Steven I. Weiss reports:
Ben W posts on Hirhurim:
Once again R. Michael Broyde shows us his left-wing politics. Verily, I do believe the man is incapable of writing anything not affected by his politics. This is most unfortunate, because these myopic viewpoints also spill into his halachic writings. From his article:
"our current president, Barack Obama, who stands in near total contrast to Bush in both style and substance."
Really? So different in substance, you say? And you can tell this after three weeks in office? Of after one term in the Senate where he accomplished exactly nothing? Or because of his monumental accomplishments in the private sector . . .?
"President Bush became president in an election so close it was essentially decided by Supreme Court fiat."
No. It was decided by voters. And since when is a supreme court decision a "fiat?" When R. Broyde calls Brown v. Bd. of Ed. a fiat, which is actually the truth as we know from some of the justices’ autobiographies, he’ll have some crediblity.
"Had Clinton turned away from his encounter with Lewinsky (as he said he struggled to do), few doubt that Gore would have become president in 2000."
Wrong. Few of your academic buddies, doubt it, maybe. Few also doubted that John Kerry would lose.
As for the substance of his article – Obama won because Clinton had an affair with Lewinsky – is almost laughable. The butterfly effect says even the smallest of factors can cause infinite change, but Broyde thinks he can trace a presidential election among 300 million people to one night, 12 years ago. Unbelievable.
I also read the Forward article. So Obama has met with Jewish leaders. Nu,therefore? Sure he’s going to meet with them. Every president meets with them. You can meet a dozen times a day, who cares? It’s what you do when the rubber meets the road that counts. Clinton’s staff was riddled with Jews, and he is still beloved by certain types of Jews, and he was the worst president we ever had for Israel. Would have pushed Israel to commit suicide if he could have.
This president may well shock us and be good for Israel – let’s hope. But it’s kind of absurd for a newspaper to get all breathless about meetings. Could be the Forverts, that good old communist rag, is just showing solidarity with a like minded comrade.
…R. Broyde is exactly as I wrote, a left winger, whose views affect his halacha. His beis din has a terrible reputation for divorce cases, for example, because of his left wing tendency to favor the woman. (Has a good rep for strict business cases, though.)
it happens to be I agree with him on certain points, where I also have a left wing approach. He has a distaste for the prison system, which leads him to question if we are allowed to report Jews to the police. That’s a left wing view I share. So I’m not trying to knock him altogether. But I am realistic enough to recognize his limitations.
NACHUM WRITES: I’m afraid R’ Broyde really doesn’t know his history. His reading of the 1912 election is way, way off.
As to left-wing…well, his feelings for gay rights would certainly point in that direction.
Of course, I can’t blame him. It would be nearly impossible for him to get a job at a law school otherwise.
Once again we are reminded why rabbis should stick to what they do best.