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May a Jew escape debt by declaring bankruptcy
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Hebrew Immersion Charter School To Open Next Year
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Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Torah Musings.

 
The opinions and facts here are presented solely by the author. Torah Musings assumes no responsibility for them. Please address religious questions to your rabbi.
 

235 Responses

  1. zalman says:

    Israel is the world capital of in vitro fertilization
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/world/middleeast/18israel.html

  2. HAGTBG says:

    Re: Orthodox Jews require victims to call rabbis instead of police about molestation. There is a recording, supposedly of Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky and supposedly from this past Tuesday, also stating that victims must go to the rabbis who will make the decision whether authorities are contacted.

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2011/07/rabbi-shmuel-kamenetzky-call-rabbis-not-police-to-report-child-abuse-123.html

  3. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “Hebrew Immersion Charter School To Open Next Year”

    Of course, that’s not the story. The story is that it is NOT opening THIS year. (Whether it will open next year is not certain by any means.)

  4. IH says:

    On Dr. Erica Brown’s 3 Weeks book campaign, I was pleased to see the dissenting comments from Shachar Ha’amim at the tail end of last week’s news and links which is deserving of discussion.

    I fear that Dr. Brown’s goal may have been subverted by her PR to become nothing more than an exercise in preaching to the choir.

    There are some real and difficult issues embedded in this topic that are deserving of serious discussion amongst people who care about making Tisha b’Av more meaningful to contemporary Jews.

  5. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Re weddings on Shivah Asar BeTammuz. A number of years ago I went to a lechaim on erev Shivah Asar BeTammuz. A rabbi who was a family friend/relative spoke and at the begining of his remarks he mentioned the Shivah Asar BeTammuz issue and explained that it was a machloket between the Rav and Rav Moshe, with Rav Moshe arguing that the fast day started when the fast started and not the evening before. So the rabbi concluded, we can certainly go ahead and celebrate based on Rav Moshe. Of course, many of us were puzzled since the bride, groom, their parents and most of the people there were YU affiliated and the rabbi/speaker was a talmid of, and received smicha from, the Rav. But there was no questiuon and answer period so we all enjoyed ourselves based on Rav Moshe and no one left based on the Rav.

  6. Tal Benschar says:

    From the in vitro article:

    “There is even a growing pool of single religious women using in vitro fertilization, their efforts sanctioned by rabbis.”

    My reaction: Oy vey!

  7. Steve Brizel says:

    Shachar HaAmim’s comments reflect the question whether political sovereignty without full possession of Har HaBayis and an operating Beis HaMikdash has contemporary Halachic and Hashkafic consequences. As RYBS noted, even if the Vatican recognized the sovereignty of the State of Israel, a refusal to recognize the rights of the Jewish People to build Bayis Shlishi would render the mere act of political recognition a theologically meaningless act. In letters written after the Six Day War, from the Charedi POV, R S Wolbe ZL noted that Reishis Tzmichas Geulasenu was a theologically problematic concept for the same reason.

  8. IH says:

    Steve — I hear you, but I think it is more complicated for many people:

    1. Yom ha’Shoah has become the focus point for Jewish collective mourning.
    2. Jews have sovereignty over Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael.
    3. many modern (lower-case) Orthodox Jews are ambivalent about Beit ha’Mikdash when they really think about the idea of reverting to a sacrificial Judaism.

    On Shachar Ha’amim’s siddur point, see also the machloket on Tefilat Nachem summarized in: http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%AA%D7%A4%D7%99%D7%9C%D7%AA_%D7%A0%D7%97%D7%9D (in Hebrew).

  9. Jon_Brooklyn says:

    IH – you’re on the right side but you made all the wrong points.

  10. IH says:

    Nu? So educate us…

  11. Curious says:

    “with Rav Moshe arguing that the fast day started when the fast started and not the evening before”

    http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=916&st=&pgnum=291

  12. Jon_Brooklyn says:

    1. Yom ha’Shoah has become the focus point for Jewish collective mourning.

    -So?

    2. Jews have sovereignty over Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael.

    -The point here needs to be that that sovereignty has significance, which even the Rav recognized.

    3. many modern (lower-case) Orthodox Jews are ambivalent about Beit ha’Mikdash when they really think about the idea of reverting to a sacrificial Judaism.

    -Really NOT the direction you want to be going, especially if you’re talking to Steve.

    To be fair, I notice that I misread the original here, and you’re arguing that this complicates things “for many people” – so you’re making a sociological argument, which is probably accurate.

  13. IH says:

    Ready, fire, aim :-)

  14. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-if your frame of reference is the MN as opposed to the Rambam in the Yad or Ramban’s commentary on the Torah ( see Meshech Chachmah at the beginning of Vayikra), then your argument re Bayis Shlishi is understandable. Yet, we have a long tradition rooted in our Tefilos and the Seder of hoping for the restoration of the Beis HaMikdash and understanding that the world has changed in a metaphysical sense since the Churban to the perspective that Mi Shecharav Beis HaMikdash Ain Lo LaKadosh Baruch Hu BOlamo Ela Daled Amos Shel Halacha.

  15. Steve Brizel says:

    IH and Jon-See R D Lamm’s book of Drashos on the Moadim why a theology of suffering rooted in the Holocaust is a dead end.

  16. aiwac says:

    …as opposed to a theology based on the death of Gedalyah ben Ahikam? Or the argument that Jerusalem is desolate when it clearly isn’t (10th Teveth; 17th Tamuz)? Come on, now.

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    Aiwac, IH and Jon-A Yerushalayim where the city is a gorgeous example of a Jewish renaissance with no parallels in the world, but without the Makom HaMikdash in our working possession really is not yet rebuilt. As far as the Nusach HaTefilah is concerned, it is well known that RYBS rejected R Goren ZL’s proposed changes in Nachem for that reason. As far as Holocaust observances are concerned, far too much of the same is rooted in a theology that sends a very negative POV, including a view that the Bris Avos and Bris Sinai are no longer binding, to anyone interested in seriously exploring their Jewish identity.

  18. aiwac says:

    Steve,

    RYBS rejected ANY change in the liturgy, and in that he was no less an extreme obscurantist conservative (at least on this issue) as his uncle the Brisker (who rejected Rav Herzog’s proposals to add prayers for the Holocaust). Fortunately, he is not the only Gadol in town, and others disagree with him.

    I fail to see how slightly amending Nahem leads to the dire consequences you mention.

  19. Steve Brizel says:

    Aiwac wrote:

    “I fail to see how slightly amending Nahem leads to the dire consequences you mention”

    WADR, the slight amendment that you proposed simply concedes that we have no halachic, theological or eschatological interest, no matter how remote at the present time or beyond the comprehension of IH’s lower case MO constituency, in Bayis Shlishi. That IMO is a far cry from a simple amendment, when we are arguing about Tefilah-for which there is a major Machlokes as to whether the same is Kneged Avos Tiknam or Kneged Karbanos Tiknam.

  20. Tal Benschar says:

    his uncle the Brisker (who rejected Rav Herzog’s proposals to add prayers for the Holocaust)

    The Brisker Rov opposed creating a separate day to mourn the Holocaust. As did quite a few Charedi gedolim. I am unaware of any opposition by him to adding kinos about the Holocaust to Tisha B’Av service, assuming they do not contain objectionable hashkafos.

  21. aiwac says:

    Why? Just because we omit the point about the city being desolate (while maintaining the passage about the lack of a temple)? Don’t you think you’re exaggerating?

  22. IH says:

    Steve — The proposed emendation of Nachem was limited, as I understand it, to: “החריבה והבזויה והשוממה”.

    I am not aware of any Orthodox attempts to change liturgy in regard to the sociological point I was making about Bayit Shlishi (which is frankly much more explicit in Musaf l’Shalosh Regalim’s u’Mipnei Chata’einu).

  23. aiwac says:

    Tal,

    You’re wrong. Those same Charedi Gedolim also objected to any new kinnot on the Holocaust, even on Tisha B’Av. See here:

    http://www.bhol.co.il/forums/topic.asp?whichpage=4&topic_id=2462626&forum_id=19616

  24. Jon_Brooklyn says:

    “IH on July 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Ready, fire, aim :-)”

    You know me

  25. Jon_Brooklyn says:

    I’m unsurprised to see that Steve made the same error I made reading your post as well.

  26. Tal Benschar says:

    Aiwac, can you copy the part of that website your are talking about and post it here? I reviewed it and all I see is a discussion of the machlokes about establishing Yom ha Shoah. (That is based on a diyuk the Brisker Rov made from one of the kinnos.)

    There is someone who quotes RYBS to the effect that you need Ruach ha Kodesh to write a kinnah.

  27. aiwac says:

    Enjoy. While Edrei may have been wrong about the Lubavitcher, he’s a solid scholar, and I trust he haas good sources for the remaining Rabbis.

    לא רק “הרב” טעה כשהסתמך על הדיווח העיתונאי, כך טעה גם אריה אדרעי מי
    שהיה לימים פרופסור אריה אדרעי מהמחלקה למשפטים באוניברסיטת תל אביב, שפירסם בעבר טיוטת מאמר בשם “זכרון השואה בחברה הדתית והחילונית בישראל”, (המאמר שפורסם באינטרנט הוסר), במאמר זה הוא מתייחס ליחס החברה החרדית לזכרון וקינות על השואה, והוא כותב בעמוד 5:

    ” … דומני שהסיבה החשובה והמכריעה לכך שהשואה לא חדרה אל ספר הקינות לט’ באב, טמונה בעובדה שמספר רבנים חשובים ובולטים, הביעו התנגדות מפורשת ותקיפה לאמירת קינה לזכר השואה, מעמדם של הרבנים שהביעו התנגדות מפורשת עולה לאין ערוך על אלה שתמכו”.

    מי הם רבנים אלה?

    “… הרב מנחם מענדל שניאורסון – האדמור מלובביץ, הרב אברהם ישעיהו קרליץ – החזון איש, הרב ש”ך, הרב יצחק זאב סולובייציק – הרב מבריסק בירושלים, הרב הלברשטאם – האדמו”ר מקלויזנבורג, ואפילו הרב יוסף סולובייציק, הביעו התנגדות מפורשת. רבנים אלו הם ללא כל ספק דמויות בעלות השפעה רבה על קהלים שונים בתוך האוטודוקסיה, בישראל ובארצות הברית …”.

    בהערותיו הוא מביא מקורות להתגדותם המפורשת:

    מקורותיו להתנגדותו המפורשת של האדמו”ר מליובאוויטש הם בהערה 26:

    “ראו את מאמרו של הרב יצחק יהודה רוזן בכפר חב”ד גליון 1005, נטעי גבריאל פרק סא סעיף יד , ראו גם את מכתבו של הרב יעקב הכט מן הבולטים בתנועת חב”ד בכתבו שפורסם ע”י יהודית תידור באומל בקול בכיות עמוד 95, הלכות תשעה באב מאת הרב י. גנצבורג באתר האינטרנט של חב”ד”.

    צחוק עשה לי הפרופסור לעתיד!

    ראשית, הרב הכט היה מראשי חב”ד, כפי הידוע לי לא היו בחב”ד “ראשים”, ואף אם נאמר שכן היו, והוא אחד מהם, היכן הוא מצא בדבריו אפילו זכר ל”התנגדותו המפורשת של האדמו”ר מליובאוויטש”.

    יהודית באומל כתבה שהרב הכט כתב:

    “קינות יש לנו מספיק … מה שאנו צריכים עכשיו יהודים בריאים ושלמים בגופם ונפשם, המנהלים חייהם וחיי בני ביתם בדרך התורה ושמחים לעשות רצון קונם …”.

    אף אם השתמטות יש כאן, הרי דברים מפורשים אין כאן.

    אף שהוא צודק בדבריו , “שאנו צריכים עכשיו יהודים בריאים ושלמים בגופם ונפשם, המנהלים חייהם וחיי בני ביתם בדרך התורה ושמחים רצון קונם”, אך הוא לא ענה למה אנו צריכים קינות מליציות ופיוטיות, על קהילות שחרבו לפני אלף שנה, קינות שאיש אינו מבינם, למה לא להזכיר במלים פשוטות וקלות להבנה, את השואה וההריגות שהיו בממדים שלא נראו לפני כן,

    כך הם גם מקורותיו האחרים: הרב י. גנצבורג באתר האינטרנט של חב”ד, ו”נטעי גבריאל” פרק סא סעיף יד.

    מאימתי דבריהם הם אישור להתנגדותו “המפורשת” של האדמו”ר?

    אם התנגדותו של האדמו”ר היתה מפורשת, למה לא הביא ה”פרופסור בכח”, את דבריו המפורשים של האדמו”ר?

    ומי הוא מקורו להתנגדותו המפורשת של הרב סולובייציק?

    צדקתם!

    לא אחר מאשר מר ארזי בכתבתו בעתון אלגמיינע ז’ורנאל!

  28. Tal Benschar says:

    AIWAC, I am sure he is a good scholar, but you will have to do better than that. This is the first I have ever heard the claim that there is some problem with adding kinos re the Holocaust on Tisha B’Av, whereas I have heard and read about the machlokes re Yom ha Shoa in numerous places and sources. For example, in the biography about the Brisker Rov that recently came out, there is an extensive discussion about the latter and not a peep about the former.

    Furthermore, it has become accepted in many Charedi circles to add kinos about the Holocaust. R. Shimon Schwab composed one, as did the Bobover Rebbe. I never heard anyone protest or even raise an issue about it.

    Not saying you are wrong, but I need better proof than what I have seen thus far. And how the person claiming there is a problem deals with the fact that there are kinnos about post-Churban sufferings, such as the kinnos about the Rhineland communities destroyed in the Crusades.

  29. aiwac says:

    Tal,

    “such as the kinnos about the Rhineland communities destroyed in the Crusades.”

    If you read the discussions closely, you’ll notice that one of these kinnot is used as justification for closing the kinnot book at that point in time (the Crusades).

    “For example, in the biography about the Brisker Rov that recently came out, there is an extensive discussion about the latter and not a peep about the former.”

    Hagiography will not bring up issues that are contentious in the Charedi community and will often hide things which Charedim approve, but the “Gedolim didn’t”. Surely you are aware of this phenomenon. For instance, bios of the Chazon Ish apparently did what they could to hide or minimize his disapproval of the Mussar movement (at least according to Dr. Benjamin Brown). I suggest you check Edrei’s sources and find out for yourself.

  30. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Steve — The proposed emendation of Nachem was limited, as I understand it, to: “החריבה והבזויה והשוממה”.

    I am not aware of any Orthodox attempts to change liturgy in regard to the sociological point I was making about Bayit Shlishi (which is frankly much more explicit in Musaf l’Shalosh Regalim’s u’Mipnei Chata’einu).”

    IIRC, CJ’s version of Musaf for Shabbos made far more radical changes. However, I think that any such changes essentially negate the eschatological hope expressed in so many parts of our Tefilos that we hope for a Bayis Shlishiri-regardless of whether one uses the terminology of Ad Bias Goel Tzeek ( the well known Charedi lingo), Geulah Shlemah or Reishis Tzmichas Geulasenu. As long as we merely have political sovereignty and the Aveilus associated with Yom HaShoah properly belongs witth Tisha B”Av-the day reserved for asking HaShhem why and reflecting on Hester Panim in history, the arguments for amending Nachem or any other similar passages IMO strike me as profoundly not halachic in naure.

  31. Steve Brizel says:

    FWIW, I know of no shuls in my neighborhood that do not recite Kinos for the Shoah.

  32. Jon_Brooklyn says:

    So if I get this right, Steve: if we had a passage in the liturgy that said, in it “it’s terrible that Jerusalem is destroyed, wiped out, etc. even if we had the Beit HaMikdash and could do the avoda, looking at the city the way it’s been desolated and ruined and emptied of inhabitants and buildings and civic institutions is horrible, painful, etc.” you would say we shouldn’t get rid of that passage?

  33. Glatt some questions says:

    Re weddings on Shivah Asar BeTammuz. … with Rav Moshe arguing that the fast day started when the fast started and not the evening before.
    ———————————
    Would he hold the same way even if Shivah Asar b’Tammuz fell on Saturday and the fast was on Sunday?

    Just curious…

  34. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Rabbi Soloveitchik did tot oppose on principle the composing of new kinnot and he never nto said that one requires ruah ha-kodesh to composae such akinnah. He did say, as recorded in the volume Th Lord is Righteous in All His Ways, that no none nowdays, in his view, posseses the depth and sweep of feeling and passion to compose pseo such kinah. One may diaagree with the Rav’s judgement on this point, and most Orthodox synagogues do recite Kinnot espacially written for the Shoah on Tisha be-Av.

  35. Hirhurim says:

    It might be worth re-reading the introduction to the Kinot Mesorat HaRav.

  36. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    I see that some people have picked up the mantle.
    I will only add that my comments were not just about political sovereignty alone. people need to look around and pay attention to what they see. The land of israel is settled, it is re-built. there has been a return of the exiles – except for those who CHOOSE not to return. The situation is – in many ways – probably better than it was during most of the 2nd temple era.

    last year in the summer, Makor Rishon (Shabbat Section) had a huge spread with many articles and POV on the topic of the fasts. I don’t know if it up on line – but if you can get it, read it

  37. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    “the arguments for amending Nachem or any other similar passages IMO strike me as profoundly not halachic in naure.”

    Steve – I think that halachically it is forbidden to lie in once’s prayers. Saying that the city of jerusalem lies desolate and abandoned, when today there are more Jews living in a built up Jerusalem than at any other point in Jewish history is simply a lie – a misrepresentation.
    It is also a misrepresentation to beseech God to return us to the land, when today you can simply get up and go – with the passage and transport paid for by the Jewish people. it is onaat devarim

  38. Shlomo says:

    It is also a misrepresentation to beseech God to return us to the land, when today you can simply get up and go

    Of course, that was also more or less true in Ezra’s time, and for who knows how long afterwards, yet the prayers were established the way they were…

    I suspect this reduces to the rationalist/miraculous redemption machloket.
    Whatever my personal inclinations, I think Jewish tradition as a whole has mostly inclined to the miraculous approach. To take one example, we all talk about the melech hamashiach “coming”, but from where would he come? Presumably he is (or will be) already a Jew living among us who will someday put on a crown and be called king. It seems that the rationalist approach cannot account for the mashiach “coming”. And if there are miracles to come, than what we have already accomplished by returning to the land is not the whole story, and likely not even the most important part of the story. Thus our unchanged prayers are justified.

    In any case, even if the whole messianic process depends our choosing to return, it’s no less justified to pray for that than to say things like וכוף את יצרנו להשתעבד לך.

  39. IH says:

    On Nachem, Gil phrased it well at the end of his 2007 post, Nachem Nowadays II (link above): “I can understand and respect — even if I disagree with them — those who feel uncomfortable reciting in a prayer that the city of Jerusalem is destroyed when based on what they see, it has been rebuilt.”

    On the broader issue: the more I think about it, the more I am becoming convinced that Dr. Brown’s PR for her 3 weeks book misses the mark: the priority is surely to make Tisha b’Av meaningful to more Jews, and from that “shavua sh’chal bo” and then the 9 days. Concentrating on the 3 weeks first, is only potentially meaningful to people who already observe them (even if nominally).

  40. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “Rabbi Soloveitchik did tot oppose on principle the composing of new kinnot and he never nto said that one requires ruah ha-kodesh to composae such akinnah.”

    Lawrence, I’ve heard R. JJ Schacter speak many times about the Rav’s position, and my recollection is that the Rav was against new kinot for the Shoah not only because no one today can properly write them but also based, in part, on the kinah mi yiten roshi mayim which says (loose translation) that we cannot add another day of mourning. Rather, his (the Rav’s) position was that the kinot we have are sufficient to cover ALL tragedies that befell the Jews, including the shoah. As Steve has pointed out, the MO community has not accepted the Rav’s position on this issue.

  41. joel rich says:

    R’JK,
    The interesting question is why was his position not accepted? I suspect the answer is very sociologically based.
    KT

  42. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    “Of course, that was also more or less true in Ezra’s time, and for who knows how long afterwards, yet the prayers were established the way they were…”

    You can’t even compare the two. Travel then was still very difficult – very often it meant dying along the way. it was a still a decision that had life or death – mamash – ramifications.
    Today, you can get a free plane ticket courtsey of the Jewish people, financial subsidies, free health care for the first few months and whole slew of other goodies. within less than a day you will be in a flat in Israel with running water, indoor plumbing and toilets, eletric hookups, easy access to a phone and internet connection, most likely a fridge, oven, washing machine, and a comfortable mattress.
    No I’m sorry – the prayers established by the Anshei Knesset HaGedolah made sense then and for 2,350 or so years afterwards, but today people must really be fooling themselves if they think they are only referring to some metaphysical type of messiah who still hasn’t yet come.
    Personally, when I say these passage I have in mind that some have already come true, but that we are too weak to have changed the text and that they should come true for our bretheren who rachmana litzlan have chosen not to join the Jewish people in their land.

  43. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Joseph: I waa quoting from what the Rav was cited as saying in The Lord is Righteous in All His Ways, edited by Rabbi Schacter. It could be that the Rav combined the two reasons, that is, since no one is qualified nowadays to write a kinnah, Mi Yitten, perforce, covers all tragedies. Or perhaps in different years the Rav enphasized different points.

    Personally, I think both these reasons are just post-facto rationalizations for the Rav’s discomfort with any liturgical change. The MO comminity has sensed this, and righfully, in my view, rejected the Rav’s position, which in any event he presented as his personal view, and not a matter of law or normative practice.

  44. Nachum says:

    Certainly the MO community did not adopt the Rav’s point of view of Zionist prayers (Tefila L’Medina, Hallel, etc.) either. And this is quite evident even in the institution he headed for 45 years.

    “Of course, that was also more or less true in Ezra’s time, and for who knows how long afterwards, yet the prayers were established the way they were…”

    The prayers were not written at the time of Ezra. They were written after the second churban, some well after. Tefillot written before the churban were adapted. All signs point to the fasts simply not being observed during the second bayit era.

  45. emma says:

    ““We live in the United States, we haven’t served in the army, we don’t pay taxes [in Israel], so it would be inappropriate for us to publicly, in some fashion, criticize Israel on what they do to protect themselves,” said Simcha Katz.”

    Did the OU take a position against those who criticized the withdrawal from Gaza?

    If they want to say “we support the antiboycott law,” fine, but this transparent attempt at a “neutral” reason for criticizing the anti-antiboycott folk is embarassing, in my view.

  46. Nachum says:

    One thing that always strikes me about these Jewish homosexual stories is that the partner is always, or almost always, not Jewish. It’s presented with no shame at all. (Of course, there’s no shame apparent at being an open homosexual either.) Granted, their pool is smaller. But who cares? If it’s marriage, chas v’shalom, it’s intermarriage.

  47. Nachum says:

    Actually, the OU infamously made no comment on the Gaza retreat.

    By the way, the OU has actual member synagogues in Israel.

  48. Charlie Hall says:

    “If they want to say “we support the antiboycott law,” fine, but this transparent attempt at a “neutral” reason for criticizing the anti-antiboycott folk is embarassing, in my view.”

    Good point.

    If one cannot criticize one cannot commend, either. Should I stop defending the stopping of the flotilla on dailykos?

  49. Charlie Hall says:

    “I know of no shuls in my neighborhood that do not recite Kinos for the Shoah.”

    Nor in mine. A better question might be why we don’t recite Kinot for, say, the expulsions from Western Europe (the edict of expulsion from England was actually issued on Tisha B’Av), or the Chmielnicki pogroms.

  50. Anonymous says:

    > If it’s marriage, chas v’shalom, it’s intermarriage.

    I’m reminded of the moshol about the girl who had to eat chazir or she would die, but she requested that she could only bring herself to do it if a shochet slaughters and is bodek it. This was agreed, and amazingly the shochet discovered a she’ela. He brought it to the rav, who looked at it and said that for this and this reason there’s no problem – but how can he say “kasher?”

    The Netziv said this about Daniel Chwolson, an apostate who was very very good for the Jews.

    It’s intermarriage? Give me a break.

  51. Charlie Hall says:

    ” those who CHOOSE not to return”

    I’m in Paris right now where I have enjoyed the hospitality of a spectacularly friendly Jewish community. One family who hosted me for a Shabat meal has direct ancestors who were buried in Jewish cemeteries in France in the 12th century! After the expulsions they went to Spain and then to Morocco and finally returned to France in the 1950s. They are adamant about not leaving again prior to the coming of the Messiah.

  52. Tal Benschar says:

    “If it’s marriage, chas v’shalom, it’s intermarriage”

    Nu, what’s one aveirah more or less. (As one Reform “rabbi” one said, we don’t follow anything else in Leviticus, why should we follow this one?)

  53. joel rich says:

    They are adamant about not leaving again prior to the coming of the Messiah.
    ======================
    For years I’ve thought of “The Bridge over the River Kwai” when I’ve heard this type of statement.
    KT

  54. Hirhurim says:

    Nachum: Actually, the OU infamously made no comment on the Gaza retreat.

    No, the OU famously made no comment on the Gaza retreat.

  55. Hirhurim says:

    emma: Did the OU take a position against those who criticized the withdrawal from Gaza?
    If they want to say “we support the antiboycott law,” fine, but this transparent attempt at a “neutral” reason for criticizing the anti-antiboycott folk is embarassing, in my view.

    Did you read the interview??? He specifically repeated that he is stating his personal view and NOT the OU’s view. He also did not support the anti-boycott law but said that he does not believe Americans should have a say in the matter. I respect and agree with that position.

    Charlie: If one cannot criticize one cannot commend, either. Should I stop defending the stopping of the flotilla on dailykos?

    He presumably meant in terms of trying to influence Israeli policy. I suspect your comments on dailykos are not as influenital as those on this blog.

  56. J. says:

    Nachum – the OU provides services to frum Jews across the world – its hechsher is used across the spectrum (even the most
    ‘heimish’ hashgachos rely on it for ingredients). Is there any purpose served in having the OU identify with a specific political agenda, other than to make those who identify with it feel better about themselves? Let the OU stick with what it’s good at, and leave the politics to others. You may not regard, say, Rav Lichtenstein’s ambivalence towards the disengagement as a legitimate position, but there are those who do – does it not make more sense that the organisation which provides these people with many Jewish services not go out of its way to delegitimize them, by taking a public stand on an issue that has very little to do with its mission?

  57. moshe shoshan says:

    Was the title of R. Shafran’s article meant as a reference to Pink Floyd?

  58. emma says:

    “Did you read the interview??? He specifically repeated that he is stating his personal view and NOT the OU’s view. He also did not support the anti-boycott law but said that he does not believe Americans should have a say in the matter. I respect and agree with that position”

    it was not obvious to me which of the comments were “on a personal level.” He said the OU has not taken a position on the law. It was not clear whether his opinion on the other organizations that did take ap osition against the law was OU or personal, though reading again I will refrain from attributing it to the OU absent more clarity. he did “personally” support (ok, “fully agree with”) the law, though.
    My point is that “I like X israeli policy, but those who don’t shouldn’t say so because they shouldn’t take positions on israeli matters without being israeli” is a troublesome position to maintain, in my view…

  59. IH says:

    My reading is that this statement was made in his OU role:

    “We live in the United States, we haven’t served in the army, we don’t pay taxes [in Israel], so it would be inappropriate for us to publicly, in some fashion, criticize Israel on what they do to protect themselves,” said Simcha Katz.

    Whereas, only these were identified as speaking for himself: “On a personal level,” Katz noted, “I fully agree with the anti-boycott legislation. and “On a personal level, I’m fully in support of that particular law.”

    But, his very next words are “Generally we support the Israeli government per se. The OU hasn’t taken a position, and generally we are supportive of what the Israeli government in power does,” he reiterated.

    I have two words of advice: “media training” :-)

  60. Hirhurim says:

    IH: I’ve already written tonight’s post so you can’t take credit for inspiring it. But this is a perfect example.

  61. Hirhurim says:

    emma: Really? You think that presidents of organizations give off-the-cuff interviews and explicitly state that they are speaking personally and not for the organization, but occasionally sneak in official organizational policies that have never been otherwise publicized? For crying out loud, if the OU wants to say something it will say it. http://www.ou.org/news

    My point is that “I like X israeli policy, but those who don’t shouldn’t say so because they shouldn’t take positions on israeli matters without being israeli” is a troublesome position to maintain, in my view…

    You can read his view in that uncharitable light or read it as if he is a smart person saying something intelligent, and presumably referring to those who try to influence Israeli policy.

  62. emma says:

    Rather, I think that when presidents of organizations want to be clear that they are speaking personally, they say so. As presented in that article, he only clarified that one statemnt was specifically “personal.” The others were unqualified, and at least some refered to “we,” which suggests the organization and not just him. So while they are obviously not official OU press releases, he also did not distance the organization from them. Hence the ambiguity. Perhaps the ambiguity is the fault of the reporter, I don’t know, but it is there.

    I don’t see how “american jewish organizations should not try to influence israeli politics” is more defensible than my characterization as long as it is a criticism adopted against attempted influence from only one side.

  63. Hirhurim says:

    emma: As presented in that article, he only clarified that one statemnt was specifically “personal.”

    The article was not something Dr. Katz wrote but an interviewer’s recreation of an informal conversation. You have no moral right to make such inferences and then condemn any person or organization. At the very least, you are morally obligated to send him an e-mail or otherwise inquire as to his or his organization’s view before opining on it. Have you no sense of decency?

    I don’t see how “american jewish organizations should not try to influence israeli politics” is more defensible than my characterization as long as it is a criticism adopted against attempted influence from only one side.

    Because it is NOT from only one side. Why would you make such an unkind assumption? It is a consistent, principled position.

    I repeat, my post for tonight was written before these unsavory comments were written today. It’s just hashgachah peratis.

  64. IH says:

    Frankly, why would JPost report this if Dr. Katz were not the President of the OU? The reporter knows it, the reader knows it and surely Dr. Katz knows it.

    The leader of any organization represents that organization, particularly in media interviews. It should only be in exceptional situations where the President of an organization needs to qualify a public policy position as personal, and not representative of the organization he heads.

    My charitable reading is that Dr. Katz has not received media trained (and he should).

  65. Hirhurim says:

    IH: Frankly, why would JPost report this if Dr. Katz were not the President of the OU?

    And therefore when he says he is giving his personal opinion you can infer that he is lying?

    His actual point is extraordinarily clear to anyone who is NOT looking to poke holes and find reasons to criticize. And those who wish to, will do so no matter what so why should he care.

  66. IH says:

    And that point is?

  67. IH says:

    “you can infer that he is lying?”

    Whoa. I said nothing of the kind.

  68. Hirhurim says:

    That he personally supports the law but the OU has no position on it. And that Americans should not be publicly criticizing Israel.

  69. Hirhurim says:

    IH: Whoa. I said nothing of the kind.

    Then what did you mean when you wrote: “Frankly, why would JPost report this if Dr. Katz were not the President of the OU? The reporter knows it, the reader knows it and surely Dr. Katz knows it.”

  70. IH says:

    I said what I meant. He needs media training. Reporters are looking for an angle, and he delivered one.

  71. emma says:

    We disagree as to whether he said he was giving his personal opinion. As reported, the statement “it would be inappropriate for us to publicly, in some fashion, criticize Israel on what they do to protect themselves” was NOT qualified as a personal opinion. The statement that he personally supports the law was so qualified, and I did not attribute it to the OU (and if I did, or you think I did, I didn’t mean to). The statement that “generally we are supportive of what the Israeli government in power does” must refer to the OU as an organization. So the article has both personal and organizational statements as well as at least one that is ambiguous. I said it was ambiguous – and noted that that might be due to bad reporting – and that makes me lacking in decency?

  72. Tal Benschar says:

    Just to change the boycott discussion a bit, the United States has had an anti-boycott law (outlawing participation in anti-Israel boycotts) for years, and it has been supported by most of the Jewish community. If the new Israeli law is so fundamentally anti-democratic, then why is the U.S. law ok?

    (And, yes, I know support for Israel in general is non-controversial in the Jewish community, while settlement in the territories is controversial. But so what? Israel itself is controversial. If you are Ahmed the Palestinian whose family was forced to move to America, why would you not want to sponsor and promote an anti-Israel boycott? Why is the one OK but not the other?)

  73. emma says:

    also, while i see how i may have overstated my position (refering sloppily to “the OU” when it was not clear whether Dr. Katz was speaking on his own or his organization’s behalf), i would appreciate if you apply the same “moral” obligations to me and infer some degree of good intention. I certainly don’t think I “condemned” anyone. I just said that I don’t like the particular tactic he seems to be deploying – in which he is joined by many many others – of criticizing people with whom one disagrees substantively not on the substance but for the very act of criticizing. Even if it is sometimes a principled position, it just doesn’t smell right to me because it is so often just a convenient, inconsistently applied rhetorical tool. Because of that my personal view is that it would behoove public figures, even those who hold it on principle, to deploy it much less frequently, if ever.

  74. Joseph Kaplan says:

    I think Dr. Katz (who is a very smart guy and who has been dealing with media for a long time) was quite clear:

    1. American Jewish organizations and individuals should not publicly criticize the Israeli government on what it does to protect Israel and Israelis.

    2. Generally the OU supports the Israeli government.

    3. Personally, he agrees with the anti-boycott law.

    The only thing that takes a bit of ananlysis is what does the OU do, and think other American organizations should do, if they disagree with an Israeli policy dealing with protecting Israel aqnd Israelis (e.g., since it was brought up already, the withdrawal fromGaza). And a fair reading of what he said (i.e., combining points 1 and 2) is that in such cases it is silent, which, as Gil pointed out politely (and Nachum less so), the OU was re Gaza.

  75. IH says:

    Joseph — the only newsworthy aspect is your (3). My charitable reading was that he was an innocent; but, if he is media trained in his role as President of the OU, then I would have a less charitable view (of the OU as a whole).

  76. Joseph Kaplan says:

    IH: I think 1 is also newsworthy. American Jewish organizations are falling over themselves to criticize this law and his organization — a major American Jewish organization — thinks that, as a matter of policy notwithstanding the particular issue, such criticism is wrong. Whether one agrees or does not agree (and I happen to agree), it seems newsworthy to me.

  77. emma says:

    IH, If it was truly in the context of “slamming” other, named organizations, then (1) is newsworthy too, I think. In fact, that is presented, per the headline, as the major news story. (Of course, the reader must rely on the reporter for that bit f context since ther are no direct quotes on the point – so perhaps it is better to judge the reporter unfavorably so that one can judge Dr. Katz more favorably.)

  78. IH says:

    I will only say that (1) is the standard AIPAC position that has been held by establishment Jewish organizations for decades. I accept that there are more organizations bucking that and getting into the news for it. But, the OU advocating the party line is no more newsworthy than AIPAC doing so. Bears like honey.

    My main issue remains that the President of an organization always represents that organization when speaking to the media. The volunteering of personal opinions is inappropriate in almost all cases.

  79. Shlomo says:

    One thing that always strikes me about these Jewish homosexual stories is that the partner is always, or almost always, not Jewish.

    What’s your sample size? The US is 98% non-Jewish.

  80. IH says:

    For full disclosure, I am neutral about the newly passed law. I have every confidence that to the extent it violates Israel’s Basic Law, Bagatz will deal with it as needed.

  81. Hirhurim says:

    emma: You are nitpicking and it is unbecoming. “Us” can easily (and certainly) refer to Americans. He said is he speaking personally and that the OU does not have a position yet you insist on misreading it and then essentially called him a hyopcrite.

  82. Hirhurim says:

    IH: It’s news because most people have no idea what AIPAC does or what its policy is.

  83. IH says:

    Gil — Let’s be serious. Everybody in the US and Israel knows that is the Jewish establishment position, including the anti-Semites and/or anti-Zionists. That is what made the J-Street story a story (i.e. that they were bucking that policy)!!!

  84. Tal Benschar says:

    I have every confidence that to the extent it violates Israel’s Basic Law, Bagatz will deal with it as needed.

    Quaere: If the Israeli Supreme Court strikes down the boycott law as restrictive on free speech (or some other human right), then what will supporters of Israel do when the U.S. boycott law is challenged in the U.S. on similar grounds? I hope the opponents realize they are playing with fire.

  85. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    IH: “He needs media training. ” then he should have had a press gaffer present.

    J: “Let the OU stick with what it’s good at, and leave the politics to others.” but it went out of its way to criticise “settlement” building (in the rabin menorial issue, presented at the time as a “settlement criticism event”), when the overwhelming majority of its grass roots members opposed it.

    “(even the most ‘heimish’ hashgachos rely on it for ingredients)” and for kashrut training.

    gil: “The article was not something Dr. Katz wrote but an interviewer’s recreation of an informal conversation. ” then he should have had a press flack present at the interview. the headline of the article is “ou”, as is your title. not dr katz.

    the us law, by the way, is a disclosure law. not prohibiting boycotts. one may boycott; as long as the boycott request (whether or not complied with) is disclosed. and disclosures are not (always) public info.

  86. Hirhurim says:

    IH: They absolutely do not. You are a victim of your own knowledge. J Street is a story because they are ultra-left wingers when it comes to Israel.

  87. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    speaking about boycotts (from “reconceived”):

    “One of Efrat’s most virulent critics, Rosenblum advocates for civil marriage and women’s rights in Israel. According to her, Efrat is invading women’s privacy and cajoling them into a decision. In 2004, a member of the Knesset attempted to outlaw Efrat’s existence, calling its work equal to harassment. “”

  88. Tal Benschar says:

    the us law, by the way, is a disclosure law. not prohibiting boycotts. one may boycott; as long as the boycott request (whether or not complied with) is disclosed. and disclosures are not (always) public info.

    Not accurate. See this webwsite by the Dept. of Commerce. There are penalties for participating in a boycott, as well as reporting requirements.

    http://www.bis.doc.gov/complianceandenforcement/antiboycottcompliance.htm

    http://www.bis.doc.gov/complianceandenforcement/antiboycottcompliance.htm

  89. IH says:

    From the (in)famous 2009 NY Times Magazine article:

    “In a conversation a month before the White House session, Ben-Ami explained to me: “We’re trying to redefine what it means to be pro-Israel. You don’t have to be noncritical. You don’t have to adopt the party line. It’s not, ‘Israel, right or wrong.’ ” ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/magazine/13JStreet-t.html

  90. emma says:

    “You are nitpicking and it is unbecoming. “Us” can easily (and certainly) refer to Americans.”

    The full sentence is “The OU hasn’t taken a position, and generally we are supportive of what the Israeli government in power does.” I think it supports my reading and not yours, but whatever, I agree that this level of detail-orientation is a waste of time. I reiterated my position so many times only because you called me indecent, etc.

    I will leave this by saying that I do not mean to cast aspersion on Dr. Katz personally, and am sorry if I have. The end.

  91. Steve Brizel says:

    I read the interview with Dr. Katz. IMO, one has to engage in irrational pilpulim or the logical equivalent to assert that he was asserting anything other than his personal view. Playing word games with the quoted language does not change that fact or illustrate that Dr Katz is not savvy to the ways of the media.

    IH-WADR, your comments re AIPAC and J Street illustrate once again how you are willing to give an organization whose founders have minced no words about their willingness to sacrifice the existence of the State of Israel on the false altar of an irredentist Hamas dominated Palestinian state.

  92. IH says:

    Steve — do I need to disclaimer everything? FTR, I do not support J Street. Ok?

  93. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal b:

    from your cited website :

    What do the Laws Prohibit?

    Conduct that may be penalized under the TRA and/or prohibited under the EAR includes:

    The TRA does not “prohibit” conduct, but denies tax benefits (“penalizes”) for certain types of boycott-related agreements.”

    —-

    as i said, the us boycott law does not prohibit participating in a boycott (save tax beni’s, which wouldnt apply in most cases, since such income is tax sheltered overseas in most cases, for tax reasons.)

  94. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal b:

    the boycott withstood legal challenge years ago, but i doubt it would withstand a new challenge. (unless they add it to patriot or other anti terrorism law. and even then.)

    it can also be interpreted to apply to, say, private anti mexico boycott (for drug smuggling, for example) or european union (for financing anti israel govt ngo’s, etc.)

  95. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-see your posts re AIPAC and J_Street. Your claim re AIPAC is straight out of the J-Street playbook that AIPAC’s true views are unknown and anathema to most American Jews.

  96. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-you are probably correct re the Bagatz-especially given its reputation as the bastion of the secular Ashkenazi left’s interests in Israel.

  97. aiwac says:

    I don’t agree with a lot of what he says, but I do agree with R. Shafran about lowering (or abolishing) “the wall”.

  98. Tal Benschar says:

    MMHY

    Looks at the website again. There are two laws at issue:

    During the mid-1970′s the United States adopted two laws that seek to counteract the participation of U.S. citizens in other nation’s economic boycotts or embargoes. These “antiboycott” laws are the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (EAA) and the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA).

    The TRA is a tax law, so therefore it operates by denying tax benefits. The EAA, OTOH, regulates exports. The administrative regulations which the Commmerce DEpt. adopted to enforce that law are here:

    http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=59ee1d5eeb8f1d444ba88927fa1eaaff&rgn=div5&view=text&node=15:2.1.3.4.38&idno=15

    Section 760.2 specifically prohibits boycotts:

    (a) Refusals to do business .

    Prohibition Against Refusals To Do Business

    (1) No United States person may: refuse, knowingly agree to refuse, require any other person to refuse, or knowingly agree to require any other person to refuse, to do business with or in a boycotted country, with any business concern organized under the laws of a boycotted country, with any national or resident of a boycotted country, or with any other person, when such refusal is pursuant to an agreement with the boycotting country, or a requirement of the boycotting country, or a request from or on behalf of the boycotting country.

    (2) Generally, a refusal to do business under this section consists of action that excludes a person or country from a transaction for boycott reasons. This includes a situation in which a United States person chooses or selects one person over another on a boycott basis or takes action to carry out another person’s boycott-based selection when he knows or has reason to know that the other person’s selection is boycott-based.

    (3) Refusals to do business which are prohibited by this section include not only specific refusals, but also refusals implied by a course or pattern of conduct. There need not be a specific offer and refusal to constitute a refusal to do business; a refusal may occur when a United States person has a financial or commercial opportunity and declines for boycott reasons to consider or accept it.

    The regulations regarding enforcement and penalties are as follows:

    http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr;sid=63596b6177272238479ffe7f7c1f59b0;rgn=div5;view=text;node=15%3A2.1.3.4.40;idno=15;cc=ecfr#15:2.1.3.4.40.0.1.3

    Basically, they can assess civil fines and also deny export licenses.

    So, the US law does prohibit participating in an anti-Israeli boycotts, and someone who does (especially corporations who want to engage in commerce) can suffer because of it.

  99. Charlie Hall says:

    ” a fair reading of what he said (i.e., combining points 1 and 2) is that in such cases it is silent”

    If that is the case, silence only means disapproval.

    ” then what will supporters of Israel do when the U.S. boycott law is challenged in the U.S. on similar grounds?”

    The difference is that the US law is about US foreign policy. To quote from http://www.bis.doc.gov/complianceandenforcement/antiboycottcompliance.htm,

    “The antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage, and in specified cases, require U.S. firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction. They have the effect of preventing U.S. firms from being used to implement foreign policies of other nations which run counter to U.S. policy….The Arab League boycott of Israel is the principal foreign economic boycott that U.S. companies must be concerned with today. The antiboycott laws, however, apply to all boycotts imposed by foreign countries that are unsanctioned by the United States.”

    FWIW, US courts have not objected to some anti-boycott laws. Secondary boycotts for labor disputes are illegal in most industries (agriculture and transportation are notable exceptions).

  100. Tal Benschar says:

    “then what will supporters of Israel do when the U.S. boycott law is challenged in the U.S. on similar grounds?”

    The difference is that the US law is about US foreign policy.

    What does that mean? The Israeli law is about Israeli policy. The question is whether one can challenge those policies by implementing a boycott. If you say that one is a matter of free expression, then I don’t see how the other is legitimate.

  101. aiwac says:

    Tal

    As an aside, why do you write your name as Benschar and not ben-Shachar?

  102. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “” a fair reading of what he said (i.e., combining points 1 and 2) is that in such cases it is silent”

    If that is the case, silence only means disapproval.”

    No; the OU doesn’t have to comment on every policy decision. But it will only make a comment if it is a supporting comment. That’s how I understand the policy and, quite frankly, it makes sense to me.

  103. Shlomo says:

    For full disclosure, I am neutral about the newly passed law. I have every confidence that to the extent it violates Israel’s Basic Law, Bagatz will deal with it as needed.

    You speak as if the Basic Law (the relevant one here) is some sort of higher moral principle, rather than a set of vague platitudes that only 32 out of 120 MKs ever voted for which Bagatz quotes as they feel necessary in order to achieve the bottom lines that they want.

  104. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    so can i bring charges against the eurpoean community for banning israeli produce (from yesha)? or a local british town council for banning israeli academics, medicine? or for transferring funds (via ny banks) to hamas / anti israel ngo’s, nif, ford foundation?

    i’m sure there are exemptions (banking is a service, not a boycottable product; produce did not go through the usa) in all the above (assuming a find a “us person” who was involved).

    so now i am just constructing another form of anti boycott law.

  105. IH says:

    Shlomo — please stop putting words in my mouth (“you speak … higher moral principle”).

  106. IH says:

    And for those who need a refresher on Israel’s Basic Law, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Laws_of_Israel

    And most ironically given Shlomo’s rant: “Several arguments were proposed against the adoption of a formal constitution. The Religious Jews at the time opposed the idea of their nation having a document which the government would regard as nominally “higher” in authority than religious texts such as the Tanakh, Talmud, and Shulkhan Arukh.”

  107. Tal Benschar says:

    so can i bring charges against the eurpoean community for banning israeli produce (from yesha)? or a local british town council for banning israeli academics, medicine? or for transferring funds (via ny banks) to hamas / anti israel ngo’s, nif, ford foundation?

    MMHY: Are you a lawyer? Because your question is really silly. U.S. law regulates U.S. citizens and corporations. It does not bind persons (let alone govt. entities) outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. If a European or British company wants to boycott Israel, U.S. law can hardly regulate that.

    As for funding Hamas through American banks, that no doubt violates other laws. You probably lack standing to enforce them, but the Justice Dept. would probably do something about it.

    Now is anyone interested in giving an answer to my question? For all the Jewish groups who have come out so strongly against the latest Israeli anti-boycott law, can you explain why that is so “anti-democratic” while the U.S. law is not? Or is it just that you agree with the policy of one and not the other.

    (Maybe this blog has a too right wing audience to address the question.)

  108. mycroft says:

    Re Boycott
    http://www.irs.gov/irm/part4/irm_04-061-006.html

    will have everything that one cares to know about Boycott and tax law.

    “Because your question is really silly. U.S. law regulates U.S. citizens and corporations. It does not bind persons (let alone govt. entities) outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. If a European or British company wants to boycott Israel, U.S. law can hardly regulate that. ”

    Somewhat simplistic US treats its law as applying to anything that may impact on US-thus foreign corporations and citizens may have to for example in a tax situation file form s 1040NR or 1120F. The US shareholder of a foreign corporation might have report on the activities of the foreign corporation. A sale between two two related foreign corporations one of who is doing business in the US would cause US jurisdiction on the transfer. However, it is certainly fair to say that the limitations of International Shoe and its progeny probably would apply to foreign corporations.

  109. Steve Brizel says:

    FWIW, the articles on R Yaakov Weinberg ZL were superb-well beyond the usual “Tzadik from his childhood” articles that one sees in the Charedi press.

  110. mycroft says:

    “mycroft on July 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm
    Re Boycott
    http://www.irs.gov/irm/part4/irm_04-061-006.html

    will have everything that one cares to know about Boycott and tax law”

    What would I do wo google?

  111. mycroft says:

    “Steve Brizel on July 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm
    FWIW, the articles on R Yaakov Weinberg ZL were superb-well beyond the usual “Tzadik from his childhood” articles that one sees in the Charedi press.”

    Agreed-BTW R Yaakov Weinberg protested vehemently when the Agudah did its insulting “obituary” of the Rav. I believe unlike the vast majority of people from the Agudah camp he participated in some memorials for the Rav.
    One of the many examples of how pretentious the name Moetzet gdolei Hatorah is that for many years Rav yaakov Weinberg was not on the Moetzet when people who were far from great talmeidei chachamim were on it.
    He is missed by klall yisrael.

  112. mycroft says:

    “Steve – I think that halachically it is forbidden to lie in once’s prayers.”

    If I recall correctly it was the theme of one of Rabbi Frands shiurim -when he discussed that being truthful to God overrides not changing the words that Chazal decreed.

  113. mycroft says:

    “as i said, the us boycott law does not prohibit participating in a boycott (save tax beni’s, which wouldnt apply in most cases, since such income is tax sheltered overseas in most cases, for tax reasons.)”
    True for tax law but there is also US Commerce enforced law whic has penalties for complying with a boycott.

  114. Nachum says:

    Was I too sensitive in noting that in his hesped for the Rav, R’ Weinberg pulled off the neat trick of never mentioning his name once? I’d honestly like to know.

    Charlie, that thing you wrote about that French family has got to be one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. They’ve actually been *thrown out* numerous times, and they can say that??

  115. MDJ says:

    Gil,
    I’m coming to this a bit late (after Emma has formally closed the conversation), but your responses above to her bordered on the inappropriate, especially when directed at someone who has shown herself to be a thoughtful and noncontentious commentator here. I’m not sure why you have such a stake in this discussion, but it was clear from the outside that if anyone was not approaching the topic with an open and calm mind it was you.

  116. Charlie Hall says:

    ‘For all the Jewish groups who have come out so strongly against the latest Israeli anti-boycott law, can you explain why that is so “anti-democratic” while the U.S. law is not?’

    I thought I had explained that. The US law is directed towards individuals and corporations that act against US foreign policy. The Israeli law is directed towards individuals and corporations that act against Israeli domestic policy. Imagine if the US had a law that prohibited a boycott of supporters of Obamacare. That is the kind of thing we are talking about here.

  117. Charlie Hall says:

    “Charlie, that thing you wrote about that French family has got to be one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. They’ve actually been *thrown out* numerous times, and they can say that??”

    This visit to Paris — my first time ever in France — has shattered numerous preconceived notions I had about the country.

    I’m about to hear President Sarkozy speak to the my professional conference. Only once ever have I ever heard a political leader speak before a professional conference, and that case should get an asterisk because it was Sen. Moynihan who was an academic before he was a politician.

  118. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    ” Charlie Hall on July 20, 2011 at 3:29 am
    ‘For all the Jewish groups who have come out so strongly against the latest Israeli anti-boycott law, can you explain why that is so “anti-democratic” while the U.S. law is not?’

    I thought I had explained that. The US law is directed towards individuals and corporations that act against US foreign policy. The Israeli law is directed towards individuals and corporations that act against Israeli domestic policy. Imagine if the US had a law that prohibited a boycott of supporters of Obamacare. That is the kind of thing we are talking about here. ”

    Charlie – actually I would think that the reverse would apply. A democracy has a right to defend itself from those who would undermine it from within.
    BTW, the provisions in Israels Penal Code which allow for extraterritorial jurisdiction for certain crimes against the State, its citizens and/or Jews (even non-Israeli Jews lo aleynu) are much more “anti-democtratic” than the boycott provision of this law which simply says that 1) the victim of the boycott can sue under Israel’s Tort Ordinance and 2) that the boycotter will not be eligible for all sorts of government goodies. it’s pretty tame if you ask me

  119. mycroft says:

    “MDJ on July 20, 2011 at 12:57 am
    Gil,
    “I’m coming to this a bit late (after Emma has formally closed the conversation), but your responses above to her bordered on the inappropriate, especially when directed at someone who has shown herself to be a thoughtful and noncontentious commentator here. I’m not sure why you have such a stake in this discussion, but it was clear from the outside that if anyone was not approaching the topic with an open and calm mind it was you”

    I just reread the relevant thread and tend to agree with the ideas behind MDJs post.

  120. mycroft says:

    “Charlie – actually I would think that the reverse would apply. A democracy has a right to defend itself from those who would undermine it from within.
    BTW, the provisions in Israels Penal Code which allow for extraterritorial jurisdiction for certain crimes against the State, its citizens and/or Jews (even non-Israeli Jews lo aleynu) are much more “anti-democtratic” than the boycott provision of this law which simply says that 1) the victim of the boycott can sue under Israel’s Tort Ordinance and 2) that the boycotter will not be eligible for all sorts of government goodies. it’s pretty tame if you ask me”

    Agreed

  121. Nachum says:

    Charlie, I’m sure that France- particularly if one limits interactions to academics, Jews, and those on one’s own social level, and doesn’t wander too far into the suburbs- can be lovely. But that doesn’t change the fact that a family that has suffered through numerous expulsions can feel at home so much as to say they’d never leave. (Judging from the amount of French spoken on the streets of my neighborhood, I’d say they’re a distinct minority.)

    As to the line about mashiach “coming,” I’m reminded of that old story with the punchline “But I sent you a jeep, a boat, and a helicopter!”

  122. Jon_Brooklyn says:

    If Ami magazine pushes this anti-evolution stuff, I will stay far away from R. Shafran’s suggestion…

  123. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    “Jon_Brooklyn on July 20, 2011 at 6:37 am
    If Ami magazine pushes this anti-evolution stuff, I will stay far away from R. Shafran’s suggestion…”

    I have to say that I couldn’t stop laughing for quite a few minutes after trying to picture intelligent, educated secular jews reading Ami or Mishpacha magazine. I really just couldn’t.
    I mean they probably couldn’t even get passed the hagiographic inclinations of the writers and editors before trying to consider what little substance there is.

  124. CHARLIE HALL:

    ” A better question might be why we don’t recite Kinot for, say, the expulsions from Western Europe”

    the (“authorized”?) british edition of the kinos from the 1970s includes 2 old kinos composed for the jews of york (and translated into english by cecil roth and solomon schechter iirc) and 1 for the shoah (by avrohom yitzchok yaakov rosensomething). intro (?) by chief rabbi brodie.

  125. Nachum says:

    Shafran does make me wonder, though: What *could* you give to a non-observant Jew? R’ Rakeffet once recommended “This is My God” to us, which is of course very good, but what about periodicals? The only ones I can think of are either too parochial, too “academic,” etc. Jewish Action doesn’t quite fit the bill, being, for starters, a quarterly. Anything else?

  126. joel rich says:

    R’ Shachar,
    I must confess that much as I tried not to, I had the same reaction and also thought about Nachum’s question. JA was the best I could come up with – most of the other stuff is too detailed.
    KT

  127. yehupitz says:

    Yes, R Weinberg actually never mentioned R’ Soloveitchik’s name in the hesped. I couldn’t tell you why. I do remember his hesped for R Shlomo Zalman in the Ner Beis Medrash and if I recall correctly, his name wasn’t mentioned either. I am guessing that this was R Weinberg’s style, but I don’t claim to understand.

    In any case, there can be no hava amina that this was done to provide cover or denaiability. This was a Baltimore city-wide event. And the hesped was transcribed and published in “Memories of a giant”. R’ Weinberg was making a very public statement by attending and speaking. I don’t think it would have been held against him had he declined the invitation.

    On the other hand, as mellifluous and eloquent as the remarks were, they focused on the niftar’s unsurpassed love of and devotion to Limmud HaTorah, and artfully avoided any reference to his positions or hashkafos, with which he disagreed, as many talmidim, myself included, heard in chaburos and private conversations.

  128. Hirhurim says:

    Nachum: What’s wrong with giving a quarterly? Here’s a list of outreach books: http://torahmusings.com/2009/11/outreach-books/

  129. Hirhurim says:

    MDJ: It’s because she was doing exactly what the cynics and conspiracy theorists in last night’s post do. She was acting destructively. You’re right that it wasn’t fair of me to pick on her. But what she was doing represents a major problem in our community and is one reason why I have no desire to lead a Jewish organization.

  130. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “Shafran does make me wonder, though: What *could* you give to a non-observant Jew? R’ Rakeffet once recommended “This is My God” to us, which is of course very good, but what about periodicals?”

    When I worked for a large law firm that had many younger Jewish non-O associates with whom I was very friendly and a mentor of sorts, I would tell them (nicely) that they were too intelligent to be so ignorant of Judaism. The book I would then give them to raed so they could at least know something about their religion (I emphasized I was not trying to get themj to be observant) was “This is My God.” I only had positive reactions to it. As far as periodocals, I find Jewish Action moving towards an Artscroll mentality; I can’t think of a single epriodical I could give such people.

  131. Nachum says:

    Yehupitz, now that I think of it, someone did once mention that that was his style. If so, I should ask mechila from him. I do hope that was the case. I just remember being struck at the fact that the eulogy kept referring to “this man.” If it wasn’t for the title, you would literally have no idea who “this man” was.

    Gil: Nothing wrong with a quarterly- if there was a good one- but it just seems too infrequent to keep interest. More like a book, even.

  132. Tal Benschar says:

    I thought I had explained that. The US law is directed towards individuals and corporations that act against US foreign policy. The Israeli law is directed towards individuals and corporations that act against Israeli domestic policy. Imagine if the US had a law that prohibited a boycott of supporters of Obamacare. That is the kind of thing we are talking about here.

    Your distinction is both incorrect and irrelevant. What Israel does or does not do in the West Bank very much touches upon its foreign policy and its foreign relations.

    Furthermore, since when is “foreign policy” more of a basis to squelch dissent (as the critics are claiming, not I) than domestic policy? The Vietnam War was an issue of foreign policy, and that was protested vehemently by a large slice of the country. No one ever dreamed that the right to protest that was somehow less than the right to protest about some domestic issue.

  133. MDJ says:

    Gil,
    First, insisting that a text is ambiguous and does not directly support the most charitable interpreation is not being a cynic. Second, the fact that you think that these sorts of questions are relevant to the discussion of transparency makes me more or less completely discount anything you say on the matter (though I note I still don’t think you have given any argument there.) If everyone who doesn’t place the rosiest spin on avery vague thingyou say is a conspiracy theorist, then you will shut down legitimate dialogue. Gil, i really urge you to review the exchange again. It’s not just me and mycroft who think you lost it there. As you so often do, I will cite anonymous lurkers who wrote to me off line and agree.

  134. Steve Brizel says:

    How about the books of R C Donin ZL? Were they not written in a non threatening manner, but in a style that would benefit someone interested in Orthodoxy? FWIW, I think that anyone would far more enjoy a Shabbos meal than reading any book on Judaism as a means of being introduced to Judaism. Even if the host or guest both understand that “kiruv” is not the intention, merely opening your house and having someone with no Jewish background whatsoever see the beauty of a family gathered around a Shabbos table is probably one of the best means of Jewish education

  135. Shachar Ha'amim says:

    “the (“authorized”?) british edition of the kinos from the 1970s includes 2 old kinos composed for the jews of york (and translated into english by cecil roth and solomon schechter iirc) and 1 for the shoah (by avrohom yitzchok yaakov rosensomething). intro (?) by chief rabbi brodie.”

    there was also a cherem placed on jews living in York. Up until a generation ago, amongst Jews in the North of England (especially Yorkshire; Leeds) it was considered worse for a youngster in the community to take a flat in York than it was to marry a gentile.

  136. MDJ says:

    Imagine if that cherem had spread to cover New York!

  137. Tal Benschar says:

    Imagine if that cherem had spread to cover New York!

    You’d need a new cherem for a new York. And since chadash assur min ha Torah, the Hungarians wouldn’t follow it anyway.

  138. “there was also a cherem placed on jews living in York”

    why? as opposed to any other locale of with a lachrymose history for jews?

  139. S. says:

    >why? as opposed to any other locale of with a lachrymose history for jews?

    It’s an undocumented legend, with a parallel on the legendary cherem on Spain. IIRC Cecil Roth theorized that there may have been a germ of historical truth about Spain in that the hahamim strongly discouraged Marannos from returning to Spain/ Portugal for business, where obviously they would have to present themselves as Catholics. Kind of like what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. He mentions as a possible support a certain 18th century case of a Jew from Bayonne who returned from Spain on Tisha B’av, and he was punished, which indicates the community’s displeasure with his having gone to Spain and, presumably, for his conduct while there.

    Apart from them, he mentions that during the 17th and 18th century plenty of Jews from North Africa and Gibraltar did in fact visit Spain, and there presence was known to Spain (and the Inquisition did not like it one bit, but they had no jurisdiction over born Jews).

    Roth, incidentally, apparently did not know of the legend about York, as his jumping-off point question about the alleged cherem on Spain is its lack of any other parallel. He also said that he heard of the cherem on Spain all over the Jewish world, with it being “perhaps” more widespread among Ashkenazim than Sephardim. Marc Shapiro also wrote an article on the undocumented cherem on Spain in Sefarad (1989), building on Roth and giving many more rabbinic sources who never knew of a source for it. I gather that York is even less documented.

  140. IH says:

    The 10-yearly Chicago Jewish demography study is out (RHM blogs about it today). The 9 page PDF study summary can be found at: http://www.juf.org/pdf/ealert/pop_study.pdf.

    Among the interesting data points is:

    “Intermarriage has grown, from 30 percent in 2000 to 37 percent in 2010, but the proportion of children in interfaith families who are being reared as exclusively Jewish has jumped to 49 percent, up from 38 percent in 2000.

    ‘The fact that one in two local interfaith families is choosing to rear their children as Jewish has profound significance for the Jewish future,’ said Peter Friedman, Federation executive vice president. ‘This finding has hopeful implications for Jewish continuity, and reinforces the importance of JUF/Federation’s multi-faceted ‘Joyfully Jewish’ outreach programs for families with young children.’

    Those interfaith families rearing children Jewish indicate strong connection to Judaism and Jewish community, with 85 percent saying that being Jewish is “very important” to them, 43 percent belonging to a synagogue, JCC or other Jewish organization, and 36 percent having traveled to Israel. (Overall, 50 percent of Chicago Jews have visited the Jewish State.)

  141. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    abba — its “authorised”, not authorized. the rosenfeld english slichot has one. and its not for expulsion, its for the burning of the jews in the duke’s castle. the slicha(ot) was written by the author of “chasal siddur pesach”, a baal hatosafot (grandson of rashi???), who was the subject of a previous hirhurim post (i guess on chasal siddur pesach this past pesach time), who was in london getting an order by king ?richard the lionhearted? (?his good friend?) to the duke of york releasing the jews. (new york was named in honor of a later duke of york.) (didnt have email to transmit the king’s decree.) and the ban applies only to staying overnite in the “old city” of york, not the new city over the hill (but verify if you plan on staying.)

    the ban was recently verified to me by a cousin, a quasi charedi, who still lives in manchester.

    as for bans on residence / visiting, i guess this is the only one that (may) apply today. egypt and spain bans (egypt is mi’deoraita) are ignored today (i believe the rambam discusses the egypt one, being personally relevant.)

    2. the us boycott law only applies to a “us person” as defined in the act (on the original web page cited), which is somewhat expansive, but not as expansive as iran / cuba (another story there) / north korea / south africa / etc ?sanctions?. as opposed to us tax law, which is also more expansive.

    3. tal b — i said i personally doubt the current us boycott law would withstand a legal challenge today. i also said the european challenge / test i proposed would only apply if there was a us angle to it.

    4. s — its prob not as documented, cause jews were officialy (not defacto) banned from england anyway at about that time.

    and since when is france / germany not western europe? and these are crusader related kinot.

  142. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    frank sinatra — instead of focusing on non kosher restaurants, please focus on numerous articles in http://www.wymaninstitute.org focusing on how frank sinatra helped the jews in europe. (and the unmentioned incident of the horse’s head, we all know applies to frank sinatra.)

  143. S. says:

    >the ban was recently verified to me by a cousin, a quasi charedi, who still lives in manchester.

    You mean the legend was restated by your cousin.

    >4. s — its prob not as documented, cause jews were officialy (not defacto) banned from england anyway at about that time.

    I’m not talking about there being no 12th century source. There’s also no 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th or 20th century source. If a cherem was made in a forest…? So it must be a legend.

    There’s also no ban on living in Egypt. There is a legend – yes, another – that the Rambam signed his name with reference to himself as a continuous sinner for residing in Spain. Source is here (and see notes)

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21423&st=&pgnum=387

    Yet we have many signed writings of the Rambam, and he does not sign this way. Further, it is beyond belief that anyone could knowingly daily violate a de-orayta, and even include the fact in his signature, as if he was in a prison against his will. R. JD Bleich has a nice discussion of the issue (residence in general, Rambam legend in particular) in Tradition 17:2 (1978) pp. 99-104.

  144. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    if my cousin lives in the neighborhood, he is more of a source. (and his son went to gateshead, of which york is the midway point. i think he usually changed trains there. he’s one of those married 20 year olds in the mir, now. (why is it called “the” mir? a worthwhile post, mr s.))

    “a continuous sinner for residing in Spain. ”

    should be egypt. although recent scholarship (re his living in morroco) may shed light on this issue.

  145. mycroft says:

    “This visit to Paris — my first time ever in France — has shattered numerous preconceived notions I had about the country”

    Please describe what preconceived notions changed.

  146. mycroft says:

    ““there was also a cherem placed on jews living in York”

    WASN’T THERE A KINOS WRITTEN FOR WHAT HAPPENED IN YORK?

  147. bohr salino says:

    If I remember, the cherem?hakpada? is about not staying the night in York. If you can’t stay the night you cannot live there.

  148. Nachum says:

    I always find it amazing how people simply prefer to ignore the fact that a myth has been proven to be just that. It’s nowhere more clear than here.

    Mycroft, um, that’s been mentioned here a bunch.

    Just a historical note: York was not the expulsion. That happened much later.

  149. joel rich says:

    “During election campaigns, I’d constantly be posting comments in favor of the candidates the company was promoting,”
    ============================
    Question – any issue of lfnei iver if the financial relationship is not disclosed?
    KT

  150. joel rich says:

    “It’s first and foremost to make a living,” she said. ” My surfing today is entirely for clients. The moment it becomes ‘parnusseh’ for the home, the rabbis allow it.”
    —————————————–
    Masicha lfi tumah?
    KT

  151. IH says:

    “Bialik has so much to teach Jews today: strength in times of trouble; faith in times of doubt; introspection and self-criticism in the face of today’s triumphalist Orthodoxy and strident Jewish nationalism. More than any other modern Jewish writer I know, Bialik’s words can inspire, fortify and enlighten Israel in her time of crisis. It is a tragedy of Jewish culture today and a scandal of contemporary Jewish education — both here and in Israel — that his voice has been rendered mute.”

    http://forward.com/articles/140041/

  152. mycroft says:

    “The US law is directed towards individuals and corporations that act against US foreign policy.”

    The law is independent of current US foreign policy-might have passed due to pressure but it is the law.

  153. Hirhurim says:

    IH: That article is from 2003

  154. IH says:

    Gil — It is on JID today, published by the Forward on July 19, 2011 with the notation “Originally published in the Forward February 14, 2003″.

  155. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    During election campaigns, I’d constantly be posting comments in favor of the candidates the company was promoting,”
    ============================
    Question – any issue of lfnei iver if the financial relationship is not disclosed?
    KT

    ———–
    that refers to israel, where disclosure is a whole other story.

    2. just remembered another ban, on levi’im living in djerba. those rules are different than the york old town overnite. in djerba, the one levi who lives there, leaves at least one night a year. the source of the ban, i believe, is ezra or nechemia.

  156. Hirhurim says:

    IH: So then it’s 8-1/2 years old.

  157. IH says:

    Well, here’s a decidely current story:
    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/the-israeli-right-fears-for-the-dream-1.374532

    “It is axiomatic in Israel that only the right can bring down the right. Where the Netanyahu government and the gutted left are concerned, the axiom may now be more applicable than ever. And sooner than one might have thought.”

  158. mycroft says:

    ““Steve Brizel on July 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm
    FWIW, the articles on R Yaakov Weinberg ZL were superb-well beyond the usual “Tzadik from his childhood” articles that one sees in the Charedi press.””

    Rabbi Emmanuel Feldman was involved in the RCA, Tradition etc while the vast majority of the RCA were YU grads. He was a pulpit Rabbi “out of town.” I nbelieve he as a Masters from Johs Hopkins in writing. He is far from the protytype Chareidi.

  159. mycroft says:

    “MiMedinat HaYam on July 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm
    During election campaigns, I’d constantly be posting comments in favor of the candidates the company was promoting,”
    ============================
    Question – any issue of lfnei iver if the financial relationship is not disclosed?
    KT

    ———–
    that refers to israel, where disclosure is a whole other story”

    Really didn’t the freebie paper which was trying to boost up Netanyahu have to disclose its financing.

  160. mycroft says:

    “Bialik’s words can inspire, fortify and enlighten Israel in her time of crisis. ”

    He was a student in Volozhin what else do you expect?

  161. mycroft says:

    Note Ari Goldman can write positively about chareidi Orthodoxy.

  162. IH says:

    Yes. “his language is so steeped in biblical and rabbinic idiom”. I thought it was an apposite article responding to the 2 Jewish Culture Scene article posted this morning.

  163. IH says:

    7:37pm was a response to 7:25 pm.

  164. mycroft says:

    I received the following e-mail:

    “mycroft on July 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm
    “Bialik’s words can inspire, fortify and enlighten Israel in her time of crisis. ”
    He was a student in Volozhin what else do you expect?

    Reminds me of an old riddle: What’s the difference between Volozhin and Bialik?
    Answer: The Volozhin Yeshiva in Russia can produce a Chaim Nachman Bialik but the Bialik School in Tel Aviv won’t produce a Chaim Volozhin.”

  165. Anon says:

    The question is whether our yeshivos could produce another Bialik (not that they would want to). Remember that Bialik (in his earlier years) was writing in an environment were Hebrew was not really a living language, yet still managed to produce works of outstanding literary merit. How many bochurim in Lakewood, Gateshead or RIETS could do the same? Why do our yeshivos seem to produce people of narrower intellectual scope than their predecessors of a century ago?

  166. S. says:

    >Why do our yeshivos seem to produce people of narrower intellectual scope than their predecessors of a century ago?

    That’s not necessarily true, at least of people who do not remain in the yeshiva world. The question is why the yeshivos only retain people of narrower intellectual scope, assuming that’s true, not why people of every sort of intellectual attainment do not pass through its walls. Surely they do. Plenty of intellectuals went to yeshiva, and I don’t think they’re all 70 years old.

    Secondly, as Berditchevsky and others record in their memoirs, many bochurim went to Volozhin precisely because they heard that it was a place where they could broaden their horizons and study languages, literature, etc. In Russia in the late 19th century Jews couldn’t really go to college, and the level of intellectual possibilities in the shtetlach where many of these bochurim were from was far lower than it is even in Lakewood today. What 18 year old is going to go to BMG because he hears that in Lakewood he may learn the English language? We’re comparing different worlds.

    As far Hebrew not being a living language, this is true as far as being spoken. As for it being a literary language, by the time of Bialik (b. 1873) there were dozens of Hebrew journals and newspapers discussing all manner of literary, scientific, political, news and other topics. Bialik was obviously creative but we should not think that he was going straight from the language of the Shulchan Aruch to advanced modern Hebrew poetry.

  167. Charlie Hall says:

    “A democracy has a right to defend itself from those who would undermine it from within.”

    The First Amendment of the US Constitution does not agree — or at least it puts extremely severe limitations on this.

    “extraterritorial jurisdiction”

    Extraterritorial jurisdiction is extremely controversial.
    When I served on a federal grand jury last year, one of the things that
    the prosecutors had to show before we could hand down and indictment was
    that the crime had occurred in the Southern District of New York. But the US does prosecute some crimes that do not occur in the United States; note that News Corp. may be liable for prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act because of some of its recent activity in the UK.

    “Charlie, I’m sure that France- particularly if one limits interactions to academics, Jews, and those on one’s own social level, and doesn’t wander too far into the suburbs- can be lovely. ”

    I was only in Paris. And the Jews I met were VERY bitter and angry about the way that a lot of the Muslim immigrants have been behaving, and also about how none of the French political movements are doing anything to get those immigrants to better assimilate into French society. The French Jews are very proud that they have accepted French culture and teach the entire recommended governmental secular curriculum in all their schools. But at least Paris itself seems to be mostly a nice place to be a Jew. Nowhere else in Europe have I ever seen lots of yarmulkes on the street and on the subway. One exception to my general statement: No eruv anywhere in France, and no likelihood of having one in the near future.

    “York was not the expulsion. That happened much later.”

    Correct. The Edict of expulsion was issued a century later. On Tisha B’Av.

    ” In Russia in the late 19th century Jews couldn’t really go to college”

    They could attend university elsewhere in Europe, or in America, but only if they knew the language of instruction. Examples include Rabbi Bernard Revel, Rabbi Yitzchak Herzog, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik — all born in the Russian Empire.

  168. S. says:

    >They could attend university elsewhere in Europe, or in America, but only if they knew the language of instruction. Examples include Rabbi Bernard Revel, Rabbi Yitzchak Herzog, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik — all born in the Russian Empire.

    Two of these were born in the 20th century, one grew up in England, and the fourth one reached college age in the 20th century, and he was living in the United States.

    In any case it’s like saying that today you can go to Oxford. That’s not a realistic goal for most kids. For a bright bochur going to Volozhin was more reasonable than expecting to somehow learn German, get a HS diploma and leave his family to go to Western Euope and university. Sure, some did that, but obviously going to yeshiva was a more plausible route for many.

  169. J. says:

    I don’t know much about the frum community in France, but the lack of eruvin may have something to do with the fact that it is largely made up of sefardim (who have issues with city-eruvin due to not necessarily accepting the criterion of shishim ribo), Lubavitchers (who, for some strange reason, are pretty much the only chassidic group that has issues with eruvin) and extreme litvaks (who have their own, Rambam and Mishkenos Yaakov related, issues with eruvin). All this, combined with the aggressive secularism of France’s legal/political system presumably means that there are few groups who would be willing to administer the requisite pressure for an eruv to be built. This is despite the fact that Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzenski and the Chazon Ish sanctioned an eruv for Paris in the 1930′s based on the city’s ‘mechitzos’, albeit it never came to fruition (the metzius may well have changed since then).

  170. J. says:

    My mistake – apparently there IS an eruv in Strasbourg.

  171. Anon says:

    S. – I suppose the bigger question is why a new ‘haskalah’ has not developed amongst yeshiva bochurim as it did a century ago. Presumably part of the reason is that there’s less of a ‘mayim genuvim’ aspect to secular knowledge, as most bochurim have a basic education already, the world is less swept up in ideological movements, and if someone wants to leave they don’t need to join a literary movement to do so. I wonder if this status quo will shift in the coming decades, as the most intellectual strata of the yeshiva world begin to get fed up of the fact that there is little new on the horizon that can compare to the great advances in learning brought by R. Chaim Brisker, R. Shimon Shkop and their disciples, or perhaps the desire for breaking new ground has dampened, even amongst the elite.

  172. Charles says:

    Re: “Jewish charter school” — should be “Hebrew charter school.” A “Jewish” charter school would not pass First Amendment muster. The folks passing these charter schools off as a panacea for the day school tuition crisis and the rate of assimilation among non-Os are charlatans and this shows why.

  173. Anonymous says:

    I’m tickled pink by “Golden bell, possibly from Cohanim robe, found in Jerusalem”. One of my favorite psukim, from a literary aspect, is: פַּעֲמֹן זָהָב וְרִמּוֹן, פַּעֲמֹן זָהָב וְרִמּוֹן, עַל-שׁוּלֵי הַמְּעִיל, סָבִיב.

  174. IH says:

    Anonymous on July 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm was IH.

  175. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote:

    “Rabbi Emmanuel Feldman was involved in the RCA, Tradition etc while the vast majority of the RCA were YU grads. He was a pulpit Rabbi “out of town.” I nbelieve he as a Masters from Johs Hopkins in writing. He is far from the protytype Chareidi”

    All of the above is correct-and he also built a K-Kollel Torah observant community where none had previously existed. I doubt that R Broyde or Professor Lipstadt would have settled in Atlanta and have become prominent at Emory if R Feldman hadn’t built the community from scratch.

  176. mycroft says:

    Re Jerusalems religious sector growing

    Interesting that price of housing in the past few years has gone up even more in Tel Aviv than Jerusalem

  177. S. says:

    >S. – I suppose the bigger question is why a new ‘haskalah’ has not developed amongst yeshiva bochurim as it did a century ago.

    It didn’t really develop among the yeshiva bochurim, at least not 100 years ago (and even earlier, people who ‘went haskalah,’ to say nothing of those who spread it in the first place, were usually in their late 20s). Rather, the bochurim of 100 years ago were attracted to an already existing haskalah structure. Furthermore, in certain respects the haskalah spoke the same idiom as them, literally. It was relatable, almost like a parallel universe or a photo negative of the lomdim society. A person reading Hamelitz or whatever would find many things that he recognized and related to, even if he was very frum. It mentioned the rabbis he knew of, Gemaras, contemporary issues of interest like the tumult over heter mechira, etc. Reading Yiddish literature, same deal. Today there is, perhaps, a greater gulf in certain respects. No yeshiva kid reading a secular “Jewish” novel today will recognize very much in it. The book will not be written in a language he speaks, reads or thinks in, and the characters will be unlike anyone he knows. Same goes for reading academic Jewish books.

    You’re also correct that today the yeshiva bochur is not shielded from a basic structure of secular education and doesn’t feel like he and his community are walking in darkness and need to be enlightened. So on and so forth.

    That said, there is still more haskalah in yeshivos today than you may realize. No one will admit it, but many yeshiva bochurim today enjoy a nice juicy bit of chochmas yisrael when they can find it, too.

  178. mycroft says:

    fROM ARTICLE ABOUT SHOMRIM:
    “comes on the heels of statements made at a recent conference on Jewish law by representatives of the Orthodox umbrella organization Agudath Israel that those wishing to report child sexual abuse to the authorities must first consult with rabbis.

    This opinion was reiterated last Tuesday night in Flatbush—at the same time the search for Leiby was underway— by Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, the vice president of the Agudah’s Council of Rabbinic Sages. In an audio recording posted on the blog FailedMessiah.com, Rabbi Kaminetsky instructed attendees to bring allegations of child abuse to the authorities only after a “consultation with a rav [rabbi].””

    tHE ISSUE OF AT LEAST SOME oRTHODOX GROUPS NOT COOPERATING WITH AUTHORITIES AND HANDLING ITS OWN AFFECTS NOT ONLY THOSE GROUPS BUT OTHER JEWS-THE BELIEF OF AUTHORITIES THAT THIS IS SO MAY LEAD TO HARSHER TREATMENT FOR ANY ORTHODOX JEW THAT GETS INTROUBLE EVEN THOSE FAR REMOVED FROM THE COMMUNITIES IN QUESTION.

  179. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    S — “No yeshiva kid reading a secular “Jewish” novel today will recognize very much in it. ”

    but neither will he recognize much from uncle tom’s cabin, yet …

    (of course you are writing about the “kosher novel” genre, as opposed to the “mayim genuvim” of uncle toms cabin in russian. but i am exrending your idea.)

    2. S — interestingly, many of the parents who’se student attend these RW yeshivot are YU (or compatible grads), yet they see fit to send their children to such yeshivot. today. not in european times.

    3. real estate prices in jerusalem are overblown for many years. and many cant afford it. perhaps instead of falling, they are just staying steady (like in boro park, etc), while tel aviv prices, as you write, are increasing. (also, is that vaad harrabonim or whatever it is that will determine rental prices still functioning?)

  180. joel rich says:

    Am I missing something in the AI statement – isn’t the bottom lline ask a rav if there are raglayim ldavar?
    KT

  181. IH says:

    “From US to Israel for Jewish education:

    With Jewish school tuition fees per child reaching $20,000 a year, many families prefer to make aliyah and get free education. We met some of them onboard Nefesh B’Nefesh flight carrying 250 new olim to Israel”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4098629,00.html

  182. Hirhurim says:

    R’ Joel: I think their position is basic common sense, not to mention obvious halakhah. People gossip all the time. If your wife tells you that she heard from her friend who heard from the old lady down the block that your neighbor molests his kids, are you obligated to go to the police? There has to be some basis before you drag the police into it.

  183. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Gil,

    But the Agudah goes further, it says that in case of doubt, consult a rabbi. this is much more moderate postion than what R. Shmuel said the other week, but still places rabbis between citzens, even mandated reporters and the police.

  184. daat y says:

    The Agudah position from the recording is that one must consult a Rav under ALL circumstances.
    And even mandated reporters who by law in the U.S. must report to the authorities were told they must first consult with a Rabbi.
    In Israel everyone is a mandated reporter and can theoretically be put in prison for three months for not repoting.
    And what if the Rabbi disagrees and says not to report WHEN YOU”HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE” OR “REASON TO SUSPECT.”
    R.Safran again hides the real truth of the Agudah position.

  185. Hirhurim says:

    The assumption underlying Agudah’s position is that many people are not good judges of a situation but rabbis are. Therefore you should always get a second opinion, a common sense check, before making a call to the police that could radically change someone’s life. I don’t disagree with the sentiment, as long as there is no one in immediate danger such that the delay of a few hours will make a difference. I’m not sure that every rabbi is well fit for this role but I suspect that most are. I know that I would definitely consult with others, probably both a rabbi and a psychologist whom I trust, before calling the police. I think it’s the only responsible thing to do.

  186. Joseph Kaplan says:

    ” I think their position is basic common sense, not to mention obvious halakhah. People gossip all the time. If your wife tells you that she heard from her friend who heard from the old lady down the block that your neighbor molests his kids, are you obligated to go to the police? There has to be some basis before you drag the police into it.”

    Gil, you should know better than that. The statement is clear; in ALL cases you have to go to a rabbi first. Not only in the triple hearsay case you posit but even when your child tells you he/she has been molested, you have to go to a rabbi first, according to Agudah. I’m saddened that someone like you can try to cover up in such a misleading way that disgraceful position that brings shame on our community. We’ve seen what “leaving it to the rabbis” results in. Again, you really should know better than that.

  187. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “I know that I would definitely consult with others, probably both a rabbi and a psychologist whom I trust, before calling the police.”

    Let’s get specific, Gil. Your child, God forbid, tells you that a teacher in his/her school is touching him/her inappropriately. You know your child well; you believe him/her. Q.1: Do you speak to a rabbi before going to the police? Q. 2: The rabbi says it’s not serious enough or I think your child may be making it up. What do you do? Agudah’s answers to the above are (a) yes, (b) don’t call. What are you answers? It’s your kid; what is ‘the responsible thing to do”?

  188. Hirhurim says:

    Go with the rabbi to a psychologist and see what he thinks.

  189. mycroft says:

    With the major caveat for those who are mandated by law to report things are required to follow the law I tend to agree with Gils statement below

    Hirhurim on July 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm
    The assumption underlying Agudah’s position is that many people are not good judges of a situation but rabbis are. Therefore you should always get a second opinion, a common sense check, before making a call to the police that could radically change someone’s life. I don’t disagree with the sentiment, as long as there is no one in immediate danger such that the delay of a few hours will make a difference. I’m not sure that every rabbi is well fit for this role but I suspect that most are. I know that I would definitely consult with others, probably both a rabbi and a psychologist whom I trust, before calling the police. I think it’s the only responsible thing to do.”

    Of course, I’d only discuss with a Rabbi in a jurisdiction where he is required to keep a confidence-at least in New York since the disastorous position that Rabbis are not required to keep a confidence was sustained by the New York Court of Appeals I do not know if one can trust a Rabbi anymore in matters that one wishes to keep secret.
    I agree with Gils sentiments however.

  190. mycroft says:

    “I know that I would definitely consult with others, probably both a rabbi and a psychologist whom I trust, before calling the police. I think it’s the only responsible thing to do.”

    If not legally required to and no imminent danger is apparent- one must realize that contacting authorities in any matter takes the consequences out of control of the individual. The police and DA depending on the statistic of the month that they may want to maximize may decide to take actions that you would not.
    Remember a DA can indict a ham sandwich.

  191. mycroft says:

    “Hirhurim on July 24, 2011 at 12:06 am
    Go with the rabbi to a psychologist and see what he thinks.”

    A reasonable choice-unless under therules of that jurisdiction that action would make the other party a mandatory reporting party.

  192. mycroft says:

    “The assumption underlying Agudah’s position is that many people are not good judges of a situation but rabbis are.”

    Which IMHO is often true.

  193. Nachum says:

    R’ Feldman is also an example of a prominent rav who did not go to YU but is listed in their Alumni Directory nonetheless. R’ Raphael Grossman and R’ JJ Schacter are among the others.

  194. mycroft says:

    “Nachum on July 24, 2011 at 1:06 am
    R’ Feldman is also an example of a prominent rav who did not go to YU but is listed in their Alumni Directory nonetheless. R’ Raphael Grossman and R’ JJ Schacter are among the others.”

    Is that Alumni Directory online? I believe
    R E FEldman was a John Hopkins Ner Israel combo

    R JJS was a Brooklyn College-Torah Vaddath combo

  195. mycroft says:

    “mycroft on July 24, 2011 at 12:44 am
    “The assumption underlying Agudah’s position is that many people are not good judges of a situation but rabbis are.”

    Which IMHO is often true.”

    Of course, caveat there are not good judges of a situation merely because they are a Rabbi-it is likely due to experience etc that they are.

  196. Meir says:

    To put things in perspective: What would you rather be, a rape victim or an accused rapist with a cloud hanging over your head?
    For some guidance, see Mishnah Arachin 3:5

    משנה מסכת ערכין פרק ג משנה ה

    נמצא האומר בפיו יתר מן העושה מעשה

    Please note – that does not mean that one should not report molestation. Chas Veshalom. It means that erring on the side of caution does not necessarily mean hurling accusations that may not be true. The unwarranted destruction of someone else’s reputation is considered by the Torah to be, in a way, more damaging than rape.

  197. joel rich says:

    My point was it certainly sounded like the AI statement was made in such a way as to lead the average non-frum reader to the conclusion that immediate reporting to the secular authorities was, at least, a real possibility, but when you read it carefully you understand that’s not the case at all.

    If I am correct, each of us can judge whether this is the “torah true” approach to communications.

    KT

  198. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “The unwarranted destruction of someone else’s reputation is considered by the Torah to be, in a way, more damaging than rape.”

    Only a man could possibly say this. Feh!

    BTW, I wonder how many of those sooooo concerned about others reputations would go to rabbis and psychologists if they had serious and reasonable suspicions that someone stole money from them.

  199. Joseph Kaplan says:

    R’ Joel hit the nail on the head as to the nature of the AI statement!

  200. Meir says:

    Only a man could possibly say this. Feh!

    I was actually fondled on my genitalia by a stranger on a bus when I was about twelve. I was too stunned to do anything until he stopped and got off the bus. I’d rather go through that, as traumatic as it was, than be falsely accused of doing it.

    People consult with Rabbis all the time before reporting money issues to the police.

  201. lawrence.kaplan says:

    Being fondled or groped on a bus, as traumatic as it is, is not the same as rape.

  202. Meir says:

    It follows, of course, that being accused of rape is not the same as being accused of fondling or groping.

  203. Anonymous ben Anonymous says:

    Rule No. 1: Obey the reporting law. If in doubt, consult a lawyer.

    Rule No. 2: If halachah requires reporting above and beyond the requirements of law, obey the halachah. If in doubt, consult a rabbi.

  204. IH says:

    And if Agudah wants to be credible in its position, it should provide appropriate certified training to its affiliated Rabbis.

  205. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “Rule No. 2: If halachah requires reporting above and beyond the requirements of law, obey the halachah. If in doubt, consult a rabbi.”

    THAT’s the problem. Agudah says you’re ALWAYS in doubt and therefore you must ALWAYS consult a rabbi. To me that’s irresponsible, but, unfortunately, not surprising. God forbid they should let adults act like adults and take responsibility for their actions. No, we’re always a bunch of kids who have to go to daddy (i.e., the rabbis) to know what to do. Well, If my child came to me, God forbid, with such a story, I’d actually know what to do without asking a rabbi. I’m sorry others are so insecure in their own judgment that they need permission to do what deep in their hearts they know is right.

  206. daat y says:

    To further make the point.
    The Agudah states always to go to a Rav,who should consult a professional.Yet,it requires the professional who reasonably suspects abuse,who is required by state law to report,to first get the permission of a Rav.(who the Rav could be consulting with to make the proper determination).

  207. daat y says:

    With regardto research in this area./The overwhelming majority
    over 90 to 97% of children have been shown to not be making false accusations.The main percentage of the rest are involved in custody issues.(and would not likely be going to a Rav)

  208. daat y says:

    There is also a process before it may even reaches the police.There is a call to child protective services.They have to agree to evaluate.They then evaluate ,refer the child and family for further evaluation and then decide about referring to the police.
    I recommend that when you know go directly to the police because that alleged molester will be continuing to molest and the Tzitz Eliezer 19:52 calls him a rodef.

  209. Steve Brizel says:

    FWIW, we mentioned a Machlokes between RYBS and RMF about Chasunahs on Or LShivah Asar BTamuz. See Shalmei Simcha, a wonderful sefer about the Minhagim and Piskei Halachos of RSZA on Shidduchim, Chasunas, Bris Milah, etc, where it is noted that RSZA and many other Poskim in EY viewed the night of the 17th of Tamuz being vested with the Halachos of Bein HaMetzarim, as opposed to RMF, who is quoted as permitting a chasunah on such a date only as a matter of great need by such talmidim as R E Greenlott.

  210. Curious says:

    Steve wrote: “RMF, who is quoted as permitting a chasunah on such a date only as a matter of great need by such talmidim as R E Greenlott.”

    It’s a tshuva of R. Moshe’s, not some ‘saying in the name of’!

    http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=916&st=&pgnum=291

  211. lawrence.kaplan says:

    Steve: The operative phrase in RMF’s Teshuvah is “yesh le-hatir le-tzorech (need)” Note NOT “le-tzorech gadol(great need).”

  212. Mechy Frankel says:

    The statement by Agudah is contemptible along two entirely separate vectors. The substantive assertion is contemptible as it continues their policy of prioritizing concern for possible adult perpetrators above concern for possible child victims. That such prioritization is morally defective is a judgment call on my part, as the alternative moral calculus espoused by Agudah is a judgment call on theirs. But the recent “clarification” by a flackmeister which attempts to obfuscate is worthy of the special contempt we usually reserve for habitual liars. (you see, halochoh (i.e. us guys.) is MORE protective of victims than law requires..)

    The Agudah’s actual position, once Avi Shafran’s contemptibly misleading representation is deconstructed, at least has an admirable clarity. In ALL cases (excepting in flagrante delicto? – not mentioned so we can’t be sure that even caught with pants down needs its raglayim l’dovor status certified by a “competent” rabbi) one must first consult a rabbi competent in matters of child abuse. But what never seems to get further explained is just who are these putative, competent rabbis, and just how competent are they? Is there an Agudah list of go-to rabbonim with the necessary skill/training/experience and investigatory resources? If there is, how did they acquire such expertise? How many cases have they seen and how may the public judge their competence? etc etc.

  213. yosef blau says:

    Despite the clarifications Aguda’s position has not changed. While I think it obvious that raglayim ledavar refers to circumstantial evidence (as in the case of the sotah) and knowledge of halakha not relevant for argument sake let us assume Aguda’s position. Will Aguda arrange training sessions for rabbis to learn about abuse given by a psychologist accepted by the Ortodox community? Will they give support to rabbis who have given permission to go to the authorities? At present these rabbis are afraid to go public. Victims clearly know that they have been abused. Will they be encouraged to go to authorities? Is Aguda prepared to criticize those who have taken the position that one should never go to authorities and that one who does so is a moser?

  214. mitch morrison says:

    Nobility of words not translated into action is wasted breath. One look at the Aguda’s track record on suspected and proven cases of molestation clearly reflects their preference for the accused than the victim. Rarely have i seen or heard where the Aguda sought to protect a child or provide support to the family of a child suspected of having been sexually molested.
    R. Shafran’s engagement in spin control is such a departure from the many times the Torah teaches us of Moshe’s humility in acknowledging his error or recognizing that a halakha is merited to others, such as Bnot Tzlafcha or for Pesach Sheini. Aguda’s refusal to admit error and reflect on its anti-child mindset is one of our generation’s most tragic sins.

  215. mycroft says:

    “Victims clearly know that they have been abused.”

    True-but we don’t know if evryone claiming to be a victim is a victim.

  216. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    “BTW, I wonder how many of those sooooo concerned about others reputations would go to rabbis and psychologists if they had serious and reasonable suspicions that someone stole money from them.”

    being accused of thievery, even when substantiated, doesn’t necessarily ruin one’s reputation in the frum community. so one need not be concerned in that regard when leveling accusations and there is no need to present them first to a rav.

  217. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “being accused of thievery, even when substantiated, doesn’t necessarily ruin one’s reputation in the frum community. so one need not be concerned in that regard when leveling accusations and there is no need to present them first to a rav.”

    To be very blunt: what the hell does a rabbi know that I don’t if my son comes to me and tells me he/ has been molested by his rebbe? And I’ll ask you the same questions I asked Gil (who chose, as is his right, not to answer them):

    1.:Your son comes to you, tells you he has been molested by his rebbe and after speaking to him about it you believe him? Do you go to your rabbi or the police?

    2. Same as question 1 and you go to your rabbi and he says he doesn’t think your son’s story meets the “raglayim ladavar” standard. You still believe your son. Send him back to school the next day or go to the police?

    BTW, I’m concerned about false accusations but guess what; it’s not a perfect world. So sure, it would be nice if we could always be sure before we accused someone of something bad but that not the world we live in or, if you want to be frum about it, that’s not how God made us. So we have to make some decision: do we care more about our children’s wellbeing or about someone’s reputation. Agudah has clearly made it’s decision. I think that decision brings shame on Orthodox Judaism and Torah.

  218. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “True-but we don’t know if evryone claiming to be a victim is a victim.”

    You’re right, we don’t. And society has ways of trying to make that determination; not perfect ways but certainly better than a bunch of untrained rabbis getting involved in something they know little about and have no expertise in.

    I’ll tell you; I would understand if Agudah said: before going to the police speak to someone whose judgment you respect to get a second opinion before you decide what to do. THAT I would understand. Not the power play of only the rabbis can decide this issue.

  219. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    ” And I’ll ask you the same questions . . .”

    we don’t disagree.
    i was just pointing something out in reference to your question about theft vs. abuse

  220. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Glad to have you on board, Abba.

  221. mycroft says:

    ” I would understand if Agudah said: before going to the police speak to someone whose judgment you respect to get a second opinion before you decide what to do. THAT I would understand”
    Fair enough

  222. joel rich says:

    ” I would understand if Agudah said: before going to the police speak to someone whose judgment you respect to get a second opinion before you decide what to do. THAT I would understand
    ================================
    i suppose in their mind that is what they did say – who else but a rav who is connected to daas torah/ratzon hashem is there whose judgement in such matters can be trusted?
    KT

  223. Meir says:

    I would understand if Agudah said: before going to the police speak to someone whose judgment you respect to get a second opinion before you decide what to do. THAT I would understand

    That pretty much blunts every criticism brought up here.
    1) Your suggestion is in violation of mandated reporting law every bit as much as consulting the Rabbi is.
    2) If your son came home etc. why would you be okay with consulting a second opinion, but not a Rabbi.
    3) Noone is suggesting you consult a Rabbi you don’t respect, including his ability and willingness to blow the whistle in this regard.
    4) Does halachah play any role in your calculus? If so, why not consult a Rabbi who both has experience in this matter and will place things within an appropriate Halachic framework?

    ——– SUSPECTED OF CHILD MOLESTATION You’d want to wake up with that one morning because some guy who was molested in the past (like me) decides to take out his anger on you? You’re willing to go through that?

    Your only problem is that you view this as a power play. Which is an extremely uncharitable interpretation.

  224. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “i suppose in their mind that is what they did say – who else but a rav who is connected to daas torah/ratzon hashem is there whose judgement in such matters can be trusted?”

    That’s not all. They also said leave the final decision to the rabbi; I’m saying get a second opinion and then you, the parent, makes the decision. Big difference in my mind.

  225. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “Your only problem is that you view this as a power play.”

    What else can you cal it when they say WE, not you, make the decision? That’s my biggest objection; they’re not seeking to advise someone; they want to tell people what to do.

  226. Meir says:

    If there is a Halachic problem with reporting because the matter does not rise to raglayim ladavar, then Halachah, vested in the Rabbi you chose to ask should decide the matter. That’s how a Shailah works, generally.
    Ultimately, you make the decision whether you want to follow it. They can’t tell you what to do.

  227. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “If there is a Halachic problem with reporting because the matter does not rise to raglayim ladavar, then Halachah, vested in the Rabbi you chose to ask should decide the matter. That’s how a Shailah works, generally.”

    You can define anything you want to make it into a shaylah that only a rabi can decide. That’s not how I operate or how I think halacha and Jewish society should operate.

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  229. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    if there is “ragalyim ledavar” that someone beat someone up for a get, must one report to police? (has nothing to do with molestation, or mandated reporting, but the question stands.)

    i believe here on hirhurim, the majority will say dont report to police, continue beating him up.

    in the real world ???

  230. Tal Benschar says:

    if there is “ragalyim ledavar” that someone beat someone up for a get, must one report to police? (has nothing to do with molestation, or mandated reporting, but the question stands.)

    Part of the hetter in cases of child abuse or molestation is that the perpetrators almost invariably continue on to other targets. So there is a serious issue of preventing future harm, not merely punishing past misdeeds. Not sure in your hypothetical that is the case.

    (And derekh agav, I should mention something I once heard from R. Aharon Soloveichik, that even though a Beis Din has the power to coerce a get and such is valid, including physical coercion (makin oso ad she yomar rotzeh ani), that requires a beis din, which means, among other things, that it operates openly and legally. In America and most other places today, while religious batei din are permitted by the secular authorities, that does not extend to physical violence. If a beis din orders someone beaten, that is criminal under the laws of the land. The only way to carry that out is by sneaking around — which is the opposite of what a beis din is.

    Hence, if a get is obtained through physical coercion in America, it is not valid. Even though a “beis din” ordered the goon squad to do it. Not sure if others disagree, but perhaps that is food for thought — the attempts to coerce a get through physical violence end up invalidating the get.

    (I presume, though I did not hear, that R. Aharon would still approve legal methods of coercion — e.g. cherem, refusing to give the recalcitrant husband kibbudim, boycotts, etc.)

  231. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal — (the para beginning (and derech) ) — tell that to those who nevertheless advocate for the woman, even in this case (though i doubt too many men would be interested in marrying her — an issue she (and others) seem to overlook (i know, there’s also some sucker.) )

    she would have little problem getting a bet din to give her the get involved. and little problem getting a ptur.

    2. your last para — applies only in those cases where the bet din decides on such measures. there are certain rabbonim today (and a previous post on hirhurim) where the bet din involved specifically did NOT order such steps, yet the majority of hirhurim commenters nevertheless advocated such steps and more.

    which is my question — a poll of some sort of our readers here on the issue.

 
 

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