Thursday, December 13, 2007

Patterns in Time

Last night I was catching up on my "regular" blogs (I've been traveling) and found this neat posting on LNM. (Parenthetically, Lubab No More is blog that I find both enjoyable and difficult to read. It is very well written, but the author's descent into atheism and disconnection to Judaism is heartbreaking to me. I tend to avoid atheist blogs because as skeptical as I might get, there is no part of my mind or heart that can be wrapped around atheism. But that's just me.) Anyway, I liked this posting because I consider Patterns in Time: Chanukah to be one of the best kept secrets of my Jewish library. This book is to my seforim what Godel, Escher and Bach is to my philosophy and math books. In a Jewish academic world drowning in Artscroll, Rabbi Matis Weinberg emerges as a brilliant voice that disects and reassembles Jewish history in an unconventional way that makes sense and is still very much a Torah infused viewpoint. There is a section on the Jewish view of time that completely blows my mind every time I re-read it. This is a hard book; I confess that I've never actually read the whole thing consecutively, though I try. Rabbi Weinberg's intellect is wonderful. This is the kind of book that I wish I could write. I read Rabbi Weinberg's Frameworks series every Shabbat.

So what do I do with the accusation that has been thrown at Rabbi Weinberg for molesting his male students? Nothing...I struggle with it. I don't know what to believe. I have a friend who was Rabbi Weinberg's assistant in yeshivah, who tells me that the accusations are bogus and drummed up. On the other hand, who knows? Truth is, we won't ever know. If Rabbi Weinberg did what they say he did, I hope he gets what is coming to him. If he didn't, I hope his false accusers get what's coming to them. I don't think anyone can just believe out of hand any accusations leveled at people without some sort of proof. I keep thinking back to the daycare scandals of the nineties where kids were "encouraged" to remember sexual and physical abuse in certain daycare facilities. People's lives were ruined on the basis of this testimony, much of which was recanted later on.

I don't defend Rabbi Weinberg because he is a Rabbi and because I enjoy his writing. I don't give a damn where or who you are in life; if you abuse kids, you should rot in hell. Period. But given how serious this crime is, it has to be solidly provable.

Anyway, get the book. It's really, really good.

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