***I do accept guest posts here at Baruch's Thoughts. Write something interesting about history, politics, or religion and please submit it! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
***There are some new end-of-the-year start-up web endeavors which I thought might have been overlooked, but seem to have some potential. Check them out!
Friend-of-the-blog Questioning Yid is a great writer; he's decided not to let that talent go to waste in blogging about his own life journey. I see lots of potential! Check out his blog, In Silence.
Back in like 2005, all the cool bloggers were refuting various statements of the Frumteens Moderator. Somehow got out of style. Anyways, kicking it retro, one Yoni has started a Frumteens Moderator Critique blog. It's quite new, but I'm keeping my eye on this one.
Over at Yeshiva University, there's a very interesting initiative going on. Some students have decided to start a new online publication entitled the YU Beacon. Apparently, some of the women at Stern College's Observer "were kept multiple times from publishing articles based on what the editors there thought were inappropriate or reflected poorly on Stern, two things which we did not think should be reasons to suppress journalism or stories." While suggested to submit their articles to the Commentator (the boys' paper), they took the opportunity to instead start an alternative paper which will give a voice to those "large groups of students at both schools who feel as if they are not being heard."* It's also been emphasized that the paper will be uncensored (whatever that means for a frum paper). This at a time when YU has instituted a censorship committee. If they're relevant enough to be successful, they risk being picked on by the committee and they risk melting away in the face of rabbinic opposition. So I'm a bit cynical of their chances. But the editorial board sounds like a crack team and two of them are acquaintances of mine, so I'm not hopeless. Good luck to them.
***I've long felt people are far too harsh on Rabbi Avi Shafran's writings (and not near harsh enough on Jonathan Rosenblum's, but that's another story) and even expressed, yes, my heretical like for them . He's stopped writing columns in his capacity as Agudah spokesman and instead is writing as an individual for Ami Magazine. One of his pieces was an absolutely spot-on criticism of a problem with many people in the frum community; it's important that he writes such internal critiques, because when they come from him, they (hopefully) reach people who might usually be deaf to mussar. I don't want to ruin it, so I advise people to read it.
****Both quotes from facebook note by one of the new editors, Simi Lampert Eisenman.
Christopher Hitchens layed the smackdown on Shmuley Boteach again awhile back and an acquaintance who went promised to give me a guest post on the debate so we'd have the first word on what happened; he then proceeded to renege. Anyways, said debate is now online. Like I said, the HiTCH destroyed. But I should say, wow, look at how Shmuley can so much appreciate the work and life of people who even vehemently disagree with him. That's real derech eretz.