Thursday, June 06, 2013

Put on the brakes

I posted the following on the Facebook page of Women for the Wall.

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W4W leaders and members, please listen.

Communicating over the Internet is like taking a joyride in a powerful automobile. The ability to reach hundreds, even thousands, of people with just a few keystrokes and clicks can be compared to the surge of power under the hood and the freedom of the road. They can be delightful. They can also be addicting, and they can, and often do, cloud judgment.

The rhetoric on this page is becoming increasingly vicious and full of hate. Likening WOW to Amalek, saying that their motive is to destroy Judaism, wishing a divinely-administered death on WOW’s members — this is inflammatory speech, and to allow it on this page, in the name of protecting Judaism, is irresponsible, to say the least.

I would like to believe that the admins of this page simply don't realize how dangerous this rhetoric is. The alternative — that they realize it and are letting it happen — is far worse.

Please. Step back. Think. W4W leaders, please take a good look at the rhetoric on this page and consider whether this is the kind of speech you want representing you and your cause.

I ask you with all my heart: show leadership. Take control, take responsibility, put on the brakes. Because joyrides like this can land people in the hospital — or, God forbid, in the morgue.

* * *

End quote.

W4W names Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, Rebbetzin Baila Berger of the Ahavat Yisrael Project, Rabbanit Melamed of Yeshivat Beit El and Sarah Yoheved Rigler as supporters of their cause, specifically of the gathering they are planning at the Western Wall this coming Rosh Hodesh (Sunday morning). Other W4W supporters include Jonathan Rosenblum and Rabbi Avi Shafran.

I don’t know any of them personally or whether any of them is on Facebook. But I want to believe that however much they may dislike the idea of women wearing tallit and tefillin (which Jewish law allows), however much they may disagree with Women of the Wall, they would never condone the vicious and inflammatory rhetoric that is on W4W’s page.

I’m not allowing comments to this post, and I’m sure I don’t need to explain why.