us. BE HONEST.
From Moshe Goldberg
I believe the following people should be strongly applauded.
#1-#37Yungerman from Lakewood says:
#12 geula says:
#19 onlylettuce says:
#20Hear Ye says:
I know Mr. Eli Willner,
He is a very nice and heimish yid who is faithful to the opinions of Gedolim.
Still and all, I think he missed the mamar of Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Aaron Shechter of Chaim Berlin where he stated that the person should not be of a type who waits every new edition of Yated Neeman for direction in life but exercise independent judgment about people who have doubts in Emuna and therefore need chizuk from that seminar by Rabbi Fingerer. Kudos to Rabbi Fingerer, onslaught or not is irrelevant.
To the recent respondents: You don’t live in my world or the world of most of the Jews I come in contact with, whether in Brooklyn, Lakewood or elsewhere. In our world we acknowledge problems and imperfections – of course they exist, that’s the human condition – and we attempt to deal with them within the parameters of derech yisroel saba.
Those parameters include kovod hatorah, acceptance of ol torah and acceptance of our yesodei hadaas. Problems, no matter how severe, don’t justify cynicism, attacks on gedolim, kefira and living as wolves in sheep’s clothing, maintaining a veneer of frumkeit over a hollow core.
Yahadus aside, those parameters also include a mature appreciation of the fact that some problems take time to solve, some are best solved out of the public eye and some may even be intractable, at least for the short term.
People who rail at the powers-that-be, whine when problems that affect them aren’t immediately solved, and threaten to leave the derech unless this or that pain-point, whether real or imagined, is soothed RIGHT NOW, are, frankly, immature, maladjusted products of the “me” generation.
So, I’m sorry, but I’m not here to solve your or the world’s problems, nor do I care to share my hishtadlus resume with you since you are too busy stewing in your juices and too immersed in laitzonus to appreciate or listen.
And I’m glad I and most frum Jews don’t live in your world. Hopefully at least some of you will grow up and find your way out of the mire of your miserable world some day and rejoin the vast majority of your frum brothers, who aren’t ashamed to use their real names when they express themselves and who are living much happier lives – notwithstanding the problems they are experiencing right along with you.
To #58: It’s disgraceful that you applaud the posters you do and cite the rosh yeshiva in the same post. Why don’t you print out this discussion and see if he agrees with you?
Incidentally, your quote from the rosh yeshiva is incoherent. Please re-express it or provide a reference to it.
#60….. Just answer, please, a previous question as to why you openly defy your own gedolai yisroel who assered Internet. Surely, you don’t want to be known as a baryoni, a mumar lehach’is and a “maladjusted, loser” frum poster. Go ahead… you get the last word.
#61: The vast majority of the rabbonim only assured the internet for forbidden purposes and permitted it for permissible purposes. Get a grip. The internet is not assured by the gedolim. They insist on filters etc, but allow it under the correct cirucumstances.
Your ilk simply prove you have no answers for the many good points made against the apikorsum. And the apikorsum did not go off the derech because they were called apikorsum. They were called apikorsum because they went off the derech. They made themselves apikorsum, no one else did. And they will have to sleep in the bed they made after 120 when they are escorted to a heated room.
And if someone believes the Torah is not true but pretends to be a frum person he is the same apikorus as someone who doesn’t make those pretensions, and he will end up with the same hot fate.
Thank You Eli Willner.
You’ve said everything that has to be said on this subject so perfectly. There is nothing else to add.
And you are indeed correct that the characterization of the prevalence of this phenomenon is greatly exaggerated. It only exists in small fragment of any community. And even then it is typically outcasts that are like this.
#62 – Did you attend the Asifa? Did you read the publications of Ichud HaKhillos?. Just in case you didn’t here are some exact quotes.
Asifa booklet page 3 ” The only real “solution” is to ban all access to the internet. And that, in fact, is what
each of us who can do so must do” and “A yeshiva bachur, kollel fellow or a melamed Torah, all of whom are not required to have internet for their job, should not own or come in contact with any devices capable of accessing the internet — with or without filters” and on page 80 “Anyone who need not expose himself to a dangerous and highly contagious disease is forbidden by the Torah to do so, even if he takes all possible precautions”
Please do not rewrite history and make up excuses for yourself. Furthermore those that throw around accusations of “koifer” and “apikoros” would do well to read the hakdamah of the Netziv to Sefer Beirishis where he rails against “tzadikim K’eleh”.
#62…”.And if someone believes the Torah is not true but pretends to be a frum person he is the same apikorus as someone who doesn’t make those pretensions, and he will end up with the same hot fate.”
Please re-read the posts here, nobody said such a thing.
What are you talking about?
Go ahead, sweep everything under a rancid rug, pretend there are no issues and/or crises and call the complainers apikorsim.We’ve heard this before… it’s not working anymore.Go tell a parent that his OTD child is an apikorus and call it a day. Wonderful !!!
1) There are issues (and there have been issues throughout our history)
2) People who denigrate gedolim or otherwise spout apikorsus (as evidenced plentifully in this discussion) are apikorsim – not because they identify issues but because they spout apikorsus.
Get it? Got it? Good!
“spout apikorsus (as evidenced plentifully in this discussion) are apikorsim ”
Hopefully, you’ve included those who brazenly identify their real selves and throw in their smiling photos to boot, who nevertheless defy gedolim who prohibit the Internet.
This could be a sign of oncoming , if not already certified megalomania.
Eli Willner – You haven’t yet responded to the many points raised against your statements and claims. Instead you revert to generalizations and bombast. You haven’t even identified which comments you you consider to be Kefirah.It would beneficial if you pointed out exact quotes and the exact basis for why these ideas are kefirah. Otherwise it would appear that this calling of Kefirah and Apikorus would be exactly what the Netziv is refering to in his Hakdamah.
Just to make it clear, I have no intention of justifying my hangagos to to the riff-raff here, nor do I intend to engage in an analysis of every post in this thread to identify the inherent apikorsus. It’s evident to every bar daas and baal emunah. If you don’t see it, draw your own conclusions.
So those who think they are making some kind of point by repeatedly asking me to dance to their tune, sorry, I’m not playing. Don’t waste your breath. Use the time saved to come up with more apikorsus to post. Or not, as you please.
Introduction of the Netziv to Sefer Bereishis:
אנשי בית שני היו צדיקים וחסידים ועמלי תורה אך לא היו ישרים בהליכות עולמים. מפני שנאת חנם שבלבבם חשדו את מי שראו שנוהג שלא כדעתם ביראת ה’ שהוא צדוקי ואפיקורס ובאו עי”ז לידי שפיכות דמים ולכל הרעות בעולם עד שחרב הבית. שהקב”ה ישר הוא ואינו סובל צדיקים כאלו, אלא באופן שהולכים בדרך הישר גם בהליכות עולם ולא בעקמימות אע”ג שהוא לשם שמים, דזה גורם חורבן הבריאה והריסות ישוב הארץ.
I am quite comfortable that the Netziv would agree that many of the anonymous posters here are the real apikorus article. The definition of apikorus originates in the gemara in Sanhedrin that I cited earlier and isn’t subject to dispute.
The Netziv was a gadol olam. You are playing with fire when you attempt to twist his words to defend the kefira that has been posted here.
Thanks crazykanoiy for your Netziv post.I’ve copied and printed it despite objections from a certain publicity-seeking megalomaniac. Thanks again.
‘Onslaught Of Frum People That Are Closet Atheists’
i have transfered this topic under the above heading into coffee room.
Read there(make search to find it easier(by using a search button)
There were various opinions expressed here regarding an upcoming kiruv seminar by Rabbi Fingerer.
This seminar is geared toward strengthening emunah of many people in today’s generation in Hashem and our Gedolim. Still and all, there are members in our community who try to live with their head in the sand and brush things under the carpet.
Is this seminar needed or not? What do u think?
Eli Willner – In post 26 you decry the “amount of kefirah and apikorsus” that you found in a single thread. Yet by post 71 you have failed to single out or identify any specific comment that would qualify as kefirah according to the standards of the Gemorah in Sanhedrin and the Meforshei Hatalmud. (I do find comment number one to be somewhat brash and I believe that it could be phrased better, however it is a question and not a statement of kefirah or machish magideha,)
Yasher Koach Reb Eli Willner. I’ve read every post here, and everything you’ve stated is 100% correct. You are correct both regarding the original article and the errors of Rabbi Fingerer’s numbers as well as your pointing out the pervasiv apikorsus spewed here by folks who are barely observant of any mitzvos in the Torah. Many of these same outcasts spend hours a day over here commenting on many article and post their reform beliefs and attacks on the Torah community.
Once again, thank you Reb Eli Willner.
To Bogen and the others who have expressed similar sentiments, thanks!
#75 Bogen. You calim that you do not like the many comments written by “by folks who are barely observant of any mitzvos in the Torah”.
How in the world can you know if these comments are written by people that are “barely observant of any mitzvos” What a Chutzpah! What gives you the right to tarnish people with such a claim?
You claim that Eli Willner is correct for challenging the claim of rampant aethism yet you have no problem accusing people that you know nothing about of barely keeping any mitzvos.
It is sad that people like you and Eli Willner are so easy to throw around all types of l’az and motzei shem rah and are yet unable to address or even back up one of your claims in a coherent and intelligent manner.
If any reader here was under any illusions that Eli Willner was mistaken in calling a spade a spade and correctly accusing posters such as Poster #1 above, “Yungerman from Lakewood” and others here, of being apikorus gomurs, take a look at the serial of posts that “Yungerman from Lakewood” posted on another Yeshiva World thread:
Eli, you could not have been more right! We are dealing with real apikorsum here.
Zalman, that there are apikorsim in the world isn’t a chiddush. That they are allowed to essentially hijack a website that has “Yeshiva World” in its name, gangland-style, is the real tzoro. Something needs to be done.
We all know that transgression befarhesyah is not the same as being oiver b’nistor and this is because historically speaking Chazal were well aware that people may have doubts, but that providing these were kept personal and not exposed to the community, Judaism could live with this without sustaining serious damage. In fact the importance of practise over theology is a fundamental explanation of Judaism’s resiliance compared to other ‘isms’. So for Elli Wilner to imply, as he does, otherwise is poor judgeent and counter to accepted mesorah.
Further, many ‘apikorsim’ are happy to remain obeservant because they recognise the inherent superiority of a Torah way of life in many (though not all) respects, but nevertheless have read sufficiently to be well aware that the charedi answers to scientific questions simply don’t bear up and are often simplistic and trite. I don’t want to sling mud, and accept that others have emunah peshuta but I don’t, and have a right to expect the charedi world into which I was born, should give me the same courtesy of not insulting my questioning and trying it’s best to answer the glaring difficulties in an intellectually honest fashion.
To #80. G-d gave you bechira and far be it from me to try to take it away. You want to be a closet apikorus, go right ahead. Just peddle it elsewhere. The Internet has plenty of places where people like you hang out, unfortunately.
This is supposed to be a place for bnai haYeshiva (at least, that’s the way the operators of this website market it to the frum community) and bnai haYeshiva aren’t interested in in wading through kefira slime every time they come here.
And I for one have no interest in attempting to “reform” you in the context of YW. I can’t; you chose to remain anonymous and I have no idea how you got to where you are today.
Usually people don’t leave the derech in a vacuum. Maybe they let their learning lapse and warped ideas started to creep into their heads. Maybe they allowed themselves to look or do things they shouldn’t have been seeing or doing and that corrupted their emunah (or they simply found it more convenient to drop the emunah in order to continue to indulge without the guilt). Maybe they went through a bitter divorce or dispute and Rabbonim took the other side so they have it in for Yiddishkeit. Maybe… who knows?
I don’t know your circumstances but I do know that anyone who claims that science contradicts yahadus is talking through his hat because with a little research it’s pretty easy to see that there is no such contradiction, and plenty of brilliant people, including scientists, became baalei teshuva because they realized that the more we learn about the physical world the more obvious it is that it has an Intelligent Creator.
So there is no point in debating science versus religion with you, since this is only your smokescreen. And in any case your agenda isn’t to get back on the derech, it’s to justify your current status and perhaps even to drive other people off the derech. As Rav Yisroel said, if someone asks a question to get an answer, you answer. If someone asks a question to ask the question, don’t bother to answer.
By the way, if you think that there is schar mitzva for an apikorus who goes through the motions, think again.
I was having a discussion with Yungerman from Lakewood.
we were discussing the concept of Torah Msinai. However that forum was closed for some reason was closed. I want to restart that discussion either here or under similar name that I already created “frum people that are closet atheists”. If u know him please let him know.
Eli Willner keeps on using verbal insults and overheated rhetoric to argue with his detractors.
While attacking those who brought up valid points against him he wrote “Show some intellectual honesty yourselves – and some guts – and post your opinions using your own names, and then you’ll deserve a response. Otherwise I and anyone with common sense will view you the same way we view most anonymous posters on secular websites – who are basically a pack of malcontents and misfits, representing the dregs of society, using the internet to vent their spleen with no regard for truth or decency and with no accountability.” Yet he has no problem thanking and responding to anonymous people like Bogen and Zalmen when they agree with him.
Here is a short list of unsubstantiated Eli Willner Claims:
1) Question a Gadol is equivalent to belittling him.
2) If one questions a Gadol he violates “lo sasur”.
3) The definition of an apikorus is defined in the gemara and not subject to dispute (It is actually a machlokes in the Gemara as to what constitutes an apikoros and the gedolei rishonim have disagreement on this as well.)
4) Questioning a Gadol is being “megaleh panim batorah shelo k’halacha”.
5) Apikorus does not receive schar mitzvah.
It is nice to see Eli Willner’s passion for what he believes to be a defense of Yiddeshkeit, however the tone and “facts” are just wrong.
Some points to consider with regard to post #83:
1) הלוואי אותי עזבו ותורתי שמרו! מתוך שהיו מתעסקין בה, המאור שבה היה מחזירן למוטב
2) אין הקדוש ברוך הוא מפקח שכר כל בריה
Also with regard to post #81
“I do know that anyone who claims that science contradicts yahadus is talking through his hat because with a little research it’s pretty easy to see that there is no such contradiction” – This is a GROSS OVERSIMPLIFICATION.
As I’ve said numerous times, I’m not here to debate with anonymous kofrim. The facts are as I’ve stated them (but not as #83 has misquoted them).
My posts are aimed at this forum’s general readership, and my purpose is to avoid people being misled by the apikorus choir here.
If you are a member of the general readership and remain confused because of the incessant attempts of the kofrim here to engender confusion, please print out this thread and ask your Rav or mashgiach to clarify these issues for you, or be in touch with me privately (but not anonymously) for sources and further discussion.
R’ Eli if you can’t back up your allegations then please just admit it. Stop the incessant empty name calling.
You refer to an Apikorus Choir but refuse to pinpoint what Kefirah you are refering to. The few attempts that you do make at providing basis for your claims are either blatant misrepresentations or simple misunderstandings of Gemara and Halacha.
There is no need for “private” discussion over here. If you make public allegations then by all means please be bold enough to back it up in public.
(Please stop trying to avoid the issues by throwing up smokescreens about annoynomous postings and private discussions)
I would strongly suggest that you print out this thread and show it to your Rebbi or Mashgiach who can then help clarify these issue for you.
#86: I fully appreciate your opposition to moving serious conversations about hashkafa issues away from the laitzonus of you and your cohorts. It would mitigate some of the harm you and they are causing and in your eyes that would be a great pity.
However, several members contacted me in email prior to my prior posting and it is apparent that I’m not the only one who sees the kefira choir here for what it is. Nor am I the only one who understands that serious discussions can’t take place in the context of the obnoxious noises that are prevalent here.
Needless to say I stand by everything I’ve said in this discussion and members with any doubts are welcome to fact-check with their expert of choice. I doubt that anyone with any common sense would select an anonymous bozo who posts under the handle “crazykanoiy” as their expert of choice.
Eli Willner – We are just going in circles. You seem incapable of expressing yourself without calling people “bozos”, “dregs of the earth” “apikorsim” etc..
It is sad that you seem unable to communicate your ideas in a mature adult fashion.
You refer to my comments as “laytzonus” and you infer that I would like to cause harm to the Hashkafah of others. This is another wild claim without merit. Please read my posts. Unlike you, I have never resorted to name calling or throwing around wild accusations. I have pointed out where your many claims are without basis and I have also asked you to show evidence for your claims. It seems that you are unable to do that.
I would seriously suggest that you do a serious cheshbon hanefesh in how easily you accuse others of issurim, kefirah and other topics that you are apparently not knowledgeable about.
Again, I sincerely hope that you speak to your Moreh Derech about your ideas and hashkafah and perhaps they can explain to you that a “anonymous bozo” has a more correct grasp of Inyanei Yahadus than you do.
#88: Thanks for the “chazer feese”; very apropos to last week’s parsha.
To Mr. Eli Willner,
I do support crazykanoiy’s points in his latest reply to you. Although there are many wolfs in sheep’s closing on forums here, still it does not justify calling people here kofrim, apikorsim, bozos, dregs of the earth. There are various views when it comes to Torah chashkofas and certainly to issues such as pertaining kiruv seminars given by Rabbi Fingerer. You are entitled to your view (which is supported by Torah), others are entitled to theirs. To each one is his own. I am sure Rosh Yeshiva of Chaim Berlin would object to nicknaming other people here as kofrim, apikorsim. We still had a privilege for many years to witness how Rabbi Avigdor Miller ZT’L did ton of kiruv only via positive words and means.
If you disagree let me know