Home / Legacy /

News & Links

 


Sensitizing rabbis
National Library unveils trove of medieval manuscripts uncovered in Taliban caves
How to choose when giving tzedakah
Gallery threatened over Talmud artwork
Hasidic chakra: Couple introduces yoga to Israel’s ultra-Orthodox
Vishnitzer Rebbe Permits Talmidim to Report to Induction Centers
The Exodus and the Emancipation
Secularists Succeed in Banning Rabbi Ovadia App
A G-d for all people, religious or not
3,000 ultra-orthodox enlisted into IDF
German vs Swiss Jewry
R Brander: From Hurricane Sandy To Sandy Hook: The Jewish Response To Darkness
SALT Friday

Dutch Gov’t Human Rights Panel Backs Sabbath Observers
Data Will Be Needed To Attract The Next Generation
Convicted of fraud, Rabbi Youlus goes to prison
Top Lawyer Takes Yeshiva Abuse Case
Shalem Center in Jerusalem recognized as academic center
Ashkenazi Jews are probably not descended from the Khazars
‘Jesus’ prayer shawls cause minor uproar in Jerusalem
Ignoring the Rights of the Other Women at the Wall
Several Eras End at One Lower East Side Building
SALT Thursday

Rabbi on Non-Jews Disguised as Hareidim
‘Criteria for conversion authority too limited’
Rethinking Jewish Life: ‘For the Sake of Heaven’
After Newtown, Jewish gun owners reconsider restrictions
How Russia’s Adoption Ban Hurts Jews
Worldwide Jewry numbers 14 million
Moderates criticize rabbi’s women’s modesty views
In revolutionary ruling, rabbis allow gender selection
Top rabbi: Soften attitude towards gays
SALT Wednesday

Yad Vashem Honors Cardinal Who Fought for Jewish Lives
Religious troops attacked by haredim
Ex-Soviet Immigrants Change Israel
Presidential Task Force on Torah and Jewish Studies Seeks More Integrated Approach
YU Issued Warning by Accreditation Agency
The art of (Charedi) war
Ideology or Community? An Exchange Between Rabbis Broyde and Feldman
Maryland Law To Allow Online Kosher Wine Buying
Between Middle Earth and Buczacz
Would you like glatt kosher fries with that?
Beit Shemesh Chareidi Job Fair Sparks Protest
Ayalon Insurance Company Gets a Hechsher
SALT Monday

Prior news & links posts
Rules: link

 

Share this Post

 

Related Posts

About the author

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.
 

150 Responses

  1. IH says:

    The comments at CC on the exchange Between Rabbis Broyde and Feldman are interesting. One thing that seems to be absent from the discussion, however, is that in the post-denominational world in which we live there are now viable non-Orthodox options for Jews seeking either community and/or ideology in most of the major catchment areas.

    Some of these options are mass phenomena (i.e. regularly attracting hundreds of people) unlike the small idiosyncratic Chavurot of the past. And many also tie into loose non-Orthodox confederations (e.g. Jewish Renewal as an alternative to spiritual Chasidism; Mechon Hadar as an alternative to text-oriented Yeshivish/RWMO). Also, within Modern Orthodoxy (as defined by the amcha) there are now options that did not exist a dozen years ago.

    The net of this is that the market of options for seeking Jews is much greater and more diverse than in the past. Certainly, there will always be seekers who are attracted by fundamentalism; but, there is no longer a need for the more nuanced seeker to settle for fundamentalism because that is the only thing on offer in the market.

  2. joel rich says:

    Rosenstein spoke harshly against what he calls the attempts by the Jerusalem group to paint his rabbi as a compromiser and a liberal, which causes him enormous damage in the haredi world. “Rabbi Shteinman is just as radical in his opinions as Rabbi Shmuel.
    =============================
    Glad we clarified that!
    KT

  3. joel rich says:

    http://www.parnassahexpo.com/videos.html

    A certain irony in the claim of this being the 3rd time klal yisroel is getting together this year.
    KT

  4. Reuven Spolter says:

    Re Changing YU Academic Requirements: the key sentence here is: “In addition, and of major concern to the university, the rigorous requirements are a consistent source of angst for undergraduate applicants. Schiffman further explained, “There are very large numbers of students who go to other colleges that would fit in here perfectly, but they feel it’s too difficult.”

  5. joel rich says:

    R’RS,
    Kach mkublani mbeit avi abba – if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. There may be a trade off between rigorous requirements and large enrollment (unfortunately back in the day it was easy to defuse this tension by going to YP and not taking it seriously)
    KT

  6. mycroft says:

    Re Ayalon Insurance Agency hechsher
    see
    http://www.calcalist.co.il/markets/articles/0,7340,L-3570637,00.html
    for some other info on the parties which the “hechsher” was given to

  7. IH says:

    Rav Lichtenstein’s view on homosexuality, discussed here recently, has made it to ynet: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4325509,00.html (with some comments from “the Kamoha association for gay Orthodox Jews”).

  8. Nachum says:

    It’s good to know that gay Orthodox Jews are just as prone to having multiple overlapping organizations as everyone else. :-)

  9. Bob Miller says:

    Re: “In revolutionary ruling, rabbis allow gender selection”

    Isn’t this likely to flip the shidduch crisis the other way?

  10. from the adoption article on why jews favor russia:

    ““It’s usually about the family’s wanting to mirror its family roots as closely as possible.”

    i.e., they want a white child (not that i think this is a terrible choice for practical reasons).

    from the gender selection article:
    “There are three ways to select the gender of a fetus,” Institute founder Rabbi Menachem Burstein said. “The first way is the most natural, and depends on the man and the exact time the woman ovulates.”

    why do they embarass themselves like this?

  11. I mean especially from people who are supposed to be involved in resolving issues of Halacha and technology

  12. emma says:

    re: “The first way is the most natural, and depends on the man and the exact time the woman ovulates.”
    leaving aside the scientific dubiousness of this method, what does it mean to say that it depends “on the man”?

  13. Nachum says:

    Do they really want to go down this path? It can be disastrous; witness China. And, of course, it sends a message that one sex (and we know which) can be better than others, which is pointless if not dangerous. Who cares if halacha allows it? There’s a concept of “halakha v’ein morin kayn” that seems to have been written for something like this.

    That said, there are some theories about natural ways to accomplish this, which of course are far from foolproof.

  14. Nachum says:

    Maybe they disguise themselves as Haredim because the charedi batei din are more slipshod and accepting of people who “look” right.

  15. NACHUM:

    “there are some theories about natural ways to accomplish this”

    like what?

  16. emma says:

    “Do they really want to go down this path? It can be disastrous; witness China.”

    Agree. (This reminds me of Rav Aviner on Downs Syndrome also.) When it comes to engineering fetuses rabbis seem to have forgotten that part of their job is to help mold popular preferences, not just tell people what they want to hear in the name of “deep psychological need.” Also the total unwillingness to think on a population level, which i where the “disaster” can play out, vs. on the level of each individual family.

    “And, of course, it sends a message that one sex (and we know which) can be better than others, which is pointless if not dangerous.”

    To be fair, there are traditional sources and a still-alive popular imagination that send that message already. But it’s no accident that both examples in the article involve selecting for boys. (Thogh i read another article about a kohen who would only use donor sperm if he could also select for a girl.) I found the invocation of the “Holocaust” to justify preferring some babies to others particularly strange.

  17. Shades of Gray says:

    “The first way is the most natural, and depends on the man and the exact time the woman ovulates.”

    Is this according to what Chazal say about gender determination ?

  18. joel rich says:

    RE: Gender selection:Dial back in in x years (I would say 20 but given the technology curve it may be less unless we blow up the world lo aleinu) when the question will be genetic engineering for being the best boy in the Yeshiva.
    In the meantime get ready for coaches as to how to be sure you get approval for what you want to do (and as R’ Wein’s stroy goes Un voz zogt gott?)

    RE:R’Aviner-could be people realize that such statements, unchecked, become “facts on the ground” which become community norms.

    KT

  19. emma says:

    Is this according to what Chazal say about gender determination ?

    I assume it was a reference to the Shettles method (see eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_selection#Timing_methods), which some consider a “scientific” explanation for that gemara.

  20. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    bob miller – i read recent reports that india and china are tending towards such a shortage, affecting the ecomonics of the dowry market (in india, even though its illegal there.)

    also, charedi batei din are willing to accept a “letter of recommendation” from another (purported) charedi, even if they dont understand the languuage used, or other defect. (of course, lawyers do that all the time, too.)

    about adoption bans — left un$tated in all the press reports are the real driver$ behind the proce$$.

    and at least this article mentions the abuse of the process by the russian orphanages, and by the american parents. of course, the abuse is due to the money.

  21. Tal Benschar says:

    Is this according to what Chazal say about gender determination?

    The interesting thing I always found about the statement in the Gemara (NIddah 31a-b) is that the amora who states it says that, if he wished, he could make all his children boys, but in fact he didn’t. That seems to cut against the notion of gender selection — he apparently did not think doing so was a good thing.

  22. emma says:

    “i read recent reports that india and china are tending towards such a shortage, affecting the ecomonics of the dowry market (in india, even though its illegal there.)”

    There is a tons of literature on this. (and it’s not just pre-birth selection, but active and passive neglect after birth hat lead to higher death rates for Indian girls aged 0-5.) While one might have hoped that a shortage of girls would lead to an increase in their market “price” and eventually their cultural value as offspring in general, I think the evidence for that is at best mixed. It is, I think, true that the poorest men can no longer find wives, so I guess to the extent that that means that th average husband is “better off” than the average husband would be in a non-distorted population that can be characterized as good for women as a whole. But in India dowries are apparently getting even more common, and larger. And offsetting the gains for some women is the fact that there has been an increase in bride trafficking. Plus i would guess that the rape culture of india is not made particularly better by the prevalence of poor single males…

    Basically, the preference for boys does not operate in ways that would strike us as wholly rational. You would think that in a country where women are hard to come by, for example, you wouldn’t see people who do manage to get married killing their wives/daughters in law in attempts to extract more money from the families. But you do. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry_death)

    scary stuff. (and good for “jewish feminist” types like me to keep our perspective…)

  23. emma says:

    from that article:
    “The popularity of the dowry payment amongst elites in the Fujian region is in contrast to the rest of the country, where eligible women are becoming a rarity, due to China’s laws about single births and the preference for male over female babies. In fact, most single men in China pay fees upwards of $30,000 to find a bride, according to a report from The Hindu. ”

    That said, with legitimate marriage out of reach for poor men, there has been a big increase in abduction and/or sale (of both marriageable age women and girl children), which still costs the man money, just less.

    There are salient cultural difference between India and China here too. But the point is, in a culture that prefers men, even demographic trends that should favor women don’t necessarily do so.

  24. Charlie Hall says:

    India is in bad shape:

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

    (This is one of many statistics for which the southern state of Kerala is an outlier.)

  25. IH says:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/on-a-wing-and-a-prayer/

    “The graduation last week of the army’s first female religious pilot-navigator highlights a significant rise in Orthodox women choosing to serve. It’s proving a revelation for enlistees and the IDF alike”

  26. IH says:

    Looks like the “Modern” in Modern Orthodoxy is showing signs of life: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/120311/pants-pants-revolution?all=1

    I particularly enjoyed the 3rd comment, from “honeybear62″:

    “First, sorry to disappoint you, but the true Modern Orthodox have been wearing pants forever. The trend to go to the right is a new concept, only the last 20 years, We of the older generation realized a long time ago we could be true to our religion and ourselves. I am glad some of the younger women are realizing this now.”

  27. joel rich says:

    r’ih’s last 2 links imho have a commonality-will minority trends blossom into facts on the ground and then to established practice/halacha or will they not ake off and be viewed as not accepted deviations. The dance continues as ever.
    KT

  28. Ironic mix of articles today. We have one article saying that orthodox Jews should “soften their attitude towards gays. We have another discussing the depressing facts of Jewish demographics. The average Jew is 36 years old? That, my friends, is demographic suicide.

    Now, I don’t know the proper attitude towards people who can’t (or just won’t) pull their weight when it comes to helping out with our demographic problems. But too much acceptance seems counterproductive.

  29. Reb Yid says:

    Pants article is a non-starter. For someone to be a mumar ledavar echad is not exactly a new concept. This is no different from the dichotomy between MO=keeps to halacha vs. MO=keeps to most of halacha, just like lehavdil someone is “Conservative”=keeps to whatever his movement says he has to do, vs. “Conservative”=member of Conservative temple.

    And, not for nothing, being the champion of porn at YU hardly establishes her O credentials, M or otherwise.

  30. Hirhurim says:

    MO-lite is nothing new.

  31. emma says:

    re: women of the wall
    “It’s hard to concentrate on one set of words when someone else is chanting a different set at full volume nearby.”

    good thing that never happens at the kotel, then…

  32. emma says:

    when it comes to tabletmag “how i came to wear pants” stories i still vastly prefer http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/67080/skirt-shorts

  33. emma says:

    (also, to call someone a “mumar” for doing something that at least some rabbis permit is inappropriate.)

  34. ruvie says:

    Gil – is wearing pants the definition of (or partially) of mo-lite? or was it 20-30 yrs ago mo general (as well as not covering your hair).

  35. Hirhurim says:

    I guess it depends on how you define MO-lite. But my operating premise is that most MO are MO-lite.

  36. ruvie says:

    Gil – is that because you consider yourself as MO so those to the left have to be lite? i do not think that MOs that don’t cover their hair and wear pants consider themselves just MO. interesting how people label others.

  37. ruvie says:

    correction: just MO lite.

  38. IH says:

    MO-lite is nothing new.

    Well, Nachum, is your wife MO-lite (per Gil) or leaning to C (per Reb Yid)? :-)

    [Ref: Nachum on December 20, 2012 at 2:47 am]

  39. Hirhurim says:

    MO-lite isn’t left or right hashkafah. It’s lack of hashkafah and general lax and careless attitude to halakhah.

  40. Hirhurim says:

    Not every woman who wears pants is MO-lite.

  41. IH says:

    So, what was the reference for your comment?

  42. Hirhurim says:

    That women who wear pants because they are MO-lite is nothing new. You’ll say that, why she’s not MO-lite, she’s got sound halakhic reasoning on her side. Yeah, right. I’ve seen this story before. It doesn’t end well.

  43. joel rich says:

    Who is the halachic father revisited:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/us/kansas-sperm-donor-is-ordered-to-pay-support.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print

    Kansas: Sperm Donor Is Ordered to Pay Support

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A man who answered an online advertisement to donate sperm to a lesbian couple is fighting the state’s efforts to force him to pay child support for the girl conceived through artificial insemination. A Department of Children and Families spokeswoman, Angela de Rocha, said Wednesday that the agency would not be pursuing payment if the state had not provided more than $6,000 in benefits for the child after the Topeka couple split. She said the state tries to establish a child’s paternity when benefits are involved. Court records show that the sperm donor, William Marotta, 46, signed an agreement in 2009 in which he gave up parental rights to Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner and that absolved him of financial responsibility. The state says that because he did not work through a clinic or doctor, as state law requires, he can be held responsible for about $6,000 in public assistance that the biological mother received and for future child support.

    KT

  44. HAGTBG says:

    MO-lite isn’t left or right hashkafah. It’s lack of hashkafah and general lax and careless attitude to halakhah.

    The pants issue is indeed linked to MO-lite. Just not the way you posit.

    Growing up I heard two arguments against pants. The first is that they are the clothes of men. The second is that they are, by definition, sexy. Both arguments, today, are absurd. (Actually, the arguments were also absurd when I was growing up too. And yes there are skin tight jeans just as there are skin tight skirts.)

    Yet, as a cultural matter, the Orthodox, including the MO world, continues to pretend there is a general problem with women wearing pants.

    It’s when you denigrate women for coming to a conclusion that anyone with eyes in their heads knows to be true (and one with some halachic support to boot) that you make Orthodoxy stand for false walls and false standards. Who can blame some people for not taking it seriously?

    Here is what this really about. Like so much else one side says: well, this wasn’t done yesterday and you need a basis for change. The other says the old reasoning blatantly doesn’t apply anymore and people want to cross a line that is now arbitrary and lacking religious relevancy.

  45. emma says:

    perhaps rabbis could engage in some soul searching as to why women feel (and are branded as) so transgressive when they put on worn jeans for the first time, but not when they shift to above-the-knee skirts… i’m not aware of any halachic reason to prefer the latter, but frum culture clearly does.

  46. Hirhurim says:

    HAGTBG: Perhaps this is the first article you’ve read from this author. It isn’t the first I’ve read. This isn’t just about pants or just about sex. It’s about freedom for her upbringing.

  47. Hirhurim says:

    emma: perhaps rabbis could engage in some soul searching as to why women feel (and are branded as) so transgressive when they put on worn jeans for the first time, but not when they shift to above-the-knee skirts

    I guess that depends on your community.

  48. joel rich says:

    IMHO the pants thing is more about lines of demarcation than micro-halacha (somewhat similar to Yeshivish men shouldn’t wear jeans/polo shirt)
    KT

  49. emma says:

    “I guess that depends on your community.”

    Fair enough. (And I should have realized that it’s really just that no one in brooklyn writes articles for tablet about their liberation from below-the-knee skirts…)

    I’ll put it this way – the social heirarchy of tsnius appears to be:
    long skirts > shortish skirts > pants > mini skirts.
    (leaving out lots of details on how long, slits, etc)

    people are aware when they move from long to short, and some ppl lament the terrible trend, etc, but it’s not the same sort of social signifier. despite the fact that i am not aware of a halachic preference for short skirts vs. pants, and if anything the halachic preference would seem to go the other way, at least for pants in the loose-to-normal professional range. Just a long way of saying its about lines of demarcation (as R Joel says), I guess, with the added twist that in this case the line seems to actually encourage the more “immodest” of the two possible transgressions…

  50. IH says:

    The more interesting — and important — of the two articles I posted is the Times of Israel story highlighting the significant rise in Orthodox women choosing to serve (skirt/pant trends also appear in its accompanying photos).

  51. IH:

    i wonder what is actually the new development in the story. is there really such an increase in religious girls going to the army, or is the new development that the increase is from girls in a particular subset (i.e., chardal communities), or is the new development that some girls schools have moved to the right, and now in these schools girls are starting to (or once again?) going to the army?

    certainly 20 years ago i knew religious girls (ok, sometimes girls from religious families) who went to the army. and the kibbutz hadati movement as a whole back then did not permit sherit leumi and made their girls go to the army, just like boys were not permitted to do hesder (i don’t know what percentage these kibbutz girls were of the total religious population). and then there were also bnei akiva nachal garinim, which accounted for more religious girls who went into the army.

    so is this story of religious girls going to the army only news when set against the backdrop of other development in the contemporary dati world?

    (as an aside, many of the girls who do go to sherut leumi were not from dati homes, and i’m not sure how this affects a study of the numbers and shifts)

  52. ruvie says:

    I think many people are missing the point of what is going in orthodoxy. People are picking and choosing what they think is appropriate. the categories are much more fluid than they used to be (has really nothing to do with old labels like lite but it doesn’t exclude that possibility).

    recently, esti rosenberg (rosh migdal oz) commented at a meeting that 30 yrs. ago is was simple in her community on how to dress, what to do and what to believe- or what was expected and considered acceptable. today, her students and community (DL) there are no longer any simple and straight lines (including frum girls dating non religious boys). people are picking and choosing their identities. lets not forget we have the most educated text based religious society in the history of the jewish people. the article that IH link to is another example of this trend.

  53. Hirhurim says:

    ruvie: I think many people are missing the point of what is going in orthodoxy.

    Is this a joke? That’s what Charedim have been accusing the MO of doing for 50+ years! How is that new?

    The same goes for Dati Leumi society. I just don’t understand the surprise.

  54. IH says:

    What the Yeshivish complained about for 50+ years is that MO are changing behaviors out of ignorance. What is happening now is that MO are changing behaviors out of knowledge.

    See, e.g. HAGTBG on January 3, 2013 at 11:17 am

  55. emma says:

    I think the charge used to be that the MO community as a whole had picked and chosen certain mitzvos to do/not. But within the community (or within subcommunities) there were quasi-uniform standards. For example, send your kids to an orthodox school. Ruvie’s point is that now it’s individuals doing the choosing, caring less about communal red lines. Even if the net level of mitzvah observance is not changing, the shape/uniformity is (he claims).

  56. emma says:

    “What is happening now is that MO are changing behaviors out of knowledge.”

    Do not agree, at least not entirely. Some are, others are apathetic and.or ignorant as ever (if not more so). And that goes for non-MO too, of course.

  57. IH says:

    Emma — I was debating with myself how nuanced to be. As you say, there is apathy and ignorance in all communities (including Gil’s).

  58. Hirhurim says:

    But within the community (or within subcommunities) there were quasi-uniform standards. For example, send your kids to an orthodox school.

    That’s not the MO I remember. I know someone my age from a frum home who went to public school. And sending to Ramah wasn’t uncommon. There were people violating Yom Tov Sheini because they didn’t believe in it and having pre-marital sex (not that you can compare the two) and keeping kosher style out of the house. People with strong personalities did their own thing.

  59. IH says:

    Interesting. I can’t remember anyone who regularly davened at an UWS Modern Orthodox shul who went to Ramah in the 70s.

    Perhaps you’re conflating MO with your Conservadox Teaneck past?

  60. Hirhurim says:

    I’m thinking of two who davened at Bnai Yeshurun and went to Yavneh & Frisch. Ramah Day Camp, not sleep-away.

  61. ruvie says:

    Gil – “Is this a joke?” no its not. and its all segments of orthodoxy whether private or public is debatable(my opinion).
    Esti Rosenberg observations should be taken seriously and has nothing to do with the old nonsense about what yeshivish.chareidim have been complaining about MO for 50 years. In their view they are not breaking any halacha – although we did not go into the details of her observations. also, its not just an isolated few one offs as maybe in the past. its a generalization of what is changing and people’s general attitudes – and how she is at odds on how to deal with this new phenom (as she bluntly said).

    Many orthodox young kids went to ramah day camp in the not so distant past – before ma-tov was available. we are not talking about yom tov sheini or treif kosher style – although i would think most in mo are not shomer negiah in general – now or 50 yrs. ago.

  62. emma says:

    “There were people violating Yom Tov Sheini because they didn’t believe in it and having pre-marital sex (not that you can compare the two) and keeping kosher style out of the house.”

    ok, to take one of these examples, i take it the distinction would be between:
    before: some ppl have premarital sex, without mikvah, but would never live together.
    now: the argument would be that some people might consider living together unmarried, using mikvah (or not), and still self-identifying with the same community.
    not sure if that is factually true but it illustrates the distinction.
    another good example is the nonreligious boyfriends. before ppl might have done it, but usually because they were generally not so committed themselves and ok with slipping away. now you might have thoughtful girls who think they are very committed willing to think about living split life…

  63. emma says:

    similarly with kosher style, there is a difference between “eats dairy out” and “eats X product at chain Y because has confirmed that the formualaic mix is ingredients-kosher.” one is more like pick and choose, the other is more of a DIY aesthtic. The results are similar but there are important differences in attitude.

  64. IH says:

    About 10 years ago, a mother of an MTA boy was sharing with me her concern that there was an attitude among his peers that oral sex “didn’t count” as premarital sex.

    Interestingly: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4320501,00.html

    “18.5% of Israeli 10th graders reported having sexual intercourse. [...] in 1998 the number of sexually active 15-year-olds was 27%.”

  65. EMMA:

    i love that new label: MO-DIY

    GIL:

    i’ve personally never met anyone who doesn’t observe yom tov sheini. unless you are talking about when visiting israel?

  66. IH:

    i’ll bet the real number for israel is much lower if one considers who was sampled.

  67. HAGTBG says:

    There were people violating Yom Tov Sheini because they didn’t believe in it and having pre-marital sex (not that you can compare the two) and keeping kosher style out of the house.

    Lets remove sex from this discussion of MO foibles. No secret: our religion’s view of human sexuality are stricter then the human libido. Some can deal and some cant’. We could say the same about other areas of life too but its pretty obvious there.

    We all know that there are instances in the charedi community of sex outside marriage, homosexuality, masturbation, pedophilia. There always will be as there will in every other community too. It comes from dealing with any community of human beings. We know strictness sometimes masks deviancy (ala the burka ladies of Monsey & Israel).

  68. emma says:

    abba, I’m not sure I was going for a “label” but thanks, i guess…

  69. joel rich says:

    There are multiple subgroups in every “camp”. My observation is that it is more likely now than 40 years ago for “deviations from the camp’s practice norms” to have halachic underpinning. By this I mean that there is some (maybe not acceptable to many) microhalachic explanation as to why the practice is not forbidden. This is often met by an halachic counter explanation which IMHO in many cases misses the point in that the battle is a meta (boundary setting) one not a micro one. I also think that much of this came as a reaction to the “what can I do , my hands are tied by (micro)halacha” argument made by many leaders over the intervening years.
    KT^

  70. joel rich says:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=298351
    3,000 ultra-orthodox enlisted into IDF

    KT

  71. EMMA:

    i was sort of kidding (and i’m sure you don’t like labels), but as far as labels go, it would make an interesting one

    R. Joel:

    what does the article mean by “enlisted”? i assume it means they received draft orders. the question is how many will show up in august.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Yes, it is becoming more common and acceptable for girld from mainstream religious zionist backgrounds to go to the army. This is in part a result in the change in the place of women in Zahal. The army has worked hard at dealing with the pervasive sexual harrasment and exploitation that was one common in zahal and it has given women far more opportunities to contribute in a meaningfull way to national security.

  73. joel rich says:

    R’Abba,
    That’s what I understand-so when August rolls around, if nothing else happens, it will be interesting to see how many show up.
    KT

  74. ruvie says:

    Abba – i think calling it MO-DIY misses the point actually (and is similar to Gil’s which i think is incorrect). its experimentation and acceptability. Boys no longer doing hesder but straight army. many women going into zahal than sheirut leumi(intelligence work seems more chasuv and fulfilling). marriages were one is religious and one is not. recently, sheva berachot made by women including under the chuppa (where the grandfather a former ry of a yeshiva said nothing wrong and so many others follow). its just more fluid than in the states. In Isrtael kippa shkufa is term of being frum but invisible outwardly.

    I think there is more influence (in israel) from chasidut and kabbalah on the youth so that people care more about being connected to hashem(spiritually). This takes priority over obsessing on details (so it was explained to me)

  75. Hirhurim says:

    Boys no longer doing hesder but straight army

    I don’t live in Israel but from what I’ve read I understand that this has a lot to do with the new pre-IDF mechinahs that have a flavor of gap-year yeshiva before army.

  76. emma says:

    ruvie, i think i was trying to capture the same flavor as you actually but if the term is distracting apologies…

  77. ruvie says:

    Gil – I do not know the in and outs of the system but its non hesder and non-mechinah units. I was at a wedding in alon shevut 2 years ago and the husband on my relative unit was there – none of them were religious – he did regular army – i was told; she did sheirut leumi.

  78. ruvie says:

    emma- you actually did. ty. this is all new to me to certain degree (i live a sheltered life).

  79. Hirhurim says:

    I don’t think there are mechinah units. I believe they serve with everyone else.

  80. IH says:

    I would be interested in Gil’s response to R’ Joel’s comment at 2:27 pm. It is a different way of saying what some of us have been articulating, but in a context that may be more clear to Gil.

  81. Hirhurim says:

    I think he’s probably right because the people who used to do that were often in the RW Conservative crowd, which has now assimilated into MO.

  82. IH says:

    Ah, no true Scotsman…

  83. ruvie says:

    reb joel – i am not sure if that is the case in israel (as opposed to the states). people are more focused on a holistic way to live their life and connecting to hashem (less problems with egalitarian issues in many areas of life- mix learning sometimes) and not always are always concern about halachik boderlines (please do not twist this last sentence into they pick and choose).

  84. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Looks like the “Modern” in Modern Orthodoxy is showing signs of life: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/120311/pants-pants-revolution?all=

    The author, IIRC, wrote an article in a then associated with YU publication, that revealed a serious deficit in her education as to basic boundaries of Tznius. Why should anyone consider this article as anything but her acting in accordance with the same?

  85. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie wrote:

    “recently, esti rosenberg (rosh migdal oz) commented at a meeting that 30 yrs. ago is was simple in her community on how to dress, what to do and what to believe- or what was expected and considered acceptable. today, her students and community (DL) there are no longer any simple and straight lines (including frum girls dating non religious boys). people are picking and choosing their identities. lets not forget we have the most educated text based religious society in the history of the jewish people”

    This is what is called a little knowledge is dangerous. Merely being more textually educated is worthless if one does not have a rebbe who can help you read between the lines. See Sanhedrin 6a as to why one cannot pasken for himself.

  86. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Interesting. I can’t remember anyone who regularly davened at an UWS Modern Orthodox shul who went to Ramah in the 70s”

    Many BTs can tell you that they attended USY and went to Camp Ramah as well as davened at LSS during its prime years

  87. Steve Brizel says:

    I concur with R Gil’s comments at 9:33 , 9:44 and 9:54 AM. I have heard in the CI that the problem that the CI had with RZ, was not that the RZ was bdieved, but rather it championed the bdieved as a lchatchilah approach to life.

  88. IH says:

    Ruvie — Not sure I fully understand your point, but among other things that distinguishes Israel from the US is that there is no history or memory of the 20th century cultural wars between Orthodoxy and Conservative Judaism thus synthesis of spirituality and observance happens more naturally.

  89. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-Were not major disputes between the Charedi and RZ worlds on issues such as Sherut LaAmi, Hesder, Shmittah,etc? What about the fact that RAL noted that the CR in Israel was not viewed as the address for Psak as opposed to RSZA and many of his talmidim muvhakim?

  90. Nachum says:

    IH, I don’t know if I should be flattered or creeped out that you keep such tabs on my private life. If you must know, my wife wears (very modest) pants much of the time, and very long skirts the rest of the time. She actually asked her Rav- a very prominent one- before she started with the pants, and he said it was no problem. (Her Rav’s word was good enough for the Rabbinate when it came to us marrying. :-) ) She also covers her hair, although perhaps not to the standards of many much of the time. She’s one of the frummer people I know.

    I am late in responding because we had two performances of My Fair Lady tonight. The American ambassador came to one with his kids! (The British ambassador came to The Gondoliers earlier this week.) Backstage, I asked one of the teenage girls in the cast (religious, as much of the cast is) about army service for girls; she said that almost all of her peers do it. She’s from Maale Gilboa, so that needs to be taken into account, but based purely on what I see in the street, it is a hugely growing phenomenon- you see women in uniform skirts (and often headcoverings), all over, and a lot more than even a year or two ago. And bear in mind that lots of religious women wear pants in the army, so you may even be able to double it.

  91. IH says:

    Steve — What does that have to do with the synthesis of spirituality and observance without fretting about boundary issues (e.g. “but, isn’t that Conservative?”) as still happens in the US.

    —–

    Nachum — Sorry if it was creepy, but it came up recently in a funny way and stuck in my index memory. And thanks for the local report…

  92. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    you are all ignoring the fact that many people are not what we call MO, but they self identify that way. thus, statistics … esp in israel.

    and in non nyc metro area communities, many pretty observant women wear (somewhat dressy, definitely not jeans) pants (and even leggings is popular) but wouldnt dare dress that way in flatbush (and i guess teaneck.) (which contradicts my previous paragraph, but such is life.)

  93. IH says:

    many people are not what we call MO, but they self identify that way

    Yep, many are what we used to call Yeshivish.

  94. Joseph Kaplan says:

    ” but wouldnt dare dress that way in flatbush (and i guess teaneck.)”

    Plenty of pretty observant women dress that way in Teaneck (and plenty do not).

  95. ruvie says:

    IH – apologize for the semi coherence (extremely bad head cold and no sleep). i think you are right that in israel the boundaries are more fluid and lack the history of denominational fighting. also, rabbis are not so worried about being labelled as conservative. As nachum points anecdotally that you can see it on the street – women and army. this from what i hear is the norm and not a few individualists. The parents themselves are surprise to some degree (as per esti rosenberg who has no answers for them).

  96. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in part:

    “Steve — What does that have to do with the synthesis of spirituality and observance without fretting about boundary issues (e.g. “but, isn’t that Conservative?”) as still happens in the US.”

    Think about some in the LW of RZ viewed the CI’s view of Hilcos Shemittah, and their championing of the Heter Mecirah as a Lchatchilah answer. That sort of rhetoric strikes me as a “boundary issue”.

  97. Steve Brizel says:

    HAGTBG wrote:

    “Lets remove sex from this discussion of MO foibles. No secret: our religion’s view of human sexuality are stricter then the human libido. Some can deal and some cant’. We could say the same about other areas of life too but its pretty obvious there.

    We all know that there are instances in the charedi community of sex outside marriage, homosexuality, masturbation, pedophilia. There always will be as there will in every other community too. It comes from dealing with any community of human beings. We know strictness sometimes masks deviancy (ala the burka ladies of Monsey & Israel).”

    Without engaging in stereotypes, etc, I think that all could agree that the above cited behavior knows no hashkafic lines or boundaries. Can you name one Charedi Posek who has voiced approval of the “burka ladies”, and if not, what relevance is their existence to the discussion? Deflecting blame from the existence of such behavior in one’s own community to the “other” strikes me as avoidance of a discussion of the causes of such behavior in one’s own community. IOW, those who live in glass houses should not be casting stones.

  98. IH says:

    It looks like the Afghan Geniza, about which there was some negative speculation early in 2012, may be more significant than many thought: http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/1-000-year-old-jewish-documents-from-afghanistan-bought-by-national-library.premium-1.491798

    “The most important manuscript in the group acquired by the library is a page from Saadia Gaon’s commentary on the Bible, written in the 10th century. Written in Judeo-Arabic, it is a commentary on Isaiah 34. It appears to have come from a transcription of a work of Gaon’s that was split up among various communities, and no other extant copies of this page are known to exist.”

  99. Noam Stadlan says:

    Rabbi Marc Angel, former president of the RCA, describes two types of Orthodoxy, Modern and premodern. The discussion of pants as an article of clothing is a good example of the difference in thinking between the two groups. One looks at clothing within the current context and realizes that pants are not considered clothes exclusively for men. The other sees clothing issues the way they were viewed in years past, at the point where some decided to fossilize Halacha(which was a significant departure with how Halacha was previously decided). While there are obviously many types and stripes of orthodoxy, there is a fundamental and perhaps irreconcilable split between those who see the specifics of psak changing as scientific understanding and social realities change, and those who make psak based on the conceptions of highly selected past poskim . It is not a difference in fealty to Halacha or acceptance on the Yoke of Heaven. That has to be a given

  100. HAGTBG says:

    Can you name one Charedi Posek who has voiced approval of the “burka ladies”, and if not, what relevance is their existence to the discussion?

    Was the discussion about haredim in the first place? It was about MO failures vis-a-vis halacha. The point was that highly restrictive rules concerning a strong drive like sex, which all Orthodoxy has, will necessarily have rule-breakers.

    As to your point. In the context of haredim, the burka ladies generally operate at the periphery of charedi communities. In fact, see this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haredi_burqa_sect
    If you think its not a charedi phenomena, then why do the charedi rabbis need to come out so strongly against it in the first place? The current leader of that group is the wife of a Rabbi David Benizri, whose brother I think used to be a Shas MK before being sentenced to prison.

    Would you feel better if I used the example that sending people to schools of a single sex promotes homosexuality-of-opportunity (ala prisons and British boarding schools)? That in some charedi communities people are publicly warned about certain mikvot? Or that extreme modesty has led to fear of reporting abuse that only 15 years of strong pressure, especially from the internet, is beginning to change? Or more mundane things like that very shy people are sometimes harmed by being in single sex environments during their formative years.

  101. IH says:

    Having heard Prof. Putnam address this issue first-hand in Q & A at a lecture last year, as well being familiar with American Grace, I think Rabbis Cooper and Adlerstein misunderstand his conclusion.

    Putnam and Campbell’s research shows that it is *not* an individuals religious beliefs that are the significant factor, it is davka church attendance irrespective of personal belief. I.e. it is in the sociology of participating in a faith-group community.

  102. IH says:

    For those interested, see pp. 472-473 of American Grace 2nd ed. (2012):

    In fact, the statistics suggest that even an atheist who happened to become involved in the social life of a congregation (perhaps through a spouse) is much more likely to volunteer in a soup kitchen than the most fervent believer who prays alone.

  103. AM Zuck says:

    It is a shame that the commentators on WashingtonPost.com and IH here are focusing on the quote from American Grace. The article itself has a beautiful message for believers that is clouded somewhat by the tone.

    The message of the article is that believers should not care whether or not someone else believes and that statistics about how many people believe in G-d are not important. Rather the focus should be on helping mankind and elevating the tzelem elokim within all of us, believers and non-believers alike.

  104. Anonymous says:

    HAGTBG-Your 8:41 AM post IMO is one long unadulterated anti Charedi rant. It by no means responded to my post re the decidedly fringe nature of the burka lady incidents, which you admit Charedi Poskim have denounced as wrong, and again viewed all things Charedi as the source of the source of homosexual behavior-when, in fact, one can find such behavior in all segments of society, Gentile and Jewish,regardless of whether the same is gender separated.

  105. Steve Brizel says:

    HAGTBG-your 8:41 AM post would at least have some measure of credibility if there was proof that sexual promiscuity was non existent in a typical mixed gender high school or college setting.

  106. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    the eidah only banned the burka cause the women were witholding from their husbands their services. the burka women were going too far.

  107. HAGTBG says:

    Steve Brizel,

    Based on content, I’ll assume that you were the 1:25 pm comment as well as the 1:32 pm comment under your own name.

    Steve, what are you talking about?

    You ask I present “proof that sexual promiscuity was non existent in a typical mixed gender high school or college setting”???

    Why? Did I write it was non-existent? I didn’t write directly on that topic at all and, to the degree what I wrote touched on it, I most certainly claimed it was existent.

    Did you even read what I wrote?

    Now lets turn to your next canard … that what I wrote is an “anti Charedi rant.”

    Interesting. I suppose you feel acknowledging certain phenomena in a community makes something anti-charedi. Next you’ll say that because I made the statement that homosexuality takes place in the charedi community, the reader must assume I meant charedi rabbis support it. Do you think I meant that Steve?

    Or that Gil was anti-MO because he pointed out some single people have sex and some minuscule group keeps only one day yom tov. Really Steve how many MO one-day people do you meet outside Israel? So are going to accuse Gil of being anti Modern Orthodoxy.

    I bet you won’t. Anyway, you would be right not to.

    Your basis, is, shall I say … thin.

    I acknowledge the likelihood that charedi high schools have less sex between persons of different genders then co-ed Modern Orthodox high schools. But, at the same time, there is a likelihood of a higher rate of homosexual activity in the type of more-restrictive environments charedi teenagers are more likely to experience.

    There is no perfect community on this; there are trade offs and claiming that Modern Orthodoxy has a sex problem and the Charedi have less of one is an assumption that is probably false.

  108. Anonymous says:

    “Can you name one Charedi Posek who has voiced approval of the “burka ladies”, ”

    Yes, the Edah initialy put out a pashkaviel suportinh ther extreme tznius practices. Opposition to them in the charedi wolrd is based solely on the fact that they do not accept any outside rabbinic authority.

    Lets alos note that with the exception of the Belzer Rebbe, not a sinlge “Torah LEader” has publicly condemned the sexual perverts here in beit shemesh who are obsessed with little girls.

  109. aiwac says:

    IH,

    Then why bother having religion at all? Or religious education, instruction or practice? According to you, all that can be safely thrown out the window in favor of “kehila kedosha d’atheistim”.

  110. IH says:

    aiwac — Tetchy and you are shooting the messenger I was merely pointing out the OpEd misinterpreted its own source (Putnam) which, ironically, concludes the opposite of what Rabbis Adlerstein and Cooper were arguing.

    —–

    As to your question, current events are raising this question in another way. This was printed on Page A13 of today’s NYT:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/us/no-religious-exemption-when-it-comes-to-abuse.html

  111. aiwac says:

    I’m not shooting the messenger. I’m asking it seriously. You can’t just put forth such a position and not address this issue.

  112. IH says:

    The conundrum in Putnam’s findings is that: a) it is davka participating in a religious institution (i.e. the correlation is weaker for non-religious institutions); but, b) each individual’s belief within such a community is not a key factor.

    This supports my advocacy of a non-judgmental approach to Judaism. Let everyone find their place in a community, as long as they find a place. Each individual’s belief needs to be sufficient to be an active part of such a community, but it is a private matter beyond that.

  113. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Some of these options are mass phenomena (i.e. regularly attracting hundreds of people) unlike the small idiosyncratic Chavurot of the past. And many also tie into loose non-Orthodox confederations (e.g. Jewish Renewal as an alternative to spiritual Chasidism; Mechon Hadar as an alternative to text-oriented Yeshivish/RWMO). Also, within Modern Orthodoxy (as defined by the amcha) there are now options that did not exist a dozen years ago.

    The net of this is that the market of options for seeking Jews is much greater and more diverse than in the past. Certainly, there will always be seekers who are attracted by fundamentalism; but, there is no longer a need for the more nuanced seeker to settle for fundamentalism because that is the only thing on offer in the market.”

    Baavosnoseinu HaRabim-there are as many portals for am haraztus and kefirah as there are for growing in Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim

  114. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie wrote in part:

    “recently, esti rosenberg (rosh migdal oz) commented at a meeting that 30 yrs. ago is was simple in her community on how to dress, what to do and what to believe- or what was expected and considered acceptable. today, her students and community (DL) there are no longer any simple and straight lines (including frum girls dating non religious boys). people are picking and choosing their identities. lets not forget we have the most educated text based religious society in the history of the jewish people. the article that IH link to is another example of this trend.”

    Why should anyone be surprised or dismayed when an educational system and Hashkafa rooted in textual knowledge even on a high level withot having an iota of what it means to live a life dedicated to Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim results in such a phenomenon? Mere textual proficiency without a sense of how to live rooted in Kedoshim Tihiyu and what it means to raise a Bayis Neeman BYisrael is exactly what a dear friend of mine described as the problem with one of the finest MO schools in the US-a mile wide and an inch deep.

  115. Steve Brizel says:

    HAGTBG wrote:

    Steve Brizel,

    Based on content, I’ll assume that you were the 1:25 pm comment as well as the 1:32 pm comment under your own name.

    Steve, what are you talking about?

    You ask I present “proof that sexual promiscuity was non existent in a typical mixed gender high school or college setting”???

    Why? Did I write it was non-existent? I didn’t write directly on that topic at all and, to the degree what I wrote touched on it, I most certainly claimed it was existent.

    Did you even read what I wrote?

    Now lets turn to your next canard … that what I wrote is an “anti Charedi rant.”

    Interesting. I suppose you feel acknowledging certain phenomena in a community makes something anti-charedi. Next you’ll say that because I made the statement that homosexuality takes place in the charedi community, the reader must assume I meant charedi rabbis support it. Do you think I meant that Steve?

    Or that Gil was anti-MO because he pointed out some single people have sex and some minuscule group keeps only one day yom tov. Really Steve how many MO one-day people do you meet outside Israel? So are going to accuse Gil of being anti Modern Orthodoxy

    Look at your post-it was full of anti Charedi stereotypes and urban myths.I am a YU and CSL grad, and lived on the UWS as a single before I was zoche to meet my wife. R Riskin obviously felt that the situation of “Tefilin dates” was a phenomenon that warranted condemnation from his pulpit. I do contest the notion that single sex education is an atmosphere that is conducive to homosexual behavior-the notion that such institutions are no different than coed institutions of “higher learning” where such behavior not only exists, and is rationalized as normal is absurd.

  116. emma says:

    Steve, talking about products of the dati leumi educational system in israel. is that the system you are asserting does not have “an iota of what it means to live a life dedicated to Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim,” etc?

  117. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma wrote:

    “ok, to take one of these examples, i take it the distinction would be between:
    before: some ppl have premarital sex, without mikvah, but would never live together.
    now: the argument would be that some people might consider living together unmarried, using mikvah (or not), and still self-identifying with the same community.
    not sure if that is factually true but it illustrates the distinction.
    another good example is the nonreligious boyfriends. before ppl might have done it, but usually because they were generally not so committed themselves and ok with slipping away. now you might have thoughtful girls who think they are very committed willing to think about living split life…”

    See the words of the Ramban at the beginning of Parshas Kedoshim-what an apt discussion of what happens when well meaning people are moreh heter to themselves as to such distinctions on the very halachos that Rambam includes together with Maacalos Asuros in Sefer Kedushah of the Yad.

  118. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma-if a school system produces graduates with such a viewpoint, IMO, a heavy dose of Cheshbon HaNefesh is in order as to why a not insubstantial number of its graduates have such views. When the head of such a school makes some observations, I think that the observation that something is rotten in Denmark is in order.

  119. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “This supports my advocacy of a non-judgmental approach to Judaism. Let everyone find their place in a community, as long as they find a place. Each individual’s belief needs to be sufficient to be an active part of such a community, but it is a private matter beyond that”

    I disagree. A community that is not rooted in a firm committment to Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim, no matter what its mission statement is, cannot and will not survive.

  120. IH says:

    Of course, even American Reform Judaism is rooted in a firm committment to Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim, no matter what its mission statement is, cannot and will not survive:

    http://www.ccarnet.org/rabbis-speak/platforms/statement-principles-reform-judaism/

    You may disagree with their implementation details, but their principles match yours.

    —–

    While I’m writing, perhaps you should consider the failure of you and your Rabbis, rather than the Jews you look down upon, as being the root problem. There are few people who will find your emes among the hodgepodge of insults and inside-baseball that comprise much of what you’ve been writing these days.

  121. ruvie says:

    steve b. – “what it means to live a life dedicated to Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim results in such a phenomenon? ”
    steve, why is so obvious that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about – actually its the opposite of what you said. its obvious you are ignorant in these matters and the topic under discussion.

  122. Nachum says:

    “from a transcription of a work of Gaon’s”

    Ha! I mean, seriously: Do Haaretz writers and editors really not know that “Gaon” wasn’t his last name?

  123. Anonymous says:

    Steve,
    You insulting and throughly ignorant statements aboout the DL education in Israel, are truely shameless. The system has serious flaws, but that doesnt mean you can speak rechilus against it.

  124. HAGTBG says:

    Look at your post-it was full of anti Charedi stereotypes and urban myths.I am a YU and CSL grad, and lived on the UWS as a single before I was zoche to meet my wife. R Riskin obviously felt that the situation of “Tefilin dates” was a phenomenon that warranted condemnation from his pulpit. I do contest the notion that single sex education is an atmosphere that is conducive to homosexual behavior-the notion that such institutions are no different than coed institutions of “higher learning” where such behavior not only exists, and is rationalized as normal is absurd.

    Yet again you do not respond to what was actually written. Shocker.

  125. aiwac says:

    IH,

    When and where have I ever argued that we should conduct inquisitions about people’s private beliefs?! If I have ever even hinted at anything so stupid, I retract it forthwith. In fact, I recall expressing the opposite sentiment a number of times.

    I DO think it is important to discuss the matter and to always strive to improve and strengthen emunah in the public sphere. I also believe it is important to discuss the issue of the strength of various positions and whether or not they can co-exist with Orthodoxy in a public manner.

    I am in no way interested in casting out Jews who privately hold beliefs that are outside the system (or non-belief), but still wish to be part of the community. Nor would I say that non-Orthodox Jews should be kept out of the shul, even if they never intend to become frum.

    I am interested in the IDEAS of people and the effect thereto. I judge people’s positions as expressed publicly, not their private thoughts. I am not God’s accountant nor would I ever wish to hold such a position.

  126. IH says:

    aiwac — I must be missing something. I have neither attacked, nor commented, on your views here. My comment was that Rabbis Adlerstein and Cooper hoisted themselves on their own petard when they quoted Putnam.

    If you want to come to their defense, I’m happy to listen.

  127. aiwac says:

    Ah, OK. Sorry, I tend to get a little skittish on the subject.

    I read the article and I don’t see how they were “hoisted on their own petard”. Nowhere in the article do the authors equate “religion” with “Orthodoxy”. Indeed, they seem to allow for atheists (or at least non-dogmatic religious people) to be connected with communities. Granted, this creates a problem for those who would argue that members of the community need always hold to all articles of faith at all times, but they make no such argument.

    Furthermore, your quote on atheists being affected by religious communities is neither here nor there. Most people are not willing to live a complete lie; I’m willing to wager that most people who don’t believe at all don’t affiliate, though I’d have to check the research. For a religious community to be anything more than a pious fraud which will collapse of its own hypocrisy, people need to believe in enough of what the community stands for (incl. some religious faith) for it to hold up; a point I believe you yourself argued.

    Sociology and anthropology can only go so far in explaining human behavior. At some level, true belief (of some kind), values and principles have to enter into the equation.

  128. IH says:

    Two examples of types of congregations that may seem like “pious fraud” to your lens are Unitarian Universalists and Jewish Reconstructionists. Neither have belief at their core.

  129. aiwac says:

    IH,

    They are not “pious frauds” because they make no pretensions to specific belief claims. I was referring to the overwhelming majority of religious communities throughout the world.

  130. ruvie says:

    interesting that cross currents posted an article by yoel finkelman slightly critical of a post by r’ adlerstein (or for the rabbinic leader RA quoted). Interesting points for all communities:

    http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2013/01/06/challenge-to-all-anonymous-voices/

  131. aiwac says:

    Thanks for the link ruvie.

    R. Adlerstein is really taking great strides in opening up the forum for more discussion. I wish there were more like him.

  132. IH says:

    Is Cross-Currents aimed at the Charedi community; or is it kiruv of the inreach form for (RW leaning) MO?

  133. aiwac says:

    Either way, it’s impressive.

  134. Steve Brizel says:

    Anonymous wrote:

    “Steve,
    You insulting and throughly ignorant statements aboout the DL education in Israel, are truely shameless. The system has serious flaws, but that doesnt mean you can speak rechilus against it.”

    When the head of a prominent DL/RZ school voices such concerns, one can only conclude that something is rotten in Denmark.

  135. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie wrote in response:

    “steve, why is so obvious that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about – actually its the opposite of what you said. its obvious you are ignorant in these matters and the topic under discussion”

    Why is it that whenever such phenomenona are discussed, especially with respect to the MO and DL worlds, the home, school and community are sacred cows that are beyond the pale of discussion, and such obviously self serving sociological and similar responses are trotted out as if they must be accepted with no questions asked?

  136. aiwac says:

    Steven,

    There’s plenty of problems in the Charedi educational system too. There are also plenty of wonderful educators in the DL system. No-one’s perfect.

  137. Steve Brizel says:

    IH- wrote in part:

    “Of course, even American Reform Judaism is rooted in a firm committment to Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim, no matter what its mission statement is, cannot and will not survive:

    http://www.ccarnet.org/rabbis-speak/platforms/statement-principles-reform-judaism/

    You may disagree with their implementation details, but their principles match yours.

    —–

    While I’m writing, perhaps you should consider the failure of you and your Rabbis, rather than the Jews you look down upon, as being the root problem. There are few people who will find your emes among the hodgepodge of insults and inside-baseball that comprise much of what you’ve been writing these days”

    There you go again-confusing the actions of individuals affiliated with MO or the Charedi world with Torah observant Judaism.

  138. aiwac says:

    “Why is it that whenever such phenomenona are discussed, especially with respect to the MO and DL worlds, the home, school and community are sacred cows that are beyond the pale of discussion, and such obviously self serving sociological and similar responses are trotted out as if they must be accepted with no questions asked?”

    Steven,

    Part of the problem is that many of the problems of the DL system are in the Charedi system as well. One cannot shecht one sacred cow without addressing its conjoined twin.

  139. aiwac says:

    “There you go again”

    Stop using the Gipper’s name in vain.

  140. Steve Brizel says:

    Aiwac-I thought that the Gipper’s response was quite appropo.

  141. Steve Brizel says:

    Aiwac wrote in part:

    “There’s plenty of problems in the Charedi educational system too. There are also plenty of wonderful educators in the DL system. No-one’s perfect”

    Ain Hacin Nami. However, when the leader of a DR girl’s school voices such observations, I don’t think that her comments were directed at her school, but rather the community of origin of her students.

  142. IH says:

    Steve — either you didn’t understand my comment, or you just insulted yourself. Perhaps someone can translate it for you offline.

  143. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-I understood your comment quite well, which is consistent with your POV that often blames Orthodoxy for all of the Jewish community’s problems.

  144. Anonymous says:

    “When the head of a prominent DL/RZ school voices such concerns, one can only conclude that something is rotten in Denmark.”
    Yes but but it doesnt mean that you have the foggiest notion as to what it is that is wrong. again your arrogance is staggering.

 
 

Submit a Response

 

You must be logged in to submit a response.