Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Kiruv Debate: A Response to "Haterz Gonna Hate"

     Kiruv professional Rachel Eden recently responded to one of my recent posts, continuing our kiruv debate. You can read her post "Haterz Gonna Hate" on her blog. I must admit that I'm disappointed with her title. I'm a firm believer that disagreeing with a person's point of view doesn't make someone a "hater." It takes courage to disagree respectfully, and even if we don't expect to accept the other's perspective for our own, I think that having a dialogue enables both parties to learn from each other. Labeling a party who disagrees with one's point of view (even though that party has maintained a respectful exchange) as "haterz" is dismissive and unproductive. That said, I'll start by pulling out some of Ms. Eden's responses from her post. Where she states in bold "she asks," Ms. Eden is referring to me. Notice that my full name is not used here. "I answer" refers to Ms. Eden.
She Asks:  I have no problem with people coming to orthodoxy by their own volition. The problem I have is when people are willfully misled by kiruv workers who teach that the all-encompassing cozy blanket is “just Judaism.” It is not “just Judaism.” It is specifically an Ashkenazi brand of orthodox Judaism.”"
I Answer: Rebecca makes an interesting point. The Torah – written and oral law was given thousands of years ago. In the early 19th century, the reform movement was created and as a reaction to that, in around 1850, the conservative movement began. Most non-orthodox practicing Jews are practicing a relatively new form of Judaism that doesn’t match up with the authentic tradition given over in 2448. That original version of Judaism is “just Judaism”. I am absolutely pointing Sephardi Jews towards experts in Sephardi customs and Sephardi groups. I have no intention of dictating customs. There is, however, a basic list of expectations Jews observe and then beyond that minimal set of laws- it’s up to the person how they want to practice. I always tell my students to be true to themselves (they should also be true to Judaism). Side-note: “Willfully misled”? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
     First of all, "willfully misled" means "deliberately misled." "Willfully misled" is definitely not an oxymoron.
     Secondly, it seems to me that the only Judaism that's probably mostly unchanged by chumras and reinterpretations, and that may be closest to what used to be practiced  is the Judaism practiced by the Middle Eastern Jews, thus making Aish Judaism not very "traditional." [Updated here to add this: I was reminded by an acquaintance a few moments ago that perhaps the most "traditional" Judaism would be that which was practiced by the Ethiopian Jews.] Would you let your child marry a person who keeps shabbos, taharat hamishpacha (family purity laws,) and kosher? What if they're actually Conservative but keep these things?
She Asks: If Ms. Eden’s children were to decide that they no longer believed that orthodox Judaism was the way to go, and instead, opted to live as Humanist Jews, would Ms. Eden be as accommodating to their needs as she expects non-orthodox parents should be to the needs of their BT children? Let’s assume that her children are simply following their own path in Judaism. Would she “commend [her] own parenting efforts because, after all, [she] taught them the importance of being Jewish which led to this self-discovery?
I Answer: Another nice point, Bec. The above image “Just Be You” is me being facetious. I’m not typically one of those facebook posters who paste a cliche into their status bar. If you are, no judgement- sometimes I even enjoy reading them.
I'm going to interject here. Ms. Eden says that "Just Be You" is facetious? So she doesn't want people to be themselves? I took her at her word and didn't ascribe any sarcasm that phrase, and I didn't assume she was just using that cliche facetiously. That suddenly clarifies a lot. She doesn't want you to "just be you" at all.
 If my children, God forbid, decided to live as “humanist Jews” that wouldn’t be self-expression.
Interjecting again. Note the "God forbid" here in use and the lack of capitalization for the proper noun--it's the name of a specific movement-- "Humanist Jews." Perhaps readers here feel that "God forbid their children should become orthodox." If we said that, we'd be labeled "haterz." Why the double standard?
Let me explain. I believe God created the Torah as a guide to living for all Jews in every generation. Just like when my husband and I married, we created an understood exchange of expectations (ex/ we come home every evening, know for the most part each other’s whereabouts, pool our money together, are faithful to one another, etc). My children also know I have expectations of them (speak respectfully, eat health food usually, clean up after playtime). God created expectations for our benefit – and our benefit alone. Hashem doesn’t need us to do this stuff- this stuff is how we keep spiritually healthy. After we do everything we need to do to keep spiritually healthy, we can start to consider self-discovery, creativity, more spiritual outlets.
The more we dissect this, the less healthy it sounds. You can do what you want, as long as you do what I want first. For someone who loves and welcomes all Jews, this seems very disrespectful to all Jews who are not orthodox. I hope that if Ms. Eden's children ever go off the derech (off the path of orthodox Judaism,) that she doesn't toss them to the curb like yesterday's trash. And I sincerely hope that she will respect their life choices and love them unconditionally.
But there’s a minimum standard as I said before. I’m happy to accommodate my children as long as they’re being healthy. If there are parents who think practicing a Torah-observant life is unhealthy, I’d like to hear why please.
This isn't about a Torah-observant life being healthy or unhealthy. It is about doing deceptive outreach to students under the guise of genuine friendship.
     In short, the answer to my question is no. Ms. Eden believes, as a kiruv professional, that a non-orthodox lifestyle is not a spiritually healthy lifestyle. This explains why, if her children left orthodoxy, their lifestyles would not be acceptable to her. This also justifies her outreach work. Does she tell her students that non-orthodox Judaism is spiritually unhealthy when she sits down with them for coffee for the first (or second, or third, or fifteenth) time? Does she tell this to their parents when they sign checks for donations to her organization? OR are these forms of Judaism only spiritually unhealthy for her own children?
 She Asks: Within the last post, I also posted claims made by another (anonymous) person in kiruv which seem to contradict your claims. ”AM” (“Anonymous Mekarev”) states that:
1. It is the firm position of Halachic Judaism that all Jews have a responsibility to influence others to the realization that there is a creator of the world and that there is a correct code of conduct for human beings in general and Jews (as His reps to the world) in particular.
2. We are to do this by any peaceful means including persuasion because we are held responsible for others’ actions and welfare to the amount that we can influence them for the better. We have a moral obligation to educate people about this code of conduct who – through no fault of their own – do not yet understand what is incumbent upon them being born as Jews.
I Answer: Firstly, I’m one of those annoying people that don’t enjoy reading anonymous posts. I just don’t see why a person gets to state an opinion and not stand behind it proudly. That said, I’ll oblige since Bec and I now go way back.
  1. I never considered kiruv a responsibility though maybe that’s bad. I feel really fortunate to have investigated Judaism at a time in my life when I could create a home and family on the basis of my conclusions. I feel fortunate to be born into a religious with a built in infrastructure for how to live life to its fullest and grow every day. I feel so fortunate that it seems wrong not to share what I benefit so much from with others.
  2. I don’t agree with Anonymous’ point here at all. “We are to do this by any peaceful means”? “We are held responsible for others’ actions”? No and no. There are boundaries. There are lines. There are no-nos. Anonymous needs to back up what s/he is accusing – a dangerous accusation- with some evidence and there’s not a shred of it. My husband and I would never manipulate anyone or pressure someone to be a frum Jew. Before our desire to educate people about Judaism is our obligation to be upright people. Anonymous sounds like a rabble rouser and I’m suspicious of this person’s credibility.
     Let's take the first sentence. Ms. Eden does not like anonymous posts. Yet she refuses to link to my blog or refer to me by my full name. She will not print my blog's title. She doesn't like anonymity, yet insists on keeping me anonymous. I am not anonymous. In fact, I have my name on my blog (as well as my bio with some of my other writing.) This lack of proper attribution is both hypocritical and academically dishonest.
     To address the issue of anonymous posters on my blog: I have had many people in kiruv contact me personally. Some I've even spoken with on the phone. However, many have expressed a sincere need to maintain anonymity due to their positions within their organizations, and for the privacy that they desire but often lack as public figures, or as people of influence within their respective communities. That said, these are ideas that we're discussing, not people. A valid opinion is a valid opinion. This differs from purposely hiding the identity of someone with whom you disagree because you don't want other people to access information being provided.
     While I'm not sure who the Anonymous Mekarev is, his words sound vaguely like they were influenced by Project Inspire, an Aish HaTorah affiliate. At the same time, they remind me of something I read in Aish HaTorah's "The Eye of A Needle: Aish HaTorah's Kiruv Primer." While AM and I don't see eye to eye on kiruv, he generally makes well-thought out points that seem to be based on familiar and accepted work in the kiruv field.
She Comments: While yes, there are key issues within the blog as a whole, it was my understanding that we were actually discussing specific points we were each making within the body of discussion.
I React: If there are specific points to address, I’m game. However, my guess is there are a couple underlying themes that once we identify we can cut right to the chase. For example, now that I’ve had so many interactions with your readership I now have the hunch that these anti-kiruv people are actually anti-orthodox.
     It's sad to see this in print because I've had this "argument" tossed at me too many times to count and I really thought that Ms. Eden was above this cheap shot. I've even written posts about these words. It seems to me that whenever there is disagreement between Jews, and the non-orthodox Jew has ideas that the other may disagree with, instead of putting up a valid argument, the discussion turns to "well, you must be anti-orthodox/anti-semitic/a self-hating Jew." I've seen this online, I've received private emails about it, I've seen this on online forums, and I've seen it in local politics. It's an interesting way of shutting down and dismissing points that may be valid but the other party would prefer not to address. While I don't personally know all of the people who comment on this blog, I can speak for some who are not anti-orthodox, but anti-deceptive proselytizing. I believe that it is your freedom to practice your religion, but don't push it on me or my children, especially when you're doing it deceptively.
She Comments: I’m also really curious to know about these “outrageous comments and points that are too ridiculous and off-the-wall to address.”
I React: One example is when you paralleled my work in Jewish outreach with rape. For starters.
I actually thought that my example was fabulous. Here it is again for reference.
Regardless of the outcome, the steps themselves are in place to form a relationship that otherwise would not exist. Whether the relationship is good or bad as an end result really isn't the issue at all. Here's an example: A woman is raped. As a result of that rape, she ends up pregnant. For her own personal reasons, she decides not to have an abortion. She decides to keep the baby and the child gives her joy throughout her life. The fact that she loves her child more than anything does not suddenly make rape acceptable. These are two separate issues. Part A--rape is wrong, no matter what the outcome. Part B--the woman has a child whom she loves. In the case of kiruv, Part A is also separated from Part B. The relationship is contrived with a specific goal in mind. If the relationship works out for both parties, that's wonderful, but it doesn't negate Part A.*
     It shouldn't need to be explained here that my point is and remains, that regardless of the outcome, the initial steps taken were wrong. Deception is wrong. But that's coming from me--someone who believes that a person's spirituality (or lack thereof) is personal, and who doesn't believe that orthodoxy (in whatever form) is the only way to express one's Judaism or spirituality, and who doesn't believe that missionary tactics are acceptable. I believe that we all have the right to practice our religion in a way that doesn't harm others. From what I've seen of kiruv, that which is practiced deceptively is both harmful and unethical.


All quoted material except that with an asterisk is from:
Eden, Rachel. "Haterz Gonna Hate." This Way To Eden. December 27, 2013.

Material with an asterisk is from:
*Ross, Rebecca M. The Kiruv Debate: A Response to "La Responsa." Jewish Outreach: What Your Rabbi Isn't Telling You. December 22, 2013.



  1. She accuses others of being 'haterz' but she is not tolerant of other people's beliefs.

    1. What does it mean to be Tolerant? This idea of Tolerance has always confused me? Per the dictionary it means: "the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with-and tolerate means - allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference." So I can't protest it or actively argue against it. However, if asked my opinion, can I give it? Or is that being in tolerant? When does disagreement become intolerance?

    2. Could tolerant mean that you accept that somebody else is different and just let it go at that? You don't assume their beliefs are wrong or bad and you certainly don't try to change them. That's what I think of when I think of tolerance. diana

    3. I want to take a 2nd stab at my response. Disagreement doesn't equal intolerance. But sometimes the disagreements kiruv types (or Christian missionaries for that matter) express are ways of dismissing another person's legitimate expression of their Judaism. For example, my Orthodox neighbors think that my Judaism is just like Pauline Christianity! Ideas like this are akin to micro-aggressions and over time, they don't feel like discussions at all; they feel more like intolerance. At least to me. diana

    4. I too take exception with the word "tolerance". I don't agree with views that differ from what I believe to be authentic Torah Judaism. Disagreeing has nothing to do with tolerance. I embrace all Jews no matter what they're decisions and beliefs are or will be.

    5. Yes, but do you embrace them as good Jews? Or just Jews that could use a little improving? Or Jews who don't understand the clarity of your message? Or Jews who sadly can't read the Torah correctly? For me, unless you can agree that I am a Jew, too, and it's fine to be my kind of Jew, then I don't see you as tolerant. What I understand about your position is that you're not much different from Christian neighbors who want me to see another kind of light. My last word. diana

    6. I embrace them without judgement. I'm not analyzing whether others are good Jews or bad or who needs improving. I'm glad you brought this up. A kiruv professional should be completely non-judgmental. The idea is to give opportunities of Torah learning and positive Jewish experiences- not to identify people's weakness.

      Of course I think you're a Jew and for all I know a much better one than me. But I also think the more we can all integrate Jewish and Torah ideology and morality into our lives, the better.

  2. > If we said that, we'd be labeled "haterz." Why the double standard?

    Probably because she believes that Orthodox Judaism is obviously correct, and the correct way for Jews to live. So the only reason someone might have for not wanting their children to be Orthodox is “hatred” of the Orthodox. It’s the same logic that has believers claim that atheists hate God. On the other hand, for her children to adopt another stream of Judaism, in her words, “wouldn’t be self-expression” – it would be rebellion. After all, if OJ is obviously correct, why would anyone leave it? It must be that they’re rebelling against their teachers/parents/Hashem.

    > God created expectations for our benefit – and our benefit alone. Hashem doesn’t need us to do this stuff-

    This touches on some complex ideas, but for a comment, suffice it to say that can’t be true. In some sense, He does need us to do these things. If before Hashem created the world there was nothing but Him, then He could only have created the world for His own purposes, and everything He does with the world, including giving the Torah, is contingent upon the purpose He is fulfilling.

    > Firstly, I’m one of those annoying people that don’t enjoy reading anonymous posts. I just don’t see why a person gets to state an opinion and not stand behind it proudly.

    I take it she’s never held a controversial opinion in her life. Here in the real world, where non-conventional religious opinions can bring discrimination, and, in some communities, serious social consequences, it’s best not to have such opinions pop up whenever someone types your name into Google.

  3. She never answered this question: If Ms. Eden’s children were to decide that they no longer believed that orthodox Judaism was the way to go, and instead, opted to live as Humanist Jews, would Ms. Eden be as accommodating to their needs as she expects non-orthodox parents should be to the needs of their BT children?

    Well, Miss Eden?

    1. Define 'accommodating'. I was referring to accommodating children in stricter kashrut standards.

  4. Hi R Eden,

    You asked in another post what I (or anyone I suppose) has against Judaism. Let me turn it around: what do you have against secularism?


    1. I think living a secular life is not living a maximized life. Judaism gives depth and meaning to every moment and for those of us who investigated whether it's authentic and if its origins are true- even more meaningful. Torah's guidelines help women identify themselves for internal value and not just external beauty, gives marriages an infrastructure and priority that is bar-none, and creates a strong work ethic for each individual to refine oneself in all arenas. I think every Jew can benefit from it- no matter who.

    2. > for those of us who investigated whether it's authentic and if its origins are true- even more meaningful.

      I've spent a lot of time investigating whether Judaism is true - and I've come to the opposite conclusion that you have. But I'm always looking to be shown where I might be wrong, What did you find that convinced you that Judaism's origins are true?

      How do you deal with the lack of archaeological and historical evidence for yetzias Mitzrayim, or the absurdity of the Bnei Yisroel fleeing Mitzrayim for what was then just another part of the Egyptian Empire? The obviously incorrect description of the beginning of the world, the evidence against a world-wide Flood, the findings of biblical scholarship, and the parallels and borrowings of Tanach from ANE religious texts?

  5. Hey all, it's AM here, back in action. Wow, I have been busy and out of the loop. I'm glad to see so much has transpired over the past week. Alas, the world turns even without me! So here's what's up. First off, thank you to those that came to my defense for my anonymity, of course you are spot on in identifying my reasons. The irony is that I know Rachel Eden, although she does not know that it is me. I understand her opinion on anonymous blogging. In fact, I agree for the most part. If I had a blog, I would not allow anonymous posts. It's just too easy to make statements and not have to put your self and reputation on the line, it makes the whole thing very blase. However, I shall remain (as of now) anonymous.

    I think we have hit a recurring point. R. Eden insists that she would never manipulate or misuse the trust given to her by her students. As do I. In fact, if she would read up on this site she will see the MANY times that I have made that clear. However, I cannot deny that my "red lines" between inspiration and manipulation may be different than someone else's. Also, I cannot deny that there are those mekarvim that whose lines are way beyond what I would deem appropriate. Of course (as everyone agrees) their intentions are good. But to those who do not believe in Kiruv, good intentions obviously cannot justify manipulative behaviors. To those of us who do... it's not so simple. This is the crucial point. I obviously do not believe that I am doing something immoral or wrong, just as secular Jews do not believe that they are doing something morally wrong when they do not follow the Shulchan Aruch. We all believe in our way of life and therefore feel justified in our actions. And the price we pay for this freedom (afforded to us by democracy) is the allowance of "immorality". This is why freedom of speech is crucial. We may not be able to stop others from committing (according to our opinion) sins against ourselves and others, yet we are can express our opinion about it.

    I will not retract my two points about the responsibilities of Kiruv. R. Eden may be overflowing with love of Judaism and want to share what she has - and that is beautiful thing. However, even if one is not so holy, they are still commanded to spread the ideas of Abrahamic Monotheism when they can to the world, and Torah to Jews specifically. There are many many sources that speak about Kiruv and I can share them with anyone who is interested.

    What should be stated is that R. Eden is (in my eyes at least) a good spokeswoman for Kiruv. She is straightforward and very passionate. I think the debate has been very fruitful so far, yet I would warn both sides that the most dangerous thing one can do is assume they are privy to their opponents "true or hidden" beliefs and therefore not take the statements at face value. It's difficult enough to argue the nuances of these two positions, adding unspoken motives to the mix can make the discussion an extra verbose and never ending battle.



    1. AM: I'd say "how's it been" but...I still don't know who you are. Why are you insisting on anonymity? I appreciate you saying I'm straightforward since as you'll see from the comments here that my honesty and ability to debate is being attacked. I was enjoying the discussion but there are voices involved who are not sharing my desire for cordial, respectful debate.

      I never rejected that there are Torah sources to back up Kiruv- I just said that's not what's driving most mikarvim (my opinion). It's not holiness- just a feeling of gratitude to the point that we want to share Torah's wisdom with others.

      I agree that we should all aim to take statements at face-value. I also really appreciate a voice of support- even if it's an anonymous one. It's lonely out here.

  6. It's the usual attempts of dismissal. Anti-kiruv = anti-Orthodox. Shutting the debate down by attempting to shift the "debate" to whether or not you are "hateful"and that is what you REALLY are against, not for opposing deceptive recruitment tactics.

    Don't defend. Return to the problems. And remember, when the Kiruvnik accuses you of "hate" and Ortho-bashing (however they phrase it) it is to shift or shutdown the debate.

    1. You know what will shut down a debate quickly? Threatening the writer. I've been open to plenty of criticism and have happily addressed any and all points made attacking kiruv. But it stops being productive when you're not open-minded enough to listen thoughtfully and respond respectfully.

  7. Wrote the following:

    "Hey Rachel, I consider it really disrespectful of you to not link to the blog you are attacking. So I am going to donate a post to Bec thrashing NCSY for their continued deceptive behavior – something I haven’t done in years — because of this disrespect. And to teach you there is sometimes a cost for such behavior.

    You have a couple of days to link to Bec’s blog to avoid escalation."

  8. This debate is endless. It's important to talk to people about destructive kiruv- their tactics, agenda, etc... Anyone who you think could be a target- especially those heading off to college and their parents. Just tell them how to recognize these people and encourage them to stay away from these people. That is all that will make a difference....

    1. This debate is a perpetual one- agreed. The potential purpose, in my mind, is that (1) Either/both side(s) can gain an awareness, sensitivity, or greater feeling of connection to the opposing side than before (2) Since the dialogue is public, readers get to read both arguments.

  9. I have to say Rebecca, I have been following your blog for a few months now, and I am always very impressed at how good a job you do at keeping your points well thought out and avoiding getting heated up. Especially with this debate between you and Ms. Eden - it was obvious from when she first responded to your post that you were excited to have a blog debate with her - someone you had thought to be happy to engage in debate and would address the issues raised respectfully and honestly. And then with each response, Ms. Eden seemed to disappoint you more and more. I share your disappointment. I was looking forward to seeing an honest debate of these issues between 2 intellectually honest people. That is not what we have gotten, and the fault lies with Ms. Eden.

    As an Ultra-Orthodox Jew (I don't really like that term, but I use it for simplicity's sake), who has been involved in Aish HaTorah for a few years, I am disappointed that the some kiruv professionals can't seem to engage in honest debate regarding there tactics and methods.

    I really hope you can find a better debate-matchup to discuss these issues with.

    Keep up the good posts!


    1. Aron,
      Thank you for your comment and for recognizing this.
      My gut feeling is that if there is nothing deceptive or dishonest (and I know that not all people engaged in kiruv are being deceptive and/or dishonest,) then a debate such as this should be no problem for kiruv professionals. Staying on topic shouldn't be difficult.

    2. All I can say to Aron and Rebecca is I did my best and I addressed points point-by-point when asked (instead of my preference discussing the issue in a wholistic way). I think I did a good job of that and fielding lots of critical remarks. Rebecca seemed fine - at least on facebook- with the methods I was using to debate. But, Aron or whoever else would like to represent Jewish outreach is more than welcome to try to please the critics. Pleasing people wasn't my intention. Thoughtful, honest debate was. I feel I fulfilled that.

    3. I can't be as gracious as bec. Aish is an organization that lies habitually to young people. It uses the universally debunked "Torah codes" to "prove" the Torah's divine authorship. It tells them evolution is a lie. It fails to tell them that by embracing a Haredi lifestyle and eschewing secular education, they're embracing lives of poverty while popping out baby after baby. It also fails to tell them that as BT's they will forever be relegated to the status of second-class citizens in the frum world.

      I'm quite certain you'll tell me about all of the lives you've "saved" by making people frum, and how grateful they are. I wonder how many of them will still be grateful ten, twenty years down the road, when they realize they've wasted their lives? How many follow-up studies have you performed?

      I disagree with Rebecca, in that I am firmly convinced that kiruv is an inherently dishonest and deceptive practice, and as it is habitually directed toward the young and other vulnerable people, it should be disallowed. Aish, Ohr Someyach, Chabad and other similar organizations are cults, and should be regarded as such.

  10. i wanted to reply to her comments about why she leaves your name out, but there is no way to reply to that particular point, shockingly enough.
    so I put it here
    Madame, first you said
    "Honestly? It was an oversight. But this exchange serves as a wonderful reminder to be more careful next time."

    Then you said
    "This is true- I don’t insert your last name or a link to your blog though it would be all too easy for any reader worth his/her salt to scroll down to the comments section to find out. If you ever want to start blog about your life or almost anything (instead of trying to a halt an incredible movement), I’ll gladly help you spread the good word."

    I like the use of the words "honestly" and "this is true",
    prefacing two statements that contradict each other.
    1. it was an oversight
    2. you did on purpose, and will not rectify. (you will link to her when she says stuff you want to hear, but til the no.
    that sounds distinctly like a policy, not so much an oversight :)
    much love
    liza bennett

    1. Thanks, Liza, for your comment. You make a good point. What started innocently as "an oversight" could have been easily overlooked if corrections were made. I always make a point to cite my sources, even when I disagree with them. As a professional educator, maintaining my academic integrity is very important to me. Purposely neglecting to cite my sources would jeopardize my integrity both as an educator and as a writer.

    2. Liza: I figure I'll answer you here. Not sure why you there was no place for you to leave a comment on my article. As I said in my most recent post to Rebecca:

      I’ve already addressed this- more than once. I have approved several posts that quote Rebecca with a link to her original post but I won’t help her share her blog with more people. I feel her message is very negative and bitter. I’d like for people who are objective to not have to read this. I don’t see how this is dishonest or hypocritical.

      I gave Todd the link in the comments section once he asked for it but I see no purpose to post a link in the article itself b/c of the above reasons.

    3. ugh, i do not want to beat a dead horse, and i do not really care too much about this point, but nope, you said it was an oversight, even though it turns out you have a policy. so, no, it was not an oversight. you had already been following that policy for a few posts, before you "honestly" made an "oversight"?
      again, hate answering this in a way, but it looks like:
      you need to look nice (i am sure if i met you i would think you were in fact VERY nice), so you lie about small things.
      i hate arguing about these small things.
      i would much rather ask you about big things, like,

      do husbands control wives in judaism?
      does it matter that only a few people think that they do
      if those few people are talmidei chachamim who control issues of gittin?
      do you encourage all your friends to sign a halachic prenup?

      but i know it would be exhausting and pointless to argue with you on the big things, having once been both a defender of the faith,
      and a big believer in pre-nups (at the same time).

      but i could not let the small lie stand.

      best i can do.
      liza bennett

    4. I feel her message is very negative and bitter. I’d like for people who are objective to not have to read this.

      I've come across this reply before. It's childish, but it's what I'd expect, given your other responses.

      G*3 put it well in his comment below:

                Objective" doesn't mean "agrees with me." "Objective"           means "not invested in either side."

      I don’t see how this is dishonest or hypocritical.

      Yes, I'm sure you don't.

  11. > I feel her message is very negative and bitter. I’d like for people who are objective to not have to read this.

    "Objective" doesn't mean "agrees with me." "Objective" means "not invested in either side." If what you're afraid of is that an objective person would read your blog and this one and conclude that Rebecca is correct, that should make you rethink your position.

  12. Maybe Ms. Eden has given herself an opening for understanding her opponent's position. She understands the desire to shield people from thoughts that another thinks are true. Her "opponents" have the same intention. They are interested in shielding people from thoughts that another thinks are true. The blog owner is more giving though in only expressing the displeasure with deceptive tactics rather than the exposure to the thoughts. Can you now understand your opponents' feelings?


Your respectful comments are welcome.