Re-igniting the Storm
From: Zoo Torah [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 5:44 PM
To: 'Rav Feldman'
Subject: "The Eye of the Storm"
Dear Rav Feldman, shlita,
Shalom u'vrachah, I hope you are well.
I recently acquired your newly published book, "The Eye of the Storm: A Calm View of Raging Issues." It was with great surprise that I saw that it includes the essay of several years ago, "The Slifkin Affair: Issues and Perspectives," entirely unchanged from its original form. This was even though a number of rabbis and academic scholars publicly pointed out the many, many factual errors and serious flaws that this essay contained. Especially disturbing was that in describing the "discarded minority view" that Chazal occasionally erred in their statements about the natural world, you omitted any mention of the more than three dozen further sources which I sent to you a few years ago, in a letter to which you never responded. Attached is the letter, along with the most comprehensive of the critiques of your essay that were circulated.
I was also surprised that you chose to re-ignite this controversy at a new level, by introducing it to the domain of English published works, when even you yourself acknowledge that it is probably the public issue most damaging to the honor of Torah and to its leaders in recent memory. But since you chose to do so, I have decided to respond in kind, and I will publish a complete book about the controversy. This is something that I refrained from doing until now, but the publication of your book, along with the publication of the appalling sefer Chaim B'Emunasam, has helped me decide that it is the appropriate course of action. Actually, I think it will be of great help in helping people make informed decisions about where in the Orthodox world they should align themselves.