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The theological roots of Reform Judaism’s woes
Beyond ‘Yes or No’ Jewishness (isn’t that what I said a few weeks ago?)
Riskin’s ‘anecdotage’
Chief Rabbinate issues warning over kashrut problems
Being religious in Israeli Navy
Kashrus agencies gear up for thousands of pre-Passover consumer inquiries
Jewish soccer team suspended for non-Jewish ringers
Will ‘Indie Minyans’ join USCJ?
Top genocide scholars battle over how to characterize Israel’s actions
SALT Friday
The riddle of the Satmar
A down to Earth philosophy
Rabbi and imam come to YU
Coca Cola formula kept secret by top rabbi
The Rise of Jewish Collegiate A Cappella
The Great Seinfeld Wikipedia Hoax
My Heroes Have Always Been Hebrews
SALT Thursday
YU 1963 College Bowl team
R. Moshe Tendler thinks you’re wrong, and he’s not afraid to say so
Rabbi Elyashiv calls for mass protest against IDF conversions
Tough Choice: School Scholarship Or Summer Camp (only grades 10-12!)
Israel – Lawyers: Planned Charedi-Only City is Unconstitutional
Jewish Press interview with Lenny Solomon of Shlock Rock
SALT Wednesday
Poll: 42% say Judaism treats women well
When game day falls on the Sabbath
Why is patrilineal descent not catching on in Reform worldwide?
Greenfield calls on yeshivas to register parents to vote
Spirituality Lite
SALT Tuesday
Poll: 42% say Judaism treats women well
When game day falls on the Sabbath
What college rankings really tell us
Who will protect the kosher consumer?
Archaeologists dig 1845 Jewish “mikveh”
SALT Monday
Last week’s news & links
Rules: link

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.

141 comments

  1. Menachem Lubinsky’s writes:

    “Despite all the gains in kosher and the yeomen’s job by kashrus agencies, the kosher consumer is very vulnerable to unexpected bumps. It begs the question of how an industry of that size can allow itself to be unprotected from honest mistakes as well as intentional fraud. I was shocked to see critics of kosher law enforcement suggest that government get out of the business of enforcing kosher food laws. […] Kosher food consumers deserve the same protection as all consumers do.”

    I’ll bite. The newish Trader Joe’s in my neighborhood sells meat with a hechsher that, it seems, no Orthodox shul Rabbi in my area considers kosher to the standards of their community. Are consumers who buy this meat, thinking it is Kosher, being defrauded?

  2. 1845 mikveh in Baltimore-note Baltimore from the time of the 19th century has always been probably the mostOrthodox city in the US-Rabbi Rice, fist JewishHS outside ofNY TA 1919? That is before NI.

  3. “I’ll bite. The newish Trader Joe’s in my neighborhood sells meat with a hechsher that, it seems, no Orthodox shul Rabbi in my area considers kosher to the standards of their community. Are consumers who buy this meat, thinking it is Kosher, being defrauded?”

    Trader Joes has an interesting idea-they list on a sheet the various hechsherim and statethe name of the org and the RavHamachsher etc behind the symbol.In my neighborhood TJ is known to be cheaper in general than the stores selling the same item under Vaad hashgacha.

  4. On the UWS, last I looked, the only meat (as opposed to poultry) had Triangle-K. Fortunately, we have other choices; but, it seems to be a good test case of the position that Lubinsky has staked out.

    Either it is kosher, or it’s fraudulent. Which is it? And what should the government do, given his desire to protect the kosher consumer?

  5. “It aims to compare Penn State—a very large, public, land-grant university with a low tuition and an economically diverse student body—with Yeshiva University, a small, expensive, private Jewish university.”

    IN a nutshell this one sentence states what is wrong with North American Orthodoxy-YU and the day school movement attempt to attract those who can afford expensive tuitions-they are not looking for economically diverse students-they are not welcome in MO.

  6. “”extremely powerful lesson about her faith.”

    “In competitive sports, there are times when we can’t compete,” he said. “Just as there is a commitment towards extracurricular activities, there is a commitment to God and his Torah”

    There are many fields where one just can’t enter if one is a frum Jew. Of course, there may also be fields where there maybe a limited heter for true pikuach nefesh-but in order to earn a great livelihood everything goes.

  7. Lawrence Kaplan

    “Of course, there also may be fields…” You just couldn’t resist, could you Mycroft? Genug, already.

  8. no Orthodox shul Rabbi in my area considers kosher to the standards of their community
    =======================================
    1. have they given a reason why?
    2. who sets the standards for fraud as to what is not kosher (under any standard) vs. one whose standard “we” don’t accept?
    KT

  9. Re state enforcement of kosher-I don’t see how it really helps. How can the state distinguish and say something stated as Kosher by Rabbi X is not Kosher. Kosher consumers have to trustthe person who is giving the hashgacha

  10. ““Of course, there also may be fields…””
    There are many such as most professional sports-realistically including most executives, any field in the US with a bona fide seniority sytem-the Supremes in Hardison ruled inHardison that a bona fide seniority agreement is one that is undue hardship and overrides requirements to make reasonable accommodations for Sabbath Observers.

  11. “You just couldn’t resist, could you Mycroft”
    Ha;acha must be followed-of course iti s easyto find a Rav to give a heter by self selection especially when one is part of the glamor professions-where is the heter given for people to work on Shabbos as a sanitation worker-sanitation also prevents disease-of course iti s a necessary job but non Orthodox Jews fill the positions-whats the difference

  12. joel rich on February 15, 2011 at 5:15 am
    “no Orthodox shul Rabbi in my area considers kosher to the standards of their community
    =======================================”
    I obviously don’t know the facts of that community-but if it is similar to ones that I am familiar the reason is that no Rabbi wants to differ from another rabbi publicly on a community matter-which can be simply am atter of wanting to keep a monopoly-remeber Kashrut is big business and big money-bakeseph yaaneh hakol.

    “1. have they given a reason why?”

    If they have given a reason have they constantly applied such analysis to all food providers including machers of their schuls and donaters to their mosdos.

    “2. who sets the standards for fraud as to what is not kosher (under any standard) vs. one whose standard “we” don’t accept?”
    why government can’t get involved-unless it is a fraud of someone claiming OU gives hashgacha when OU doesn’t etc. Governmet can’t make religious decisions.

  13. “why government can’t get involved-unless it is a fraud of someone claiming OU gives hashgacha when OU doesn’t etc. Governmet can’t make religious decisions.”

    I’m happy there’s something in Mycroft’s comments that I can agree with. As to his nasty conspiratorial comments attacking doctors and rabbis, well, that’s another story. (It’s amazing how Mycroft seems to know only those who do things for money. Every but him is a noge’ah bedavar. Makes one suspect whether it’s the doctors and rabbis or if it’s Mycroft. Mycroft’s anonymity makes that impossible to know. But I have a pretty good guess.)

  14. It’s odd that the very examples that Lubinsky uses shows there is no need for the state kosher agencies. In each instance the kosher certification agencies had the option of civil litigation or issuing clarifying statements about the kosher status of the product. In each instance the kosher consumer had the option of a civil suit themselves. Would Lubinsky have the packagers of sardines with a kosher symbol prosecuted or fined because ocean current changes led to more krill then in years past … and even though they had a “good” certification? People who keep strictly kosher don’t rely on the state kosher enforcers. People who don’t keep strictly kosher don’t care about small deviations and there are fraud options for larger ones. Either way, the situation is no threat to the community. The inspectors were an excuse to give some people a job; a form of patronage that NYS has decided it can not afford.

  15. R’JK,
    While I’m not a conspirator with Mycroft 🙂 it certainly is of interest to consider where heterim have been given and why if for no other reason then to use for future cases. R’HS frequently speaks about the practice for more than one person saying kaddish and the fact that one may not be yotzeh if 10 people aren’t answering a ny particular individual- this was a debate as to whether the original “takanna” was a horaat shaah or not.

    KT

  16. “no Orthodox shul Rabbi in my area considers kosher to the standards of their community
    =======================================
    1. have they given a reason why?”

    There are all sorts of rumors floating around that it is not “reliable” but as far as I can figure out, the real issue is that they still give a hechsher to non-Glatt meat (shandah).

    What I find troubling is:

    1) If there is a reliability problem, it should be documented and the company be given an opportunity to fix the problem. And, if it is not fixed, then there should be a clear statement from the Orthodox community that it is not kosher because x, y, z.

    2) In the absence of (1) this seems to be a situation of Lashon ha’Ra which is aided and abetted by the Rabbinate.

    3) Can we not foresee the potential Chillul ha’Shem this could lead to: they mark it Kosher to make money off non-Jews, but don’t use it themselves.

  17. Joel: On Kaddish, you may be interest in:
    http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=43015&st=&pgnum=17

    2nd column, 17 lines from the bottom starting U’ma Sh’sipru Li.

    —–

    I think it was the Yavetz who first notes the Sefardim got it right in democratizing the saying of Kaddish Yatom; but, the minhag did not change for Ashkenazim until the Chatam Sofer (in 1831).

    [This is a topic of interest to me, so please share any interesting sources you may have that led to your mentioning this.]

  18. I would love to purchase reliably kosher non-glatt meat. Isn’t that what Bubbe and Zaide ate in Vilna?

  19. Michael Rogovin

    So much to be said re state kosher certification. There is no need since no one in the orthodox community ever relied on state approval. Most violations in NY were in supermarkets using the same slicer for meat and cheese or not having a properly sized sign in the front window that they sell both kosher and non-kosher (duh!). There are many different kosher standards and the first amendment prohibits government from choosing to enforce one view over another. The best kosher laws are disclosure laws (like NJ). I advocated the same for NY years ago pointing out that eventually the NY law would be found unconstitutional. I was right and the new law is disclosure. As a disclosure law, anyone can enforce it and there is no need to hire a mashgiach to do so or to favor kosher law enforcement over general consumer fraud in these tough economic times.

  20. And what many of us grew up with in NYC at least through the 70s, if not 80s.

  21. Michael Rogovin: sorry, but if no Orthodox synagogue Rabbi in the area in which this meat is sold considers it kosher, then this is not a religious dispute — and a case can be made that it is false advertising.

  22. “Michael Rogovin: sorry, but if no Orthodox synagogue Rabbi in the area in which this meat is sold considers it kosher, then this is not a religious dispute — and a case can be made that it is false advertising.”

    And what about those who have non-O hashgachot. I know of a number of establishments that are not shomer shabbat and therefore no O rabbi will say they are kosher. But they have a certificate from an ordained rabbi saying it is. Should the state get involved in light of the first amendment? Or, what if a restaurant says it’s kosher and has no hasgacha. The owner says it’s kosher as I understand the Jewish law of kashrut. Should the state get involved in determinig what “kosher” means? That’s why Michael Rogovin is exactly right; the answer is, as NY and NJ have done, disclosure. The establishment has to answer certain questions and the consumers can then decide. if they answer those questions falsely (e.g., they say they’re closed on Shabbat and they’re actually open), then there is a case of fraud. But if they say they’re kosher and answer on the disclosure sign that they mix meat and milk, then it’s up to the consumer to decide whether to patronize that establishment. This is not an area that the state should, or constitutionally can, get involved in.

  23. [This is a topic of interest to me, so please share any interesting sources you may have that led to your mentioning this.]
    —————————————
    R’HS has mentioned it at least twice in recent shiurim
    http://program.ouradio.org/oucon2011/gabbaim_chiyuvim.mp3
    http://download.yutorah.org/2011/2814/756358/IBC%20Topics%20Shiur%20-%20Women%20in%20Halachah.MP3
    attributing it(multiple sayers) to R’ Akiva Eiger after an epidemic.
    I’m interested in it too – I always assumed it was after the crusades because of multiple mourners – IIRC I heard this from others. If you have any other sources let me know – I also find the history of kaddish, keil maaleh’s and yizkor fascinating and have done non-academic research on all.
    KT

  24. Joseph: Personally, I do not think the state should be involved at all; but, I was reflecting on the implications of the article posted using an example.

    That said, I think the Triangle-K issue is a bad situation for halachic Jews for the reasons I stated. And I would not be surprised if the Kashrut business situation exploded sooner or later — it has become a huge business that has outgrown its original religious context.

  25. Joel: Wieseltier’s Kaddish of 1999 is an outstanding piece of scholarship, tracing the development of Kaddish in the Shut literature.

    In addition to the content (and its personal surround), it is unusual to have an approachable English book that traces a single thread of halacha from the Talmud to the present. And, if anyone thinks he can’t possibly know Rabbinic literature, you would be making a massive mistake. He knows his stuff!

  26. Incidentally, I did some teaching about the history of Kaddish as part of a Shiva I was supporting the week before last and would be happy to share it with others: e-mail me at UWSIH at AOL dot com and I will send you a 1mb PDF. I am planning to expand it in the coming months, so would welcome any constructive input.

  27. Michael Rogovin

    For the most part the orthodox community rejects non-glatt meat that is, in fact, perfectly kosher. How can the state possibly enforce this? We can’t even agree among ourselves what glatt means! The biggest kashrut problems are fraud and existing civil remedies (by affected groups and states) are sufficient to handle them without enforcing one group’s particular standards that may differ from another.

  28. “For the most part the orthodox community rejects non-glatt meat that is, in fact, perfectly kosher.”

    Which is cause and which is effect? It is not available because there was no demand so it no longer desired; or, a decision was made through collusion which eliminated the supply and offered alternative products such that demand was eliminated.

    I am not a lawyer, but I would not be surprised if there is a RICO investigation into the Kashrut industry in the coming years.

  29. “The biggest kashrut problems are fraud”

    This may be true for halachic consumers: e.g. to whom it is salient whether the same slicer is used for meat and cheese.

    But, what percentage of the multi-billion dollar Kashrut industry are halachic consumers?

    For better or worse, there are non-halachic people of all creeds who are making buying decisions on kosher certification. The slicer may be immaterial to them; but the fact that meat is certified as kosher, but halachic Jews won’t eat it because they do not consider it kosher — might be considered a bigger fraud.

  30. “but the fact that meat is certified as kosher, but halachic Jews won’t eat it because they do not consider it kosher — might be considered a bigger fraud.”

    But that’s exactly the problem; what does “kosher” mean? The First Amendment doesn’t allow the states to answer that question. And even for those who like Justice Scalia (or, for that matter, Justice Ginsburg), do you want either of them answering that question?

    Whetehr something is “kosher” is not a question that can be answered in civil or criminal law in the US. Whether an establishment is open on Shabbat, or has a mashgiach temidi, or mixes milk and meat, etc. are questions that can be answered. And that’s what the current NY and NJ laws cover.

  31. Joseph, I understand what you’re saying, but I just have a bad feeling that it’s not that simple when discussing an interstate multi-billion industry. I hope my pessimism is mis-placed.

    BTW, there is obviously a difference between certification of a local restaurant; and packaged products bought in a supermarket. I am hypothesising about the latter.

  32. MiMedinat HaYam

    the “local” rabbi has no say on the kosher labelling.

    NYS (new law) and NJ both require a poster saying what the standards are (to a degree). when i have time in my travels, i walk into a deli / other store that you or i would never buy from, and read the poster. some of them are laughable (maybe i should cry instead.) but thats the procedure. its a fraud law (thats the basic justification.) as long as you comply with the poster, you are in compliance. thus, signs delineating kosher vs nonkosher section, etc.

  33. MiMedinat HaYam

    a few years ago, someone brought up the fact that a previous commissioner of kosher inspection in NYS (or similar title), a noted (more to the charedi side) rabbi was perhaps too zealous in enforcing the law vis a vis meat that you or i might not eat (even if you or i might eat non glatt meat (or more precisely, “meat which is known as glatt”) ) but may very well be kosher. the result of his overzealousness was the declaration of unconstitutionality of nys kosher law.

    when the rav was mildly critisized (actually, it was just pointed out; the defenders accused the other side of critisizing) it became a MO (or to the left of MO) versus charedi issue. so the matter had to be dropped.

  34. Michael Rogovin

    That is not an accurate staement of history. In NY, a butcher shop operating under conservative supervision (or no supervision but following what the butcher believed to be conservative psak) was cited under the NYS kosher law, which mandated compliance with orthodox standards (which, by the way, was routinely ignored – for example Hebrew National deli was fine, even when cut in unsupervised supermarkets). The butcher sued, claiming (correctly) that the constitution prohibtied the state from enforcing a particular sects interpretation of religious law (or, in fact, any law that was religious and had no secular purpose). Arguments that this was a fraud law were, correctly imo, rejected by the court. That the lawyers could make such claims and keep a straight face should have resulted in an academy award nomination. In any case, the case went up to the NYS Court of Appeals and the state lost. The advocates of the old law then went and pushed through a disclosure law (as I had urged them to do 20 years ago when I warned them that this was inevitable). It had nothing to do with hareidi vs MO.

  35. “Every but him is a noge’ah bedavar”
    I didn’t say that-but one can’t pasken etc on things that one is a nogeah badavar. I have not commented on comments/posts that I would be considered loosely to be a nogeah badavar.

  36. Your definition of Orthodox and Zionist are too narrow nd your definition of noge’ah bedavar is to broad.

  37. “Hesh on February 15, 2011 at 11:45 am
    I would love to purchase reliably kosher non-glatt meat. Isn’t that what Bubbe and Zaide ate in Vilna?”

    I don’t know Vilna but Boston had relaible kosher non-glatt meat-rav Hamachshir RYBS.

  38. “There is the need to “get along” with other Jewish movements in their countries, concerns about Jews from other denominations not being able to marry a “patrilineal Jew””

    Is it at least possible that some of the reasons that Reform in the US has not been as concerned about “the need to “get along” with other Jewish movements” is that too many Orthodox Rabbis treat the Reform as rashaim rather than those who are mistaken. There are very few who would treat Reform as “achai ani mevakesh”
    The extreme ways of talking might not have caught on in the rest of the diaspora.

  39. What an awful headline for the article about women. I think Judaism treats women well, and I also think that Judaism is not egalitarian. Their assumption seems to be that if one feels that Judaism perceives women as being different than men, that isn’t treating women fairly. Needless to say, I disagree very strongly.

  40. Funny – my father in law just mentioned the YU ’63 quiz bowl a few weeks ago – I hadn’t heard about it until then. And I certainly didn’t know that professor Kaplan was on the team (what happened to your glasses?)

  41. It still happens when I meet someone around my age or older that I’ll be asked “were you on college Bowl?” Most ask it politely but there’s one woman who every time I meet her asks “are you the smart brother?”

  42. Re Gary Rosenblatt’s post re yeshiva scholarships, and summer camp programs-I think that it is wrong for schools and representative of a very narrow definition of Chinuch to consider themselves as the most important educational factor in the educational and religious growth of a student. There is no shortage of evidence that summer camps and programs succeed where schools often don’t-in helping teens maximize their religious committment and translating that which is regarded all too often merely as coursework and homework in Judaic studies into a real committment to Torah and Mitzvos.

  43. For those interested in the yeshiva tuition/summer program issue, make sure to read Sheldon Chaneles’s comment to Gary’s blog post. He argues, pursuasively, I believe, that it’s not a question of priority or thinking one program is more important than the other; it’s a question of who’s paying. But he explains it much better than that.

  44. Re. the article on Rav Tendler:

    “The couple met at a public library on East Broadway when Shifra Feinstein approached Tendler — already gaining a reputation for scientific acuity — to ask a question about chemistry. “After that, somehow I managed to come more often to the library to study,” Tendler said.”

    what a shanda

    Re. the YU college bowl:

    unless i’m not doing the math correctly, reiss had about ten years worth of an advantage over the other participants. what was he still doing in college?

  45. “unless i’m not doing the math correctly, reiss had about ten years worth of an advantage over the other participants. what was he still doing in college?”

    I’m pretty sure it was a typo and he was 69, not 79.

  46. STEVE BRIZEL:

    “There is no shortage of evidence that summer camps and programs succeed where schools often don’t . . .”

    so what’s left for the parents to do? schools do the coursework and camps do the practial intergration, so does parents’ responsibility really just boil down to paying others to handle every aspect of their kids’ chinuch?

    in any case, all this is really irrelevant. parents (and donors) only have so much money, so yes, you have to pick between camp and school.

    (and what’s wrong with 16-year-olds working summer jobs? frum kids, MO and RW alike, could some “chinuch” in the work ethic department)

  47. Shalom Aleikhem Rabbeinu Abba,
    Thank you for commenting on RMDT’s marriage, which merits elaboration. I’m sure we all agree (apropos the gemara in Mo’ed Katan 18b) that HKB”H arranges circumstances such that his servants are able to marry, just like Mosheh Rabbeinu met his prospective spouse at the well. Granted that the episode at the well was Kodem Matan Torah, but we also have the precedent of the last mishnah in Ta’anit regarding Chamishah Assar Bi’av. So, the public library of our time is the evolved derivative of the well of Mosheh Rabbeinu’s time (or the vineyards of the times of Chazal in the context of Chamishah Assar Bi’Av). Mosheh Rabbeinu was a tzaddik gammur (as Rambam writes in Hilkhot Teshuvah 5:2), and so is RMDT for our time, and so are you. [Parenthetically, this doesn’t necessarily mean I hold that BSD=death; I can’t because RSZA challenged RMF on this, as reflected in the discussions in the BSD symposium we have seen thus far. But I still greatly revere HaRav HaGa’on RMDT (as I revere you as well), and I definitely applaud RMF for embracing HaRav HaGa’on RMDT as his son-in-law. Look how much of the Iggerot Mosheh exists because of HaRav HaGa’on RMDT… Jewish history and destiny would be unimagineable any other way… It was clearly the Ratzon of HKB”H that the Feinstein family take RMDT as a son-in-law. Ashreinu shezakhinu likakh.]

    I’m sure we will all be happy to remind RMDT that – based on the gemara in Yevamot 62b – he should now be making plans to take a second spouse, bisha’ah tovah umutzlachat.

  48. Joseph Kaplan-I read my YC classmate’s comment and I was not persuaded of its rationale. A community that is focussed on who is paying for a particular program’s participants, as opposed to considering the merits of the same and realizing that different programs allocate scholarships on different basis to different applicants and translate nice slogans such as Achdus into reality, is IMO demonstrating the wrong set of priorities . More problematically, it is sending the wrong message-needly-that only those who are full tuition paying parents should be those who seek to supplement school with a much needed summer program, which I think Chazal clearly cautionned against discriminating those who are not Gvirim or their children. I think that such a comment is the wrong message to send and one that discriminates against anyone who does not earn a certain level of income, but views a summer camp or program as an integral part of a teen’s Chinuch and religious development.

    Abba-Name one summer job that would be appropriate and generate income-the days when a 16 year old could have worked at the Pine View or Pioneers and made a nice summer’s earnings are over.

  49. Gary Rosenblatt commented in part:

    “For some years now, and particularly since the financial meltdown of 2008, day school scholarship committees have been known to question closely applicants about family spending on home improvements, new cars, vacations and Pesach programs in resorts.

    Including summer camps and Israel summer tours in the mix of “discretionary” expenses sharpens the debate, particularly when studies show that experiential programs like camp and Israel travel have a strong positive impact on teenagers”

    I think that is wrong to include a summer program that is rooted in in depth Limud HaTorah with such expenditures as a new car, home improvements , Pesach away from home and vacations. Such a mode of thinking essentially attaches a utilitarian and bottom line value to the importance of Limud HaTorah, especially in a setting where a teen will gain a far better appreciation for its importance in a high school where it merely competes with everything else that is in a teen’s busy life.

  50. Joseph Kaplan wrote:
    “For those interested in the yeshiva tuition/summer program issue, make sure to read Sheldon Chaneles’s comment to Gary’s blog post. He argues, pursuasively, I believe, that it’s not a question of priority or thinking one program is more important than the other; it’s a question of who’s paying”

    When a lay committee determines that parents who believe that the Chinuch of the children is a 24/7 365 day job which they understand needs supplementation especially during the summer, and are penalized because their child is already on scholarship, that strikes me as a very narrow definition of Chinuch. I think that a strong case can be made that it is really noone’s business, and especially that of a lay financial assistance committee, to determine who is worthy or unworthy of financial aide because the same child’s parents view participation in a summer program as a sine qua non of a successful Chinuch.

  51. “Name one summer job that would be appropriate and generate income”
    Your use of the “name one” rhetorical device makes it pretty easy to undercut this point. Day camps for young kids are almost entirely staffed by high school kids, or at least they were in my time. So I have named one. But there are others: I had friends who did maintenence work at our school for pay, I worked at a university library, and some could probably get jobs waiting tables or mowing lawns. Not to mention the “jobs” people get at their parents’ of friends’ parents’ offices shuffling paper.

  52. Emma- The jobs that you mentioned may well exist-but do any of them provide any income for a teen that would be comparable to working at the Pine View or Pioneer?

  53. If one reads the posted article carefully, I think that the conclusion of the lay financial aide committees is that the schools in question view themselves as the primary source of their students’ educations, and attach no significance to summer programs such as the NCSY Kollel or have any real understanding of how students flock to attend the same, despite its prohibitive costs. The standard being imposed here has all of the negative connotations of the dispute in Brachos over who was considered worthy of learning in Yavneh-and where a Tocho Kbaro standard and its proponent were rejected.

  54. Steve:

    when i was 16 i worked in the summer as a bicycle messenger. my brother shelved books in a library. there are plenty of jobs that teens can do. you think jewish kids are too good to flip burgers? (admittedly summer jobs for teens are harder to come by in recent years.) and there are plenty of volunteer opporunities for teens, or do you think that inculcating the volunteering spirit is not an important aspect of chinuh? and what in the world does the Pine View/Pioneer pay standard have to do with anything? why do you keep bringing it up?

  55. Abba wrote:

    “when i was 16 i worked in the summer as a bicycle messenger. my brother shelved books in a library. there are plenty of jobs that teens can do. you think jewish kids are too good to flip burgers? (admittedly summer jobs for teens are harder to come by in recent years.) and there are plenty of volunteer opporunities for teens, or do you think that inculcating the volunteering spirit is not an important aspect of chinuh? and what in the world does the Pine View/Pioneer pay standard have to do with anything? why do you keep bringing it up?

    Abba-as admirable as volunteer work is, the facts are that many teens are involved in work such as Tomchei Shabbos, etc. Yet, how you can assert that a non-paying summer job teaches anyone a sense of appreciating the value of working? Moreover, how can you assert that kids should work with your admission that such jobs are hard to come by? My point was that the notion that summer jobs wherein a teen could make a nice earning simply don’t exist anymore.

  56. “Emma- The jobs that you mentioned may well exist-but do any of them provide any income for a teen that would be comparable to working at the Pine View or Pioneer?”

    Like Abba I do not understand why this matters. If they pay, they pay. The employee can always wish she got paid more, and that a hypothetical, no-longer-extant job still existed, but so it goes.

  57. STEVE:

    you quoted rosenblatt: “studies show that experiential programs like camp and Israel travel have a strong positive impact on teenagers”

    i wonder which solid studies show that camp and Israel programs have a signifigant impact on day school teenagers from teaneck-type homes?

    in any case, you wrote, “I think that is wrong to include a summer program that is rooted in in depth Limud HaTorah with such expenditures as a new car, home improvements , Pesach away from home and vacations.”

    you do realize that in most cases we are not talking about summer programs “rooted in in depth Limud HaTorah”
    (and why shouldn’t a guy who works his tuchus off the whole year get to take his family on a decent vacation? since when is family time not a jewish value?)

    “I think that a strong case can be made that it is really noone’s business, and especially that of a lay financial assistance committee, to determine who is worthy or unworthy of financial aide because the same child’s parents view participation in a summer program as a sine qua non of a successful Chinuch.”

    we can argue over the merits of this point, but it doesn’t matter. even if correct, you’re ignoring the reality that schools have a limited ammount of funds for financial assistance. so how parents spend their money is definately a school’s (or it’s delegates’) business.

  58. I do think that a community where a parent’s committment to Limud HaTorah and Chinuch is measured by his or her ability to pay, as opposed to a genuine belief that despite financial obstacles, their child’s Chinuch is a 24/7 365 day committment, is sending the message that only Gvirim should even think of sending their kids to a summer camp or an Israel program and that yeshivos should be seen as profit making enterprises that offer Judaic studies and serve the well off, as opposed to enterprises that serve the entirety of the Klal, and provide a necessary service, but that one that needs supplementation in the form of summer programs.

  59. STEVE:

    “I think that the conclusion of the lay financial aide committees is that the schools in question view themselves as the primary source of their students’ educations, and attach no significance to summer programs such as the NCSY Kollel ”

    again, you really think the article was talking about learning programs like NCSY kollel?

    “as admirable as volunteer work is, the facts are that many teens are involved in work such as Tomchei Shabbos, etc. Yet, how you can assert that a non-paying summer job teaches anyone a sense of appreciating the value of working?”

    you don’t see the difference between volunteering two hours every couple of weeks and making a commitment to go to (volunteer) work every day for 5, 6, or 8 hours? aquiring a worth ethic and learning about responsibility are important values in of themselves. and it’s never too early to start building a resume either.

    “Moreover, how can you assert that kids should work with your admission that such jobs are hard to come by?”

    i hesitated to make that comment because i knew for sure you’d seize on it. seriously steve, it was a parenthetical comment. did i write that these jobs don’t exist anymore or that they are nearly impossible to find? many thousands of non-frum teenagers still manage to find summer work. let’s just leave it at that.

    “My point was that the notion that summer jobs wherein a teen could make a nice earning simply don’t exist anymore.”

    what is a “nice” earning? we’re talking high schoolers, not ivy league law school grads. what’s wrong with minumum wage? i didn’t become rich with that messenger job i mentioned above, but when my aunt was going to junk her old car the next year i could take because i had saved up enought money for the insurance. i’m sorry if that doesn’t impress you.

  60. I don’t know how much a good teenage summer earn is these days, but in fact not every teenager gets loads of cash to spend (!!!) and an extra thousand bucks or whatever it is they can pull in a summer will be quite nice for many teens.

  61. STEVE:

    “is sending the message that only Gvirim should even think of sending their kids to a summer camp or an Israel program

    again, you’re talking ideals, but how about some reality. the schools are cash-strapped. they need money now. where would you get it from?

    “and that yeshivos should be seen as profit making enterprises”

    who is talking about making a profit? the problem is they need to break even (or is paying teachers a decent wage and on time not a torah value?)

  62. STEVE:

    as an aside–and of course i’m sure you’ll hone in on this and ignore everything else–do you think that parents should have any direct role in their kids’ chinuch, or is it all about being facilitators, i.e., paying someone else to do the job?

  63. MiMedinat HaYam

    i dont understand rav elyashiv. dont his “askanim” realize by calling a mass demonstration, he might kindle a future mass demonstration against internet bans, book bans, other charedi extremism. a la tunisia, egypt, etc. or is he relying on iran, yemen, etc?

    (i’m serious)

  64. I agree with Steve that many of the summer programs are very worthwhile additions to our children’s educational experience. And i’m sure that the lay and professional leadership of TABC and Ma’ayanot agree. The question, as Sheldon pointed out in his comment, is who pays for this. The $5,000 or $10,000 scholarships to yeshivot don’t come from the government, nor are they manna from heaven. Our community is blessed with many ba’alei tzedakah who donate large amounts every yer to make these scholarships possible. But they are donating for yeshiva scholarships, not for summer programs as worthwhile as they are. So if parents are spending $5,000 on a summer program instead of giving that money to the yeshiva in tuition, it means that the donors of the scholarship are, in effect, giving a scholarship for the summer program. And it’s not only donors; often tuition is raised because of the need for scholarships which means that parents paying full tuition are also paying into the scholarship fund. And once again, the question arises whether they should subsidize the summer program. I don’t think these are easy questions, but simply repeating how important summer programs are doesn’t really come to grips with the difficult issues involved.

  65. MiMedinat HaYam

    summer camp or israel / travel camp?

    why did you title it summer camp?

  66. “Re Gary Rosenblatt’s post re yeshiva scholarships, and summer camp programs-I think that it is wrong for schools and representative of a very narrow definition of Chinuch to consider themselves as the most important educational factor in the educational and religious growth of a student.”

    I essentially agree with Steve and Gary Rosenblatt.

  67. “as an aside–and of course i’m sure you’ll hone in on this and ignore everything else–do you think that parents should have any direct role in their kids’ chinuch, or is it all about being facilitators, i.e., paying someone else to do the job?”

    I was once told by a Frum Professor of Social Work “Mycroft there hasn’t been a teenager in the history of mankind who has listened to their parents”

  68. ““is sending the message that only Gvirim should even think of sending their kids to a summer camp or an Israel program ”
    Agreed

    “again, you’re talking ideals, but how about some reality. the schools are cash-strapped. they need money now. where would you get it from? ”
    How many schools show clear books-there are many schools with 20K plus tuition-20 kids in a class-400k lets assume Rebbe earns 130 or so-some more see MTAs 990 availabloe on guidestar or see Brisman arbitration decison where he eraned over 1ook before 2005-assume nonRebbes earn less where is the loss-do a pro forma income statement or cash flow.

    “and that yeshivos should be seen as profit making enterprises”

    how does their behavior differ from a profit amximizer.

    who is talking about making a profit?
    they’ll pay out their profits in salaries to chose nadministrators many earn more than US SC justices orthe VP of the US.

    (or is paying teachers a decent wage and on time not a torah value?)
    Why is it that teachers who work less than half the hours of a normsal worker feel entitled to earn more than the vast majority of college grads.

  69. >Leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox faction Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv has called on the public to take part in a mass protest to be staged following Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s ruling legitimizing Israel Defense Forces conversions. Sources close to Elyashiv confirmed the report.<

    What an undermining of the halachic process!!!

    To take issues of halachic dispute into the public arena!!!

    Oy gevalt!!

    (isn't this what everyone said about the organ donor issue???)

  70. “what is a “nice” earning? we’re talking high schoolers, not ivy league law school grads. what’s wrong with minumum wage?”
    Nothing but what arethe odds for a teenager wo contacts which in general will be those whose parents aren’t wealthy getting a summer job.

  71. “Leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox faction Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv has called on the public to take part in a mass protest to be staged following Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s ruling legitimizing Israel Defense Forces conversions. Sources close to Elyashiv confirmed the report.<

    What an undermining of the halachic process!!!

    To take issues of halachic dispute into the public arena!!!

    Oy gevalt!!"
    Yea lets see the day Rabbis Shafran, Ginzberg and Dr. Glatt object to Rav Eliyashev.

  72. Mycroft,

    I really wonder what you do for a living. But from the way you constantly bash rabbis, doctors, teachers and school administrators, I can eliminate those jobs from the list. Boy, you just love pointing your anonymous fingers.

  73. Concerned Parent

    With regard to Sheldon Chanales’ argument:
    Why stop there? As Joseph Kaplan mentioned, HS tuitions are already inflated so that full paying parents can subsidize scholarships. They are in effect paying for someone else’s kids to go to school. Is there a clamor to end this?
    If the community thinks a summer learning program is an important part of the chinuch we give, why can’t we apply the same precedent?

  74. “In sharp reversal, U.S. agrees to rebuke Israel in Security Council”
    http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/16/in_major_reversal_us_to_rebuke_israel_in_security_council

    Paging Rabbi Shafran….

  75. I’m pretty sure VosIzNeias will not be posting Allan Nadler’s review of the Satmar Rebbe biography. That would be pikuach nefesh.

  76. hold fast to all the present definitions and criteria, admitting or perhaps denying that they defy logic and medical knowledge

    This last option deserves a small comment. For the Jew who believes in following Torah and Mitzvot, defining death ultimately is a Halachic issue. However, it is clear that the specifics of how Halacha defines death have changed over time. Why and how that has changed is not the topic of this discussion, but the unassailable truth is that we no longer use feathers or mirrors on a routine basis in ascertaining death. The scientific and medical understanding of the body and the ability to preserve parts of the body while others fail necessitate an appraisal of how death has been determined in the past, specifically with regard to unstated assumptions based on the medical knowledge of the time. The ideal definition of death should produce coherent consistent results when applied to all technically feasible situations that require a determination of the life and death status of a person or collection of tissue.

    The definition of death based on neurological criteria fulfills that requirement.
    ==========================================================
    I have tremendous respect for R’ Stadlan and enjoyed his piece and always yearn for coherent, consistent results in halacha (my acquaintances grin knowingly and call me a TOE wannabe behind my back. ) I would love this approach to be accepted, the question is how the halachic process works in these cases (technology in general – e.g. parenthood in IVF cases etc.) There are many who would say -sorry my hands are tied-we don’t know what chazal would have said and thus we must include those data points as immovable weights in our decision (see splines). How those internally inconsistent approaches will change as extrapolated to even further out situations remains to be seen but imho it’s the meta approach that must be examined first.

    KT

  77. Thanks. Rav Joel, many of the situation you noted do not have easy answers because they are totally novel. However here we have been identifying death all along. It is a matter of looking at all the possible situations and finding the underlying commonality, taking into account the unstated assumptions, finding out what the definitions of death used all have in common

  78. R’ Noam,
    Ah but as an actuary I often experience how different people can look at the exact same data set and come to different conclusions on what the data is telling them (“all facts are theory based”)
    Keep up the good work
    KT

  79. Michael Rogovin

    (long, sorry)
    The tuition debate is a difficult one. How far into a family finances should the yeshiva go? Should I account for every discretionary expense? Is my entire life dedicated to supporting the yeshiva, even with some of its high overhead, or should wealthier families bear a higher burden? I have two children, only one of whom attends a yeshiva (for reasons not relevant here). Should my other child not have any discretionary spending because her sibling goes to a yeshiva?

    Is there a difference between a few modest weekends away during vacations and annual Pesach cruises, regular pilgrimages to Disney World and excursions to Europe and Israel? Is dining at Solo the same as going to Fish of the Seas? A bat mitzvah in one’s home the same as a fancy affair in a catering hall with a 7-piece band? Replacing a 10 year old minivan with a newer model the same as a second or third Lexus?

    Are not some modest vacations (particularly some that use airline miles), camps (which can provide other benefits beyond those cited), music and other discretionary expense a part of life that can be allowed for?

    I do not espouse socialism or wealth transfer to pay for luxuries of the middle class, but there are many in our community who spend excessively on themselves when they could live a more modest life and give more to support education, but when people who live more modestly but wish their children to have some camp, travel and cultural experiences are told that THEY must cut back, I wonder if perhaps yeshivas should have graduated tuition in which people with higher net worth should be charged more.

    I have no doubt that I can cut back on spending and save money, and will gladly pay a reasonable tuition. But when even big donors to yeshivas also have enough money to spend lavishly on themselves, I resent the idea that they feel that saving for retirement, emergencies and rainy day funds, as well as providing for relatively modest experiences that enhance the emotional growth of my children (things they take for granted for themselves on a grander scale) are luxuries that I should do without.

  80. Re: Coca Cola

    In his YU Yoreh deah shiur, Rabbi Genack explained to us how Coca Cola preserves its secret formula with kashrus agencies. It places a number of ingredients in the room and gets kashrus approval for all those ingredients. The actual formula does not contain all of them.

  81. > “It places a number of ingredients in the room and gets kashrus approval for all those ingredients. The actual formula does not contain all of them.”

    >> According to the first commenter on the Coke story on Matzav.com, Rabbi Belsky (in quotes) said regarding the above: “That’s nonsense. We can’t just rely on their word of what’s in there – we must see for ourselves – we have to have access to all their inventory and chemical lab logs, and see whats going into the product, otherwise we cannot give a proper hashgacha”.

    In point of fact the actual procedure is irrelevant, but it just goes to show how third parties can relate wholly different stories concerning this or any other news item. This is why hearsay is so problematic.

  82. R’ Shua Cohen,
    Yi’yasher kochakha for the information. [Thank you also for the fascinating and illuminating information about the child born with a unique brain-stem. You successfully revitalized the dispute between Chakham Zvi and Kreti Upleiti whether we assume another organ in the slaughtereed chicken could take over the functions of the heart.]
    R. Tobias Gefen published a responsum in 1935 justifying consumption of Coca Cola despite the secret ingredient, available at
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=2379&st=&pgnum=122
    On the other hand, writing seventy years later, RJDB opines (Contemporary Halakhic Problems V, p. 245):
    “Certification of the kashrut of any product is, in a technical halakhic sense, testimony with regard to the product as a permitted foodstuff.”
    According to RJDB’s approach, then, certification of the kashrut of a product presumably is only valid if it is subject to derishah vachakirah (like any testimony). If the witness says “this product is kosher but I can’t tell you why, due to confidentiality”, that doesn’t sound like acceptable testimony before a court.

  83. [I also meant to thank R’ Former YU for his contribution to the sugya.]

  84. [Also, I am not disagreeing with Dr. Stadlan’s expert analysis of Chase Britton, viz. that, due to the plasticity of the human brain, we can presume that another part of the brain took over the functions of the medulla and pons (paralleling what Kreiti Upleiti asserted in challenging Chakham Zvi regarding the heartless chicken). And thus I don’t think RMF is necessarily refuted by Chase Britton. But still, it is a very elegant proof you have brought to bolster the countervailing position of RSZA. Yi’yasher kochakha.]

  85. “But from the way you constantly bash rabbis, doctors, teachers and school administrators”
    I very rarely criticize individuals-I criticize behavior that I believe many engage in-to the extent someone does not engage in such behavior my criticisms don’t apply to them.
    A reader of Hirhurim generally is interested in Jewish subjects-I don’t believe that it is the place to discuss other issues-but since youare a lawyer I’ll criticize a couple of members of the USSC who did not recuse themselves in the Gore v Bush decision-Scalia whose son was workingfor a law firm that was invovled in the case and Rhenquist whose daughter was very active in Republican politics and received a political job in HHS from GWB. Ginzberg usedto recuse herself from tax cases that her alte husband was involved in.Her late husband was aleading corporate tax attorney.

  86. I do not see how Rabbi Belsky’s comments contradict Rabbi Genack. The OU does not have a mashgiach temidi for Coca Cola and does not review every mixture they place in the machines. The OU can check that no treif ingredients enter the formula each trip. Also, there is very strong “mirsas” if Coca Cola ever tried to change the formula so one time would be enough.

  87. R. Joel- I think what is necessary is for the entire data set to be examined, while keeping in mind the likely assumptions that each author made. If someone goes through that exercise and comes to a different conclusion that makes logical sense- fine.

    R. Spira- It appears that the pons was present, just small and shrivelled up(atrophic). please see this comment by a neurologist who apparently saw the films or the reports: Steven Novellaon 15 Feb 2011 at 1:07 pm
    “…. This is just nonsense. His cortex appears to be intact. The pons is atrophied, not absent, and this is not incompatible with consciousness. ”

    see the entire post and discussion, by a Yale neurologist. http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=2830

  88. MiMedinat HaYam

    re: coca cola — this obfuscation by the o-u in not saying whether or not they have the formula is old news, dating back to when they first got the certification.

    only a formal statement will resolve the issue. and create controversy of its own.

    i am reminded of another riddle of satmar — “the food served at this simcha is under supervision of rav xxx, except the drinks are o-u.”

    3. rabbi and imam — only three questions, cause terrorism was censored out of the issue. gotta put that in the headline.

    the “foundation for ethnic understanding” tried to do events with a rabbi (rabbi marc s) and any imam, but got bogged down on the imams’s refusals to renounce terrorism.

  89. Thank you, and yi’yasher kochakha, Dr. Stadlan, for your clarification of the Chase Britton case.

    Conngratulations, as well, on your important posting on Text and Texture. Your article very nicely explains the perspective of RMF (which I believe was the normative Halakhah at least until 1991, and possibly even until 2008, when RJDB published his identity article). However, by contradistinction, RSZA interprets Chatam Sofer as meaning that a patient is lingering on his last breath until cardiac function has ceased. Arguably, although RSZA himself did not do so (-given his aversion to machines that did not exist in the time of Chazal-), this principle may extend even to circulatory function propelled by an artificial machine (-RJDB has contradicted himself on this point in the past). In other words, a brain dead patient on an ECMO machine may still be lingering on the effects of his last breath. You are correct that if the latter is the case, a patient is not dead until he decomposes sufficiently such that artificial circulation cannot be introduced into “rosho virubbo” of the patient.

  90. Abba-How many parents do you know who have or have had active Sedarim in learning of some kind with their teenaged children with or without the help of Rabbeinu ArtScroll? That’s why we have K-12 yeshiva education and a possible year in Israel. There are well documented studies that summer camp and a year in Israel have a lot of positive impact on a participant’s moral growth. Like it or not, working for the sake of working without a salary does not strike me as a particularly Jewish value.

    Michael Rogovin-I think that vacations, home improvements and purchases of new cars should be evaluated vis a vis their compromising a person’s ability to pay tuitions, etrc. Again, Pesach may be different if one’s parents are paying for an extended family’s once a year reunion, but I do not think that summer programs or camps shojuld be lumped together with the same as “discretionary” in nature.

  91. Well I guess this served the same purpose as the attempted Tucker talk: letting college kids get excited about being college kids.

  92. “Abba-How many parents do you know who have or have had active Sedarim in learning of some kind with their teenaged children with or without the help of Rabbeinu ArtScroll?”
    I believe the Rav with his older daughter-its been written about her asking a question and then the Rav excited itsthe same question as the shita mekubetzet_but obviously Steve is right for 99.99%
    “That’s why we have K-12 yeshiva education and a possible year in Israel. There are well documented studies that summer camp and a year in Israel have a lot of positive impact on a participant’s moral growth. ”
    Agreed-
    “Like it or not, working for the sake of working without a salary does not strike me as a particularly Jewish value. ”

    but helping someone is-but I still agree with Steves sentiments

    “Michael Rogovin-I think that vacations, home improvements and purchases of new cars should be evaluated vis a vis their compromising a person’s ability to pay tuitions, etrc.”
    al regel achat agree

    “Again, Pesach may be different if one’s parents are paying for an extended family’s once a year reunion,”
    The problem of dedicated gifts is a tough one-why should the family who received a gift and then spent it on a cheaper vacation not get a scholarship while the one that got a dedicated gift for a bigger vacation get one.

    “but I do not think that summer programs or camps shojuld be lumped together with the same as “discretionary” in nature.”
    agree-but tough issue.

  93. Dr. Stadlan:

    Your link to Dr. Novella’s blog [http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=2830] is very much appreciated. Although he laces into inaccurate and exaggerated media coverage of medical cases such as Chase’s, nevertheless (from a reading of the comments there), it appears possible that this case may yet present chiddushim in the realm of medical knowledge of the brain.

    It would be worthwhile for anyone clicking on the link to read the comments section. Particularly noteworthy is that Chase Britton’s mother chose to participate in the conversation, and in so doing challenged some aspects of Dr. Novella’s medical assumptions concerning the case. What is most heartening is that Mrs. Britton has agreed to privately supply Dr. Novella with additional history and MRIs for further evaluation. She clearly believes that Chase’s case may be unique after all, resulting in a new “CHASE SYNDROME” being added to the medical literature.

    Thanks again for the link.

  94. STEVE BRIZEL:

    “How many parents do you know who have or have had active Sedarim in learning of some kind with their teenaged children with or without the help of Rabbeinu ArtScroll?”

    what does this have to with our discussion vis-a-vis MO summer camps? and if you write one more time about NCSY Kollel i’ll scream. again, the overwhelming majority of MO teenagers aren’t going to camps that even remotely approach NCSY Kollel.

    “That’s why we have K-12 yeshiva education and a possible year in Israel.”

    i hate to break it to you, but the vast majority of MO kids (not saying to this to the exclusion of RW kids) can’t learn despite k-12. going to an expenseive sports camp isn’t going to change this.

    “There are well documented studies that summer camp and a year in Israel have a lot of positive impact on a participant’s moral growth.”

    this might or might not be true, but i will ask you once again, please cite one solid study analyzing what type of impact typical MO summer camps have on day school educated teenagers from committed orthodox homes.

    (btw, do studies demonstrates the impact of israel on “moral growth” as distinct from obervance or learning)? how is “moral growth” measured?)

    “working for the sake of working without a salary does not strike me as a particularly Jewish value.”

    a) you think voluneteering for a summer in a nursing home, shelter, hospital, etc. has no jewish value?
    b) i never advocated that all kids should volunteer. i merely raised it as an alternative for those unable to find paying work. but of course you’ll conclude that because *some* kids might not find work, then none should work. (and by the way, inpaid interships have plenty of value, even if none of a jewish nature)

  95. ““That’s why we have K-12 yeshiva education and a possible year in Israel.”

    i hate to break it to you, but the vast majority of MO kids (not saying to this to the exclusion of RW kids) can’t learn despite k-12. going to an expenseive sports camp isn’t going to change this.”

    Camp and summer programs serve an important purpowe they minimize the free time that teenagers have. We have a ludicrous school system where students in MO schools go less than 180 days a year-public schools are required to have 180 days-religious schools aren’t. If you don’t believe count from a school calendar of any MO school that goes 5 days a week-and you’ll see a figure in the 160s.-yom tov chol hamoed add up-and the December vacation that day schools don’t have is at least compensated by theYeshiva week and half in January.
    Having less time to congregate in parks, in alleyways in middle of Jewish pizza stores etc should be a major objective in itself.

  96. “(btw, do studies demonstrates the impact of israel on “moral growth” as distinct from obervance or learning)? how is “moral growth” measured?)”

    Al regel achat I believe Flipping out discusses the issue-in Jacobsons? part-even assuming Jacobsons studies from a the first couple of years after return are accurate for later years too his studies probably in general agree somewhat with both Steve and Abba.

  97. MYCROFT:

    “what arethe odds for a teenager wo contacts which in general will be those whose parents aren’t wealthy getting a summer job”

    how do you think it works outside the frum world?

    “I was once told by a Frum Professor of Social Work “Mycroft there hasn’t been a teenager in the history of mankind who has listened to their parents””

    anonymous quotation from an anonymous commenter doesn’t really mean much. steve may cite unnamed studies, but we know who he is.(is “frum” supposed to be a crednetial for this professor?) but in any case, what are the implications of statement?

    “How many schools show clear books . . .”

    agreed. schools (as well as all our publicly supported mosdos) should be financially transparent. but i’m not sure how far this would really go toward bringing down tuition. what do you think you might find and how you go about cutting it out?

    “Rebbe earns 130 or so”

    is this an average adjusted for outliers or the outliers themselves? iirc, r. brisman didn’t represent a typical salary, he was considered “star faculty” (and he had administrative duties as well?), but could be wrong.

    “Why is it that teachers who work less than half the hours of a normsal worker feel entitled to earn more than the vast majority of college grads.”

    i agree that in some schools teachers can do very well (especially when calculated on houly basis), although it really is school dependent. and if salaries were based on pure market conditions they could probably be cut signifigantly. in many schools, after all, rebbeim are essentially unskilled labor with an unlimited labor market. (this is not meant as a swipe at rebbeim. many are excellent and dedicated teachers. but the majority receive zero training and little relevant education to prepare them for this job.)

    the problem is that many people complain that day schools themselves foster the slide to the right because often the teaching staff doesn’t represent the hashkafah of the school/parents. so if people expect to attract MO rebbeim whose education and hashkafah would have (potentially) permitted them lucrative futures in the non-chinuch world, they need to be compensated accordingly.

  98. MYCROFT:

    “We have a ludicrous school system where students in MO schools go less than 180 days a year . . .”

    where i live, taking into account the number of vacation days and all the early dismissals (fridays, fast days, etc.), some day schools actually have fewer school hours annually than the local public school system.

  99. “Camp and summer programs serve an important purpowe they minimize the free time that teenagers have.”

    This attitude is so sad to me. If “chinuch” produces kids who can only be expected to use their “free time” for ill instead of good that seems to me to call for less institutional education, not more – or at least, for a different model of education.

  100. I’d like to thank Gil for his emotive use of “Conservative” as an epithet over the last few months. Having had some contact with key JTS figures — within an Orthodox milieu — when I was a kid in the 70s, it piqued my interest. And as a result of this, I found, ordered and read the small 2006 monograph by Prof. Marc Shapiro called “Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox” that is available for $6 (!!!) from Amazon.

    I then saw that Gil favorably reviewed it when it was published (http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2006/01/saul-lieberman-and-orthodox.html). This monograph, which could easily be read on a Shabbat afternoon offers invaluable insight into the emotional and political schism of the Orthodox elite from the Conservative-elite the echoes of which reverberate today in snarkyness, but now mostly devoid of content.

    A couple of snippets from the book (modulo the rich footnotes):a

    “Abraham Sofer (Schreiber) is also noteworthy. In my experience, his connection to the Seminary is entirely unknown in Orthodox circles, and his annotated edition of Meiri’s Talmudic commentary can found in every yeshiva in the world. I have pointed out to people a number of pages of notes by Ginzberg at the end of Sofer’s edition of Meiri’s Hibbur ha-Teshuvah, and have encountered a great deal of surprise. […] To my knowledge, no one has ever raised any questions about the suitability of Sofer’s edition of Meiri, as has been done, for example, with Samuel Atlas’s edition of Rabad on Bava Kamma – a book also found in every yeshiva – due to the fact that Atlas taught at Hebrew Union College.”

    “The tension between the two movements was increased by the fact that many talented members of the Orthodox community were choosing to attend the Seminary to receive ordination, rather than RIETS or attend another yeshiva, and there were no appreciable gains in the other direction. In fact, a survey of applicants to the JTS Rabbinical School covering the years 1946 – 1957, it was revealed that sixty percent came from Orthodox homes and thirty percent were graduates of Yeshiva College. […] Because the Conservatives defined themselves as faithfully following tradition, the Orthodox regarded them as a real threat, and thus more dangerous than the Reform.”

    Anyone who is interested in the future of Orthodoxy and the competition from post-denominational Halachic independents would be well advised to make the $6 investment in understanding this episode in our recent history. It also informs the stridency of the response by the Orthodox establishment to the rise of post-denominational minyanim that are committed to halacha – but, permit that which can be permitted.

  101. The following might be of interest re “problems” of non Orthodox movements.

    http://www.forward.com/articles/135476/

  102. Abba-It is equally well known that MO families did not encourage their children to enter Chinuch because of the adage of “those that can’t do, teach.” MO has only itself to blame for its children being taught by men and women wbo do not share the au courant definitions of MO.

  103. I thought that Alan Yadler’s article was an over the top and excessively snarky piece.Anyone who has attended a chasunah or simcha in Williamsburg and who drives or walks in from the subway will see a community devoted to Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim. I once walked from the subway to a simcha in early Elul, and just walking down the street, I sensed Elul was in the atmosphere more so than in any other Charedi or MO community in the US.

    Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the Satmar community can tell you that the SR, regardless of his Hashkafic views towards Zionism and Israel, was an Adam Gadol, whose stances on many issues of Halacha, were respected and remains so on many issues, including Shechitah and Mikvaos. For the same reason, the Satmar community’s 24/7 committment to Chesed, and especially its non-hashkafically based stance and committment to Bikur Cholim, is a committment that all of us could learn from.

  104. “Steve Brizel on February 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    Abba-It is equally well known that MO families did not encourage their children to enter Chinuch because of the adage of “those that can’t do, teach.” ”

    Or just as likely-both the MO and Chareidi families were attempting to profit maximize their earnings-both went on to work in areas that they thought would maximize their earnings-chareidi wo college education went into chinuch-many MO felt that they maximize their income doing something else. The Chareidi were correct-the median MO was incorrect.

  105. Mycroft-I don’t think hat your observation is correct, and unfortunately many MO do have the view that “those who can’t do, teach.”.Furthermore-The salary of a menahel,rebbe or morah really cannot be compared to that of a professional such as a doctor, lawyer or an MBA. I really don’t think that a valid comparison exists because most professionals and business people do not work on the same schedule vis a vis holidays as do those in the Klei Kodesh.

  106. IH-I bought R D Shapiro’s essay at the Seforim sale a few years ago. It is an excellent example of how a great Talmid Chacham was pilloried in the Charedi yeshiva world as well as a description of why the proposed joint Beis Din broke down-R D Lieberman ZL simply could not guanrantee the Halachic loyalty of the Rabbinic Assembly and CJ. FWIW, the evidence is pretty clear-when one compares the impact of RYBS on MO, and compares that with the impact of RSL on CJ, it is obvious that RYBS had a far greater influence on MO than RSL did on CJ.

  107. IH cited the following snippet:

    “Abraham Sofer (Schreiber) is also noteworthy. In my experience, his connection to the Seminary is entirely unknown in Orthodox circles, and his annotated edition of Meiri’s Talmudic commentary can found in every yeshiva in the world. I have pointed out to people a number of pages of notes by Ginzberg at the end of Sofer’s edition of Meiri’s Hibbur ha-Teshuvah, and have encountered a great deal of surprise. […] To my knowledge, no one has ever raised any questions about the suitability of Sofer’s edition of Meiri, as has been done, for example, with Samuel Atlas’s edition of Rabad on Bava Kamma – a book also found in every yeshiva – due to the fact that Atlas taught at Hebrew Union College.””

    IIRC, there was a big discussion in Tradition years ago as to the views of CI as to the acceptability of Meiri as a manuscript for which there was no Mesorah. RHS also stated that RYBS was not keen on Meiri but for a different reason-Meiri essentially synthesized the Shitos of prior Rishonim in easy Lashon HaKodesh for those who were unwilling to spend the time working their way through the Rishonim.

  108. Steve,
    You have completely missed IH’s point. He was not talking about the suitability of the Meiri, but, given that the meiri _is_ learned in yeshiva, the suitability of an edition edited by a JTS prof.

  109. Emma wrote:

    “This attitude is so sad to me. If “chinuch” produces kids who can only be expected to use their “free time” for ill instead of good that seems to me to call for less institutional education, not more – or at least, for a different model of education”

    Our chinuch system is no guarantee of what anyone will do in their spare time. However, the notion that teen’s spare time should not be oriented in an informal manner such as a camp or Israel program towards internalizing what one has studied in the course of a school year cannot be underestimated.

  110. “Mycroft-I don’t think hat your observation is correct, and unfortunately many MO do have the view that “those who can’t do, teach.””

    Some do,some don’t-some teachers can do other things ,some can’t.

    .”Furthermore-The salary of a menahel,rebbe or morah really cannot be compared to that of a professional such as a doctor, lawyer or an MBA. ”
    Who says mechanchim don’t earn at least competitive with the median lawyer or MBA who enters those schools wo prior work experience-the average physician earns more thanthe average mechanech-but the average physician is certainly brighter than the average mechanech.

    “I really don’t think that a valid comparison exists because most professionals and business people do not work on the same schedule vis a vis holidays as do those in the Klei Kodesh.”
    Correct Klei Kodesh ahve an advantage Shabbos and Yom Tov is NOT a problem for them.

  111. “Correct Klei Kodesh have an advantage Shabbos and Yom Tov is NOT a problem for them.”

    It’s a trade-off. My rabbi gives three sermons (and when there was a minyan in a private home for someone who was ill he gave four, without being asked) and three shiurim on Shabbat, and often has to speak at a simcha after shul or on Friday night. On RH and TK, he would not only do something similar, but would do so for years in two locations blocks apart. (Thankfully, we’re in one, expanded, shul now.) I don’t know what you do Mycroft (other than complain about rabbis, teachers and doctors), but I know that my Shabbat and yomim nora’im are much more restful. Different jobs, different pros and cons. But some of us just love to criticize others.

  112. “Correct Klei Kodesh have an advantage Shabbos and Yom Tov is NOT a problem for them.”

    It’s a trade-off.”
    i SHOULD HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT I WAS REFERRING TO THE FACT THAT GETTING HOME ON TIME FOR SHABBOS AND WORRYING ABOUT EITHER TRAFFIC DELAYS OR MASS TRANSIT DELAYS IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR THEM.

    “My rabbi gives three sermons (and when there was a minyan in a private home for someone who was ill he gave four, without being asked) and three shiurim on Shabbat, and often has to speak at a simcha after shul or on Friday night. On RH and TK, he would not only do something similar, but would do so for years in two locations blocks apart”

    I am well aware that many Rabbis do similar tasks-I am aware that at least some Rabbis prepared 3 DIFFERENT drashas for different minyanim-realizing that one must adapt ones sermon for different crowds. Different minyanim tend to have people of different backgrounds, interests etc.

    Certainly mechanchim who are probably much more numerous than pulpit Rabbis don’t have a problem with Shabbos.

  113. “I don’t know what you do Mycroft (other than complain about rabbis, teachers and doctors),”
    What do those fields have in common – limiting teachers to mechanchim taching Torah-? They are ones in which halacha limits itself to sechar batala-BTW not sechar limud. In general I see no even good faith consideration of those issues.
    There are some Rabbanim who probably are entitled to a salary similar to what they are receiving-Ieg I don’t know the poster on the brain death series-but one is a pulpit Rabbi who was first licensed as a physician-so hypothetically if one could use his potential income as a physician-assuming another mah nai bechinam is OK to mater his rabbinic salary of sechar batal fine and good-but certainly such an individual who I don’t know is entitled for respect that he did not enter Rabbanus/chinuch for money. Certainly, others have existed when Rabbinic salaries were lower and academic positions were readily available there were some who chose Rabbinics despite the at least as lucrative potential if they used their secular training.Certainly, a Rabbi who was licensed as an attorney-and not disbarred-should be entitled to an approximate median salary of all licensed attorneys of that area. Thus, a NY Rabbi should be entitled to a median salary-not that of a Sullivan & Cromwell or Atlanta Rabbi that ofa King & Spalding etc.
    The same halacha of mah ani bachinam af atta bchinam applies to those who heal. Schar batal one is entitled to not schar limud-note Aruch Hashulachan’
    s example a physician would be entitled to the time spent travelling to make a housecall but not for the minimal time of an office visit as that is schar limud. Both physicians and klei kodesh are dealing with nefashot-physicans olam hazeh and Rabbonim olam habah they are playing with a much higher stakes-souls and lives- than a gardener. Thus the profit maximizing model is not appropriate for both in a Halachik system-they must answer for a Jewish system which prevents in North America one who is not of above average income the ability to be part of our society and obviously the lack of realistic medical care availability that is available in our country for those who are not able to pay-or have 3rd party payers available.

  114. When I wrote the above post I was discussing one who was licensed as a pjusicain and then does NOT practice medicine but Rabbanus that should be entitled to sechar battala-I forgot there was another physican who practices Rabbinics who also wrote a position paper-I am not sure about schar batalah if the ArABBINICJOB DOES NOT IMPACT ONES OTHER INCOME-but thatis a technical discussion of sechar batala beyond the usual moral/haalchik issues that I am raising.
    Of course, that issue may well apply to all Rabbonim if they have another source of income which is NOT impacted by their Rabbomnus-not a physician issue.

  115. I’m no halachic expert so I don’t know why or how the concept of schar batalah has changwed (which it clearly has). But what I do I know is that, whatever one thinks about the skills of today’s rabbis, teachers and Jewish doctors, under Mycroft’s model they’d be much lower. And we’d all suffer from that. Again, Mycroft’s anonymity means that we don’t know what he does for a living and therefore do not know whether he is a noge’ah bedavar in this matter — a concept he loves to put on other people’s shoulders

  116. “so I don’t know why or how the concept of schar batalah has changwed (which it clearly has).”
    Why should the concept change-other than Halacha quite often tends to find the viewpoints of those who financially would benefit-see eg mechirat chametz-where grocery stores will find a follower of the Chasam Sofer rather than the Vilna Gaon for mchiras chametz.
    Either the people find an existing Rav who happens to have that psoition and make him their posek or someone finds a heter to be popular among a group.

    “But what I do I know is that, whatever one thinks about the skills of today’s rabbis, teachers and Jewish doctors, under Mycroft’s model they’d be much lower.”
    Skills may be lower but integrity would probably be higher-if people were not entering a field to profit maximize others with slightly less ability would enter the field-but those people would more likely be interested in the field rather than have a desire for wealth. If one would not limit Rabbonim to those who believe in halacha I’m sure one could find better speakers, people with better human relations skills etc-but one has to first and foremost have people who believe in the system-Rabbanus those who believe in halacha and are ethical, physicans whose interest is patient benefit rather than own benefit.

    “And we’d all suffer from that.”
    I would rather have someone with integrity than someone with greater skill.Certainly, I would not want a Rabbi who rules in favor of who will give him the most money.
    “Again, Mycroft’s anonymity means that we don’t know what he does for a living”
    I am pseudo anonymous-many know who I am
    “and therefore do not know whether he is a noge’ah bedavar in this matter”

    I am not a physician, Rabbi or teacher-I pay memebership dues to a schul so one could say very indirectly I am a nogeah badavar, I certainly go to physicians and pay them-I believe one of my physicians is Orthodox-the others are not-at my age one has far more than a single physician. I have no connection at all to Jewish education-I do not attend a day school/Yeshiva or have any children that do.

    “— a concept he loves to put on other people’s shoulders”
    J Kaplan are you opposed to the concept of nogeah badavar?

  117. I am opposed to your definition of noge’ah bedavar, as I am opposed to your cynical and snarky view of people’s motivations.

    BTW, pseudo anonymity is as meaningful as a little bit pregnant.

  118. What should determine a rabbi’s or Torah teacher’s salary? How about supply and demand? Doctors make good money because they have established legal monopolies on health care service, and they limit the supply of new doctors by controlling who gets licensed. There is no free trade in medicine. Rabbis and Torah teachers don’t have that kind of political clout. But, they could possibly raise their incomes if they were to form a trade union.

  119. Mycroft wrote:
    “Correct Klei Kodesh ahve an advantage Shabbos and Yom Tov is NOT a problem for them”

    Not exactlty. Unless one does not step foot in the kitchen and dining room, most of us regardless of our occupations, still prepare for Shabbos and YT. Many Mchanchim spend more than a few Shabbosos at Bar Mitzvas where they help a Bar Mitzvah Bachur get through Krias HaTorah and work hours in their schools well beyond the official school hours. I think that your view re my comment of “those who can’t do teach” ignores a sociological reality that has been well documented among many MO for many years.

  120. “Doctors make good money because they have established legal monopolies on health care service, and they limit the supply of new doctors by controlling who gets licensed. There is no free trade in medicine.”
    Agreed
    ” Rabbis and Torah teachers don’t have that kind of political clout.”
    Of course, no way US could get involved in limiting supply of Rabbis-
    “But, they could possibly raise their incomes if they were to form a trade union.”

    Perhaps-of course, then they would admit that they aren’t in it for solely altruistic reasons.

  121. “Steve Brizel on February 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm
    Mycroft wrote:
    “Correct Klei Kodesh ahve an advantage Shabbos and Yom Tov is NOT a problem for them”

    Not exactlty.”
    See my clarification of what I meant and then reply if you still disagree with me.
    “mycroft on February 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm
    “Correct Klei Kodesh have an advantage Shabbos and Yom Tov is NOT a problem for them.”

    It’s a trade-off.”
    i SHOULD HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT I WAS REFERRING TO THE FACT THAT GETTING HOME ON TIME FOR SHABBOS AND WORRYING ABOUT EITHER TRAFFIC DELAYS OR MASS TRANSIT DELAYS IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR THEM.”

  122. Why the listing “Riskins anecdotage”? I believe that in general you list headings with either R. or Rabbi or Rav etc before musmachim who act as Rabbis. Rabbi Riskin received smicha from RIETS and has been active in activities that Rabbis do for approximately half a century.

  123. “Many Mchanchim spend more than a few Shabbosos at Bar Mitzvas where they help a Bar Mitzvah Bachur get through Krias HaTorah and work hours in their schools well beyond the official school hours.”
    I hred a bar mitzvah teacher for my son, my father hired one for me, in general I believe it is a separate person who gets hired.
    Re hours worked-I live very close to a yeshiva/day school-faculty members park in front of my house and on my block -over the decades I have seen the typical hours that they are in the school-and it is rare that they work as long as regular workers.

  124. Mycroft, if you click on the link, you’ll see that Gil was simply reproducing the headline from the JPost, which, of course, does not use titles, as is proper for a newspaper.

    I hate to say that past practice of Gil justifies some suspicion, but not here.

  125. “I think that your view re my comment of “those who can’t do teach” ignores a sociological reality that has been well documented among many MO for many years.”

    Obviously-I should have differentiated-there is no doubt that most RY and Professors have intellectual ability-but there is also no doubt that in general that ability decreases as the level taught decreases-to pretend that in general teachers or nursery, elementary school have abilities that equal those who teach more selective children is ludicrous. I doubt you would say that RHS, or RMT have the intellectual ability of the average nursery teacher or even HS Rebbe. BTW-that does not mean that a Rosh Kollel would be an effective lower grade teacher-but thatis a different issue.

  126. Fighting words regarding the conversion crisis:

    http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4031440,00.html

    I have to admit I agree with R’ Bin Nun – the Israeli Ashkenazi Chareidim have no real leadership – and what passes for leadership is a bunch of hypocritical irresponsible ignorant hats.

  127. “Nachum on February 21, 2011 at 1:15 am
    Mycroft, if you click on the link, you’ll see that Gil was simply reproducing the headline from the JPost, which, of course, does not use titles, as is proper for a newspaper”

    I clicked on the link and had read the article-I had checked quickly the past months listing of links and did not notice any Rabbis that I recognized wo a title-I may be wrong-but if the reference to an article is in a newspaper which a lot are-other names had titles.

  128. chardal on February 21, 2011 at 2:29 am
    “Fighting words regarding the conversion crisis:

    http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4031440,00.html

    I have to admit I agree with R’ Bin Nun – the Israeli Ashkenazi Chareidim have no real leadership – and what passes for leadership is a bunch of hypocritical irresponsible ignorant thugs”

    Strong words against Rav Eliyashev-from RBN’s piece.

  129. Doron Beckerman

    Surely R’ Yoel Bin Nun realizes he sounds like a fool when he cries how there is no longer any R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, in the same breath as declaring how the very idea of protesting against Piskei Halachah is foreign to the Torah, when RSZA did exactly that against R’ Goren.

    He has his old gripes against Rav Elyashiv, and so he criticizes putting up pashkevils against Rav Ovadia – and he goes ahead and does the equivalent with a rip job against Rav Elyashiv in a secular lowbrow rag of a “newspaper”.

    Why doesn’t R’ YBN share what he knows about the “facts” of IDF giyur, when R’ David Stav (hardly a Charedi) stated some 3 years ago that 90% of them are not religious at all, and that if we are going to demand acceptance of Ol Mitzvos (which R’ Stav, and, appparently, R’ YBN do not) then the Charedim are right that it is all one big sham.

    Yes, there is a leadership crisis in the Charedi world (and not only in the Charedi world). But R’ YBN piggybacks on the pain of the ostensible Gerim, pandering to the dwellers of the hoary YNet Beis Medrash, to incite the secular rabble against Rav Elyashiv regarding a halachic issue in which they have no say, and he should be ashamed of himself.

  130. Doron, it’s not like the Charedim (especially the Eda Charedit, who are leading the “mainstream” around by the nose here), who don’t even recognize the State of Israel, its Rabbinate, or the Jewish certification thereof, should have any say in what the state and the Rabbanut recognizes or not. I think secular Israelis (and certainly dati leumi) have more of a right to protest if R’ Elyashiv (whose followers, remember, live off their tax money) does something that negatively affects them than vice versa.

  131. >Yes, there is a leadership crisis in the Charedi world (and not only in the Charedi world). But R’ YBN piggybacks on the pain of the ostensible Gerim, pandering to the dwellers of the hoary YNet Beis Medrash, to incite the secular rabble against Rav Elyashiv regarding a halachic issue in which they have no say, and he should be ashamed of himself.<

    Its not just about the geirim.

    He is absolutely right about R' Elyashiv, he does pasken without doing the minimum due diligance about what he is paskening about. He is a truly irresponsible leader. And I don't care what people say about his supposed askanim, the buck stops with him – take responsibility for yourself or step off the public stage.

    These people basically used scare tactics and bullying to get shas and R' Ovadia to back down. Kach darka shel Torah – except when HODS uses such tactics when it is decried as a manipulation of the supposed halachic system.

    I have historically not been a fan of R' Bin Nun but he is calling this one correctly – the only valid point you made is that RSZA apparently behaved the same way 40 years ago – I can only be dan leKaf zechut and assume he was roped into that travesty by his inlaws.

  132. Lawrence Kaplan

    Nachum: Mycroft is correct. Gil put an “R.” in front of the newspaper title “Moshe Tendler thinks you are wrong….” He, consequently, should have done the same for the article about R. Riskin.

  133. Due to budgets cuts, the Hirhurim team of links editors had to be laid off. Expect inconsistency. Any rabbi who is so small-minded as to be offended should e-mail me and he will be henceforth removed from all news items.

    The price for consistency and polish is delay. Some journals are OK with that but blogs don’t work that way.

  134. Lawrence Kaplan

    Gil: I am sure R. Riskin would not be offended. But you should have put “R.” in front of his name. I accept your point about blogs not being able to be consistent as journals, but your response needn’t have been so testy. Your sentence “Any rabbi who is so small-minded…” was both unnecessary and uncalled for.

  135. Stop picking on small things.

    Yes, I may be testy. I apologize for being sick and tired.

    But I am also sick and tired of being criticized for narrishkeit. I’m not going back to add the title because I don’t want to have to do that every time someone complains. Just get over it.

  136. Lawrence Kaplan

    Gil: Wow! One would never know from your 11:04 AM response that I had accepted your explanation and was “over it.” Are you? Anyway, you are certainly right that it is a small point and not worth either of us getting upset over it.

  137. “But R’ YBN piggybacks on the pain of the ostensible Gerim, pandering to the dwellers of the hoary YNet Beis Medrash, to incite the secular rabble against Rav Elyashiv regarding a halachic issue in which they have no say, and he should be ashamed of himself.”

    “Ostensible gerim-“-disgusting language
    the issue should not be one of Rabbinic collegiality-which is an issue that certainlt many RCA Rabbonim are interested in-that they be accepted for the future. But essentially no one is concerned about those who converted decades ago and followed the then procedures of the RCA and CR-which would have been accepted for decades. Now vayakam melech chadash and prior conversions are meaningless. BTW-I’m including conversions of Rabbonim who never accepted a penny for geirus, refused to do gerus for marriage etc. It is an interest of doing yosher-it is one of power politics-we control the CR and now we xcan show whose boss. I guess it serves Religious zionism for making giving up everything in a Kookian Az of the land.

  138. “He is absolutely right about R’ Elyashiv, he does pasken without doing the minimum due diligance about what he is paskening about. He is a truly irresponsible leader. And I don’t care what people say about his supposed askanim, the buck stops with him – take responsibility for yourself or step off the public stage.”
    A leader is responsible for his actions and those of subordinates who openly and notoriously act in his name.

    “These people basically used scare tactics and bullying to get shas and R’ Ovadia to back down. Kach darka shel Torah – except when HODS uses such tactics when it is decried as a manipulation of the supposed halachic system”
    It is not only these people it was the MO of the JO for decades.

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