Thursday, December 15, 2005

Right Wing By Default (Revised)

Chareidim also have a professional class. They also have what we call on this side of the Atlantic ‘the chattering classes’. Many of them have had the advantage of a good secular education. Some of them have gone to some of the best universities of the land. Most of them though are ‘born again charedim’, and in order to prove their chareidi credentials, try desperately to err on the side of right wing bigotry. For a free and true representation of their positions on important matters look no further than the web-log Cross Currents. Make sure you have a bowl close at hand as the urge to puke can become overwhelming.

Cross Currents is important. It is not just another blog. It is the chareidi worldview translated into English. It is the chareidi worldview for the common man. The leaders of chareidi Jewry (‘The Gedoilim’) do not write the articles that get posted on Cross Currents, but the posters on Cross Currents certainly represents correctly the views of the said ‘Gedoilim’. When the story of modern chareidi Jewry gets written in one hundred years time, Cross Currrents will be a primary resource for ascertaining what motivated and moved chareidi Jews of the 21st century.

Cross Currents is right wing. They enthusiastically support capital punishment, and from reading some of the posts this week one gets the distinct impression that they would love to see public hangings in the town square (its ‘torahdik’ after all) – and for adulterers too. I suppose it would make a suitable family outing, as they also hate the ‘entertainment industry’ and its immoralising effect on public values. Anything George W Bush does fills them with childish excitement, and by extrapolation they are pro-torture, pro Guantanamo Bay, pro-war and pro all the other excesses of the said president. When speaking about Muslims and Islam they lose all restraint, and although they have no sensible solution to the Palastinain issue, they opposed the Gaza-disengagement with vigour, not even shirking from making comparisons to Nazi Germany.

I could go on but I want to make my own comparison to Nazi Germany. There is a little known, but important story that is relevant here. During the 1930’s there were instances of orthodox Jews that thought that Hitler had some good ideas. They supported his return to pure Germanic values. They thought his ideas on homosexuality, gypsies and ‘coloured’ people were not far off the mark. Many of them felt that the big enemy was atheist Marxism. Hitler would sort that out. Hitler would also act as a bulwark against the tide of capitalist values that was sweeping across Europe. Some even thought that Hitler could stem the tide against that ungodly thing called democracy. In short Hitler was right wing and so was Orthodox Jewry, and therefore why not support him. (For those of you who think that all this is too fantastic I invite you to read this book. It’s all in there)

I think it’s pretty sad that a right wing dogmatic worldview is the default perspective of a ‘choreid’. Its sadder that they have not learnt from the big mistakes of the past.


Blogger InterestedJew said...

Interesting post. I have often felt this way myself--that many in the charedi world hold views that, taken to their logical conclusion, could end up promoting the kind of bigotry and hatred (and, yes, violence) perpetrated by the Nazis. And how long can we honestly justify these attitudes by invoking anti-semitism?

5:16 AM  
Blogger Also A Chussid said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Also A Chussid said...


many a charedi Jew thought that Hitler had some good ideas. They supported his return to pure Germanic values.

Being that you cited the book written by Marc Shapiro as your source of this amusing anecdote, I can only conclude that the fog of hatred and animosity that harbors in many deranged mortals, possessed your mind as well. The fact will always remain, - regardless of your defecation – that say sentiment was a view expressed by a lone Rabbi, branded by his peers a MO Jew, not a Charedi. Where do I get my facts? Shapiro’s writings.

Reading the letters by Rabbi Weinberg, addressed to a non–Orthodox professor teaching at a Reform seminar, filled with biting criticism of trends within Orthodoxy, I could have mistakenly contributed those thoughts to you.

6:58 AM  
Blogger yoinoson schreiber said...


r u suggesting that Marc Shapiro also (as well as HW) has a bias against Orthodox Jews? That is ridiculous. Read his books again. They are scholarly, not prejudiced in any way.

And you are wrong. It was not a lone Rabbi. Have u ever read the chapter I am referring to. If u have, read it again.

As far as tarring me with the same brush as you do Weinberg; I can only say to u that I shall wear that as a medal rather than a badge of shame.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

Wow, your interpretation of the Shapiro book is complete and total bunk. I'm speechless.

First of all, the faction that R. Weinberg represented were not chareidi, secondly it is clear that there was pressure from the Naxi regime.

In any case, if this is your source for that "fact" you need to do better than that. Wow.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Also A Chussid said...


I always take delight in observing the spectacle of a deranged lunatic caught prancing around with his pants down trying to convince others that his is dressed in the most extravagant designer clothing. It is with the utmost enjoyment that I point them out to the general public.

Never did I suggest that Marc Shapiro is biased, rather I was pointing out your un-honest comparison - blatantly distorting Shapiro's writings. In that aspect you act similarly to HW. My argument was rather obvious, but you give your readers less credit by attempting to fool them with this argument.

If Rabbi Weinberg was a lone rabbi or not is anyone's guess, but by no means was it a belief amongst Chareidim, as you are alluding - far from it.

Interestingly enough, you keep mum about the fact that you contributed this notion to orthodoxy. Did I mention someone prancing around with his pants down???

10:25 AM  
Blogger yoinoson schreiber said...


>First of all, the faction that R. Weinberg represented were not chareidi

I do not agree. Weinberg is all things to all people. Anyway it wasn't only Weinberg there were others.

>it is clear that there was pressure from the Naxi regime

No he discounts that. Reread it.

>In any case, if this is your source for that "fact" you need to do better than that

Explain why u say that. He brings the sources and prints some of the original letters.

10:39 AM  
Blogger yoinoson schreiber said...


>a deranged lunatic

I am not deranged and not a lunatic.

>blatantly distorting Shapiro's writings

No I am not. Maybe I have misunderstood them. Explain where pls.

>Interestingly enough, you keep mum about the fact that you contributed this notion to orthodoxy

I think it is very difficult to define exactly what is meant by 'orthodoxy'. Maybe u try. I am happy to hear your definition.

For the purposes of this blog I think that it is true to say that (at least some) orthodox leaders made this mistake. My point was that todays right wingers have not learnt that lesson. They should.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

>I do not agree. Weinberg is all things to all people. Anyway it wasn't only Weinberg there were others.

He was the rector of the Wissenschaft-orientes Hildesheimer Seminary and a colleague-student of Christian Bible scholar Paul Kahle. There is simply no reasonable way to call him Chareidi, at least not during the period in question.

7:51 AM  
Blogger yoinoson schreiber said...


Weinberg was also on very good terms with Rabbi Chaim Oizer Grodzinski and very pally with Rabbi Chaim Elozor Shapiro the Munkatcher Rebber. He even went to that chassunah (video all over web.)

Having said that, after reflection, I have deicded to change the some of the wording on this post.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Shlomo said...

The Jewish merchant class will always worry about international threats, taxation, and the threat of 'big' government looking into their business dealings. They falsely assume that the the Right wing doesn't collect taxes or wish to raise them.

There are different forms of bigotry and prejdice. Some are justified, and some are not, and some don't matter.

If a majority in power actively promotes or condones racial or religious prejudice, that's real bigotry.That minority, however, developes a profound and lasting mistrust of the majority in power. That is a different sort of bigotry.

There are also values to consider. The freedom of association allows me to choose my friends and avoid those I don't wish to share my time with. I'm sure it looks like bigotry to the guy who wants in on my world, but if I'm a Charedi, what would I have in common with a black man, Christian, or Oriental that would induce me to NOT appear as a bigot?

Should I be dragging the Korean grocer to shul three times a day? Maybe chazzir some mishnayos with the Haitian bus driver?

Here is a truth that nobody speaks. In Brooklyn, for example, the only reason that non-Jewish men whine about bigotry on the part of Charedim is because they want desperately to get at our women and daughters.

When a Hispanic boy tries talking up a Bais Yakov girl and she doesn't respond to his bullshit, he doesn't think to himself "Hey. These people have a very different set of norms and values that don't permit them to date or marry outside their fold. I respect that." His reaction is usually along the lines of "What's the matter bitch? We aren't good enough for you Jews?'

3:27 AM  
Blogger Dovid said...

This is what happens when Jew is divorced from Judaism. Do you think Jewish values are animal rights and abortion? Or are Jewish values the emphasis on family values, faith in G-d, etc.?

12:25 AM  

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