Torah isn't everything
Avi Rath
Published: 11.04.12, 11:15
Comment Comment
Print comment Print comment
Back to article
69 Talkbacks for this article
31. #9 Ephraim, Tapuah
moshe ,   Tivon   (04.11.12)
QUESTION: Instead of who is 'religous' may we ask "who is righteous" and "a good person" ? For example is the (lonely) Arab in Jerusalem that saved a Jewish family during an Arab riot , LESS than the Jew (below), that did NOT act during the Arab riot ? In my estimation, even if that Jew wears the garb ( tsitzes , kippa, etc ) and says his prayers, keeps Shabbat, given NO other information, that Jew is the Lesser man Ephraim : Jewish Mr. X appears to be 'righteous' in his garb; his manner of action Mr.X appears to be a 'good person' whereas Jewish Mr. Y appears to be an "Am Aretz" . I too would be inclined to regard Mr. X more favorably than Mr. Y. The difference between us : is that I would be able to change my mind given more information. Perhaps one should learn to respect others that think differently. Your comment about Nazis is the comment of unlearned youth. moshe
32. What is religious
Irene Kellerman ,   San Jose Costa Rica   (04.11.12)
One thing is to be religious, and something else is to be observant. That is the good answer I received from a Rabbi. My father was married to an orthodox woman; when he got sick with cancer she behaved terribly. I asked a Rabbi how a religious person can behave like that, and he said: she is not religious, she is observant. You can observe Kashrut, and other mitzvoth and that not make you a religious person
33. #9 Ephraim & #24 Heshy, You prove the point of this article
Carl ,   USA   (04.11.12)
Shame on you for accepting the abuse of soldiers, women and children as somehow "noble" behavior according to Talmud. You are absolutely no better than the Taliban or Saudi religious police. This is NOT Judaism. Learn from the great sage Hillel: “That which is hateful to you, do not unto another; this is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary — and now go study.” Your behavior is far worse than that of Shammai, the lesser man in this Talmudic story.
34. Jewish peoplehood is everything
Sidney ,   USA   (04.11.12)
We were a people long before there was a Torah. We go back to at least 1100 B.C.E. Torah goes back to 620 B.C.E. 2 Kings 22: 10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king's attendant: 13 "Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found.
35. TORAH is the ONLY thing
Israeli 2   (04.11.12)
36. I agree 100% with *most* of what you say
Jasmin ,   Haifa   (04.11.12)
BUT I must say that the article's title and its last sentence show that you are laboring under the false (but *easier*) idea that it's the Torah that is the problem. WRONG! Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you're just out to bash haredim here. How then are you less hypocritical than those you criticize? In any case, derech eretz and Torah are hardly mutually exclusive.
37. Subjective article
Yaron Balelti ,   Jerusalem   (04.11.12)
very bad article, Avi Rath(the writer) took few specific stories of (indeed) disgusting religious people, and try to stick this image to all religious society. one sided - anti religious article.
38. EXCEPT title & last paragraph, best article EVER in ynet
Paqid Yirmeyahu ,   Ra'anana, Israel   (04.11.12)
But #1 & 36 (and some of the others) right about title and last paragraph. There's no contradiction between Torah and manners; they are harmonious. The contradiction is between Torah and religious hypocrites. That was pointed out millennia ago by a courageous rabbi.
39. Good article, stupid headline
Serge ,   Montreal, Canada   (04.11.12)
The article was saying, correctly, that for the Torah, the manner of dressing or wearing one's hair isn't everything -- it is about how we behave. The article is correct. The headline is not.
40. I want to spit on christians, where in the TORAH are rules..
Secular! but a Jew! ,   AMERICA THE BEAUTIUL   (04.11.12)
where in the TORAH are rules on how and who to spit on? But in the TORAH somewhere it must say how to humiliate those soldiers that protect your life and rights to spit degrade and harass others. Those that use the TORAH to shield themselves from the HOLY and secular laws (of basic human kindness and decency) and hide behind THE HOLY TORAH to commit atrocious behavior are the actual SINNERS, damned for all time, to die and evaporate into nothingness. Leaving nothing of their memory behind, except a foul taste in the mouth.
41. Well...
Yochi ,   Germany   (04.11.12)
Torah IS with no doubt everything for the jewish nation and I'd say there is nothing more important in a jew's life than living according to the Word of HKB"H. And one thing that we definitely learn from His words is ahavat Israel... Not only haredim who spit on little girls should keep that in mind but also those "extreme non-religious" who hate everything that has to do with religion and believe that those trusting in HKB"H and living a life according to Tora are crazy, stupid people. They are nothing better than the fanatics among the haredim...
42. Tilte Conflicts with Message ...
Orly ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (04.11.12)
... The message the article seems to convey is that while appearances are not everything, Torah is. The bottom line seems to be Torah and its mitzvot rather than their visibility, but the headline sets the tone for an opposite tone that seems to condemn the very Torah the author is promoting be the central focus. A more apropos title would be "Torah Is Everything."
43. That's the big problem with religion in the modern world
Shmuel ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (04.11.12)
Every religious person will argue with atheists that God exists. Then they'll turn on each other and argue that it's only the god of their religion who exists. Then they'll turn on each other and argue that their particular denomination's interpretations of his law are the only legitimate ones. Then they'll turn on each other and argue that the way they interpret those interpretations are the only legitimate way. Eventually we end up with only a small fragment of the world's religious believing that they are the righteous, and everyone else are despicable sinners. And that's religion today, the world over. Perhaps people need to begin to wonder, no matter what god you believe in, maybe there's a reason he didn't make his worship uniform, and maybe there's a reason he didn't make him the only worshipped God in the first place.
44. manners before torah?
albert sultan ,   elberon nj   (04.11.12)
while this article has many great and true points...the one shame is the reinforcement of the mistaken idea that torah and manners are separate. any truly religious jew knows that respect for another person is integral to the spirit and law of torah. its not a matter of "manners before torah". Torah is meant to refine a persons spiritual and daily activities.
45. If you are not
Real vision ,   usa   (04.11.12)
If you are not living the love of mankind and living with tolerance of others then it matters not if you wear a kippa nor read the Torah every day. You are a nothing in GOD'S EYES
46. More accurate: "there's more to torah than kippah etc.
Marsha ,   Miami, FL USA   (04.11.12)
"Derachehah darchei noam v'chol netivoteha shalom"--the ways of torah are pleasant and its paths are peace. It's not that torah isn't everything, it's more that a kippah, beard, tzitzit, gynophobia and membership in the "chumra (stringency) of the month club" are not the essence of torah, and may even make one "naval bireshut hatorah"--a boor who claims the right to be obnoxious by the authority of the torah. If I am incorrect, I really have no further interest in being Jewish.
47. enough with the spitting already!
HH ,   jerusalem   (04.11.12)
reading these hate-filled messages, one could come to think that hundreds of thousands of "religious" ("hareidi") Jews seek out an 8 year old girl three times a day six days a week upon whom they spit. Get a life. One deranged fellow did it, and all religious Jews are eternally condemned?
48. Torah & these "shmo"s
K W ,   Beit Shemesh   (04.11.12)
Torah IS everything, that is a horrible title. Wearing a beard and the "uniform" is external, and for some a costume but if some of them spit and act like animals that is NOT representing the torah, just like someone who looks like you who murders or steals is not representative of you. Unfortunately, the 10% or less (even 1%) who do act like that turn off the world to the other main percentage who do not act like that, who people don't notice
49. #23 right on todd!!! #24 how narrow-minded
Iselin ,   Oslo, Norway   (04.11.12)
To #24: Do not condemn until you have walked in the shoes of those you scathe. What gives you the power/authority to pass judgment on gays and others? A 4000-year-old lifestyle guide? Does that make you feel more holy? Or only arrogant? Remember that those who wrote the Bible believed that the world was flat.
50. Torah as a shield
Joe ,   Toronto Canada   (04.11.12)
would be a better title to the article. How many orthodox (let alone haredim) use the Torah as an excuse for their mantra? It's never just about whose religous, it's also about who's a Jew and who controls the lives of Jews inside Israel.
51. 38 . A courageous rabbi you believe in !
Charles ,   Petach Tikva   (04.11.12)
this "rabbi" is better known as jesus , your god !
sick mind ,   from mental hospital   (04.11.12)
53. unfortunately...
Chava ,   Bet shemesh   (04.12.12)
Masny women in Bet Shemesh carry pepper spray. We really are scared of Haredi men. unfortunately spitting has been a daily occurrence for about 6 years. A group of us went to the police chief about this about 5 years ago- to ask why they would not protect us. We were not as cute/fragile as Naama and nothing was done- and the situation has got worse and worse
54. Judaism is not a religion
Judd Rusnak ,   Sydney Australia   (04.12.12)
Judaism is not a religion; it is a way of life. We observe the Torah, Mishna, Talmud (yerushalmi and Babli), The Rambam, the Shulchan Aruch (By Karo), etc, etc, etc Many of our laws are driven by 2000 years of continues enhanced and enriched history. You have to be first and mostly a mentch, tfilin or Kipa will not help you. You cannot be an orthodox Jew and be accused with adultery. You can not be an orthodox Jew and steal, kill,, etc This article is a waste of time and space.
55. Author's view is right, title is so wrong!
Flavio ,   Sao Paulo, Brazil   (04.12.12)
I agree completely that abiding by these or those mitzvahs is not enough to qualify someone as truly religious - but, as tbacker #1 has properly stressed, this has absolutely nothing to do with "less Torah" - quite the opposite. If you abide by the Ten Commandments (which is an integral part of the Torah) and by the so called Golden Rule (You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. —Leviticus 19:18), then you qualify as a decent, honest, truly religious human being. Obviously, there are some so called religious Jews who are not honest, who embezzle money, who commit crimes and felonies, and at the same time insist on keeping glatt kosher and checking their garments for shaatnez - but those folks are religious only outside, not inside. Torah really is the way, is the key, if you truly commit yourself to act decently and to abide by the 'core' mitzvahs, from your heart and soul.
56. your article doesn't make any sense
Yan Klats ,   New York, USA   (04.12.12)
Avi, regarding this point you're trying to make, "Do you really think that the Creator, on whose behalf you do what you do, will be happy to see a girl spat on, a female soldier cursed at, or an officer humiliated?", I totally agree you're 100% correct. There is nowhere in the Torah where that is ok to do! However, its very unfortunate that you are writing this from an ignorant point of view. If you know anything about the Torah then you would know that the most important lesson it teaches is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." So your last sentence "manners come before the Torah" doesn't make any sense since manners ARE what the Torah is about. Wearing a kippah is tradition, its not the essence of the Torah.
57. # 53 Response
Sagi   (04.12.12)
Spit back at them.
58. Desecration of the Name is when
Lemmings hotline ,   SD usa   (04.12.12)
A religious person behaves in way that misleads others into believing that the Torah permits behavior ,which ,in fact it actually forbids
59. Then Mother Theresa was a very good Jew
Chani   (04.12.12)
Being religious means incorporating kindness, good deeds, and morals. Being a religious Jew means ADDITIONALLY practicing the traditions our heritage holds sacred: kashrut, shabbat.... You need both
60. Adam ve Chavaro
Andi ,   Israel   (04.12.12)
A Jew who keeps all the Mitzvot between man and G-d, and ignores those between man and man, is no more religious than a "secular" who keeps all the Mitzvot between man and man and non of those with G-d.
Previous talkbacks
Next talkbacks
Back to article