May 4, 2007

by Reb Yudel
Comment posted to Cross Currents

One of the problems with the haredi Cross Currents blog is their comments section is heavily redacted. Presumably they're calling up the gedolim to ascertain whether the comment is kosher.

Anyway, Steve Brizel has an attack on David Ellenson's attack on the Orthodox in the Forward this week. Interesting because of the sources it cites (which I have not yet reviewed), Brizel's thesis basically amounts to "since the 19th century Reform were assholes to the Orthodox, the Orthodox can be assholes to Reform today." Interesting, and would explain Brizel's similar tit-for-tat pro-Palestinian politics -- except of coure, he has no such politics, because tit-for-tat can only justify his group acting like an asshole, not anyone else acting that way toward him or his.

My comment was not on the specific historical citations, or the general principle, but on a throwaway line that argued

"no proof was ever found that either Goldstein or Amir ever acted in accordance with the approval of any rabbinical authority."
To which I have lodged a reply, to be published pending the judgment of the gedolim (updated: the comment has been approved):
Carefully parsed, to obscure the fact that Amir acted in accordance with the Rambam, as explained in the presence of the chief halachic authority of the OU and RCA. Amir may not have asked a shaila, but tell me, Steve, when you follow the psak of RHS, do you ask a shaila each time? Your point of partisan scholarship is important, and I look forward to following the links -- but your comments betray that you are not immune from your own historical bias.
Just to be clear about my bias: I covered the conference at which the psak was given by Rabbi Abraham Hecht, and, despite the spin and denials of his followers over the year, I stand by my reporting. TrackBack