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Hidden HereticsJewish Doubt in the Digital Age$
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Ayala Fader

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169903

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169903.001.0001

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The Jewish Blogosphere and the Heretical Counterpublic

The Jewish Blogosphere and the Heretical Counterpublic

(p.31) 2 The Jewish Blogosphere and the Heretical Counterpublic
Hidden Heretics

Ayala Fader

Princeton University Press

This chapter ethnographically traces the contemporary crisis of authority to the Jewish blogosphere or “Jblogosphere” in the mid-2000s, which created an alternative, anonymous heretical public both online and in person. It analyzes the public that referenced an earlier crisis of authority, the Jewish Enlightenment from mid-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries in Europe. The chapter describes the generation of Jewish men that were exposed to the European Enlightenment and used innovations in print culture to take on traditional Judaism and its leadership. It looks into the connection between secret life-changing doubt and the internet that began roughly in 2002 or 2003 when disillusioned Modern Orthodox and ultra–Orthodox Jews began to blog. It also discusses the Jblogosphere that gave anonymous public voice to a range of private interior life-changing doubt.

Keywords:   Jewish blogosphere, Jewish Enlightenment, European Enlightenment, traditional Judaism, Modern Orthodox Jews, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jblogosphere

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