Despite promising to 'showcase and increase awareness of the community's vast spectrum of bloggers', dissenting, left-wing or even moderately liberal sites were scarce among the nominees.
Later, he quotes Daniel Sieradski of Orthodox Anarchist and Jew School:
I get riled up because I have a hard time accepting that the Jewish community - which is primarily liberal and progressive - should appear to be so overrepresented by the religious right... The domination of the blogosphere by the Jewish right is a stain on our community and reflects poorly on us internally and externally.
Well said. Although there are certainly well-known liberal J-bloggers out there, we are seriously underrepresented. In 2004, Jewish Americans voted overwhelmingly for Kerry (77%-22%), but you certainly wouldn't guess that from the J-blogs.
Anyway, who cares about all that stuff? Here's the part about me:
If any talk of religious observance sends you into a cold sweat, head over to Jewish Atheist, whose 'About Me' description puts his stance succinctly: '1) I used to be a Modern Orthodox Jew. 2) I am now an atheist. 3) I believe that Judaism has a lot of beauty and wisdom, but that it also causes harm.' Jewish Atheist covers topics from creationism and 'Intelligent Design' to the ethics of giving to faith-based charities. His writing is forceful but never sanctimonious, and he avoids the overbearing style of one of his influences, Richard Dawkins. This has encouraged lively but respectful debates on his 'comments' pages - in contrast to other contentious blogs which degenerate into slanging matches.
Jewish Atheist also talks of his own break with orthodoxy and the pressures he faced. He mourns the loss of a community 'which I have not yet been able to replicate outside of Orthodox Judaism' but celebrates his personal and intellectual freedom. He writes too of overcoming guilt: 'Eventually, I came to the realisation that even though my parents were clearly embarrassed by me, it was not my fault. I was being true to myself and I had gone out of my way not to hurt anyone unnecessarily. If my parents couldn't learn to accept me as I was, it was their failing, not mine. It still hurt, but it didn't make me feel guilty any more.' [Links added --JA]
(Disclaimer: I'm a liberal/progressive but not a socialist. Also, like a good American, I spell "realization" with a "z." ;) So don't write angry emails.)