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The Rabba Revolution Continues
Charedim: ‘we take abuse seriously’
Lawsuit Claiming Hebrew National Hot Dogs Not Kosher Dismissed
It’s All in the Angle
Budapest building 1st shul in 80 years
SoHo Synagogue Exports Its Own
Our Neglected Converts, Our Neglected Duty
What Happens When Jewish Law Hampers the Disabled?
A tribute to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan upon his 30th yahrtzeit
Conversation with James Kugel about Revelation
Conversation with James Kugel about Revelation
Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?
Jew Without A Gun
SALT Friday

New Mashgiach at RIETS
Teacher at New Jersey yeshiva pleads guilty to kiddie porn possession and relationship with 14-year-old boy
Young Israel No Longer Able To Seize Resigning Members’ Assets
Jews wrestle with pork
When Orthodox scholarship is neither
E Brown: My Gateway Drug: Groupon
Who’s afraid of Hassidic Jews?
D.C.’s Missing Kosher Food
Are Books All We Have Left?
R Jachter: Building & Maintaining an Eruv
Rent-A-Rabbi
SALT Thursday

Countering Religious Extremism In Israel
Itim Files in Supreme Court Against Rishon L’Tzion’s Chief Rabbi
Senior British rabbi filmed telling alleged child abuse victim not to go to the police
Shadowy Squads Enforce Modesty in Hasidic Brooklyn
False Hope and Gay Conversion
Sons of rabbis seen as favored to become French Jewry’s leader
Orthodox Rabbis Vow To Resist Consent Forms for Blood-Sucking Circumcision Rite
Israeli Haredim Becoming Black Hat Professionals
Belgian Court Denies Friedman Girls Entry To Boys Yeshiva; Grandmothers Seeking Custody Of Children
YU Students Engage in Volunteer and Service Learning Missions Around the World
Man Sentenced To 35-years In Killing Of ‘Ger Tzedek’ Liquor Store Clerk
R Slifkin: Draft-Dodgers or Deserters?
SALT Wednesday

A Feud Between Biblical Archaeologists Goes to Court
Why Holocaust Memorial Day Should Never Have Happened
Chabad College in Michigan Gets Building Go-Ahead
Anti-Judaism as a Critical Theory
5 Jewish Things About Grand Central Terminal
Israel’s divorce rate up 5%; TA tops list
New York, Capital of the Jews
Town nixes Hatikvah’s building plans
Beit Shemesh one year on
SALT Tuesday

Studying X’s, O’s and the Torah
A Perfect God
The NYC Transit Rabbi
The Jewish Translation That Rewrote the Bible
Controversial Suspension For Contestant On Israel’s ‘The Voice’
Landmark Synagogue Seeks Right to Demolish Itself
For Yiddish, a Fresh Presence
Why Yair Lapid is good news for Torah study
A Brush With Justice Turns Sect Inward
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.
 

112 Responses

  1. out of the know says:

    A good discussion can be focused on 2 recent letters to the community, featured at theparitalview.blogspot.com, regarding the outlandish promises made by various “Segulah” advertisements.

  2. joel rich says:

    I just find it ironic that there needed to be a letter stating that there is no guaranteed segulah, especially from
    litvish-leaning roshei yeshiva
    KT

  3. emma says:

    Consider adding: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-admits-ethiopian-women-were-given-birth-control-shots.premium-1.496519 ?

    At best, this is a case of pathetic communication, likely fueled by elitist and patronizing assumptions, to women who wanted family planning but did not want this method. At worst, it is a case of women being bullied or tricked into limiting childbearing when they didn’t want to. Very scary.

  4. Hirhurim says:

    Joel: I assume that’s why it took so long. It shouldn’t need to be said.

  5. IH says:

    I thought the First Things criticism of Hazony’s provocative OpEd a weak response. I was much more impressed with this commentary from http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/she-brought-israelis-to-the-talmud-can-she-bring-its-wisdom-to-the-knesset.premium-1.496087:

    In an interview with me several years ago, for an article on the role of God in the lives of secular children, Calderon explained why she, as what she called a “non-halakhic person,” or someone who has not taken on the obligation to observe Jewish religious law, wanted her children to have God. “It’s important to me that my children understand the Jewish narrative,” she said, adding that it was “also because there must be a place, an empty corner, beyond everything that we understand, and this place is called God.”

    When asked to elaborate, she said: “It’s important for me for there to be a place that we would know that we don’t know and don’t have control over. My dad was a scientist, and one day when I came home from a scouts activity and told him there was no God, he replied: ‘We don’t know.’ I have an appreciation for a place about which a scientist can also say ‘We don’t know.’ I have an appreciation for a place about which a scientist can say that there is something we don’t know – a degree of humility, a degree of wonder about the world.”

    Rationalism has its limits.

  6. joel rich says:

    Rationalism has its limits.
    ============================
    for sure, otoh we try to reduce the leap of faith as much as possible iiuc.
    KT

  7. IH says:

    I’m surprised there is no coverage/discussion of the new Lincoln Square Synagogue (covered in the NYT, Tablet and the Jewish papers). It looks beautiful on the outside, but I have yet to see the inside. And, of course, I wish them Mazal Tov and much Hatlacha.

    It’s a bit strange, though, to spend $54 million dollars for a building in a neighborhood that is aging and with little prospect of regeneration in the near future (it is attracting empty nesters, though) while there is so much need for capital in the Day Schools.

    As part of a discussion on Harry Maryles’ blog, I discovered that even the reputedly wealthiest day school just across town is running a deficit. “In 2012-2013, demand for needs-based scholarships is at the highest level in Ramaz’s history. 27% of Ramaz students received financial aid for 2012-2013 (303 out of 1,120) . . .The Gap: $5.6 million. Ramaz needs to raise an additional $5,011 per child in order to balance the school’s budget.” (Ref: https://www.ramaz.org/campaign2013/Ramaz_AC2012-13_presentation.pdf).

    Perhaps it is churlish to be so forthright, but given all the moaning about the tuition crisis…

  8. joel rich says:

    r’IH,
    imho you could have stopped at spending 54m
    KT

  9. moshe shoshan says:

    WAs my shameless self promotion, edited out of the comments?

  10. IH says:

    Wow! (HT: Menachem Mendel)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/375003239611/permalink/10151456366309612/

    [Or, for the naysayers -- "another sectarian text" :-)]

  11. Hirhurim says:

    Moshe: You must have had an error in posting. None of your comments were edited. I just checked the spam folder and did not find it there either.

  12. moshe shoshan says:

    Thanks. I was just calling attention to my interview about my book with R. Jeff Saks.
    http://blog.webyeshiva.org/podcast/stories-of-the-law

  13. ruvie says:

    moshe shoshan – your book looks interesting. enjoyed your article: halakhic mimesis – which i recently read.

  14. moshe shoshan says:

    ruvie,
    thanks.

  15. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    Report: 75 Heter Meah Rabbanim requests at the rabbanut last year.

    I assume (almost?) all were the case of wife was unable or unwilling-beyond-reasonable-measure to receive a Get, so one is left in escrow.

    Do they still do any heterim for Teimanim or the like who actually have two wives?

  16. emma says:

    “Report: 75 Heter Meah Rabbanim requests at the rabbanut last year.

    I assume (almost?) all were the case of wife was unable or unwilling-beyond-reasonable-measure to receive a Get, so one is left in escrow.”

    Since the number is only requests, and does not say how many were actually granted, I would not make too many assumptions…

  17. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    grand central station — pretty poor on jewish connections, and doesnt even mention two Mendy’s restaurant stands (ok — one dairy, one meat).

    shalom r — there is an agreeement that olim with two wives will be allowed to keep the wives, but additional / later wives not allowed (though teimanim and iraquis have issues with yibum, which they insist on still practicing, as a matter of honoring the brother. though they divorce the second wife right away / as soon as she gets preganant / ?)

    as for the article’s stat that religious and irreligious have similar divorce rates, that ignores “living together” arrangements that datiim do not observe.

  18. emma says:

    though they divorce the second wife right away / as soon as she gets preganant /

    if the latter, and if this is true, do they at least help her with the baby?

  19. emma says:

    (actually, i retract that comment. i had a hard time not seeing the human implications of your aside but it is too speculative for me to have said anything.)

  20. “Why Holocaust Memorial Day Should Never Have Happened”

    i understand his reservations, but i think it is important to keep the holocaust on the public consciouness also
    “5 Jewish Things About Grand Central Terminal”

    what a dumb article. gil, you owe me 3 minutes of my time.

  21. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    actually, the yibum baby is financed from the deceased brother’s inheritance. either way, the baby is family. and its a matter of honor, not lust.

    halachic issues with a zika le’yavam who “steals” the inheritance before the chalitza. the brother can halachically decline to do chalitza (or yibum), thus making the zika a self imposed agunah.

  22. Tal Benschar says:

    “A Brush With Justice Turns Sect Inward”

    The complainers are way off base. IMO, the reason the sentence was so high was not only because of the heinous nature of the crime, but because the perpetrator felt he was above the law, and his position as a major community figure insulated him from legal scrutiny. Such an attitude invites severe punishment when one is actually convicted.

    Lehavdil, we recently learned in Daf Yomi about the concept of poretz geder yishchenu nachash, which the gemara applies to one who violates a derabbanan. (The gemara takes it literally — someone was bit by a poisonous snake. Abbaye said he must have violated a derabbanan, and they checked and turned out he was right.)

    Rabbenu Yonah comments in his Shaarey Teshuvah that although the Torah only made one liable for death for certain aveiras, not all, one is liable for death for all derabbanans. Why? He answers that typically a God-fearing Jew takes deoraysas seriously. If he sins, he does so only out of taavah. That means that only in some cases, the transgression is severe enough to warrant death.

    OTOH, a person who violates a derabbanan typically does so because he does not take it and the authority of the rabbanan seriously. For that, one is liable for death, even though inherently a derabbanan is less severe than a deoraysa.

    Same thing applies here. Sure, Aron Levi (who got 40 years, and to whom Weberman has been compared by many Satmar), did something terrible, but he did so out of a sick fantasy. Weberman thumbed his nose at the law. That earned him a harsher sentence.

  23. Tal Benschar says:

    the brother can halachically decline to do chalitza (or yibum), thus making the zika a self imposed agunah

    I once heard a story about R. Pinchas Teitz, zt”l. In his first year in the rabbinate in 1935, a congregant died, leaving a widow, no children, and a brother. That meant, of course, that she would need a chalitzah to remarry. Problem was the brother was intermarried and had a very dim view of the Torah and halacha, his non-Jewish wife even more so.

    So R. Teitz, decided to do as follows. At the funeral, he called over the brother to the casket. He opened the casket, and told the brother to shake his deceased brother’s hand, and promise him that he would give the widow her chalitzah. (This was, acc. to his son, the first and last time in 55 years of rabbonus that R. Teitz opened a casket at a funeral.)

    When it came time to do the chalitzah, the non-Jewish wife vehemently protested that this was a barbaric ritual. “You are right honey, but what can I do, I shook hands on a promise, and a promise is a promise,” answered the brother. And the widow got her chalitzah.

    Chaval al de avdin velo mishtakchim.

  24. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal — i presume there was no inheritance in the 1935 case. for $, the wife would have agreed. maybe. i was referring to the halacha that the brother doing chalitza inherits the brother as part of the chalitza.

    my father once opened (his cousin’s) casket at JFK cargo area. the chevra kaddisha yelled at him; he said in the “alte heim” (in hungary) they always opened the casket (since they would often smuggle things in the casket; he lived by the “greinitz”, the border). sure enough, it was the wrong body (despite the usual tags, checks, etc). phone calls to eastern airlines in miami (figure how old this story is) and it was on the next flight.

  25. Fotheringay-Phipps says:

    JR: “I just find it ironic that there needed to be a letter stating that there is no guaranteed segulah, especially from
    litvish-leaning roshei yeshiva”.

    Unfortunately, ISTM that there’s less to the letter from the RY than meets the eye at first glance. If you read it carefully you’ll notice that it doesn’t say anything about segulos, but rather focuses on kabbala and guarantees.

    ISTM that it was narrowly tailored to avoid criticizing the Kupat Ha’ir/Vaad Harrabonim campaigns, which are ostensibly endorsed by Israeli gedolim, and is aimed specifically at an insert in the charedi publications last week from some Sefardim. I didn’t read this myself but my wife did, and she thought it was pretty over-the-top compared to the standard segula letters that get sent out.

  26. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “I once heard a story about R. Pinchas Teitz, zt”l. In his first year in the rabbinate in 1935, a congregant died, leaving a widow, no children, and a brother. That meant, of course, that she would need a chalitzah to remarry. Problem was the brother was intermarried and had a very dim view of the Torah and halacha, his non-Jewish wife even more so.”

    R. Riskin once told a similar and yet not similar story. Hew was performing a wedding for a Holocaust survivor and in speaking to her before the wedding found out she had been married, her husband died, they had no children and her husband has a living brother. She added that the brother had converted. R. riskin explained the need for chalitzah and asked if he could speak to the brother. He was nervous about doing so and was pleasantly surprised at the resposne: “You just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. I love my sister-in-law and I’ll do anything that would bring her happiness.” So R. Riskin, wondering about a convert who was SO accommodating, asked him why he converted. His answer: “Hitler considered anyone who had a Jewish grandparent Jewish. I converted in the hope that 3 generations will pass before there is another Hitler.”

  27. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in the journalistic equivalent of spring training batting practice, see the annexed link,http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/opinion/global/roger-cohen-sitting-down-with-amos-oz.html?hp&_r=1&

  28. Nachum says:

    F-P: There was an insert about Amuka and getting married not just in the parsha sheets, but even in the secular papers. But it’s not the first time, and it was just this past Friday/Sunday.

    “i understand his reservations, but i think it is important to keep the holocaust on the public consciouness also”

    You know what? Clearly the world (well, the Left/European part of it) doesn’t want to learn any lessons and is turning it on us. So if I had my druthers, I’d shut the whole thing down- no more memorial days not for Jews or Israel, no more speeches by non-Jewish politicians, no more museums, no more memorials, no more “requests” to condemn anti-Semitism, no more inclusion in curricula. I don’t see how it’s helped much. Those who love us, do, and those who don’t will just turn it against us.

  29. Nachum says:

    And the very Chief Rabbi of the UK “has” to begin his statement like this:

    “On national Holocaust Memorial Day, we remember the victims: the Roma, the Sinti, gays, the mentally and physically disabled. And we remember the victims of other assaults against our shared humanity, in Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda, and in many parts of the world today.”

    Then, and only then, do we get to the Jews.

    Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s supremely important for *Jews* to remember- and, more importantly, internalize the lessons of- the Holocaust. So Yad Vashem is important. Bringing visiting foreign politicians to visit it, not so much.

  30. joel rich says:

    “There are quite a few men, especially in Williamsburg, who consider themselves Gut’s polizei,” said Yosef Rapaport, a Hasidic journalist, using the words for “God’s police.”

    “It’s somebody who is a busybody, and they’re quite a few of them — zealots who take it upon themselves and they just enforce. They’re considered crazy, but people don’t want to confront them.”
    ==================================
    Perhaps one of the leaders should channel Edmund Burke-“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (or maybe we can say that R’ Y Salanter said it?)

    KT

  31. IH says:

    A quirky piece related to Begged Ish(ah): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21151350

    “In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits,” says Semmelhack.

    “They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel – it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.”

  32. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Gil, It was really quite childish of you to change the Forward’s headline concerning MBP.

  33. Hirhurim says:

    I didn’t change it. They must have.

  34. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Then I apologize.

  35. moshe shoshan says:

    As a dati Leumi resident of beit shemesh I found thearticle on “countering extremism” offensive. The are not extremests on both sides here, only on the chareidi side. Chareim can twhine about looking bad in the media while their leadship who lift a finger or even make a staement against tha kanaaim. Neither can they claim innocence when these sortsof people are produced by a community that educates its children towards extremism, anti zionism and obsessive concern with ztnius.

  36. Scott says:

    That rent-a-rabbi story is five years old. I guess it’s a link but not news.

  37. IH says:

    From today’s JID: http://themarginaliareview.com/archives/225

    Interesting in many respects, not least of which is a complaint mirrored by some Hirhurim commenters about: “scholars who reserve the hermeneutic of suspicion for the Gospels while treating every uncanonical text that suits their case as though it were a product of inspiration.”

  38. joel rich says:

    enjoyed the eruv piece-wonder how often the community rav is the inspector (and is this reallly the best use of his limited time) and why R’YGB selected mezuzah (2 per 7) as the inspection for certain permanent features (goes to the whole was 2/7 based on mtziut of mezuzot and where else do we see 2/7-I once did a shiur on this but it was way back)
    KT

  39. STBO says:

    >>“IH on January 31, 2013 at 11:37 am
    From today’s JID: http://themarginaliareview.com/archives/225
    Interesting in many respects…”

    I usually find something of the inverse among Jewish academics: ‘Scholars who reserve the hermeneutic of suspicion for the Torah / Talmud, et al. while treating every academic speculation that suits their case as though it were a product of inspiration.’

  40. joel rich says:

    Be interesting to follow the new mashgiach – I wonder how the tactics and strategy differ when you are working with a broad cross section versus when your sample space consists of those who voted with their feet to be influenced by you. (or do you just work with those of the cross section who fit that same demographic)
    KT

  41. The Dude says:

    Joel,

    As someone who generally finds Ḥassidut fluffy and boring, I generally find Rabbi Weinberger compelling and relevant. There’s your broad cross section.

  42. “New Mashgiach at RIETS”

    does r. weinberger encourage his congregants to send their kids to YU/stern?

    from the interesting eruv link:

    “Might consider adopting the practice of the Elizabeth, New Jersey Jewish community, initiated by Rav Pinchas Teitz, to declare the Eruv not to be in operation once a year to educate the community that carrying is forbidden on Shabbat”

    i don’t understand the point of (and precedent for) this

    “14. Be sure that the rabbis in the community agree to the Eruv in general and all its specifics (see Teshuvot Igrot Moshe Orach 4:86).”

    hah! and related . . .

    “Insures that the community is well-informed about the boundaries of the Eruv and that members know to avoid those streets where one can easily stray out of the Eruv.”

    of course in some areas today the specific boundaries are purposely kept as a closely guarded secret

    “2. [The community] should, as suggested by Rav Hershel Schachter, be aware of the route of the Eruv so that they can alert potential problems such as utility pole construction to their Rav and Eruv committee.”

    i thought this was an interesting reason to publish the eruv boundaries

  43. emma says:

    “of course in some areas today the specific boundaries are purposely kept as a closely guarded secret”

    really? I have lived in or visited many places with eruvs and have never experienced this. Usually there is a map up in the shul, or at least on the internet, and people openly discuss which corners to avoid, etc.

  44. EMMA:

    welcome to brooklyn. some eruv boundaries are not published or even publicized at all. others are but with false boundaries.
    (maybe the eruvin in park slope and the other manhattan suburbs are a different story, but i’m talking about real brooklyn)

  45. EMMA:

    in case my link between those 2 quotes wasn’t clear, i laughed at statement that all the rabbis in a community need to agree about the eruv because the reason these boundaries are closely guarded secrets is to protect against vandalism from (jewish) opponents.

  46. Hirhurim says:

    Back in my day, the Teaneck eruv had fake boundaries because some boundaries crossed over sidewalks and streets which could not be easily shown with clarity on the maps. So the eruv on the maps was slightly smaller than the real eruv. I don’t know what’s done now.

  47. emma says:

    oh dear. i thought i recall seeing abrooklyn eruv map (maybe even with three different eruvin on it)… but how hard can it really be to find even without a map, for motivated vandals?

  48. IH says:

    What is done differently in Israel in regards to community eruvin such that the controversies (discussed here anyway) seem to be limited to Brooklyn/Teaneck?

  49. Nachum says:

    Joel: Tefillin and mezuzot not checked have a chezkat kashrut. My safrut rebbe recommended pretty much not checking tefillin at all. Mezuzot may be different.

    “scholars who reserve the hermeneutic of suspicion for the Gospels while treating every uncanonical text that suits their case as though it were a product of inspiration.””

    Cute, but two things:

    1. They don’t really think the others are divine, of course. It’s like asking Marc Shapiro if he thinks the Lubavitcher Rebbe is Mashiach after he argues it’s not heresy to say so. (Or something like that.) :-)

    2. One can argue that noncanonical works were not gone over to ensure ideological conformity, as they were outside of people’s concerns.

  50. emma:

    nu, i guess it’s a good thing that these days the vandals are lazy.

    gil:

    a friend of mine lives on the edge of a (real) border of the teaneck eruv and there’s a lot of zig zag and walking to shul along that border requires care. (but of course brooklyn is for the most part a nice grid and cartography isn’t the impediment to well publicized boundaries. and in some cases we aren’t even talking about false boundaries but rather no publicized boundaries whatsoever. false boundaries are ok, although then the community can’t participate in checking it, but no boundaries inevitable leads to people walking where they shouldn’t. this happened to me once.

  51. IH:

    there is no eruv controversy in teaneck (unless you mean tennafly, but that controversy is with non-orthos or non-jews and has nothing to do with we are talking about. and of course israel does have its parallels to tennafly, with chilonim damaging eruvin in jerusalem)

  52. Nachum says:

    “does r. weinberger encourage his congregants to send their kids to YU/stern?”

    Clothing notwithstanding, he’s a pretty modern guy. He writes books about Rav Kook, for example. He’s never hidden that he went to YU.

    IH: I think different grou[s have overlapping eruvin, at least in Jerusalem. Also, cities are smaller here. That said, there are don’t who don’t use them, of course.

    Considering that they’re publicly funded, maybe vandalism is a crime…

  53. Observer says:

    Wow, shows how much YU has changed over the years for them now to be appointing a shtreimel wearing Chasidishe Rebbe (whether he formally calls himself Woodmere Rebbe, Aish Kodesh Rebbe, Piaseczna Rebbe, or something else, or doesn’t, or just Rabbi/Rav, is not relevant. He is, de facto, a Chasidishe Rebbe) as mashgiach. But it is not totally unexpected. There has been a growth of Chasidism there for some time already. Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Dr. Lamm is a proud Chasidishe Yid, more recently, the Rabbi Reichmans have been teaching Chasidism there for some time and having Chasidic gatherings, R. Moshe Wolfson, spiritual leader of the R. Reichmans, visited and spoke there a while back, there are Lubavitchers regularly visiting and studying Lubavitcher teachings with students, and so on. A great change from the old days when RIETS was a Litvish bastion.

    While the letter from R. Reiss doesn’t state that R. Weinberger will have a special status or title beyond being just one of the “elite cadre of mashgiach personalities at Yeshiva”, it seems clear that he is being given special star treatment. Will he officially become head mashgiach in the future? Will be interesting to see how this move plays out.

  54. joel rich says:

    R’ observer,
    Given that many have observed that roshei yeshiva have taken on many of the attributes of chassidish rebbis, it’s not surprising that the changes u list have occurred, Alternatively iirc pres joel likes to talk about diversity etc.

    What I wonder about is the part time model (for roshei yeshiva as well), for all the shmoozes about connecting with role nodels etc istm that the “quality time” modelis being used and I am not convinced it really works well.
    Kt

  55. Steve Brizel says:

    In KGH, there is a committee that raises funds annually for the maintenance of the eruv. The actual supervision is that of R P Steinberg and the Talmidei Chachamim and Bnei Torah who conduct the weekly inspections. I should note that when the KGH eruv was extended to allow visitors to NY Hospital for Queens to carry over the LIE to the hospital, the extended eruv was approved by RHS, together with R Steinberg and R NI Oelbaum.

  56. Anonymous says:

    >He is, de facto, a Chasidishe Rebbe

    No, he’s more like kind of guy Martin Buber or Shlomo Carlebach would have wanted to be, if they had the discipline to be frum. Not a real rebbe, a play rebbe.

  57. Nachum says:

    Shlomo Carlebach was pretty frum, Anonymous. So was Heschel, who is who I think you mean.

  58. Observer says:

    Wikipedia calls R. Weinberger a Chassidic Rebbe, so that makes it official. ;-)

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

    It also says that he is descended from Belzer Chasidim, like Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Dr. Lamm, from his mother’s side, and the R. Reichmans. In the old days RIETS had a strong Telz connection. Now we see Belz. From Telz to Belz.

    Nachum: “He writes books about Rav Kook”

    I would say that he gives shiurim on Rav Kook’s seforim, some of which have been put into book form.

  59. Anonymous says:

    No, I mean Carlebach, thank you very much.

  60. Steve Brizel says:

    Observer-take a look at R B Simon’s Imrei Baruch al HaTorah-there is a rich blend of Drush, classical Machshavah by prominent Rabbonim, Chasidus and Musar on every Parsha . I know of no other Talmid Chacham who has Divrei Torah from both RYBS and the SR on the same aspect of the same Parsha.

  61. ruvie says:

    reb joel – not sure its diversity but better marketing to the young adults in israel for their gap year(s). the shtreimel goes a long way to convince them that yu is less treif and maybe a better option over tuoro/queeens (but not cheaper). plus he is a very charismatic person – something that is always needed at yu.

  62. ruvie says:

    fascinating post by alan brill on an interview with james kugel on revelation – torah min hashamayim. more info for those to judge: orthodox or not – or maybe chareidi

    http://kavvanah.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/conversation-with-james-kugel-about-revelation/

    interesting on liners:
    “For me, Torah min ha-Shamayim is the belief that the Torah was given to Israel by G-d, period.”

    “Even if someone could point to contradictions within the Torah, or apparently unnecessary repetitions, or signs of later editing or interpolation—none of this has any bearing on the Torah’s divine origin: after all, who makes up the rules of what a divine text can or cannot consist of? ”

    “I could not, and would not want to, be part of a religion that claimed that Torah was a human creation, or that it is, as I’ve heard some people say, “a human reaction to the ineffable divine.”

    “Biblical scholarship and Biblical criticism is fundamentally a Protestant endeavor and antithetical to the Jewish approach. ”

    “I know some people even thought—in spite of everything I wrote in the preface, the introduction, and the final chapter—that I was recommending that people adopt the conclusions of modern biblical scholars as the way to read the Bible. That was actually the opposite of my message. “

  63. ruvie says:

    sorry one more:
    “On the other hand, I do believe that in fifty or a hundred years, a lot of Orthodox Jews will wonder what all the shouting was about; modern biblical scholarship, like Darwinian evolution or astrophysics, will just have receded into the background.”

    i don’t think so.

  64. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    the KGH eruv was approved by RMF, so there is no controversy (and RNOelbaum was a talmid of RMF.)

    in fact, the approval of the KGH (and sea gate) eruv was an issue in the flatbush eruv.

    map of alternative erub in flatbush is at http://www.erub.org, but the primary eruv map is not available / secret.

    2. announcing a new (assistant) mashgiach on twitter???

    3. why post on bergen county molestor, but not post a female who (allegedly) molested boys?

    4. rent a rabbi — how much does he raise for aish? also, yu did that last year. (dont know if it brought in any $)

    5. washington dc — article discusses other issues, but the real problem is the local vaad does not allow a kosher restaurant without excessive restrictions.

  65. Tal Benschar says:

    R. Jachter is a great talmid chacham who explains things well.

    Someone should tell that website to change the background. The different colors, from dark to light, make it very difficult to read.

  66. emma says:

    “why post on bergen county molestor, but not post a female who (allegedly) molested boys?”

    is that not his consistent policy – does not post allegations, just verdicts? has the former story been covered her pre-plea?

  67. Nachum says:

    “but the real problem is the local vaad does not allow a kosher restaurant without excessive restrictions”

    Well, I’d trust R’ Freundel there.

    I remember when the whole Abramoff thing blew up it was revealed that he was running a non-kosher restaurant behind the Va’ad’s back, a no-no.

  68. Mmy:

    “map of alternative erub in flatbush is at http://www.erub.org

    map falls far short of the true boundaries of that eruv

  69. Machshavos says:

    On Hebrew National, I wonder: Were all the advocates for “religious freedom” in the MBP lawsuit also against this court case?

  70. Joseph Kaplan says:

    I really don’t see any relationship between the MBP case (which I think was decided correctly) and the HN case (which I also think was decided correctly).

  71. Tal Benschar says:

    On Hebrew National, I wonder: Were all the advocates for “religious freedom” in the MBP lawsuit also against this court case?

    WADR, I find this kind of rhetoric offensive. I’ll make up a label for it — the Unidentified Hypocrite. You find two things that are out there, impute seemingly contradictory stances to some unnamed “advocates,” and then calling them on it.

    Can you identify anyone who supported opposite sides of the argument in the two cases?

    For what it is worth, I did post a couple of times on the MBP issue. I did not post on the Hebrew National case, for the simple reason that until the decision came out, I never heard of it. I doubt most people did.

  72. Tal Benschar says:

    BTW, on the Hebrew National case, I agree with JK that, on the facts as presented in the case, it was correctly decided.

    A much harder case would be if someone falsely used a kashrus symbol when in fact they were not certified. The certifying agency certainly would have a claim for misuse of its certification mark (assuming they registered it, which they would be incredibly stupid not to). Not clear if consumers would have a claim. (Maybe fraud?)

  73. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal — the o-u (and other symbols) are registered trademarks, but its never been litigated, so i have my doubts. the args are good on both sides.

    as for consumers, wasnt there some sort of mcdonalds class action case (halal) settled for “educational” grants thzt some kashrut agencies got (which later evolved into general educational programs by the certifying egencies; good PR for them) and the snapple case (in which the o-k was not a party, they continue certifying, despite past violations; all agencies do that).

    abba — the syrian erub is different than the flatbush eruv. i just pointed out that no one messes with the syrians.

    emma — i was pointing out that most of these cases go to the other side; this was unique in that it went to the same side. by charedim, for some reason, it mostly goes on the same side (weberman case excepted). would make an interesting study. and you cant attribute it to single sex education, since MO is mostly single sex schools today.

  74. Tal Benschar says:

    tal — the o-u (and other symbols) are registered trademarks, but its never been litigated, so i have my doubts. the args are good on both sides

    This is not a legal blog, but I don’t see why there is a good argument the other way. Representing that you are OU certified when you are not is simple fraud. A court does not have to decide whether OU standards are “kosher” to determine that.

    (IIRC, the first wave of kosher laws in NY and NJ were struck down because they tried to define kosher as Orthodox standards. The second wave, which are essentially disclosure requirements, were upheld. They have a secular purpose — avoiding fraud — and all that is required is that if you claim to be kosher, you disclose why.

    That applies all the more so to someone pirating a kashrus symbol.)

  75. emma says:

    “by charedim, for some reason, it mostly goes on the same side ”

    availability, i think. education in MO may be separate, often, but life is not.
    i recall reading an article by a gay man from saudi arabia or the like in which he lamented getting older because as a teenager or early twenties man it was easy to find partners – lots of “straight” men have affairs with younger men, the women all being locked up at home and young men being the closest substitute…

  76. Joseph Kaplan says:

    And I agree with Tal on falsely using a kashrut symbol. No halachic issues there; it’s improper for all sorts of purely secular reasons (trademark infringement, fraud etc.)

  77. HAGTBG says:

    5. washington dc — article discusses other issues, but the real problem is the local vaad does not allow a kosher restaurant without excessive restrictions.

    The fundemantal problem in downtown DC is that there is a very small market for kosher food and it is not enough to sustain a diverse kosher selection.

    It is true that the Vaad is stricter then other well-regarded kashrut organizations on certain things (most glaringly, you can not have an ownership interest in a non-kosher restaurant so goodbye well-experienced foodie’s running things). That is not the basic issue though.

  78. Yehuda says:

    Joel and Nachum – the sofer was correct – there is no chiyuv to check tefillin, because of chezkat kashrut, unless you have a good reason to suspect they’ve become pasul (read: they fell underwater or got exposed to abnormal heat, not “I’ve had bad luck”)

    (Note: you should check your batim regularly – I do it every day, it takes 10 seconds – you don’t need an expert to tell you if something is square and black.)

    That being said, The STAM shop I worked in checked tefillin, and of the pasul ones we found (surprisingly often) – definitely a miyut matzui – between 95-99% were never kosher to begin with, only about 1-5% had actually BECOME pasul.

    There are tons of grifters selling fake tefillin, whether arabs or jews. (I’ve heard some sell fakes for ‘frum’ reasons – they don’t think the bar mitzvah boy can stop hirhurim – a very noble form of geneivat daat, and plain geneivah.)
    Honest but uninformed Jews are also suspect to buy from, although they usually aren’t selling tefillin. A reform synagogue gift shop in our city sold printed mezuzot, and once a baal teshuva got them checked for the first time, I, and he, got teary-eyed explaining him and his family hadn’t ever been mekayem the mitzvah. We called the place, and arranged that we would provide them real mezuzot on consignment, below cost, and they promised to offer them to every customer, but refused to stop offering the printed alternative. hashem yerachem.

    Even if you buy tefillin from a reliable sofer, humans make mistakes, so it’s important to get them computer checked. (about 80% of pasulim are because of a skipped letter or mispelled word, computers catch that at near 100% accuracy.) It is also very advisable to have them checked by other sofrim, since tzurat-haot can’t be checked by computer. Practical tip- don’t tell the other sofrim where you got it, they’ll inadvertently let their guard down – once the sofer I worked for caught 0 mistakes in a set of tefillin, and I, a shop clerk back then, caught 2. I didn’t know where they were from, my boss knew the sofer always did good work. He checked diligently, but the human mind tricks itself pretty easily.

    As for kosher tefillin becoming pasul, I only saw this once- the man was stationed in texas for two years, and left his tefillin in the hot car many times – those parshiyot cracked like glass when we tried to unfold them, they had probably been pasul for a while. I saw other cases where letters cracked, probably when they folded the parshiyot to put them in the batim – the tefillin were never kosher, but the parshiyot had been written well. This, again, is rare, but if the parshiyot are either very fresh or antique, you should be careful during assembly.

    Mezuzot though, need to be checked twice every seven years. And that’s the halacha. See Yoreh Deah 291.

    Sorry for the length, but there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding STAM issues among balebatim. There’s a new english book out on the subject, I don’t know if it’s any good, but it’s probably worth reading.

  79. Machshavos says:

    “WADR, I find this kind of rhetoric offensive. I’ll make up a label for it — the Unidentified Hypocrite. You find two things that are out there, impute seemingly contradictory stances to some unnamed “advocates,” and then calling them on it.

    Can you identify anyone who supported opposite sides of the argument in the two cases?”

    I’m not familiar with anybody publicly supporting opposite sides of the argument in the two cases.

    I’m referring to the ads in the Jewish papers talking about how it’s horrible that the government is “interfering” in religion. I’m guessing that the people behind those ads would not have complained about interference here. But maybe I’m wrong.

  80. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal — pirating a kosher symbol is not a kashrut issue, or a fraud issue; its trademark infringement, as far as the trademark holder is concerned. consumer-wise (which you brought up), i cited the snapple and mcdinalds cases.

    the kashrut agencies claim they have (para)legal depts to enforce them. luckily, it never had to go past that. but if you dont put a little (but readable) R on top of the o-u, there is no legal penalty for past infringement. so, practically speaking, just promise not to do it again (and recall product if you are otherwise supervised on other products; i assume that is in the contract) and no penalty. surprisingly, it hasnt been an issue.

    NYS and NJ laws are another issue. some disclosures are real doozies. make for interesting laughs, but you have to cry over the violations.

    emma — thats what trips to england are for.

  81. Saul says:

    for boundaries of the Flatbush eruv maintained by the vaad harabbanim of Flatbush, see here http://www.machzikeitorah.org/map.shtml

  82. Nachum says:

    Shaul: Dollars to donuts he’s motivated by the campaign to have R’ Stav as the next chief rabbi. R’ Aviner, being a Merkaz man and a chardalnik, is clearly in the camp of R’ Shapira, which would be a bad choice on a few levels.

    The last section is laugh-out-loud funny; I’d think he was joking but sadly he probably isn’t. Ironically, R’ Stav’s beard is longer and less trimmed than R’ Aviner’s, and R’ Diskin’s was pretty neat.

    Yehuda: Do you think the mezzuza rule could be a result of the fact that mezuzot are outside and, back then, not in any sort of case?

  83. J. says:

    Yehuda- R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach held that nowadays, since mezuzos are wrapped in plastic and are far less likely to become pasul over time, they need not be checked as often. See הליכות שלמה על תפילה ד:נב.

  84. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Nachum and Shaul: Maybe R. Aviner had R. Benny Lau in mind.

  85. Mmy:

    I understood from your original comment that you referred to the Syrian Eruv, And that was the same Eruv I referred to in response when I stated that the published boundaries are (very) far from the true boundaries.

  86. Tal Benschar says:

    MMY: I have been practicing trademark law for 14 years now, and have published many times on the matter. You are selling coals to Newcastle. (Another quaint phrase).

    Not everything you say is accurate. You now can get damages even without the little R. And while consumers do not have standing to assert trademark infringement, they do have standing to assert consumer fraud claims, which every state has some statute or another that covers. In New York, it is NY General Business Law Section 349. A company that deliberately misused a kashrus symbol to sell consumer goods would have a tough time defending against such a claim.

    The main point I was making is that I see no Establishment Clause problem with either a trademark infringement claim by the symbol owner (like the OU) or a consumer fraud claim by a disgruntled consumer.

  87. IH says:

    Given how many words have been written on Hirhurim by Gil and others about how Kugel is beyond the red lines of Orthodoxy, I am not sure what to make of the radio silence regarding the posted link to http://kavvanah.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/conversation-with-james-kugel-about-revelation/

    In particular, Gil, I have remember my challenging your reading of the last chapter of How to Read the Bible and Kugel’s assertions in the conversation with Brill align with my reading.

    I know some people even thought—in spite of everything I wrote in the preface, the introduction, and the final chapter—that I was recommending that people adopt the conclusions of modern biblical scholars as the way to read the Bible. That was actually the opposite of my message.

    Views?

  88. Hirhurim says:

    He’s very clear in his final chapter.

  89. IH says:

    I disagree, but assuming your reading of what he wrote, what do you make of the conversation?

  90. avi says:

    “Hirhurim on February 2, 2013 at 11:50 pm
    He’s very clear in his final chapter”

    How can you claim that he is very clear when the author claims that people missread it? That sounds like the opposite of clear to me.

  91. Nachum says:

    Gil linked to it *twice*, IH. :-)

    Nu, avi, people do that all the time.

    Prof. Kaplan: I’m sure he’s referring to R’ Lau (in whose shul I layned this past Shabbat) among many others with the beard remark. But the motivation for writing this now must have something to do with the Chief Rabbinate race.

  92. moshe shoshan says:

    Nahum
    As a talmid muvhak of R. Tau, it is not obvious to me that R. Aviner would support R. shapira. Indeed R. Aviner initialy supported R. Stav. If he wanted to go after R. Stav, I would think he would do do by name. I think it has more to do with the fact that R. Benny Lau wrote a critical article about RA, in which he suggested that his Shu”t SMS was an irresponsible way to poskin complex or difficult shailos.

  93. avi says:

    He responded to the SMS article ages ago. In internet terms. If it’s not aimed at the chief rabbinate race, then he needs to clarify because everyone I know in Israel who has read it, believes that is what it is referring to.

  94. Reuven Spolter says:

    Personally, I think it’s clear that he’s referring to Beit Hillel, who issue curious piskei halachah in the name of openness; just met with him and reported on how great the meeting was, etc. I thought that was pretty obvious.

  95. joel rich says:

    Compare:

    He’s very clear in his final chapter”

    How can you claim that he is very clear when the author claims that people missread it? That sounds like the opposite of clear to me.

    With:

    He responded to the SMS article ages ago. In internet terms. If it’s not aimed at the chief rabbinate race, then he needs to clarify because everyone I know in Israel who has read it, believes that is what it is referring to.
    ==================================

    Now we can discuss authorial intent, plausible deniability, contradictions in the Rambam writing in the moreh vs. the yad……..

    KT

  96. avi says:

    “Personally, I think it’s clear that he’s referring to Beit Hillel, who issue curious piskei halachah in the name of openness; just met with him and reported on how great the meeting was, etc. I thought that was pretty obvious.”

    Is Beit Hillel associated with Zohar or not at all?

    “Compare:”
    Not sure what we are comparing. Both Authors were not very clear with what they said. Or rather they weren’t very clear regarding the ramifications of what they said.

  97. Nachum says:

    Avi: They cosponsor events, at least. There’s a lot of overlap.

  98. moshe shoshan says:

    Zohar represents a much wider ideological spectrum and focuses on a more limited set of issues.
    BH represents the more progressive end of Tzohar and also admits “learned women” as well as rabbis

  99. “Interesting column on many levels
    http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/1.1919584

    Nu, he’s only doing what so many other Israelis have done

  100. avi says:

    ““Interesting column on many levels
    http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/1.1919584”

    Nu, he’s only doing what so many other Israelis have done”

    Not so many actually.

  101. Nachum says:

    One interesting thing I noticed about Beit Hillel: At the end of their recent booklet, they had a list of all their rabbis. Every woman who wasn’t “Dr.” or “Adv.” (lawyer, a title in Israel) or something else was “Rabbanit.” (If she was a Jewish educator, I guess.)

    I have no idea if every one of those women is married to a Rabbi. It’s interesting if some aren’t…

 
 

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