Sunday, January 23, 2005


Atrios does cat blogging. I do Slifkin blogging. Here's my latest:

Writes one of my email buddies:

What bothers me most about the Slifkin ban is that Rav Elyashiv's name is on the ban. They have turned a senile gadol into their puppet toy. It sickens me.

Is he senile? I've heard about how Rav Elyashuv is used nowadays, but this is the first time I've heard the "S" word.

What sickens me is this: Judaism has a rich history of adaptability. Our tradition has always been malleable. Two-thousands years ago, the midrash was employed to solve maculations in the text; 1000 years ago the Rambam reconciled Judaism with Aristotle and scholastism; 100 years ago the Tiferes Yisroel looked evolution in the face, and said with no irony, "Mazal Tov! This confirms what we always knew was true."

There are many, many Rishonim and Achronim on the record supporting the idea of an old universe. All of that old, old scholarship, along with our wonderful tradition of elasticity, is being swept away, like so many broken eggshells, by a handful of 21st century Rabbis who are motivated, at least in part, by a foolish, misplaced fear of appearing too "modern."

In our day, the Haredi street and the Haredi Rabbinate says modern is trief. The sad irony is that their attitude is what's most "modern" of all.