Thursday, January 13, 2005

Where's their courage?

You can read all about the rather sad situation surrounding the ban on Rabbi Nosson Slifkin's books here, here, here, here and here. All the relevant emails for expressions of support/disgust here.
The point that stands out for me in this whole thing is just how strong the fear comes across of being seen as 'independent' or as -- G-d forbid -- less frum than your frummest neighbor. And I'm not just talking about the way certain rabbis have shown themselves to be scared of what's in Slifkin's books. There's also the rabbis who do support Slifkin's books in private being afraid to speak up in public (Gil claims there's been one brave, anonymous scholar in Brooklyn who did...); and, again according to Gil, a rabbi who originally supported his books and wanted to continue doing so retracting his haskama -- "only" because of the political heat. ("Only?" Gil, that's the worst reason of the lot). And who knows how many of the people who actually signed the ban did so due to similar pressure or because that was the way the winds were blowing (it certainly appears that many of them have not actually read the books.)
Where is these people's courage? Where is their integrity? And these are the leaders!
A despressing comment on the state of Ultra-Orthodoxy today.

And where, incidentally, are the good people of Cross-Currents on this controversy? If they are going to duck an issue like this which is all theirs, what's the point of being on a forum like the blogosphere????? (In answer to the first question, either coordinating their positions or sitting at home worrying their blog will be banned next, I daresay.)

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