As you may or may not know, our friend barefoot jewess has her own blog. You may remember barefoot jewess’s somewhat uh… passionate comments (“nuclear” by her own definition) on the subject of Conservative conversion and the offense she took to the fact that such conversions are not accepted by anyone affiliated with Orthodox Judaism.
That post, written by our very own TM, discussed the basics of Conservative Judaism. The comments run a bit long – right now standing at 450 and counting, but barefoot jewess and her commenting friends were kind enough to sort of summarize it to its most basic points.
And what are these? That all Orthodox Jews do not have the capacity for individual thought (thanks e-kvetcher!) that we here at Jewlicious are narrow minded and temple destroyers (thanks barbara!) and that Jewlicious itself is a moshav leitzim (a company of scorners/clowns – thanks sechel!). It seems that now it is verbotten to even mention Jewlicious on barefoot jewess’s blog. Because Jewlicious is a Clown Farm …
Jewlicious blogger The Middle posted a response and barefoot jewess has since suspended comments on her latest post. Now The Middle and I do not see eye to eye on certain things but it’s safe to say that our conversation has always been polite and courteous and respectful. I can’t say the same about barefoot jewess’s responses to me. He pretty much pointed that out:
You are a more devout Jew than I, so I won’t insult you by giving a speech about lashon ha’ra. However, with all due respect, at no point did any of the posters at Jewlicious act or treat you as if it’s a moshav leitzim. You don’t want to visit us? That’s a shame, because your contributions were interesting and valuable. But how about at least treating us with the respect with which you were treated?
Thanks TM for pointing out that Jewlicious, like Judaism, is not a monolith and that despite my polite retorts to her often inflamatory and insulting “nuclear” comments, barefoot jewess has chosen to continue going nuclear.
So for the sake of clarity let me once again point out that Jewlicious is not an Orthodox blog. Some people here are in fact of the Orthodox persuasion and some aren’t. As TM pointed out “We don’t have an agenda at Jewlicious other than to have an interesting Judaism and Israel oriented discussion going on. That’s it. We try to have fun, and sometimes we are serious. Sometimes the writing and discussion is of high quality, and sometimes it isn’t.”
If barefoot jewess wants to attack anyone, she ought to attack me and me alone. I’ve made my opinions clear and I’ve tried to do so with the utmost sincerity and tact. And as far as the “moshav leitzim” issue goes, that’s a whole other thing that’s kind of interesting.
We recall Ruth’s famous speech to her Mother-in-Law Naomi where she said “Do not pressure me to leave you, to turn back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people are my people and your G-d is my G-d; where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16) Rashi noted that at this point, Naomi determined that Ruth was serious about converting and she started teaching her the laws of Judaism. We learn that every phrase alludes to a principle of Judaic belief and practice.
For instance, “wherever you go I will go” is ordinarily interpreted to allude to the laws of Sabbath dictating how far one may travel beyond the city limits on the Sabbath. The Midrash however has another interpretation – that this pasuk alludes to Naomi teaching Ruth that she should avoid theatres and circuses.
Huh? “The Nachalas Yosef suggests an answer based on a Gemara in tractate Avodah Zarah [18b]. The Talmud refers to theaters and circuses as ‘moshav leitzim’ [places where scoffers hang out]. The question then becomes, does scoffing and mocking, in fact, represent the antithesis of Judaism? The answer is most emphatically yes.” You can read more about this here.
Just remember, in all my discourse with barefoot jewess, I was polite, civil and tried to be as respectful as possible. I did not scoff, I did not mock. Scoffing and mocking did however take place. But it wasn’t by anyone associated with Jewlicious.