Saturday, March 24, 2007

Absolutely shameless

1) A certain publishing house (unnamed for now). In their parsha sheet advertisement for this week, they wrote something like: "We have a custom of visiting the graves of tzaddikim and praying to them to intercede with us for health, or our kids, or financial help. But do we ever stop to think what we are doing for the tzaddikim in return for what they do for us? Therefore you should give us a donation so we can help the tzaddikim by publishing their books." I don't know whether to be more appalled by the theology they encourage, or by the manipulation they use in order to raise funds.

2) This organization circulated a letter calling on people who were expelled from Gush Katif to confess and apologize for their sin in not violently resisting the expulsion, and thus allowing it to take place. That's right, the people who were EXPELLED are supposed to confess for THEIR sin. And then to mail the signed confession to this organization. I, too, had to read the letter several times before being able to believe that it was saying what it was saying. Admittedly, their website makes them look like a handful of crackpots, but they seem to have been distributing their pamphlets throughout Israel (I got them all the way up here in Red Haifa). As far as I could tell, they represent a well respected contingent of the right-wing community.

Now, I long ago chose to participate in the broadly defined "Modern Orthodox" group identification, as have the aformentioned parties, and that is not likely to change. But there are moments when I crawl with disgust, thinking: Who have I associated myself with?

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