Wednesday, April 26, 2006


The mesorah, apparently, is Jesus, and those Jews who take a broader view of what the Mesorah contains are Judas-like in their treachery.

That distatsteful analogy Rabbi Yitzchak Alderstan, who closed a post this morning, as follows: "There are too many Jewish scholars and liberal clergy eager to betray their legacy for thirty shekels worth of academic respectability."

A little Ph.D.-envy, Rabbi? [thanks, Alex, for the perfect quip, and thanks S. for pointing out that for all his self-rightuous indignation, Rabbi Alderstan likely takes every day from the labors of Jewish scholars and liberal clergy. He uses a Jastrow, I presume, and I expect the Saperstein Chumash is welcome in his school.]


Am I making a mistake, or does the rest of R. Alderstan's post use Catholic indifference about religion as a rod with which to beat Jews who are honestly and legitimately curious about Judaism and its origins? Cross Currents is famous for praising non-Jews at the expense of Jews, but can R Alderstan really think that Catholic incuriousness is a virtue? Is he celebrating willful ignorance? What an odd position for a scholar to take!

The fact that Catholics weren't challanged by the discovery of a new Gospel, tells us more about their intellectual laziness than it does about their loyalty to their religion. Anyway, what loyalty? The average Catholic uses birth control and supports the death penalty. Many suppot abortion rights, too, while meanwhile their pews and seminaries are empty. Their nonchalance about the new discovery is what we might expect from people who are generally nonchalant about religion. This attitude is not something to admire, and it does not come from faith or loyalty, but from disinterest. Is that what R Alderstan wishes on the Jewish people? Disinterest?

Related: On the Main Line attacks from another angle.

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