I’m just gonna put this out there: I have entitled and plan to continue entitling my articles unusually. Here’s why:
- It’s Funny (Sometimes. To me!)
- It’s Ironic (See above)
- It’s Eye-catching (Hey, I’m allowed to market my articles to up my readership!)
It is for these reasons that I used an early 90’s alternative rock song title by Beck. (Get it? I’m debating with Bec, who thinks what I have devoted my adult life to is for losers? Well, those are my words but I think a fair analysis.)
The title “Haterz Gonna Hate” was not to be taken too seriously (can we not joke, people??). There are seven definitions for “Hater” in the Urban Dictionary (click here) and I’m sure we can make one of them fit. Let’s get over the titles. Moving on….
Point One: Willfully Misled
Rebecca used the term “willfully misled” and I took it to mean that the students were willful in the Jewish outreach leader’s mission to allegedly mislead. I see now from Rebecca’s most recent article that she’s claiming Kiruv professionals deliberately mislead students. Ten-Four. Point Taken. Let’s chalk this one up to a misunderstanding. (By the way, I think describing Jewish outreach efforts this way is not true and destructive)
Point Two: Would you let your children….?
I’ve gotten a lot of “Would you let your children…” questions as of late. Here are two of Bec’s:
- Would you let your child marry a person who keeps shabbat, taharat hamishpacha (family purity laws,) and kosher?
- What if they’re actually Conservative but keep these things?
- I won’t be controlling my children’s choices in marriage. It’s an orthodox Jewish thing. We aren’t allowed to tell our kids who to marry. They decide. That said, if my child chooses a person who keeps the Big Three (Shabbos, Family Purity, and Kosher), that would be good. A dream boat? Not for me. I like the passionate Jews who are super proud of their Judaism and want to continually work on their character traits, love learning Torah, develop their relationships with God, and embrace (or aspire to embrace) all the mitzvot that pertain to them. But, again, it’s up the my kid. I married my dream boat.
- I don’t get it. Conservative Jews don’t (according to this) observe the laws of Shabbos. Are there individuals who do? You betcha. I won’t make a carte blanche statement about those individuals. I’d like to understand more about why they’re labeling themselves “Conservative Jew” but not practicing the ideology.
Point Three: Love with Expectations
Bec wrote: “I hope that if Ms. Eden’s children ever go off the derech (off the path of orthodox Judaism,) that she doesn’t toss them to the curb like yesterday’s trash. And I sincerely hope that she will respect their life choices and love them unconditionally. ”
I recently told a student’s mother in front of him that I was so proud of his progress in a certain area. She responded that she is always proud of him. Here’s why that’s dangerous. I believe in a parent’s unconditional love – 100%. Pride, however, requires accomplishment. If a child thinks that zero effort is required to invoke a parent’s pride, we will end up with a bunch of kids who aren’t confident in their own capabilities because no one asked them to succeed so perhaps they are incapable of success. Love and expectations go hand in hand. They in no way contradict.
This also addresses her “Just Be You” beef. She writes: “Ms. Eden says that “Just Be You” is facetious? So she doesn’t want people to be themselves?” Rebecca, I don’t want to just be me if that means living life according to my base instincts. We’d live in a violent, twisted world if everyone conducted themselves this way.
Point Four: Marketing
Rebecca writes: “This isn’t about a Torah-observant life being healthy or unhealthy…It’s sad to see this in print because I’ve had this “argument” tossed at me too many times to count and I really thought that Ms. Eden was above this cheap shot. ”
Here’s why this argument IS about a Torah-observant life. Remember those “this is your brain on drugs” commercials from the 80’s? I don’t see Rebecca creating blogs blasting anti-drug campaigns. Why not? Because she thinks they’re selling a good product. But Torah observant Judaism? That shouldn’t be marketed to anyone according to Rebecca. Any Questions? 😉
Point Five: Hiding Rebecca
Rebecca writes: “She (Rachel Eden) doesn’t like anonymity, yet insists on keeping me anonymous. I am not anonymous. In fact, I have my name on my blog (as well as my bio with some of my other writing.) This lack of proper attribution is both hypocritical and academically dishonest.”
I’ve already addressed this- more than once. I have approved several posts that quote Rebecca with a link to her original post but I won’t help her share her blog with more people. I feel her message is very negative and bitter. I’d like for people who are objective to not have to read this. I don’t see how this is dishonest or hypocritical.
As for my distaste towards anonymous commentators, I am going out on a limb as the lone wolf to defend an entire movement. This isn’t easy but I think it’s important. To defend writers who don’t want to come out makes my job harder and their writing less credible.
Point Six: Deception
Last thing. We’ve been here before. She thinks Jewish outreach is deceptive. I don’t. We may be running in circles but I’d like to point out that I’ve conducted numerous intellectual debates with students who don’t agree with me and I don’t hunt them down, drug them, or kill them. True story! Jewish outreach is affording young people a chance to embrace their Judaism in a way they never considered before. Generally, it works out really well according to all parties involved. But it’s not perfect- there are times it doesn’t work well for a person. Should we stop reaching out? I don’t think so. And if that makes me a loser, then all I have to say is: I’m a loser, baby; but uh…don’t kill me.