Caution: These Ideas Are Too Dangerous For Today's YeshivaNow Goldman publishes his thoughtful not-given-speech in the student newspaper.
Over the summer I got a call from the Office of Student Life inviting me to spend a Shabbat on the Wilf Campus to give talks on Friday night and Shabbat. I have a firm policy when it comes to Yeshiva: I never say no. I am a proud and loyal graduate and will always do what I can to help the school. Over the years, I have been a guest speaker in many classes in the college and I was even a scholar-in-residence at Stern for a semester in 2003. We picked the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 1 for my Shabbat visit. I was also looking forward to connecting with today's yeshiva students.
My visit never happened. The day before I was supposed to go, I got a call from my hosts at the Office of Student Life informing me that there was a "problem" with my appearance. Apparently some students had copied pages from my memoir "The Search for God at Harvard" (first published in 1991) in which I wrote about pre-marital sex and chilul Shabbat, two things that I indeed discussed but never endorsed. A debate was raging on campus about whether I was an appropriate speaker. The matter was taken to one of the roshei yeshiva who deemed me trayf....more
Bang, bang. Yeshiva shoots itself in the foot again.