[Avodah] Analogies

Akiva Miller akivagmiller at gmail.com
Fri Oct 16 04:43:49 PDT 2020

R' Joel Rich asked:

> From the RCBC (Rabbinic Council of Bergen County): Just as our
> exile from Israel was intended as punishment, but has become
> comfortable and even preferable to many, the same may be said
> about our exile from shul and yeshiva.
> Question-What priority (resources/time) should/do the American
> orthodox community (and its leadership) spend on thinking about
> the first part of this statement? Does the analogy resonate with
> them?

The analogy certainly resonates with me. Whenever I talk about the benefits
I experienced in the spring while the shuls were closed, I make sure to
point out that it is merely a silver lining in the cloud, and it is *not*
the way we are meant to be. Along similar lines, whenever I decry those who
violate The Rules in order to hold otherwise-forbidden minyanim or shiurim,
I am careful to add that I wish I was as devoted to these things as they

But if you are trying to quantify a specific prioritization level for
thinking about this, I believe the search to be fultile. Suffice it to say
that it is important; to ask *how* important is like trying to prioritize a
tzedaka that you identify with very closely even though it is
geographically distant versus one that merely happens to be very local. The
question does have an answer, but you won't find it with mathematics.

Akiva Miller
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