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A plea for consistency
New Koren, future Korens
Film looks at Jewish experience in baseball
Steinsaltz Talmud Edition Is Done After 45 Years
Response to Moving Beyond Ritual
An epidemic of online infidelity lurking in the Orthodox community
More colleges and universities opt for kosher programs
SALT Friday
US State Dept: Israel lacks religious freedom
National Religious choose stricter lifestyle
University threatens to sue rabbi over anti-Galloway email
SALT Thursday
RYY Weinberg: The Romanian Gaon
Nat’l Young Israel rejects petition
We blew it on the internet
Can the Hechsher HACK it?
Where Orthodox Boys Are
Talmud, Tanach and distance running
Different perspective on Pollard
Yeshiva University’s Tent of Torah
Moving beyond inter-denominational ritual
Is fountain soda still kosher?
SALT Wednesday
R. Hershel Schachter’s new book, Divrei HaRav
Budget cuts at Agudath Israel of America
The ‘missing males’ of liberal Judaism

Kupat Ha’ir’s over the top advertising

Greenfield congratulates parties on reaching agreement in Bais Yaakov eviction
R. Shalom Carmy on Shir HaShirim (subscription required)
SALT Tuesday
Divorcing religion from politics is a dangerous policy
The end of the Jewish establishment?
Two Chabad schools disqualified from online contest
▪ Ethiopian (Jews?): I, II
A Jewish Renaissance?
Man who claimed to have dybbuk now admits it was all a bluff
Rabbis appointed to bypass recalcitrant marriage registrars
Donor pledges $20 million to Lincoln Square Synagogue
Is Reform movement going kosher?
SALT Monday
Last week’s news & links
Rules: link
Rabbi Steven Weil

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

95 comments

  1. Think about how many other good uses the $20 Million given to LSS could be put towards, even in the LSS/MO Community in Manhattan, but especially in the other Jewish Communities in the NYC area which are really struggling at the present day. If I were on the BOD of the shul, I don’t know how I could accept the $, let alone sleep at night, knowing what this donation could be used for.

    I know, I know, its a matching grant. Still, it astounds me. Even more than the $3 Million Dollar glass facade. I hope that sanity can prevail.

  2. Ira,
    The alternative was for the shul to close and default on debts. Also, the donor was not solicited, but came to them because he (or she) specifically wanted to save the shul. Though no one know who donated the money (except the person who received the call) all of the candidates are wealthy enough that $20M is not a major problem for them. If they want to support other struggling Jewish communities, they can. and if they don’t, not giving to LSS will not help those communities.

  3. I once criticized a large donation for a tzedakah project because I thought the money could be more wisely used in other ways. The wise person to whom I voiced this criticism gently pointed out to me that when I became a millionaire, I could decide how to speand my money. Until then, I should be more circumspect in telling other people how to spend theirs. He also pointed out to me that the donor in that situation was a great ba’al tzedakah who gave millions of dollars annually to many Jewish causes. Thus, most likely that donation I criticized was project speific; that is, had he not given it for that project he wouldn’t have used that money for something else. As I said, he is a wise person, and, incidentally, a prominent leader in our community.

  4. Would you like to correct the many errors in your old posts on Ethiopian Jews? For example: No, they didn’t have valid gittin. (It goes without saying that the Bnei Yisrael of the First Bayit era didn’t have “valid” gittin either.) But, most importantly, they didn’t allow remarriage after divorce, like Catholics, l’havdil. Problem solved.

    Another example: The current community claims descent from Dan, but via Danite guards sent to accompany the Queen of Sheba and her son by Shlomo, not from Galut Ashur. It’s the Ethiopian Royal Family that claims descent from Shlomo. Problem solved.

    You asked about religion, conversion, etc. Well, if kippot, covered hair, and long skirts (and black hats!) are anything to go by (and Israeli society is such that they certainly are), there are many, many completely frum Ethiopian Jews in Israel. I’ve never tried to marry one, so I can’t tell you what the Rabbanut makes of them. And maybe this isn’t true in Charedi circles, but I’ve never heard anyone make a fuss about counting them for a minyan.

    I imagine your posting this because of the Israeli government’s decision to bring over all the remaining Falash Mura. As converts, I imagine there won’t be too much fuss about them undergoing gerut l’chumra. Of course, their halakhic status has little to do with whether or not they should be brought to Israel.

  5. Michael Rogovin

    I love the quote by a classic Reform rabbi that serving kosher at Reform events, far from being inclusive, actually excludes him and his beliefs! So when he eats at a Chinese restaurant, I suppose he complains that they are not serving kibbeh or quiche, or when he eats chicken, he feels deprived of his beloved shrimp? A perfect demonstration of the childishness of classic Reform.

    I think the efforts toward kashrut should be cautiously welcomed, so long as ethical considerations are not confused with hilchot basar v’chalav. Both have a place and Judaism has lots to say about the former just as it does the latter.

  6. The questions in the old posts about mamzerut are said in the names of Poskim. How exactly is Rav Gil supposed to suddenly change all those quotes?

  7. Facts are facts.

  8. I note that RHS continues the tradition of the painful pictures of the Rav. Until R Rakeffet’s books “The Rav”, I thought that all the available pictures of RYBS showed him being exhausted, with a headache.

    There are more cheerful pictures of RYBS, why don’t they get wider use?

  9. Thanbo-why assume that the picture in question is painful. I think that the picture is demonstrative of Ameilus BaTorah.

  10. Maybe. But he’s the only gadol who has pictures like that. Other are smiling (R’ Yaakov Kamenetsky) or serious (R Moshe Feinstein) etc., often sitting in front of a sefer, but not holding their head in their hands like they’re in pain. I understand that most of them were taken by a famous photographer. But was every year 1967 for him? (the year he lost his wife, his mother and his brother).

  11. Actually, the first edition of Nefesh HaRav showed a later picture of a full-bearded (non-smiling) Rav, but some considered that even *more* painful, as the full beard came as a result of aveilut for his wife.

  12. The end of Shafran’s piece is sadly typical:

    1. The Gemara speaks of Asara Batlanim. By no means can the Gemara be said to have envisioned the system in place today.

    2. It’s nice to know that Israel’s successes are due to charedim studying full time and not, say, to hesder students or the balebatim in my shul who take in a shiur every day before ma’ariv.

  13. So will R’AS now take comments on his cross currents postings or will they continue to remain closed? Actually I don’t blame him as much as the C-C decision makers but that’s why I refuse to read his posts.
    KT

  14. “I note that RHS continues the tradition of the painful pictures of the Rav. Until R Rakeffet’s books “The Rav”, I thought that all the available pictures of RYBS showed him being exhausted, with a headache.

    There are more cheerful pictures of RYBS, why don’t they get wider use?”

    Maybe due to the false belief that the Rav was Lonely -the Rav had friends. The Lonely was a philosophical loneliness. There are pictures of the Rav smiling even from 1967-but there are even pictures of a young RYBS dancing at talmidim’s weddings.

  15. its not just the Rav – if you’ve ever seen pictures of Rav Chaim Shmulevitz he also always has his hand on his head

  16. The other volume of the rav by R’ARR has a happy picture on the cover.
    KT

  17. Living in the 5 towns

    So R Shafran believes that mass learning for all able-bodied young men was the norm in the time of the gemorah? If so, may I respectfully suggest he start reveiwing seder nashim again, particulary Masechta Kesuvos.
    “Har-bay Asu K’rav Shimon ben Yochia v’lo ul-suh b’yodom”. The key word being “harbay” – many. When MANY attempt to be like Bar Yochai it doesn’t work.
    Just more revisionist history from the mouthpiece of AI.

  18. Nachum,

    “1. The Gemara speaks of Asara Batlanim. By no means can the Gemara be said to have envisioned the system in place today.”

    AS never claimed it did. His point was only that it was not unusual for there to be full-time Torah scholars in a community – nothing more.

    2. It’s nice to know that Israel’s successes are due to charedim studying full time and not, say, to hesder students or the balebatim in my shul who take in a shiur every day before ma’ariv.

    Once again he never said that ALL credit goes to charedim. He suggested that it might be worth pondering whether some of it does.

    “Sadly typical” is your unsurprising response.

    Joel –
    He still doesn’t allow comments and while you are fully entitled to disagree with his decision, comments such as those above are not uncommon and very unfair and there’s no reason a decent person like AS [whom i know only superficially and have no reason to defend other than simple fairness] should accept/invite nasty comments that malign and falsely portray him. I doubt you or anyone else here would be so tolerant of criticism.

  19. what i meant to write is,
    “I doubt you or anyone else here would be so tolerant of criticism when it often veers from the subject matter and turns very personal. AS is a person, a father, a grandfather etc. and he generally tries to remain decent and respectful in his communications. why should accept when he is treated far less so by anonymous commenters? Would you? Would you want your grandchildren to one day google you and find out that some anonymous commenter thought that you’re nothing more than a schill, a crackpot, a mouthpiece, dope etc. AS has been called all that and far worse right here on this board and this is by far not the worst of the bunch.”

  20. AS is a person, a father, a grandfather etc. and he generally tries to remain decent and respectful in his communications. why should accept when he is treated far less so by anonymous commenters? Would you?
    ===========================
    As a person, a father, grandfather etc. I try to remain decent and respectful in my communications which I always post under my name here and when I comment elsewhere. I have been maligned from time to time but I try to just stick to my points and make clear my position. Sometimes I’ll just say OK, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    I think if you want to enter the blog marketplace of ideas you have to be ready to defend yours. It’s certainly their blog, I disagree with their position on this matter and imho it doesn’t do the positions being articulated a service by saying read them but don’t discuss them.

    KT

  21. One can agree or disagree with R Shafran, but one cannot dissagree with the fact that he is a great advocate for the Charedi world. AFAIK, hesder yeshivos also have kollelim, which are also premised on the idea of full time learning . Thus, the notion of full time learning, which in the past was confined to those with the potential to become Gdolei Talmidei Chachamim, may have evolved from that role into a function of ensuring young married men realize that learning Torah should always be of primary importance in their lives and as a means of training young men who will be performing important roles in various types of Klei Kodesh, whether in rabbonus, chinuch or as lay leaders . Obviously, in a world where assimilation and intermarriage are rampant, we need more young men whose educational level enables them to spread the word that Torah , Mitzvos and adherence to Halacha are the means of transmitting both the Bris Avraham and the Bris Sinai. In past generations, such personae would not have been necessary, but one can argue that the whole purpose and method of becoming a Talmid Chacham, as in the case of performing any mitzvah, has changed as our society evolves.

  22. “Would you? Would you want your grandchildren to one day google you and find out that some anonymous commenter thought that you’re nothing more than a schill, a crackpot, a mouthpiece, dope etc. AS has been called all that and far worse right here on this board and this is by far not the worst of the bunch.””

    Precisely why AS should answer comments on CC. CC is a moderated blog-although they let you post anonymously they know who you are-they require e-mqil address and BTW sometimes my most enjoyable exchanges with other CC writers have been on one and one e-mail with one of their writers. They will not post of the nature “you’re nothing more than a schill, a crackpot, a mouthpiece, dope etc”
    “and imho it doesn’t do the positions being articulated a service by saying read them but don’t discuss them.

    KT”

    Agree and Rabbis Adlerstein and Menken will let you post many challenges to their positions.

  23. Mark’s comments on Nachum’s obviously correct observations are exactly what makes RAS an apologist. He never really says what the average reader assumes he means. that is exactly the problem; his essays are often misleading. To talk about yechidai segulah for whom torasom umnasom in the same breathe as the attempt to build a whole society of such “scholars” is a tad disingenuous.

    You can argue as SB does above that in response to modernity and its pernicious nature we need lengthier immersion in learning. That is wholly different than quoting historic precedent. There is no precedent and if you wish to call it horaas sha’ah, then label it as such.

    And as best as i can tell the DL community has mastered living in this world without such a horaat shaah, calling for a mass exodus from society to the cave.

  24. “AFAIK, hesder yeshivos also have kollelim”

    1. Which the students attend before, after or during their army service; i.e., they participate in Israeli society rather than separate themselves from it.

    2. How long do they stay in the kollelim compared to how long chareidim stay in theirs? I’ve never heard people in the hesder community ask if a potential shiduch is “a learner or an earner?”. “Earners” aren’t looked down upon. To the contrary, that’s what hesder men are expected to be, as most adults are expected to be. Exceptions for a select few? There are always exceptions for a select few. The problem arises when it becomes the norm for the ordinary.

  25. Mark, I made not a single personal comment on Shafran. People have criticized me for things I’ve written in the past and I’ve taken it, arguing back if I felt they were incorrect and/or out of line. That’s what happens when you write things. And I think Shafran is profoundly and dangerously wrong here. If he is uncomfortable, he should stop writing. And yet he continues.

    The one upside of this whole story is the hints he drops as to the perilous state the Agudah is in. I suspect one day we’ll suddenly realize that it’s disappeared without our knowing it, which tells you all you need to know as to whether it’s actually needed. Halevai its Israeli counterparts go the same way.

  26. Steve,
    I dont think AS is a good spokes man for chareidim. Indeed I think his regular articles in the general press more often than not, increase negative attitudes toward charadim with inhte Jewish community.

  27. Teen-agers should not be running marathons. Its hard on the body for anyone, but teenagers are particularly to some injuries, some of which can have lasting consequenses.

  28. Re Rabbi Shafran – I think an apologetic is only good is if you don’t realize that it is an apologetic. IMO Rabbi Shafran’s pieces almost always fail this.

    That said, I am an insider and perhaps some outsiders do not see them as apologetics and if that’s so, then he is good. He’s not necessarily trying to sell Chareidi Orthodoxy to non-Chareidi Orthodox Jews.

  29. MDJ – I know the kid, he’s pretty well-informed. I’m sure he’s taken the risks into account.

    Though I am curious if anyone read the article and had their attitudes toward the specific yeshiva changed, for better or worse?

  30. Jon,
    there are 2 issues. First, he seems to be getting other kids to do this. Second, he’s been doing this since he was 14. That is an age at which these decisions cannot be made in an informed way by a teen. the adults in his life should have kept him running shorter distances until his body had matured. He will very likely regret this, at least if keeping his body properly functioning and running (literally) is important to him.

  31. What is the Doctorate in Talmudic Law R. kaganoff recieved from NIRC 4 years after his semicha?

  32. “We blew it on the internet” from Matzav.com

    This sounds like a subtle plug for their filtered service http://matzavnet.com/ (on the other hand very little else about Matzav.com is subtle, so maybe not)

  33. MDJ: I believe that NIRC gives bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in talmudic law. From what I’ve heard, the PhD is only for the cream of the crop and requires writing a sefer as a dissertation.

    JS: I think that article is from Yated. I’ve never heard of MatzavNet. I wonder if you can access Hirhurim on it.

  34. The way you phrased the link, it seems as if RYYW _is_ the “Romanian Gaon”, not that he is the author of the piece.

  35. lawrence kaplan

    Mark: I agree with Nachum. Nachum criticized, to be sure strongly, Rabbi Shafran’s arguments, not his person. Cross Currents allows only for moderated comments, so any peorsnl attacks are deleted. Rabbis Menken and Adlerstein and various guest commenters have received and responded to often sharp criticism. Why can’t Rabbi Shfran? If you can’t stnd the heat… I disagree with Cross Currents for maing him immune to criticism.

  36. MiMedinat HaYam

    fountain sioda — its an old article.

    interdeminational ritual — i think the supposed orthodox rabbi involved should be fired from the o-u, at least. he has gone beyond the pale, if what is written is really his opinion (torah not necessarily miSinai)

    different perspective on pollard — if the author supports releasing him, does he have any plans to get it done, instead of criticizing the authorized plan.

    HACK the hechsher — anyone who goes in and starts asking too many questions of a mashgiach is supposed to be told to ask the rav hasmachshir — otherwise the mashgiach gives away his unprofessionalism. and try calling the o-u and asking the same questions — their positiion is we give it a hechsher, so its acceptable. and all hechsherim rely on “kulot” that you or i may not use in our own homes. thats the facts, maam.

  37. “as long as Pollard’s so-called friends continue to venerate him as a hero of Zion, and as long as Pollard doesn’t firmly, unequivocally and consistently reject those comments, he is likely to stay in jail.

    Regardless of all the other facts in the case and the complex tangle of factors in his continued imprisonment, no president will commute the sentence of a spy who seems to support – directly or by simply not rejecting the accolades of supporters– the idea that spying against your own country is sometimes justified.”
    Agreeed that is why I have maintained that demonstrations like Amchas have decreased the chance of his being released. Therei s a lemaan yishmayu viyirahu and that Pollard and his supporters made a heter out of his crime. Chazal also treated very harshly those who would make a heter out of disobeying rules.

  38. MiMedinat HaYam

    i recently commented here on the subject of what halachot, rituals, etc the ethiopian jews have (had).

    short of gittin and mamzerut, there is VERY little discussion in any context, including in these two posts. not in any scholarly works, not in any non scholarly works, not in anywhere else.

    purim and chanukkah they dont keep, so they dont have a pblm with “hoiche kedusha” (from another post, but neither do they have tfillah (at least as we know it). milk and meat, only with a goat, six hours, five minutes, what? shabat, eruvin, nightfall, calendars, (hard to think now of what is sometimes called “rabinic judaism”), but i’m sure our readers get the message. schechita? tfillin? etrog / citron? tzitzit? tchelet?

  39. Perhaps it would be beneficial to consider the effect of chareidi kollelim on Israel’s “miraculous” military victories. As Rabbi Shafran is aware, there is no way to test this hypothesis. We can, however, compare the growth of the hareidi kollelim with the extent to which Israel’s victories were miraculous and chart whether or not the increase in kollel has led to a similar increase in Israeli miracles.

    By most accounts (I exclude those who see no miracle at all in Israel’s victories) 1948 and 1967 were the biggest miracles. Some may say that averting disaster in 1973 was a miracle. How many haredi men were learning n Kollel during these years? In 1948, 400 men earned “Torato Omanuto” status. In 1968, 800 men earned that status. These were the the elite and I doubt anyone on this forum has a problem with issuing 1000 exemptions.

    By 1999 the number of exemptions passed 30,000. By 2005, the number passed 40,000. If Rabbi Shafran wants, I am more than willing to credit this increasing number of haredi kollel men the results of the Intifada I, First Lebanon War, Intifada II, Second Lebanon War and Gaza campaign.

  40. MiMedinat HaYam.
    First, are you saying that you have learned the Pesikta d’rabbi Kahana and it doesn’t say what he says it says? Second, he does not say that he doesn’t think that Torah is not (necessarily) misinai, just that based on this sources, it is reasonable to engage with people who do say so.

  41. MDJ has a more correct read of what I was conveying. Reasonable people can reasonably disagree but it is derech eretz to confirm with someone your understanding before assuming the most negative of approaches.

    My central point is the following: The Jewish community in many locations comes together regularly for several purposes. Sometimes it is a local Federation doing fundraising that benefits the entire community. Other times it is for large community concerns like Israel advocacy or other social concerns of the Jewish community. Oftentimes, in my experience, there is some attempt at doing some joint ritual act together, whether bentching or havdalah or even saying a bracha, and it is likewise in my experience that the Orthodox Jews in attendance, rightfully so, feel uncomfortable. I can only imagine that there are times where non-Orthodox Jews feel uncomfortable as well. It is not reasonable to expect a ritual act to become a foundational moment for joint community action and activity. However, Talmud Torah can be something that all Jews can engage with together, whether through shiurim or chevrusas, and not feel like they are ipso facto violating their hashkafah or partaking in some sort of distortion of a mitzvah. I then argue that indeed our mesorah is more amenable to Talmud Torah being a place that is welcome to different opinions, even if one opinion may be wrong, there is still room to debate and discuss it.

    Ideally, speaking for myself I would like to see all of klal yisrael accept halacha and be mikabel the ikkarim of our emunah but being that in the short term that is not the reality and that the dominant mode has been and will ostensibly continue to be grounding the times of our inter-denominational cooperation on something “Jewish,” I would much rather see that be being Talmud Torah than the former, which has been the dominant method.

  42. mimedinat hayam,
    i read the article, then i read your comment and i wondered – how did I miss something so radical in the article? So i went back and looked for it. it’s not there. the closest thing is a suggestion that maybe we could understand “the revelation AT SINAI to be one of a multiplicity of understandings and interpretations.” It’s honestly not even ambiguous. I don’t say there are no legit criticisms of the article, but yours are baseless.

  43. MeMedinat, when you made that point about Ethiopians on another thread- in fact, there you said that it’s all kept “hidden” or something like that, so I guess you’re moderating- I called you on it. Now you repeat it. The fact is that a tremendous amount has been written on Ethiopian Jews in the last two centuries. Granted, much of it is in Hebrew (or German), but much is in English. The fact that you don’t seem to know of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist- even if it’s not readily accessible on the internet.

    Jack, ouch. Well put. It’s time people stopped trying to read God’s mind (outside of what we have in Tanach and Torah Shebeal Peh).

  44. I thought that R B Greenberg’s article and his defense of the same constituted an exercise in apologetics, and an attempt to blur the fact that a Torah observant Jew’s view of Halacha as the yardstick for his or her behavior and outlook for relating to fellow Jews and the secular world is precisely what distinguishes a Torah observant Jew from his or her not yet observant brethren. To paraphrase RYBS, on issues that relate to Klapei Chutz,we work together, but not on matters that affect Klapei Pnim-which certainly include how a Jew approaches God after eating a meal. A view that views “ritual” as obstructing unity is IMO another antinomian critique of the purported rigidity of Halacha by the proponents of love at all costs, that has its origins in Christian supercessionit rhetoric and which IMO should be seen as such.

  45. MeMedinat HaYam-R B Greenberg is the O chaplain at the Harvard Hillel. I don’t think that he is employed by the OU. One should not confuse an O Hillel rabbi with the young couples who serve on college campuses for the Jewish Life Institute as halachic and hashkafic role models and resources for MO college students.

  46. Joseph Kaplan wrote in response:

    “1. Which the students attend before, after or during their army service; i.e., they participate in Israeli society rather than separate themselves from it.

    2. How long do they stay in the kollelim compared to how long chareidim stay in theirs? I’ve never heard people in the hesder community ask if a potential shiduch is “a learner or an earner?”. “Earners” aren’t looked down upon. To the contrary, that’s what hesder men are expected to be, as most adults are expected to be. Exceptions for a select few? There are always exceptions for a select few. The problem arises when it becomes the norm for the ordinary”

    That may be true, but the concept of a Kol should hardly be viewed solely as a Charedi phenomenon. The notion that hesder Kollelniks do not spend a lot of time in their Batei Medrashim is incorrect.

  47. Joseph Kaplan wrote in response:

    “1. Which the students attend before, after or during their army service; i.e., they participate in Israeli society rather than separate themselves from it.

    2. How long do they stay in the kollelim compared to how long chareidim stay in theirs? I’ve never heard people in the hesder community ask if a potential shiduch is “a learner or an earner?”. “Earners” aren’t looked down upon. To the contrary, that’s what hesder men are expected to be, as most adults are expected to be. Exceptions for a select few? There are always exceptions for a select few. The problem arises when it becomes the norm for the ordinary”

    That may be true, but the concept of a Kollel should hardly be viewed solely as a Charedi phenomenon. The notion that hesder Kollelniks do not spend a lot of time in their Batei Medrashim is incorrect.

  48. Moshe Shoshan wrote:

    “I dont think AS is a good spokes man for chareidim. Indeed I think his regular articles in the general press more often than not, increase negative attitudes toward charadim with inhte Jewish community.”

    I think that R Shafran is a great advocate for his community.
    I can’t vouch for the positive or negative effects of his articles, but they always presented the Charedi POV in a straight forward and articulate manner, which I suspect is the basis for the negative attitude-namely, how can a Charedi write so well? If R Shafran’s articles did not set forth the Charedi POV so well, why else would have his articles have engendered the nasty responses on Cross Currents and in private emails. I suspect that many secular Jews and more than a few MO are amazed and upset that the Charedi world has such a proud and loyal defender. I did not agree with all of R Shafran’s weekly columns, but they always provided food for thought, which I can’t say for a lot of the articles that pass for op ed in secular Jewish media.

  49. Dr X wrote in part:

    ” And as best as i can tell the DL community has mastered living in this world without such a horaat shaah, calling for a mass exodus from society to the cave.”

    I would merely note that neither the Charedi nor the DL/MO world has been able to convince our not yet observant brethren that their message has depth and profundity for all of them, and that one can respect and admire much in both the Charedi and DL/MO worlds while rejecting the extremist elements in both.

  50. Steve – It is interesting to me that you read words that do not appear anywhere in what I wrote. In no way do I argue that halacha and true hashkafic beliefs are not the primary distinction between Orthodox Jews and our non-Orthodox brethren. Indeed, if you read my article with a more objective eye you would see that I viewed the “removing the bread” to be very positive and instructive. Ritual actions should not become the domain of a cross-denominational community function or activity. The result of doing such is to distort the mitzvah and from my perspective can be an embarrassment for Kavod HaTorah. My argument is that Talmud Torah is a more effective way of providing a Jewish grounding for joint community gatherings than ritual actions. A person can be profoundly wrong in their view of a topic but that doesn’t preclude me from learning with them or teaching them, perhaps to even come to the proper conclusion. The same possibility does not exist in joint ritual action. I find it hard to understand how most frum Jews would disagree with me.

    In fact, my central point, Steve, is that halacha *is* the dividing line and I want to preserve the integrity of halacha by not taking ritual out of its halachic framework with halacha being the derech hachayim and our kesher to HKB”H.

  51. >I think that R Shafran is a great advocate for his community.
    I can’t vouch for the positive or negative effects of his articles, but they always presented the Charedi POV in a straight forward and articulate manner, which I suspect is the basis for the negative attitude-namely, how can a Charedi write so well? If R Shafran’s articles did not set forth the Charedi POV so well, why else would have his articles have engendered the nasty responses on Cross Currents and in private emails. I suspect that many secular Jews and more than a few MO are amazed and upset that the Charedi world has such a proud and loyal defender. I did not agree with all of R Shafran’s weekly columns, but they always provided food for thought, which I can’t say for a lot of the articles that pass for op ed in secular Jewish media.

    I think his point is to persuade, not just to annoy or enrage in an articulate way. To the extent that he is successful in persuading he is successful. If not – then he isn’t.

  52. Steg (dos iz nit der shteg)

    R B Greenberg is the O chaplain at the Harvard Hillel. I don’t think that he is employed by the OU. One should not confuse an O Hillel rabbi with the young couples who serve on college campuses for the Jewish Life Institute as halachic and hashkafic role models and resources for MO college students.

    Hey, Steve…

    http://www.jliconline.org/campus/C131

  53. I suspect that many secular Jews and more than a few MO are amazed and upset that the Charedi world has such a proud and loyal defender.
    =========================================
    I haven’t done a survey, ao I can’t comment on this suspicion.I suspect that as an advocate who by the nature of his position can not diverge from his “client’s” POV, R’AS realizes that he is better off not debating the points that he knows in his heart are weak. (But of course that’s just a suspicion as well)
    KT

  54. R B Greenberg is the O chaplain at the Harvard Hillel. I don’t think that he is employed by the OU. One should not confuse an O “Hillel rabbi with the young couples who serve on college campuses for the Jewish Life Institute as halachic and hashkafic role models and resources for MO college students.

    Hey, Steve…

    http://www.jliconline.org/campus/C131

    “Rabbi Ben Greenberg received his semikha/rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in June of ’09. While at YCT, he interned at both The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York and The Hallel v’Zimrah Minyan of The Jewish Center of Teaneck in New Jersey.”

    THe OU is behind the Jewish Life Institute and they have no problem with Choveivei “musmachim”. I actually was shocked when I first heard about R B Greenberg-because I wasn’t aware that the OU would push YCT musamchim for their postiions.

  55. *Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus.

    Yeah in general, as a college kid, I think YCT rabbis are far more capable of connecting to college kids than YU, even though they generally don’t work for me. Which, of course, is worth thinking about.

  56. Mycroft,
    4 Of the JLI rabbis are from YCT.

  57. Nachum and Lawrence,

    By writing, “Rabbi Shafran’s comments are the end of the article are sadly typical” you went beyond taking issue with his arguments and attacked him as a person. That is rather obvious, I believe.

    On top of that, I think you took his words out of context. He never said what you claimed he did. The tendency of people – especially on this board – to do so is something that he’s unwilling to countenance where he can control it.

    Mycroft,

    Claiming that if he cant take the heat he should not write is rather an interesting claim from someone who hides behind a moniker. Why not use your real name and then we’ll see just how brave you really are.
    Furthermore, perhaps AS is not interested in always having to defend himself, especially when he is the subject of many of the attacks, as opposed to his arguments. CC allows all kinds of comments to go through and he clearly wasn’t comfortable with that.

    Joel,

    There is nothing that I can recall ever reading from you that was brave or in any way controversial or atypical of the popular opinion. Most of your posts regarding Chareidim are negative which puts you squarely in the middle of the pack on Hirhurim. Surely these sentiments will not come as a surprise to your grandkids so you have no cause for worry. AS, on the other hand, often steps out of the mainstream for the blogosphere and attempts to defend an unpopular stance. These bring him criticism that is often biting and personal and I can well understand why he’d choose not to allow that continue.

  58. Mark: you’re making more irritating, insubstantial, running-the-opponent-around-in-circles-until-the-audience-loses-interest-and-thinks-it’s-a-draw arguments than RAS’s – or if you prefer, than the specific argument RAS made this time.

    a) Have you read RAS’s articles? And his comments? Then you should know that, indeed, the comments he made at the end of that article are typical of his commentary, and that the fact that that is the case is indeed, sad. That is all that can be extracted from the sentence you quoted. Do you see an attack on RAS in there?

    b) No one took his words out of context – or rather, if they did, then they took them in the context that RAS was trying to hand-wave them into taking them. For example, you claim that RAS wasn’t saying ALL the credit for Israel’s victories was due to kollelim – just some of it. But then, who cares? If they aren’t directly due to them, then his point fails. Similarly, RAS’s point regarding the kollel system is also irrelevant – if the system as it is now is unprecedented, then it’s unprecedented, and who cares about the specific details regarding what the author thinks is unprecedented or not? That’s the definition of hand-waving – nitpicking a detail and declaring the entire argument a failure.

    None of that paragraph should be controversial at all. If you think it is, I’ll outline the argument better for you so you see just how nonsensical the whole discussion really is.

    c) The above is exactly why people get frustrated with RAS and criticize him, and eventually resort to personal attacks. Hand-waving is very, very annoying, especially when it’s so transparent. I’m sure RAS knows he’s hand-waving, too. So when that happens, he can expect criticism. Perhaps a better way to avoid criticism, instead of shutting off comments, is to stop the deception.

  59. Mark, that’s an insult and I deserve an apology:

    “By writing, “Rabbi Shafran’s comments are the end of the article are sadly typical” you went beyond taking issue with his arguments and attacked him as a person. That is rather obvious, I believe.”

    Obvious to you, perhaps. Any other reader would realize that I don’t know Shafran from Adam (well, from Sinai) and couldn’t possibly be referring to him personally. *Of course* I was referring to his writings. Why do you think you can imply this about me?

    As to his writings, and in response to Steve as well, need I mention the words “Madoff” and “Sullenberger”? Do either of you remember that fiasco? Perhaps Shafran is attacked because what he writes is often so terrible, not because it’s persuasive?

    As to C-C not allowing comments, Shafran’s own excuse was that he didn’t want “the gedolim” being insulted. You can look it up. He never mentioned personal attacks.

    On to Steve:

    -I’m not sure why you’re bringing up the whole “klapei pnim” thing. (Note, of course, that R’ Greenberg is not a talmid of the Rav and therefore need not fit your mold.) But in any event, people at “klapei chutz” events have to eat, don’t they? Dr. Belkin famously (or infamously, take your pick) attended a dinner with the heads of JTS and HUC. (If I recall the picture correctly, he was the only one with a kippah, although Finkelstein was certainly frum.) Who led birkat hamazon?

    Your claim about a lack of kiruv efforts is well, a bit bizarre.

  60. “Jon_Brooklyn on November 18, 2010 at 11:31 pm
    *Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus.

    Yeah in general, as a college kid, I think YCT rabbis are far more capable of connecting to college kids than YU, even though they generally don’t work for me. Which, of course, is worth thinking about.”

    Curious as to your reasons why you believe the statement-how do the two groups behave differently?

    “MDJ on November 18, 2010 at 11:50 pm
    Mycroft,
    4 Of the JLI rabbis are from YCT”
    Thanks for the info.

    “Mycroft,

    Claiming that if he cant take the heat he should not write is rather an interesting claim from someone who hides behind a moniker. Why not use your real name and then we’ll see just how brave you really are.”
    People who know me understand the reason -I do not hide who I am-I frequently mention true autobiographical details in my comments.

    “. CC allows all kinds of comments to go through and he clearly wasn’t comfortable with that”
    I am one who has had many comments not published by CC-very rarely had a comment not published by Hirhurim.

  61. R’ Mark,
    Thanks, i’d appreciate the back up data for your analysis – especially the definition of negative. In any event we’ll have to agree to disagree.
    KT

  62. lawrence kaplan

    Mark: Since Cross Currents moderates its comments, personal attacks on Rabbi Shafran will not be posted. So your defense of his not allowing comments fails.

  63. Bireshut Rabbotai, it’s noteworthy that the RCA has issued this week a respectful request for the White House to graciously grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard.
    http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?id=105592
    In the nusakh sefard minyan at RIETS (in room 101 of the main Beit Midrash building), every Shabbat a “Mi She-Beirakh” prayer is recited (by the gabbai, R. Harry Nussbaum) for clemency to be granted to Pollard. Vinizkeh vinich’yeh vinir’eh…

  64. Nachum,

    No personal insult intended. I’m not out to defend AS’s honor while insulting yours. I don’t know either of you and have a difficult time when blog comments turn personal and negative. If you took it as an insult, rest assured it was not intended as such and I ask mechilah.
    Nevertheless, I do believe your words were personally insulting AS. You could have expressed your disagreement as follows:
    “Rabbi Shafran took one approach, I’d like to suggest another…” or any other way that wouldn’t have to attack him personally.
    I have no interest in discussing this further and you are welcome to disagree.

    Mycroft,
    I too have a good reason not to identify myself but I don’t criticize others who do and then don’t invite personal attacks.
    CC has a much stricter moderating policy than Hirhurim but plenty of stuff gets posted that is very negative. If you don’t believe so, why not use your real name there. It won’t hurt you.

    Lawrence,
    Except that they have.

    Joel,
    Sorry but none will be forthcoming. I’m not that heavily invested in this to put in the time, but I’ve read more than enough from you to know that I’d have to strain very hard to remember ever reading a comment from you that wasn’t negative when it came to Charedim. Don’t get me wrong, I support your right to do so fully, but I also don’t think you’ve ever gone out on a limb especially when anything you write that is controversial is couched in the old, “Kach Mekublani M’beit Avi…” :>)

  65. This link may be of interest to readers

    The only Professor of Jewish Studies in China

    http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/11/18/chinese-prof-devotes-life-to-study-of-jewish-%E2%80%98soulmates%E2%80%99/

    PS – Prof. Xu will speak Sunday night at Congregation Darchei Noam, 864 Sheppard Ave. W., Toronto. (no time listed)

  66. “I too have a good reason not to identify myself but I don’t criticize others who do and then don’t invite personal attacks”

    I just mean to say that the blogosphere is in general one of give and take. If I recall correctly when Rabbi Shafran the first time started to answer comments on Cross Current I posted there thanking him for taking the time to answer comments-even if people disagree it is worth a lot to respectfully take the time to answer. I rember once I read a column by Father Greeley and e-mailed him a comment , he bothered to reply. It wasn’t even on a blog but if you write on a blog give the courtesy to reply. At least in a cursory manner.
    BTW-I believe I am relatively nuanced in my personal comments-I don’t have constant villains and heroes-I tend to deal with the individual action or belief.

    “CC has a much stricter moderating policy than Hirhurim but plenty of stuff gets posted that is very negative. If you don’t believe so, why not use your real name there. It won’t hurt you”

    It wouldn’t hurt me to use my real name-but I have my reasons and as I indicated those who know me and read Hirhurim recognize me and my comments. CC editors obviously know who I am-they have your e-mail address and on occasion they have questioned something that I wrote privately-sometimes they posted after e-mail exachanges sometimes not. I respect Rabbis Adlerstein and Menken for taking some critical comments of their heroes. One just doesn’t post on blogs if one really wants to be anonymous-besides e-mail address URL can be noted by the blogmaster.

  67. Mycroft-I stand corrected.

    Nachum wrote:

    ” Steve:

    -I’m not sure why you’re bringing up the whole “klapei pnim” thing. (Note, of course, that R’ Greenberg is not a talmid of the Rav and therefore need not fit your mold.) But in any event, people at “klapei chutz” events have to eat, don’t they? Dr. Belkin famously (or infamously, take your pick) attended a dinner with the heads of JTS and HUC. (If I recall the picture correctly, he was the only one with a kippah, although Finkelstein was certainly frum.) Who led birkat hamazon?”

    Nachum, was RYBS at that dinner? RYBS and R D Belkin ZL differed on the separation of RIETS from YU.I have no idea if there was Birkas HaMazon with a Mzuman at the dinner you mentioned. AFAIK, RYBS’s views on Klapei Chutz/Klapei Pnim have governed how MO viewed or should view interdemominational issues.

  68. R. Shafran is a PR man. It’s unwise for any corporate PR department to send its pronouncements to fend for themselves in an intellectual arena — the respective goals are too different.

    Re: Steve Brizel,

    “One can agree or disagree with R Shafran, but one cannot dissagree with the fact that he is a great advocate for the Charedi world.”

    and

    “…which I suspect is the basis for the negative attitude-namely, how can a Charedi write so well? “

    Please…. he’s a mediocre advocate for charediism because his writing is formulaic, predictable and often non sequitur.

    “If R Shafran’s articles did not set forth the Charedi POV so well, why else would have his articles have engendered the nasty responses on Cross Currents and in private emails.”

    Gosh, why indeed?…. Might it be because people are put off by his misrepresentations of Torah, poor argumentation, charedi-victimhood posture and dull writing? Naaaaa…

  69. Joel,
    Sorry but none will be forthcoming. I’m not that heavily invested in this to put in the time, but I’ve read more than enough from you to know that I’d have to strain very hard to remember ever reading a comment from you that wasn’t negative when it came to Charedim. Don’t get me wrong, I support your right to do so fully, but I also don’t think you’ve ever gone out on a limb especially when anything you write that is controversial is couched in the old, “Kach Mekublani M’beit Avi…” :>)
    =============================
    That’s certainly your right, but it obviously is hard to refute a position taken on that basis. I do have to correct your last statement – when I say Kach mkublani it’s a in in kavod av to give respect to that which I heard directly from avi mori vrabi zll”HH
    KT

  70. “Nachum, was RYBS at that dinner?”

    I imagine he wasn’t- the dinner was organized by the SCA to honor the three. But maybe he was. But what’s Dr. Belkin, chopped liver? He was a talmid chacham (sat on YU’s semicha board, in fact- the two signatures on my father’s semicha are his and the Rav’s) and a communal leader. You’re dismissing of anything that didn’t have the Rav’s official approval is troubling in its implied insult to other gedolim.

    “RYBS and R D Belkin ZL differed on the separation of RIETS from YU.”

    Yes they did. And that has absolutely nothing to do with this topic.

    “I have no idea if there was Birkas HaMazon with a Mzuman at the dinner you mentioned.”

    Another insult to Dr. Belkin, talmid of the Chafetz Chaim. Lovely.

    “AFAIK, RYBS’s views on Klapei Chutz/Klapei Pnim have governed how MO viewed or should view interdemominational issues.”

    They have? What is “MO”? Perhaps (and perhaps not) they’ve governed the RCA and the OU. Perhaps Dr. Belkin felt differently. Perhaps others do.

    Ironically, I tend to agree with the Rav here. But the assumptions in your post need to be responded to.

  71. I forgot my main point:

    “I have no idea if there was Birkas HaMazon with a Mzuman at the dinner you mentioned.”

    That is my whole point! Obviously, if it was an issue as you think it may have been, Dr. Belkin put himself into a situation where it was an issue. You seem to feel no Orthodox rabbi should.

    I doubt it was an issue, by the way: Conservatism wasn’t really at its “egalitarian” stage at that point, and Reform back then didn’t care much about ritual.

  72. Ben G-Thank you for your clarification and distinction between study and ritual. Talmud Torah Lishmah is wonderful, especially with heterodox clergy learning and listening, if it leads to a halachically proper conclusion. Joint panels where you present your perspective merely as one denomination among two others are forums that are ripe for apologetics and rhetoric along the lines of “why can’t we be friends?” which unfortunately blur the differences between Halacha and non-halachic movements.

    It is well known that heterodox clergy attended RYBS’s shiurim and drashos, even to the consternation of RAK. Yet, I know of no instance where RYBS attended or participated in a joint learning event with heterodox clergy ala forums at the 92nd Street Y.

  73. Nachum-WADr, what planet are you on? RYBS’s criteria on Klapei Chutz/Klapei Pnim were viewed as the final word on this issue. Yes, R D Belkin ZL was on the Snicha Board, and a Talmid Chacham, but I know of no real instance in which his views were deemed as vital or important as that of RYBS on the critical issues that faced MO in the late 1950s and 1960s.

  74. “Joint panels where you present your perspective merely as one denomination among two others are forums that are ripe for apologetics and rhetoric along the lines of “why can’t we be friends?” which unfortunately blur the differences between Halacha and non-halachic movements”
    “I know of no instance where RYBS attended or participated in a joint learning event with heterodox clergy ”
    Certainly Rav Lichtenstein among others in the 60s and 70s attended institutes run by R David Hartman that were precisely that.
    These events took place in Quebec before R Hartman’s aliyah and Israel after his aliyah. Not only was RAL the Ravs son-in-law but these were activities done openly while the Rav was alive and still active. This is not the case that someone close to the Rav after the Rav is niftar starts quoting things that were not known while the Rav was active.
    It would not be kavod for the Rav to be a part of a symposium involving only Orthodox Rabbis.

  75. Steve – Shavua Tov. You are most welcome. The event that served as the framing for my discussion in the article was part of a fellowship run through the Healthcare Chaplaincy in NYC to help future rabbis, of all denominations, learn how best to be sensitive to Jews on the margins of the community, e.g. mental illness, singles, widows, divorced parents, etc.

    However, I have been witness to many, many denominational panels and have sat on a few of them myself and I think the concern you raise is mainly a thing of the past. We have come to a point now in inter-Jewish community relations where we are comfortable with not blurring the lines between Halakhic Judaism and heterodox denominations and saying it as it is, obviously in a non-offensive and respectful way with derech eretz, but nonetheless I have not witnessed any other Orthodox rabbi on any of these panels you refer to blurring distinctions or trying to play to the most amount of applause he can get (and I of course certainly do no such thing). Just last year I was witness to one of these panels in which R. Benjy Samuels of Newton did a fantastic job representing Orthodoxy without resorting to reductionism or the like. I think R. Shmuel Goldin’s article on this written several years ago best exemplifies the generational change that your experiential memory may not reflect. I, myself, wrote an article about a year ago that essentially asserted the demise in many ways of heterodox Judaism and I still have the respect of my non-Orthodox colleagues in the city because unlike previous generations you are davka respected when you don’t try to sugar coat truth.

    In any case, the reality I was addressing in my article was the local Federation fundraising event or an Israel solidarity action or the like.

  76. “but I know of no real instance in which his views were deemed as vital or important as that of RYBS on the critical issues that faced MO in the late”

    Except of course for money-the President of YU controls money. Look who could care less about Richard Joel’s viewpoints about Orthodoxy if not for the money that he controls.
    .

  77. “RYBS’s criteria on Klapei Chutz/Klapei Pnim were viewed as the final word on this issue.”
    the passive voice here is interesting. as is the past tense. viewed by whom? and does it have to be that way forever?

  78. , “I have been witness to many, many denominational panels and have sat on a few of them myself and I think the concern you raise is mainly a thing of the past. We have come to a point now in inter-Jewish community relations where we are comfortable with not blurring the lines between Halakhic Judaism and heterodox denominations”

    As I stated in my 831 post I beliewve your statement was true in the 60s

  79. Joel,

    “I suspect that as an advocate who by the nature of his position can not diverge from his “client’s” POV, R’AS realizes that he is better off not debating the points that he knows in his heart are weak.”

    AS has a long history of defending and advocating on behalf of Charedim that dates back well before he assumed the position on behalf of Agudath Israel. He was hired by them because of this history. He did not suddenly assume these positions when he was hired by AI. Read some of his material from his days in Providence [or was it Rochester?] and you’ll see what I mean.

  80. Mycroft,

    Whatever your reasons for remaining anonymous, the reality is that almost no one knows who you are so you risk almost nothing by posting. No one will personally attack you because they can’t. That fact alone leaves you and I in no position to criticize those who do and then choose not invite those attacks. Use your own name, assume some controversial positions, and you’re all set to go. Until then you’re nothing but a tough guy who hides behind his keyboard and lobs snowballs at others.

  81. lawrence ka[plan

    Mark: Your suggestion as to how Nachum ought to have phrased his criticism of R. Shafran is absurd. You fail to distinguish betwen hard hitting criticism of a person’s writings and personal criticism. Nachum was saying that R. Shafran’s column was unconvincing aplogetics and that this column is typical of his columns in general. You may think this criticism is unfair, but it is substantive, not personal criticism. Your idea that the only legitimate substantive criticism is “you have your view, I have another view to suggest” is ridiculous. And, no, that is not a personal criticism of you.

  82. lawrence ka[plan

    Mark: BTW, I agree with your point about Mycroft.

    Mycroft: Whatever your reasons, as far as the public is concerned you are an anonymous blogger.

  83. Prof. Kaplan: Thank you for that. I should point out that I am a strong believer in the idea of objective truth, so “you have your point, I have mine” doesn’t really cut it for me. It was also something I learned in debate club: Never say “I believe.” It is or it isn’t. True then, true now.

  84. Mycroft is, in fact, currently Mark Gatiss, who is excellent in the role. (“Get…in…the…car…Dr. Watson. I could make some sort of threat, but I’m sure your situation is quite clear to you.”) Charles Grey was good as well- in two different forms, years apart! (“To act, Sherlock, to act!”) Finally, Stephen Fry is up next, and I have no doubt he will be excellent as well. Each in their own way, of course.

  85. Nachum and Lawrence,

    I too, am a strong proponent of truth and don’t care much for the “you have your point, I have mine” approach. What I was trying to say without sounding snooty was that I have no interest in arguing this point any longer since you and I clearly don’t agree and it’s not my style to argue for the sake of arguing. If we’re discussing whether Dunkin Donuts exists on the corner of 4th ave and 42nd street we can agree that there is only one truth. Here we’re discussing tone and intent and I remain unconvinced by your arguments just as you remain unconvinced by mine. In that case, I think it’s wise to let it go and leave well enough alone.
    Perhaps I’ll read your posts more carefully in the future and not make certain assumptions that i’ve made until this point. Perhaps you’ll word your criticisms of AS [or whomever] more carefully to ensure that dimwits like me don’t mistake your intent. If either is the case, this discussion will have been worthwhile imho.

  86. Cool, Mark. All I’ve got to say is that if you’re talking New York City, “the corner of 4th ave and 42nd street” does not exist. 🙂

  87. “Mycroft: Whatever your reasons, as far as the public is concerned you are an anonymous blogger.”

    If that reflects my credibility so be it. Lots of people in the blogosphere write as anonymous-note Hirhurim was started by Simcha before Gil took credit. I never claim accuracy by who I am-people who have read my posts over the years even if they
    don’t know who I am have a fair idea of my hashkafa and my viewpoints-you can accept what I write or not-including my “anonymity” as part of my credibility or lack of credibility-I believe my comments should stand or fall by what they say-not by whose saying them.
    I try to answer every comment that is addressed to me on the blogosphere-I do not state that I write a comment and am too busy to answer comments.

  88. “All I’ve got to say is that if you’re talking New York City, “the corner of 4th ave and 42nd street” does not exist. :-)”

    Unless one properly considers Park Ave as the continuation of 4th Ave. Of course at Park Ave and 42nd one has the viaduct etc but there are corners on the south side of 42nd St and Park Ave.
    North side no such corner Grand Central Terminal.

  89. >Prof Xu…the only Jewish Studies professor in China

    Not so. He may be the only ethnic Chinese Jewish Studies professor in China, but M. Avrum Ehrlich teaches Jewish Studies at the University of Shandong, since 2005.

    http://www.avrumehrlich.net/briefprofile.htm

    He has written many things, probably best known in these circles for his books on the history of Chabad. The big one on the different leadership styles of the various rebbes, is online at his website.

  90. lawrence ka[plan

    mycroft: I am sorry if I was not clear. Blogging anonymosly does NOT impugn one’s credibility, and there may be valid reasons for doing so. It does put, however, an especial burden on the anonymous blogger to be very cautious on his criticisms others.

  91. Mycroft is only semi-anonymous. Because many people in the community know his identity, he does, to a degree, have to account for his comments. He and I both know people who are upset with him for some of his anti-establishment comments.

  92. “lawrence ka[plan on November 21, 2010 at 9:53 pm
    mycroft: I am sorry if I was not clear. Blogging anonymosly does NOT impugn one’s credibility, and there may be valid reasons for doing so. It does put, however, an especial burden on the anonymous blogger to be very cautious on his criticisms others”
    Agreed
    As far as I can tell it is the following post that got Mark to attack me as an anonymous blogger.
    As far as I can tell all that I suggested is that Rabbi Shafran should answer commnets on CC, it is a moderated blog which eliminates the possibility of anyone attacking Rabbi Shafran or any other writer in a nasty manner.
    BTW blogs that require e-mail addresses or an in between stage of anonymity-obviously the blogmaster knows who people are. It is my impression for example that the number of commentators decreased on Hirhurim after Hirhurim required listing commentators e-mail address. It is my understanding, that blogs like Hirhurim run on an understanding that writers can remain anonymous-people comment with that understanding. I do believe that Hirhurim has very little of attacks that are of a personal nature.

    mycroft on November 16, 2010 at 10:55 pm
    “Would you? Would you want your grandchildren to one day google you and find out that some anonymous commenter thought that you’re nothing more than a schill, a crackpot, a mouthpiece, dope etc. AS has been called all that and far worse right here on this board and this is by far not the worst of the bunch.””

    Precisely why AS should answer comments on CC. CC is a moderated blog-although they let you post anonymously they know who you are-they require e-mqil address and BTW sometimes my most enjoyable exchanges with other CC writers have been on one and one e-mail with one of their writers. They will not post of the nature “you’re nothing more than a schill, a crackpot, a mouthpiece, dope etc”
    “and imho it doesn’t do the positions being articulated a service by saying read them but don’t discuss them.

    KT”

    Agree and Rabbis Adlerstein and Menken will let you post many challenges to their positions.

    I don’t see the attack on Rabbi Shafran-I only suggested that it would be better for him to answer comments.

  93. Mycroft,

    “As far as I can tell it is the following post that got Mark to attack me as an anonymous blogger.”

    I don’t believe I ever attacked you for remaining anonymous at all. All I said was that to criticize AS for refusing comments because of excessive criticism when one remains anonymous himself is inconsistent. Feel free to remain as anon as you wish. I guarantee you, however, that if you ever chose not to, you’d be far more reserved in your comments than you currently are.

  94. BTW when Rabbi Shafran began to answer comments I did compliment him in the blogosphere see eg

    mycroft
    September 10, 2006 at 11:27 pm
    I thank Rabbi Shafran for taking the time to comment on my response-of course among other responses.

    Read more: http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2006/09/08/a-prophecy-sadly-fulfilled/#ixzz15zARZbsX
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

    mycroft
    September 12, 2006 at 11:25 pm
    I hesitate to post again (and will, bim’chilas kovod kulchem, make this my last posting on this chain) for fear of overstaying my welcome.
    Not that I can speak for Rabbi Menken-but I’m quite sure that Rabbi Shafran has no fear of overstaying his welcome. Not only do I look forward to his unfortunately too rare postings, but I appreciate his polite discussion even with those who may differ with him. BTW I suspect a lot of the differences are somewhat based on language-rather than real ideological differences.
    I understand he is certainly a busy person-but his polite responses are something that should be emulated.

    Read more: http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2006/09/08/a-prophecy-sadly-fulfilled/#ixzz15zAsRQ9t
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

    BTW I don’t keep a record of my comments-I found these examples from a quick google search “mycroft and rabbi shafran and cross currents”

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