The Peril of Partisanship

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10 Responses

  1. Mycroft says:

    In general I agree with Rabbi Shafran’s diplomatically written message. I in general believe that we should pick our battles, not every issue requires a Jewish community response. Torah true Judaism does not equal either Republican or Democratc, Liberal or Conservative. I certainly agree that it is illegitimate to attempt to find Psukim, maamerei chazal that fits ones individual political ideology.. American politics is complex, we rarely if ever have saints or complete sinners n either mainstream political viewpoint.

  2. Yossi says:

    First, I’m so thrilled that Rabbi Shafran is allowing comments on his thoughtful and eloquent articles. I couldn’t agree more. Rush Limbaugh has the status of a Rosh Yeshiva in parts of our community, with people defending his every word. Our president is defended st every turn by parts of the community even when he does vulgar and outlandish things.

    It really seems that people associate being frum with subscribing to certain political parties, and as he points out, I’m not sure when that happened. Not sure how we get that to change either.

  3. dr. bill says:

    when you write: “Mindless team spirit is no path to emes. Sometimes, even, as conservative columnist David Brooks recently observed, “The truth is plural.” ” I assume that the maxim applies to fields as diverse as halakha, hashkafah, politics, ethics, and philosophy.

    • Avi Shafran says:

      Please note my pointed use of the word “sometimes”.

      But, obviously, yes, within bounds, as in all things.

  4. jerry brenner says:

    “New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg made the mistake of admitting that along with the abhorrent, violent, white supremacists who terrorized Charlottesville over the weekend, many Antifa protesters were also enacting “hate-filled” violence, as they’ve done in several other cities in recent months. For noting that the “hard left seemed as hate-filled as the alt-right” — citing “club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park” — Stolberg was hammered online, even after repenting and issuing a correction that depicted the violent left in more heroic terms.”

    You probably did not read this in your fact filled New York Times.

    No doubt her days at the NYT are numbered.

    • Avi Shafran says:

      “Heroic terms” is your phrase, not hers.

      Fact: Her “correction” is verbatim, the following: “Rethinking this. Should have said violent, not hate-filled. They were standing up to hate,”

      So I think that, even though there are times when the NYT deserves criticism, this is clearly not one of them. Her reportage was balanced, and her correction was rather minor — and accurate.

  5. Bob Miller says:

    David Brooks, however he sees himself or wants others to see him, judges political conservatives as an outsider would.

  6. Jeffrey Schreck says:


    I appreciate your larger point and your generally evenhanded criticism in this essay, but you sullied it with the above statement. You essentially equated a universal chant of hope for a better society with a specific and mean-spirited chant denigrating an individual. You can, and should, do better.

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