Friday, January 2, 2009

EJF - Cost Benefit analysis

bandit has left a new comment on your post "EJF defended":

If the world of kiruv would be perfect and they would be concentrating on teaching people, one by one, Torah and mitzvos and they ran into the problem of intermarried couples we would understand (though not agree with) EJF's position. However, the vast majority of kiruv is half-baked and aimed at improving people's feelings towards Judaism instead of teaching them Torah. This may not be a problem (although probably is) but once we start doing other things because of kiruv we have to reevaluate. If someone out there believes kiruv to be changing lobster eaters into latke eaters he will be bringing his clients to this beis din too. When a spouse converts are they accepting all mitzvos? Are they accepting a path that leads to all mitzvos? They are statistically more likely to divorce. What will happen then? If the geyrus is kosher they may still act like goyim, not having seen their geyrus in any context other than connected to their Jewish former spouse. This can create problems with mamzeyrus. If the geyrus is not kosher we are left with more problems. For EJF to say that they only accept geyrus with KM is allowing them to create a problem and then try and create a solution. That is a dangerous approach.

As a sidebar, the Chasam Sofer writes in a letter that when fighting evil one must take care not to attack people personally for two reasons. One, because the argument makes less sense when it includes a personal attack. Two, because the evil stands on its own and even if the perpetrator dies or leaves the scene the evil must still be fought. The personal digs in these comments (both against R' Bomzer and R' Tropper and each other) detract from the weight of the argument.

One last point. The ads printed in the Jewish media have quoted lists of teshuvos supporting them. I made it my project to research them and I was shocked to see that not one proved their point. It was a good lesson to me to research everything . But the credibility of this organization took a severe beating. Who knows what other lies are being said?

1 comment :

  1. On the subject of truth touched on at the end of the blog, here is some recent correspondence I had with a talmid chacham.

    Rabbi X:

    I do not know if vorts are dangerous, but they are usually not true...

    My reply:

    For a solid person like you, vorts are not dangerous. But most people cannot separate the wheat from the chaff.

    I consider vorts as dangerous as fake Holocaust stories (a famous one just hit the news recently and I have spotted dubious Holocaust tales on the Aish site), and as dangerous as the golem tales which are presented to youngsters as Torah miSinai. A youngster or uncomplicated sort of person hears these vorts, fake Holocaust stories and golem tales. Five years down the line he realizes that the vorts are nonsense, the Holocaust stories are fake, and
    the golem stories are a rabbi's invention. Many are then struck with the thought that if people I trusted have fed me lokshen for the past five years, how can I trust anything they say? This can lead to extreme consequences. In addition, you have a frum press (papers and books) which censors and edits everything it prints and then tries to destroy frum weekend magazines that try to be a drop more truthful does little to
    strengthen people's belief in authority.

    All this nonsense percolates into mainstream hashkofo leading to a
    split-personality tzibbur. The average Chareidi is quite cynical, while simulataneously willing to believe that any unusual tale ranks equal to Megillas Esther, and putting faith into a roster of segulos and alternative rostrums that would do a medicine man proud.

    Rabbi X:

    Your points are, as usual, excellent- and you definitely pointed out things that had not occurred to me.

    For many of these reasons, I try to keep as low a profile as I can, and help people privately, discreetly. I realized many years ago that I am not very good at battling windmills, but can be helpful on a one-on-one basis.


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