The UnJewish Journal?

Disco Duck emails:


Here is my assessment of the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. Over time I have noticed that most local Orthodox Rebbeim refer to it as the "unJewish Journal". More than one local Rabbi has given me permission to read this drek while on the toilet. So my Shabbos bathroom trips include getting numerous laughs and ultimately feeling very disgusted with this twisted excuse of Jewish journalism. The nickname "unJewish Journal" is very appropriate since most of the ideas or opinions expressed by the publication are contrary to the Torah and sound like Goyishe ideas. They further show their ignorance of Judaism and deep self-hating attitudes. The articles are generally openly anti-religious aka "anti-Orthodox" in nature. Most articles that mention the frum community are smear campaigns against various groups or mock frumkite and are an outright chillul Hashem. There is never anything published about true Torah values. Soon I’ll include a few of my responses to various articles published in that garbage.

Many of these same rabbis are only too happy to get their name in the Jewish Journal at any opportunity. Also, if they say the Journal is so bad, I don’t see them creating anything better. I have my issues with the Journal, but I spend my time trying to make something better. At times, I succeed.

I view the Jewish Journal as a gentle paper. It is gentle with the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox. That many of the Orthodox accuse the Jewish Journal of being anti-Orthodox only shows how insular and unaware these Orthodox are. They equate the slightest criticism with being anti-Orthodox. The Jewish Journal has always had Orthodox members of its staff and is basically fair to all segments of LA’s Jewish community. I’d like to see your examples of anti-Orthodox bias.

One common complaint by chareidi rabbis against the Jewish Journal and other publications is over the term "ultra-Orthodox." Do these papers ever use the phrase "ultra-Reform" or "ultra-secular" or "ultra-gay"?

Jane emails: "Those rabbis should understand that a gay person doesn’t have degrees of being gay, same with being secular or anything else – either you’re secular/gay/reform or you’re not. In contrast, within Orthodoxy – there are many different levels – modern, etc. so the word ultra defines someone who is very orthodox/religious. I don’t understand why they would complain about a word that describes the level of orthodoxy a person is. As an orthodox myself, I would take it as a compliment if someone described me as ultra-orthodox but I don’t think I qualify for that level. In fact one would think they’d be offended had they been lumped together with all orthodoxy, those who are much less observant than the word ultra implies one to be! But if that’s what they want – no distinction to separate them with the less observant – , then maybe they should speak up and they can be labeled together with the moderate orthodox which for example include some women who might wear pants in their home or in public – things the ultra would not do."

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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