Commentators and their comments on 'Tradition AND contribution'.
Note concerning bracketed statements:
Square [ ] indicates an editors note, while round ( ) belong to the commentators.
Note on recording of comments:
Those in quotations "" indicate a copy of the commentators written comments, while statements without quotation marks indicate a summary of a meeting.
Yitzhak Hayutman comments: "In the system of Franz Rosenzweig in 'the Star of Redemption' the 'Whole System' was depicted in the following ... [magen David pattern with two triads: one triad has at top:] (one) G~d, [at bottom right:] World, [and at bottom left:] (Hu)Man(ity), [together with another triad which has at top right:] Creation, [at top left:] Revelation and [at bottom:] Redemption. It looks rather cumbersome for the conduct of a weekly, living conduct. Probably more fit for more defined, ritualistic context, though of course, if you can find the ten people to be committed to this discipline then go ahead by all means. As an inspiration for various didactic exercises or rituals here, in the large room in the Academy of Jerusalem, I'd tend to make the four spokesmen into a more service role of facilitators or even programmed 'angels', 'melachim' or 'arch angels' of the four corners. For example: monotheism - Michael, humanity - Gabriel, environment -Uriel, and whole (healing) system - Rephael. A Gaming situation for six participants and four 'angels'."
Rabbi Yitzhak Berkowitz comments: Has potential but needs to be developed, suggests Rabbi Shimon Hurwitz. It is too universal, meaning it is too abstract without taking the mitzvot literally, i.e., 'good enough the idea' attitude. Starting a group discussion framework is a responsibility. How well can the results be guided? Suggests a more literal statement of mitzvot. With development it could be useful as a presentation, but not likely as a framework for discussion. Suggests I should meet a personal need to find a more universal Torah language, with the guidance of a learned Torah scholar. Rather than a 'universal Sanction' it should be an effort to expand Torah Judaism.
Rabbi Menachem Weinman comments: "Discussion with a Talmud Chacham to help develop the idea behind this is a prerequisite to any further use or development."
Rabbi Motty Berger comments: Figure out what the goal is with this whole thing. Your goal is with people. What do you want to teach? First define the goal, then we will figure out how to say it.
Rabbi Akiva Isenberg comments: Change 'whole' to 'integrated', 'monotheism' to 'ethical monotheism'. Define 'holilife', change 'refraining from unsanctioned possession' to 'respecting property sanctions' and change 'refraining from unsanctioned society' to 'respecting sanctioned responsibility for society'. Change 'mental' to 'intellectual', 'unites' to 'integrate', 'in equity' to 'within equity', 'in justice' to 'within justice', 'in righteousness' to 'within righteousness'. Change 'eating in natural influence allows for restoration' to 'natural eating allows restoration', 'sexuality in moral influence allows for habitation' to 'moral sexuality allows habitation', and change 'society in mental influence for association' to 'intellectual society allows associations'.
Rabbi Aharon Poston comments: "I suggest a meeting with Rabbi Yoel Schwartz or Rabbi Chaim Richman, and connecting with already existing organizations: B'nei Noach - The Gap - Emanuel, so that you can reach a vast amount of people already interested - or to reach those who may be interested and networking them toward those above organizations. Write out explicitly the Seven Laws [bnei Noach], all details and all underlying principles, [and the] relationship to Jews and Israel. Develop seminars - on Science, Health, Humanitarian, [and] Environmental [topics]."
Rabbi Shimon Hurwitz comments: "1) Use an already accepted system and language to propagate your ideas: i.e., easier acceptance by others with terminology which they are used to. (Use Masterplan by Rav Carmell as your basic framework.) 2) [This version] cannot involve people who are already in the process of integrating Torah concepts which are new to them, since different terminology will only confuse them. Only with approval of your system from Rav Berkowitz, would you be allowed to discuss your system with Aish students. 3) [The use of terms will] depend on your audience: a) non - frum - may use terms more freely, but still wiser to accustom them to classic Torah terminology. b) to yeshiva students (with the approval of their teachers) expand on your ideas through already existing materials, e.g. Masterplan, Horeb, and Rav Asher Resnik[s innovative Torah systemology]. 4) Work with already in gear rabbinic projects / systems and then add on your ideas where compatible and contributory. This includes personal contact with others working on such organizational systems. See Rav Asher Resnick concerning innovative Torah systemology. [Explain] decalogue i.e., where ten people 'deca' - are speaking together 'logue'. [These rules are] too regimented. [I suggest ] people meet and discuss clear topics, with one making a presentation of Torah information and the rest commenting and integrating the information presented. In poetry [you] can play with words; but in serious writing, use normal terminology. Use usual Torah terminology: 'Torah', 'holy life', 'Torah prohibited speech', 'Remembering / proclaiming the Shabbat to keep it holy', and 'holy city'. [The discussion of monotheism, humanity and environment is] too vague, [it needs] more detail and organization. If [a framework] is using 'other' cultures in comparison to the Torah culture, make this clear and outline precisely the differences and / or comparisons."
Rabbi Yaaqov Fogelman comments: "There is no disagreement with any of these principles; group work usually helps people achieve their goals- the more advice, the more wisdom. Try it!"
Rabbi David Aaron comments: "The goal has to be clarified. What is the whole idea trying to achieve? A mission statement has to be developed. Each participant also needs to clarify what he/she wants to accomplish by doing this, for them self. An outline for intermediate steps / stages for the group. An outline of personal steps / stages. How to motivate and sustain motivation. Its got to be once a week, or maybe once a month. You've got to start slowly. Supervision by a Tulmid Chacham, otherwise conversation will become just off the cuff."
Rabbi Yochanan Bechoffer comments: We will still get a chance to get it together. End