Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dixie Yid Reader Poll on Handling Political/Controversial Topics

I just posted a poll on the right sidebar. I'm curious what a wider swath of people think about this question, in addition to (and including) those that took the additional step of commenting on my somewhat controversial choice of posting on a "hot" topic on Sunday. I have removed that post, so it's not important what it was about, but it related to a matter about which many people were assuming the worst about a big Tzadik. I linked to another, more intellectualistic, blogger who was trying to offer a bit of perspective and balance to counteract some of the knee-jerk lashon hara that was being spoken. I linked to that post in order to try to make that more balanced position better-known.

I don't want this post to be turned into a discussion about that specific situation so I will delete any comments that bring up that particular issue. However, I am interested in gauging the range of my readers' feelings/thoughts about the general concept of whether it is worthwhile to sometimes "sully" the usual theme of this site by weighing in, even with just a link, on what I see as being a more Emunah-dik side of a somewhat controversial issue. Granted that there's absolutely nothing that says that the perspectives or links I might offer are "the authentic" Emunah-dik angle on an issue. Just like anyone else, I can only offer my own perspective, based on my own understanding and knowledge base, about any issue. But be that as it may, I value the opinions of those who choose to read this site, so please take the time to let me know your thoughts in the comment section here and by taking the poll on the right sidebar.

The poll will close at Bentch licht time on Friday, 5:10 PM Eastern time.

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Anonymous said...

Good going deleting that post!

Anonymous said...

For me, what makes your blog and others I read regularly interesting is YOU. Your thoughts, style, beliefs, etc. Do what YOU believe is right for you, and the readership that is drawn to you for my reasons (which I think is the majority) will remain true to this blog.

Anonymous said...

They should be avoided because it is becomes "motzei shem ra" and at best "loshon hora". People unfortunately don't understand what it means to "live" with Hashem, so when a Tzadik does something that thru his Torahdik eyes is correct, they criticize. If you really want to know why the position taken is correct, you be all means have the right to ask in a sincere and respectful way "Lamdaini Rabayni" (teach me, Rebbi). When Moshiach comes and the Sanhedrin is established these people will really have a lot of complaints. They will say: You are going to give him 39 lashes for... I know it says it in the Torah, but...
May we all be zocheh to have real emunas chachomim

Anonymous said...

Dixie Yid,

I have great respect for you, but I think that before posting on your blog the first and primary concern should be whether it is permissible according to halacha. Then, only then, is it relevant whether the people who visit your site enjoy reading it.

Menashe said...

I have a question for Anonymous of 3:03,

Where does emunas chachomim come in with regards to people that you simply don't hold by?

Personally, there are people that some consider "gedolim" whom I, for various reasons, think very poorly of (and that is being generous) and whose words I bear no heed. Obviously I won't name any names. Then there are the majority of talmidei chachomim and nesiim whom I have respect for, in varying degrees, but whom I nevertheless still do not hold by. Should I still consider the words of the second (and maybe even first) category to be divrei chachomim? Do you think it's wise to consider their decision the "correct" one to begin with and only seek to clarify why?

I won't specifically speak about the matter Reb Dixie Yid posted about, but I will say that that was one case where I am very reluctant to agree with what I believe your answer will be.

I beg you to correct my chutzpa if that is what it is.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between 'political' ,'controversial' topics which need to be discussed, and gossip which needs to be avoided.

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased that you deleted the controversial posting in question I had no idea what it was about. I must admit that my inital reaction was to try to learn more, but then I realized that I was running to hear loshon hara. This doesn't mean that there shouldn't be discussion about some important but controversial topics. And it may be that this one is just such an example.
I hope and believe that the readership of this blog will indicate by their comments whetehr a particular issue is l'shem shomayim

Anarchist Chossid said...

I second what Menashe said.

But I do agree that not every single thing must be chewed and discussed. On the one hand, there is l"h. Even when there is no l"h (such as when things are public already or have been to begin with), there is lack of ahavas Yisroel. (This is all notwithstanding the disagreement or worse of certain people’s actions.)

On the other hand, if we agree with everything that happens or are tacit about it, we support it. After all, certain people make sure their opinion is heard. V’dal.

I have no idea what anybody in particular should do on his blog. There could be a single theme for a blog, or multiple themes. There is something to be said about blogs that just discuss Yiddishkeit without discussing machloikes (I don’t mean machloikes leshem shomayim, within Yiddishkeit).

But maybe if someone feels strongly about discussing an issue, there is nothing wrong with that, even if it doesn’t go acc. to the general theme of the blog.

Anonymous said...

You have established a great blog that focuses on true spiritual growth, chasidus, mussar, and what I love most, Bilvavi and Rav Moshe Weinberger.

Stick to your theme. If your theme runs into a contemporary event, even controversial one going on, great, post on it. But only if and when it is a story that EVERYONE knows about. Like a Madoff type issue or an Israel election type issue. Do not post on something which is not as widely known as you may think, which could cause damage to someone, esp. a Rav, even if you intended otherwise.

I maintain that the vast majority of Jews do not know and will probably never know of the event you had posted. So, great move for removing it.

Anonymous said...

Menashe said:

"Where does emunas chachomim come in with regards to people that you simply don't hold by?

Personally, there are people that some consider "gedolim" whom I, for various reasons, think very poorly of (and that is being generous) and whose words I bear no heed. Obviously I won't name any names."

You said good. Even if you don't "hold" of a gadol you said you won't mention any names, so you avoid the loshon hora problem.

If your Rebbe or Rav comes out saying that a particulars persons views are corrupt that is one thing. I personally can think of some that might irk me by things they have done, but I keep my mouth shut. You need to be great to know when to open your mouth against a Rav who is repected by a large number of ehrliche Yidden.

Anon 303

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

For the record, I took down Sunday's post out of a sense of deference to my readers, whose opinions I respect. However, I do not agree with those commenters that felt that my post was lashon hara because I was linking l'tov with regard to a davar hayaduah l'rabim.

Menashe said...

I'm unversed in shmiras halashon so perhaps someone could clarify for me..

If your first sevara is ignored, is lashon hara really mvatel mitzad a davar hyadua brabim?

In other words, if something is already well known by the public, does discussing it constitute lashon hara? Maybe avak lashon hara?

Anonymous said...

Dixie, your post from Sunday was probably lashon hara b'shogeg, meaning you linked to things which explained a davar a bit muzar that a Rav did and tried to explain it, and b'chlal, you linked to a link which had lashon hara links on it.

Ask, your Rebbe if you should have done it.

But I love you Dixie!

Anonymous said...

So, the poll was pretty close, Dixie but. . .always
keep in mind that safek lashon hara. . .l'chumra! :)