Intellectual Terrorism

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34 Responses

  1. mordechai younger says:

    Rabbi Gordimer – this article should have been publicized before tisha b’av; for a foremost commentator to feel that he can no longer voice the truths of the Torah (and common sense) is quintessential churban. I can only wih that Hashem grant chazak ve’ematz to continue to fight the good fight and to stand fast against the klallah of ha’emes ne’ederes.

  2. Steve Brizel says:

    It is a sign of the times that campaigns of intimidation have entered our community as a means of silencing important dissenting mainstream opinions. Since when did freedom of speech become freedom from criticism One smells the aroma of the Marcusian doctrine of suppression of opposing opinions and the PC notion that there is no truth, rather just competing narratives regardless of the merits of an argument

  3. Codger says:

    There is a prescribed Prayer for this…. ולמלשינים

  4. Yossie Nemes says:

    First, they came for Gordimer and I did not speak up….Then I shared some of my values at my full Shabbos table and MY employer was pressured… and there was no one left to speak up for me….

  5. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gordimer wrote in relevant part:
    “We face an overreaching and invasive campaign to stifle free discourse and compel submission. By the rules of this campaign, debate is not allowed, and those who express opinions with which the orchestrators of the campaign disagree are to be ostracized, threatened, fined and fired. It is interesting that this totalitarian campaign is being waged by the left, of all groups, which previously prided itself on being liberal and tolerant.”

    This phenomenon was very much a part of the aftermath of the French Revolution, Communist Revoultion and the FSU , and the Cultural Revolution in China. The left is only tolerant of those that concur 100% with its positions.

  6. Reader says:

    יישר כחך רב אברהם שליט”א for all your valiant efforts over the years.

    While you may not hold forth on issues of the day as frequently lately, I don’t consider you as being fully retired, by no means. I prefer to think of it as akin to someone shifting from active duty to reserve for a while, or to senior/consulting status.

    And there will be others who will iy”H speak out at times, perhaps not on the level or in the manner of R. Gordimer, whose great eloquence, passion, and knowledge is well known, but in one way or another. The leftist bullies will not win by such tactics, they will just perhaps shift some of the venues and some of the players at times.

    נחמו נחמו עמי

  7. Steve Brizel says:

    https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/289142/living-single Perhaps as the 15th of Av recedes into a memory we can look at the linked article an discuss and debate the effects of extended singlehood and its effect on our communities ,

  8. Charlie Hall says:

    There has actually a fair amount of published literature on same sex attraction therapy, mostly from poor quality studies. There is really no evidence for its efficacy and some evidence for harm. Several years ago I suggested that better studies be done but the proponents did not take up my suggestion.

  9. Gabriel M says:

    One of the most glaringly psychopathic features of the Left (not ‘some’ of the Left, but the Left accurately characterized as a whole) is how they can simultaneously believe themselves to either be, or to represent, the marginalized, oppressed, powerless whatever and, at one and the same time, act with complete confidence that they can, at any time of their choosing, destroy the lives of their opponents through their control over the means of production. (This by the way, is exactly the same way dissidents were dealt with in the Soviet Union too, from the 1960s onwards, the main difference being that the Leftist doctrine in the Soviet Union was substantially more moderate in most areas than that of the contemporary West.)

    Once you get past all the insane invective, this is why the Left (and the Left, of course, includes Never Trumpers) can’t stand Trump, because he has the kind of money that makes their default tactic ineffective. Trump, as it happens, is just a 1990s style NY Democrat, how the Left would react to a billionaire with actual right wing opinions entering politics doesn’t bear thinking about.

  10. Just a Guy says:

    *Snowflake*

  11. dr. bill says:

    You write: “I am not a defender of reparative therapy (now termed conversion therapy) for SSA (same-sex attraction), nor am I an opponent of it either. I simply lack enough information about the matter, ..”
    Others say the same about a number of things: the impacts of man on the environment, our ability to evaluate the veracity of hazal’s views of various historic events, the level of creativity in the reconstruction of the reality of Jews in Europe between the wars, the novelty of the current torah-only for all/most POV, etc.

    lacking information in areas where more than enough information is available can excuse a variety of less than reasonable positions. there are also many situations where knowledge that would provide certainty will not be available in the foreseeable future. As the CTO of a 30B enterprise, i always considered waiting for absolute definitive information as a recipe for disaster. Often we have to weigh alternatives and decide without absolute certainty.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      If it was your 30B you might be cautious or gamble depending on what you knew or thought might be a correct choice but it would be your personal risk and financial responsibility as opppsed to the person who signs your check.one can argue that most of the dilemmas that you pose here are rooted in hindsight which is always 20/20 and even then subject to inquiry as the propriety of a particular choice

      • dr. bill says:

        regardless of my ownership percentage, i am compensated on midterm success. my ability to make decisions absent certainty is a major element in how I am compensated. not hindsight but results matter. these are not criminal trials where conviction demands certitude; we often need to and should decide on the preponderance of evidence and the relative risk in adopting a particular position incorrectly.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      We should never “evaluate the veracity” of how Chazal approached historical events because Chazal had a far greater appreciation of the same than anyone subsequent to their time. It is no secret that secular Zionism communism and socialism wrecked havoc on traditional Jewish life and that today’s BDs as documented by Yoram Hazony had its
      origins among classical RJ (Magnes) and many Intellectuals such as Buber Scholem Arent and even Talmon and Jacob Katz all of who dreamed of a binational state that the Arabs never accepted and still don’t today. You oversimplify today’s Torah world where although more learn for a concentrated period of time you can find much evidence in Lakewood of many learnersearners. That requires mere curiosity as opposed to hindsight that can still lead to the wrong conclusions

      • dr. bill says:

        i can comment only on your opening salvo; the rest I was not zokheh to follow. there are numerous historical events which hazal dealt with different conclusions as to various elements. following the law of the excluded middle, we must evaluate the veracity in order to gain insight into the intended message. Chazal were not as interested in history as in the lesson to be learned.; examination allows for the discovery of the ikkar – the message/

      • lacosta says:

        BD is batei din? what does hazony talk about batei din?
        RJ is rabbinic judaism as opposed to Karaitism?

      • Steve Brizel says:

        BDS( sorry for the misspelling ) clearly can be traced back to Magnes Buber Scholem Talmon and even Jacob Katz who all dreamed of a binational state

      • dr. bill says:

        your desire to trace BDS to “even Jacob Katz” is so outrageous as to require you to go his kever and beg mechillah after publically acknowledging your sin. for what it is worth, i doubt you currently support a two-state solution either given the narrative of today you have applied to previous generations. evaluating political views of previous times that were never implemented and after an alternate historical record emerged is a particular form of poor reasoning. ain le’dayan ellamah she’einav raot. what insight hindsight provides is not a legitimate basis for attacking people, particularly when you get the facts inaccurately if not downright wrong.

    • mycroft says:

      If the cost of securing the information is greater than the expected value of such information one wouldn’t bother to get the information. Thus one would never pay more than the expected value of even perfect information.

    • nt says:

      lacking information in areas where more than enough information is available can excuse a variety of less than reasonable positions

      Rabbi Gordimer’s point is that he has no position and is neutral. This is reasonable because he has not seen enough information. This is a reasonable approach for any complex topic one has not researched, including the ones you mentioned.

      As a side point, whenever an article is published here criticizing OO or its apologists, I always wonder how long it will take before dr. bill tries to turn the discussion into whatever his current peeve is with traditional Orthodoxy.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Dr BIll wrote:

      “regardless of my ownership percentage, i am compensated on midterm success. my ability to make decisions absent certainty is a major element in how I am compensated. not hindsight but results matter. these are not criminal trials where conviction demands certitude; we often need to and should decide on the preponderance of evidence and the relative risk in adopting a particular position incorrectly.”
      If results matter, then your compensation in no small part is dependent on or should be on whether your decisions are correct. FYI, in civil cases, the preponderance of the evidence standard is what governs, but whether or not you have even satisfied that standard is the function of the judiciary after you have submitted your evidence. The bottom line remains that “midterm success” , as opposed to your ability to make a decision regardless of the lack of the absence of certainty.

  12. Bob Miller says:

    The social and political radicals don’t expect normal, reasonable people to buy their arguments on merit , hence this force and intimidation. Corporate America has mostly caved, or even accept this destructive nonsense as true, as have many establishment Republicans. I wonder if the Supreme Court itself is now able to resist these pressures and come to the aid of the radicals’ hate objects, us.

  13. Steven BriZel says:

    OTOH great people throughout history are great because they take risks and make mistakes

  14. Shades of Gray says:

    “Benjamin’s article did not name anyone, was logical, presented the traditional Torah perspective, and was written calmly and without invective”

    I agree that many critics of Elliot Resnick, as with those of R. Gordimer, are guilty of “Free Speech for Me–But Not for Thee”.

    However, R. Yaakov Horowitz, who has experience counseling LGBT people, wrote a letter to the Jewish Press (linked below) criticizing the publication of the above article. In a statement about his Jewish Press letter, excerpted below, R. Horowitz called the LGBTQ issue “extraordinarily complex” and said this as well at the “JHC Lights Chinese Auction”, a symposium with R. Moshe Bane and R. Eytan Kobre( beginning 28:00 in symposium, available online).

    “Over the past 18 months, since I posted this video (see below) of my response to a question about LGBTQ-in-the- frum -community at a Jewish Heritage Center panel discussion, I’ve been contacted by well over 100 LGBTQ people and their parents seeking guidance and assistance. A year ago, my wife and I invited 10 LGBTQ men and women to our home for a private lunch meeting, in order to better understand the extraordinarily complex and multi-faceted issues and challenges they are facing.

    …As I made clear in my letter, my objection had nothing to do with the discussion of the Gay Pride Parade, nor with the larger, communal LGBTQ issues, which I consider to be above my pay grade. Rather, it was an expression of my horror that breathtakingly cruel and insensitive language was needlessly used, basically comparing them to animals who have no sense of control ”

    https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-570/2019/07/17/

    • Bob Miller says:

      Clearly, attacking the individuals savagely won’t improve their behavior. However, reassuring them that their lives are fine as-is wouldn’t either. As Jews, we’re responsible for each other. As Jews, they should know what to be proud of and what not.

  15. bo says:

    Outrageous! Intellectual terrorism it is; hence, at least in the long term, there can be no concession; rather “a man to his friend shall say, ‘power to you'”.

    In order to spare my employer from further complaint letters, and due to many other important considerations, I had to rein myself in

    Ask your employer, and I hereby request the same, to join and encourage your crucial efforts

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bil-the historical record is easy reading and well documented.BDs has its origins in the writings and public positions taken by many faculty at HU Magnes and the NYT

  17. Raymond says:

    I want to make a response to this article, and yet am having difficulty coming up with just the right words, because it is so upsetting to me not only as a person who loves individual freedom and believes in individual freedom, but as one who has been directly affected by such totalitarianism too many times in my own life. Not only on a personal level has my right as a human being to express my politically incorrect views been stifled over and over again by the intolerant Left, but so has this happened to me while at my work as well, on several occasions. I will refrain from going into specific detail about one such instance out of consideration that people on here may not be interested in hearing about it to that extent, but I was literally fired from a job involving the study and preservation of the Holocaust, precisely for quoting the clear Torah view on the subject of homosexuality. The irony involved in a so-called Holocaust organization getting rid of me for defending Torah values is inescapable, although the Hollywood people I worked for, were far too morally backward to understand that.

    I am at a loss as to what to do about this problem. There may not be any real solution. The intolerant Radical Left are indeed bullies, but perhaps another way to think about them, is that they are like a screaming child. How in G-d’s Name can a parent even attempt to reason with a screaming, angry child? It is impossible. All one can hope for is that the child in question exhausts himself from his antics. Until then, though, all the parents can do, and all we can do in response to political correctness, is wait, hoping it will all go away. These days I am reading about the Holocaust, and wow, the more I read about it, the more I get the distinct impression that the nazis, too, were basically screaming children ranting and raving at us. There was really very little that we Jews could do in such a situation, short of saying the Shema as our people were systematically stuffed into gas chambers. Eventually we won, but at the price of more than six million dead Jews. Am I being perhaps melodramatic about all this? I don’t think so. I think there is no limit to how intolerant the Left is willing to get in their quest for absolute power over our lives. What will be the end of this, how much damage will be done until that happens, only G-d knows. All I can say is, G-d help us all. I am just sorry that obviously fine people like Rabbi Gordimer has to suffer because of it.

  18. Steve Brizel says:

    Look who is concerned about the intimidation of R Gordimer here and who despite their concerns about the future of MO and who bemoan a much talked about shift to the right are silent. As in the secular world those who defend or suggest that we ignore the wrongs of the left seek tolerance and legitimation of clearly problematic views and the suppression of mainstream critical views

    • Bob Miller says:

      Some Jews stand up to the Left, some are scared of it, some do business with it and some are part of it.

    • nt says:

      The most amazing thing the left has managed to do is position themselves as being inherently correct and their opponents as being reactionary. They win three-quarters of the battle before it begins by strolling onto the upper ground and looking down their noses at whatever beliefs they deem inconvenient. With this they also take all the moral authority by declaring themselves paragons of all that is laudable, and their opponents as small and mean-spirited, plus stupid for good measure.

      This allows them to act like the adults at the table and declare that conservatives should be seen and not heard. Fortunately their are a few conservatives who catch on and don’t play that game, but they do have to weather the storm of outraged leftists trying to regain their position. We need more people who really see that the emperor has no clothes and do not waste time defending their positions by other people’s rules.

  19. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote:

    “your desire to trace BDS to “even Jacob Katz” is so outrageous as to require you to go his kever and beg mechillah after publically acknowledging your sin. for what it is worth, i doubt you currently support a two-state solution either given the narrative of today you have applied to previous generations. evaluating political views of previous times that were never implemented and after an alternate historical record emerged is a particular form of poor reasoning. ain le’dayan ellamah she’einav raot. what insight hindsight provides is not a legitimate basis for attacking people, particularly when you get the facts inaccurately if not downright wrong”

    Read Hazony before you write. Hazony spells out in great detail how Magnes, Buber, Schilem, Talmon and Katz as well as their successors on the HU faculty and the NY Times as well all supported a binational state and opposed political Zionism rooted in Herzl, BG and Jabotinsky. HU was the incubator of the BDS movement where it was led and supported by all of the above and Haaretz long before 1948.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Supporting a POV that was the kernel of BDS is part of the historical record. Rationalizing the views of Buber, Magnes, Scholem and Katz which Hazony documents as essential to their POV , and based upon their public stances and often disdainful views of Zionism is part of the sad process of the bit so sudden and hardly new phenomenon of post Zionsim and BDS today and other academics in Israel scch as A Kasher and M Halbertal today who have their life goal as making it all but impiossible for the IDF to do its job by requiring any military action to be vetted by lawyers and the former CJ of Israel who would deserve a Nobel Prize in literature for inventing a form of fiction known as law.

  20. Steve Brizel says:

    For those who haven’t read Yoram Hazony on the origins of post Zionism see this linkhttps://books.google.com/books?id=rDb0wtsauesC&pg=PA316&lpg=PA316&dq=jacob+katz++yoram+hazony&source=bl&ots=MglTmgiBhU&sig=ACfU3U28Vo6fnqvErbRFBsS5gndPG7OS0g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiDj7O6-5TkAhUFLKwKHRRDCJUQ6AEwB3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=jacob%20katz%20%20yoram%20hazony&f=false

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