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Not Your Normal Shopping Carts
The Real Jewish Geography
Berman Foundation issues $1 million challenge grant to renew population survey
The Israel Museum’s Blockbuster Hasidism Exhibit Reveals Culture, Not Religion
Who Benefits From Service Trips?
A Touchy Subject
Bracing for Cuts, Federations Hold Tongue on Taxes
Frankfurt Holds Diaspora Meeting
Blood Feud Dampens Satmar Power
Behind the Union Symbol (Fall 2012)
Appropriation or Reconciliation? Islamic Elements in the Art of Israeli Religious Women
Halachically Speaking: Thanksgiving and Eating Turkey (PDF)
The Ultra-Orthodox Women’s Revolution
Yeshiva University Establishes Advisory Program To Address End-of-Life Issues
R J Sacks: Happiness is most readily achieved in community
SALT Friday

Ashkenazi seminary for Sephardic girls
Rabbis launch war on self-locking doors
Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits and Christiaan Barnard
Haredim to be drafted starting 2013
Keep Calm and Carry On
New Course Teaches Profession of a Community Rabbi
Appropriation or Reconciliation? Islamic Elements in the Art of Israeli Religious Women
Uphill Push for Change in Orthodox Stronghold
Finding Meaning of Jewish Law in Sandy Shelter
Female kosher supervisors deemed ‘immodest’
The 11th c. BCE Desecrated Temple at Beth Shemesh
SALT Tuesday

R A Lichtenstein: On Appropriate Religious Responses to Hurricane Sandy
R E Melamed: The Laws of Modesty: Analysis of a Basic Jewish Value
Forward 50
J Brown: Eilenberg’s Bear
More than 500 rabbis urge Cuba to release Gross
Expanding Jewish presence on campuses
The Power of Two, Facebook, and NCSY
J Woolf: Enough is Enough
Bloomberg Bans ‘Unhealthy’ Cholent for Homeless
E Brown: Death – A Nice Opportunity for Regret
The myth of Jewish literacy
SALT Monday

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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.
 

48 Responses

  1. IH says:

    HTML problem with links (only the 1st is clickable)

  2. aiwac says:

    The article on Jewish literacy is interesting, even if it feels that Weiss has a bit of a chip on his shoulder regarding the Orthodox community. I would ask – how is that 75% of Day School students are Orthodox? Are Conservative communities that poor in resources or children, lehavdil?

  3. mycroft says:

    ” so the Jewish people have grown into a people of two intertwined legacies: a culture in which the Jewishly literate continue to pass the torch and one in which an emphasis on trades was necessary to continue to do so for all but the most fervently devoted. When a given family stopped being devoted or wealthy enough, it simply faded away…

    The astonishing theory presented here has great implications for both the Jewish community and the broader world today. For an American Jewish community in which more than 75 percent of day school students are now Orthodox and the top concern for most Orthodox families in repeated surveys is finding a way to pay for ever-increasing tuition costs, the price of admission to the highly affiliated Jewish community is not just a large amount of ritual observance but also a basic need to join the 1 percent—or nearly so. Frequently, one can hear Orthodox Jews joke that $250,000 a year is “minimum wage” for the community; certainly, this overstates things but only by so much. In the New York area, elementary school often carries a price tag of $15,000-$25,000 in post-tax dollars per year; at the high-school level, some tuition rates are well into the $30,000 range. Outside of the New York area, tuition is generally lower, but so is the average income…”

  4. IH says:

    With no disrespect, R. Woolf is addressing the wrong audience. The “boiling frog” situation he describes in the DL community is the responsibility of the parents who venerate the Rabbis who teach this stuff and send their kids to be educated by them. This was precisely my point in raising the comments about sex segregation by RHS in regard to the American side of this same issue.

    If R. Woolf wants to have an effect, he needs to address the audience that makes the decisions (most notably DL parents).

  5. Abba's Rantings says:

    IH:

    agreed.

  6. Abba's Rantings says:

    “More than 500 rabbis urge Cuba to release Gross”

    how come no nightly recorded telephone pleas, mass tehillim recitals, public fundraising, shabbos drashos, etc.?

  7. Dude says:

    “If R. Woolf wants to have an effect, he needs to address the audience that makes the decisions (most notably DL parents).”

    I think he just wants attention. As an academic, it’s publish or perish.

    This is such a non-issue.

  8. Abba's Rantings says:

    Dude:

    this type of publishing doesn’t count toward “publish or perish”

  9. Shlomo says:

    ▪ J Brown: Eilenberg’s Bear

    Disappointing. I was expecting an article about bears, not beards :)

  10. Tal Benschar says:

    “Bloomberg Bans ‘Unhealthy’ Cholent for Homeless”

    If you want to know what Sodom was like, you need go no farther than this article.

  11. Scott says:

    “Thomas Arnold Kemp was executed this past April through lethal injection. . . . His last words: ‘I regret nothing.'”

    His last wish must have been for an Edith Piaf record.

  12. Joseph Kaplan says:

    ““Bloomberg Bans ‘Unhealthy’ Cholent for Homeless”

    If you want to know what Sodom was like, you need go no farther than this article.”

    Sodom? More like Chelm.

  13. mycroft says:

    “““Bloomberg Bans ‘Unhealthy’ Cholent for Homeless”

    If you want to know what Sodom was like, you need go no farther than this article.””

    One must mention Glenn Richter who besides working tirelessly for homeless and other maasim tovim was a major player in the SSSJ. He and J Birnbaum would come to YU dorms pleading for people to help stuff envelopes in the 60s.

  14. IH says:

    Mycroft — agreed re: Glenn. I was a regular in the SSSJ office on 72nd St. in the mid-70s. I can still smell the Gestetner mimeograph machine…

  15. joel rich says:

    R’IH,
    Wow , we had a Gestetner back in the day at Betar HQ too!
    KT

  16. IH says:

    On the same theme, it is interesting to watch Israel grapple with the Workfare issue: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4304819,00.html

    “The State claims the arrangement will facilitate the integration of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students into the job market, but during a hearing on an appeal demanding that the stipends be abolished, Judge Miriam Naor said, ‘How does giving someone money help integrate him into the job market? It is common sense that if you do not give him money he will have to work.'”

  17. S. says:

    >they needed to do a study?

    Yes. Facts should be backed by data, not common assumptions.

  18. joel rich says:

    R’S,
    The continuing widening of the income gap between educated and non-educated has been shown in many studies, perhaps here it’s proof that HKB”H will provide is not necessrily a plan?.
    KT

  19. emma says:

    interesting that both the self-locking and seminary articles contain variations on “rav elyashiv told me so.”

  20. Scott says:

    I clicked on the link for “Female kosher supervisors deemed immodest,” and on the side I found a most immodest advertisement for t-shirts.

    Such are the ways of the internet.

  21. Elon says:

    I suppose the doors would cause a yichud problem, but no more than any other locked door. It hardly seems an issue to require a statement.

  22. Elon says:

    As for Bloomberg, this is one of those laws that sounds good on paper but will quickly bog down in practice to an unworkable mess.

  23. joel rich says:

    http://www.vosizneias.com/117244/2012/11/13/new-scheme-to-beat-parking-tickets-has-drivers-sharing-muni-meter-receipts

    questions
    1.is use a dmd violation or does the fact that so many people “violate” the parking laws obviate it (no I didn’t mean dmv)
    2.does the chillul hashem issue applyication depend on if most people view it as such or not (i.e. what if the average reader says great idea)
    3.see the comments-are they rationalizations or do they put parking violations in the “unfair tax” category?
    4. if dmd applies are the business owners msayeah or lfnei iver?
    KT

  24. IH says:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/woman-dies-after-being-refused-an-abortion-in-irish-hospital-8315609.html

    “He has said that doctors refused to carry out a medical termination because the foetus’s heartbeat was present.

    Mr Halappanavar has claimed that following several requests by his late wife for a termination, they were told: ‘This is a Catholic country.'”

  25. IH says:

    Sorry, the better quote would have been: “‘This is a situation we were told would never arise. An unviable foetus – the woman was having a miscarriage – was given priority over the woman’s life, who unfortunately and predictably developed septicaemia and died.’

  26. mycroft says:

    “1.is use a dmd violation or does the fact that so many people “violate” ”
    Submitting a receipt that one did not pay for as proof that one paid for parking is IMO a criminal offense-fraud, false documents etc-I’m sure practicing lawyers can think of other criminal offenses.
    This is an entirely different issue from may one violate Parking rules-pay the fine and be OK klapei shamayim.

  27. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    isnt the door system the feature of the much ballyhood non “tamei” system for cohanim at shaarei tzedek hospital? i guess they’re taking back their own PR. (of course, shaarei tzedek treats men and women in the same building. next step — separate hospital buildings. (no x-rays, of course, cause men might see them. also, see http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4303848,00.html apparantely not available in english)

    mycroft — today, you gotta offer YU students pizza to come to do anything.

  28. MJ says:

    So let’s say you’re a man working in a level three bio-containment room with a woman. Is the self locking door a problem, or is it mitigated by the fact that you are both wearing full body protective suits and would risk contracting the Ebola virus should you choose to engage in illicit activities.

    In all honesty I’m trying to figure out what this article was even talking about. In hospitals you usually only see self locking doors with keypass, code, or biometric locks on supply closets or to get into a ward or section of a ward, or to get into a section of the building off limits to visitors.

  29. Elon says:

    It is yichud if no one else can get in. In a hospital, presumably there are hundred of doctors, nurses, and janitors with keys and thus no yichud.

  30. IH says:

    Koren has published a one-page PDF with the Mi She’berach for Chayali Tzahal at http://www.korenpub.com/pdf/IDFprayer.pdf

    Even if it is not your shul’s minhag to say it, I urge everyone to make an exception.

  31. Ari Kinsberg says:

    “Halachically Speaking: Thanksgiving and Eating Turkey (PDF)”

    1) I think the author understates the Rav’s (“J.B.”?) attitude toward Thanksgiving. It was more than just an ambivalent permissiveness as the author portrays it.

    2) Without dismissing the halakhic analysis of Thanksgiving, do (the original) minhag ha-makom or minhag avoteinu play a role in determining the status of the day? It is very clear that American Jews celebrated Thanksgiving as early as 1760 and that this was not at all an exceptional event but rather one that set a precedent (or perhaps even followed an earlier precedent) for many, many decades afterward. Moreover, there was no question in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that it was in fact a religious holiday (at least as far as the public sphere was concerned) and the Jews themselves publicly celebrated it in a religious way. (Of course I shouldn’t need to point out that there were no Reform Jews in America in 1760.) An echo of the early Jewish (religious) appreciation for Thanksgiving may still be heard today in New York’s Shearith Israel and Philadelphia’s Mikveh Israel, which treat the day as a semi-festival in shul (no tahanun, singing mizmor le-toda and az yashir, partial [not half] hallel).

  32. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    israel museum exhibit: the best quote — “A Haredi exhibit would never work—not politically, not logistically, not without garbage-burning protests and the like” (note: the exhibit is on the hassidic world, which quietly approves.)

    s & p thanksgiving — half hallel means no bracha anytime, for them.

  33. Ari Kinsberg says:

    Also, a side issue that I think gets lost in this debate over the halakhic nature of Thanksgiving is how do we, as individuals and a parochial community, express our recognition and gratitude for the specific blessings, bounties and freedoms we enjoy unique to the fact that we live here. If we are to maintain our distance from Thanksgiving, is there some other halakhically-sanctioned way we express our hakarot ha-tov, etc.? (I feel the same way with regard to Zionist holidays and tefilot, which in of themselves shouldn’t be used as a barometer.)

  34. Ari Kinsberg says:

    MMY:

    “s & p thanksgiving — half hallel means no bracha anytime, for them.”

    I was careful to write “partial” rather than “half” hallel. What they recite isn’t the standard hatzi hallel (with or without a berkha), but rather only part of hallel, I think perhaps from hodu la-hashem onward?

  35. Nachum says:

    I was pretty offended by that Thanksgiving piece, sorry. First, there’s the “JB”. Seriously? The pro-views are presented as really pareve, which is certainly not case. (Being a Boston Brahmin, or at least a wannabe one, the Rav attended his sister’s Thanksgiving dinner. Personal testimony from my father, among others.) And the “rulings” are pretty absolutist. (“Don’t make a party.” Period.) I thought the Kaf-K was more modern than that.

    In any event, it’s time to repeat the anecdote I once saw posted on a blog by the person to whom it happened: A British Jew is telling off an American Jew (I think they’re both in Israel): You American Jews are so Americanized, so assimilated. You even celebrate Thanksgiving.

    American Jew: That’s true. We’re so assimilated, we even take the Torah out every Thanksgiving and layn from it.

    British Jew: WHAT?!?

    I actually haven’t celebrated it in a few years- the last one I went to was a Nefesh b’Nefesh event. But this year, friends have invited us. I am looking forward.

  36. mycroft says:

    “the Rav attended his sister’s Thanksgiving dinner. ”

    We are very close to the first Yashrzeit of Anne Gerber AH whose Thanksgiving dinner the Rav regularly attended.
    I am not sure if I agree “Being a Boston Brahmin, or at least a wannabe one,” is fair the Rav was very close to the Gerber’s stayed there right after his wife passed away-spent Shabboses at the Twersky’s after walking to Maimonides from the Gerbers was too long. One could read the Rav’s attendance at the Gerber’s Thanksgiving as family closeness as much as great belief in Thanksgiving-on the other hand it is clear he wouldn’t have felt it to be assur to have a Thanksgiving dinner.
    Of relevance to Nachum of couse is that Mrs Gerber lived not far from Nachum’s Rebbe R Rakeffet and both were in favor of and shown in the film about the Rav.

  37. Nachum says:

    Mycroft:

    1. My father (and R’ Rakeffet, who tells the same story) were students of the Rav years before his wife passed away. I’m not saying he wasn’t close to his sister even then, of course. If I recall correctly, his words to my father’s class were “I’m going to eat turkey at my sister,” not “I’m going to Thanksgiving dinner,” but that was probably just a funny way of saying the same thing.

    2. Indeed, Mrs. Gerber lived about midway between myself and R’ Rakeffet, basically all on the same Jerusualem street. (Although, in true Jerusalem fashion, it changes names midway.) I know one of her neighbors who was close to her.

  38. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft:

    1. My father (and R’ Rakeffet, who tells the same story) were students of the Rav years before his wife passed away. I’m not saying he wasn’t close to his sister even then, of course. If I recall correctly, his words to my father’s class were “I’m going to eat turkey at my sister,” not “I’m going to Thanksgiving dinner,” but that was probably just a funny way of saying the same thing”

    Nachum-my only disagreement was with ” (Being a Boston Brahmin, or at least a wannabe one,” the Rav was certainly a loyal Bostonian but “Brahmin, or at least a wannabe one”

  39. IH says:

    Small world, Nachum. I visit someone on Rechov ha’Tayasim every time I’m in Israel. Haven’t been on the Rav Berlin side in a few years, though — does the building at the join still have a great view of the museum that you can see from the street?

  40. Charlie Hall says:

    I’ve created a petition on the White House internet site in support of Israel in the current war. Please sign and spread the word.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-israel-unconditionally-whatever-it-deems-necessary-put-end-rocket-attacks-coming-gaza/N6CPwFNn

  41. Nachum says:

    Mycroft: I see. Perhaps I exaggerated a little, but I think we’re saying the same thing.

    IH: Well, I don’t live there anymore, but yes, the first building on Tayyasim (for a crazy historical reason, number 10) still has that view from its open (parking lot) first floor. (Ditto, of course, the upper floors- I know people who live there.) As R’ Rakeffet says, the presence of the Monastery of the Cross was how he knew that he’d never lose the view from his apartment- it wouldn’t do to allow building there.

  42. JLan says:

    “I was careful to write “partial” rather than “half” hallel. What they recite isn’t the standard hatzi hallel (with or without a berkha), but rather only part of hallel, I think perhaps from hodu la-hashem onward?”

    Close. It’s from Hallelu et hashem kol goyim, which is singularly appropriate, given the day.

  43. avi says:

    As someone who once lived in California, the Jewish geography map of Southern California looks very wrong to me.

  44. Steve Brizel says:

    Nachum Lamm wrote:

    “(Being a Boston Brahmin, or at least a wannabe one”

    I think that if you listen to a shiur from RYBS re the Aseres HaDibros, RYBS knew very well that he was not a Boston Brahmin and made no pretenses of being ” at least a wannabe one”. If you listen to the shiur, you can hear RYBS discuss his conversation with an old time resident of Boston, whose family had been in Boston years before the Kennedys arrived in America.

  45. Steve Brizel says:

    R Joel Rich wrote:

    “http://www.vosizneias.com/117509/2012/11/16/teaneck-nj-orthodox-shul-takes-rabbi-to-task-for-bashing-obama”

    I guess that in certain quarters, a rav shouldn’t comment either on issues facing his community ( kids at risk) or express himself on politics( full disclosure-I found the comment in question over the top, but well within the right and responsibility of a rav to give tochacha). Perhaps, we need a book profiling great rabbonim who spoke out in their communities about the issues facing them, and the response of their communities.

 
 

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