I was speaking to about 60 people in Washington DC on Friday night Shabbat dinner, a few months back, on the subject of my new book. Woke Antisemitism – How a Progressive Ideology Harms Jews (recently quoted in Quillette). I’m always a bit apprehensive before I speak to mainstream Jewish audiences about my book’s thesis—not because I fear the majority will disagree with me, but because many congregations feature one or two highly assertive ideological watchdogs who tend to attend this kind of event with a view toward angrily deligitimizing the speaker.
I was interviewed in front by the Rabbi of the question community, whom I have known many years. The congregants present, none of them hecklers, then asked me a series thoughtful questions. It was over, I thought. The Rabbi sent me an email a few days later. “Apparently you have some detractors,” he wrote. “Tell me something I don’t know,” I thought to myself.