Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Feelings Take Precedence Over Your Jewish Values

"And actually I think that is the important role that atheists play in the contemporary world. They refuse to let religious organizations or leaders get away with sloppy thinking or acceptance of something as the Will of God when clearly God wants us to change that thing and transform the world. They challenge religion whenever it is a source of intolerance or hate and in that respect, I like atheists and I feel enlarged by them. But as for the angry atheists- the figures that we all know of- I call them our contemporary intellectual equivalent of 'road rage'- those guys I think are not the kind of atheists that I respect because what they write about is a caricature of religion, not the real thing."


It's just an article, so why does it bother me so much?

I think it bothers me because it is representative of a trend in Modern Orthodoxy on a whole. It is a trend I find disquieting and upsetting, one that troubles me in the extreme. That trend is that whatever I feel or find to be difficult must be spoken about publicly, dealt with publicly and anyone who dares to not accept me or to differ from me must be whipped into line. And I think that this idea is representative of sloppy thinking in our student body, thinking that originates in the heart rather than one's brain.

The thinking is as follows: I am experiencing an issue; therefore others around me must also be experiencing that issue. If we are experiencing that issue together, the best way for us to deal with it is by stating our opinions loudly and publicly. Anyone who doesn't agree with our opinions must be shamed for failing to be sufficiently liberal, modern, tolerant or open-minded. Even those who might agree that the discussion ought to be held but disagree with the format must be accused of being close-minded.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like much of a discussion to me.

When the YU Beacon was first founded, I expressed tentative support for it. My concern was that they seemed to be pushing the envelope without actually stating that this was their agenda. In fact, the comment thread included comments from the editors that said that is exactly what they were not doing. One editor stated "We are not trying to create controversy or push the limits with every article (hence the tame Maccabeats one, and many others which are neutral). We would like the paper simply to be a regular student paper which won't cover up anything but will also include more "mundane" articles."

Whether the editors intended it or not, the YU Beacon seems to be read mainly as a scandal sheet, a kind of tabloid rag. A quick look at their Weekly Hits shows you that their most-read articles are the one posted up about premarital sex, an opinions piece about how sex shouldn't be openly discussed which includes the disclaimer that the author is not so close-minded as to tell others how to live their lives or not to discuss it (ironic), a piece about feminism in religion, a piece about how shomer negiah is no longer possible and therefore the lack thereof in committed relationships needs to be discussed lest people feel guilty (the horror, the horror) and a rant against the Hasidic community (among others).

So let me see. The go-to topics for the readers of this paper are: sex, more sex, feminism, shomer negiah (which is just disguised almost-sex) and community-bashing.

I think that a commitment to thoughtfully discussing issues of concern to students of Yeshiva University is really important. That's the reason that I had entire features spreads devoted to sexuality, mental health and sexual abuse. These articles featured student responses but they also included interviews with professionals and rabbis. I wanted a well-rounded perspective on everything that I published. I also wanted to make sure I was clear that I was discussing issues of concern to affiliates of Modern Orthodoxy as a whole rather than the segment comprised by the university.

A discussion about premarital sex is important. There are so many issues to explore: should the mikvah be open to women who are not married? What causes women or men to have premarital sex? What percentage of the student body is engaging in this? Do most people feel guilty about it or are they totally okay with it? But especially when you are a representative of a community, as each member of YU is, you have to think about what the best format to engage in this discussion is.

If the YU Beacon wanted to open up a discussion about premarital sex, then yes, they could have and should have included personal viewpoints. But they should also have included other material focusing on the plethora of issues that are part of this subject. I think it would have been interesting to read an account of a student who had premarital sex and felt guilty alongside an account of one who had sex and didn't. I think it would have been intriguing to see what percentage of the student body admitted to engaging in premarital sex and what percentage didn't. I would have been interested in seeing how prominent scholars or religious figures addressed the issue, assuming that they were willing to discuss it with the paper. Responsible reporting argues for a complete picture, not a skewed one.

By choosing to publish one piece on a Stern girl's one-night stand, the YU Beacon also chose to open up a Pandora's box. And sometimes that would be okay, but this time it was irresponsible. If you are going to make the editorial decision to inflame most of the student body- who choose to attend this university because of the fact that it's Yeshiva University and there are theoretically certain standards that accompany that name- then you better make sure it's worth it. Was this really worth it? Was this one essay about a girl sleeping with a guy and then feeling bad about it so important? Did it really help anyone who was in this position? And if so, what exactly did it help them with? What was the message behind this story?

Was the message that other people sin too, so I'm not alone in sinning?
Was the message that premarital sex leads to guilt?
Was the message that Stern girls are just like other girls on secular campuses, and that they too have sex?
Was the message that because of their guilt-complexes, Stern girls can only sin after they've quashed their conscious by deciding to get drunk?

In short, what was the point of the article? Why was it so incredibly important to publish it? What was it that we as a student body were supposed to learn from it, take away from it or otherwise gain from it?

This wasn't a discussion that actually helped someone deal with an issue. If I was a girl who had sex before marriage and I read this article, the only thing I would have learned is that someone else out there had done the same thing as me. I assume this is something I would have known before reading this article as well.

To me, therefore, this suggests that the only point behind this article was to say, hey, we at YU aren't so different from people at other college campuses. We're also a university; we also have rights. We have freedom of the press and we want to show it. So let's publish an article about a girl's one-night stand and let's claim we're doing it in the name of our ideals, in the name of talking about important issues because people need to talk about the things they are doing behind closed doors. Surely if they don't, they'll explode. And a public forum such as a newspaper is certainly the best place to do it, rather than a blog or a Facebook.

A friend of mine said that he had read an article which stated that "colleges are where students have their own mini-state." Thus, they think they are citizens exercising their right to free speech, consequences be damned. And if you look at the majority of comments on the article, people were outraged and upset that there might even be a request to pull the piece. They immediately deemed this censorship and got on their high horses.

What we think, what we say and what we write is a reflection of who we are and what our values are. It doesn't surprise me that many at YU were uninterested in being represented by one girl's one-night stand. The word 'Stern' was even tagged in the article.

If the point of the article was to say hey, we at YU aren't so different from people at other college campuses, boy, do I have some news for you. We are different. We are religious Jews. As a nation, we have been chosen by God to represent Him and to act as His ambassadors on this earth. Our view of sexuality is one that consists of giving, of true intimacy, of devotion, of sharing. As the Rav writes in Family Redeemed, it is a view that focuses upon the I-Thou relationship, not the I-It.

So when a student writes about how she acted exactly like a typical college student, having a one-night stand in a hotel after getting drunk, feeling love for her boyfriend who doesn't seem to be emotionally reciprocating in any way...yeah, that shocks us. It should shock us. Because there's a student who has allowed herself to be objectified, to believe the myth that putting out is what keeps her together with her boyfriend, and who is in a position which truthfully comes across as extremely sad.

And once shocked, a lot of students responded by saying, in effect: This is not what we choose to represent us. This is not what we want people to think when they hear the words Yeshiva University. This is not what we want people to think when they hear the words observant Jew. This is not what or who defines us and we don't want it up there for people to think this is what defines us.

But the editors of the paper said: Your opinions be damned and your reactions be damned. We don't care what should represent religious Jews; we only care about what some religious Jews actually are doing. We have free speech and we're not afraid to use it. And we don't care if this becomes a huge Chilul Hashem and a scandal dragged across the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and so on; we don't care if we make Yeshiva University out to be some sort of evil overarching censorship committee. We only care about ourselves and the fact that we should have the right so say what we want.

And you have to wonder: Is that a Machloket L'Sheim Shamayim or a Machloket She'Lo L'Sheim Shamayim? Are these students selflessly defending the tenets of Judaism or are they selfishly determining that once they've made a decision, their decisions ought not be questioned?

I agree that premarital sex is an important issue to address within the Modox community.

What I question is the forum, the format, the lack of responsibility and the focus on one's rights rather than one's obligations that took place here. In a world where editors say we are accountable to no one, not even God, what Judaism is being defended, exactly?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks says he doesn't respect 'road rage' atheists, the ones who write about caricatures of religion rather than the real deal. I feel like the same applies to editors of a paper who chose to grant interviews to major media outlets and drag YU through the mud rather than admit to the possibility that maybe their decision was wrong. Not the decision to talk about premarital sex in the first place! But the way they chose to introduce it as a subject- not as a question but as definitive, not under analysis but as narrative.


BSA said...

Excellently written and argued, as always.

Anonymous said...

I love this. LOVE.

Baruch Pelta said...

...there's a student who has allowed herself to be objectified, to believe the myth that putting out is what keeps her together with her boyfriend, and who is in a position which truthfully comes across as extremely sad.
That seems to be a rather articulate descriptor of the message of the piece to me.

Incidentally, the "Most Popular" articles on the Yeshiva University Observer site are: "Content versus Style, Censorship versus Editing" (an article commenting on the Beacon controversy), "Tzelem: Life Values & Intimacy Education", "Interview on Sexuality in the Orthodox Jewish Community", "A Message From Your Student Council" (on the Beacon controversy), and "The Jewish Perspective on Sexuality."

Chana said...

But probably not a message the author intended (unless she wanted to humiliate herself, which seems unlikely).

As to the most popular Observer articles, most of those were written by me and have only become popular within the last three days or so because I linked them in my blogpost commenting on the YU Beacon piece.

EJB said...

I doubt the "Most Popular" section of ranks articles based on all-time popularity, since the first-place article was just posted on Thursday. I'm guessing it ranks articles based on recent popularity, and it's therefore understandable that the most popular articles are the ones you mention.
Chana, as a past editor of The Observer, do you know how they rank articles' popularity?

Anonymous said...

I am among the more liberal amongst the liberals at YU. That being said, I couldn't agree with you more. The immaturity in deciding to publish the article - without even a peep of a sincere apology for the pain it's caused others - angers me and leaves me wildly unimpressed with the Beacon editors responsible for the piece's publication.

Liberal should not have to mean mindless at YU. We're better than that.

Baruch Pelta said...


I don't know the author's intent. The message I got from the piece was of somebody who regretted getting herself into the situation you described so poignantly.

I don't know what people usually read in the Observer, but my broader point there is that people gravitate toward the controversial issues. I recall noting to myself at one point how much more popular Hirhurim's controversial posts were than the divrei torah. And methinks not much could be more controversial (and relevant) at a school like YU than how men and women interact (i.e. sex and feminism)?

Just my two cents.

Reuven said...

"So let me see. The go-to topics for the readers of this paper are: sex, more sex, feminism, shomer negiah (which is just disguised almost-sex) and community-bashing."

Only, ignoring for a moment that you've chosen an obviously flawed criteria for the Beacon's "go-to topics" by looking at a week in which thousands of non-YU students flocked to the site because of its controversy, let's look at those examples:

The first article we know about, and will get back to.

The second "sex" article is a piece from two weeks ago about how the author feels uncomfortable discussing sex, and that people should be more discrete. It is not a response to the current article (though I presume that people thought it was, because it didn't get many hits when published and now it has gotten quite a few), and is definitely not meant to provoke anyone. "More sex" is an utter mischaracterization.

The feminism article is about how feminism is a very narrow bridge. It is far more a tale of caution than a promotion of feminism.

The shomer-negiah article is Simi Lampert saying that discussing "shomer negiah" (in her words, to prevent it) is worthwhile. It's from November 7th, it's up there because of the current controversy, no doubt.

Hasidism: The Truth (which I did think was ridiculous) isn't even on the list anymore, probably due to the current situation.

Regarding the first, Chana, it was meant to be poignant. Maybe it failed at that, but the editors thought it had literary merit. The Beacon was never supposed to be Kol Hamevaser, though it has had some great articles that could have belonged in that paper. The article didn't have to be religiously important, it only had to be worth publishing.

As for the ensuing fight: I don't think anyone wanted it. If student council wanted to pull funding that should have been it. But people are attracted to "controversy" (clearly the press, yourself, and myself included) and so it becomes a big thing. Shame.

Former YU Student said...

It's ironic that you project onto some unnamed Modern Orthodox people the position that "Anyone who doesn't agree with our opinions must be shamed..."

This whole ridiculous controversy is that some people are outraged that a student newspaper published a particular article written by a student. An article apparently so heinous that the offending newspaper deserves to lose its funding just for having the temerity to publish it. But clearly it's the liberals who are trying to cram their opinions down people's throats.

Anonymous said...

Well this is a ridiculous article from beginning to end starting with that defensive stance of "No! You're the one who isn't open-minded!" and then going on to castigate a paper for discussing the same things that are in the Talmud (sex, sex, anal sex, killing animals, sex) and then bashing the Hasidim (which is apparently is not a Jewish Value so I suppose that means that we have put the Vilna Gaon into cherem - good to know).

But of course, you are the only person who has a clear view of what Jewish Values ARE. I mean, this article is not from your FEELINGS or anything of the kind. So go ahead and pretend to be "objective" when you are just ranting.

Still I will say that one part is even more idiotic than the rest and that's this howler -

"But they should also have included other material focusing on the plethora of issues that are part of this subject. I think it would have been interesting to read an account of a student who had premarital sex and felt guilty alongside an account of one who had sex and didn't. I think it would have been intriguing to see what percentage of the student body admitted to engaging in premarital sex and what percentage didn't."

So you are against one stupid little story in which a girl has a one night stand at the young age of 20 and feels guilty and then does a yada yada when it comes to sex but you also want MORE sex talk in the Beacon? And from women with stories like "yeah, I didn't like it at first but then I learned to relax and porn has really taught us a lot. I still feel guilty but it's more fun that way."

And THAT wouldn't be controversial?

Please come back when you actually have a point.

EJB said...

Anonymous 2:08
1. If you are comparing The Beacon's discussion of sex to the Talmud's discussion of sex, you clearly do not understand the Talmud (or the Beacon article). If you have problems with the Talmud's discussion of sex, why don't you speak with a competent rabbinic figure as opposed to assume it must be there to fit the agenda of whatever the arguments you want to make require?

2. "But of course, you are the only person who has a clear view of what Jewish Values ARE."
What "Jewish Value" of Chana are you contesting? The value that premarital sex is bad? The value that legitimate issues within our community must be addressed in the most educational and careful manner possible?

3. "So you are against one stupid little story in which a girl has a one night stand at the young age of 20 and feels guilty and then does a yada yada when it comes to sex but you also want MORE sex talk in the Beacon?"
As Chana's post mentions in several paragraphs (did you read them?), sex talk isn't the problem. The non-beneficial manner in which the issue was addressed is the problem. You may contest that the issue was addressed in a beneficial manner or doesn't have to be addressed in a beneficial manner, but don't craft your own faulty arguments and sign Chana's name on the bottom.

Shades of Gray said...

Somewhat tangential, the Tzelem website doesn't seem to be working for some time. Is this program no longer affiliated with YU, or did they just take down the website?

SNB said...

Well written post.
I do think there should be a dialogue or forum to seriously discuss the topic of sex. The Beacon's article though, missed the mark.
In addition to its many failings, it reinforced a stereotyped dichotomy of the religious vs sexual and the sex-negative image of female sexuality (oh, the remorse!).

Dana said...

Chana, as always, you write beautifully and hammered home several important points. I love how you speak about not censoring important issues, rather censoring horrendous journalism.
If only the Beacon had you onboard their team :)

FURIOUS. said...


Excellent post, stunningly written, well-argued.

I am furious about this and the following will therefore be very rude.

As a current first-time-on-campus Stern student, it is sad that I am no longer shocked by the materialistic horrors I see and hear nearly every day within the Stern environment. I am disappointed tremendously by the lack of Yiddeshe atmosphere here and think that this article was a cresecendo to everything that I've encountered so far. I came with so many hopes and great ambitions, and now all I'm finding is that my preference to study at a Jewish University (even though I didn't have SUCH high expectations for it in the first place since it is Modern Orthodox) is in the toilet. Sure, you have your frum chevra here and there, but it just isn't enough.

Why should I waste my money on a school with great academics, but hardly any true orthodox values?!

YU, I think it's time you recreate a name for yourself. Good job for severing contact with the Beacon. Now, do us all a favor and stop accepting girls who only want to come here so they can be in the city and do stupid things. Don't you want to get nachas from the girls who really have a desire to learn? Make yourself selective and exclusive, a place that can actually be recognized as one that is "anywhere but here" like your website claims.

And to everyone else, get over yourselves and the article. Chana is 1000% right. Not only was it pointless and ridiculous, it was absolutely atrocious!
Good thing I can still say that... Gosh, am I, like, the only one who still isn't desensitized?! Man, that's certainly depressing.

Look at you, narrator of such an article. You call yourself a Jew and really you're a goyah-wannabe, you disguise your filthy-self with your glittering Hadayah and black skirts. You're ruled by your instincts and you're controlled by peer pressure. I am so disgusted and tired of your existence, it's not funny. You phony. At least stop living a lie and embrace yourself loud and clear.

Is it a surprise I'm rethinking Stern? I was anyway, even before all this stupidity. But this? This has definitely put its reputation at stake. I'd rather go to a non-Jewish college and proudly stand out than be embarassed by people who clearly can't or aren't interested.

Anonymous said...

Are you telling people not to imagine anything at all? How far do you think religion ought to go? Should it control all actions and all thoughts and every aspect of our imagination? The "article" you refer to is a "story" not an "article" not a journalistic report of an actual event. The story is not about a "one night stand" but clearly insinuates an ongoing relationship. OK, it is not a literary masterpiece. All agree on that. But the reply to your angst over this story is simply, where did you get the notion that your "values" can nullify another person's "feelings"? If I want to explore what I feel through fiction, what gives you the right to stomp on my creative impulses? I suggest you go read Shir Hashirim, Bereishis and Megillas Esther and come back and we can talk.

Shades of Gray said...

"You call yourself a Jew and really you're a goyah-wannabe, you disguise your filthy-self with your glittering Hadayah and black skirts."

I disagree with the Beacon's editorial decison, but I don't think they are the real problem, or the only one. I agree that the Beacon could benefit from guidance, which they don't seem to make use of.

Nevertheless, people here have agreed that sexuality is an important topic. FWIW, I think that it is not properly discussed(I would add not only in the MO world, but in the RW, Haredi world as well). The real problem, then, is that there is a vacum, and getting rid of the Beacon, or of weaker-religous students like the anonymous author won't change it completely.

YCT apparently tackles the subject with psychological depth(as contrasted with only Mussar), and that's perhaps the void that the Beacon fulfills. This is how R. Dov Linzer in an article in the Forward put it, which contrasted YCT with JTS and other non-Orthodox institutions:

"...Other schools set clearer boundaries for students. Rabbi Dov Linzer, dean of the liberal Orthodox Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, said that the faculty recognizes the challenge of observing halachic sexual prohibitions, and has students study with sex therapists and psychiatrists in addition to rabbis. Even so, Linzer added that a student who engages in premarital sex “cannot continue at the yeshiva.”

“We’re sensitive to the challenges that these things represent,” Linzer said. “At the time of the Talmud, most people were married at the time of 14 or 16.”

Note that I'm not blaming YU, I'm saying that there always was a void regarding this subject to some extent or another(even for better students who would not think of pre-marital sex), and the Beacon highlighted it. This does not contradict that the Beacon definately needs some guidance.

Jim Crow said...

the negia article don't say that negia is impossible per se; just visavis modern dating system.

she is probably right.

it is not a controversial idea; actually quite conservative if thought through. granted the article is not focused and some of the tangents ('hystercial background') might lead one to misinterpret.

but there is a torah mandate bt name "gurd yourself from all things negative" which in TBalPeh means guard agsint associations with cpacity to inspire improper thoughts, let alone negia v'chu.

I remember my engagement period and while B"H nothng 'happened' that was mainlydue to my knowledge thatwere I even to maek a baby step to 'go there' it would be all over due to my now wife's integrity etc.

the less we saw eachother the better (this was helped by us beingin two cities).

after our marriage we have had plety of time to see eachother schooze develop/enjoy our relationship w.o. the burden of a frustrated libido.

agav this issue is not solely for YU. I remember beig in Lakewod and seeing the social scene there sheesh it is pretty bad.

evr hear of "the holier they claim to be the farther they fall"?

Neil Harris said...

Great post and very well stated.

Shades of Grey said...

Just to distinguish from the above comment, I'm Shades of GrEy - author of the blog.

I also agree with Chana completely. One of the things I enjoyed most about Chana's run as the editor of The Observer was her willingness to confront controversial issues in a balanced, fair, and educational fashion.

Her point was not to simply create controversy fraught with heated debate and finger-pointing. Instead, she addressed issues that needed to be brought to light and discussed appropriately within the confines of reason, halachic belief, and ethical responsibility.

Whereas The Commentator, which I wrote for, sometimes veered into controversy either accidentally publishing something that needed better editing/thought or for the sake of controversy itself, as with regard to one particular editor I can recall, Chana's Observer surpassed the quality of content and mission of any other YU newspaper.

The Beacon in general, and this article in particular, lacks all of those sterling qualities.

I am very willing to acknowledge that Chana herself, at times, can push the boundaries of thought within the Jewish realm, but she is cognizant of it, and respectful of other's opinions. Her desire to push and probe is because she wants to know more and to educate others along the way - creating meaningful conversation that will hopefully enlighten all who are involved.

The editors and defenders of The Beacon's article have not displayed this sense of decency, fair-mindedness, or thoughtfulness in their response to the controversy they generated. Whereas even some of the more controversial writers/editors at The Commentator properly reassessed their printed words in a truthful and soul-searching fashion, The Beacon has failed to do that. At best, they acknowledge the criticism before sweeping it away under the carpet and trumpet away at freedom of the press while clinging to the attempts others have made at finding merit in such an article.

If the point was to highlight the issue of premarital sex within the Modern Orthodox world, then they did so only obliquely, and I find it hard to believe that was the author's original intent.

The story sounded like a journal entry on a blog. There are plenty of blogs out there where this sort of stuff is plentiful. Generally, it leads to congregating pat-on-the-backs from and for people who have done similarly, and anyone opposing the viewpoints expressed gets attacked - as we are seeing here for this controversy in a number of venues of discussion.

I firmly side with those who believe this article should not have been published in this venue, and am greatly saddened at the chilul HaShem it has caused both for YU/Stern and the Jewish people as a whole. The secular world is laughing at us, and the number of sarcastic/sardonic published responses from big named websites/newspapers is appalling. The Beacon will never be able to take that back.

If this subject merits real discussion, which, like Chana, I believe that it does - in a respectful, academic fashion with a proper mindset guided by our Modern Orthodox halachic/hashkafic tradition - then The Beacon can perhaps redeem itself by doing this. If all they do is continue to decry the naysayers and opposition, offering excuses and pithy remarks, then this whole venture will have been for nothing.

The damage is done, but as Rebbi Nachman said in a quote made famous recently by Omek Hadavar's song "Ein Yei'ush," "Im atah ma’amin sheyicholim lekalkel - ta’amin sheyicholim letaken" - "If you believe that you can mess things up – you must believe that you are able to fix them."

So the ball is in The Beacon's court to take Chana's example as Observer Editor-in-chief and properly address this controversial topic the right way this time.

Anonymous said...

Just curious...why are most of you (including Chana!) taking it for granted that the articles in the Observer were done in the "proper" or "appropriate" way??? Most of the Rabanim around YU were very upset at her articles. Just bec they dont post about it on a blog, doesnt mean thats not what they were thinking. But I know for a fact that there were very upset about it and felt it was very innapropriate.

So why exactly are we following this innapropriate editor over those innapropriate editors? Who gave this young and inexperienced girl the right to say that her articles didnt cross the line, but this one does???

I think this whole discussion highlights the idea that it is finally time for our generation to stop thinking we know better than everyone, and start following the examples set by our Rabbanim and role models.

Shades of Gray said...

"But I know for a fact that there were very upset about it and felt it was very innapropriate."

1) FWIW, I felt that The Observer articles were very well done and appreciated them.

2) As I see it, the issue is that there is a diverse population in YU. If there is a problem with the Observer's articles on sexuality, which I can understand why some might feel there is due to the subject, perhaps the solution is to publish such articles not under the auspices of YU? It's sort of like saying that R. Etan Tucker should not speak under YU auspices, but some will attend elsewhere(I'm not endorsing him, just noting a comparison that was brought up).

3) I'm curious about Tzelem. Does it still exist?

4) If I were the editors of The Beacon I would get advice and guidance from others(including from rabbonim) about this and any other contraversal issue since there are sensitivities.

Shades of Grey said...

I know this is going to get confusing, but Shades of GrEy here again.

Anonymous 1:29 - how do you know the Rabbonim were upset? And if so, why wasn't it discussed whatsoever? I was attending YU at the time and didn't hear a peep from any Rosh Yeshiva at the time or at any point afterward - quite unlike what happened with the Kol Hamevaser issue addressing sexuality, or any coverage of the infamous Gay Panel in any newspaper.

If the Rabbonim found it objectionable, they seemingly didn't make their opinions public or decry that such things were being addressed in The Observer. This means:

A) They didn't care that the Observer wrote these things - and the Observer is (or was?) a lot more widely read than the Beacon until this past week.

B) They didn't find it objectionable at all, or enough to protest.

Prove otherwise, please.

Laura said...

If the point of the article was to say hey, we at YU aren't so different from people at other college campuses, boy, do I have some news for you. We are different. We are religious Jews. As a nation, we have been chosen by God to represent Him and to act as His ambassadors on this earth.

I agree. Very well-written.
Someone said "sexuality is an important topic," etc., but I have to say that I would probably be a little uncomfortable with a similar essay had it been published in my secular school's newspaper. I didn't read the article (I got the gist, I think), but it seemed like something more appropriate for a literary magazine or something.

I applied to YU once, so I'm rather fond of it still, but when I heard of it, even I thought "Wow, what are they doing over there??"

Grammar nitpicker said...

Alcohol to silence her CONSCIENCE, not CONSCIOUS.

Anonymous said...

Sichat Mussar from YU Beit Midrash this week in response to the article...

What are your thoughts...?

Anonymous said...

sometime ago you discuseed the Steipler's views on sexuality. I wanted to send you the complete version (together with letters from his brother in the law the Chazon Ish.
how can i send it to you?
(please do not publish this)
Y rabinowitz

Anonymous said...

Note the great increase in comments on your own blog, when sex gets mentioned.
It seems that sex does indeed sell.