The Slifkin Challenge

David Kelsey writes: One of Rabbi Slifkin’s tormentors — one of the few who remains standing anyway, as many have been caught in one type of scandal or another — is rethinking whether he is helping or hurting Kiruv with his railings against Rabbi Slifkin/evolution and non-literal interpretation.

In fact, no one has helped the apikorsim more in recent years than R. Slifkin’s tormentors and the Great Rabbis who cast him into cherem. Frankly, we owe them a bit. Rabbi Slifkin may be a great scholar, but ultimately, it is the anti-science haredim who work for us, and will help shorten the misery of those who fall in, and hasten our BT not-yet-frieyah-brothers and sisters return to The Enlightenment. Many of us literally eat better thanks to the Slifkin ban’s revealing what Torah Judaism really stands for. I know I do.

So please drop by his blog, and tell him to continue to make a stand for daas Toyrah, and not let the Modern so-called Orthodox bring in their apologist narishkeit into Torah Judaism.

Remind R. Kornreich that if True Jews can simply revamp their interpretations at the drop of a hat, then maybe we have to question the whole mesorah in the first place.

RABBI RABBS EMAILS: Really? So we can assume that the overwhelming majority of rabbis that signed the following ban letter were, as Kelsey stated, “caught in one type of scandal or another”?

Take a good look at that laundry list of names, as it includes our greatest Gedolim, including Rav Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, who is considered by many to be the foremost Torah authority alive today, Rav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg, Rav Shmuel Auerbach, and Rav Dovid Feinstein, among others, none of whom were subject to scandal.

It is reprehensible and perhaps constitutes the most grotesque form of lashon horah to smear our greatest rabbis based on the actions of a few individuals, and doing so is not different than when people that hate Catholics smear all priests as being child molesters, based on the actions of less than 1 percent of the priesthood.

I believe Kelsey needs to retract his statements, and apologize to all of the rabbis whose good names he besmirched.

He also needs to be ignored, as what he and others have done in their desperate defense of heretical books is to deflect the issue from the contents of those books to the legitimacy of some of the people that oppose them. It is the classic ad hominem attack and not different than when liberals defend their policies by attacking the personal lives of their policies’ opponents. It’s ridiculous and juvenile.


I did not mean to claim that most of the haredi rabbis who signed the letter were tormentors of Rabbi Slifkin, but was thinking of “his most active detractors” as his tormentors.

I apologize to the Great Ones who believe that their interpretation of Genesis is more important than how God actually created the universe.

And I forgot that for the frummies, a financial scandal is no scandal at all.

“It is the classic ad hominem attack”

I would say the same thing about this rabbi, except that I see no dishonor in being labeled a heretic by the haredi.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see 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 (
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