Thursday, February 03, 2005

Good Bye Mr. Bond

I think that I am done blogging about Rabbi Mordecai Plaut, editor of Yated in English. I spent a lot of time, effort, thought, and blog space on his articles, which, by the way, he suggested we read. I found that they were well written, superficially coherent, but on close analysis, full of unfounded assumptions and poor logic. Despite many invitations he has not pointed out any specific disagreements he has with any of my critiques. He also has never specifically explained his view on the age of the universe.

I have had a bit of an email exchange with R. Plaut, and he strikes me as a nice person, although I would have prefered to demonize him for publishing what he did regarding R. Slifkin.

Since he is a fellow Jew, and seems to be a decent fellow, I wish him bracha. I wish him some hatzlacha, but not total hatzlacha, because hatzlacha for him would mean eliminating Yiddishkeit the way I believe and practice it. Usually we have a live and let live attitude towards others in our religion. Although we believe "kol Yisrael areivim ze la'ze", in reality, if someone doesn't want to change, we dont force them, or try to. We leave our reform, reconstructionist, and conservative brethren alone, not trying hard to change them, unless they show(on a personal level) an interest in changing. Since I hold similar views as R. Slifkin, in R. Plaut's eyes(if he believes in what he publishes), I am a kofer. In fact, it seems to me that denying the Mesorah that allows one to believe these things would make the banners kofrim, but that is another debate. The bottom line is that although R. Plaut and I both identify as orthodox Jews, learn the same Talmud, put on the same tefillin(mine is only Rashi, I dont know his minhag), daven reasonably the same thing three times a day, keep reasonably the same laws of Kashrut(I dont hold Cholov Yisrael, unless it is more tasty than the alternative), we are incompatible in our religious outlook. And, with so few orthodox Jews in the world, it is a very sad realization.

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