We recently said some fairly harsh things about Rabbi Joshua Hammerman’s stupid comments about us and the Holocaust. At the time, we were convinced that Rabbi Hammerman was a smug, self-righteous jackass. We would formally like to apologize. A piece he wrote for the NY Times Magazine some years back has been brought to our attention and we now realize that he’s not a jackass; he’s deranged. In the piece, he discusses circumcising his son. What’s crazy is…well, we can’t fully capture it, except to note that it involves his resentment towards his newborns for breastfeeding, or as he puts it:
"There is no greater primal anger than that caused by seeing another male in carnal contact with your wife, and there is no greater primal envy than that caused by looking down at the person who was brought into the world specifically to be your survivor."
This "primal anger" then leads him to desire to take his baby on a short ride on the pain train, but it’s all for the best, you see, since:
"No parent should be denied this experience, even vicariously, of inflicting upon his child a ritualized blow so intense as to make both shake and recoil, but so controlled that no damage is really done, so that this might be the worst the child will ever know from his parent’s hand."
Now, Jewdar no longer blames the rabbi for his comments about us, or the Holocaust, or Anne Frank, or anything. He clearly needs help, both for his desire to elevate the Holocaust to the status of the Torah, and his overall Men’s Movement-style creepiness over snipping his kid.
But what bothers us is that this person, who makes a mockery of Judaism is given a forum in the official newspaper of the New York Jewish Federation, while Heeb is seen as a shanda. This guy sanctifies our slaughter like it’s a revelation at Sinai, but it’s Heeb that continues to be viewed as a "new secularism." And if that’s not enough, we just learned that The Jewish Week has invited Rabbi Hammerman to speak as an authority on Jewish online ethics?!?!
Is this the sort of moral authority that Jewish institutional leaders want us to revere? Is it any wonder that Heeb readers choose the path of irreverence?
Hat tip to The Kvetcher