Apparently, many in the broader Jewish community have taken exception to my rebuttal of Carnie Rose’s article, in which he defames the character of Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses).
I don’t have to wonder how the general readership of the Jewish Light would have responded had an editorial been run condemning Martin Luther King for infidelity. Would not the Jewish community have responded with justifiable outrage? Would not leaders and layman alike have — correctly and properly — vilified the editorialist for needlessly smearing America’s most iconic civil rights leader and obscuring the greater issue of the continuing battle for civic justice?
Why then, was there not a whisper of discontent when Rabbi Rose concocted imagined criticism of Moshe the Lawgiver’s personal conduct? Is the Jewish community so conflicted that its commitment to anti-defamation does not extend to the greatest of Jewish luminaries? Could Rabbi Rose not have found a single source in all Torah literature from which to teach the importance of sensitivity to family members without engaging in baseless slander? And why have I been compared to a member of the Ku Klux Klan for calling him out for his defamatory remarks?
The immediate object[ive] is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people.
This quote is taken from the mission statement of the anti-defamation league. Whatever comments I made about Rabbi Rose’s article were consistent with that mission, both warranted and defensible in light of his profoundly and needlessly offensive remarks. I take it as a disturbing sign of the moral confusion of our times that the same Jewish notables who have condemned me for defending the honor of Judaism’s greatest hero expressed not the slightest concern over Rabbi Rose’s wholesale denigration of Moses, a figure far greater and more significant than either Rabbi Rose or myself.