Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Maimo in da house!

a response to Noah Feldman

And then there's Shmuley....

7 comments:

zezmir said...

I found Shmuely’s piece to be (surprisingly) quite disappointing.

Friendly anonymous said...

I found Shmuley's piece to be perfect for his target audience, i.e. nonorthodox Jews, and, l'havdil, gentiles.

I would be surprised if there was any anas"h that turned to Reb Shmuel for their sholom bayis problems, etc.

nemo said...

I haven't read the entire article... I'm not a NY Times subscriber. However, I think Boteach, while meaning well and looking for the alternative and humanistic approach, misses a very important point.

He's right that we have to be mindful of the hundreds, if not thousands of Jews that are marrying out of the Jewish religion. We have to show them love, and show their spouses the beauty of Judaism. We should encourage them and their spouses to come closer to Yiddishkeit and eventually to convert.

But Feldman, based on everything he says about himself and everything I've read up on the internet, is not only a deserter of the faith, but he has effectively put himself at ends with the Jewish community. Firstly, the man seems to be no Am Ha'aretz. Anyone that learned in a Jewish high school and learned Gemara and that Torah is Misinai, cannot be ignorant of the fact that marrying out of Judaism is forbidden and the greatest slap in the face. There is no traditional Jew in the world that doesn't recognize how this destroys the Jewish community from within, effectively stymieing Jewish continuity and tradition.

Feldman can't claim ignorance. No one turned their back on him. He knowingly turned his back on his people. He ostracized himself, and now he looks back and condemns. He flashes his intermarriage in the NY Times and acts totally ignorant to the fact that it was his own wanton actions that put him into this position. Furthermore, according to an article floating around the internet, Mr. Feldman voluntarily assisted the city of Tenafly, NJ to appeal in court to force the Jewish community to dismantle the Eruv. Is there no worse defiance of the Jewish community than opposing its religious rights, particularly in a matter of the religion like an Eruv that has historically united Jewish communities?

I think Boteach is wrong here. We have to be accepting and appreciate everyone's essential Jewishness, despite their external facade and lifestyle choices. But if we fail to condemn the worst apostasies, can we expect to maintain our religion for much longer?

Camp Runamok said...

Hirsh,

I like Gil Student's response best. He basically says "You're not a victim here. Grow up and accept the consequences of your actions."

Anonymous said...

I happen to share his contempt for Boruch Goldstein but his shleping in the episode into the article and weaving it with the saving of the life of a goy... is in the traditon of all the 'mosrim' of old.

The interesting thing about NF is that he is also a renowned expert on 'sha'aria' [muslim] law. I myself even had a short back and forth with him thru email about islamic influence in jewish writings.

He himself volonteerd for me that he is not frum anymore. And I didn't inquire more. But this article is nothing less than a treachory.

יוסף718

thanbo said...

1) R' Boteach's article is pure Shmuley - trained by chabad (chabad shuls accept intermarrieds more than other orthodox shuls); and as a fame whore, he can hitch his wagon to Feldman the rising intellectual star.

2) Osewalrus' readership covers a wide range, from "open-minded" to "so open-minded their brains are falling out." Some of his commenters just can't understand how religious groups might be entitled to be committed to their own belief systems.

menachem said...

Shmuly's article gave me the impression that he was really talking about himself. It seemed like he was saying that he should be accepted, instead of ostracized.