Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Guest Post in which Hirhurim Gets Blasted

Wow. Lots of people are really, really mad at the author of Hirhurim --and not for the usual reasons either! Today the complaints are not about comment censoring or self righteousness but about the article he wrote about a new secular yeshiva. Because we are a lazy blogger, we are going to outsource the rest of this article to one of the bunches of people who sent me emails of complaint.

Also, we are going to assume you read the Hirhurim piece, in that otherwise this treatment will not make much sense.

A guest post by FBB

[The author of Hirhurim]  just redefined the words "arrogant" Money quote:
In the end, I can’t object to a secular yeshiva because Israeli society is so shallow that even a little religion, even if subversive, is a blessing. 
Who the hell does he think he is????

If it wasn't 3:00 am I would fisk him, but it is and I must sleep. There is so much wrong with his article...
  • If religious people study for devotional reasons, then its OK, but not for secular Jews?
  • and who sets the boundary anyway between secular and religious? Hirhurim's author?   
  • His distinction between learning to do mitzvot and learning for the sake of learning is bull.  His whole argument is about devaluing the non-holy flock of frum jews.  It seems he has fallen into the frummie habit of searching for reasons to show why non-frum jews are wrong/ bad.  makes me sick.  especially this line.. "While we cannot compare secular Jews to gentiles, the message about the religious act of Torah study remains relevant."    come on,, at least be honest.  that is exactly what you are doing.  you are basically saying that secular Jews are like gentiles.  well screw you,
  • When he says: "Teaching a sacred text to someone who rejects its authority is an act of sacrilege." you are judging a lot of people.  How the hell do you know how they relate to its authority.  I would wager large sums of money that most secular Israelis today don't reject its authority, but rather the authority of the Torah's self-appointed interpreters* and their black hats. 
  • He again claims that only the frum interpretation of Torah is the true one.  So if you study it from a different point of view (the non-approved version), then you are going to get it wrong. But, who watches the watchmen??  Isn't it fair to say that many frum rabbis have come up with a bunch of bull interpretations of Torah. You don't get to decide who has the final say on Torah, much as you would like to.  
  • Your fear of a "foreign textual sensibility"  just shows you subscribe to another stupid right-wing  shibboleth- that of the 'pure, unadulterated Jewish Judaism', which doesn't exist, never did and never will.   Only right-wing nutcase frummies appeal to this made-up ideal. Shame on you for pretending it has any basis in reality.  It is, fundamentally, a tool for control and power.  The fantasy/ideal says that 'we are the guardians of true torah and you, the little people, must beware the evil false secular / gentile interpretations as they will lead you astray.  Avoid all contamination or be damned for ever!!!'.  well, sorry, but we the little people don't buy that crap anymore.   Your line "This is not a matter of protecting rabbis from challenge but protecting the Talmud’s sanctity, open to all students who accept it as a sacred text"  is both inherently self-contradicting and a lie that reveals the truth: When you say 'students who accept it as a sacred text' what you really mean is 'who accept our interpretation of the sacred text'.  J'accuse
Oh, look, I was angry enough to stay awake to write all that.

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