Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Some strife in the house of Cross?

Avi Shafran on 1/22/10: The evil speech of people who I do not like caused the earthquake in Haiti* (paraphrased)

Emanuel Feldman on 2/2/10: The wannabe contemporary prophets [DB: Ha!] who make confident pronouncements about His hidden ways would do well to consider what R. Yannai declares in Avot 4:14: It is not in our power to understand the tranquility of the wicked and the suffering of the righteous – to which Rashi adds, “The matter is not given over into our hands, but is in the hands of the Holy One blessed is He.” Even Moses, the greatest of all prophets – he who speaks with his creator face to face, and whom G-d describes as “in all My house he is the trustful one” – is not granted the answer to this ultimate question.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall at their editorial meetings.

* I'm aware Avi Shafram retreated from this position on January 27, but whether he meant it or not, his original article does lay some blame for the earthquake squarely at the feet of his political opponents. In paragraph 9, he tells us the 2004 tsunami, like the 2010 earthquake occurred during a time of year when there is a "particularly powerful merit... in “guarding one’s speech”; in paragraph 10 he asserts that "the Jewish world today is rife with “evil speech”; and in paragraph 11 he gives examples of "evil speech", all of which concerned criticism of his own positions, or his own leaders. His concluding paragraph connects the dots: "Had we only eyes like the Chofetz Chaim’s, we would discern that hatred and the misuse of the holy power of speech are not small evils. We would understand that they shake the very earth under our feet." So kol hakovodm, Avi,  for backpedaling five days later, but shame, shame, shame on you for saying it in the first place.

Search for more information about Avi's antics at 4torah.com.

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