Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I often lament the fact that in the blogosphere, you have people who know very little and yet have strongly held opinions. They argue freely with gedolei yisrael on matters they really know little about. You can have a housewife with a bachelors in special ed or occupational therapy with a strongly worded opinion about halachic issues that runs counter to the opinions of people who actually know how to read a gemara. I never mention anybody by name but it is very distressing to see how many pundits there are out there who take themselves and their opinions far too seriously.

Here is a passage written by my friend Rabbi Gordimer echoing the same sentiment:

Many people (their opinions, that is) are not as important as the blogosphere makes them out to be. Unlike in the secular world, in which online media pundits are often highly-credentialed current or former insiders and/or professionals, many people in the Orthodox blogosphere whose opinions are given weight (by themselves or by others) are basically inexperienced outsiders. People who are not steeped in Torah learning present elaborate formulations about derech ha-limud and p’sak methodology, strong opinions about the halachic status of various matters, and sweeping conclusions about hashkafic issues and the Torah’s perspective on current events – which are all frequently well beyond their sphere of knowledge. In the world of Orthodox electronic media, these people sometimes become recognized as authorities and experts, whereas in real life, their opinions carry no weight among true professionals and (thankfully) remain unknown or disregarded.

So remember next time you read something in the virtual or print media that the writer might very well be under-informed or misinformed. Journalists and bloggers are generally not great talmidei chachomim.