Sunday, June 17, 2018

Double Standards – Part 1: Naming and Shaming

I honestly do not get much feedback on my posts. I don’t think many people really read them. The asafsuf is intimidated by them. If I ever do get comments, it is rarely from people who are asking me for more detail about what I think. It is usually for the purpose of them letting me know what they think. And they are generally not interested in a rebuttal from me. One way correspondence.

In most cases I see this as a display of arrogance and intellectual immaturity. Most of all, it’s ignorance. To be more subtle, I call it “consumerism”. Most of the people I am trying to reach are asafsuf. They are very distant from even knowing primary Halachic concepts, and therefore distant from understanding them. Even when I write a complete digest as in Thinking like a Jew to present the Halachic premise, it is either not even read or it is marginalized as irrelevant.

Halacha is not irrelevant to those who live by it. So the asafsuf are those who do not live by it. This includes the Sapper sisters - Dassin and Elli-ram and Nich-ohne [ben Pelles] - and the 250[0] people who like their Facebook page.  Well, sadly, they are not all asafsuf. There seems to be in this group a sizable portion of גם בני ישראל even those who appear or claim to be “Halachic” that are just as ignorant.

It truly pains me to see those whose profiles sport pictures of nice shaitels or beards with big black yarmuklach who are so totally lost in the same sea of hostility and ignorance. Very sadly, this characterizes two of the three people who gave me feedback on my most recent post (the one about the demand for apologies from the Adass school).

As I said, I don’t really have many customers. Not very many readers and rarely anybody comments. So, in my most recent post, the latest about the Leifer controversy, I received feedback from only three people. Of these, only one of them posted directly to the comments in my blog post. The name given was Sally Feiglinovich (I have a hard time believing that this is a real name and I even wonder if it was written by a female). This was a rare case where the commenter backed me up. This does not happen often and I am very gratified when it does.

If you want to read her comment, it is right there on the post. You can’t miss it. It’s the only one. I got 0 comments on the post before that. One commenter on the post before that about Prenups with a little give-and-take and again 0 comments on the three preceding posts. Lots of action!

Regardless, this is not the feedback item I am here now to discuss.

The other two pieces of feedback came from different mediums. One was a Facebook comment and was very brief and the second was a direct personal email and was very long. I will provide more details about each in turn. But first, I want to point out what the two pieces have in common.

Two things stand out:

  • They both address me with a similar term of endearment. 
  • They are both hypocritical. They portray the ubiquitous double-standards that I am so used to seeing from the asafsuf. But the point of hypocrisy differs in each case.

In this post, I will examine the first feedback. This was a Facebook comment. For the Malka Leifer posts, I sometimes get a bit aggressive and post a link to a fresh post on some relevant Facebook pages hoping to get a little more exposure. Most often, those posted links are deleted in a flash. Whereupon, I often get permanently blocked.

So for the last post, I managed to post a link on the JCW Facebook page. No surprise, the posted link came down really quick, but not before an alert Jew saw it and posted a comment. Technically, I am allowed to display the fellow’s real name (if it is a real name) because it was posted in public, but since the comment was deleted along with the link I posted and it is no longer visible to the public, I will play it safe and not use his real name and only call him Menachem. (Incidentally, I have a nagging hunch that Menachem is the one who deleted the link.)

Menachem wrote:

Hirshman, You are a disgusting human being You hear half the story, ignore things that go against you, and have the audacity to publicaly name and shame victims and those who help them.

Aside from commenting that he should use the spell-checker, I want to respond to his post in my usual line by line style. So here is the post again (in dark red) with my comments (in dark green):

Hirshman, You are a disgusting human being

At least I rate enough to be called a human being

You hear half the story

I wonder which half of the story I heard. Do you know more, Menachem? How about filling me in? Incidentally, I was at a simcha in Yerushalayim last week and I met a 19 year old bochur from the Adass community in Elsternwick. I asked him about the Leifer incident and he told me that he’s a bit young for the action but the fact is that nobody really knows what happened.

ignore things that go against you,

Your comment goes against me and I am not ignoring it. 

But, now that you brought it up, it is not my nature to ignore "things". What do you mean by "things"? Facts? Halachos? Public opinion?

To date, I have at least 19 posts under the label "Malka Leifer" and there isn't any aspect that isn't addressed.

Do you mean people who "go against me" like the Sapper sisters? I'm definitely not ignoring them!

Incidentally, do you have any idea how many people or causes blocked me form their Facebook pages because I wasn't ignoring them?

Do you mean the misguided "Rabbis" from the RCANZ? Of course I did not ignore them. I actually wrote to them openly to explain to me and to the public what I am doing wrong, and, do you know what happened?

They ignored me.

Sof davar, Menachem, if you really think there are any facts or players that I have ignored, please just let me know what [or who] they are and, bli neder, I will see to it that they are no longer ignored. Scout's honor!

and have the audacity to publicaly name and shame victims and those who help them.

Here is the hypocrisy.

First, to defend myself, clearly, Menachem is not too versed in my posts. If he were, he would notice that I am merely an analyst. Everything I write about is sourced on the Internet.
I have not publicly named or shamed anybody who did not already name or shame themselves in public. I didn’t write any of those news articles that I get my information from. Nor did I post any of the self-incriminating information that the Sapper sisters reveal in their interviews and post themselves on Dassi’s Facebook page. It is all there without me. I am just pointing out to my readers what it says.
But once he mentioned publicly naming and shaming, I have to say this (we are now dealing with his double-standard):
The ethical decadence of the Sapper sisters is absolutely reprehensible.  There is no doubt in my mind that whatever happened in the apology negotiations between Dassi and the Adass school was done behind closed doors and was meant to stay there. We call this confidentiality (or סודיות where I live). 

There is a Cherem from Rabeinu Gershom about this.
Dassi “Erlich” – our paragon of virtue and poor suffering victim who can do no wrong – stepped out of that meeting and blabbed everything said in confidence to the Australian Jewish News, and named names to boot. Whereupon, she proceeded to post the link to this article on her Facebook page so that all her supporters can publicly express their indignation!
This rates as the lowest possible breach of ethical behavior and it tells us what kind of a pereh adam Dassi Erlich really is. 
As you can tell, I am not pulling punches here. This ugly stunt is the absolute antithesis of “Erlich”-keit. These sisters should hang their heads in shame. And if they have any human decency whatsoever they must immediately apologize in public to the board and to those they named and shamed.
Menachem, I did not write the article I analyzed on my last post and I did not post it on Dassi’s Facebook page, either. Dassi Erlich did!

The asafsuf live in a double-standard world that says that if party A (in this case the Sapper sisters) accuses party B (in this case, the Adass school) of whatever and unjustly bring it to the public, the public is free to “judge” the accused – who is not on-line or available to defend their position – but has no right to judge the accuser – who incidentally, spills their innards and reveals all their shortcomings. Like there is some sort of diplomatic immunity.

I have fought against this hypocrisy again and again and will continue to do so. If members of the public can judge the accused then those who wish can judge the accusers. There is no משאוי פנים in HKBH's court.

Fair is fair. In a duel of honor, both sides get to shoot!

Be advised.

No one is a diplomat!

Stay tuned for Part 2…


Dovid Kay said...

Longtime reader, first time commenter. I want to say first of all that you are an excellent, even entertaining writer, and you are a rare example of an honest commentator.
At the risk of sounding sycophantic, I will also praise you for being unafraid to take the unpopular position.
However, it often feels like you are shouting into the wind. Most people are either actually unlearned, don't have time to properly analyze the discussion, or simply go along with the prevailing winds of popular sentiment and want people like Malka Leifer and other accused people to simply disappear, Torah and Halacha be damned.
I suspect that really most people just can't be bothered- their lives are too busy and they simply skim the news and move on.
The only people really getting involved have something to gain by their involvement. And therefore they can't be trusted to seek the truth in any case.
So as I said before, I fear that you are just wasting your time.
I have no comment as to whether Malka Leifer is guilty or not. I have no way of knowing this, but I fully agree with you that if we profess to be Torah Jews, then we must do as the Torah demands even if it is personally distasteful to us.
Good luck with everything

Yechezkel Hirshman said...

Reb Dovid, LOY"T

Thank you very much for reading and for commenting. It is always gratifying to find an ally.

I also feel like I am shouting into the wind, but at least I hear it!

And, that alone, is worth my time.

Kol Tuv.

Hamasig said...

I also read your posts.
I agree that while generally, you are correct, your posts do tend to be long-winded. No one has the patience to read everything. Still. it should be out there for the record.

Moe G said...

I, for one at least, think I've agreed with every point you made in every part I've read of yours that I remember. And I've read your posts extensively.

Moe G said...

*post ("part" should've read "post")