Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Guess Most Yeshivos In Brooklyn Are Like Amalek...

In this week's Yated, Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, has an article (posted on YeshivaWorldNews) dealing with media bias and Agriprocessors. However, tucked away in the article, he takes a potshot at Yeshiva University. In his article, Rabbi Lipschutz writes:

Amaleik appears in so many different guises. When a Jewish university maintains on its payroll a person who openly lives an immoral lifestyle and the institution’s president tells the New York Post that he is “proud of my university and all my faculty,” is that not an expression of “asher karchah”? Such a person is conferring legitimacy on behavior the Torah considers abhorrent.

What he is referring to is the case of Jay Ladin, a professor of modernist American poetry who left YU two years ago on a leave of absence and who recently returned as Joy Ladin, having undergone hormone treatments (although she has not yet had sexual reassignment surgery).

I don't want to get into whether she was right or wrong. You're free to your own opinion on the matter. Rabbi Moshe Tendler has come out against her, while others have supported her. What I want to get to is Rabbi Lipschutz's gratuitious pot-shot at Yeshiva University.

He maintains that Yeshiva University is comperable (in at least some ways) to Amalek because they maintain this person on their staff. His argument is that by doing so, they are conferring legitimacy on behavior the Torah considers abhorrent.

However, in his little pot-shot, Rabbi Lipschutz has cast most of the yeshivos in Brooklyn as Amalek as well.

I went to a very right-wing yeshiva for high school. I don't think that there is anyone on earth who would mistake it for being "modern" in any possible sense of the word. And yet, when I was in high school, I had teachers (for secular studies) who were not frum. I also had teachers who were Christians. I'm sure that if you asked the principal (a frum Jew), he would have told you that he was proud of his teaching staff as well. And yet, according to Rabbi Lipschutz, my high school conferred legitimacy on a Jewish non-frum lifestyle, or worse, an idolatrous lifestyle! My high school is like Amalek! Not only that, a great many yeshivos in Brooklyn (and certainly in other communities as well) use teachers from the public school system who may not be frum or even Jewish to teach secular studies. I guess all these yeshivos are also like Amalek!

So, thanks Rabbi Lipschutz. I always knew that my high school didn't fit me. Now I know why! They were like Amalek.

The Wolf


Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what I think Amalek is all about.It's about those who attack the tired and weak;those who strike at the defenseless,at those who cannot fight back,at those whom society has consigned to the back of the line...An Amalekite fears man,but not God............ Now I can't wait until some"tuchus zitzer" with nothing better to do, convenes a va'ad to determine how the laws against mixed dancing might apply to that particular Y.U.lecturer

Anonymous said...

As much as I suaually howl with you, Wolf, I think you're missing the point here.

>His argument is that by doing so, they are conferring legitimacy on behavior the Torah considers abhorrent.<

How can you compare a gentile teacher or non-religious Jew with such an abomination?

Anonymous said...

Wolf, I thought you were going to say something even more appropriate as of late: that Amalek is lurking in the Yeshivot as sexual predators and being protected by so-called frum yidden against those courageous people trying to expose (destroy) Amalek.

Jewboy said...

Frumheretic stole my thunder: Does the din of Amalek apply to yeshivos that maintain child molesters on their payrolls?

Commenter Abbi said...

ditto for me: I thought you were referring to the child molester epidemic.

Leah Goodman said...

I'm sorry - I don't understand why lighting a fire (eg driving) on Shabbat is less immoral than taking hormones. Maybe less politically charged because it's more common, but it's not any worse halachically, as far as I understand halacha.

Hiring a non-Jew is less of a problem, imo, than hiring a non-shomer shabbat Jew to teach Jewish children. It's much easier to say "well, he's a goy, he doesn't have the 613 - only the 7 bnei noach" than "he's a good Yid even though he lights fire on Shabbat"

That is, if you'd hire a non-religious Jew for a yeshiva, Wolf's argument stands.

There may be averas involved, but they are bein adam lamakom - and who of us has never been over an avera bein adam lamakom?

Allowing a child abuser to teach is certainly on par with Amalek - leaving your weakest to predators may actually be worse than BEING the predators.

A person's behavior in the bedroom or in dress is only immoral if they are hurting someone else. If they are hurting their own neshama, let Hashem be the Judge. That's His job.

Then again, I'm an apikores, so go figure.

Anonymous said...

I think it's nice to have transgender people working in an Orthodox Jewish institution. In fact I think that the only way to contemporize Judaism and make it more female friendly is by blurring the gender lines completely. If every man is also a women and every woman is also a man than who would or would not count for a minyan? Who would or would not get an aliyah? We would finally have a beautiful religion in which ever member is respected for their individuality and not for their genitalia.