31 Comments

I would rephrase the first paragraph as "Over 2022, we’ve discussed a broad variety of topics, such as Charedim, Charedim, Charedim, Charedim, Charedim, filler, Charedim, Charedim, Charedim, filler, Charedim, Charedim, Charedim, Charedim!"

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Listen, I love it when you explain the science behind the Torah. I loved your piece on the Tzohar, and I found your book on Mysticism and Rationalism very informative. I particularly like the book because you focused on defending rationalism as a paradigm. There are very few people in this era that have the background and the inclination to argue effectively for rationalism. And you are one of those people.

I do think your message gets diluted when you take up more than one cause. I understand your reasons for focusing on Chareidim. You do feel that they are a danger to Israeli society. (I must state here that I don’t feel that way, just so you know my true biases). However, there are plenty of people that can take up that agenda. You aren’t even particularly good at speaking on Chareidim anyway. Your history with your books being banned renders your message on the topic particularly ineffective.

You of course have a right to speak about any and all topics you feel passionate about. You do have a platform with a large audience. And you may yet change some minds with your rhetoric. I can’t deny that.

But I strongly feel your potential for influence is so much greater when you put your efforts towards sharing your scientific knowledge with us, showing us your understanding of how the Torah and science are intertwined, and explaining your understanding of Chazal. That is why I buy your books. That is why I check your blog. And that is why I defend you when I can. I love your passion when you start to discuss zoology and when you write about a new insight on the Torah. Keep it up. Rationalism is an important paradigm. It isn’t perfect, but we need it, and we need you to support it.

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Dec 30, 2022·edited Dec 30, 2022

A couple of comments.

First, I had never heard of the video you mentioned. I had to go watch it. What an embarrassing video. For example, at 17:20... "Participants included Nobel laureate Peter Medawar, and bigwig professors from the likes of institutions such as Yale, MIT, and Harvard". (The writer deserves an "F" in English.) And this one is even worse (at 21:37)... "... it makes a lot of sense that Slifkin is so insistent that man comes from animal. It's because he wants to be able to act like an animal without consequences; to be able to act on all of his animalistic desires without shame." After that, I stopped watching.

Second, I must agree with @Shalom Bresticker. I too would enjoy more postings on the subject of "Rationalist Judaism". I'm a former charedi, now a dati leumi guy. I know about the issues related to the charedi world. I'm too familiar with that world and I'd rather learn more about rationalist Judaism.

Perhaps you might consider starting a different blog, "Religion and the Jew" (or something like that) where religious/political discussions could be had.

At the end of the day, I very much appreciate your blog (even though I don't always agree with you). My daughter and her family are coming to visit us from the States in a couple of weeks. We already have reservations for your museum. Last time I was there was at the old museum.

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I personally enjoy content about rationalist rishonim however it seems to often devolve into attacks on non rationalist rishonim. Also the anti Chareidi bent of this blog is unfortunately one sided and shallow and doesn't add to the blog at all. Can't you discuss the rationalist approach withought trashing everyone who disagrees with you?

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Natan's obsession with Charedim is like the left-wing media's obsession with Trump. They loathe him with a passion but can't bring themselves to drop him because he's what drives the clicks.

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You must be speaking a certain truth if you have so many haters.

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Dec 30, 2022·edited Dec 30, 2022

Or he may just write inflammatory garbage half the time. That would also do it.

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Half the time? 😂

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Nu nu don't nitpick

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@Dov

It’s only inflammatory to those who desire a society of men whose dignity is unworthy of secular education and meaningful employment to support their large families via false interpretation of historical halachic norms.

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As I said inflammatory garbage which you also seem to espouse

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Just because you don't like what he writes about doesn't mean it's inflammatory. There are uncomfortable issues that should be talked about. If you feel threatened by what he writes about maybe you should do some self reflection.

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Exactly. And by the same brilliant token, just because Natan Slifkin (or yourself) feels threatened by charedim, doesn't mean they're saying anything inflammatory.

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I don't feel threatened by them at all. I just think they need to figure out how to live life without being on the government dole or reliant on others for handouts.

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I have no problem with uncomfortable issues. I have problems with massive generalization and outright misinterpretation

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You should read this article then

https://www.rationalistjudaism.com/p/generalizations-about-generalizations

As someone that has grown up in the chareidi world, I have found Slifkin to be spot on many of the issues that he's written about.

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I am definitely a fan. I think you should do more posts about Chareidim, especially with titles like "Why People Hate Chareidim". It is useful to get an accurate picture of what secularists think of us. Also, it helps me understand certain Chazals, like

תניא אמר רבי עקיבא כשהייתי עם הארץ אמרתי מי יתן לי תלמיד חכם ואנשכנו כחמור

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Hey @Happy,

I think I explained that Gemara to you a few months back. You’re welcome for helping you understand it!! 😜

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It's one thing to hear explanations, another to see it in action! 😉

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Please write more charedi stuff. I fear that if you stopped, half the people here would have no one to hate-read and they would have to get a real life... It's better that we don't have to meet these people outside.

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More animal and museum related posts please 🙏. Those are most interesting ♥️.

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I'm fan. I don't agree with everything but I appreciate seeing other viewpoints. Also the comments section..... nothing like it!

I also find the chareidi obsession , well, obsessive. May I suggest some sort of self imposed , undisclosed ratio of topic genres? For example : 4:2:1 rationalist Judaism, politics , chareidim . Or some such idea?

Either way I'm bl"n gonna read your blog!

YidPoshut

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@Rav Slifkin

“…There are all kinds of critical and sometimes hateful comments, which I generally allow to be posted because I feel that it is useful to know what people think…”

And you should continue to publicize that so many Chareidim desire to implement a theocratic Israeli state. Although as a secular Jew I’m glad to see a “rationalist” approach to Orthodox Judaism, seeing how easy it is to manipulate and exploit the views and judgements of various Rishonim, Achronim and other authoritative Rabbinic sources. All to make them fit with the form of government that coerces seculars to live under a Halachic state. We have enough Theocracies in the Middle East. We don’t need another Iran supplanting the democracy extant in the Israeli State borders.

There is a clear danger that unfettered Charidism poses to the Jewish State. It isn’t present yet, but the demographics do not favor a democracy in the decades ahead. Fundamentalist Chareidis don’t care but the non-chareidi and liberal folks need to wake up before it’s too late. I hope the Faustian bargain that Bibi will consummate with the chareidi parties will be that wake-up call.

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It's actually the DL politicians which seek to Halachisize the state. They feel an affiliation with the state and view it as a legitimate enterprise and therefore want to perfect it. The Charedi parties on the other hand are not there to change the state on a global level and operate almost exclusively in areas of concern only to themselves.

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Cool! I'd never heard of the movie! Quite incredible!

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I would like to read less political opinions, although I do find your thoughts on hashkafos of various groups interesting. This name of this blog is "Rationalist Judaism". Let's stick to that subject.

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Not sure about the comments. But when it comes to the Charedim Nosson is definitely the hater.

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I see a few complaints here that the blog doesn't focus enough on the rationalist topics that people like and instead focuses too much on criticism of the Charedi world.

I have a suggestion for R Slifkin. Maybe label each post with a category and then on the main page have links to each category so readers can focus on the posts that particularly interest them.

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Speaking of fans, where did Not a fan go? And what about Nachum? These guys disappeared without a trace when you migrated to your new platform. Nachum was one of the only semi-educated guys who could make somewhat of an intelligent representation of the MODOX position.

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