imaginary family values presents

yesh omrim

a blog that reclines to the left


Maybe they had slept through their derekh eretz class

5 April 2006

Abayye said:... One who reads and learns and serves Torah scholars, and his buying and selling is not honest, and he does not speak pleasantly to people: what will people say about him? “Woe to so-and-so who learned Torah! Woe to his father who taught him Torah! Woe to his rabbi who taught him Torah! So-and-so, who learned Torah—look at how destructive his deeds are, and how ugly his ways are!” Regarding him, it is written (Ezekiel 36:20): “People said about them, ‘This is the nation of the Eternal, who left His land’”. —Yoma 86a

Once upon a time, an alumnus of a world-famous yeshiva was convicted of embezzlement. A reporter asked the rosh yeshiva, “How do you feel about this failure of your educational system?” The rosh yeshiva replied, “On the contrary, I consider him one of our system’s greatest successes. Sure, he ended up an embezzler, but if he hadn’t gone to our school, he would have become, God forbid, a murderer!”

In that vein, I suppose it’s a good thing that the lads in Borough Park, unlike us poor benighted Modern Orthodox folks, have community leaders who are “so suffused with Torah excellence that [their] world view is a refraction of Torah itself”. Imagine how bad the violence would have been if those leaders hadn’t been so suffused.