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New Periodical: Hakirah 14

 

A massive new issue of Hakirah (vol. 14, Winter 2012):

  • Letters – Responding to an article about a unity celebration of Yom Ha-Atzma’ut in 1953, Dr. Marvin Schick argues that it was an exception and the Orthodox community was more fractured then than now. Editor disagrees (I agree with Dr. Schick). Malka Nussbaum writes about the possible side effects of vaccinations and R. Asher Bush convincingly responds that all that talk is highly misleading and dangerous. Neil Normand provides some comments and sources regarding intentional sins.
  • A Chapter in American Orthodoxy: The Eruvin in Brooklyn by R. Adam Mintz – A fabulous overview of the extremely complex controversy. I would quibble that he is overly sympathetic to the pro-eruv view in his initial presentation of R. Moshe Feinstein’s view (i.e. he would change his mind if he knew all the facts) but returns to what I consider a more objective reading toward the end of the article. I also point out that the anti-eruv camp argues that there are streets that go straight through Brooklyn (Ocean Parkway, Flatbush Ave), even if pro-eruv proponents dispute this (Ocean Parkway curves at both ends and Flatbush Ave has a circle in the middle). For what it’s worth, based on my rabbeim’s views on eruvin in general, I would carry in the Flatbush eruv if it was socially acceptable in my circles. But it isn’t and I don’t. Let me also add that the danger of people forgetting the laws of carrying due to an eruv is real. The Shabbos immediately after Hurricane Sandy, I saw someone carrying even though the eruv was certainly down (I knew it was but he should have assumed).
  • The Kashrut of Kingklip: Its Turbulent History and Who Decides by R. Ari Zivotofsky and R. Ari Greenspan – Argues that the fish is kosher and a combination of mistakes and politics has led to its disappearance from kosher lists. An excellent window into a subsection of recent rabbinic history.
  • Shemoneh Esreh in Eretz Yisrael, ca. 220-250 C.E. by R. Heshey Zelcer – An analysis of texts and manuscripts to determine the original, brief (on average only 7 words each!) wording of the blessings of the Amidah prayer.
  • “Learning” Mathematics by Sheldon Epstein, Yonah Wilamowsky and Bernard Dickman – Shows math in commentaries and how it can be used to explain a few mishnayos. Ultimately fail to show that math is an important tool for learning Talmud. From their presentation, it seems necessary for a handful passages, far fewer than biology and history. Is this reason alone justification for hours of math class every week for years? (Note that I majored in math and think it is an important life skill.)
  • Because the Sound is Good for the Spices: A Brief Note on Pittum ha-Ketoret by R. David S. Farkas – An exhaustive search for an explanation of the puzzling rabbinic assertion that sound improves the grinding of spices. No conclusion but a lot of interesting suggestions.
  • Priestly Meat Portions in Exile: Popular Custom and Rabbinic Responses by R. Yaakov Jaffe – Different reactions among Medieval authorities regarding the contradiction between practice and text on whether the priestly portions of meat, the matenos kehunah, are given outside of Israel. Historical approach applied responsibly, showing clear influence of Dr. Haym Soloveitchik.
  • The Exodus: Convergence of Science, History and Jewish Tradition by Judah Landa – A riveting revision of ancient history showing a convergence of text, tradition and history. I’ve read books like this (link). I believe the polite term for such a view is unconventional.
  • Two Myths about German Jewry by R. Mordecai Plaut – 1) A large portion of pre-War German Jewry were Orthodox, 2) German Jewry did not ignore the Nazi threat and emigrated where possible.
  • Rabbi David Friesenhausen’s Zemirah for the Solar System by Dr. Jeremy Brown – A study of a fascinating but largely forgotten rabbi and intellectual from the late 17th, early 18th centuries who promoted Copernican astronomy.
  • The Biblical View of Slavery, Then and Now by Yaakov S. Weinstein – Study of the Civil War sermons on the topic of slavery. Points out that ironically Reform rabbi David Einhorn’s view is standard Orthodox view today. Although R. Bernard Illowy also argues against slavery.
  • The Jew and the Potlatch by R. Yonatan Kaganoff – Brilliantly and cynically argues that the high cost of Orthodox lifestyle prevents undue leisure time and disposable income, which solidifies community.
  • Metzitzah Be-Feh With A Tube? (Hebrew) by R. Moshe Tzuriel – Sketches the controversy among authorities and argues that a tube is definitely preferable. Editors note that the article was submitted before the recent NY controversy.
  • The Rambam’s Order of the Commandments (Hebrew) by Benzion Buchman – Unravels the Rambam’s order of his commandment list based on theological concepts. Applies these concepts in detail to the list.
 

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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.
 

58 Responses

  1. joel rich says:

    I would carry in the Flatbush eruv if it was socially acceptable in my circles. But it isn’t and I don’t.
    ==============================================
    So what led to its social unacceptability?
    KT

  2. joel rich says:

    Argues that the fish is kosher and a combination of mistakes and politics has led to its disappearance from kosher lists.
    ===============================
    That is a very kind reading – I read it as an indictment the hierarchial globalization of psak (every local question must be kicked to the gedolim based on whatever information the kicker chooses to transmit)
    KT

  3. Nachum says:

    Note that the two Aris position on swordfish is similar- they serve it at their “mesorah dinners,” skin present so the scales can be felt. Nothing to write home about, but then again I’m not a fish person.

    Gil: Did you know for a fact the eruv was down? I can’t speak for Flatbush, but the worst storms don’t knock down the KGH eruv- only a truck running into a pole or something similar can do that. On the other hand, there are very few strings left in the KGH eruv: Three sides of the neighborhood are highways with fences running alongside.

    “Historical approach applied responsibly”

    Can you give an irresponsible example?

    “German Jewry did not ignore the Nazi threat and emigrated where possible.”

    Is this news? A far larger percentage of German Jews survived compared to, say, Polish or Lithuanian Jews.

    “Editor disagrees (I agree with Dr. Schick).”

    What county do you both live in? :-)

  4. mycroft says:

    “Dr. Marvin Schick argues that it was an exception and the Orthodox community was more fractured then than now. ”

    If he defines fractured as percentage of Jews who follow his hero RAK I agree.
    The Orthodox MO Rabbinate has gone down since the ptirah of the Rav. Those trained by RHS etc have far different influences in general than those trained by the Rav-how it impacts behavior of the rest of the O community is an open question. see eg the following from Prof Waxman: “”move to the right.” It may well be that Modern Orthodox rabbis,
    including those ordained at RIETS in the latter part of the twentieth century, were considerably more to the right
    than were their predecessors. In other words, the move to the right may have been within the RIETS semikhah (ordination)
    program, under the influence of a revisionist approach to the thinking of its revered head, the late Rabbi Joseph
    B. Soloveitchik (“the Rav”), rather than within Orthodoxy as a whole, but is so glaring because rabbis are much more
    visible than the laity. On revisionism with respect to the Rav, see Lawrence Kaplan, “Revisionism and the Rav: The
    Struggle for the Soul of Modern Orthodoxy,” Judaism 48,3 (Summer 1999): 290-311″

  5. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    R. Buchman discusses the issue of the order of the listing in Sefer ha-Mitzvot as if no one had ever attempted to do so before, apparently unaware of the important studies of Pof. Abie Feintuch (Pikudei Yesharim on SHM)) and Rav Nahum Rabinovitch (Yad Peshutah on the Hakdamah to the MT where Rav Rabinovich discusses the order of the listing of the mitzvot there). R. Buchman’s basic hiddush and many of his specific points have already been anticipated by these two works.

  6. Hirhurim says:

    Nachum: Did you know for a fact the eruv was down?

    Yes, someone from the shul whose rabbi checks it posted to a community Facebook page.

    “Historical approach applied responsibly”

    Can you give an irresponsible example?

    R. Saul Berman’s article on kol ishah.

  7. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    Kingklip — as often occurs, by choosing nomenclature you control the direction of the debate. Try calling the article “Kashrut of Cusk-Eel” and see how far you get!

    (A biologist would tell you this is a true fish with eel-like features.)

    Similarly, those who seek to prohibit muscovy duck will refer to it simply as “muscovy”, as soon as you call it a duck you’ve lost.

    Do they mention RHS’ adventure in South Africa where the rabbinic standard is to allow it, with one persona non grata insisting otherwise?

    Sound for Besamim — I take it they mention Lord Sacks’ brilliantly simple reading: the chant coordinates your mechanical rhythm (much like rowing music), which improves the grind.

  8. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    Sound/rhythm — at least that’s the translation in Sacks’s siddur. I don’t know if that’s his original interpretation.

  9. Jacob says:

    Yes, someone from the shul whose rabbi checks it posted to a community Facebook page.

    If that’s the way people in Brooklyn get status updates for their eruv, then maybe the real problem is not so much the existence of the eruv, but rather that their communication system should be improved and centralized the way they have with so many other communities.

  10. Tal Benschar says:

    Jacob:

    According to this site: http://www.avenjc.org/eruv.htm
    they have three methods of communication: an eruv phone line, a flag flown in front of a shul, and that website.

    What more do you want, smoke signals?

  11. william gewirtz says:

    You ask: “Is this reason alone justification for hours of math class every week for years?”

    i tend to agree that formal mathematics taught in HS and beyond has limited application in halakha. that said mathematical reasoning is critical in any number of sugyot, specific aspects of zemanim, as well as kinnim and kiddush hachodesh almost in their entirety. While the latter areas do not need much formal mathematics, the ability to reason logically, something the study of mathematics, properly taught, can develop, is on occasion absent.

  12. Hirhurim says:

    I meant the Marine Park eruv, which is outside the Flatbush eruv. From what I know, only one local shul approves of the eruv and it has a status update on its website: http://www.mympjc.org/ But plenty of people from other shuls use the eruv. My shul doesn’t approve it and doesn’t make any announcements about it.

  13. Jacob says:

    R’ Gil:

    Wow! As far as I can tell, the last status update for the MP eruv from that website is from Feb 2012. Is that really the current official go-to site for the eruv?

  14. Hirhurim says:

    I have no idea. I don’t use it. It’s probably on the weekly shul e-mail.

  15. Nachum says:

    “My shul doesn’t approve it and doesn’t make any announcements about it.”

    That’s really something I can’t countenance. I was once talking to cousins in London and asked about the eruv. “We don’t have one.” When I pressed the point, they simply repeated that.

    No. They do. So do you. You can “we don’t hold of it” or whatever, but don’t pretend it’s not there- that’s not-so-subtly implying that everyone who holds of it is a mechalel Shabbat.

  16. Hirhurim says:

    Huh? Who said, “it doesn’t exist”? All I wrote is that the shul doesn’t approve it or make announcements about it.

  17. abba's rantings says:

    TAL:

    LOL about smoke signals. but seriously, ave n jc is probably 1 of 3 shuls in flatbush that hangs a flag outside for the eruv.

    NACHUM:

    i’ve had the same experience numerous times when talking to people about a local eruv. but to play devil’s advocate, would you take the same approach about a bogus hechsher on foor?

  18. Hirhurim says:

    Also, the rabbi of the Ave N JC is one of the original rabbis to build the Flatbush eruv!

  19. Jon Baker says:

    Joel Rich:
    >so what led to its social unacceptability?

    There were apparently some weird community politics during the planning stages, which turned a lot of people against the group that set it up. I don’t know the details, I’ve only heard it second-hand, but you can ask Gershon from A/A – he was at some of the meetings.

    I don’t know why not, but R’ Mintz seems to have left that out of his article. He also left out the Park Slope eruvs (old and new), but then he didn’t ask me. Somewhere buried in my messy house, I think I still have the papers from the initial setup of the Park Slope eruv c. 1990-2. The current eruv is a good deal larger, and used a different posek for the redesign. The communal (non-O) opposition to the old Park Slope eruv would have made a good story, too.

  20. abba's rantings says:

    GIL:

    “I meant the Marine Park eruv, which is outside the Flatbush eruv”

    false.

    didn’t the gra give a haskama to translate euclid’s geometry because it furthers the knowledge of torah?

    “Points out that ironically Reform rabbi David Einhorn’s view is standard Orthodox view today.”

    what is so ironic?
    the title seems to indicate it is a comparative study, but not sure from your description. otherwise is this just a rehash of the standard literature on jews and slavery? any chidushim?

    “A large portion of pre-War German Jewry were Orthodox”

    does he add anything qualitativey to breuer’s book?

    “I would carry in the Flatbush eruv if it was socially acceptable in my circles. But it isn’t and I don’t.”

    i hope this comment doesn’t come out sounding like i am judging and i apoligize it comes out that way. a while ago (i forget the context and all the specifics), you argued responded in a comment thread on the rapid spread in our time of minhagim/chumros that people need be educated and confident and not just go with the flow because of peer pressure. but if a publicly confident and well educated individual like yourself has bows to social pressure in conforming halachically, why should you expect more from amcha?

    “people forgetting the laws of carrying due to an eruv is real. The Shabbos immediately after Hurricane Sandy, I saw someone carrying even though the eruv was certainly down (I knew it was but he should have assumed).”

    for many years it is has been extremely rare for the eruv to be down. if it goes down once every few years, is this often enough for your concern to be valid? and ultimately it is the responsibility of the individual to check every erev shabbat (very easy today with group emails). it can happen that an eatery looses its hashgacha, but someone goes in not realizing this is the case (and is unaware perhaps that new the store has an unreputable hashgacha). is this a reason to do away with the institution of kosher restaurants?

  21. abba's rantings says:

    JON BAKER:

    he left out mention of most of the community eruving in brooklyn (bensonhurst, mill basin, manhattan beach, marine park, etc.). all of have them have good stories to tell, but i guess he had to keep his study focussed, and the truth is the flatbush eruv is the largest and most controversial (both in substance and popularly).

  22. abba's rantings says:

    GIL:

    i remember you made a similar comment (that you would use the eruv but for . . .) a while ago in the post about a your friend’s flying hat on shabbos.

  23. Hirhurim says:

    If you prefer, I’ll call it a matter of minhag ha-makom. My rabbi is adamantly opposed to the eruv and most people with whom I live grew up following the pesak of R. Moshe Feinstein on the subject.

    abba: “I meant the Marine Park eruv, which is outside the Flatbush eruv”

    false

    I don’t claim expertise but that’s what R. Dani Goldstein told me when I moved in.

  24. Hirhurim says:

    Here are the borders of the Flatbush and Marine Park eruvin: http://www.marineparkhoshanos.com/community/marine-park-eruv/#MarineParkFlatbush

  25. lineman says:

    “A fabulous overview of the extremely complex controversy. I would quibble that he is overly sympathetic to the pro-eruv view in his initial presentation of R. Moshe Feinstein’s view (i.e. he would change his mind if he knew all the facts) but returns to what I consider a more objective reading toward the end of the article.”

    So in essence, you argue that notwithstanding the fact that a teshuvah was written based on information that is incorrect, the p’sak is still in effect. That to me sounds very much like an edict from a rebbe, and not from a posek. Rav Moshe stated that both Boro Park and Flatbush contain a population greater that shishim ribo and that Brooklyn’s population is greater than three million and that Brooklyn is not encompassed by mechitzos — is this information correct or not? If any one of these statements are inaccurate, an eruv would be allowed according to Rav Moshe (of course, there are those who are more stringent in Rav Moshe’s shitos than he himself would be and they would find ways to prohibit the eruv even according to Rav Moshe).

    “I also point out that the anti-eruv camp argues that there are streets that go straight through Brooklyn (Ocean Parkway, Flatbush Ave), even if pro-eruv proponents dispute this (Ocean Parkway curves at both ends and Flatbush Ave has a circle in the middle).”

    Ocean Parkway does not go through Brooklyn from both ends at all. Flatbush Ave. is not included in the eruv. So what are you referring to? Moreover, if one follows Rav Moshe or Rav Aharon, every street is mefulash (besides for dead-ends) so the issue is with all streets and not only with Ocean Parkway and Flatbush Ave. So what are these people talking about?

    “For what it’s worth, based on my rabbeim’s views on eruvin in general, I would carry in the Flatbush eruv if it was socially acceptable in my circles. But it isn’t and I don’t.”

    So eruvin is different than just about any other issue.

    “Let me also add that the danger of people forgetting the laws of carrying due to an eruv is real. The Shabbos immediately after Hurricane Sandy, I saw someone carrying even though the eruv was certainly down (I knew it was but he should have assumed).”

    The Flatbush eruv was repaired prior to Shabbos (I don’t know about the YI eruv, but it includes much of the Flatbush eruv, as well). Moreover, there are many backup eruvin encompassing the area so there never was an issue to begin with. This issue can be a problem with every city eruv in the world and no one argues that we should stop erecting eruvin. Please do not spread rumors.

  26. Nachum says:

    Abba: I would say, “There’s a hechsher, but it’s probably not good according to anyone” or “according to my views.” I wouldn’t pretend it wasn’t there.

    Gil: At first, you said your “shul” doesn’t approve. I didn’t get how a shul could approve or disapprove of anything, being a mass of supposedly free-thinking individuals. Hence, why not make the announcement? I see you’ve since modified that.

  27. James says:

    How does the Sephardic Eruv play into all of this?

  28. “only one local shul approves of the eruv”

    not an approval, but brave nonetheless: http://www.machzikeitorah.org/map.shtml

    maybe this was the sin that led to its eviction?

  29. Shalom Spira says:

    Ye’yasher kochakha to our Rosh Yeshiva R. Student, and respondents.

    Regarding R. Saul Berman shlit”a’s article, I think it depends what one wishes to derive from the article. As I read the article, R. Berman is endeavouring to argue (as he states in the first paragraph) that there is little basis to forbid “choirs of men and women together, women singing Zemirot in the presence of men other than their husbands, listening to records of women singing, and even women singing lullabies to their children in the hearing of men”. Although there is some measure of novelty in the essay, I believe the Halakhah follows R. Berman. E.g., at my Seder, my mother audibly sings the Hallel along with the gentlemen. The gentlemen shouldn’t consciously listen to my mother, but – relying on Shu”t Seridei Esh II, no. 8 – they don’t have to wear earplugs either, and that is all R. Berman meant to demonstrate.

    On the other hand, R. Michael Makovi shlit”a, in an impressive treatise at http://www.jewishideas.org/articles/new-hearing-kol-ishah , extrapolates a step further from R. Berman’s article that it is almost always permitted for gentlemen to listen to ladies sing. With all due respect to R. Makovi, I think this goes beyond what R. Berman originally argued, and so is not as authoritative a claim. Not wanting to rely on my own judgement, I posed the question to R. J. David Bleich when I was invited to attend a pro-Israel rally this past Yom ha-Atzma’ut, where (at least I was under the impression) a lady musical soloist was scheduled to perform. I emphasized in my question to R. Bleich the importance of politically supporting the State of Israel as a function of the gemara in Eruvin 45a that teaches that the protection of the borders of a Jewish state represents a matter of piku’ach nefesh. Thus, I wanted to know if I should attend the rally, or only ladies should attend the rally. In an e-mail I received in response on April 20, 2012, R. Bleich wrote: “I definitely think you should not attend. Whether to make a point of informing others depends whether devarekha nishmaim.”

  30. A.Schreiber says:

    “Points out that ironically Reform rabbi David Einhorn’s view is standard Orthodox view today.”

    What exactly is the “orthodox” view? We dont even have standard orthodox agreement on learning v. college, or on myriad other topics discussed virtually every week. How then can there be a “standard orthodox view” on slavery, a topic I cant recall having ever heard addressed in any shul or yeshivah? There’s not enough info to claim any consensus exists.

    Very nice summary, by the way. (The above quible aside.)

  31. Hirhurim says:

    R’ Shalom: My comment about R. Berman’s article on kol ishah can be understood with my series of posts from 8 years ago critiquing his article: link 1, link 2, link 3

  32. Hirhurim says:

    A.Schreiber: The standard view on slavery published by a wide variety of thinkers every year when we get to that parashah. I can’t speak for what they taught you in yeshiva.

  33. Jon Baker says:

    So why cover the one eruv people don’t use? Why not cover the many smaller eruvs that people do use, without referring to RMF? I’ve seen the handwritten psak from RHS authorizing the Park Slope eruv, and IIRC he doesn’t even refer to RMF. He spends a lot of time on “eino mukaf ledira” over including a sliver of Prospect Park inside the eruv.

  34. Hirhurim says:

    Because it is a very interesting story, hotly debated and has plenty of related documents.

  35. A.Schreiber says:

    I guess I never heard of these thinkers. Are they representative of all streams of orthodoxy, such that one can refer to a standard orthodox view?

    What IS the standard view, by the way, if it can be encapsulated?

  36. Jon Baker says:

    Seems to me the whole history of Brooklyn eruvin comes down to one conclusion: people don’t pay attention to the (daas yachid) opinion of RMF when it comes to eruvin in Brooklyn. IIUC, the reason most Flatbush people don’t use the eruv is either social (old-timers don’t use it) or standing up for the honor of RMF. NOT actually having learned his opinion, and despite the problems with it (apparent conflict with reality), have decided that it’s the best opinion.

    The others who build eruvs in Brooklyn, be they Lubavitch or Boro Park chasidim or Moderns, don’t regard this opinion of RMF as dispositive.

    Perhaps R Mintz didn’t want to slight RMF by telling the real story of eruvs in Brooklyn, so he wrote the extremely sanitized version in his article.

  37. Jon Baker says:

    (old timers don’t use it, so I shouldn’t either)…

  38. Hirhurim says:

    In a community that accepted R. Moshe Feinstein’s view in the 70′s and 80′s, why would anyone be allowed to ignore it now? You would presumably have to switch communities.

  39. lineman says:

    If is fascinating that people claim that they follow Rav Moshe when there are sidewalk eruvin that according to his shitos would not be allowed. It is obvious that Rav Moshe’s shitos yachidaos were not accepted by all. Moreover, the main argument today is that Rav Moshe’s shitos would not forbid the current eruvin. Consequentially, no one is ignoring his view at all.

    It is fascinating that when the matter is eruvin, it’s an open and shut case; nothing is allowed to change. Why is it that when arguments are set forth that demonstrate the possibility of an eruv that would satisfy Rav Moshe’s shitos, people claim that it’s not possible?

    Why is it that people make statements in the name of Rav Moshe when clearly they do not know his shitos? [E.g. the issue of pirtzos esser. All the anti-eruvniks claim that Rav Moshe maintains the matter is a d’Oraysa. When shown Rav Moshe’s teshuvos (O.C. 2:89-90) that demonstrates that he upholds that the matter is only d’rabbanan, they come up with other excuses (e.g. that Rav Moshe is only referring there to a karmelis). This is clearly playing catch up; no doubt they didn’t know about these teshuvos (because they are not regarding the Boro Park and Flatbush eruvin).]

    Why is it that people make claims regarding the new Flatbush eruv that are clearly incorrect, so much so that they can’t bring themselves to retract (such as the matter of the eruv being down because of Sandy).

  40. Steve Brizel says:

    Why not look at the KGH eruv which RMF approved of in writing, and where those who use the eruv say Good Shabbos to those who don’t, and vice versa? One cannot deny that the combination of the construction of the eruv, as well as a then state of the art mikveh and a nice range of shuls, yeshivos and great rabbanim and Talmidei Chachamim who work together on a wide range of issues were responsible for the flourishing of the community.

  41. Steve Brizel says:

    about 30 years ago, the community that my wife was raised in decided to build an eruv. the community presented no purely halachically objectionable or problematic issues. One rav refused to serve as the rav hamachshir because the MO shul that the eruv would have served was a small shul in comparison to the overall then large C and R congregations. RHS was consulted, found no halachic impediments and no basis for not building the eruv on the grounds that the O community was small in numbers. It would be interesting to see how many eruvim are built according to the standards of RMF or the very different criteria mentioned by the CI and discussed in detail by R B Simon in Imrei Baruch on Hilcos Eruvin.

  42. Steve Brizel says:

    If one wishes to read some tragically misinformed comments re immunization, see the letters to the editor in this week’s Mishpacha.

  43. STEVE BRIZEL:

    since the magazine isn’t online and nnone of us are going to go out and buy it (certainly not just to read a letter to the editor), perhaps you can give us just a bit more info.

    ” One rav refused to serve as the rav hamachshir because the MO shul that the eruv would have served was a small shul in comparison to the overall then large C and R congregations”

    why would this be an issue? if anything, one could argue that this is even more of a reason to have built it.

  44. GIL:

    could you respond to lineman’s comment that your concern about your friend carrying when the eruv was (?) down would invalidate all eruvin.

  45. GIL:

    GIL:

    “In a community that accepted R. Moshe Feinstein’s view in the 70′s and 80′s, why would anyone be allowed to ignore it now? You would presumably have to switch communities.”

    1) there is no such thing “the” jewish community of flatbush (certainly not of brooklyn), rather an intertwining web of many communities.
    2) i don’t mean any disrespect to rav moshe, but why should anyone but his own talmidim be beholden to his pesak on the eruv? do all those who argue “but rav moshe said . . .” also follow the other 99.9% of iggeros moshe equally zealously?
    3) to return to the original comment about your neighborhood. unlike flatbush, one could argue that it was a defined community with just one shul that certainly was pro-eruv (yes, i’m aware of the pedigree, but not relevant by the period in question). so what right do the newer shuls have to come in and not just forbid it, but to campaign against it (even meddling in internal affairs)? when there is a clear communal precedent and established minhag ha-makom?

    in general, what is the precedent for the concept in america of “community” or minhag ha-makom? (in general, not wrt eruv.) it seems to be pretty arbitrary.

  46. Hirhurim says:

    In general, I ignore Lineman’s comments because, while he is very knowledgeable, he twists everything beyond recognition. Such as the claim that R. Moshe Feinstein would certainly have changed his mind and approved a Flatbush eruv when none of his talmidim agree. Get R. Elimelech Bluth to agree and then I’ll be convinced. Or his suggestion that I claimed that the Flatbush eruv was down because of Sandy, which I did not. I claimed the Marine Park eruv was down, which you know is true.

    I will assume that Lineman misunderstood my words and in misquoting them, perhaps convinced others that I said something I did not. Here is what I wrote: “Let me also add that the danger of people forgetting the laws of carrying due to an eruv is real. The Shabbos immediately after Hurricane Sandy, I saw someone carrying even though the eruv was certainly down (I knew it was but he should have assumed).”

    Does that look to you like a statement invalidating the eruv (immediately after I wrote that, in theory, I would carry in it!)? Or is it a statement that there are issues of concern even with a kosher eruv? I believe R. Elazar Teitz has a good solution to the problem. In addition to regularly announcing the eruv’s status, one week a year they have a “no eruv” Shabbos so people don’t forget how to spend Shabbos without an eruv. It seems to work.

  47. Hirhurim says:

    1) there is no such thing “the” jewish community of flatbush (certainly not of brooklyn), rather an intertwining web of many communities.

    Exactly my point. But are are subcommunities, particularly among regular attendees at a specific shul or type of shul.

    2) i don’t mean any disrespect to rav moshe, but why should anyone but his own talmidim be beholden to his pesak on the eruv? do all those who argue “but rav moshe said . . .” also follow the other 99.9% of iggeros moshe equally zealously?

    If you followed that pesak, you are beholden to it. Just like any other pesak.

    3) to return to the original comment about your neighborhood. unlike flatbush, one could argue that it was a defined community with just one shul that certainly was pro-eruv (yes, i’m aware of the pedigree, but not relevant by the period in question). so what right do the newer shuls have to come in and not just forbid it, but to campaign against it (even meddling in internal affairs)? when there is a clear communal precedent and established minhag ha-makom?

    When a new community moves in as a group, it follows its old minhagim. This was established by the poskim at the time of the Expulsion from Spain.

    in general, what is the precedent for the concept in america of “community” or minhag ha-makom? (in general, not wrt eruv.) it seems to be pretty arbitrary.

    See my article here: link

  48. lineman says:

    “In general, I ignore Lineman’s comments because, while he is very knowledgeable, he twists everything beyond recognition.”

    No, you ignore my comments because it takes time for you to find out from your anti-eruv people what to answer. You simply do not know the inyan (e.g. the inyan of mefulash that you have been conflating for years). So you are not one to judge if I am, “twisting everything beyond recognition.”

    “Such as the claim that R. Moshe Feinstein would certainly have changed his mind and approved a Flatbush eruv when none of his talmidim agree. Get R. Elimelech Bluth to agree and then I’ll be convinced.”

    No one is more privy to Rav Moshe’s shitos in eruvin than anyone else, not even his sons and talmidim. Rav Moshe wrote clearly what he had to say about the matter. There is no Torah shebal peh regarding p’sak. Hence there is no need for one to believe that R’ Bluth or for that matter his sons know Rav Moshe’s shitos better than anyone else. Learn Rav Moshe’s teshuvos and see for yourself. To just argue that Rav Moshe would not allow an eruv, without backing up the assertions, is worthless. Eruvin is a miktzoah that most rabbanim do not know much about. I already spoke to R’ Bluth and when he can answer my arguments then, “I’ll be convinced.” Oh, and by the way, one of Rav Moshe’s talmidim Rav Tuvia Goldstein agreed that Rav Moshe would allow an eruv in its current construct, so these arguments cancel each other out.

    “Or his suggestion that I claimed that the Flatbush eruv was down because of Sandy, which I did not. I claimed the Marine Park eruv was down, which you know is true.”

    Now you are rewriting the simple meaning of your (erroneous) statement. R’ Mintz’s article is regarding Flatbush. Your (erroneous) claim regarding Ocean Parkway and Flatbush Ave. is also regarding Flatbush. You wrote that you would carry in the Flatbush eruv if it was socially acceptable. Following this, there is no reason to believe that you were refferring to anything but the Flatbush eruv. In any case, at the bare minimum you should clarify what you wrote.

    “I will assume that Lineman misunderstood my words and in misquoting them, perhaps convinced others that I said something I did not. Here is what I wrote: Let me also add that the danger of people forgetting the laws of carrying due to an eruv is real. The Shabbos immediately after Hurricane Sandy, I saw someone carrying even though the eruv was certainly down (I knew it was but he should have assumed).”

    No, I did not misquote what you wrote. In any case, it does not seem that you are willing to clarify your words.

    “Does that look to you like a statement invalidating the eruv (immediately after I wrote that, in theory, I would carry in it!)? Or is it a statement that there are issues of concern even with a kosher eruv?”

    Your statement that, “in theory I would carry in it,” is not proof to anything. You would have liked to utilize an eruv but can’t because of social pressures so you look to validate your positions by making such arguments.

    “I believe R. Elazar Teitz has a good solution to the problem. In addition to regularly announcing the eruv’s status, one week a year they have a “no eruv” Shabbos so people don’t forget how to spend Shabbos without an eruv. It seems to work.”

    This was not a minhag that was practiced much in the heim, and there were many eruvin that at times were possul. The best solution is to build-back up eruvin.

  49. anonymous says:

    Have you seen the new issue of Dialogue?

  50. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba-the letter in question championed the anti immunization POV and claimed that anyone who supported immunization supported the view that the world was flat.

  51. Shalom Spira says:

    I thank our Rosh Yeshiva R. Student for the links to his response to Moreinu R. Saul Berman shlit”a’s article. Although our respective approaches to the article may differ, I think we are both in agreement that – halakhah le-ma’aseh – a gentleman can only consciously listen to the soloist musical performance of an adult lady who is also his spouse. [I emphasize that this mitzvah de-rabbanan devolves upon the gentleman. A lady can sing as much as she pleases; it is the gentleman who needs to attune his ears only as prescribed by Halakhah. Thus, the rabbinic commandment is not misogynistic, but rather a recognition - inspired by Song of Songs 2:14 - that a gentleman hearing the song of a lady is virtually equated (on a de-rabbanan level) with marriage.] I was pleased to discover that this is essentially the analysis of R. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb in a lecture delivered at an OU conference on Jan. 14-16, 2011, available at http://www.ou.org/torah/article/the_mesorah
    R. Weinreb explains that the reason he ruled on Oct. 6, 2010 that only a gentleman may lead services for Kabbalat Shabbat (as recorded at http://www.ou.org/general_article/ou_board_issues_statement_on_friday_night_services ) is because the gentleman congregants can only hear the song of a fellow gentleman. [See 44:30 into R. Weinreb's lecture.] I hasten to emphasize that the pesak halakhah of R. Weinreb is prospective and not retrospective. Viz., there is no condemnation of any synagogue that held any Kabbalat Shabbat service led by ladies prior to Oct. 6, 2010, and the members of such a synagogue are certainly tzaddikim gemurim. The only concern of R. Weinreb is mi-kan u-le-haba, following Oct. 6, 2010, all Kabbalat Shabbat services attended by gentlemen should feature a gentleman as cantor. (Actually, there may be reason to permit a lady under eleven years to serve in the same capacity as a cantor, but presumably – for chinukh reasons – it is best to avoid such an arrangement.)]

    To my mind, a key point which needs to be addressed is how the mitzvah de-rabbanan of kol be-ishah has been assumed to de facto include all ladies over eleven, when there are many single ladies who are not niddah because they have already gone to the mikveh, e.g. a lady who immerses before Yom Kippur (as some are accustomed to do), a widow, a divorcée. It seems to me that the halakhic basis for such a de facto extension of the rabbinic commandment to all lady vocalists is the Rema to Shulchan Arukh Yoreh De‘ah 178:1, who establishes that Leviticus 18:3 obligates a Jew to conduct him/herself in a modest manner. Since modesty dictates that a lady not discuss with any gentleman other than her own husband that she has gone to the mikveh, and – by definition – a single lady has no husband, it is impossible for a single lady to discuss with any gentleman in a modest manner the fact that she has visited the mikveh. Hence, the very act of a gentleman listening to a non-niddah single lady sing would transgress Leviticus 18:3. The prohibition of Leviticus 18:3 would encompass the gentleman who hears the song of the lady.

    [Cf. Contemporary Halakhic Problems V, p. 277, where R. J. David Bleich similarly advises that at all chuppah celebrations, the groom should refrain from delivering the ketubah directly to the bride. Since, if the bride is a niddah, it is prohibited for a husband to hand his wife an object directly, distinguishing between a marriage where the bride is a niddah and where the bride is not a niddah would publicize whether the bride has gone to the mikveh. Mutatis mutandis, the same should apply to kol be-ishah.]

  52. abba's rantings says:

    STEVE:

    “Abba-the letter in question championed the anti immunization POV and claimed that anyone who supported immunization supported the view that the world was flat.”

    anti-immunization is popular not only among frum jews, but as with other idiocy, we only make it worse by imposing a religious sanction on it.

  53. abba's rantings says:

    “I claimed the Marine Park eruv was down, which you know is true.”

    yes

    “Does that look to you like a statement invalidating the eruv . . .”

    i guess i have my biases, but in context, it did seem to me (and i read it before i saw lineman’s comment) that is was an argument against eruvin. perhaps i (mis)read it this way because i have heard this stated by others specifically as an argument against eruving and assumed you were mentioning it for the same reason.

    “I believe R. Elazar Teitz has a good solution to the problem.”

    i don’t what exactly the problem is, and if it is a problem, why only now?

    “If you followed that pesak, you are beholden to it. Just like any other pesak.”

    of course, but who had the authority to accept his pesak on this matter for all of brooklyn jewry? why should his pesak be considered binding on those who don’t consider themselves his talmidim? and is this pesak more important than those that aren’t universally followed?

    “See my article here”

    will check it out

    “When a new community moves in as a group, it follows its old minhagim. This was established by the poskim at the time of the Expulsion from Spain.”

    i remember learning those teshuvot about golei sefarad in school. but i’m not sure what it means for our purposes to move in as a group

  54. lineman says:

    Oh, come on Abba – and I thought it’s only me who understood R’ Gil as referring to the Flatbush eruv because I, “twist everything beyond recognition.”

  55. Hirhurim says:

    Lineman: I think you missed the part where Abba agreed that I wasn’t referring to the Flatbush eruv!

  56. Steve Brizel says:

    Anyone interested in the controversy surrounding MBP and a particular Teshuvah of the CS should read R Tzuriel’s article, and then reread an article in one of the earlier issues of Hakirah.

  57. Judah Landa says:

    I suppose I ought to be pleased that my article was deemed to be “riveting” but, alas, you did not really read it. Had you done so, you would have known that I do NOT “revise” history. The precise opposite is the case. I demonstrate that history (unrevised) and science and Jewish tradition converge to an Exodus ca. 1600 BCE. The only thing I revise is the date for the Exodus, an event that currently is not part of history, but hopefully will now become part of it, which was the whole point to begin with.

 
 

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