Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Reflections on Blogging

Is there any introspection that Bloggers and Commentators could benefit from during the current Season? Generally, life was complicated enough before the internet, but those who use this medium of communication may have particular reason for, or a particular area in where to engage in contemplation.

People have different "comfort zone's" as far as what they like to post on. Generally, I feel comfortable addressing ideas as opposed to people. I also feel that blogging is a semi-public forum, and that there is always the possibility that non-Orthodox and non-Jewish readers(media and otherwise) monitor these forums. I try to keep this in mind as I write.

There is a discussion in progress about the raison d'etre of Cross-Currents(Cross-Currents, is of course a moderated blog) . I added my thoughts to the discussion there.

Generally, I believe in the honest and open discussion of issues in some type of an appropriate forum, and not hiding one's head in the sand and ignoring a problem or issue. Every society has their problems, and the fact that the Jewish community or charedim have theirs, is not inherently a reason to view them more negatively than any other group. On the other hand, those with antipathy--Jewish or non-Jewish-- will grab on to any available ammunition which we gift to them on a silver platter.

However, the point of any discussion of a communal issue, to the extent and form it takes place, should be positive: to bring change, or at least to view the issue in an as most positive perspective as possible. The Jewish People are positive even when reflecting on intractable problems: note that we end Eicha on a positive note.

(Also, I think that generally, the more public the forum is, the more careful and sensitive one should be in expressing criticism --even constructive--of the community. Anyhow, that is the way I think that I would like to see discussion in the event that I would decide to blog on subjects that possibly would be best left for internal communal discussion; in general, each "Bal H'ablog", of course, has (or should have)their own individual policy for what they blog on and how their particular topics are discussed).

Let us hope that blogging in all forms--moderated, unmoderated, and non-online discussion groups-- will serve as a positive force in the Jewish community. If you have any suggestions for this blog or for the Blogosphere at large, feel free to add them here!

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