Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Monday, 18 January 2010

Some Things Don't Change

I haven't had much to comment on the current EJF scandal involving Rav Leib Tropper for two reasons.  First, because others far more qualified to write on the subject than me have already done so.  Adding my condemnation is like bringing straw to Ofrayim.  Second, because I don't think getting enraged and shouting about it will end up doing any good.  Today most people, especially bloggers, have the attention span of three year old children.  The really successful bloggers like FailedMessiah have the ability to stick with a story for years if need be but the rest of us tend to get titillated by the latest scandal for a few weeks and then we move on... to the next scandal.
Meanwhile the villians in each piece have learned a valuable lesson.  There's no point in fighting back against a wave of indignant bloggers.  Lie low, refuse to admit wrongdoing or at most issue a meaningless and vague apology and keep on doing what you're doing.  The attention will pass and then you'll be free to go back to whatever wrongs you were doing before.  Rav Tropper has relinquished none of his power, remains a Rosh Yeshiva and guiding force at EJF and does anyone believe he has been chastened and humbled?
Watching all the scmutz coming out of the Torah world reminds me of a relevant passage in Shmuel I which I am surprised I haven't seen quote elsewhere until now:
"Even before they would burn the fat, the Kohen's attendant would come and say to the man who was bringing the offering: "Give some meat for roasting for the Kohen; he will not take cooked meat from you but only raw.  The man would say 'Let him first burn the fat and then take for yourself whatever your soul desires.  But the attendant would say 'No, give it now or else I will take it by force.'  The sin of the attendants was very great before Hashem, for the men had disgraced Hashem's offering." (2:15-17)
"Eli became very old.  He heard about all that his sons were doing to all of Israel and that they would lie with the women who congregated at the entrace of the Tent of Meeting." (2:22)
Most commentators don't understand the sins of the sons of Eli literally, especially the one mentioned in verse 22.  To their ears, it was simply not possible that a holy priest of God would conduct himself in such a way. Thus Chazal have given alternative understandings as to what the Tanach meant.
But really, with all that's happened I sometimes think that the literal meaning of the verses is to be preferred.  Certainly it is far more relevant to what's happening to day.  Keep reading in Shmuel and you see what happened next because Eli couldn't stop his sons.


SJ said...

The noncorrupt people in orthodox judaism does need to be more vocal.

David said...

No, they need to stop pretending that the corrupt people don't exist or that they are such a bizarre aberration that their actions don't reflect on Orthodox Judaism.