Monday, 4 May 2009

What Happened to Hakeret HaTov?

Recently someone asked me the following question. In a discussion with a major Rabbinical figure from the Charedi world, he noted how much significance this individual gave to the concept of hakeres hatov, acknowledging the good that has been done for you. This individual thus wondered why that Charedi world, as such, did not demonstrate hakeres hatov to the State of Israel, and especially its soldiers, for protecting them and assisting them in the furtherance of their Torah lifestyle. If the value was so significant to them, and it would seem to be from the views expressed by the Rabbinic individual in regard to another issue, why was it not applied by the Charedi world towards Eretz Yisrael? Its one thing not to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut but wouldn't they at least integrate into their lives some aspect of hakeres hatov? (I would direct you also to which raises the problem within, albeit, somewhat of a different context but further indicates the problem in regard to Yom HaZikaron.)

I should, perhaps, point out that the person who raised this issue is not one who is totally unconnected to the Charedi world. He, in many ways, is supportive of it. Nevertheless, he is bothered by this question especially in that he heard a major figure express the significance of this concept albeit in a different context. I wonder, though, about the matter more generally. I find that hakeres hatov is generally not really stressed not only in the Charedi world but in the general Torah world. Its not only in regard to Israel but in general why is hakeres hatov not stressed? I see people doing almost everything to lessen their school tuitions or their synagogue dues and then extend themselves to give tzedakah to some institution to which they have no connection. Not to take away from the value of tzedakah but why aren't they thinking of hakeres hatov and extending themselves in regard to tuition, dues and other matters from which they benefit? I am not commenting on the final conclusion of such a process but simply the absence of this very process.

So my question is broader. If this Rabbi maintains the significance of hakeres hatov, why isn't he getting it out to his community in general? Why, in general, is this value not truly stressed? But then there is the specific question that I was asked, why is it not expressed towards Israel? I look forward to your comments -- in regard to all aspects of these questions including its assumptions.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

1 comment:

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

People are selfish.