Thursday, July 13, 2006

Setting the record straight

It has come to my attention that Toby Katz was not talking about Darfur at all when she told a poster 'You can daven if it makes you feel good.'  She was responding to an earlier letter of his, critical of charedim, whose tone she thought was a bit self-righteous.  

It has also come to my attention that "Anonymous," who posted on my comment thread part of a letter TK wrote to Areivim, left out one critical sentence of hers, thus changing her message completely.  She was responding and actually disagreeing with the interpretation of another writer --  who had quoted a Talmudic statement that non-Jews don't receive reward for doing chessed. 
Here is the whole letter that she posted to Areivim, with the final sentence restored, reprinted here with her permission:

My understanding of Chazal differs from yours on this point.  I think that when they said goyim don't get schar for the chessed that they do, they meant that in the majority of cases, their chessed is done for improper or ulterior motives.  [Think Hamas] However, on those occasions when goyim perform genuine, selfless acts of chessed -- and such cases actually occur fairly frequently -- then they do get schar for their acts of chessed.

I regret that I was taken in by GH's original post about Toby and Darfur, a post that violated the terms of agreement of a private email group (Areivim) by posting private letters to a public forum. And by leaving out the context and critical parts of the letters he posted, GH made matters worse.
I reserve the right to criticize Toby Katz when she deserves it, but when her views have been misrepresented, it is only fair that I set the record straight.

No comments: