Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Answer for Blogs

At the Agudah convention this past November, R. Chaim Dovid Zwiebel asked why we see on blogs, and in our community in general, the willingness to publicly denigrate great Torah scholars (see this post). I believe that the answer is evident in this post by R. Jonathan Rosenblum to Cross Currents and in the comments. When we see supposed leaders of our community throw nasty accusations at great Torah scholars, why do you think we will not act in kind? If you want to know who encouraged this behavior, ask R. Shlomo Goren and R. Norman Lamm. I think they can give you some ideas.

Sure, when community leaders do it they have very good reasons. Their targets have dangerous viewpoints and the public needs to know that.

Fine. But then don't be surprised when private citizens decide that certain rabbis have dangerous viewpoints and act in kind. They are only doing what they were taught by their own leaders.

The bottom line is that uncivil behavior is a two-edged sworded. Those who wield it do so not knowing where it will point next.

(I don't mean to single out R. Rosenblum because he is certainly not someone who does this often. Besides, this issue goes all the way to the top, as R. Lamm and R. Goren can testify.)

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