Judaism as Counterculture

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9 Responses

  1. Baruch Gitlin says:

    A very good article, but another irony the author did not mention is that within the Orthodox world itself, or at least within the Israeli haredi Orthodox world, such figures as Rav Nosson Kaminetski and Rabbi Natan Slifkin are hounded by the establishment for expressing opinions that deviate from the norm, even though according to many respected Orthodox rabbaim, these opinions are within the parameters of acceptable Orthodox Jewish belief. I think we should consider this situation carefully before we pat ourselves on the back too hard for our intellectual honesty and courage.

  2. Dave Weinstein says:

    Let me get this straight.

    A torture technique invented by the Spanish Inquisition is defended using the same arguments that Nazi Interrogators used during their War Crimes trials, and you find this praiseworthy?

  3. Ori says:

    Orthodox Jews aren’t the only ones who see their religion as counter-cultural. The same can be said for Catholics and evangelical Protestants.

    Any religion that takes itself seriously will be counter-cultural in a society that isn’t predominately of that religion. Orthodox Judaism isn’t counter-cultural in Bnei Brak, for example.

  4. Gershon Josephs says:

    “And, interestingly, each is also an observant Jew.”

    Observant, but not OrthoDOX (as has been reported about Lieberman for example). You think this too is a “Demonstrated willingness to stake out unpopular positions that they regard as morally correct and stand by them at significant personal cost”?

  5. Asher Heber says:

    הלכות ממרים פרק ג הלכה ג
    אבל בני אותן הטועים ובני בניהם, שהדיחו אותם אבותם ונולדו במינות, וגידלו אותן עליו–הרי הן כתינוק שנשבה לבין הגויים וגידלוהו הגויים על דתם, שהוא אנוס; ואף על פי ששמע אחר כך שהיה יהודי, וראה היהודיים ודתם–הרי הוא כאנוס, שהרי גידלוהו על טעותם. כך אלו האוחזים בדרכי אבותיהם שתעו. לפיכך ראוי להחזירן בתשובה, ולמשוך אותם בדרכי שלום, עד שיחזרו לאיתן התורה; ולא ימהר אדם להורגן

  6. Asher Heber says:

    הלכות ממרים פרק ג הלכה ג Rambam
    אבל בני אותן הטועים ובני בניהם, שהדיחו אותם אבותם ונולדו במינות, וגידלו אותן עליו–הרי הן כתינוק שנשבה לבין הגויים וגידלוהו הגויים על דתם, שהוא אנוס; ואף על פי ששמע אחר כך שהיה יהודי, וראה היהודיים ודתם–הרי הוא כאנוס, שהרי גידלוהו על טעותם. כך אלו האוחזים בדרכי אבותיהם שתעו. לפיכך ראוי להחזירן בתשובה, ולמשוך אותם בדרכי שלום, עד שיחזרו לאיתן התורה; ולא ימהר אדם להורגן

  7. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    #2 Dave Weinstein: Do you really believe that the use of a similar technique to one used in the Inquisition is morally equivalent? Here there is public oversight and media watch. Here the ultimate objective is information rather than to torture the “sinner” to near death and then hand him/her over to the secular executioner. Are you so slow on the uptake as to believe what you are saying or (I hope) have you just let your rhetoric get away with you?

  8. evanstonjew says:

    They also have the common feature that they support Bush’s mistake in Iraq and his go it alone foreign policy. I would conclude that if Orthodoxy is a counterculture it is a counterculture on the extreme right of the spectrum in alliance with similar countercultal Evangelicals. If Orthodoxy was a counterculture as such one would expect equal representation on both sides of the political specrtum. After all for the last eight years and for many years before under Bush1 and Nixon, America has been undergoing a right wind resurgence. If Orthodoxy is a standing up to the established powers where have therthodox been all these years? Being machshir Guantanamo for Bush is not exactly radical.

  9. Dave Weinstein says:

    It isn’t a “similar technique”.

    It is the same technique.

    It is a torture technique that the United States has prosecuted people for going back at least as far as the Spanish-American war.

    And yes, I consider torturing people (and there is considerable evidence that the US inquisitors have in fact tortured some people to death) morally equivalent to torturing people.

    The fact that you don’t is something I find particularly sad.

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