Thursday, January 13, 2005

Kefira-last word of the day(from me)

Shmarya points out that the Aish HaTorah web site has deleted an article by Dr. Gerald Schroeder regarding the age of the universe(like Big Macs, billions and billions served) and put up a notice instead that the page is under review with consultation with Torah authorities. R. Gil tells us that Feldheim is not going to publish the books, but Yashar will(Yashar Koach). What are the implications?

Depends on where you are and if you care. For me, this does not affect me in the least, except for taking a lot of my time blogging it all(luckily they have been slow days). I am not Chareidi, few if any in my 'hood are going to look funny at me for having the books. The Rosh Yeshiva at my kollel(a very fine frum black hat and suit wearing fellow), when I talked to him about this, made these points(in no particular order):

1. Its sad, because there are a lot of good things published in Yated, except only these things get publicized in the non-Chareidi community

2. He(Slifkin) is probably going to sell a lot of books, but he(the Rosh K) feels very sorry for him

3. the Rosh K thought they were good books, and I could see he was not in a rush to take them off the kollel shelves

4. he arched an eyebrow when I told him that R. Dovid Feinstin was one of the signatories, and he said he would be happy to look at the whole thing and tell me more of what he thought.

So why, as someone usually id'ed as MO, should I care? because it gives me an opportunity to bash the Chareidi? NO. because it affects me personally? NO.

Because, if not opposed, it moves the whole community, whether you are chareidi or not, to the right. New standards are set. It may seem like just a little, or not at all, but all these little and not so little decisions and issues have an effect. The only way not to be affected is to declare independence from the chareidi. That they are so far out and different that what they say and do does not affect us. Who is ready to say that? Maybe in one matter like this. But the next time there is a big water or sheitel issue, we will hear the opinions of the Gedolim quoted and some will go by them. More drift to the right. More chumra.

Last week at kiddush, before the story broke, one of my friends was telling me that one of the problems that afflicts Modern orthodoxy is that they are too respectful of the Chareidi. His opinion was that just as MO does not hold by Conservative views, the MO should not hold by Chareidi views. If they happen to coincide- fine. If they dont- we agree to disagree. I was, and still am not sure about this approach. It does in fact at times appear to be operative as we speak. I doubt any MO institutions are going to take R. Slifkin off the shelves. This ban will either open the divide even more, or, if not opposed, drag the community to the right.

WHERE ARE THE RESPECTED GEDOLIM WHO OPPOSE THE BAN? How can they remain silent? they dont want to look less than frum? they dont want to banned from the club? An innocent Rav is being tormented. Revision is happening. What happened to Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof? As Bob Dole said, where is the outrage? Miriam Shaviv rightfully asks where are the respected bloggers at Cross Currents? I agree with the Bear, send respectful emails of support and questions to all involved, and respectfully ask for answers. We do not have a doctrine of Gadol infallability, regardless of what the most right wing Da'at Torahnik might say. To paraphrase, all that is neccessary for this to contnue, is for thinking people to be silent.

(Note: I am taking down the two notices because they are accessable all over the web, and only taking up space here. If anyone wants me to email them to you, please let me know. D)

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