The Cowardly Smear Campaign Against Rabbi Pruzansky

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94 Responses

  1. Daniel Rubin says:

    I’ll leave it to others to respond to this in detail. All I want to do is register my dissent for the record: the critics are correct, R’ Pruzansky has crossed the line of decency. I’m no Pruzansky archivist, but frankly, if you eliminated everything he has said and just kept his suggestion that there must not be an issue of rape on college campuses because if there were, women wouldn’t go to college, you would have enough right there to disqualify him from engaging in any reasonable conversation about women’s issues, let alone remaining a member of any beis din or the RCA.

    So yeah, you’ll have to forgive his critics if they’re a little flabbergasted that that hasn’t happened yet.

    • Jeanette Friedman says:

      Interesting that you ignored this open letter to Rabbi Pruzansky, because it puts the lie to both of your ideas. It was the first thing JOFA posted, but you prefer to ignore it. So here it is, so your readers can see what you censor

      Dear Rabbi Pruzansky:
       
      Regarding your blogpost, A Novel Idea. I am trying to understand the issues that were contained in your prose.

      Rape is unrequited love? Women are temptresses with raging hormones and can’t control themselves because we crave affection? We respond to rejection by crying rape? Is that what you mean? I am trying to be clear on your intention. But I am baffled. You say it’s all about he said/she said. And “she” lies, most of the time.

      And no really means yes?

      Right.
      Permit me to write to your personally from personal brutal experience.

      I had no witnesses. You could call it a case of he said/she said. You can say I shouldn’t have lived near the Brooklyn College campus, where I put myself through school as a single mother… I was also the editor of the Brooklyn College newspaper that served the School of General Studies. I was also, at one point, secretary of the Minyan Club and president of the Student Center Board. I was not a faceless female student among the 35,000 students on campus. And I knew every cop on campus, including cops who were moonlighting on campus from the local precinct. For a woman at that time, I guess I was pretty remarkable. As a rape survivor, thanks to backwards attitudes like yours—none of that protected me. And none of that earned me any credibility.

      I am afraid, Rabbi, you will just have to take MY word for what happened on that wintry night, 42 years ago, since there were no witnesses. It happened at 3 a.m., in the middle of a snowstorm.

      It was late on a Monday night, February 4-5, 1974. My six-year old daughter was with my parents, a few blocks away, so thank God, she wasn’t in the apartment that night.

      I had gotten off the phone with my mentor, Dolly Lowther Robinson, former Secretary of Labor for the State of New York and Abe Beame’s Commissioner of Model Cities. At the time, she was with the Special Baccalaureate Degree program. It was late, about 1:30 a.m. I fell asleep in my bedroom on the sixth floor of an apartment house on Ocean Avenue off Avenue H owned by Mrs. Applebaum, mother of the former headmaster at Moriah in Englewood, Shelly Applebaum.
      The next thing I knew, I heard someone in my bedroom, and a strange noise that turned out to be a man cutting my phone wires. He grabbed the bathrobe at the side of my bed, threw it over my face and put a sharp, pointy object against the top of my head, that later turned out to be the biggest knife in my kitchen drawer.

      Though I prayed to Hashem that this was just a nightmare, that I was imagining all this in a fevered state, I had to face the ugly truth. I was being raped. When he was done, he ransacked my apartment, took whatever else he wanted, including my dignity and self-respect, warned me not to call the cops, and walked out the door.
      When I tried to call the police, I realized my phones were dead. I pounded on neighbors’ doors, but only one, the single woman next door, opened her door and allowed me to call the police.
      Please remember that this was at 4 a.m.—in the middle of a snowstorm. The police found a knife, my kitchen knife, on the stairs in the hallway. They saw the cut phone lines, they saw that someone had climbed the fire escape in the middle of the night, in the middle of the storm, cut the screen and forced the window open.
       
      And then they asked me what I had done to encourage him.

      I do not remember how I got to the emergency room at Kings County Hospital, I do remember getting two huge penicillin shots. At that time, could I confide in my married frum girlfriends? Of course not. Could I tell my parents, leaders of the World Agudah and Nishei—Holocaust survivors—what happened? Of course not.
      I was traumatized by the experience of being a rape victim and having the cops doubt my credibility, and am re-traumatized when people like you today suggest it was my fault.
       
      It doesn’t matter whether the rapist was carrying a weapon, a roofie to put in a victim’s drink, or emotionally manipulates them. Rape is rape.
       
      You are proud of the fact you are a lawyer and a rabbi. Unfortunately, you are ignorant about rape. It is a crime, an all too common crime. But even now, 60% of rapes are unreported (90% on campus) because women have given up trying to convince people like you that they were subjected to a violent, demeaning, dehumanizing condition, one that could cost them their lives, by men who simply wanted to assert their power over them.
       
      Frankly, I think someone who thinks like you should be removed from his pulpit and other rabbinical duties, and that you should think long and hard before you put your fingers on a keyboard again.

      It’s time for you to do a cheszbon hanefesh and apologize to all women.
       
      Jeanette Friedman
      Rape Survivor

      • Amanda says:

        What happened to you is scary and traumatic, and unfortunately monsters do exist in this world. Nobody should have to experience what you have had to go through.  To the best of my knowledge – that knowledge being based on what I actually read on the rabbi’s post- the rabbi on no way shape or form was addressing the type of trauma you experienced. Nor did he discount the trauma you experienced! He was merely addressing the culture that exists on campuses… Not blaming men or women, but rather the promiscuity and entitlement among men AND women that can lead to situations of consensual sex that go bad.

        • Arthur says:

          That is exactly how I read RSP.  But as I wrote above, people such as Ms. Friedman have cherry picked and reinterpreted what he wrote to match their own biases and that’s what they’re attacking. This is something that will always disappoint me, but it happens in so many contexts that I accept it as human nature.

          • Reb Yid says:

            There’s no cherry picking whatsoever.  Pruzansky made very clear, even in his follow-up, that the vast majority of rape cases, in his expert opinion, are in the [so-called] grey area, or, as he stated it, “he said/she said”.

            He then proceeds to cast aspersions upon the motivations of some females in this category.  It’s all right there.

            He makes a straw man argument of claiming that the “professional feminists” only see the females as victims, and that the females are right all of the time, not the males.

            Of course, no-one has ever actually made that claim.  But that notwithstanding, we understand that social trends and patterns are probabilistic.  And there is no dispute by anyone that females, far more than males, are the victims of rape.  And that the number of female rape victims (both reported and unreported) is far, far greater than the number of falsely accused male rapists.

            Showing an exception should not distract us from the underlying structures of society that favor the male over the female.  To present to women (or men) the subject of rape as well, it’s he said/she said is beyond insulting, let alone to victims of rape.

            There’s a reason why most single women don’t walk the streets alone at night.  Society is full of structural obstacles facing women.  Of course, before this stuff was made illegal within the past 50 years max, we didn’t even have words like domestic abuse in our vocabulary–wives were socialized to expect and absorb this as part of their dutiful roles.

             

        • YbhM says:

          the rabbi on no way shape or form was addressing the type of trauma you experienced. Nor did he discount the trauma you experienced! He was merely addressing the culture that exists on campuses…

          Amanda you are correct.

          It seems in some liberal circles that questioning this culture is not only off-limits, but triggers bizarre accusations and misreadings.

      • David F says:

        Jeanette,

        I believe it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyhow, that your story is horrific and that anyone who would minimize your trauma or blame you for it somehow is quite possibly insane.

        Yet, it is precisely for that reason that I don’t know what it has to do with what Rabbi P wrote. It doesn’t take an English major to understand that nowhere in his post was he referring to the terrible situation you were in. Nowhere. Of course I do not blame you for being upset about what he wrote. Perhaps your trauma doesn’t allow you to see things as would someone who didn’t experience it. But as an objective observer – someone who hasn’t been raped, but who detests rapists to my very core – I didn’t see any hint in his words to what you’re describing.

        The hook-up culture in universities is a disaster for men and women alike and that was the central theme of his post. One can issue with some of his analogies or points, but one cannot deny that this was his main point.

        Calling for him to be removed from his post and having his livelihood removed may not rape, but it is definitely a form of another of three capital sins: shfichas domim. If you don’t like his views, don’t pray in his shul. That’s your right. It’s not within your rights to publicly advocate for his firing because you decided to liberally reinterpret what he wrote and then hold that against him to the point that he must be denied a parnassah.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      R Pruzansky merely has fulfilled that aspect of his job description that any Posek, Rav, RY and Navi do-not being afraid of the conventional wisdom when the same is contradicts and cannot be viewed as within mainstream Torah values. Raising the issues of Tznius and early marriage as a clear alternative to what one poster  quaintly described as ” sexual realities of campus life” was a powerful reminder as we approach the Parshiyos of Acharei Mos and Kedoshim that we should neither R”L emulate such “realities” nor seek to legitimize the same when the Torah’s clear and unadulterated message is to live a life of Kedusha and Taharah-which cannot be accomplished on the average college campus today

      • simon fleischer says:

        Steve (or Rabbi Brizel? I apologize if I got your title wrong), I am a little surprised by your comment here. Clearly, those who argue that R. Pruzansky is defending rape are being silly. That is obvious. But to argue that he is simply doing his job– it must be possible to imagine making his point about abstinence without offending such a large group of people. Writing is not just about expression but communication. If so many people can read his blog and infer a tone of insensitivity– are you really going to oversimplify the situation by saying they’re just all wrong? For these reasons, I was far more troubled by his second post than his first. I could easily have imagined him clarifying his argument while apologizing to those hurt by what was to many a very unclear presentation of his stance. In fact, in a comment on his post, he did just that (see below, I have excerpted it). But to take no responsibility whatsoever for his writings? To assert clearly– I stand by every word? And for you to argue that is in fact the job of the rabbi (or navi!)? It seems strangely lacking in sensitivity to deny the possibility that what he said could have been more sensitively stated. More so, it seems lacking in humility to refuse to cede the possibility that someone’ reading of the post (and more importantly someone’s hurt) is the inevitable result of his perfectly written, inordinately clear, prophecy-like pronouncement. Really? There’s no room for nuance here at all in how we think about this situation?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Simom Fleischer-I think that anyone who defends or rationalizes the existence of the hook up culture and who views men as guilty for the emotional and physiological fall out from what both a young man and woman thought was a consensual act deserves the strongest degree of condemnation as seeking to justify the unjustifiable. There are clear sources in the Talmud that  Chazal are very critical of a rav who does not exhort his congregation to improve their moral behavior and that if you learn Tanach  you will see that every Navi expressed his disagreement with the conventional wisdom when it contradicted the laws of the Torah. That is the one of the roles of a rav-to stand up to the conventional wisdom of the times and to denounce it in no uncertain terms without fear when the same runs contrary to what the Torah expects of us. I did not exaggerate when I stated that R Pruzansky’s comments were especially appropriate in America on the eve of Pesach and our liberation from a politically powerful and morally decadent country  in light of the upcoming Parshiyos of Acharei Mos and Kedoshim which are stated in the plural because the Mitzvos contained therein are one of the bases by which Klal Yisrael is expected to live a life of Kedushah and Taharah, and the internal and external threats to the adherence to the same. Perhaps, we ought to think long and seriously about those Midrashim and other sources that describe the moral descent of Klal Yisrael before Yetzias Mitzrayim and why HaShem had to rescue us-because we had R”L almost sunk to the level where we were beyond rescue-If we wish to truly feel that we have gone out of Egypt this year, we must reject and renounce those aspects of the culture and ethos in contemporary society that are anathema to a live rooted firmly in Torah,Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim.

          • simon fleischer says:

            Those who are upset with his post do not read it as you do. They do not (and I do not) think his post was exclusively about the hook-up culture. They also do not think his post was exclusively about false rape accusations. My point: are they simply completely wrong? It seems like you are saying they are simply reading it wrong and you are reading it right. It seems like you are also saying they are reading it wrong because of a culture that has somehow deluded them into thinking right is wrong and wrong is right. At the end of the day, you seem convinced there is only one way to see this issue: his post was entirely correct and entirely justifiable, and everyone who thinks otherwise is entirely wrong. I don’t think it is my lack of learning that leads me to think otherwise. I don’t think it’s because I haven’t read Tanach or learned enough gemarah.

        • B Harper says:

          Simon, if Rabbi Pruzansky only wrote about abstinence, perhaps you would have a valid point. But he bucked the politically-correct groupthink, especially regarding false accusations made against male college students. A jilted girlfriend can make an accusation backed by no evidence, and rely upon the University to ignore standards of evidence, due process and the presumption of innocence in order to declare her ex-boyfriend a rapist and run him out on a rail. Even if it is proven that she was lying outright, she will suffer little to no consequences.

          All of these are well-established facts which the feminist militia would rather ignore in their crusade against males. Rabbi Pruzansky’s original essay was a sober analysis of the way campus hookups lead to an imagined “rape culture” which is, of course, entirely black and white — a world in which women are innocent and men are evil. So no, it is impossible for Rabbi Pruzansky to have made those observations without a large group of people claiming to take great offense. He owes no apology, made no Chilul Hashem, and I’m glad he stands by the truth as he expressed it.

  2. Reb Yid says:

    Talk about not getting it.  Boy, do you really not get it.

    I looked long and hard for it in all of the words that the author of this post typed (as opposed to the quotes of others that he copied and pasted), and did not find a single instance of it.

    Let me spell it out for you:  R-A-P-E.  And Pruzansky was quite frankly dismissive of its pervasiveness.  He unbelievably thinks that incidents of rape would go down if females did not bring it on themselves (in a variety of ways, including having the chutzpah to be in college before they are married).  Yes, in part his posts are highly suggestive that the victims are at least in part to blame.

    He does not know the first thing about domestic abuse, rape or the criminal justice system in this country.  It’s not enough to say, as he did, that one rape is one too many.  The reality is that it’s pervasive.

    You don’t have to be a feminist to be outraged by his posts.  Or even a sociologist.  Being a human being is more than sufficient.

    The coward here is Pruzansky.  He should spend time at a rape counseling center.  Or discover that the vast majority of rapes are never reported, in large part because of the terrible trauma suffered, stigma attached to the victim, having to bare one’s physical body and soul when dealing with the medical examiner, lack of community support, and of course the trauma of having to confront one’s attacker in court  Perhaps even learn more about domestic abuse and rape within the Orthodox community, and how being married does not prevent these crimes from happening.

     

     

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Reb Yid-there is a vast difference between a criminal act of rape and a hook up that went south that is accompanied by emotional and psychological residue including no small measure of guilt. Ms. Friedman’s letter is an example of a rape victim. A hook up where both partners. especially the woman feels betrayed, etc, does not and should not be criminalized. The tragedy is that campus conduct codes victimize men without the benefit of due process through procedures that are tantamount to kangaroo courts

      Moreover, there is a great deal of support for victims of rape and sexual abuse within the Orthodox community . Anyone interested or in need of such services can easily access the websites and resources of Shalom Task Force and Nefesh.

      • Reb Yid says:

        Mr Brizel:

        Both you and Pruzansky are questioning the credibility hurt and scars of the victims here.   Who are you are judge?  And mind you this is of the relatively few who defy the many obstacles and have the courage to come forward despite such dismissive attitudes as we see here?

         

        Yes thankfully enough women

        • Steve Brizel says:

          We are condemning both the “hook up culture” and strongly criticizing  the criminalizing of emotions and consensual physical interactions between the genders on many college campuses that have been criticized by many writers ( Heather MacDonald, etc) as placing universities in the role of being judge , jury and prosecutor over what caused the emotional and pyschological fallout from a “hook up” under standards that are rigged against men.

          • Reb Yid says:

            Brother count your lucky stars you get to say she lo asani isha.   And that you’re a Caucasian. And living in America

            So much that you take for granted and yet you feel disadvantaged. Pour soul.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Since when is it the job description and purpose of college administrators to adjudicate the competing emotional and pyschological baggage and fall out from a hook up gone bad? Is that what parents are paying exorbitant tuition for what David Mamet called a socialist sleep away camp with tenured radicals as counselors? Isn’t that more properly the responsibility of a therapist?

    • YbhM says:

      He unbelievably thinks that incidents of rape would go down if females did not bring it on themselves (in a variety of ways, including having the chutzpah to be in college before they are married).

      He did not say this at all.  You are grossly misrepresenting R. Pruzansky.  How do you have such nerve?

  3. Dan M says:

    Rabbi Pruzansky attabked the idea that a “rape culture” exists and instead attributed the incidence of rape and abuse to a “culture of entitlement to sex”. That is exactly what is meant by a “rape culture”.

    Picking the most emotional and least thorough critiques of R Pruzansky’s opinions as examples and then arguing against them dismisses the existence of the well-researched, well-written, and thorough critiques of his opinions that were also published in the last few days.

    • YbhM says:

      Picking the most emotional and least thorough critiques of R Pruzansky’s opinions as examples and then arguing against them dismisses the existence of the well-researched, well-written, and thorough critiques of his opinions that were also published in the last few days.

       

      I certainly did not see any “well-researched well-written” critiques.  Perhaps you can link to one.

  4. Adam says:

    Rabbi Gordimer certainly knows a smear campaign when he sees one. I trust him on this.

  5. Steve Brizel says:

    R Pruzansky deserves credit for exposing the canard of the “rape culture” , the absence of due process and the fact that JOFA views the same as more important than advocating Tznius, abstinence and marriage at an early age, Taharas HaMishpacha, and Hafrashas Chalah as important mitzvos and values.The comments by the JOFA spokesperson illustrate why feminists view their POV as non negotiable and not subject to criticism-despite the fact that the original founders of feminism viewed the conventional family as a “comfortable concentration camp.”

    What JOFA has done is to accept the criminalizing of the emotional aftermath of a so-called “hook up” gone south. This was and is the logical conclusion of an organization that promotes feminism with a Halachic veneer.

  6. Arthur says:

    I thought what R. Pruzansky was generally reasonable.  The critics overwhelming seem to be reinterpreting what he wrote so that it matches their preconceptions and biases.  They attack what they wish he had written (but didn’t) so they’d have more to attack.

  7. dr. bill says:

    i understand how people, myself included, get exuberant about their positions and say things they later regret.  despite the old adage that all that is said ought not be written, modern (blog) communications has reduced the difference between the written and spoken word and mechanisms like twitter, especially re-tweeting, make that even clearer.  what surprises me is that after the rabbi’s posts a few years back, another incident takes place.

    what confuses me is why we need to re-read Dr. Bayme’s tepid examples of  Bible criticism.  In many instances a similar comment (on that or a similar passage) can be attributed to a great Sage of a previous generation.  I thought Dr. Bayme carefully chose his examples avoiding many other (more troubling and basic) issues raised by Bible critics; its somewhat surprising that no one caught that.  The Bible is meant to teach us how to behave and uses the “language” (and IMHO the mythology) “of the times.”  Thinking of it as a history book is naive at best.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Freedom of speech, regardless of the medium by which it is accomplished, should never be seen as meaning that the comments are free from criticism. What R Pruzansky merely did was criticize the ethos of the hook up world, and the kangaroo courts imposed by college campuses in result to a poorly considered and worded act of Congress-Title IX.

  8. Moshe Samuels says:

    I thoroughly disagree with you but let’s assume that Rabbi Pruzansky had the best of intentions in his original article. Knowing that it upset so many people and raised so many concerns amongst victims of sexual abuse shouldn’t his next post have been something to the tune of  “My deepest apologies for conflating a plea for chastity, an important Torah value, with offensive ideas about rape. I pledge to be more empathetic to women, particularly those who have been victims of sexual abuse. I also commit to combating abuse, most heinously of children at the hands of religious leaders, that continues to plague the Orthodox community.”
    Or simply “I’m sorry for the chillul Hashem I created”. But, of course he didn’t. Like you, he doubled down on the hate, expressing his intolerability for others and painting all dissenters with a single brush “But for the professional feminists, there never is a “gray” area. Men are always predators, women are always saints, and rabbis, always, deserve special calumny if they don’t toe a particular line.” 

    No one, even those who aren’t observant, would argue with a halachic authority if he wrote about the importance of tznius or being shomer negiah. But that’s not what Rabbi Pruzansky did. He cast his own prejudiced judgement on women and cast doubt on the claims of those who have been sexually abused. As a Rabbi and a dayan who has authority in halachic decisions affecting women that is terribly concerning and must be called out.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Once again, we see an Orwrellian argument that “some people are more equal than others” be foisted upon us. We owe R Pruzansky a Yasher Koach for deploring both the “hook up culture”, which clearly transgresses many Torah prohibitions and a rigged process where men are presumed guilty and women innocent under standards that are far from compliant with basic concepts of due process.

  9. Michael Schreiber says:

    Perhaps you and Rabbi Pruzansky ought to consider Rabbeinu Bachya in his commentary on Vayikra (4:22). He discusses the inevitability of regular leaders sinning. The verse states, “Asher nasi yecheta—when a leader will sin.” Rabbeinu Bachya writes, “It does not state ‘If a leader will sin’; rather, it states, ‘When a leader will sin’—the matter is one of certainty. The reason is that the leader’s heart is filled with conceit and haughtiness.”
    Is it so hard for Rabbis to say “I’m sorry”?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Why on earth should R Pruzansky apologize for? R Pruzansky should be applauded for discussing the moral cesspool that describes the average college campus in terms of the “hook up culture” and its emotional and pyschological aftermath.

      • Reb Yid says:

        He should be condemned for casting aspersions on many rape victims

        And you miss the point. Just because there may be cases where the defendant is innocent is no excuse for dealing with the much more pervasive incidence of women who were raped let alone who never reported it

        You and Pruzansky have this obnoxious moral equivalence between rape victims and those who are falsely accused of tape. As if these were both happening in equal amounts and were equally vexing problems.

        • YbhM says:

          He should be condemned for casting aspersions on many rape victims

          And you miss the point. Just because there may be cases where the defendant is innocent is no excuse for dealing with the much more pervasive incidence of women who were raped let alone who never reported it

          This is an example of the kind of substance-free disparagement that R. Gordimer is mentioning.

          Which rape victims is he “casting aspersion” on?  Maybe a direct quotation from R. Pruzansky’s article is appropriate.

          It sounds like you would disparage anyone who offers non-alarmist statistics, or points out that some rhetoric is exaggerated, or points out that some high-profile accusations have been proven false…..

    • Steve Brizel says:

      One story that should have been linked was the grandfather of such cases which promoted Al Sharpton’s career-Tawana Brawley-whose accusations none of which were ever substantiated in a court of law, were raised against a prosecutor whose name was dragged in  the mud of media glare and publicity.

  10. Amanda says:

    Reb Yid: “Pruzansky made very clear, even in his follow-up, that the vast majority of rape cases, in his expert opinion, are in the [so-called] grey area, or, as he stated it, “he said/she said”.”— the key point missing from your arguments is that this is within the context of cultural norms on campuses!

    • Reb Yid says:

      That itself makes it even more despicable, and will discuss in another post, but I just wanted to concentrate on this aspect.

      “He said/she said”….you know, like there’s a dispute about what happened and we really don’t know whom to believe.

      No doubt that there cases like this but Pruzansky seems argue rather strenuously that is the context of most rapes.

      Objectively speaking this is most certainly NOT the context of most rapes.  By far the biggest issue is not about deciding whom to believe.  It’s rather about too many rape victims not coming forward and being hindered from doing so by a whole constellation of factos.

  11. joel rich says:

    From Wikipedia:

    Pruzansky also posted a blog that month entitled “Dealing with Savages,” which some consider to be racist and anti-Arab. In it, he proposes using live ammunition on Arab stone-throwers and suggests that any village that is home to more than two terrorists should be razed and its inhabitants deported. Abe Foxman denounced the blog as “outright racism and bigotry,” and lamented the congregation’s support of Pruzansky. On November 25, 2014 the Orthodox Union issued a public statement distancing itself from Pruzansky’s remarks, noting that it could not support a response to terror that includes wholesale demonization of Arabs, collective punishment of Arabs or destruction or dismantling of Muslim holy sites. The OU called on the community to reject the attitude promoted in Pruzansky’s essay: “Such rhetoric is wrong and must be repudiated, whether it is voiced by lay leaders, community leaders or rabbis.” [9] Pruzansky’s synagogue announced in a letter to the congregation that Pruzansky agreed to have his future blogs reviewed by editors and that the board would periodically review the process. The board has also acted to ensure security for the synagogue is tightened. Pruzansky wrote his own letter to the congregation expressing regret for having written in a way that “many have deemed harsh.”[10]

     

    Has anyone inquired as to whether this piece was reviewed?

    KT

    • Steve Brizel says:

      It is indicative of the degree of PC within the MO world that MO organizations rushed to condemn the words of R Pruzansky but are strangely silent when those who are rabbinical spokesmen for OO write and advocate for their views of Halacha and Hashkafa on a wide range of issues that cannot be reconciled with mainstream Halachic and Hashkafic positions, or react by accusing any any and all critics of persecution of their POV.

  12. Bruce Abrams says:

    The reason the pushback against Rabbi Pruzansky’s blog posts has been so vitriolic is because the blog posts themselves have been vitriolic. The calm and measured tone of his insinuations against college women in no way diminishes the heinousness of those insinuations. The phrase, a wolf in sheep’s clothing comes to mind. So yet again we find a circle the wagons mentality when it comes to the rabbinate protecting its own. Shameful.

    • YbhM says:

      “Heinousness”, “Shameful”, “hillul hashem” … these accusations always come without quotes from R. Pruzansky’s articles.  Sometimes the accusations come with a straw-man mischaracterization of what the article said, but usually not even that is provided.

       

  13. Bracha says:

    Speaking of Cheshbon HaNefesh, I find it fascinating that – as is often the case – 100% of the comments above are written by men (and this an issue that definitely has more of an impact on women!). I would love to hear the thoughts of both the editors’ and readers’ regarding why the vast majority of articles and comments on this site are written by men. Of course, I often agree with the men who write articles (and many of the comments as well) which is why I read CC. I just think that having a woman’s perspective on such an issue would be enlightening as well.

  14. Robert Lebovits says:

    R. Gordimer: If R. Pruzansky is “dead wrong” on the points made in his essay – especially in regard to his portrayal of the “aftermath” of hookups that supposedly lead to accusations of sexual assault, then what should be the appropriate response from the author?

    You believe the tone of the article was “moderate”. Perhaps. However, the tone of his responses to comments made on his article were decidedly condescending and snide.

    Among observant colleagues in the mental health professions who have commented on his essay there is a majority consensus that it was highly inaccurate factually regarding the experience of women who have been assaulted and evinces an absence of real knowledge as to the sexual realities of campus life. The notion that college women are so susceptible to psychic injury after a hookup that they would need to make a rape accusation to heal their feelings is both illogical when considering their pre-college sexual mores and psychologically flawed in light of the consequences that accrue to any woman crying rape, even on campus.

    I have no idea what motivated R. Pruzansky to address this subject at this time and in this way but criticism for his words do not automatically constitute a smear campaign. JOFA is hardly the only voice of disapproval and dismay. If their demands for contrition and condemnation are unreasonable, what would you suggest if in fact he is “dead wrong”?

     

    (If he is dead wrong, I would expect people to write exactly as you wrote and to elaborate, rather than to smear him and try to have him expelled from the RCA and fired from his shul. -AG)

    • Reb Yid says:

      (If he is dead wrong, I would expect people to write exactly as you wrote and to elaborate, rather than to smear him and try to have him expelled from the RCA and fired from his shul. -AG)

      Enlighten me:  if he is dead wrong, how is this behavior not worthy of some sort of sanction at absolute minimum from the rabbinic community?  Especially since he is anything but a first time offender?

      If you are willing to tolerate this, that tells me all I need to know.  Once again, it is the victims who get short shrift, while mainstream Orthodox rabbis and their amen chorus circle the wagons.

      • Yaakov Menken says:

        So the Orthodox are supposed to “sanction” rabbis for being wrong? Say what you want, but Rabbi Pruzansky did not engage in a smear campaign or express something contrary to Jewish theology. He simply (strongly) expressed an opinion that some find controversial. I am unaware of any professional or academic organization that would expel a member for anything similar.

        So you are demanding of the Orthodox rabbinate that it operate by an entirely different standard in order to discredit a Rabbi that you don’t like. That certainly tells us all we need to know… about your opinion.

        • lacosta says:

          without taking sides on the particulars of this issue, are you saying that O rabbis don’t/shouldn’t  attack other O rabbis?  but doesn’t this site advocate doing that against all types of theologies or alledged hashkafas that are ‘wrong?     are there two types of wrongs , or is it just when those on our side are ‘wrong’ they aren’t really ‘wrong’ ?   or am i missing something….

          [i am not taking sides on this issue;  i just wonder if we are supposed to be consistent with what criteria we attack others with ]

          • Yaakov Menken says:

            Do I really need to deny saying that Orthodox rabbis shouldn’t disagree? lacosta, how long have you been reading Cross-Currents? Or did you simply miss the part about Rabbi Pruzansky having failed to “express something contrary to Jewish theology”?

            I think you need to read my comment more carefully. Much more carefully. All your questions were answered prior to being asked.

        • Nachum Boehm says:

          See: Harvard University, Lawrence Summers

          • Yaakov Menken says:

            Perhaps, but he was a leader, not a member. They didn’t put him off the faculty, which would be the parallel. And the faculty vote of no confidence clearly involved a level of PC doublespeak that we would do well not to emulate.

  15. Toby Bulman Katz says:

    A totalitarian mentality infects the left today as it always has.  Leftists always have an instinct to try to shut down debate and destroy the lives of anyone who disagrees with them.

    • mycroft says:

      There has been left-wing totalitarianism and right-wing totalitarianism.  Fascism is an example of right-wing totalitarianism. Fascism emphasizes the subordination of the individual to advance the interests of the state. An example of 20th century fascist state was Nazi Germany. We  could have much to fear from both the right and the left

      • dr. bill says:

        Mycroft, well said.  Increasingly, many on the Jewish religious right have carelessly thrown their support to the conservative political wing.  In messianic times perhaps political agendas will align with religious ones.  Contrast that to the approach of Gedolim; politically, the Rav ztl and his brother, RAS ztl, tended right and left respectively.  But their political positions differed from the assumed left and right political positions on a number of important issues, Israel being the clearest example.  I struggle with any Jew who is not concerned with all of the four leading contenders across both parties.  Watching the rallies that are going on, our future as practicing Jews committed to the State of Israel is frighteningly less secure.   Our salvation comes from neither the right nor left, but from our God given talents and our Maker above.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          There are many registered Democrats who remember the party of HST, JFK, LBJ, HHH, Scoop Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan and wonder how and why the party’s current candidates can purport to represent their views. Similarly, many Republicans who admired the views of Reagan and Bush 43 as well as the support of Nixon in 1973 for Israel wonder whether the GOP can find a candidate who can appeal to neoconservatives, women, and minorities, and still value the championing of free exercise of religion against a liberal left that has little, if any respect for those values.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Mycroft-You neglected to mention that the FSU, China, and Cuba were and or are all totalitarian states with no political liberties because socialism, the regnant political philosophy therein, tolerates no dissent whatsoever on any issue-That’s why socialism , in the words of Von Hayek, was ( and still is) the road to serfdom-because it suppresses both the free market and the free mind-both elements in which a vital and thriving Torah community need to present its message to the Jewish community at large.

        Dr Bill-RYBS in a number of shiurim set forth a strong repudiation of Communism, but was critical of the conduct of the IDF during the Lebanon War of 1982 and the events that led to Arafat’s departure from Lebanon. RAS ZL was critical of the Vietnam War, but opposed the Oslo Occords.

        • mycroft says:

          I did not neglect to mention left totalitarian governments. I was simply responding to Mrs. Katz who only referred to left totalitarianism. There certainly has been left totalitarianism  in addition to totalitarianism on the right.

          • mycroft says:

            Note of course my first sentence in my original reply referred to totalitarianism in the left and right.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Look at any college campus and its faculty and you will be hard pressed to find anyone who expresses and defends conservative values.

        • mycroft says:

          “RYBS in a number of shiurim set forth a strong repudiation of Communism, but was critical of the conduct of the IDF during the Lebanon War of 1982 and the events that led to Arafat’s departure from Lebanon. RAS ZL was critical of the Vietnam War, but opposed the Oslo Occords.”

          Precisely why one can’t typecast Yahadus as right or left. Your examples are perfect in some matters two brothers who were personally close were in different cases to the right or left of each other. There are some times where Yahadus is closer to the right and sometimes it is closer to the left. It is not identical to either the Republican or Democratic parties.

          • mycroft says:

            “I did not neglect to mention left totalitarian governments. I was simply responding to Mrs. Katz who only referred to left totalitarianism. There certainly has been left totalitarianism  in addition to totalitarianism on the right.

            Note of course my first sentence in my original reply referred to totalitarianism in the left and right.”

            “Look at any college campus and its faculty and you will be hard pressed to find anyone who expresses and defends conservative values”

            What does viewpoints of college campuses and whether or not faculty have conservative values have to do with totalitarianism.

      • Ben Bradley says:

        Mycroft you appear to have missed the point, which was that the left ‘liberal’ mindset, which is part of the mainstream of political debate currently, tends to totalitarian  thinking with regard to shutting down opposing opinions. The right wing world of mainstream current debate does not share this. The extreme end of right wing thought where totalitarian type thinking may be found is nowhere near the mainstream and in fact is shut out of civil discourse for good reason.

        So while you are factually correct, that’s irrelevant to Mrs Katz’s point.

        • mycroft says:

          Sadly it is a general tendency by most on all sides to try and stifle debate. For example, how do you explain the arguments raised that x or y is not a bar hachi to argue the position. Just argue and show how x or y are wrong. It should be very easy to argue on the merits if x or y are not a bar hachi.

          • Ben Bradley says:

            The appropriate comparison there is to an undergraduate trying to argue a legal point point with a supreme court judge. An onlooker would appropriately point out the lack of sense in entering into such a debate given the difference in knowledge and experience. That’s not stifling debate.

            There is no comparision here to the attempt to run someone out town we are seeing before our eyes. None at all

      • Michoel Reach says:

        Fascism isn’t right-wing in the sense of having anything at all to do with the American right wing. American conservatives tend to be against state control on many issues; liberals tend to be in favor. Arbitrarily calling one “right” and one “left” doesn’t make it a good comparison.

      • Bob Miller says:

        “Fascism emphasizes the subordination of the individual to advance the interests of the state. ”

        Communism likewise, a fact the communists themselves acknowledged proudly.  Read the book Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg or pick a book by Jean-Francois Revel.

         

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    Reb Yid wrote in relevant part:

    “Brother count your lucky stars you get to say she lo asani isha.   And that you’re a Caucasian. And living in America”

    Wake up and smell the coffee -R Pruzansky simply rejects the unproven liberal/left fantasy that everything that is wrong with America is because of race , gender or because someone has the talent to make more money than me.

    • Reb Yid says:

      Thank you once again for using the tactic of the straw man which no-one has put into evidence.

      No-one is saying that “everything” is due to gender, race, etc.  Certainly there are individuals that can transcend this (look no further than the current POTUS).  And look, someone usually does win the lottery.  But to highlight the individuals who win the lottery misses the forest from the trees, which is that the lottery is a tax on the poor where the vast majority of folks do not win.  And you and I do not have to be conscious of our whiteness every time we step outside the way that other minorities do, and the consequences thereof.  Try hailing a cab for starters.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Red Yid_did you post or not post the following?

        “Showing an exception should not distract us from the underlying structures of society that favor the male over the female.  To present to women (or men) the subject of rape as well, it’s he said/she said is beyond insulting, let alone to victims of rape.
        There’s a reason why most single women don’t walk the streets alone at night.  Society is full of structural obstacles facing women.  Of course, before this stuff was made illegal within the past 50 years max, we didn’t even have words like domestic abuse in our vocabulary–wives were socialized to expect and absorb this as part of their dutiful roles.”
        And you claim that “No-one is saying that “everything” is due to gender, race, etc.”

         

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Apparently you have bought the far left liberal line -no one is entitled to win the lottery, and we must tax and regulate the winner who has the intellectual and business savvy to produce something into oblivion. But, there is no doubt that the vast minority of crimes in inner city neighborhoods are  perpetrated by minority group members against minority group members , that crime   breeds where there is only parent and no traditional family structure, and that educational achievements in public schools in inner city neighborhoods continue to be at record lows despite the fact that spending on education therein has always been increasing.

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    Reb Yid wrote in part:

    “Of course, no-one has ever actually made that claim.  But that notwithstanding, we understand that social trends and patterns are probabilistic.  And there is no dispute by anyone that females, far more than males, are the victims of rape.  And that the number of female rape victims (both reported and unreported) is far, far greater than the number of falsely accused male rapists.
    Showing an exception should not distract us from the underlying structures of society that favor the male over the female.  To present to women (or men) the subject of rape as well, it’s he said/she said is beyond insulting, let alone to victims of rape”
    This is a classical depiction of conflating the definition of rape to meet the views of feminists and their views that men are the root of all evil well beyond the definition of any definition found in the criminal legal codes of the US to include relationships that escalated to a physical encounter between the genders that went south and left emotional and psychological baggage .

  18. Reb Yid says:

    smear definition:

    to damage the reputation of (someone) by false accusations; slander.

    That is precisely what Pruzansky has done here, and has made a habit of doing in his career.  Robert Lebovits’ comment does a fine job of making this crystal clear in the latest instance.

    Pruzansky’s no fool.  He’s a lawyer.  He knows all too well the power of words.  It’s one thing if this were his first time exhibiting this behavior, but it’s far from it.  He knows what will rile up the masses and then pull back so that he can claim he is the aggrieved party.

    Genug.

  19. Rabbi Gordimer, I do not understand. You have been steadily campaigning for people who are not adequately Orthodox to be rejected from positions of Orthodox rabbinic authority and membership in Orthodox rabbinic organizations (and even from the Orthodox community itself?). Yet you say above that if Rabbi Pruzansky is indeed completely wrong – and has thereby wrongfully hurt many people and caused an extraordinary chillul Hashem, for which he is entirely unrepentant – one should not “try to have him expelled from the RCA and fired from his shul.” Why the inconsistency?

    (Dear Rabbi Slifkin: Rabbi Pruzansky is definitely Orthodox. The question here is about the correctness of his positions on rape. If he is incorrect, let it be argued and declared so, as it should be. But it has nothing to do with theology and acceptance of the halachic system. Kol tuv, Avrohom Gordimer)

    • Of course it has nothing to do with theology and acceptance of the halachic system! But surely deeply offending many people and causing a huge chillul Hashem have a lot to do with whether a person ought to be given authority as a rabbinic leader. Is it only theological flaws that render a person unfit to serve as a rabbi?!

      (I understand your position, but the Saul Alinsky practices of organizational and social intimidation that were being employed have nothing to do with the correctness or lack thereof of Rabbi Pruzansky. Had he professed an ideology that endorses or condones rape, discrimination, or whatever, I could see someone questioning his fitness to be a rav. However, as this is an issue of analysis of a very terrible phenomenon, as flawed as his analysis may be, it doesn’t reflect an evil or warped character, and as such, robust disagreement with him, rather than smear tactics, is appropriate. -AG)

      • simon fleischer says:

        It seems to me that if your analysis is so flawed that you cause deep chilul Hashem, and offend large numbers of people, it is indeed grounds for questioning your rabbinic authority. Isn’t clear thinking on ethical issues an important qualification for rabbinic leadership positions? Only evil or warped characters should be denied leadership positions? In fact, it seems possible that those who aren’t evil in any overt way, but whose thinking is deeply warped, might do more damage! You might say, well, in this case,his thinking isn’t really that warped (you have repeatedly mentioned how his thinking is the result of analysis, so I imagine you would)– in which case, however, the argument would no longer be about whether it is appropriate to try and get someone fired, but about whether his analysis crossed some line over which you would then have to be the arbiter.

        • dr. bill says:

          Simon Fleischer, well said. First, even gedolai olam make severe errors in their logic or analysis, albeit very rarely.  If and when it happens a tad more frequently, I assume that their ability to judge a situation and pasken appropriately must be examined.  Second, as you eloquently argue paskening or ministering to a community requires a great deal more than not having as Rabbi Gordimer writes above “an evil or warped character.”  Third, I agree that some of the responses were out of line and vindictive.  Indeed, some may relish the ability to inflict injury over past events.  However, that is all too often the fate of those who occupy leadership positions of almost any sort even when they act in a more measured way.  Sad but not that uncommon.
           
          Fourth, it is one thing to try to castigate Rabbi Pruzansky’s critics; it is quite another to host his rather flawed post.  It is time for Rabbi Adlerstein, the adult in the room, to stop the bleeding.  This has gone from flawed logic to some “over the top” attacks to something much more ominous.

          • Yaakov Menken says:

            dr. bill, you should not make assumptions about who was involved in what post or what decision, because they’ll be wrong. And one who uses a moniker in lieu of a real name is certainly unqualified to identify maturity.

          • dr. bill says:

            Rabbi Menken, I am not making assumptions other than being dan lekav zekhut that this is not what cross-currents wants to be known for.  If it was some of your other (regular) authors it matters not at all.  However, if i am wrong about the decision and rabbi adlerstein was consulted, i will be disappointed.

            in any case the connection between my use of a moniker and the ability to comment about maturity is not obvious.

          • Yaakov Menken says:

            Last time I checked, Rabbi Adlerstein had email. And I responded to your having attacked Rabbi Gordimer (or whomever of us, as immature/juvenile/childish) from behind a moniker. Your failure to see a connection between monikers and immaturity was evident prior to this exchange, but your having stooped to an ad hominem from behind your moniker simply made it more clear to the rest of us.

          • dr. bill says:

            My, my – calling someone immature is hardly the worse I ever implied.  IMHO, illogical, reading uncharitably, etc. are more disparaging.  BTW, calling someone the adult in the room does not imply that others are immature; they may just be too caught up in the battle to figure out how to climb down from the tree.
             

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Suggesting that R Pruzansky was purportedly “warped” when he suggested that abstinence rooted in such Halachos as Negiah and Yichud and the view that sexual relations are reserved for a halachically married husband and wife and that his condemnation of the hook up culture and the  au courant view that men are guilty until proven innocent or that we must accept false cries of rape as having emotional validity is illustrative of how badly the intellectual rot of PC thinking has infected our world. R Pruzansky deserves to be applauded for pointing out the obvious.

  20. Mike Gilliard says:

    Thank you Rabbi Gordimer for standing up to their attempts to drown out all opposition. May Hashem give you strength to continue.

  21. L says:

    The saying “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day” came immediately to mind when I read about the ‘broyges’ currently brewing between Rabbi Pruzansky and the JOFA crowd.  While I am typically a staunch opponent of JOFA, Open Orthodoxy, and those who seek to abrogate and modify halacha and mesora in the name of pluralism, egalitarianism, modernity, etc, in this case they are right and Rabbi Pruzansky is most definitely, egregiously wrong.  His words were indeed full of vitriolic misogyny.  (I say this as a frum woman who finds the culture on college campuses to be shockingly immoral and dangerous.) This was not a plea for moral rectitude and a return to Torah-based values, as evidenced by his appalling denial of the existence of rape culture, insistence on knee-jerk victim blaming, and ludicrous claim that if women were truly afraid of campus sexual assault, they would never deign to attend college.  That last point was particularly baffling; does he really believe that the average 17-18 year old young woman applying to colleges for the first time is first and foremost concerned with campus rape statistics, rather than the average class size, dining hall offerings, dorm rooms, and majors offered?? This speaks to a) the general tendency of young people towards optimism, and b) the lengths that colleges go to to conceal their rape stats and put their ‘best faces’ forward, a great deal more than it does to the naivete or willful denial of female college students.  Rabbi Pruzansky is certainly allowed to voice his opinions, no matter how odious and ill-formed they may be, but as a rav and representative of the Orthodox rabbinic establishment, he needs to be far more aware of how hurtful his words often are, and of the potential they have for driving people away from Yiddishkeit.  Shifting the blame to JOFA or any of his critics here does not absolve Rabbi Pruzansky of his responsibility to demonstrate that “deracheha darchei noam”, and that even strong and unpopular opinions can be expressed in more respectful, gentler ways.

    • YbhM says:

      His words were indeed full of vitriolic misogyny.

      There was vitriol directed at “feminists” of various stripes, but I can’t perceive anything negative being stated about women in general.  If there is vitriolic misogyny, it should be possible to excerpt a snippet (as R. Gordimer does when he criticizes the writings of the OO).

  22. Bob Miller says:

    Authors need to understand not only what is true but how to convey it best to its intended audience, and how other audiences with radically different perspectives might react to it.That said, this discussion is not only a major disagreement about principle but also a new episode in the total war of liberals against dissent as such.   They really dug dissent back in the day, when the spirit moved them and they weren’t running society, but now people with opposing ideas have no rights. Name-calling is not exactly the highest form of argumentation.

  23. simon fleischer says:

    My apologies: Here is the comment from Rabbi Pruzansky to which I referred in my previous post. I gather that if either of his articles had been written in this tone, much of the ensuing brouhaha would never have occurred. Why he found it difficult to write in this tone, only he knows. Whether he should be subject to criticism for failing to do so– I would say yes.

    “Thank you for writing, and especially for your friendship. For sure, the last thing I wanted to do was cause pain to anyone. I only pray that promoting a culture of virtue in Jewish life will have a positive influence on young people. The stakes are that great for them, their happiness and the future of Klal Yisrael.

    As for rapists, I consider them among the lowest breed of human beings. My thoughts and prayers are always with their victims, and especially for their wholeness and happiness.”

  24. Avi Schreiber says:

    What’s cowardly about standing up to bullying rabbis? Frankly, those who speak up against Rabbi Pruzansky, the RCA, and articles like this are incredibly brave. Though not even in the same ballpark as the bravery of survivors of sexual assault.

    For shame.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      It is the opposite of incredible bravery to stand up for the hook up culture and the view that men are guilty until proven on no evidence that would stand up in a court of law. That is an exhibit of the power of PC thinking-standing with the liberal left against a lonely voice of dissent.

      • joe36ct says:

        Nobody is defending the hookup culture.  People are defending Jewish women, because you and Rabbi Pruzansky let Jewish men off the hook, because women are “emotionally attached to sex”.  The culture is there whether you like it or not.  The question is what do we do about it, and those of you with the wool over your eyes think that the answer is telling women to stop going to parties, as opposed to teaching boys that no means no.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Joe 36ct wrote in relevant part:

          “Nobody is defending the hookup culture…The culture is there whether you like it or not.  The question is what do we do about it, and those of you with the wool over your eyes think that the answer is telling women to stop going to parties:

          IOW, R Pruzansky should have said that we should close our eyes to the culture, rather than critique the same?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The next two weeks we read Parshiyos Acharei Mos and Kedoshim. I would not be surprised if the left wing agenda targets these Parshiyos as R”L as deserving of their outrage and not being read on college campuses where “space” increasingly takes precedence over First Amendment rights of speech and free exercise of religion. IIRC, an Ivy League school banned an Aish related group from doing kiruv on campus for such specious reasons.

  25. Izzy Broker says:

    It so sad to see so many misguided people attacking such a fine man and wonderful Rabbi like Rabbi Pruzansky for having the courage to publicly say what should be obvious to any rational, thinking person. It is very unfortunate that there aren’t MORE Rabbis and community leaders that do the same, although I am sure that he has the silent approval of so many of them.

    Someone had to say “the Emperor has no clothes” and I APPLAUD Rabbi Pruzansky for being the one to do so! Our corrupt, immoral society is careening out of control at breathtaking speed  and  yet no one else seems to recognize it and try to put a stop to it before it is too late for all of us.

  26. simon fleischer says:

    So the fact that he himself later apologized proves nothing? I think your use of “feminist militia” might suggest you’re seeing this exclusively through a political lens. It might be that others see it through an ethical lens. The inability to imagine how others might see, think, or feel– well, empathy matters, doesn’t it? And your well established facts– some might say this is indeed a danger (though simply calling something a well established fact doesn’t make it so), but might also say he would have been well served to spend a little more time bemoaning the dangers of rape and abuse before going after false rape accusations. And to see this whole episode as another example of knee jerk liberals and professional feminists (a militia? really?), and then accuse said liberals of politicizing everything– a contradiction in terms, to be honest! To suggest this country is analogous to Mitzrayim, culturally decadent in some historically unique way– I don’t even know what to say, other than to suggest that the very looseness of morals you deride is the flip side of the freedoms we cherish, and that this very looseness has given large groups of people historically unique freedoms to live lives of fullness for the very first time in history! Really, I am just trying to argue here that it does no one any good to blindly take a stand, dig in, and refuse to think further, even while accusing the other side of groupthink. It must be possible to reflect honestly on the merits and demerits of what he wrote, accounting for those who were hurt and not assuming they are all stupid dupes and only you and yours can see the truth. To do otherwise is to fall victim to the very same groupthink you claim to condemn. Self awareness, honesty with oneself, is necessary to the religious life. If we are not honest with ourselves, we we will find ourselves standing before God wondering why he seems so distant. This need not be yet another bit of political hype, where one side screams “libs” and the other screams “right wingers!” Perhaps it’s an opportunity for real reflection, which means self-reflection. To do otherwise is simply baffling to me. Maybe the other side has something to teach us?

  27. Steve Brizel says:

    Just wondering-has JOFA ever suggested that we boycott Japanese products because of what historians call “The Rape of Nanking” ?

    • simon fleischer says:

      Irrelevant. The question on the table is Rabbi Pruzansky’s post. Another indiscretion or sin is not the issue. JOFA may be the greatest or the worst organization in the history of humankind. That in no way redeems or condemns Rabbi Pruzansky. Don’t turn this into another political talking point moment. It does noone any good to do that.

  28. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “What does viewpoints of college campuses and whether or not faculty have conservative values have to do with totalitarianism.”

    When only the left wing view is tolerated and right wing views are driven from college campuses as illegitimate, with no room for dissent from the left wing tenured radicals’ POV  that is intellectual totalitarianism writ large.

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