Thursday, February 26, 2015

Side Note: Metzitzah and the Mayor

Just as he withdrew from the Stop and Frisk case after the city actually started to win it again, Comrade Bill and his admin backed down in formulating the city's MBP policy.

As far as I'm concerned, this doesn't do nearly enough.  "We can't enforce it etc." is such an obvious cop-out to electoral politics that it barely deserves a blurb.

However, there is one good thing that comes out of this:  it is now going to be well-nigh impossible for MBP advocates to even pretend there's a hava amina based on "science" and "evidence" that there is no correlation [if not outright causation] between MBP and neonatal herpes.  There has been a tacit hoda'ah here, even if MBP defenders don't know they made one.

Meanwhile, I'll make the following commitment: IF there is a policy in place that MANDATES ALL MOHALIM to be FINGERPRINTED and DNA TESTED and it's placed on the BOOKS [I won't be makpid on its enforceability if they do at least this], I'll stop insisting that that MBP practitoners and the parents who consent deserve to be arrested.  [The Agudah's dropping of it's fight against fingerprinting everyone in chinuch in 2009 is my template.]

However, I'll NEVER stop insisting that the entire Jewish world be mevatel this practice completely on our own volition.  In a couple of weeks I'll have a piece on that.

FINALLY:  If I ever am zocheh to have a son, and I'm misled as to whether a mohel does MBP or not, and he even TRIES it--I'll invoke pikuach nefesh and chase him off the bima myself.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Response to "Facebook and Modesty": Overstating the Case

A recent post on ostensibly tackled the hava amina that Facebook was ipso facto "untzniusdik":

"Modesty doesn’t just mean the length of our hemlines. Modesty is an attitude. It’s how we talk, it’s how we walk, it’s how we conduct ourselves. It’s a sense of dignity and privacy and a focus on our inner selves. Modesty means I am not looking for credit, I am not looking for honor, I am not trying to draw attention to myself. And then along comes Facebook which seems to encourage the exact opposite."

Based upon a previous thesis of mine regarding the possible mistranslation of "tznius", this was my response [which they actually let through]:

"The author may have inadvertently highlighted one of the problems with defining "tznius" as "modesty" as opposed to "discretion", which indicates that maybe reducing digital oversharing is more a matter of basic common sense: rather than "feeling a heightened pleasure" [which borders upon self-congratulation, another hallmark of the digital age], maybe just ask "does anyone want to/need to see this?". Once it's called "modesty" and not "discretion", it's no longer about "an attitude...]i]t’s how we talk, it’s how we walk, it’s how we conduct ourselves. It’s a sense of dignity and privacy and a focus on our inner selves." Rather, it becomes a backdoor overcorrection in an attempt to spiritualize an arena resistant to it, if not discourage participation in said arena. Whole different ballgame than "not looking for credit, [] not looking for honor, [] not trying to draw attention to myself.""