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Coerced Get Redux
Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Raise $1.5 M for Massive ‘Jews Against the Internet’ Rally At Citi Field
Going the Distance
On Revealing Private Facebook Messages
The Greatest Challenge Facing The Orthodox Jewish Community
When Handling Precious Scrolls, Torah Lifters Pray for Successful Hoist
Medical marijuana and Jewish law
Can political campaigns be ethical?
Sitting Shiva for Spot?
Birthright ‘baby boomers’ head to Israel
‘Second Stage’ For Startups
Facebook Won’t Be Used to Publicize This Rally
The Titanic: A Spiritual Response
R Asher Meir: My Idol!
SALT Friday
High Court Validates Rabbi Druckman’s Giyur
An Obesity Problem In The Orthodox Community?
B. Shemesh residents hang flags after city refuses
Digital God?
Conviction in Abuse Case Is Overturned
Agudath Israel Opposes Brooklyn Prosecutors’ Refusal to Identify
Hadassah Won’t Reveal Details of Probe
Why Live Here?
Independence Day
In switch, groups peer over wall of separation
Expand Tax Breaks for Jewish Schools
SALT Thursday
Re Jewish Astrology Today
Let Students Evaluate Their Jewish Education
Haredim block state inspectors in Beit Shemesh
Lessons From a Kosher Butcher
Israel Slower To Welcome Converts
Back From Heaven
The 3,500th+ Yom Ha’atzmauth
Haredi newspaper blasts ‘Suckers’ Tent’
SALT Wednesday
Jewish Astrology Today
Ptcha Faces Extinction in America
The Facebook Challenge
Facebook: Don’t Blame the Medium
The Practice of Musar
Y Finkelman: A Room of Their Own
Orthodox Abuse Suspects Get Exemption
Court seeks clarification on Egged ads’ exclusion of women
IDF rejects request for earplugs
Gender reassigned – which side of the mechitzah?
Y Finkelman: Men of the Minyan
SALT Tuesday
Jewish Survey: Mormons, Muslims much more popular than Evangelicals
Tel Aviv seeks permission to operate more Shabbat buses
Hamas Chief on ‘Noble’ Women Rabbis
Religious streams join in appeal to release Pollard
Haredim foresee growing employment rates
Aliyah? Fuggedaboudit
Chabad Spokesman Dismisses Christianity Allegations
SALT Monday
Prior news & links posts
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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.
 

278 Responses

  1. Alter says:

    “Shabbat buses?” Sounds like Shabbos elevators!

  2. IH says:

    Google Streetview is now available for Jerusalem, TA & Haifa. for those who haven’t been in a while, here’s a shortcut to the Me’a She’arim area to drive around in: http://g.co/maps/dsz84

  3. IH says:

    Will this be the first Shabbat switchable light bulb? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17788178

  4. Hirhurim says:

    IH: You mean because LED lights are only assur miderabbanan and not mideoraisa like incandescent lights?

  5. IH says:

    D. Non-Incandescent Lights
    The use of non-incandescent lights – such as fluorescent or neon, which do not produce light by heating a strip of metal which glows but rather by electrically exciting gases to emit light – are not prohibited on Shabbat because of the prohibition(s) discussed in this section. Since these lights do not contain a filament that glows, they are halachically identical to an appliance and not a light (and thus will be discussed in part II). There is not generic prohibition to create a light on Shabbat; rather, incandescent lights because of the way they operate happen to violate the prohibition to create a flame. So, too, extinguishing fluorescent “lights” on Shabbat is not rabbinically prohibited as a form of extinguishing since halacha does not recognize that there is a “light” to be turned off.

    Summary
    The consensus of opinion is that turning on or raising the intensity of an incandescent light is biblically prohibited on Shabbat. Turning off or dimming such a light is rabbinically prohibited on Shabbat. Non-incandescent “lights” are not considered “lights” according to halacha.

    http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/english/journal/broyde_1.htm

  6. Hirhurim says:

    Note the careful language throughout the passage: “are not prohibited on Shabbat because of the prohibition(s) discussed in this section

  7. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “D. Non-Incandescent Lights
    The use of non-incandescent lights – such as fluorescent15 or neon,16 which do not produce light by heating a strip of metal which glows but rather by electrically exciting gases to emit light – are not prohibited on Shabbat because of the prohibition(s) discussed in this section. Since these lights do not contain a filament that glows, they are halachically identical to an appliance and not a light (and thus will be discussed in part II). There is not generic prohibition to create a light on Shabbat; rather, incandescent lights because of the way they operate happen to violate the prohibition to create a flame. So, too, extinguishing fluorescent “lights” on Shabbat is not rabbinically prohibited as a form of extinguishing since halacha does not recognize that there is a “light” to be turned off.

    Summary
    The consensus of opinion is that turning on or raising the intensity of an incandescent light is biblically prohibited on Shabbat. Turning off or dimming such a light is rabbinically prohibited on Shabbat. Non-incandescent “lights” are not considered “lights” according to halacha.

    R Gil is correct IMO-one has to read the article in context of the Issurim being quoted and discussed by the author, as opposed to other Issurim, whether of a Torah or rabbinic level, which were not discussed therein.

  8. joel rich says:

    I (yes thanks,I understand it likely only I) find the juxtaposition of a debate on the finer points of physics and halacha with the seeming removal of aliyah from the agenda of american jewry to be highly ironic.
    KT

  9. Nachum says:

    Contrary to Walter Sobchak, it does not “all come down to the concept of ‘aish.'” There’s boneh, makeh b’patish, and the spirit of the law to consider, among others.

    Well, I can tell you that the Google car went by our building right before Sukkot. How do I know? Because our sukkah is up, but our s’chach is not. (They went up separately and came down together, at night.)

  10. IH says:

    On electricity, we’ve had the discussion a number of times on Hirhurim over the past year. I just wanted to note a potential game changer — it seems increasingly likely that incandescent bulbs will be as quaint in 20 years time as vinyl LPs are today.

    I find it interesting that “the spirit of the law” is used so often in the Shabbat discussions, but hardly at all when we speak of Kashrut.

  11. Nachum says:

    Re: The Chabad dude: Holy Mackerel! The ability of some people to have cognitive dissonance is amazing.

  12. Nachum says:

    IH:

    -Fluorescent bulbs have been around for about fifty years. If there was going to be a “game changer,” it would have happened a while back.

    -Explain, if you please, what the “spirit of the law” of kashrut is.

  13. Avraham says:

    Joel, You were not the only one.

  14. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-Hilcos Shabbos, aside from the Melachos, has an entire superstructure designed to reinforce the importance of the day-Melacha Sheino TZarica LaGufa, Psik Reisha, Gzeros such as Shehiyah , Hatmanah, Muktzhe and Shabbason, as well as Shevisha Hanikeres. Hilcos Maaacalos Asuros and Shechitah are rooted in the same section of the Yad as Hilcos Issurei Biah-Sefer Kedusha-to demonstrate that the same are illustative of a Mechitzah that demonstrate that we live a life not merely different, but dedicated to HaShem Yisborach in our daily lives in the bedroom, , how we act and dress,and what we take into our mouths.

  15. Nachum says:

    Although both the Torah and Mishna put kashrut with kodshim.

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    Nachum-RYBS pointed out that Shechitas Chulin, which is the subject of a Machlokes Rishonim as to whether the same is a Mitzvah or Matir, and which is derived solely from a Halacha LMoshe MiSinai , must adhere to the same requirements of the Shehita for Karbanos.

  17. emma says:

    re: jews/mormosn/muslims, is it not possible/likely that Jews are more favorably disposed toward these minorities vs. the protestant majority not because of shared belief or mutual respect, but just because they are minorities too?
    The original article, http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865554247/Jewish-Americans-strongly-prefer-Mormons-over-evangelicals.html, quotes someone making this point.

  18. avi says:

    “Re: The Chabad dude: Holy Mackerel! The ability of some people to have cognitive dissonance is amazing.”

    What cognitive dissonance? I don’t normally agree with Chabad Rabbis, but in this case, his dissenters appear to be in the wrong.

  19. IH says:

    On Jews/Mormons/Evangelicals, neither the article Gil posted nor the one Emma added puts this into the broader American context.

    It is very well worth spending the few minutes watching minutes 11’00 to 18’00 of http://www.booktv.org/Program/13245/American+Grace+How+Religion+Divides+and+Unites+Us.aspx for that context.

  20. Nachum says:

    Avi, the fact that anyone can, with a straight face, say that by ingesting bread and wine one is bringing the body of the (immortal and divine?) messiah into one’s body and at the same time say that there is no resemblance to Christianity…it blows the mind. Ignorance or heresy or both…

  21. Steve Brizel says:

    i thought that the annexed linked article was worth considering as a factor to consider re texting on Shabbos and what could have been discussed at the Citifield Asifah-that social network based relationships can never be seen as having the same intensity as real face to face relationships. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-conversation.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

  22. aiwac says:

    “Ignorance or heresy or both…”

    I thought there was no such thing as heresy in Judaism…:P

  23. Steve Brizel says:

    Nachum-I hold no brief for Chabad messianism, although I consider it an excellent port of entry for anyone seeking to explore the uniqueness of a Shabbos meal. However, it is well known that Bazman HaBayis, there is a widespread Halacha in Kodshim that Kohanim Oclim vBaal HaBayis Mcaprim, and that were Korbanos rooted in wine as well. Likewise, Ramban at the beginning of Vayikra points out that Korbanos were not just to wean us off Egyptain practices,but to remind us that the same served as a Divinely Ordained means of effecting atonement for our transgressions in place of and instead of a far greater offering-ourselves. I have no brief for the practice in question, but I would hesitate to state that there is no Jewish source for the same.

  24. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Nachum-
    Florescent light are just as assur as incandescent as they too have filaments heated to the glowing point.

    As far as chabad is concerned, this is a witch hunt. He never spoke about the body of the mashiach being internalized but rather the belief in the comming of mashiach becoming part of the very fibre of their being.

    I think that there are very serious issues with at least some segments of chabad, and some of them hold beliefs that are likely kefirah. However the claims about Christianity are baseless. The belief in God taking on a human form is kefirah and we need not refernce christianity to make such a case. note however, that these sorts of theoligical positions are notoriously difficult to pin down, only someone with a thorough knowledge of kabbalah and chasidus should make a call on this. of course conflating God and the admor in ones prayers has got to be very assur.

    The christian claim in a resurected and returning messiah does not conflivt with any of the principles of our faith, it just happens to be dead wrong. but people are entitled to their silly opinions.

    Finally, perhaps the most important issue with Xtianity is the rejection of the law and the choseness of the Jewish people. Even David Berger agrees the chabadnickim remain makpid al ha kallah kechamurah, and reports of antinomian activities seems to refer to the fringe of the fringe.

  25. Jacob says:

    As far as chabad is concerned, this is a witch hunt.

    Moshe:

    I don’t think it is. If you take a close look at the statement in the original Hebrew (the provided translation in the link is ambiguous), it seems pretty clear that he was referring to transubstantiation of the Mashiach –

    “נאכל בשביעי של פסח את ‘סעודת משיח’, שמטרתה להחדיר את האמונה “בבוא המשיח לתוך דמנו ובשרנו, כסעודה שנהפכת לדם ובשר שלנו ממש.

    If he was just saying that the belief in Mashiach enters out bodies he should have written –

    שמטרתה להחדיר את האמונה “בביאת” המשיח לתוך דמנו ובשרנו

    Also, at the risk of reading into it too far, keep in mind that he employs the term ממש, which in Chabad circles is a code word for the Rebbe.

    Let’s not whitewash the plain meaning of that statement.

  26. Moshe Shoshan says:

    your reading may be correct, but it is not the plain meaning

  27. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Moshe: I do first thought it was a witch hunt, but after reading the original Hebrew –thank you Jacob– I am not so sure. I am also not as sure as you that Jacob’s reading is not the plain meaning. Perhaps it was written to be deliberately ambiguous.

  28. Y. Aharon says:

    I agree with R’ Moshe Shoshan. Ordinary fluorescent bulbs have glowing filaments which are the source of the high energy electrons that excite the mercury atoms in the bulb to produce UV light which is then converted to visible light by the phosphor coating. I would hope that the respected poskim whose article IH cites, would correct their statement.

  29. St. Jude says:

    The exact words of the Rebbe in 1982 readily found on the internet:

    ב”אחרון-של-פסח” מודגש כללות העניין דביאת משיח צדקנו עוד יותר מאשר אמירת “את צמח דוד עבדך מהרה תצמיח” (שבתפילת מעריב במוצאי יום-טוב) – כי ב”אחרון-של-פסח” אוכלים “סעודת משיח”, היינו, שכללות העניין דביאת משיח צדקנו חודר בפנימיותו, ועד שנעשה דם ובשר כבשרו.

    וזוהי השייכות המיוחדת ד”קודשי שעה” אלו (עבודת ההכנה לביאת משיח צדקנו) עם “אחרון-של-פסח” – כי בדורנו זה גופא מודגשת העבודה ד”קודשי שעה” ב”אחרון-של-פסח”, שאז אוכלים “סעודת משיח”.

    (משיחת אחרון-של-פסח תשמ”ב, ספר-השיחות תשמ”ב, עמ’ 1299)

    As to the Chabad bashers, in order for your ‘blood libel’ to work, at last count, you must be ignorant of the term נעשה דם ובשר כבשרו as found in Tanya and many times subsequently in chasidus in many contexts, you must ‘reverse engineer’ ממש to always refer to the Rebbe despite its overwhelmingly generous usage throughout hundreds of years of Chabad chasidus (and the fact that the author of the article in question is Mendy Brod (enough said)), you must see evidence of sinister conspiracy in the usage of the modern Hebrew term בבוא (?!) as opposed to the Rabbinic בביאת, and operate parallel to the reality that not a single Lubavitcher has intended to eat the Rebbe (??!!) during the span of over 30 years as this has been republished countless times (or is even familiar with Catholic doctrine for that matter).

    Frankly, you guys are ignorant and nuts.

  30. mycroft says:

    “joel rich on April 23, 2012 at 10:01 am
    I (yes thanks,I understand it likely only I) find the juxtaposition of a debate on the finer points of physics and halacha with the seeming removal of aliyah from the agenda of american jewry to be highly ironic”

    Agreed-
    Of course, a more interesting comparison would be the number of Jews born in the US living in Israel vs the number of Jews born inIsrael living in America-I suspect the latter number is many times the former-thus the issue is not merely Aliyah but any Jew who has the opportunityto live in Israel-how many have stayed who hadthe opportunity to get a green card.

  31. IH says:

    “Separately, leading national-religious Rabbi Dov Lior, municipal rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, ruled on Sunday that men should not attend theater performances in which women perform, even if the women do not sing and are dressed modestly.

    According to Lior, who was writing in response to a question on the Yeshiva.org website, attending such events are not compatible with the Jewish concept of modesty.”

    http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=267313

  32. Nachum says:

    IH: Funny, I was looking around at a rehearsal for My Fair Lady (Hirsch theater, Jerusalem, the two weeks immediately after Shavuot) last night and noticed that over half of the cast are religious. Ah well.

    mycroft: Wow, non-sequitor!

    St. Jude: This is a common Chabad tactic: “You don’t know what the Rebbe said! What the Tanya says! What Chassidus says.” Well, that’s grand. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the Rebbe, the Tanya, and Chassidut could be *wrong*?

    Oh, and to the commenter above: A resurrected Messiah is very much against what Judaism stands for: A natural course of redemption, repentance through ourselves, etc. You can dig all sorts of nonsense from random kabbalistic works. I want my Judaism free of it.

  33. avi says:

    “נאכל בשביעי של פסח את ‘סעודת משיח’, שמטרתה להחדיר את האמונה “בבוא המשיח לתוך דמנו ובשרנו, כסעודה שנהפכת לדם ובשר שלנו ממש.

    If he was just saying that the belief in Mashiach enters out bodies he should have written –

    שמטרתה להחדיר את האמונה “בביאת” המשיח לתוך דמנו ובשרנו

    Why does it matter where the quoation marks are placed, and why would the word shift matter? In both cases it is the “emunah” and not the “hamashiach” which is entering.

  34. Nachum says:

    Avi, that’s a different word.

  35. avi says:

    In modern Hebrew the difference in the meaning of the word is negligible. This was written in a forum, not a sefer.

  36. avi says:

    Infact, looking at the more indepth differences in the meaning, the usage of the word “בבוא” is much less messianic than בביאת. The later word implies certainty, the former word implies possibility.

  37. mycroft says:

    “mycroft: Wow, non-sequitor!”

    The fact that Israel has a high percentage of its natives livimg outside of Israel is relevant to understanding why non Israelis don’t consider Aliyah.
    What percent of Israelis who could get a green card would grab the chance?

  38. Nachum says:

    Apparently, the answer is 7%. Not so much.

    The numbers living outside Israel are not so much as commonly thought, and decreasing. Many of those I made aliyah with were born here or are children of yordim.

  39. J. says:

    Interesting article from R. Yoel Finkelman on the impact of the internet on Charedi life in Israel:

    http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/content/module/2012/4/24/main-feature/1/a-room-of-their-own/g/1

  40. St. Jude says:

    Hey, Nachum, is it also a common Jewish tactic to tell antisemites “You don’t know what the Talmud said! What the Shulchan Aruch says! What any relevant sefer says”? Because you might want to return to Czarist Russia and retry Beilis whose foolish lawyers apparently convinced the jury with this “tactic”.

    Here is the evolution of the statement the Rebbe made:

    1) Rishonim offered an explanation for kashrus: they claimed kosher foods imbued refined traits within the eater while unkosher foods left their consumer crude and boorish.

    2) Tanya mentions his idea towards the beginning and casually states that the traits inherent within forbidden foods transmit themselves via entering the blood stream (like all food does) and ultimately becoming man’s very flesh (like all food does). Thus, if something impure became one’s own flesh and blood it’s unsurprising that one’s constitution would be altered accordingly.

    3) Many seforim, including chasidishe ones, state that the very act of eating matza literally imbues the eater with all manner of holiness and faith.

    4) The Rebbe, over the course of over 40 years (= hundreds of times), and in the course of elaborating on point #3, linked the language of Tanya with eating of any sort — including matza. So a quick search of his talks return a great number of places where he states that since matza becomes man’s own flesh and blood, thus man becomes one with the redemption from Egypt, faith, etc.

    5) Over the course of Chasidic history, many adapted the custom of eating a meal on Acharon shel Pesach linked in some way with the Baal Shem Tov. Chabad tradition has it that this is linked with the spiritual ‘light’ of Moshiach (which they believe is tied specifically to Acharon as evidenced in the Haftorah etc.). At some point one of the Rebbes instituted eating matza and drinking 4 cups at this meal.

    6) 30 years ago, the Rebbe borrowed the language that had been applied for centuries to all manner of food, and for decades to matza, and employed it in discussing the ‘seudas Moshiach’. He stated that as the meal represented the faith in Moshiach, and since matza and wine were served at the meal, eating any food at a meal like this served to reinforce the beliefs the meal constituted in a physical way, via becoming one’s own flesh and blood. Mendy Brod reprints this in Sichat Ha’shavua.

    7) 1-bit pundit and noted-Chabad-loather Nachum chooses to believe that Chabad members meet in secret for an undocumented ritual consisting of drinking the Rebbe’s blood. While unlike with the Moshiach issue where every Lubavitcher provides a different answer, asking the fringiest ‘tzfati’ where you could obtain some of the Rebbe’s flesh and blood for the upcoming transubstantiation party would be met with black yet incredulous stares, with the messianist slowly backing off. This does not deter Nachum who believes that Chabad also adapted the Native American habit of human sacrifice.

    Professor of internet comments, Lawrence Kaplan, who is eminently qualified to judge a 2 paragraph citation from an 1000-volume corpus of literature he is entirely unfamiliar with, believes that Lubavitchers (who double as the illuminati) communicate secret Christian rituals (not through the obvious of means of saying so publicly, that would be too obvious, but) through replacing key words like בביאת with בבוא in a publication edited by an avowed anti-messianist intended for… non-Lubavitchers. Also, chemtrails are definitely real.

    To quote Scott “Julius” Rosenberg, you guys are sick and evil.

  41. Nachum says:

    “You don’t know what the Talmud said! What the Shulchan Aruch says! What any relevant sefer says”

    Um, you’re getting it exactly backwards. The Talmud and Shulchan Aruch never say that you need a child’s blood for matza.

    Whoa, just read the rest of your post. Typical and disgusting. Let me just point out that I (and most of the world’s Jews) didn’t celebrate Acharon Shel Pesach this year, and I’m saving its haftarah for this Thursday. :-) In fact, they’ve gone and moved this little ceremony to Shvi’i Shel Pesach in Israel. Go figure.

  42. Simcha says:

    I have followed this blog for many years, and “St. Jude” must be a new poster. He is unaware that here commentators post their opinions with civility and derech eretz. His use of such expressions as ” 1-bit pundit and noted-Chabad-loather”, “you guys are sick and evil” shows that,in the end, he is very unsure of his arguments and must resort to personal attack. Of course, his name “St. Jude” is significant. ST. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes – in this case, convincing the world that Lubavitch messianism is authentic Judaism.

  43. Steve Brizel says:

    Nachum posted this:

    “IH: Funny, I was looking around at a rehearsal for My Fair Lady (Hirsch theater, Jerusalem, the two weeks immediately after Shavuot) last night and noticed that over half of the cast are religious. Ah well”

    IOW, the majority of the cast did not see Kol Isha as a halachic issue to their participation in the same.

  44. Nachum says:

    Goes without saying that they don’t. Nor, for that matter, do the audiences that fill the seats at musicals and operas (in English and Hebrew, among other languages) around the city. Quite a few kippot and head coverings out there.

  45. St. Jude says:

    I am quite the civil person, but I’m resorting to what knowing experts refer to as shock tactics (and what jaded jocks apparently refuse to identify as genuine personal hurt and pained outrage) . Yes, I’ve read the blog for many years and I’m quite familiar with the fact that when it comes to Chabad, it’s an anything goes policy actively encouraged by Gil Student. But you’ve crossed the line with such an outrageous accusation based on zero evidence. Of course, 95% of my comments are a substantive and educated exposition on the actual issues, but you focus on my whimsical language. Were you only to hold Chabad-bashers who speak with actual, undisguised antipathy to the same standard. Sigh.

    You have to seriously ask yourselves what the limits of what you might be led to believe about Chabad are, and what standard of proof you’ll adhere to. So far, what I’ve seen is sadly quite ‘typical and disgusting’.

    Yes, this is certainly the most hopeless cause I’ve ever taken up.

  46. aiwac says:

    Thought Hirhurim readers would be interested in this:

    http://www.biupress.co.il/website/index.asp?id=819

  47. Inquiring Minds says:

    “Orthodox Abuse Suspects Get Exemption”

    What I find really odd is the notion that one can get the names of mere suspects of crime through a FOIA action. IMO, unless someone was found to be a criminal, there should be no basis to release his name — that is simply slander. (OTOH, I see no basis for the DA to resist releasing the names of convicted abusers. Aren’t they supposed to be registered in a public data base anyway?)

  48. Eytan says:

    I think the ‘review’ on the rationalist judaism blog is better termed an attack, or, ‘why i disagree with the whole premise of this book’. Dressing it up as a review just allows the writer to avoid having to consider and explore the issues fully, and instead allows him to sweep it all aside under the label of the dreaded ‘fundamentalism’. It seems to me to be an agenda driven ‘comment’ and doesnt come close to representing ‘Jewish astrology today’.

    To point out but one inconsistency – at the same time as stridently arguing that all this astrology business is nonsense, and in a fleeting moment side-step the sources the author does deal with (ie chazal) with a polite dismissal under the ‘historical approach’, the reviewer criticises the author for making only a passing mention that the Talmud itself contains a viewpoint of ‘ayn mazel l’yisrael’, as if that opinion would somehow add to “the disputes over astrology in both general and Jewish intellectual history” which it quite clearly would not.

    If I had the time I would be inclined to illustrate more fully that it is reviews of this kind that are the danger.

  49. shaul shapira says:

    ▪ IDF rejects request for earplugs

    They’re really really trying to keep Charedim out of the army, aren’t they? This kind of insanity is likely to be even more effective than the Tal law at granting de facto exemptions. That, and forcing them to clean women’s bathrooms should keep our boys in the Beis Midrash for a lonnnnng time.

    I suppose it figures since they don’t have room for a thousand of them anyhow.

  50. aiwac says:

    The IDF has never really been interested in the Charedim. It’s something that was forced on them.

  51. Litvak says:

    “Ptcha Faces Extinction in America”

    Maybe petcha can learn from borscht, which has also greatly declined, but which seems to have better prospects at the moment.

    See e.g. Wall Street Journal article on borscht from last summer at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304231204576406000546981170.html

    Lemayseh, borscht is different than petcha, easier to prepare and store, not so perishable, and cheaper, but they have some things in common as well.

  52. mycroft says:

    “mycroft: Wow, non-sequitor!”

    The fact that Israel has a high percentage of its natives livimg outside of Israel is relevant to understanding why non Israelis don’t consider Aliyah.
    What percent of Israelis who could get a green card would grab the chance?

    Nachum on April 24, 2012 at 7:36 am
    Apparently, the answer is 7%. Not so much.

    The numbers living outside Israel are not so much as commonly thought, and decreasing. Many of those I made aliyah with were born here or are children of yordim”

    Approximately 110,000 North American immigrants live in Israel.

    From
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyah

    In 1980 deputy Prime Minister Simha Erlich and the Director of the Jewish Agency Shmuel Lahis studied emigration to the United States. The Lahis Report estimated that there were 300,000 to 500,000 Israelis living in the United States, mainly in New York and Los Angeles.[4]
    In November 2003, the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption estimated that 750,000 Israelis were living abroad, primarily in the United States and Canada—about 12.5 percent of the Jewish population of Israel.[5] In April 2008, the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption estimated that 700,000 Israelis were living abroad, of those, 450,000 were living in the U.S. and Canada. There are estimated to be between 50,000 and 70,000 Israelis living in Britain.
    From

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerida

  53. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    St. Jude: Oh, I get it. Your calling bloggers “sick and evil” and your commenting about them personally (and, in your eyes no doubt, oh so cleverly) in a very nasty way are just uses of “whimsical language” and “shock tactics.” But, of course, in general you are “quite the civilzed person.” And equally of course, we have to take your word for it, since you blog under the cover of anonymity, as opposed, it should be noted, to Nachum and me, who blog under our own names. And under under that cover of anonymity, you feel free to engage in the most vicious of personal attacks.

    I wonder how you know how I am “entirely unacquainted” with the 1000 volume of Habad literature.

    And, contrary to your asserton, nowhere did I say anywhere in my post I “believe” about anything. I– I grant you in retrospect hastily and unwisely– said twice “I am no longer sure,” and once “perhaps.” I hope you are able to read the complex 1000 volume Habad literature better than you read my post.

    I am waiting to see if you apologize for your disgusting language. But knowing the record of such anonymous bloggers as yourself, I am not holding my breath. I am willing to be proved wrong, however.

  54. Nachum says:

    Mycroft, you know they include American-born children in that, right?

  55. IH says:

    “Mosaic wall dating back to 563 AD shattered to pieces by anonymous assailants. Initial investigation suggests extremist haredi elements behind act”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4220742,00.html

    What is so charming about Khirbet Hanut is that it was completely unattended with a broom in the corner so that every visitor can sweep the protective sand off the mosaic on his/her own. It’s not an important mosaic, obviously – so “rare” is overkill – but, it is one of those sites where one really connects to Eretz Yisrael. בושה וחרפה!

  56. Charlie Hall says:

    “Professor of internet comments, Lawrence Kaplan, who is eminently qualified to judge a 2 paragraph citation from an 1000-volume corpus of literature he is entirely unfamiliar with”

    This comment is really out of line. I have appreciated Prof. Kaplan’s intelligent comments here for years.

  57. Charlie Hall says:

    I always see guys in kippot at the Metropolitan Opera House. I’m hoping to have a minyan for maariv at intermission some day.

  58. Charlie Hall says:

    “Mycroft, you know they include American-born children in that, right?”

    The US government’s immigration statistics do NOT include American born children. It counts 237,342 Israelis who have immigrated to the US since 1948. That would include a small number of Israeli Arabs.

    Here are the numbers:

    1940 to 1949 98
    1950 to 1959 21,376
    1960 to 1969 30,911
    1970 to 1979 36,306
    1980 to 1989 43,669
    1990 to 1999 41,340
    2000 to 2009 54,081
    2010 5,172
    2011 4,389

    http://www.dhs.gov/files/statistics/publications/LPR11.shtm

  59. IH says:

    Charlie — what is disturbing about the (reported) responsum by R. Lior is that “men should not attend theater performances in which women perform, even if the women do not sing and are dressed modestly.” (emphasis mine).

  60. aja says:

    dr kaplan: why do you call commenters on blogs “Bloggers?”

  61. St. Jude says:

    Lawrence Kaplan:

    1) Why do you take offense at the comments of some anonymous twerp but make no objection to Chabad being mercilessly slaughtered in the press and in these very comments with allegations of a crime so severe on evidence so slim? Why exactly do my minimal actions call for such disproportionate outrage? And where would you draw the line, and acknowledge Chabad as the victim of bigotry?

    2) While I make no serious claim to estimating your knowledge of Chabad literature, might you ignore my awful impudence for one short moment and comment on whether you are familiar with the contexts of terms like החדרת האמונה, or נעשה דם ובשר כבשרו or ממש which I painstakingly laid out for all to judge? Also, in what sense were you hasty and unwise?

    3) Is it ever responsible for a professor of Judaic studies to place the imprimatur of his scholarship on a theory which contends that Lubavitchers secretly observe a pagan ritual which has gone completely undocumented save for a quote of the Rebbe’s talk which has been republished dozens of times in its original form until it was paraphrased lightly in a manner presumed to be possibly deliberately ambiguously communicating a secret message in a publication written in journalistic Hebrew for a non-Chabad crowd?

    4) I hereby pledge to apologize profusely for words uttered tongue in cheek when you explicitly apologize for hastily and unwisely engaging in activities which you’ll publicly admit are objective forms of bigotry. As to Nachum, I will lower my standards accordingly: let him apologize for implying that Lubavitchers are “typical[ly]” “disgusting”. I certainly won’t hold my breath.

  62. Charlie Hall says:

    “Chabad being mercilessly slaughtered in the press and in these very comments with allegations of a crime so severe on evidence so slim”

    I read the article and was shocked. Bread and wine being compared to flesh and blood? Where is the source for that in our mesorah? The source is in fact their Messiah as quoted in their scriptures. I can’t believe that any Jew who isn’t a closet — or out of the closet — Christian would say that. This is NOT slim evidence.

  63. St. Jude says:

    The article mentioned nothing about bread and wine and made no comparison. It plainly stated that the meal we eat becomes our very flesh and blood (borrowing well-known terminology from Tanya in the process). There’s a word for this noncontroversial concept in English; it’s ‘digestion’. Torah sources state we absorb traits contained in food via digestion. The Rebbe stated that eating an actual meal tied to a specific theme serves to concretize the idea behind the theme.

    The crime Brod is being convicted of is apparently that of committing the grave offense of mentioning the words ‘meal’, ‘faith’, ‘Moshiach’s arrival’ and ‘our blood stream’ in the very same sentence.

    When you cannot summon a single individual in existence who admits to drinking the Rebbe’s blood, and the entire grounds for your case rest in a solitary paragraph which you’ve evidently never actually read, methinks its time for this vicious fellow to cry ‘bigot’!

  64. Nachum says:

    Hey, Jude (heh): I said that *your comments* are typical and disgusting. You added two letters that changed the whole meaning and accused me of speaking of all Chabad. I think most of Chabad is sadly deluded, bordering on very un-Jewish ideas, regarding their faith. They are anything but disgusting. You, and many who defend them online, are. (But then, most internet commenters are morons.)

    I’m done talking to you. Happy?

    IH: That’s pretty horrifying. But “it is one of those sites where one really connects to Eretz Yisrael”? I appreciate visiting any site, including Christian ones, but I really don’t feel connected to “Eretz Yisrael” when I do. Historical Israel, yes. But there’s a difference.

    Meanwhile, approved, I suppose, by some official who had no idea what they were about, Jerusalem has been plastered by huge posters clearly placed by Jews for Jesus (basically, citing pesukim from Yeshaya without being completely clear to those who don’t “get it” what their point is) over the last week or so. I do see they’re beginning to be ripped down, thankfully.

    I think Charlie’s comment about the opera was referring to what I said.

  65. mycroft says:

    “Charlie Hall on April 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm
    “Mycroft, you know they include American-born children in that, right?”

    The US government’s immigration statistics do NOT include American born children. It counts 237,342 Israelis who have immigrated to the US since 1948. That would include a small number of Israeli Arabs.

    Here are the numbers:

    1940 to 1949 98
    1950 to 1959 21,376
    1960 to 1969 30,911
    1970 to 1979 36,306
    1980 to 1989 43,669
    1990 to 1999 41,340
    2000 to 2009 54,081
    2010 5,172
    2011 4,389

    http://www.dhs.gov/files/statistics/publications/LPR11.shtm

    Which is greater than the amount of American aliyah to Israel.

    Of course, much yerida is a silent one-one gets on a plane for a vacation and dioesn’t return. Compare statistics for BG airport of those leavingand entering Israel. More leave than enter.
    In US for example much illegal immigration is coming on a legal visa and just notleaving.

  66. mycroft says:

    “The US government’s immigration statistics do NOT include American born children. It counts 237,342 Israelis who have immigrated to the US since 1948. That would include a small number of Israeli Arabs.

    Here are the numbers:

    1940 to 1949 98
    1950 to 1959 21,376
    1960 to 1969 30,911
    1970 to 1979 36,306
    1980 to 1989 43,669
    1990 to 1999 41,340
    2000 to 2009 54,081
    2010 5,172
    2011 4,389

    http://www.dhs.gov/files/statistics/publications/LPR11.shtm”

    Which is greater than the amount of American aliyah to Israel.

    Of course, much yerida is a silent one-one gets on a plane for a vacation and dioesn’t return. Compare statistics for BG airport of those leavingand entering Israel. More leave than enter.
    In US for example much illegal immigration is coming on a legal visa and just notleaving.”
    Of course, US figures don’t include Amercian born olim who have counted as olim who decide to return to US.

  67. shachar haamim says:

    Mycroft – those numbers show that approximately 0.05% of the Israeli population emigrates to America each year (let’s assume that the number of Arab and non-Jewish emigrant israelis is consistent with their overall percentage of the population). Assuming that the USA is the destination of choice for most emigrant Israelis, it would mean that Israel is actually in great shape as far as small and newly formed countries go. probably much better than most former soviet satellites, small Asian republics, African states and many others. Israel is a great place to live and largely retains its population.

  68. shachar haamim says:

    The last time I saw p’tcha at a decent kiddush was over 30 years ago. There was a time when in any self-respecting shtiebel in Brooklyn, the addition of p’tcha to the kiddush was even more significant than cholent or kishkeh. p’tcha at a kiddush on shabbos meant a significant occassion.
    those days are long gone…

  69. St. Jude says:

    Hmm, seeing as how angered and personal Lawrence Kaplan and Nachum L. become when they believe someone has quoted them out of context in a possibly rude manner, their utter inability to see why a Lubavitcher might react similarly to behavior perceived to be 100% identical (reading highly implausible, malevolent intentions into innocuous language) in a context 1000% graver is quite, quite rich. But then, most internet commenters are morons (did I quote that in context?).

  70. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    St. Jude: I’m glad I didn’t hold my breath.

  71. St. Jude says:

    Prof. Kaplan: I offer to apologize for everything and I take great pains to humbly explain my actions on your terms (ultimatums and all); you offer to apologize for and defend nothing. And now you wish to claim the mantle of moral victor? Unbelievable.

  72. joel rich says:

    Any report what was being yelled at the inspectors in beit shemesh? What religious value was being violated?
    KT

  73. S. says:

    “those days are long gone…”

    Don’t be so sure. The last time I saw ptcha at a kiddush was a month ago.

  74. Charlie Hall says:

    “In US for example much illegal immigration is coming on a legal visa and just not leaving. Of course, US figures don’t include Amercian born olim who have counted as olim who decide to return to US.”

    Correct on both accounts, with the exception of the infinitesimally small number of Americans who renounce their US Citizenship when they make aliyah. The statistics I quoted are the number of legal permanent resident visas issued. Because so many Israelis do overstay their visas and become illegal immigrants to the US, it remains necessary for an Israeli to apply for a visa in advance of travel to the US.

  75. Charlie Hall says:

    ‘ huge posters clearly placed by Jews for Jesus (basically, citing pesukim from Yeshaya without being completely clear to those who don’t “get it” what their point is’

    Such posters are in New York, too. One was directly outside of a Judaica shop in Manhattan.

  76. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    R’ Joel,

    WW RSZA D? (Or say?)

  77. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    St. Jude: Your words “sick and evil” do not strike me as tongue in cheek.

    While I have read some Chabad literature, a bit of it rather carefully, I do not claim to be a scholar of Chabad and did not intend to place the imprimatur of my scholarship on my comment, unlike, say, my comments on the Rambam, Halevi, Mendelssohn, or Rav Soloveitchik. I gave my initial reaction, setting it forth, again contra your your asertion, in very tentative terms, and I later said my comment was hasty and unwise. Sounds like an apology to me. You offered conditionally to aplogize to me if I would do a, b, and c. That is not an apology in my book. So yes, in our exchange I do have the moral high ground.

  78. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    ptcha is available regularly in bp and flatbush (im sure kgh, too.)

    check pomegranate and seasons.

    (or my mother. i think shavuot is a time for it.)

    2. the dry aged beef that any kosher butcher sells is not real aged. after you soak and salt it, its … just another cut of meat …

    the kashrut org’s have to start allowing barbequing meat.

    3. teachers will forever fight “evaluations” or ratings. lokk at the recent fight in nys.

    4. why do you post yediot reprints of yated. post the actual yated. (rhetorical)

    5. posting an important reply as comment “one” in a four page (or so) comment listing is in effect hiding it. not that i have another good alternative.

  79. joel rich says:

    R’SR,
    Cry, I think
    KT

  80. shaul shapira says:

    S. on April 25, 2012 at 9:58 am

    “The last time I saw ptcha at a kiddush was a month ago.”

    You ought to be more careful. This kid of info could be used to trace your identity.
    :)

  81. Rafael Araujo says:

    Ptcha at a kiddush? Now that’s a new one. I have never seen ptcha at a kiddush.

    However, I believe it is still being sold in Toronto, somewhere out there….

  82. Y. Aharon says:

    Out of curiosity, is ‘pitcha’ a Ukrainian or Hungarian designation of what was termed ‘fiessel’ in Yiddish (the gelatinous concotion containing hard-boiled egg and garlic was usually made from foot bones)? I haven’t seen or tasted it in decades (you’re not missing much unless you like your gelatin flavored with garlic).

  83. St. Jude says:

    Lawrence Kaplan: 1) My exact words were, to wit, “To quote Scott “Julius” Rosenberg, you guys are sick and evil.” I can hardly imagine myself equating my words with any penned by Mr. Rosneberg in any manner other than ironic. In fact, I thought it was a pretty transparent reference to the ridiculous spat between the NY Times-profile-worthy blogger and Prof. Marc B. Shapiro.

    2) The standard by which ‘hasty and unwise’ constitutes an apology, so does ‘whimsical language’ and ‘words uttered tongue in cheek’. Glad we’re even now. Good day.

  84. mo’adim le-simcha

    regarding aliyah/yeridah stats:

    1) my impression is that the vast majority of younger israelis living in the US are here illegally and thus are not counted in the stats cited above
    2) wrt to the stats themselves, what is an “israeli”? for a while many jews (and non-jews) from the FSU used israel as a transit point to the US
    3) wrt to american aliyah numbers, a) these numbers don’t include americans who live there permanently but don’t become citizens for various reasons; b) what is the real net alyah number when accounting for those who ultimately return to the US

  85. if you daven in heimish shuls, you might see ptcha at a kiddush. not common. but i’ve seen it (never brave enough to taste it). be-mikre, last week at seudas shelishis some guy was mentioning that he ate ptcha the previous night.

  86. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    St. Jude: Re 2): I don’t really think so, but I’ll let the readers decide.

  87. Nachum says:

    I’ve been to two “mesorah dinners,” one in New York, one in Jerusalem. The menu at the former was limited by the hechsher. There were no such limits at the latter, so I promised myself I’d at least try whatever was put in front of me.

    Most of it was very worth it. Then there were the (ahem) mountain oysters, the swordfish, and the grasshoppers.

    After that, Ptcha? Bring it on.

  88. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    abba — you’d be surprised how many “yordim” are dual citizens. prob a majority. marrying an american (or fellow yored/et with dual citizenship), or otherwise get a green card / citizenship.

    (and since you allude to it, i’ll add triple citizens. though they prob dont keep their russian passport handy, unless they want to use it to visit russia. and even then, they prob have more advantages with a us (or even israeli) passport.) ditto south americans, etc.

    what about my (born in america) friend, who made aliyah for a number of years and then returned (ostensibly cause his father was sick). many of those cases.

    ptcha – i often threaten a neighbor with giving them ptcha if they dont treat me right. they’re yekke’s, so they think they must eat whatever i give them (yekke’s have that trait.).

    nachum — make ptcha out of those exotic animals. (ptcha is also made from fish, though not the “real” stuff.)

  89. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    abba — but as for american olim who never become israeli citizens, very few of those. i know of one, who finally became a citizen so that he could do his army service at age 40something. and he ended up having insurance issues (on his american life policy, nothing a good broker cant fix.)

  90. MMY: i’m sure many are dual (and triple) citizens. but many are not and simply overstay their visas. i’m not talking about the israelis in tennafly. you think all those waitresses on kings highway have green cards?

    as an aside that “triple citzenship” phenomenon only became possible after 1988, as emigrants from the soviet union effectively lost their citizenship. as such there were actually jews with zero citizenship. when my wife left the soviet union they took her papers away and she became stateless. she came to the US as a refugee and got a green card right away, but for for many years never bothered to go through the citizenship process.

  91. shaul shapira says:

    R Gil- Why is there nothing from you l’chvod yom ha’atzmaut? It’s already past chatzos halayla in the holy land!

  92. Charlie Hall says:

    ‘wrt to the stats themselves, what is an “israeli”? for a while many jews (and non-jews) from the FSU used israel as a transit point to the US’

    The stats I reported were based on country of last residence. That would include a few people who did not become Israeli citizens (and also some non-Jews as well). It would not include Israelis who were living in, say, France or Canada.

  93. mycroft says:

    Re my comment on more departures from Israel than arrivals see the following comment that I received from a member of the Baker Street Irregulars:

    “Here is official data from the (Israel) Central Bureau of Statistics. However, the excess (departures less arrivals) of around 30,000 a year is so large that it is hard to imagine that this is a good measure of yerida less aliyah.

    CBS, TRANSPORT STATISTICS QUARTERLY No. 2, 2011
    AUXILIARY TRANSPORT ACTIVITIES AIR TRANSPORT OF
    PASSENGERS VIA BEN GURION AIRPORT (1)

    Departures Arrivals Year
    5,046.6 5,022.2 2007
    5,533.4 5,498.4 2008
    5,247.4 5,221.7 2009
    5,742.9 5,703.6 2010″

    What else could explain the difference between arrivals and departures exceptfor yerida-is ahalfof one per cent or so-really such an outrageous high figure of net yerida. Any ideas?

  94. Moshe Shoshan says:

    what are the stats for other airports?

  95. IH says:

    What else could explain the difference between arrivals and departures

    First 2 that come to mind are:

    1. People enrolled in University/Yeshiva/etc. programs that start mid-year and end mid-year (thus spanning annual statistics)
    2. Tourists who open-jaw travel to Jordan and Israel and enter Israel by land, but leave by air.

    That will start to whittle down your 30,000 delta.

  96. IH says:

    The comments in theyeshivaworld piece on Giyur are fascinating. “Get the government out of my Medicare” :-)

  97. Steve Brizel says:

    The article re obesity in the Orthodox community should have at least acknowledged that one can find Little League teams, and certainly team and individual sports at many day and sleep away camps that cater to the MO and Charedi worlds. in the Orthodox media, one can read of summer softball leagues that are populated by many middle aged participants. Many communities that have Ys and JCCs in Orthodox communities or close by have nights for separate swimming as well as other means of physical fitness. Many yeshivos and seminaries that participate in “one year program” offer many tiyulim and other similar activities for their participants. The article seemingly passed over the same in complete silence.

  98. IH says:

    Steve — I’m glad to see you extolling Ys and JCCs “in Orthodox communities or close by” but just look around — both in NYC and in Israel.

    My own (unscientific) sense is that diet is a huge problem — particularly for larger families with kids who end up padding their meals with unhealthy starches for cost reasons.

    And let’s face it, many of us have “peasant genes” that make us more susceptable and, therefore, needing to make this a priority in our lives.

  99. “An Obesity Problem In The Orthodox Community?”

    gee, big shock. that’s what happens when on the one hand it is a mitzva to fress, and on the other hand it is bittul torah to have real real phys ed programs in school, etc.

    “Agudath Israel Opposes Brooklyn Prosecutors’ Refusal to Identify”

    not quite. they say should be evaluated case-by-case

    “Expand Tax Breaks for Jewish Schools”

    proposal in the article will have negligible impact, if any, for ortho parents, who tend to marry earlier, have kids earlier, and space them closer together. if you get married at 22 before you’re even earning money and start having kids rights away and close together, how will the proposal help? (aside from this, while every penny counts, i don’t see where the real savings kick in even for the author’s non-orthodox demographic)

  100. emma says:

    abba, I would say that any obesity problem among american orthodox jews should be first attributed to their american-ness, and only to peculiarly jewish issues if there is evidence that they are more obese than other americans of similar social classes.

  101. EMMA:

    “should be first attributed to their american-ness”

    i don’t disagree. (the article also stressed this.)
    but at best, the specific jewish factors don’t make the matter better.
    (and for whatever it’s worth, the article did cite an israeli stat showing higher obesity in the haredi pop)

    STEVE:

    little league? seriously? it’s good for hand-eye coordination, building cooperation skills, etc., but exercise? a kids probably gets more exercise moving chess pieces around the board ;)

  102. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-Ys and JCCs in Orthodox communities and nearby ( e.g. Boro Park and Forest Hills) have long ago realized that Orthodox friendly athletic programs, lectures, etc are in the nutual best interests of the institutions and the O community. Many, but not all, are even closed on Shabbos and YT.

    Like it or not, Thursday night, due to the same being the best time for any family with working spouses to prepare for Shabbos, has become the night for pizza and the like.Once in a while, for a family get-together,out of the context of Shabbos and YT, families will get togther on Sunday afternoons or on a legal holiday. One can easily survey restaurants, etc in any Torah observant neighborhood and see that Thursday night and Sundays are the biggest business days.

    However, the notion that large O families are gorging everynight on huge meals strikes me as urban myth and stereotype.Due to the simple facts of life, families eat at least one meal of Shabbos leftovers, or in shifts due to the fact that kids eat before their parents because of homework,or parents who arrive home late from work .Many parents who attend a simcha will eat something at the shmorgasboard and skip the often unappetizing main dish, and overly attractive desert.

    Abba-go to any day or summer camp-there is a wide range of sports offered ranging from team sports, hiking, boating, etc. There is no shortage of trained therapists and trainers in our communities running personal trainer programs and other healthy eating oriented programs. The Ys and JCCs have made their overtures in terms of swimming and other programs-unless one lives in a utopian state where the state pateralistically dictates under the penalty of law what you do from sunrise to bedtime, people will make their own decisions as to what to squeeze into their lives as well as what, how much and when they will eat. Like it or not, one has to look at things in a balance-while some sort of physical exercise is important ( see a famous story about RSZA when he saw R Berel Wein jogging in Yerushalayim), there is no mitzvah to lool like a blimp or either eat or exercise in a near anorexic or steroid dependent manner so that one looks either like a supermodel or a famous athlete.

  103. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba wrote:

    “little league? seriously? it’s good for hand-eye coordination, building cooperation skills, etc., but exercise”

    Did you ever play baseball? You have to run in order to get around the bases and be able to move quickly and/or run in order to catch and throw a ball.

  104. IH says:

    Steve — I was not speaking of quantity, but of quality. I also can’t help wondering what impact the chumraization regarding kashrut of fruits and vegetables that has become de rigueur in some communities is having on their diets.

  105. ruvie says:

    steve b. – i think you are either misreading or misunderstanding the comments. why do you have state things in such extremes that does not exist? its not about going out to eat – its quantity and type of food consumed.
    i have played baseball – unless you are pitcher or catcher – there is not much exercise on any consistent basis- try basketball for 2 straight hours. btw, anorexia is an eating disorder – really has nothing to do with exercise.

  106. STEVE:

    “Did you ever play baseball?”

    baseball can be fun, challenging, develop team spirit and cooperation skills, etc. all these are important, for kids and adults. but unless you’re playing 1-on-1 there is almost no sustained physical activity. it isn’t exercise. even for the pitcher and catcher. they use one muscle group (not even bilaterally) and there is no CV workout (perhaps that’s why it’s the american pastime, even in our sporting activities we’re lazy!)

    “go to any day or summer camp . . .”

    i’m not sure why you addressed this long comment to me, unless you consider typing to be exercise as well! :)

  107. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie wrote:

    “have played baseball – unless you are pitcher or catcher – there is not much exercise on any consistent basis- try basketball for 2 straight hours. btw, anorexia is an eating disorder – really has nothing to do with exercise”

    Try playing the outfield or running the bases. Anorexia certainly an anorexic disorder-but one cannot deny the sociological/cultural/psychological factors that play no small role in the same.

  108. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “I was not speaking of quantity, but of quality. I also can’t help wondering what impact the chumraization regarding kashrut of fruits and vegetables that has become de rigueur in some communities is having on their diets.”

    Look in any major stores in the Torah observant neighborhoods-there are packaged salads, etc that obviate the issues re checking for insects that became a halachic issue thanks in no small part to environmental extremists who raised alarms about DDT and the like.

  109. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie wrote:

    “why do you have state things in such extremes that does not exist? its not about going out to eat – its quantity and type of food consumed.”

    Quantity and type of food consumed do not exist in a vacumn, but depend on many factors, including social evironments and the attitude, in general, towards food.Some people live to eat, others eat to live . Why isn’t what a family eats on any given weekday or Shabbos or YT the issue? Obviously, Shabbos and YT in no small part revolve around the Seudah.

  110. emma says:

    “insects that became a halachic issue thanks in no small part to environmental extremists who raised alarms about DDT and the like”

    I love this. “We have to check more than our grandparents because psticides are less powerful/less prolifically used.” Ok, well what about _their_ grandparents. You think in ancient bavel, where one put raisins to dry on your roof, that there were not insects interested in eating them too?

    Also, if you see what a lot of frum people do to those packaged salads… (I recall being at a shabbos meal where there were 4-5 vegetable based sidedishes each of which was dripping in a mayo-dressing. Just saying…)

    Listen, you can find little league, or bag salads, or whatever else, in many an american town. what does that have to do with whether its inhabitants are actually eating well, exercizing, healthy, or overweight?

  111. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba-the long comment was addressed to you as being simply representative of the herd mentality that thinks children in the O community have no means whatsoever to engage in physical activity. The best proof to the contrary exists at the many summer and sleepaway camps that all have many activities that have team sports, boating, swimming, etc.

  112. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Steve Brizel: And how much do those packaged salads that were checked (bodek) cost? As opposed to buying fresh vegetables. And when one has a family of say 6 or 7 or 8, it adds up.

  113. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma wrote:

    “Listen, you can find little league, or bag salads, or whatever else, in many an american town. what does that have to do with whether its inhabitants are actually eating well, exercizing, healthy, or overweight”

    Your point may be well taken, but I see no reason why the government should force anyone to eat what it deems appropriate, participate in physical fitness programs or monitor its weight. I know of no constitutional, statutory or case law stating or requiring that the same is a proper function of government.That AFAIK, is a person’s individual choice and decision, as opposed to a patronizing, statist and obviously compuslory utopian view of the “needs” of the citizens by a state that dictates every iota of a person’s behavior ranging from what one eats to the type of lightbulbs in your house.

  114. emma says:

    who said anything about the government?

  115. Steve Brizel says:

    Larry Kaplan asked:

    ” And how much do those packaged salads that were checked (bodek) cost? As opposed to buying fresh vegetables. And when one has a family of say 6 or 7 or 8, it adds up”

    The cost factor is present for anyone who views such salads as halachically mandated-regardless of the size of the family. Again-walk into any major store, as opposed to a branch of a national or regional chain, in an Orthodox community , and you will see how committed people are , regardless of the size of the family to Kashrus.

  116. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma-IMO, a fair reading of your posts is that the same are underscored by a POV that the government should ration what we eat and do in our spare time. I consider the same compuslory and utopian. Hayek would have a sronger term.

  117. IH says:

    Steve — those packages of “mehadrin” lettuce cost a pretty penny (far more than regular lettuce). There is also the issue of diversity and appeal: when you start banning asparagus heads, brocolli, strawberries — and who knows what else will be added — it becomes harder to eat the quantity of fruits and vegetables needed in a health diet.

    Incidentally, when studying Shir ha’Shirim a few weeks ago, I learned something about תפוח (http://tinyurl.com/cot6ngo) which jibed with a fascinating New Yorker article about cultivating apples in Nov 2011 (paywalled).

  118. IH says:

    The cost factor is present for anyone who views such salads as halachically mandated-regardless of the size of the family

    That is precisely the point. If the only way to eat fruit and vegetables is to spend as much as the mehadrin stuff costs, is it really a surprise those people are eating more starch than a healthy diet should have?

    Of course if you believe the standards for healthy diet are established by radical feminist, big government, BDS supporting liberals perhaps that too is an explanation :-)

  119. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Steve — those packages of “mehadrin” lettuce cost a pretty penny (far more than regular lettuce). There is also the issue of diversity and appeal: when you start banning asparagus heads, brocolli, strawberries — and who knows what else will be added — it becomes harder to eat the quantity of fruits and vegetables needed in a health diet”

    First of all, the OU has an easy to read guide about how, what and which fruits and vegetables need to be inspected. If you want the fruits and vegetables cleaned of bugs,due to regulations promulgated by environmental extremists who never see an area that is devoid from their dream of a regulated environment, but whose programs never helped anyone earn a dollar except the NYSD that removed recycled garbage with twice the manpower used prior thereto, you can buy them yourself and follow the procedures therein. In the alternative, or depending on what you are willing to pay, you can buy the pre-packaged alternative.

  120. Tal Benschar says:

    “I also can’t help wondering what impact the chumraization regarding kashrut of fruits and vegetables that has become de rigueur in some communities is having on their diets.”

    Always glad to see the predictable acting predictably.

    There are plenty of vegetables that one can buy in the regular supermarket and may eat with only minimal or no checking, beyond the ordinary washing and trimming you would do anyway. Shall we list some: cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, sweet peppers, summer and winter squashes including zuchinni, beets, turnips, celery, sweet potatoes, eggplants, green beans, sweet peas. THere is more to culinary life than lettuce.

    And as to those that are more problematic (such as lettuce), it is not that hard to learn to wash and check them. We stopped buying Bodek lettuce a long time ago. (Only thing we still buy is frozen cauliflower and broccoli.)

    Check out the Star K vegetable guide. http://star-k.org/cons-appr-vegetables.php. Many items are listed as requiring no checking, and many of those that do can be checked with only a little effort.

  121. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Of course if you believe the standards for healthy diet are established by radical feminist, big government, BDS supporting liberals perhaps that too is an explanation”

    I don’t think government has any business in dictating what I eat, what type of lightbulb I use or anything that I do that is not prohibited either under the applicable federal or state law. To paraphrase Robert Bartlett, the late editor of the WSJ, government must ensure that there are free minds for free markets with the least obtrusive means of regulation while protecting the rights and liberties of the average law abiding citizen, and not acting in a manner to prevent the healthy start up of new businesses.

  122. Tal Benschar says:

    Further to my last post, here is the Star-K’s list of veggies as to which it recommends that there is no checking needed:

    http://star-k.org/cons-vegchecking.php?checking=none

    It includes a few more than I listed.

  123. Tal Benschar says:

    Also, carrots and Belgian Endives are listed as “Wash ONly” (who doesn’t wash their vegetables before eating) and Sweet Corn is listed as Visual Check only.

    So the notion that the Cabal of Rabbis are trying to ban all vegetables and kill us all through cholesterol overload is, like most urban myths, just that, a myth.

  124. Steve Brizel says:

    IMO, many enviromentalists deserve the title described in the linked article and book. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096277/Global-warming-James-Delingpole-claims-green-zealots-destroying-planet.html

  125. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in part:

    “Incidentally, when studying Shir ha’Shirim a few weeks ago, I learned something about תפוח (http://tinyurl.com/cot6ngo) which jibed with a fascinating New Yorker article about cultivating apples in Nov 2011 (paywalled”

    See the Yu Haggadah ( 1985) in which RHS discusses the above isssue and the halachic ramifications re the ingredients for Charoses ( Pages 30-34).

  126. IH says:

    On the politics, Nicholas Lemann’s roundup of recently published polemics, both right and left, is worth reading: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/04/23/120423crat_atlarge_lemann?currentPage=all

    Covers: Timothy Noah, Charles Murray, David Rothkopf, Tony Judt, Dylan Ratigan,Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin and Jay Cost.

  127. Steve Brizel says:

    Ih-thanks for the link, as a neocon Democrat who still yearns for the pre McGovernite Democratic Party and leaders such as FDR, HST, JFK,LBJ, HHH, Scoop Jackson and Daniel Moynihan, the Cost book looks like must reading.

  128. STEVE:

    “Try playing the outfield or running the bases”

    come on, how much time does the typical player spend running the bases?

    “Abba-the long comment was addressed to you as being simply representative of the herd mentality”

    i see

    “that thinks children in the O community have no means whatsoever to engage in physical activity. The best proof to the contrary exists at the many summer and sleepaway camps that all have many activities that have team sports, boating, swimming, etc.”

    1) i *never* said the O community lacks the “means.”
    2) my comment at the top of the page referred specifically to the lack of appropriate phys (and i’d add now health) education in many jewish schools, and yes, as one moves to the right it become most schools and finally all schools. so what does jewish camps have to do with the other 10 months of the year i was referring to?

    but that’s ok–keep on exercising those fingers!

  129. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba-the post at issue implied that the O community was at risk for obesity due to a lack of physical exercise. I merely pointed out the available options. I would agree that during the year physical education tends not to be a priority in many schools, especially in some Charedi communities, but many teens in those communities do participate in progams at Ys and JCCs that are geared for that population.

  130. IH says:

    I don’t think government has any business in dictating what I eat…

    I agree, as long as those who can’t fit in an airplane seat without intruding on my seat buy 2 seats and sit between them; and, I can buy a health insurance premium where I’m not subsidising someone’s poor choices in diet and non-exercise (as 2 examples of where someone’s allegedly personal choices impact others).

  131. STEVE:

    (since you love moving the goal posts and going off on tangents . . .)
    what is the stance of many (most, all) jewish schools toward smoking? how many have anti-smoking programing? how many have rebbeim who unanimously and unequivocally condemn smoking? etc?
    i bring up smoking (actually it isn’t so tangential) because a) it is linked to obesity and b) the apathy toward smoking is indicative of a a genral apathy toward health ed

    (and since you love putting words in people’s mouths . . .)
    yes, i know, the dangers of smoking are exaggerated by the feminist, liberal, left-wing, environmentalist conspirators
    i’ll bet you even think smoking is a good way to curb obesity

  132. i meant inversely linked as a lead in to the end, oh well.
    (although both are co-linked to various morbidities)

  133. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba wrote:

    “(since you love moving the goal posts and going off on tangents . . .)
    what is the stance of many (most, all) jewish schools toward smoking? how many have anti-smoking programing? how many have rebbeim who unanimously and unequivocally condemn smoking? etc?
    i bring up smoking (actually it isn’t so tangential) because a) it is linked to obesity and b) the apathy toward smoking is indicative of a a genral apathy toward health ed”

    That’s a good question, to which I haven’t seen any hard data. I do know that RHS has publicly stated that smoking is a form of Maamad Atztmo LDaas-suicidal behavior. I tend to think that even those Poskim who attempt to defend smoking on YT would be hard pressed to view the same as Shaveh Lchol Nefesh, especially in light of the overwhelming medical evidence as to the terrible effects on a person’s health caused by smoking. Obviously, smoking should never be seen as a good way to curb obesity.

    I would agree that unfortunately one can detect at least in the Charedi media a lot of concern about the documented health hazards caused by smoking, with at least one lengthy article in Mishpacha that all but condemned smoking followed by some inspid letters defending smoking, as well as a query in the Yated’s weekluy Shidduch Roundgtable about someone who discovered after she became engaged that her future chasan was a smoker, and whether she should break off the shidduch.

    Obviously, parents should insist that any future SIL be a non-smoker. If I had my way, I would simply publish an ad consisting of copies of two x-rays-one from a non-smoker and another from a chain smoker who had R”L been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, and post the same on every wall in every shul and Beis Medrash .

    FWIW, I had a rebbe in JSS who had a massive heart coronary in the mid 1970s and willed himself off what had been chain smoking in the days long before the patch, etc.

  134. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba-Given all of what we know smoking and its relationship to lung cancer, etc, I find it hard to believe that anyone in his or her right mind would consider smoking to be acceptable, even in the absence of a Kol Koreh proclaiming that it is Assur to smoke-even on YT. From last week’s Mishpacha, it is evident that alcholism which may have its origins in drinking too much as a “social drinker” at a simcha or Kiddush, has become an issue, regardless of hashkafic orientation, in our communities.

  135. emma says:

    “Emma-IMO, a fair reading of your posts is that the same are underscored by a POV that the government should ration what we eat and do in our spare time.”

    OK… I will leave it to others to decide whether this reading is in fact “fair.” I personally am baffled.

  136. emma says:

    “I find it hard to believe that anyone in his or her right mind would consider smoking to be acceptable”

    Must be an awful lot of people out of their minds then…

  137. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Steve
    as I understand it, there are quite a few admorim who explicitly permit smoking. In the Yeshiva world there is a wide spread perception that smoking is mutar because everybody does it and when was the last time you heard a rabbi condemn it. The failure of the chareidi world to take the problem of smoking seriously is one of the most grievous mistakes of its leadership. If they can fill Citi Field to deal with the internet problem,. why dont they use similar means to draw attention to smoking?

  138. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma-Ain Haci Nami. Anyone who smokes simply is ignoring medical evidence which is presented to the consumer in an easily comprehensible manner. Smoking strikes me as a classical case of suicidal behavior. It is no different that cirrohisis of the liver caused by alcoholism. How anyone can smoke in the face of the available medical evidence simply is beyond my comprehension.

    Moshe Shoshan- Excellent point. I haven’t heard of any such heterim or perceptions in the US, although when I once talked to a son of our friends who once was in Lakewood, he educated me in a display of the POV that you mentioned by displaying an overly permissive attitude towards smoking .

    RHS’s words, IMO, speak for themselves.

    I agree that there should be at least as much attention devoted to the well known and documented issue of bachurim smoking and its equally documented and ruinous effect on a person’s health, as the dangers of the internet.

  139. Steve Brizel says:

    Moshe Shoshan-have the Admorim that you refer to ever been shown any of the medical evidence?

  140. emma says:

    I once picked up a book on “health” in meah shearim, apparently geared towards chareidi men. Among the healthy practices promoted were eating veggies (I think) and not smoking more than a few cigarettes a day. IOW, only heavy smoking was considered a health problem. Moderate smoking was ok.

  141. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    emma — the meah shearim book might be facing reality — “ban”ning it will not work. moderating it might work.

    maybe charedim should try that in other fields. citifield, for example.

    tal b – the star-k position on vegetables is not universally accepted. (e.g., dole packaged vegetables) (similar to “shabat mode ovens, but there, others are prob right.)

    and some of the vegetables you list require checking according to … a good number of … others

    DDT not only solves the “bug” problem, it prevents west nile, malaria, and many other “environmental” illnesses. a cost benefit analysis should be conducted, but the (famous) picture of a mother’s breast with the words “DDT” is still too powerful an image.

    no comments here on any of today’s stories (except baseball and obesity). i guess its a slow news day, though i dont agree.

  142. “Steve Brizel
    April 26, 2012 – 5:59 pm
    Moshe Shoshan-have the Admorim that you refer to ever been shown any of the medical evidence?”

    Pardon me but I thought this was 2012

  143. Steve Brizel

    “Moshe Shoshan-have the Admorim that you refer to ever been shown any of the medical evidence?”

    Pardon me but I thought this was 2012

  144. Steve Brizel

    “Moshe Shoshan-have the Admorim that you refer to ever been shown any of the medical evidence?”
    Pardon me but I thought this was 2012

  145. “have the Admorim that you refer to ever been shown any of the medical evidence?”
    Pardon me but I thought this was 2012

  146. aiwac says:

    The new Hakirah is out:

    http://www.hakirah.org/CurrentIssue.htm

    I was wondering if anyone had seen the contents and wanted comment on it.

  147. Tal Benschar says:

    tal b – the star-k position on vegetables is not universally accepted. (e.g., dole packaged vegetables) (similar to “shabat mode ovens, but there, others are prob right.)

    and some of the vegetables you list require checking according to … a good number of … others

    I think you missed my point. There are plenty of vegetables one can eat that require no or minimal checking. And, if you are so inclined, you can learn to check the rest. There is no reason that a frum person cannot eat a diet full of a large variety of vegetables (and fruits), notwithstanding the insect issues, and without blowing the food budget on Bodek.

  148. IH says:

    And, if you are so inclined, you can learn to check the rest. There is no reason that a frum person cannot eat a diet full of a large variety of vegetables (and fruits), notwithstanding the insect issues, and without blowing the food budget on Bodek.

    Indeed, like our parents and grandparents did. What a concept!

    Excepting, of course, peer pressure — a phenomenon unheard of in the Orthodox community — which drives people to buy the mehadrin labeled products to fit in with community standards.

    In any case, looking around it is obvious there is a problem with both diet and exercise in the Orthodox community both in the US and in Israel. As R. Yanklowitz sums up: “By learning moderation, improving our diets, and taking care of our bodies, we not only fulfill the mitzvah of preserving our lives and caring for our loaned bodies created in the “image of G-d,” we also teach our children the importance of living a balanced, holy lifestyle.”

  149. IH says:

    http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=267398

    “On eve of its 64th Independence Day, Israel’s population has surpassed 7.8 million, a growth of 1.8 percent or an additional 137,000 new citizens since this time last year, according to Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) figures released Tuesday.”

  150. “The new Hakirah is out”

    looks like some intersting topics, but not full access?

    (note in light of the above discussion on orthodoxy and health, the article in hakira on vaccinations)

  151. “In his responsum opposing the use of recreational marijuana, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that marijuana limits one’s ability to exercise free will, alters one’s sense of reality, impairs one’s judgment, and affects one’s ability to function. A habitual marijuana user cannot express himself freely or act responsibly. All of these prevent him from properly fulfilling religious obligations, especially prayer.”

    so why is alchohol mutar?

  152. stupid article by maggid. gil, you owe me 5 minutes of my life back. (ok, maybe the cute article on hagba makes up for it)

  153. Nachum says:

    Magid writes:

    “Because here is where the disease shows itself: not in vitriolic language, as unfortunate as it is, not in food-fight accusations, but in the total disregard for privacy and the collapse of integrity as part of public discourse.”

    That, of course, is very convenient for him. He cast the first stone; he called Gordis a “fascist,” which, in addition to being the most damaging thing you can call someone and the most hurtful thing you can call a Jew, just makes no sense at all. (Is Gordis really a follower of Mussolini, in favor of nationalizing industry? Does Magid know anything? Over sixty years ago, Orwell said that “fascist” had simply come to mean “Something I don’t like.”)

    So having done such a horrible thing, Magid offers a semi-apology and then redefines the sins of our time to implicate Gordis instead. Sorry, pal, it doesn’t work that way.

    Or actually, since Magid is on the bien-pensant side of the conversation, it is, sadly.

  154. Nachum says:

    “so why is alchohol mutar?”

    The same is true of drunkards and drunkeness.

  155. NACHUM:

    where does he say it is the same for drunkards and drunkeness?
    in any case, he didn’t write that it asur to be habitual user (akin to the drunkard) or to be stoned out of your mind (akin to drunkeness), but rather it seems any use is asur. so again, why not the same for alchohol?

  156. IH says:

    As I read the piece, the author initially raises the question of “dangerous side effects” (para 5), but then explains “This issue is raised because medical marijuana is usually ingested via smoking, and all available medical data confirms the dangers of smoking.” (para 14).

    So, the cigarette smoking issue discussed yesterday is pertinent. How can (legally) smoking cigarattes be muttar, yet (legally) smoking marijuana be assur on the basis of the dangers of smoking?

  157. IH says:

    It would be interesting to note the date of RMF’s responsum, btw, if any intrepid reader has the time to look it up.

  158. Hirhurim says:

    I don’t think Magid’s article is stupid. He is absolutely right that you cannot reveal private correspondence without first obtaining permission. See this post about a similar debate, albeit regarding Torah insights, between R. Shaul Yisraeli and R. Shlomo Goren: http://torahmusings.com/2007/03/publishing-torah-insights-without/

  159. S. says:

    IH, May 1973, naturally.

  160. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-IIRc, RMF’s teshuvah was written in the early 1970s.

    FWIW, I thought that the title of the Magid article hardly was descriptive or indicative of his real concern-a desire to utterly dismiss anyyone with views similarn to Daniel Gordis as a “tribal fascist.” It is difficult to believe that someone who holds the Schottenstein Chair in Judaic Studies at the U of Indiana would make such a thoroughly disagreeable statement. I can only imagine of his views re Orthodoxy in the US in the print and the classroom if he holds such views.

  161. S. says:

    Magid may be right that you “cannot” but he is wrong that people “will not.” I also don’t know why he is making this about Jews. Is this something that doesn’t happen elsewhere?

  162. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba-I just received my copy of the Hakirah. I will defer to R Gil to post the contents.

  163. IH says:

    a desire to utterly dismiss anyyone with views similar…

    An ironic comment from one who often does.

    only imagine of his views re Orthodoxy [On Maggid]

    Gordis, of course is a Conservative Rabbi who was Dean of Rabbinics at LA’s University of Judaism. On that side of his life, he recently co-authored a book on Geirut with R. David Ellenson (http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/gary_rosenblatt/new_book_frames_debate_conversion)

  164. Hirhurim says:

    Steve Brizel: I just received my copy of the Hakirah. I will defer to R Gil to post the contents

    It will take a little while. It’s 300+ pages long and I’ve got other stuff on my plate, as well.

    S: Magid may be right that you “cannot” but he is wrong that people “will not.”

    True but he is right to call someone out on it.

    I also don’t know why he is making this about Jews. Is this something that doesn’t happen elsewhere?

    Because he — and we — are Jews.

  165. joel rich says:

    Rich’s rule of Hagbah,

    1.Hagbah is not about strength, it’s about form.

    2.You can tell all you need to know about a man by how he does hagbah (hameivin yavin)

    KT

  166. joel rich says:

    R’ Moshe’s marijuana tshuva is a classic imho-seemed like built to support the conclusion:
    שו”ת אגרות משה יורה דעה ח”ג סימן לה
    איסור עישון סמים בע”ה. ב’ דר”ח אייר תשל”ג. מע”כ מוה”ר ירוחם פראם שליט”א.
    הנה בדבר אשר התחילו איזה בחורים מהישיבה לעשן חשיש (מעראוואנא), פשוט שהוא דבר אסור מכמה עיקרי דינים שבתורה חדא שהוא מקלקל ומכלה את הגוף, ואף אם נמצאו אנשים בריאים שלא מזיק להם כל כך אבל מקלקל הוא את הדעת ואינם יכולים להבין דבר לאשורו שזה עוד יותר חמור שלבד שמונע עצמו מלמוד התורה כראוי הוא מניעה גם מתפלה וממצות התורה שעשיה בלא דעת הראוי הוא כלא קיימם. ועוד שהוא גורם תאוה גדולה אשר הוא יותר מתאות אכילה וכדומה הצריכים להאדם לחיותו ויש שלא יוכלו לצמצם ולהעביר תאותם, והוא איסור החמור שנאמר בבן סורר ומורה על תאוה היותר גדולה שיש לו לאכילה אף שהוא לאכילת כשרות, וכ”ש שאסור להביא עצמו לתאוה גדולה עוד יותר ולדבר שליכא שום צורך להאדם בזה שהוא אסור, ואף שלמלקות נימא שאין עונשין מן הדין מ”מ לאיסורא ודאי עובר על לאו זה ואיכא גם הטעם דאיכא בבן סורר ומורה שסופו שילסטם את הבריות כדאיתא בסנהדרין בפ’ בן סורר (ס”ח ע”ב). ועוד שהאב והאם של אלו שמעשנין זה מצטערים מאד אשר עוברין על מצות כבוד אב ואם. ועוד איכא איסור העשה דקדושים תהיו כפירוש הרמב”ן בחומש. וגם הם גורמים לאיסורים הרבה אחרים לבד זה, סוף דבר הוא פשוט וברור שהוא מאיסורים חמורים וצריך להשתדל בכל היכולת להעביר טומאה זו מכל בני ישראל ובפרט מאלו שלומדין בישיבות. והנני ידידו מוקירו, משה פיינשטיין

    KT

  167. ruvie says:

    S.- since magid is in the “intellectual” jewish circles his observation are from his perch – mostly if not exclusively dealing with jews . also, this seems to be not the first time this has happened to him – he asked for gordis’s email to continue the dialogue and in response the next day sees himself mentioned in commentary . he is trying to be a social critic in this piece – i think.

  168. cyberdov says:

    re Greatest Challenge to Orthodoxy – Perhaps the real challenge is how to create/maintain a vibrant Orthodoxy without burdensome expensive schools!

  169. Hirhurim says:

    cyberdov: Seriously. We just got tuition contracts for next. Three boys at full tuition, including one in high school, add up to a little more than a single 6th grade tuition in Solomon Schechter in Boston (according to this article http://forward.com/articles/154995/expand-tax-breaks-for-jewish-schools/). I don’t know what they are doing to make schools so expensive.

  170. aiwac says:

    “he is trying to be a social critic in this piece – i think”

    As opposed to his usual job of endorsing assimilation and calling people fascists. When did the word “critic” (critic of Israel, critic of Orthodoxy &c) suddenly become a license to go over the top? Did it start with YL or before?

  171. aiwac says:

    “An ironic comment from one who often does”

    הפוסל במומו פוסל – אבל עדיין לשניהם יש מום.

  172. aiwac says:

    “It is difficult to believe that someone who holds the Schottenstein Chair in Judaic Studies at the U of Indiana would make such a thoroughly disagreeable statement”

    Actually, it’s perfectly believable. I’ve seen Jewish academics comment on the doctrinaire universalist and “anti-tribalist” tendencies in their circles many times.

  173. IH says:

    aiwac — as Steve would say: “proof, please”.

  174. IH says:

    R’ Joel – many thanks. שהוא מקלקל ומכלה את הגוף is why I was curious about the date. Some 40 years on, we know more about the long-term health effects of marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol beyond their ephemeral effect. And, of course, the societal context in 1973 (ref: כבוד אב ואם) is also salient.

  175. joel rich says:

    The societal context of 1973 may be salient to you but it’s nostalgic to me :-) – and we assumed the health effects being referred to were “the munchies

    KT

  176. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-I have often offered the views that certain authors and writers’ views are beyond the pale of normative Orthodox tradition, and sharply questioned their fealty to the same. Merely writing a book or an article that expresses such views,or any other similarily controversial or questionnable POV or premise should never insulate any author from either a critical reaction or generate a defensive view that anyone who disagrees with his view is engaging in intellectual McCarthyism-a favorite tactic of the left which is all too illustrative of Samuel Johnson’s comment re patriotism and those who view themselves as patriots.

    In contrast, questionning the legitimacy of opposing views should never be confused or justified by personally demeaning rhetoric. The use of such a term as “tribal fascist” , especially given Dr Magid’s views on intermarriage and what he perceives as the overly narrow view of Jewish life afforded even in a MO Jewish education,strike me as beyond the pale of reasonable disagreement. I reached such a conclusion, especially in light of David Gordis’ own background and well thought views on many issues on Israel, regardless of my disagreement with the reading that R R David Ellinson and C R D Gordis have on Hilcos Gerus, which was itself the subject of R M Broyde’s critique in Tradition of a similarly themed work.

    Perhaps, Dr Magid’s ideas resonate well in the ivory towers of academia and his summer congregants in the Fire Island Synagogue. HaShem Yerachem, any student, and especially any Jewish student with a MO yeshiva education ( which U of Indiana has at least a smattering), who be subjected to such views and others as depicted on his website in his classroom, which IMO, are hardly friendly even to the views of LW MO, as espoused by R Linzer in an NYT op ed in response to the RBS disturbances.

  177. Steve Brizel says:

    On another previously discussed subject, we discussed the Citifield Internet Asifa. The following linked book IMO, is must reading on the psychological issues posed by technology, and their dangers,with respect to interpersonal relationships and especially the fact that a wholly technologically rooted relationship, whether with a robot, Ipod or Blackberry should never be viewed as a subsitute for a real life relationship. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/books/review/Lehrer-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all That perspective, IMO, would have packed a far more powerful message than what appears to be a program geared to preaching to the converted.

  178. nu, so what’s the difference according to RMF btw pot and alchohol?

  179. STEVE:

    “It is difficult to believe that someone who holds the Schottenstein Chair in Judaic Studies at the U of Indiana would make such a thoroughly disagreeable statement”

    why is this difficult to believe? the schottensteins paid for the university to establish the chair, but this doesn’t give them a say in who fills it or the criteria used to fill it. that is determined based on academic considerations. you (and i) may not like his politics and religious views, but this has nothing to do with why he sits in the schottenstein chair.

  180. Rafael Araujo says:

    Speaking of hagbahah and hagbahahphobia (if you have it), you might know of this old joke:

    A friend told me that when one guy picked up the Torah and said “Jesus this is heavy!” the rabbi shot back, “for Christ’s sake don’t drop it

  181. STEVE:

    if you prefer, you can say it is ironic. but it certainly isn’t difficult to believe.

    GIL:

    “I don’t know what they are doing to make schools so expensive.”

    are you kidding to be dramatic? i assume you know why, but that you don’t think it’s worth it?

    1) schechter parents have very different aspirations and goals for their kids than do brooklyn yeshiva parents and hence schechter provides a very different type of educaional experience than do brookyln schools (curriculum breadth and type, student:teacher ratio, extracurriculars, technology, teacher credentials, support staff/services, etc.). we don’t have to argue if its better or worse experience (or if the goals/aspirations are good ones), but siffice to say it is different and that difference cost a lot of $
    2) i assume brooklyn schools can get away with charging signifigantly less tuition because i assume they pay their teachers less (often late) and don’t offer the same level of benefits than does schechter. if this is indeed true, i wouldn’t be so proud that you have low tuition (unless you don’t think yeshiva teachers deserve better).

    (in any case, that $1.5 mil for the asifa could have paid for a lot of tuitions)

  182. from my position on the bimah i’ve seen many, many hagbas up close. i’ve concluded that it would really be best for shuls to have a short list of approved magbiahs. too many people who get the kibbud can’t really handle it either physically or maturely (i.e., the guys who normally could do it but inist on opening up the torah as wide as their arms can stretch and then swiveling around 360 degrees 15 times)

  183. RAFAEL:

    re. hagbaphobia, i have had for about 5 years. i was a guest in a shul and had a difficult time despite being assured beforehand that it was light torah. thank god nothing bad happened, although i was nonetheless thoroughly emabrassed when as i was holding up the torah in front of the shul i looked down and noticed my fly was open

  184. Steve says:

    Re: Greatest Challenge – This was posted on Huffington Post for what reason? It’s an issue for other posters, too, but it serves no purpose there, other than publicity for the writer. I’m not a fan of the “Jewish dirty laundry” argument, but this really seems inapproriate. Or am I missing something?

  185. joel rich says:

    R’ Abba,
    I’d say R’MF subscribed to the domino theory which was very current on both the political and drug scene.
    KT

  186. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    hagbaa — MB II p 31 134:8 as much as possible (of course does not apply to sfardim, who have “space limitations”.

    note — most / vast majority sifrei torah today are post war. (unlike the article.) many prewar sifrei torah are smeared with lime / gypsum / sheet rock material, to “preserve” the parchment. this, of course, adds alot of weight (pick up a piece of sheetrock and see.) and a tall sefer is often “top heavy” making it hard to “balance”. most seforim today are better balanced, size wise (except the second (and third) sefer in my shul) so its not hard to do a good big hagbaa. nothing to do with excercise.

  187. STEVE:

    agreed. he had another article a few months ago that i though would have been fine in the forward or jewish week but inappropriate in that forum (i forget now where it was)

  188. R. Joel:

    “I’d say R’MF subscribed to the domino theory which was very current on both the political and drug scene.”

    this isn’t reflected at all in the teshuvah you posted. there he evaluates pot (is it really the same as hashish as he indicates?) in of itself, not what it might lead to.

    btw i thought his intense preocuppation with the munchies was a novel and funny objection.

    also interesting that he was concerned particularly with benei torah (or is the general style of his teshuvos?)

  189. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    steve — it was posted on huff post cause they’re looking for readers (and may want to compete with hirhurim as the premier jewish web site.) i presume they do the same with indians and other “up and coming” groups.

    just like the wall st journal writes about hagbaa.

    and its not dirty laundry. perhaps it “buttering up” the public for tuition vouchers, etc. (which i 100% approve of, in a nondiscriminatory manner — to everyone, finances irrelevant, just like finances are irrelevant for admission to subsidized public schools.)

  190. mycroft says:

    “abba’s rantings on April 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm
    nu, so what’s the difference according to RMF btw pot and alchohol?”

    His chaverim drank alcohol.

  191. mycroft says:

    “IH on April 27, 2012 at 11:05 am
    R’ Joel – many thanks. שהוא מקלקל ומכלה את הגוף is why I was curious about the date. Some 40 years on, we know more about the long-term health effects of marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol beyond their ephemeral effect. And, of course, the societal context in 1973 (ref: כבוד אב ואם) is also salient.”

    Negative long term effects were certainly known by 1973 -certainly for alcohol and tobacco.

  192. MMY:

    “of course does not apply to sfardim”

    i think in this case you mean edot hamizrach rather than sephardim

    “many prewar sifrei torah are smeared with lime / gypsum / sheet rock material, to “preserve” the parchment.”

    in general klaf must be prepared (not “preserved”) with gallnut (or later on for ashkenazim lime because of the european environment). as far as i know (?) this has not changed post-war. perhaps what has changed is that better techniques/technology for preparing thinner/smoother klaf (which itself makes the torah lighter) enables less gallnut/lime to be needed. indeed, in my own experience older sifrei torah have thicker klaf.

    “and a tall sefer . . .”

    i like working with older sifrei torah, which are in many regards not uniform as they are today. one example are lines per column. 42 lines has become standard, but as you note, olde sefarim can have more, sometimes almost double. (don’t ask about az yashir)

  193. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    abba — yes, all (ashkenazi) sefarim have lime (its used to separate the parts of the hide, etc, per SA YD), but the pre war sefarim have a layer of plaster still on it. when you see it, you’ll understand. i mean at least 1/16″ thick. (i presume its added by the sofer after his work is finished, otherwise it would prob be harder for him (?her, for R soferot) to write.

    perhaps modern cows have a thinner skin. (i have seen goat skin parchment (see the gutenberg bible in the 42st library.) must say, its really beautiful. but, i understand, it is more prone to tearing, so not practical for day to day torah reading.)

    i believe the 42 line standard is per “kesat hasofer” by r shlomo ganzfried, supposed to be required on any sofer’s desk.

  194. joel rich says:

    R. Joel:

    “I’d say R’MF subscribed to the domino theory which was very current on both the political and drug scene.”

    this isn’t reflected at all in the teshuvah you posted. there he evaluates pot (is it really the same as hashish as he indicates?) in of itself, not what it might lead to.

    btw i thought his intense preocuppation with the munchies was a novel and funny objection.

    also interesting that he was concerned particularly with benei torah (or is the general style of his teshuvos?)

    ===================================
    I assumed “ועוד שהוא גורם תאוה גדולה אשר הוא יותר מתאות אכילה וכדומה הצריכים להאדם לחיותו ויש שלא יוכלו לצמצם ולהעביר תאותם” was the domino theory

    IIRC bnai torah were percieved as a bit behind the 60’s curve and the feeling up till then was it wasn’t a problem for “unserer”. By the early 70’s it was clear that the walls of the Yeshiva were not quite high enough (or the wet towels put by the door bottom not quite effective enough to keep the mashgiach out).
    KT

  195. ruvie says:

    steveb, – “to the views of LW MO, as espoused by R Linzer in an NYT op ed in response to the RBS disturbances.” – i do not think (as i recollect) that r’ linzer spoused anything that seemed left wing that wouldn’t also be agreed to by many in centrist and other parts of orthodoxy.

    “HaShem Yerachem, any student, and especially any Jewish student with a MO yeshiva education ( which U of Indiana has at least a smattering), who be subjected to such views”
    actually it would be a very good idea that our children are exposed to these views since they plan to live and work in the world at large. sheltering does not provide answers – conversations can. most religious young adults cannot have an intelligent conversations in these matters (from what i hear).

  196. Hirhurim says:

    Abba: 2) i assume brooklyn schools can get away with charging signifigantly less tuition because i assume they pay their teachers less (often late) and don’t offer the same level of benefits than does schechter. if this is indeed true, i wouldn’t be so proud that you have low tuition (unless you don’t think yeshiva teachers deserve better).

    If it keeps Jewish kids out of public schools and allows for large families to survive, I’m OK with it.

  197. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie-if someone either in the work place or elsewhere who was obviously not observant called me a “tribal fascist”, I would dismiss the same in its entirety as rooted in ignorance, and invite him for a Shabbos meal. OTOH, I would see no reason to engage in a conversation with someone who was obviously hostile to my way of life. The Netziv in his commentary on the Haggadah comments that someone who expresses such a hostile view is not entitled to a direct verbal response. Rather, one can only hope and pray that such a perspective might change over the course of time, as his or her blindness rooted in ignorance becomes aware to such a person. In the case at issue, given Dr. Magid’s views of even R Linzer’s article, discussions with Dr Magid re his POV seem to be a waste of time.

    As far as R Linzer’s article was concerned, I thought that his article neglected the fact that adhering to Kedoshim Tihu and Avizurahu D Arayos were incumbent on Jews of all genders.

    Abba-I thought that it more than slightly ironic that the same family that was a major donor for the ArtScroll Shas would allow a chair donated by it to be occupied by a scholar with obviously anti Orthodox views-even MO. Don’t such Foundations employ someone or have specialist that they can talk to with respect to how they want an academic endowment filled at a university who is aware of the political and other views of would be applicants and appointees?

  198. Steve Brizel says:

    Re R Gil’s response to Abba-see the latest issue of Jewish Action and the article by the OU’s President, based on the observations of R C Jachter re tution and Mesiras Nefesh.

  199. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie-despite my last comment, a very respectable argument that would argue against exposing a college aged student to Magid & Co would be based on the well known retort of the Gra to the Magid of Dubno.

  200. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    steve b — “Don’t such Foundations employ someone or have specialist that they can talk to with respect to how they want an academic endowment filled at a university who is aware of the political and other views of would be applicants and appointees?”

    we discussed a while ago how harvard (and other “major” colleges) took arab $ specifically for anti jewish (besides anti israel) purposes. harvard only put a stop it because of alumni ( = $) complaints (but they havent yet returned the $ to the saudi prince, another issue).

    we also discussed a shottenstein concert (or similar) hall in ohio.

    (by the way, “schottenstein hall” on 34 st is up for sale.)

  201. STEVE:

    “I thought that it more than slightly ironic . . .:

    yes, it is ironic, but that’s not how you originally framed it

    “Don’t such Foundations employ someone or have specialist that they can talk to with respect to how they want an academic endowment filled . . .”

    they can talk all they want and apply pressure behind the scenes, but in general academic hiring doesn’t work the way you describe. (one thing i remember when i was a student rep on a hiring committee in college: the file of every rejected applicant was forwarded to the provost with a detailed explanation for the rejection to ensure every applicant had a fair chance)

  202. GIL:

    “If it keeps Jewish kids out of public schools and allows for large families to survive, I’m OK with it.”

    arr you also ok with late and non-payment to vendors and landlords (which is another reason brooklyn tuition, in some cases, are cheaper)

  203. Hirhurim says:

    arr you also ok with late and non-payment to vendors and landlords (which is another reason brooklyn tuition, in some cases, are cheaper)

    No, but there are cheap schools that don’t have such problems.

  204. IH says:

    To get an apples to apples comparison, I would think that Yeshiva of Flatbush would be the appropriate point of comparison, both in tution and in metrics of value for money (which may differ from consumer to consumer).

  205. IH says:

    Steve — as a reminder, Magid publicly apologized for his intemperate ““tribal fascist” remark “It was an unfortunate comment and I regret writing it“.

  206. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    IH–As a reminder, Magis’s entire sentence reads, “It was an unfortunate comment and I regret writing it, although I can, if the occasion arises, defend it.” That is, “Gordis is a fascist, but maybe I shouldn’t have said so in writing.” That’s not an apology in my book. Actually, it only compounds Magid’s offense.

    Magid is right, however, about Gordis’ citing private correspondence without permission. They both come out looking bad.

  207. GIL:

    “No, but there are cheap schools that don’t have such problems.”

    but even these schools offer poor pay, no benefits and inconsistent pay dates. yet this is ok?

  208. Hirhurim says:

    but even these schools offer poor pay, no benefits and inconsistent pay dates. yet this is ok?

    Not ideal but it’s better than a ridiculously expensive system that is unsustainable.

  209. ruvie says:

    steve b. – maybe in his time – gra’s – but today i fail to see the logic of the argument (i also recommend every parent to encourage their children to sign up for the david project when they are studying in the israel during the gap year).
    btw, magid does not argue or disagree with others by calling them names – in general. he is an engaging conversationalist who is very respectful to others in general – doesn’t excuse him either in this case. also, it seems from many comments – not here – that gordis has in the past written publicly about private conversations without asking permission.

  210. ruvie says:

    steve b. – it doesn’t make linzer’s article a lwmo point of view because you disagree with something he may have left out – from your view. but label if you must.

  211. IH says:

    Prof. Kaplan — I partially agree. Magid regretted, but did not apologize. OTOH, I think your second sentence is an unjustified inference.

    Gordis initiates enough goring himself that he needs to develop tougher skin. And controversy regarding his personal conduct is hardly new news (brilliant as he may be, and agree with his overall point as I often do).

  212. IH says:

    Meantime on the halachic side of the news, is this interesting post: http://menachemmendel.net/blog/2012/04/27/music-at-funerals-or-why-the-chief-rabbi-is-irrelevant/ (be sure to click on the link to the R. Amar & R. Sharki contretemps at the Kotel).

  213. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    IH: Perhaps I went too far, but I think my reading is a possible inference. I am not sure what Prof. Magid meant. But one thing is clear; it was not an apology.

  214. Daniel says:

    http://www.yutorah.com/lectures/lecture.cfm/774729/_Hannah_Marmor/Medical_Marijuana:_Where-does-Judaim_Stand

    …cites an earlier article by Dr. Greene, comes to a similarly somewhat ambiguous conclusion.

    On the alcohol/cannabis comparison: you can imbibe alcoholic drink (e.g. from the Kiddush cup) with no intent to get a buzz and indeed get none. But nobody smokes a bowl of marijuana with any other intent than to get the buzz and would be chagrined not to get one. This allows a possibility of moderation for alcohol but not for cannabis relevant for evaluating non-medical use.

    Good Shabbos!

  215. mycroft says:

    …cites an earlier article by Dr. Greene, comes to a similarly somewhat ambiguous conclusion.

    “On the alcohol/cannabis comparison: you can imbibe alcoholic drink (e.g. from the Kiddush cup) with no intent to get a buzz and indeed get none. But nobody smokes a bowl of marijuana with any other intent than to get the buzz and would be chagrined not to get one. This allows a possibility of moderation for alcohol but not for cannabis relevant for evaluating non-medical use”

    Since I don’t drink and have never smoked I have no personal knowledge but is it clear that smoking cannibis will get one more impaired than drinking eg DUI etc.

  216. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Although I’m on Facebook I really don’t understand it very well. Magid’s original comment calling Gordis a fascist (and I agree with my brother and IH that he did not really apologize for it) appeared exactly where and how many people had access to it? I can’t quite get a grip around the “privacy” issue here but that may be because I don’t quite understand all the different places the various comments were made. BTW, I happen to be a big Gordis fan and read all his columns although I don’t always agree with him (although usually I do).

  217. mycroft says:

    “Steve Brizel on April 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    Re R Gil’s response to Abba-see the latest issue of Jewish Action and the article by the OU’s President, based on the observations of R C Jachter re tution and Mesiras Nefesh”
    From OU website
    “Each generation has its unique nisayon [test or trial],” Rabbi Jachter writes. “For our generation, our nisayon is not Shabbat or kashrut, which is relatively easy to observe in today’s multicultural society. Yeshivah tuition is the nisayon of our generation. If we step up to the challenge and are willing to make extraordinary sacrifices, like Daniel and his three friends did, we too will join the long chain of Jews who have heroically preserved the Jewish heritage.”

    Fair challenge about nisayon when laity who earn the same amount as mechanchim, administrators do pay the same amount for their childrens day school tuition. Don’t try and put guilt trips on people until ability to pay is really enforced -thus amechanech with a 50k income pays the same as a lay person with such income, amechanech earning 125k or 175k should pay the same tuition as a lay person with such income etc.

  218. aiwac says:

    ‘aiwac — as Steve would say: “proof, please”’

    Proof of what exactly?

  219. aiwac says:

    “Gordis initiates enough goring himself that he needs to develop tougher skin”

    Now THERE’s a ringing defense of Magid.

  220. Nachum says:

    “the well known retort of the Gra to the Magid of Dubno.”

    The “retort” (there are actually more than one) is a disgraceful coda added much later to a lovely story to make it more “frum.”

    Foundations not following donors’ instructions is a pet peeve of many. There are actually foundations set up to counter this.

  221. Moshe Shoshan says:

    checking for insects that became a halachic issue thanks in no small part to environmental extremists who raised alarms about DDT and the like.

    Steve,
    proof please! is there any evidence that fresh produce in the US is more infested today than 50 years ago.

    Even if it is true, DDT only came into use in the 40’s. There were frum Jews and even great talmidei chachamim in the US decades before that, and basedon my conversations with my grand parents and Dr. Atara Twersky I dont get the sense that bugs wereof great concern to the learned elites of american orthodoxy then either. There is more to this story, but I am not sure what it is.

  222. mycroft says:

    “Steve,
    proof please! is there any evidence that fresh produce in the US is more infested today than 50 years ago.

    Even if it is true”

    I remember years ago having to routinely get rid of the bugs from romaine lettuce-now I still check but its been years since I’ve seen insects. I suspect a lot of commercially sold produce is already cleaned for insects.

  223. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Steve: I’m with Nachum: Most versions of the story about the Dubno Maggid giving mussar to the Gra do not have the Gra’s supposed retort–“It’s no mitzvah to be a kuntzmacher.” In its attempt to give the orginal story a “frum” (or rather “krum”) spin, the version with the retort only succeeds in making the Gra look bad. After all, in all versions of the story the Gra ASKED the Maggidto give him mussar. So the Gra first asks the Maggid for Mussar and then puts him down with a nasty retort?!

  224. Charlie Hall says:

    “If it keeps Jewish kids out of public schools and allows for large families to survive, I’m OK with it.”

    I can’t believe you wrote that. Paying employees on time is a chiyuv from the Torah! Would we tolerate a yeshiva that had non-glatt meat in the cafeteria?

  225. Charlie Hall says:

    “all available medical data confirms the dangers of smoking”

    We had pretty convincing evidence that smoking Nicotiana cigarettes was bad as long ago as 1950. The evidence regarding Cannabis is much less clear.

    There is also some evidence that backs up the use of medical marijuana; it should probably be at most a Schedule II controlled substance like cocaine rather than a Schedule I.

  226. Charlie Hall says:

    “is it clear that smoking cannibis will get one more impaired than drinking”

    I do not see that as clear at all. Maybe as clear as marijuana smoke?

  227. Hirhurim says:

    Paying employees on time is a chiyuv from the Torah!

    It is only a chiyuv if you have the money!

  228. Charlie Hall says:

    “in no small part to environmental extremists who raised alarms about DDT and the like.”

    In the case of DDT, the alarms were well founded. In any case, the pesticides in use today in the US are every bit as effective and have a half life measured in days rather than decades. I grew up never seeing a bald eagle in the wild; they are now common in the Hudson Valley. It is also worth noting that DDT is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the US EPA based on animal studies and on epidemiologic studies in humans.

  229. Charlie Hall says:

    “It is only a chiyuv if you have the money!”

    And it isn’t genievat daat if you hire someone under such circumstances? In any case, the money is still owed.

    If Yeshiva University ever missed a paycheck, my resume would be on the street in seconds. Why do employees put up with this?

  230. Hirhurim says:

    And it isn’t genievat daat if you hire someone under such circumstances?

    People know what to expectm

  231. CHARLIE HALL:

    “it should probably be at most a Schedule II controlled substance like cocaine rather than a Schedule I.”

    1) fda schedules often simply don’t make sense. e.g., why isn’t tramadol scheduled at all? and why is fioricet not schedule, but fiorinal is (and at cIII)? and then there is federal vs. state schedules. why does ny consider anabolic steroids cII? and benzos are cIV but in practice can be regulated like cII? and some cV in some states can be OTC (!) but non-controlled still need rx?
    2) but wrt to pot vs. coke, i could argue that current FDA schedule makes sense because of respective applications and routes of administration make it much more likely to get addicted to pot than coke?

  232. mycroft says:

    Charlie Hall on April 29, 2012 at 12:06 am
    “It is only a chiyuv if you have the money!”

    “And it isn’t genievat daat if you hire someone under such circumstances? In any case, the money is still owed.

    If Yeshiva University ever missed a paycheck, my resume would be on the street in seconds. Why do employees put up with this?”

    Your choice many employees of Yeshiva duringthe Depression went a long time between paychecks. Two possibilities why employees put up with it-either they are very dedicated and are willing to sacrifice everything to spread Torah-or thaey can’t get another job thusthey are still much better off getting paid late than receiving nothing at all. I suspect there are those in both camps.

  233. mycroft says:

    “Hirhurim on April 29, 2012 at 12:16 am
    And it isn’t genievat daat if you hire someone under such circumstances?

    People know what to expectm”
    In general agree with Gil.

  234. GIL:

    “It is only a chiyuv if you have the money!”

    it may not happen in your kids’ schools as you mentioned, but late paychecks are common enough (even in schools where one might not expect it).

    now it is one thing to hire someone but then something unexpected happens along the way that makes an employer unable to fulfill his obligations in a timely manner. but it is another matter to run an institution knowing ab initio that payroll obligations will not be met as a matter of general operating procedures. the situation in some yeshivas is the latter, not the former

    what happened to secharo beyomo? is this only for day laborers?

  235. GIL:

    “It is only a chiyuv if you have the money!”

    if this school doesn’t have the money, then doesn’t it become the parents’ obligation and responsibility (if not halachically or legally, then at least for yashrus and even chinuch purposes–i won’t ask about morally) for the parents to step in and ensure that the agents they’ve entrusted to teach their kids torah are paid on time?

  236. CHARLIE HALL:

    “Why do employees put up with this?”

    1) dedication to the cause
    2) they are hostage to a desire to collect the backpay and to the hope that matters will improve in the future
    3) they have little chance for employmemnt elsewhere under better terms and conditions

  237. Nachum says:

    Prof. Kaplan: Thank you. I’ve actually seen “frum” versions with two possible responses. (Yours, then, “Others say the Gra said, ‘Ah, but what I do up there is also a kuntz.'”) Lovely.

    Dr. Hall: Even if pot isn’t as bad as tobacco, isn’t it *always* bad to inhale smoke, even, say, wood smoke? I wonder about the medical marijuana people if only because they don’t agitate for some version that is smokeless and doesn’t get you “high.” As a medical man, I ask you: Would that be possible? Would such a version work?

    I can also argue about the problems of people getting high in general, but that’s a value call, not a legal one.

  238. NACHUM:

    “Would that be possible? Would such a version work?”

    marinol (cIII?) and cesamet (cII?) “work,” but in some cases not to patients’ liking

  239. NACHUM:

    (jst to clarify, these are fda-approved synthetic pot analogs available by prescription)

  240. GIL:

    forgetting about the late payroll issues, whose prevalence perhaps (i hope) you will say is exaggerated . . .
    i may often disagree with some of your positions, but i am still shocked at your attitude toward teachers’ salaries/benefits, i.e., that these are a sacrifice for the cause of large families and yeshiva education (unless you tell me i am misinformed and teachers in those cheap schools you speak of get reasonable compensation/benefits)

  241. chardal says:

    >Since I don’t drink and have never smoked I have no personal knowledge but is it clear that smoking cannibis will get one more impaired than drinking eg DUI etc.

    This is patently false. I would much rather get into a car opperated by someone who is high than drunk. And while cannibis does impare your ability to operate a car, it does so no more than other common pain medications.

    >In his responsum opposing the use of recreational marijuana, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that marijuana limits one’s ability to exercise free will, alters one’s sense of reality, impairs one’s judgment, and affects one’s ability to function. A habitual marijuana user cannot express himself freely or act responsibly. All of these prevent him from properly fulfilling religious obligations, especially prayer.

    It is clear from this that R’ Feinstein was not familiar with the actual effects of cannibis. This reads like a 50s high school anti-drug film. The effects of cannibis are much more moderate than this. It baffles me how these articles fail to properly understand the effects of cannibis before they write about it.

  242. Moshe Shoshan says:

    My question for R. Moshe is “Why does Shomer pessaim hashem apply to cigarettes and nor pot, at least in societies where pot use is wide spread?”

  243. mycroft says:

    “chardal on April 29, 2012 at 2:15 am
    >Since I don’t drink and have never smoked I have no personal knowledge but is it clear that smoking cannibis will get one more impaired than drinking eg DUI etc.

    This is patently false”

    is it clear -a question patently false?

  244. avi says:

    I’m saddened by the Hilul Hashem of this “internet rally”. They should take the $1.5 million dollars, and give to victims of abuse and the poor.

    Nothing is more anti-Jewish than having a rally against literacy and communication.

  245. avi says:

    I have some really funny stories about people who were high off of marjiuana. Anyone who says it doesn’t impare judgement is fooling you. I don’t think I’ve ever had a reasonable conversation with somebody who was high.

  246. mycroft says:

    “My question for R. Moshe is “Why does Shomer pessaim hashem apply to cigarettes and nor pot, at least in societies where pot use is wide spread?””
    Question could probably be asked to RJDBleich-I heard him decades ago advocating that reason for why tobacco smoking is not assur.

  247. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Nachum: Actually, the version of the Gra’s supposed retort you cite is not quite as bad as the one I cited. BTW, I remember first coming across the story, sans retort of course, in Herman Wouk’s This Is My God.

  248. IH says:

    The debate about teacher is, to me, yet another illustration of the special pleading problem of frumkeit.

    But, ultimately, it is a choice made by both sides of the transaction: teachers and parents.

  249. Hirhurim says:

    Abba: The way it’s supposed to work is that one spouse works in chinukh and the other has a “real” job from which the family receives steady wages and benefits. That is what I favor. I would not recommend a communal job for a single-income family or an arrangement where both earners work in a communal setting. Some people can pull that off and kol hakavod to them but it seems like a superhuman feat to me.

    Expecting people in the community to pay upwards of $50,000 in tuition is simply unsustainable. The communal negatives are overwhelming.

  250. shachar haamim says:

    see Jeff Jacoby’s current column on the link between ever increasing government aid for higher education tuition and the the increases in such costs.
    http://www.jeffjacoby.com/11618/the-government-college-money-pit

    the same thing will happen to Jewish day-schools when government money can get thrown at the system. there will be a short period of a downward trend and then costs will once again go up – to even beyond what they are now.

  251. SHACHAR:

    agreed.
    some schools probably won’t even lower tuition at all even there were to be some govt infusion of cash. “well mr. ploni, if you can afford $x until now, why do we need to lower tuition?”
    a case in point is new york’s universal pre-k program. which yeshiva lowered tuition (or rather, saw a lower than usual tuition increase) because of this infusion of cash.
    (gil, speaking of upk, is it mutar for schools and parents to abuse the system for the cause of cheap yeshiva education?)

  252. GIL:

    “Abba: The way it’s supposed to work is that one spouse works in chinukh and the other has a “real” job from which the family receives steady wages and benefits. That is what I favor”

    1) how would you feel if your employer determined your salary based on your wife’s income (or your wife’s employer based her income based on your income)? does this sound normal?
    2) yeshiva tuition today is kept artificially low through a variety of mechanisms in order to enable parents to continue a particular standard of living and enjoy certain luxuries. one of these luxuries is the stay at home mother (sahm). as far as i know, yeshivas generally don’t require that both parents to work before they will give tuition assistance. so what you are basically saying is that yeshiva teachers should give up the luxury of one parent staying at home so that parents of their students can have this luxury?

    “but it seems like a superhuman feat to me.”

    me too

    “Expecting people in the community to pay upwards of $50,000 in tuition is simply unsustainable. The communal negatives are overwhelming.”

    agreed. i’m just not convinced that an artificially low tuition at the expense of employees is the best solution.

    (and if you think it’s a problem now, what is awaiting the next generation, which it is possible to argue will have even fewer financial resources?)

  253. Charlie Hall says:

    “50s high school anti-drug film”

    1930s government propaganda anti-marijuana film:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reefer_Madness

    It used to be common for potheads to watch it while stoned. Its depiction of the dangers of marijuana are so far from factual it is actually humorous!

  254. R. Rich:

    “I assumed “ועוד שהוא גורם תאוה גדולה אשר הוא יותר מתאות אכילה וכדומה הצריכים להאדם לחיותו ויש שלא יוכלו לצמצם ולהעביר תאותם” was the domino theory”

    i assumed it was referring to pot-induced gluttony

  255. Charlie Hall says:

    “Directly or indirectly, government loans and grants have led to massive tuition inflation.”

    Jacoby gets it wrong — or at least partially wrong. What happened was that in the 1970s, state and local governments substantially reduced their commitment to higher education. (For some government-run universities such as the City University of New York and the University of Connecticut, there wasn’t any tuition at all until about that time.) The federal grants and loans were a response to this. Basically, state support was replaced by federal support — only in a much more inefficient and unaccountable manner.

  256. Charlie Hall says:

    “much more likely to get addicted to pot than coke?”

    Marijuana is not as addictive as cocaine — or even alcohol or tobacco. Nor is it as dangerous.

  257. Charlie Hall says:

    ‘ Even if pot isn’t as bad as tobacco, isn’t it *always* bad to inhale smoke, even, say, wood smoke? I wonder about the medical marijuana people if only because they don’t agitate for some version that is smokeless and doesn’t get you “high.” As a medical man, I ask you: Would that be possible? Would such a version work?’

    There is quite a bit of evidence that the “delivery system” for smoked cannabis is more efficient than the pill form, and the smoked form contains many compounds whose combined effect may be better than the pill form which is a single compound. Also, while there has never been a single death in all of human history attributed to acute reaction to the smoked form, there have been some attributed to the pill form. More research is needed.

    BTW the pill form can get people high, just as legal opiates can have just as much abuse potential as heroin. Legal oxycodone, diverted to illegal markets, has been destroying entire communities.

  258. mycroft says:

    “Charlie Hall on April 29, 2012 at 11:52 am
    “Directly or indirectly, government loans and grants have led to massive tuition inflation.”

    Jacoby gets it wrong — or at least partially wrong. What happened was that in the 1970s, state and local governments substantially reduced their commitment to higher education. (For some government-run universities such as the City University of New York and the University of Connecticut, there wasn’t any tuition at all until about that time.) The federal grants and loans were a response to this. Basically, state support was replaced by federal support — only in a much more inefficient and unaccountable manner.”

    Wrong-Private school tuition has gone through the roof-see FNC show by Stossel

  259. Charlie Hall says:

    New York State recently changed its laws protecting employees whose employers don’t pay them in a timely manner:

    http://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/employer/wage-theft-prevention-act.shtm

  260. CHARLIE HALL:

    “Marijuana is not as addictive as cocaine”

    i didn’t say pot is as addictive as cocaine, but rather i think there is a greater chance for a pt to become addicted to pot than to cocaine. i think this is true in the context of current medicinal use and distribution. but i could certainly be wrong.

  261. CHARLIE HALL:

    just to clarify, medicinal cocaine is generally not dispensed directly to the patient nor is there any approved use for systemic ingestion. rather it used in very limited surgical settings as a local anasthesia. diversion or unapproved usage (at least by the patient) is unlikely.

  262. Steve Brizel says:

    Larry Kapklan and Nachum-OK, so the Gra’s purported retort to the Dubno Magid was in the fashion of frumming up the story. Are there not explicit Talmudic passages about warning people about walking into collapsing buildings and the like?

  263. joel rich says:

    the payment (or lack thereof) of teachers may be on a purely microhalachic basis ok (although imho the teacher would have to be informed upfront) but on a macro basis ? zohi torah vso hi schorah?
    KT

  264. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gil responded to Abba as follows:

    “Abba: 2) i assume brooklyn schools can get away with charging signifigantly less tuition because i assume they pay their teachers less (often late) and don’t offer the same level of benefits than does schechter. if this is indeed true, i wouldn’t be so proud that you have low tuition (unless you don’t think yeshiva teachers deserve better).

    If it keeps Jewish kids out of public schools and allows for large families to survive, I’m OK with it”

    although Abba asked that we not consider the differences between a Schechter education and the goals of the parents sending their children to such a school as opposed to a Brooklyn yeshiva, IMO such a POV ignores the sociological and religious realities and expectations of both sets of parents.

  265. Nachum says:

    Charlie, what happened to public higher education was open admissions.

  266. STEVE:

    “such a POV ignores the sociological and religious realities and expectations of both sets of parents”

    gil asked a simple question: why is schecter so expensive
    i gave a simple answer, which i’m sure wasn’t a chidush to him: because it’s a different type of education

    nu, you think its relevant to take it one step further and consider the different sociologic and religious realities and goals of the respective parents bodies, well give your fingers some exercise and knock yourself out. personally i think that taking where i’m sure you’re going to take it (greater commitment to yiddishkeit, torah, etc. among brookyn parents) will make brooklyn parents come off looking even worse wrt to the second issue, i.e., how teachers in those schools are treated

  267. “how teachers in those schools are treated” should read how teachers in some schools may be treated

  268. chardal says:

    >“chardal on April 29, 2012 at 2:15 am
    >Since I don’t drink and have never smoked I have no personal knowledge but is it clear that smoking cannibis will get one more impaired than drinking eg DUI etc.

    This is patently false”

    is it clear -a question patently false?

    My appologies. the lack of a question mark combined with me swaping the word order of is and it caused me to read it as an assertion. The response to the question is obvious from my other comments.

    >i didn’t say pot is as addictive as cocaine, but rather i think there is a greater chance for a pt to become addicted to pot than to cocaine.

    Cannabis is not an addictive substance. People who use it can display addictive behaviors but that can be true of any substance. My main point, however, is one that I feel I need to consistantly make on the blogs. Namely, that any halachic analysis has to be based on arguments that correspond to actual reality. To quote R’ Moshe, even in an article whose conclusion I agree with, is useless when R’ Moshe’s understanding of cannabis is so deeply flawed. Further, why do we need hilchos cannabis? Does any other prescribed substance get such treatment???

  269. CHARDAL:

    “Cannabis is not an addictive substance.”

    dsm-iv would disagree, fwiw
    i’m not interested in arguing the finer points addiction vs. dependence vs. habitual etc.
    or physiologic vs. psychological
    etc.
    if you prefer, emend my comment to replace addiction with abuse

  270. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba-we are both free to think and write our POVs, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that parents who send their kids to yeshivos and BYs in Brooklyn have the same values as the parents who send their kids to a Schechter school. Look at it this way- the recent track record of the Schechter school movement is indicative that parents with kids enrolled therein have walked away from the schools when the fund raising crunch appeared on the horizon for their schools that had all of the proverbial bells and whistles-but seemingly lacked a parent population that was willimg to do the necessary grunt work of supportimg the schools. While schools have also closed in Lakewood, at the insistence of the Charedi rabbinic leadership, AFAIK, the kids in the schools that closed were placed elsewhere.

  271. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    charlie h — check out victor geller’s book where he describes how standard procedure at yu was to pay late, in the 1960s. when they tried to do this to the (new) fundraising professional staff, it stopped. or rather, they stopped it, in a matter of hours.

    “schar be’yomo” does not apply if a later payment is agreed. (key word — agreed.)

    presumably, when you work for such an org (not yu), its agreed. implicitely.

    (i’ve spoken to some teachers at a big bais yaakov in brooklyn, and they admit they get paid late, but they LOVE their “administrator”, whom i know paid for his pet projects on time, if not early.)

  272. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Chardal: I do not agree with you. Dr. Green’s citing Rav Moshe is a le-shitasakh type of argument. That is, even if you accept Rav Moshe’s view that regular recreational use of marijuana is forbidden, the prohibition would not extend to medical marijuana.

  273. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    vast majority of “medical” marijuana is recreational. (of course, you can apply that to many types of prescription medication, but …

  274. Steve Brizel says:

    One wonders whether those involved with the Asifa have read the following article, including the many Mareh Mkomos referenced at Page 12 and Footnote 20http://drsorotzkin.com/pdf/pursuit_of_perfection.pdf

 
 

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