Thursday, February 17, 2011

A letter to the (gutless editor of the) 5 Towns Jewish Times

From @azigra

To DovBear:

I submitted this letter to the editor of the 5 Towns Jewish Times, in response to the article they published last week by Aryeh Ginzberg [in which he called bloggers digital murderers,or rotzchim.]. It was noticed on this blog so most of you are already familiar with what he had written.

DB: @azigra's letter to the editor of the 5 Towns Jewish Times has not been published. He's asked me to run it here.
Dear Editor,

The editorial board of the 5TJT must have a short memory. Mere weeks after we witnessed one news  aggregation site's continued coverage of a ban on a competing news aggregation site, we now read in this paper an article attacking such sites. It may interest the reader to know that in addition to the print edition of the 5TJT in which this article appeared, this article also appeared on the 5TJT's website, which ironically offers the opportunity for people to comment on it anonymously. Are we to assume that unlike the former example of blatant hypocrisy, this paper is clear of wrongdoing?

Regarding the content of Ginzberg's article, his contention that bloggers and the people who comment on blogs are "roitzchim," or murderers is absurd. I would counter that Ginzberg and those like him are in fact the "roitzchim" as I will explain.

Lewis Brandeis is reported to have said, "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial disease. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Ginsberg would prefer that his community return to a time when its ills were pushed under the carpet and the victims of a multitude of abuses went unprotected. When men of ill intentions who hoped to affect a change in the community went unchallenged. When thieves and spiritual con-men were accorded honor and granted prestige.

The protection, knowledge, and sense of communal mission that blogs bring to the Orthodox world is unimportant to Ginsberg who is most likely concerned with the treatment of himself and his colleagues on blogs. He would rather, for example, that wretched men who are entrusted with the care of children, go un-persecuted, then to allow blogs to exist because maybe some random person will type something that he doesn't deem fit for others to read. He would rather that a place not exist where perhaps member of his own congregation could be reported on for having committed financial crimes, then to allow people to be aware of whom they associate with. Maybe he even simply prefers that blogs not exist for the very reason they don't allow criminal to hide anymore, no matter how unbelievable that may seem.

Ginzberg, wrote about a friend of his who expressed dismay at reading a comment about a suicide that occurred several months ago. To his friend's and his own astonishment, some random person commented that there could have been a better means of suicide then the chosen one. Now, I fully agree with Ginsberg and his friend, the comment was in bad taste, but is this what it takes for Ginsberg to be astonished at something with regards to contemporary orthodox Judaism? Where is his astonishment at the financial crimes, sexual abuses, vanity, contemptuousness, and materialism, that exist today amongst frum Jews? Where is his astonishment at how the religion he holds so dear has been corrupted by, what in the parlance is referred to as askanim. People who are nothing more than lobbyist who fool, trick, deceive, and lie, to those granted the authority by their follower to make proclamations, bans, endorse, and approve, whatever they feel is their mission on this planet at any given time.

Ginsberg and those like him wish to return the Jewish people to a time of ignorance and darkness, a time when people could read a sign proclaiming the internet as the cause of Cancer, and believe it. Well, Ginsberg should know that that time is over. If that is the era he wished to live in then he should leave this community and move to one where there are multitudes of ignorant men and women who will believe whatever utterance is emitted regardless of its untruthfulness or illogicalness. I ask you, who is the rotzaiach?

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