Monday, April 11, 2005

Desecration is a Violation of the Nation

I recently prayed in a shul which has a mixed charedi and modern constituency. One of the siddurim had been defaced - the prayer for the State of Israel and the prayer for Israeli soldiers had been scribbled out. I understand people have issues with the "reishit tsemichat geulatenu" formula (the start of the sprouting of the redemption) - modern Anglo-Jewry doesn't use it for example. Fine. No one is forcing you to say it. But to come along and actively scribble something out in a prayer book? I've also seen in the library of a world-reknowned charedi yeshiva that someone took issue with the comments of Rav Zevin in the introduction to the Encyclopedia Talmudit where he writes that we have been meritous to see "atchalta degeula" (the beginning of redemption). They had crossed these words out.

If I could believe that these were the actions of young impressionable kids who merely misunderstood the pronouncements of their leaders, I would put it down to over-zealous youth. But I fear that this is not the case. Many people are inundated with constant diatribes against Zionists, modern society, university, and whoever else is lucky enough to be viewed as the embodiment of Satan on earth. I can't really blame them for thinking that a prayer to Hashem for the safety of the Israeli soldiers is a desecration. G-d forbid we should ask Hashem to protect us. Surely the devoted learning of countless Kollels is sufficient?

I could go on, but I'd rather keep my anger to myself.



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