21 June 2006

But, Seriously, Folks, I Am Not The Voice of YCT

I didn't quite finish my series on figuring out exactly the point, the nature, and the direction of my blog - or, for that matter, my blogging. I don't know that I will, per se, actually finish it, but it's at least a work in progress. I imagine that around my one-year blog anniversary, I will do a state-of-the-blog thing or something. In any event, I wanted to add on to my figuring out a voice posting (more below in a second section after this YCT stuff).
During the last week of classes, a fellow student remarked to me about my blogging on behalf of the yeshivah (hopefully, I've roughly paraphrased him correctly), as I will comment here or there on various blogs concerning us or organizing the YCT Chevre blog and, of course, regarding what is on my personal blog (you're here!). I remarked to him that I hadn't thought of it that way, and then wasn't sure about my thoughts on the matter. I then realized that I'm just trying to be honest and fair - certainly in going to bat when I can for the yeshivah elsewhere, and most certainly on my blog. The point of the YCT Chevre blog is for information regarding the yeshivah to be more easily disseminated, as well as some information which people wouldn't otherwise know, hopefully giving it a more alive face (as opposed to brochures, for instance (but don't get me wrong, brochures fulfill their own unique purpose, though)).
One of the great strengths of the blogosphere and Internet is its easy access - it's not an elitist thing, per se. Yes, I am invested in blogging (time-wise, not financially), but that doesn't mean others (other בני ישיבה (members of the yeshivah)) can't pitch their two cents in from time to time wherever. Also, I find that when the yeshivah is under attack from commenters (on, say, not the Godol haDor's blog (even though he probably isn't against the yeshivah), for instance), there are some people who do stand up for YCT who are neither attend nor are affiliated with YCT.
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Another matter concerning voice is that of how I use it within the particular medium. One thing I have found with regards to the medium of blogging is the nature of discourse. While there are many ways in which this is carried out, the JBlogosphere often entails some specific ways. One way is trying to show off new things, ideas, or ways of looking at things - we'll call it generating novellae (making חידושים, for those more Hebraically inclined); while another is a more abrasive manner in which people are scathing. While the latter may be one thing with regard to an intellectual discussion regarding ideas, I have found that it often can easily run over into a character attack or personal insults hurled at another. On my blog, alone, I find that people hiding behind an anonymous moniker often get away with such hurling of insults, let alone when I try to enter my two cents in a discussion elsewhere. This is why I have put up the "Jewish Bloggers for Responsible Speech Online" icon on my blog, though I already mentioned this a few weeks ago. Although there have been times when I would have liked to have started an anonymous Jewish single guy blog or an anonymous Jewish blog and then not have people attacking me, that might be a way out, but every time I consider that, it would be weird for me as I wouldn't get recognition for it. I know that may sound self-centered, but.... As far as the former I definitely got swept up in it in the winter, but have been trying to calm down and trying to sound more rabbinic in a way - not rabbinic in the form of "I'm a rabbi" rabbinic, but more stylistically informal kind-of (it's late, what do you expect?). Okay, now that it's late and I've got to go to sleep, good night and God bless.
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