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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Army of the Doctrinally Pure

A few weeks ago, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein published a piece on Artscroll in Cross-Currents. The piece dealt with how talmidei chachamim and thinkers such as the top echelon in Artscroll are cowed, or at least wearied by those who, while having little or no accomplishments of their own, are the self appointed bearers of the true and pure hashkafa.

I know for a fact that at least one of the two top people in Artscroll agreed with the gist of Rabbi Adlerstein's post.

The Cross Currents Adlerstein post ended:

The zealots are hardly the majority of the community, but their tactics give them more power than their numbers would predict. I don't think that it is fair to ask the decision makers at Artscroll to risk their incredibly wonderful accomplishment or even their personal sanity┬ľ by standing up to the Army of the Doctrinally Pure.

The phenomenon of the doctrinal purity is at its heart an attack on Daas Torah. While I was a bochur in Eretz Yisroel there was a joke, the basis of which I didn't myself see, that Neturei Karta posterniaks hung on Rabbeinu Yoel M'Satmar the epithet " Rabbeinu Sur Min Haderech" (Our Rabbi has strayed from the Path) for some perceived breach of doctrine. And Rabbeinu Yoel was the only 'Daas Torah' Neturei Karta had.

If Gedolim themselves have to watch their backs (as implied by the Adlerstein post) as well as the Artscroll proprietors, who are the greatest Marbitzei Torah of recent generations, then in effect Daas Torah is being neutralized, at least to an extent.

This, in turn, allows the poster maniacs to run our community, at least from the outside. While the rest of us do what we want or dare, and subtly become hypocrites on the inside.

Or perhaps I, too, am becoming overly doctrinally pure.


Anonymous deerson said...

i would change your title from "The Army of the Doctrinaire Pure" The Army of the DOGmatists.
i prefer the japanese approach Torah Torah Torah.

2:49 PM  

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