After seeing the poll on TLS about if parents or schools should be deciding about mid winter break locations, and reading all the comments, I felt compelled to pen this letter to see what the TLS readers say about what I think may be the biggest question of all.
We are all wonderful people. We mean well. We really want to do what’s right. However, what’s right for you may not be right for me and that is ok. We are not the same and it is our life’s purpose to take our given talents and strengths and reach our potential while addressing our flaws and working to correct them. We each have our path and we should happily, calmly and excitedly work to achieve what we can.
Years ago, during a time when the world then couldn’t ever imagine our world today, when distractions and opportunities were nothing like they are now, still, Rav Aron Kotler ZT”L made a decision to move away from where most Yidden lived and plant seeds in Lakewood, with the hope and vision that it blossom into a Torahdiga town, with pure hashkofos, and with that, provide a life for those who wish to live such a lifestyle.
Rav Aron didn’t ask anyone to be like him, to give up anything for him, to change their lifestyle for him or anything else. He didn’t choose to change people, to change lifestyles or to push his agenda on anyone. Just the opposite. He chose to walk away from it all and instead start his own town with his ideology and wishes.
If this is the case, then I believe the bigger question, or perhaps the elephant in the room sort of speak, is much deeper and requires each person to look in the mirror and be totally true and honest to themselves. Why did you move out here? Why did you choose to move to this great town? It was built for a reason and set up for a reason. Lakewood was established only for those wishing to live in that cookie jar lifestyle. If you don’t want to be in that jar then why move here?
Nobody forced you to move here or even asked you to move here. It was your choice. Isn’t it wrong and disrespectful to move into someone else’s home and then change what they set up? Regardless of your reason to move out here, or if you were raised here then to choose to remain here, nobody should be trying to change what is supposed to be a certain type of a lifestyle here. Go be the next Rav Aron and start your own community but please do not come here and try to change Lakewood. It’s simply not nice.
Alas, I am afraid my letter is way too late for that. However, my question still remains – Why did you move here and why do you think it is ok to change the fundamentals of this great Ir hatorah?
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