Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What was your Emperor's New Clothes moment?

But he has nothing on...

For some, Avi Shafran's new blog might be considered an Emperor's New Clothes moment. After all, he had been the Jewish world's chief demonizer of blogs and bloggers and now he's become one himself. So much for the complaints and teeth gnashing.  Like the cheers of the spectators who admired their stark naked leader in the Hans Christian Anderson tale, Avi's anti-blog grumbling seems to have been rooted in something other than reality. When he next goes to war against someone or something, will we be able to trust him?

"Sneering cynicism. Self-glorification in the guise of advocacy. Ostentatious observance cloaking rank jealousy. “Democracy” in the pursuit of evil ends. Haughtiness pretending to the selfless pursuit of justice and truth. What do all those things bring to mind?... Much of the “Orthodox Jewish” blogosphere. - Korach@ by Avi Shafran, June 26, 2012

For others, the Orthodox Union's Pesach ban on quinoa, a Peruvian berry, might have been an ENC moment. Silly us for thinking kashrus is determined by the consistant application of clear rules. Silly us for thinking (because that's what we were told) that kitniyus is a non-grain item that once upon a time was routinely mixed with grains. Now it turns out that kitniyus is whatever the man with the kosher stamp says it is. And try not to laugh too loudly at the alleged reason* as you shop this year for Pesach approved noodles, crackers and cookies.

* “[we] can’t certify quinoa because it looks like a grain and people might get confused" - the OU as reported by @azigra

My first ENC moment came several years ago when the leadership pronounced its ban on Natan Slifkin. Nothing in his books was new. All of it was based on, or copied from (with proper cites) our Rishonim. The fact that they banned him anyway suggested the leadership didn't know this or, more likely, didn't care. Matters were made worse when we found out that the Rabbis who signed the ban hadn't even read his books, and that the ban itself had been engineered by a pair of common criminals. Like the crowds in the Anderson story, I'd previously clapped and cheered and even sought to justify whatever our emperors said and did. After Slifkin, they no longer had my trust when it came to matters of policy because I could no longer be certain of their motives or of their process.

Want to hear irony? I've been among RNS's #1 supporters, and his no holds barred, smash the shiboleths approach to rabinincs has been a model for some of my own blogging. Yet, as per the blog scuttlebutt, he capital "H" hates me.* No good deed goes unpunished and choose your intellectual exemplars carefully, I guess. 

* We misspoke. He does not hate me, and has written to tell me this. Apologies.

Ok, enough about me. What was your ENC moment?

 Search for more information about ###


Anonymous said...

Whаt's up, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this post. It was helpful. Keep on posting!

My web page -

Anonymous said...

Hi there, after reаdіng this remaгkable pаragrаph i am tоo cheеrful to share my
experience herе with friends.

Мy blog; dom

Anonymous said...

Yes! Finаlly somеthing about gas tаnkless water hеatеr.

Looκ into my wеbpage click the following post

Anonymous said...

It's very straightforward to find out any matter on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this piece of writing at this web site.

My blog - training dog

Anonymous said... generic finasteride good propecia - propecia cost comparison