Saturday, January 15, 2005

"It is not a place for debating hot gossip, reporting Jewish news item, or airing complaints about the community"– (except for Gary Rosenblatt ...)

4 Comments:

At 10:11 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

I will give Yitzchok Adlerstein some credit as he at least has the guts to stand up for Rabbi Slifkin publicly. It would be nice if he actually argued on his behalf or addresed the issues, but at least he stood up publicly for him.

Rabbi Menken still hasn't yet I will note Rabbi Slifkin's materials are still up on his kiruv Torah.org website. What that means I do not know untill Menken reaffirms/withdraws his statement "There is currently little reason to disbelieve the evidence that the universe has a physical age of some 15 billion years."
see: http://www.torah.org/linkedlists/torah-forum/vol2/0129.html

Some points:
1)
>It is not a place for debating hot gossip, reporting
>Jewish news item, or airing complaints about the community

a. What kind of blog is this? No Jewish news items!

b. As I've previously posted, Rabbi Menken has aired complaints and gossip about Gary Rosenblatt's motivations in writing the Rabbis Weinberg an Lanner stories. So this is untrue.
http://jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2004/12/rabbi-yaakov-menken-commits-mozi-shem.html#comments

2)
>should be looked to as a place in which Orthodox thinkers can
>carefully and creatively use their Torah knowledge to cast a
>different light upon timely issues.

I've read this blog it's dreck. Careful and creative, give me a break.

3)
>The senior bloggers of Cross-currents come from, and
>represent, a wide diversity of backgrounds within the Torah
>world. Many have not yet examined the issues well enough
>to have formulated an opinion. It is probable that by the
>time they finish, the ten bloggers will be of ten different
>minds.

So what? Why can't you post your opinions seperately? Why do you have to wait for everyone to formulate a position and compare? Why do you need to be in agreement? Why can't you argue this issue in the classic l'shem shomayim way? Have we come to a point where agreement is necessary? Where people are afraid to speak? Where we can't have a Hillel and Shamai with different positions who disagree publicly and yet are friends? Shame.

4)
>This said, it in no way implies that anyone else on this blog
>agrees with my position.

As no such caveat was given by Rabbi Menken in his attack on Gary Rosenblett, I put the following question to Yitzchok Adlerstein and the other Cross Currents bloggers:

Do you support such attacks on Gary Rosenblatt? As bloggers on Cross Current will you publicly associate or disassociate yourselves from such attacks?

see: http://jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2004/12/rabbi-yaakov-menken-commits-mozi-shem.html#comments



Just in case they remove/change this post, the original post:
http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2005/01/16/laffaire-slifkin/

January 16, 2005
L’affaire Slifkin
Filed by Yitzchok Adlerstein @ 12:16 am under General Jewish World
Many, many people in the blogosphere have challenged Cross-currents to comment on the letter of the Roshei Yeshiva, shlit”a, regarding Nosson Slifkin’s books.

The challenge, in my opinion, is inappropriate. Cross-currents, at least in the mind of this blogger, should be looked to as a place in which Orthodox thinkers can carefully and creatively use their Torah knowledge to cast a different light upon timely issues. It is not a place for debating hot gossip, reporting Jewish news item, or airing complaints about the community – however legitimate they may be. There are other forums for that. We hope that our readers will understand the wisdom of attempting this focus, and not expect Cross-currents to treat every news item, particularly if there is nothing novel to say.

This issue may be different. There are many stakeholders in clarifying the relationship between Torah and science. So many people have desperately voiced their concern as to whether any figures within the Torah community will weigh in with a position different from that expressed in the letter.

The senior bloggers of Cross-currents come from, and represent, a wide diversity of backgrounds within the Torah world. Many have not yet examined the issues well enough to have formulated an opinion. It is probable that by the time they finish, the ten bloggers will be of ten different minds.

Some readers have expressed disappointment that no one has stood up clearly and unequivocally , at least publicly, for Nosson Slifkin. That is no longer true.

This author has his name on every one of the banned books. I am as
supportive of the thrust of those books as when I first wrote those approbations. I believe that the thrust of what he wrote is firmly in line with the teaching of Rav Hai Gaon, Rav Sherira Gaon, the Rambam and his son, Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch, and Rav Aryeh Kaplan. I am also proud to be in the company of many talmidei chachamim who did not sign the letter, and of more chaverim than I could count who think the same way. I am in the company of virtually all intellectually rigorous kiruv workers, who have been using this approach for decades. With them stand literally thousands of bnei Torah who happen to work or study in areas that raise issues about Torah and science, and for whom the above-mentioned figures have served as their lifeline to uncompromised avodas Hashem. There are reasons why they have not (as of yet) come forward publicly. Hamayvin, yavin.

This said, it in no way implies that anyone else on this blog agrees with my position. They should not be held guilty by association. In any event, Cross-currents is likely not the proper forum to conduct a debate on the matter. That will surely happen elsewhere.

Many decades ago, there was a rabbinical conclave discussing, among other things, a demand by the Czarist government that rabbis be instructed in the vernacular, and have some secular knowledge. The Chofetz Chaim was bitterly opposed; the Ohr Someach was not opposed. The two chanced upon each other, and exchanged some quick words, staking out their positions. At one point, the Chofetz Chaim turned to those with him and said, “Come. Let us move away from here before we come to ka’as (anger.)”

It is crucial that in all of our discussion, we must be careful not to overstep any boundaries, and come to all sorts of inappropriate talk. We must reinforce in our minds how important kavod haTorah is. Sometimes, less is more. For this reason, I have no plans for any more contributions on this subject on this blog, and will not post any comments.

May HKB"H allow us to see the proud raising of Keren HaTorah.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>I will give Yitzchok Adlerstein some credit as he at
>least has the guts to stand up for Rabbi Slifkin
>publicly. It would be nice if he actually argued on his
>behalf or addresed the issues, but at least he stood
>up publicly for him.

On closer inspection of Yitzchok Adlerstein's post and comments from Shmarya, I am considering retracting my praise. I call on Yitzchok Adlerstein to address Shmarya's comments and clarify his post:

It's not so courageous.

Why?

It's not a real defense.

All R. Alderstein does is affirm his previous endorsement of R. Slifkin's books. He defends the rabbis who support R. Slifkin but have remained silent, says Cross-Currents is NOT the place to discuss the ban, and is refusing to publish comments on his post. He also seems to be taking the position that R. Slifkin's books are for kiruv purposes only, to bring in or keep people within the fold. Implied in that is the notion that the issuers of the herem are correct in fact, but because the books serve a (manipulative!) kiruv purpose, it was fine to write them and endorse them. If so, that would make R. Alderstein's initial endorsements deceitful and manipulative and also defamatory to the name of G-d, whose seal, afterall, is truth.
Shmarya 01.16.05 - 12:01 am
Shmarya, appears to be right it is a carefully worded reply that can be interpreted as it's OK for kiruv but not elsewhere.

"I am in the company of virtually all intellectually rigorous kiruv workers, who have been using this approach for decades. With them stand literally thousands of bnei Torah who happen to work or study in areas that raise issues about Torah and science"

So my question to Yitzchok Adlerstein:

Is Slifkin's book only OK for kiruv purpose or should/could it be read by all Yeshiva bochurs as well.

 
At 1:35 AM, Blogger The Hedyot said...

Can you please post a link to Shmarya's post?

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Can you please post a link to Shmarya's post?

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/hirhurim/110585319917710732/

 

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