Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Friday, October 27, 2006

"Worse Than The Dor HaMabul"

Parshas Noach seems like the perfect time to write about a statement I heard from a prominent Hasidic rabbi in my community. He claimed that these days are "worse than the Dor HaMabul."

Interestingly, he used this negative line to give chizuk by saying that in a way, our commitment to mitzvos and to steering clear of aveiros is more meaningful as a result.

But I didn't find his idea to be inspiring. If anything, it's depressing. Yay, we're living in a crappy time!

Besides, were there thousands of people sitting and learning during the dor hamabul? Were there g'machs of all sorts during the dor hamabul? How bad can we be already?

And even if you want to say, "oh, he was just referring to the pritzus out there." Then say so! I believe that if someone makes such an outrageous statement, they've got to be very clear as to what they're saying. Don't just make blanket, extreme statements that are subject to misinterpretation.

- And my ultimate beef with the statement: how does he know? Was this rabbi around during that time? Rashi says that the world than was so corrupt and full of z'nus that even the animals began interbreeding. Now I know that, unlike today, one couldn't get instant access to porn in their living room or office. But I have yet to see a bird mate with an elephant. And who even knows what exactly went out back then? The Torah is full of vague words like "shachas" and "chomos," which are subject to various interpretations by rishonim. Okay, there was a lot of sex and crime, but just how much? Was every person guilty, only a majority, who knows?

This brings to mind the people that say, "it's a crazy world out there today." I think it's a terrible thing to say, and reeks of ingratitude to God. It's like saying, "why did You bring us into this crazy world, God?" I'm more of a fan of the Rav Miller approach, of looking at the beauty of the world, and standing in awe of the tzelem elokim. At the same time, we don't need to igonre the daily challenges and opportunities that life provides. It's a lot less depressing than thinking of the dor hamabul all the time.


Blogger Michelle said...

It's hard to think like that---that this is as bad as Dor HaMabul--but also think that there IS tons of pritzuz. But, yes, we DON'T KNOW!! Apparently your Rabbi knew...I dunno.

1:26 PM  

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