Obama and Orthodox Jews
R. Avi Shafran recently pointed out that the reasons many Orthodox Jews often give for disliking President Obama don’t always make sense (link). Others have taken him to task (link 1, link 2) but I applaud his willingness to think beyond the constantly repeated talking points. I don’t think he’s right but his analysis is a breath of fresh air that, to mix metaphors, cuts right through some common myths.
NY Times Get Protest Coverage and VIN Ban
The NY Times reported today on a complex divorce case (link). I am not allowing comments on the case, although other websites are less restrained. Divorces are messy, particularly when they are hotly contested. Lies and half-truths are spread and very few people, if any, know the full story. Rather than lobbing accusations or even asking questions based on partial facts, we should allow the people involved to resolve this sad episode. Public organizations such as ORA, which is involved, deserve public scrutiny like all other public organizations. However, questions should be asked politely and not anonymously.
The commenting free-for-all on other websites should give us all greater appreciation for the recent ban on VIN (link). Allowing friends, enemies, advocates and people with random grudges to leave anonymous, public accusations about an acrimoniously splitting couple is precisely the kind of irresponsible behavior that should be stopped. However, attempting to ban a website will not only fail, it will generate widespread skepticism about the process and personalities behind it. Ultimately, this ban drives people further away from respecting the banners.
Eleanor Rigby Kedushah
A few years ago, I blogged about the use of secular tunes for leading prayers (link). JTA has a story about a new CD by Shlock Rock, Shabbos prayers and song to Beatles tunes (link). You can listen to clips at the Shlock Rock website (link). I find it very cute and enjoyable but discourage use of the tunes in shul, as explained in my old post.