Friday, July 28, 2006

Sinat chinam during the Nine Days, of all times

Unbelievable. An anonymous commenter dug up this August 4, 2005 post of mine today, and you won't believe what s/he just posted.

Here's the comment, and my response. This is exactly the sort of thing that we should be avoiding, especially at this time of year.

Anonymous said...
Hi ..Cute title for your Blog..As some one who has Super indulged in everything from disco inferno to heavy clubing downtown,,, Unless you truly emerge yourself in a real authentic beautiful Orthodox lifestyle and really "try it on" ..You will remain sadly ignorant, defensive,clueless, quite bitter,unhappy and just stupid sounding .... sorry to give it you straight up ..Good luck with your Shtus.....
Thu Jul 27, 10:42:40 PM 2006

Shira Salamone said...
Anonymous, I have no problem with commenters disagreeing with me, but one of the few rules I have for my blog is that comments must be phrased in respectful language. Your comment is a prime candidate for deletion. I'm leaving it here to enable me to make a point or two.

For openers, "you catch more flies with honey," as the old saying goes--you would have had a greater chance of influencing me if you hadn't insulted me in public.

Speaking of public insults, allow me to quote from the ArtScroll's translation of Pirkei Avot (Verses of the Fathers), chapter 3, saying 15: "Rabbi Elazar the Moda'i said, 'One who . . . humiliates his fellow [chaver = friend?] in public . . . though he may have Torah and good deeds, he has no share in the World to Come." I would think that a frummeh Yid like you would know that.

Third, your timing is quite interesting. Here we are, only days away from Tisha B'Av, commemorating the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash, which, according to traditon, happened because of sinat chinam (baseless hatred) among Jews, and yet you feel perfectly free to humiliate another Jew in public. In case you're not acquainted with the story of Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza, please let me steer you to the Orthodox Union's telling thereof.

And by the way, thank you for forcing me to schlep out my Hebrew-English dictionary and look up the work "shtut"--"foolishness, silliness, nonsense." This is probably the Hebrew equivalent of the Yiddish word "narishkeiten." Kindly allow me to return the favor and teach *you* some new Hebrew words: "derech eretz" means "the way of the land," and is often used to mean "common courtesy;" kavod habriot" means "respect for creatures [including humans];" and "midot" means "attributes," and usually refers to traits of good character. I'll be happy to read your comments on my blog when they display any of the above.
Fri Jul 28, 12:35:46 AM 2006


Blogger Elie said...

Well said!

The only think you forgot to note in your response was the jerk's overuse of commas (what's the Hebrew for that?) and general lack of writing ability! :-) But I guess you have too much derech eretz yourself to point that out.

Fri Jul 28, 12:49:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Nice! (As I was reading it, I was imagining you smacking them across the face. :) )

Fri Jul 28, 02:54:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Ezzie said...

And I know I still owe you an answer from a while back... things have been a bit hectic lately. (I've even slowed my blogging to a pace people can keep up with!)

Fri Jul 28, 02:55:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Elie, Ezzie, thanks for the support.

Ezzie, speaking of hectic, I've been involved in two major projects at the office in the past two weeks or so, and one of them is nowhere near completion, so I'm afraid I *still* can't keep up with your blog.

Sun Jul 30, 02:24:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Sheyna said...

Hey Shira!
I think I'll gladly take fewer comments than to get ones like Anonymous'. Sadly, he probably thinks he did nothing wrong, though that seems to be the norm among those who believe there is only "one, true way" and they're living it (and the rest of us aren't).

I wonder how our view of Tisha b'Av would change if k'lal Yisrael - from the most secular to the most strictly religious - could fully embrace the values of diversity, mutual respect, and pluralism as much as we do Torah, community, and Israel (and not even always those).

Good for you for not taking Anonymous' insulting comments personally, because you certainly don't deserve it!

Mon Jul 31, 12:28:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sheyna, amen to everything you said.

Thanks for your support. I strongly prefer to discuss issues rather than to trade insults.

Mon Jul 31, 01:33:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Elie said...

I will slightly disagree with Sheyna (wonderful name BTW, it's my daughter's!) I don't think it's necessarily wrong for a person to feel he/she is living the "one true" way. People are entitled to have self-confidence in their religious choices, and are entitled to believe that other choices are mistaken. I'm sure we all do this to some extent.

The problem is when people try to impose their choices on others, and forget that those others are just as entitled to self-confidence in their own choices. In other words, the problem is not with belief, it's self-centeredness and lack of tolerance and common courtesy.

Mon Jul 31, 09:46:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll agree with Elie. I may disagree with Shira's choice of participating in the Conservative movement and egalitarianism, but I do so respectfully. As I like to say, I defend her right to make choices, even if they're wrong! I'd venture to guess that someone egalitarian probably rejects a more traditional view, i.e., thinks that is incorrect.

Pluralism is moral relativism. We're not all right. It's not look at your navel and sing kumbaya and everything will be ok. The far better approach is to recognize our differences and appreciate that which we can agree on.

Shira is clearly passionate about Judaism and committed to it. That's wonderful. Halevai that more Conservative Jews were as committed to halacha as she is, and helevai that more Orthodox Jews were as passionate.

But this anonymous guy should have just kept trolling, instead of stopping here.

Mon Jul 31, 05:18:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Elie and JDub, well said. There's nothing wrong with thinking that you're right. What's wrong is not showing respect to those whose viewpoints differ from one's own, and trying to impose one's viewpoint on them and force them to make the same choices that we make. After all, tradition tells us that it's Hashem Himself who gives us us free will. So let us agree to disagree, and to work together on matters on which we agree.

Tue Aug 01, 09:30:00 AM 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

This post is wonderful - instead of getting angry (justifiably) you respectfully but firmly put this commenter in his place. Kol HaKavod to you.

Tue Aug 01, 10:58:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks, West Bank Mama.

Tue Aug 01, 08:21:00 PM 2006  

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