Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Why do Frum Jews Purchase Anti-Orthodox and Anti-Israel Periodicals?

Posted on | June 23, 2009 | By Guest Contributor | 132 Comments

Why do Orthodox Jews purchase Orthodox bashing secular newspapers
and anti Orthodox Jewish newspapers?

Why do pro Israel Jews stubbornly insist on purchasing newspapers
that bash Israel relentlessly, even though there are good alternatives?

– Nathan

Comments

132 Responses to “Why do Frum Jews Purchase Anti-Orthodox and Anti-Israel Periodicals?”

  1. Jeff
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 2:05 am

    Why do orthodox and pro-Israel jews read blogs that bash frum and pro-Israel jews … ?!?

  2. Ezzie
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 2:09 am

    Possible answers:

    1) Lack of alternatives when it comes to other news.
    2) Wanting to see how others view things.
    3) Good to get out of the bubble sometimes. (See 1, 2)

  3. Mark
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 7:15 am

    Are you saying that people should only read things that they know ahead of time they’ll agree with. If that were the case, how would, for example, folks ever become baalei teshuvah? They would never have exposed themselves to ideas that they didn’t already agree with. Are you saying that once you become a baal teshuvah THEN close your mind to ideas that you don’t already agree with?

  4. Bob Miller
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 7:35 am

    1. We can be acculturated into the surrounding society far more than we’d like to admit.

    2. (This may relate to the above) We may want to check out the sports pages and comics.

    3. We may not have caught on that these media want to deceive us.

  5. Menachem Lipkin
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 7:55 am

    Can’t resist this old joke:

    A story is told of a Londoner, a Jewish man who was riding on the London Underground reading an Arab newspaper. A friend of his, who happened to be riding in the same underground car, noticed this strange phenomenon. Very upset, he approached the newspaper reader.

    “Moishe, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading an Arab newspaper?” Moishe replied, “I used to read the Jewish newspaper, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted, Israel being attacked, Jews disappearing through assimilation and intermarriage, Jews living in poverty. So I switched to the Arab newspaper. Now what do I find? Jews own all the banks, Jews control the media, Jews are all rich and powerful, Jews rule the world. The news is so much better!”

  6. Ellen L.
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 9:26 am

    Maybe the question is “why do we BUY anti-Jewish, anti-Israel periodicals”, thus financially supporting their publishers.

  7. DK
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 11:27 am

    Because frum Jews are generally inferior writers; secular Jewish newspapers are less bound by narrow dogma; the “anti-frum” newspapers aren’t nearly as “anti-frum” as many Orthodox Jews pretend.

    Don’t believe me?

    Put Davd, Mark, Ron, Steve, and 96 other educated baal teshuvahs in a room one at a time (with no one else looking).

    Put the following newspapers in front of them:

    !) Hamodia
    2) The Yated
    3) The Forward

    See which one most of them spend the most time reading, and notice that the Forward is much thinner than Hamodia.

  8. Ron Coleman
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

    Hm. I don’t think so, DK. I could read the Forward if I wanted to, but I really don’t. If I want general news, I can read a real newspaper. If I want news that relates to the Jewish world, I’m not uncomfortable with Hamodia at all, because as an educated person I can, by critical reading, tell what is spin or, more typically, omission, and then do my own follow up. There’s no reason I would start with the Forward or even go there, all things being equal, for that follow up, because my impression is that it is still mainly unsympathetic to religious sensibilities and I don’t trust it.

  9. Ron Coleman
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

    As to the main thesis of this post, whenever unspecified people are claimed to do some act, described in general terms, in an unknown frequency, I am reluctant to get too involved in responding. But I think there are good answers here.

    I question, however, the premise that there is anything inconsistent with being an orthodox Jew and being critical of the State of Israel.

  10. Bob Miller
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Today, journalists in the general media routinely:
    Lie, editorialize in news articles, do incomplete research if any, intentionally leave key facts out, make no attempt to back up their prejudices with facts…I could go on. Virtually the whole enterprise has been hijacked to serve political ends. The papers we grew up to venerate are as guilty as the rest.

    Written style is not the main problem.

  11. Bob Miller
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

    By the way, the above is not to suggest that “our” periodicals can’t improve. It’s to point out that there is no journalistic “gold standard” anymore in the outside world.

  12. leonard oberstein
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    There is always media bias and has been since newspapers were invented. With the imminent demise of many periodicals we will lose investigative journalism that uncovers crooks in political office, we will be left with bloggers who can put anything they want on the internet with no credibility or assurance of factuality. Better a liberal or conservative newspaper with biased news than a blogger who makes up the facts to suit his fantasies.

  13. ross
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

    When I was in a BT yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel for four years, I didn’t see newspapers (I had no interest in the Jerusalem Post), and although it was quite a different experience, it was great not being bombarded by THE MEDIA: Conflicting ideas, unsubstantiated rumors and theories and predictions, going around in circles, etc, etc. Looking back, I don’t think I missed out not knowing what was going on. It was a real mind clearer! And when something really big happened, I knew about it because others were talking. Ditch the news! Of course, this is an unpopular opinion, the contentness of not being, ahem, “INFORMED”, but it has much to be said about it, and I still shut off the news every Elul. Ahhh…

  14. Gary
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

    I miss the NY Sun

    I don’t think that there is a better source to find out about the occurrence of world events than the NY Times.

    After reading a story in the Times or any newspaper, one can always consult other sources for a further analysis.

    We should be aware of how our actions, no matter how necessary and halachically sound might be perceived as a curiosity, or worse, by the secular media. We can do these things in a more low key matter to avoid attention.

    A particular example was the ruling about wigs containing hair from certain countries. The rabbis who ruled that the wigs were prohibited for use could have “invited the public to bring the wigs to ‘XYZ location’ for halachic disposal” rather than arranging a public bonfire. Same result, different general public perception!

  15. Bob Miller
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    Leonard Oberstein wrote above, “With the imminent demise of many periodicals we will lose investigative journalism that uncovers crooks in political office”

    We will also lose the other kind of journalism that puts crooks into political office.

  16. Ron Coleman
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

    Did any of the “rabbis who ruled that the wigs were prohibited for use” actually “arrange” for a public bonfire?

  17. DK
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

    I miss the NY Sun

    Lipsky’s longtime endorsement of the Iraq War kinda killed support.

    Social-democrats were soooo vindicated for ejecting him from the Forward.

  18. Bob Miller
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

    The stigma is on being a social democrat not on being bounced by them.

  19. DK
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

    The stigma is on being a social democrat not on being bounced by them

    Neocons need to learn their place, and stop behaving like the arrogant Trostykites they are.

  20. DK
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

    The stigma is on being a social democrat

    How’s that unregulated free market workin’ for ya, Bob?

  21. Steve Mantz
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

    The NY Times is the one of the only ways to keep track of political events related to current economic issues.

  22. Steg (dos iz nit der šteg)
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

    Not all Orthodox Jews have the same evaluation as to which news-sources are “pro” or “anti” Israel, Orthodoxy, etc.

  23. Bob Miller
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

    “How’s that unregulated free market workin’ for ya, Bob?”

    I’ve never seen one in my life. We have lived in a “mixed economy” for many decades.

    The real estate market and the related financial sectors, for example, were recently battered by a combination of:

    1. Government pressure on lending institutions to grant shaky mortgages to favored minorities

    2. Lending institutions caving in to this pressure, and later learning to like it (they assumed Fannie and Freddie would protect them)

    3. Greedy individuals and organizations in both the government and private sectors exploiting the public through shaky loans, questionable derivatives, etc.

    4. Low-income home buyers who never properly considered what they were getting into

    5. Securities buyers who never properly considered what they were getting into

  24. Rabbi Shmuel Simenowitz
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

    “da mah l’hosheev” It never hurts to see the opposition’s POV either for the facts asserted or to see how the bias plays out.

    And yes, much of the writing in the frum world is bland (to be charitable) but d’varim hayotzim min halev . . words that come from the heart have the power to penetrate the heart. We subscribe to Yated and if nothing else, it’s a bit of light reading for the shabbos table. As a writer myself, I sometimes cringe at some of the stylistic oddities found in heimishe writing but I’ll live.

  25. DK
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

    Bob Miller, your points are correct, but they do not address the role of oil in all of this, nor the role government needs to take in mass transit and a gas tax.

  26. Gary
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

    Ron Coleman wrote: “Did any of the “rabbis who ruled that the wigs were prohibited for use” actually “arrange” for a public bonfire?”

    Ron, I have no citations of such an order being given by a specific rabbi.

    However, the burning events in many cities were large enough for community leaders, including rabbis, to be aware of them and to stop them. In fact, they should have anticipated incidents of this type and prevented them from taking place publicly.

    The religious community’s leaders are not an unsophisticated lot; they should know that scrutiny, for reasons of curiosity or criticism, is inevitable.

    [One objection from the general public, and a concern of my own, was that the wigs could have been donated to cancer patients. I was informed that doing so would constitute a benefit from idol worship, and would not be allowed.]

    I’m not taking issue with the ruling or the method of disposal. I contend that it could have been done in a low-key manner with the same results. Community leaders should have known before the wig-burning events what Ellen Horowitz wrote on Israel National News after the fact: “I am concerned about the sacrilege that takes place when the BBC and other worldwide media outlets man-handle the story.”

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/3728

  27. Bob Miller
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

    DK wrote, “Bob Miller, your points are correct, but they do not address the role of oil in all of this, nor the role government needs to take in mass transit and a gas tax.”

    In fact, they do not address most things, only one thing.

  28. Nathan
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

    First, I want to thank BEYOND BT for publishing my question.

    Second, I am surprised by the number of people who responded so quickly.

    Third, I stopped buying THE NEW YORK TIMES in 1982 because of their relentlessly unfair coverage of Israel. In the 27 years then, they did NOTHING to make me regret that decision.

    Fourth, I hear Jews say that there are no alternatives to THE NEW YORK TIMES. That is false, for many reasons. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL is an excellent newspaper that has three times the circulation of the NYT, and was pro-Israel the last time I read it.

    If there was a newspaper that portrayed you or your children in a grossly unfair and negative manner, you would NEVER want anyone to read that newspaper; yet Jews continue to read THE NEW YORK TIMES, because we do not love the Jews who live in Israel as much as we love our children and ourselves.

    Jews who read THE NEW YORK TIMES routinely tolerate attacks on Israel that they would NEVER tolerate if those attacks were aimed directly as them personally or at their children or at the people they love.

    THE JEWISH WEEK, published by UJA Federation, has incessantly and relentlessly portrayed Orthodox Jews and Orthodox Judaism in the most negative light possible for the past three decades, yet Orthodox Jews continue to allow it into their homes!

    For about ten years, there was only one Orthodox Rabbi in THE JEWISH WEEK, and the only thing he ever did was to attack Orthodox Jews and Orthodox Judaism, every week for ten years, without even a single exception.

    In a recent issue, THE JEWISH WEEK gave free publicity to an obscure pro-adultery website that was allegedly created by and for Orthodox Jews, exclusively. This evil web site was given free publicity on page 3 of THE JEWISH WEEK, and page 3 is one of the most important pages for any newspaper. The origins of this web site are untraceable, and I suspect (but can not prove) that this website was created by THE JEWISH WEEK as part of their efforts to bash Orthodox Jews.

    Amazingly, THE JEWISH WEEK never criticizes: Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reconstruction Judaism, Humanistic Judaism, secular Jews, intermarried Jews, or Gay or Lesbian Jews, nor does it portray them in a negative light, ever.

    Several years ago, a Reform Rabbi in New Jersey was convicted of murdering his wife. I do not remember THE JEWISH WEEK publicizing that story at all. If an Orthodox Rabbi would have done that, it would have been on page one of THE JEWISH WEEK, and not just once.

    One issue of THE JEWISH WEEK claimed that Orthodox Jews and Reform Jews are both equally likely to intermarry with Gentiles. Even the Reform Jews are not stupid enough to believe that.

    I would like to see 1,000 Orthodox Jews call the offices of THE JEWISH WEEK and cancel their subscriptions, even if their subscriptions are free.

  29. FFB
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

    DK,

    “Trotskyism” is a Stalinist, anti-Semitic term which you wouldn’t want to use – unless, of course, you’d refer to Orthodoxy as Khomeiniism.

  30. Steve Brizel
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

    On Hirhurim, R Gil Student recently posted a rather scathing review as to the contents of a recent, but all too standard issue of the Jewish Week. My comments there were a survey of all of the Jewish media, Orthodox and heterodox, which somehow may have forgotten to include a comment about the Forward, but which I stand on as to its substance as to the rest of the Jewish media.

    The Forward, IMO, is a LW secular newspaper that includes a mix of predicable LW opinion, culture and sops to what passes for Jewish hipster culture, which was just panned in the latest issue of Commentary. The Forward is even more anti Orthodox than the Jewish Week, except for the predicatble praise for LW MO and Chabad . The Forward mistakenly assumes that the political agenda of the Jewish community should be the far left sectors of the Democratic Party and the causes that dominate the same and its adherents in New York, Washingon, Boston and the West Coast.

    We considered either the Yated or Hamodia and went with Yated. I don’t agree with some of its editor’s well written editorials, but they are always a passionate advocacy piece for Torah Judaism. Malcom Hoenlein’s views and excellent coverage of American-Israeli relations are in every week’s issue. The letters to the editor are an inside view into what is bothering the Charedi world. Some of the Divrei Torah are worth reading. The center of the paper is what I call the “Page 6 of the Charedi world” with its pictures of Charedi Gdolim at Simchas, etc. FWIW, if you want to see Jewish continuity as defined by Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim, the Yated is a great place to start. The one drawback of the Yated is that women are treated as if they are devoid of any innately spiritual voice.

  31. DK
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

    FFB,

    The reality is that there was a Trotsky set at CCNY back in the day, and some of their expansive revolutionary fervor survived the Neocon move to the Right. This can be seen in the fantasy that all people really want Democracy, and will rise up and break their chains (and become allies with Israel) if only there is intervention.

    Turns out, that is the same stuff one may put in his pipe as a Workers Paradise.

    Read “The New York Intellectuals” for a history and the transformation from New Left to Neocons.

  32. DK
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

    FWIW, if you want to see Jewish continuity as defined by Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim, the Yated is a great place to start.

    What if you want news, Steve. Still going with Yated?

    which was just panned in the latest issue of Commentary.

    Anything panning starting a war for a bogus reason and ivory tower naivete about what Muslims really want in that there issue?

  33. Nathan
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

    Rabbi Avigdor Miller ZYA, at one of his famous Thursday night public lectures, explained that a newspaper called THE FORWARD was largely responsible for persuading European Jews to abandon mitzvah observance completely.

    THE FORWARD accomplished this by relentlessly propagandizing against the Torah and mitzvot.

    So why do Orthodox/Frum Jews purchase THE FORWARD?

  34. David Linn
    June 23rd, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

    I think there is a big difference between secular papers with biases on “jewish issues” and nominally jewish papers with “anti-orthodox” bents.
    DK, the Forward seems to equate Judaism with jewish or yiddish culture. Also, many of the topics covered (and not hard news stories) are clearly not the type of things with which an observant Jew would be comfortable. I would prefer to get my general news from a straight news outlet and my jewish or israel based news from israeli sources, online and otherwise, and from religious periodicals. I agree that the writing is often inferior and clearly has a slant but I’m a big boy and can account for that.

  35. DK
    June 24th, 2009 @ 2:19 am

    Nathan, the Zealots blame many things on the Forward that were not even the Forward’s doing. For instance, the Forward has been fingered for routing Rabbi Joseph Jacobs attempt to organize an independent rabbinical kashrut organization that hit business resistance in the 1880s, and was finished even in name by 1895. Considering that the Forward did not exist until 1897, this is simply nonsense. I had to clean up a Wikipedia entry on this. It’s a rather widespread lie. One of many. And of course, nothing is mentioned of the Forward’s angry eulogy at Rabbi Jacobs’ enemies when he died n 1902, nor its outrage when his funeral was disrupted.

    I’m guessing that sort of stuff wasn’t included in the Rabbi Miller lecture you heard, Nathan.

    David, Ron, Steve, I am curious how you deal with the quality of the frum newspapers. It is one of those things that I eventually couldn’t stand.

    The Forward always felt like home for me, and well, has been home for generations of my family. But as Orthodox Jews, I don’t really expect you to feel that. But I do feel that objectively, it has 1) an illustrious American history that no other ethnic periodical has to the same degree. 2) It is usually better written than any frum or any other American Jewish newspaper, and most importantly 3) it casts a critical eye that most ethnic periodicals are unwilling to do.

    This last point is the most important one, as most ethnic periodicals are either often cheerleading, or screaming at other communities from a position of unremitting victimology.

    Orthodox readers sometimes seem only aware of Forward stories critical of elements or persons in the Orthodox community. But unlike, say, the Jewish Week or the other Federation papers, the Forward will go after liberal and secular groups and ideas as well.

    The self-congratulatory tone often present in frum and Liberal American Jewish periodicals is not particularly challenging. These are community newspapers, and are only watchdogs towards others outside of their community. Well…that’s only half the job, at best.

    Cahan cast the Forward in a very Litvish (not yeshvish) tradition of constant rethinking and reevaluating. Book after article is written about the Forward. But I think the inwardly critical eye is often glossed over by the casual reader or historian. But that is part of what made it so unique and significant.

  36. Charlie Hall
    June 24th, 2009 @ 7:34 am

    I think there are more issues here, some of which have barely been discussed:

    (1) How is it that the quality of a media outlet now depends not on the reliability of its information, but whether the information fits with our preconceived ideas? For example, we may not like the fact that a media outlet editorializes against Jewish settlements in the West Bank, but the fact is that such settlements have been opposed by nine US Presidents and there is no country I’m aware of other than Israel that does not hold that they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention (which ironically was created partly in reaction to the treatment of Jews by the Nazis). And there have been a lot of goings-on in the frum world that *should* cause us embarrassment, including financial and abuse scandals.

    (2) Why has political discourse in the Orthodox world degenerated to the level of a right wing radio talk show, often using either character assassination or easily debunked facts? I just received a horrible email from an Orthodox group that could have been written by the nastiest Republican political operative.
    And we’ve seen some such debunked “facts” in this very thread.

    I write this as someone who regularly defends Israel from the perspective of a religious Jew on a well known left wing internet forum.

    P.S.: There is a person in my community who writes for the *Forward*, someone who is a frum Republican. I won’t identify the person because I don’t think politics affects that person’s reporting at all. Should it?

  37. Bob Miller
    June 24th, 2009 @ 9:21 am

    Charlie, you must agree that left wing talk radio is higher on venom and lower on facts than the right wing shows—that is, if you’ve actually listened to both.

  38. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 10:05 am

    It seems to me to be a bit illogical to write off any newspaper which is considered to be of major influence, simply because it seems to have a bias. Even if it does, one should try to obtain clear information.

    please do not portray a newspaper selection as being somehow less frum. if you consider it politicaly unacceptable, that is a totally valid feeling and/or opinion to show others. thanks.

  39. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 10:12 am

    The Forward, IMO, is a LW secular newspaper that includes a mix of predicable LW opinion, culture and sops to what passes for Jewish hipster culture, which was just panned in the latest issue of Commentary. The Forward is even more anti Orthodox than the Jewish Week, except for the predicatble praise for LW MO and Chabad . The Forward mistakenly assumes that the political agenda of the Jewish community should be the far left sectors of the Democratic Party and the causes that dominate the same and its adherents in New York, Washingon, Boston and the West Coast.

    Great, great. just great. your grasp of popular lingo astounds me. My suggestion is that we simply do whatever takes to obtain information from as wide a variety of sources as possible.

  40. Bob Miller
    June 24th, 2009 @ 10:45 am

    It’s becoming harder to know what material in periodicals is actually information. Unless the sources are carefully selected to be diverse, they will reflect one prominent political/cultural viewpoint. Guess which one. (Hint: not ours).

    How many people really want to read anything that challenges their core beliefs? I can imagine DK perusing the National Review—in my dreams! And if the content of a periodical consistently challenges the traditional Jewish viewpoint, reading it really does have a downside.

  41. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    Just to answer, my underlying goal is not to challenge or to uphold my core beliefs. my main goal is to find out what happened yesterday…whether China will keep lending the US money, whether the stimulus plan is working, what iran said and did, what the UN is doing, etc etc.

    I do understand your post and ideas though. thanks.

  42. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 10:58 am
  43. Bob Miller
    June 24th, 2009 @ 11:20 am

    I use various sources already, but am still troubled by the problem of bias that now exists even in what is offered as straight news. Statistics can be fudged, too, sometimes for positive reasons (e.g., maintaining public morale) and sometimes for the opposite (e.g., inflating the image of a policymaker or justifying a government action).

  44. DK
    June 24th, 2009 @ 11:33 am

    Bob Miller wrote,

    ? I can imagine DK perusing the National Review—in my dreams!

    Only perusing the National Review, Bob Miller? I’ve been PRAISED in the National Review.

    Read it and eat your words:
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTRhYTAxOWNkYzU4N2UwM2MzYmZjY2Q5ZmNmMTIyZTA=

  45. FFB
    June 24th, 2009 @ 11:47 am

    DK
    “3) it casts a critical eye that most ethnic periodicals are unwilling to do.”

    Except when it came to the Stalinist purges. It took Kahan ages to admit to the evils of Soviet Russia.

  46. DK
    June 24th, 2009 @ 12:01 pm
  47. Bob Miller
    June 24th, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

    “Only perusing the National Review, Bob Miller? I’ve been PRAISED in the National Review.”

    An article on their blog cited an article on yours. This is off-topic.

  48. DK
    June 24th, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

    Bob Miller, maybe you should stop ascribing actions and motives that are not true and you can not know anyway unto others. That’s what is truly off topic here. And you have done this habitually. It’s just weird.

  49. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

    “Only perusing the National Review, Bob Miller? I’ve been PRAISED in the National Review.”

    An article on their blog cited an article on yours. This is off-topic.

    “Off-topic”? :-) I thionk it comes under the heading of general miscellany which is generally ok for inclusion. thanks.

  50. Bob Miller
    June 24th, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

    The topic in question was his reading of conservative articles.

  51. DK
    June 24th, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    The topic in question was his reading of conservative articles.

    Who died and made you both king and prophet?

  52. Ron Coleman
    June 24th, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

    Oh, it’s entirely a legitimate response by DK.

    DK, you asked what I thought about the “quality” of Hamodia. I think the main newspaper section is pretty good — pretty much Who, What, When and Where, subject to the limitations that we’re all aware of. The grammar and usage are fine, the style is unremarkable but probably should be.

    Wrong answer?

  53. FFB
    June 24th, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    Sorry, I made a mistake. It was Bolshevist and Leninist excesses that Cahan shamelessly defended. “Russia is ruled by a dictatorship of the Communist Party… it’s a necessity… no great matter…”

    When Menshevik leader R, Abramovitch told him of the Bolshevist brutalities, Cahan raised his hands to his ears and shouted, “Don’t destroy my illusions, I don’t want to hear!” (World of our Fathers)

  54. DK
    June 24th, 2009 @ 2:00 pm
  55. Charlie Hall
    June 24th, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

    Back in 2007 I was quoted in the *Tehran Times*, a newspaper which describes itself as “an international media outlet to export the ideas of the revolution”. (Yup, that revolution.) They had picked up a Reuters article that described some of my research. They didn’t even censor out the mention of Yeshiva University, my employer!

  56. Bob Miller
    June 24th, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

    “Who died and made you both king and prophet?”

    If you are indeed a faithful reader of National Review, some good may eventually result.

  57. Albany Jew
    June 24th, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    Speaking of settlements (I believe it was Charlie Hall above) where is the mainstream media when it comes to how well the dismantling of settlements worked in Gaza? Everytime they bash the settlements I would like to see some more evenhandedness possibly with a discussion on the events following the so called disengagement. By the way, although it is a constant state department theme to bash the settlements, presidents such as Johnson and Reagan have also said that it would be crazy for Israel to go back to pre-1967 borders.

  58. DK
    June 24th, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    #54. Meant page 50.

  59. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

    How many people really want to read anything that challenges their core beliefs? I can imagine DK perusing the National Review—in my dreams! And if the content of a periodical consistently challenges the traditional Jewish viewpoint, reading it really does have a downside.

    You’re criticizing someone for being willing to challenge their own core beliefs…then in the next sentence saying that people shouldn’t read anything which challenges cerain core beliefs.

    Core beliefs can mean many things. I agree that I would not read anything which contradicted, slandered, or in any way maligned Judaism. however, you seem to be referring to media outlets who have alternate viewpoints on purely social and/or political issues.

  60. Bob Miller
    June 24th, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

    I’m saying that it’s a natural tendency not to be so open-minded about reading material challenging one’s core beliefs. I’m also saying that if these are Torah-based core beliefs, this natural tendency can be of positive value.

    The prevailing social and political beliefs reflected in the media are often diametrically opposed to Torah values.

  61. DK
    June 24th, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

    1) I’m saying that

    2) If you are indeed a faithful reader of National Review

    The first is not what you said it all. The second is not what you accused me of not being, and nor what I claimed I am. Never described myself as a “faithful” reader, Bob. I said I “peruse.” You are being blatantly dishonest and unreasonable. Are you kidding even yourself? You just won’t retract no matter what will you? Well, why don’t you just at least drop it instead of adding more lies on top of an already unseemly heap?

  62. FFB
    June 24th, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

    Wonderful, DK. How many Jews – people – have been killed by then? Talk about being open-minded and having your beliefs challenged.

  63. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

    FFB
    June 24th, 2009 16:43 61

    Wonderful, DK. How many Jews – people – have been killed by then? Talk about being open-minded and having your beliefs challenged.

    Would you like to know how many Jews, and people, have been killed by various regimes through various ideologies throughout history?

    In 1923, Marxism still appeared to have some small slim chance for being a force for social change, though that was an illusion. this seemed to become even more of a seeming possibility 6 years later, withe coming of the Depression in the US.

  64. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

    (the first para in the note above was a quote; forgot to continue the italic tags.)

  65. Bob Miller
    June 24th, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

    “I said I ‘peruse'”

    What you said, DK, was that the NR blog quoted yours. You left your actual reading of the NR magazine, if any, entirely to our imagination.

    Put your anger to better use.

  66. FFB
    June 24th, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

    “Would you like to know how many Jews, and people, have been killed by various regimes through various ideologies throughout history?”

    I know that. What I’d like to know is how many Jews supported and defended those killer regimes.

  67. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

    “Would you like to know how many Jews, and people, have been killed by various regimes through various ideologies throughout history?”

    I know that. What I’d like to know is how many Jews supported and defended those killer regimes.

    Plenty; not just communist regimes, but others as well.

  68. FFB
    June 24th, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

    Religious Jews, or anti-religious Jews who supported and defended those killer regimes in the hopes of squashing Yiddishkeit?

  69. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

    So in the interests of supporting Yiddishkeit, achdus, and many other things…relentlessly attacks an entire group of Jews in the abstract based on the fact that they hold different political beliefs…in fact defining them only according to whether they fall into a group with differing political beliefs.

    I suggest that this might fall into territory which might perhaps be described as adhominem arguments, as well as straw man arguments.

  70. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

    REVISION of previous. (sorry)

    is your comment meant as a rebuttal to a group of Jews in the abstract, based on the fact that they hold different political beliefs…in fact defining them only according to whether they fall into a group with differing political beliefs.

    I suggest that this might fall into territory which might perhaps be described as ad hominem arguments, as well as straw man arguments.

    anyway, not sure what the original question was, but I think that perhaps maybe we’re getting away from it slightly. thanks.

  71. FFB
    June 24th, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

    Whom are you talking to, Steve?

  72. Steve Mantz
    June 24th, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

    ok, never mind.

  73. Nathan
    June 24th, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

    I want know the reasons why THE FORWARD and THE JEWISH WEEK relentlessly bash Orthodox Jews and Orthodox Judaism.

    I have my theories, but first I want to hear what others have to say.

  74. FFB
    June 24th, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

    Well, why do the unorthodox in general bash Orthodox? Here’s my opinion. For 100 years they kept saying it can’t be done, especially in America, yet here we are, alive and kicking B”H, graduating from Ivy League with yarmulkas, running for VP, raising large and beautiful families. What have we lost by remaining true to torah and what have they gained by throwing it off? They’re just plotzing from jealousy.

  75. malka
    June 25th, 2009 @ 4:08 am

    I like to read the Jewish press. Eventhough frum papers don’t have what secular papers have, I still like the Jewish press because it tells the news like it is, plus it have great divrei Torah and inspirational articles.

  76. tzirelchana
    June 25th, 2009 @ 5:44 am

    I for one don’t think the Jewish Week is so bad.A lot of the higher ups there are orthodox and I find some interesting stuff, sometimes off the wall, but if we orthodox have something good going they will acknowledge it. The problem is that we tolerate sex offenders in our schools and outsiders have to blow the whistle.

  77. Steve Mantz
    June 25th, 2009 @ 9:11 am

    Religious Jews, or anti-religious Jews who supported and defended those killer regimes in the hopes of squashing Yiddishkeit?

    This seems to be veering into the area of making generalizations about entire groups of Jews in the abstract. I am, not comfortable doing so, no matter how well-founded the reason.

    There are many areas in need of improvement which we as Jews must try to reflect upon and to try to do better in. they are not unique to any single group of Jews, or to Jews of any paticular political affiliation. Thanks.

  78. Steve Mantz
    June 25th, 2009 @ 9:12 am

    I for one don’t think the Jewish Week is so bad.A lot of the higher ups there are orthodox and I find some interesting stuff, sometimes off the wall, but if we orthodox have something good going they will acknowledge it. The problem is that we tolerate various offenders in our schools and outsiders have to blow the whistle.

    Agree…110%.

  79. Gary
    June 25th, 2009 @ 9:33 am

    “Religious Jews, or anti-religious Jews who supported and defended those killer regimes in the hopes of squashing Yiddishkeit?”

    Jews of different “stripes” have sided with killer regimes, under the mistaken belief that “they don’t really mean that they are coming for ME. After all, I am a good citizen of ______.” Sometimes this was done by one group of Jews to gain an advantage over other Jews. At other times, this was done by Jews in general who felt that their history of contributing to a society would protect them. Regardless of motive, this was not the right way for the Jews to act.

    Digressing slightly, we should be wary of alliances with the bellicose Muslim bashers of today. You don’t have to scratch too deeply to find the anti-Semitism that some of them have expressed. They may want our help in their campaigns against Islam, but there is a real risk they would turn on us as our “friends” have done throughout history.

    In a recent column, http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/obama_holocaust_museum/2009/06/10/223863.html, Reform rabbi Dr. Morton H. Pomerantz spoke against appeasing the perpetrators of terrorism in the Muslim world. He cited the crusades as historical proof that the “west” has been fighting the good fight against Muslim encroachment for centuries. Talk about revisionist history! Many of our Tisha B’Av Kinnot were written in response to the slaughter of Jews by the very crusaders hailed by this rabbi.

  80. C.Weiss
    June 25th, 2009 @ 10:42 am

    “even though there are good alternatives?

    Perhaps the “alternatives” aren’t so good. It’s acknowledged that NPR (National Public Radio) often slants their on-air op-eds towards the “radical chic” but they also delve into a story with much greater depth than the hyperactive superficiality of, for example, 1010wins.

    A trade off.

  81. FFB
    June 25th, 2009 @ 10:53 am

    Steve, you claimed “plenty of Jews” supported and defended killer regimes and I challenged it with a question whether any of them were religious. Now, instead of substantiating your claim or taking it back, you wax liberal about “making generalizations about entire groups of Jews in the abstract”. Are you trying to gloss over the fact that the Jewish perps of the vicious Soviet purges and anti-religious persecutions were ALL anti-religious? Foul!

  82. Steve Mantz
    June 25th, 2009 @ 11:00 am

    Steve, you claimed “plenty of Jews” supported and defended killer regimes and I challenged it with a question whether any of them were religious. Now, instead of substantiating your claim or taking it back, you wax liberal about “making generalizations about entire groups of Jews in the abstract”. Are you trying to gloss over the fact that the Jewish perps of the vicious Soviet purges and anti-religious persecutions were ALL anti-religious? Foul!

    Your answer is very inappropriate. I have no desire to enter into an argument with you on this. I didn’t know that you prefer to not acknowledge other’ concerns when directly expressed. I will keep this in mind for future discussions.

    Plenty of Jews have supported plenty of negative practices. There are plenty of things which our own US Govt has done. are you ready to admit that? no? Didn’t think so. that’s why i don’t want to get into an argument with you. You obviously have no hesitation in disregarding other’s concerns, or in blithely ignoring their statements, and not giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  83. Steve Mantz
    June 25th, 2009 @ 11:01 am

    Now, instead of substantiating your claim or taking it back, you wax liberal about “making generalizations about entire groups of Jews in the abstract”. </i.

    There is nothing “liberal” about respecting other groups of Jews. Your tone of conservative self-congratulation, as usual, is out of place here.

  84. Steve
    June 25th, 2009 @ 11:10 am

    Are you trying to gloss over the fact that the Jewish perps of the vicious Soviet purges and anti-religious persecutions were ALL anti-religious?

    Wow.

    Are you claiming some ideological vinidcation for conservatism from the fact that hundreds or thousands of Jews were persecuted or killed by other Jews, all of whom obviously did not idenify with religious Judaism.

    in what way is that relevant to a discussion on American political issues and various debates between Democrats and Republicans?

    Wow

  85. DK
    June 25th, 2009 @ 11:21 am

    FFB,

    Are you trying to gloss over the fact that all the rabbis who banned fleeing Europe–some even were ultra-Orthodox?

    David and Mark,

    If you notice, Steve reacted to the tone of “self-congratulation” that I did, except you declined to post my comment.

    Maybe when more than one person is inspired to say the same thing, it’s because there is something to it.

    Religious Jews, or anti-religious Jews who supported and defended those killer regimes in the hopes of squashing Yiddishkeit?

    Actually, there was an interesting case in the 90s where a secular Jew in Queens recognized a brutal Kapo in Brooklyn from his concentration camp. Of course, the community insisted it wasn’t possible, since the accused was a frum Jew.

    Maybe frum Jews don’t ever try to “wipe out” Judaism, but there are definitely cases where they have helped wipe out Jews.

  86. PL
    June 25th, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Steve,

    You postings tend to segue into the personal, rather than discussion of ideas. The comment(s) you requested be deleted were a case in point. Ending your posts in “thanks” does little to mitigate the tone.

    I was willing to give you a pass in my mind, thinking you might have personal reason for the passion behind the tone, but reading the pot call the kettle (FFB) black is interesting.

    Remember that ideas are best discussed in a depersonalized manner, absent the “wow”s and other assorted insertions.

  87. Steve
    June 25th, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    PL. Ok. You’re right. Thanks.

    I am willing to concede the point, mainly to end this unbelievable exchange, which is veering further and further off course. thanks.

  88. Steve
    June 25th, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

    by the way, I did not end a single one of my comments to FFB in “thanks.” however, thanks for taking a small attempt to be positive, turning it into something else, and making light of one poster’s personal style and sincere comments.

  89. Albany Jew
    June 25th, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

    Just had a couple of links coincidently sent to me from the on-line Forward where they have recent articles that glorify Jews that raise and eat pork. Real nice work.

  90. Steve
    June 25th, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

    “Would you like to know how many Jews, and people, have been killed by various regimes through various ideologies throughout history?”

    …what I’d like to know is how many Jews supported and defended those killer regimes.

    …[were they] religious Jews, or anti-religious Jews who supported and defended those killer regimes in the hopes of squashing Yiddishkeit?

    Hi FFB.

    here’s an example for you which I think is relevant. oh wait, maybe it isn’t… unless, of coruse do you know of any religious Jews who support the Republican Party? :-)

    http://news.aol.com/article/nixon-and-graham-on-tape/543669

    Just kidding. I know that there are almost no Jews support this kind of rhetoric. but I’m only saying that there are some legtimate concerns with opliticians on both sides of aisle, no matter what your stance or ideology may be.

  91. C.Weiss
    June 25th, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

    Steve,

    No doubt that Pres Nixon had antipathy towards Jews. It probably irritated a couple of liberal-leaning types in April 1994 in the wake of Nixon’s death when Yitzchak Rabin said he was “the best friend Israel ever had”.

  92. Steve
    June 25th, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

    C. Weiss,

    True, it probably did irritate those liberal types; probably because they felt that Nixon was probably not “the best friend Israel ever had”. for the reasons for this, see the link below.

    http://news.aol.com/article/nixon-and-graham-on-tape/543669

  93. PL
    June 25th, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    Steve,

    I have no problem with your personal style and sincere comments. Even if I had, I would have no business stating so here.

    The issue was with the subtle put-downs as a means of debating, and since it appears that you are sincere and may not have realized how you are coming across, I made mention of the issue. My noting the “thanks” was not a mockery, but a note that one doesn’t mitigate the other.

    BeyondBT always has some really great debate, even heated ones. Although I am usually more of a reader than a participant, I’m always dismayed at the rare times when the debating gets personal. Especially so when it is apparent the debaters are sincere, and don’t realize that the written word can come across very differently than verbal communication.

    I too, err in this area, and then fail to clarify sufficiently. It appeared that I was making light of your style, when I intended to sincerely make a point. You, I, and probably all bloggers can stand to gain from increased awareness of the written-communication impact.

  94. Ron Coleman
    June 25th, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

    I’m with DK on Cahan. If indeed Cahan abandoned the Bolsheviks by 1923, that puts him way ahead of virtually any fellow traveler including the vast majority of those former pinkos who founded neoconservatism.

  95. Gary
    June 25th, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

    Our two most popular recent posts are very much connected: Here we have one that discusses newspapers, and just a few days ago we wrapped up discussion on a post about a dog!

  96. FFB
    June 26th, 2009 @ 12:27 am

    DK, I think we’re talking past each other, you from a general POV and I from a religious one, but I’ll try once more. A brutal Kapo in Brooklyn is not “plenty of Jews”. Neturei Karta are not “plenty of Jews”. The Yevsekes WERE “plenty of Jews”. And the horrors they perpetrated in no way compare to “all the rabbis who banned fleeing Europe”.

    I feel foolish apologizing for our torah giants when their “error” was used in such a despicable comparison, but at no time were the bulk of European Jewry ready, willing, AND able to flee Europe. The rabbis were not prophets. They knew that fleeing means abandoning Yiddishkeit; they did NOT know what was in store for them in Europe. But again, who DID know? They acted according to torah to the best of their knowledge. And you know what? The 6,000,000 kedoshim are in gan eden forever and ever while 6,000,000 American Jews are lost to us. I know it means nothing to you – that’s why we speak past each other. It’s all a matter of priorities.

    Ron, I wasn’t talking politics here, I was talking yiddishkeit. Cahan was a Jew, for heaven’s sake! And he most probably wasn’t a tinok shenishba either. He defended communism knowing that it killed his brothers and outlawed the religion of his people. Ron, this was not your typical ignorant American assimilated Jew. He sided with murderers against his own family for YEARS. How low can your expectations go for such a man?

    As for Steve, his comments seem to be above my pay grade altogether. Can anyone explain to me what he’s been trying to tell me?

  97. DK
    June 26th, 2009 @ 1:06 am

    I feel foolish apologizing for our torah giants when their “error” was used in such a despicable comparison, but at no time were the bulk of European Jewry ready, willing, AND able to flee Europe.

    We are talking about those who forbade Jews to flee. This includes rabbis who–unlike R. Wasserman–made sure to save themselves at the last minute.

    The rabbis were not prophets.

    But some acted as though they were, promising everything would be okay. And at least one major figure at the time did say it was better to die. “At least here we will dies as Jews,” said the Torah giant of the time.

    The 6,000,000 kedoshim are in gan eden forever and ever while 6,000,000 American Jews are lost to us.

    I don’t see assimilation and intermarriage as comparable to genocide. You are correct. I consider it a form of Holocaust denial, frankly.

    However, as we do know, many ultra-Orthodox rabbis did see it as similar, and helped get their adherents to gan eden early rather than get “lost.”

    He defended communism knowing that it killed his brothers and outlawed the religion of his people.

    No. He didn’t. He was, however, initially thrilled that the pogroms were stopped and condemned. We forget how large these pogroms weighed in American Jewish anger against the czar. Schiff funded the Japanese in the Russ-Japanese War over them. For the first time in Russia, anti-semitism was officially condemned. And Lenin’s campaign against religions including Judaism didn’t begin full force until 1921. And we didn’t have CNN back then. This was confusing initially to many, and there were conflicting reports, often intentionally and manipulatively disseminated by the Commies. So Cahan, being the quintessential reporter, went to see the reality himself. And his verdict was crystal clear and damning. In addition to his public exhortations, coverage, and editorials which turned social-democrats into fervent anti-Communists.

  98. Bob Miller
    June 26th, 2009 @ 7:59 am

    At any rate, we ought to make intelligent choices about what to read. If someone has what it takes to pick out the factual content from one of today’s general periodicals, more power to him/her. However, if reading these injects a note of cynicism or mockery into one’s view of Judaism, the loss can cancel out the gain. That risk exists with blogs, as well.

  99. Steve
    June 26th, 2009 @ 9:21 am

    PL,

    Well, I would like to thank you for your extremely helpful comments. thanks so much. it is good to hear such a positive explanation of our previous exchange. I see now that you were just trying to point out a few things that were meant to be helpful. So i appreciate your response. I will try to keep your points in mind, and try to give them some thought. thanks.

  100. Steve
    June 26th, 2009 @ 9:24 am

    FFB,

    The 6,000,000 kedoshim are in gan eden forever and ever while 6,000,000 American Jews are lost to us. I know it means nothing to you – that’s why we speak past each other.

    huh?

  101. Steve
    June 26th, 2009 @ 9:25 am

    oh never mind, i see now that DK didn’t have a problem with that sentence. sorry, I didn’t understand your second sentence, but I guess it was comprehensible to others. thanks.

  102. PL
    June 26th, 2009 @ 10:56 am

    Steve,

    If I would give my OWN words some more thought, we’d really be in business! :)

    Shabbat Shalom!

  103. Steve
    June 26th, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

    FFB,

    Ok, i’ll try to explain. you seem to be impliyng that only nonreligious Jews, or only left-0wing jews, are ever found supporting aanything objectionable at all.

    My point is that all kinds of jews can sometimes be found supportuing things or policies which we might find objectionable. so we really should not make such general over-arching statements. i feel it is better to simply discus the specific policies themselves and our own opinions and throughts on them.

    Maybe I misunderstood your original comments, but it sounded like you were imnplying that only nonrelgious or left-wing jews are ever found supporting a political movement which anyone would find objectionable.

    Even if there is evidence for that statement to a degree, i don’t see a point in arguing over whether we should castigate non-religious Jews as a group. there is no reason to do so for any such generalized group, whether based on politics or on anything else at all, in my opinion. thanks.

  104. Bob Miller
    June 26th, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

    There are deeper problems with non-religion than just its relationship to politics.

  105. DK
    June 26th, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

    At any rate, we ought to make intelligent choices about what to read. If someone has what it takes to pick out the factual content from one of today’s general periodicals, more power to him/her. However, if reading these injects a note of cynicism or mockery into one’s view of Judaism, the loss can cancel out the gain. That risk exists with blogs, as well.

    The choice to limit one’s access to challenging information for theological reasons is not the debate between the secularist and religious, but between traditionalist and fundamentalist.

    The traditionalist will always seek mainstream sources of information, regardless of their supposed antipathy to their community. This includes not just newspapers and video content, but also science.

    The fundamentalist will always see to filter all information — even news — through their religious paradigm.

    It is those in between who walk the line.

    Admittedly, when it comes to specific communal periodicals, the traditionalist may lean toward the side of the fundamentalist. In the end, the Jewish Week is actually closer to the Modern Orthodox community, and is essentially LWMO more than anything else. More Modern Orthodox Jews in NY appear to read the Jewish Week than the Forward.

    The Forward remains in many ways the heir of a predominantly secular expression of moderate-Leftist Jewish nationalism. One of the favored ways its present position is attacked is by revising its past into one far more radical than it ever was. This does work well, and creates the desired effect of present rage and resentment, but when done in the public space, there is a risk that secular Jews who now their history will call you out on your lies one by one.

    Continued hostility to the Forward only underscores its continued vibrancy. Few are railing against Dissent Magazine.

  106. Bob Miller
    June 26th, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

    The idea that filtering the news is a particularly fundamentalist activity is interesting. Let’s broaden the discussion to include non-religious or anti-religious paradigms used as filters. Do we then say that newspapers and magazines that view and present news through any culturally or politically slanted perspective are by nature fundamentalist?

  107. DK
    June 26th, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

    Bob Miller, it isn’t according to “slant,” but according to exclusion of other different voices. If we used your definition, almost all religious peridiodicals would be deemed fundamentalist. I wouldn’t go that far.

  108. Gary
    June 26th, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

    Bob Miller

    “There are deeper problems with non-religion than just its relationship to politics.”

    I don’t perceive your statement in particular as a blanket attack on non-religous people, but I offer the following perspective on your statement:

    Yes, there are “deeper problems,” and most of us on this website are in the process of overcoming them. The fact that it is improper to remind a BT of his or her past is an acknowledgement of how difficult that can be.

    Just as we find it objectionable to be so reminded, we should be very careful in the terminology we use about people who are in a position that we occupied not so very long ago.

  109. C.Weiss
    June 26th, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

    “The fundamentalist will always see to filter all information — even news — through their religious paradigm.”

    Why not say the “RELIGIOUS will always see to filter…through their religious paradigm”

    I thought it was human nature for each to view things through his/her own respecitve paradigm. It’s noble to limit one’s emotions in order to gain a better developed understanding of ideas but ultimately their are limitations for doing so. Is belief purely rational or striving for belonging and identity emotionally-driven as well?

    Accusing the the religious alone of harboring this ostensible fault sounds like a double standard and referring to a religious individual as a “fundamentalist” for doing so sounds like an ad hominem.

    Regarding the factoid “it’s better to die as Jews…” (which I refer to as a “factoid” since it’s stripped of all surrounding history, context and nuance), it’s painful episode for all.

    I can’t imagine the overwhelming responsibility of being a surrogate parent to literally dozens if not hundreds and can’t imagine life during wartime/genocide.

    The less-than-perfect conclusion I’m reaching is providing greater benefit of the doubt to Roshei Yeshiva/Surrogate parents than to those of the Jewish Agency who claimed that the forced secularization of religious orphans was in the best interests of state building. Granted, I have no inkling of the awesome responsibility involved of state-building either, but I nod more towards the parental part.

  110. FFB
    June 26th, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

    Steve,

    “you seem to be impliyng that only nonreligious Jews, or only left-wing jews, are ever found supporting aanything objectionable at all.”

    How did I imply THAT? Overgeneralizing doesn’t seem to be MY problem here. How about qualifying “plenty of Jews”?

    BTW does “huh?” count as a comment?

    DK, there’s so much to write, I wouldn’t know where to begin. But seeing that none of the more seasoned commenters deems it worthwhile to argue with you in defense of our gedolim, I’ll take their cue and go prepare for Shabbos. Believe whomever and whatever you want, as you will anyway.

    Gut Shabbos everyone.

  111. Steve Brizel
    June 27th, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

    DK-I find Commentary a consistently well written magazine that is intellectually honest and unafraid of setting the record straight on a wide variety of issues-on Israel, American politics and culture. It is leagues above its competitors on the right and none of the liberal left media are anywhere as sophisticated in their treatment of the issues or in the debates that one reads in the monthly letters to the editors. I never said the Yated was perfect, but I follow the view that Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chesed are the elements of Jewish continuity and IMO the Yated provides much in that regard.

  112. Steve Brizel
    June 27th, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

    “Anything panning starting a war for a bogus reason and ivory tower naivete about what Muslims really want in that there issue?”

    DK-did you read the issue or glance at the headlines?

  113. DK
    June 28th, 2009 @ 3:01 am

    Steve, I request that link, but you did not provide. Nor could I see most of the magazine articles on their website.

    For the record, I used to subscribe to Commentary, but I did not renew after this foolish war was begun. A war sold by Neocons to the moderate Left.

  114. Ron Coleman
    June 28th, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

    For the record, I used to subscribe to Commentary, but I did not renew after this foolish war was begun. A war sold by Neocons to the moderate Left.

    What a great emblem of your entire world-view, DK. A magazine you otherwise liked that editorially supported one issue you didn’t support, and you decide to “you’ll show” Commentary and stop subscribing.

    Now, who’s worse off? Commentary probably stopped missing your $20 pretty fast, but for the rest of time you are deprived of both the remainder of the content of a magazine you otherwise thought was worth reading regularly, as well as the opportunity to sharpen, refine or even challenge and question your own views about the Iraq war.

    Perfect. Did you write this just for me?

    Locally — regarding this post — you brag that you chose to “censor” Commentary because you didn’t like what it had to say on one issue, or maybe six issues that derive from that one, even though you acknowledge its otherwise meritorious qualities. But you condemn religious Jews who use what appears to be an identical rationale explaining why they “censor” the New York Times.

    Globally, you have given us even more: The perfect metaphor for the legendary DK persona. You rejected Commentary because although you could not gainsay the credentials or abilities of its writers and editors, still it wasn’t a perfect echo chamber for all your personal predispositions. It made you feel uncomfortable, even angry, in the way it offended your sensibilities. These are sensibilities which, while they do not adhere to any particular philosophy or outlook capable of enunciation, you think of as well developed and rooted in intellectual rigor — in fact, you take pride in their eclectic and apparently paradoxical qualities. When it comes to your unique mélange of causes, views and intellectual associations, you embrace paradox, welcome it, assert it daringly!

    Just not in systems of belief, be they editorial, political or religious. These must all meet your proprietary, ever-shifting standards to be allowed into your life. These standards are defined by DK’s moving and never-identified principles of certain righteousness, internal logic as he defines it and harmony with his latest liberal arts collegiate reading list. Ultimately they must not cramp his style.

    And if they don’t, you cancel your subscription. Well of course, if by these occult criteria you see fit to toss the Shulchan Aruch and write off its editorial staff as benighted fools, it’s nothing to shut out John Podhoretz and his friends as semi-retards utterly lacking in your genuine insight.

    Though it hardly explains why you hang out here!

  115. DK
    June 28th, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

    Well, I was also trying to cut back expenses at that time, had been taking grad school classes, and and less time, but I do try to read Commentary on the web, and some articles are there, and some aren’t.

  116. DK
    June 28th, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    Ron, you’re missing something important, and I know what it is. It’s that I can tell my Jewish friends that I canceled Commentary over the war, which says,

    1) I agree with those that blame the Jews for selling the war.

    2) I agree with Buchanan that the Neocons are a disproportionately Jewish movement. This also touches the idea that the Necons thought this war would be good for Israel, even though Sharon knew better and they didn’t listen to him.

    3) Jewish power in influencing national policy is indeed disproportionately crafted by the affiliated.

    So my protest is not really Commentary, but with my Jewish friends who are often tempted to downplay the damage that the Neoncons waged.

  117. DK
    June 28th, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    Ron, we both know the Neocon-Zionist machine is discredited utterly. There is little power or authority left in the house of Podhoretz.

  118. Bob Miller
    June 29th, 2009 @ 9:44 am

    We should give slogan-mongering a decent, prompt burial and move on to a discussion.

    Not surprisingly, people across the religious and political spectrum have ideas that they accept and ideas that they reject. To claim that one group in this spectrum (the Jewish “right wing” Orthodox) is unique in going out of its way to steer clear of opposing opinions flies in the face of everyone’s experience.

    The groups who view themselves as open-minded are often anything but. Foe example, the knee-jerk opposition of political leftists to anything smacking of religion, especially of religious authority and authorities, is manifest. We know this because we see it live, daily, not because someone decides to talk about it (or around it) here.

  119. Steve Brizel
    July 5th, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

    DK-Commentary is a superb magazine. It has rung the alarm for the fact that the President is a European style socialist who , contrary to all facts on the ground, believes that one should appease one’s enemies, who ascribes no real importance to democracy, penalize one’s friends that act in self defense such as Israel, abolish philanthrophy when we know that charity based initiatives accomplish far more than publicly funded rivals and that we would live in a better world if we all signed a piece of scrap paper banning nuclear weapons ala a treaty that pre WW2 that outlawed war.

    Recent articles also have set forth that “hipster” parenting and Judasism are narcisstic and false values. I think that you should actually read the issue before belittling and consigning it with a disdainful view.

  120. Steve Brizel
    July 5th, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

    One more point-a lot of the secular media, who are committed liberals without an ounce of ‘objectivity” and who view conservatives as certifiable in many ways, view the current president as the reincarnation of JFK. However,the press forgets that JFK wrote a book that was heavily critical of the appeasement of Nazi Germany entitled “Why England Slept” and the White House’s current occupant believes that we are better disarmed than dead, a transparent variation on “better red than dead” and that he has been given virtually messianic treatment during his campaign and his Presidency by a media corps that views societal change as its mandate, regardless of the fact that most Americans simply reject the views of the Cambridge-NY-DC-LA liberal chattering class. Commentary is a crucial source of dissenting opinion from the PC mindset that dominates the “mainstream media.”

  121. DK
    July 6th, 2009 @ 12:21 am

    Steve, if both you and Ron agree that a non-Orthodox periodical is worth reading, well…I might have to give it a shot, if for no other reason than it will surely annoy me to no end, and I am the kind of idiot who actually enjoys that sort of thing.

    Also, there are a couple of writers over there on the blog section that I have noticed aren’t bad…and I do like Hillel Halkin.

    My main issue is with the nepotism at the top. They aren’t Orthodox, there’s no excuse for that. ;)

  122. DK
    July 6th, 2009 @ 12:23 am

    Give it another shot, I should say.

  123. shosh
    July 12th, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

    Why?

    Because we do not want to be submitted to a “single opinion dictatorship”. It’s as easy as that.

    The chareidi press has it’s own way of representing truth, and unless you are very fluent in the “little clues” and “reading between lines” you need alternative sources of information to get the whole picture.

    That’s all.

  124. Mordechai Y. Scher
    July 13th, 2009 @ 8:33 am

    As for Nathan’s second question, a local Jew bought us a gift subscription a while back to Yated. After the first issue or two I had to cancel it. I could not stomach the outlook and much of what was said there, nor the ‘quality’ of the journalism and writing. I didn’t want it in my house. Some of us find there are ‘Orthodox’ papers either not worth reading because they contribute little to our insight and experience; or they are even offensive in their approach or objectionable in their ideology.

  125. arthur disbury
    July 13th, 2009 @ 9:35 am

    Why would any Jew purchase any anti-Orthodox or anti-Israeli periodical.Unless you have the views from these magazines. You can never present an argument that you may need to defend.Your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open.

  126. Steve
    July 13th, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    “Americans simply reject the views of the Cambridge-NY-DC-LA liberal chattering class.”

    Srteve Brizel:

    Obama has INCREASED the sanctions on Iran. please note this. thanks.

    (repost due to typo).

  127. Bob Miller
    July 13th, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    People’s current impressions of the Yated, other Orthodox publications, ArtScroll books, etc., reflect what they saw the last time they read them. That could be months or years ago.

    Quality has improved in all these publications, so the problems some commenters take for granted may no longer be so (or as severe).

    Perfection has not been achieved, so readers still need to read critically, but so what?

  128. Charnie
    July 13th, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

    The “Noted & Quoted” section of the Yated is lots of fun to read. And a relative’s Parsha column, obviously.

    I subscribe to the the Forward via email, and occasionally will read an article. It would appear from the comments that are posted that a high percentage of the readership (or at least those who comment) are not supporters of the Forward’s spin. That article about pork was quite outrageous, and very sad.

    Way back in this thread (#80 – C. weiss) made mention of NPR. As some others here who live in the same community will note – it’s always highly challenging to listen to Malcolm Hoenlien on Fri. morning’s JM in the AM without it being drowned out by NPR’s stronger signal. There are times I have literally listened to totally opposite viewpoints at one time while driving to work. The only reason that’s not funny is because so many more people (read – liberal Jews) are influenced by the Forward, Jewish Week, NY Times, and NPR then are by any of the Orthodox media.

    We are our own worst enemy.

  129. Steve
    July 13th, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    “The only reason that’s not funny is because so many more people (read – liberal Jews) are influenced by the Forward, Jewish Week, NY Times, and NPR then are by any of the Orthodox media.

    We are our own worst enemy.”

    The NY Times is a world covering newspaper. People can read both types of papers, and get benefits from both.

  130. Charnie
    July 14th, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    That’s absolutely true. Except that most people have one or two chosen papers, and that’s their source. Very few people have either the time or inclination to read various viewpoints.

  131. Steve
    July 14th, 2009 @ 10:22 am

    good point. however, the best way to enciourage people to read different sources is to allow them to indulge their curiosity by reading some worthwhile source. we won’t go very far by labeling one newspaper as being an enemy.

    better to get people to read regularly and throughly, and thus to get them to be knowledgable on various issues. then you should have your own points of view and sources ready to engage in discussion on those issues.

  132. Daniel Sayani
    February 13th, 2013 @ 2:41 am

    Very simple answer- the New York Times has an air of haute, elitist intellectualism surrounding it, despite its shoddy journalism and glaring biases.

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