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From: rhendel@king.mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Tue, 18 Jun 1996 13:18:30 -0400 Subject: Why the Disparity--A solution to Chayim Shapiro's Problem A number of MJ have dealt with the problem raised by Chayim that certain ryders in cars ignored him possibly because he was dressed up as modern orthodox. "Why the disparity" and "What can be done about it"(MJ V 24.43) I have a very specific solution, which has the hascamah of Gedolay hador and which seems to work. First I would like to note that Chayiim sees his goals not as criminal but as educative. Both Prero and Shapiro mention that the goal of the comments on the riding incident was not to "vilify any segment of Orthodox Judaism" but rather "I wanted people to start thinking about the issue"(i.e. education vs criminalization). By coincidence I saw just such an educative program for people in Kollels at a recent fundraising event for an organization called Lev Achim. This Israeli based organization has people in Kollels give up one night a week of learning and going out into the community and helping people: They might help people involved in "cults", or women intermarried to Arabs, or non datiyim who aren't interested in education. As I mentioned this work received the hascamah of the relevant yeshiva heads. I of course should emphasize that the purpose of this outreach work is NOT to help the Kollel people themselves but rather to help the people they are helping (ones in cults, women intermarried to Arabs, non datiyim etc.). However after reading Chayiim's problem I suddenly realized that the exposure of these Kollel people to ordinary people in all walks of life MUST have a beneficial effect on the Kollel people themselves. If such is the case then one component of a solution to the black hat -- modern orthodoxy problem is a deliberate exposure (say one day a week) to groups they are not used to. I also have to make it clear that I agree with Chayiim that the person who didn't give him a ride was not *mean* but rather *ignorant* of the fact that Chayiim was as much a Jew as he is. By analogy we many think of the American business man who reacts at a sexual harassment seminar You mean that is harassment...I didn't know they minded(in a similar manner I think these black hats are shocked that Chayiim is as much a Jew as they are). To clinch the analogy let me (requote) perhaps the most famous black hat - modern orthodox confrontation (The story is well known but not often connected with Chayiims problem). The holy lamp, Rabbi Shimeon Bar Yochai left a cave after 12 years and everywhere he went he cast his eyes and what he saw was consumed in fire (because the world was not devoted to Torah but rather to mundane items). A Divine Voice punished him with another year in the cave (for being a black hat(?) and trying to destory a world which was not ultra orthodox). After a year Rabbi Shimeon came out and saw a simple Jew (=?modern orthodox) carrying 2 bundles of myrtles.. both for Shabbos, one for Zachor and one for Shamor. Upon seeing this he stopped trying to destroy the world and was freed of the cave. I think it reasonable to view this confrontation as an educative process whereby Rabbi Shimeon learned that it was equally valuable before God to study Mysticism in a cave (like he did...the black hat) or to embellish Mitzvoth(like the simple jew=modern orthodoxy did). I believe the above correctly identifies one component of the solution. If so the next step is to convince the Rashay yeshivoth to implement it by adovcating the type of Keyruv work done by organizations like Lev Achim. Russell Hendel, Ph.d., ASA, rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu