A Review of the ‘Daas Torah’ blog

by mds112014

Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn is a learned man, and has published a number of books that, on the face of it, got good reviews. He clearly is an expert in finding sources for things. He also has a blog which I have been following for a while now, as indeed I look at a number of other websites that expose aspects of the world of Orthodox Jews not usually reported on in Hamodia. I agree with some of what he does, and disagree with some of the rest. Rather than submitting a talkback to the blog, I shall make my comments here.

His crusade about the shameful Kaminetzky-Greenblatt Heter, assuming the facts are as stated, is perfectly right, and underlines more general comments in my ‘Perfect Gedolim’ and  ‘Raging Issues’ series.

The other topical entries about the conflict between religion and science, philosophy, the way the secular courts try to protect the Orthodox from their own shortcomings, and more enlightened approaches to education, among other things, are all valuable, if not particularly coherent.

I am less happy about his dredging up of quotes from famous Jewish sources showing their bias against women. If you demur he comes back with “Show me what is not true about my quote”, or words to that effect. We can all play this game. In גמרא שבת קנב there is a statement about women that Yossi Sarid was fond of quoting.  This is a form of childish self-aggrandizement. What he is actually trying to do is show up the Gedolim who claim that Judaism’s attitude to women is perfect. And I say that there are a lot of happy, honored and fulfilled Jewish women, and if they are not it’s not because the sources encourage treating them badly, but that there are imperfections in Jewish society which the Gedolim are not doing enough to correct.

He appears to have got into polemics with various other bloggers, such as Frum Follies, over a seminary scandal.

Where I really take issue with him is in his reprinting of a series of anti-Trump columns by spiteful losers in leftist newspapers and magazines, nothing to do with the rest of his blog. The point here is not if Trump is perfect, or even if he is a liar. The standard against which Trump should be judged is: will he save the world, and in particular, Israel, from Islamic terror, from the Iranian bomb, from the resurgence of antisemitism? Barely 100 days, and the hounds are after him before he has had a chance to be judged on the issues for which he was elected.

Rabbi Daniel has a brother, Rabbi David Eidensohn, who also publishes a blog, in poor English, which suggests an absolutely preposterous solution to the problem of agunot.

Daattorah stopped publishing recently for about three months due to a stroke. I wish him רפואה שלימה,  otherwise we shall have lost one of the more entertaining web sites.