Musings of an Orthodox Jew

Thoughts on Torah and the Jewish world today.

Reflections on the past…

Recently a friend of mine returned to a forum where I wa sonce active.  I left it in disgust at the start of august last year.  Why was I disgusted?  The blatant anti-Semitism and promotion of anti-semitix by the a supposedly neutral moderators there.  So I left, stopped posting- and found that that months after I had left- I had been banned.  All very amusing- banned a couple fo months after I made my last post there?  Seems that they wanted to make sure I would not return to vex them!

So, as I said, a friend of mine decided to go back to post there and dropped a few well wishes off at friends till there on my behalf.  What gets me is that he reports the same drivel as always is going on- blatantly anti-Semitic posts can be found int he religion section; the Israel bahing continues (though it seems there is an equally strong pro-Israel contingent), and the same faces appear. While I am no longer active there- I regret one thing- that I made some serious posts about Judaism there- something I regret doing.  Why teach anti-Semites about Judaism?

Si why mention this? This morning I decided to try out Paltalk.  You se eit mentioned and I thought- why not?  Maybe it will be fun.  So there I was, new ID in hand, and I joined one of the Jewish discussion groups.   A discussion was held over the role of the anti-missionary groups and if they are doing a good thing or a bad thing.  Personally I support them- yes, they really succeed in bringing Jews back to Judaism- and often end up teaching the missionaries about Judaism, letting them appear more authentic later on.  But at what point do we say “Give up- just let the people go,” as oppossed to counting the fruits of saving even one Jewish soul from apostasy?

For myself, I thnk about the dictum that murdering one man is murdering an entire world, and similarly saving one man is saving an entire world and the answer seems clear:  we need to take the chance that the missionaries will learn if it means saving just one individual.  but the opposite argument carries a lot of weight- we may save that one soul, but how many more do we imperil?  How many do we place at risk if we let the missionaries learn authentic Judaism?

And it extends beyond that:  what happens with prisoner exchanges?  we may save that one life, but how many more are imperilled by the thousand prisoners set free?  How many of those will return to attack us after they are freed?  The same thing goes when you consider negotiating with kidnappers, paying them off to free a victim:  how any other people are being endangered by them being succesful in extorting money?

Thankfully, I am not a posek having to answer such sheilahs, but to me it seems that saving a life now, saving a soul now, takes precedence over a future possible, but not proveable event.  It may be short-sighted, but sometimes we have to do something because it is the right thing to do.  We see it with the kidnap victim:  halachicly we have to free the victim.  A husband has to free a kidnapped wife- its not optional- it is considered is obligation!  So is the physical safety of the soldier or the spiritual well being of the convertee any less important than the kidnap victim?  All are in peril, all face either a physical or spiritual death; as such, my regret that I cannot remove my posts on religion don’t bother me too much.  Who knows- maybe some person browsing them will be intringued enough to study proper Judaism and return home to be embraced by all klal Yisrael.

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February 11, 2009 - Posted by | Messianic, Random | , ,

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