When In Doubt, Call Your Opponents Racists

Whenever I hear the charge of “racism” these days, I’m immediately suspicious because I’m so used to the accusation being tossed around without evidence.

I’m also tired of Jews using their putative Orthodox status to lobby for non-Orthodox positions.

I’m really tired of liberal Jews such as Brad Hirschfield waving their Orthodox rabbinic semicha (ordination) around like a bloody flag while yelling that the normally Orthodox are racists.

If Brad Hirschfield could not call himself an “Orthodox rabbi”, then he’d be just another lefty Jew calling for tolerance. What makes him special is his Orthodox ordination. Everything else appears cliche.

I want you to understand the kind of person Brad Hirschfield is (and I read his book on tolerance and thought it was fine so I had nothing against the guy until tonight when I read his latest blog post).

Here’s the first paragraph of Rabbi Hirschfield’s lengthy and laudatory self-description at the aptly named BradHirschfield.com: “An acclaimed author, lecturer, rabbi, and commentator on religion, society and pop culture, Brad Hirschfield offers a unique perspective on the American spiritual landscape and political and social trends to audiences nationwide.”

What kind of rabbi writes about himself like that? He calls himself “acclaimed.” Why not leave that to others?

Later on in his self-description, we learn that he is a “leader for pluralism and interfaith dialogue.”

We learn that he’s featured in the “acclaimed” film Freaks Like Me and in the “acclaimed” TV series, Building Bridges: Abrahamic Perspectives on the World Today.

If this guy ever stopped acclaiming himself, he might have time to study Torah.

He writes: “An Orthodox rabbi, he received his M.A. and M. Phil from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and his B.A. from the from the University of Chicago.”

What kind of Orthodox rabbi gets multiple degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary, the flagship of Conservative Judaism? An unusual one.

Nowhere in his lengthy bio does Rabbi Hirschfield list where he got his Orthodox rabbinic ordination. I’m sure the people who gave it to him regret it.

Why does he bother to proclaim that he’s an Orthodox rabbi when the Orthodox, generally speaking, would not consider him Orthodox? He’s a poser. He’s posing with Orthodox credentials while choosing to live outside of Orthodox Judaism.

JewishJournal.com’s Brad A. Greenberg blogs (under the headline of “Ultra-Orthodox Jews rally for racism”):


About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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