Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Does Toby Katz Believe in Prayer?

My friend the GODOL HADOR has uncovered a telling chat group thread staring some guy named Joel Rich, and Toby Katz:

Joel Rich: Can you point to any public statements that support your contention [ie: that Orthodox Jewish leaders are concerned about Darfu]? I have no doubt you're correct but the fact that it is not spoken about gives the impression that it is not cared about. Couldn't we spare of a few seconds of prayer for them?

Toby Katz: If it makes you feel good about yourself, be my guest.

My first thought was, "Wow. What a thoughtless and shrewish remark." But then it occured to me that I owed Toby the benefit of the doubt. After all, if Yaakov Mencken has taught me one thing it is this: Always make excuses for people on your right.

Unfortunately, the only way to save Toby is to say that she doesn't believe in the power of prayer. That's why she was so short. She cares about the poople who are dying in Darfur, but she wants Joel Rich to use his time for something more effective than praying. Praying might make Joel feel good, but that's about it. Certainly, it won't do anything to help prevent genocide in Darfur.

The alternative is too horrible to contemplate. Because if Toby Katz thinks prayer is effective what she is really saying (as a friend of mine has pointed out) is this: "Whatever, help out some non-Jews by praying if that will make you feel better. But don't get carried away. And, if it doesn't make you feel good about yourself, well, don't even bother. I mean they're only black people."

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