Religious Jews — Orthodox and Charedi — try with all their might to preserve the vitality and vigor of Halacha. This attempt is doomed to failure in the modern era, a time in which equality, liberty, and man’s happiness are the guiding principles. The contrast between this spirit and the antiquated world of Halacha — set nearly 1500 years ago — screams out to the Heavens. Forces which long for belonging and identity try to ignore and force the contradictions into a different shape.
This book is required reading for understanding the religious outlook which sets the standards for the Charedi lifestyle and, to a large extent, the lifestyle of the modern secular. The secular, as a group — whether they respect religion, hate it, or fear it — do not even begin to understand that the problem lies solely with the Halachic ideals and in no way with people. The Charedi are, generally, the first and most miserable victims of these ideas. From childhood they are inculcated with viewpoints and ways of thinking which are dictated by the reality of earlier times.
This book allows the reader to understand Halachic language and concepts. After reading it, you will be able to understand, for example, the source of Rav Ovadiah Yossef’s ruling that a woman may not inherit from her parents and why the Chief Rabbi of the army believes that the sanctity of the Sabbath takes priority over the lives of those who are not Jewish.
You will also understand how the rabbinical courts in our days can order a deaf widow, who has borne no children, to have sex with her married brother-in-law.
This book will give a foundation and background to those whose rest is disturbed by questions of belonging, identity, religion, and nationality. This book will give you the tools for deep and profound contemplation of these issues.
The book was written by a person unmatched in the Israeli landscape: a man who knows Judaism no less well than the greatest rabbis of our days, a man who was a rabbi, the head of a kollel, and a prodigy in the Charedi world, a man who continues to learn Judaism and Jewish philosophy even after having left the Charedi world, one of the few and perhaps the only man who has the ability, the knowledge, the courage, and the will to place a mirror up to Halachic religion.
Yaron Yadan was born in 1962 and has eight children. He researches the Scriptures and the Talmud and lectures on those topics; his articles are to be found in university libraries and are published in periodicals. Yadan writes critical reviews of Jewish literature in the Haaretz newspaper and is often interviewed about Judaism on radio and television. He is the founder and chairman of the Daat Emet organization.