The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


There is a growing and disturbing trend in the J Blogosphere that I will refer to as Blogsession; it is the obsession by certain bloggers (or commentators) with single issues.

(Ironically, when Debra Nussbaum Cohen dissed me in her Jewish Week article as as someone "whose main interest seems to be what music gets played at Jewish weddings", she seemed to be lumping me in that very category. In truth, while I do have a strong interest in Jewish Music, JMusic is far from the only topic I write or comment about.)

Yesterday's post by Luke about the emerging situation involving Charles Kushner brought this issue home. Luke has been writing frequently about the sorry state of Jewish journalism. In that connection, he has been interviewing many writers, editors and publishers in the industry. His post about Kushner was meant to raise the issue of whether the mainstream J press would have the courage to pick up and investigate this story inasmuch as it related to a very prominent Orthodox Jewish philanthropist and political mover and shaker.

As of this writing, there were over 50 comments to Luke's post. But what happened in that comments section (and what so frequently happens) is that the thread got sidetracked by a commentator who has his own agenda. In this case "me", a commentator who is obsessed with the lack of response in the Jewish velt to institutional sexual abuse, took over and steered the conversation in that direction. It is important to note that the Kushner situation has absolutely nothing to do with alleged sexual abuse of the type that 'me' targets. But that didn't stop him. Then, predictably, although the Kushner situation has absolutely nothing to do with Chabad, Shmarya, a blogger who is obsessed with destroying Chabad, pipes up that "Just to add another twist, Kushner serves on the board of the Rabinicl College of America in Morristown. That is a Chabad Yeshiva." That may be nice to know but what does it have to do with Luke's post?

It is one thing to have your own blog and be focused on or even obsessed with one issue. Or even, like Josh or Prodly, to have your own blog that is ostensibly about one thing but always finds a way to address your real obsession (bashing Chassidim in Josh's case; bashing meat producers in Prodly's). No one has to go to those blogs if they don't want. But it's getting really annoying watching everyone else's thread's get sidetracked by obsessed commentators with too much time on their hands.


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