6 comments posted · 2 followers · following 0

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Yeshiva University\'s ... · 1 reply · +1 points

Ah, well done sticking to the topic at hand. I see you have nothing else of substance to say on the matter. I will assume that the apology you really owe for your ignorant denigration of an outstanding group of professionals will not be forthcoming, given the profound derekh erets you've shown thus far in this exchange.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Richard Joel Failed To... · 1 reply · +9 points

Mr. Berger, did it never occur to you that the response Joel gave Twersky both before and after he began his tenure at YU might indicate that your entire insinuation here is exactly backwards? Let's take it piece by piece. Joel, a man known and respected for ferreting out sexual abuse and dealing with its repercussions in the Lanner affair, is contacted by a man alleging sexual abuse before he becomes president of YU. He determines, as a lawyer, advocate for other victims of sexual abuse, and head of a major institution like Hillel, dispassionately and having no connection to YU, that there is no actionable case, and gives what might seem out of context to be callous advice (I'd be more inclined to call it appropriate advice). Joel then becomes president of YU, and this same person contacts him AGAIN. Because Joel is now the head of said institution, he does what any responsible CEO would do, and reports the history of his interactions with the person to legal council. He is advised how to act, and he acts according to advice. Now, for any observer who has any understanding at all of how major, complex institutions like YU are run, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with what Joel did; in fact, he was doing exactly what he should have done. And as a man with history of being on the "good" side of exactly this issue, I would give Joel a little credit in knowing what he is looking at when he sees it. So what, exactly, is your point? That YU is so effective at implementing some kind of Stockholm Syndrome in its employees that it transformed Joel into a nefarious "company man," so loyal to a place he had worked for a couple of years that he just trashed all of the values guiding him in the Lanner case? Or is it that he is such a horrible person, so dark of soul that he never cared to begin with? It must be one or the other. Or you are merely being scurrilous for its own sake? You may think that you are playing the noble role here, that you are a modern-day Upton Sinclair, but all you are doing is everything you can to hurt people NOW who work, learn and benefit from the many, many good things that the university does -- to say nothing of all those thousands in the past for whom YU was an important part of their education and lives. I see Richard Joel, for all his faults, as a person who is trying to build the institution, repair its past weaknesses and better the lives of those who he serves, regardless of how good of a job one judges him to have done. All I see you doing is destroying for its own sake, or for the sake of some kind of (not so hidden) agenda.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Ex-Chief Rabbi Yona Me... · 0 replies · +5 points

Not too much to ask, to be sure! But this travesty has a very deep structural cause, and that is the persistence of an empowered clergy (in this case, one with state sanction) that shares in, rather than stands outside of, the corrupting influences of politics. There will be no resolution to these kinds of problems short of abolition of the office of chief rabbi as an integral part of Israeli political society -- and there are likely to be many more. Sadly, given the light that this puts not just on the rabbinate, but the entire enterprise of religious Judaism as a culture and society, the damage has been done. Each story of corruption just bolsters the already entrenched alienation of honest, normal people from religion -- because how could you be a fair and honorable person and think otherwise? The greater irony is that it is the Orthodox, so desperate to demonstrate the superiority of their worldview, wasting no time or effort in condemning those who they see as weakening or diluting "authentic" Judaism, who do the most damage to religious Jewish continuity. It is far easier to blame the Reform or Conservative movements, or indeed anything (including other Orthodox groups who don't tow the line) that is "nisht fun unsere," ("not one of ours") than it is to look in the mirror. A truly abysmal state of affairs.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - 6 Points Arts Fellowsh... · 0 replies · +7 points

Well said. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the cultural dynamism of Diaspora Jewry was celebrated. Is the Jewish artist now just supposed to produce AIPAC agit-prop in order to be regarded as worthy of support? How sad.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Crackdown Continues fo... · 2 replies · +7 points

How's that? What exactly are these women doing which prevents anyone else at the Kotel from davening? From the men's section, you can't even see them. I find it very hard to believe that they take up that much space in the ezerat nashim. You all remind me of pro-segregationist whites during Jim Crow. "Oh, those darn black folks, drinking from our water fountains, using our entrances, wanting to sit in the same restaurants as us -- they just don't care enough about the rights of us poor white folk, just tryin' to drink our water in peace!" Just pathetic. Maybe y'all ought to carry around a tape recorder so you can hear exactly what you sound like.

9 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Crackdown Continues fo... · 0 replies · +4 points

Just to correct YOU, shlomo, women "can" say Kaddish anywhere they damn well please, including in both Orthodox synagogues in my community. I've never seen anyone try to silence a woman who wishes to recite the prayer in the ezerat nashim in any Orthodox synagogue I've belonged to (and there have been several). I'd love for you to show my ANY source that says a woman is not permitted to recite the words of Kaddish. I'm not saying they can count in minyanim in these places, but where a minyan of ten men is present, I've never heard of a rav forbid it in a shul outside of the most haredi communities where it would likely not occur to women that they might want to say Kaddish -- and certainly not with the outrageous tactics being enforced at the Kotel. We are all Jews, shlomo. Stop trying to sow discord when we should behave as the Torah commands us -- "V'ahavta l'rayacha kamocha."