Sunday, December 23, 2007

Noa Yaron-Dayan and her Book "Mekimi"

14 Tevet 5768

Former television star Noa Yaron-Dayan's book Mekimi recently incurred criticism by Shlomo Aviner.

Shlomo Aviner was asked, "Is it appropriate to read the book Mekimi?"

"Certainly not," he ruled. "The author intended it for the non-religious. But it is not appropriate for them either, because it is superficial and immodest."

Mekimi describes the author's journey from a secular upbringing to Breslover Hassidic Judaism. The book has garnered a great many positive reviews, including some from the religious establishment. Even the Ma'ayanei HaY'shu'a movement, in whose weekly Parsha sheet Shlomo Aviner's response to the question as to whether one should read this book, has been publicized, has been distributing the book as part of its Torah outreach operations.1

Elisheva Federman, Religious Zionist activist, suggests a possible reason for the strong reaction from Shlomo Aviner: fear. In her review of the book Mekimi, Federman points out that the focus of the book is love.

"In a generation which venerates wit, wisdom, and logica, we are a people whose souls are choked and crying out. HaShem is found in the heart of every Jew. The soul feels, searches, and asks."

Everyone whom she has asked about the book felt touched in a deep place, thus Shlomo's Aviner's description of "superficial" does not seem to fit.

Federman suggests that rabbis like Shlomo Aviner fear losing a hold on their "flocks," ...losing followers. It seems difficult for her to grasp how "the truth which touches the Jewish heart lovingly searching for HaShem" could invoke such a reaction of disapproval.2

After all Shlomo Aviner is a well-known advocate of "Ahavath Hinam," unconditional love.

Recently, we were made aware of another possible reason behind Shlomo Aviner's strong reaction against the reading the book Mekimi. A conference was arranged by Shlomo Aviner, at which Noa Yaron-Dayan was to speak.

After being approached, and provided with documented information supporting our concerns over Shlomo Aviner, Noa Yaron-Dayan canceled her scheduled appearance.


1 NRG, Dec. 13, 2007
Click here for the complete story in Hebrew.

2 NRG, Dec. 17, 2007
Click here for the complete story in Hebrew.