Without our particularist container, we lose authenticity; but if we only concentrate on the container, our content, which is old and delicate wine, will turn to vinegar. Layered on top of this, the fact that we have allowed issues of identity to become political footballs – where determining identity is a means for rabbis to garner and, in some cases, wield power (even if this power is really puny and disgusting), which is incredibly hurtful. I believe it was Reb Zalman z”l who taught about the Chareidi world as T-cells. On some level, we need T-cells to survive – when our T-cells run amok, we have AIDS. I guess all I am saying is that this is an awesome issue – and the balance to yirah is love.
Rabbi Harry Brechner, email to Rabbis Without Borders listserv (published with permission of the author) (2 December 2014)