Rabbi Gil Student has piece in this week’s Jewish Press summarizing the events of the Rabbi Slifkin Ban. Two points Student makes are especially important. Here’s one:
The ban, as it stands, raises many difficult questions for a large segment of the Orthodox community. Ironically, the ban – both in terms of procedures and content – has generated questions of faith that are perhaps greater than those it was supposed to prevent.
We can only hope that in the future the concerns of the greater community will be specifically addressed – along with an explanation of how such a devastating personal blow can be issued without the accused being allowed to defend himself. That’s certainly preferable to a proclamation issued from afar that leaves the public guessing about the rest of the story.
The other can be found throughout the piece in sentences like these:
“…a major rosh yeshiva in America phoned Rabbi Slifkin to offer him encouragement and tell him to keep a low profile and let the whole thing blow over.”
“Because of the controversy, we have had the book reviewed by a number of knowledgeable rabbis, including an expert on both Torah and science from whom my posek insisted we receive permission before commencing with publication.”
That’s right. Although Student mentions the rabbis who signed the ban by name, no supporter of Rabbi Slifkin is publicly named, except for the OU’s Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Weinreb, who wrote the forward to the revised edition of The Science of Torah, now titled The Challenge of Creation.
Rabbi Slifkin’s rabbinic supporters are still cowering, still too afraid to stand up for truth. They are cowards, every last one of them.