Tuesday, July 13, 2021

It's Not A Sin

Reporting molesters to the police is not Mesirah. 

Exposing how some people are dangerous is not Lashon Hara. 

And criticizing harmful wrongs in a community is not Sinas Chinam.

49 comments:

  1. The Torah prescribes that the man marry the girl who he raped. Can you explain how that figures into what you claim? Call a Rabbi to complete the Kiddushin, not the cops!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. That's not what it "means"--the woman can refuse marrying the creep that raped her.
      The intent is, if, say, he raped a hunchback, or a disabled person, he's stuck with marrying her, if she agrees.

      Delete
    3. furthermore, a woman who was raped was probably considered damaged goods and would have had poor marriage prospects. So IF she decided she wanted to marry the guy, the mitzvah would guarantee her security for life.

      Delete
    4. @Yehudah, Once he he rapes her, she becomes despised and unwanted, hence he needs to marry her because no one else will.

      Delete
    5. Remember, back in the day (ancient society, not limited to Israelite society), a woman was kinda like property and a single woman did not have much earning power. And a non-virgin was often not as sought-after to be a bride as a virgin. Therefore, a violated woman would have trouble getting married, and might end up homeless and hungry (after her parents died, if we are being kind). Therefore, it was incumbent on the man who put her in that state to take care of her - ie marry her.

      Then let's remember that most rapes - and certainly the case of mefateh - are with people that one already knows. There may be therefore in some cases (obviously not all) some preexisting friendly relationship that might be useful in a foundation for a marriage. (Of course, it likely was soured by the rape, but at least it's not that in every case the dinner conversation would be "so where did you two meet?" "Oh, somewhere basadeh...")

      Delete
    6. The rule is applicable to a girl in age 12 - 12.5 years old, so it is irrelevant in the current reality.
      Gemara says that it's preferable for a typical woman to marry an occasional man rather than never marry. That was a mentality of those days, I am not sure it is correct now, even in traditional societies.

      Delete
    7. Many laws in the Torah can be misunderstood because we do not know the full background of the laws, what the law actually was and how it was applied. The culture, politics and economy were different back then. Context is really really important. For example, if the rapist must marry her (with her approval) could that act as a deterrent to rape ? How difficult was it for women to find a husband and thus a rice bowl ? People’s perception of rape may have been very different back then. ACJA

      Delete
    8. The Rambam doesn't give rationalizations of the woman being "damaged goods". She marries the rapist only if she agrees (הלכות נערה בתולה, 1:3):

      When a girl who was seduced does not want to marry the seducer, or her father does not want to give her in marriage to him, or if [the seducer] does not want to marry her, he may pay the fine and depart. We do not force him to marry her.

      If they do desire [to wed], and he marries her, he does not pay a fine. Instead, he writes her a ketubah, as is written for other maidens.

      When, however, a woman who is raped or her father do not desire that she marry the rapist, they have that prerogative. [In such an instance,] he must pay the fine and depart. If she and her father desire [that the marriage take place], but he does not desire, we force him to marry her, aside from paying the fine, as [Deuteronomy 22:29] states: "He must take [the maiden] as his wife"; this is a positive commandment.

      Even if the girl is lame, blind, or afflicted with leprosy, he is forced to marry her and he may never take the initiative in divorcing her, as [the above verse continues]: "He may not send her away as long as he lives." This is a negative commandment.

      Delete
    9. Even in the case if Yibum, a Mitzva, we advise against the marriage if there's an age gap or other incompatibility--the case in many or all of the situations under discussion.

      A study must also be made of when one may indeed turn to secular courts.

      Delete
    10. I'd believe the Torah is talking about a one time sinner not a serial offender. Shall he marry them all? Must they share him with each other, and he will later get more?

      Delete
  2. And writing three sentences is not a blog post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hah! Thou protest too much. You're like the guy in the previous post who said "homosexuality is not a sin". Every sinner thinks he's just fine and dandy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If a white man does nothing but insult and criticize what he sees as the failings of the black community, what's that called? That's called RACISM. You know - like you accused other orthodox Jews of on May 20. And as you ACKNOWLEDGED then, you've been playing the game a long time: "I would get into heated arguments with my classmates about racism. I claimed that they were being racist and cruel....I'm still proud of the chapter that I wrote against frum racism..."

    Don't agree? Think that's not fair, that it creates a world where criticism can be stifled or ignored by impugning motives? Boo-Hoo. Cry us a river. Go complain to your fellow leftists, the academics who helped create this world. Or maybe stop projecting your problems on to other Jews. Until then, what you're doing is worse than Sinas Chinam, its raw anti-semitism. For shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R’ Slifkin cares about the Jewish community and the long term survival of the state of Israel. It’s obvious to me that his criticisms come from a place where he wants to solve those problems so Israel and Judaism can thrive in the modern world. How can that be called anti-Semitism?

      It’s much easier to make an argument that people who don’t care about these things and just want to exploit existing systems for their own benefit and power are the real anti-Semites.

      Delete
    2. Have you always been somewhat intellectually challenged or did you have to go to a special yeshiva to have your logic short-circuited?

      Delete
    3. I think Mr. Schreiber has an interesting point. A white person who points out actual, legitimate, theoretically correctable problems in the black community IS considered a racist.

      Perhaps that is a problem.

      Of course, then if we turn it around, we would say that someone who level what they think is legitimate criticism against the State of Israel is antizionist/antisemetic.

      So what does one do?

      One commonly used strategy is to "build street cred," and to praise where praise is warranted. Another strategy is to point out how similar critiques can and do apply to one's own group. Trying to understand where things come from is an option, albeit softer than the others bc it has a risk of being too condescending. I'm sure there are others.

      I think that one can make the argument that some of the issues discussed simply do not apply to other groups. (Dati Leumi or secular groups do not have kollel, for example, and do not actively claim that the government is always out to get them. Similarly, white people do not believe that the police are always out to get them.)

      So praise it is, as well as trying to understand.

      I think that R' Slifkin has very clearly, time and again demonstrated that he understands where things come from and that there is no malice involved in the development of the system. He has also (occasionally) praised the chareidi community - or individuals - for certain things. I'm sure the defenders here would like to see more of those - that he does not have enough street cred.

      OR

      one can take it on faith that a person who is generally an upstanding person means criticisms honestly and legitimately from a place of love for fellow Jews and fear for the future of his country.

      Or not.

      Delete
    4. A black race is hopeless because of it's low IQ, the lowest of all the races. There's always were, are and will remain at the bottom. This is genetic and cannot change.

      Charedi lifestyle is incompatible with the integration in a modern society. Their case doesn't lend itself to a resolution.

      This is all very simple and can be observed today and in a historical perspective.

      Delete
    5. Black children in poverty (defined by being entitled to free school meals) are performing better in KS3 (16 years old) and KS4 (18 years old) tests than poor white class children in the UK.
      Those of African descent perform better than those of Carribbean descent.

      I could go on. Racism isn't just divisive - it's often simply empirically wrong.

      Delete
    6. Yosef R - I appreciate that you try to stay level-headed, usually not easy in this forum.

      Street Cred *can* be effective to deflect suspicious of animus against a particular group, true. But Pr. Slifkin has no street cred. The exact opposite is true.

      Delete
  5. Lo sisneh es achicha bilvavecha. That is one of the 613 commandments.

    I put it to you that your criticisms mostly do not come from concerns about harmful wrongs that you observe among your brethern.

    Rather it's the hate inside, the desire for revenge, the need to justify your actions, also the desire for recognition and popularity, to gain readership and who knows what else,that drives you to highlight all the problems you continually observe among your people.

    It is very hard for any human being to see themselves for who they are. We are all full of self love. That's why outside input is helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Outside input is helpful of course. But it isn't very reliable when the outsiders disagree with each other plus (no surprise) each party sticks up for itself.

      What compels anyone to accept your opinion that it's the hate etc. when others believe that his opinion is objectively correct? And is your opinion (and granted, theirs too) not self serving?

      Delete
  6. Did I miss something in the news that’s causing you to all of a sudden write this

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your self-righteous critics on this blog really should try moving to their favorite beloved Haredi community here, I suspect they'd last about three weeks. Always easy to wail from afar about issues you have no clue about.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is it a sin to mention the extent to which Rabbi Kook the younger promoted Kahana and Kahanism personally, boosted his political profile, and advocated for the Occupation on deluded Messianic grounds, as a result of which so many of his prominent students, the current leaders of Daati Leumi Judaism, are on the records as racists?

    Nationalist religion has been off the derech since the mid 70s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You once asked what oppression has not been justified by self defense. I provided you some examples, but left out the obvious one. The (alleged) conquest of Canaan by ancient Israelites. ACJA

      Delete
    2. Wait, wasn't Kahana booted out for his extreme views by the moderate Dati Leumi crowd? You are trying to have a cake that has long been eaten.

      Delete
    3. Is lying a sin?

      Delete
    4. Ephraim:

      https://www.jta.org/1977/01/31/archive/kook-supports-kahane

      Lying is indeed a sin, but ignorance of that which is carefully airbrushed out of DL history is not.

      Yosef R - Begin and the secular right broke with Kahana. The DL crowd never have disowned him, certainly not his ideas, and have always been the water in which Kahanists swim (borrowing Mao Zedong's turn of phrase). The relationship between Kahanism and Daati Leumism is similar to the relationship between Satmar and Neturei Karta - fellow travellers - enablers.

      Delete
    5. Are you kidding? The "Occupation" is Tora's commandment. And there is no connection between Kahanism and racism.

      Delete
    6. If keeping the Torah means you need to haul other people's kids out of their own beds at 3AM and take their photos, put me down as a militant atheist. I'm all for the spirituality and identity and philosophy of religion and the vague claims of the perfection one True Law so long as people best in mind the historical reality (that the Torah was actually written in the late bronze age and early iron age by mortals) before they prosecute people for their sexuality or race.

      If you do not apply the same rules to Jews and Arabs (two racial groups with identity being passed by hereditary means) then you are racist. Kahanaists are therefore racist.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous the first. There's some very inspirational messages in the Torah and for people looking for them there's some very poisonous messages too. If you absolutely force me to I will say as the Rambam said about Korbanos, but stronger, because sometimes it needs to be said - these stories reflect the short, violent lives of the bronze age hill tribesmen who wrote them.

      I don't like writing heresy but if people's misconception about the historical reality of the authorship of tanach is leading them into justifying grave sins of murder in modern day contexts then how can I be silent?

      Delete
    8. @HAT Not sure Jews are a race. Hitler thought so,. But USA and most Europe did not consider Jews a race. There are black,Asian, Indian, Spanish,Latin, Caucasian Etc Jews. ACJA

      Delete
  9. There was this guy, who calls himself a Rabbi Doctor, who claimed that sinas chinam means when people do fruitless things, out of hate.

    Pointing out the wrongdoings in Charedi society, when that pointing out will not change a thing, is the same Sinas Chinam. But the same myopia that had you understanding Bennett's forming of a government with leftists but not understanding Bibi's refusal to vote for the reunification exemption law, also has you missing the blind spot in your thinking.

    And your issue with reporting molesters is moot. Reporting definite molesters is not the issue. Reporting suspected molesters is where the trouble starts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " when that pointing out will not change a thing." I don't know why you make such a claim. This website has proven to have influence in all kinds of ways.

      Delete
    2. Well, if your website is really so influential, you should influence secular Jews to become religious. Not chareidi. Just y'know, Shabbos, kashrus, taharas mishpacha, tefilla, belief in Hashem etc. This is of overwhelming importance, as you would surely agree. It's infinitely more important than the trickle of chareidim that you imagine you will convert to secularism.

      Delete
    3. Some suggestions: You could talk about rationalist reasons for why the Torah and mitzvos are so absolutely crucial. Why refraining from the 39 melachos is so important. Or refraining from eating neveila. Or wearing tefillin. Or believing in Hashem. All from a rationalist perspective. This is your specialty, I'm sure you have more than enough rationalisms up your sleeve.

      You could also talk about the evils of not keeping the Torah. And how the Jews who fail to do so have an extremely problematic mentality. An utterly wrong-headed and dangerous approach to religion and reality. And are on a path to spiritual destruction. And how their terrible secular leaders misguide them. All from a rationalist perspective, of course. You could even write posts making fun of secular Jews and comparing them to moronic Chelmites. And by doing this, with your influential platform, you could influence myriads of secular Jews to return to the Torah.

      Doesn't that sound good?

      Delete
    4. "You could also talk about the evils of not keeping the Torah. And how the Jews who fail to do so have an extremely problematic mentality. An utterly wrong-headed and dangerous approach to religion and reality. And are on a path to spiritual destruction." That IS what I write about.

      Delete
    5. But you totally ignore the elephant in the room. The very large elephant that takes up the whole room. You focus on what you imagine are the aveiros of the chareidim. Which, let us say you are right, that they are aveiros.

      But these aveiros pail in comparison to those of mechallelei Shabbos seculars, who don't consider the Torah binding at all. Who transgress countless very chomur aveiros, on a constant basis. And ignore countless mitzvos. Their spiritual destruction, by any measure, is infinitely worse. And their population is much greater.

      So by speaking to the seculars, you could have much more of a positive impact. I mean, I'm sure in your mind you are already having a positive impact. But your impact could be much greater by orders of magnitude! How about a compromise: Speak half to the seculars and half to the chareidim. Sounds good?

      Delete
    6. I, too, make grandiose claims for having influence in all kinds of mysterious ways.

      Delete
    7. I like this post in that it zeroes in on these specific points. (But then we were subjected to some red herring which de-focused everything.) Now here's an nice subject to zero in to, & hopefully get out of the way once & for all: Rabbi S, do you have evidence and what is it, and is it clear-cut or merely the start of another round of quarreling, that this blog is influential? Thank you.

      Actually, even it's merely the start of another round of quarreling, it has the (smaller) benefit of being presented everyone's alleged evidence and counter evidence, to allow us to form our own opinion.

      Delete
  10. Absolutely! Judging by some of the reactions on here, I fear for the future of the religious society in israel.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What is going on with these bizarro comments?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nobody besides the One above is in a position to judge your motives. But just realize that in the history of sinat chinam, I'm pretty sure nobody ever admitted what they were doing was because of sinat chinam. Everyone has a rationalization. So if you have hatred, just be aware that you are playing with fire because your judgment is impaired.
    Obviously everyone can agree that criticizing a community is not by definition sinat chinam. But I hope you can agree that if someone goes way overboard in his criticism, it may very well be a sinat chinam situation.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As far as I understand one shall not report to the police but contact rabbinic Beith Din first. Ideally they should punish the rapist by themselves, and only if it's not possible they issue a permit to contact the police.
    Of course it makes sense only if honest Beith Din is present. I am not aware about existence such the Beith Din anywhere. I still hope it's only my misfortune :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Not only criticizing harmful wrongs in a community is not Sinas Chinam.
    It is direct Torah's commandment: "You shall reproach your neighbor..."

    Why ever one can accuse RNS or anyone else in Sinas Chinam? If you think he is wrong and his criticism is baseless, simply explain why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No community or individual is perfect, but the context is the struggle for preserving Judaism in a rapidly changing and hostile world. There is a trade-off and I accept it, while acknowledging the criticism as valid. In fact, as a seasoned baal teshuvah of over 40 years, I can add alot to it, but I won't.

      Delete
    2. What does it mean to "preserve" Judaism? Judaism hasn't remained the same for any two generations in its history.

      Delete
  15. Dear RNS,

    This is the funniest and most illuminating post I think you have ever written. Three simple statements, all of them totally straight-forward moral no brainers. What possible comment could there be to make on these three obvious positions.
    And yet your commenters are up in arms. They are wounded, offended, disgusted, outraged. Methinks they do protest too much.
    I doubt you could find a better way to demonstrate just how morally bankrupt the frum world is.

    ReplyDelete

Comments for this blog are moderated. Please see this post about the comments policy for details. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED - please use either your real name or a pseudonym.

Shaken By The Lulav

There are many aspects of Judaism which make people feel uncomfortable. The mitzvah of arba minim sometimes falls into that category. Shak...