Saturday, June 16, 2007

Well, Waddaya Want?

I had an interesting conversation with someone who had objected to one of my earlier posts. Among his complaints, which were valid, was that you have to be careful about what you post online, as it goes out to the Internet, and you can't control who will read what you write. Better to avoid controversial topics.

So last week, after posting nothing whatsoever for quite some time, I posted a Torah thought on Mishle. I then forwarded him the link to it, partly because I thought he might be interested in what I had to say (or ask, rather), and partly to demonstrate that I was no longer posting the kind of things he had found so objectionable.

His response surprised me, a little.

He said (and I'm paraphrasing because I don't remember it word-for-word), "I just glanced at it and didn't have the chance to read it through yet, but it looked like it was just Torah." When I said that's what it was, he said, "Ah - that's all? I don't need to read that!"

Now, this was not someone who doesn't value Torah, and I know he didn't mean that Torah isn't important. The way I took it was that there is (thank God) lots of Torah available on the Internet, and you couldn't possibly sit and read it all. But, now, if it had been something more titillating, it would be worth really reading.

I do understand that perspective, of course, but I find it to be a bit like speaking out of both sides of one's mouth. On the one hand, I shouldn't write about things that are controversial. On the other hand, things that are more pareve aren't very interesting to read.

This is the same reason that most people speak Loshon Ha'Rah. With the exception of the folks who are actually trying to hurt people with their speech, most people talk about other people because other people find it interesting, and everyone wants to be listened to. Nobody wants to be boring. Not even those who genuinely are.

So if I'm not supposed to speak Loshon Ha'Rah, and I'm supposed to stay clear of things that are controversial, and Torah topics are boring, what should I write about?! I know, I know... No one says I have to write about anything. No one says I have to write at all! But I like to write, and it's flattering to think that people read it.

I guess I'm going to continue writing what I write anyway, and like I said in my first post here, if you don't like what you read, feel free not to. But this was sort of eye-opening to me... a little... but not entirely... which is, frankly, sad.


Lvnsm27 said...

lashon hara is more interesting to people. But we need to think of the consequences. People just think of the popularity they'll have. They don't realize the punishment for this aveirah.

Yes torah topics people can get from other sites and readers might not be interested in reading it on a blog. But if we do it in a way where we can have an interesting and smart discussion with them, they might like it because it gets the brain going. Plus there are other topics too that are parave. We just have to find them

The Half-Heretic said...

I used your comments here as part of the topic for another post. Check out Accentuate the Negative?. I hope it was clear that I wasn't trying to put you down.

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