Thursday, September 08, 2005

Derech Eretz Qadma la-Torah

A while back, I noted the intemperate language often used by the author of the Chakira blog. In a recent post, wherein he tries to list the top ten most influential rabbis in the United States, he crosses the line from 'intemperate' to outright 'vile and abusive.'

At the time, last December, when I noted this trait of his, I wrote:

Qohelet (9,17) says: 'The words of the sages are spoken quietly.' (Cf. Qohelet Rabbah, parsha 9 s.v. (1) divre.) It's excellant advice, especially if you want to address issues that are laden with emotional implications. Chakira, all too often, let's his adrenalin carry him off and harms the cogency of what he wants to say. If a point can't be made effectively. but respectfully, it was probably not that good a point in the first place.

In the present case, he has conducted himself in a way that not only does dishonor to himself, but to the Torah that he is ostendibly learning. In addition, if he thinks that by ranting and raving and belittling accomplished scholars with whom he disagrees, that he is protecting Modern Orthodoxy, he is sadly mistaken. He is discrediting Modern Orthodoxy, and casting aspersions on every person who believes therein.

Elul provides everyone with an opportunity to rectify his/her faults. By loking straight on at the impact of such violent language, we can all learn a lot about words, human dignity, and the need to restrain one's anger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

actually he is reflecting trends in MO - the _"I'mm hipper than you" phenomenon

signed - derech agav