Tuesday, December 20, 2011

YU Beacon= Trash

It shouldn't bother me that the YU Beacon publishes trash, but it does.

It bothers me that this editor claims she isn't publishing controversy for the sake of controversy, when there's clearly no other reason to publish this piece of crap.

Crap where some idiot says that rabbis permit condoms but not birth control pills and also posits that birth control pills can abort babies. (This woman has no grip on reality- or science for that matter.)

If you want to talk about this issue, note that it already has been talked about. (Again, the Beacon does absolutely no research.) Read "The Halakhic Parameters of Delaying Procreation" by Rabbi Moshe Kahn. Then, if you have something to add, or a play to write- do so.

Birth Control


Anonymous said...

was very disappointed in her article. completely halachikly misleading. totally agree that the beacon is becoming a trashy tabloid-type of paper. shame.

Rafi E. said...

It's not even worth your time reviewing it anymore. As you said, this is clearly just stirring the pot for the sake of it. In addition, the play is poorly researched and written with embarrassingly, cliched, cringe-inducing dialogue. There is nothing new or illuminating about the story. Just another attempt at 'tackling' a sexy, attention-seeking, hot-button issue.

Anonymous said...

Plan B is not a birth control pill. It does not cause an abortion, but it can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. I didn't think that part of the piece was terrible, but the condom gaffe was a bit much. I'll grant you that. And it wasn't great writing.

The idea of not talking money, politics, or sex before marriage concerns me. I would love to see a well-written piece on that. I would assume that people would talk about family planning and contraception before even getting engaged (to make sure that they were on the same page), but does that not happen? I am frum, but to the left of the YU world.

Someone I dated once told me he wanted to have six kids, but I think he had NO idea what kind of money and energy that would take! I cannot imagine breastfeeding and changing diapers for 12-15 years or whatever it would take to have six children with physical recovery time in between. (It's not so health for moms or babies to space children very closely together.)

Philo said...

Looks like the Beacon already took it down. However, Heshy Fried copied it to his blog: http://www.frumsatire.net/2011/12/20/yu-beacon-sex-article-frum-abortion/

Anonymous said...

I tried posting on the prev article for everyone to listen to the Sichat Mussar from the YU Beit Midrash last week, but i guess it was too late, not sure if anyone saw it. But it gives a perspective on how we should be reacting to this "crap".

What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Me again, just realized for some reason the link isnt coming out totally when i try to paste it.

It is from Rabbi Eric Goldman, titled Haroed es hanolad. It is one of the featured shiurim on YUTorah.org for now.

Anonymous said...


I don't know why you're getting so worked up about the Beacon's lack of research.

1) They are not a newspaper (they call themselves a "voice" or a "journalistic venture" on their site), and so - like a blog - do not require research.

2) They have some good stuff there. Two articles, while bad, do not demonstrate the entire picture.

3) Maybe they just don't have enough material to publish, so they are faced with a choice. Either publish nothing, and the Beacon will be no more, or publish some things which are sub-par.

Pesach Sommer said...

I agree with the previous comment. In trying to be the voice of all students, they are more open to imperfect writing.

Additionally, this article alone would make the whole venture worthwhile http://yubeacon.com/2011/10/opinions/reflections-on-a-godless-yeshiva/. As a veteran mechanech, I was very impressed by the ideas presented, even if it was a bit strident.

Simi was a student of mine. While I was not fully comfortable with "infamous" article, I know Simi to be a woman of character and serious thought. Your attacks seem somewhat mean-spirited and uncharachteristic of your usual writing. It almost makes me wonder whether there is something else going on here that you are not telling us.

Anonymous said...

Mr or Rabbi Sommer. you said:

"...I know Simi to be a woman of character and serious thought. Your attacks seem somewhat mean-spirited and uncharachteristic of your usual writing. It almost makes me wonder whether there is something else going on here that you are not telling us".

I don't believe for a moment that Chana is "attacking" Simi.

Beacon is about sensationalism. You have no idea how much damage it's causing . Even though this online paper is no longer associated with YU, its content is upsetting to many who attend YU or Stern.

Simi chooses to write trashy articles. Her articles are representative of cheap, attention seeking yellow journalism and nothing more.

Shades of Grey said...

I heartily concur with Chana.

While there have been a few worthwhile articles - and those were the ones that were carefully researched and composed - their big hit-bringing posts are utter refuse.

It does not speak well of their reputation if the only engaging and meaningful pieces are buried in a garbage heap of sensationalism and scandal.

I agree that their efforts are harming YU's image, and they certainly need to think about the damage they are causing, intentional or not.

Pesach Sommer said...

Is it the job of the student body to conform to what the YU administration or its alumni want them to be? Whatever the level of writing, the writers are part of the student body. During my three years on campus a rebbe at MTA, I saw every type of student. Some were very frum, some were clearly not. They are all part of the student body. While some might wish for them to write about other things, the Beacon allows them a voice.

Shades of Gray said...

To avoid confusion, Shades of GrAy here:

I see both perspectives, even though I, too, disagree with aspects of the Beacon's approach(see below).

On the one hand, there is arguably a void which lends to what's being posted on the Beacon. To quote from the apparently now-defunct Tzelem website:

"Modern Orthodox youth who attend yeshiva day schools and high schools, are living within the modern world and are exposed to television and the media’s perspective on sexuality. Often there is no Jewish response, from within yeshivot, to provide a Jewish approach to sexuality and relationships, and children are left with the impression that Judaism has either nothing to say about the subject, or, that it only has negative things to say. Additionally, even in the absence of a highly sexualized modern culture, the total void of any systematic education which addresses such a fundamental part of personal development within a Jewish context is problematic. Children and teenagers in yeshiva day schools require more information, guidance, direct conversation and opportunities to ask questions about issues of intimacy and Judaism that are so often on their minds"

So, on the one hand, if there is a void *for some people*, how strongly can one blame the Beacon for dealing with it, even if they make mistakes?

On the other hand, the Beacon students are part of a community and institution of other people. As such, it's "menschlichkeit" and proper to try to get along and be sensitive to others' concerns which emanate from Torah values.

IMO, the Beacon should get advisors from people older and more experienced than them ideally from within the YU faculty and community, but at the very least, from experienced people to YU's Left but within Orthodoxy(eg, from the YCT orbit). This might improve the quality of what's being published, and can serve as a check against any mistakes, whether in these, or in any and all other type of controversal or sensitive areas.

Anonymous said...

The previous Anonymous said "Her articles are representative of cheap, attention seeking yellow journalism and nothing more".

Couldn't have said it better myself! Yes, the issues are important but it's done in too tacky a way to be taken seriously.

At this point, you want to ask yourself what does the Beacon care about more--drawing attention to said important issues, or drawing attention to itself?