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tradition-cabinetby R. Yitzchak Blau

I had to overcome two hesitancies before posting this week’s link.. 1) I have been reluctant to engage in the self-serving move of linking to my own articles but I figure that after twenty posts, it was okay to do so. 2) The selected article generated more discussion than my other Tradition pieces but that does not make it a better article. Apparently, people find television a more interesting subject than communism, courage, or Religious Zionist ethics.

Modern Orthodoxy constantly confronts the challenge of determining which aspects of the broader world to endorse and which to reject. In this article entitled “Modern Orthodox Arguments Against Television”, I argue that our most cherished values should move us to eschew, or at least, severely limit our intake of television and the frequently vacuous aspects of popular culture. Topics discussed include culture and wisdom, nuance and complexity, communal involvement, activism and human initiative, independent and critical thinking, looking beneath the surface, and the role of women. Avi Woolf wrote a very interesting blog post critiquing my article. In a subsequent issue of Tradition, Rabbi Shalom Carmy, Avi Woolf, and I had a chance to further articulate our positions. All three links appear below.

Modern Orthodox Arguments Against Television (PDF)

Does Modern Orthodoxy Not Believe in Fun?

The One Thing That Money Can’t Buy (PDF)

About Yitzchak Blau

Rabbi Yitzchak Blau is Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Orayta and also teaches at Midreshet Lindenbaum. He is the author of Fresh Fruit and Vintage Wine: The Ethics and Wisdom of the Aggada and an Associate Editor of Tradition.

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