Monday, April 18, 2016

Gordimer's defense of Pruzansky is as awful as you expected

Big weekend for Pruz-watchers, with both Gordimer and the RCA publishing statements in his defense.

First, le'ts deal with Gordimer and his despicable example of wagon-circling. His full-throated defense appeared on Cross Currents -a blog that is always first in line when a child molester, misogynists or rape apologist needs some help.

Helping a child abuser:

Helping an adulterer

Promoting mysoginy

Helping an Anti-Semite

Partial list of unsavory characters Cross Currents has assisted.
To which, or course, we can now add Steve Pruzansky.

We start our fisk of Gordimer with the title:

The Cowardly Smear Campaign Against Rabbi Pruzansky

Pruzansky is definitely facing a campaign, but why is the campaign against Pruzansky any more cowardly then the campaign against women or the campaign against Open Orthodoxy being led by Gordimer? And why is the Pruzansky campaign a "smear campaign"? All we did was publicize material written by Pruzansky. Is it smearing someone to republish his own ideas?

I am not defending the substance of his essays (here and here). For all I know, he could be dead wrong on every point, even though his presentation was based on studies and analyses – but they could be wrong as well.

As you'll see, Gordimer's defense exists in an alternative dimension of reality. The first clue that this is true is the assertion that Pruzansky's anti-woman screed was based on  studies and analyses" when in reality it was based on misinformation and slut-shaming he likely saw on a crappy right-wing website. 

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s recent writings about abstinence versus social permissiveness and promiscuity

Euphemism of the year!

...may have been worthy of a healthy rebuttal – I have no idea – 

Why don't you have any idea? If you're defending him, surely you've read the article in question.... No response? No opinion? You seem to have plenty of opinions about the ideas expressed by OO Rabbis. Why are you all Mr. I have No Idea when its your pal Pruzansky who is being questioned?

but what emerged instead was a hateful and shameful campaign of character assassination against Rabbi Pruzansky. Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) and its allies have, rather than address the substance of Rabbi Pruzansky’s essays, conducted an ugly smear crusade aimed at excluding him from community events, expelling him from the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), and even firing him from his congregation.

Meanwhile Gordimer, himself, has been running "an ugly smear crusade aimed at excluding" Open Orthodox Rabbis from rabbinic organizations and pulpit positions. Note the hypocrisy. If you think Pruzansky's ideas are bad, you can't touch him - and if you try, its a COWARDLY SMEAR CAMPAIGN. On the other hand, if your ideas are offensive to Gordimer, its perfectly OK for him to run you out of town.

The opposition to Rabbi Pruzansky’s recent essays has been dominated by toxic rhetoric; attempted rebuttals of the essays that did touch upon the substance were so loaded with insults (and distortions – please read the essays) that they overshadowed whatever material points were being argued. Some snippets:

Naturally, he shares only snippets, and the snippets he chooses to share are largely taken out of context, and not representative of the very solid, very learned, and, in some cases, very polite, essays that have been published in opposition to  Pruzansky's horrible piece.   

Rabbi Pruzansky’s essays were written in a moderate tone

Remember what I said about Gordimer dwelling in an alternate reality? Moderate tone? And what about the snide and condescending replies Pruzansky has given to his critics? He says they are , 'illiterate' 'borderline delusional', and 'shrieking feminists', among other choice terms.

At this point Gordimer detours into an attack on JOFA (they are just like Trump, see?) and a contributor to PORAT. We'll re-join him at the end

Agree with him or not, Rabbi Pruzansky is a man who has been unafraid to speak out.

Not a virtue. Sometimes, you need to be smart enough to keep your mouth shut. Especially when your ideas are as mean spirited and dumb as the ideas expressed by Pruzansky.

He backs up his writings with evidence and argues on the substance.

No he doesn't. He writes with a snide and obnoxious tones. He makes claims, with no back up. Often the "evidence" he supplies is stuff he invented or distorted. I've been documenting this behavior for years, and the full collection of my many rebuttals to Pruzansky;s nonsense can be found here.

He is a leader and a scholar. 

Why would you call him a scholar? Based on what?

A leader whom one can choose not to follow, and a scholar with whom one has the right to robustly disagree. But a leader and a scholar he is without question. The Orthodox community needs to cultivate more such rabbinic leaders and scholars, rather than assassinating them.

Sorry, but I strongly disagree. We need to assassinate, rather then cultivate,  rabbis who are misogynistic and mean-spirited and get their data, and, indeed, many of their arguments, from the Sean Hannity show. 

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