Thursday, November 18, 2004


... when I'd run a post in praise of the Jewish Press, but when they are right they are right.

Please read this eloquent and thoughtful defense of Orthodox Jewish Liberalism. It appeared November 17, 2004:

Money quotes:
1: "How is it that after growing up in a yeshiva environment where we were asked to critically analyze every issue, where we parsed distinctions in law and language, we allow ourselves to be dragged down to the lowest and most degrading levels when it comes to government and politics?"

2: "We are so worried about the slippery slope of open-mindedness that we forget the slippery slope of being close-minded and rigid. In our short-sighted drive to use our platform to protect our own interests, we forget exactly how we arrived at that platform. Or even what gave us the right to think we have interests in the first place."

Again, Conservative Jews are challenged and dared to answer.


DovBear said...

Yes, this is a little like Pravda running the Fedralist papers. An article in favor of Orthodox Liberalism in the Jewish Press... what's next? Divrei Torah that make sense?

Bronco Buddha said...

The article sums up everything that is wrong with liberal America (not just liberal Jews). It talks about open-mindedness, yet refers to people who disagree as closed-minded sheep following the herd. Conservatives are not like that. Many of us strongly disagree with the president's position on stem-cell research. Many of us have different views on lots of the different "hot-button" issues and we enjoy engaging in active, thoughtful debate with people who have lots of different opinions across the political spectrum (and that is true among liberals, as well; very few people I know toe the party line across the board). Yet I am being chided by the author and many other liberals as obtuse. I don't appreciate that.

He mentions "destabilizing" a region. As I discussed in a couple of posts on my blog, "stability" is not an end in and of itself. Totalitarian regimes, by their very nature, are inherently unstable. Propping up a dictator in the name of stability (as numerous US presidents of both parties have done historically) is no longer a viable option in a world that is increasingly smaller and more connected.

Are there closed-mided conservatives. Absolutely. Moreso than closed-minded liberals. absolutely not. This author just proves that he is one more on the liberal side.

He certainly makes some interesting points about what is in our best self interests. But I think reasonable people can disagree on what is "best" for a group. Civil liberties and benefits to the poor are wonderful. However, some of the context in which certain social programs were enacted have changed. Affirmative Action was necessary 40 years ago. Today, it is arguably preventing further progress for those it was intended to help. Labor Unions were necessary when Upton Sinclair wrote "The Jungle", but today they are monopolies that show more interest in protecting the jobs and salaries of their adminsitrators than in trying to help their members.

Raise a specific issue and I am happy to think it through and discuss it; sometimes I might agree with you and sometimes I might even start out disagreeing with you and change my mind. But please don't bemoan the ills of living in a society in which the majority of people tend to disagree with you and then carpet-bomb them with epithets and questions about their intelligence. You are better than that. and more importantly, the Liberal ideal, such as it is, is better than that.

DovBear said...

"please don't bemoan the ills of living in a society in which the majority of people tend to disagree with you and then carpet-bomb them with epithets and questions about their intelligence."

I think you've missed the point of my blog. :)

Occaisonally, we do argue fair here.

Anonymous said...

your belligerence is getting in the way of your re-education; we can't possibly cure you of your conservative madness if you persist in digging in your heels and refusing to take your liberal medicine. now, be a good patient, after your lobotomy it will all feel much better!