Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Down with the Yated: Defending G and H

Many yeshivish people and to a greater extent Hasidish people suffer from acute persecution complexes. They can't quite accept that MO Jews aren't jealous of their lifestyles or working actively toward its destruction. This paranoia is how they self-justify their disrespect for modern institutions and modern Rabbis and why they imagine Gil Student and Harry Maryles are dedicated to the demise of all things Haredi

I learned, last week, that Gil and Harry are perceived as sworn enemies of Haredism from a hit job carried out last week by the Yated against their blogs. Both were identified as bloggers who frequently publish anti-Haredi posts and cartwheel with glee whenever a Haredi is caught behaving foolishly or criminally.

Having named Gil and Harry as Charedi-haters and spreaders of Heradi damaging gossip, the self-appointed newspaper of Torah Jewry was almost indescribably furious that these two very Jewish blogs had neglected to kick R. Micheal Broyde while he was down. The world needs more loshon hara, the Yated seemed to scream, and how dare two blogging rabbis fail to provide it!

As punishment for his good manners and self-restraint, the Yated, lived up to its name, and dug up a lot of crap, subjecting poor Gil to almost a full-page of slanderous nonsense. He was given the full blog scum treatment as he was accused of the three unpardonable sins of Jewish blogging: (1) showing disrespect, (2) using an unsanctioned tone, (3) and being mean to charedim. (There is a delicious irony in Gil being attacked from his right for the same things he has, in the past, said about the blogs on his left, but we've already sufficiently reveled in that on Facebook. We hope that he will awaken to the possibility that he is as mistaken about, e.g, us, as the Yated was about him.)

Harry got off a little easier. He wasn't beaten up as badly and not as much space was dedicated to his destruction. We're not sure why. Perhaps Harry has been right all along and the Haredim really do consider his sect to be co-equal with their own. Or perhaps they just don't see him, sitting in Chicago, as much of a threat.

To the point:  All charges against both men were baseless   Indeed the Yated, with one weak exception, made no effort to support any of the charges with examples from either man's blog. The writer was so busy calling names, he couldn't be bothered to do any research. To the best of my knowledge, nothing in Gil or Harry's blogging history supports any of the allegations made by the Yated.  In fact, I think both men are lamentably polite. Both use nothing but the most measured and proper (by which we mean boring) tones. If they are guilty of anything it is of being too accepting of  the bad things that go on in the larger Jewish world, and too deferential of some of the responsible parties, MO and Haredim alike. When they should claw, they cower. Instead of thundering, they shrivel. Now that this approach has been so emphatically rejected by the Yated, one hopes that the gloves will be dropped, together with their Uncle Tom routines, and that both men will finally begin to say some of the things that desperately need saying.

UPDATE: We see Avi Shafran has offered Gil and Harry some lukewarm words of encouragement and a weak denouncement of the Yated. Eh. He's been madder about lesser crimes but let's count our blessings.
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