originally published January 22, 2011
One great Jewish Leader confided with me, we Jews are entitled to our opinions of course, but the level of dismissiveness is IMHO too high; unacceptable.
I was debating parshanut with a former Orthodox scholar. I pointed to him that Onkelos supported my hypothesis that Rivkah induced Yaakov to usurp the Brachah al pi n'vuah.
He dismissed this as "what is Onkelos - a mind reader?"
Certainly we may object to Onkelos' take on any passuq. Rashi does so respectfully EG in P. B'shalach on the word "ozzy".
But this dismissiveness on the part of the former Orthodox scholar wasn't part of his adherence to some objective scientific methodology over obscurantist beliefs! This was disdain from a position of moral superiority in order to further an agenda of portraying Yaakov as a usurper, and Jewish Tradition is to be condemned for defending our Patriarch.
Is his dismissive attitude co-incidental to his abandonment of Torah-True Judaism. I think not. It is true that there is dismissiveness WITHIN the Orthodox world itself. To the extent that it fosters a dismissive atmosphere, they too must account for the trade-off