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United Synagogue undecided on Chief Rabbi successor
Senior London rabbis break ranks to demand colleague in sex case step down
For the Separation of Menorah and State
Military Rabbinate rejects gay rabbi
Trial Exposes Shadowy Chasidic ‘Modesty Committees’
Liberman bringing yarmulke back to court
SALT Friday

Jerusalem restaurants sue over rabbis’ kosher certification rules
Women may gain right to lead Orthodox synagogue boards in Britain
J Brown: Girls Are the Lucky Ones
R Avi Weiss: Revisiting a Soviet Jewry Milestone
Time to adopt a healthier lifestyle
Where have all the student activists gone?
Rabbis say observant Jews can eat in secular homes
The Turning of the Torah Tide
Rabbinic training for Israeli communal rabbis
The Many Movements of Chabad
Take that, Henry Ford! Car company goes from anti-Semitic founder to new Jewish COO
Report: One-quarter of Israelis—and 37 percent of kids—live in poverty
Poland tries to calm dispute over kosher slaughter
Hareidi Rabbis: What to Do When Call-Up Comes?
SALT Thursday

Medical Associations Urge Against Injunction On Metzitzah Informed Consent
The Turning of the Torah Tide
S Savitsky: Rebuilding the Lives of Sandy Victims
Jewish leader: Circumcision ban will end Jewish life in Europe
Good Shepherd or Bad Samaritan?: Pius XII and the Holocaust
KosherFest 2012: The Most Surprising Kosher Foods
Poland tries to calm dispute over kosher slaughter
School of prophets opens in Tel Aviv
SALT Tuesday

R A Lichtenstein: Perspective on Homosexuals
Online-Ordained Rabbis Grab Pulpits
R D Lipman: Why I am running for Knesset with the Yesh Atid party
Yekke renewal: a new project ‘Traces’ the remnants of German-Jewish culture
Hurricanes, Floods, Rising Seas. Why Are We Praying for Rain Now?
FEMA on the bimah?
Blood donations up ‘thanks to sex segregation’
Underwriting Abraham – Synagogues Offer Sponsorships for Torah Texts
Is Israel getting too orthodox?
Is the Oldest Science Fiction in the Talmud?
AP nixes ‘homophobia’, ‘ethnic cleansing’
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.
 

251 Responses

  1. IH says:

    It is affirming for me to see that my long expressed views regarding the polemical use to’eivah are also shared by RAL.

    Incidentally, I also saw this related story this morning: http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/court-grants-divorce-to-gay-couple-for-first-time-in-israeli-history.premium-1.481951

  2. Nachum says:

    “But that’s not the case, and that is because of the revulsion which, apart from its being called to’eivah – the revulsion which is felt by the Western world toward homosexuality probably would have existed in large measure nonetheless.”

    And what’s so wrong with that? Is R’ Lichtenstein saying that there’s something wrong with Western civilization?

    IH, if that teensy bit that you agree with is “affirming” to you, what does the rest of the article do to you?

  3. Nachum says:

    “First, the synagogue sought out a female scribe, still a rarity in the Jewish world”

    Anti-male (and, of course, anti-Orthodox) discrimination. Niiiiice. And people wonder why us reactionaries think no good can come of female clergy.

    Personally, I stand with Grover Cleveland when it comes to government aid to disasters, but the Forward piece is kind of disgusting. Hobgoblins of little minds, indeed.

  4. Nachum says:

    I’ve never heard of people discussing how many candles are needed on Shabbat. I use electric lights. Maybe I’m not insular enough, or maybe reporters are ignorant.

  5. IH says:

    IH, if that teensy bit that you agree with is “affirming” to you, what does the rest of the article do to you?

    Nachum — I have no idea which article you were reading, but I have no disagreement with RAL’s piece noting his responsibilities as a Rosh Yeshiva. It is nuanced, learned, humane and responsible.

    Unless there is something substantive and new that comes up in discusion here, I have said my piece.

  6. shachar haamim says:

    I second the comment added to RAL’s article. It’s pretty difficult to suggest that the Sifra (which is brought by the Rambam as p’sak halacha) on same gender households and lo taaseh kmaaseh mitzrayim is refering to some type of personal sin only. It’s pretty clear to me that it refers to a communal issue – that society should not recognize same gender and polyandrous marriages. This is especially so taking into account the Rambam’s view on how marriages are recognized for the bnei noach.

  7. micha says:

    I wonder if the on-line ordination thing is as big of an issue in the O world, where there never was a central ordaining body, as in the C world the article focuses on. After all, we are used to having to assess the quality of an ordination rather than treating them all alike.

    I am also under the impression that on-line ordination programs aim at helping the student pass a pre-existing bechinah — usually the Rabbanut’s (or in Lub’s case, Morristown’s). Which reflects a second difference — our semichah is a test in a subset of halakhah, not in competence at leading a community. So, the community has to rely on recommendations, interviews, and trial shabbasos either way.

  8. Shlomo says:

    IH, do you agree with RAL’s statement that homosexuality is a sickness?

  9. Larry Lennhoff says:

    Commenting on ‘is the oldest SF in the Talmud?” I said: In a related vein, some early works of alternate history (or at least treatments of them) can also be found in the Talmud. The rabbis discuss what would have happened had Adam and Eve not eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, what if the Jews had not believed the reports of the spies and the older generation been sentenced to die off in the desert etc. I can’t think of mythological equivalents to these – in ancient times does anyone discuss what would have happened had Paris chosen Athena instead of Aphrodite to give the Golden Apple to?

  10. Rafael Araujo says:

    Nachum – if you want some context to the Toronto Star (or Red Star as many Toronto Jews refer to it) article on Chareidim, please google recent articles by Patrick Seale, Tony Burman (formerly of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Al-Jezeera), Rick Salutin, and their editor Haroon “Islamist Sympathizer” Siddiqui. In fct, take a look at Siddiqui’s Dec 1 piece criticizing Canadian PM Stephen Harper. Sometimes the Toronto Star makes the NY Times look like the Wall Street Journal in its coverage of Israel. Many Canadian Jews have cancelled their Star subscriptions and moved to the National Post.

  11. IH says:

    IH, do you agree with RAL’s statement that homosexuality is a sickness?

    Where exactly does he state this in the piece?

  12. Hirhurim says:

    IH: From R. Lichtenstein: “There are some, who are very militant, who wouldn’t want you to use the term cure – they are not sick any more than the heterosexual people are sick – that’s how they regard it – that, I think, is pushing it a bit too far. You might assume they are not to be held fully responsible if it’s a genetic development, but, certainly it is not something which we want to see become more rampant.”

  13. IH says:

    Selective quoting, Gil. The full context is:

    From what I gather psychologists are divided on this issue, as to whether it is something which is controllable or not. But the material which they send me – I’m not singled out for anything – reflects a readiness on the part of many, and they would be very happy if you could cure them. There are some, who are very militant, who wouldn’t want you to use the term cure – they are not sick any more than the heterosexual people are sick – that’s how they regard it – that, I think, is pushing it a bit too far. You might assume they are not to be held fully responsible if it’s a genetic development, but, certainly it is not something which we want to see become more rampant.

    “From what I gather” being the key. FWIW that is not my read of the psychologist landscape, but I give him the benefit of the doubt regarding the evidence he has seen.

  14. IH says:

    2nd para should not have been indented.

  15. Jordan says:

    The Toronto Star does have a number of columnists who are hostile to Israel, but the news reporting is generally more reasonable. AFAIK it still has the widest circulation of any Canadian newspaper. The National Post fills a niche, and is certainly more supportive of Israel, but is of limited national importance.

  16. ruvie says:

    shlomo R’ gil – RAL nuanced as ever – one does not feel from reading the article that he views it as a sickness. just that saying its as normal as hetrosexuality is pushing it too far doesn’t equal its a sickness. people want to read whatever one wants into it. interesting he is using the word “ahnus”(echos of r’ chaim rappaport)
    for me RAL who is a very conservative person to begin with – here he is pretty liberal for an orthodox thinker and rosh yeshiva. still didn’t answer many of the questions he raised on the communal level.

  17. Hirhurim says:

    Apparently in this case RAL’s nuance allows for multiple interpretations. I see “from what I gather” as hedging, acknowledging that his conclusions are based on the data he knows. IH sees it as license to say he’s wrong but still agrees with him, if only he knew what IH knew.

    On second thought, that isn’t RAL’s fault. That is totally IH’s misreading.

  18. ruvie says:

    R’ gil – nevertheless – he never says its a sickness or implies that he thinks it is. actually, he is more persuaded that it can’t be helped to a certain degree – even though many would like to be “cured” and be hetrosexual (from what he sees and hears). Saying RAL sees it as sickness is a misstatement or purposely misleading others to whatever his viewpoint may be.

  19. Hirhurim says:

    He implies that he thinks it’s a sickness, rejecting those who don’t want a cure as going too far.

  20. emma says:

    “Aroll said one of the biggest stumbling blocks to international travel is that Haredim women require a special mikveh bath for the ritual of purifying themselves with rain water after each menstrual cycle. .”

    set aside the question of how a journalist can write about this topic without knowing the adjective “haredi,” the abose statement strikes me as…odd. if the hardei travel agent said it, did he perhaps mean that ppl want to travel near a mikvah b/c the _men_ want to go daily or weekly? seems to me a once-a-month event (or less if pregnant or nursing, as haredi women often are) can’t be “one of the biggest stumbling blocks” to international travel…

  21. Tal Benschar says:

    Emma: That statement illustrates how absurd the article really is. I mean, really, the laws of mikveh put a crimp on international travel? That’s a new one on me. Certainly not been my experience. Last time I flew to Israel, I say plenty of married Orthodox men and women.

  22. Shlomo says:

    To be fair, RAL has little in common with some of the people who are most vocal about calling homosexuality a sickness. But he said what he said.

  23. Shlomo says:

    From the “too Orthodox” article: “In a debate that stretched over days, some students said a collection of candles looked nice, while others contended too many were tantamount to a decadent luxury, not in keeping with Jewish law. … Fresh from debating the use of candles on Shabbat, Yechezkel Horowitz carved into a steak at a kosher restaurant in Tel Aviv.”

    If a few extra candles for kavod/oneg shabbat are a decadent luxury, then what about steak in a restaurant? Maybe Horowitz just holds like the other side in the machloket…

  24. Tal Benschar says:

    Shlomo: that supposed “debate” seems to me to be made up or badly misreported. I have a hard time believing anyone would debate such an issue. I think I have learned a sugya or two, and cannot remember ever coming across anything like that. (People spend way more on all sorts of luxuries for Shabbos than a couple of candles.)

  25. ruvie says:

    R’ gil – now you are intentionally misreading that and i do know he doesn’t believe that. this is the first time something is in print from RAL – he is less hesitant to talk about his private views these days – and that is good.
    he doesn’t argue that there is something evil in this – limiting it to private issur is a monumental shift in orthodoxy. compare him to r’ twersky or other yu ry. in the end – what is nafka mina in this- one must ask.

  26. Hirhurim says:

    Intentionally misreading??? First of all, no, I am reading it correctly and you and IH are misreading it.

    Second, even if I am misreading it, why would you say that it was intentional? Are you that uncharitable in your judgment of others?

  27. Tal Benschar says:

    Here are two more absurdities:

    Even flicking a light switch is considered inappropriate, making candles a necessity in most homes.

    Yeah, right. Charedim never use electric lights on Shabbos.

    (The vast majority do use the regular electric service and either leave the lights on or use timers. A few in Bnei Brak and Meah Sheraim won’t use the general electricity because of Chillul Shabbos issues — but they do have private generators, and I read that recently an arrangment for a separate generator was made in Bnei Brak.)

    “Haredim reject the modern world and any participation in it,” said Kenneth Green, an associate professor in the University of Toronto’s department for the study of religion.

    For Haredim, Green said, a vision of Israel’s future means living under Halacha, a Jewish version of Sharia law that could mean no restaurants or coffee shops where men and women mingle openly, no art galleries and professional sports teams, and a society where streets close on Shabbat — even for emergency vehicles.

    Yes Chaerdim live just like the Amish. Maybe they should start opening B&B’s like they do in Lancaster PA. The part about banning emergency vehicles is sheer calumny.

    (BTW, true story. When I was learning in Yerushalayim, I walked with a friend on mine on Shabbos afternoon through Bayit V’Gan to here R. Wolbe speak. There was barely a soul in the street, and zero cars. All of sudden, we hear a single car driving down the main street. As it went by, we noticed it had a prominent sign on top: “GOY SHEL SHABBOS”)

  28. ruvie says:

    R’ gil – “He implies that he thinks it’s a sickness, rejecting those who don’t want a cure as going too far.”

    to write this yes i would say intentional. reread those 2 sentences. he is commenting on stuff he has read from psychologists. he believes the second viewpoint is pushing it – that homosexuality is as normal as hetrosexuality and they hold that using the term cure is offensive since it denotes a sickness that one can easily be cured from (my assumption of the interpretation). he then moves to the position that maybe they should not be held responsible because of genetics. there NO those rejecting a cure in his article – its the terms an implications of “cure”- that its fixable.

  29. ruvie says:

    Rgil – i meant meant intentionally misleading others to his viewpoint. i have no idea if you are intentionally misreading the article or unintentionally do to personal bias.

  30. shaul shapira says:

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/147792/Satmar-Rebbe-Shlita-Coming-to-Israel—Delta-Airlines-Accommodates-Schedule.html

    “Some 3,000 chassidim from the United States and another 2,000 from Europe are among the tens of thousands expected to take part in the event. The tickets were ordered well in advance to make certain to secure a spot, on Delta Airlines of course since Satmar will not use El Al.”

  31. Hirhurim says:

    Again, you are 1) misreading R. Lichtenstein’s words and 2) accusing me of intentionally misreading. That is not just wrong but obnoxious.

  32. ruvie says:

    R’ gil – there is enough in RAL’s article for people from either side to point to. my apologies on the misreading part. one should admit his view is quite different than those at yu and is a major shift (not that his viewpoint has changed but it has been private) for any leading ry of a major orthodox institution (in public). also, his approach is closer to- if not the same- the statement of principles of r’ helgot than anyone else’s.

  33. ruvie says:

    R’ gil- “He implies that he thinks it’s a sickness, rejecting those who don’t want a cure as going too far.”

    does he reject anyone? he is objecting to the miltants who imply hetrosexuality and homosexual are equal and normal . he is just saying that is going to far – not that they reject to being cured – or if any them think that way. after talking to a talmid its doubtful he believes in reparative therapy at all.

  34. Hirhurim says:

    The issue was not that you said I misread R. Lichtenstein but that you said I did it intentionally. I think I read it correctly and you misread it.

    “there is enough in RAL’s article for people from either side to point to”

    No, there isn’t. Nor are there two sides of this issue. It is a complex issue. Maybe that is why you are misreading R. Lichtenstein. You see only two views and if he isn’t on the extremely intolerant side then he must be on the extremely tolerant side. That is not a fair way of reading anything.

    I don’t see much of a shift and I don’t see this anywhere near R. Helfgot’s statement of principles. For example, R. Lichtenstein said nothing about homosexuals never marrying or how shuls should act.

  35. Hirhurim says:

    ruvie: does he reject anyone?

    R. Lichtenstein rejects the view of the most militant. He does not use the word “reject” but that is irrelevant.

  36. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    I carefully RAL’s comment and then the differing readings of Gil and Ruvie. We have to remember that RAL did not prepare this for publication where he would have carefully chosen each word. Therefore one cannot parse his words (“be medayyek”)so closely. In my view, the sentence is ambiguous. Ruvie’s point is that RAL’s quoting those who say that homosexuals are not sick any more than heterosexuals are sick is just is a way of saying that homosexuals are perfelctly normal as are heterosexuals. Then his saying that this view is pushing it a BIT too far would just be a way of saying that it not as normal as heterosexuity. Does this imply it is a sickness? Not clear. He does use the word “sick” and does say that if a cure were possible, concerning which he is not sure, then they should be cured. Again he could be using cure in strict sense or, as Ruvie with some measure of plausibility argues, as way of saying that if it’s fixable it ought ot be fixed. Given RAL’s own genuine uncertainty here regarding the psychological dimensions of homosexuality and given that tha his article again may not have been that oarefully worded to draw clear conclusions and to accuse others of misreading seems to me to be “pushing it a bit too far.”

  37. IH says:

    Apropos, if we’re going to dissect RAL’s words then I would respond to:

    Much of the answer is: the mechallelei Shabbat of America don’t want to march in the parade under the banner of mechallelei Shabbat of America – they are going to march as the Kiwanis club or the Rotary club, the junior high school of Great Neck, or whatever you have, and that will pass muster – they will not flaunt.

    with two words: ha’Shomer ha’Tzair :-)

  38. Hirhurim says:

    IH: I found it interesting that RAL discussed that incident. That was a rare moment when R. Hershel Schachter publicly supported R. Norman Lamm’s careful, nuanced decision of which RAL apparently disapproves.

    (Orthodox schools asked RNL what to do and he brokered an agreement whereby the gay synagogue would not publicize its marching. Then the rabbi of the synagogue gave an interview to the NY Times and R. Norman Lamm held firm and gave the ultimatum. The parade organizers sided with the Orthodox schools. RHS approved of the initial agreement and the final conclusion.)

  39. Shlomo says:

    R’ gil – now you are intentionally misreading that and i do know he doesn’t believe that.

    Without thinking deeply about which side is which, I just want to add that this line led me to coin the following phrase: “Revisionism and the RAL”

  40. Shlomo says:

    with two words: ha’Shomer ha’Tzair :-)

    Hashomer Hatzair does not care for religion, but since when do they define themselves by their opposition to religion?

  41. IH says:

    And did they object all those years, when a Jewish movement that was publicly defiantly mechalel shabbat and anti-kashrut marched?

  42. IH says:

    Shlomo — certainly when I was BA’nik in the ’70s, ha’Shomer ha’Tzair was (in Wikipedia’s words) “stridently secular and anti-religious — seeing itself as a leader of a legitimate expression of a secular stream of Judaism.”

  43. Hirhurim says:

    They did not carry signs proclaiming their Sabbath violations

  44. IH says:

    I don’t remember the signage, but no one was under any illusions as to what to’eivot their movement promoted; not to mention arayot.

  45. Hirhurim says:

    The signage and publicity was the issue. Hence the agreement (which was violated) and the ultimatum.

  46. IH says:

    It was also the case that Orthodox institutions were much less engaged in the Israel Day Parade in those days, so it probably would have been an empty threat had it ever come to it.

  47. Hirhurim says:

    That is not my recollection of 1993. It actually came to it, the schools (including Ramaz) withdrew and the parade committee immediately made a decision to keep the Orthodox schools in the parade because they could not afford to lose so many marchers.

  48. IH says:

    I was talking about the ’70s not 1993. All this chatter made me curious, though, and I found this interesting article about the history of the parade: http://jcpa.org/article/the-salute-to-israel-parade/

  49. ruvie says:

    Lawrence Kaplan – although he didn’t prepare the article for publication he knew this sichah and others will be posted in his name of the internet. He has given approval for these comments and others to be made public – so i would argue that he purposefully chosee not to answer the public policy issue – give the person an aliyah, daven for the amud etc.(i think that he doesn’t say they should should be rejected publicly in the community is telling to some degree). he was careful to what he said and especially what he did not say.

    LK – your comment ” He does use the word “sick” and does say that if a cure were possible, concerning which he is not sure, then they should be cured.” i actually do not think said that. Only that people in this situation feel that they would like be cured if that is possible. he is not advocating anything here – but probably would recommend imho if he believed that was the issue(speculating here)- but doesn’t indicate anything as you stated (besides using the word “sick” in the sentence).

    most interesting line – “…but at the personal plane it has become a more common aveirah, it is less of an aveirah on the part of the particular individual.’ how does THAT work via halacha? he is opening the door – to what i don’t know. he is also complaining about those who are over reacting -” the lady doth protest too much, methinks”.

    for the reasons above i objected to r’ gils’s statement: “…rejecting those who don’t want a cure as going too far.” he never said that or even i think implied that. so to state that as his view is misleading. please correct me if i misunderstood your statement.

  50. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Ruvie: I agree that RAL purposefully did not raise the public policy issue and that he stands behind the substance of his comments. I still think that those comments are not phrased with the care he accords to his published articles and that one cannot therefore parse them too closely. I said that your reading was possible, indeed I referred to it as plausible. I still think Gil’s reading is possible as well. I personally feel there is a genuine ambiguity in these remarks reflecting RAL’s own uncertainty about the psychological dimension.

  51. ruvie says:

    LK- from what i understand from one who talks to him frequently that he is not sure how update RAL on the current studies in the us as oppose to where the thinking the the psych field is in israel. In israel from what i gathered (please correct me if anyone knows differently) the psych field is still in some dispute about the psych dimensions and therapy for “curing” one’s ssa. In america the debate is more or less over and the psych field is in agreement (with i am sure of some outliers – see dialogue’s recent publication- from mostly religious right advocates) on this issue.
    i do not see how gil’s last part of his sentence is at all plausible and not wishful thinking and misreading of the entire article.
    i am more convinced after talking to one of his former students who speaks to him regularly. As you know, what he says publicly is much more guarded and nuance than what he says privately – an example would be the rabbah issue which i posted about when it happened.

  52. Hirhurim says:

    I disagree with your reading. RAL is discussing whether the term “cure” is appropriate and he thinks saying that it isn’t is going too far.

    I can interpret beyond that but that would be inferring. All I did above is restate his words.

    Also, this is nowhere near the Statement of Principles. Maybe RAL really holds from the SOP but he isn’t saying it here.

  53. Steve Brizel says:

    RAL’s views in the article should be compared with those of RYBS in The Emergence of Ethical Man at Page 27, where RYBS viewed homosexulaity and bestiality as unnatural acts though not formulated as Kilayim, and the universal nature of the prohibitions against both.

    As far as the salute to Isarel parade is concerned, the furor re who should participate in the 1993 parade was at best a pyrhhic victory for those sectors of the MO world that seriously considered not participating in the parade.

  54. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie wrote in part:

    “Lawrence Kaplan – although he didn’t prepare the article for publication he knew this sichah and others will be posted in his name of the internet. He has given approval for these comments and others to be made public”

    I see no evidence at the source of these “sichot” that RAL has ever approved the same as being either a verbatim or faithful rendition of his comments. While the same are fascinating, very nuanced kdarcho bakodesh and thought provoking, I think that one can argue that the “sichot” are basically a student’s notes, as opposed to a verbatim sicha that one can easily find either at the BVM or at Yu Torah.

  55. Steve Brizel says:

    If one checks the blog re the questions to RAL, one finds the following qualifying statement:

    “The text was not reviewed by Rav Lichtenstein.”

  56. Steve Brizel says:

    One more point re the blog re questions to RAL:

    “This is an unofficial website and no information can be assumed to have been verified by Rav Lichtenstein”

  57. IH says:

    Perfect for a trial balloon, then…

  58. Steve Brizel says:

    Actually, if one looks at many of the shiurim and sichos on the VBM website, many have the following caveat emptor like language or words to this effect:

    R Lictenstein has not reviewed the following…

  59. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-anyone can tell that one has to distinguish between Divrei Torah on any subject that are the direct product of any Talmid Chacham’s shiurim, psakim, etc, and what can be called MiPi HaTalmidim or Mi Pi HaShemuah.

  60. Ruvie says:

    Steve b. – the website was put up with his approval and knowledge that semi private sichot with his students will be published. It seems that RAL has purposely taken a more public role on views that may have been more private than in the past. For instance his book with sbatto. This is done intentionally and is a departure from his reserve and shy public persona. Btw, all his sichot from vbm have not been reviewed by him.

  61. Ruvie says:

    R’ gil – “RAL is discussing whether the term “cure” is appropriate and he thinks saying that it isn’t is going too far”

    I do not see how you get that sentence for the following paragraph:
    “But the material which they send me – I’m not singled out for anything – reflects a readiness on the part of many, and they would be very happy if you could cure them. There are some, who are very militant, who wouldn’t want you to use the term cure – they are not sick any more than the heterosexual people are sick – that’s how they regard it – that, I think, is pushing it a bit too far”

    I will let others decide who has the correct interpretation. One should also note the defanging of “toaivah” and the demotion of the aveirah since it is now more common( which i think is an innovative and new approach to the issue but no one has commented on its meaning here). Time to move on and not belabor the point.

  62. Nachum says:

    Just a historical note: Beit Simchat Torah was eventually told that they didn’t meet the technical criteria- they weren’t a youth movement (theoretically, every group marching is either a school or a youth movement, although that’s certainly not true in practice, or at least is gotten around one way or another) and simply weren’t big enough (again, the reality is a bit different). Perhaps it was a selective choice of where to enforce the rules, but this isn’t a democracy (I know, I know). But a simple solution was found: A whole bunch of Lower Manhattan groups and synagogues, including this one, which had similar issues (size, youth, etc.), got together as the “Downtown Alliance” or something and marched- and continue to march- together. I think they hold up one big sign and smaller ones with their individual names (nothing about homosexuality). They may even have done this in 1993, the year of the whole fight, but certainly did it almost immediately afterwards.

    I recall MTA’s shirts read “Leavda uleshamra” that year, which we took to mean both Israel and Torah.

    Ah, for the good old days, when Norman Lamm wrote his famous article in the Encyclopaedia Judaica and the presentation of an ad for a “gay shul” could simply be presented, without comment, as bizarre.

  63. shachar haamim says:

    Ruvie – I didn’t realize that one can “demote” aveirot because they “are more common.” If that were the case one could call into question the entire approach of Orthodoxy today to a whole slew of issues such as – the required parameters of shmirat shabbat in the modern world (especially in Israel); changes to how taharat hamishpacha is practiced; kashrut issues. the list goes on…

  64. Hirhurim says:

    Remove the parenthetical comment from this statement and you have: “There are some, who are very militant, who wouldn’t want you to use the term cure – that, I think, is pushing it a bit too far”

    Of course, the parenthetical comment is important because it explains the phrase “who wouldn’t want you to use the term cure”.

  65. ruvie says:

    shacher haamin – probably “demote” is the wrong term – please offer another one to understand his comment below:

    “…but at the personal plane it has become a more common aveirah, it is less of an aveirah on the part of the particular individual.”

    i am not at all advocating demoting anything rather trying to comprehend what he said and its implications.

  66. ruvie says:

    R’ gil –
    My comment at 11:26 pm quoted your 8:25 pm statement but should have quoted your original statement(my error).
    your original statement: “He implies that he thinks it’s a sickness, rejecting those who don’t want a cure as going too far.” this is what i objected to.

    later: “RAL is discussing whether the term “cure” is appropriate and he thinks saying that it isn’t is going too far”
    are you qualifying or changing your original statement with this new statement? the new statement i am not objecting to (but would qualify even more because of the parenthetical comment).

  67. Nachum says:

    Just a note: Locusts *are* kosher.

    It seems to me that Pius XII had had some bad experiences with Jewishj communists when he was ambassador to Germany, and he let that color his view of the Holocaust. Of course, one can argue that only someone with anti-Jewish prejudice would allow his views to be thus colored, but there it is.

  68. Tal Benschar says:

    “…but at the personal plane it has become a more common aveirah, it is less of an aveirah on the part of the particular individual.”

    I don’t know what he meant, exactly, but it seems to me you can understand this to mean that once something becomes commonplace, the person doing it is less acting lehachis and more acting leteavon than a person who acts in a way that society considers unthinkable.

    (Just as an example, there are many semi-traditional Jews, even today, and certainly in prior decades, who would never touch pork or shellfish, but would eat beef or chicken that was not properly slaughtered.)

  69. joel rich says:

    What changed? Many things changed, of course, but one suspects that the key event was the founding of the State of Israel.
    =============================
    Interesting leap of suspicion as to the reason for the Torah tide-I’m guessing the chareidi community would beg to differ (but maybe not?)
    KT

  70. ruvie says:

    Tal – i agree but wondering if its more than that (pure speculation on my part). is it similar to to mechalel shabbat in public – where in the times of chazal its also a denier of hahsem creating the world and we treat him community wise a certain way. today, we treat the mechalel shabbat differently from a communal view. is this a door opening for not treating gays like they were treated in the past by the community? its not public acceptance – there is an aveirah involved after all if he is living with someone or the lifestyle etc – but something in between not being part of the kehilah and total acceptance. the question is is he formulating an halachik argument here?

  71. Tal Benschar says:

    KosherFest 2012, the “world’s largest kosher certified food and beverage trade show for the retail and foodservice industries,” which takes place Nov. 13-14 in Secaucus, N.J.

    Ironically enough, Secaucus was once known as the pig farm capital of the Northeast. Now it is probably better known for a major rail junction.

  72. R. Rich:

    what changed? the single most important contribution to the increase in torah life in the period under discussion was the 5-day workweek. yes, there were other reasons, but without spread of the 5-day workweek all the other reasons wouldn’t have mattered.

    as far as the impact of the state of israel on increasing torah life in america, this doesn’t mean that that american jews saw theological significance in the rise of the state, but rather the the modern israel gave american jews more self confidence and pride to pronounce their jewishness (whether expressed in increased religious observance or in other ways). and in this regard the 6-day war was the defining moment, not the creation of the state in 1948.

  73. Former YU says:

    On “Turning the Torah Tide” 2 points:

    1) Torah may have turned the Tide in keeping its own, but in the overall future of klal yisrael (particularly in the US) the battle is still being lost. Any ascendancy of Orthodoxy is to a large extent due to the disappearance of non-Orthodox Jews due to assimilation and intermarriage.

    2) In my opinion, mentioning the State of Israel without mentioning the Holocaust as a cause of the “Turning of the Torah Tide” does not make any sense. The entire Torah culture was rebuilt after the Holocaust from the educational system on up(Torah U’Mesorah in the US and Chniuch Atzmai/Bnei Akiva in Israel). The rebuilt culture is very different then what existed in Europe and the money and milieu of the State of Israel have provided an underlying foundation for a large part of this rebuiilding, but the “Rupture and Reconstruction” is the foundation of today’s Torah world.

  74. joel rich says:

    We can all posit reasons – some say the 67 war, others the black power movement as allowing racial pride to be accepted , others the material success that allows support of this lifestyle, others a response to the material excesses. I think former YU’s point on the disappearance of non orthodoxy is important.

    Why care at all as to reasons-because if we don’t know what worked, we will be surprised by reversals when that cause disappears

    KT

  75. R. RICH:

    ” I think former YU’s point on the disappearance of non orthodoxy is important.”

    agreed

    “Why care at all as to reasons-because if we don’t know what worked, we will be surprised by reversals when that cause disappears”

    agreed

  76. R. RICH:

    “the black power movement as allowing racial pride to be accepted”

    yes, that too. certainly multiculturalism and ethnic/racial pride movements (as well as the counterculture) allowed jewish identity to flourish in a very public and even activist way. (in a non-religious context, witness sssj and i’m told betar as well ;) ). it was ok to be different, even weird.

  77. and of course let’s not overlook ho chi minh, who my high school principal attributed with being the single individual most responsible for the torah renaissance in america.

  78. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    “not reviewed by RAL” (or anyone else) is like saying “this sefer is for discussion, but not for halacha”. everyone knows it means the opposite (subject to local conditions.) like IH implies, its too touchy as subject to be quoted on.

    the parade would have ceased to exist if they would have allowed that temple to march. (and its a shell of itself nowadays, thanx to the compromises made. when day schools and field trips are more numerous these days, the parade is not really more than that. and not much of that, either.)

    “cain and able school of prophesy” — thats a name? not unless your looking for non jewish enrollment (a la kabbalah center.)

    “certain” locusts are kosher, not all. consult your local teimani.

    the kosher food show is a figment of one PR promoter’s imagination. he’s doing very well ($) on it, but few of these products really have a market. the foolish ones that sell are pesach bagels / pizza. but elk / buffalo / deer, etc doesnt really sell (despite what some commenters here might think.) and even restaurants, etc on the upper west (and east) side open and close all the time (and those that stay open remain stagnant.) no one carries fried locusts, except the ones in china.

  79. joel rich says:

    r’ abba,
    my observation was that uncle ho was the cause of a great deal of cynicism (I’m “talkin bout my generation” – cue “The Who”)about the purveyors of “torah education” which included a sliding scale of tuition based on (lack of) attendance and the character building mussar of “if your check is late, the ltter goes to the draft board”. Why anyone went to YU to get a 4-D was beyond me (I went for the food and the basketball program)
    KT

  80. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    abba — the parade is a shell of its old self.

    joel r – – but you cant deny the high RIETS enrollment during uncle ho’s time. other yeshivot, too, of course. some shells of yeshivot, if i really want to go on.

  81. joel rich says:

    R’MMY,
    that is the fact, I just assumed it was out of towners who didn’t realize there was a lower cost, less time consuming alternative.
    KT

  82. Shlomo says:

    Looking over the “sickness” paragraph a second time, I think it’s clear that RAL divides homosexuals into two categories:

    1) Those homosexuals who “would be very happy if you could cure them”
    2) Those homosexuals who say (in RAL’s opinion: erroneously!) that “they are not sick any more than the heterosexual people are sick”.

    The bottom line is that RAL uses the word “cure” regarding both categories, i.e. all homosexuals. You can “change” things other than sicknesses, but the word “cure” can only apply to a sickness. Of course, it is also possible for a sickness to not have an available cure; RAL does not know if that’s the case here.

  83. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie wrote in part:

    “the website was put up with his approval and knowledge that semi private sichot with his students will be published…Btw, all his sichot from vbm have not been reviewed by him”

    That was exactly my point. There is a huge difference betweem that which any Talmid Chacham says directly and that which is recorded by his talmidim aka Mi Pi HaShemuah and not reviewed by the Talmid Chacham.

  84. Steve Brizel says:

    re the turning of the tide within Orthodoxy-I would argue that the positive view of ethnicity coupled with the events of the Six Day War were critical factors, together with the critical stances taken by RYBS , the rebuilding of the Charedi yeshiva world and Chabad’s influence, as well as the democratization of Jewish learning, as R D M Shapiro commented after the Siyum this past summer. One cannot even think of a Siyum HaShas occurring at any mass stadium prior to 1967.

  85. Moshe Shoshan says:

    “I would argue that the positive view of ethnicity ”

    Steve, this change in attitudes towards minorities, was a direct result of the liberal transformation of American society that you so frequently condemn. Perhaps it was not so bad?

  86. aiwac says:

    Moshe,

    And maybe the transformation had both good and bad effects?

  87. AIWAC:

    i had the same reaction as moshe shoshan.
    of course you are right, the transformation had positive and negative consequences. it’s just that in all the time i’ve been following this blog i’ve never ever heard steve relate to liberals and liberal causes in anything but a very negative, critical and condascending fashion. so the next question becomes, were all the negative consequences of liberalism worth this one positive one?

  88. Anonymous says:

    Related, see Putnam’s analysis in American Grace regarding the phenomenon of which Steve is a good example:

    The changes from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s were small. The real change occurred between 1982 and 1997. In that period, the link between religiosity and partisanship grew substantially among baby boomers; the strength of the connection between religious attendance and party affiliation among the second generation was almost three times as strong as in 1982. Since these are interviews with the same people at different points in time, we can be confident that the emergence of the religiosity divide has entailed some individual-level change, as churchgoing and partisanship have come into alignment.

  89. IH says:

    10:23 was IH.

  90. aiwac says:

    Abba,

    Why can’t we just pocket (or even be thankful for) the good stuff and fight the bad stuff? Seems sensible to me.

    The question of “was it worth it” is pointless. You deal with the cards you’re dealt.

  91. Moshe Shoshan says:

    aiwac,
    of course it had good and bad. I just want Steve to own up to it.

  92. Steve Brizel says:

    Moshe Shoshan wrote in part:

    “Steve, this change in attitudes towards minorities, was a direct result of the liberal transformation of American society that you so frequently condemn”

    The huge change in a positive change towards ethnicity can IMO and should be easily distinguished from other less positive changes in American society. It is important to remember that the the civil rights legislation which gave teeth to the rights guaranteed by the post Civil War 14th and 15th Amendments prohibited discrimination on the basis of race and religion.

  93. joel rich says:

    I would like to make 2 additions to the required reading list:

    http://vbm-torah.org/archive/sichot66/09-66vayeshev.htm (Rav Amital on thee Yaakov/Yoseif/brothers story)

    http://download.yutorah.org/2012/1053/Chanuka_To-Go_-_5773_Rabbi_Perez.pdf
    Rabbi Peretz on the long view of current events (very actuarial in looking back to the actual data)

    KT

  94. IH says:

    It is important to remember that the the civil rights legislation which gave teeth to the rights guaranteed by the post Civil War 14th and 15th Amendments prohibited discrimination on the basis of race and religion.

    From the Library of Congress website:

    Although ratified on February 3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not be fully realized for almost a century. Through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means, Southern states were able to effectively disenfranchise African Americans. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote.

    http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/15thamendment.html

  95. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in part:

    “It is important to remember that the the civil rights legislation which gave teeth to the rights guaranteed by the post Civil War 14th and 15th Amendments prohibited discrimination on the basis of race and religion.

    From the Library of Congress website:

    Although ratified on February 3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not be fully realized for almost a century. Through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means, Southern states were able to effectively disenfranchise African Americans. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote”

    Ain Haci Nami.

  96. Steve Brizel says:

    Abba wrote:

    “of course you are right, the transformation had positive and negative consequences. it’s just that in all the time i’ve been following this blog i’ve never ever heard steve relate to liberals and liberal causes in anything but a very negative, critical and condascending fashion”

    The above comment would be entirely correct if it mentioned that I am critical of the extremist and radical trends that purport to be liberal, as opposed to a Democratic Party that once had room for personalities such as a Henry Jackson and Joseph Lieberman, and their views.

  97. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-IIRC, there is specific language in the Civil Rights acts that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed or national origin.

  98. emma says:

    steve, is your pouint re: the civil rights act that the increased tolerance for “minority” affiliations can be traced to that law as distinct from the “negative” social trends of the time?

  99. IH says:

    The major societal change is that we have become a more tolerant society. I don’t see how one can objectively separate such tolerance for individuals, with it’s concomitant legal codification, into “good” and “bad” — especially by Orthodox Jews who demand to publicly exhibit the ways in which they are different: e.g. through dress.

    The party politics dimension Steve falls back on is rather beside the point.

  100. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma-the civil rights acts were absolutely represensative of the national consensus that was in favor their passage, and dissaproving of Jim Crow and the violent tactics, political and legal manuevers that were much in evidence throughout the South. Anyone who grew up in the US pre WW2 wll tell you that there were anti Semitic quotas in the Ivy League, that entry into Wall Street and white show law firms and professional schools was quite limited to Jews and that the KKK and demagogues like Father Coughlin were very vocal and prominent along with such prominent persons as Joseph P. Kennedy, Henry Ford and Charles Lindberg. That kind of anti Semtism went way after the Holocaust, but Jews expressing their ethnicity proudly first was evident after 1967.

    Anyone who grew up in the 1960s will recall that the national consensus fractured over such events as the 1968 teachers’ strike, the dispute re scatter site housing in Forest Hills, and the positions taken re affirmative action ( aka quotas). The more tolerant society that IH refers to would be best characterized as cultural changes vis a vis gender, sex, attire. I would agree that both the legal and societal changes helped the Orthodox world be able to set forth a case of cultural nonconformity-whether with the then prevailing ethos of the 1950s and 1960s or the world that emerged thereafter.

  101. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “The party politics dimension Steve falls back on is rather beside the point”

    Take a look at the Democratic Party of today and ask yourself whether any Senator or Congressman is strong on national security, advocates raising spending on defense, and reduced governmental regulation and taxes.

  102. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “Take a look at the Democratic Party of today and ask yourself whether any Senator or Congressman is strong on national security, advocates raising spending on defense, and reduced governmental regulation and taxes.”

    Are you implying that no Democratic members of Congress are in favor of all/some of these things.

  103. IH says:

    Take a look at the Republican Party of today and ask yourself…

  104. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan and IH-I have been an enrolled Democrat since I reached the age to vote. I see noone either in the House of Representatives or Senate from the Democratic Party who even remotely could be compared to LBJ, HHH,Scoop Jackson or Joseph Lieberman in their stances on the issues that I mentioned. Deflecting my question to the Republican Party of today avoids the issue that I raised, especially given the recent flap at the Democratic convention re support of Israel and Jerusalem and the lack of a reference to God. IIRC, one comedian commented that the only caucus missing at the Democratic convention was straight males.

  105. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    “the KKK and demagogues like Father Coughlin were very vocal and prominent along with such prominent persons as Joseph P. Kennedy, Henry Ford and Charles Lindberg.”

    actually they all went away (died; except old man joe who just stayed quiet ?to promote his son?), and werent replaced as national figures. i think it was just the start of govt program$ that kept the govt as a force in national opinions. (KKK fell away with the influence of minority rights, etc)

    “only caucus missing at the Democratic convention ” i recall sen mondale on the old saturday nite live (with the “not ready for prime time players”) who answered jane curtin’s question that he appeased “almost” every interest group in his campaign: “you mean i missed one?”

    by the way, straight males were the only ethnic group that voted majority for romney. more mormons voted for mccain than for romney. but according to previous post here, more O jews voted for romney.

  106. Joseph Kaplan says:

    ” I see noone either in the House of Representatives or Senate from the Democratic Party who even remotely could be compared to LBJ, HHH,Scoop Jackson or Joseph Lieberman in their stances on the issues that I mentioned.”

    While I admire LBJ, HHH, SJ and JL for certain things, I didn’t realize they were elected as the standard against which all should be judged and that if ones position is not the same as theirs then you don’t support . . .

  107. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “While I admire LBJ, HHH, SJ and JL for certain things, I didn’t realize they were elected as the standard against which all should be judged and that if ones position is not the same as theirs then you don’t support”

    Name a current Democrat whose legislative record and positions on the issues of the day remotely approximates any of the accomplishments of the above senators.

  108. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested, see Agudah’s statement http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2012/12/02/agudath-israel-statement-on-un-resolution/, and compare the same with the link from today’s NYT that I posted earlier today. How ironic that Agudah, which cannot be viewed as a Zionist organization by nornal definitions of Zionisn, stands with the sovereign State of Israel while the “progressive” and “post denominational” house of worship stands with those who seek its destruction under the guise of a two state solution and the pretense of the “Arab Spring.”

  109. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Steve,
    What is your point about Agudah? Of course they have no problem condemning Arabs. But what will it take for them to unequivocally condemn the violence of their fellow chareidim, done in the name of a perverse understanding of Torah? Do they need to riot in the street? Opps I forgot, they already did that, resulting in mass chilul shabbos on the part of protesters and the police.

    What will it take for them to call on people to go to straight the police when they have good reason to suspect child abuse, as R. Elyashiv paskined? What will it take for them to stop calling on people not to conform with the mandated reporter law?

    Yes the left is in some ways morally bankrupt, but so is the aguda.

  110. shachar haamim says:

    “How ironic that Agudah, which cannot be viewed as a Zionist organization by nornal definitions of Zionisn, stands with the sovereign State of Israel while the “progressive” and “post denominational” house of worship stands with those who seek its destruction under the guise of a two state solution and the pretense of the “Arab Spring.””

    Agudah generally always supported the founding of a Jewish State. The Agudah delegation to the Peel Commission took this stand and it was supported by a vote at the Aguda convention. Aguda representatives (not only the Poalei Aguda reps!) signed the declaration of independence.

    These progressives are more aptly compared to the wing of the Neturei Karta which has gobe public with its agitation against the Jewish State and support of the enemy (as opposed to Satmar which generally still views this issue as an intra-Jewish one which should not be taken to the “goyim”)

  111. Hirhurim says:

    EDITORIAL NOTE: After a long business dislocation due to the hurricane, I am back in my office and can resume daily news & links updates. The extra commute wreaked havoc on my schedule.

  112. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    “Wreaked”?

    “Wrought”, no?

    English is a weird language …

  113. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    Welcome back R’ Gil; hope your life returns to normal.

  114. IH says:

    Shalom — thanks for the opportunity to revisit an old interest. A succinct answer can be found at: http://virtuallinguist.typepad.com/the_virtual_linguist/2011/08/wreaked-havoc-or-wrought-havoc.html

  115. Tal Benschar says:

    This discussion simply wreaks. Makes one over-wrought.

  116. Nachum says:

    I think this is mostly true of Jerusalem, but lots of people in Israel whose observance is not, shall we say, complete, keep kosher homes, if only to be able to host religious people. This is even true of the proverbial “people you wouldn’t daven with”, e.g. Reform Jews- if anything, they may be stricter. (It’s a weird thing that Reform and Conservative Jews may be considered “Dati.”) Of course, being Israel, it’s not so hard to keep kosher- you almost don’t have a choice.

  117. abba's rantings says:

    NACHUM:

    define “kosher.” i assume you mean that one almost doesn’t have a choice but buy kosher products (more true in some areas, less true in other areas). but that says nothing about how kosher one’s home kitchen is.

    besides, i don’t undersrand some of the kulahs mentioned in the article. all fruits and vegetable are kosher? what if the veggies weren’t checked?

  118. Hirhurim says:

    And what about terumos and ma’asros?

  119. IH says:

    Rather than speculate, perhaps those interested should read the Psak which seems to be at http://www.beithillel.org.il/show.asp?id=56061 and develop a response. [I have not read it]

  120. Hirhurim says:

    Thank you. I didn’t read it all but what I saw seems eminently reasonable.

  121. Shlomo says:

    “Report: One-quarter of Israelis—and 37 percent of kids—live in poverty”

    Based on the numbers in the article, about 10% of non-charedi non-Arabs in Israel (i.e. those who do not choose poverty for ideological reasons) live in poverty. Which appears to be a medium to low percentage, compared to other Western countries. The US for example is at 17%.

  122. IH says:

    How ironic that Agudah, which cannot be viewed as a Zionist organization by nornal definitions of Zionisn, stands with the sovereign State of Israel while the “progressive” and “post denominational” house of worship stands with those who seek its destruction under the guise of a two state solution and the pretense of the “Arab Spring.”

    So, it turns out that unlike Orthodox Rabbis that find themselves in trees due to hubris, these non-Orthodox ones are able to admit they made a mistake.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/nyregion/bnai-jeshurun-rabbis-regret-tone-of-letter-on-palestine-vote.html

  123. Shlomo says:

    Because clearly no Orthodox rabbi has ever admitted they made a mistake about anything.

  124. Daniel Sayani says:

    The Rabbanei Beit Hillel ballyhooed pamphlet is unnecessary.

    They are already restating what the halakha already is.

    Anyone who knows anything about the halakhot of kashrut knows that you can eat cold kosher foods off of plates that are treif.

    Furthermore, hot kosher food can even be eaten off of treif glass plates that are clean, according to the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch.

    This is basic yoreh deah. Why do we need them to tell us the obvious? And, also, on the question of wine, if you treat a mechallel shabbos as a tinok she nishba, who can be counted as a minyan, why would it be assur for him to pour wine that’s aino mevushal?

  125. aiwac says:

    Daniel,

    “Why do we need them to tell us the obvious?”

    1) Because the public is often anywhere of these “basic rules” and are far too cautious.

    2) Because there are influential Chardal Rabbis who are trying to overturn the “basic Yoreh Deah” laws.

  126. Larry Lennhoff says:

    What AIWAC said. The general public is often ignorant of these leniences, or else regard them as theoretical principals that no ‘torah true Jew’ would actually take advantage of. It will certainly help me to have a source to point to for the notion that I can share non-mevushal wine with a heterodox/non-Shabbat observant Jew.

  127. IH says:

    Shlomo — if you need it spelled out, I was thinking of RSP’s post-election polemic and RHS’s bus comment of a year ago.

  128. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    actually, a non religious jew does make wine non kosher. tinok she-nishba or not. its only a desire to not have relations with them that leads to such ideas.

    nevertheless, there are many problems eating in houses of such people. ignorance (ans rationalizations) of basic kashrut halachot for starters.

  129. Tal Benschar says:

    MMHYM: Could you clarify what you are saying about wine. As written, you seem to be taking opposite positions.

  130. Hirhurim says:

    I agree with MMHY regarding wine. Just drink mevushal and you won’t have a problem. The new “guidelines” don’t give much leeway for eating in the home of someone non-frum unless they bring in outside food or cook in new pots and pans.

  131. Steve Brizel says:

    My point re the stances taken by Agudah and a “progressive” and “post denominational” house of worship was to illustrate that Agudah’s POV was far more supportive of the State of Israel than the far left “progressive” and “post denominational” house of worship. I don’t see the issue of Charedi extremism as having any relevance to my point.

  132. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in response to my comment:

    “How ironic that Agudah, which cannot be viewed as a Zionist organization by nornal definitions of Zionisn, stands with the sovereign State of Israel while the “progressive” and “post denominational” house of worship stands with those who seek its destruction under the guise of a two state solution and the pretense of the “Arab Spring.”

    So, it turns out that unlike Orthodox Rabbis that find themselves in trees due to hubris, these non-Orthodox ones are able to admit they made a mistake”

    Actually, as Shachar pointed out, Agudah pre WW2 opposed partition, and its representatives signed the Declaration of Independence in 1948. One can argue that the house of worship in question, and many of the bloggers supporting its POV on the NYT website, have simply reverted to the pre war anti Zionism that marked classical RJ, albeit in a new intellectual form-that of recognizing the “legitimacy” of the so-called “Palestinian narrative” while paying lip service to victims of Arab terror in Israel.

  133. Steve Brizel says:

    IH brought up RSP’s response to the election. I thought that the excellent movie Lincoln, which we saw last Motzaie Shabbos, was a great depiction of why politics was and will always be the art of achieving the possible, on a person to person basis, even if it means sacrificing an ideological principle.

  134. IH says:

    Steve — Once restated, the Rabbis at BJ were reflecting the same position as former PM Ehud Olmert. You picked a bad example to promote your politics.

  135. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    the vaad hatzniut were always known as extortion plots. (they had a reputation of starting up with innocent teachers / rebbeim and extorting $$$ from them. thus, their validity in cases such as the current is doubtful.)

    as for agudah signing the megillat ha’atzmaut, i recall they did not (but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yitzhak-Meir_Levin) says at least one member did. i assume this was not an authorized by the agudah powers that be. it would have been out of character, we can all agree.) nevertheless, formal agudah does not advocate “cooperation”, etc with the palestinians.

    historical note — the first roah yeshiva of torah vaddat did sign the megillat ha’azmaut. he was actually out of town that day, but they respected him so much, that they left space for him to sign later. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/zev-gold.

  136. IH says:

    Further to Steve’s posturing, note this cynical but credible analysis piece that ran on ynet today: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4316713,00.html

  137. shaul shapira says:

    “IH on December 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    “How ironic that Agudah, which cannot be viewed as a Zionist organization by nornal definitions of Zionisn, stands with the sovereign State of Israel while the “progressive” and “post denominational” house of worship stands with those who seek its destruction under the guise of a two state solution and the pretense of the “Arab Spring.”

    So, it turns out that unlike Orthodox Rabbis that find themselves in trees due to hubris, these non-Orthodox ones are able to admit they made a mistake.”

    That’s a non sequitor.
    I also note your wonderful mutual respect.

  138. IH says:

    Shaul — thank you for the Rav Aviner link which confirms my comment about him a month or two back: “I obviously disagree, but I respect the internal consistency which I find absent in the typically expressed RWMO approach.” Shabbat Shalom

  139. Moshe Shoshan says:

    IH

    lets not go too far. the posturing of a scheming crooked politician is hardly good company. Even if ion the end it turns out that this was good, there is no value to a bunch of american rabbis crowing about it.

  140. IH says:

    Moshe — Olmert may be a scheming crooked politician, but he is hardly anti-Zionist — and nor are the BJ Rabbis despite the label Steve repeatedly tries to put on those with whom he disagrees.

    —–

    In any case, more to my thinking is this sad piece by Wieseltier:
    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/110888/losing-hope-on-Israeli-Palestinian-peace

  141. Shlomo says:

    shaul shapira on December 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    In case anyone was wondering…

    http://www.ravaviner.com/2012/12/we-are-not-modern-orthodox_6.html

    I read that, it is hardly a complete and worked-out philosophy. It contains statements that are truly modern and others that are truly anti-modern, and does not really reconcile them. He doesn’t like the term “Modern Orthodox”, but so what? The movement by any other name would smell as sweet.

  142. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-, Based upon their engaging in moral equivalence between Zionism, and the so-called “Palestinian narrative”, The BJ clergymen and the clergy that Daniel Gordis debated with strike me as prima facie examples of post Zionists who have more sympathy with the residents of Gaza than their fellow Jews who live in Sderot. Agudah’s position is far more pro Zionist than either the clergy of BJ or their allies in Israel.

  143. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in part:

    “Moshe — Olmert may be a scheming crooked politician”

    How about the fact that he was probably Israel’s worst PM in its history ,which included such notions of protecting Israel’s national security including but clearly not limited to by sending the IDF into Lebanon on an ill defined mission, and without the tools to do the job properly?

  144. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in part:

    “Steve — Once restated, the Rabbis at BJ…”

    IOW, they “restated” their POV because many of their own members were unbcomfortable with their stance.

  145. IH says:

    Steve — The Rabbis at BJ “blew it” — my points are simply: a) their congregation called them on it, and they climbed down from their tree (unlike RSP with his post-election polemic or RHS with his segragation of women on buses Q&A); and, b) what they continue to say is within the red-lines of Zionism.

    And I reiterate, my own view is aligned with Leon Wieseltier’s lament and not the BJ Rabbis.

  146. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in part:

    “The Rabbis at BJ “blew it…what they continue to say is within the red-lines of Zionism.”

    I think that many would disagree with the latter portion of the quoted statement as well as with the views of their ideological allies in Israel and the US.

  147. IH says:

    That would put these “many” into the bizarre position, then, of saying that former PM Olmert is outside of the red lines of Zionism. Which, frankly, is absurd.

  148. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-Olmer’s degree of incompetence can fairly be compared to Herbert Hoover and the pre Lincoln presidents. His ideological POV can best described as one of convenience, as opposed to the post Zionist left in Israel and the US.

  149. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in the Isareli left, here is a good introduction.http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=538 How anyone can fairly considered the academics profiled therein as within the “red lines of Zionism” strikes me as an absurd and revisionist attempt at redefining what is a Zionist.

  150. Steve Brizel says:

    David Gordis,a very traditional C rabbi, with two sons in the IDF, who has written about the foibles of BJ’s idielogical allies trenchantly, stated the following which IMO defines who deserves to be considered within the red lines of Zionism:

    “For the clincher is this: “We are deeply entrenched in our narratives of good and evil, victim and perpetrator – and we are scared.” Yes, we are all deeply entrenched in our narratives of good and evil. But why does Rabbi Brous not feel that it’s her place as a rabbi to tell her community (I know that I sound like a dinosaur to her community in saying this) which side is good and which side is evil?

  151. IH says:

    [Rav Aviner] doesn’t like the term “Modern Orthodox”, but so what? The movement by any other name would smell as sweet.

    Shlomo — You don’t see a distinction between MO and an approach that states:

    Yet we are not students of western culture, and we must not force the Torah to disguise itself in western garb in order to receive a western stamp of approval. We certainly must not strive to make Jewish law fit the spirit of western thought. We are modern, but not “Modern Orthodox.” We are faithful students of Moshe.

    and backs this up by advocating that e.g. a halachic woman should not be involved in civic affairs, or even vote?

  152. Steve Brizel says:

    I think that the following linked article spells it all out why BJ’s spiritual leaders’s statements, POV as well as that of their supporters are highly problematic with respect to their obvious emphasis on univeralism at the expense of particularism as their benchmarks of Jewish identity. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/are-young-rabbis-turning-on-israel/

  153. Charlie Hall says:

    “sending the IDF into Lebanon on an ill defined mission”

    Uh, Menachem Begin did that.

  154. Charlie Hall says:

    “Olmer’s degree of incompetence can fairly be compared to Herbert Hoover and the pre Lincoln presidents”

    To the contrary, Olmert left Israel as one of the few democracies to escape from the economic disaster of 2008 almost unscathed. Would that the US had had such leadership! Hoover needs not explanation, but most Americans are unaware of the disastrous Panic of 1857, caused in part by the policies of Pierce and Buchanan. Compare also to the hyperinflation under Begin and Shamir.

  155. Charlie Hall says:

    “which side is good and which side is evil?”

    A previous BJ rabbi, back when BJ was still Orthodox, told folks in 1861 what side he thought was good: The slaveowning south.

    http://www.jewish-history.com/civilwar/raphall.html

  156. Shlomo says:

    “Olmert left Israel as one of the few democracies to escape from the economic disaster of 2008 almost unscathed.”

    Uh, Netanyahu as finance minister did that.

  157. Shlomo says:

    Shlomo — You don’t see a distinction between MO and an approach that states:

    Just as I said, there are some completely modern quotes, and some completely non-modern ones. You don’t see a difference between “We are happy about every advance that takes place in society.” and the charedi approach you hate?

  158. aiwac says:

    Charlie,

    The hyperinflation was also a result of massive government spending under Goldah, Rabin and Peres. The size of the debt alone was enormous. There’s plenty of blame to go around on that score.

    “Uh, Menachem Begin did that”

    And so did Olmert. Both Left and Right agree on that over here.

  159. IH says:

    Shlomo — you lost me.

  160. Hirhurim says:

    R. Aviner is doing the same thing R. Lamm did 20 years ago. He doesn’t like all the connotations of the term Modern Orthodox so he is rejecting it. I just think his definition is idiosyncratic, much like IH’s definition which seems to me to be to the left of Conservadox.

    I think that in America, R. Aviner is considered RWMO. In Israel, he’s Chardal.

  161. IH says:

    Gil — So do American RWMO share Rav Aviner’s views that halachic women should not participate in civic affairs and ideally refrain even from voting?

    With the exception of RHS’s bus segregation Q&A (about Israel) I am not aware of any American RWMO leader who is willing to publicly and transparently state Rav Aviner’s position. But, perhaps they are just dissembling.

  162. HAGTBG says:

    I just think his definition is idiosyncratic

    His definition is 100% compatible with the charedi community (at least pre-smart phone).

  163. shachar haamim says:

    The Dan Warthen story about forgetting that he had the yarmulke on was funny.
    Nat Lewin told a similar story at YU over twenty years ago about Justice Scalia and the army yarmulke case and how Scalia forgot that he had the fatigue yarmulke (they had been handed out to the justices by the appelants to counter the army’s claim that the yarmulke would detract from the uniform) on his head when he walked out of chambers towards the hearing room.

  164. Hirhurim says:

    IH: So do American RWMO share Rav Aviner’s views that halachic women should not participate in civic affairs and ideally refrain even from voting?

    I can’t speak for everyone but generally not. R. Aviner follows R. Tzvi Yehudah Kook on this. Unlike you, I don’t believe MO is defined by one issue.

    With the exception of RHS’s bus segregation Q&A (about Israel)…

    Your continued misrepresentation of RHS is insidious and tiresome.

    HAGTBG: The Charedi community that totally rejects R. Shlomo Aviner as too modern.

  165. IH says:

    insidious??? RHS said what he said on video and has had a year to clarify his remarks if they were misunderstood. Have I missed that clarification?

    —–

    This comes back to why I respect Rav Aviner: he says what he thinks is right humanely and with no dissembling. I strongly disagree, but respect nonetheless.

  166. Hirhurim says:

    Everyone here understood what RHS and disagrees with you. How DARE he fail to respond to a single anonymous commenter about which he is unaware???

  167. Hirhurim says:

    You respect R. Aviner because you can easily dismiss him. RHS is harder to dismiss so you have to distort his views and attack him.

  168. IH says:

    Gil — Don’t get worked up. I respect R. Aviner because he stands by what he says, and transparently says what he believes in an internally consistent manner. I do not respect the apologists for RHS who insist he did not mean what he said due to cognitive dissonance.

  169. IH says:

    Back to the issue of Rav Aviner’s statement, leaving out the labels in the penultimate sentance as quoted in full above, let’s examine:

    Yet we are not students of western culture, and we must not force the Torah to disguise itself in western garb in order to receive a western stamp of approval. We certainly must not strive to make Jewish law fit the spirit of western thought.

    Is this consistent with YU’s mission of Torah u’Madda?

  170. Hirhurim says:

    Oh stop being disingenuous about RHS. We can all see your feeble attempt to marginalize RHS. It’s only working in your mind.

    Re RSA, does YU have a single definition of its beliefs and, even if it does, does that serve as the sole definition of MO?

  171. Charlie Hall says:

    “Uh, Netanyahu as finance minister did that.”

    Uh, Netanyahu had left the Finance Ministry in 2005, succeeded by….Ehud Olmert! During Olmert’s term as PM, which coincided with the most dangerous economic times, Ronni Bar-On was the Finance Minister while Netanyahu was in the opposition.

    “massive government spending under Goldah, Rabin and Peres. ”

    Nice try. Peres was only PM for two months before losing the 1977 election. And it was under Peres that the hyperinflation stopped. Somehow Meir and Rabin managed not to destroy the economy with hyperinflation. And if you are talking about massive government spending, how about the massive expansion of subsidized settlements and the invasion of Lebanon, both under Begin?

  172. Charlie Hall says:

    “Yet we are not students of western culture, and we must not force the Torah to disguise itself in western garb in order to receive a western stamp of approval. We certainly must not strive to make Jewish law fit the spirit of western thought.”

    I’m as “modern” as anyone who comments here and I don’t have a problem with that statement.

  173. IH says:

    I think most people would agree with the definition in the Wikipedia entry for Modern Orthodox Judaism:

    Modern Orthodox Judaism (also Modern Orthodox or Modern Orthodoxy) is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world.

    Rav Aviner explicitly rejects this in the quoted statement above. Where does RHS stand?

  174. IH says:

    Charlie — really? western culturewestern thought. Like, e.g. Democracy or the right of a women to go to medical school and become a physician, and/or to run for elected office and/or to vote.

  175. Nachum says:

    No, IH, Modern Orthodoxy does not believe in making Jewish L-A-W fit with Western values. That’s exactly what R’ Aviner said. It’s right there in his statement: L-A-W. I know this may disappoint you, as you would like Judaism to approve of same-sex marriage and eliminate get requirements (etc. etc.), but it is what it is.

    I don’t know who R’ Aviner is planning on voting for, but it will almost certainly be for a list that includes a woman, by the way.

  176. IH says:

    Nachum — L-A-W is absent in the first sentence in which Rav Aviner rejects synthesis with “western culture” (which is the essence of MO per the Wikipedia definition). And in the second sentence, when L-A-W rears its head, it is “we certainly must not”.

    The interesting question is whether R. Aviner’s wife will vote.

  177. aiwac says:

    “And it was under Peres that the hyperinflation stopped”

    In 1985, years later. None of which invalidates the huge amount of government debt Israel had accumulated under Labour governments prior to Begin. Look it up.

    “And if you are talking about massive government spending, how about the massive expansion of subsidized settlements and the invasion of Lebanon, both under Begin?”

    Not contradictory to my original point, which was that both sides were to blame for the mess. So far, it has not been refuted.

  178. IH says:

    It seems to be that Shaul’s post of this statement by Rav Aviner illustrates the fuzzy nature of American RWMO hashkafa as it relates to engaging with modernity; which is the meta-issue behind so many of the debates here (and not just the ones in which I am active).

    What I am still trying to understand is the position of American RWMO (as represented by Gil) on the meta-issue of engaging a synthesis with “western culture” and “western thought” in the clear and internally-consistent terms as one reads from Rav Aviner.

  179. Hirhurim says:

    There’s your mistake. I’m not representative of RWMO. I’m much more open. You won’t find many RWMO who read First Things and frequently consult non-Orthodox and Christian commentaries on the Torah.

  180. IH says:

    For clarity, I did not mean that you personally are RWMO, rather you (as Hirhurim) represent the RWMO view.

  181. Hirhurim says:

    Only on women’s issues. On everything else I am considered LW. Or center.

  182. Steve Brizel says:

    for those who share the perspective of BJ and their ideological allies in the US and Israel of understanding the so-called “Palestinian narravtive”, the following link illustrates why such a PPV is yet another illustration of the John Lennon School of International Relations at work.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/world/middleeast/khaled-meshal-hamas-leader-delivers-defiant-speech-on-anniversary-celebration.html?ref=todayspaper

  183. Moshe Shoshan says:

    R. Aviner is a complex person who is hard to categorize. However as a student of R. Tau, he holds many positions which are more extreme than anything RHS or RMW hold. There is no Chardal in America.

  184. HAGTBG says:

    Nachum,

    I am hard pressed to understand how you can see R’ Aviner’s statement as being limited to law. He wrote, modern [Western] thought should not innovate our religion … and certainly not religious law. That last part was one sentence in his entire essay. Nothing in what he wrote seemed to indicate that Western thought should impact any religious aspect of life, except if it accentuates what we already believe.

    Concerning that he might vote for a party with women, maybe he sees no hypocrisy in that or maybe he overstated his beliefs. Your position still wouldn’t be what he wrote.

    Gil,

    HAGTBG: The Charedi community that totally rejects R. Shlomo Aviner as too modern.

    And? Why is his statement related to charedi views of him?

  185. Hirhurim says:

    HAGTBG: It’s relevant because it shows that he falls into a middle category. The Israeli spectrum is different than that in the US.

  186. Charlie Hall says:

    “Modern Orthodoxy does not believe in making Jewish L-A-W fit with Western values. ”

    Nachum and I agree on something. Mashiach is on the way.

    “You won’t find many RWMO who read First Things and frequently consult non-Orthodox and Christian commentaries on the Torah.”

    R’Gil would be to my left on this one. ;)

    “John Lennon School of International Relations”

    While Lennon does seem to have been a naive pacifist, I’m unaware of him ever having taken an anti-Israel position. And I can’t imagine (sorry) him supporting a terrorist organization.

  187. HAGTBG says:

    HAGTBG: It’s relevant because it shows that he falls into a middle category. The Israeli spectrum is different than that in the US.

    Okay, and what does the fact that he’s not charedi (or, at least, charedi like them) matter? I’m not saying he’s indistinguishable from charedim. I’m saying this aspect of his theology marks no distinction between him and most charedim. If most charedi in Israel are living like the Amish do here then I withdraw my remarks. But they don’t.

    I’m saying someone asked him about Modern Orthodoxy. And the response he gave as to what Judaism is would fit nicely within the charedi movement.

  188. IH says:

    Regardless of what label one puts on Rav Aviner, the question remains as to the American RWMO position vis a vis the statement that Shaul linked.

    Most specifically, where does American RWMO stand in respect of RSA’s “we are not students of western culture, and we must not force the Torah to disguise itself in western garb” as opposed to Wikipedia’s statement that MO “attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world”?

  189. JLan says:

    I find it fascinating that with all of this discussion on R’ Aviner and his position on Western thought, that no one take a look at the post on his site two down from the one in question. I see the following sources cited there (on a quick skimming):

    Pirke Avot
    Rambam (referring to Aristotle)
    Sartre
    Masechet Shabbat
    Torah
    another sefer named Derech Moshe
    Erasmus

    It seems that perhaps someone who is capable of referring to Sartre and Erasmus in a dvar torah might perhaps have a more nuanced opinion than merely “West bad!”

  190. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gil-I fully agree with your comments here re Yu, TuM and RHS. I also should note that my chavrusa and I have been learning R Aviner’s ShuT in the realm of CM. They are a fascinating blend of lomdus and awareness of the reality on the ground in Israel.

    Let me suggest a comment that more properly belongs in the thread re the latest Orthodox Forum book on the next generation of MO. Can MO produce Talmidei Chachamim who are as renowned for their singleminded dedication to Limud HaTorah , Dikduk BMitzvos and who are Anshei Maaseh in the area of Bein Adam LChavero? Can it produce women who are as proud of their committment to home and family in the same manner as their charedi sisters, or is their main emphasis on their achievements in the secular world?

  191. emma says:

    “Rav Aviner rejects synthesis with “western culture” (which is the essence of MO per the Wikipedia definition).”

    surely you are aware that the “Definition” of MO is hopelessly contentious, partisan, and probably impossible. so to quote any pithy “definition” is odd, but from wikipedia especially…

  192. GG says:

    Most people would call LWMO as Rabbis Yitz Greenberg, Shlomo Riskin, Saul Berman, David Hartman, Dov Linzer, Marc Angel and Avi Weiss.
    Rabbis Tendler and Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt would be in the center.
    Most people would place Rabbis Willig, Meir Twersky and Bleich on the RWMO side.
    Crosscurrents posts from Adlerstein and Shafran quote First Things and they are defiantly LW Yeshivish.

  193. GG says:

    On many topic you are RWMO- on brain death, on liberal conversions to Judaism, on the academic study of Bible and Talmud, on the need to affirm dogma, on interfaith dialogue and on the need tighten the reigns and show people the door out of Orthodoxy.
    Rabbi Bleich quotes lots of Christians and secular literature and he is RWMO.

  194. joel rich says:

    The magazine continues in the tradition of the Jewish Observer in clearly delineating and defining Orthodox Hashkafah vis-a-vis these topics.
    ————————————–
    R’ Dialogue III,
    I stopped reading at this point :-)
    kt

  195. Anonymous says:

    RABBI KORNREICH: WHEN IS RABBI MEISELMAN’S BOOK BEING PUBLISHED?

    (It was “forthcoming” in the last volume of Dialogue.)

  196. Anonymous says:

    RABBI KORNREICH: WHEN IS RABBI MEISELMAN’S BOOK BEING PUBLISHED?

    (It was “forthcoming” in the last volume of Dialogue.)

  197. Abba's Rantings says:

    CHARLIE HALL:

    “A previous BJ rabbi, back when BJ was still Orthodox, told folks in 1861 what side he thought was good: The slaveowning south.”

    he didn’t think the slaveowning south was good. yes, he supported slavery. but he didn’t support specifically the southern version of slavery and he called on the south to treat the slaves as mandated by the bible.

  198. My croft says:

    Most people would call LWMO as Rabbis Yitz Greenberg, Shlomo Riskin, Saul Berman, David Hartman, Dov Linzer, Marc Angel and Avi Weiss.
    Rabbis Tendler and Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt would be in the center.
    Most people would place Rabbis Willig, Meir Twersky and Bleich on the RWMO side.
    Crosscurrents posts from Adlerstein and Shafran quote First Things and they are defiantly LW Yeshivish.
    To compare Rabbi Angel with Rabbi Hartman is strange. Rabbi Hartman has for at least 4 decades rejected Halacha, Rabbi Angel has been in mainstream of MO institutions-president RCA, long time member of editorial board and active in Tradition.

  199. IH says:

    The lead article in JID today, about Maoz Tzur, is worth reading.

  200. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Mycroft, Without getting into what R. Hartman has or has not rejected, I’m pretty sure that he does not self-define himself as MO, and that should be enough of a reason for him to be removed from the list.

  201. IH says:

    How we use words is a subject of great import in halacha (and a key theme of the viddui on Yom Kippur). Over the past week there has been a tragic story in the secular press that is worthy of attention: the prank call from Australia to a London hospital that appears to have caused one of the nurses to commit suicide.

    A thought provoking analysis can be found at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/10/australian-hoax-djs-draw-line-pranks

  202. IH says:

    I guess the left-hand edge of LWMO are Rabbis who agreed to be rebuked by the RCA and agree to some compromise, rather than walk away. Shame people are judged by the politics rather than their Torah. ושמע האמת ממי שאמרה

  203. Nachum says:

    IH: I’ve never really “gotten” practical jokes. The whole point seems to be to humiliate people, which halakha tells us is as bad as killing someone- and here we see how unfortunately wise and literal that statement can be.

    Charlie: Mashiach tzeitin indeed! However I cannot- I will not!- countenance such a bad groaner of a line! I will draw the line! :-)

    You’re probably right about Lennon; had he been alive today I wouldn’t put it past him to fall into the fashionable anti-Israel line, but sadly we will never know.

    Here’s the classic piece on Lennon and “Imagine” and the Jews, now a full-blown book:

    http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=311&page=all

  204. Rafael Araujo says:

    The consensus is that it the nurse was mentally ill, since the result of a prank is not usually suicide. The nurse was probably in very fragile state of mind at the time.

  205. Abba's Rantings says:

    IH:

    where do you draw the line between orthodox and conservative?

  206. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Mycroft: Ryan positions himself between rwmo and moderate Haredi. R shaft an is just a Haredi apologist. I often disagree with ryabuthisviewdaregenerally thoughtful and nuanced. Tocompare him to r sharan is to do him a great disservice.

  207. IH says:

    Abba — See the (fully previewable) introduction to Hartman’s new book where he discussed this explicitly: http://tinyurl.com/d6hcjus (see pp. xvii – xix in particular).

  208. IH says:

    Incidentally, in one of the Q&A’s at the recent AFBIU lecture at the JC given by R. Sperber, a young woman asked him about the same issue and he responded that just because some chiddush is also shared by the Conservative movement, doesn’t make it treif — we need to manage the halachic process in our own way and come to our own conclusions, irrespective of how others may have reached a similar conclusion.

  209. Abba's Rantings says:

    IH:

    i looked at the pages you recommended in harman’s book and i didn’t see the answer to my question. where do you draw the lines between orthodox and conservative?

  210. Tal Benschar says:

    LK: Who is “Ryan?”

  211. shaul shapira says:

    IH-
    I checked there and Hartman doesn’t explain where you draw the line between O and C at all. All he does is explain that his own beginnings are different than Conservative Judaism.

    And how is his explanation different than

    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/history/Modern_History/1700-1914/Denominationalism/Conservative/Solomon_Schechter.shtml

    “Schechter’s philosophy of Judaism is based on the ideas of Zechariah Frankel. Both Reform and Orthodoxy fail, in this view, to understand “positive historical” Judaism. Reform, according to Schechter, fails to appreciate the positive elements in traditional Judaism, while Orthodoxy fails to grasp the dynamic aspects of the tradition itself. Schechter thus sought to encourage a marriage between the old learning and the critical methodology adopted in the Judische Wissenschaft (Science of Judaism) school.”

    Also, I don’t understand his critiscm of C exactly. Why shouldn’t they deal with those issues?

  212. IH says:

    Abba — The way I draw the line is by someone’s self-identification. Unlike Orthodoxy which is not centralized, the Conservative movement is. If they self-identify as independent, at the next level of discrimation I then use their smicha to identify their background.

    But, generally speaking, I don’t really care as I’m interested in the content and not the label.

  213. Hirhurim says:

    Isn’t that precisely the issue under discussion? His ideas are Conservative!

    His answer: so what?

  214. emma says:

    “The consensus is that it the nurse was mentally ill, since the result of a prank is not usually suicide. The nurse was probably in very fragile state of mind at the time.’

    ok, eggshell skull. especially when the underlying conduct is negative (getting a laugh at someone else’s expense) the fact that you might exacerbate someone’s preexisting problems is another reason _not_ to do these things, not a reasons that they are not so bad.

  215. Tal Benschar says:

    “eggshell skull” — Vosburg v. Putney, 50 N.W. 403 (Wisconsin 1891).

  216. IH says:

    Gil — see R. Sperber’s response as I paraphrased at 2:05pm. Or as RDH states in the cite:

    For the sake of clarity, however, I would add that while various elements of my synthesis of tradition and modernity may share motifs with Conservative thought, my theology has not emerged from within the Conservative intellectual milieu. Rather, it reflects a deep grounding in the religious sensibilities and currents that have been present in Jewish history, primarily in the culture of the yeshiva.

    To pick a mundane example; do you assur an Orthodox Bat Mitzva ceremony because it was a Reconstructionist chiddush? Do you assur the Rabbi’s sermon in English because that was a Reform chiddush? Do you assur the nusach that all avelaim in the kahal say Kaddish Yatom in unison with a leader because that was a Reform chiddush?

    —–

    Shaul — the point of reference was RDH and in those pages he explicitly states he is not Conservative and that his ideas do not originate from Conservative thought.

  217. emma says:

    yes, tal. what was the point of your comment that the nurse was probably in a fragile state of mind for unrelated reasons?

  218. Hirhurim says:

    IH: All your examples are irrelevant to this discussion but sure to draw emotional reactions. Well played!

  219. Tal Benschar says:

    emma — Where did I make that comment? I just cited what is regarded as the leading case on the eggshell skull rule.

  220. shaul shapira says:

    “Shaul — the point of reference was RDH and in those pages he explicitly states he is not Conservative and that his ideas do not originate from Conservative thought.”

    IH- 1)But as he gives less than two sentences as to what that thought is, it’s hard to know.

    Most importantly, as you’ve stated again, “The way I draw the line is by someone’s self-identification.” That is in contrast to any dictionary or encylopedia type defintion. It makes any attempt to analyze whether a certain content/ movement etc is O, inherently meaningless. Jews for J would be delighted. Also, did you ever ask RAL whether he self identifies as RWMO before labeling him as such?

    2) Do you use this self identification thing with people who claim to be pro-Zionist also?
    http://www.jeremiahhaber.com/2009/06/palestine-case-against-non.html

  221. emma says:

    fail. my apologies. it was rafael. you just provided actual info on my oblique reference. sorry.

  222. ruvie says:

    challenging and interesting article on the historical right to the the “land”(not that i agree with it at all) – more importantly is this a sign of the future of a growing number of american jews’ attitutde to israeli politics/actions etc.

    http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/6673/because_god_tells_me_so__do_jews_have_a__historic_right__to_israel/

  223. Do not understand says:

    Tal: I meant Rabbi Yitzhak Adlerstein (=RYA). That’s the last time I’ll try to comment by my I phone!

  224. My croft says:

    Joseph Kaplan on December 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm
    Mycroft, Without getting into what R. Hartman has or has not rejected, I’m pretty sure that he does not self-define himself as MO, and that should be enough of a reason for him to be removed from the list.

    Agreed R Hartman voluntarily resigned from the RCA. he for decades has not identified as MO.

  225. My croft says:

    Prof Kaplan I only intended to comment on Rabbi Angel and Rabbi Hartman the rest was merely a quote on what I was commenting on.
    Joe Kaplan I agree with your comment on my comment.

  226. Steve Brizel says:

    I agree with Mycroft’s comments re RDH, whose views are fairly quoted by R Gil in his most recent review. As far as R D D Sperber’s views as summarized by IH are concerned, once again RD D Sperber’s views indicate that Minhagei Yisrael can fairly be stated to R Sperber’s area of expertise, as opposed to the Masorah of TSBP.

    IMO, statements such as the following as sumamrized by IH raise a question as to whether such views can fairly be squared with what is within the readily and easily definable boundaries of what is a chiddush, as opposed to a shinui:

    “Incidentally, in one of the Q&A’s at the recent AFBIU lecture at the JC given by R. Sperber, a young woman asked him about the same issue and he responded that just because some chiddush is also shared by the Conservative movement, doesn’t make it treif — we need to manage the halachic process in our own way and come to our own conclusions, irrespective of how others may have reached a similar conclusion”

  227. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gil noted the following in his review:

    “Rabbi Hartman knows where his moral rejection of Talmudic law takes him. “Some of my critiques of the halakhic system may mirror critiques that have been made by non-Orthodox Jewish denominations. If the reader finds such similarities, these are choruses I am happy to join.” Indeed”

  228. IH says:

    Let’s be secure enough to debate people with whom we disagree on the issues and not as guilty by an association that doesn’t exist.

    The 20th century culture wars are a bore and and of decreasing interest to an increasing number of Orthodox Jews.

  229. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in the evolution of RDH’s writings from a one time talmid of RYBS, who learned in Lakewood and was a chavrusa of RAL, see the following quotes, fromn some of RDH’s earlier works which long ago, were indicative of RDH’s walking away from even LW MO’s boundaries, which RDH admits to as much in R Gil’s critique:

    1) In “Conflicting Visions at Page 248,, (and similarly in “A Heart of Many Rooms at Page 159, which contains no footnotes and rehashes many of his prior works but to other audiences) RDH writes:

    “Revelation , as I understand it, was not meant to be a source of absolute, eternal and transcendent truth.. Rather, it is God’s speaking to human beings within the limited framework of human language and history. Reason and revelation are not competing sources of knowledge; it is not by virtue of its cognitive content that Revelation is unique. Revelation is an expression of God’s love and confirmation of human beings in terms of their finitude and creature consciousness. God does not compete intellectually with Plato or Aristotle. Revelation is God’s speaking to human beings for their own sake and not for the sake of uncovering the mysteries of the divine mind.”

    2) In ” A Living Covenant:, RDH writes at Page 330, note 330, explaining a Pesikat de Rav Kahana 12:25:

    “This midrash indicates that mitzvah can be appropriated not merely as a formal duty but as expressive of the particular individual’s relationship to God. Accordingly, the statement that “he who is commanded and fulfills it is greater than he who fulfills it though not commanded ( Kiddushin 31a, etc) does not oblige us ton identify Halacha with acting out of a sense of duty. Compare, however, Rashi on RH 28a “They [the mitzvos] were not given to Israel for enjoyment, but rather as a yoke on their neck.” Similarly, Rashi on Brachos 33b.”

    3) In “A Heart of Many Rooms”, which has no footnotes, and is repetitive in some ways of “Conflicting Visions”, RDH writes at Pages 213-214:

    ” The answer is not the dogma of Torah Min HaShamayim-whether you believe that every word of the Torah was divinely given-but whether you find significance in it.”

    4) In “A Heart of Many Rooms”, RDH writes at Page 225:

    “Torah study becomes distorted when it shrinks to a mere fascination with legal detail. As in all disciplines involving research and learning, whether secular or religious, intellectual activity has an inherent attraction. The danger of theoretical learning is that the beauty of intellectual rigor may lead one to treat learning as an end in itself.”

    5) At Page 231 of the same book, RDH writes:

    ” Particularism is rightly feared when it undermines universal ethical principles, that is, when it denies the dignity of all human beings or the universal human rights that theories of “natural law” have attempted to formulate. …

    Particularism , however, need not always be guilty of ghettoizing its own way of life but may acknowledge the legitimacy of other traditions and loyalties. One must be alert to the danger of claiming that the history of the Jewish people is the only spiritually significant history. ”

    When one reads all three books in their chronological order, one sees a fairly consistent pattern of rejecting the Charedi world, as well as the views of RYBS, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, AJ Heschel and Mordechai Kaplan.

    In particular, I found no support for his claims that Tefilah cannot be rooted in both the Avos and Karbanos, especially in what can only be described as a cavalier dismissal of Ramban’s famous views re Karbanos at the beginning of Sefer Vayikra, which RYBS quoted in one of his Teshuvah drashos that was printed in Al HaTeshuvah.

    ,RDH’s works are marked by wonderful statements about the joy of the Mitzvah of Limud HaTorah, a reliance on the MN, especially its often questioned and rejected neo Aristotelian notion of Taamei HaMItzvos, a rejection of Ramban’s views as messianist, and an overly strong critique of both the Charedi world, and presumably the committed MO of North America.

    I would suggest that a rationalist based notion of Taamei HaMItzvos is highly dubious, especially in light of the limited intended audience of the MN, as opposed to the globally intended message of the Yad, where Rambam classifies Maacalos Asuros, and Isurei Biah as part of Sefer Kedusha.

    The fact that RDH finds that Rambam in the MN, and Ramban disagree on Hashgacha Pratis should be no surprise. Yet, I found his explanation of a well known Machlokes Rambam and Ramban re whether Mitzvas Tefila being Min HaTorah not supported by a close reading of Ramban.

    While RDH strongly resists RZ’s messianist goals re EY, and critiques its political strategies,one sees no discussion as to the role of the mitzvah of Teshuvah, except to note that RYBS viewed the same as evidence of man’s ability to recreate himself.

    Finally, RDH claims somehow that Neviim are not part of the Mesorah of TSBP. One can take a look at Rambam Hilcos Shabbos 30:1, as well as RYBS”s Yahrtzeit shiurim to see how, in fact, the Neviim are considered Baalei Mesorah.

    I have read the linked portions of RDH’s most recent book on Google, but the same read like one long rant against the Charedi world, and gender based differences in Halacha, as well as a defense of his decidedly non halachic stances, such as allowing a Giyores to marry a Kohen, while he was a rabbi of a prominent MO shul in Montreal, based on his views that universalistic notions of ethics trump particularlist rooted halachic norms. Such a POV, as RDH himself admits in his newest work, cannot be squared with halachic norms. IMO, the time has long come for anyone who views themselves as a seriously committed MO to consider RDH as expressing views that can be squared with any reasonable definition of MO.

    Regardless of the issues raised by RDH’s views of Halacha, I would suggest that the following responses to the above quoted excerpts are compelled by such a POV that is willing to dispense with the particularistic at the expense of a universal sense of ethics:

    1) why would anyone want to be a Shomer Torah UMitzvos if there is nothing “absolute, eternal, or transcendent” about Maamad Har Sinai?

    2) what is the definition of a mitzvah, if not a Divinely imposed imperative on His People as part of a covenental relationship?

    3) Like it or not, we relate to HaShem both as Avinu and Malkeinu.

    4)Torah study, especially of those sections which seemingly have no practical value, has as great an ethical, covenental and transcendental value as the sections that have practical value.

    5)HaShem loves all mankind, yet has a special relationship with the Jewish People.

    6) It is beyond my understanding how Neviim cannot be considered Baalei Mesorah when, in fact, Rambam considers them as such.

    IMO, RDH offers no response to the above queries.

    What a tragedy that such a person,. who was at one time, a chavusa of RAL, went so far intellectually OTD.

  230. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie-Shaul Magid and BJ represent the noisy ( and largely Jewishly ignorant) left.I tend to doubt that the residents of the Eztion bloc are preparing R”L to abandon ship based on their remarks and POV.

  231. Steve Brizel says:

    GG wrote in part:

    “Most people would call LWMO as Rabbis Yitz Greenberg, Shlomo Riskin, Saul Berman, David Hartman, Dov Linzer, Marc Angel and Avi Weiss.”

    i think that many people would view RDH and RYG as post denominalist as set forth in their own writings, with the difference between RDH and RYG being that RDH openly walked out of MO decades ago.

    GG also wrote:

    “Most people would place Rabbis Willig, Meir Twersky and Bleich on the RWMO side.”

    And-where would the ssme group place RHS?

  232. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “The 20th century culture wars are a bore and and of decreasing interest to an increasing number of Orthodox Jews”

    That is true in that more Orthodox Jews understand that the Charedi and MO worlds have a lot that they can learn from each other, as long as they ignore the extremes in both worlds.

  233. Steve Brizel says:

    ruvie-am I correct in assuming that you live in the Gush? If someone critiqued your residing there based on the writings of either Professor Magid or a POV approximating the spiritual leaders of BJ, what would be your response?

  234. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote :
    “Abba — See the (fully previewable) introduction to Hartman’s new book where he discussed this explicitly: http://tinyurl.com/d6hcjus (see pp. xvii – xix in particular).”

    That’s exactly the passage that R Gil noted in his review as an obvious admission that RDH views himself as no longer MO, but in much sympathy with classical CJ and its views of Halacha.

  235. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in why RYG’s views cannot be reconciled with traditional Halachic and Hashkafic views, see the following linked article. http://www.traditiononline.org/news/article.cfm?id=100779

  236. IH says:

    Careful reader as always, Steve.

  237. Ruvie says:

    Steve b. – of all things Magid is not jewishly ignorant. You can disagree with him – and I do most of the time- but either you are just dismissive or really do not know who he is. Either way you would be lucky to be half as knowledgeable as he is. His article is thought provoking even though I disagree with it ( or do not understand it fully).

  238. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie-I think that Magid’s views are on all issues Jewish reflect a liberal-left-anti Orthodox bias. My question remains-what would you say to Magid’s arguments vis a vis the rights of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel-either pre or post 1967?

  239. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie-I think that Magid’s views are on all issues Jewish reflect a liberal-left-anti Orthodox bias.

 
 

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