January 17th, 2006 by David Kelsey, Republished From Jewshool
While most of the fight against fundamentalism in the Jewish world is focused against the Activist, or Zionist, Jewish fundamentalists (including on this blog), it is important to remember that the quiescent fundamentalists are also a powerful and ever-growing force within the Jewish world. And they don’t like public dissent very much, particularly from their own.
Un-Orthodox Jew is an anonymous blogger who challenges the convictions of the black hatters, but unlike critics of the Haredi world such as Godol Hodor, Dov Bear, or Failed Messiah, (whose site was also hacked), UOJ writes in a style accessible to readers even if they are not particularly sophisticated or educated outside of their insular world. He writes in a style that even a Touro College undergraduate can understand. He also republishes articles of interest to this world which would never appear in their fundamentalist, rabbinically monitored newspapers, inserting his own, usually sardonic, commentary. Full Disclosure: I have guest posted on the UOJ blog on occasion, in order to address problems in the Ba’al Tshuvah institutional world.
UOJ generally restricts his topics to those which will most displease his black hat readership (but embolden the disgruntled), and frequently focuses on issues such as fiscal impropriety, fraud, the lack of a work ethic, nepotism, corruption, increasing and misguided halachic stringency, cruelty, physical abuse of women, the socio-economic costs of discouraging secular studies, the flagrant denial of the transmission of herpes through the ritual practice of metziza, and perhaps most disturbing to his most religious readers, he has consistently attempted to argue against the belief that Rabbinical leaders are (or ever were) infallible.
He is not very popular in black hat circles, but he is well-known, and was widely read.
So his site was hacked. The information on the site was not defaced or destroyed, ostensibly to make it appear that he simply hasn’t blogged lately, nor call attention to their sabotage. UOJ emailed Jewschool that, “My IT guy told me this was a professional job, not some kids. He used to be a senior V.P. at IBM and he can’t fix it. I better watch my ass; they’re out to get me.”
UOJ claims, and even many of his detractors appear to believe, that he is relatively high ranking in the left-wing black hat community, and UOJ has insisted he will continue to blog even if hacked again.
“The only ax I have to grind is to make our Judaism a ‘bit’ cleaner. I’m under no illusion of scraping ALL the shit off my shoes.”
He has begun a new site, which merely added an “s” to “unorthodoxjew,” and has republished all previous content from the old site there.