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Honoring Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
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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.
 

137 Responses

  1. Nachum says:

    ““Look at what they’ve done to our people,” he said, his voice shaking. “I know you’re men of faith, but I want vengeance.””

    What a Christian thing to say. Why can’t men of faith take vengeance. at least on this level?

  2. mycroft says:

    Re more Israelis choose religious schools-perhaps real story is that numbers in Arab school system and chareidi schools approach if not pass in number those in Zionist school systems-secual and dati leumi

  3. mycroft says:

    “-perhaps real story is that numbers in Arab school system and chareidi schools approach if not pass in number those in Zionist school systems-secual and dati leumi”

    I read an article last night that apparently the numbers of hareid and Arab students have not passed the numbers of those in Zionist school systems-of course in areas like Jerusalem that tipping point has long since passed where Arabs and Chareidi outnumber other Jews.

  4. IH says:

    I fell of the chair laughing that Julie Burchill was listed as one of the “10 non-Jews positively influencing Jewish future”.  Almost as funny as her better columns back in the day…  

    For those not familiar, her current gig is: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/julie-burchill/

  5. IH says:

    An interesting snippet from a review of Prof. Schiffman’s new book:

    “Schiffman does not believe that the Qumran scrolls merely reflect the views of an isolated sect on the shores of the Dead Sea. He sees the Qumran scrolls as reflective of the wider debates in Judaism at that time and uses them accordingly.”

    If accurate, this appears to put a dent in the hand-waving that dismisses the DSS as not relevant to normative Judaism (or to quote Gil: “no one denies that there were plenty of deviants in the Second Temple era”).

    Follow the review links at the in: http://menachemmendel.net/blog/2011/08/28/lawrence-schiffman-qumran-and-jerusalem/

  6. Hirhurim says:

    IH: I can’t comment on the new book but his previous book on the DSS was an excellent defense of my claims.

  7. joel rich says:

    According to the haredim, instead of solving the crisis over the building’s location – the national-religious insisted on solving every single dispute between the sectors and bringing about “comprehensive peace”, which led to an inevitable failure.
    =====================
    can someone translate this into english?
    KT

  8. chardal says:

    >can someone translate this into english?

    roughly translated: “How dare they stand up to bullies and thugs in black hats? They should sit down and just be thankful we don’t lynch them for wearing knited kippas and jeans skirts.”

  9. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Gil
    I just re-read Schiffman’s account of the sects in “Reclaiming the DSS” it is fairly conservative position, but it hardly lines up with you version of the state of judaism in bayit sheni.

  10. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    joel r and chardal — translation is that even if you agree (which they wont; other “factions” wont agree), it just delays the inevitable continuous non agreement.

  11. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    spying on israeli spying — failure to “spy” per the article would be negligence. i.e., — evaluating political atmosphere (note — rep ellison is an avowed muslim; as opposed to rep issa, who at least does not publicise his muslim religion. both are strongly anti israel, from diff ends of the political spectrum.)

    and the nature of the “spying” is political evaluation. how does this rise to criminal matter, or is this just mislabeling of info as high security? (and his having a lousy lawyer.)

  12. Charlie Hall says:

    “spying on israeli spying — failure to “spy” per the article would be negligence”

    I agree.

    “rep ellison is an avowed muslim; as opposed to rep issa, who at least does not publicise his muslim religion”

    Issa is an Arab-American Christian. He is indeed anti-Israel, although nothing like Ron Paul. (There really isn’t anything else like Ron Paul in American politics today.)

  13. mycroft says:

    ““rep ellison is an avowed muslim; as opposed to rep issa, who at least does not publicise his muslim religion”

    Issa is an Arab-American Christian. He is indeed anti-Israel,”

    Arab Christians have led major terrorist groups against Israel.

  14. IH says:

    Catching up on reading on a segregated bus to Yerushalayim — I sat in the ezrat nashim — I was struck by some comments from Prof. Shapiro’s latest Rav Kook post on the Seforim blog relevant to several recent discussions here:

    “Let me also return to the issue of the Jewish masses’ natural morality vs. the rabbinically tuned morality of the scholars, and how according to R. Kook the former is superior to that of the latter. [...] While the natural impulse of the masses was that abusers must be immediately removed from any contact with children, many of the learned rabbis were able to come up with all sorts of reasons why this was not necessary, and why the police should not be called. Over time the view of the rabbinic class has evolved and many of them now advocate a strong response to sexual abuse. However, what took them a long time to get to was immediately understood by the Jewish masses, and they understood it intuitively. [...] Here I think is a good example where talmudic learning led scholars לטהר את השרץ בק”ן טעמים, while the Jewish masses, with their intuitive natural morality, saw that evil must be exposed and they emerged victorious. [...]

    [...] What was particularly surprising was how the speakers, all learned talmudically, have fallen into what I would call the textualist trap of Centrism. What this means is that the written word has become so sanctified that they feel it is their obligation to resurrect every halakhah recorded in the standard codes in order improve the masses’ behavior.

    Yet for all their learning, these rabbis don’t appreciate that there are some halakhot that simply fell out of practice. This happened in pre-modern times, before there were Reform and Conservative movements. In other words, it happened at a time when communities had the status of kehillah kedoshah. Because of this, historically the poskim generally tried to be melamed zekhut on the actions of the people, on the assumption that kol hamon ke-kol sha-dai, which is in line with how R. Kook understood the pious Jewish masses.”

  15. joel rich says:

    Hikind said there were large crosses on the interior and exterior of the Catholic church.

    “Who knows how many Orthodox Jewish or other voters would have been disenfranchised by the Board of Elections’ decision to move these voters to a church?” Hikind said in a statement.
    ==============================
    disenfranchised? forced to use absentee ballot perhaps? Does NY have any voting places in shuls?
    KT

  16. Richard Kahn says:

    http://zeek.forward.com/articles/117374/

    “Conservative Money and Jewish Studies: Investigating the Tikvah Fund”

    For the record, I think it’s overblown and unfair.

  17. aiwac says:

    Ah. So liberal institutes and studies praising liberal positions, that’s fine. But conservative institutes praisin conservative positions? We can’t have that.

    Kind of reminds me of the apoplexy that strikes liberals regarding the Shalem Center, IZS or IM Tirtzu, even though liberals have the much better funded IDI, Van Leer Institute and all the NGOs supported by the New Israel Fund.

    What’s the matter guys? Afraid of real competition and debate?

  18. J. says:

    A critique of the street festival organised in honor of the return of the drug-smuggling bochurim:
    http://www.bhol.co.il/Article.aspx?id=31858

  19. Steve Brizel says:

    J-Were not the bachurim acquitted?

  20. Hirhurim says:

    I’ve already commissioned (so to speak) a guest post about Tikvah. I’m on their side on this issue. I think the appropriate reaction to this critique is to encourage people to subscribe to the Jewish Review of Books http://www.jewishreviewofbooks.com

  21. Steve Brizel says:

    Aiwac-Yasher Koach on an important post-Liberals/leftist in Israel, especially the media , academic and cultural elements that are dominated by the Ashkenazi secular elite have zero tolerance for anyone expressing a differing view.

  22. Hirhurim says:

    Steve: I thought two were convicted and one was acquitted.

  23. MDJ says:

    Aiwac,
    Nonrhetorical question. What liberal funds paly a similar role within academia that the Tikva fund plays

  24. Rafael Araujo says:

    Ford Foundation?

  25. Hirhurim says:

    MDJ: Is academia so lacking in liberalism that it requires a liberal fund?

  26. J. says:

    I didn’t know anyone denied that they smuggled drugs – whether they were duped in doing so or otherwise morally inculpable was the subject of the trial.

  27. aiwac says:

    MDJ,

    I already mentioned Van Leer and IDI, both of whom provide generous research grants. That includes Machon Shalom Hartman as well. To say nothing, again, of the NIF.

    In America? Really? Liberal and Conservative think tanks and endowments abound. The EU funds many liberal bodies and academic institutes, especially in Israel.

    Also, the overwhelming majority of professors in humanities and social sciences tend to vote Democratic and not Republican. I’d say all the Tikva Fund is doing is providing some balance.

  28. S. says:

    “J-Were not the bachurim acquitted?”

    Is that what you said after Lemrick Nelson was acquitted?

  29. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    the problem is that some of these “amutot” ( = israeli equivalent of 501c3) were involved in outright campaigning against netanyahu in the ’90s, and were never investigated (despite israeli laws forbidding foergn source money in election campaigns; similar laws in the us, and prob everywhere else in the world. it subsequently turned out the amutot were fronts for us (and cureently european) intelligence agencies. (disclaimer — there was a very minor amuta funneling #$ to netanyahu in one campaign, but it, of course, was not a front for foreign intelligence activity.)

    the question of who really funds these amutot is relevant, since the EU outright claims it is doing such activities, but not detailing which amutot / specific projects, etc.

    2. can i fulfill my sherut leumi requirement by going to this street fair? or is it equivalent to going to a daf yomi shiur? maybe i can skip slichot that day? heaven forbid the RY’s shiur!

  30. Hirhurim says:

    I’m surprised no one commented on the IDF punishing religious soldiers for walking out when a female soloist started singing. For years they say they want Charedim to join but they still won’t accommodate basic religious requests. This is kefiyah chilonit.

  31. IH says:

    I only read the excerpt of Prof. Braiterman’s article posted on Kavvanah, but I was unconvinced by his insistence that the Tikvah Fund  “insinuate[s] conservative ideas about Jewish religion and culture into a more liberal American Jewish milieu” particularly in regard to religion.

    As an example, see the people involved in http://www.nyutikvah.org/index.html.

  32. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gil-I stand corrected re the bachurim in Japan.

  33. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gil-I stand corrected re the bachurim in Japan.

    Richard Kahn-having read the post re Tikvah, one would think that noone would ever mention traditional Jewish values and approaches in polite conversation. The article is a classical case of liberal overreaction.

  34. lawrence kaplan says:

    Gil: I agree with you re the Haredi soldiers. The army officers involved are acting like intolerant idiots.

  35. lawrence kaplan says:

    I was unconvinced by Zach Braiterman’s article. Even granted the neo-Conservative slant of JROB and JID, they are blogs and journals and have a right to their viewpoints. The real issue is whether the Tikvah centers at universities are ideologically oriented. Braiterman brings no proof of this. Indeed, the opposite is easily provable. The co-director, who is the primary figure in charge of the academic program of the Tikvah Center at NYU (Full disclosure: I am a Fellow there this year), is Moshe Halbertal, who as is well known, is about as far from being a neo-Conservative as one can imagine. Enough said.

  36. mycroft says:

    “lawrence kaplan on September 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm
    Gil: I agree with you re the Haredi soldiers. The army officers involved are acting like intolerant idiots”
    Tend to agree but

    “The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said in response, “In this incident cadets deviated from the army’s orders. The entire matter is being looked into and conclusions will be made in the coming days by the Ground Forces and training base commanders. The performance of all members of military bands is an inseparable part of the IDF milieu.”

    The issue of women’s singing is one of the most difficult bones of contention between the IDF and religious soldiers. This isn’t the first time troops leave military ceremonies for this reason, and they have been punished for it in the past.

    According to the General Staff orders, a religious soldier is entitled not to take part in recreational activity which contradicts his lifestyle and faith, but the orders do not apply to non-recreational military events”

    An Army Officer can’t make his own rules-he follows orders-the problem appears to be what the Army requires as a peoples Army vs minority rights-a problem for the politicians and general Staff not forthe local officer.

  37. Skeptic says:

    Gil: You linked the retraction but not the original article on shelo asani yisrael?

  38. Hirhurim says:

    I didn’t link to it originally because I never believed that it was true.

  39. Jerry says:

    MDJ,

    Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society fund, etc. Absolutely DWARFS Tikvah.

  40. Jon_brooklyn says:

    Prof Kaplan: no, see, Halbertal is just there to provide a veneer of non-partisanship so that people will take the neo-con ideas seriously!

    Talk about unfalsifiability.

  41. Richard Kahn says:

    I also was really bothered that, in his analysis of JRB, Braiterman referred to every writer as “the reviewer,” rather than specifying their names, likely because many of “the reviewers” are not neo-cons nor are they opposed to liberal/secular Judaism.

  42. Moshe Shoshan says:

    On the armies efforts to accommodate chareidim see the remarkably pro-tzahal piece on cross-currents (scroll down) “A Second Look at the IDF”

    I would add that the issue of providing only male officers to chareidi soldiers is a complex one. as the number of charedim in the army grows, opportunites for female officers will shrink. I dont know of a simple solution to this.

  43. mycroft says:

    ” would add that the issue of providing only male officers to chareidi soldiers is a complex one. as the number of charedim in the army grows, opportunites for female officers will shrink. I dont know of a simple solution to this”

    agreed

  44. Anonymous says:

    What is the problem with having less, or no, female officers in the army?

  45. Hirhurim says:

    Anonymous: The problem is allowing female officers but restricting their opportunities in comparison to their male colleagues. It’s kind of like allowing female rabbis but not letting them serve in many synagogues.

  46. MDJ says:

    Jerry, Aiwac, Gil, etc.
    Do any of these liberal organizations have institutes or programs set up _within_ an independent academic institutions. Is there a MacArthur foundation institute for the study of democracy at Harvard, say? This is the crux of the complaint, not the support of academics by a right leaning institutions.

  47. aiwac says:

    In Israel? Hell yes. Just do a quick search on research institutes there and notice their orientation.

    I’m not too familiar with the situation in America, but like I said before – the overwhelming majority of humanities and social sciences professors vote Democrat. Even if there was not a single liberal grant given them (and I’m sure there are many), they have power simply based on that “domination of (university) resources”. They most certainly are not in danger, and can stand a little competition.

  48. Hirhurim says:

    MDJ: I have no idea but I’m not sure why it is relevant. Is that the only way to influence academia?

  49. “The eighth one deals with various topics such as guarding cemeteries in Poland, forced draft of women, Sheirut Leumi and the obligation to vote in Israel.”

    what was/is rav moshe’s status in israel?

    GIL:

    ” It’s kind of like allowing female rabbis but not letting them serve in many synagogues.”

    you can be a rabbi without serving in a synagogue. can’t be an officer without serving in the army.

  50. i sympathize with the soldiers who would like their religious sensitivities vis-a-vis women soldiers to be respected. and i’m sure it must be very strane, if not traumatic in a way, for men who’ve lived their entire lives in gender segregated communities suddenly to be interacting with women.

    but what if similar demands for segregation were made in other spheres? in business, the public sector, the kenesset? at what point should the larger society not be required to accomadate. (i understand situation here is a bit more complex because the government does want to encourage them to serve)

  51. Hirhurim says:

    All they wanted to do was to leave the room while women sang solo. For that, they were kicked out of the officer training course.

  52. GIL:

    “All they wanted to do was to leave the room while women sang solo. For that, they were kicked out of the officer training course.”

    this specific incident was ridiculous. whoever was responsible for kicking them out should be kicked out himself (herself?). but there is a larger problem of accomadating the men without restricting the women.

  53. as i understand it, female soldiers predominate in certain areas in the army, particularly as trainers (or “less” risky combat jobs, e.g., artillery), to keep them off the front lines.

    ironically, opposition to men and women interacting together in certain areas (women trainers is a big point of contention) could result in propelling women to the front lines.

  54. MDJ says:

    Gil,
    It is relevant because AIUI, the direct intervention of the TIKVA foundation is the way I describe is what the author was objecting to. If you want to claim that individual sponsorhip of projects is the same as funding an institute bearing the name of the organization, that’s fine, but, as a member of academia, it is far from clear to me that that is true. but you cannot simply say that liberal organizations also fund academics. The complaint was about the different way it happens.

  55. MDJ says:

    Aiwac
    >>Just do a quick search on research institutes there and notice their orientation

    First, I have no idea how to do a “quick search on research institutes there”, but furthermore, similar to what I was saying to Gil, the question is not one of orientation, but of outside influence.

  56. aiwac says:

    MDJ,

    I mentioned the EU. I mentioned the NIF. Stop ducking.

  57. aiwac says:

    To say nothing of Posen et al.

  58. MDJ says:

    Aiwac,
    I’m not ducking. What institutes at what universities does the NIF fund. If you go to the Tikva website, you immediately see the Tivka Cneter at NYU/Princeton front and center. A review of the NIF website shows no such projects (though there are many, so it is possible I have missed them). As for the EU, I’m not sure what your point is. That is a governmental entity, not a private foundation. And anyway, I am not aware of any EU institutes either.
    I will turn things around on you and ask you to stop ducking. Where is there a university institute, even one, that is tied to a liberal foundation the way tikva is tied to a conservative one. If you can, then I will agree that the author of that article would be hyptcritical in he would not write about that as well. Otherwise, there is a real difference between funding indivual research projects from the outside and having a home _within_ the independent academic institution.

  59. MDJ says:

    Gil,
    See the end of my comment to Aiwac. There are many ways to influence academics (with money), just as there are many ways to influence politicians (with money). They are not all considered in bounds. I am not, BTW, arguing that tikva or NYU/Princeton are necessarily out of bounds. I am just saying that if you want to respond to the article, you need to respond to the particular point he was making.

  60. aiwac says:

    “Otherwise, there is a real difference between funding indivual research projects from the outside and having a home _within_ the independent academic institution.”

    I’ll bite. What’s the difference?

  61. aiwac says:

    See here, grants for various projects:

    http://www.nif.org/issue-areas/ford-israel-fund/1124-2010-grants

    http://www.nif.org/issue-areas/ford-israel-fund/1125-2009-grants

    (The public interest law center in TAU sounds especially like a liberal institution)

  62. MDJ says:

    Aiwac,
    In the case of the Tikva center there is a worry that an outside group will directly control the agenda of a part of the university itself: These are the people we will and won’t invite as members, as speakers etc., these are the topics and points of view we will allow. When the issue is funding from the outside, there is influence (less direct) but not control. Now you might say that the oportunities for control can be firewalled, and indeed they can. But then you need details of the arangement between Tikva and NYU, say. Also, there is a slipery slope objection that even if there are firewalls here, once we make it acceptable to have such outside funding, there won’t always be firewalls. You can also argue that the difference is not singnificant enough to matter, but again, that is not the case you were making (though I suspect it is what you believe).
    Those who follow this blog know that I do not generally post demurrals when general claims of liberal bias within the academy are made (at least not as best as I can recall). I do object when arguments are not well formulated or to the point.
    Now, please respond to my last post and name just one institute funded by a liberal fund

  63. aiwac says:

    “Those who follow this blog know that I do not generally post demurrals when general claims of liberal bias within the academy are made (at least not as best as I can recall). I do object when arguments are not well formulated or to the point.”

    http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/08/26/johnson

    Well formulated enough for you?

  64. aiwac says:

    Here’s a list of courses, institutes and programs (in Hebrew), established and/or funded by Posen:

    http://www.posenfoundation.co.il/node/10

  65. MDJ says:

    Aiwac,
    The insidehighered piece is fine. As I said, I don’t really object to those sorts of claims, so I’m not sure why you linked to it. The discussion here is rather more narrow than that. 1) Do liberal organizations have institutes within academies they way Tivka does and if not 2) are internal institutes no different form outside funding.
    Re 1, I have asked for examples. You NIF links do not seem to meet the bill. They are external grants to Hebrew U and Tel Aviv, AFAICT, which are precisely what I have said we are _not_ tlaking about here.
    Re 2, I have explained why one would think there is a difference.

  66. aiwac says:

    MDJ,

    You argue that claims of liberal dominance are merely ‘claims’. You have evidence to the contrary?

    PS The Posen Fund description specifically speaks of establishing institutions and fora, not just outside funding.

    Re: Outside Funding

    Lehavdil Elef Alfei Hevdelim, there’s a big debate about outside major funding of Middle Eastern Centers by Arab donors from the Middle East. By your logic, there should be no problem here, since it’s outside funding (I’m not speaking of centers that are established).

  67. Hirhurim says:

    MDJ: I’ll let you and Aiwac fight it out. I don’t really care what flies and doesn’t fly in the world of academia. There is plenty to criticize in the critique of Tikvah without that issue. Even if it is the author’s core complaint, he makes many objectionable arguments in his steps to that issue.

  68. aiwac says:

    R. Gil,

    No, thanks. I’m bowing out. MDJ can have the last word. Whoever is convinced of either side is not going to be persuaded from further discussion.

  69. MDJ says:

    Aiwac,
    You continually misread me. I have no idea why you think I don’t believe that there is liberal bias. the reason I called them claims is that in this forum, it almost always presented as a claim without evidence. Claims can be true or false, but in general, what is presented here in this regard are claims, and so I referred to them as such. I suspect that they are by and large true, but I personally have no evidence one way or another.
    As for my being convinced, there to you have no idea. I am actually quite confilicted on the matter, which is why I asked a non-rhetorical question to start. All my further posts were merely in service of getting an answer to that question. And, I might add, the Posen link is a good response to that initial query.

  70. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Again, neither Braiterman nor any of the bloggers here have offered any evidence at all that there is any neo-Conservative ideological bias to any of the Tikvah university centers, such as the ones at NYU or Princeton. To the contrary, I already mentioned Moshe Halbertal’s key role at the NYU Tikvah, to which one could add Leora Batnitsky’ role at the Princeton Tikvah. In light of this, to speak about any neo-conservative agenda here is absurd. Certainly, the burden of proof is on Braiterman, and he fails to supply any, any at all. (Again, I am a Tikvah Fellow at NYU for the year. BTW, Braiterman’s essay was one of the main topics of informal discussion at the opening reception today. The food, I should add, was great–something on which liberals and neo-conservatives can agree. Or is this just part of the greater conspiracy?)

  71. aiwac says:

    MDJ,

    “And, I might add, the Posen link is a good response to that initial query.”

    Thank you :)

  72. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    j — the village voice article (print version) is particularly anti semitic — front page pix of six pointed (jewish) star like a batman light on the horizon / clouds evoke image of swastika.

    re harvard — they still didnt return saudi shiek ibn xxxx multi millions of $$$ for his (anti israel) “research” institute.

  73. mycroft says:

    “I dont know of a simple solution to this.”

    True for most issues.

  74. joel rich says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/torah-archaeology-sheds-light-on-ancient-talmudic-dispute-1.383343
    ============================
    plei plaim! but who are the experts who will resolve contradictions?
    KT

  75. Tal Benschar says:

    “This new attitude toward archaeology is already having a practical impact: While extremist Haredi groups like Atra Kadisha have often demonstrated violently against archaeological digs in the past, today these groups are holding ongoing talks with the antiquities authority.”

    The writer of this article is either an idiot or being deliberately obtuse. Atra Kadisha and others are not opposed to archaelogy per se if it involves digging up old coins, old scales, old pottery, etc. Their opposition is to disturbing old Jewish burial sites as a bizayon ha meis. So long as that is respected, AK does not object to archaeological digs.

  76. mycroft says:

    “I would add that the issue of providing only male officers to chareidi soldiers is a complex one. as the number of charedim in the army grows, opportunites for female officers will shrink.”
    Can one discriminate against person X because Ys religious beliefs state one must discriminate against X. The question in a nutshell.

  77. Nachum says:

    Come on, Tal. Moving bones for public need is perfectly OK halakhically. They’re obviously looking for a fight with the chiloynim.

  78. Nachum says:

    But:

    “runs a museum that displays artifacts he acquired on the private market”

    I believe the Antiquities Authority, which has more than it can exhibit, lends him objects.

    By the way, they’re building a new museum for themselves next door to the Israel Museum. It’s going to be called the Schottenstein Museum. Now *there’s* kashering for you. :-)

  79. mycroft says:

    “The children we turn away are out of sight and too often out of mind. They leave no fingerprints, although they should in the form of emotional scars. ”
    Or they will be happy when they leave Yahadus and find people who appear to appreciate them.

    “But the truth is that those who turn away children, at times without a second thought, think they are doing sacred work”

    They certainly have no problem attracting leading RY to speak at their institutions. Perhaps sadly our “leaders” believe that they are doing sacred work.

  80. mycroft says:

    “It’s going to be called the Schottenstein Museum. ”

    As in Schottenstein from Columbus that has the Ohio State rink named after them.

  81. Tal Benschar says:

    “Come on, Tal. Moving bones for public need is perfectly OK halakhically. They’re obviously looking for a fight with the chiloynim.”

    Satisfying the curiousity of archaeologists or building a luxury hotel do not qualify as a public need. So it is not at all “obvious” in many cases.

    And in any case your comment has nothing to do with my comment.

  82. Tal Benschar says:

    ctd.

    Not to mention that the halakha requires that the bones be moved respectfully, not simply dumped like yesterday’s trash.

  83. mycroft says:

    “”When female soldiers began singing solo as part of a military band, the religious troops chose to leave the auditorium.
    They were followed by Regiment Commander Uzi Kileger, who informed them angrily: “If you don’t come back inside immediately, you will be refusing orders. Anyone refusing an order will be dismissed from the course.”
    According to the General Staff orders, a religious soldier is entitled not to take part in recreational activity which contradicts his lifestyle and faith, but the orders do not apply to non-recreational military events”

    In the military a lawful order must be obeyed-how could one have an officer who may in the future be ordered to force settlers out of Kiryat Arba amd would refuse to obey orders. Of course, this should raise questions in the chardal community that puts the IDF as a religous value. No army or government can allow a veto power to anyone outside thechain of command. That doewsn’t mean that a person who has other allegiances should serve in such an army.

    “According to Hacohen, the incident was not an act of protest and defiance on the part of the soldiers, but a required decision in light of the contradiction between two important values”

    An army can’t have officers who have other values other than that of following lawful orders. This apparently was an lawful order.
    That does not mean that I agree with the policy of having females sing which could be provocative to some who apparently you wish could be officers. But a clear cut lawful order must be obeyed.

  84. lawrence kaplan says:

    mycroft: I agree that once the order was issued the soldiers qua soldiers had the responsibility to obey it. But I still believe the regimental commander was an idiot for issuing the order in the first place. The fact that he is described as being angry when issuing the order does not speak well of his judgment. He basically forced the issue unnecessarily. His order may have been a lawful order; that does not mean it was necessary or right.

  85. Hirhurim says:

    In my opinion, the commander should be disciplined for insensitivity and the cadets should be full reinstated.

  86. TAL:

    “Their opposition is to disturbing old Jewish burial sites as a bizayon ha meis”

    Their opposition is to disturbing old burial sites as a bizayon ha meis, jewish or gentile.

    NACHUM:

    “Moving bones for public need is perfectly OK halakhically. They’re obviously looking for a fight with the chiloynim.”

    your latter statement might be true, but it’s difficult to argue that archaelogical research is a pressing public need.

    GIL:

    “the commander should be disciplined for insensitivity and the cadets should be full reinstated.”

    agreed. does the IDF have some type of sentivity training for secular officers to understand the needs of religious soldiers? of course eventually most officers will probably religious anyway, rendering such training unnecessary.

  87. MYCROFT:

    “As in Schottenstein from Columbus that has the Ohio State rink named after them.”

    are you serious?
    this is a person (actually family) who is one of the most generous frum baalei tzedeka. countless frum, jewish and civic institutions in the US and abroad would collapse without his subvention
    and you know him as the benefactor of a local college sports complex? (and if this all you attribute to him, at least be accurate, it’s more than just a rink)

  88. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Haven’t you guys ever heard of Artscroll’s Schottenstein Talmud (the English translation). The family name is on every cover.

  89. J. says:

    Lawrence Kaplan:
    Which issurim do you think soldiers should transgress if they are ‘ordered’ to do so? Exposing themselves to an erva? Eating treif food?
    It’s one thing if there’s a matter of pikuach nefesh involved, but here it would seem that according to mainstream halacha, listening to females sing was indeed an issur – I don’t see how the fact that these men were soldiers changes that.
    I simply don’t get how the state of Israel can so much of its efforts trying to integrate frum soliders, whilst simultaneously forcing them to violate halacha – do they want to give rejectionists every excuse to avoid service? If they do, then this is a textbook case of how to achieve that.

  90. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    his artscroll shas produced a revolution in talmud torah, but in the larger scheme of things it’s still a drop in the bucket of what he’s done.

    in any case, whether or not one agress with where he’s given his money, it’s ludicrous to imply that his legacy rests on a college sports complex

  91. Nachum says:

    Tal, if anything, the charedi protests are what cause the dumping of bones. If an Israeli construction company finds bones, they dump them instead of risking protests. Without protests, the archaeologists would be called and and the bones would be respectfully removed.

    Joseph: Of course I’ve heard of the Gemara. In fact, in Israel, the Artscroll Hebrew Gemara is simply called “Schottenstein.” I also know about their donations to YU- in fact, the former resulted from the latter. That was my joke. :-)

  92. Tal Benschar says:

    I simply don’t get how the state of Israel can so much of its efforts trying to integrate frum soliders, whilst simultaneously forcing them to violate halacha – do they want to give rejectionists every excuse to avoid service? If they do, then this is a textbook case of how to achieve that.

    J., I will use your comment as an excuse to mention something I have been thinking about. I assume you live in America or some other Western country where there is rule of law. Israel is in many respects lawless — each person with authority likes to do what they want to do. The lawlessness extends to many areas — it’s why the oisvorfs in Ramat Beth Shemesh acted they way they do, it’s why the extreme settlers feel they can engage in “price tag” retaliations, its why a left-wing professor can call on the populace to break the bones of the settlers without any fear of retaliation, while a similar statement by a right-winger would be prosecuted for “incitement,” and the list goes on and on. Jews in America often have a hard time appreciating this point.

    The officer in the Army likely thought to himself, “what, I’m going to let these dirty dossim push me around? I’ll order them to attend and let’s see who wins.” The official policy of the Army or the State was the farthest thing from his mind.

  93. J. says:

    Tal: We’ve already established (in our discussion of matza prices) that I don’t live in America ;-) although, b’h, I do live in a country with the there is rule of law (and expensive matzos). I can certainly second your claim about the lack of it in Israel (indeed a close family member was defrauded there in the most awful way for a very substantial sum, and getting the police to take an interest has been a Herculean task), but I certainly think that the army should do its utmost to ensure that it generates no reason for complaint amongs those who simply want to observe halacha.

  94. has the military rabbinate weighed in on the cadet’s dismissal? (i won’t even ask about the impotent chief rabbinate)

    as an aside, mixed miltary troupes have been entertertaining the troops for decades. was this ever a problem in the past? (not that this should matter if it’s a problem now, but just curious and it’s an interesting observation on how DL society has changed)

    TAL:

    “The officer in the Army likely thought to himself, “what, I’m going to let these dirty dossim push me around?”

    i don’t think they were “dossim” (not that it matters)

  95. lawrence kaplan says:

    J. I specifically criticized the order and called the regimental commander who issued it an idiot. I’m not quite sure what you want from me. Your quarrel, if you have one, is with mycroft to whom I was responding.

  96. Steve Brizel says:

    I thought that Dr A Nadler’s review of the YU related book re 9-11 related issues lacked balance. Obviously,Dr. D Shatz’s essay, IIRC, was previously published and is superb in its own right. However, his nasty comments on the discussions between R M Willig, and Poskim in Israel IMO were rooted in a disdain for the halachic process, as opposed to the results therein.

  97. lawrence kaplan says:

    Perhaps mycroft would like to explain what he meant by his silly and demeaning Schottenstein comment. Maybe it was a poor attempt at a joke that did not come off well. Otherwise, it’s almost as if he wished to provide ammunition to those who see him as an unreconstructed cynic.

  98. Tal Benschar says:

    Abba’s Rantings

    TAL:

    “The officer in the Army likely thought to himself, “what, I’m going to let these dirty dossim push me around?”

    i don’t think they were “dossim” (not that it matters)

    And just what do you think the perjorative dossim refers to? Do you think it is limited to people who wear kapotas and black hats? Let me disabuse you of that notion.

  99. mycroft says:

    “and you know him as the benefactor of a local college sports complex? (and if this all you attribute to him, at least be accurate, it’s more than just a rink)”

    I only knew of the rink-when there was an NHL hockey strike-the NCAA frozen four was played at Columbus and the NYTimes referred to center of North American Hockey being at the Schottenstein Rink.

    to give the Schottenstein Center its proper due
    from
    http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/facilities/schottenstein-center.html

    Ground was broken April 2, 1996 for Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center – a testament to the vision of The Ohio State University Department of Athletics to provide modern, state of the art facilities for student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and fans – a commitment to excellence. After an aggressive construction schedule (3,888 cement trucks made their way to the building site to complete the 770,000 square foot building), the Center opened its doors November 3, 1998 for a Men’s basketball game kicking off an opening month with only one dark day. First and foremost, the Schottenstein Center is the home of the Ohio State University Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams as well as Men’s Ice Hockey, the $115 million multipurpose facility also hosts a wide variety of special events, concerts, family shows and touring productions … Home of the Buckeyes – Arena to the Stars!

    “In fact, in Israel, the Artscroll Hebrew Gemara is simply called “Schottenstein.” I also know about their donations to YU”
    I suspect all Hirhurim bloggers know about these donations-I suspect many don’t know that they are obviously gigantic givers to secular causes in Columbus.

  100. Joseph Kaplan says:

    I think Gil had preciously posted the views a hareidi, who has served/is serving, in the IDF about the sensitivity that the IDF shows towards the religious needs of dati’im. If you haven’t read it, here’s the link. http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2011/08/22/a-second-look-at-the-idf/. It’s clearly a difficult issue in which may different values must be balanced. But while this particular incident seems to have been a foolish error, I’ll take the insight of the hareidi with personal knowledge of what the IDF’s attitude is over the second-hand broad brush attackes of some expressed here.

  101. TAL:

    unless the term has taken on new meaning or my memory fails, “dossim” was used (including by DLs) generally to refer to haredim (ie those who pronounce datiyyim as dosim).

    i won’t stake my house on it.

  102. mycroft says:

    “mycroft: I agree that once the order was issued the soldiers qua soldiers had the responsibility to obey it. But I still believe the regimental commander was an idiot for issuing the order in the first place. The fact that he is described as being angry when issuing the order does not speak well of his judgment. He basically forced the issue unnecessarily. His order may have been a lawful order; that does not mean it was necessary or right.”

    Essentially agree.

  103. mycroft says:

    “However, his nasty comments on the discussions between R M Willig, and Poskim in Israel ”

    from

    http://www.forward.com/articles/142447/
    “The barely decipherable exchanges between Rabbi Mordechai Willig of the Yeshiva University and the Bronx’s Young Israel of Riverdale synagogue on the one hand and the Israeli sage Zalman Nechemia Goldberg on the other, will be utterly baffling to English readers not familiar with the cadences and jargon unique to rabbinic literature. Worse, the translators have rendered these exchanges literally, resulting in dozens of atrocious mistakes in English usage.”

    Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/142447/#ixzz1XThBxDFD

    The above statement could essentially equally apply to a literal translation of the Talmud-what is nasty about the review.

    far more important is this part of his review

    “By far, the most impressive chapter of all is the brilliant philosophical essay by the only contributor who is not a rabbi. David Shatz, professor of philosophy at Yeshiva University, engages in a profound, dialectical consideration of the need to balance legitimate, even admirable religious passion that may lead its adherents to martyrdom, with the need to maintain our reason and morality. Marshalling the profound insights of such luminaries as rabbis Abraham Isaac Kook and Joseph Soloveitchik, Shatz concludes the book with a powerful indictment of those clerics who claim to know the “reasons” for tragedies such as 9/11, from Bible decoders and fraudulent kabbalists to apocalyptic preachers.

    Shatz points out that while some derive comfort from false “knowledge” of a divine “why” that explains cataclysmic tragedies, from earthquakes and floods to terrorist attacks, such mystical explanations have the deleterious effect of stymieing any rational religious quest for true understanding of the ways of God, a struggle that, like the Lord himself, must remain infinite.

    Shatz thereby wisely postulates that the truly religious, indeed pious, response in the face of such a tragedy is a humble acknowledgment of the limits of even the greatest clerics in deciphering the sudden, cruel fate of so many innocents. I have yet to read a more sagacious response than Shatz’s to the tragic events of a decade ago. His essay alone makes this book well worth owning.

    Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/142447/#ixzz1XTi9zkBU

  104. mycroft says:

    “lawrence kaplan on September 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm
    Perhaps mycroft would like to explain what he meant by his silly and demeaning Schottenstein comment. Maybe it was a poor attempt at a joke that did not come off well. Otherwise, it’s almost as if he wished to provide ammunition to those who see him as an unreconstructed cynic.”
    Given the apparent importance of the Schittenstein Center in Ohio State it is apparent more people have heard of the last name from that context than all the people who have heard of Art Scroll. I don’tthink the comment was demeaning obviously theSchottensteins are proud of their Ohio State gifts-otherwise they wouldn’t have hadthe Center named after them. I did not intend t9o get into a serious discussion of the
    Schottensteins how they or anyone spend their own money. It is up to them-the same as I would not criticize anyone who doesn ot wish to spend their money on day school education for their own children ifthey are not comparatively well off.If anything Prof Kaplans comment “Maybe it was a poor attempt at a joke that did not come off well.” was probably the most accurate of a throwaway line that I wrote combining trivia knowledge of an NCAA final four in hockey from years ago-I was not even aware that the whole center was named after them.

  105. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-WADR, my point was not about the quality of the translation, but the Halachic give and take-which Professor Nadler dismissed, and you which you seemingly did not quote in the entirety of your posted link.

  106. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-are you seriously defending the following:

    “The barely decipherable exchanges between Rabbi Mordechai Willig of the Yeshiva University and the Bronx’s Young Israel of Riverdale synagogue on the one hand and the Israeli sage Zalman Nechemia Goldberg on the other, will be utterly baffling to English readers not familiar with the cadences and jargon unique to rabbinic literature.

    But it was while struggling through the tour de force of arcane halachic learning from Israel’s former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef — an essay that cites many hundreds of talmudic and medieval sources, precious few of which bear any direct relevance to the cases at hand — that I could identify powerfully with the disgust felt by the maskilim toward rabbinical obscurantism in the early days of the Jewish enlightenment. These feelings were most explosively expressed in Yehudah Leib Gordon’s epic 1875 poem “Kotso Shel Yud.” But, almost a century later, Chaim Grade’s Yiddish novel, “The Agunah,” issued a similar indictment against the tragically inhumane consequences of excessive rabbinical legalism

    Perhaps feeling constrained by the fact that the cases were, ultimately, no-brainers, thanks in large part to the massive evidence garnered through 21st-century technology, Willig, Goldberg and Yosef revert to an embarrassing and convoluted medievalism.”

    Willig, Goldberg and Yosef’s casuistic indulgences unwittingly explain the reason that the tragic plight of the agunah was such a cause célèbre for the maskilim who sought to modernize Judaism beginning in the mid-19th century”

    WADR, such comments show an almost complete lack of appreciation for the halachic process and how Talmidei Chachamim work thru the issues, as opposed to a maskilishe demand for an answer in lieu of an approach that solved the problem.

  107. Hirhurim says:

    Nadler’s review is nasty because he belittled the authors and judged their work by inappropriate standards. Instead of asking what the articles are and discussing them from that perspective, he decided what they should be and criticized them for not being it.

    He also simply misread R. Ovadia Yosef.

    He is, by the way, a regular writer for Jewish Ideas Dail and the Jewish Review of Books despite being non-Orthodox and arguably anti-Orthodox, or at least anti-Orthodox-establishment.

  108. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in who funds Israel’s far left NGOs such as BTzelem and their POVs re the future of Israel, see the following link.http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/09/06/wikileaks-new-israel-fund-endorses-end-of-jewish-state/

  109. mycroft says:

    “Steve Brizel on September 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm
    Mycroft-are you seriously defending the following:

    “The barely decipherable exchanges between Rabbi Mordechai Willig of the Yeshiva University and the Bronx’s Young Israel of Riverdale synagogue on the one hand and the Israeli sage Zalman Nechemia Goldberg on the other, will be utterly baffling to English readers not familiar with the cadences and jargon unique to rabbinic literature.”

    I was only commenting on at that paragraph
    I interpreted “However, his nasty comments on the discussions between R M Willig, and Poskim in Israel IMO were rooted in a disdain for the halachic process, as opposed to the results therein.”
    As referring to that sentence

    “Mycroft-WADR, my point was not about the quality of the translation, but the Halachic give and take-which Professor Nadler dismissed, and you which you seemingly did not quote in the entirety of your posted link.”

    I obviously misinterpreted your original comment and thus did not quote the entirety-I essentially agree with you about the three following paragraphs.

  110. mycroft says:

    “He is, by the way, a regular writer for Jewish Ideas Dail and the Jewish Review of Books despite being non-Orthodox and arguably anti-Orthodox, or at least anti-Orthodox-establishment.”

    One can obviously be anti Orthodox establishment without being non-Orthodox or arguably anti-Orthodox.

  111. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-thanks for your clarification.

  112. Hirhurim says:

    Mycroft: Are you saying that he is Orthodox or just making some vague comment about what is and isn’t mutually exclusive?

  113. Steve Brizel says:

    Myroft wrote:

    “One can obviously be anti Orthodox establishment without being non-Orthodox or arguably anti-Orthodox”

    WADR, isn’t that just Lashon Sagi Nahor for saying Dr Nadler is just another LW MO academic?

  114. mycroft says:

    “Hirhurim on September 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    Mycroft: Are you saying that he is Orthodox or just making some vague comment about what is and isn’t mutually exclusive?”

    It was intended to be some comment about what is or isn’t mutually exclusive.
    I have no intention of discussing whether someone is Orthodox or not-if one is interested in that question read
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Nadler
    and make ones own determination

  115. mycroft says:

    Steve Brizel on September 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm
    Myroft wrote:

    ““One can obviously be anti Orthodox establishment without being non-Orthodox or arguably anti-Orthodox”

    WADR, isn’t that just Lashon Sagi Nahor for saying Dr Nadler is just another LW MO academic?”
    that was not my intention-I wouldn’t describe him as LWMO-although ordained Orthodox if the following “ultimately led to his decision to leave the Orthodox Rabbinate,[citation needed] and quit the Rabbinical Council of America.”
    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Nadler

    is true.
    Gils comment essentially guessed my comments motivation

  116. MuiMedinat HaYam says:

    “that has the Ohio State rink named after them”

    doesnt he have an opera (or classical music) house named after him, too? in ohio.

    the truth is, that may be his outside interests. besides (some form of) torah. like many other donors. when i make my second million, i may want to donate to some secular causes, besides torah causes. (though not a hockey or classical music rink.)

    2. if this (quasi orthodox) academic has such a background, shouldnt it be fully disclosed by the newspaper’s editor? or does he represent himself as complatible with the image of that paper (which is somewhat limiting in his editorials. and almost all the paper’s serious articles are opinionated, to a large degree. though i personally like reading the paper regularly, errors and all.)

    having said that, his concept of talmudic minuteau (?sp?) in deciding halachic issues, often does fail to look at the big picture (igrot moshe, yabeaa omer, among others, does look at the big picture, often. not always). may be worth a post of its own.

    3. mens panels exclude women — i see enough baking, cake decorating, at evebts such as those mentioned. (humor)

  117. MMY:

    “doesnt he have an opera (or classical music) house named after him, too?”

    and various arms of OSU, including in the OSU medical center.

    “when i make my second million, i may want to donate to some secular causes”

    why only the second million? jews don’t need first rate health care facilities and research institutes like the OSU medical center?

  118. mycroft says:

    “why only the second million? jews don’t need first rate health care facilities and research institutes like the OSU medical center?”

    IMHO it is essential for Jewish money to help Jewish cauuses no one else has a reason to be concerned with Jewish survival-BTW supporting AECOM IMHO is no different Jewishly than supporting OSU medical center.

  119. abba's rantings says:

    MYCROFT:

    i agree with you that the jewish community supports causes that funnel money away from parochial jewish needs. regarding AECOM that you mention, i agree and think that YU should spin it off as an independent entity (uness it can be argued that AECOM somehow brings in money or other real benefit to YU in general).

    however i distinguish between how the jewish community assigns its financial priorities (which should be strictly jewish) and how jewish individuals do so.

    and i sincerely hope that no one you care about ever requires care at an OSU-type medical facility or needs to benefit from research conducted there.

  120. noam stadlan says:

    To make the point more clear, the Wikipedia article on R. Nadler points out that he has semicha from what appear to be orthodox institutions, served on the orthodox va’ad in boston, and otherwise has orthodox credentials. On the other hand, he was the rabbi at Conservative shuls, and, according to the article, left orthodoxy and the RCA. However, there are no citations to that fact, and the Wikipedia article points that out.

    Therefore, it seems as if the question of whether Rabbi Nadler has left Orthodoxy is unresolved, unless there is some proof to either side.

    The larger question is why the tzitzis checking and does it matter? I found his book “faith of the Mitnagdim” to be fascinating and enlightening, and find his articles to be interesting, even if I dont agree with all of them. Why cant we discuss the content and leave the labels aside. Of course, if someone wants to deligitimize a person or point of view, applying the ‘non-orthodox’ label is quite an easy way to do that, but I dont think it is a very good or fair debating technique.

  121. mycroft says:

    “regarding AECOM that you mention, i agree and think that YU should spin it off as an independent entity”
    I don’t know the exact corporate governance but AECOM is at least quasi independent.

    “(uness it can be argued that AECOM somehow brings in money or other real benefit to YU in general).”

    If anything it has the opposite affect-it enables people who would give to a Jewish cause the ability to ease their guilt by killing two birds with one stone by contributing to AECOM Jewish wo being too Jewish. After AECOM YU lost contributors from outside NY that would give to AECOM instead. How many NYers give to OSU medical center=a lot of Jews from aroundNA gave to AECOM.

    “however i distinguish between how the jewish community assigns its financial priorities (which should be strictly jewish) and how jewish individuals do so.”
    Interesting thought

    “and i sincerely hope that no one you care about ever requires care at an OSU-type medical facility or needs to benefit from research conducted there.”

    I beleive that by my tax dollars, insurance payments copays etc I’ve been paying keseph maleh to US medical institutions over the decades. I have been a patient at hospitals with no religious name attached to it, hospitals with Jewish names attached to it,and Catholic hospitals.
    We all benefit from research-but as a Jew my priorities are Jewish causes. I benefit from research from around the world-that does not mean that I believe that should be the priority of those whose primary interest is propoagting Yiddishkeit.

  122. mycroft says:

    “The larger question is why the tzitzis checking and does it matter? … and find his articles to be interesting, even if I dont agree with all of them. Why cant we discuss the content and leave the labels aside. Of course, if someone wants to deligitimize a person or point of view, applying the ‘non-orthodox’ label is quite an easy way to do that, but I dont think it is a very good or fair debating technique”
    Agreed-unless one is looking for a posek or answer in halacha where one has to know if the person is committed to halacha-I am not really concerned if historian X or Y believes or not-at least when dealing with modern issues-the question is the person accurate in his facts and is his analysis accurate. Thus Rabbi Arthur Green may well be the leading scholar on Hassidism and I would read his books to understand Hassidism but obviously I would never ask him a sheila. Not because of lack of integrity but rather one can only ask a sheila to one who accepts halacha as binding the way we do.

    BTW I took out “I found his book “faith of the Mitnagdim” to be fascinating and enlightening,” from my agreement simply because I haven’t read it-and thus couldn’t comment on that part of the statement.

  123. ccl says:

    “The larger question is why the tzitzis checking and does it matter? … and find his articles to be interesting, even if I dont agree with all of them. Why cant we discuss the content and leave the labels aside. Of course, if someone wants to deligitimize a person or point of view, applying the ‘non-orthodox’ label is quite an easy way to do that, but I dont think it is a very good or fair debating technique”
    Isn’t the same done here without exception to anyone that smacks of Charedi?

  124. mycroft says:

    “ccl on September 11, 2011 at 1:00 am
    “The larger question is why the tzitzis checking and does it matter? … and find his articles to be interesting, even if I dont agree with all of them. Why cant we discuss the content and leave the labels aside. Of course, if someone wants to deligitimize a person or point of view, applying the ‘non-orthodox’ label is quite an easy way to do that, but I dont think it is a very good or fair debating technique””

    No one says that what a chareidi says is automatically illegitimate-bloggers may question the statement and look for inconsistencies -but I don’t recall people challenging the statement that X is chareidi.
    Isn’t the same done here without exception to anyone that smacks of Charedi?

  125. mycroft says:

    For an interesting balanced discussion at least IMO about women singers and religious males in IDF see

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/religion-in-the-idf-army-needs-consistent-policy-to-avoid-offending-sensibilities-1.383339

    Published 00:53 09.09.11 Latest update 00:53 09.09.11 Religion in the IDF / Army needs consistent policy to avoid offending sensibilities
    Four religious cadets were ousted from officer candidate school for refusing to listen to women singing.
    By Amos Harel

    The growing conflict over the role of religion in the Israel Defense Forces caused another mass-casualty incident this week: Four religious cadets were ousted from officer candidate school (known in Hebrew as Bahad 1 ) for refusing to listen to women singing; five others who were slated to be ousted were reinstated after apologizing; rabbis issued a condemnatory letter; and the IDF once again found itself, against its will, in the thick of Israel’s culture wars.

    A recent clarification of the army’s rules on women singing at ceremonies did not prevent the incident. That may be proof that it needs a comprehensive policy.

    The current course for infantry officers has 223 cadets, of whom 93, or 41 percent, are religious. On Tuesday evening, the course held a seminar on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008. Most of it consisted of lectures on the operation’s lessons, but an Education Corps troupe containing two male and two female vocalists performed as well.

    After several religious cadets were ousted last November for refusing to listen to women sing at a ceremony, the IDF Rabbinate, the Education Corps and Bahad 1 tried to forge a compromise to prevent further such incidents. The agreement, approved by IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz, adopted the view that the religious prohibition on men listening to women sing applies only to all-women troupes and not to music sung by men and women together. Hence religious cadets may not boycott the latter.

    For 10 months, the compromise seemed to work. But before Tuesday’s event, two religious cadets told their superiors they intended to walk out, and despite being explicitly ordered to remain, they in fact did so. A group of almost 30 others then stood up to follow them.

    Their battalion commander tried to block them, warning that leaving would constitute disobeying an order, and in the end, most stayed. But seven joined the first two in leaving.

    On Wednesday, the nine were summoned to a hearing before Bahad 1′s commander, Col. Eran Niv. Niv decided to expel both the first two to leave and two others who refused to express regret. The other five were allowed to stay, both because they expressed regret and because, in some cases, it wasn’t clear they realized that leaving would amount to disobeying an order.

    Unsurprisingly, a battle over the rule’s proper interpretation then erupted. Army regulations state that a soldier is not obliged to participate in cultural activities that offend his sensibilities. Bahad 1 viewed Tuesday’s event as a mandatory professional seminar. But the rabbis argued that the choral part of the evening was a cultural event, so the cadets should have been allowed to leave.

    Niv’s view, however, is that “orders must be obeyed, period,” as discipline is the bedrock of all military activity. The cadets were entitled to appeal to their commanders, but the minute they were explicitly told to stay, they had to do so.

    Yet Bahad 1 officers also acknowledged that the situation was not properly explained to the cadets beforehand, setting the stage for conflict.

    Rabbi Haim Druckman, one of the leaders of the association of hesder yeshivas (which combine Torah study with army service ), termed the cadets’ expulsions “outrageous,” saying nowhere in the army’s rulebook does it say soldiers have to listen to women singing. Yet he took a more moderate stance after last November’s incident.

    Chief of Staff Benny Gantz recently ordered the head of the IDF’s personnel directorate, Orna Barbivay, to work on resolving the issue of religion in the IDF.

    But it seems that ad hoc compromises are no longer enough: The army will have to set a clear, comprehensive policy.

    This story is by:

    Amos Harel

  126. mycroft says:

    Interesting article about Moshe Rabbeinus speech. An example of article that one can read irrespective of the writers personal frumkeit.

  127. Anonymous says:

    “The larger question is why the tzitzis checking and does it matter?”

    It could matter – it could also not matter, but it could as well. Why could it matter? It could matter because his view of halacha might be playing a role in his critique. If he views halacha as so much voodoo then it’s very easy to understand his frustration at the way responsa are written. All you need to do is look at the DNA instead of doing the rain dance through 19th century rabbinic literature. That’s great. But it’s not Orthodox, and it is not a valid complaint within the Orthodox system of halacha. It matters if his critique is as an Orthodox rabbi arguing against pilpulim shel hevel or if his critique is as someone who doesn’t actually accept rabbinic law as valid arguing against rabbinic law functioning at all. “Darn it, man! Forget the rabbis, just look a the DNA!” is what he seems to be saying.

    I would argue that his biography is unnecessary altogether since you can pretty clearly see that he sees halacha as entirely medieval and you don’t need to know what he’s done in his personal life to see that.

  128. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “I would argue that his biography is unnecessary altogether since you can pretty clearly see that he sees halacha as entirely medieval and you don’t need to know what he’s done in his personal life to see that.”

    I think this lies at the crux of the exasperation some feel (including me) at the constant “tzitzit checking” that has been going on in this blog recently. R. Nadler set out his position clearly and one certainly can take strong issue with the negative points he made about the book (although I would note that he was also extremely complimentary about many parts of the book including halachic parts). But what does his religious affiliation have to do with that? If he didn’t leave the RCA and had not been the rabbi of a Conservative shul, then those objecting to his comments would not have voiced their objections? Or they would have voiced them in a softer tone? He didn’t invoke personal authority to support his comments; he didn’t say the halachic discussions were unimpressive and believe me on that because I’m an O rabbi. He asserted criticisms and explained the basis of those criticisms. His basis was faulty? Say so and explain how. Calling him C is really quite childish and, equally important, irrelevant to an intelligent discussion of his review. It’s about time we stopped what is, in effect, name-calling.

  129. mycroft says:

    “Charles Harary, OU National Vice President, and Founder of Milvado, an organization promoting innovative methods of teaching spirituality in a relevant and modern ways, emphasized the power and purpose of individuality – that we all have specific different strengths and unique roles within Jewish history. He asked, “What is Jewish education? We rely too much on formal Jewish education to educate our children Jewishly. We all approach the world differently. To bring each individual Jew to connect with his or her purpose will ignite their passion, and together we can become the nation that we are destined to be.””
    Waiting for some main stream Jewish schoot to really run its school that way-putting out press releases and brochures does not equal running a school IMHO.

  130. mycroft says:

    “He asserted criticisms and explained the basis of those criticisms. His basis was faulty? Say so and explain how”

    Such logic should also apply to criticisms of all writers and commentaters-say where they are wrong-it shouldn’t matter whose saying something argue the position.

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  132. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    mycroft — being an vp of the o-u is an honorary po$ition. it means you bring in $.

    as for my comment on giving to secular causes with my second million; this would not be part of my “maasser” (plus), but extra $. there are some causes i believe in, but they would prob be more along the lines of “business” investments, as opposed to the concept of tzedaka that we have. and it prob wouldnt be such a large amt of $

    as for aecom, it (originally) served a purpose of opening medical school to religious students (notwithstanding the quota issue; it had other beni’s.) spinning it off would be the business equivalent of selling a major asset for no money. assuming it is an asset (i.e., it brings in $ to the parent org, or not.) i believe it is.

  133. [...] been done. One need only read the “talkbacks” on the original article, the discussion in the comments of Hirhurim last week, and even the remarks of the pseudonymous Jerry Haber, your typical American [...]

  134. [...] been done. One need only read the “talkbacks” on the original article, the discussion in the comments of Hirhurim last week, and even the remarks of the pseudonymous Jerry Haber, your typical American [...]

 
 

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