15 thoughts on “Justin White Trots Out the Kapo Insult – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Haw haw, he was made into a tag.

    Next time he shows up for a seder in this area, I B”N have got such words for him! BTW – does he know that in the seder we attended, there were several Jews of the librul-vusvus persuasion? Would he say these words to their faces, or would he rather wait until yontiff is over and send an angry email behind the comfort of his desk? Either way is a violation of Kavod haBriut, you know.

    I reiterate – if he came to our daily minyan frequently – hell, if he had ANY minyan to go to, he’ll probably be singing a different tune. (Again, I have not heard from him, so he may very well have moved to a more Jewishly-concentrated area.) I also state that I have never met Richard Silverstein in my (albeit short) lifetime.

    ברוך בר-נביא

  2. @B.BarNavi: He says that he’s lived in Israel for eight years & his LinkedIn profile says he studied physics at the Hebrew U. from 1992-2007. I’m guessing he’s living some place like Efrat, Yitzhar or Tapuach, the more extremist the community the better.

    And btw, Justin claims not to know you. I thought that would tickle you. The more grief you give him the clearer you might come into focus in his memory.

    And thanks for clarifying that we don’t know ea. other.

  3. His call to me shortly before now has demonstrated that yes, he DOES know me, and he dug into his past phonebook (I assume) to find me.

    Truth be told, he’s not a bad guy personally. When I say “displeasure”, I really mean it in a hipster-ironic way. When I REALLY hate someone, I usually say I’ve “had the pleasure to know this person”. I believe that if he explored the wider Jewish community, he’d definitely think twice before calling them kofrim. And he would probably NOT say all that shit to your face.

    He’s preparing for Kippur in J’lem, and I wished him the best. As for which part of J’lem – even if I DID know, I would not say. Some of the ideals I highly value are Kavod haBriut (which I chastized him on in the previous post) as well as privacy, and I would NEVER outright give someone’s private information. As someone who agrees with you on most issues, I ask that you honor this. Too many times I see despicable right-wingers posting home phones and addresses of journalists who dare do their job of reporting (Michelle M comes to mind), and I hope you (or anyone else, for that matter) will not sink to that level.

    May you ALL be sealed for a good year, and have an easy fast.

    (Also, just so you know, if the phone rings, pick it up.)

  4. I’m a fan of reasoned discourse, particularly in the realm of opinion. Judaism has always depending on differing opinions; they’re called commentaries, and we’ve gone to great lengths through the years to preserve differing opinions and to uphold the right to have different opinions on issues of law, custom, and ethics provided the underlying tenants conform to Biblical law.

    I’ve been reading your blog for several months and I’m not sure how often I agree with you, maybe 30% of the time, or slightly less, but I’ve never once felt that you were less of a Jew or a human being for having a different opinion. And I’ve welcomed your posts precisely for the different perspective you bring. I’m confused by the idea that anyone who studies Torah would deny your right to interpret your observations and ideas.

    That said, I’m uncomfortable with this entire thread because you’ve posted what I assume is “private” mail, if there is such a thing, and you’ve named your detractor which seems to me very close to embarrassing a fellow Jew. It seems that little would have been lost had you had you posted the message without his name and invited him to respond in the blog. (Unless I missed the part where he said in his mail, please feel free to respond to this on your blog with as much or as little information as you feel is appropriate.)

    I agree that you’ve both taken the comments very much to heart and made comments from the heart, and perhaps too emotionally. I don’t know how much you gain from speculative comments on each other’s unstated personal lives and background, but it seems to me that including his speculative comments and adding your own does not raise the level of the discussion.

  5. @B.BarNavi: I have very rarely published anyone’s e mail address here. Once, after someone advocated hanging Ehud Olmert I outed the commenter to the extent that I noted he was from New York. I think I removed the name of his neighborhood when he asked me to do so. You have to do something pretty evil to have me invade yr privacy.

    If Tsadok, or whatever he calls himself, were to call and be able to leave his insults & hate behind, I’d certainly be willing to converse with him.

    Believe it or not, someone commented here some time ago in the same vein as him. But once he read one of my posts about my somewhat troubled childhood & realized how much we had in common we actually had a sulha, which amazed me in a positive way. I even removed the post I wrote about him at his request. If you try to meet someone half way it’s amazing how easy it can be to achieve peaceful co-existence.

    Who knows, maybe that’s possible with Justin/Tsadok.

  6. @Marci: THanks for yr perspective which I value. BarNavi, who knows Justin, has also pointed out the latter’s humanity, which doesn’t exactly reach out to one from the prose he writes. I’ll try to take that into account in future.

    BTW, I write in my site rules that e mail sent to me will only be considered private on inclusion of a special request for this consideration. I also note that insulting, demeaning or downright rude e mail will receive even less consideration for privacy in the event the author requests it. And Justin didn’t.

    He has commented here & is welcome to do so as long as he follows the site comment rules.

  7. Richard, you say that there are ‘certain right-wing tendencies in the [Orthodox] denomination’. I’m sorry but on this occasion I must disagree with you. It is the interpretation of a person that makes for a right-wing (cruel/severe) religious stance. I know alot of people who were brought up Orthodox I don’t recognise any right-wing tendencies in them – maybe conservative, maybe liberal, but definitely not ‘right-wing/Kahanist’.

  8. I know Justin, I had him over for a Shabbos, and some time ago we studied together in the same yeshiva. I can tell you that he has not lived in Tapuach or any Jewish places encircled by the knife-sharpening Arabs, except Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. How presumptuous, if not cubbyholing of you to make that rationalization.

    I ‘d say his being an exception to the physicists’, or scientists’, or intellectuals’ requirement of having to espouse leftist, or pro-Arab, or peace at suicidal cost, insults those circles.

    He has suffered utmost discrimination because of this, and because he dared to be observant in anti-religious, anti-Jewish, pro-terrorist milieu.

    He is not a far-right reactionary, he is a very rational, honest Jewish person who is not ashamed to feel pain for his people.

  9. @tangentlama: I’m afraid I have to disagree…with the caveat that there are a large number of sensitive, tolerant & progressive Orthodox Jews. That being said, if you examine the politics of large swaths of the Orthodox movement it’s extremely conservative: Lubavitch, Meir Kahane, the settlers, etc.

  10. @Zev:

    He is not a far-right reactionary, he is a very rational, honest Jewish person who is not ashamed to feel pain for his people.

    Spoken by someone who uses the following phrase “knife-sharpening Arabs.” There was a phrase popular in Israel a few decades used to describe Moroccan Jews: Morokai sakine (Moroccan [with a] knife). The stereotype was ugly & racist then, & no less so now.

  11. There’s a line between concern for your own people and being outright paranoid/hateful.

    And who said there was anything as “suicidal peace”? A rational being would see that aggressive territorial policies contribute more to Arab violence than anything else. A realist would know how to balance survival of the Jewish State with territorial dominance. That some people fail to see that is simply pathetic.

  12. Also, right-wing militaristic tendencies tend to run in Orthodox circles, but is by no means in the mainstream! Believe me, as someone who hangs out in Orthodox circles, this is FAR from the norm!

  13. @B.BarNavi: Yes, I agree. There are right-wing militant Jews who have no religion whatsoever. But since we were talking about Justin and how his politics & religious beliefs are intertwined I made some observations based on my own experience about the nexus between Orthodoxy and hard-core Israeli religious-nationalist views.

    I don’t believe in demonizing the Orthodox & saying they are the cause of all this madness. But some Orthodox certainly contribute to it.

  14. @Richard

    “There was a phrase popular in Israel a few decades used to describe Moroccan Jews: Morokai sakine (Moroccan [with a] knife).”

    Where there is smoke there is fire:
    Man stabs wife, himself in Ashdod
    Nov. 2, 2008

    Gilbert Fadida, stabbed his wife to death in the city.
    Rosie Fadida’s body was found by paramedics, marked with multiple stab wounds.
    This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1225199630414&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  15. @Barnaby Yeh: I’m not sure what this proves other than that Moroccans & every other Jewish ethnic group in Israel is capable of domestic violence. Surely you don’t mean to single out Moroccans as the only group that does these sorts of things.

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