This and That - UPDATED
Some miscellaneous follow-ups and notes:
1. Regarding the infamous Ami article, one reader described a Pesach Program that he attended in which the scholar-in-residence was one of those recommended by the Ami article as being part of the solution - but who is in fact part of the problem.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: I just had a long phone conversation with the scholar under discussion, who was very upset and bewildered at the reader's account of what transpired. He flatly and vehemently denies every single part of the account. (I myself often find that people misrepresent me; sometimes deliberately, sometimes subconsciously, and this is sometimes even done by people who are close to me - and it is immensely frustrating.) The Ami article - which this speaker hated as much as the rest of us did - likewise did not accurately represent his work, and quoted him (also inaccurately) without his permission. I do know that while in the past this speaker was heavily involved in Discovery-style presentations, he has very much moved away from that approach in the last few years, for which he should be commended.
2. In my post Orthodoxy Vs. Maror, I described how some people would rather use horseradish and thus stick to tradition than use bitter lettuce and thus be yotzi lechol hadeyos. After further investigation, it seems that while there are many in England and America who use horseradish (and my post was prompted by learning of someone who avoided eating a kezayis as a result), in Israel lettuce is much more common.
3. My book Sacred Monsters has been out of print for a while, and I would like to republish it with a new publisher. So far I have a sponsor who is willing to fund the second half of the publication costs; if someone would like to help out with the first half, please be in touch. In addition, a Hebrew translation is nearly ready for publication.
4. I am currently planning a lecture tour in the US for late July/ August. If you are interested in having me visit your community as scholar-in-residence, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Menachem Kellner's important book Maimonides' Confrontation With Mysticism is finally available in paperback, at the much more reasonable price of $29.95. Highly recommended. There is also a new book by Herbert Davidson entitled Maimonides the Rationalist, but it is so far only available in hardcover at the rather high price of $64.50.
6. I have lots of posts in the works on all kinds of topics. So stay tuned! And don't forget that you can subscribe by email by using the form on the right.