Reading Cross Currents makes me nauseous. I seems that hardly a day goes by without one of their writers launching a viscious attack on Jews. Most recently, Yitzchak Alderstan used the phrase "Satan's helpers" as a reference to the well-intentioned but misguided members of Peace Now; only a few days before that Yaakov Mencken mercilessly mocked a reform Rabbi for being insufficiently tolerant; and Toby Katz, of course, is famous for laying everything from the holocaust to the gay-rights movement on the doorstep of liberal Judaism.
More than the language is troubling here. Doesn't Yitzchak Alderstan realize how explosive it is to link Jews with the devil, to suggest that we are the evil religion of the evil outsider? Next will he call us well-poisoners? Yaakov Mencken is always eager to defend wrong ideas when they are rooted in a sincerely held principle, but if you're the sort of relativist who is willing to degrade himself by making excuses for Popes who called us dogs, or for Christians who say Jews will be excluded from heaven, shouldn't a Jew with a sincerely held religious belief be entitled to the same abasing courtesy? And Toby Katz, what can be said about Toby Katz, other than that she confirms the paranoid delusions of anti-Semites all over the world whenever she blames Jews for coarsening the culture.
I slugged this post Elul comes early at DovBear because I want to turn the white hot spotlight on myself. Some of you are convinced that I'm guilty of intolerance toward right-wing Jews. I've always pleaded innocent to such charges, but it's occured to me that if Cross Currents can be so blind to their own hatred of left-wing Jews, perhaps I am missing something, too.
Readers, I want you to be my Jeremiah. I want you to help me see myself through your eyes. If you're aware of a post I've written about Charedi Jews that uses the sort of vile language and imagry employed regularly by Cross Currents, I want you to draw it to my attention.
Show me where I've gone wrong, and I will make a full and public penance.