Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interesting Posts and Articles #362

1) Frum Satire on the Deborah Feldman fiasco:
I know that a lot of frummies are pissed off, the general reaction is one of disbelief, the reaction seems to be kind of like when you find out someone you know is refusing to give his wife a get or abused some little boys. Frummies really don’t want to believe that any of their faith and tradition is weird, but ladies and gents, no matter which way you put it, the practice of niddah is about impurity and purity – regardless of if it’s ritual or not – people generally view it as such. I sincerely think that most frum Jews don’t want to read anything thought provoking or that sheds some sort of negative light on their rituals and practices. This is because, most frum Jews don’t want to invite questioning into their lives and would rather live with the ignorance is bliss concept.
He also posts this video of the author:

Here is an excerpt of Rabbi Gil Student's discussion of the book.
As a sheltered child and then young adult, Feldman’s perspective is restricted to her impressions based on her limited information. Her memoirs tell us how she interpreted and felt about what she saw. But how accurate is that? Much of her story rings true to me but I’m an outsider to the community and cannot know for sure. For example, when she reports on a boy’s expulsion from school after reporting sexual abuse, all we know is that she heard it from her husband who heard it in synagogue. I have no interest in denying the story and readily admit that it could have happened as described but it could also have been speculation and idle gossip. I entirely concede that the Satmar community has many social and religious restrictions but how many of the do’s and don’t's she lists are real communal standards and how many the perceptions of a self-conscious girl?
As I read the book, I kept asking myself “Can this possibly be true?” I don’t question the truth of the story, or at least the author’s impressions of the events, but I find the personal revelations implausible. Can this author really be telling all of her personal information to the world? She reveals extremely intimate details of her marital life, exactly how she felt about different family members and herself at different stages of life, brutally honest discussions of her parents and childhood friends. She has not only burned every bridge in her life but opened her mind and body to public examination. I wish someone had advised her to keep her private life private because I suspect she will eventually regret these revelations. 
The most surprising aspect of this book, even more than the embarrassing personal detail, is the impressive literary quality. I’ve spoken to many Chassidic men and always marvel that people born and raised men in America have to struggle to put together a coherent English sentence. Yet Feldman’s writing quality is simply remarkable, beyond what can be attributed to marginally better secular education for women. I find it bordering on miraculous.
Meanwhile, the Jewish Week interviewed her. And then they looked into one particularly gruesome story from the book, and claim to have rebutted it.
The story, recounted by Deborah Feldman in “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots” (Simon and Schuster), involves the alleged mutilation and murder of a boy by his own father — supposedly for masturbating — and the subsequent cover-up of the crime by Hatzolah, the community’s volunteer ambulance service.
The only problem, however, is that based on information obtained by The Jewish Week, the story seems not be true.
And an Op-Ed at VosIzNeias. And a book review at Fink or Swim. And again at Frum Satire, a guest post: Why I Believe Deborah Feldman.

2) At Daas Torah, what Rav Shternbuch has to say about the situation in Beis Shemesh:
I met with Rav Moshe Sternbuch yesterday afternoon. In the course of discussion I asked about the newspaper reports about chareidi violence and why it wasn't being condemned. He dismissed the issue as being the result of the newspapers looking for a story. He noted that the actual number of victims has been very small - including 1 case of a girl being spat upon - and that the perpetrators were a small number of fringe elements that do not have the approval or encouragement of the chareidi community. He did not see a need for a public comment for something which is obviously wrong and for which there is no justification for blaming the community. His gabbai also mentioned that the police have arrested a number of chareidim without solid evidence in attempt to "get" the chareidim.
(Presently 85 comments there.) Emphasis mine. I think that the residents of Bet Shemesh might well contest that the number of victims have been very small. For example, see here at Rationalist Judaism:
The entire "special issue" of Chadash contained article after article about the terrible, evil secular campaign against the Charedim, with each article including a graphic captioned "The city under attack!" 

Especially ironic was a half-page article about a Haaretz journalist who allegedly spat on a little girl (which he entirely denies). This is in a newspaper which never prints articles about the countless spittings and acts of vandalism and physical violence committed by local charedim against the national-religious. Even when there was a mob beating of kids which resulted in my neighbor's child requiring stitches in his head, the newspaper claimed that it was all the dati-leumi kids' faults! Likewise, in the early days of the violence against Orot, Chadash falsely claimed that there was no vandalism against the school, and claimed that the persecution was of the National-Religious against Charedim, who were "setting dogs on them" (which was completely false).

Again, emphasis mine.

3) At Life In Israel, Donating a year of life to Rav Elyashiv. And once Rav Elyashiv's condition improved somewhat, Matzav reported it as: Yungerman Offers One Year of His Life for Rav Elyashiv, The Posek Hador Sits Up. See also Rabbi Slifkin's comments on this: Dying to Help.

4) Rabbi Asher Dahan, the lunatic that {allegedly} killed Baba Eleazar, is back in the news: Accused Murderer of Rabbi Abuhatzeira Fit to Stand Trial. This is presumably what awoke my regular anonymous commenter. There is an anonymous person that comments here about Baba Elazar. I don't know if this person is for real, or not. But a tip. I agree that it is most likely that Baba Eleazar was a con-artist who defrauded many Jews, and thus was no tzaddik. And the rabbis and gedolim are at fault for not taking a stand against him, before his death, and were complicit in making him into a saint, after his death. But writing anonymous comments does your cause no good. So too, writing IN ALL CAPS makes people take you less seriously. And calling Asher Dahan a hero is a bit much, I think.

5) At Life In Israel, MK Gafni offers his own Knesset seat to any real chareidi woman who would want it.
And Gafni gave himself an "out". He qualified his offer by saying a "real haredi woman". Meaning any woman who takes up the offer, calls his bluff really, his response will be that she is not a "real haredit" - he might do some background checking and find an excuse with which to question her harediness, but he will disqualify her.
Or perhaps, the no true Scotsman fallacy.

6) The Super Bowl Trophy "Torah" procession, 2012:

7) Here on parshablog, Why not make aliyah?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She wants to be a feminist. She should have gone to Smith College and join the ranks of all the other losers.


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