What is the Secret of Orthodox Judaism’s Success?

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A great article in the Jewish Press argues that the secret of Orthodoxy’s success is, our not being accepted by the countries we’re in. When we’re fully accepted, the argument goes, we integrate and secularize; we don’t do so when the country we’re in won’t let us.

The article begins with a powerful anecdote:

There is a little known fact (outside of Lubavitch) about the founder of Chabad Chasidus, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi (the author of the Shulchan Aruch HaRav – also known as the Baal HaTanya). He supported the Czar of Russia in opposition to Napolean. R’ Shneur Zalman reasoned that the freedom that would result via Napolean’s emancipation from the Czar would cause Jews to go Off the Derech (OTD). He wasn’t entirely wrong.

Guess what? He was right. Today, Jews are almost fully accepted in modern America: and most non-Orthodox Jews integrate in fully, losing their Judaism within two generations.

This is a great argument for staying religious. When we feel the pangs of doubt, let us remember this!

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