Sunday, July 17, 2011
Resist Using Tragedy to Prompt a Agenda
Words cannot express the deep emotion that so many people feel for the Boro Park family who lost their sweet boy to pure evil. The emotions are shared by Americans nationwide and people throughout the world. The murder was so gruesome and unfathomable, and for those in the Jewish community, the pain is only compounded by the fact that the murder himself is
one of us a member of the tribe. 1. I'm turning on comment moderation for right now. Comment moderation has been turned off for now.
I was surprised to see just how many Op-Ed's quickly surfaced, which is to be expected in the age of communication. But I really think it important to be careful, take a deep breath, take in the pain, and resist using this tragedy to play Navi or promote an agenda. We will never know the reason why Hashem allowed this boy's young life to be snuffed out and to insinuate reasons is incredibly presumptuous, perhaps even damaging when emotions run high. This is not to say that we should not be engaging in individual and communal introspection, each community and each man or woman examining.
I see little productive purpose in an organization coming in and drawing a correlation for the mourners of Israel (and attempting to raise money for their cause). This is an incredible and painful travesty, one for which we should be careful not to point fingers too quickly. And, furthermore (!) there are immediate pressing needs, particularly the important material and spiritual needs of the family in the present.
Now I'd like to say something about the third leg what is being promoted to "boost the kedusha" of Klal Yisael: tznius. (Note: I have no objection to tackling addictions or molestation or even tzniut issues). But, I believe the focus on tznius vis a vis one singular aspect (female dress) is extremely damaging. In this case, it is even more insidious. Mothers everywhere are taking a look at their parenting. They are trying to figure out where more supervision is needed and where freedom is age-appropriate. They are trying to figure out how much to supervise, how much to educate, how much to hover, how much to step back. . . . . are the talk being circulated tells women, mothers, girls that the goal is that we all have to "look invisible."
Let's resist using this horrific, horrific event to promote agendas. Let's step back, allow the emotions and logic to reach an equilibrium, and then perhaps publish editorials.
[Update: also see Rabbi Chaim B. of Divrei Chaim post "Crass" who is right to the point: "
I don't even want to discuss whether anyone can claim understanding of why Hashem would allow a child's life to be taken. To advertise in this way is not a philosophical or theological affront -- it is simply vulgar and crass. It's not a matter of a warped sense of Torah values, but a matter of a complete lack of derech eretz and common decency." Amen selah].
2. A note to a particular reader who will likely comment: while I do not normally engage in listening to these chizuk, tznius speeches, I have family that is very into this, so I'm not in the dark as to what these talks consist of.