(In response to my post “The Quality of Ideas“):
This blog seems to concentrate on the Orthodox world in relationship to the outside world rather than on the internal dynamics of the Orthodox Jewish world. The personal journal blogs are chronicles of individual struggles to deal with some of the real issues that plague the Orthodox world internally. Many of the personal blogs are written by Hassids and ex-Hassids, but the issues raised resonate across the Orthodox spectrum. Issues include the lack of autonomy and pressure to conform, the increasing numbers who doubt the rigid approach of their communities and even their own faith, the perception of communal leaders as “out of touch,” lack of respect for rabbis and educators, and many similar problems. When these issues are addressed by approved authorities, the commentary is defensive. The suggestions for improvement are addressed to the community, not the leadership.
In the context of the existing Jewish blogosphere, a blog written by leaders in the community that focuses largely on issues vis a vis the outside world comes across as a cop-out. The personal blogs should be provoking more introspection on the part of the leadership.
Addressing the internal issues within the religious world requires capacity for deep self-reflection, and a willingness to admit errors and show flexiblity in reconsidering some of the more deeply entrenched trends in Orthodox Jewish communal life.
“Jblogs tend to be frighteningly explosive exorcisms of personal demons – and, like most self-administered surgery, the giblets aren’t pretty to look at.”
Lo ta’amod al dam raykha.
What shall we think of the surgeon who stands by as his friend performs self-surgery and pontificates about organs that are pretty to look at, and only pauses in his lecture to exclaim on what an awful job the unskilled layman is doing?