Bizarre Profile Of FrumSatire

On Tabletmag.com, Hadara Graubert writes the strangest thing I’ve read online all week. Here’s an excerpt: "As someone who straddles the line between the Orthodox and secular worlds, Fried catches flak from all sides. The website Jewschool.com refuses to publish him; an editor there found his work offensive to women rabbis. (In truth, Fried supports the ordination of Orthodox women, one of the few bloggers from the Orthodox world willing to engage with the topic openly.) He’s also been blacklisted by The Jewish Press after a piece of his gently mocking the custom of Kiddush (a light meal and wine following the morning Shabbat service) generated 50 letters calling him a heretic. Plus, an editor’s daughter found sexually suggestive content on Frum Satire. “Dude, you publish Shmuley Boteach every week!” he responded. “Give me a break.”"

There’s been no blacklist of Heshy Fried on the part of The Jewish Press. The bit about Jewschool.com refusing to publish him sounds bizarre. Jewschool is a collection of bloggers. I suppose it refuses to publish millions of people. It’s just one small blog of like-minded leftists. It’s not really congruent with what Heshy Fried does.

Which Orthodox bloggers fear engaging the topic of the ordination of women? Nobody I know of. Most Orthodox bloggers don’t engage in the topic for the same reason that most Dallas Cowboy bloggers don’t touch the topic — it is outside of their chosen topic of interest. Most Orthodox bloggers don’t engage openly in reviews of non-kosher restaurants either. It’s just not something they’re into.

Does anyone fact-check or edit the things Hadara writes? This one on Heshy Fried seems to have been published with a reckless disregard for the truth.

I Googled Hadara and could find no way to send her an email. If I were going to publish this recklessly, I too would see to it that people could not email me.

Jason Maoz, Editor of The Jewish Press, replies to my inquiry Monday morning: "This morning, some 72 hours after I first alerted Alana Newhouse and Hadara Graubart as to the inaccuracies in the piece, the original text was finally amended and now claims that Mr. Fried has been having problems with The Jewish Press since his article appeared. This is a curious choice of words since — as is obvious from my January e-mail to Mr. Fried — he was not "blacklisted," as the article originally claimed, nor has he been in trouble with us, as the revised version of Ms. Graubart’s piece would have it. In fact, he was invited to submit new material despite the fact that we received some complaints. Ms. Graubart apologized for not having called me while she was preparing the piece. She seemed sincerely contrite. I still don’t know, however, whether she misquoted Mr. Fried or mischaractarized what he said — or whether Mr. Fried has a problem with the truth."

On January 28, 2009, Jason emailed Heshy Fried: "I’ve got a bit of a dilemma. While there hasn’t exactly been a flood of negative responses to your first piece, there have been a number along the lines of a note someone sent to the publisher last week saying: "My 14-year-old daughter read Heshy Fried’s article on Kiddushes and she went to his website per the URL given at the bottom of the piece. The very first thing she saw was an article whose first sentence contained the word ‘horny.’ Is this kind of website/writer something The Jewish Press should be publicizing?" I’m not sure what to do at this point. Maybe I’ll run another piece in the next couple of weeks and see if a real backlash develops. Meanwhile, how about sending an original piece rather than a recycled old post?"

A quick search of the Hirhurim blog came up with 9 posts on the subject of ordaining women, including one that has the Forward quoting the blog!

http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2004/12/ordination-of-women.html
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2006/05/so-called-orthodox-woman-rabbi.html
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2006/05/so-called-orthodox-woman-rabbi-ii_14.html
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2006/07/women-non-rabbis.html
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2006/08/right-wing-conservative-synagogue_24.html
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2008/01/non-male-non-orthodox-non-rabbis.html
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2009/03/ordination-of-women-ii.html
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2009/04/hirhurim-in-news.html
http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2009/05/r-norman-lamm-unplugged.html

About Luke Ford

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