A Torah Purist

Moshe Ben-Chaim


Jewish leaders have more influence than they might know. As Pharaoh's servants said, "each man according to the interpretation of his dream..." Meaning, dream interpretations carry more meaning than the dream themselves. Yosef's interpretations were more impressive than the servants' own dreams.

So too are Jewish community leaders in a position where their congregants are influenced by their say so, more than other considerations. And this is the influence all leaders have on others.

One lesson that the Torah imparts is the following: "Maa-sseh avos siman libanim", "The forefathers' actions are signs for their children." Meaning, we are to look to our patriarchs for model behavior, and apply their morality and intelligence in each generation. If something was of no concern to them, it must not be to us. And if something was a concern to them, then we too must be concerned not to deviate. This principle is not time bound, and must be imbued to others.

Our society corrupts pure, Torah ideals labeling them as "unrealistic", when in fact, we must not follow society's lead if Torah tells us otherwise. "Realism" must be derived from Torah and Chazal alone, regardless of societal norms. Such norms are created by non-Torah individual's for the most part, no one fit to overshadow Chazal, our Rabbis. In all areas, our directives must have but one source. Even in Jewish communities, the flock succumbs to the need for cultural acceptance, and does not question each area of their lives, as it may cause some discomfort not to obtain accolades from neighboring religions.

Let us not veer from the patriarchs' lessons, gravitating to our society's nonsense and harmful philosophies. Rather, we must seek direction from no other source than Chazal and Torah. We must be Torah purists. G-d Himself commanded we not add or subtract. He also recorded the patriarchs' lives as lessons, not as historical data. At all costs, this must be taught, certainly when in Jewish communities, under the guise of "Judaism" of "frumkite", masses err tremendously.