Culture As Sewage


I am writing regarding Rabbi Avi Shafran’s Opinion piece, “Measured Insularity Does Not A Monk Make” (May 11), which refuted the Opinion piece of Rabbi Eugene Korn on an element of haredi Judaism (“In The Name Of Judaism, Haredim Have Turned Inward,” April 13).

Rabbi Shafran explained that haredi Judaism tries to avoid “the effluence of a coarse popular culture…”

Comparing American culture to sewage?

I suppose the funds of this coarse culture that enable “ivory tower” living, are themselves not sewage — like Pell Grants, Section 8 Housing, food stamps, Medicaid and public welfare.

To support Rabbi Korn’s argument regarding early Christianity paralleling “yeshivish” rejection of much of the modern world, we can turn to the Christian Book of Revelation, chapters 17 and 18, written about 200 C.E. It makes reference to “Babylon, mother of all the filthy practices on earth.”

“Effluence of a coarse popular culture” paraphrases this neatly.

Suffern, N.Y.