Haredi Jews: the supremacy of rabbis

Vladimir Minkov,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Vladimir Minkov
I came into the world in the autocratic Soviet Union as early as before the Second World War, in a Jewish and a bona fide Soviet family. The Soviets were a unique brand of Russian Orthodox Christianity, which worshipped in reality a human God being the ruler of the country and where Jews and Christians were spiritual enemies. In the 1970s, I immigrated to America, where democracy and the true Judeo-Christian spirituality of this country made it possible to begin the search for the true meaning of this incomprehensible God above us the humans and for the forbidden in the Soviet Union Torah. I discovered that the One God, the Torah, Judaism in their intellectual interpretations are the basis for determining the purpose of our stay in our world, the basis for defining Good and Evil. I discovered the basics of Western Judeo-Christian civilization where Jews and Christians, while being religiously different, have a common spiritual Torah-based foundation for creating a better world for everybody,...

Haredi Jews will nor read this post – their rabbis prohibit them to go to places where it could be seen and discussed such as for example public libraries or internet web sites.

Haredi rabbis are a sort of gods for their own devotees. Whatever a Haredi rabbi says, his devotees have to say “amen and amen” meaning you have no right to ask a question why it is so, you have to follow an order. That is not a role of the teacher the Jewish tradition prescribes to a rabbi – a good Torah teacher should encourage his students asking questions and be happy when a student is able to reason and develop his/her own unique understanding in the framework of the Torah-based fundamentals. Teaching how to reason – not just to believe - is a crucial difference between the teachers of the Torah, and the god-like religious commanders the Haredi rabbis look like.

Nothing wrong with the Haredi Jews who decided to live religiously the Haredi way. What is wrong is to think that the Haredi way is the God’s Torah-guided way. The Haredi way is fundamentally different from the real Torah guidance.

Indeed, God in the Torah is reasoning Himself and deciding what is good and what is not good (“God said, it is good”), and the humans created in the image and likeness of God, including us the Jews, have to reason and decide on what is good and not good in ever-changing (by God’s design!) life circumstances. However, Haredi rabbis are teaching/forcing their followers not to reason but to follow the rabbis’ command.

Indeed, God in the Torah created our world in the Six Days as permanently changing along the lines of His laws of nature, which the scientists are discovering and the rest of us are using in our day-by-day lives. However, Haredi rabbis forbid their followers to learn the scientific discoveries and apply them.

Indeed, all Sages in the Torah are trying to find out the God’s guidance by reasoning and experimenting, and such stories as for example with Moses on the Mount Sinai and the Babel Tower are perfect illustrations of that. However, Haredi rabbis forbid their followers from reasoning and experimenting – they have to follow the orders.

Indeed, over a hundred various rabbis had composed over two millenniums ago a set of Torah-guided Jewish-identity rules, the Talmud, tailored to the life circumstances of the times - with no indication for the rules to be frozen forever. However, Haredi rabbis made those rules frozen for all times (probably under a wrong assumption that God created our world unchangeable) and commanded their followers to follow the rules without reasoning and deliberations.

Yes, Haredi rabbis created their own unique Jewish spiritual world. However, it looks like that the Haredi spiritual world is different from the God’s spiritual world in the Torah.   


A reader may find more on Jewish identity in the book by Vladimir Minkov “In search of Jewish Intellectual Identity in the Modern Judeo-Christian World” - A Personal Intellectual Journey to Discover Jewish Identity (for Jews and Gentiles), which could be found at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B077XH9WZW