Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Lipa Ban and Al Sharpton


Ok, so my last post was a little off - but then again, I was discussing the average Brooklyn Jew, not Lipa or Gertner. Apparently, they were influenced by the ban, you think?

I've reached the point where there are so many stories and theories out there, that I don't know who to believe. I don't know who's right, who's wrong, and perhaps we'll never know.

What ticks me off is the way this was apparently handled. The way I feel about the matter now is how I felt after Imus got fired last April. Here you had a guy who made mistakes, and he made a very big one with his infamous line. But the way he was treated that week, the way he was dressed down by Sharpton, the way he was dumped by MSNBC and CBS Radio - it made you feel like the bad guys won. The punishment didn't seem to fit the crime - most people would've been cool with a short suspension, but Sharpton wanted the guy to be fired. Sharpton won.

I feel like Lipa and Sheya Mendlowitz are like the I-man here. Maybe they've made their share of mistakes, but you feel like it should never have gotten this brutal for them. And the same way the Imus Ranch lost a lot of dough from the whole thing, I feel terrible for that wonderful tzedaka in Eretz Yisroel.

- Like so many other bans before it, this one was poorly executed. And I hate to say it, but it feels like the "bad guys" won here too. Obviously, the rabbonim deserve our utmost respect, but that's the gut feeling out there. What could've been done differently? A lot of things, in my opinion.

-- If Mendlowitz is right that he first heard about the ban on the internet, then that's very, very hard to justify. Where's the due process? When did "dan 'lkaff zchus" end up in the same dustbin as "yafeh torah im derech eretz" and "eilu v'eilu divrei elokim chaim"? I would love to see the Agudah or one of the rabbonim come up with a set of procedures to be followed in dealing with bans. Perhaps some sort of arbitration/mediation process would be nice. Sure, the rabble-rousers out there would have what to say no matter what, but for most of us, I think it would bring a lot of piece of mind.

-- I think the ban should've been clearer. More details, more info. Explain what the problem was, what's being banned, instead of a vague kol korei. If there's more transparency, there's less room for people to accuse the great ones of playing politics and kowtowing to the kanoim. Let's face it: A vague, super-harsh ban is like an open invitation for lashon hora and motzei sheim ra. I can't imagine it's too many steps removed from lifnei eevar.

When you go through a tshuva, it's always breathtaking to see the process, see the rav deal with the many facts out there, see the rav go through the steps, try to figure it all out, and end up with a psak. When a rav leaves no stone unturned, maybe you can't understand his logic, but you certainly respect it.

Again, I can't say who's right or who's wrong, I simply don't know enough. But I'd like to think there are ways to do this where we can limit the lashon hora, the ripping gedolim, and all the hate out there. There's gotta be a better way.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

I think regardless, there'd be Lashon Hora against the Gedolim. People who see nothing wrong with Lipa would still be upset.
However,not explaining the ban was a big mistake.
Just adds to the increasing disrespect so many people show toward gedolim.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Biggest Bro said...

Unfortunately, I find that much of this is based on short-sightedness. Things are almost always better accomplished in a manner which considers all of the impact and ramifications of a decision and this goes even moreso to the kanoim than to the rabbonim. There are better ways to accomplish their goals, which ostensibly is improving "kedusha" which is a slow process of growth to be taken step by step as necessary for on an individual and is not something that can simply be imposed on a community. Not everyone is ready to go cold turkey from concerts right now. It brings to mind the statement of Chazal that it is sometimes better that one shabbos is desecrated to avoid desecration of many more. A little bit of room often goes a long way to more effective future improvement. I ask the kannoim, in five years from now, will we be better off if we ban all concerts today? I'm not sure.

11:29 AM  

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