My blog yesterday set off a firestorm of activity on Facebook, mostly condemning me for my opinion on the Jewish Community standing up for criminals. Before I apologize, allow me to share with you the letter that convinced me I was wrong. It arrived in my email box at 3:37am:
I readed your blog todey and I wuz shoked. Haw dar yoo critasize Lubavach for standen up fur robashkin. shalom robashkin is a saynt an gafd lotsa monay to da cumunatay. so shams on u fer rytan wit u dyd. u r nots a reel jews an u shud nots speeks on da radeeo no mors.”
After receiving this amazing letter I couldn’t help but of course realize I was wrong. Perhaps I am a nazi and anti-semite (sentiments expressed by a few responders), perhaps, as one guy told me, I have never studied Judaism in my life. Maybe as one private responder told me, my soul has been stolen by the angel of evil and I have to do major repentance to save myself. None of these people have ever actually met me or know anything at all about my education or personal history so perhaps this is all correct, or maybe it’s not.
After much contemplation, I have to ask for forgiveness. When I wrote the piece, I didn’t realize that intelligent discussion over the actions of the Hassidic community was virtually impossible. I’m sorry that the lessons taught by the Gemarah that everything is debatable and nothing is black and white is lost on today’s Orthodox Jews.
I’ve been involved in this kind of discourse most of my life and I learned a long time ago that when the opposing side resorts to personal attacks rather than intelligent rebuttal, the conversation has ended.
I know some will chalk this apology up as a victory, but in reality, when discourse ends, sadly everyone loses.
I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom.