Media Manipulation and Blogs

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7 Responses

  1. abcdefg says:

    KOE. KOE. KOE. Its always about KOE.

    Sigh.

    The simple fact is that KOE does not define itself as Orthodox. That being said it does define itself as halachic, accepts Torah min HaShmayim, accepts the binding nature of halacha and Sinai.

    This blog has chosen to ignore the halachic aspects of KOE and instead focuses of the “sociological reality”. When did that become the criteria of who and what is frum?

  2. Yaakov Menken says:

    ABC, “KOE does not define itself as Orthodox”? Then why did the Religion News Service distribute nationally a story reading “Orthodox Jewish Synagogue Chooses Woman as Its Leader”? Here’s a longer quote, from the NY Times:

    Although justifications rooted in Jewish law and tradition have kept women from Orthodox pulpits up to this point, the congregation’s previous leader, Rabbi David Weiss Halivni, who retired last year, told synagogue members that a woman could occupy the position they were looking to fill, provided they established certain boundaries.

    If the congregation is not Orthodox, what was so newsworthy as to get coverage in the NYJW, much less secular media nationwide?

    On the contrary, Conservative congregations claiming fealty to Halachah appoint women as leaders all the time — and that’s not news.

    We didn’t make the story, we’re just commenting upon it.

  3. Avigdor M'Bawlmawr says:

    Yaakov,
    I believe you’re confusing two Rabbi Bleichs. Rabbi J. David Bleich, a prominent and widely respected posek, is certainly on the right wing of YU. Rabbi Benjamin Bleich, is shul Rav, I believe retired,and has taught at YU. While he is certainly to the left to the aforementioned R. Bleich, I have no idea what are his views on gender issues.

  4. a k says:

    Rabbi Benjamin Blech

  5. abcdefg says:

    Again KOE does not define itself as Orthodox. Their webpage has email addresses. Go and email someone on it and ask if the shul considers itself part of any denomination.

    That being said, many Orthodox Jews have prayed there over the years – something many would not have done were it to be a Conservative shul – and it is similar to a standard service (I am no KOE expert so I can’t give you particulars).

    Yaakov, lets not get hung up about labels here. The shul does not affiliate with any larger organization, so far as I know.

    Sociologically, you are right that it will have little affect in yeshivish areas, at least directly. But the same trends behind KOE will influence the more modern Orthodox. The question is halachic: is it allowed.

    That you focus on sociological issues (rather than halachic ones) and treat them as norms to be adhered to rather then issues subject to public policy, and therefore subject to discussion, is surprising and ultimately futile.

  6. tzvee says:

    Thank you for your reply to my posting. I still have the same questions.

    Do you welcome a new Orthodox leader into an established synagogue on the UWS or do you condemn her as one of those seeking to create a schism? Will you offer her your congratulations, your help and your chizuk?

    Will you make your collague, “somehow find herself at home” with you or will you act like, “an ignorant and irascible bunch?” BTW — and this is important — I never used such terminology to describe you or Rav Shafran or made such an insinuation. That is where you overstep your bounds, and put words into my mouth.

    I do recall saying at the close of my blog entry, “It is Elul and time for introspection. Perhaps it is time for Shafran and other Orthodox public spokesmen to stand up and repent of their bullying.

    “The Torah teaches ways of peace, not ways of hurling insults, denigrating fellow Jews and then claiming to be the victim and asking for pity.”

    As you know, a person first has to admit that he has sinned before he can repent. And based on your current posting, that seems unlikely in this instance.

  7. Yaakov Menken says:

    Avigdor, he may be on the right wing of YU, but this affiliation gives him respect throughout the Modern Orthodox world. If this were approved by the MO community, he would probably refrain from sharing his personal feelings with the NY Times. So the fact that Rabbi Bleich was quoted, rather than Avi Shafran or a R”Y or posek from the charedi world, demonstrates that this is quite unlikely to merely reflect the attitude of “right-wingers” but that of most of the YU community as well.

    ABC, au contraire. If you care to email them, you can inquire whether they plan to contradict that which every news story covering her appointment has said without exception, and if they could speculate as to how this error — which turned what was otherwise a trivial local story into national news — came to pass. To us, it is irrelevant, since our topic has been and remains the media spin, regardless of what they may say themselves. In addition to being termed an Orthodox congregation by the NYJW, NYTimes, and Religion News Service (picked up by the Washington Post and who knows where else), we also have:

    • Beliefnet.com: Woman to Lead Orthodox Synagogue in NYC
    • 1010Wins.com: Woman to Lead Upper West Side Synagogue — “an Orthodox Jewish synagogue on the Upper West Side.”

    … Not to mention Tzvee Zahavy.

    Tzvee, I put no words in your mouth — although you most certainly did so to Avi Shafran. People who “blast” rather than reason are both irascible and, in most cases, ignorant (since they have nothing constructive to argue). Not to mention “bullying”. In any other context, you yourself would draw the same parallel.

    Why have you not asked why the Orthodox do not welcome mixed prayer services or patrilineal descent?

    I don’t think those who oppose calling her “a new Orthodox leader” have anything for which to atone. No one is “hurling insults” or “denigrating fellow Jews” — unless, of course, you mean calling other people “bullies” or “sick.”

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