Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Apology- and the Return of Full Moderation

Today’s earlier post on Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak is based entirely on information from the Ynet article on this subject. In that post I strongly criticized Rabbi Yitzhak for flogging a 'sinner' who violated his concept of Tznius. Apparently the flogging was symbolic. Ynet is usually pretty reliable. But not this time. They ‘forgot’ to mention that little detail about the flogging being symbolic. So I apologize for my reaction to an event that apparently did not really happen. At least not in the way I thought it did.

But I do not apologize for my general criticism of Rabbi Yitzhak. His methods of imposing symbolic flogging as a form of Teshuva are at best questionable. And his quest to ban Yaakov Shwecky for Tznius reasons are not only counterproductive - if he succeeds it can ruin the man’s career! He will also be depriving Shwecky’s many fans of his terrific and inspirational music.

As for my speculation about his possible deviancy, I stand by what I said. He is too obsessed with Tznius issues. I still agree with my rabbinic Charedi friend about people who tend to focus their efforts on Tznius issues in overly zealous ways. His reaction to mixed gender concerts are extreme.

But I never said he was actually deviant. I only said that charismatic anti establishment people like him are more likely be so than the general population. They are the ones who create cults – the way Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Burka lady did. I do not think Rabbi Yitzhak has crossed that line yet nor did I say he did. But his obsession with Tznius is clear.

I would normally delete the article but I have basically been away from my blog since this morning. Since there have been so many comments - in deference to those who took the time to comment I have decided to leave it up along with all the comments except for the few I deleted. Instead I have footnoted the end of that post and referred readers to my apology in this one.

On an unrelated issue - I have unfortunately turned moderation back on. I decided to give an un-moderated format another try. I was out of town to attend a wedding in Monsey, New York -staying on a few days for a mini vacation. I knew my moderating duties would be limited and I did not want to stifle the conversation – so I turned off moderation.

Unfortunately there are some simple minded and ignorant people who willfully violated my posting rules. I have deleted their comments and those responding to them. I apologize to my readers for having to put up with it.

I also want to express my appreciation to the vast majority of commenters for keeping the level of conversation and debate on a high level.

I am back in Chicago now and full moderation is unfortunately back too.