Civilized Discourse

-Rabbi Avi Shafran takes a dour view of blogs: responsible blogs, in the Jewish realm are “decidedly in the minority. And even many responsible blogs allow postings of comments from people with very different value systems.� (NJ Jewish News)

-But blogger Richard Silverstein says that blogs have provided an alternative to the views of mainstream leaders, have pounced on errors made by Jewish media, provided coverage of the second Lebanon war, and more. (Haaretz)

-Two Jerusalem rabbis, one a Yeshiva head, have been indicted on charges of racist incitement regarding anti-Arab statements they made during a rally protesting the establishing of a bilingual school for Jews and Arabs. (The Jerusalem Post)

-Rob Eshman is concerned that “too many people in the Jewish community have become stuck in a very dangerous place: their comfort zone. They are loathe to confront and really hear ideas that differ from their own.� (Jewish Journal)

-Chabad Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe told an audience of rabbis in Tel Aviv that the punishment for “The terrible traitor Ehud Olmert,â€? as well as Vice Premier Haim Ramon, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak “should be to hang from the gallows“–this to a “cheering crowdâ€?–for their dealings with the Palestinians. (The Jerusalem Post)

-But negative reactions even within Chabad to these comments by Wolpe, “the most popular leader of the messianic strand of Chabad,� are testing Chabad’s determination that movement should not split in two and the factions should not publicly undermine each other. (Forward)

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