Love/Hate

letter-447577_1280

I hated his piece on hate…but I love his piece on love…absoutely terrific stuff from Meir Soloveichik.

(I agree with the general principle that hate plays a vital role, but I thought the hate piece was way too broad a defense of all kinds of unsavory things – suicide, cruelty, revenge. But this love piece is beautiful.)

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10 Responses

  1. Aaron says:

    baalabus suggests that getting smicha from YU is a reason not to be called rabbi, still, some title is called for. how about baalabus “

  2. Vanity says:

    Is pointing out that the righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come not a strong enough suggestion that G-d loves non-Jews?

  3. Not A Fan says:

    Once again, I must agree with Brother Bob, and respond to Mr. Finkelman: I am quite familiar with the publication First Things in which Soloveitchik published the Hate piece. I would say that specifically in such a publication he should strive to portray the Jewish tradition accurately as polyphonous and broad. Instaed, he portrays it as monolithic and narrow. I share Brother Bob’s frustration at the frum community’s response to this nonsense. When Avi Weiss, Saul Berman or whoever produce this stuff, they are reviled as being “agenda driven”. This guy? Ein lecha agenda gedola mizu!

  4. Brother Bob says:

    In his piece on Love, Soloveitchik also (deliberately?) ignores any sources which suggest that God loves non-Jews. Again his sources are Tanach (downplaying Chazal & the Medieval philosophers) and Michael Wyschogrod (!?) (who was so ably deconstructed by Benji Balint in that issue).
    What MYS is doing is giving the Christians a version of Judaism which fits their preconceived notion. Christianity is Love & Judaism is Hate; Christianity is about Universal Love while Judaism is about God’s Love only for the Jews & Justice. Any thinker who disagrees is swept aside.
    Why, when Rabbis like Greenberg or Weiss play fast & loose with the sources do people jump on him, but MYS gets a free ride?

  5. Sammy Finkelman says:

    You must understand that what he was doing here in his piece of hate was telling Christians that their idea of loving everybody derived from loving your enemy (an idea that may come from “turn the other cheek”) is wrong. he seems to be doing this because it could cause Christians either to dislike Jews or simply think they are superior in this way – and he is telling them that way of thinking is wrong. The key point is this: Judaism believes that while forgiveness is often a virtue, hate can be virtuous when one is dealing with the frightfully wicked. Rather than forgive, we can wish ill; rather than hope for repentance, we can instead hope that our enemies experience the wrath of God.

    < < There is, in fact, no minimizing the difference between Judaism and Christianity on whether hate can be virtuous....>>

    He speaks about some other things and what can or should or should not be considered the main differences between Christians and Jews (he doesn’t like one formulation of Dennis Prager although he brings it up because it relates to the same point he is making)

    In the end he speaks about Oslo – and the bottom line I think is that he doesn’t want Christians to think badly of Jews because some of the opposition might be based on not forgiving people who have done evil. And indeed this is very important. It is actually the 7th commandment of Bnai Noach (to establish courts) although Meir Soloveichik mentions nothing about this here. he’s only anyway trying to say something they will accept.

    Looking this over – I don’t really see anything contrary to Torah. the worst thing may behia descripton of when a certain mishnah dates from. His intenet is not to summarize Judaism anyway, but to lay out something we do NOT hold – here perhaps he may have oversimplified or expressed his own opinion.

  6. Sammy Finkelman says:

    Not a Fan said:

    >> Specifically in the piece on Hate, he cites only sources that support his thesis, and disregards many that do not. He concentrates mainly on quotes from Tanach, and does not deal with the full range of opinions in Chazal. To me, this is not only intellectual dishonesty, itis quite contrary to the illustrious footsteps of RYBS and RAS cited above >>

    I think what’s going on here is taht the piece of Hate was written for a mainly non-Jewish audience. If you notice it is an extract from the magazine “First Things” That’s why he only uses Tanach and not anything from Chazal. He opens with thigs from Christianity. It may very well be bad Toprah – however most of what he is saying is just general opinion.

  7. Not A Fan says:

    I mjst agree with the ziyuf HaTorah charge. Specifically in the piece on Hate, he cites only sources that support his thesis, and disregards many that do not. He concentrates mainly on quotes from Tanach, and does not deal with the full range of opinions in Chazal. To me, this is not only intellectual dishonesty, itis quite contrary to the illustrious footsteps of RYBS and RAS cited above.

  8. Steve Brizel says:

    Please show how R MY Soloveitchik’s works are a “ziyuf HaTorah.” IMO, he is following in the illustrious footsteps of RYBS and RAS.

  9. Brother Bob says:

    The question that you should be asking is whether his discription of Judaism and Christiranity is true and accurate.
    And I believe that in both articles his selectively picks and chooses his sources to create a warped version of “Judaism”. Therefore this is zi’uf ha-torah, simple & streight. If you are pushing distortions of Torah because they fit your agenda, that is sad..

  10. baalabus says:

    Why do you not refer to him as Rabbi? Is it because his smicha is from YU?