Thoughts on the Mishpacha magazine article about R' Shachter (linked to it for those like myself who do not subscribe):
1) I am surprised that certain blog writers did not start saying hallel when they saw the article (maybe they did?), as their joy seems boundless over the notion of someone like R' Shachter being accepted by the right (assuming that Mishpacha magazine is a barometer for what is passable in the chareidi world). Is there such a sense of insecurity about modern orthodoxy that the stamp of approval by those in the "other" camp means so much?
2) OK, so you made it into the RW world, but what at what price? I recall a YU Rosh Yeshiva once say that he never saw the Rav open a secular book. Rav Shachter is quoted as saying that he never heard the Rav mention philosophy in shiur execpt once. I was never in the Rav's shiur (he was no longer saying shiur way before my time at YU), but judging his legacy from the fruit it has borne certainly leads me to think that his impact is greater than only the chiddushei Torah he left behind. What of the Talmud shiur at Stern? Religious Zionism? And that just scratches the surface. Is it worth forgetting about all that for the sake of acceptance?
3) And who are those applauding the article so happy to be accepted by? By other shallow people who would otherwise reject the Rav if they had a more complete picture of his legacy? Lo heim v’lo scharam. I reject as equally silly those who view (as expressed in comments to some of my posts) the opinions of R’ Elyashiv and other “chareidi” gedolim as irrelevant to their MO world and those who view the Rav as treif or call him JB because he does not fit into their expectations. Why should those of us who respect the Rav as a gaon (which it is possible to do even if you disagree with his stance on each and every issue) care whether some segment of the community closes themselves off to his voice? It’s their loss, not ours. I guess it matters to you if you are concerned with the politics of the community as a whole and feel that you need to raise your voice and demand acceptance by the public, but I that is largely a wasted effort and the energy can better be spent doing other things. Of course, I have no pulpit and no public position, no children to marry off at the present time, or any other similar concerns, so I am free to care less what other people think, but I'm in no rush to change : )
4) In general, my family does not read Mishpacha and I try to keep other Jewish newspapers away except as needed for certain ads (for the sake of shopping or my wife's business). Why? Because if I read the NY Times and get upset at its bias, its shallowness, its politics, I just dismiss it as the nuts at the Times. But if I read a Jewish publication and see the same politics, shallowness, bias, and other nonsense, it's the nuts in my backyard, and I feel the pain of being part of a community that celebrates this low level of discourse and builds readership by providing more and more of the same. Why should I invite this stuff into my home to just get angry or depressed? For example, a few weeks ago a newspaper that I thought was a little better had an article which described certain chassidism as "hooligans". Whatever the point being made was, couldn't it have been made without using that word? It's not hilchos lashon hara that should be the only concern, but also the idea of saying "lo tahor" instead of "tamei", the tone of writing. I try to toss that paper in the garbage if I see it in the house. And I haven't even gotten started on the topic of the crass materialism which is marketed to the "frum" consumer. Maybe the article on R' Shachter is nice, but I would not subscribe to a publication on the basis of one article any more than I would buy a TV for my home because PBS sometimes has a nice program on. Maybe I'm just a fanatic, but that's how I see it.