Ask the rabbi

Why such differences between sects? Which is Correct?


Rabbi Ari Shvat

I dont understand the Huge differences in hashkafa between Chassidism and the other types of orthodox judaism. Its easy for me to understand that there are halachic differences, but difficult for me to reconcile such large philosophical differences especially regarding ultimate Truths. How do I know which one is True?
Part of the beauty of Judaism is that there are "70 various facets in Torah". There are many truths in the world, and God, Who created them all, His Torah encompasses and harmonizes them. Regarding halacha, there must be a way of deciding what to do practically (the Sanhedrin, Shulchan Aruch, Rama etc.), but regarding the all-encompassing Jewish thought, each Jew can and should find that legitimate type which suits him and his unique subjective and Godly soul, best. The various legitimate streams of orthodoxy don't contradict and it's just a question which aspect is stressed more. It's true, that the ideal and complete Torah is if a person is broad enough to harmonize them all together. When asked how does he know that religious-Zionism is correct, Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook answered: "Because we say that they are all correct!" We should learn happiness from Breslav, studiousness from the Lithuanian yeshivas, love of Jews from Chabad, modesty from Satmar, love of the Holy Land from the Zionists, love of mankind from the humanists, Jewish Pride from Beitar, etc. The secret is to focus on the positive ideology and not the negative, e.g. talk about the importance of Torah study but don't put-down serving in the Israeli army, and vice-versa, talk about the importance of the IDF but don't belittle Torah study.
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