Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Advising Avi

It's clear to every human being and most near-sentient barnyard animals, that Avi Shafran's non-comment when asked by SIW to say something about Kolko was tone-deaf, clueless, and the opposite of sensitive or constructive. Had Avi kept his mouth shut, and simply raised his middle finger the exact same message would have come across.

But enough has been said, by me and others, about the awfulness of Avi's answer. Today I'd like to try something helpful and constructive and show you what Avi could have said instead:

"Steve, thanks for your question. Of course Agudah has been following the case closely and we're very concerned. Though we hope this matter is ajudicated fairly and quickly, our sympathy lies with the victims, and I am sure I am speaking for everyone when I say that I hope they find some solace and comfort in the days, months and years ahead. A well-known and respected teacher of Torah has been accused of a terrible crime, and though Agudah, of course, can take no position on his guilt or innocence, we have been working hand-in-hand with Torah UMesorah and several yeshivot to develop and enforce sensible guidelines and protocols that will protect both children and teachers, and provide us with some degree of assurance that this sort of thing will never happen again."

See? Isn't that much better than "Pedophile rabbis? Sorry, no comment. Can we talk about gay parades, gay rabbis and gay commitment ceremonies instead?"

[Ok, that's not exactly what Avi said to Steven, but given the subjects of Avi's public statements over the last 6 weeks, it amounts to the same thing.]

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