Friday, January 27, 2012

This Blog

Dear Readers,
I apologize that I have been AWOL the past two weeks. I recently decided that I'm going to be taking a break from graduate school at Brandeis University. The papers are almost all in order and I will officially be on leave soon. I have therefore been busy making the necessary preparations. I am currently job-hunting and I am mobile (i.e. I can move most anywhere), so if you have any ideas please email me at . I would prefer to provide my information (e.g. curriculum vitae) via email as opposed to here.

As for this blog, I have long noted that I have felt unsure as to what direction to take it in. If anything, this feeling has been exacerbated. I feel I've written what I've wanted to about haredi apologetics. I have no desire to write responses to, say, Leib Kelemen or Gerald Schroeder...I feel most of the works of the most popular kiruv gurus have been properly addressed by respondents. I have not often been "evangelized" by Modern Orthodox apologetics so they do not much interest me either. As a 23 year old who was mostly steeped in Jewish books for the past 5 years, I don't feel that I have many insights on the difficult ethical and philosophical questions that we as people-- and therefore political actors -- have to answer. I could try to mekarve people to atheism, but I'd think almost anybody who has chanced to stumble across this blog who might have a shot of adopting what I consider to be the correct lifestance (i.e. atheism) would be able to find and read better attacks on general theistic hypotheses than I could muster; moreover, there are so many atheist bloggers promoting atheism, I don't feel there's much of a need for one more. There was an excellent recommendation that I should focus the blog on hosting informal interviews with people about their experiences with religion, but as I am in a "transition period" right now, I'm not in a position to do that. Perhaps at a later date that is what this blog will be about. I'm not shutting it down. I like to write and while I have felt "blocked" as a writer for a bit now, I hope that I shall be inspired -- hopefully soon -- to have a general direction I want to take the blog in.


  1. Good luck. Hope you're back soon.

  2. Dear Baruch,

    I wish you luck in your transition period and certainly hope that you will remain engaged with many of the issues you have raised in the past. As a ex-baal teshuva, you bring a special perspective to the perspective. By entering into this theological "no man's land," I'm sure you have angered many. But you have joined a fine tradition of apostasy (apikores!) that includes Uriel Da Costa and Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza. I hope you continue to challenge self-righteous religious obscurantism. I leave you with the following words:

    "We want to stand upon our feet and look fair and square at the world - its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it...A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men."

  3. You should write about anything you like thinking about.

    Do not pick for yourself a fixed topic, like Judaism, and make all your posts about it.

    I know that bloggers often complain about that they are out of ideas. But if you have no specific topic then you are very free to write about anything.

    My blog is a piece of garbage, but I do write a lot. Because I have no specific topic. I am free to jump around anything I wish to.

    So I would recommend not to declare something specific and stick to it. Just write about anything that interests you. You can write news-commentary one post and then Judaism the next, followed by your personal stories, whatever, but notice the freedom that you have.

    Blogs should not be centrally planned, but spontaneous. They should emerge from your differening daily interests.

  4. I am much obliged for your kind comments. :)

  5. Finally got to read your posts on L. Kaplan (whom I watched when he was a contestant on TV's College Bowl), Soloveitchik and Berkovits, and Lieberman (who's wife--granddaughter of the Netziv--was my wife's elementary school principal).

    Learned a lot. You write well and have important insights.

    Hope you come back.

  6. Michael A. SingerApril 3, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    good luck! get yourself a girlfriend! explore the world!

  7. Oh, Honey,
    My Husband and I had to stop listening to any tapes by Larry Keleman because he was turning us into ליצנים. We could not keep his sermonettes DOWN, do you hear me? He was too easy to make fun of in a way that was not good for us.

    Damn shame that he is the "latest model".