Friday, October 12, 2007

How the Jewish Observer edits articles

The Agudah monthly The Jewish Observer has a section devoted to the problem of "Adults at-risk." In the present issue there is an article called “Will Your Grandfather be Jewish?” by R. Mordechai Becher and R. Chanan (Antony) Gordon.

An excerpt:

"A yeshiva student was happily dancing at his former room-mate’s wedding, and pushed his way “to the middle of the circle” to entertain the chosen and kallah (successfully, we should add) with a break-dance (ask your teenager if you don’t know what this is). He was in a great mood, full of simchah, full of love for his fellow Jews,and feeling good about himself, until his Rosh Yeshivah pulled him aside at the chasanah and strongly criticized him for a dance step “from the street.”

"What will the Rosh Yeshiva say after 120 years when he learns that his comment was one of a series of little pushes, and perhaps even “the last straw,” that eventually sent this promising student “out of the circle completely” and out of Torah observance?"

"(The authors do not, of course, condone a ben Torah break-dancing or engaging in any other behavior derived from secular culture that isn't consistent with Torah value.)"

This last bit was an editorial insertion, according to the author of the article."

"...the JO placed it there without consulting me. Breakdancing does not bother me in the least.... just some "frum" editing by JO."

The editors unaccountably sides with the Rosh Yeshiva who nudged the boy in the wrong direction, even as they print an article which offers it as an example of what not to do and a diagnosis that such an incident was indeed a cause in nurturing the phenomenon this issue is trying to counter.

Read it here (without the comment that undermines the article).

Hat-tip: Neo-Haskalah

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