Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rarely have I been so disappointed by the performance of a Cross Currents writer

Its a cheap trick to respond to criticism with an attempted psychoanalysis of the critic, but cheap tricks are all Yitzchak Alderstam seems to have left at his disposal. In the current Forward Jay Michealson says some things that are painfully, inconveniently, true and all Alderstan can offer in response are ad homs.

Here's what Michelson said:

  • Fundamentalism is bad.
  • American ultra Orthodox kids aren't receiving decent educations.
  • The major Orthodox Yeshivot all take tons of Federal Aid, despite an absence of standards and an unwillingness to prepare students for work.
  • Israeli Haredim are no better. 
  • Their lack of an education makes it difficult, if not impossible, for disillusioned Haredim to try something else.
  • It also leaves them poor, and at the mercy of their leaders.
  • We have to rescue these poor, uneducated Jews. 
The piece concludes with some concrete ideas for improving the situation.

Here's how Alderstan responded to these points of fact:

  • Michelson is a gay activist
  • Plus he hates Israel
  • Also, Michelson is really mad, but not for the reason he gave in his piece, but for a reason I'm happy to invent viz: Michelson  knows his type of Judaism is going down the tubes so he's lashing out at the winning team.

I've hated Cross Currents for years, but rarely have I been so disappointed by the performance of one of its writers.

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