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Former FBI lawyer opposes Pollard release
Results of Jewish non-profit copmensation survey
New ‘liberal halachic’ rabbinical school taking shape in Toronto
The ‘Real Jew’ Debate
The truth about the wig couple
SALT Friday
The Kosher Bookworm: Rashi and Rambam on Christianity
“Rabba” is Not a Rebellion, But Continuation of Natural Evolution
Amos Bunim Discusses the Legacy of His Father, Irving Bunim
R. Heshie Billet: Favors Minority Opinion
The myth of Tel Aviv
J’lem chief rabbi criteria to change after Barkat petition
Young Israel shuls challenge parent group on branch rights
Rabbi sues Army over beard ruling
Celebrate Hanukka with a ‘kosher’ spirit
SALT Thursday
How can a religious person justify being a slumlord?
Leading Haredi rabbi rejects call forbidding the rental of homes to Arabs
Tuesday, The Rabbi Went Out
Judge orders body of Jewish woman, 105, cremated
EU Council rejects anti-shechitah amendment
SALT Wednesday
Dr. Josh Berman’s project to refute Biblical criticism
Is Steinhardt retiring from Jewish philanthropic life?
Eastern front: Immigrants are changing the face of American Jewry
Deri: Train yeshiva students as firefighters
4 pioneer female rabbis/rabba to gather in Mass.
SALT Tuesday
Novominsker Rebbe: Child molestation threatens integrity of the community
OU Israel Emergency Forest Fire Fund
Whatever happened to Moses Mendelssohn?
Ask the Rabbi: The right to self-defense
Brooklyn rabbi wanted for molesting daughters
Israel refused fire truck donations from Christian group
SALT Monday
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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 of New Jersey, 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 and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and 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.

132 comments

  1. In light of the recent controversy about the Avot observing Mitzvot, readers may be interested in my newly published series of shiurim “Introduction to the study of aggada through the eyes of chazal and the rishonim” at the Beit Midrash Tamid website

    http://bmt.org.il/articlenav.php?id=39&en&seriesID=1437

    This site also has a follow up shiur “Introduction to Ein Yaakov/ the Mishnah as literary text”

  2. Novominsker Rebbe:

    “the possibility that a child could be molested in our own community is a crack that threatens the very integrity of the structure.”

    and what is he going to do about it?

    Tweski: “While admitting that he had no simple solutions to the problem”

    how about legislation to make private school employees mandatory reporters?

  3. MiMedinat HaYam

    “Bowing to Gentile pressure to jettison particularist beliefs, he had, for instance, repudiated the notion of a messianic national Jewish return to the land of Israel, asserting that this was one of those “contradictory religious opinions” that a Jew reserves only “for synagogue and prayer.” ”

    sounds like common practice today (MO and RW) (except chabad, but there we get into excessive practice)

  4. R’Moshe
    Any man who titles a shiur “the answer is blowing in the wind” reminds me of the quote from Patton concerning Bastogne and General Mcauliffe -A man that eloquent has to be saved.
    KT

  5. MiMedinat HaYam

    “how about legislation to make private school employees mandatory reporters?”

    1. it doesnt work with non jewish / non catholic schools either.
    2. it will discourage young bais yaakov girls (the prime source of cheap labor for charedi schools) from getting in this low paying (non)profession. ditto (otherwise) non productive yeshiva boys.
    3. it wouldnt have prevented cases such as that mentioned above; it will only prevent “recidivism” if the accuser is convicted and fingerprinted.

  6. Why would it discourage them from becoming teachers unless the rabbonim say that it is assur to make such reports?

  7. MiMedinat HaYam:

    “it doesnt work with non jewish / non catholic schools either”

    you mean it never works?

    “it will discourage young bais yaakov girls”

    i don’t why this is so or how it is relevant

    “it will only prevent “recidivism” if the accuser is convicted and fingerprinted”

    so?
    and aside from preventing recidivism, what about protecting a child that might currently be abused?

  8. MiMedinat HaYam

    to abba:

    1. yes, it has never worked so far, all proposals are voluntary on the part of the school. if you want such a requirement, how about opening it up to complete public view (not currently permitted)?

    2. it is relevant because they have enough trouble getting dedicated teachers (all yeshivot, MO and charedi). and if you want to fingerprint them, who needs it?

    3. if a child is “currently be(ing) abused” by someone with no record, it will never help him. and that is the vast majority of these cases.

    in fact, it can be argued it will discourage reporting, and / or evasion, due to the (?dire?) consequences of the reporting.

    and last but not least, parents are not demanding it of their schools.

  9. >and what is he going to do about it?

    Say that it’s a crack like a yeshiva closing and talk about it 5 years after the rest of the community began talking about it.

  10. MiMedinat HaYam

    new idea — if the govt doesnt pay (part) of teacher’s salary, they have no right to mandate anything (a variation of http://www.forward.com/articles/133568/)

  11. That article on Mendelssohn is…interesting:

    “On the one hand, unsurprisingly, the Orthodox denounced it at birth”

    Simply untrue. It was widely used by the Orthodox. *Some* Orthodox didn’t get around to condemning it until about fifty years later; they were largely ignored.

    “its very form—German in Hebrew transliteration—rendered it archaic by the early 19th century.”

    That’s why later editions wrote the German in German letters.

    “repudiated the notion of a messianic national Jewish return to the land of Israel, asserting that this was one of those “contradictory religious opinions” that a Jew reserves only “for synagogue and prayer.””

    Sounds not unlike R’ Hirsch, eh? Or Charedim in general. Or Zionists outside of Israel. 🙂

    “Unfairly damned in his own day by the Orthodox as a Reformer”

    There were no “Reformers” in his day.

    The rest of the paragraph is nonsensical. Reformers liked to claim him; Yiddishists and Zionists were pretty much unaware of him. Does Nadler honestly know what he’s talking about or is he just making up facts and accepting some frum view of history?

  12. Sorry, that was me.

  13. I can’t help but think that Yishai is getting his just deserts for what he’s been doing the last few weeks. I shall not claim to read God’s mind, though, as over forty heroes of the Jewish people have died.

  14. MiMedinat HaYam

    nachum — you’re right. also, the article claims MM was a maskil more than a reformer. not true on either point.

    regarding the heter to travel on simchat torah — should say who gave the heter, and point out that today it would never fly (south side of chicago excepted.)

  15. >regarding the heter to travel on simchat torah — should say who gave the heter, and point out that today it would never fly (south side of chicago excepted.)

    The ראב”ד of Berlin, R. Hirschel Lewin, of course.

    There’d be no reason for it today. We aren’t tolerated aliens living under the sufferance of a dukes or absolute monarchs.

  16. > I can’t help but think that Yishai is getting his just deserts for what he’s been doing the last few weeks. I shall not claim to read God’s mind, though, as over forty heroes of the Jewish people have died.

    Do you even know what you are talking about ? Yishai acted according to Halacha (among the poskim : rav Elyashiv שליט”א, rav Ovadia Yosef שליט”א, rav Mordechai Eliyahu זצ”ל. Is there a machloket on this matter ?). I doubt Hashem doesn’t approve this.

  17. >Do you even know what you are talking about ? Yishai acted >according to Halacha (among the poskim : rav Elyashiv שליט”א, rav >Ovadia Yosef שליט”א, rav Mordechai Eliyahu זצ”ל. Is there a >machloket on this matter ?). I doubt Hashem doesn’t approve this.

    You know of a written psak from any of the above Gedolim that a minister in the Israeli gov’t should prefer to place the country in danger rather than accept donations from this organization?

    In other words two issues: How do we know this prohibition applies to those acting in an official capacity on behalf of the Israeli gov’t? And how to we know that, given that we were talking about an issue of public health, that their psak would still apply?

  18. I wouldn’t blame Yishai completely. One has to wonder why fire protection appears to have been a neglected priority in a country where the proximity of mountains, desert and a shortage of rain and if special tefilos were added on a nationwide basis while the fire was raging, as opposed to prior thereto, when a RY of a prominent Hesder yeshiva advised against either a Taanis or special Tefilos. Yes,desalination is important,but so is recognizing that merely because the Land of Israel is enjoying economic prosperity in some quarters does not negate the fact that there is a strong tradition that the Land of Israel’s livelihood is not necessarily measured solely in contemporary economic terms.

  19. Nachum wrote in response to this portion of the linked article:

    “repudiated the notion of a messianic national Jewish return to the land of Israel, asserting that this was one of those “contradictory religious opinions” that a Jew reserves only “for synagogue and prayer.””

    Sounds not unlike R’ Hirsch, eh? Or Charedim in general. Or Zionists outside of Israel

    Not exactly. 19th Century German Jews, regardless of their views towards Halacha, were German nationalists and viewed Herzl and his predecessors and their POV as if they had arrived from another planet. Charedim, OTOH, recognize the importance of living in the Land of Israel, but attach no theological significance either to the the State of Israel or any events that have occurred since 1948. Viewing all Charedim as being monolithically opposed as if they all share the views of NK is a serious overstatement. Many Zionists outside Israel talk a great game about Aliyah and saying Hallel on YH and Yom Yerushalayim, but wind up no further than either Teaneck, the Five Towns or other such citadels of MO/RZ, as opposed to making aliyah. Like it or not, unless one moves when one is either single ala Nachum or when one’s children are in the pre school age and one is prepared to abandon well developed hashkafic sensibilities such as either working or not being a gung ko pro settlement RZ sympathizer in order to fit into the well known cookie cutter hashkafic modes of either the RZ or Charedi worlds, adjustment to living in the Land of Israel is a process that takes years. Look at it this way-how many RIETS trained Talmidei Chachamim are RaMim either in the Hesder or a Rosh Chabura, the equivalent in the Charedi world?

    Yes, Israel is attracting a large aliyah of both MO and Charedi American Jews. OTOH, the notion that the same can be achieved without a Klitah tovah is highly problematic.

  20. MiMedinay Hayam:

    “all proposals are voluntary on the part of the school. if you want such a requirement, how about opening it up to complete public view (not currently permitted)?”

    i’m not sure what you mean here. please clarify.

    “it is relevant because they have enough trouble getting dedicated teachers (all yeshivot, MO and charedi). and if you want to fingerprint them, who needs it?”

    i really don’t understand this. fingerprinting is standard in public schools, including for frum employees in these schools (as in some other professions as well). i don’t understand why davka there should be an objection by employees in yeshivos. fingerprinting really involves no tircha. not even any mess (a lot of agencies don’t use ink anymore.) can you imagine doctors refusing to practice because they object to fingerprinting? and frankly, i simply can’t imagine that people, many of whom who have no other marketable skills, will opt out of chinuch because of a 5-minute procedure.

    “if a child is “currently be(ing) abused” by someone with no record, it will never help him. and that is the vast majority of these cases.”

    i think you are mixing up here fingerprinting and mandatory reporting. correct, fingerprinting won’t help a child being abused by someone with no record. but that is why there has to be mandatory reporting.

    “in fact, it can be argued it will discourage reporting, and / or evasion, due to the (?dire?) consequences of the reporting.”

    i don’t think doesn’t make sense.

    “and last but not least, parents are not demanding it of their schools”

    at least in MO schools, i think a lot of parents actually don’t realize that these school don’t fingerprint and/or have mandatory reporting policies.

  21. MiMedinat HaYam

    “Charedim, OTOH, recognize the importance of living in the Land of Israel, but attach no theological significance either to the the State of Israel or any events that have occurred since 1948.”

    many charedim (of various branches) do attach …
    to some degree or another, and often in opposition to their particular subdenomination / rebbe / RY.

    but not today, not in today’s climate.

    besides, the particular quote does not particularly refer to the imperative of aliyah, but to the 12th/13th (supposed; but these two are universally accepted) article of our faith.

    3. “how many RIETS trained Talmidei Chachamim are RaMim either in the Hesder or a Rosh Chabura” actually, there are a good number of them. also, dismiss internal yu politics from the discussion to get a greater number of them.

  22. MiMedinat HaYam:

    “if the govt doesnt pay (part) of teacher’s salary, they have no right to mandate anything”

    at least in NYS (which i think it’s fair to say hosts a large plurality of jewish students, if not a majority?), yeshivos and their students get *millions* of dollars of government money. so they do have the right.

    in any case, the concept of mandatory reporting has nothing to do with being paid by the state. not ethically (imho) and certainly not legally. many professions are legally bound as mandatory reporters even though members may be private employees. e.g., doctors, social workers, etc. in private practice.

    btw, that was an intersting article you pointed (although i don’t see the relevance). but i think the author is not 100% accurate concerning the legalities. even if the guy from flatbush had a civil divorce, his second marriage would still have been illegal. afaiu, nys law prohibits clergy from conducint marriages for couples that don’t first apply for a civil licenses. (of course this is disregarded by many rabbonim)

  23. MiMedinat HaYam

    actually, if the govt pays (?partially?) the salaries, it can mandate certain things (unless they infringe on the religious liberty issue, per the flatbush article.). the $ nys gives is not for salaries, but for ancillary services like mandated attendance requirements, and mandated books (i guess that doesnt include biology texts).

    2. requiring the license ignored by rabbonim, they should be mandated to point out the dangers of not having a marriage license. (actually, i mean the legally incorrect concept of thereby not requiring a civil divorce; women should be advised the civil divorce will almost always benefit them in the kong run, besides being legally requited; one mother proudly told me me none of her three daughters had a marriage licence when they married; she refused to hear me say her daughters may be in legal danger.)

  24. The status of rodef was further applied to a fetus whose mother is endangered by the pregnancy, thereby mandating an abortion, even as the fetus certainly has no malicious intent (CM 425:2-3). Rabbi S. Brody

    The above citation from the article by Rabbi Brody is inaccurate or misleading. The Shulchan Aruch in Choshen Mishpat 425:2 cites the language of the Rambam’s Mishne Torah, hilchot Rotzeiach 1:9 which states that the fetus is “like a rodef”. The Rambam is known to be precise with his language. ‘Like a rodef’ is not the same as ‘is a rodef’. In fact, both the undisputed mishna in Ohalot 7:6 and the Gemara Sanhedrin 72b don’t use the rationale of rodef to advocate killing the fetus to save the mother. Rather, the mishna states simply that her life takes precedence, while the Gemara in question states explicitly that the fetus is not the rodef here, but ‘the heaven(ly decree) is’. Rashi there explains the precedence of the mother’s life is due to the fact that the fetus does not yet have the status of a living soul (i.e., independent life). In fact, the use of a putative ‘rodef’ status for the fetus would be a reason to sacrafice the fetus/newborn even after its head or major part has left the uterus. That would be against the halachic conclusion of the above mishna and gemara. The Rambam would hardly be advocating such a position unless one can supply a primary source which disputes the conclusion of the above mishna and gemara. In any case, the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch don’t dispute that conclusion and end their halacha with the rationale of ‘that is the nature of things’ – hardly an endorsement of the applicability of the din rodef.

    Rather, the Rambam’s use of the term ‘like a rodef’ is to invoke the biblical command of “vekatzota et kapa, lo tachot einecha”. In fact, the Rambam prefaces his halacha 1:9 by invoking that biblical command which he considers to be the basis for the din of rodef (like the Sifrei and unlike the Bavli). In other words, the Rambam provides an incentive to do what is necessary to the fetus to save the mother despite the natural reluctance to kill fetal life – not that the fetus has the actual status of a rodef.

  25. I wasn’t talking about Yishai rejecting the fire engines, although that would be stupid as well. I was talking about his spending the last few weeks playing very dirty religious politics with a fellow member of his party.

    “if special tefilos were added on a nationwide basis while the fire was raging, as opposed to prior thereto”

    The fire was raging for less than three days, including a Shabbat. My shul has been saying tefillot for rain for weeks and continues to do so, even though it rained yesterday.

    Ah, the old “I can’t move to Israel because I’m happy being a semi-Charedi in America and can’t do that there and cannot make my own path and have to follow a crowd” argument. There are lots of legitimate reasons why one can’t make Aliyah. That one ranks pretty low.

  26. By the way, I hate to keep piling on Nadler, but it’s so easy:

    Arguing based on street names is silly, considering what goes into naming streets in Jerusalem. (Is Shlomo HaMelech really not as important as King George V?) I once heard the argument made (by R’ Binny Lau) in reference to R’ Akiva vs. R’ Yochanan ben Zakai, and I thought it was just as silly then. (And incorrect, as it happens.)

    In any event, the argument is simply wrong. There *is* a Mendelssohn street in Jerusalem. 🙂

  27. Steve, you seem to have missed my entire argument in favor of repeating your favorite tropes, a not uncommon phenomenon, I’m afraid. Nadler says Mendelssohn rejected an active Zionism. So do Charedim, by definition, no matter if they live in Israel (which is a very good thing and actually somewhat Zionist, whether they admit it or not). Then I said that Zionists, which, of course, includes Religious Zionists, do so as well, sort of, if they’re not in Israel. To avoid being too offensive or cocky, I didn’t want to spell it out, but you did it, so I’d like to disassociate myself from that comment. Basically, you agreed with both ends of my argument and yet saw fit to write as if you were disagreeing.

    “in order to fit into the well known cookie cutter hashkafic modes of either the RZ or Charedi worlds”

    I commented on this above, but let me just say that I know lots of people here who are anything but cookie-cutter. In fact, I know very few cookie-cutter types. Most would probably not be frum enough for you, but you’d be surprised.

    “Look at it this way-how many RIETS trained Talmidei Chachamim are RaMim either in the Hesder or a Rosh Chabura, the equivalent in the Charedi world?”

    Um, many many many?

  28. Many teach in other institutions in Israel, by the way. I wonder how many American-born Charedim do.

  29. I stopped feeling bad for Abaye Hurwitz a while ago. She’s asking for delegitimization every time she pulls yet another controversial move.

  30. >Dr. Josh Berman’s project to refute Biblical criticism

    Wow, that sounds like a fine load of . . .

  31. >Dr. Josh Berman’s project to refute Biblical criticism

    Wow, that sounds like a fine load of . . .<<

    Um, why not read Dr. Berman's scholarship before you dismiss it so readily? He's a serious, knowledgeable scholar (as can be seen in the interview with him). Even if all he succeeds in doing is presenting (or at least primarily) Mosaic authorship as a plausible option, dayenu. It'll be kind of like the Rambam's "creation ex nihilo vs. always existing world" where there were no decisive arguments for either side, and there one goes with tradition. That's something I can live with.

    All I can say is, at least someone's doing something. There hasn't been a serious Orthodox attempt at rebuttal (or even coping) since the days of Cassuto, Segal and Grintz et al. That was 40-50 years ago.

    I say, hats off to him. I wish him hamon hatzlacha.

  32. >Um, why not read Dr. Berman’s scholarship before you dismiss it so readily?

    I read his interview and it sounds like a fine load of crap. He’s going to redo Sarna and he’s not going to prove that the Torah is as old as Moshe. Hooray.

  33. Gil,

    A bit surprised to see you posting the link of the Rabbi who molested his daughters. I know youre not into sensationalism and the National Enquirer isnt your choice of news. What was the purpose?

  34. Also, not that it matters, but the Rambam does not allegorize the flood. And saying he doesn’t “know” what happened, even allowing the possibility that there was an actual global flood and an actual boat filled with animals and the last humans is kind of crackers.

  35. Regarding “4 pioneer female rabbis/rabba to gather in Mass”

    We all knew it was a slippery slope. First maharat, then rabba, now she’s become a Catholic!

  36. “A bit surprised to see you posting the link of the Rabbi who molested his daughters. I know youre not into sensationalism and the National Enquirer isnt your choice of news. What was the purpose?”

    Actually, the National Enquirer didn’t carry this story. On the other hand, the New York Times did.

  37. I second J as to the relevance and newsworthiness of this don’t-rent-to-Arabs psak.

  38. How about adding the following:
    https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/what-was-said-inside-satmar-about-yisroel-moshe-weingarten/
    If we can have long posts criticising the left for what are deemed to be wrongheaded innovations, then surely the right should not be immune, especially when the problems are massively more serious than women singing lechu neranena. How about endemic cover ups of serious child abuse AS A POLICY, rabbis signing disgusting racist letters which completely undo all the work we do in trying to portray Israel as a decent country (in addition to being innately repulsive – imagine how we would feel if priests told their congregants not to rent apartments to Jews – echoes of Nuremberg anyone?), and the character assassination of Rabbi Amsalem for pointing out that an entire community living off others is not completely ideal. I continue to wonder why these issues seem to generate less critique than what a couple of women say in davening in Riverdale.

  39. >Actually, the National Enquirer didn’t carry this story. On the other hand, the New York Times did.

    The NY papers did about Leib Tropper too, but Gil resisted that one for a looong time, arguing that Hirhurim isn’t a gutter blog.

  40. Nachum amd MiMedinas HaYam-Please name some RIETS musmachim who are RaMim or Roshei Chabura in either a hesder or Charedi yeshiva,as opposed to institutions that are not considered mainstream in either world or yeshivos and seminaries for Americans. As far as impediments to aliyah, sociological, psychological, Shalom Bayis and other obstacles that can be found in both the Charedi or MO worlds should never be dismissed lightly.

  41. Nachum commented in part:

    “I commented on this above, but let me just say that I know lots of people here who are anything but cookie-cutter. In fact, I know very few cookie-cutter types. Most would probably not be frum enough for you, but you’d be surprised.”

    Like it or not, one cannot deny that there is a strong degree of polarization in both the RZ and Charedi worlds that is far more potent in Israel than in the US. None less than RAL has written at length on this issue and how he is perceived in both worlds, which I suspect is far from unique among many YU/RIETS grads and musmachim. Even American Charedim who think that they are yeshivish have difficulties adjusting to the intensity of Torah observance in the Charedi world in Israel simply because many American Charedim, whether they are Litvish or Chasidishe, have worked for a living.

  42. R. Meir Orlian (is he still at KBY?)
    R. Shlomo Freidman – KBY

    R. Moshe Taragin – Har Etzion

    to get started….

  43. “The NY papers did about Leib Tropper too, but Gil resisted that one for a looong time, arguing that Hirhurim isn’t a gutter blog.”

    OK, which time do you think he was right, and why?

  44. >OK, which time do you think he was right, and why?

    I don’t think he was/ is right either time, and I think he doesn’t know what he thinks the blog is or wants the blog to be. But I can see posting one and not the other as inconsistent.

  45. AIWAC wrote:

    “All I can say is, at least someone’s doing something. There hasn’t been a serious Orthodox attempt at rebuttal (or even coping) since the days of Cassuto, Segal and Grintz et al. That was 40-50 years ago.”

    How would you define and/or describe the works of R Mordechai Breuer ZL?

  46. >How would you define and/or describe the works of R Mordechai Breuer ZL?

    Allow me to paraphrase: “The Documentary Hypothesis is true, and intellectually honest persons know that. Yet we will ignore that fact and choose to believe that really God wrote it that way and revealed it to Moshe, hundreds of years earlier than it seems to have been written.”

    Works for you?

  47. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/movies/07shoah.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2 For those who wish to see probably the finest film on the Shoah, and a film that is far better than Schindler’s List, etc,in exploring the depravity of the Shoah, I highly reccomend this Claude Lanzmann’s “Shoah”, which I saw many years ago during its only US release.

  48. Like “aiwac,” I want to wish rabbi Berman much success and kudos to him for engaging in this project. It’s embarassing that no major rabbi has ever produced a book on the subject

  49. @the most recent guest: Wow I’m sooooo proud of your skepticism! No really your nonchalant attitude toward something everyone here considers really important is incredibly impressive. If I had the ability to show up on a blog full of people that take something very seriously, and make obnoxious comments about how naive and stupid they all are for even thinking it’s remotely realistic to do so, not only would I exercise that ability at every opportunity, but I’d know that I SHOWED THEM!

    @Steve: RMB was probably an attempt at coping, but it doesn’t really address a lot of the issues that ground Biblical Criticism, like archaeology and parts of the text that seem like anachronisms. That is, after all, what a *real* attempt at coping has to do.

    And regarding RIETS alumni teaching Israelis:

    From Gush’s website: Rav Moshe Aberman, Rav Ezra Bick, Rav Daniel Rhein, Rav Doniel Schreiber, Rav Binyamin Tabory, Rav Moshe Taragin, Rav Daniel Wolf. There are of course more YU alumni but if we’re being strict about RIETS, then that’s the list.

    From Shaalvim’s website: Rav Ari Waxman (heh), Rav Aryeh Leibowitz, Rav Binyamin Zimmerman, Rav Meir Orlian, Rav Baruch Felberman, Rav Dovid Gottleib, Rav Shalom Rosner. Again, there are at least 4 YU alumni that started in the US and finished at Gruss, I’m not sure if you want to count those since they’re really still RIETS.

    From KBY: Rav Shlomo Friedman, Rav Ahron Silver, Rav Zev Bannett, Rav Yosef Kritz, Rav Dovid Mintz, Rav David Zahtz.

    And returning to the broader point, there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter” hashkafic type in Israel. Your comments are really just making it clear that you haven’t spent any time at all in Israel, definitely not enough to make an informed judgment about the RZ community – or really, communities, because there are tons of them.

  50. “the intensity of Torah observance in the Charedi world in Israel simply because many American Charedim, whether they are Litvish or Chasidishe, have worked for a living.”

    Wow, I had no idea that “intensity of Torah observance” equaled “not working for a living.” I think pretty much every Tanna and Amora would have something to say about that…

  51. R’nachum
    that was them at their level…… 🙂
    KT

  52. >>How would you define and/or describe the works of R Mordechai Breuer ZL?<<

    A heroic effort, it falls short, as it at once too readily adopts the literary conclusions wholesale and yet does not deal with other aspects such as archaeology and comparative semitics. The result is very schizoid and unsystematic. Dr. Leiman put it best in his response to Rav Breuer in the Orthodox Forum volume on Modern Scholarship and the Torah (there used to be a pdf of it online, but I guess it was taken down).

    If anything, the efforts of the Gush school (Rav Medan, Bazaq, the journal Megadim &c) are much more thorough, if necesarily pinpoint. I am especially a fan of Rav Bin Nun's efforts (see the many articles – especially Haaretz Ve'eretz Canaan – at his website: http://www.ybn.co.il/).

    I recently translated a programatic article of his on the subject that best sums up my feelings on the subject:

    http://aiwac.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/homework/

    Chanukah Sameach,

    aiwac

  53. The cremation link doesn’t work.

  54. Yes, it works now. Must have been a temporary problem with the JTA site. However, now that I’ve read it, I’m not sure why the article is of any interest. It was simply a matter of a probate court determining whether external testimony was reliable enough to overturn part of a will. the fact that it had to do with religious matters was wholly incidental.

  55. Aiwac, thanks so much for the pointer to Rav Yoel Bin-nun’s website! I’d found some of his stuff on the old Kibbutz Hadati site, and searched for more, but somehow missed this site. Thank you! BTW, add Rav Samet to the list of the Gush school efforts; he’s got many literary analyses here http://www.etzion.org.il/vbm/parsha.php well worth reading.

  56. >>Aiwac, thanks so much for the pointer to Rav Yoel Bin-nun’s website! I’d found some of his stuff on the old Kibbutz Hadati site, and searched for more, but somehow missed this site. Thank you! BTW, add Rav Samet to the list of the Gush school efforts; he’s got many literary analyses here http://www.etzion.org.il/vbm/parsha.php well worth reading.<<

    H,

    My pleasure.

    Indeed, Rav Samet deserves special mention, not just because of his literary analysis, but because he is one of the best (if not THE best) Tanach teachers I've had. Few people made the text (even of routine Tehilim chapters!) come alive as much as he does. If you can attend a shiur of his, I highly recommend it – it's an amazing experience.

  57. Nachum wrote:

    “Wow, I had no idea that “intensity of Torah observance” equaled “not working for a living.” I think pretty much every Tanna and Amora would have something to say about that”

    I agree with Joel Rich’s comment. FWIW, I would be remiss in not adding that many Charedim in Israel do work. However, one cannot deny that the factor of an increased “intensity of Torah observance” in both the Charedi and RZ worlds in Israel, as opposed to Chutz LaAretz is an issue that American Charedi and RZ olim must confront if they are to have a successful aliyah. Deciding where one lives, sends a kid to yeshiva, and which community one fits in are hardly issues that one should sneeze at.

  58. MiMedinat HaYam

    “Betty Friedan looked at me and said, ‘If you were a single male rabbi, the congregation would hire help for you to entertain on Friday nights.’”

    i like that quote, but as the article says, not true for men either.

    2. religious slumlord — i have come across more non jewish slumlords than jewish ones. and i have come accross a good number of slum and regular lords.

    and again, the article quotes the usual cast of figures outside the “normal” jewish community. why not any accepted reps of the jewish community? (not to disparage those quoted, but come on! some sense of fairness.)

    3. renting home to arabs — this is an old story. why are (some) rabbonim bringing up an old topic at this time? why is this being put in play now? this is the real question.

  59. Steve, I think Joel was being sarcastic.

    I’m glad to see, from the rest of your post, that you’ve retracted your view.

  60. R’Nachum,
    Moi???
    actually not-just stating lshitatam.
    KT

  61. The NCYI story exemplifies all that is wrong with the organization. At the end of the article, the NCYI asserts that it doesn’t have to go to bes din, rather it has to go to its own arbitration panel. Its a banana republic that makes its own kangaroo court in essence.

    I don’t see why any shul would join the NCYI in the near future.

  62. ” NCYI asserts that it doesn’t have to go to bes din, rather it has to go to its own arbitration panel”

    How can a party to a suit be the dayan as well?

  63. “All keep their parking lots closed on Shabbat. All use the same prayer books.”

    Both of these sentences are false.

  64. Chabad sues the US army–what a kiddush Hashem!

  65. What’s wrong with raising a serious First Amendment issue. And it seems that Cahbad tried to resolve this without a lawsuit and only brought the lawsuit when those methods were unsuccessful. This lawsuit is, like most things Jews do, neither a kiddush Hashem or a chilul Hashem. But I see absolutely nothing inappropriate about it.

  66. MiMedinat HaYam:

    “actually, if the govt pays (?partially?) the salaries, it can mandate certain things”

    again, i don’t see the connection between who pays the salaries and mandating certain thing. the state can pass any law it wants if it feels it serves the public good. or are you arguing that fingerprinting and mandatory reporting violates the constitution? millions of americans have to be fingerprinted for work and/or are designated as mandatory reporters. many of these are not paid by the state. where’s their outrage?

    “the $ nys gives is not for salaries, but for ancillary services like mandated attendance requirements . . .”

    who do you thinks is responsible for monitoring attendance requirements? also, yeshivah teachers are paid indirectly by the state (the $ for bussing, therapy, food, etc. frees up funds to pay the teachers). but again, this whole point is irrelevant because government regulation of a profession is not predicated on those professionals being employees of the state.

    “requiring the license ignored by rabbonim, they should be mandated to point out the dangers of not having a marriage license”

    why should they be mandated to do anything, according to your logic. the government doesn’t pay their salararies.

  67. “Therefore, I said that in my opinion, the minority opinion, which accepts brain death as the criterion for death, should be embraced by the rabbinic community. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to allow people of a particular group to receive vital organ transplants if they will not donate organs as well. Failure of the Orthodox community to donate organs could have dire consequences for that community if there is a backlash in the medical community to such a trend.”

    The criterion for what is death should be set irrespective of “backlash” considerations-assuming arguendo that “brain death” is resitzcha one could not kill someone in order to enable an organ transplant of another.

    “. You cannot have a viable state today that denies its citizens the lifesaving possibility of organ donation.”

    Not necessarily true-IF Brain death cuases murder to occur one could not allow it.
    I am not an expert on the debate that I have been following for decades. I am just statingthat all these sociological reasons should not determine the halachik definition of death.

  68. http://www.yournabe.com/articles/2010/12/02/queens/qns_margaret_tietz_eruv_20101202.txt

    It seems that the Queens eruv has been extended. Does that have any halachic impact on the eruv? Is the original psak for the eruv from Rabbi Feinstein Zt”l still in effect (or is it now a different kind of eruv than what he gave a psak on)?

  69. “which community one fits in are hardly issues that one should sneeze at.”

    For minyanim to consider how about one with both the worlds greatest expert on Geonim and the worlds greatest expert on Maccebeem history.

  70. “but again, this whole point is irrelevant because government regulation of a profession is not predicated on those professionals being employees of the state”
    Do teachers in private schools need to be licensed?

  71. Joel, that too. 🙂

    Actually, that argument never makes sense, and especially not here: If true, the chachamim would be saying that they were *more* susceptible to corruption than we.

  72. Eruv news, I suppose it means that, like the New York Hospital to the north, there is an additional eruv that shares a line so one can cross. The original eruv thus remains the same.

  73. Eruv News wrote:

    “It seems that the Queens eruv has been extended. Does that have any halachic impact on the eruv? Is the original psak for the eruv from Rabbi Feinstein Zt”l still in effect (or is it now a different kind of eruv than what he gave a psak on”

    AFAIK, as Nachum just pointed out, the KGH eruv was extended to allow carryying to NY Hospital after the plans and dimensions were inspected by RHS and R N Oelbaum. IIRC,the new extension was supervised by R P Steinberg, who was the correspondent to RMF when the KGH eruv was being built and R H Welcher, the eminent Talmid Chacham and Rav of one of the shuls that we daven in.

  74. Is Amos Bunim’s bio of his father ZL available? I glanced at it years ago, and saw more than a few pictures of RYBS and RAK as well other Gdolim such as RMF. For anyone seeking an example of a book that can be written by a well educated Baal HaBayis , Ethics From Sinai is still a wonderful book that contains many ideas and observations that any speaker or darshan can use.

  75. From JP interview of Bunim:
    “for his best-selling, three-volume Ethics From Sinai commentary on Pirkei Avos. ”
    A bbok that Ienjoyed readingwhen I was a youngster.

    “There were no shuls being built with mechitzahs in those days except Young Israel shuls.”-referring to the 20s-really “no schuls”

    “day schools and mikvaos in America were also only built because of the Young Israel movement.” “only”-al regel achat RYBS in Boston, RJL-Ramaz- etc had nothing to do with the YI movement.

    “Reb Aharon Kotler used to come to the Young Israel dinner because he felt this was a movement that could relate to what he was doing.”
    During RAKs lifetime there were mixed dances held at some YI schuls-suspect another reason for attendance.

    “The Vaad worked tirelessly,”
    One must read E Zuroffs book for an objective analysis of the Vaad Hahatzalah.
    “but the deal was eventually killed by Saly Mayer, who represented the Joint Distribution Committee in Switzerland. He was against bribes and ransom, and was not going to allow these things to happen. He got a message to Hitler about what was going on, and Hitler stopped the deal with Himmler.”
    I happened to beat Vashem yesterday-I have returned to the US-and one of the exhibits shows how the Nazis used people who tried ransom attempts but at the end they just received the money.

    “He called him his partner in hatzalah” RAKs role in the Nazi period is worthy of study-on one hand he early refused to accept papers for him and hisYeshiva to leave Europpe referring them as “Asher Yatzar paper” on the other hand RAK was once castigated by someone for dealing with Reform Rabbis for hatzallah work and RAK retoted words to the effect I would meet with a Reform Rabbi to save a Jewish fingernail-of course a decade or so later when RYBS and his students would be active in the SCA RAK was the organizer of an issur against those who believed in doing precisely what RAK did.

  76. Steve Brizel on December 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm
    Eruv News wrote:

    “AFAIK, as Nachum just pointed out, the KGH eruv was extended to allow carryying to NY Hospital after the plans and dimensions were inspected by RHS and R N Oelbaum. IIRC,the new extension was supervised by R P Steinberg, who was the correspondent to RMF when the KGH eruv was being built and R H Welcher, the eminent Talmid Chacham and Rav of one of the shuls that we daven in.”

    b”H there are talmidei chachamim in kgh to make sure that things are being taken care correctly. but, the question was if the new extended eruv is still under the haskama of rabbi feinstein zt”l’s famous psak on the kgh eruv? isn’t it a reasonable question? the rabbis involved with the original eruv didn’t seem ready to establish it without first receiving rabbi feinstein’s written approval and explanation.so I think it’s fair to ask the current halachic reasoning of the new eruv (if it has changed from what was presented to rabbi feinstein decades ago)?

  77. (to be more clear, if someone travels to kgh from montreal, is he relying on an eruv endorsed by rabbi feinstein? or has the eruv changed (from the eruv that rabbi feinstein endorsed), and now it is no longer under the approval of rabbi feinstein, but instead under the haskama of RHS, R N Oelbaum, and R P Steinberg, and R H Welcher?)

  78. Anonymous on December 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm
    Steve Brizel on December 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm
    Eruv News wrote:

    “AFAIK, as Nachum just pointed out, the KGH eruv was extended to allow carryying to NY Hospital after the plans and dimensions were inspected by RHS and R N Oelbaum. IIRC,the new extension was supervised by R P Steinberg, who was the correspondent to RMF when the KGH eruv was being built and R H Welcher, the eminent Talmid Chacham and Rav of one of the shuls that we daven in.”

    b”H there are talmidei chachamim in kgh to make sure that things are being taken care correctly. but, the question was if the new extended eruv is still under the haskama of rabbi feinstein zt”l’s famous psak on the kgh eruv? isn’t it a reasonable question? the rabbis involved with the original eruv didn’t seem ready to establish it without first receiving rabbi feinstein’s written approval and explanation.so I think it’s fair to ask the current halachic reasoning of the new eruv (if it has changed from what was presented to rabbi feinstein decades ago)?”

    Reb Steve, if I may jump in: Based on my very limited understanding, at least part of Reb Moshe ztvkl’s reasoning in his KGH teshuva was that KGH was a seperate locale–as opposed to say, Midwood which is individable from the rest of Flatbush/Brooklyn. If that in fact is so, then does extending the KGH eruv to encompass 4 other neighborhoods present a problem in svara at least as it is now no longer limited to KGH? Does it alter the KGH eruv as Reb Moshe knew it? If not, why not? Does anyone know if any of Reb Moshe’s children were consulted on this expansion?

  79. just to be helpful (i’m sure everyone here has seen the tshuvah but may not recall exactly where it is) the question is if the current eruv still could be said to have the hechsher that Rav Feinstein zt”l wrote in Igros Moshe(Orach Chaim Chelek 4, Siman: 86), or if it now must be said to be under the hechsher of other current Rabbonim?

  80. OK, I found the pdf of R. Dr. Leiman’s response to Rabbi Brueur, which I endorsed in a previous comment:

    http://www.ericlevy.com/Revel/Cosmogony/Leiman%20-%20Response%20to%20Rabbi%20Breuer.PDF

  81. Mycroft,

    I fail to see what RAK’s rejection of the SCA has to do with hatzalas nefashos. He said he would work to save Jewish lives. Last I checked the SCA has not been involved in saving Jewish lives. In fact, the communal Orthodox interaction with non-orthodox denominations (like the SCA) has never worked.

  82. Anonymous and Shmuel, I’ve said it once, and I’ll repeat it once: The original eruv is the same. They’ve essentially built new eruvin right up against the old one.

    Also, I’m afraid that R’ Moshe has not been with us for almost twenty five years. Do you think all halakhic progress had to come to an end in 1986? And great as his children may be, why would they have to be consulted?

    But like I said, if you want to live stuck in time, the Kew Gardens Hills eruv is, yes, still the same one as R’ Moshe approved.

    I once heard that Ethics from Sinai was a victim of editing to make it “frummer.” I wonder if one can get the original.

    Mycroft, I think there may be agendas on both sides here, but it is well known that the director of Yad Vashem has a bias against Bergson and related efforts.

    Those quotes you pulled are sad and laughable. Unfortunately, there were signs of where the Young Israel was going even back in the 40’s.

    Former YU, it wasn’t just the SCA, and who knows where help would be needed, especially after the World Wars?

  83. “Former YU on December 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm
    Mycroft,

    I fail to see what RAK’s rejection of the SCA has to do with hatzalas nefashos. He said he would work to save Jewish lives. Last I checked the SCA has not been involved in saving Jewish lives.”
    The SCA was an organization similar to the Presidents Conference-both were set up Klappei Chutz-both required actions by consensus and thus did not get involved in internal Jewish issues. The SCA was involved in defending Jewish rights, supporting Jews abroad and Israel. Lobbying to help Jewish interests was intended to help and save Jews. It was organized specifically to have one voice on Jewish communal issues that affectthe whole Jewish community. Note the SCA was formed in 1926 about 30 years before the Presidents conference.

    “In fact, the communal Orthodox interaction with non-orthodox denominations (like the SCA) has never worked.”
    Who says so? It is a very tricky issue but at leat the Rav ZT”L recognized a need for this type of activity-albeit in much more limited form than the non Orthodox preferred. That is precisely the reason why the SCA dissolved the non Orthodox were tired ofOrthodox vetoes of activities dealing with theological issues and thus essentially formed their own organization based in Ct.

  84. “Mycroft, I think there may be agendas on both sides here, but it is well known that the director of Yad Vashem has a bias against Bergson and related efforts.”
    The debate between the Bergson group and the Israeli establishment was evident to me when Ben Hechts Perfidy was published. There is clearly anagenda inYad Vashem -besides the exhibits notice when one leaves the main exhibition hall one sees a beautiful view of modern Israel-the contrast is there-even the last exhibit about the failure ofJews to return in safety to Europe has an agenda-of course, the Bergson group, those who glorify the Vaad Hatzalah etc all have their own agendas.
    That Jews were not united in WW11 is not news-one of the reasons for RYBS being in favor of the RCA and OU staying in the SCA was because of the failure of the separate activities of various groups during the Shoah.

    Those quotes you pulled are sad and laughable

  85. “Those quotes you pulled are sad and laughable”

    Nachum-not my words-but a fair characterization.

  86. “It will be the first rabbinical school in Canada, a country with more than 350,000 Jews and some 250 synagogues.”

    can this be true? there are no yeshivos that give semicha in all of canada?

  87. The JTA doesn’t know the name of the RCA?

  88. >can this be true? there are no yeshivos that give semicha in all of canada?

    A yeshiva that grants semicha is not a rabbinical school, ie, a school that specifically trains people to become rabbis.

  89. “It will be the first rabbinical school in Canada, a country with more than 350,000 Jews and some 250 synagogues.”

    In Toronto there may be a few yeshivos thave have a RY there that gives semicha, but in general there are no programs I am aware of. Ner Yisroel does NOT (I don’t even think most of the RY have semicha). Maybe Lubavitch in Toronto and Montreal does, but not mainstream programs. I don’t think Yeshiva Gedolah in Montreal give semicha either. Individual Rabbaonim on Batai Denim may have programs for it, I think there is one in Toronto, but it’s not part of a yeshiva.

  90. Nachum,

    While I am happy you seem to amuse yourself, confirming that the ervu is still in line with the original Rav Hamachshir is just simply logical. This is not “living stuck in time” its just living like a responsible adult rather than sticking one’s head in the sand and hoping for the best. Also, the last time I checked, Reb Moshe’s children would be the strongest authorities as to their father’s shitos (you can make yourself look silly and argue with tthat if you choose).As far as “halachic progress” [sic?] coming to an end, should I understand you to be saying that if Reb Moshe held that these changes would be problematic l’shitaso, that the local Queens rabbonim—the same one’s who premise the eruv’s reliability on Reb Moshe–are essentially baalei plugta with Reb Moshe and have the right to argue? And if they do, shouldn’t they be making the klal aware that the eruv is kasher l’daytem but not Reb Moshe? Please let me know what you think.

  91. Nachum on December 10, 2010 at 12:33 am
    “Anonymous and Shmuel, I’ve said it once, and I’ll repeat it once: The original eruv is the same. They’ve essentially built new eruvin right up against the old one.”

    Could you please expound? Do you know any of the details (or halachic decisions) involving the new (or old) eruv? Your choice of words is very difficult to understand. Please clarify.

    “Also, I’m afraid that R’ Moshe has not been with us for almost twenty five years. Do you think all halakhic progress had to come to an end in 1986? And great as his children may be, why would they have to be consulted?”

    With all due respect, that line sounds straight out of a reform temple manual. You state: “Do you think all halakhic progress had to come to an end in 1986?” My question is, are you aware of any “halakhic progress involving the eruv in Queens? If so, please supply the readers- I am most curious as to how your Shulchan Aruch has evolved in the last 25 years.

    “But like I said, if you want to live stuck in time, the Kew Gardens Hills eruv is, yes, still the same one as R’ Moshe approved.”

    Again, if I’m not mistaken Stephen Wise stated similar sentiments regarding the “silly Orthodox Jews who live stuck in time.”

  92. “Sara Bloomfield, director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, remains the highest-paid woman in the Forward survey, earning $542,654 in 2009,

    Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/133803/#ixzz17jO6Ztfb

    No business like Shoah business.
    “raises for not-for-profit leaders were more plentiful in Jewish organizations than they were nationwide.
    “why am I not surprised?

    “Jewish nonprofits don’t just enter into a contract with the federal government. They have a covenant of sorts with the Jewish people. We rely on these institutions to feed the hungry, care for the sick and elderly, educate our children, advocate for our causes, lead us spiritually and represent us on the national and international stage. It is up to those who contribute to these organizations — who benefit from their services and depend on their voices — in turn to invest in their success and hold them accountable for it.

    Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/133791/#ixzz17jPCS0Kb

    For a frum person the same applies to our Yeshivot and mosdot etc.

  93. For a public example of how much we pay our “leaders” compared to a very important person compare to VP Bidens tax return online

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/vp-biden-2010-complete-return.pdf

    I believe since Watergate it has been the policy of every White House to disclose the Pres and VPs tax return.I believe the VP earnsthe 2nd most in the Fed Govnt-more than Supreme Court Ju8stices, Cabinet Officials etc. Note that many mechanchim earn more than the VP of the US!!

  94. Mycroft,
    Why do you think the VP should have a particularly large salary? Indeed, why do you think his job is harder than running a large Jewish institution?

  95. regarding the FBI lawyer opposing pollard’s release, the former chair of the senate intelligence committee feels differently:

    http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=198785

  96. I can’t understand why any non-profit exec should be paid more than $250K. The top should be paid well — more than enough to live decently. But they will always be able to make more elsewhere.

  97. Assuming that “Nachum” does not wish to explain his position (and for some reason instead chooses to continue writing silly insults), I hope that R’ Brizel addresses the questions.

  98. “I can’t understand why any non-profit exec should be paid more than $250K. The top should be paid well — more than enough to live decently.”
    Essentially agree

    ” But they will always be able to make more elsewhere.”

    True for most but not all.

    “Mycroft,
    Why do you think the VP should have a particularly large salary?”
    A VP is a far more important person than the local day school principals.

    Indeed, why do you think his job is harder than running a large Jewish institution?
    The following are at least as difficult and important as my local day school administrators;”I believe the VP earnsthe 2nd most in the Fed Govnt-more than Supreme Court Ju8stices, Cabinet Officials etc. Note that many mechanchim earn more than the VP of the US!!”

  99. Mycroft,
    No one gets paid based on how”important” they are. And anyway, the importance of the VPOTUS is very variable. Some of them have been totally unimportant.

  100. Nachum, Anonymous and Mycroft

    1) I agree that Yad VaShem suffers from an overly secularized view of the Shoah and tends to focus on physical, as opposed to spiritual resistance, but this is changing as personae such as Rabbanit Esther Farbstein has spoken at Yad VaShem about spiritual resistance and there are now frum tour guides who can discuss this issue and related subjects as well.

    2) The SCA died not because the RCA and the OU vetoed a lot of measures, but because there was always the possibility of the exercise of a veto, which was used in actuality quite sparingly, when issues segued from Israel, social welfare into religious pluralism.

    3) I suspect that there is more than one understanding of how effective the Vaad HaTzalah was and whether its focus on saving Rabbonim, Admorim and RY was correct.

    4) Anonymous-Of course, RMF is not with us, but the rabbonim who supervised the eruv’s expansion are easily available for your queries re the expansion of the same. FWIW, and within my limited knowledge of Hilcos Eruvin, one would be extremely hard pressed to find anything within the expansion of the eruv which would implicate any of the factors that were deemed problematic re an eruv in Flatbush such as population, major highways, etc

  101. If one reads the linked NY Times article, one would be hard pressed to find any mention of the fact that J-Street is largely, if not completely funded, by George Soros, who has never hidden his anti Israel views.

  102. “Mycroft,
    No one gets paid based on how”important” they are. And anyway, the importance of the VPOTUS is very variable. Some of them have been totally unimportant.”
    All cabinet members earn less than the VP-are you implying that the Sec of Sefense, HHS, State, Treasury etc are not running more important organizations than the non profits-each one earns less than the VP and a fortiori less than many mechanchim, etc.
    Are you implying that justices ofthe Supreme Court are not more importantthan these people-there is no problem getting people to accept those positions. BTW not all are people who have great assets. Those who have not been in the private sector do not have much assets-every yearthey have to disclose their assetsin a certain range and the press reports it.

  103. “there are now frum tour guides” A couple of days ago I noticed some tour guides wearing kippot.

    “2) The SCA died not because the RCA and the OU vetoed a lot of measures, but because there was always the possibility of the exercise of a veto, which was used in actuality quite sparingly, when issues segued from Israel, social welfare into religious pluralism.”
    Essentially agree-but practically every action done by the SCA required unaminous consent-the SCA would contact each of the 6 organizations and see if they would agree with the action-unaminity was required for ALL actions not just issues dealing with religious pluralism. Thus, acceptance or revocation of invitations to accept an invitation to meet with a head of state required unaminity. Obviously the major reason for Orthodox demand of unaminity was to prevent religious theological issues from being voted on but the rule was for EVERY action.

    “3) I suspect that there is more than one understanding of how effective the Vaad HaTzalah was”
    True
    “and whether its focus on saving Rabbonim, Admorim and RY was correct.”
    To me the biggest indictment of the Vaad hatzalah is how they spent their money-as shown in Zuroffs books one year the vAad spent more money on giving aid to yeshiva students in Shanghai than it spent in all rescue activities-that is despite the fact that the
    Shanghai yeshiva students also received the standard JDC rationsthat all refugees received.
    The accounting firm that audited the books was Septimus & Co.-I remember the name only because of the Jewish studies professor who has the same name.

  104. Steve Brizel on December 10, 2010 at 1:38 pm:

    “4) Anonymous-Of course, RMF is not with us, but the rabbonim who supervised the eruv’s expansion are easily available for your queries re the expansion of the same. FWIW, and within my limited knowledge of Hilcos Eruvin, one would be extremely hard pressed to find anything within the expansion of the eruv which would implicate any of the factors that were deemed problematic re an eruv in Flatbush such as population, major highways, etc”

    Just to clarify, do you know if the Rabbonim who supervised the eruv’s expansion hold that the eruv follows all of Reb Moshe’s halachic positions? No one is questioning the halachic basis for the eruv, the only question is if it conforms with Reb Moshe’s psakim (which many argue with)?

  105. If one reads the linked NY Times article, one would be hard pressed to find any mention of the fact that J-Street is largely, if not completely funded, by George Soros, who has never hidden his anti Israel views.

    They would not find that out, for one thing, because its not true. Soros and family is a major contributor (and J Streets denial of it was a PR black eye for about 48 hours). But he nor his family are not “largely” or “completely” their funder.

  106. MiMedinat HaYam

    “And if they do, shouldn’t they be making the klal aware that the eruv is kasher l’daytem but not Reb Moshe?”

    i see ads every week for shabat cosmetics under rabbi b’s hashgacha, even though he passed away a couple years ago. at least his sons take credit for the pesach book (i think.)

    either way, another reason such a project should be under the vaad of queens (which it is.)

    2. a non profit’s chief executive (maybe other exec’s, but for arguments sake) should be paid commensurate with his subordinate’s (and consultants that are really subordinates, but are listed as consultants for various other reasons) as well as as a percentage of the $ (s)he fundraises, which is the executive’s major responsibilty.

  107. MiMedinat HaYam

    hagtbg:

    soros is obviously the “behind the scenes” man in j street.

    i’m surprised you’re not arguing he’s not anti israel!

    (and i’m still looking for him on wikileaks)

  108. Hagtbg wrote:

    “They would not find that out, for one thing, because its not true. Soros and family is a major contributor (and J Streets denial of it was a PR black eye for about 48 hours). But he nor his family are not “largely” or “completely” their funder.”

    J Street has lost any clout and credibility that it once had because it is well documented that Soros was hardly just a major contributor, but rather the sole contributor and someone who makes no bones about being anti Israel.

  109. Mycroft wrote in part:

    “To me the biggest indictment of the Vaad hatzalah is how they spent their money-as shown in Zuroffs books one year the vAad spent more money on giving aid to yeshiva students in Shanghai than it spent in all rescue activities-that is despite the fact that the
    Shanghai yeshiva students also received the standard JDC rationsthat all refugees received.’

    I would not call that an indictment, but rather an exercise in Charedi bashing. That was the Vaad’s decision and priority. Anyone who has read anything about the RY and talmidim of the Mirrer Yeshiva who were stranded in Shanghai during WW2 or heard any of them speak is quite aware that they were not exactly provided with the world’s finest accomodations and food. What should the Vaad have done-abandoned those RY and Talmidim who had escaped Nazi Europe only to be stranded in China?!

  110. “That was the Vaad’s decision and priority.”

    A decision to give priority to helping Yeshiva students who were already saved in Shanghai and were receiving the same JDC benefits as other refugees were receiving.

    “Anyone who has read anything about the RY and talmidim of the Mirrer Yeshiva who were stranded in Shanghai during WW2 or heard any of them speak is quite aware that they were not exactly provided with the world’s finest accomodations and food.”

    Not in dispute and I’m rather sure that most of us have better accomodations and food that tne Mirrer yeshiva people did BUT they were no worse off than other refugees from Nazi Germany-they did receive JDC rations. Much of the money was used to help them have better housing etc than other refugees rather than to try and save more people behind Nazi lines.

    ” What should the Vaad have done-abandoned those RY and Talmidim who had escaped Nazi Europe only to be stranded in China?!”
    Stranded in China they were not in danger of extermination-most of the Jews left in Europe atthe time would be murdered by the Nazis.
    Jews who left Nazi control left with virtually nothing-including those who were lucky enough to enter the US.

  111. Mycroft wrote:

    “Not in dispute and I’m rather sure that most of us have better accomodations and food that tne Mirrer yeshiva people did BUT they were no worse off than other refugees from Nazi Germany-they did receive JDC rations. Much of the money was used to help them have better housing etc than other refugees rather than to try and save more people behind Nazi lines”

    IIRC, the Mirrer Yeshiva’s RY and Talmidim were in a war zone that was the target of both Japanese and American bombings throughout the war. They were hardly housed in luxurious housing. The decision by the Vaad to spend its assets on a group of Talmidei Chachamim was part of how they saw their particular mission, which was not shared by many of the powers that ran the JDC. As far as rescue missions, how many such missions were undertaken by the JDC at all? To this day, the pluses and minuses of the Kastner negotiations are still a subject of debate. The bottom line is as RYBS said-noone did enough and everyone worshipped the AZ in the US known as FDR.

  112. “the Mirrer Yeshiva’s RY and Talmidim were in a war zone that was the target of both Japanese and American bombings throughout the war. They were hardly housed in luxurious housing.”
    As were others-they all received JDC rations

    “The decision by the Vaad to spend its assets on a group of Talmidei Chachamim was part of how they saw their particular mission, which was not shared by many of the powers that ran the JDC.”
    The JDC gave the same rations to the Mirrer yeshiva students et al-naturally the JDC would not see it as their mission to give extra rations to Yeshiva students compared to other Jews.

    “As far as rescue missions, how many such missions were undertaken by the JDC at all? ”
    Their mission was giving aid to people-the Vaad hatzalah represented their mission as saving Jews from the Nazis.

    “To this day, the pluses and minuses of the Kastner negotiations are still a subject of debate.”
    Agreed
    “The bottom line is as RYBS said-noone did enough”
    Agreed

  113. “it is well documented that Soros was hardly just a major contributor, but rather the sole contributor..” to J Street.

    The word “sole” means “being the only one.” In 2008, J Street had a budget of $1.6 million dollars. It had 21 contributors of more than $5,000. George Soros and 2 other Soroses (I think his children) gave a total of $245,000. Its form 990 is on-line if anyone wants to check this. Therefore, Steve’s statement that Soros was J Street’s “sole” contributor is simply false. I raise this not because I think Steve will admit he was wrong (Moshiach has not yet come) but because I am interested in exactly how he will evade admitting his error that is obvious to everyone but himself. Or maybe when Steve used the word “sole” he was referring to the bottom of a shoe.

  114. MiMedinat HaYam on December 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    i’m surprised you’re not arguing he’s not anti israel!

    I’m trying to figure out your point here. Seems to me you’re trying to imply I’m left-wing on Israeli politics because I called Steve on his wrong facts.

    Steve Brizel on December 11, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    J Street has lost any clout and credibility that it once had because it is well documented that Soros was hardly just a major contributor, but rather the sole contributor and someone who makes no bones about being anti Israel.

    I believe it is Congressmen and the President and not Steve Brizel or me, HAGTBG, who decide if J Street has “any” clout and credibility.

    Concerning the documentation about Soros being the sole contributor, by all means provide it. See I know what you are referring to and you are misstating it – as I indicated above and Joseph Kaplan notes as well. But yet again you will not admit error but instead double down.

    Soros has said he is not pro-Israel. So what? This was an opinion piece by Roger Cohen. Do you consider Cohen a good friend of Israel??

  115. Oh good, someone caught Steve on the Soros stuff.

  116. This whole culture of excessively bloated and salaried Jewish organizations will die within a few years, I think. I don’t think kids my age buy the idea that they’re doing anything useful. Good riddance.

  117. “This whole culture of excessively bloated and salaried Jewish organizations will die within a few years, I think. I don’t think kids my age buy the idea that they’re doing anything useful.”

    It is not only a question of the usefulness of wha tthey are doing but the bloated salaries that are found in necessary non-profit organizations-see eg chinuch, kashrut etc.

  118. Joseph Kaplan-From what I have read, the purported huge donors to J Street from Hong Kong and other addresses that are suspect, have been linked to Soros as well.J Street all but publicly conceded that they could not survive, let alone have as much as n inflated public presence as they did without the assistance of Soros. I would not consider Soros per se contributions the end of the discussion, but rather the beginning of the old adage of “follow the money.” simple yes or no query-could J Street survive without Soros’ well documented support?

  119. Joseph Kaplan-Take a look at this link and then ask yourself whether J Street could survive without substantial help from Soros et al. http://jta.org/news/article/2010/09/26/2741032/j-street-owns-up-to-soros-funding

  120. See who else views J Street as being suspect in view of its waffling on Soros.
    http://www.thejewishweek.com/blogs/political_insider/j_street_tough_spot_over_soros_funding_revelations

  121. Unlike those who apparently either rationalize or minimize Soros’s contributions to J Street and were persuaded by the rationalizations of its leaders in response thereto, none of which appeared to convince anyone in the mainstream secular or Jewish media of their bona fides,despite their longing for a secular left alternative to AIPAC, I have long been loath to accept offers for sale of a certain bridge linking Manhattan and Brooklyn.

  122. Steve, I’ve never said that Soros was, or was not, critical to the survival of J Street. I was simply responding to a false statement that you made. YOU were the one who said that he is the “sole” contributor to J Street. I thought you were mistaken and i proved it. Rather than admit your mistake or prove that you were, indeed, correct and that J Street has no other contributors, you now raise other issues while ignoring your false statement. How about for once, when everyone but, I assume you, can see that you were wrong, saying “I made a mistake.” In fact, people would think more of you if you did so. But it seems that you are simply incapable of doing so. How sad.

  123. steve b. – to answer your question – j street can exist and does exist with or without soros’s money. he did not start the organization nor did he initially fund it. the link you provided just tells you that soros’s money is a small drop in the bucket – especially if you look at their budget for this and next year. why you think your link helps your statement is beyond me.

  124. Joseph Kaplan-Yes, Soros is not the sole funder of J Street, but I stand by my comments as to the lack of credibility of the organization , especially by Liberal left oriented journalists who thought that J Street was a viable alternative to AIPAC.

    In response to Ruvie’s comments-let’s just “follow the money” and see who actually was the source of those curious and large donations from Hong Kong.I don’t think that any organization that views itself as a player in the American Jewish-Israeli world gets by without some massive donors-as J Street did in the case of Soros, which it piously denied until it was caught like a deer looking into headlights.

  125. For more on Soros, and J Street’s verbal backflips and non denial denials, see the following links. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/09/j-streets-half-truths-and-non-truths-about-its-funding/63541/
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/29/AR2010092907376.htm

    How anyone , even a diehard liberal who yearns for a an alternative to AIPAC, except for the NY Times, can view J Street as having any street cred after denying Soros’ role or being able to function without a major donor escapes all logic. How an organization can bill itself as pro Israel while accepting a huge contribution from someone who is harshly critical of Israel is obvious-J Street can not be viewed as pro Israel under any normal definition of the term.

  126. I love the way Steve makes it seem he is having a debate about J Street but if you check you’ll see that except for his misstatement about Soros being the sole contributor there’s no one on the other side.

  127. The wig apologetic is embarassing and disgusting. “Mendy and Heidi” should find a hole somewhere and hide in it, and if the “gedolei hador” [sic] had an ounce of leadership in them, they would publicly condemn this couple.

  128. I like how R’ Hoffman makes a big deal about being dan l’kaf zechut without noticing that this couple certainly didn’t do that for the cleaners.

  129. MiMedinat HaYam

    i’m surprised you’re not arguing he’s not anti israel!

    I’m trying to figure out your point here. Seems to me you’re trying to imply I’m left-wing on Israeli politics because I called Steve on his wrong facts.

    to hagtbg:

    i didnt see you calling steve wrong on facts, but he pointed out correctly that he is right (and right) on the facts.

    surprising that he’s using east asian front companies, when he is notoriously hated there, due to his collapsing their currency a number of years ago.

    yes, j-street would exist without him, but he is still their main funder. like amnesty international accepting $ (and fundraising from) arab states, and writing reports critical against israel.

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