Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Out of Step Jew goes out of business (sniff)

The Out of Step Jew in Kfar Saba recently decided to stop blogging, much to my dismay and that of many others.

His blog was one of the first that I discovered when I became acquainted with the Jewish blogosphere. He was also one of first bloggers to add me to his blogroll. I owe him, big-time.

More important, OOSJ has always been one of the voices of reason among Orthodox bloggers. How could I not like a guy who lamented the failure of the Israeli Orthodox public school system to provide a Torah education to his daughter that was equal to that being provided to her twin brother? (He and his wife hired a tutor for her.) What’s not to like about a guy who’s happy to hang out in the kitchen with the other guys while, in another room, his daughter serves as baalat koreh (Torah reader) for a women’s tefillah group on the occasion of her becoming a Bat Mitzvah? He was also among the vocal opponents of the rabbinate’s indifference to the plight of agunot (women “chained” in dead marriages because their husbands refuse to give them gittin, Jewish religious divorces). He wrote of politics, both secular (the withdrawal from Gush Katif) and religious (the relationship of the Hesder yeshivot with the Israel Defense Force), and of books and scholars, with links in his sidebar to excellent reading material. (I strongly recommend the article by H. Soloveitchik, “Rupture and Reconstruction.”) Here’s a person who recently asked whether there’s such a thing as too much Torah learning, questioning how it came to pass that there are so few doctors among Israeli Orthodox Jews, and too much money, questioning whether American Jews are too spoiled for our own good. I miss him already, and I hope he posts occasionally. Kol hakavod.


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