Monday, November 28, 2005

R. Feldman and Misplaced Priorities

S., over at OnTheMainLine has reproduced a letter sent by R. Aharon Feldman to Moment magazine, where he claims that they misinterpreted and misrepresented his 8 page letter against the works of R. Slifkin.

I find this very troubling. When R. Feldman initially published his letter, much of the Orthodox world, especially in the blogosphere, commented on it. Many found the letter lacking, and his claim that he would address the questions in a future letter patronizing.

What happens? Nothing. After his initial letter, R. Feldman is silent. Through the uproar and attacks, refutations and shock, he's silent. But Moment Magazine writes about it and suddenly R. Feldman feels the need to respond?

Let me get this straight. When the issue is Conservative, Reform, Reconstruction, secular, humanist, and non-affiliated Jews, R. Feldman feels the need to respond, to make sure that he's not "misunderstood." Can't let Orthodoxy be seen in a bad light. But when Orthodox Jews question his article, when they struggle with their beliefs and their (our) leaders make ridiculous comments in response, then he's silent.

He doesn't owe a letter to Moment, he owes us. The views and concerns of his coreligionists don't matter, but a misunderstanding in a religiously neutral Jewish magazine does. He'll grant Moment an interview, but won't give us a moment to answer our concerns.

Misplaced priorities anyone?

Update: LamedZayin mentions the same idea here.