Being a Rabbi doesn’t mean one can’t be incautious

I have never met Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz, aka the Happiness WarriorIn the following article republished in the Jewish Week, Rabbi Steinmetz shows an alarming level of imprudence. In Melbourne we face concerns over Shechitah, Shechitah was just banned by the Danes. Now we have Steinmetz quoting Russell Crowe. If I was on his board, I’d seek to have him cautioned. Yes, עד כדי כך.

Consider these snippets

Circumcision is unsettling. As the actor Russell Crowe wrote on Twitter: “I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies.” Despite the politically incorrect tone, Crowe reminds us why the anti-circumcision movement is here to stay: circumcisions are bloody and make babies cry. Even the committed among us are uncomfortable, and we look down nervously when the mohel begins the ceremony. It’s painful to enter the Covenant of Abraham.

Yes Rabbi. Do you think that stating the obvious and being “one of us” will make your views more palatable or do you think that the anti-Semite, tree hugger, or militant vegan will clasp your every word and mangle it to fit their cause?

I’m a Modern Orthodox rabbi who talks a great deal about the place of Judaism in the 21st century. But increasingly I’ve come to realize that circumcision is incompatible with the times, as is much of Judaism.

Your “honesty” is breathtaking Rabbi, but what do you hope to achieve by acceding to moralistic arguments of the world by effectively saying “you are right. It is a barbaric act, but I’m Jewish, and because of that please let me continue perform barbaric acts. I’m inspired by them.”

I know the Rabbi means well, but he has little idea how to frame his prose effectively. He seems to also not know how to confront modernity in anything but a left-wing apologetic manner which gives strength to those who don’t enjoy his level of commitment to acts of “barbarism” in the name of an ancient religion.

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

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