Monday, May 08, 2006

The War of the Words (MbP)

I've started following the exchange of angry letters (posted on Yeshiva World) between some Monsey shul Rabbis and the Agudas Israel. Though I'm as pleased as anyone to see the dirty laundy flapping in the wind, I'd like to share some irritations, small and large. [Note: #3 is worst; the others are petty in comparison.]

(1) Can't any of these people write? The letters are a mess of bad grammar, bad syntax and bad word choices. I won't bore you with a list of examples. Instead you are invited to submit the champion speciman.

(2) Rabbi M Orbach: "To paraphrase the words of an American president, 'What is good for the Adudah, is no longer necessarily good for the Jews." The quote Rabbi Orbach is searching for is "What’s good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa." This was said by Charles E. Wilson who was president, not of the United States, but of General Motors.

(3) Rabbi S.F. Zimmerman:"The issue of whether there is a danger in Metzizah b'Peh to public health has already been decided by the Gedolim of our generation." Does this decision really belong to the gedolim? They aren't scientists who are trained in public health and they haven't studied how diseases spread; more to the point, no ruling, even a ruling from gedolim, can change the reality: At least three infants (and perhaps more) have aquired hepatitis via Metzizah b'Peh. If it risks the life or health of an infant it is a public health risk. Q.E.D, you might say, and no waving of the hands or pronouncing of pious bromides can make it go away.

(4) Rabbi M. Orbach: "The choson on the way down from the chupa thanked me for expressing my outrage that mirrored his precise feelings." Really? A twenty-something non-scientist thought you did a good job "expressing your outrage?" Well done, sir! Toot! Toot! Anyway, when did "outrage" aquire quite so much currency? To be blunt, who cares about your feelings? If you think Agudah is doing a crap job, is it really your "outrage" that proves the point? Haven't we yet learned that emotions can be deceiving?

"Arguments" people, not "outrage."

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