Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Recent Articles

Two articles about abuse in Baltimore, one in the Forward (link) and one by frequent commenter Elliot Pasik in The Jewish Press (link).

The Jewish Press also had an interesting interview with Dr. Marc B. Shapiro (link). Timely excerpt about yeshiva curricula:

[Y]eshivas today don’t teach Jewish philosophy or theology. They teach hashkafa and emunah, which is fine, but that’s more like indoctrination. And whereas people are very sophisticated when it comes to Talmud study and they’ll look at all the different shittos, when it comes to philosophical study of Judaism – its history, its ideas – they’re not sophisticated and they’re not interested.

This prevents us from being able to respond to ideological challenges. Just as we assume that someone who approaches halachic issues without having a firm grasp of responsa literature, Shas and poskim is not doing his job, the problem here is that many people who approach the non-halachic matters don’t really have any background. It’s a serious discipline, Jewish philosophy and theology – just as serious as halacha, but not taken so.

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