I am a product of kiruv institutions. I learned in Ohr Somayach yeshivot, I pray in Chaba”d houses, I have friends who work for Aish Discovery and Gateways. I get literature from JEP, JEMM, JAM, and every other monosyllabic organization beginning with J purporting to be the organization that “has brought back so many Jews to Torah”.
In light of this, I don’t even know what to say when I read articles like this.
I understand the sentiment, and I empathize, and can even partially identify. But Uri Orbach’s “Please Don’t Come For Shabbat” piece in YNet today caught me off guard and, in my opinion, is lamentably counterproductive:
Do me a favor, secular friends, don’t come over for Shabbat. I simply can not handle your adorable little Tomer turning off the light in the bathroom…
Please don’t come over on Shabbat. With your never-turned-off cellular phone and the visible pack of cigarettes you clumsily try to hide.
Don’t come visiting on Shabbat, not even if you call in advance. If we happen to invite you â€“ please politely decline. Because it pushes our buttons. We with our “mishigas,” our rules and our old habits. We will ask you to arrive before sundown so you don’t desecrate the most holy day of the week, and after dinner we’ll pretend not to know you drive your car back home. That’s not our business…
Just imagine what having secular guests on Shabbat means. Welcome to hell: lights turned on and off by mistake, toilet paper ripped, text messages flying, toasts popping, yarmulkes falling, kids turning on the TV. Our own children, innocent of the taste of sin, are tempted by a life of atheism…Go explain to the kid in the hip-hopish hairdo why you simply cannot serve pancakes on Saturday morning and why the TV is off limits…
Yes, some of my best friends are secular, but on Shabbat I pretend I don’t have any. I love them, I cherish them but I won’t call them and they don’t call me.
Don’t come on Shabbat, stop by on Sunday, Monday, and bring all of your kids with you. But not on Shabbat. It’s too complicated. One Shabbat â€“ two nations.
One commenter, Reuven from Ra’anana who is no stranger to anyone who reads YNet Talkbacks, puts it quite starkly:
…I still shudder when I think about how far down and how far removed secularism has schlepped the Jews of Israel. We really need do need a two-state solution.
So it’s being said now. Two Israels: one for the religious, one for the secular. While I even fall prey to giving this idea positive lip service (because, let’s face it, from both sides it does seem tempting at times), is it a serious proposition that to divide an already minuscule portion of “Jewish land” among religious and non-religious Jews would be a good thing?
Perhaps we’re a long way from piyus. Perhaps we’re a long way from 100% peaceful coexistence.
But surely we can’t have to build another wall.
Shabbat is complex, and to the religious person, it is too important to have one’s electrical preparations set asunder by toddling Tomer.
But, “two nations”? “Two state solutions” for religious and secular Jews? Such legislation should never even be spoken of. The negative far more than nullifies the positive.