I received an email from a beloved friend and talmid chochom whom I respect criticizing some recent posts. It is nice to get feedback from time to time. I have posted [BS"D!!] well over 10,000 written or recorded divrei Torah and have received almost zero feedback over the last 11 years. [Exceptions - Someone emailed me saying that he didn't like the title of one of my shiurim. A female professor emailed me saying that it could be construed from a shiur I gave about Pinchas that I was in favor of violence. For the record - I am not:-). One friend was upset when I raised money for the sefer I wanted to publish. He was sick of hearing about it and asked me to stop. For historical accuracy I will say that these on-line fundraising drives net me relatively almost nothing:-). But thanks to my good friends - and my daughter who worked for me for free - the sefer was published]. I need to hear what people are thinking.
1] Why am I so critical about American Jews who spend money?
Response: You are right. I shouldn't be critical. People are not bad and let them enjoy their money. At the same time, there are some [not only in America] whose main focus is on the material and not spiritual side of life. Since the idea of geulah is a world where Hashem is at the center, it could be that an excessive focus on materialism is not conducive to bringing about a better world. But the point is well taken. I shouldn't be critical of American Jews. At the end of the day - most of the ones that I know are much, much better people than I am, so who am I to speak. I will try to fix that and make my עין more טובה.
2] "Why is it attacking people who watch a video about the importance of not speaking lashon hara on tisha bav? Halevai that should be our worst "problem"."
Response: You are right. Watching a video on Tisha B'av about not speaking lashon hara is wonderful. Halevai that I should watch such videos. Halevai that I should stop speaking lashon hara. My point was that besides fixing ourselves we shouldn't lose sight of the bigger picture. ציפית לישועה doesn't just mean that we stop speaking lashon hara. It means that we mourn the churban. But I apologize if what I wrote was construed as an "attack" against "anti-lashon-hara" videos. Yirbu kamohem bi-yisrael!
3] "Maybe we're still in galus because Jews in Meah Shearim throw rocks at soldiers?
Maybe we're still in galus becaue Belz Chassidim abused little kids?
Maybe we're still in galus because more and more rabbanim fall prey to their tayvahs creating massive chilul HaShem?"
Response: You are correct. These are big problems. [Although I was not aware that people throw rocks at soldiers in Meah Shearim or the Belzers abused little kids. I am working on avoiding news outlets מחשש לשון הרע]. Bigger than Jews who spend a lot of money on vacations or who watch videos agaןnst lashon hara.... But Belzers and Meah Shearim Jews don't read the blog so I try to address issues that relate directly to the lives of those who do read. As for "Rabbanim" who fall prey to their tayvehs and cause a massive chillul Hashem - I have written about this extensively and it causes me [as it does you and everybody else with a Jewish heart and soul] tremendous anguish. [Incidentally - I saw that a Torah website featured the shiurim of one of these disgraced Rabbis. Shouldn't such people be banned from teaching Torah (until they are fully repentant). When people see them the chilul Hashem is brought back to consciousness.]
4] "What happened to מוסיפים אור?"
You are right. I need to be מוסיף אור. Sometimes, when someone shows the folly's of the darkness, the inherent light is revealed. Even Rav Kook who motto was מוסיפים אור decried the negative phenomena of his days.
I thank you for reading and apologize if my words caused you discomfort. I hope you also appreciate that a great percentage of what I write is very positive and the criticism I throw in here and there shouldn't overshadow everything else. We often have a tendency to focus on what is bothering us and lose sight of of the good but the reality is often different than our perceptions.
I will try to be more careful with my words and appreciate your input.