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Loving the Law (a Catholic thinker reads Halakhic Man)
Jews weren’t all pedlars and criminals, Mr Dickens
The Safran Dreidel Collection
Israeli officials escalate war of words with N.Y. Times
Season For Miracles and Learning
Happy Hanukkah, Marines!
Mumbai synagogue celebrates 150th year
Leaving The December Dilemma Behind
High-Tech Education and High Quality?
At Reform biennial, handwringing over the next generation
R. Avraham Yosef: Segregated Buses Idiotic
SALT Thursday
Yiddish making a comeback at colleges
Rabbi, Matisyahu shaved off his beard! Should I shave off mine?
N.Y. lawmaker Carl Kruger quits over bribery charges (what’s up with the lead paragraph?)
Holland: New rules on animal slaughter
Haredi solution: ‘Kosher’ bus company
The Meaning of the Name “Maccabee”
Translating the Bible From Hebrew — To Hebrew
Day School Enrollment Trending Downward
Constitutional Crisis At Young Israel
Questions Aren’t Fatal
SALT Wednesday
Guide for the traveler on Chanukah
Can Reform Jews be politically conservative?
Shas Sets Up Shop in U.S.
Leader Asks Jews To Return to Tunisia
In Search of the Moderate Voice
Haredim protest dense burial campaign
Christopher Hitchens’ lessons on writing a derashah
A Review of Responses to the Beacon article
R. Shlomo Amar: A woman rabbi is an uprooting of the Torah
The Origins of the Non-Jewish Custom Of ‘Schlissel Challah’
SALT Tuesday
YUTorah Online – Chanuka To Go
Jon D. Levenson: The Meaning of Hanukkah
Orthosexuality
Satmar Rebbe Condemns Jews Who Bash Obama
‘Kosher electricity law’ pulled
New Yorkers producing film on Israel’s Six-Day War victory
The Political Orthodoxy of Hebrew Union College
At Orthodox Toy Store in Brooklyn, Batman Is Not Kosher
Yes, An Orthodox Rabbi Can ‘Do’ a Commitment Ceremony
Brooklyn D.A. Refuses To Name Child Sex Abusers
SALT Monday
Last week’s news & links
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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.
 

156 Responses

  1. IH says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/dead-sea-scrolls-hit-new-york-city-for-first-time-exhibit-1.401800

    “A well-preserved 2,000-year-old piece of the Dead Sea Scrolls describing the Ten Commandments is going on display in New York City for the first time beginning Friday. The tiny scroll will be shown for 10 days at the Discovery Times Square exhibition space before returning to Israel.”

    —–

    I know that some view the DSS as the product of deviant sects and, therefore, irrelevant to Rabbinic Judaism, so my ears perked up when I watched my VTR recording of the Channel 13 broadcast about the show from the previous Motzei Shabbat and heard an interview with Prof. Schiffman (about 80 minutes in) saying:

    If we go and speak about biblical texts, we’ve got here biblical texts from a thousand years before our earliest otherwise known Hebrew biblical manuscripts which come from about the year 1000, which is literally a thousand years after the scrolls. But, if get into the real historical questions, we now have an understanding of what happened on the Jewish side between the Hebrew Bible and the Talmudic literature and on the Christian side between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, that simply did not exist before these scrolls were found.

    I then double-checked his new book, unread in my pile, which is even more specific (p. 37-8 in “Qumran and Jerusalem”):

    Among the most significant of the Qumran scrolls are certainly the biblical manuscripts. These documents will shed important new light on the history of the biblical text in Second Temple times.

    The last statement is itself much more important than meets the eye. In the early years of Qumran studies, it was thought that the biblical texts from Qumran would somehow illuminate the “original” text that emerged from ancient Israel. This entire notion has been proven wrong. It is now clear that the biblical text has a history of transmission, and that major parts of this history, which indeed testify to the place of Scripture in the Judaism of the post-biblical period, are to be understood from the scrolls. Indeed, we now know that many textual variants result not only from transmission, but from interpretation and linguistic updating, phenomena that, before the discovery of the scrolls, could not have been understood.

  2. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    From the WSJ piece:

    “The Christian parallels lie, instead, with Good Friday and the story of Jesus’s acceptance of his suffering and sacrificial death.”

    Clearly he didn’t read R’ Carmy’s piece on the “December Dilemma” a few issues ago in Tradition. Our value isn’t suffering; it’s commitment.

  3. avi says:

    Re Satmar:
    Did he every say that one must be Respectful to Bill Clinton when criticising him?

    If not, I think we now have all the proof we need that Obama is bad for Israel :P

  4. aiwac says:

    I’m torn about the Batman article. On the one hand, I’m a huge Batman fan. OTOH, I understand the desire to encourage role models that solve problems through methods other than violence.

  5. IH says:

    Kol ha’Kavod to R. Fischer for his thoughtful piece on Orthosexuality.

  6. AIWAC:

    AIWAC:

    “I’m a huge Batman fan. OTOH, I understand the desire to encourage role models that solve problems through methods other than violence.”

    1) most superheros (at least i remember them) don’t engage in gratuitous and capricious violence. it serves a cause. so the violence that generally charachterizes the superhero genre may be objectionable, i don’t think the superheros’ repsonse per se is objectionable.

    2) i think batman is a great role model (and have told my own son this when he asks who is my favorite). he has no special powers, but rather relies on intense physical training and his brains. i.e., you don’t have to have supernatural powers to do good (or in general excel). its all about hard work and effort. now if artscroll would write a batman bio, doubtlessly they would ascribe to him some previously unkown supernatural incident that accounts for his abilities . . .

    (as far as assuring toys, what i do think is ridiculous is the way many chabadniks won’t buy toys, books, etc. with non-kosher animals)

  7. David says:

    You have frequently spoken about the “danger” in Orthodoxy appearing to immitate the non-Orthodox Jewish movements in that it might give them some sort of validation. In the H”P article we see a different danger – Orthodox rabbis delegitimizing each other confirms the non-Orthodox in their radical pluralism (bordering on relativism). If the Orthodox don’t treat each other with respect, why should we care that they don’t acknowledge the legitimacy of our own, non-Orthodox, halakhic positions…

  8. aiwac says:

    Abba,

    I agree with you that the violence is not capricious. I would not be a Batman fan if that was the case. What’s also great about Batman is that he also has failures along with his many successes.

    Funny you should mention the parallel to gedolim. Many fanboys, myself included, hate it when comic characters become “God-like” in stories, because that makes them inhuman and unrelatable…

  9. aiwac says:

    On that note:

    “Miracle stories convert rabbis into poor imitations of Batman and Superman. At least those superheroes occasionally face challenges that demand courage and dedication. A rabbinic clapping of the hands takes neither.”

    - Rabbi Yitzhak Blau, “Miracles And Morals: Choices In Educational Storytelling”

  10. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    Re: Batman. It’s a bit like all the magical-holy-rabbi stories where the rabbi holy-magically just knows everything. Vs. the RMF story of the Communist math teacher who tells her students “why are you listening to that rabbi of yours about the opiate of the masses, if he can’t even solve this calculus problem?” RMF requested a calculus textbook, took some time to study it, and then solved it. Does that prove RMF was holy-magical? No, it proves he was very smart and a fast study.

  11. avi says:

    “2) i think batman is a great role model (and have told my own son this when he asks who is my favorite). he has no special powers, but rather relies on intense physical training and his brains. i.e., you don’t have to have supernatural powers to do good (or in general excel). its all about hard work and effort. now if artscroll would write a batman bio, doubtlessly they would ascribe to him some previously unkown supernatural incident that accounts for his abilities . . ”

    Yes, because his Billions of Dollars, complete financial control of the city, and access to super technology beyond anything anybody can afford, has nothing to do with his ability to be batman… :P

    Also ironic, is that in internet culture, “Batman” is known as the “Guy who can not lose” no matter what. WARNING TVTROPE ALERT http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InvincibleHero

  12. Hirhurim says:

    People here might be interested in R. Cary Friedman’s Wisdom from the Batcave: How to Live a Super, Heroic Life

  13. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    “RMF requested a calculus textbook, took some time to study it, and then solved it. Does that prove RMF was holy-magical? No, it proves he was very smart and a fast study.”

    and his sister was a brilliant mathmatcian (who urged her brother to teach math on the college level. of course, charedim / artscroll wont tell you that.)

  14. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    the nytimes article mentions nothing about toy guns being verboten in liberal manhattan. anti charedi bias, in my opinion.

    2. and since when is abuse an element of orthodox sexual practices?

    anti orthodox bias.

    and when was he a “prominent” orthodox rabbi? no one heard of him till he went public. at least the article admits it wasnt claimed to be an “orthodox” ceremony.

    perhaps this article fits in with the huc / reform seminary anti right wing bias.

  15. MMY:

    “the nytimes article mentions nothing about toy guns being verboten in liberal manhattan. anti charedi bias, in my opinion.”

    really?
    i thought it made charedim look good. maybe i read too quickly.

  16. Tal Benschar says:

    2. and since when is abuse an element of orthodox sexual practices?

    anti orthodox bias.

    MMHY: What are you quoting here?

  17. Charlie Hall says:

    “Did he every say that one must be Respectful to Bill Clinton when criticising him?”

    He wasn’t the Satmar Rebbe when Clinton was President, so he would never had commented publicly on that.

    “If not, I think we now have all the proof we need that Obama is bad for Israel”

    Yawn. Israel’s Defense Minister disagrees:

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1109/20/pmt.01.html

    Money quote: “the Obama administration is backing the security of Israel for which I’m responsible in our government in a way that could hardly be compared to any previous administration. “

  18. Nachum says:

    Yes, because politicians are always brutally frank when discussing the heads of allied states.

    Well, Obama is. When he thinks the microphones are off.

  19. avi says:

    “in a way that could hardly be compared to any previous administration”

    Yes, it’s really THAT bad!

    According to current wisdom, military power is not a major factor in security. War is political, and asymmetrical. Having the coolest fighter Jet isn’t all that important when you aren’t allowed to use them.

  20. ruvie says:

    a must read article for those interested in a theory of everything for halacha and beliefs by moshe koppel – truly a meta theory of trying to explain everything and thought provoking: – check out section v and vi especially. whether people buy into to it is something else – as well as understanding it.

    http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=588

  21. Abba's Rantings says:

    GIL:

    shas link is broken

  22. joel rich says:

    From W. Mcgurn in today’s WSJ:
    Indeed, my experience has been such that I once put this question to a Jewish colleague who had also served in the Corps: “Why is it,” I asked, “that every Jew I know seems to be a Marine, the father of a Marine, or the son of a Marine?”

    He didn’t skip a beat. “Well, we quickly found out that controlling all the levers of international finance wasn’t enough. We needed an elite fighting force to defend it.”

    KT

  23. joel rich says:

    and from Brett Stephens on Havel:
    If Havel’s now-celebrated career means anything, however, it is to beware that facile conclusion. In his great 1978 essay, “The Power of the Powerless,” written just as his career as a dissident had begun in earnest with his signing of the Charter 77 manifesto, he warned against “the attractions of mass indifference” and the “general unwillingness of consumption-oriented people to sacrifice some material certainties for the sake of their own spiritual and moral integrity.”

    Me-Chochma bagoyim taamin

    KT

  24. aiwac says:

    It’s nice to see that Reform Jewish conservatives are “coming out of the closet”. :P

  25. IH says:

    Next thing you know, they’ll be Orthodox Jewish liberals “coming out of the closet” :-)

  26. aiwac says:

    IH,

    They’ve been “coming out” for years. That’s old news.

  27. aiwac says:

    BTW,

    I’d be interested to know if there are religious Jewish thinkers (of any denomination) who make use of conservative or libertarian thought in their work. Anyone?

  28. Hirhurim says:

    aiwac: Doesn’t R. Meir Soloveichik use conservative thought in his work? And perhaps R. Shalom Carmy to a lesser degree?

  29. IH says:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4164352,00.html

    “Heidi Moses, daughter of United Torah Judaism deputy minister, joins Kadima activists in posting ads against exclusion of women. ‘This is one of the reasons I left religion,’ she tells Ynet”

  30. ruvie says:

    gil – rms certainly does and is proud of being a staunch conservative (republican as well).

  31. aiwac says:

    There’s NO-ONE in the conservative or Reform ranks who makes use of such thought? Wow.

  32. IH says:

    aiwac — this isn’t exactly the right forum to suss that out. Perhaps http://kavvanah.wordpress.com/?

  33. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal 9:23 last nite — the article in discussing orthodox sexual practices, focuses on abuse as an element of O sexual practices.

    2. interesting quote from the “dense” burial article — try it on other issues: (without taking a position on the issue itself)

    “In the coming weeks, Israelis will be exposed to a television, radio, newspaper and Internet campaign aimed at convincing them that this … is halachically permitted and is not considered …

    ‘People have yet to internalize this possibility, which is considered innovative and nontraditional,’ said Ministry Director-General Ohana. ‘In this campaign we’ll prove the opposite.’ ”

    2a. without taking a position on the issue itself. though i will note some chevras prohibit women from going to the cemetery at all. even here in the us. even years ago. even when there are no sons (even when no issue of women kaddish).

    3. why is r algaze getting involved in this?
    of course, the fundraising potential is enormous.
    the tax pblm is easily solved by declaring it an educational purpose. everyone else does it that way.

    4. r pruzansky gave a lecture once on foolish minhagim (or similar title) and pointed out that a certain rav was against such things, but reminded everyone to bake the shlissel challah in his popular annual book on pesach halachot.

    5. speaking of r pruzansky, you should have listed his response to the SCW beacon article. http://rabbipruzansky.com/2011/12/17/the-beacon/

  34. Abba's Rantings says:

    “r pruzansky gave a lecture once on foolish minhagim (or similar title) and pointed out that a certain rav was against such things, but reminded everyone to bake the shlissel challah in his popular annual book on pesach halachot.”

    1) on more than one occassion i’ve seen critics refer to “a popular pesach guide” etc. without naming him (r. blumenkrantz). why don’t people just say his name?

    2) r. blumenkrantz no where in his book (iirc) criticizes “foolish minhagim” (of course to the contrary his book reinforces baseless–i won’t say foolish–minhagim). rather in various sections he does warn people not to participate in activities that are *avodah zara* or otherwise halachically objectionable (but not because they are foolish). for example in his medicine guide he has a long critique of homeopathy. and elsewhere he assurs birthday candles (a pagan custom, one learns, and worse yet blowing out the candle is like extinguishine one’s neshama). elsewhere he rants against the internet. (one wonders how all these subjects entered a pesach guide.) of course in he entry on tabacco, smoking recieves a pass.

  35. Abba's Rantings says:

    on a related note, i have to express hakaras hatov to gil. i think the first post i ever came across was a link to the star-k pesach guide.

  36. S. says:

    “pointed out that a certain rav was against such things”

    Who says Rabbi Blumenkrantz was against such things? He had idiosyncratic views to say the least. If there was any common thread, it was that he was opposed to the things that he was opposed to, but not opposed to the things to which he was not opposed.

  37. emma says:

    “MiMedinat HaYam on December 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm
    the nytimes article mentions nothing about toy guns being verboten in liberal manhattan. anti charedi bias, in my opinion.

    2. and since when is abuse an element of orthodox sexual practices?

    anti orthodox bias.”

    re: 1, that’s probably because the article is about a toy store in brooklyn, not about whether it is actually a good or bad idea to let kids have violent toys. it also didnt mention that nonjewish children sometimes play with magnatiles.

    re: 2 – i still don’t know which article you ae talking about. if it’s “orthosexuality,” the article is not about “orthodox sexual practices” but about “attitudes towards sex and sexuality in the orthodox community,” in which case attitudes towards talking about abuse do seem to fit in.

  38. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    emma — the nytimes (seems to) mock the type of toys it sells and doesnt sell. though it doesnt mention no barbie dolls, either.

    i was told by someone who sells (wholesale) some of these stores that they avoid anything “scary” like monsters, dragons, star trek, dark vador, etc, and you would be surprised what scary seems to mean (even passive scary). though my source implies its the parents (mothers) are scared, not necessarily the children, who prob dont know better. besides, they dont understand licensed figures (except disney, etc and even then) let alone batman, since they dont have television. (of course, their parents remember television, batman, star wars, etc.) and all this applies to yeshivish / litvish, too; not just chassidim.

    bows and arrows are big on lag ba’omer time. so much for no guns. tzahal, usarmy, etc is big o n purim time.

    a somewhat new concept is “shabbat games” which i didnt study, unless someone wants to post on that (hint r’s gil / ari).

    so much for a business analysis.

    2. “worse yet blowing out the candle is like extinguishine one’s neshama”

    yes, i avoid that, too. use fingers (not dangerous) or wine (havdalah). presumably discussed in halachot of havdalah.

    3. as for not naming the author, i recall the way r pruzansky presented the lecture.

  39. emma says:

    i totally didn’t get a mocking vibe. (indeed, as you point out no violence is a “good” value for “liberals.”) but i suspect the “vibe” issue is too subjective to discuss further.

  40. avi says:

    “Ohr Elyon: Guide for the traveler on Chanukah”

    Today, a Nefesh B’Nefesh flight landed in Israel, and they lit candles in the airport. Hope someone sent them that link before they left!

  41. Abba's Rantings says:

    EMMA:

    i didn’t get a mocking vibe either. i thought they looked good. protecting the kids from violent influences, etc.

  42. Nachum says:

    Isn’t the Prague cemetery full of stacked graves? Indeed, common practice was to bury couples in one grave (hence “six feet under”- two for each person and two above). Maybe they had to, but it’s not assur. (The swipe at Mendelssohn is, of course, typical.)

    The schlissel guy lost me when he wrote “schlissel is German for key; challah is Hebrew for bread.” Er, no, it isn’t. Anyway, there are lots of practices about which this could be said. (Red bindels, anyone?) I’m opposed to them all, but this one seems pretty weak.

  43. S. says:

    “The protestors held signs reading, “Multi-level burial is not Jewish burial,” and Rabbi Axelrod explained that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was almost the only prominent religious authority to allow it. “(Moses) Mendelson was wrong too, and he is the father of Reform Judaism,” he said. “I’m not saying Rabbi Ovadia is Reform, but he is wrong.””

    If anything, his invocation of the Bogeyman of Dessau indicates that only someone like Rav Ovadia is objective enough to rule on this issue.

  44. IH says:

    Will embryonic stem cells be the next big medical halacha/ethics showdown?

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israeli-researchers-use-stem-cells-to-repair-damaged-tissue-for-first-time-1.402452

    “‘The development of an unlimited quantity of the cells would hold wide potential for healing damaged tissue,’ Itzkowitz-Eldor said. [...] The team’s findings were published in the November issue of ‘Circulation,’ the journal of the American Heart Association. The journal also devoted an editorial to the findings, due to their medical significance. Itzkowitz-Eldor said his team’s research is additional evidence of the leading role Israel is playing in embryonic stem cell research.”

  45. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    IH — i understand the israelis are not using embryonic stem cells, unless this is anothert group that is. nevertheless, i dont expect charedim demonstrating at this. not their cup of tea, and they’re not particularly against abortion (they have to have too many, though they’re smart enough to keep it quiet.) except those MO groups like crib, etc.

    2. multi level is not (modern) jewish burial. was in ancient times. sometimes even “worse” practices.

    3. tunisian (actually djerba) jewish community is ancient. they claim one wall of their shul (the one al queda tried to bomb a few years ago) comes from bayit rishon. nevertheless, they are mentioned in sefer ezra.

    though dont expect more than a token number of jews to remain, and none to “return”.

  46. “multi level is not (modern) jewish burial. was in ancient times. sometimes even “worse” practices.”

    anyone ever take a shabbos afternoon walk through the sandedriah park back in the day (before they gated up the caves)

    “though they’re smart enough to keep it quiet”

    a friend of mine once commented that he thinks a reason that many orthos hold off on announcing pregnancies as long as possible is to leave open the abortion option if so needed/desired. (he happens to be a doctor, but i don’t know if was basing his comment on professional experience or not.)

  47. avi says:

    “a friend of mine once commented that he thinks a reason that many orthos hold off on announcing pregnancies as long as possible is to leave open the abortion option if so needed/desired”

    Miscarriages are private affairs, very difficult, and happen in 1 of 5 pregnancies.

  48. mycroft says:

    “BTW,

    I’d be interested to know if there are religious Jewish thinkers (of any denomination) who make use of conservative or libertarian thought in their work. Anyone?

    “Hirhurim on December 20, 2011 at 11:14 am
    aiwac: Doesn’t R. Meir Soloveichik use conservative thought in his work? ”
    Agreed

    “And perhaps R. Shalom Carmy to a lesser degree?””
    Agreed but would emphasize the “lesser degree” for Rav Carmy.
    How about R Dr Levine A’H.
    There are those who use conservative thought and certainly those who use liberal thought-there are aspects of Yahadus in both. Yahadus is neither conservative or liberal

  49. mycroft says:

    “For the first time in seven years, there will soon be no women on the Committee for Selection of Dayanim. This is the result of a deal reportedly struck by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinsich and hareidi politicians. Beinisch reportedly wanted the hareidi MKs to support her candidates for the committee that selects judges in the civilian courts. In return, she agreed to have no women on the committee that selects dayanim. More moderate feminists saw her move as selling out women’s interests to further a radical political agenda”

    One paragraph explains a lot of our problems.

  50. joel rich says:

    Having such a prominent Jewish celebrity embrace the beautiful dictum of letting the hair on the face grow
    ==================================
    a new category of tzivui “Beautiful dictums”?
    KT

  51. aiwac says:

    “Any comments on Moshe Koppels article?”

    The best, most erudite summation of what is known as the אלעס איז סוציולויגיע (ie, “it’s all sociology”) school, with all its benefits and defects.

  52. Hirhurim says:

    aiwac: The best, most erudite summation of what is known as the אלעס איז סוציולויגיע (ie, “it’s all sociology”) school, with all its benefits and defects

    Thank you. I was thinking the same thing (regarding the defects). I disagree that sociology explains everything. Some people actually believe in this stuff, and I think Koppel does also and was speaking about a layer above that.

  53. cyberdov says:

    One of the most facile pieces I have ever read by Rabbi Shafran. He equates the arrogance of willful blindness to the humility of not knowing everything.

  54. aiwac says:

    On the other hand, Koppel’s article does explain Judaism in a way that everyone can understand. The only question is how many people outside the Orthodox world read and understand it. If they are many, then we will all be better off, since more of them will join the “conversation” and the “negotiations”.

  55. joel rich says:

    if sociological analysis is able to explain the data in a coherent fashion, it’s worth thinking about why that is (especially if the competing explanation is amorphous)
    I thought he explained the halachic heart and the interaction between poskim and the tzibbur (iirc the sanhedrin had to consider what the tzibbur would accept).
    I’m not a sociologist nor do I play one on TV, but his description of the trends in signalling certainly sounds reasonable, I’m open to hearing other explanations (we’re more frum than prior generations doesn’t work for me)
    KT

  56. Hirhurim says:

    Some people observe chumros because they believe they have to, not in order to show how frum they are.

  57. Hirhurim says:

    Miscarriages are private affairs, very difficult, and happen in 1 of 5 pregnancies

    Even with the privacy, I’m familiar with quite a few cases of miscarriages. It’s a pretty frequent occurrence.

  58. IH says:

    Some people observe chumros because they believe they have to, not in order to show how frum they are.

    But, what percentage of people who observe chumros understand that they are, just, chumros (not halacha)?

  59. Mordechai says:

    “MiMedinat HaYam on December 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    “RMF requested a calculus textbook, took some time to study it, and then solved it. Does that prove RMF was holy-magical? No, it proves he was very smart and a fast study.”

    and his sister was a brilliant mathmatcian (who urged her brother to teach math on the college level. of course, charedim / artscroll wont tell you that.)”

    That was a different gadol, a famous Rosh Yeshiva.

  60. IH says:

    One of the things I found from a reference on Hirhurim is:

    Stringencies – in Hebrew, חומרות – are very much in vogue in the religious world. While in the right circumstances, the implementation of carefully-selected stringencies can stimulate genuine spiritual growth, it is regrettably common for them to [be] little more than a type of destructive halachic one-upmanship. The passage of the nazir provides a stark lesson – one must always question one’s motivation when adopting voluntary religious responsibilities. The Torah requires us to develop the self-awareness needed to distinguish between a genuine desire for spirituality and ‘keeping up with the Cohens’.”

    http://www.rabbibelovski.co.uk/sermon-notes-030611-naso

  61. joel rich says:

    little more than a type of destructive halachic one-upmanship.
    ======================
    sounds sociological to me :-)
    KT

  62. Hirhurim says:

    little more than a type of destructive halachic one-upmanship

    It sounds cynical to me.

  63. aiwac says:

    Gil,

    You can’t deny that there IS a social incentive in certain O circles to do more chumras. That doesn’t mean the ONLY motivation is social.

  64. Hirhurim says:

    In some circles, there is. But even for them that isn’t the whole story and I’m not they represent the majority.

  65. IH

    “But, what percentage of people who observe chumros understand that they are, just, chumros (not halacha)?”

    Perhaps the same Percentage that observe kulaks? (I don’t mean the. Introversial ones) :)

    MMY:

    “yes, i avoid that, too. use fingers (not dangerous) or wine (havdalah). presumably discussed in halachot of havdalah.”

    With all flames or just at havdala?
    Is there a difference between extinguishing a flame by blowing it out, dipping in wine, using fingers or turning off the gas knob?

  66. IH

    “Perhaps the same Percentage that observe kulaks? (I don’t mean the. Introversial ones) :)”

    should read: Perhaps the same Percentage that observe kulos? (I don’t mean the controversial ones) :)

  67. “Yiddish making a comeback at colleges”

    it will take a lot more than some students taking 2 semsesters of college yiddish to effect its revival.

    (a friend of mine took yiddish at columbia for a semester or 2. the teacher invited leonard nemoy, a yiddish advocate, to address the class. my friend got permission for me to come (i was a big star trek fan) and i asked him if he speaks yiddish with his kids. he said no. that’s the end of the story as far as i am concerned.)

  68. AM Zuck says:

    The juxtaposition of the two articles is striking. At the same time that day school enrollment is dropping outside of NY and NJ, some gevirim think they should spend $19.2 million dollars a year on a chumra.
    Whatever your hashkafik stripes one is a chumra and the other has been called pikuach nefesh (and saved American Jewry).

    It is easy to be triumphant when one sticks his head in the sand in Boro Park, Monsey, Lakewood, Bnei Brak or Yerushalayim and ignores the rest of the world.

  69. Nachum says:

    Rav Pam taught math (he had a degree in it) in the Torah Vodaas high school before he became a rosh yeshiva. Naturally, that didn’t make it into Artscroll. I remember my brother, a close talmid of his, being rather upset with that and taking it up with the author, who he knew from shiur.

  70. Nachum says:

    It pains me to say this as a libertarian, but private mass transit does not pay. (In any event, you always need some coordinating body for routes, etc., and that’s usually government, so one way or another, they’re involved.) I expect this initiative to get no where, and thank goodness for that.

  71. avi says:

    “Any comments on Moshe Koppels article?

    http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=588&page=all

    I commented a few months ago when the article was first linked here, that the paper while really good and amazing, leaves out cultural examples such as the word “Rufus” (as demonstrated by the movie, never been kissed)

    The situation of “Rufus” is when a particularly charismatic person, decides that a word should have a new meaning, and so it does.

    Many examples of that exist in the tech world.

  72. avi says:

    “ive millionaires who arrived in Israel in the past few days are planning to operate a private transportation company in Jerusalem, Ashdod and Beit Shemesh starting next month.”

    Is this a bad translation, or did 5 millionaires make Aliyah in the past few days and plan on starting a bus company in 1 month?

  73. IH says:

    The Day School Enrollment Trending is interesting in that it segments these schools and has data since 1998. For the segmentation see: http://avichai.org/2011/12/2011-12-day-school-enrollment-sees-modest-decline/ (and also note the interesting reader comment at the bottom).

  74. Steve Brizel says:

    IMO, the quoted link re Chumros failed to shed light on the issue. There are many areas in Halacha where a Psak Lchumra is warranted, and Tosfos in RH states that we blow more than the minimum number of Kolos required to show our Ahavas HaShem-that we are ready, willing and able to go beyond the minimally acceptable level in so doing with respect to our Kiyum HaMitzvah. While some chumros are examples of one-upsmanship, one cannot and should not relegate all chumros to such a seemingly simplistic analysis.

  75. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Re Rav Pam: My father who was in the same shiur with in Torah ve-Daas once told me that in addition to his being good in math –and in Gemara– he played a wicked game of handball.

  76. joel rich says:

    R’LK,
    and so did R’ N Alpert zt”L – perhaps it was a requirement in the gedolim track?
    KT

  77. Abba's Rantings says:

    IH:

    what is the difference between MO and centrist schools?

  78. IH says:

    Abba — I was wondering the same, particularly given Gil’s comment yesterday. From the 2008 report (http://avichai.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Census-of-JDS-in-the-US-2008-09-Final.pdf)

    Modern Orthodox schools strive for what has been referred to as a synthesis between Torah education and modernity, as for example in the inclusion of girls in Talmudic study. These schools are coeducational, with a strong emphasis on the academic program, as well as Judaics, which includes subjects that are not emphasized in typical yeshivas. Hebrew is often the language of instruction in Judaic courses, particularly in the New York area. Israel is a powerful factor, not necessarily in the teaching of particular subject matter as in the mood that envelops the institution. High school graduates tend to go to Israel for a year—and sometimes more—of seminary study. The expectation is that after the return from Israel, high school graduates will attend a college. [...]

    Centrist Orthodox schools are not coeducational, except perhaps in the younger grades. Often there are separate boys and girls divisions in the same facility. As their designation suggests, Centrist Orthodox schools are located on the Orthodox spectrum between the Modern Orthodox and yeshiva-world, as they emphasize secular studies and Israel to a greater extent than the yeshiva-world and, generally, to a lesser extent than the Modern Orthodox. [...]

  79. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    yiddish making a comeback in colleges — i remember BIG debates at yu in my time about allowing yiddish to fulfill the language requirement. (i proposed allowing calculus to fulfill the requirement.)

    2. lawmaker (claimed some form of orthodox affilliation, by the way) was public knowledge at time of initial charges. he had no shame, unlike martha stewart, who at least got her’s a house next door (before she was doing the imclone guy. her daughter was doing his son at the time they met. was also public knowledge at the time.) gotta get with the program. we’re too innocent about these things.

  80. IH says:

    FWIW, it seems to me the distinction made between Modern and Centrist as segments in the Day School study does not necessarily align with the LWMO/RWMO segmentation as used here.

  81. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    “some gevirim think they should spend $19.2 million dollars a year on a chumra”

    why dont the handball players (baseball, basketball players, too. one was a classical music fan.) tell them to give the money to pe’eylim (or shuvu, r pam’s personal tzedaka)? (Of course, shas’s education system is out of the question. they’re only quasi jewish.)

    2. miscarriages — you might know of them as mis’s. a common term to use for medically (or other) indicated a’s. (without getting into halachic issues of the indications.)

  82. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    IH — avi chai has other considerations. (not necessarily the right considerations, but …)

  83. IH says:

    My comment was in the context of:

    Hirhurim on December 20, 2011 at 11:13 am

    IH: Be that as it may, normal conversation — outside the confines of Dr. Brill’s work — refer to Modern Orthodoxy as non-Charedi Orthodoxy. That is how I am using the term and is how I believe most use it. Dr. Brill coined his own term and you are using it. That’s great. But please don’t confuse the discussion by changing the terminology. [...]

  84. IH says:

    For the avoidance of doubt, the Modern vs. Centrist segmentation was used in the 1998-9 Day School Census published in 2000. R. Brill’ article was published in 2005.

    http://course.bac.org.il/files/Census-JDS-2000.pdf

  85. IH:

    the distinctions listed btw centrist and MO schools are ridiculous. way too much overlap to be useful.

  86. IH says:

    Unlike LWMO and RWMO (whose distinctions are what pray tell)?

  87. IH says:

    I have no empirical data to prove this, but I have a hunch that many (if not most) congregants in old established MO shuls like KJ and the JC would not identify themselves as LWMO (vs. RWMO), but would as Modern (vs. Centrist) using Prof. Schick’s segmentation.

  88. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-when thinking of MO and Centrist schools, I suspect that we have enough alumni of both here who can set forth which schools fit those criteria.

  89. IH says:

    Exactly. And, today, do these alumini regard themselves as MO vs. Centrist? And what happns when you then apply LWMO vs. RWMO as the next level of segmentation?

  90. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-How alumni identify today depends on many factors-IMO, there are no better factors in that regard than where they live, daven and send their own kids to school.

  91. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-I would not view MO as centered around KJ or the JC. Both are important MO shuls, but one can find stronger and more committed MO shuls in the Five Towns, Teaneck, and W Hempstead.

  92. IH says:

    “…and send their own kids to school”

    You’re bolstering my point again. Thanks :-)

  93. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    i would say that even in KJ and JC, vast majority of congregants would oppose such ideas as women reading the megillah, etc; thus taking them out of the realm of real LWMO (though JC has / had a congregational intern, and a female president. still, not really LWMO.)

    and they’ll send their children to YU before YCT. (of course, columbia / barnard before YU. (i know of a case, despite the daughter’s desire for israel / SCW, her parents made her go to barnard, though the son is in a RW agudist yeshiva.))

    2. lighting candles at lod — per the article in “guide for travelers on chanukkah”.) besides — osek be’mitzvah (aliyah) patur min hamitzvah (de’rabanan, etc.) also, ultimate in “pirsumei nisah”.

  94. MDJ says:

    KJ also has a female “congregational scholar” (or some such title)

  95. mycroft says:

    ““If not, I think we now have all the proof we need that Obama is bad for Israel”

    Yawn. Israel’s Defense Minister disagrees:

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1109/20/pmt.01.html

    Money quote: “the Obama administration is backing the security of Israel for which I’m responsible in our government in a way that could hardly be compared to any previous administration. “”

    Do you think that if Barak felt that Obama were bad for Israel he would state that?

  96. mycroft says:

    “Steve Brizel on December 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm
    IH-I would not view MO as centered around KJ or the JC. Both are important MO shuls, but one can find stronger and more committed MO shuls in the Five Towns, Teaneck, and W Hempstead.”

    Agreed-but how many of those schuls have MO Rabbis?

  97. mycroft says:

    “Abba’s Rantings on December 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm
    IH:

    the distinctions listed btw centrist and MO schools are ridiculous. way too much overlap to be useful”

    I think that one can overdo the differences between Centrist and MO-if I recall correctly it was RNLamm who started referring to centrist Judaism when he was President of YU-there are obvious marketing reasons centrist tries to capture the middle non extremist ground. Others have disagreed with RNL claiming referring to it as Centrist showas a lack of belief in MO. Essentially I believe it is the same.

  98. IH says:

    Mycroft — I would agree that one can overdo the difference, but Gil underplays it. R. Wurzberger’s 1994 take on the Centrist label creation is telling:

    […] it is widely taken for granted that “Modern Orthodoxy” is not really an authentic form of Orthodoxy, but a hybrid of an illicit union between modernity and Orthodoxy, a kind of oxymoron. Its opponents ridicule it as a compromise designed to facilitate entry into a modern lifestyle by offering less stringent interpretations of halakha and even condoning laxity in religious observance.

    Because the term “Modern Orthodoxy” has acquired such a pejorative meaning, Rabbi Norman Lamm has proposed that we replace it with “Centrist Orthodoxy.[...]

  99. IH says:

    Do you think “its opponents” are any better disposed to KJ and JC congregants if they are called “Centrist”. And, indeed, do the Centrists consider KJ and JC congregants (and Ramaz) to be in the same club as they are?

  100. Charlie Hall says:

    “Do you think that if Barak felt that Obama were bad for Israel he would state that?”

    Obama has been very good for Israel in precisely the areas that Barak is responsible for. And everyone in the know, including a lot of the Obamahaters, know that to be true. Had Obama not been so supportive, Barak could not say something like that without being completely trashed by his political opponents. That hasn’t happened.

  101. Nachum says:

    Diplomatic politician, Charlie.

    R’ Lamm is quite clear that Centrist and MO mean the same thing. I think Dr. Schick has an ulterior motive in separating them. (He himself runs a system that includes both kinds of schools.)

  102. avi says:

    “Money quote: “the Obama administration is backing the security of Israel for which I’m responsible in our government in a way that could hardly be compared to any previous administration. “”

    Do you think that if Barak felt that Obama were bad for Israel he would state that?”

    Sure, if Barak felt that Obama was bad for Israel, that is exactly the right kind of comment to make.

    That quote can either be a praise or an insult. It is completely non committal. The type of quote that no matter what side of the argument you are on, you can’t debate it.

  103. Nachum says:

    Ha! Avi, I didn’t notice that. Clever, clever Barak.

  104. mycroft says:

    “Rabbi Greenberg has violated neither Torah law nor civil law. He has used his rabbinate to help right a wrong. In officiating at a same-sex commitment ceremony between two men, Rabbi Greenberg may not have acted in a way that fits Rabbi Spolter’s belief structure, but he also did not violated any laws. The “to’eva” (abomination) in Leviticus speaks to a sexual act. Nowhere does it discuss a life-cycle ceremony drawing upon the language of our sacred tradition to bless a relationship between two souls”

    Was Rabbi Greenberg blessing a relationship where sexual acts were not contemplated or done?

  105. mycroft says:

    “R’ Lamm is quite clear that Centrist and MO mean the same thing.”

    Nachum expressed the bottom line better than I did.

  106. mycroft says:

    “In a statement, Goldberg pointed out that the National Council’s constitution “requires elections to be held every two years, but none have taken place in almost five years. Mostofsky’s move to appoint successors circumvents the organization’s governing rules and is yet another example of the board’s disregard for fundamental governance requirements.”

    In light of that, Goldberg called upon all approximately 120 Young Israel congregations to place their annual membership dues in escrow until there are “fair and open elections … the required financial audit is completed” and delegates are again able to vote by telephone at national meetings.

    A leader of the organization who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals said he was surprised when the press release referred to Dworetsky’s selection as being in accordance with the group’s constitution.

    “You can’t cherry pick when you are going to follow the constitution,” he said. “Once you decide not to hold elections, you throw the whole constitution in the air; you can’t trot it out when it suits your purpose.””
    Sadly how many Jewish organizations follow the same model. How many have transparency?

  107. IH says:

    Sadly how many Jewish organizations follow the same model. How many have transparency?

    http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?id=105445

    “[...] let it be resolved that all Jewish communal institutions strive to attain levels of transparency regarding financial affairs, regarding the mechanism of leadership succession, and regarding the planning and execution of general business.”

    Are the (Charedi) leaders of the (MO) Young Israel RCA members?

  108. IH says:

    “R’ Lamm is quite clear that Centrist and MO mean the same thing.”

    Nachum expressed the bottom line better than I did.

    Sure, in the same way that LWMO and RWMO mean the same thing. See again the R. Wurzburger’s words:

    […] it is widely taken for granted that “Modern Orthodoxy” is not really an authentic form of Orthodoxy, but a hybrid of an illicit union between modernity and Orthodoxy, a kind of oxymoron. Its opponents ridicule it as a compromise designed to facilitate entry into a modern lifestyle by offering less stringent interpretations of halakha and even condoning laxity in religious observance.

    Because the term “Modern Orthodoxy” has acquired such a pejorative meaning, Rabbi Norman Lamm has proposed that we replace it with “Centrist Orthodoxy.

    Mixing the segmentation to get to the bottom line: does RWMO accept Ramaz as “Centrist” or “Modern”? e.g.

    Steve Brizel on December 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    IH-when thinking of MO and Centrist schools, I suspect that we have enough alumni of both here who can set forth which schools fit those criteria.

  109. avi says:

    RE ” Leaving The December Dilemma Behind”

    I have to say, I grew up with option 4… and it still wasn’t enough. Option 1 is the only one that worked for me. And thank god organizations exist today to make it financially, socially, and mentally possible!

  110. avi says:

    Re “Loving the Law (a Catholic thinker reads Halakhic Man)”

    It’s behind a pay wall….

  111. avi says:

    Ok, it’s behind a pay wall and a completely christian website/magazine… Umm something you want to tell us?

  112. Hirhurim says:

    It’s a great article. I’m sure plenty of Hirhurim readers subscribe to First Things. Keep in mind that Catholics differ from Protestants in, among other things, observance of canon law. He uses Halakhic Man to defend that attitude and even sides with R. Soloveitchik’s legalism against Pope John Paul II’s appeal to faith and reason.

  113. IH says:

    There is something deeply ironic about frum Jews looking up to traditionalist Catholic thinkers. Our history should surely bias us toward the reformers such as Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.

  114. mycroft says:

    “In addition, South Florida — home to five Hebrew charter schools, two of which just opened this fall — has seen especially large day school declines,”

    Of course, the area served by Tri-Rail (Palm Beach, Broward, Dade) has been hit hard by the recent “economic troubles”

  115. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-ask anyone who you know who teaches Limudei Kodesh at Ramaz-they can probably tell you what % of the student population is Shomer Shabbos, etc.

  116. IH says:

    Steve — so you are confirming you do think there is a difference between “Centrist Orthodox” and “Modern Orthodox” as per my point (and in line with R. Wurzburger’s take on R. Lamm’s terminology).

  117. IH says:

    Oh, the only book of the Tanach not found among the DSS is Megilat Esther, although “Cave 4 yielded remains of a writing akin to Esther, a kind of proto-Esther (4Q550), published by J.T. Milik, we may infer that the Book of Esther was not deliberately excluded from the Qumran canon.” (ref: Geza Vermes, The Story of the Scrolls, p. 102)

  118. IH says:

    wrong thread. sorry.

  119. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-I would certainly agree with your take on the differences between R Wurzburger ZL’s POV and that of Yivadleinu LChaim R D N Lamm. For more on this , read a collection of R Wurzburger ZL’s writings and compare the same with RD N Lamm’s Torah UMadah.

  120. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-again-ask anyone who teaches Limudei Kodesh at Ramaz-they can easily tell you who is Shomer Shabbos, etc, and who is not a Shomer Torah Umitzvos.

  121. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    from the rca resolution IH refers to: “Vehicles for attaining transparency include annual open meetings, featuring complete reports of their activities and financial condition, as well as periodic newsletters detailing current news and goals.”

    as i recall, the rca annual meeting is not exactly open. neither are their finances published by the rca (though the tax returns are now available on the net. it seems money is fungible between several related org’s. nothimg necessarily sinister about that.)

    2. mycroft 8:14am quotes from the article “Nowhere does it discuss a life-cycle ceremony drawing upon the language of our sacred tradition to bless a relationship between two souls”

    a life-cycle ceremony (where’d you get that from? ovbiously an american innovation. did not exist in the old country.) is by definition a religious ceremony, celebrating certain implications of events. thus, its improper to honor improper implications of events.

    also, the actual implications mycroft refers to.

    3. charlie h — barak is a politician first, a defense minister second. and he is basically allied with the ‘bama forces (as long as he gets to keep his volvo ( = stay in office.) )

    perhaps ben gurion weas right — he arrogated the defense ministry to himself, saying the prime ministership and the defense ministership are inherently identical. except in barak’s case.

    steve / IH — using avi chai’s definitions, not that many SS ( = shomer shabat) in “MO” day schools. yes, their definitions are flawed, but they are presented to advance a certain agenda (not necessarily bad.) how did m schick get involved in this?

  122. ruvie says:

    emma – why do you find that article cute?

  123. mycroft says:

    Jews were never all criminals -so whats the chiddush.

  124. emma says:

    i dont know. maybe it’s that someone found something i have always taken for granted newsworthy, i also think the women profiled come off as cute (esp in the video), for better or worse. overall i found it more interesting and entertaining than the toy store article, say.
    sometimes gil just posts human interest stories abt the orthodox, and this is one, though i guess he usually posts ones from the nonjewish press.

  125. Hirhurim says:

    I remember when there were tons of weddings for Yoilis, boys named after the Satmar rebbe. This is a very common phenomenon. And cousins with the same name? That happens all the time, just naming after grandparents. The whole story is a non-story.

  126. emma says:

    I don’t disagree that it is a nonstory. In the sense that it is obviously not news. It’s a human-interest feature story, which would possibly be informative to some people and was still fun to read (and watch) for me even with little new information. that’s all. maybe that’s what i meant by “cute” – “makes me smile,” nothing more earth-shattering than that. Anyway, enough meta-analysis.

  127. mycroft says:

    “Yeshiva University’s student newspapers are student-run activities. The administration’s hands-off approach to such activities was maintained in this case, as evidenced by the fact that the article in question appeared online. Once the essay was published, it was the president of the Stern College Student Council who led the effort—at the overwhelming behest of her constituents, many of whom were deeply offended—to have the essay removed from The Beacon’s website.

    University administrators played the role of mediator in this matter, seeking an amicable solution to a difference between two groups of students—the student journalists of The Beacon and the Student Council of Stern College. In the end, the editors of The Beacon made the decision to forego the funding that had been provided by the Student Council and to become an independent entity.

    Yeshiva University is proud of our students, the diversity of thought and opinion present on our campuses, and students’ commitment to embracing life through the prism of Torah values”

    When wouldn’t the administration keep a hands off approach?

  128. mycroft says:

    Note one day an article about beginning of decrease in day school attendance-next day an article about Reforms problems.

  129. mycroft says:

    One can not pass by any link to anything about sex wo mentioning the classic 66 exchange between RYG and RAL in YU Commentator-it probably was a watershed in the separation of RYG from standard MO to what he is today.

  130. IH says:

    Chaya Mushka was also the name of a daughter of the the 4th Lubavitcher Rebbe (Maharash). Both she and the Rebbetzin of MMS were named after the wife of the 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe.

    Incidentally, there is an amazing photograph of Chaya Moussia in her wedding dress that was published in Heilman & Friedman’s book: http://soc.qc.cuny.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Rebbetzin-01.jpg

  131. mycroft says:

    What is gained by Israel escallating war of words with NYTimes?

  132. IH says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/israel-s-real-rosa-parks-takes-to-the-buses-1.403135

    “Now Horowitz turned around and said loudly and clearly: “What do you mean by ‘men’s area’? A geographical area?” she wondered. “What is mehadrin? Are you talking about an etrog, a lulav?” she queried, referring to two of the principal symbols used during the festival of Sukkot. “Nowhere in rabbinical law does it say that it is forbidden to sit behind a woman, not in the Shulchan Arukh and not in the Yoreh De’ah [two classical compilations of Jewish law]. What is written in the Torah and in rabbinical law is that it is forbidden to humiliate sons and daughters of Israel.”

    Like a deflated balloon, the man became quiet, and maintained his silence for the rest of the bus ride.”

  133. Hirhurim says:

    While I am entirely against the “women in the back of the bus” approach, it does say in the Gemara that a man should not walk behind a woman. That can be plausibly applied to sitting (and plausibly not).

  134. IH says:

    It was a draw into the article which I think will be interesting to Hirhurim readers because this is a Charedi woman as the “Rosa Parks”. She wasn’t taught Gemara, of course :-)

  135. IH says:

    By the way, anyone who quotes the gemara in question should read it in context: B’rachot 61A.

  136. MDJ says:

    >> While I am entirely against the “women in the back of the bus” approach, it does say in the Gemara that a man should not walk behind a woman. That can be plausibly applied to sitting (and plausibly not).

    Gil, they didn’t have buses in the time of the gemara, but they did have seats, and even conveyances with seats. I venture to say that sitting was a common occurance in the time of the gemara. If they felt that it was assur to sit behind a woman, they could have said it. So, no, I don’t think that the halacha about walking behind a woman can be plausibly extended to sitting.

  137. mycroft says:

    “R’ Lamm is quite clear that Centrist and MO mean the same thing”
    I’ve heard him say that.

  138. IH says:

    “R’ Lamm is quite clear that Centrist and MO mean the same thing”
    I’ve heard him say that.

    I haven’t doubted R. Lamm’s position. But, often labels take on different meanings that originally intended. The quotation form R. Wurzburger adds context as to why he said (says) that.

    However, the fact that the Day School Enrollment census has made a distinction since its inception in 1998 illustrates there is a sociological segmentation between Modern and Centrist. And R. Brill’s explanation in his 2005 article adds further texture.

  139. avi says:

    “While I am entirely against the “women in the back of the bus” approach, it does say in the Gemara that a man should not walk behind a woman. That can be plausibly applied to sitting (and plausibly not).”

    This article from Web Yeshiva tackles that point directly.
    http://blog.webyeshiva.org/halacha/applying-old-halachot-to-new-conditions

  140. mycroft says:

    “from the rca resolution IH refers to: “Vehicles for attaining transparency include annual open meetings, featuring complete reports of their activities and financial condition, as well as periodic newsletters detailing current news and goals.”

    as i recall, the rca annual meeting is not exactly open. neither are their finances published by the rca (though the tax returns are now available on the net. it seems money is fungible between several related org’s. nothimg necessarily sinister about that.)”

    Due to your comment I went to guidestar and read the most recent 990-which was 2009-at least the RCA files a 990-so one can see in general terms -revenue and expenses. Note program service revenue which is largely Tradition and conversion registry.
    Certainly much more transparency than the OU.

  141. mycroft says:

    “(JTA) — A New York lawmaker quit after pleading guilty to charges that he funneled bribes through his gay lover.

    State Sen. Carl Kruger, a conservative Democrat who has held his Brooklyn seat since 1994, resigned Tuesday just before pleading guilty to laundering up to $1 million from lobbyists through Michael Turano, a real estate agent described by prosecutors as Kruger’s “intimate associate” and housemate.

    “I accept responsibility for my actions and am truly sorry for my conduct,” Kruger was quoted by the New York Daily News as telling the court.

    Kruger, who is Jewish, earned plaudits from the Orthodox community in 2009 for voting against a gay marriage bill, telling the Orthodox Hamodia newspaper at the time, “When it becomes an emotional, gut-wrenching issue, when it cuts through the fabric of traditions and values, then I have my community as the cornerstone of my decision.”

    Earlier this year, after Kruger’s arrest on federal charges — and his long-term relationship with his Turano became public knowledge as a consequence — the state senator switched his stance on same-sex marriage. Kruger ended up providing one of the votes to legalize same-sex marriage in New York”

    The lead paragraph is relevant since Kruger had as recently as 2009 accordingto the penultimate paragraph not only voted against gay marriage but also told Hamodia about traditions and values.

  142. Hirhurim says:

    The paragraph was changed. It used to say: “A New York lawmaker who had strong Orthodox Jewish backing because he rejected a gay rights initiative quit after pleading guilty to charges that he funneled bribes through his gay lover.”

  143. Charlie Hall says:

    Three decades ago I was a Democratic Party precinct (election district) captain in Arlington VA. Good precinct captains know who resides in their districts. Among the VIPs were a former CIA director and several members of Congress, one a Gay Republican. I happened to mention that particular Republican to a Gay friend and he returned a look of horror; he feared that I would “out” the Congressman publicly. I had no reason to do so and eventually was outed by one of his fellow Republicans.

  144. IH says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israeli-archaeologists-uncover-first-artifact-confirming-written-record-of-temple-worship-1.403505

    “The team believes the tiny seal was put on objects designated to be used in the temple, and thus had to be ceremonially pure.

    In this vein, and in the spirit of Hanukkah, Jerusalem District archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said: “It is written in the Talmud that the only cruse of oil that was discovered in the Temple after the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks, “lay with the seal of the High Priest” – that is: the seal indicated that the oil is pure and can be used in the Temple. Remember, this cruse of oil was the basis for the miracle of Hanukkah that managed to keep the menorah lit for eight days”. “

  145. mycroft says:

    “When Bill Kristol’s son was graduated from Harvard two years ago, many of his classmates went on to law school or hedge funds. Lt. Joseph Kristol deployed to Afghanistan, where he led Marines in the fabled 3/5 (3rd Battalion, 5th Marines) during combat in Helmand province. Another Ivy Leaguer who also exchanged Harvard Crimson for Marine Crimson is Lt. Matthew Blumenthal, son of Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.).”

    Exceptions-I have friends whose child served in the Marines and later went to an Ivy League School but those are exceptions.

  146. mycroft says:

    “Hirhurim on December 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm
    The paragraph was changed. It used to say: “A New York lawmaker who had strong Orthodox Jewish backing because he rejected a gay rights initiative quit after pleading guilty to charges that he funneled bribes through his gay lover.””
    Thanks-your comment is much more understandable with the original paragraph.

  147. JU says:

    New Milin Havivin is out. I don’t think there is anything controversial in it (unless you think that all of the Zohar was written by the tanaim)

  148. joel rich says:

    http://www.vosizneias.com/97552/2011/12/25/jerusalem-kosher-psychology-offers-hope-to-afflicted-haredim-says-orthodox-dr

    pour a little holy water over the 12 steps so we can claim it as our own “torah based” approach?
    KT

  149. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    IH — i guess the o-u isnt the first to give out hechsherim.

    (actually, the aruch hashulchan discusess it.)

  150. mycroft says:

    Re translating from tanach to modern Hebrew-nothing new-I remember having such for the Nach in my Ivrit Bivrit elementary school. In my schul I see a chumash from about 60 years ago translated into Modern Hebrew.

  151. mycroft says:

    “Re translating from tanach to modern Hebrew-nothing new-I remember having such for the Nach in my Ivrit Bivrit elementary school”
    Not sure if it was a word by word translation or just a translation of whatthey felt was appropriate for elementary school kids.

  152. Nachum says:

    There have long been Tanachs (and siddurim) with footnotes explaining difficult words in modern Hebrew. This version is a full side by side translation.

  153. [...] ▪ Kars4Kids is questioned by charity watchdogs ▪ New issue of Milin Havivin ▪ SALT Monday▪ Last week’s news & linksRules: link Share and [...]

  154. mycroft says:

    “i guess the o-u isnt the first to give out hechsherim”
    Interesting trivia how they started-there was a lot of kashrus in theUS beforetheOU started hechsherim-Heinz wanted a certificate wo obvious Jewish connection so as not to scare non Jewish customers-so they went to the OU which started the OU-bythe end of the 20s there were hundreds of products undertheir supervision.

 
 

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