May 12, 2008

Pharisees vs Saduccees of Today?

I don't remember who, (maybe S.), said that with the splinter sect within Chabad thinking the Rebbe is mashiach , scholars can gain a better understand of how Christianity developed. Everyone here has heard these Chabadnicks being compared to Christians and probably with some good merit. With the ongoing controversies recently coming from the Charedi world, I was thinking, could scholars in the future looking back at our times, get a better understanding of the split between the Pharisees and Sadducee's and how it played itself out? It looks as if there is almost a calculated attempt on the part of the Charedim to delegitimize anyone on the left (from their perspective the left being MO and RZ and anyone else). Right now we are dealing with the conversion crisis. I believe last year, the Charedim wanted to have full authority in conversions even in the US. There is even call to have the Chief rav of the IDF booted for desecrating shabbat which I believe is just an attempt to delegitimize RZ and the authority behind it. Was this what the pharisees did to the Sadducees (and vice versa)?

How much information DO we have on the Pharisees and Sadducees? Not much. Stuff in the Talmud which can hardly be taken as impartial and Josephus. These two groups, like todays MO/RZ and Charedim, obviously had some sort of relationship albeit a strained one. They even sat together in the beit din, though with obvious friction. But still, all of that information exists scantly in our text and we could never reall get a feeling of what it was like then. Thats why I would find it interesting if someone does write something about the era in which we live and do some comparison analysis of how it might have looked back in the past.

Of course, I am not trying to paint a doomsday scenerio, but for one example, what if Israel WERE to fall? RZ would most likely see its end. Like the Sadducee connection to the Temple, the RZ connection to the Land itself. Charedi Judaism would win a great victory, if one can call it such. Charedi Judaism is solely connected to the Torah and rabbinic authority which is very practical in the sense that it is very portable to take anywhere and continue from where they left off last.