Friday, July 09, 2004

The Shul Debate

I really did not want to post about this. I'm thoroughly sick and tired of the shul-bashing and general lashon hara against the community I live in, and have lived in my entire life. First it was just Velvel. Well, he has the right to complain on his own blog, even if I don't like the manner in which he sometimes does it.

Then that post was cited on Protocols. Great. Now people all over the blogosphere can have a negative opinion of a neighborhood and shul they've never stepped foot in.

Now MO-C joins the discussion, based on Velvel's post. Which would be fine, if everything Velvel said was accurate. So I suppose it's time to speak up and join the fray.

Velvel said "At shul they were greeted by people who told them they should be ashamed for showing their faces at shul, and going to kiddush. And that our minyan is breaking up the shul." Mo-C interpreted this the way I was afraid that people would: that this other minyan was "not at all well received by the members of the shul. Those opposed to the minyan accused the breakers of dividing the community." To say that this other minyan was not at all well received by the members of the shul is not really true.

Only two people really, truly spoke against it. Two out of hundreds. One of them is an outspoken person with a reputation for being abrasive. The other is a wonderful 80-yr-old man who has devoted his time to the shul in a variety of ways over the past 20 years(one of them being a regular daily minyannaire, which is more than I can say for a lot of the people who were at this other minyan).

No one (aside from this outspoken individual) made "accusations" about breaking up the community. Some others may have voiced concerns, but that is entirely legitimate. How do I know this? I was there. Velvel did not go to kiddush.

Unhappy with the davening? Fine. Don't agree with the rabbi? Happens all the time. Need to go find something that fulfils your needs? Do so in good health.

But please do not use your own frustration as an excuse to speak lashon hara against a community. Go ahead and kvetch. Just be diplomatic about it. Or at least accurate.

The shul is not perfect. I'm not even always happy there. But speaking lashon hara about a community and posting it for the world to see? In my book, it's just not cool.

I know the tone of this post is harsh, but I'm angry. I was going to hold my tongue, when it was just Velvel. But I just can't be quiet about this anymore. If the tone of this has offended anyone, I apologize.

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