May 18, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Yeshiva University student reviews Daniel Boyarin

A Shtickle Faygele, Uber Nisht a Zionishe Kayfer (YU Commentator)

When the Hassid in Boro Park saw me reading Daniel Boyarin's Border Lines he asked if I had "sefeikos in emunah." I told him that he might sympathize with Boayrin, seeing as how both of them are anti-Zionists.

Sadly he was a "modern" Hassid and he told me that he didn't "judge people just on Zionism one way or the other.


As students in Yeshiva College, I feel like we fundamentally agree with Boyarin. Struggling to maintain boundaries without fetishizing them, we even erupt into internecine battles about where the boundaries should be and what precisely constitutes "fetishization." With all of Boyarin's discourse on his own troubled sexuality, it shouldn't surprise us that his definition of a fetish is probably a little different than ours, but the point remains just the same.

If we don't have boundaries, then we have no Talmud, no glorious hermeneutic of indeterminacy. If our boundaries are overwrought, then we commit violence to others unfairly. It is important to be "modern," and like my Hassidic friend not to "judge people just on Zionism [or any other issue] one way or the other."


Boyarin is the biggest BS artist in academia. He flits from one issue du jour to the next, writes nonsensical, superficial crap on them and gets away with it because he can read a Talmud text in the original. The great thing about him is that he knows that he himself is a joke and he loves it.

Posted by: CHARLIE at May 19, 2005 8:33 PM
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