Is JTA Out of Touch?

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Over at Cross-Currents, Eytan Kobre has referenced a recent JTA report as proof that the secular Jewish media doesn’t understand Orthodoxy.

He may be right about his general point (I don’t know) — but this specific comment makes me feel like I don’t understand Orthodoxy. (Maybe I don’t?)

The JTA report in its entirety:

A thousand Orthodox rabbis are sending an emissary to Atlanta to pray for rain.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin will perform an ancient prayer ritual Wednesday seeking divine help to end the drought in the South, the Christian Newswire reported. Levin reportedly performed the ritual in 1986, after which there was four days of rain.

“Orthodox Jews wish to show solidarity with those suffering from the drought and other natural disasters,” said Levin. “We want to kick off a nationwide movement of prayer. Furthermore, we wish to announce a program which we believe could curtail much of the disaster our country has been experiencing.”

Eytan’s response:

I’ve been thinking of posting a piece or two on Jewish media bias and I still hope to do so. In the interim (which, in my case can last months . . .), however, I can’t resist posting the below item from today’s JTA News Bulletin, without comment.

No comment because even a thousand-word post couldn’t possibly make as clear as this item does just how profoundly out-of-touch JTA and other secular Jewish media outlets (who also get much of their material from JTA) are about the realities of Orthodox Jewish life. Unless, perhaps, using its telepathic powers or other forms of divination, it knows things about us that we don’t. (MORE)

I posted a comment at Cross-Currents asking for further explanation. But if anyone else has any ideas, feel free to chime in.

Posted on November 7, 2007

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One thought on “Is JTA Out of Touch?

  1. Daniel Septimus Post author

    Seems I’m not the only one who was confused by this posting. Here are the five comments so far:

    1. don’t see what’s so terrible. Yeshiva World ran this exact story yesterday! If your point is that the JTA et al. took it too seriously – well, maybe we should be taking tefillah that seriously!Comment by kurkevan — November 7, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

    2. I don’t understand. Did JTA make up this story?
    If not, what is your complaint?

    Comment by mb — November 7, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

    3. Is the Orthodox media less biased in its reporting of the Heterodox world?

    Comment by Ori Pomerantz — November 7, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

    4. Perhaps I’m not your target reader, but can you clarify, Eytan? Why does this show how “profoundly out-of-touch JTA� is with “the realities of Orthodox Jewish life�?

    Comment by Daniel Septimus — November 7, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

    5. Perhaps you could more efficiently tell us what is happening rather than fully detail what is wrong with the JTA item. I for one would like to know.

    Comment by Warren Burstein — November 7, 2007 @ 5:05 pm

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