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Still Talking to Myself

April 1, 2014

Here I posted a passage from R’ Sonnenfeld’s artscrollized* biography. At the beginning of he same chapter, it quotes R’ Sonnenfeld as saying that it was perhaps the Old Yishuv’s mistake not to adopt Hebrew as its vernacular, as it could have robbed the secular Zionists of their most potent cultural weapon. The secular Zionists used their use of Hebrew to show the British and others that they represented true Jewish culture and tradition, and the Old Yishuv did not gain any legitimacy by sticking with bastardized German as its language.

The spiritual heirs of  R’ Sonnenfeld would do well to note that they should have known to do that, as learning the Hebrew language is at best a mitzwa (according to some Rishonim) or at the least the only way one can properly study the Torah, and that there just might be a few other things that instead of rejecting, they should have been the first to advocate. If R’ Sonnenfeld would be allowed to speak honestly today, perhaps he would have said:

“We should have taken up all the classically Jewish ideas that Zionism stands for, like nation building, settling the land, raising an army, building the economy and encouraging employment, and getting rid of superstitions and neo-paganist religious practices advocated by supposedly loyal Jews, and then the Lapids would not be able to claim that we only take from society and not contribute, and we would not have a an allegedly Torah-true society that lacks all of these basic components of Jewish nationhood.”

W’hameivin Yavin.

* The book does a superb job of rehabilitating the reputation of Jacob Israel de Haan, the secular, unrepentant, homosexual, pedophile pornographer, who, because of his Antizionist activities, was assassinated by the Haganah, and thus became a Haredi martyr.

 

 

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