What an excellent Commentator!
This is an amazing last issue.
I love (and completely agree with) this.
Oh dear, Eitan...intellectual xenophobia? You're definitely riling people up in the last editorial of the year, but it's an excellent one. Kudos. Not that I agree with everything, of course, but well-argued, well-presented and well-done.
Norman Lamm writes beautifully about the Rav as a person. This is sad, actually. He mentions the Rav's intellectual honesty, his preference for truth over brilliance and his ability to admit that he did not know something. He also mentions that we should not cut the Rav down to size, nor should we honor him through excessive hero worship, as that is also a form of distortion.
Of course I agree with Rafi. Money quote: "I think that, as Orthodox Jews, change is more difficult for us because of the respect we maintain for traditional Judaism in the face of rampant assimilation." He goes on to argue why some change is necessary nonetheless.
This Center for Ethics sounds interesting. I heard her speak: she's the one who introduced the topic of surrogate motherhood and explained the issues from a secular standpoint.
Why do the guys get to go to Japan? So unfair. Humph...
I found this synopsis/ review of the MedEthics surrogacy event entertaining. Despite the fact that Rabbi Brander brought down God-knows-how-many sources, the reviewer chose to quote "Rabbi Elyashiv, perhaps the foremost scholar of our time in Jewish law" and "Rabbi Moshe Feinstein." Entertaining, eh? There's a misleading statement here: " Although the child would be considered Jewish according to the majority of Rabbis, everyone agrees that he should go through a conversion so there shouldn't be a situation where there are Jews that are only Jewish according to some people." It was my impression that not everyone agrees to this, but it's R' Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg's approach and Rabbi Brander's approach. Of course, it's quite possible that I'm mistaken.
Jeremy pens a rather damning piece about YU's delayed response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech. I only wonder whether he's right when he asks, "what was our initial instinct? Were we shocked and gripped by pain? Did we stop what we were doing and, perhaps, cry? What explains our anesthetized state?" Since I believe people are inherently good at the core, I would answer yes to these questions, and this anesthetized state is brought on by being afraid to handle everything and to deal with a lot of pain. Then again, it may be that I am wrong and people truly are desensitized. I'd like to be right, though.
All right, I'm not going to write about the entire paper. Go read it. It's excellent. And makes me happy. Go now! :D