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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Please Call Me An Old Fashioned Nerd!
The more valuable our possessions the more diligently we guard it.  Our property is private and we don't want anyone to enter it, but most of us only protect it with a symbolic gate.  Our homes are more sacred and we keep our windows and doors tightly locked.  In our homes we keep our valuables in an unbreakable safe and then hide it for good measure.  Our cars have locks on the outside and codes on the inside.

Why is it that when it comes to our minds, which is our most valuable possession, and the  vehicle with which we climb to Shamayim, many people pride themselves that they keep it wide open?  Why do we sneer at those who vigilantly protect their minds from the onslaught of modern society?

Yiddishkeit has existed throughout the ages by successfully cutting off outside influences.  History shows that time and time again those who have "opened up", have been lost forever.   The only Jewish tradition that has stood the test of time and has continued to be viable throughout 2000 years of galus is the staunchly observant tradition.  All others have fallen by the wayside.  Sadly each generation thinks that they have finally found the magic formula, only to find their Jewish identity slowly erode over time.

What exactly is out there in the world that we need?  Has humanity improved to the point where us Bnei Yisroel need lessons and tips from other cultures?  Has the Mamleches Kohanim V'Goi Kadosh sunk so low that our Torah is no longer our only guiding like and we need it to be supplemented by the society we live in?

Even the most frum amongst us hear a voice within us whispering that the world has changed from Biblical times and some things in our Holy Torah are not meant for the today's generation. Hashem gave the Torah and knew all future generations and thus this assertion is not only  blatantly false but is historically inaccurate as well.  The Torah was already "out of sync" with the times from before it was given.  Avrohom Avinu was called Avrohom Ha Ivri because he kept the Torah which clearly put him on one side and the rest of the world on the other.  We never ever made a good fit with society from day one.

Imagine living in a palatial home on an exclusive island that has all the amenities, conveniences, and luxuries in the world.  It has everything one can want to see and do in this world.  Only the elite can even step foot on the island.  Your children only mingle with the finest people of society and enjoy the finest education.  Would you want to be open minded and open your paradise up to tourist and criminals.  Of course not.  Why would you want negative influences to enter your utopia?

The world we live in is, so to say, a figment of Hashem's imagination.  Hashem dictates morality, politeness, and every other good trait bar none.  In His infinite wisdom,Hashem had  created a perfect world that leaves us longing for nothing.  Albeit it is in a state of decay even in the most closed of our societies. This decay is a result of  the influence of the outside world  slowly seeping  in unbeknownst to us over time. To regain the purity and perfection of Hashem's world should we look to the outside world for guidance on how to get back on the right track?  Ludicrous!  

Enjoy our world by keeping your mind as tightly sealed as possible.  The gemara in Sanhedrin says that in the Ikvisa D'Mishicha, "V'Sar Meira Mishtolel" (Yeshaya 59:15).  Rashi explains that anyone who refrains from doing things that are assur will be called a Shoteh by the world.  Be called square, be a nerd, be rigid, be old fashioned, be called barbaric, uncultured, and poorly mannered.  But if you want to be called a Ben Olam Haba, just don't be called open minded! 
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