Jan 18, 2007

upcoming interview - R' Natan Slifkin

In an attempt to get some clarity on the issues, I will be interviewing R' Natan Slifkin. I do not have an exact timeframe due to some external and personal issues. It might be within a couple of days or might be a bit longer.

So, if you have any questions you ever wanted to ask of the Zoo Rabbi, whether about the controversy surrounding him or about the animal kingdom, or anything else (but let's try to keep away from questions about science and Torah, specifically age of the universe :-) ) send them to me.
Either post them in the comments, email me - israeli.jew at gmail dot com - or send them to me by telepathy, just get them to me quickly... I will select a number of them, probably the ones I consider the best and most relevant and interesting, and will include them in the interview..


  1. I'd be interested to know how this controversy affects his daily life and that of his children.

  2. looking forward.
    I have no specific questions.
    Just when his next book is coming out?

  3. I'd be interested in how he finds his sources, and how he got his connections to people in the field/zoos.ie he said I'm interested in animals can I come in the enclosure/behind the scenes.Sounds hard to do.
    Does he ever think ,"ok enough about animals already I'm going to be the 'plant rabbi'.",what else interests him?

    Ditto to mother in israel's question.

    Thank you for thinking of this interview.It'll be interesting.

    Solly G.

  4. good questions.. keep em coming..

  5. 1. With so many agudah/black hat roshei yeshiva banning (at min) his books how does he go on, hashkafa-wize? How did his negative reception affect his hashkafa?

    2. Will he publish or post a complete (using ma'are mekomos) rebuttal for distribution? (I've read the stuff on the website - seems it could be more).

    3. How does he suggest lay people like me answer those who blankly ban his books without reading them? those who simply follow other rabbis like sheep, how do I respond (not start-up) as to why I want to read it - regardless of my agreeing with his answers.

    4. Why is there so much hate toward his book and ideas, when he obviously has ma'are mekomos to back him up? Why has his work turned into such a wildfire? Why has it garnered the reaction it did, rather than just be shrugged off?

    5. (add to MII's q) - how does he maintain the hashkafa of his children who have to watch their father be publicly banned and ridiculed and disparaged? How do they maintain their feelings to yiddeshkeit and ideas of achdus?

    6. Does he ever just "get sick of it"? If no, why not? if yes, what does he do about it? how does he get past that feeling?

  6. Given that his children are still in gan, I don't think they're plagued with too many hashkafic questions...

  7. MIKE - SORRY - didn't know his kids ages. but they do hear the discussions at home, other children talk, maybe can't play with certain kids, etc.....

    maybe they aren't a real factor yet, too.

  8. 7. what about his extended family? how do they cope? do they accept the ban and disagree with RNS? do they agree and support him? do they care? are relations strained? how about how this affects his wife? Men can sometimes shrug off social issues, whereas women can't.

    8. before publishing, he must have had chavrusas, and even a rebbi to work with. were there warnings about the possible reactions that early?

    9. what triggered his interest in such a topic? is his background science or science related? is he in kiruv that he felt his may answer certain questions?

  9. 10. does he get assaulted/accosted/harrased on the street or, for the most part, is he ignored? do people even know him by face (those who accept the "ban" in whatever sense they accept it)?

  10. What were the effects of the advert on book sales? Did they climb? If so, has he considered printing a thank-you ad to the forger of the letter that wasn't forged? Or to dedicate his next book to him?


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