Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Making of Haredim

A book published in the Haredi community claimed that Orthodox Judaism — and specifically, Haredi Judaism — is the traditional approach to Judaism, which started with Moses. In my monograph “The Novelty of Orthodoxy” I explained how Orthodoxy was, in many ways, a new approach to Judaism, which began with Chasam Sofer as a reaction to Reform and the Enlightenment. But Haredi Judaism is itself a novelty vis-à-vis the Orthodox Judaism which preceded it.

I am pleased to announce the e-publication of a new monograph, "The Making of Haredim," which explores the nature of Haredi ideology and demonstrates how it can be rated as distinct from its predecessors. The monograph can be downloaded after making a donation via PayPal; the recommended donation for readers of this website is $5. Please bear in mind that this is not a payment for the monograph itself, which is shorter than the others in this series; rather, it is a donation in exchange for all my writings on this website (including the Jerusalem Post articles - the Jerusalem Post does not pay me for them!), which takes up quite a bit of my time. There are some people who, incredibly, always pay only one cent, but others, who feel that they have gained much from the Rationalist Judaism enterprise, express their appreciation with a larger donation, which is gratefully appreciated.

You can make a donation via PayPal or credit card by clicking on the following icon. After the payment, it will automatically take you to a download link for the document. If you have any difficulties with the download, please e-mail me.


  1. In brief, would the title be "The M.O. Haredim"? :D

  2. Excellent work.

    Each of the items discussed within could be expanded into full length chapters of a book. I really enjoyed it.

    $5 is a bargain. If you can, donate more...

  3. I would prefer the term "Haredism." This serves as an important corrective to the Haredi myth that it is not another "ism."

    By the way that's a different MO.

  4. I would humbly suggest to make these papers freely available after one year. On one hand I understand that you value your time, on the other hand it is good to spread the message and initiate discussions.

  5. why don't you start a rationalist judaism newsletter, which would be by subscription only. if you think mail is too expensive, it could be an e-newsletter. this would provide people who want to pay an alternative to the haredi news magazines, and maybe provide a source of some income

  6. You seem very frustrated that people only pay 1 cent for your articles. I think you should perhaps be more understanding. Some of us are slightly perplexed at the whole notion of selling mini essays online by a blog owner or supporting a blog owner.

    Because I see how much to heart you take this, I don't buy an essay which I don't wish to spend at least $5 on. But I think you should realize that you have instituted a novelty here. Almost no other blog owner expects his readership to support him.

  7. When will you publish a book of monographs? I would love to buy that (instead of a bunch of pdfs).

  8. "Some of us are slightly perplexed at the whole notion of selling mini essays online by a blog owner or supporting a blog owner."

    Reminds me of people who complain about news websites that charge money. I guess people expect to get everything for free these days.

  9. I appreciate the opportunity to support Rabbi Slifkin in his work as I see it as extremely important. I believe Rabbi Slifkin's work to be important not only to Modern Orthodoxy's future, but on an individual level for those who come to feel disconnected or disenchanted with Charedi non-Rational Judaism and scholarship.

    Hakira puts out a publication which has subscribers. I see this as no different, except that it is not a timed publication, it is an ongoing one.

    If this blog had a yearly membership fee, I would gladly subscribe. I see it as a very worthwhile endeavor.

    Furthermore, there are those of us who are not necessarily looking to get something for free, and are looking to contribute to scholarship with which we identify.

    FYI - Every ArtScroll book of scholarship, every sefer they translate, every siddur, machzor, Mishnayos, Gemara, English sefer, everything except for novels, popular storybooks and cookbooks, are "dedicated" - which means that they are sponsored - which means that someone paid for them to be written. ArtScroll would never have grown into what they have become without abundant contributions from people interested in sponsoring Jewish scholarship.

    We have the opportunity to get in on a ground level instead of waiting for 20 years from now when Rabbi Slifkin is too popular and too busy to do his own fundraising. Just imagine - you can tell your grandchildren "I was there when this all started..."

  10. Btw - I know I'm late in the discussion, but I just added a comment on the previous post.

  11. Definitely a must read for ANYone who has an IQ above 90 and wants to see how "Judaism" has reached the pathetic low it is at. It will take great men such as Slifkin and Amselem to get Jews back on the authentic Jewish path. The shift right was hands down the WORST decision ever.

  12. Yehuda, there are tons of sites that expect or hope that its readers will support it with monetary donations. And Rabbi Slifkin is not "expecting his readership to support him." He is expecting compensation for certain work - work he is making available only to those willing to pay for it - that he does in addition to his regular blog posts. What don't you get about that? You almost imply that since you don't like that idea, or never heard of this idea before, therefore we should expect that as an act of protest, there will be readers who will pay only 1 cent and DEMAND to see the material for no more than 1 cent.

    It's like buying in a store. A very obvious process. If you want the item, pay for it. If not, not.

    Rabbi Slifkin, if people continue to obnoxiously buy for 1 cent, is there a way to set a minimum payment limit, so that no one can buy the monograph for less than a couple of dollars?

  13. No, there's no way to set a minimum. But this time there were no one-cent donations.

  14. why don't you get an honest job? Isn't it embarrassing to have to rely on the charity of others? I don't this "shnorring as any different than what goes on at bmg...

  15. ?!?!?!

    I work to provide a product for people. If you are not benefiting from what I am offering you, I don't expect you to give any money!

  16. "No, there's no way to set a minimum. But this time there were no one-cent donations."

    There might be no simple built-in way to set a minimum, but there are definitely many ways you can do it.

  17. To clarify my position:

    1) Rabbi Slifkin can charge whatever he wants; I don't dispute that.

    2) I didn't know that Rabbi Slifkin couldn't set a minimum. Some of my sentiments are rendered irrelevant by that fact.

    3) I have never paid less than $5 for the essays of Rabbi Slifkin that I was interested in buying. I have also bought two of his books.

    4) There is nothing wrong with Rabbi Slifkin asking for donations (although I think it's fairly rare on the blogosphere). What I object to is him almost intimating that not donating implies that one is ungrateful.

    Blogs have always been free and one shouldn't have to feel guilty for enjoying this blog for free any more than one should feel guilty for enjoying gratis all the other blogs out there that never even ask for money. (Incidentally, I have donated to Wikipedia; I wonder how many of my attackers on here have done so.)

    5) I agree that paying 1 cent is insulting.

  18. I don't think anyone ever said you cannot enjoy this site without donating or that you or anyone should feel guilty. Most of the material is free. The issue we were discussing was specifically those monographs that require a payment to read. And then people giving 1 cent for that.

  19. I advocate testing the IQ of the six people who voted this is kefira. I am pretty sure the IQ's will be well below the Israeli/American national average. I will pay for the testing.

  20. I disagree. In religion, there is no correlation between being smart and being right, nor between being foolish and being wrong.

  21. Metatron,

    Since it has been mentioned again and again that for many people the buttons simply mean "like" and "dislike", can you please explain why someone not liking this post or/and article would have IQ bellow average?

  22. Maybe it's just me but I think you are sending here a mixed message.

    On one hand you are complaining that the price of the article is $5 and that some people are taking advantage of the system (which does not allow you to set a minimum payment) and pay just one cent (ergo steal).

    On the other hand you say that the article is for free and the voluntary recommended donation of $5 us to support this blog.

    Just say it clearly: The MINIMUM (not just recommended) price is $5.

  23. If someone doesn't normally read this blog, I don't expect them to pay $5 for a short monograph.

    And I never accused the one-centers of stealing.

  24. Let me rephrase. Those who clicked Kefira might be more inclined to support and fall victim to beleiving the wicked regime that is steering Judaism to the realm of Azriel.

  25. “What I object to is him almost intimating that not donating implies that one is ungrateful. Blogs have always been free and one shouldn't have to feel guilty…”

    Yehudah – You seem to be extrapolating that someone “should feel” something, while Rabbi Slifkin never wrote that one should feel anything. Is it possible that you are projecting your own feelings and emotions into what was written, with regard to reading something as being “implied” when that wasn’t at all what was said?

    (Incidentally, I have donated to Wikipedia; I wonder how many of my attackers on here have done so.)

    Nobody is attacking you. Some of us may have disagreed with something you wrote.

    Others of us have also donated to Wikipedia; I myself have, even while I don’t include myself as one of your “attackers”.

  26. Rabbi,

    I just bought this and donated one cent, but only cause I had already previously bought it and donated a normal amount. I am simply at work and want it for the train ride home. I originally bought it at home and forgot to email it to myself. Just clarifying that I'm not "one of those."

  27. It's completely reasonable to charge $5 for this. You pay a university $130,000 for their lectures and reading lists. Why not $5 for some truly important material. Unraveling this Charedi thing is one of the most important tasks for Jews today.


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