As I have mentioned previously, I have serious misgivings about this blog. My wife points out that it is a drain on my time and concentration, which could be better dedicated to the numerous essays and books on which I am working. On the other hand, it's a way of sharing ideas and receiving feedback, and many people tell me that they appreciate it.
The method for handling the comments section is especially difficult. It's even more time-consuming and draining on my attention than writing posts. There are already many people who send me questions via email, and now there is another forum for people to engage me in debate. Furthermore, due to my position as public figure who is controversial in some circles, there are a lot of people who wish to challenge me. Some attempt to post obscene insults. Others are mensches, but they are strongly opposed to my approach and views. Some people try to flood the comments section with endless lengthy and repetitive comments. There are so many people who demand the right to debate me, and criticize me if I eventually don't want to continue. And then there is the issue that many of these people do not even comment under their own name, as I mentioned previously. I'd like to see them publish their own views on sensitive matters and open themselves up on their own websites for challenges!
It's very clear to me that many arguments are pointless. Debating the scientific merits of evolution with creationists never gets anywhere. Nor does debating Rashi's corporealist beliefs with people to whom it is inconceivable that such a Torah giant could have been a corporealist. This is what I pointed out after several weeks' debate with Rabbi Zucker, whereupon some people claimed that I was just trying to squirm out of it because I didn't have answers. This charge is easily refuted; Rabbi Zucker sent a ten thousand word critique to Hakira, and I wrote a ten thousand word response to all his arguments. I was not lacking in responses in this blog, just realistic about the futility and endlessness of the debate. A lengthy exchange in a journal is far superior to an endless exchange on a blog, which has no end in sight.
On a post from a few days ago about Rashi, I decided to shut down the comments after over a hundred had been posted. Some people wrote to me to complain; one was a supporter who was worried that it made me look bad. But what am I supposed to do? The debate did not seem to be getting anywhere. Furthermore, the people arguing with me had not even read the two primary texts on which such a debate should be based - R. Moshe Taku's Ksav Tamim and my article in Hakirah. So what should I do? I think that in my books, my lectures (with open question sessions) and this website, I have made it clear that I am ready to publicly discuss my views and defend them, which certainly cannot be said about many of my opponents. But I simply don't have the time for endless arguing, and why should my numerous opponents always have the last word and flood the comments section with challenges?
The internet is a free forum. Anyone can open up a website to challenge my views - there are already sites such as NotBrisk which do that. And if people want to challenge my articles in Hakirah, they can write to Hakirah. But I think that it is impractical and unfair to expect this website to be a forum for all my ideological opponents to be able to endlessly air all their objections to my writings. What do you think?