Friday, February 26, 2021

The official statement of the soon-to-be-published Mochers Magazine (“Mochers Magazine Celebrates the Jewish Men’s Lifestyle,” February 4, 2021) declares, “Our name represents who we are—bold, brash and in your face.” The intended audience for this message is identified as men “from the right and the left who are Conservadox, Modern Orthodox or yeshivish.”

My education may be deficient, but I have never come across a traditional Jewish text that recommends these characteristics to faithful Jews. I have come across a well-known verse that says, “He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: only to do justice, and to love goodness, and to walk humbly—hatznea‘ lekhet—with your God” (Micah 6:8).

I wistfully hope that the subscribers to this magazine will try to keep copies away from their school-age children lest they create dissonance with classes that strive to inculcate middot, but I somehow doubt that aspiring machers will exercise such caution.

I do not begrudge Orthodox men the amenities noted in the article—their fine wines, their kiddush clubs (provided that those clubs meet after the end of davening), and their man caves. But a publication dedicated to the celebration and glorification of these amenities from the perspective of a bold, brash and in your face macher is an assault on the cultural and even moral well-being of our community.

Prof. David Berger