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June 13, 2013 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-06-13

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frontlines >> letters

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We prefer letters relating to JN articles. We reserve the right to edit or reject letters. Letters of 225 words or less are considered first. Longer ones will
be subject to trimming. Letter writers are limited in frequency of publication. Letters must be original and contain the name, address and title of the
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MI 48034; fax (248) 304-8885; e-mail, letters®the jewishnews.com . We prefer email.

'Pegged' Lacks Concern
For Feelings Of Others
Your article "Plastic Surgeon
Reconstructs Social Media" (May 30,
page 1) presents us with Pegged.com
— a social media product that can ruin
both the personal and professional
lives of individuals on the basis of the
musings of acquaintances and even
strangers spread without any sense of
personal responsibility.
To introduce this website without
reflecting on lashon harah, gossip and
slander, is shocking. This website pro-
poses to empower people to publicly
reflect on someone else's behavior with
no regard for how this will affect the
person. It brings the worst aspects of
social media into reality — full access
with no responsibility or concern for
other's feelings.
The article mentions that this
website may be able to help people
reflect on their behaviors after reading
what others are saying about them. A
meaningful Jewish perspective on this
might have a different take. The idea
of heshbon hanefesh, examining one's
behavior, is a critical one and can lead
to real changes in our lives. But Jewish
tradition asks that individuals embark
on that journey of their own volition.
The article claims this idea will be
"controversial" As a community, we
shouldn't look at a misguided, harmful
product and call it controversial. We
should call it what it is — wrong.

Robin and Rabbi Steven Rubenstein
West Bloomfield

Social Media Website Is
'An Ethical Train Wreck'
I'm looking forward to being able to
write a profile about Dr. Michael Gray
on his soon-to-be-launched www.
Pegged.com website since, as per Dr.
Gray, the "intention is to bring people
into accountability for their interac-
tions with others and to offer them
opportunities for self-reflection and
How sadly ironic that Dr. Gray, an
arms merchant to the vanity war —
and who I can only hope has named
his Skin Deep Spa as an instructive
joke — is leading the charge to call us
to account for all our shallowness.
The week's Torah portion dealt with
lashon harah, the "evil tongue" aka
gossip. By allowing anonymity, which
I'm guessing must be the case to avoid
libel suits and which allows the gutless
to flourish, Dr. Gray has, in essence,
created an East German Secret Police
(Stasi) file where we get to anonymous-

ly inform on each other.
Pegged is a potentially karmic, hurt-
ridden and ethical train wreck. I hope
that Dr. Gray will not launch it. Please.


Reed M. Benet

The Hiring Process And
The Perils Of Gossip
There is an irony of "Pegged" appear-
ing in the JN, together with the weekly
Torah portion Shelach, ladden with
gossip (lashon harah).
Unfortunately, Rabbi Miller's article,
did not address the perils of gossip.
On the contrary, he appears to endorse
Dr. Gray's venture that would allegedly
"force them [people] to try and change
themselves internally."
Dr. Gray references the site is valu-
able because, he says, it takes six
months for a newly hired employee's
true colors to show. "I just don't have
time for that, so I want to be able to
look someone up and immediately
understand what type of person they
really are
With your busy schedule, you may
want to consider hiring an employment
agency and/or professional human
resources consultant to help you with
your hiring-and-retaining employment
Regarding your point that you really
do not know someone for six months,
this goes both ways. Maybe, your
employees will see your true colors
after six months as well. Our sage, the
Baal Shem Tov, says the flaws you see
in others are the very flaws that reside
in you.
Dr. Gray, I hope your site is filled
with good things that help strengthen
our community instead of looking for
fodder to hurt others.

Aviva Gordon
Oak Park, Michigan

Jewish Ethics Experts
Could Offer Advice
I was disappointed by the news that
a member of our community is start-
ing up a social networking site that
enables anonymous slander. Dr. Gray's
plan sounds to me like the equivalent
of a giant bathroom stall for teenagers
to scribble on, for the whole world to
read. You don't need to be the Chofetz
Chaim to know that this idea promotes
lashon harah, evil speech, and is com-
pletely counter to Jewish ethics.
I was surprised that Rabbi Miller
did not mention this in his write-up.
I was amazed at Dr. Gray's claim that
such a website would help in his hiring

(1 to R) Lorie Farrow,
Sam Snay, Richard Kaplan
and Marilyn Creighton


On Sunday, June

9th, 70 volunteers

Knaidel Kontroversy

In light of the recent spelling bee
kerfuffle involving the Yiddish word
"knaidel" (June 6, page 6),
consider this:

You spell it knaidel* oder** kneydl
You spell it maidel*** oder meydl.
How you spell it matters not,
Mein knaydlach**** are
betamt un***** hot,
So hob mein kind****** an extra ladle.

* knaidel — matzah ball
** oder — or
*** maidel — girl
**** Mein knaydlach — My matzah
***** batamt un — tasty and
****** hob mein kind — have my

— Rachel Kapen

of all ages gathered

at 11 JARC homes

for the annual


The weather was

perfect and all the

"green thumbs"

helped to make

the gardens


Thank you to all

the dedicated


special thanks

to Ivan Katz of

Great Lakes

by weeding out suspect applicants. An
employer should base hiring decisions
on a candidate's references and presen-
tation, not on anonymous rumors.
If I were interviewing with a com-
pany and found out it was using this
website to screen applicants, I would
think twice about accepting an offer.
I suggest that Dr. Gray contact local
experts on Jewish ethics and work with
them to improve his concept.

La ndscape Design

who donated 130

flats of beautiful


Moses Fridman
West Bloomfield

Criticizing People Not
'Entertaining And Fun'
This new site sounds like it's an open
platform for bullying and possible
character assassination.
The idea that a person can post opin-
ions about other people, without their

Letters on page 6

June 13 • 2013


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