Powered by WebAds

Monday, October 31, 2005

The nature of the blogosphere

I am pretty new to the whole blog thing. My impression so far is that the most popular blogs seems to be MO blogs where an actual Torah source is a rare find. To be fair there are many UO blogs that are equally barren of sources. These tend to be the more extreme ones. On the whole MO gamut, the only blog I found that is consistently intelligent is hirhurim (Although I wonder whether it should be classified as MO).

My question is: Why do the MO bring so few sources. Is it that they are generally ignorant in learning? Is it that they don't really care what the Torah says? I find that whenever someone takes a strong Torah position on these blogs, the MOs write something like: "you can use the Torah to uphold any position" or sometimes they descend into ad-homonym attacks.

Another aspect of these blogs is a tremendous hostility towards Chareidim. GH recently tried to analyze the causes of this hostility (in the MO world in general, not just in the blogosphere) but the post ends up almost justifying hatred towards chareidim. Is this just a result of the hatred of the Am HaAretz for the talmid chacham? I don't really think so. I don't sense a hatred towards Torah learning per say in any of these blogs but rather an aversion to any definitively non-PC positions taken from the Torah. What comes to mind is DB's tremendous hostility to Torah-based conservative political positions such as opposing abortions or right-wing Israeli politics. In other words, as long as Torah learning deals only in the abstract, it is accepted and even loved.

A third aspect that I have noticed is a tremendous hostility towards kiruv efforts of any kind. I am not talking about criticisms of one method or another but rather a total disdain for kiruv as a concept. I think that many of the MO blogs are FFB and I often find myself doubting whether they would even be religious if they were not born into it. So what is it? self-hate? embarrassment about some of the arguments the kiruv organizations make in the name of Torah? Are these people really more tolerant towards secular atheist democrats than they are towards other groups of religious Jews?

I sometimes even find myself wondering what kind of religious life these individuals lead. Do they learn regularly? What do they learn? Do they have spiritual goals? What are they? I am pretty fascinated by this virtual community of obviously intelligent people who remain mostly anonymous to each other.

If anyone has any answers, I would love to hear them.