Some questions I have no answers to... How is it that:
…A conference of a major Orthodox organization devotes a forum to attacking the excesses of scandal mongering in blogs and on the internet, but cannot clarify how they intend to deal with the issue of criminal allegations against Rabbinical figures in a way that is transparent, fair, and which would restore confidence in the system?
…A woman can be physically beaten in the zeal to prevent immodesty simply because she failed to surrender her seat to a man and move to the back of a public bus, but the Rabbinic establishment squashes a conference to consider how to help agunos trapped by recalcitrant husbands?
…hundreds can close their gemaras and take time from learning to protest, both through civil disobedience as well as more violent means, a parade which is seen as an affront to the sanctity of Yerushalayim, but this same community is conspicuously silent and offers no protest when thousands of Jews are expelled from their homes in the “territories”?
…Rabbinic figures sermonize about the need to place spiritual values above career and pursuit of wealth, but run yeshivos which require many times the average salary to afford with no oversight on finances by independent auditors or concerned parents?
This is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling based on current events. I am sick of reading the apologetics, the excuses, the justifications, the explanations, none of which are satisfying, and hearing the deafening silence from the "establishment" at the wrongs perpetuated by the system either directly or by creating an environment which tolerates them.
I do not applaud the gross anti-Chareidi bashing out there – the brush used is too broad and the paint applied with too much vigor and sheer ferociousness. But the excesses of the messengers should not obscure the kernel of underlying truth in the criticism. And were the establishment more responsive, who knows how much more muted and respectful the attacks might become in turn? Instead of invoking "Torah authority" to dismiss complaint, perhaps the system would be better served through more open dialogue between community and leadership to discuss what problems exist, what approaches to solving them are best and why, and how to act on them "l'shem shamayim". If transparency is seen as a threat, people rightly begin to wonder just what is being hid behind closed doors.
Perhaps my blog too can be dismissed as just another undermining of Torah authority in the blogsphere. I guess that is an easier response that dealing with the issues at hand.