New Periodical: Dialogue 1:1

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A new journal, Dialogue, was recently sent to a broad mailing list and has been the talk of the town this past week. The journal claims to be a platform for “the intelligent, Torah-oriented discussion of important contemporary issues and ideas by writers who are both steeped in Torah knowledge and committed exclusively to its values.” The journal’s rabbinic board consists of R. Shlomo Miller, R. Aharon Feldman and R. Moshe Meiselman.

  • Orthodox Feminism: Keeping the Conversation Honest by Eytan Kobre – Basically everything I’ve been saying about the deviations of the feminist left wing, but in a much nastier tone. Yes, I’m Miss Manners compared to the article’s tone. The author attacks Prof. Tamar Ross and R. Daniel Sperber without even naming them, although naming their books.
  • A Question of Time by R. Moshe Meiselman – An attack on R. Natan Slifkin without naming him. This is adapted from a forthcoming book titled The Torah of Science, compared to R. Slifkin’s The Science of Torah. Very unsubtle. R. Meiselman says old things (the Flood messes up dating techniques and the laws of physics did not apply during the six days of Creation) with cosmetic changes to make it sound more learned and profound.
  • The Media: A Modern Gathering of Straw by R. Jeremy Kagan – A great article about the internet’s negative impact on sustained and profound thought.
  • Controversy of Contrivance: The Attempted Justification for Uncovered Married Women’s Hair by R. Yosef Wiener and R. Yosef Ifrah – Two kollel guys write a lengthy article to rehash old arguments against R. Michael Broyde’s article on womens’ haircoverings, using what I consider overly strong language. Frankly, I think it’s a mistake to dwell on this subject. At this point, you are only preaching to the choir and making R. Broyde more popular among his supporters. You aren’t convincing anyone who hasn’t already been convinced.
  • Who Are the Chasidei Umos HaOlam? by R. Ze’ev Kraines – An attempt to clarify the complex and seemingly contradictory terminology that categorize different levels of observant gentiles within a Jewish worldview.
  • The Nocturnal Sound of Torah Study by R. Moshe Einstadter – Why, as the Rambam writes, does a person gain most of his Torah knowledge by learning at night? A beautiful essay but I don’t think his answer — learning at night is unusual — explains why one acquires the majority of one’s learning at night.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student recently served on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

103 comments

  1. I find the title of the journal deliciously ironic. Monologue would be more accurate.

  2. They do invite articles and letters to the editor. Rather than look at irony, why not write and see if it is a monologue or dialogue

  3. Eytan Kobre: Here’s the rub (as you are wont to say) why is everyone to your left out to destroy God, Torah, and the Jewish people? Every time I read one of your over the top jeremiads I wonder who lit the fire under your zitzfleisch? Cheap shots are just that. Easy come easy go. If you want to convince people leave the hot-headed rhetoric behind and aim for coherence.

  4. A good barometer of the issues that have become mainstream enough to be threatening. What are the odds Orthodox homosexual Jews will be covered in issue 2, in some form?

  5. I saw this perodical this past Shabbos. While I like Eytan Kobre’s articles in Mishpacha, I think that his article on the issue breaks no new ground.

  6. The writing is pretty good for a Charedi publication.

  7. Perhaps the majority of one’s learning is at night because one is expected to be working during the day?

  8. How can one go about acquiring this periodical?

  9. Reading the TOC, it seems overwhelmingly negative.

  10. So I saw Harry had a description of R. Meiselman’s essay, and his comment (if accurately describing the essay) got me to thinking. (commented there, as well, but comment hasn’t been approved as of yet).

    If, these events of early tanach are outside of “normal” space/time, it basically makes them allegorical as that implies that they didn’t occur in our physical reality.

    An example I gave, how does the really differ from nevuah. If we accept nevuah as real (which I’ll assume all orthodox jews do), the “revelation” that occurs to the navi might feel real, but it isn’t real in a physical sense. It’s all in the navi’s head. It is up to the navi to interpret it correctly. In a sense, one can view nevuah as allegory, what the navi perceived might feel real, but it isn’t, its meant to be interpreted.

    If R. Meiselman is positing that these events occurred outside of normal reality, it would seem to make them allegorical as well.

  11. More kiruv. In Charedism, any thought is really just a form of kiruv.

  12. Oh yeah that’s another point I wanted to mention, thanks for reminding me SP. R. Meiselman does, indeed, basically render the entire Torah allegorical. Not to mention, he ruins the Kuzari “proof”. Moreover, the very idea that “time operated differently” belies a complete ignorance of modern physics, where time itself is material. But it’s not like anyone here will actually take the article seriously, so no point bringing it up.

  13. The theme of this volume (with the exception of the final one or two articles) seems overwhelmingly to be, “No!” I’m sure that appeals to some.

  14. Dialogue, was recently sent to a broad mailing list
    ======================================
    ouch, i didn’t even make the broad list – more fodder for my therapist!
    KT

  15. joel rich on May 23, 2011 at 5:28 am
    Dialogue, was recently sent to a broad mailing list
    ======================================
    ouch, i didn’t even make the broad list – more fodder for my therapist!
    KT

    I didn’t even make the broad list either.

  16. Add me to that list, but had a chance to skim it earlier in the week when someone showed it to me.

  17. Joseph Kaplan: I find the title of the journal deliciously ironic. Monologue would be more accurate.

    We’ll see. It’s too soon to tell.

    MDJ: It’s about half negative and half positive.

    SP: If, these events of early tanach are outside of “normal” space/time, it basically makes them allegorical as that implies that they didn’t occur in our physical reality.

    I don’t see that at all. You are conflating allegorical with non-literal. They are different methodologies. See the posts about Joel Wolowelsky’s article on the Flood.

    Jon_Brooklyn: More kiruv. In Charedism, any thought is really just a form of kiruv.

    Certainly not. I see this as an attempt to create a forum for Maharal-type machashavah, much like Jewish Thought was in the early 90s.

    joel rich & mycroft & Joseph Kaplan: I think they targeted RWMO.

  18. Natan Slifkin: I think you are reading the introduction very tendentiously. Tradition and Hakirah contain a good deal of academic and semi-academic material. And they want to keep it a conversation among Bnei Torah, which is why they exclude those who lack Yiras Shamayim. It could be that the introduction is totally disingenuous but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  19. Gil – Oh come on, it’s perfectly obvious what this magazine is for. What’s the tzad hashaveh between all the ‘rabbinic advisors’? They were all involved in tarring and feathering R. Natan. This is basically a strand of thought (partly inspired by R. Moshe Shapiro) that once looked like it was going to dominate anglo Orthodox discourse (outside the world of MO intellectuals) throwing its toys out of the pram because it has been exposed for its dangerous and blinkered tendencies.

  20. Anyone interested can contact them for subscription information at [email protected], or:
    Dialogue Inc.
    5906 Park Heights Avenue, Suite 10
    Baltimore, MD 21215

    The above address was posted on somehowfrum.blogspot.com.

  21. “I think they targeted RWMO”

    Gil — So, other than tone, what — if any — substantive differences exist between the positions they have staked out and your own RWMO positions?

  22. J: What’s the tzad hashaveh between all the ‘rabbinic advisors’?

    R. Shlomo Miller and R. Aharon Feldman are both ba’alei machashavah. R. Meiselman less so but maybe they wanted to include someone who came from the YU orbit. If so, I think they would have been better off bringing in R. Aharon Kahn.

    IH: Gil — So, other than tone, what — if any — substantive differences exist between the positions they have staked out and your own RWMO positions?

    Not much. I’m more open to an older universe and I don’t think that all criticisms of R. Broyde’s article are correct.

    I just submitted an article I had sitting around. Maybe I’ll be in the next issue.

  23. Funny thing is people in West Orange think I am RWMO 🙂
    KT

  24. maybe they wanted to include someone who came from the YU orbit

    I think he achieved escape velocity a long time ago.

  25. Thanks, Gil for the candor. Broadening: on which issues do you think there are substantive differences between you and them — tone and tolerance aside?

    Or is their Charedi hashkafa and your RWMO hashkafa mostly aligned on most matters of substance?

  26. I had always been under the impression that there was a significant gulf between Gil’s position and that of this ‘school’ in terms of the appreciation of Judaism’s intellectual history, the contingency of one’s own positions and the legitimacy granted to the fundamental impulses underpinning modern orthodox thought. Sounds like I was wrong.

  27. Off the top of my head: Zionism, secular studies, Chochmas Yisrael, cooperation with non-Orthodox

  28. J: I am happy to engage in a discipline within its own rules, even when I recognize that there are other disciplines.

  29. Gil, I’m not conflating allergorical with non literal.

    non literal is like idiom. If someone says “you’re driving me up a wall”, they aren’t being allegorical, the person is driving them crazy, they are just using a non literal way to explain it.

    If you take the events out of normal space/time, they are no longer in reality and therfore allegorical.

    al·le·go·ry
    a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.

    if the events aren’t occurring in our reality, but are described in language as if they are, it would seem to fit exactly with the definition.

  30. gil – ” I am happy to engage in a discipline within its own rules” – what “discipline” are you referring to? is there an accepted methodology like the difference between science and religion? or am i misunderstanding your statement?

  31. Drush, machashavah, continuing the Talmudic discussions.

  32. gil – or is this the discipline you refer to:

    “This means that the dialogue in this journal will be conversations of yirey Hashem, i.e., those who consider the truths of the Torah and the interpretations given by its teachers throughout the ages until our day to be immutable and fully binding.”

    of course, this what real benei torah must believe or else they are problematic – i.e.koferim – and are not yirei shamayim.

  33. gil – “Drush, machashavah, continuing the Talmudic discussions.”

    how is this different from other disciplines that also discuss these matters.

  34. >R. Shlomo Miller and R. Aharon Feldman are both ba’alei machashavah. R. Meiselman less so but maybe they wanted to include someone who came from the YU orbit. If so, I think they would have been better off bringing in R. Aharon Kahn.

    C’mon. This is FKManiac: the Journal.

    Yes, they should entitled to have a journal. Good for them! But it is what it is.

  35. The common denominator is Rav Aharon Feldman.

  36. Gil,
    You honestly dont think thjat there is a big hashkafic difference between you and Rs Miller, Meiselman and Feldman?
    I find that hard to reconcile with the Gil that I know from these many years of Hirhurim posts.

  37. I read through the journal and found myself trying too hard to overlook motives and venom. I say this painfully as there are great rabbis associated with the publication.

    In the name of intellectual honesty and achdut, everyone has a right to a viewpoint in halacha and/or hashkafah. This should not include a publication whose seemingly sole objective is to discredit other views.

  38. This means that the dialogue in this journal will be conversations of yirey Hashem, i.e., those who consider the truths of the Torah and the interpretations given by its teachers throughout the ages until our day to be immutable and fully binding

    Fear of God gets conflated with fear of gedolim/daas Totah/hareidi counterhistorical mythology. What does that tell you about the kind of dialogue that will be tolerated?

  39. Shalom Rosenfeld

    Re: Hair Wars.

    To paraphrase something (mistakenly) attributed to Voltaire:

    I don’t agree with Rabbi Broyde’s reading of the Mechaber, but I’d fight to the death for his right to say it.

  40. ruvie: how is this different from other disciplines that also discuss these matters

    This is non-critical study.

    Anonymous: You honestly dont think thjat there is a big hashkafic difference between you and Rs Miller, Meiselman and Feldman?

    We agree on much more than what we disagree.

    MJ: Fear of God gets conflated with fear of gedolim/daas Totah/hareidi counterhistorical mythology.

    I didn’t see any Da’as Torah or Gedolim-centered content in the journal. Nor was there history nor counterhistory.

  41. “We agree on much more than what we disagree.”

    This is true but it is also potentially misleading since it is true of all religious Jews.

    To illustrate, consider that it is also true of (e.g.) Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rav Moshe Shternbuch –both certainly believe in God, the Avos, Ma’amad Har Sinai, Torah min hashamayim (both written and oral), binding nature of halacha, etc. –that is, all the crucial things that make up the basis of a Jew’s worldview. But we all know they are considered to be as far apart as can be.

    This is meant as something for us all to keep in mind rather than as a nitpick at Gil’s statement.

  42. Gil, I was parsing their definition of whom they consider to be in the club of “yirei shamayim.”

    But the idea that the flow of time was interrupted by the mabul sounds like counterhistory to me, albeit on a cosmological scale.

  43. “writers who are both steeped in Torah knowledge and committed exclusively to its values.”

    This is a clear religious litmus test. The Jewish Observer once published an article by Dr. Lamm, and then refuted it. Will this new journal even publish something they disagree with?

    It seems that this journal will not only refuse to publsh material they disagree with, but even if the article is not problematic at all, if the writer is thought to oppose Daas Torah, they they won’t publish it either.

    Would they publish an article by Rabbi Broyde on the halakhot of adoption, or taxes, or any other subject? I would think not, because they don’t regard him as committed to Torah values. Where, then, is the dialogue?

  44. Carlos — I think you are addressing a different issue. Gil is on record that he would not post something by Rabbi Avi Weiss on Hirurim (which is not to say that he has expressed any willingness to post something by Rabbis Miller, Feldman or Meiselman).

    My read of Gil’s words is consistent with what I have been reading on Hirurim, which is that — tone and tolerance aside — Gil is more aligned with the Charedi’ism of “Dialogue” than the Modern Orthodoxy of, say, “Conversations”.

  45. Anon: I prefer not to pre-judge what they may or may not do.

    IH: I actually considered publishing in Conversations but decided that it was a political statement I did not want to make.

  46. But, as you posted above, you just submitted something to Dialogue which, I deduce then, is a political statement you do want to make.

  47. Same reason I wear a black hat. That is the crowd with whom I wish to associate.

  48. Is that only because you can combine wearing your hat and associating yourself with hat-wearing people with maintaing the positions you espouse, which would likely not be the case in say, Israel?

  49. I think R Gils last post more than aptly expressed his views on this publication as well as mine.

    The bottom line IMO, is that we each have the right to read and subscribe to those publications that suit our POV, as well as glance at, read and reject those publications that we deem unworthy of our money and not in line with our POVs. However, the right to publish also should encompass a right to reply and critique, especially in publications that have Websites.

  50. J: In the US we have a more moderate wing of the Charedi community. If/when I move to Israel, I will leave my black hat at the airport.

  51. Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “Monologue would be more accurate”

    WADR, some of the issues of the TuM Journal or the recent issues of Tradition would also be well suited with such a name-in light of the topics, presenters and POV which all too often is a collection of Center/LW MO thinkers who appear,all too often, to be talking to themselves, with no real evidence of any appreciation of the issues facing the MO world.

  52. FWIW, I know more than a few RIETS/YU alumni and musmachim who have made aliyah and who share many of R Gil’s POVs, and still wear their hats or suits.

  53. “In the US we have a more moderate wing of the Charedi community.”

    Indeed. But Rav Feldman, Rav Miller and Rabbi Meiselman ain’t it.

  54. Carlos,

    Amen brother!

  55. But Rav Feldman, Rav Miller and Rabbi Meiselman ain’t it.

    But their students/followers are.

  56. I love this new periodical. It is pure Daas Torah and Mesorah

  57. C’mon. This is FKManiac: the Journal.

    Dovid Kornreich likes this comment.

    Funny how there are three negative/attacking articles and three positive/neutral ones– but the characterizations here in the comments are overwhelmingly about the negative ones. What does that say about the commentors? As a whole, what ratio of your comments are ever positive? It seems like the pot is calling the kettle black here.

    And just for the record, Rav Meiselman never used the term “time-space continuum” and RYBS is in fact quoted positively elsewhere in the journal (not by Rav Meiselman.

  58. >Dovid Kornreich likes this comment.

    Of course he does, why wouldn’t he? Like I said, it is what it is. If it’s your particular cup of tea, great.

  59. DK,
    It’s 4 to 2, and frankly, 2 to 4 would still be a high ratio.

  60. MDJ, how many of DK’s posts/comments in the last month are positive and how many are negative?

  61. MDJ I don’t consider negativity about the internet something that is divisive.
    But maybe I’m wrong about that and you feel attacked?

    I’m not denying my negative slant but at least I’m not being hypocritical…

  62. “Funny how there are three negative/attacking articles and three positive/neutral ones– but the characterizations here in the comments are overwhelmingly about the negative ones. What does that say about the commentors?”

    Your general point re: commentor negativism likely has merit (even as applied to myself, I admit), but in this case I think it’s probably just because R. Gil’s own glosses focus on the three negative pieces – about twice as many words devoted to them, by my count.

  63. May Gil knows his audience which is overwhelmingly negative on anything Hareidi and most other things too.

  64. C’mon, Mark: show us how to get positive!

  65. It’s kiruv for adults. It’s explaining to the adults why The Status Quo is the only way – in thought (Science and Torah), individual action (women covering their hair), and communal practice (general feminism). The internet article, of course, is a bludgeon to delegitimize modern thought from the outset. While modern thinkers, until recently, didn’t have access to the internet, the implicit point is that Yeridas Hadoros is tangibly manifest in intellectual capabilities. 2/3 of the opening publication are political weapons, not interested in constructive criticism, much less constructive thought. The irony is that it probably won’t last, because the more they succeed with their agenda, the more they delegitimize it themselves.

  66. Great, but how does one get a copy of this?

  67. I just posted part one of a critique of Rabbi Meiselman’s article at http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2011/05/innovation-of-fundamental-beliefs.html

    Jon from Brooklyn – with science, these people are not trying to maintain the status quo, they’re trying to undo it.

  68. The nature of comments in general is negative-see Ravad on the Rambam -he is silent when he agrees with the Rambam, Rashbam on Rashi, etc. Agreement unless there is a dispute does not lead to comments.

  69. Of the six articles, how many of them recognize the legitimacy of alternative approaches and alternative conclusions?

    The answer seems to be few or none.

    I therefore find it hard to understand what basis there would be for “Dialogue.”

  70. To be fair, hyperbolic negativity is a proven marketing methodology these days. Issue #2 will be the test of dialogue vs. monologue.

    That Gil feels “That is the crowd with whom I wish to associate” (Hirhurim on May 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm) is an indication they may succeed.

  71. SD: I’m not sure what you mean. The question doesn’t apply to three of the six articles.

    IH: I don’t think any of the articles contained hyperbole.

    I believe the journal’s goal is to generate dialogue within its target community(ies). I don’t think it welcomes dialogue with other religions or other denominations. I think that even those of us who lament this lack of interdenominational dialogue will support the first goal.

  72. “I believe the journal’s goal is to generate dialogue within its target community(ies).”
    What they’re doing is promoting popular haredi viewpoints. They’re trying to stimulate dialogue as the Jewish Observer stimulated dialogue: by telling you “the Jewish” ways to “observe” the world.
    When Rabbi Meiselman tells people the gedolim have issued psak in hashkafa, that’s what it means: Rabbis have issued a ruling in how you are allowed to think.

  73. Baruch: Even if that is true, there are still plenty of areas where they can have dialogue.

  74. from the editor’s intro:

    “This means that the dialogue in this journal will be conversations of yirey Hashem, i.e., those who consider the truths of the Torah and the interpretations given by its teachers throughout the ages until our day to be immutable and fully binding. Its pages will be open to anyone, regardless of which grouping he belongs to, whose ideas are based on these premises, and who are able to present fresh ideas and perspectives for modern-day Jewry.”

    but also wrote:
    “There is presently no platform for the intelligent, Torah-oriented discussion of important contemporary issues and ideas by writers who are both steeped in Torah knowledge and committed exclusively to its values.”

    i guess they will interpret those that committed exclusively to its values. do you think folks like r’ yaakov ellman qualify or is he just an academic and questionable yirei shamayim?

    gil – you said “I don’t think it welcomes dialogue with other religions or other denominations.” – i guess that includes many shomerei mitzvot – who are orthodox are now viewed as other denominations? interesting shift whether intentional or not.

  75. ruvie: I actually think that Dr. Elman, if he wants to, will have no problem speaking in the appropriate language for such a journal and contributing.

    I don’t understand the attitude of “How dare you not accept me?” Let them define their community as they want and if you don’t want to play by their rules, don’t.

  76. Like I said: “the Jewish” ways. More than one? Yes. Delimited to the point that evolution’s unacceptable and the Rav’s more modernishe views will not be considered acceptable for publication without a subsequent attempted refutation? I suspect also yes.

  77. There’s more to Jewish thought than discussion about evolution.

  78. gil – i was referring to your comment that you thought they will not publish comments from other denominations as well as non jews- that would mean you – not them – are putting many orthodox folks in the category of other denominations (to them they have problematic views – i.e. not kosher). i am not looking for acceptance just find it interesting that you now think that some orthodox folks do not belong or be allowed in that community – orthodoxy. its not that subtle or am i reading too much into your comment.

  79. “There’s more to Jewish thought than discussion about evolution.”
    Nobody said otherwise.

  80. ruvie: I think you are over-reading into my comment. Denomination is an example that I think many would agree with. I don’t think a denomination is the only thing that can define an intellectual community.

  81. gil – not an over reaction just reading it for what it said and pointing out what it may mean. they are defining whom they want to write or comment which is fine – it is their right. they were not saying that other folks with problematic views are not orthodox – just not their audience or chevra of finer yiddishe menschen. your remark, i thought, move it into another dimension – those who could not write or comment. sorry for beating a dead horse here. slow day at work.

  82. The bottom line remains-whether or not you accept or are “Gores” publications of this nature or others, regardless of their POV, depends on one’s own free choice. If you are interested and/or consider the POVs worth reading and the journal appeals to you, then by all means consider it worth purchasing.

    It should also be remembered that journals of this nature as well as the Charedi media are geared towards one purpose-a presentation of what they perceive is the correct Hashkafa and Halachic views of the Gdolim who are looked to for answers on these issues. I would argue that the same is radically different than that of Tradition, the TuM Journal, JA and Chakirah. Like it or not, there is a strong constituency for the same as one can see by the popularity of ArtScroll’s works, as well as Yated, HaModia , Mishpacha and Ami.

    If you are not part of that world and are not at all interested in the way that issues are presented therein, why act as a stumbling block in an intellectually intolerant manner to those who think otherwise, especially when there are no shortage of books, authors, journals, etc that express whatever is “your” or “our” POV? WADR, I detect more than a small share of an intellectual/religious inferiority complex in some of the responses herein without an awareness that much of what passes for the same type of “opinion” in the MO world , especially in the TuM Journal and the recent issues of Tradition have a similar “our way or the highway” sense of intellectual superiority and imperialism in its manner of expression. WADR, it reminds me of the fears that so many leftist/liberals have with the WSJ and Fox, when there is no shortage of leftist/liberal media.

    FWIW, I consider Chakirah to be far better in its overall content than either Tradition, the TuM Journal or the first edition of Dialogue. If you want to understand why an academic’s view of the Rambam is so different than that of a Talmid Chacham, and why the same will always be IMO an unbridgeable gap which should always be seen as deserving of a Chinese wall, one need go no farther than read the exchange between R M Kellner and R Buchman in the most recent issue. The archives of Chakirah IMO demonstrate why it consistently is a great read, as opposed to preaching to the choir.

  83. “Hirhurim on May 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

    There’s more to Jewish thought than discussion about evolution.”

    You’re right – there’s also discussion about feminism and discussion about whether modernity’s a good thing, and discussion about other assorted political issues that haven’t made it to the journal yet. You do realize you’re only criticizing the journal as a “journal of Jewish Thought”, as opposed to a “journal of right-wing propaganda” when you make that point?

    “Hirhurim on May 24, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I believe the journal’s goal is to generate dialogue within its target community(ies). I don’t think it welcomes dialogue with other religions or other denominations. I think that even those of us who lament this lack of interdenominational dialogue will support the first goal.”

    If the goal was to generate dialogue, then why, as everyone’s pointed out already, preach to the choir? What kind of dialogue do you expect to take place between a group of people who think that R. Broyde is an am haaretz and some kollel guys who’d like to do their best to prove it as well? And if you really think this is aimed at the RWMO community, you’re only proving my point that it’s kiruv for adults – none of the writers are RWMO by any stretch.

  84. It’s also amusing how R. Gil and FKM and others keep trying to redirect attention to the other 3 [in reality 2] non-political articles, when they’re so obviously filler.

  85. Now that I have a better sense of the articles having read a number of summaries I also have a better sense of what it is that bothers me about this magazine.

    The basic premise is that there is a grave danger facing Torah True Judaism: Intellectually sophisticated modern Orthodoxy. It breeds Heresy (MM) Feminism (EK) Lax perversions of Halakhah (YW & YI) and frivolity (JK).

    So it’s not just preaching to the choir, it’s telling the choir that the other choir is so off key that if you even listen to it you are risking your spot.

    Is this constructive? Are Slifkinesque apologetics, Broydeian halakhic analyses and Sperberian engagements with feminism totally outside the pale? If the answer is “yes” for anyone one inch to the right of R. Gil Student or R. YG Bechhofer then gey gezunterheyt: Let’s see where the purification of Yeshivish ideology gets you in another decade or two.

  86. Lawrence Kaplan

    It sounds to me that the title should be “Polemic.”

  87. Jon_Brooklyn: If the goal was to generate dialogue, then why, as everyone’s pointed out already, preach to the choir?

    I’m not sure what you mean. To generate a dialogue about the issues the articles discuss. A dialogue does not have to be agree/disagree. And not every article in the journal is about issues that everyone in the community will agree with.

    Regarding R. Broyde, there is wide agreement that he is wrong on many issues (I agree as well). The article tried to prove it, with varying results. On some points, I think the writers did a good job. On others, I don’t think they did. You don’t believe people can have a dialogue about the merits of their specific arguments?

    In general, I am very disappointed by a wide lack among commenters here of din le-khaf zekhus.

    It’s also amusing how R. Gil and FKM and others keep trying to redirect attention to the other 3 [in reality 2] non-political articles, when they’re so obviously filler.

    It’s frustrating how you ignore half the magazine. The internet article is not anti-internet. It’s the kind of article many psychologists would write, just with more Torah content. I found it to be very well done. It’s unfortunate that too many people here see everything in political terms. You miss out on a lot that way.

  88. With Jon_Brooklyn on this.

    Since Dialogue maintains that its “pages will be open to anyone, regardless of which grouping he belongs to” as long as that person “consider[s] the truths of the Torah and the interpretations given by its teachers throughout the ages until our day to be immutable and fully binding” — and he is open to submit articles with “dissenting opinions” — I decided to take the opportunity of having trouble falling asleep last night to come up with 10 titles for articles such a person could write which would stimulate dialogue. Note that none of them have to do with evolution and almost all of them imply theses which one could argue are necessary conditions for real Modern Orthodox thought:

    *Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof: Why Child Abuse Allegations Must be Reported to the Authorities Immediately

    *Why Gays Should Get the Same Legal Benefits Straights Do: The Conservative Small-Government Approach of a Frum Yid

    *Rabbi Avigdor Miller’s Theodicy: A Critique

    *Rush Limbaugh isn’t Daas Torah: A Plea for Alternative Editorial Perspectives on Politics in Our Newspapers

    *’Cause We’re Better Than That: The Case for Ditching Aish proofs

    *The Case for Calling Ourselves Zionists in a Non-Zionist World

    *Right Again! A Positive Review of the Emes Ve-Emunah Blog

    *What Hirsch Really Thought About Secular Studies

    *How Feminism has Changed the Way We Look at Women…For the Better!

    *Hilchos Lashon Hara: An Analysis of Demagoguery

  89. Gil,
    Perhaps, in light of the reactions, you should consider whether you post adequately described the volume.

  90. “In general, I am very disappointed by a wide lack among commenters here of din le-khaf zekhus”.

    What a laugh – the entire point of this journal is to be ‘dan’ everyone else ‘le’kaf chov’. Nowhere do we get any hint that this journal will be about addressing the real issues affecting its target audience. There are very serious problems affecting this type of orthodoxy, some of which are already at ‘catastrophe’ stage. When will this magazine feature articles critiquing those to the right of them for their oppression of women? (Or for that matter, when will you, Gil, ever condemn any group to the right of you for doing so?) When will it have articles re-examining this community’s approach to their rabbinic leadership or to any other topic where their attitudes have lead them to near disaster? It won’t, and we all know it. This type of orthodoxy feels that it has very little to learn from others, and that the holy men at its helm have always had all the answers. The only reason this magazine exists is to demonize those who think any differently.

    R. Meiselman’s article about bereishis isn’t a proposed solution; it’s a conversation stopper – a command for people to stop thinking. Regardless of the validity or not of the critique of R. Broyde’s position, the point-scoring tone tells us exactly where these guys are coming from, and, if we think about it carefully, where this is all leading to. Perhaps we should take a look at what happened in Skver this week, and before announcing that ‘yadeinu lo shafchu..’ have a bit of a think about the attitudes we are promoting and what they have in common with those of other communities which are already causing social destruction and chillul Hashem on an almost unprecedented scale.

  91. I think one point in the critique of the new journal that has been neglected is the issue of epistemology – most immediately in the article by R Meiselman but I imagine shared by others of his persuasion, such as his co-directors. for those interested, rather than repeat myself, I have posted my impressions at R Slifkin’s blog, http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6906205856510467947&postID=1668165540432127970 (I am also not quite up to speed on netiquette. In scientific journalland one may not publish that which has already been published elsewhere, but I’m not sufficiently conversant with proper blogosphere behavior).

  92. Baruch Pelta-Yasher Koach for your thoughtful suggestions. I think that many of the topics you suggested in fact have been discussed at least indirectly, and at times in detail, on this blog in the course of other threads.

  93. MJ wrote in part:

    “The basic premise is that there is a grave danger facing Torah True Judaism: Intellectually sophisticated modern Orthodoxy. It breeds Heresy (MM) Feminism (EK) Lax perversions of Halakhah (YW & YI) and frivolity (JK).”

    Assuming that your analysis is correct, the articles in Dialogue by RYI & RYW, and EK are ironically based on the discussions in Tradition between R Broyde and R Shulman, R Frimer’s critique of LW MO theorists and feminists. FWIW, one can find critiques of the direction of MO in the well known drasha of RYBS on Parshas Korach, the equally well discussed shiur on Gerus, as well as in the writings of RAL.

    One need not adopt either the equally strong nature of R Meiselman’s critique of RNS or that of RNS’s defenders to realize that while Torah explains why, science explains how and what-and that attempts at providing “answers”, as opposed to approaches that realize the unique differences between the why, how and what are doomed from the outset.

  94. MJ-Take a look at a comment by Rashi in last week’s Parsha that all but introduces the Tochacha, and sets forth a whole pattern of attitudes that leads towards R”L Kofer BaIkar.( IH-would you mind providing a link?)That critique, IMO, unfortunately, can be applied to many within the Charedi and MO worlds.

  95. The name of the article is Controversy OR Contrivance

  96. jacob mayteles

    where can i purchase the Dialouge journal? how can i subscribe to the piblication?

  97. The magazine was mentioned in the Mishpacha… How to subscribe?.. (preferably online)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: