November 4, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Ziyuf HaTorah

Ziyuf HaTorah is the phrase introduced by Rabbi Herschel Schachter in his whatever-it-takes, leave-no-straw-man-standing attack on women's prayer groups. It means a "forgery of Torah."

Pay attention, because it looks like a lot of counterfeit Torah will be used to prop up the "big-tent" of red-state JesusLand.

From Jerry Falwell on CNN:

FALWELL: Well, I think there are two major burning issues. They're not the only ones. But clearly the sanctity of unborn life, the -- we believe Christians believe, evangelicals, conservative Catholics, orthodox Jews, that life begins at conception and therefore that abortion is wrong.
I'm not going to cite the Talmudic sugyot disproving that statement; I don't want to be responsible for a shas-burning party in Alabama. Nor, though, am I going to hold my breath waiting for YU roshei yeshiva to rebut Falwell. What the Democrats haven't noticed yet is that hatred of liberals is the new civic religion.... and it's wonderfully ecumenical.

Regarding Andy's call to spread out from our Blue State ghettoes -- personally, I'm more than ever inclined toward a state-rights position. It will only help the economies of the blue states if we become more libertarian, and the heartland more theocratic.

But it looks like the good minister is having none of that. Falwell, who never consider the racist theology of Bob Jones to be anti-Christian or otherwise heretical, now compares the struggle against gays to be -- are you ready -- the moral equivalent of the battle against slavery:

And secondly, we believe the family consists exclusively of a unit that begins when a man and a woman legally marry, period. That means diverse family forums polygamy, same-sex marriage, et cetera, are all unacceptable and the president introduced a federal marriage amendment to hopefully, and we hope we can bring it back up again in January, to define family permanently.

COOPER: But Democrats argue look, John Kerry doesn't support gay marriage. I mean he doesn't want a constitutional amendment about it, but he didn't support gay marriage. Why is it that the Republicans have been able to benefit from that whereas the Democrats did not? Is it simply the question of the constitutional -- the federal amendment?

FALWELL: Well, nobody believes John Kerry on that because his voting record, pro choice, his voting record on the family issues, does -- belies his statement. And the fact that he would not support a federal marriage amendment, it equates in our minds as someone 150 years ago saying I'm personally opposed to slavery, but if my neighbor wants to own one or two that's OK. We don't buy that.

Then again, what can we expect from the party that brought us the income tax is a Holocaust argument?


Falwell is incorrect (as he often is in his specifics). Orthodox Jews believe abortion of a fetus less than 40 days in gestation is allowable and even later if necessary to save the mother's physical life. This is VERY FAR from the abortion on demand position of the secular left. So had he said that these religious groups agree generally that fetuses are living beings with the right to be allowed to gestate to birth, he would have been generally correct.

However, while not a fan of Jerry Falwell, I must come to his defense from your logical stretching. He was making a logical equivalence, not a moral one. He was saying that if something is morally wrong then one is compelled not to ignore it, and he used slavery as an extreme example of this - a perfectly acceptable rhetorical practice which does not, despite your creative reading create a moral equivalence that a man marrying a man is just as bad as owning one. Can you not accept that he views gay marriage as wrong and a candidate who says he agrees but refuses to support any measure to prevent it as a hypocrite - at best?

Posted by: Todd at January 4, 2005 5:25 PM
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