Thursday, January 24, 2008

A guest post from Chaim:

Did anyone notice the little spat in the comment on the Nebenzahl post at Hirhurim which mentioned Leone da Modena?

Gil called him "controversial." Lipman (uber-yekke) posted that it is stupid to call Modena controversial. He was a perfectly frum rav; why don't they call the Besht controversial?

I responded that Gil called him controversial because he was/ is controversial. I then called attention to his self-confessed gambling addiction and to the allegation that he wrote the heretical Kol Sakhal.

Woke up the next morning (yesterday) to see that my reference to gambling was edited out (but not the Kol Sakhal). I was like, "what the hell?" I asked why I can't say that he gambled, which he wrote about in his own autobiography, but I can say that he is accused of writing a heretical text. Furthermore, if Gil called him controversial, why shouldn't I be able to say why he was controversial? (At this point I assumed it was Enkin who had moderated my comment, because Enkin doesn't know anything about anything, and I figured he didn't know what Kol Sakhal was.)

Gil tells me that actually he had known nothing about the gambling and the Kol Sakhal, until I brought it up. He meant that he was controversial because he wrote against kabbalah. I asked why that isn't lashon ha-ra. Gil didn't understand why it would be. I reminded him that many people think he is an apikores because he opposed kabbalah. Gil professed not to know what I was talking about.

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