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Fence separates haredi, secular Jerusalem kids
The Case Against the Sheitel
Number of yeshiva students plummets
Plan will pay yeshiva students NIS 15,000 salary in construction
Rabbi Calls For Dismissal of Rosh Yeshiva After Wedding Fiasco
The Japan Song
SALT Friday
Cholent Emerges as “Hottest” Kosher Food
Halacha’s Moment of Truth
Lord Sacks joins Dalai Lama as faith prize winner
When Two Great Men Meet
Intertwined
Pope exonerates Jews for Jesus’ death in new book
The Virtuoso of Judaism
SALT Thursday
Marking A Centennial And Worrying About The Future
Don’t Make Summer Programs ‘Luxury Items’
R. Gilbert Klaperman: Celebrating 90 Years
NJ towns ‘emerge’ as havens for Orthodox life
What the Civil War Meant for American Jews
Rabbi Dichovsky appointed director of rabbinic courts
SALT Wednesday
The problem with religious politics
Badkhn Belt? Jewish humor was born in 1661, prof says
Pedaling Rabbi hits the Georgia roads to Jewish fellowship
The Jews of Libya
Orthodox grapple with ubiquity of Internet
Zionism 2.0: Kibbutz volunteer work lives on in the 21st century
Remembering Influential Orthodox Songwriter Moshe Yess
Free E-Book: The Selected Poems of Yehuda Halevi
Lesbian Stern Student: For Me there are No Answers
Were Jap Jokes a Justification for Intermarriage?
SALT Tuesday
Helping rabbis set boundaries amid pressures
Opening the Shabbos lock
Plug-and-Play Judaism
The Cultural Jew Within
Civil Procedure and Sabbath Observance
Israel’s Renewed Interest in a Rediscovered Ancient Color
Dozens/ Hundreds of Rabbis Say…
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About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor 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 has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He 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.

270 comments

  1. Did you understand the difference between the snails mentioned?
    KT

  2. There’s only one snail mentioned, the same on being used today.

    I’m not sure what the issue is: It’s already known that the exact shade of blue varies depending on how much ultraviolet light (e.g., how cloudy it is outside) the sample is exposed to. I have multiple pairs of tzitzit and they are different shades.

  3. that’s what I didn’t understand
    KT

  4. Shalom Rosenfeld

    Yeah I think the only news in the article was the Masada find, which backs up what the techelet people have been doing for years anyhow. (Though if it’s chemically indistinguishable from indigo … how do we know the Masadists weren’t being cheapskates and using that?) Of course a good deal of caution is appropriate when learning out anything halachic from the Masadists’ practice, but that’s a different issue.

  5. The past week of news was cut off.

  6. I fixed the link, although you can always get to past News posts by clicking on the News tab on the menu bar on top of the blog.

  7. Michael Rogovin

    I did not understand the reasoning in the NYTimes piece on techelet. They have a sample of fabric from Masada with an indigo dye. How does this prove that this is THE techelet, as opposed to a piece of fabric with indigo dye? If they found tzitzit, it would be more persuasive, but even then, the existence of a single sample, found in a community of zealots (who may not have followed tradition strictly — we know that they had variant texts) seems to me to prove nothing at all about techelet and its general use by those who observed the mitzvah. It should also be noted that just as today, there could easily have been knock-offs of indigo posing as techelet. I do not understand how anyone can draw any conclusion based on this evidence (especially when the techelet sold today from p’til techelet varies in color very significantly from one batch to the next).

  8. [off topic]QED aiwac There’s a brief bio of the Brisker Rav in Haaretz Jan 28,2005.

  9. ゴリラ ゴリラ

    I first hacked Shabbos locks back in the early 1990s and one doesn’t even need a magnet to do it. I first learned about it in the Autumn 1991 issue of 2600. The article is titled: Hacking Simplex Locks: An Illusion of Security by Scott Skinner and Emmanuel Goldstein.

    The Simplex is a 5-button combination lock with a glaring weakness. Each button on a Simplex lock can only be used once in a combination. For example, 1-2-3-4 is a valid combination whereas 1-1-2-3 is not. Consequently, the lock is limited to 1,084 possible combinations.

    If you want to try it yourself, try this combination first: “(24)3” that is the default combination of a new Simplex lock. Next, limit your efforts to the numbers that look like they have been used the most. With these strategies in mind, you will likely get the lock opened within 10 minutes.

    It amazes me that people use these locks.

  10. This article, which reports on R Aviner’s explanation of his support for Katzav is, in my opinion most disturbing
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4035656,00.html

    Bear in mind that R. Aviner does not have access to the details of the case, which have not been released to the public.

  11. Re Techeles article. Linking to mobile version of article leaves out the picture of the ancient fabric! Here’s the link to the full version: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/world/middleeast/28blue.html?_r=1

  12. The techelet article alludes to a problem with the current techelet strings being produced. If the color can be various shades of blue, then that points to a problem in the dyeing procedure – even if the correct source of the dye has been identified (the murex trunculus sea snail). According to the sages, the color of techelet is indistinguishable from that of the vegetable indigo dye. Then the exact shade of blue is important. Moreover, the process used today – if my information is still current, is unlikely to have been that used in ancient times. Today, as I understand it, the smelly glandular extract is allowed to dry out in the sun before it is introduced into the dye bath. My impression is that the ancient practice, as described by Pliny, featured preserving the extract in brine prior to dyeing. Drying in the sun can lead to chemical deterioration of the dye molecules and the development of off-colors.

  13. “indistinguishable from that of the vegetable indigo dye”

    what makes you think that vegetable indigo dye produced a single, uniform color back in the day?

  14. c y (Are you a discussant from Stop! Here We Think? How goes it over there?),

    Thank you. I’ll check it out.

    I found the article by R. Shafran very interesting and painfully accurate. The same goes for adderabbi’s post.

    Good choices today, R. Gil. Kol Hakavod.

  15. Y. Aharon, we make lots of things differently today. Tefillin are a famous example. Ink for Sta’m is another.

  16. “That there are “Cultural” Orthodox Jews helps explain otherwise baffling things, like how an Orthodox Jew can engage in unethical business practices, cheat, steal or abuse. ”

    Would Rabbi Shafran include as Cultural Jews “Rabbis-including Rebbes and RY” who have clearly engaged in such conduct?

    “The community has to be aware of when to lay off the rav,” said Rabbi Yona Reiss,”
    In general it is the most important job of a Schul Rav to deal with personal problems etc-true most of us will not have frequent need for those services but when needed it is crucial for life both physical and spiritual. Similar to a policeman who must know how to shoot his weapon despite the fact that the vast majority never fire their guns during their career but they better know how to.

    . ““There also may be times when it is more appropriate to refer to other parties or professionals — for example, a marriage counselor.””
    True but those type issues are a schul Ravs basic raison detre. Of course, a Rav must know when an issue requires an advanced specialist referral-but similar knowledge is required for paskening -when a Rav will forward a sheila.

    “beyond congregants’ realizing that their religious leader is entitled to some down time with his own family”
    He gets down time-but a Rav must be accessible for that 3AM call. BTW-he better be equipped to handle those calls.

    ““We’re finding out it’s not unusual for rabbonim to get sick, have heart attacks and other illnesses because their job is so stressful”
    Really? Of course, there are anecdotal stories-heart attacks happen-but statistically more often than the general population? Has Rabbi Reiss made a study of musmachim from RIETS starting in 1932 and determining did they have a less or greater life expectancy.

    “current economic climate only adds to the pressures on some rabbis — particularly at smaller congregations — who often must turn to teaching or other work to earn extra income.”
    A smaller schul is far from a full time job. Teaching can be quite lucrative-see eg Guidestar for 990 of Yeshiva HS. The salaries of some RY-top 5 salaries must be disclosed-surprised even cynical Mycroft. Does anyone doubt that in general RIETS RY do even better.

    “Reiss, as women enter the workplace and become more involved in learning and teaching Torah. ”
    Curious as to RIETS policy of women teaching-recently I was interested in a lecture given by a women under the CJF an hour after a RIETS RY spoke for men and women-men were not allowed to listen to the woman-why not.

  17. “Rabbinic disagreement has classically taken place in a beit midrash or through the exchange of personal letters. Rarely were there public pronouncements that did not invite dialogue.”

    Really-cetainly 11 leading RY had no problem signing an issur against joining the SCA-that led by arguably the chareidi gdolei hador did not take place by exchange of personal letters or in the beis medrish.

    “It would be terrible if as a result of these letters different groups stop having dialogue with each other.”

    If anything there is more dialogue now between the Agudah and MO than there was during the time of the Sherer era. Much more civility than the days the JO “OBITUARY” of the Rav.

  18. Shachar Ha'amim

    Y. Aharon – I have to agree with Nahum. If that is your reason for not wearing techelt then you should stop wearing tefillin. Tefillin – including the parhsiyot – today are prepared and made with all sorts of chemicals that were unknown at the time of chaza”l.

  19. Shachar Ha'amim

    “That there are “Cultural” Orthodox Jews helps explain otherwise baffling things, like how an Orthodox Jew can engage in unethical business practices, cheat, steal or abuse. Or, more mundanely, how he can cut others off in traffic, act rudely, or blog maliciously. Or, for that matter, how he can address his Creator in prayer with words so garbled and hurried that, were he speaking to another mortal, they would elicit laughter—or pity, for the apparent impairment. ”

    Or, sadly, how he can argue that it is forbidden to donate organs of BSD patients in order to save lives because it might be considered murder, but that the right to receive such organs should be constitutionally protected.

  20. Isn’t what R. Shafran is talking about simply “מצות אנשים מלומדה” in a different form? Or is it something different?

  21. QED aiwac
    No.

  22. c y,

    Well, thanks anyway.

  23. MiMedinat HaYam

    “If anything there is more dialogue now between the Agudah and MO than there was during the time of the Sherer era. Much more civility than the days the JO “OBITUARY” of the Rav.”
    – mycroft

    because the aguda / charedim are so fragmented nowadays.

    because many see the aguda as just a money org

    because even within the aguda, many dont believe in it.

    because many agudists are yu educated (at an aguda dinner a few years ago that i attended for business reasons, all the honorees had yu degrees, and it was mentioned in their bio (the grad school, not yu.) ) obviously, these are the (secular) educated ones, not the (blind following) “yeshivish” masses.

  24. Please read the article about the lesbian Stern student. Is it just me or is she choosing to be a lesbian because the atmosphere is conducive to it? Maybe I’m misreading it. Part of me wants to blame that on the Statement of Principles but I think that might be over-reaching.

  25. ..and because very few “yeshivish”(below age 45)associate with the aguda.

  26. Nachum, Shachar Ha’amim, and Emma, I wasn’t attempting to invalidate the techelet strings produced by ‘Ptil Techelet’ in my comment. I was just noting that producing different shades of blue may be problematic. The sages noted that the techelet color is the same as that of indigo. Indigo dyeing has been done for millenia and produces a characteristic deep blue color. It doesn’t matter that the other ingredients in the indigo dyeing process have changed over time, such as using refined chemicals rather than natural products, as long as the resulting color is the same. The same could be said of the techelet dyeing process. I have no problem with the use of chemicals in the vat dyeing process. I am concerned only with the resulting color and color fastness.

    Something similar can be said of tefilin production. There are key elements that must be satisfied to produce a kosher pair of tefilin. The black color of the parchment ink and the tefilin housing is one such element; the exact ink formula or the tanning process is not.

  27. >Part of me wants to blame that on the Statement of Principles but I think that might be over-reaching.

    You think?

  28. @R’ Gil:

    I didn’t think so until reaching these paragraphs:

    Labeling myself as gay isn’t really fair, though. I have, since my shock, found myself attracted to men as well. Technically, I suppose I am bisexual, so I am able to convince myself that I can be happy in a heterosexual relationship….And then I am ashamed that I am so weak, that I am leaving the fight against religious homophobia to others…. [???????]

    “I worry, too…that one day I will wake up and realize that I can’t, actually, be happily married to a man. And the problem that I see with following the mitzvot is this: if I am to discover that heterosexuality is not for me, I can only do so after marriage because I can’t explore my sexuality like other men and women unconstrained by the Torah and its mitzvot.” [Most oblivious and self-involved sentence in the entire piece]

    “There’s so much more I need to learn about myself, but my questions about Judaism simply can’t be answered at all [????]….How can God want me to inflict myself upon a husband whom I won’t be able to fully love? Even if these don’t apply to me – even if I can be perfectly content loving a man – now that I’ve experienced the fear of seeing myself as gay, Judaism will forever be something I question.

    I readily accept people feeling confused or even off-the-tracks. But I have a general problem with the elevation of such feelings into some kind of moral/ethical burden that must be borne by the wider society.

    Her self-indulgent article is the output of a confused and non-mature mind. It may be seriously emoted, but it is not morally serious.

  29. MiMedinat HaYam

    to r gil:

    part of the homosexual agenda is publicizing themselves, publicizing that is is acceptable, and that there is nothing wrong with it. are you implying that the “statement of principals” furthers that program? (i agree). and does the article further that program? yes.

    esp when one considers that she considers herself bisexual, not fully fledged lesbian. i.e., she will go with the (orthodox) program, and marry a nice jewish (O) boy. (but will she tell him?)

    2. to y aharon:

    the ONLY part of tfillin that must be black (MB says color known as blue is acceptable, too / is considered black) is one side of “retuzah”. the rest can be any color (though there seems to be an objection to red, on the ground that it is the color of blood, but i havent seen it in halachic writings.) i assume the parchment writing must be black, but havent seen it in writing either.

    of course, i dare you to walk into shul with another color tfilin (even blue). or even natural (no color).

    3. cy: yes, under 45 (?, but i’ll accept the number) are too fragmented today to accept the “corporate” aguda. neither are their (young) RY. (note: aguda’s tax returns show substantial donations all over, but mostly to “establishment” yeshivot; e. g., bmg / lakewood, etc.).

  30. Michael Rogovin

    Gil:

    You are over-reaching. She does not mention the statement, nor does anything in the statement really relate to the issue you raise or what she raises. It talks about how we in the community deal with gays and lesbians in our congregations.

    Her description of herself is, however, puzzling. Late in the piece she describes herself a bi-sexual, meaning she is attracted to both men and women, which seems consistent with how she described herself growing up even without the label. Having a same-sex attraction does not make someone gay, anymore than having an opposite sex attractions makes a gay person straight. From what limited sources I have seen and discussions I have had, the sexual spectrum is more complex than simple gay and straight, with some people falling clearly in one of those categories, and others having (or capable of having) attractions and intimacy with both sexes. There is a fluidity that is certainly more tolerated in general society (though, I am told, not always in the gay/lesbian community) because people tend to act on their attractions and fantasies more today than in the past.

    As one comment on the article’s web site put it, many people have fantasies about sexual experiences that, because of Torah law, personal morals and/or marital commitments, they would otherwise like to have but deny themselves. That is as true for straights and for gays.

    In the end, the author will make a choice about which aspects of her desires (traditional Jewish lifestyle or attraction to women) will predominate and which will be given up. That she appears to be bisexual rather than lesbian may make it easier (though not easy) for her in the end if she chooses to live in a traditional family.

  31. MiMedinat HaYam

    from the internet danger article
    ““I know I sound like a Puritan settler from 200 years ago.””

    at least he knows what puritans were. his children will never know. its not taught in schools. ditto the word settlers. they wont even be taught about “mitnachlim”, let alone “chalutzim”.

  32. MiMedinat HaYam

    regarding last week’s shlock rock comments

    it seems he has a license
    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/12/30/2742370/shabbat-in-liverpool-new-cd-adapts-beatles-tunes-for-sabbath-service

    see there too a comment on r gil’s “erev shel shoshanim” (note shoshanim = roses, not lilies.)

  33. I don’t see anywhere in her article any reference to “statement of principles”. Your point I assume is that once such a “statement” is let out of the bag, there is a implicit acceptance of such behavior. While that may be true, it gives this anonymous young woman too much credit.

    I’ll agree that she is confused about her life as are many young people her age. (Heck older people get confused too.)But nowhere in her article did she say that she approached any proper guidance counselor, teacher, madrich, Rebbe, Rabbi or what have you in order to try to obtain a Torah perspective on how to deal with her feelings. Though this does no always provide adequate answers, she seems to assume that she knows all about Torah Judaism, so there is no sense in her inquiring into that.

    What she readily admits is that she has allowed herself to be influenced by homosexual acquaintances. A lesbian she has become obsessed with and a gay friend. And their responses will always be “it’s alright”, which is really what she is looking for.

    That’s the sad thing. While being open and “honest” in writing such a piece, she is at the same time patently intellectually dishonest in not seeking out truth where it could be found.

    … man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest…(Paul Simon)

  34. Moshe Shoshan

    Gil,
    I think your reading of the Stern girls article is based on your prejudices about homosexuality.
    She is not choosing to be gay, she is struggling with her sexual and religious identities. If the SoP helped her have the courage to write the piece then it has done its work. Hopefully she will get good religious and psychological guidance. Hopefully she will be able to enter into a productive heterosexual marriage, and if not let us pray that she is able to find peace with in the framework of Torah and Mitzvos.

  35. The irony here is that as little as a decade or so ago, people were still publicizing Kinsey’s “discoveries” as the great validator of homosexuality. And what did he say? That very few people are one or the other; we all exist on a spectrum. And since, until recently, no one doubted that heterosexuality was normal, even admitting to a spectrum was a big step forward for the gays.

    Nowadays, of course, even such a view is verbotten. Any hint of homosexual feelings means that one must stay as far on that end of the scale as possible. Even this woman, who is so clearly simply confused, very likely because of the agenda-driven prevalence of “gay is normal” messages in the air, identifies herself so strongly with that far end that she must write an article about it. Not to do so is somehow a betrayal of something that didn’t even exist a couple of years ago. What a tragedy.

  36. Some of you seem to reading the YU Beacon piece with an overdose of cynicism. She “fell in love with [a woman] like [she] had with none of [her] boyfriends.” Is it so difficult to understand how such an experience can make a person rethink their identity and their relationship to Orthodox Judaism? She doesn’t have to snipe at specific apologetics regarding Orthodoxy’s relationship to GLBTs to express her personal opinion that she believes her questions are unanswerable, it’s not an academic essay.

    That’s my two cents anyways…

  37. But nowhere in her article did she say that she approached any proper guidance counselor, teacher, madrich, Rebbe, Rabbi or what have you in order to try to obtain a Torah perspective on how to deal with her feelings. Though this does no always provide adequate answers, she seems to assume that she knows all about Torah Judaism, so there is no sense in her inquiring into that.

    Well thats one interpretation. Others are that she’s embarrassed, does not want to risk her value on the shidduch scene, does not want to risk her siblings value on the scene, humiliating her family (she feels), does not want to risk the rabbi outing her (either generally or to her parents or friends) or does not want to risk being told she needs to go to therapy. Or maybe she did go to a rabbi but didn’t want to risk being identified by whatever he told her.

    Finally do you think when people are thinking of giving into their urges they generally go to their rabbi? Somehow I doubt things work that way normally.

  38. Regarding:

    Free E-Book: The Selected Poems of Yehuda Halevi

    Note that this is an addendum to Halkin’s book. As Halkin writes in the introduction to the e-book:

    “In preparing the book for publication, I had wanted to include the original poems in an appendix, so that readers with some knowledge of Hebrew could read them with the help of the English and have a better idea of both what Yehuda Halevi and I had done. Unfortunately, this proved impractical. I am therefore grateful to Nextbook for making possible on the Internet what could not be done in print.

    […]

    Like all great poets, Yehuda Halevi is translatable, but like all great poets, too, he is a greater poet in his own language. I hope the 35 poems appearing below in Hebrew and English will convince the reader of both these truths.”

    Robert Alter’s review of the book can be seen at:
    http://www.jewishreviewofbooks.com/publications/detail/all-the-good-things-of-spain

  39. I think that R Reiss was hinting at the fact that rabbonim and rebbitzens together either maintained an open door policy for inviting members and other guests to their homes for Shabbos meals or guarded their privacy, and that today’s technology may require an increased respect for the privacy needs of a rav and rebbitzen. Contrary to Mycroft’s assumptions, the pressures on a rav and the expectations as to what is demanded of a rav and rebbitzen’s time hardly are dependent on the size of a shul, but on how a rav and rebbitzen view their role.

  40. “Well thats one interpretation. Others are that she’s embarrassed, does not want to risk her value on the shidduch scene, does not want to risk her siblings value on the scene, humiliating her family (she feels), does not want to risk the rabbi outing her (either generally or to her parents or friends) or does not want to risk being told she needs to go to therapy. Or maybe she did go to a rabbi but didn’t want to risk being identified by whatever he told her.”

    Or sadly there are some Rabbis who don’t treat embarrassing info that they are told in confidence in confidence. A decade ago or so I would have been shocked to believe that would even be possible. Approximately a decade ago there was a litigated case where the courts did not want to get into a religious mess where someone who went to a Rabbi for marriage counselling and had her private communications disclosed to the other spouse.

  41. “Contrary to Mycroft’s assumptions, the pressures on a rav and the expectations as to what is demanded of a rav and rebbitzen’s time hardly are dependent on the size of a shul, but on how a rav and rebbitzen view their role.”

    The odds are much greater that a 1000 member schul will take much more time of the Rabbi than a 50 member schul. More people more problems-eg sickness, personal issues, counselling etc.
    BTW-unless the congregant specifically requests/consents that an issue be discussed with the Rabbis wife-the wife should not be involved and information that the Rabbi received as part of a clergy/penitent privilege should not be disclosed to anyone.

  42. R Gil wrote:

    “Please read the article about the lesbian Stern student. Is it just me or is she choosing to be a lesbian because the atmosphere is conducive to it? Maybe I’m misreading it. Part of me wants to blame that on the Statement of “Principles but I think that might be over-reaching”

    I read the article and saw no connection or reason to associate the same with the SOP. I would rather suggest that we live in an era of moral relativity where such POVs are assumed to be “normal” parts of a person’s adolescence and post adolescent psychic make up, and where if one seriously disagrees with such a POV and strongly objects to the legitimacy of such a POV for a Torah observant Jew , regardless of the gender, he or he is considered as representing a repressive POV, at the least.

  43. The comments on the YU Beacon piece, on the site, are also interesting. But, I find the suggestions on this site that the author speak to a Rabbi somewhat puzzling: she already knows it’s assur and the Rabbis are all male, so what value would they add? Free “conversion therapy” perhaps?

  44. Steve: despite all your wishes, that genie is not going back into the bottle any more than women will no longer be able to vote, or Americans will be able to write covenants that prohibit selling a house to a black or a Jew, or hotels will be able to discriminate on the basis of “no blacks, dogs or Jews”. Grow up.

  45. I think that the YU Beacon piece can be contrasted with many of the comments following the symposium and R Twersky’s sicha at YU, which minced no words in their views that their lifestyle was somehow compatible and should be legitimized with being a Torah observant Jew. I detected a definite sense of struggling by the author, which IMO was not present in many of the aforementioned comments.

  46. “I think that R Reiss was hinting at the fact that rabbonim and rebbitzens together either maintained an open door policy for inviting members and other guests to their homes for Shabbos meals or guarded their privacy,”
    I reread the article and don’t see your interpretation-but as I can’t read peoples minds you may be correct. I agree that a Rabbi needs some private time BUT he has to be available for his congregants problems. If it is a problem that can wait-the congregant should wait to see the Rabbi after a minyan or make an appointment to see him in his office-but if it is an emergency or even the congregant believes the problem can’t wait the Rabbis door must be open.

  47. I would suggest to the young woman who feels that she is in such coflict to get psychological consultation.During adolescence and late adolescence her issues are not unusual.
    They can also be effected by our society and her having no knowledge that her reaction does not mean that she is lesbian.
    We do not know her dynamics which only a competent professional can help her with them.

  48. from the internet danger article
    ““I know I sound like a Puritan settler from 200 years ago”

    Of course weren’t the Puritan settlers from more than 350- years ago.

  49. @Moshe Shoshan:

    >“I think your reading of the Stern girls article is based on your prejudices about homosexuality…. She is not choosing to be gay, she is struggling with her sexual and religious identities. If the SoP helped her have the courage to write the piece then it has done its work.”

    I think you may be bringing in some of your own prejudices here. Reread her words, particularly: “Labeling myself as gay isn’t really fair, though. I have, since my shock, found myself attracted to men as well….. so I am able to convince myself that I can be happy in a heterosexual relationship….. And then I am ashamed that I am so weak, that I am leaving the fight against religious homophobia to others.”

    Despite her attraction to men she evidently feels, at least in some respects, that self-identification as a lesbian would be a morally superior path as it would allow her to “fight against religious homophobia” from an insider’s position.

    I agree with you that her writing evinces confusion and internal struggle; some of that struggle seems fueled by fashionable social attitudes regarding sexuality, morality and life choices.

  50. STBO — you may be right, but another read is that she is legtimately appalled at the irrational hatred evinced by this issue within her community — and ashamed “that I am leaving the fight against religious homophobia to others.”

  51. IH wrote:

    “Steve: despite all your wishes, that genie is not going back into the bottle any more than women will no longer be able to vote, or Americans will be able to write covenants that prohibit selling a house to a black or a Jew, or hotels will be able to discriminate on the basis of “no blacks, dogs or Jews”. Grow up”

    I see no basis why we should deem a Torah prohibition as being obsolete merey because of the elimination of the many odious forms of discrimination that you mentioned. Like it or not, the Torah demands that men and women live and strive to live a life of Kedushah, not a life that comports with the social and morally relative Zeitgeist of their generation.

  52. Mycroft wrote
    “I reread the article and don’t see your interpretation-but as I can’t read peoples minds you may be correct. I agree that a Rabbi needs some private time BUT he has to be available for his congregants problems. If it is a problem that can wait-the congregant should wait to see the Rabbi after a minyan or make an appointment to see him in his office-but if it is an emergency or even the congregant believes the problem can’t wait the Rabbis door must be open”

    AFAIK, YU’s Azrieli School of Education considers the stress factor for rabbanim and rebbitzens sufficiently present to warrant seminars and colloquia on the issue.

  53. Mycroft wrote:

    “A decade ago or so I would have been shocked to believe that would even be possible. Approximately a decade ago there was a litigated case where the courts did not want to get into a religious mess where someone who went to a Rabbi for marriage counselling and had her private communications disclosed to the other spouse”

    IIRC, the NY Court of Appeals by a narrow majority, ruled in favor of the rabbanim in question.

  54. “I see no basis why we should deem a Torah prohibition as being obsolete […] the Torah demands that men and women live and strive to live a life of Kedushah”

    Steve — No one has ever denied these 2 assertions. The issue is that this single sin has been elevated from its place amongst the pantheon of sins as a political weapon to humiliate people in exactly the same was as those other odious examples.

    Imagine similar venomous talk being used to humiliate male masturbators as a reaction to the “social and morally relative Zeitgeist” of Internet porn. I bet that’ll go over well in all male-only yeshivot.

  55. I was too quick to use your “odious examples” in my response. They were not odious at the time from a societal perspective. We have become a better society in becoming more tolerant. And Jews, of all people should understand this.

  56. IH-would you ask any of the Gdolei Talmidei Chachamim to “grow up”?

    http://www.torahweb.org/torah/special/2010/homosexuality.html

    I would disagree that we are inherently a bettter society because we are more tolerant. Wile we pray for the eradication of the sin, not the sinner, tolerance, rationalization, and legitimization of the socially deviant has never been a Jewish virtue.

  57. Civil rights for women, blacks and Jews was “socially deviant” for most of human history. I, again, ask why you are so obsessed with this one sin?

  58. http://www.jewish-history.com/occident/volume7/sep1849/disabilities.html

    “The Earl of Eglinton objected to the bill, chiefly on religious grounds. The Jews suffered no persecution in this country; but the solemn duty of their lordships was not to permit those who did not believe in Christ to legislate for a Christian Church and nation.”

    “The Archbishop of Canterbury believed that the effect of the bill would be to lower the character and obligations of members of parliament, by making it a matter of indifference whether they belonged to the Christian communion.”

    “The Bishop of Oxford [Dr. Wilberforce, son of William Wilberforce of the slave-trade abolition memory,] professed the kindest feelings toward the Jews, individually, but would not admit them into Parliament; for, by so doing, they would destroy the foundations of the greatness of that Christian England, which had hitherto afforded them an asylum.”

  59. “Mycroft wrote:

    “A decade ago or so I would have been shocked to believe that would even be possible. Approximately a decade ago there was a litigated case where the courts did not want to get into a religious mess where someone who went to a Rabbi for marriage counselling and had her private communications disclosed to the other spouse”

    IIRC, the NY Court of Appeals by a narrow majority, ruled in favor of the rabbanim in question.”

    Steve: As you could have guessed I am familiar with the case. The fact that the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the two Rabbis essentially on the grounds that a court should not get involved in matters where the decision required determining religious law.
    However, that decision has caused and should have caused people to be very hesitant about confiding to Rabbis. At a minimum I would advise anyone confiding with a Rabbi to determine if the Rabbi agrees with the Lightman decision. At the time I discussed the case with a few Orthodox Rabbis and I can write that there were certainly Orthodox Rabbis who disagreed strongly with the conduct of the Rabbis involved because it challenged the basic assurance that congregants had that confidences discussed with a Rabbi would not be disclosed. BTW even assuming that there was a chance that there were still marital relations in that case-there were other methods that could have been tried to effectively warn the husband wo betraying the wifes confidential information.
    If I were ever to ask a Rabbi guidance in such issues as Lightman I would raise the confidential aspects with the Rabbi and receive assurances that he will not disclose what I told him to anyone and assert clergyman-penitent privilege in court if ever challenged. I would ask the Rabbi for a statement of that-which IMHO should be the normal operating procedure for a Rabbi personal counselling.
    This is all because of the Ct of Appeals decision.

  60. “No one has ever denied these 2 assertions. The issue is that this single sin has been elevated from its place amongst the pantheon of sins as a political weapon to humiliate people”I agree-homosexuality is a sin, as is chillul shabbos,. Adultery is a worse sin-I don’t see the hue and cry against those sinners. All of those actions are prohibited.

  61. “AFAIK, YU’s Azrieli School of Education considers the stress factor for rabbanim and rebbitzens sufficiently present to warrant seminars and colloquia on the issue”
    Every field has stress-there is nothing wrong in trying to prepare an individual forthe stress of any field-BUT IF ONE CAN’T HANDLE THE JOB AS A RAV DON’T ENTER THE FIELD OR LEAVE IT!!!
    The job is one of primarily doing chesed-can’t handle the sick don’t become a Rav.

  62. “we pray for the eradication of the sin, not the sinner,”

    Agreed

    “tolerance, rationalization, and legitimization of the socially deviant has never been a Jewish virtue”

    I would rather emphasize:tolerance, rationalization, and legitimization of the deviant behavior has never been a Jewish virtue

  63. Of course, as the quotes above show, in 19th century Christendom, being Jewish was (religiously) considered deviant behavior.

  64. “Imagine similar venomous talk being used to humiliate male masturbators as a reaction to the “social and morally relative Zeitgeist” of Internet porn. I bet that’ll go over well in all male-only yeshivot.”

    actually, my understanding is that there are many yeshivot in which male masturbation is a frequent subject of mussar and/or fire-and-brimstone shmoozes. (obviously this is not from first-hand knowledge as I am female.) it goes over “well” in the sense that it makes a big impression on people and often creates a lot of anxiety. (e.g., what do you think happens if you tell 100 sincerely believing 15 year old boys that you can never do teshuva for masturbating, and the wasted seed creates demons?)

  65. Who has to talk about masturbation? In any single-sex environment, including yeshivot, there are, and likely always have been, sexual encounters and even relationships- deep relationships, or whatever you want to call them- between students. The same students have gone on to be completely and happily heterosexual once given the opportunity. Higher education today is majority female, leading at least in part to the phenomenon (which, I’ve learned, cannot even be mentioned in “polite” society today) of “lesbians until graduation.” But today, I suppose we’re supposed to believe that one incident of homosexuality defines a person for life. Pity.

    I have to say that considering the position of the Anglican Church, the arguments above make sense. There are claims that Blair waited until he was out of office to convert to Catholicism because it would have been weird (to say the least) for a Catholic to be appointing bishops of the Anglican Church, as the Prime Minister does. But in any event, just because you say two things are similar doesn’t mean they are. It’s possible to say that Jews and Blacks are human beings while arguing that homosexuality is abnormal. (And certainly no one argues that homosexuals aren’t human.) Yes! It’s possible! I just did it myself, and the universe has not imploded!

    The talk about rabbis reminds me of Elaine’s rabbi on Seinfeld, who, as was once put in an NCSY magazine, “has, shall we say, a bit of a problem with rechilut.”

  66. Jewish humorgoes goes back 350 years?
    No way before-an obvious example of Jewish humor is “talmeidei chachamim marbim shalom baolam.

  67. “It argues that Christianity tells us that the moral test of a society is how it treats the poor. It insists that our budget should not be balanced on the backs of the most vulnerable”

    IMHO for Yahadus the above should be true-see eg whatthe chachamim of a city had to swear to in eglah arupha.

  68. w/r/t the Rabbis job-from a recent rabbinic email to his flock:

    The next time you send me an email or leave me a voice mail and you fail to hear back from me, remember the story.
    Remember the plates and the cups which are arriving from every possible direction.
    Remember the seventeen year young man trying his best to keep his head above the water and to cope with an avalanche of dishes which are all beckoning him to clean them and stack them neatly away and to do all of them */right now/*.

    Sometimes I feel as if the plates and saucers are still flying at me.

    KT

  69. MYCROFT

    “Jewish humorgoes goes back 350 years?”

    the article is mistitled. the article is really about the rise of the badkhn (and his raunchy humor). this might date only to the 17th c., if the information in the article is correct.

    as far as earlier jewish humor in genral: there were some publications (by one of the Isaacs in america and Hermann Adler in england) already a century ago that documented talmudic/rabbinic humor. this of course was part of an effort to prove to non-jews that talmud/rabbinic literature was a rich corpus on par with world literature and not just dry jewish legalism.

  70. “NJ towns ‘emerge’ as havens for Orthodox life”

    not that i believe aliyah should be encouraged as an antitotde to financial problems, i do agree with criticism of last year’s OU event highlighting alternative communities that it didn’t have an aliyah table.

  71. Abba,
    Are they having one this year?
    KT

  72. JOEL:

    the article doesn’t say yes or no. maybe gil knows?

  73. Interesting comments, Nachum. One wonders if the virulent anti-homosexual attitudes in the Orthodox communities tend to come from men who had these same-sex sexual relationships as boys in yeshiva. That seems far more credible than some of the rationalizations given…

  74. i loved the article about r. klaperman

  75. R. Klaperman sounds like a marvelous role model for anyone going in to the Rabbinate. Unfortunately, from what I intuit from this article and some quick Googling, he would be lambasted for being too Left Wing in today’s Orthodoxy.

  76. i thought (predictably) that “Don’t Make Summer Programs ‘Luxury Items’” was a silly artice.

    r. burg writes (like steve brizel), “In summer programs students connect to Jewish texts.” which summer programs he is referring to? NCSY Kollel is not the typical MO camp, which is basically a sports camps with a minimal amount of learning.

    and the best justification he can come up with for expensive camps is to keep kids away from the internet? he can’t think of any other ways to keep kids away from the internet?

    but where i really think he is out of touch with reality: “Now that high schools have started talking about such policies regarding scholarships, elementary schools are taking note . . . [But] realistically, what are working parents to do with their children who are home for the summer if sending them to camp will jeopardize their tuition assistance? Hire a sitter? That’s no cheaper and far less fulfilling from an educational standpoint.”

    a) what about homes where there aren’t 2 working parents?
    b) even in the most expensive areas it is still cheaper to a hire a sitter, particularly when one sitter may watch multiple children (and in many cases the family has a sitter in any case because there is a child in the house that is too young for camp)
    c) there is a middle ground between keeping a kid in the house for the summer (with a sitter or a parent) and sending him to an expensive MO sports camp. depending on geographic area and the camp, sleepaway camps are 2 to 5 times more expensive than day camp. what is wrong with sending kids to day camps instead? is a sleepaway sports camp really 2 to 5 times more “fulfilling from an educational standpoint”?

    this article represents for me why there is a “tuitionn crisis” (among others). there is a simple inability on the part of our educators, rabbis and communal organizations to think even a tiny bit outside the box.

  77. GIL:

    i think this documentary of r. ovadia yosef (of the same age cohort as r. klaperman) deserves a link:
    http://docu.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=779621&sid=186

    the (chiloni?) narrator had an interesting introdction: “i’ve been following shas for 26 years from it’s founding. i disagree with 90% of what ROY says. but i agree with 70% of what he does”

  78. Lesbianism is not a torah prohibition

  79. Why is school during the summer not considered an option? Are we that worried about air conditioning costs? Or are we concerned that our children might not be able to help us with the harvest?

    Everyone needs a break but who needs a 3 month one?

    http://rer.sagepub.com/content/66/3/227.abstract
    http://www.mcrel.org/newsroom/hottopicSummerLearning.asp

  80. 1. Grandparents can do what they want, so can schools; it would be nice to be on the same page of priorities but each can do as they please (and usually do)

    2. While all of life is an educational experience, why wouldn’t one expect that all share in the burden (e.g. camps give scholarships in proportion, parents send their kids to less expensive options etc.)

    3.As long as R’ Burg is dreaming, I’d suggest the dream of a kehilla that makes decisions on a macro basis so that the total picture comes into focus.

    4.Seeing all sides of the picture is grear but someone has to make decisions,e.g. should Mayanot say to some kids, we’d love to help you come to our school but because suri needs to go to an expensive camp, we need to give her more of a scholarship, so good luck to you; or not.
    KT

  81. >Lesbianism is not a torah prohibition

    Lucky for Karaite lesbians.

  82. I see the arguments on both sides of the camp vs scholarship issue (given my circumstances, I prefer to be discrete and write without attribution). There are different kinds of programs for children with different needs, and these should be taken into account.

    The grandparent issue is patently unfair. Whether or not they pay to have their grandchildren visit them, or take them on a vacation and buy them a few presents, the school has no claim on this money. If the school denies a scholarship, the grandparents are not going to give this money to the school. Nor do they have any obligation to. Sometimes the grandparents don’t necessarily want their grandchildren at this school. Same with retirement accounts — it is one thing to look at assets, but retirement accounts (that cannot be touched in any case) are sound strategies for planning for the future. Most are underfunded to begin with. No one should be penalized for planning to avoid poverty in their old age.

    Some suggest kids work or go to school all summer. That can be a good decision for many children, but having a time to explore other aspects of life (that are likely absent from yeshiva education – such as camps that focus on special interests, be they academic, social or sports) is an important part of growing up – and they are far less likely to have that kind of experience later in life. Pushing kids to work at a young age (will the policy be extended to elementary and middle schools too?) seems to be moving us as a society backwards, to the days of child labor (whether on the farm or in a factory). This is particularly true when economics are tossed in — whose kids will “benefit” from summer work? – not those from wealthy donor families.

    These policies, where the wealthy who have plenty left over even after they pay tuition and give some money to scholarships, get to decide what “luxuries” the less well off must give up, reinforces and increases the stratification of our society — the growing gap between the very wealthy and everyone else. Only the latter must make any sacrifices for their kids education.

    One alternative would be to set tuition on a sliding scale based on income and number of children. That way, tuition at high school, which in the NYC area is around $22,000-30,000 (if one includes registration, annual fund contributions, etc) would instead range from about $10,000 to $250,000 (or even more). After all, if I should hold back on replacing my only car, a 10-year old chevy with a new used model in order to provide my son with a yeshiva high school education, why shouldn’t the investment banker not trade in his 3 year old Lexus (one of 3 cars owned) for a brand new one in order to keep his daughter in the same school? But of course, that is never a consideration. I don’t mind being asked to sacrifice, nor do I want someone else to pay for a family trip to Europe for me. But I would feel better if I sensed that the sacrifice was shared by everyone.

  83. One alternative would be to set tuition on a sliding scale based on income and number of children.
    ======================================
    Having been involved with this for a day school a number of years back, let me tell you what I heard from the other side – “We chose to sacrifice to pursue professions and only to have as many kids as we could reasonably afford to support and educate, why should we be forced to pay for someone else who chose a different approach to career choice and family size”

    Without a kehila approach with a shared vision, the schools can only impact so much based on there own fundraising and competetive market position.
    KT

  84. HAGTBG,
    Thanks for posting that link, I wish I knew what to say.
    KT

  85. Joel Rich:

    You are right. People make choices. If Joe choses to work in government or a charity or as a teacher, well these professions do not bring in a few million a year. I was not suggesting that the investment banker did not make sacrifices to his life to make those millions. But many in other professions who also work hard but are not remunerated as highly also make lifestyle sacrifices. Indeed, everyone is already making sacrifices. But why shouldn’t tuition be progressively priced based on ability to pay? When I see some of the homes people live in and the way they spend on dining out, vacations, artwork, cars, etc., I just wonder how they can justify all that while they tell others who also work hard are asked to not take ANY vacations, not buy new cars, invest in their homes, save for retirement, etc. I don’t need to ski Vail, but can’t I visit family in LA? Some families go to Disney every year but apparently resent it if others go once. This perpetuates class differences and the concentration of wealth.

    By the way, it is only recently that some of these professions pay what they do. 30 years ago, lawyers, doctors, bankers and others lived very comfortable lives, but without being multi-millionaires. So did teachers and civil servants. I don’t recall anyone felling undervalued. I don’t think it is too much to say that everyone is expected to sacrifice to support the educational system and to do so proportionally. It will just never happen. (I would be perfectly satisfied with communal support, where the wealthy give more than others, it is effectively the same thing).

  86. But why shouldn’t tuition be progressively priced based on ability to pay?

    Because they are purchasing the identical product.

    This perpetuates class differences and the concentration of wealth.

    Why is the function of paying school tuition being affected by a concern for distributive justice. Because someone rich happens to have a child the same age as yours therefore they have an obligation to pay 2X their real tuition?

    30 years ago, lawyers, doctors, bankers and others lived very comfortable lives, but without being multi-millionaires.

    I think you have a misimpression about how the majority of the people in some of these professions live today.

  87. Anon just above:
    At least in the case of medicine, you are exactly wrong. For the most part, many specialties are taking home the same dollar amount they did 30+ years ago. Given inflation, this represents a large drop in earning.

  88. “sending him to an expensive MO sports camp. depending on geographic area and the camp, sleepaway camps are 2 to 5 times more expensive than day camp. what is”

    Not necessarily-try CDG-Camp Dora Golding the fees are roughly the same as tose to send to many day camps,

  89. Anon., why would anyone pay $250k for a year of yeshiva education? they could hire several full-time tutors for that!

  90. “joel rich on March 2, 2011 at 5:29 am
    w/r/t the Rabbis job-from a recent rabbinic email to his flock:

    The next time you send me an email or leave me a voice mail and you fail to hear back from me,”
    The Rabbi must answer emails voice mails etc-if he forgets to answer no stories apologize and make sure it doesn’t happen again. The job of a Rabbi is to respond to his congregants.

    “remember the story.
    Remember the plates and the cups which are arriving from every possible direction.
    Remember the seventeen year young man trying his best to keep his head above the water and to cope with an avalanche of dishes which are all beckoning him to clean them and stack them neatly away and to do all of them */right now/*.

    Sometimes I feel as if the plates and saucers are still flying at me.”

    A Rabbi must be available for the 3 AM phone call. Obviously, a congregant who has a question that isnot an emergency shouldcontact the Rabbi in his office noraml business hours-of course that assumes they are busy making themselves available. It is no secret that many Rabbis have more than one job-some have legal practices, many teach at schools unrelated to the schul. Some teach at YU-many pulpit Rabbis have had time to not only teach, but engage in communal affairs, some have engaged in scholarship. In my days some of the RY and other Jewish studies Professors were pulpit Rabbis-they obviously had time to spend away from their schul. A Rav has to be flexible in having a job that makes him available for emergencies and RL levayas. Thus, there was someone who used to give shiur when RY had to go to their schuls for levayas etc. But normally the Rabbi could have another almost full time job. The Rabbi in Joels case doth protest too much.

  91. Not necessarily-try CDG-Camp Dora Golding
    ========================
    Definitely!!!! Check out the staff.
    KT

  92. “HAGTBG on March 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    Why is school during the summer not considered an option? Are we that worried about air conditioning costs? Or are we concerned that our children might not be able to help us with the harvest?

    Everyone needs a break but who needs a 3 month one?”

    Agreed-there is no reason why schools should have a 3 month break-how much vacation do people get who are not part of the education system? How much vacation does the average person get after taking off required time that a frum Jew must take.

  93. “If the school denies a scholarship, the grandparents are not going to give this money to the school. Nor do they have any obligation to. Sometimes the grandparents don’t necessarily want their grandchildren at this school. Same with retirement accounts — it is one thing to look at assets, but retirement accounts (that cannot be touched in any case) are sound strategies for planning for the future. Most are underfunded to begin with. No one should be penalized for planning to avoid poverty in their old age.”

    So the physician/investment banker who puts 95% of his assets in retirement accounts-I am aware of limits on IRAs 401ks etc-but one could put all of ones money in various annuities, non qualified plans etc will get financial aid-while the grocer who has no retirement account and will be working until death pays full.

  94. “If Joe choses to work in government or a charity or as a teacher, well these professions do not bring in a few million a year.”
    People often don’t choose what they do-they look for work find a job and settle in-even education can change. Demography, luck, and skill will help determine ones financial future. Those who were energy regualtory lawyers in the 70s had expertise that was needed until RWR abolish energy regulation. Those lawyers worked just as hard as someone who stumbled into commodity law which later became much more important with derivatives etc.

    “I was not suggesting that the investment banker did not make sacrifices to his life to make those millions. But many in other professions who also work hard but are not remunerated as highly also make lifestyle sacrifices. Indeed, everyone is already making sacrifices. But why shouldn’t tuition be progressively priced based on ability to pay? When I see some of the homes people live in and the way they spend on dining out, vacations, artwork, cars, etc., I just wonder how they can justify all that while they tell others who also work hard are asked to not take ANY vacations, not buy new cars, invest in their homes, save for retirement, etc. ”
    I tend to agree-of course most people aren’t even in the ballpark financially to be welcome in MO-run the numbers average salary and expenses needed to be within the system.

  95. “At least in the case of medicine, you are exactly wrong. For the most part, many specialties are taking home the same dollar amount they did 30+ years ago”

    In “real” dollars perhaps -but in nominal dollars are you kidding?

  96. “30 years ago, lawyers, doctors, bankers and others lived very comfortable lives, but without being multi-millionaires.

    I think you have a misimpression about how the majority of the people in some of these professions live today.”

    For far more than 30 years lawyer salaries have not been normally distributed they tend to follow a bimodal distribution. The media follows the top couple of per cent-the rest are not even in the ballpark of the top.

  97. “At least in the case of medicine, you are exactly wrong. For the most part, many specialties are taking home the same dollar amount they did 30+ years ago. Given inflation, this represents a large drop in earning.”

    Way out of Hirhurim’s topics -but respond to obvious nonsense-see the paragraph below about the gains in the first part of the 30 year period.

    “Greater physician work effort also explains only a small amount of
    rising income. Hours worked by nonfederal patient care physicians,
    excluding residents, did grow slightly; from 1982 to 1989, weeks practiced per year rose by 1.1 percent, and hours in patient care activities per week increased by 3.9 percent.14 However, these increases are not large enough to account for the 24 percent growth in real income over the same period. Among self-employed physicians, average hourly income rose by 23 percent, compared with 32 percent real growth in annual income from 1983 to 1988. Most of physician income gains in the 1980s were due to higher average hourly earnings, not to greater work effort.”

  98. MYCROFT:

    “Not necessarily-try CDG-Camp Dora Golding the fees are roughly the same as tose to send to many day camps”

    dora golding’s published 2011 rates for 2 months range (depending on age) from $3685 to $4345 (or $3985 to $4595 without early bird discount).

    a) my son goes to what is probably one the most expensive local day camps for about $2200 for 2 months ($250 more without early bird discount). most of the other local day camps are in the $1500-1900 range. does this sound to you like “roughly the same” as $3685?

    b) most kids aren’t going to dora golding for $3685 to $4345. instead they are going to (ranges are for different ages; prices for 2 months unless indicated):

    ncsy sports: $2699 (1 month!)
    ncsy seg: $3200 (1 month!)
    mesorah: $4950-5800 ($7200-7800 without early bird discount)
    moshava io: $5950-6250 (prices are down this year)
    morasha: $6700-7975 (higher if credit card payment)
    lavi: $7500-8500
    seneca lake: $8700

  99. MYCROFT:

    “So the physician/investment banker who puts 95% of his assets in retirement accounts . . .”

    agreed

    EMMA:

    “why would anyone pay $250k for a year of yeshiva education? they could hire several full-time tutors for that!”

    yep. or more likely at some point they’ll just start a new school with a flat rate and (justly) tell the old school to fly a kite

  100. Provocative, poignant and well written: http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/60294/intertwined/
    (interesting reader comments as well)

  101. JOEL RICH:

    “I’d suggest the dream of a kehilla”

    it’s a dream
    i’ve heard these ideas before
    calling it a kehila gives it a romantic resonance as people nostalgically think back to the self-sustaining kehilos of the old world . . . if only we could recreate that structure in the new world, or so goes the thought

    but i’ll point out 2 important differences:

    a) our ancestors never even dreamed of the type of educational system we have, i.e., universal, full-day, prep-school-type education from day care until age 18 (+/-israel yeshivah, +/-private college/grad school). had such a system existed it would have bankrupted the kehilot the same way it will bankrupt us.

    b) classical european kehillot were exclusive societies with severely restricted membership (this was due to the external corporate nature of medieval and early modern society, but this is besides the point). the notion of a kehillah with no limits on growth and where anyone who wanted to join could do so would have been a completely foreign (and derided) concept. even the children of kehillah members were unable to remain in their parents’ kehillah and they had to find another kehillah to get their way into. competition to become a member of a kehillah was so intense we can’t even imagine it. (iirc even the shach was turned away when he sought refuge in 1648!) so there is simply no parallel to our contemporary situation where anyone can join a community and lay claim to its resources.

  102. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet – I mean a community needs to set priorities and allocate resources (e.g the federal government)
    KT

  103. “a community needs to set priorities and allocate resources”

    From the aforementioned Tablet article:

    “In Rome, in the year 1555, Pope Paul IV decreed that the Jews of the city could have only one synagogue. Instead of banding together under the impetus of the political nightmare and coming to a theological compromise, the Jews of Rome set up six different spaces for worship within the same synagogue.”

  104. “my son goes to what is probably one the most expensive local day camps for about $2200 for 2 months ($250 more without early bird discount). most of the other local day camps are in the $1500-1900 range. does this sound to you like “roughly the same” as $3685?”

    We obviously live in different communities-my son went to CDG for 4 years-the first and last he went one month to CDG-the others he went to CDG for the whole summer. The years that he went to CDG he went to day camps for the other month. I don’t recall the figures which are not recent-BUT BOTH years we paid more for 1 month of DAY camp than for the 1 month of CDG. One of the day campswas associated with a MO school the other was associated with a Chareidi school BOTH charged more than CDG.

  105. Mycroft,
    The fact that incomes rose during some portion of the last 30 years does not mean that they have in fact risen over the past 30 years (Actually, I should have taken a longer time frame, more like 35 years). In nominal dollars, the average income of interest and other non-procedural physicians (that is, most of them) has risen little if at all, and certainly has not kept pace with inflation.

  106. I should add that I am sure that we can each find data to back up our claims, but I would add that the fact that you mention the incomes of physicians and investment bankers in the same breath shows that you have very little idea what the relative incomes of these two professions is. There really are investiment bankers who could put 95% of their incomes into retirement if they chose to. there is not a practicing physician with children (that is, day school tuition to pay) who could possibly have even a reasonable American (not Jewish) middle class life on 5% of their take home pay. (Expcept perhaps the most busy and successful surgeons.)

  107. JOEL RICH:

    “I mean a community needs to set priorities and allocate resources (e.g the federal government)”

    i don’t understand. please elaborate.

    MYCROFT:

    “We obviously live in different communities . . .”

    a) obviously. which of course shines a spotlight on the pink elephant in the room. perhaps people who live in communities where dora golding’s price is on par with day camp settled in the wrong communities? i.e., since when did it become an inalienable right to live in a community one can’t really afford?

    b) in any case, you are ignoring that dora golding is an outlier. you have no comment on the data i supplied?
    most MO kids in teaneck/BC, for example (since that’s where the letters regarding tuition assistance and camps are from) are going to moshava, morasha, etc., where costs are much higher. at least say that camp choice shouldn’t impact tuition assistance if the kid goes to dora golindg. but no one in saying that. instead they are defending sleepawy camp in totality, the implication being that $7-8k for morasha is acceptable.

  108. regarding doctors vs. investment bankers, how does one factor in the relative investment (time and money) they each make to assure entrance into their respective careers?

  109. “MDJ on March 3, 2011 at 3:29 am
    I should add that I am sure that we can each find data to back up our claims, but I would add that the fact that you mention the incomes of physicians and investment bankers in the same breath shows that you have very little idea what the relative incomes of these two professions is.”
    Obviously-the most succesful investment bankers earn more than the average physician-BUT the average physician earns much more than the average of any other field that has substantial amount of people-thus do not give me Hollywood Oscar winners, or MLB Baseball players.

    “There really are investiment bankers who could put 95% of their incomes into retirement if they chose to. there is not a practicing physician with children (that is, day school tuition to pay) who could possibly have even a reasonable American (not Jewish) middle class life on 5% of their take home pay. ”
    Agreed-but most Jews can’t afford a reasonable Jewish life on a 100% of their salary.

    “In nominal dollars, the average income of interest and other non-procedural physicians (that is, most of them) has risen little if at all, and certainly has not kept pace with inflation.”

    “The gap in physician compensation has grown steadily in recent years, to $16,819 in 2008, from just $3,600 in 1999, The Wall Street Journal noted. That women comprise nearly half of all American medical students makes the study’s findings even more alarming, researchers say.

    In 1999, newly-trained female physicians earned $151,600 on average, compared to $173,400 for men–a 12.5 percent salary difference. In 2008, the salary gap widened by nearly 17 percent, with women earning $174,000, while men earned $209,300.
    Anthony Lo Sasso, lead researcher of the study and a professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the pay disparity exists because women doctors are seeking greater flexibility and family-oriented benefits, such as not being on call after certain hours. Women, he says, may be advocating for these work conditions while they are negotiating their starting salaries”
    Rough comparisons
    A list of 2007 gubernatorial salaries compiled by the Council of State Governments shows the largest at $206,500 in California, though the governor doesn’t accept it, and the smallest at $70,000 in Maine, where the governor hasn’t gotten a raise in 20 years. At $179,000, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) draws the largest salary among governors who actually accept one…… 10 current governors who once served in the U.S. Congress, positions that come with a $165,200 salary, higher than 45 gubernatorial pay rates.”
    “Current salary for the Chief Justice is $223,500 per year, while the Associate Justices each make $213,900.”
    Comparison
    “Median annual wages of wage and salary accountants and auditors were $59,430 in May 2008. The middle half of the occupation earned between $45,900 and $78,210. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $36,720, and the top 10 percent earned more than $102,380. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of accountants and auditors were as follows:

    Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services $61,480
    Management of companies and enterprises 59,820
    Insurance carriers 59,550
    Local government 53,660
    State government 51,250”
    BTW-what percentage of those can pay for a MO life?

    Comparison
    “In May 2008, the median annual wages of all wage-and-salaried lawyers were $110,590. The middle half of the occupation earned between $74,980 and $163,320. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of lawyers in May 2008 were:

    Management of companies and enterprises $145,770
    Federal Executive Branch 126,080
    Legal services 116,550
    Local government 82,590
    State government 78,540

    Salaries of experienced attorneys vary widely according to the type, size, and location of their employer. Lawyers who own their own practices usually earn less than those who are partners in law firms. Lawyers starting their own practice may need to work part time in other occupations to supplement their income until their practice is well established.

    Median salaries of lawyers 9 months after graduation from law school in 2007 varied by type of work, as indicated in table 1.

    Table 1. Median salaries, 9 months after graduation Employer
    Salary

    All graduates $68,500

    Private practice 108,500

    Business 69,100
    Government 50,000
    Academic/judicial clerkships 48,000
    SOURCE: National Association of Law Placement”

    (Expcept perhaps the most busy and successful surgeons.)

  110. “a) obviously. which of course shines a spotlight on the pink elephant in the room. perhaps people who live in communities where dora golding’s price is on par with day camp settled in the wrong communities? i.e., since when did it become an inalienable right to live in a community one can’t really afford?”
    How do you define community-there are homes within a mile where I live of more than a million dollars-but single family homes-3-4 bedrooms2- 2/12 bathrooms on my block for upper 300s-low-mid 400s.
    Some ofthe areas which have a reputation of being expensive have that because of the machers incomes and salaries not those of average people. To be blunt if a guest Rav/RY comes to a community which house will they stay at? They will tend to think that all people are much wealthier than people are.

  111. “b) in any case, you are ignoring that dora golding is an outlier. you have no comment on the data i supplied?
    most MO kids in teaneck/BC, for example (since that’s where the letters regarding tuition assistance and camps are from) are going to moshava, morasha, etc., where costs are much higher. at least say that camp choice shouldn’t impact tuition assistance if the kid goes to dora golindg. but no one in saying that. instead they are defending sleepawy camp in totality, the implication being that $7-8k for morasha is acceptable”

    I paid full tuition in day school for my son-for sleepaway camp he went to CDG.

  112. “Abba’s Rantings on March 3, 2011 at 4:20 am
    regarding doctors vs. investment bankers, how does one factor in the relative investment (time and money) they each make to assure entrance into their respective careers?”
    Compare physicians time of preparation for careers with any academic field and compare salaries-it is NOT the time to prepare for a career that is responsible for AMERICAN physicain salaries-it is RESTRICTION of supply. Compare numbers of new medical schools since 1940 with new law schools.

  113. I mean a community needs to set priorities and allocate resources (e.g the federal government)”

    i don’t understand. please elaborate
    =====================================
    My definition of a kehilla would have a “governing body” (zayin tuvei hair?) who would be responsible for “fund raising”(taxation?) and triage/allocation/distribution of funds. see an example-iggrot moshe y’d 2:115 -should R’ Pesach raymond build a mikvah or yeshiva in new brunswick.
    KT

  114. >Rabbi Dichovsky appointed director of rabbinic courts

    Glad they made it official. He is one of the few normal voices in the ashkenazi chareidi rabbinate and has been a consistent counter-voice to the rabbi-shermans of the world

  115. joel rich on March 3, 2011 at 5:23 am
    I mean a community needs to set priorities and allocate resources (e.g the federal government)”

    i don’t understand. please elaborate
    =====================================
    “My definition of a kehilla would have a “governing body” (zayin tuvei hair?) who would be responsible for “fund raising”(taxation?) and triage/allocation/distribution of funds. see an example-iggrot moshe y’d 2:115 -should R’ Pesach raymond build a mikvah or yeshiva in new brunswick.
    KT”
    Joel:
    I like your idea with slight variation of ELECTION of the “governing body” by members of the Kehilla-not the usual self perpetuating club of Bds of Directors that run many or our most important institutions.

  116. >>it is NOT the time to prepare for a career that is responsible for AMERICAN physicain salaries-it is RESTRICTION of supply

    The US has more physicians per capita than England, Canada or Japan, yet physicians earn more in the US. So that can’t be the (whole) story
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_phy_per_1000_peo-physicians-per-1-000-people

  117. Joseph Kaplan

    ” To be blunt if a guest Rav/RY comes to a community which house will they stay at? They will tend to think that all people are much wealthier than people are.”

    My experience is that they stay either with someone they have a relationship with or someone who lives close to the shul, with the size of the house not a major factor except to the extent that sufficient facilities (a nice guest room) are required.

  118. I can find no data on line to bakc up my assertion about trends in doctors salaries, so I will not continue to assert it (though I know I saw the data somewhere around 10 years ago.) But I will still say that doctors are on an entirely different pay scale than (NY) bankers.

  119. http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/PKD71amir.htm
    “The rosh yeshiva HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel shlita, who was in America at the time on yeshiva business, followed the events with great concern over the bittul Torah that was being caused.”

    vs.
    http://muqata.blogspot.com/2011/03/mir-yeshiva-israel-is-our-greatest.html
    “Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the Mir’s “Rosh Yeshiva” who is currently abroad fund raising for the yeshiva, issued the following unequivocal statement:

    “[The State of Israel’s] Ministry of Education and Religion are the greatest donors to the Yeshiva. I hereby require everyone to forgo their first learning class in the morning, and participate in the inspection.””

    We report you decide?
    KT

  120. Moshe Shoshan

    The two reports are not contradictory. you left out the following line from DvD

    “Although the individual behavior of the inspectors was reasonable, the entire affair with its poor planning and resultant bittul Torah and demeaning procedures was very regrettable.”

    The complaint was not about the inspection per se, but the way in which it was carried out. RNZF could well have made both statements.

  121. Could have- but did he?
    Was it more or less efficient than any other effort? Did the Yeshiva have a liason?…
    KT

  122. Doctors and investment bankers are indeed on a different pay scale. But compare either with most other professions, and the difference — not in dollars but in lifestyle — is striking. Visit the homes of teachers and of doctors in specialized fields (or many other highly paid professions) in northern NJ. Look where they vacation.

    I think my main point was missed, perhaps due to my own lack of articulation. I don’t mind being asked to sacrifice lifestyle choices (beyond the sacrifices I made by choosing a profession that does not pay enough to buy a million dollar home, go on vacations costing in the tens of thousands of dollars, buy a home theater system, etc), but I do resent being told I should sacrifice ANY vacation, any replacement car, other than one that keeps going to the shop, any home improvement etc.while the persons running the school (always the wealthy donors) sacrifice nothing. Schools are not the means of redistributing wealth, but they are used by the wealthy, deliberately or not, to perpetuate wealth disparity and if it continues, educational disparity. Publicly funded education, when done correctly, can alleviate some of that disparity at least for education (think City College — in many fields it is still as good as the Ivy Leagues at about 1/10 the price).

  123. I do resent being told I should sacrifice ANY vacation, any replacement car, other than one that keeps going to the shop, any home improvement etc

    No one can blame you for resenting these things.

    while the persons running the school (always the wealthy donors) sacrifice nothing

    Evidently they sacrificed their donation. Those humiliating committees are them redistributing their wealth to subsidize the education of children they have no obligation to fund. What you sacrificed for your children I do not dispute but what do you sacrifice for these wealthy donors to the education of your children?

    Schools are not the means of redistributing wealth, but they are used by the wealthy, deliberately or not, to perpetuate wealth disparity and if it continues, educational disparity.

    Being told you can never go on vacation is many things but not a promotion of educational disparity.

    Publicly funded education, when done correctly, can alleviate some of that disparity at least for education

    Publicly funded education is a tax enforced by law determined by publicly elected persons for which no service can per se be expected in return except (one hopes) general social good (and, often, not even that). Why should a person wealthier then you who happens to have a child in your class have to shoulder the cost of educating your child?

    What it comes down to is this: For your proposition to work as anything more then a resentment you must believe there is a public obligation on the Orthodox community to provide a quality religious education for your child. You must believe it is more important that a stranger sacrifice his fancy vacation to pay to educate your child then you to forego all vacations, have a car that barely runs etc. You must believe in an Orthodox education tax.

  124. >Cholent Emerges as “Hottest” Kosher Food

    Nothing against the idea, but isn’t that piece really just an ad for the guy selling cholent at Mauzone (and Pomegranate), written by Menachem Lubinsky?

  125. JOEL RICH:

    “My definition of a kehilla would have a “governing body” (zayin tuvei hair?) who would be responsible for “fund raising”(taxation?) and triage/allocation/distribution of funds.”

    i don’t understand how this would work assuming the typical medium-large orthodox community with its many mosdos, causes and leaders. furthemore, the jewish community in american is a voluntary association. (will check igros moshe tonight.)

    can you explain to me (or everyone in a separate post?) how you think it should work using teaneck/bergen county as an example (because the range of hashkafah there is relatively narrow–putting aside outliers–and so there is no obstacle of “i don’t want my $ supporting the “frei tzitonistin” or on the one hand or the “frumskies” on the other).

  126. MYCROFT:

    “Compare physicians time of preparation for careers with any academic field and compare salaries-it is NOT the time to prepare for a career that is responsible for AMERICAN physicain salaries-it is RESTRICTION of supply.”

    i don’t see how the issue of restrictions (even if true) is relevant to my comment. doctors make tremenous sacrifices (financial, time-wise and personal) to get to where they are. how would lifting any ostensible restrictions change this?

  127. R’Abba,
    That’s exactly the point. When there is no cohesive vision, you can’t have a kehilla approach.If in Teansck you had a vaad hair working with the RCBC these allocation questions would be answered by this central leadership rather than every institution going directly to donors
    If you are looking at iggrot moshe, also see y”d 3:94 – kollel vs. yeshiva ketana.
    KT

  128. Re “When Two Great Men Meet” by Alan Jay Gerber –

    I enjoyed the nice story. However, some important context may be missing.

    Mr. Gerber implies that Rabbi Riskin received the Torah Umesorah Educational Creativity award while he was teaching Talmud to women in his school.

    But was that actually the case? Rabbi Riskin’s career then was still in it’s early years, and not all of his liberal positions were in practice or in evidence yet. I don’t even know if he had a girls/women’s school under his auspices then.

    If Torah Umesorah and Rav Kamenetsky then would have seen what Rabbi Riskin stands for now, I doubt they would be giving him an award. That doesn’t mean Rav Yaakov would not relate to him with respect, but to personally give him such an award, which could be interpreted as an endorsement of some of his controversial positions, may not have happened.

  129. MYCROFT:

    “I paid full tuition in day school for my son-for sleepaway camp he went to CDG.”

    first of all i sincerely apologize if any of my comments on this subject seemed to imply that they were about you personally. i certainly didn’t mean to question any of your personal choices.

    now i supplied you with data demonstrating that the typical MO sleepaway camp is more expensive that dora golding. (i may be out of touch with the popular camps these days, so if you have data on a camp i left out please fill it in). so who cares where you send your kid to camp? congratulations, you’re an outlier. now respond to the rest of the data.

    you want to say that the orthodox community should use dora golding as a model for creating additional cheaper camps (and explain realistically how this can be accomplished), maybe i’ll meet you there halfway. but no one is saying that. not fingerman, r. burg, and not the camp defenders on this blog. all i hear is a rejection of the schools’ scholarship policies and apologetics to maintain the status quo of expensive sleepaway camps.

  130. Did you actually read the article? First of all, it’s from Rabbi Riskin, not Gerber, and this is his own account. Secondly, it says that “Torah Umesorah saw fit to honor Rabbi Riskin for his efforts in the founding of his yeshiva, Ohr Torah in Riverdale, an institution that pioneered in the teaching of Talmud to women.” This was the mid 70s, which was not early in Riskin’s career, nor was teaching Talmud to women new for modern Orthodoxy.

    The way I teitsch it up is that RYK was capable of seeing a big picture. The big picture is that Rabbi Riskin was strengthening Orthodoxy, not eroding it.

  131. MYCROFT:

    MYCROFT:

    “How do you define community-there are homes within a mile where I live of more than a million dollars-but single family homes-3-4 bedrooms2- 2/12 bathrooms on my block for upper 300s-low-mid 400s.”

    bingo. i think a big part of the problem is that people are not careful enough in choosing where to settle. they think of affordability strictly in terms of housing costs and expect all else just to fall in place (if they even think about it altogether–i mean who really thinks about tuition when they have just one baby and they’re buying that house?). but just because someone can afford the house, doesn’t mean they can really afford the “community” (geographically defined, since you asked). i don’t think there is any shame in that.

    gil once had an intersting post about seeing a kid in shul with torn pants and it demonstrates how wonderful it is that rich and poor can sit next to each other in shul without really knowing the other’s financial status (or something like that). i though it was a nice post with an important message. but the flipside is that it creates unrealistic expectations and standard, and this is what we are dealing with here.

  132. JOEL RICH:

    “When there is no cohesive vision, you can’t have a kehilla approach.If in Teansck you had a vaad hair working with the RCBC these allocation questions would be answered by this central leadership rather than every institution going directly to donors”

    i’m not trying to sound dense, but i don’t understand. what is the cohesive vision? and how practically would like a hypothetical teaneck vaad hair to work with the RCBC to address the camp/scholarship issue?

  133. JOEL RICH:

    what would you do if we crowned you rav hair? 🙂

  134. don’t know if this proves anything,but R’Yaakov took a strong stand against Steinsaltz

  135. Re: The Azure article

    A fascinating article. I will throw in a quick thought.

    The article starts with a fundamental assumption about the viability, significance and relevance of the State. The Eidah Chareidis disagrees with those assumptions and believes they are incompatible with Judaism, so there is no return to the reality of 2000 years ago.

    Obviously RZ disagree.

    However, the authors also do not recognize the differences within Chareidim. I believe a very strong distinction can be made between the Chazon Ish, R’ Steinman and Gerrer Rebbe on one hand and the Eidah Chareidis, Briskers and Yerushalmi kehilla on the other. The approaches to the army and shmitta jump out. These differences come from two different attitudes to the state. The Bnei Brak camp is more accepting of the State having an element of religious significance, even if only a bdieved. There is no clarity as to what that means and how it effects halacha, but the sentiment definitely exists. There also is a need to form consensus with those who reject the State conceptually as having any religious significance.

  136. R’ Abba,
    I would form a “zayin tuvei hair” (perhaps by vote) and then inventory all the community needs and resources and allocate based on that work. Fund raising would be centralized as well. Of course since it is a voluntary world I doubt that it would work since power of voluntary persuasion seems not very effective (perhaps because there is no central vision and feeling of obligations rather than rights)
    KT

  137. Former YU – come on. As if any of the halachic solutions that the state needs are going to come out of Bnei Brak or Ger. What the state needs more than anything is an educated, motivated workforce who see value in contributing to society at all levels, from the construction worker to the nuclear engineer – this will only happen when these communities change radically, as they must if Israel is not to self-destruct. How can Israel maintain non-Somalian living standards if it has a majority (and they are likely to be a majoiry in my lifetime) of people who do not see value in yishuv ha’olam and see work as, at the very best, a grudging concession to support one’s family. We must not take Israel’s first world economy for granted. Attitudes such as these are liable to unbelievable damage.

  138. Joseph Kaplan

    “Mr. Gerber implies that Rabbi Riskin received the Torah Umesorah Educational Creativity award while he was teaching Talmud to women in his school.

    But was that actually the case? Rabbi Riskin’s career then was still in it’s early years, and not all of his liberal positions were in practice or in evidence yet. I don’t even know if he had a girls/women’s school under his auspices then.”

    In the mid-1970s:

    1. R. Riskin had women attending, with his approval, his gemarah classes in LSS. Indeed, ALL classes at LSS were open to both men and women, who learned together without a mechitzah.

    2. RR took over as dean of Manhattan Say School. At his first meeting with parents, one of the first announcements he made was that when boys began learning gemarah, girls would be taught gemarah as well. (BTW, the parents gave him a standing ovation after that announcement.)

    So, as anyone who knows RR knows, the “liberal position” of teaching females gemarah was part of RR’s philosophy very early on. And, AFAIK, he continues to hold this position today, as, e.g., demonstrated by the curriculum at Midreshet Lindenbaum. So let’s leave revisionist history out of this dicussion.

  139. Hmm. I remember Rabbi Rephun was the Principal of MDS in the 70s, both in the old building on Manhattan Ave and 104th and then in the new building on 75th Street off WEA (famously the Death Wish block).

    I don’t remember Rabbi Riskin being involved beyond being the father of one of my sister’s friends :-). But, I was a kid then…

  140. That MDS, btw, only went through 8th grade (which I think is still the case).

  141. IH-It is utterly irrelevant as to how, when, where and why another faith community viewed the practice of Judaism. OTOH, are you seriously claiming that the Talmidei Chachamim who objected to the legitimization of homosexuality, as opposed to any other transgression, had such experiences?

  142. Steve — you seem to have no interest in listening to other points of view which makes responding to sillyness like your comment of 4:31pm: a) futile; and, b) boring. I reiterate that your obsession with homosexuality is politics masquerading as lomdus.

  143. Joseph Kaplan and Anonymous of 1:36 pm-

    Okay, let’s assume that Torah Umesorah knew of the whole educational program you outline when the award was given thirty some odd years ago.

    Do you think that such an award would be given today, when, according to someone who was there, Rabbi Riskin at his recent NY dinner said that there would be women dayanim, for example? I don’t think so.

    The point is that the story is a nice story, but at that time Rabbi Riskin’s innovations were still relatively moderate compared to those he stands for today, so one cannot extrapolate from then to now. Rabbi Riskin is much better known and more prominent worldwide now as well.

  144. R. Riskin mystery solved,I think:

    “Ohr Hatorah AKA Manhattan Hebrew High School (MHS)”

    (which was in Riverdale…)

  145. IH-Take a look at your own posts in which you equate an express Torah prohibition with various social and racial discrimination.

  146. Mordechai

    >Okay, let’s assume that Torah Umesorah knew of the whole educational program you outline when the award was given thirty some odd years ago.

    The point isn’t that they knew. Mistama they did not know. The point is that RYK refused to allow them to revoke it even when faced with pressure from Miskaneim (ie, once it became known).

    >Do you think that such an award would be given today, when, according to someone who was there, Rabbi Riskin at his recent NY dinner said that there would be women dayanim, for example? I don’t think so.

    That question has nothing to do with anything. The question is, would RYK allow them to revoke it? Maybe. Probably. Or not. I don’t know. I guess, again, the question is, is he essentially building or destroying Orthodoxy?

  147. I thought that R Steve Burg’s column about summer informal educational programs and camp hit the proverbial nail on the head.

  148. Like it or not, one cannot complain about MO schools being staffed by Charedi yeshiva and seminary grads , while denying teens access to translate what they learned during the school year re Midos, etc or the ability to develope into a potential Ben or Bas Torah , and then expect MO to produce serious Bnei and Bnos Torah and Talmidei Chachamim without a summer camping experience and a year or so in Israel. One does not develope as a Ben or Bas Torah without a strong committment to Torah and Mitzvos that begins at home, is developed formally in school and which is nurtured in the environments of summer camp and Israel.

    There are more than a few studies that demonstrate the choice of Jewish educators and communal professionals in the heterodox world originated in a summer program. I think that there are studies that reached the same conclusion with respect to O run camps as well. However, if the concern is that a school has a tuition paying base so that it can compete academically with all of the bells and whistles of the secular world while treating Limudei Kodesh as subjects for exams during the school year, MO will only have itself to blame for not developing a core of dedicated men and women in the Klei Kodesh who grew up in MO.

  149. There was an interesting obit in the NYT yesterday:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/us/02gomes.html

    “The Rev. Peter J. Gomes, a Harvard minister, theologian and author who announced that he was gay a generation ago and became one of America’s most prominent spiritual voices against intolerance, died on Monday in Boston. […]

    One can read into the Bible almost any interpretation of morality, Mr. Gomes liked to say after coming out, for its passages had been used to defend slavery and the liberation of slaves, to support racism, anti-Semitism and patriotism, to enshrine a dominance of men over women, and to condemn homosexuality as immoral.One can read into the Bible almost any interpretation of morality, Mr. Gomes liked to say after coming out, for its passages had been used to defend slavery and the liberation of slaves, to support racism, anti-Semitism and patriotism, to enshrine a dominance of men over women, and to condemn homosexuality as immoral.”

  150. Joseph Kaplan-I think that we can agree that R Riskin’s positions evolved in the early to middle 1970s and that there was definitely a difference between his Hashkafa towards his Baale Batim in LSS than his Talmidim in JSS, where he served as a rebbe for a number of years prior to starting OTI.

  151. [Corrected]

    There was an interesting obit in the NYT yesterday:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/us/02gomes.html

    “The Rev. Peter J. Gomes, a Harvard minister, theologian and author who announced that he was gay a generation ago and became one of America’s most prominent spiritual voices against intolerance, died on Monday in Boston. […]

    One can read into the Bible almost any interpretation of morality, Mr. Gomes liked to say after coming out, for its passages had been used to defend slavery and the liberation of slaves, to support racism, anti-Semitism and patriotism, to enshrine a dominance of men over women, and to condemn homosexuality as immoral.”

  152. Joseph Kaplan-Am I correct in thinking that OTI in its original plan as conceived by R Riskin was only for boys?

  153. HAGTBG:

    I AM in favor of a progressive tax to support Jewish education (both day schools and programs for children in public schools) as an alternative to $20,000 per year tuition. I would extend it to all Jews. Of course it is unenforceable and can’t be implemented outside if Israel. Aliyah is the only real solution.

  154. J.

    Your comment is quite irrelevant to the issue at hand and is ignorant of the facts. The article was about halachik approaches to reality, not hashkafic. Also there is in fact a clear move toward increased workforce participation by chareidim. See any number of Israeli newspaper articles on the subject.

  155. “In the mid-1970s:

    1. R. Riskin had women attending, with his approval, his gemarah classes in LSS. Indeed, ALL classes at LSS were open to both men and women, who learned together without a mechitzah.

    2. RR took over as dean of Manhattan Say School. At his first meeting with parents, one of the first announcements he made was that when boys began learning gemarah, girls would be taught gemarah as well. (BTW, the parents gave him a standing ovation after that announcement.)

    So, as anyone who knows RR knows, the “liberal position” of teaching females gemarah was part of RR’s philosophy very early on. ”

    Already by the early 70s I heard R Riskin speak in LSS-advocating women Rabbis-when challenged about it-he stated whats wrong with Necham Leibowitz. Clearly, R Riskin who is very intelligent was espousing Liberal viewpoints before the mid 70s.

  156. “bingo. i think a big part of the problem is that people are not careful enough in choosing where to settle. they think of affordability strictly in terms of housing costs and expect all else just to fall in place (if they even think about it altogether–i mean who really thinks about tuition when they have just one baby and they’re buying that house?). but just because someone can afford the house, doesn’t mean they can really afford the “community” (geographically defined, since you asked).”
    Agreed-andI have actually told people considering moving to neighborhoods that. Of course, name a Metro NYC community that is MO that is affordable to the average income-As far as I know that set of cities includes– null set

    “gil once had an intersting post about seeing a kid in shul with torn pants and it demonstrates how wonderful it is that rich and poor can sit next to each other in shul without really knowing the other’s financial status (or something like that). i though it was a nice post with an important message. but the flipside is that it creates unrealistic expectations and standard, and this is what we are dealing with here.”

    Agreed-butthey are likely to have next to nothing to do with each other socially-even if they live near each other.

  157. “If Torah Umesorah and Rav Kamenetsky then would have seen what Rabbi Riskin stands for now, I doubt they would be giving him an award. That doesn’t mean Rav Yaakov would not relate to him with respect, but to personally give him such an award, which could be interpreted as an endorsement of some of his controversial positions, may not have happened.”

    Are you sure-remember R Riskin is a good fundraiser and has knowledge of where money is-they would give him the award

  158. STEVE BRIZEL:

    “I thought that R Steve Burg’s column about summer informal educational programs and camp hit the proverbial nail on the head.”

    which proverbial head would that be?
    (please see my predictable comments at the beginning of this thread concerning r. burg’s article)

    “I think that there are studies that reached the same conclusion with respect to O run camps as well.”

    repeating something over and over doesn’t make it true. you ignored me on the previous thread, so i’ll ask yet again. which well-designed research study shows a signifigant difference between kids from teaneck-type MO homes who do and don’t attend expensive summer sports camps?

    “There are more than a few studies that demonstrate the choice of Jewish educators and communal professionals in the heterodox world originated in a summer program.”

    good for them, but this is completely irrelevant for our discussion. apples and oranges.

    “one cannot complain about MO schools being staffed by Charedi yeshiva and seminary grads , while denying teens access to . . . a summer camping experience.”

    i think the lack of MO klei kodesh is because we don’t respect the klei kodesh fields (mostly because they generally have limited income potential) and we discourage our kids (directly or indirectly) from entering them. (i also wonder if its because of an inferiority complex that some of us have?)

    (steve, please don’t misread me–although i’m sure you will and then sieze on one statement and ignore everything else i wrote–i didn’t write that MO *dis*respects klei kodesh)

  159. “Joseph Kaplan on March 3, 2011 at 7:09 am
    ” To be blunt if a guest Rav/RY comes to a community which house will they stay at? They will tend to think that all people are much wealthier than people are.”

    My experience is that they stay either with someone they have a relationship with or someone who lives close to the shul, with the size of the house not a major factor except to the extent that sufficient facilities (a nice guest room) are required.”

    Agree in part-to the extent the Rav knows someone in the community well or is related to someone he is likely to stay there. Using an example more appropos to Prof L Kaplan-if someone were coming to be a guest Rav in a schul in the Montreal area during the winter more likely somone who lives next to schul,
    otherwise it is my impression that Rabbis are guests of the machers when they come to new communities

  160. Joseph Kaplan

    “Hmm. I remember Rabbi Rephun was the Principal of MDS in the 70s, both in the old building on Manhattan Ave and 104th and then in the new building on 75th Street off WEA (famously the Death Wish block).

    I don’t remember Rabbi Riskin being involved beyond being the father of one of my sister’s friends :-). But, I was a kid then…”

    “That MDS, btw, only went through 8th grade (which I think is still the case).”

    “R. Riskin mystery solved,I think:

    “Ohr Hatorah AKA Manhattan Hebrew High School (MHS)”

    (which was in Riverdale…)”

    Sorry IH, but there’s no mystery and since you were only a kid your memory of that time is spotty. R. Riskin took over from R. Raphun in the mid-70s. MDS had nothing to do with MHS except that RR was involved in both. And yes, MDS is an elementary school but it teaches it’s students gemarah starting in 6th or 7th grade (or at least did at that time). Under R. Raphun, only boys were taught gemarah; girls learned mishnah. When r.Riskin became dean, he made the girl’s curriculum the exact same as the boys.

  161. Joseph Kaplan

    “Joseph Kaplan-I think that we can agree that R Riskin’s positions evolved in the early to middle 1970s….”

    AFAIK, he supported women learning gemarah throughout the entire 70s and beyond.

  162. Joseph Kaplan

    “Are you sure-remember R Riskin is a good fundraiser and has knowledge of where money is-they would give him the award.”

    Is there ANY topic, Mycroft, where you won’t cynically argue that money lies ta the core of it?

  163. MiMedinat HaYam

    intersting that someone is “teitching”, when r pm teitz also taught girls talmud. (but he was unique — RW and MO, acceptable to all camps, yet a member of neither, or rather, member of none.)

    2 mycroft and Steve b:

    the legal case you mention was not one of rabbi – peninent privelege. the rabbi can waive it (without the penitent’s waiver) as per the tendler (sr) case.

    rather, that case was one of the rabbi testifying on halachic issues in civil court (what relevance did it have is beyond me, but it did indicate rabbinic disapproval of the (ex) wife. not mentioned was the fact that the (ex) husband was instrumental in certain issues the rabbis were promoting; i.e., he had a conflict of interest, that was not mentioned, prob legally irrelevant, but relevant in the grand scheme of things.

    as you mention, the rabbi should have been repremanded by the rabbinical communuty. of course, nothing of the sort was done. eventually, the rav left his full time shteller many years later, for greener pastures. (a yeshiva of his own.)

    3. yet, not all shul rabbis can go on to greener pastures. many have other jobs. few are top six figure salary rabbis, that they should / can be on call at all hours of the day or nite, as some seem to urge.

    4. do such rabbis pay full tuition? (unless tuition is included in their salary package.)

  164. Like it or not, one cannot complain about MO schools being staffed by Charedi yeshiva and seminary grads , while denying teens access to translate what they learned during the school year re Midos, etc or the ability to develope into a potential Ben or Bas Torah , and then expect MO to produce serious Bnei and Bnos Torah and Talmidei Chachamim without a summer camping experience and a year or so in Israel. One does not develope as a Ben or Bas Torah without a strong committment to Torah and Mitzvos that begins at home, is developed formally in school and which is nurtured in the environments of summer camp and Israel.

    A pity summer camp and easy travel to Israel are relatively recent inventions. The issue is where best to put scarce resources. Hoping others will foot the bill is fine but its just a hope.

  165. “Joseph Kaplan on March 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm
    “Are you sure-remember R Riskin is a good fundraiser and has knowledge of where money is-they would give him the award.”

    Is there ANY topic, Mycroft, where you won’t cynically argue that money lies ta the core of it?”

    People were writing that Rabbi Riskin wouldn’t have been given the award. I mentioned obvious fact that Rabbis and others get honored at dinners etc because of the perceived money that honoring them would bring in. Do you believe people are honored by organizations based on their zidkus?

  166. “rather, that case was one of the rabbi testifying on halachic issues in civil court (what relevance did it have is beyond me, but it did indicate rabbinic disapproval of the (ex) wife. not mentioned was the fact that the (ex) husband was instrumental in certain issues the rabbis were promoting;”
    I didn’t know that-but somehow I shouldn’t be surprised

    ” i.e., he had a conflict of interest, that was not mentioned, prob legally irrelevant, but relevant in the grand scheme of things.”
    So another Rabbi was a nogeah badavar-I didn’t know that.

    “as you mention, the rabbi should have been repremanded by the rabbinical communuty. of course, nothing of the sort was done. ”
    Agreed-sadly Rabbis especially those of MO background tend not to attack Chareidi or Rabbis sympathetic to Chareidi when they do wrong. Talmidim of the Rav especially tend to keep quiet in this matter. The Rav for better or worse did not often publicly attack those of the chareidi world. There were those who I knew -more than 1 who were opposed to not keeping of confidence.

    “eventually, the rav left his full time shteller many years later, for greener pastures. (a yeshiva of his own.)”
    My impression from rereading the case there were 2 Rabbis involved- one is no longer at the shteller the other one is still at his shteller.

  167. Some affordable MO communities in NY:

    Staten Island, NY
    Elizabeth, NJ
    Linden, NJ
    Edison, NJ
    West Hempstead, NY

  168. ” he supported women learning gemarah throughout the entire 70s and beyond”
    The Rav of course was in favor of women learning Gemarrah before the 70s-he taught his daughters gemarrah, he was in favor of Stern teaching women talmud. The Rav even had at times a woman show up to his summer shiur and his Sunday morning gemarrah shiur.

  169. “Do you believe people are honored by organizations based on their zidkus?”

    I believe people are honored for all sorts of reasons; zidkus, money, personal and business relationships. I just think it’s interesting, and to my mind sad, that you always think of money even when, as is the case of R. Riskin being honored, you really have no basis whatsoever except you cynicism and snarkiness.

  170. “The Rav of course was in favor of women learning Gemarrah before the 70s-he taught his daughters gemarrah, he was in favor of Stern teaching women talmud. The Rav even had at times a woman show up to his summer shiur and his Sunday morning gemarrah shiur.”

    And, of course, the Rav’s school, Maimonides, was/is coed in all its classes, so the girls learn exactly what the boys do, including gemarah. (At least here, Mycroft, we can agree.) R. Riskin was simply, or perhaps not so simply, following his rebbe’s position.

  171. “i think the lack of MO klei kodesh is because we don’t respect the klei kodesh fields (mostly because they generally have limited income potential) and we discourage our kids (directly or indirectly) from entering them. (i also wonder if its because of an inferiority complex that some of us have?)”

    Or bluntly a MO kid will have fewer opportunities as a Klei kodesh-an MO person will tolerate a chareidi-a chareidi won’t tolerate an MO person.

  172. Steve
    waiting for a response to IH

  173. RYK was a master of articulation.wonder if there’s any recording of what he said as he gave the award.

  174. “Joseph Kaplan on March 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm
    “Do you believe people are honored by organizations based on their zidkus?”

    I believe people are honored for all sorts of reasons; zidkus, money, personal and business relationships. I just think it’s interesting, and to my mind sad, that you always think of money even when, as is the case of R. Riskin being honored, you really have no basis whatsoever except you cynicism and snarkiness.”

    For some reason it appears that mentioning anything about R Riskin will automatically be treated as an attack on R Riskin by the Kaplans quicker than S Brizel will treat any comment about RHS or Gil any comment about RMT. I did not remotely attack R Riskin-I was referring to why Chareidi people would honor R Riskin despite his ideology that by the 70s was clearly not Chareidi. R Riskin was a pioneer in womens issues-parading a sefer Torah through the womens section during ptichah-this goes way back-is that an action that Chareidim would honor-no.
    If anything my comments could be treated incorrectly as an attack on a Gadol-that is an easier explanation than implying I attacked R Riskin.
    To state the obvious that the Chareidi world will and has done a lot for money is not worthy of discussion.
    My comments were a response to “If Torah Umesorah and Rav Kamenetsky then would have seen what Rabbi Riskin stands for now, I doubt they would be giving him an award.”
    Since R Riskin was quite modern back then then and now are not really 2 different R Riskins.

  175. Joseph — check the dates, please. R. Rephun and then Alvin Rapp would, I think, take MDS into the late 1970’s. My wife graduated MDS in ’75 and has no memory of R. Riskin’s involvement. She was never given the option of learning Gemara (nor in Central Manhattan, her next destination). My sister graduated MDS in ’78 (Batya’s class) and I will check with her when we next speak.

  176. “Maimonides, was/is coed in all its classes, so the girls learn exactly what the boys do, including gemarah”

    I have a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law who were chavrusahs in Maimonides!!!

  177. ““i think the lack of MO klei kodesh is because we don’t respect the klei kodesh fields (mostly because they generally have limited income potential) and we discourage our kids (directly or indirectly) from entering them.”

    Sometimes I think we’re living in the 1950s again. (Not so bad; makes me fell young.) I think this is much less true now. I know many many MO professionals who are very proud of their children in the rabbinate, educational and communal fields; the Bergen Co. MO schools are chock full of MO teachers (male and female) — I’m sure others are as well but I write about what I know; the pay is much better than it was and many can, and do, earn a respectable salary in such jobs — not investment banker or white shoe law firm level, but quite respectable. here are real problems, to be sure, but let’s deal with the real ones and not those of my youth.

  178. “Some affordable MO communities in NY”

    None are affordable for the average income American-unlike Israel where one can be MO and a security guard.

  179. “I’m sure others are as well but I write about what I know; the pay is much better than it was and many can, and do, earn a respectable salary in such jobs — not investment banker or white shoe law firm level, but quite respectable. here are real problems”

    Agreed-mechanchim do quite well see eg YUHSs 990-Brisman case etc. They complain about how can they afford so many kids-well take a look at the numbers of kids non mechanchim have who have to pay more tham mechanchim for day school tuition even if they earn less than mechanchim.

  180. “I know many many MO professionals who are very proud of their children in the rabbinate, educational and communal fields; the Bergen Co. MO schools are chock full of MO teachers (male and female) ”

    The Salaries of MO schools are very competitive with for example the following:
    “Median annual wages of wage and salary accountants and auditors were $59,430 in May 2008. The middle half of the occupation earned between $45,900 and $78,210. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $36,720, and the top 10 percent earned more than $102,380. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of accountants and auditors were as follows:

    Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services $61,480
    Management of companies and enterprises 59,820
    Insurance carriers 59,550
    Local government 53,660
    State government 51,250″
    The salaries are very competitive with lawyers outside of what usedto be called the “going rate law firms”-which of course, was only the going rate for the superior

  181. “If anything my comments could be treated incorrectly as an attack on a Gadol-that is an easier explanation than implying I attacked R Riskin.”

    Exactly right. I think you were nasty about both; that Chareidim (and RK) honor only for money and that there’s no reason for TU to honor RR except for his fund-raising capabilities (which are, indeed, masterful). I admit, Mycrfoft, you’re an equal opportunity snark (can that be used in a noun form?).

  182. “Joseph — check the dates, please. R. Rephun and then Alvin Rapp would, I think, take MDS into the late 1970′s. My wife graduated MDS in ’75 and has no memory of R. Riskin’s involvement.”

    Alvin was principal; RR was dean for a period of time after R. Raphun. He was the one who instituted gemarah for girls. Sometime in the 70s — probably late rather than mid as I first said; don’t know the year off hand. My niece was in 7th grade at the time; the first (or possibly second) class to learn gemarah. (I just sent her an email; will post the results). Her rebbe was, at first, VERY reluctant to teach girls. But he did. And when she graduated and went to Ramaz, he told her she should take honors gemarah because her gemarah kup was too good to waste.

  183. “Her rebbe was, at first, VERY reluctant to teach girls. But he did. And when she graduated and went to Ramaz, he told her she should take honors gemarah because her gemarah kup was too good to waste.”

    Kol ha’kavod. And a great story!

  184. MYCROFT and JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    “mechanchim do quite well see eg YUHSs 990-Brisman case etc.”

    a) i was writing about klei kodesh in general, but ok, we’ll discuss specifically teachers
    b) i didn’t write that teachers can’t do well (although i’ll come back to that below), but rather that they have less income potential than other professions. even if we assume tha r. brisman’s salary represents the average salary (i don’t know anything about the YUHS 990, but can i assume it is within r. brisman’s range?), how much more can a teacher potentially earn? $150k? you think there are any teachers making more than that? so for teachers there is a very real income ceiling, no matter how smart, talented, motivated, etc. on the other hand, for the smartest, most talented and most motivated lawyers, doctors, etc. there is no ceiling.
    c) i don’t think r. brisman’s salary was typical (of course we’ll never know thanks to lack of transparency), so it isn’t fair to compare r. brisman as representative of teachers with the average accountant.

  185. MYCROFT:

    “Of course, name a Metro NYC community that is MO that is affordable to the average income”

    it’s true that there may not be an “affordable” community in the metro ny area, but let’s not lose sight of relative affordability. e.g., teaneck and 5 towns have comparable housing markets (actually both have a wide range, but its the same range), but 5 towns has (somewhat)cheaper schools, cheaper food, considerably cheaper taxes (if you buy in the right area), etc. now some people will argue that this only amounts to 10k in savings (i think it can be more) and it’s not worth it to give up all the benfits of living in teaneck to save a measly 10k. but this 10k savings can then be used to send 2.5 kids to dora golding for the summer without having to worry about losing tuition assistance. (and of course there are areas cheaper than 5 towns, sometimes considerably so.)

  186. “Joseph Kaplan on March 3, 2011 at 11:12 pm
    “If anything my comments could be treated incorrectly as an attack on a Gadol-that is an easier explanation than implying I attacked R Riskin.”

    Exactly right. I think you were nasty about both; that Chareidim (and RK) honor only for money and that there’s no reason for TU to honor RR except for his fund-raising capabilities (which are, indeed, masterful). I admit, Mycrfoft, you’re an equal opportunity snark”

    So stating the obvious truth that fundraising dinners are made to raise funds makes the comment a snark.

  187. “Maimonides, was/is coed in all its classes”

    I received the following e-mail:”Maimonides was not coed in all its classes. Gym was not coed.”

  188. “how much more can a teacher potentially earn? $150k?”
    Agree in general-although I’ve seen a couple earning more in 990s.
    But is a salary more than most governors earn a bad salary for a job that works for less than half the days of the year.

    ” you think there are any teachers making more than that?”
    Not too many-but of course, superior ones can become Yeshiva administraters where the salaries can easily be double the 150K

    so for teachers there is a very real income ceiling,as there is realistically for the vast majority of Americans who don’t have equity in their own businesses. How many hours does a Rebbe work a year compared to other workers?

  189. “(i don’t know anything about the YUHS 990, but can i assume it is within r. brisman’s range?), how much more can a teacher potentially earn? $150k? you think there are any teachers making more than that?”
    Per the YUHS 990 of a few years ago there were at least a couple of rabbeim earning more than $150K-since 990s only list top 5 employees income-there could be more.
    One would have to guess then BTW-there are at least a few RIETS Rabbeim earning more than YUHS HS Rabbeim-especially considering those who have endowed chairs.

  190. “Abba’s Rantings on March 4, 2011 at 12:38 am
    MYCROFT:

    “Of course, name a Metro NYC community that is MO that is affordable to the average income”

    it’s true that there may not be an “affordable” community in the metro ny area, but let’s not lose sight of relative affordability. e.g., teaneck and 5 towns have comparable housing markets (actually both have a wide range, but its the same range), but 5 towns has (somewhat)cheaper schools, cheaper food, considerably cheaper taxes (if you buy in the right area), etc. now some people will argue that this only amounts to 10k in savings (i think it can be more) and it’s not worth it to give up all the benfits of living in teaneck to save a measly 10k. but this 10k savings can then be used to send 2.5 kids to dora golding for the summer without having to worry about losing tuition assistance”

    Essentially agree.

  191. Joseph Kaplan

    IH: After a bit more checking, it seems R. Riskin came to MDS in 79 or 80 when he instituted gemarah for girls.

  192. Joseph Kaplan

    “So stating the obvious truth that fundraising dinners are made to raise funds makes the comment a snark.”

    No; implying that someone is honored only because he/she is a good fundraiser is the snark — to both the honoree and the institution doing the honoring.

  193. MYCROFT:

    “How many hours does a Rebbe work a year compared to other workers?”

    uh-huh. this is generally overlooked. (i have no idea what steve brizel was talking about when he responded to this by referring to rebbes spending erev shabbos with talmidim before their bar mitzvah.)

    “so for teachers there is a very real income ceiling,as there is realistically for the vast majority of Americans . . .”

    i don’t think any of these comparisons to the average american or vast majority of americans are fair. i think it is fair to assume that the median MO income in teaneck is about 4-5 times the average median american income. as much as we complain that we’re stuggling and starving, let’s not forget that almost any MO family in teaneck is probably in the 90th-something percentile of income.

    “Not too many-but of course, superior ones can become Yeshiva administraters where the salaries can easily be double the 150K”

    i’m not sure how common it really is for yeshiva admins to earn $300k (again, we’ll never know thanks to lack of transparency and the fact that many–most?–schools use the church loophole and don’t file 990s.) but in any case it’s still a ceiling

    i guess my original point really had more to do with psychology of the issue. a pre-med student may be gp in a clinic but he might be a boutique dermatologist. the lawyer might work for the DA or he might become a partner. the business major might become a book keeper or a hedge fund manager. but someone going into educating is automatically limited in income and job growth, and that imho generally doesn’t sound good–justifiably or not–to MO ears.

  194. Joseph Kaplan

    “but someone going into educating is automatically limited in income and job growth, and that imho generally doesn’t sound good–justifiably or not–to MO ears.”

    Agree it is automatically limiting; disagree that it doesn’t sound good to MO ears. My observations are that it sounds just fine to many MO ears.

  195. From R Flug (for R’Abba?) KT

    Tzedakah: Communal and Individual Responsibilities

    The Torah has numerous verses commanding us to give charity (tzedakah) to the poor. One verse (Vayikra 25:35) commands supporting the poor person so that he may live with you. Another set of verses (Devarim 15:7-11) requires one to open one’s hand to the poor individual and supply him with whatever he is lacking and prohibits turning the poor person away. In this issue, we will discuss which aspects of tzedakah are a communal responsibility and which are an individual responsibility. [In a previous issue, we discussed the mitzvah of matanot la’evyonim that applies on Purim.]

    The Kupah System

    Rambam (1138-1204), Hilchot Matnot Aniyim 9:1, writes that each city has an obligation to appoint trustworthy individuals to collect money from the community and distribute it to the poor. The source for Rambam’s ruling is the Mishna, Pe’ah 8:7, which describes two different types of collections. The tamchui is a collection dedicated to feeding those who require food on a daily basis. The kupah is a collection dedicated to feeding those who require food on a weekly basis. Rambam, Hilchot Matnot Aniyim 9:3, writes that while establishing a tamchui is optional, “we have never seen or heard of a Jewish community that did not have a kupah.”

    The Gemara, Baba Batra 8b, states that the community can establish a system of taxation to support the kupah and other collections. Rashba (1235-1310), in a responsum (3:380), writes that the money collected for the kupah should be based on wealth such that those who can afford to give more should contribute a larger portion than those who aren’t as wealthy. However, in another responsum (cited in Beit Yosef, Yoreh De’ah no. 250) Rashba acknowledges that some communities attempt to collect their needs on a voluntary basis which doesn’t always correspond to the wealth of the community members. Shulchan Aruch and Rama, Yoreh De’ah 250:5, codify these responsa.

    The Gemara, Baba Batra 9a, states that if someone tries to collect by knocking on doors, he is only given a small amount. Rashi (1040-1105), ad loc., s.v. Ain Nizkakin, explains that he is only given a small amount from the kupah because we assume that the he already collected a significant amount from going door to door. Rambam, Hilchot Matnot Aniyim 7:7, implies that this ruling applies to an individual who is asked for tzedakah by someone collecting door to door. Rambam states that one should never completely turn away a poor person and should therefore give him a small amount, even if it means giving the collector a single fig.

    Radvaz (d. 1573), Hilchot Matnot Aniyim, 7:7, suggests that Rambam doesn’t disagree with Rashi. Rather, Rambam is simply stating that that the prohibition against an individual to turn away a poor person applies even to a door to door collector. This idea is reflected in the rulings of Shulchan Aruch and Rama. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 250:3, rules that a kupah should give a small amount to the door to door collector. Yet, Rama, Yoreh De’ah 249:4, quotes that language of Rambam regarding turning away a poor person. R. Chaim Kanievski, Derech Emunah, Matnot Aniyim 7:48 (and note 114), adds that the prohibition against turning away a collector only applies to a collector who is collecting for his own needs. If he is collecting for others, there is no prohibition against turning him away, even if the collector himself is poor and is receiving a commission.

    R. Yisrael M. Kagan (1838-1933), Ahavat Chesed, Vol. II, ch. 17, notes that the Gemara’s limitation on door to door collectors is not a license to ignore those who collect door to door. Even though well intentioned individuals may feel that the system provides better benefit to the poor when everyone collects from the kupah, one must still give a small amount to those who collect door to door, even if they are not members of the community. R. Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986), Igrot Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 1:149, follows a similar approach and explains that door to door collection will produce a greater yield but it involves embarrassment. The kupah allows the poor to collect in a more dignified manner. However, those who wish to collect door to door are entitled to do so and each individual person can decide how much to give to those collectors.

    The Requirement to Provide what is Lacking

    The Torah (Devarim 15:8) states that one should provide to the poor whatever they are lacking. The Gemara, Ketuvot 67b, states that this means providing them with more than just the basics. Even if a person was used to having a horse to ride on and servant to accompany him before he became impoverished, one must provide that to him. R. Ya’akov ben Asher (1269-1343), Tur, Yoreh De’ah no. 250, writes that according to Rambam, there is no obligation to give this amount to someone who collects door to door. R. Yosef Karo (1488-1575), Beit Yosef, ad loc., notes that Tur’s comments imply that if not for the fact that the collector was going door to door, an individual would be required to provide a poor person with whatever he is lacking. R. Karo disagrees and asserts that the obligation to provide what is lacking is a communal responsibility and should not fall on any single individual.

    R. Yehoshua Falk (1555-1614), Derisha, ad loc., defends Tur’s opinion and claims that Tur never meant to place the responsibility of providing what is lacking on an individual. Rather, Tur was simply stating that one is not required to give a large gift to a door to door collector. Ordinarily, an individual should give the poor person enough to eat or purchase one meal. However, if the poor person is collecting door to door, one may give less than that. R. Yoel Sirkes (1561-1640), Bach, ad loc., assumes that Tur does require an individual to provide what is lacking. When an individual is asked for tzedakah, he should give the poor person whatever is in his means to give. If it is in his means to provide the poor person with everything he is lacking, he cannot exempt himself on the basis that the community should be providing anything beyond what is necessary to survive.

    Rama, Yoreh De’ah 250:1, and R. Shabtai Kohen (1621-1662), Shach 250:1, rule that the obligation to provide what is lacking is a communal obligation. The Vilna Gaon (1720-1797), Bei’ur HaGra, Yoreh De’ah 250:3, sides with the opinion of Bach that there is an individual responsibility.

    R. Yechiel M. Epstein (1829-1908), Aruch HaShulchan, Yoreh De’ah 250:4-5, suggests that there is no real dispute between Rama and Bach. If the community has many wealthy individuals and few poor individuals and there is enough money to provide the poor with everything they are lacking, the obligation falls on the entire community. The fact that one individual can afford to support the poor doesn’t exempt other wealthy people in the community. However, if there are no other people who can support the poor or there is no communal system set up, an individual who has the means of providing the poor with what they are lacking is obligated to do so. By contrast, if the community has few wealthy individuals and many poor individuals such that there are insufficient funds to provide everyone with what they are lacking, then even the community is exempt from providing the poor with what they are lacking (i.e., there is no obligation on the wealthy individuals to contribute beyond their means to reach this level of funding).

    There is a responsum of R. Moshe Sofer (1762-1839) that highlights the challenges of providing what is lacking when there are insufficient funds. In 1801, a fire destroyed many homes in the town of Matersdorf (currently Mattersburg, Austria). Money was collected to help the people of the town and R. Sofer, Chatam Sofer, Yoreh De’ah no. 239, was asked how the money should be distributed. R. Sofer suggested dividing the people who lost money into three groups: poor, middle class and wealthy and then to ask each individual to divide their losses into two categories: items that one needs and items that one can do without. He then suggested apportioning the funds by providing the poor with 100% funding for replacement of necessary items and 50% for items they didn’t consider necessary. The middle class would receive 66% funding for replacement of necessary items and 33% for items they didn’t consider necessary. The wealthy would receive 33% for all items.

  196. Number of yeshiva students plummets
    =========================
    Probably should read number of reported Yeshiva students plummets, I doubt the actual number of students changed at all.
    KT

  197. JOEL RICH:

    thanks for those interesting sources.
    but i have to wonder if they were more prescriptive (and ignored) than descriptive. it clearly doesn’t describe the situation that existed for many generations in much large swaths of ashkenaz. (although of course this was due largely to external pressures.)

    JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    “My observations are that it sounds just fine to many MO ears.”

    so to what do you attribute the general dearth of MO educators (and klei kodesh in general)?

    is there any distinction between the poor members and non-members?

  198. on sephardim and yihud, see r. hayyim david haleiv’s teshuvah in עשה לך רב, vol. 6 (?) (short teshuvot at end)

  199. Seems the Forward hasn’t changed too much since the days it ran an annual advertisement for a free dinner and concert on Yom Kippur…

  200. Re: Communities

    If you want to argue that no US communities are affordable that is one thing, but to say “affordable MO communities in NY” implies that Cleveland is fine. There are NY communities which are relatively as affordable as OOT communities when you consider NY income vs. Cleveland income. Tuition is expensive anywhere in the US if you have more than 1-2 children and are not making mid-6 figures. But paying $500,000 or more for a small 3 bedroom house exacerbates the problem.

    Re: Chinuch

    In reality, there are many more opportunities for MO mechanchim than chareidi ones when you consider the number of openings and candidates. High paying or high status jobs at chareidi schools in the NY area will receive 100+ applicants. In MO schools it will be many fewer (probably no more than 10 or 20) and they will significantly value the applicants who went to YU over any other institution. OOT, MO schools have an even harder time attracting YU talmidim since the majority can get jobs at NY schools.

  201. but i have to wonder if they were more prescriptive (and ignored)
    =======================
    You mean as I said they would be now 🙂
    KT

  202. “Joseph Kaplan on March 4, 2011 at 8:34 am
    “So stating the obvious truth that fundraising dinners are made to raise funds makes the comment a snark.”

    No; implying that someone is honored only because he/she is a good fundraiser is the snark — to both the honoree and the institution doing the honoring”

    Stating that a fundraising dinner is meant to raise funds does not necessarily mean that the honoree is being honored for being a fundraiser-he may be someone who they wish to honor because others will want to pay money in his honor.

  203. FORMER YU:

    “there are many more opportunities for MO mechanchim than chareidi ones”

    if you’re talking about limude kodesh, no way. MO schools will hire both MO and haredi teachers. some schools might prefer MO rebbeim, but there mostly also have haredi rebbeim (my very MO school did). and there are MO (or pseudo-MO) schools where the haredi rebbeim dominate, even exclusively so. in some cases this is because the adminsitration itself is haredi or because the school itself serves a mixed population (or aspires to), in others cases it is a practical decision because kollel grad are cheaper than YU grads
    on the other hand, how many haredi schools would even bother interviewing a MO rebbe?

    “But paying $500,000 or more for a small 3 bedroom house exacerbates the problem.”

    yes

  204. ““so for teachers there is a very real income ceiling,as there is realistically for the vast majority of Americans . . .”

    i don’t think any of these comparisons to the average american or vast majority of americans are fair. i think it is fair to assume that the median MO income in teaneck is about 4-5 times the average median american income. ”

    I don’t know Teaneck-I have never spent a night there-to the best of my recollections my total time spent there has been less than 12 hours-none of that time has been in past 30 years-but let us assume your statement is correct about incomes in Teaneck so what -that would mean that Teaneck similar to Newton, Fieldstone Estates, Great Neck Estates, Woodsburgh etc requires a high income/assets to live there-that necessarily leaves the rest out of living there. What does that have to do with what teachers get paid-I’d love to live near where I work but can’t afford to- so what. The issue raised by your comment is that it appears you are implying is that to live as MO requires a few times the average American salary-if that is true that is the scandal of American Orthodoxy.

    “”as much as we complain that we’re stuggling and starving, let’s not forget that almost any MO family in teaneck is probably in the 90th-something percentile of income.”

    If so,-that is one of my reasons for not liking discussion of current tuition crisis-nobody was complaining when the average and below average American has been shut out of MO life because of the expense required which is way above what most Americans can earn.
    Klei Kodesh tend to feel hurt that they aren’t earning a neurosurgeon salary but they are earning much more than the average American.

    ““Not too many-but of course, superior ones can become Yeshiva administraters where the salaries can easily be double the 150K”

    i’m not sure how common it really is for yeshiva admins to earn $300k (again, we’ll never know thanks to lack of transparency and the fact that many–most?–schools use the church loophole and don’t file 990s.) but in any case it’s still a ceiling””
    A ceiling most jobs have a ceiling way below mechanchims ceiling-as far as Church loophole-how many Yeshivot/day schools do you know are TRULY owned by a church/schul.

  205. “joel rich on March 4, 2011 at 10:08 am
    Number of yeshiva students plummets
    =========================
    Probably should read number of reported Yeshiva students plummets, I doubt the actual number of students changed at all.
    KT”

    agreed “The main reason for the smaller number of students is that many institutions have removed students who fail to attend classes regularly from their lists for fear that the entire institution would be disqualified”

  206. MiMedinat HaYam

    re: fence in kindergarten

    see http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-02-23/news/inside-a-divided-nyc-public-school/

    2. case against sheitels — its a blog, not a news story. and it implies it replaces mikva — wierd.

    3. in defense of $150,000 mechanchim — these are a: administrators who b: have protexia (and / or write the checks, with no board of directors over their heads. and most important — c: are they fundraisers? if so, they deserve fundraiser salaries (which may very well be six figures), but for some reason are also “mechanchim”.

    the market should control — let them go and get a job somewhere else. (of course, it wont work.)

    4. re: lord rabbi sachs — will the dalai lama come to accept his prize? the article evades that question.

    nevertheless, the lecture the chief rabbi will be giving afterwards sounds interesting. more so than the prize.

  207. MYCROFT:

    “most jobs have a ceiling way below mechanchims ceiling”

    which white collar job that MO jews tend to gravitate toward have a lower ceiling than mechanchim? doctors? lawyers? systems analysts/programmers? wall street? accountants?

    “how many Yeshivot/day schools do you know are TRULY owned by a church/schul”

    i can’t think of any (i think we’re in agreement on the transparency/990 issue)

    “I don’t know Teaneck”

    i’m just picking on teaneck beause the camp letter is from bergen county. but also because i think it’s a fair example because as expensive as it is, i think it represents an average cost of living for a NY-area MO family (there is cheaper and more expensive). also because i think there is a certain level of religious commitment there that was relevant to the original discussion about the religious need for the summer camp experience.

    “What does that have to do with what teachers get paid”

    because you keep on comparing yeshivah teachers’ salaries with averages for various careers, but i don’t think those averages really represent MO income goals (and what is achieved). thus the point of reference makes your comparison with teachers’ salaries irrelevant. and i suspect your constant reference to brisman as if it was a typical salary further weakens the comparison.
    don’t compare what a star mechanech who also had administrative duties (brisman) made on the one hand with, for example, the national average for lawyers.
    just to reiterate my point, i believe that MO jews (consciously or otherwise) compare what a teacher can make with (for example) a tyical lawyer in NYC (http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Attorney_%2f_Lawyer/Salary/by_City), not with what a national average that includes the public defender in yehuptisville.

    “if that is true that is the scandal of American Orthodoxy.”

    you can’t own a home in a NY suburb, have 4 kids and send them to private schools (MO style) with the median national household income of $50-60k. i don’t know if that’s a scandal, but that’s just the way it is.

  208. MYCORFT:

    or to put it differently regarding the “scandal” aspect:
    we expect to live the same general lifestyle as our non-ortho colleagues (and why shouldn’t we?, we work just as hard) but forget that they only have 2 kids and make sure to live in good districts so the school is free.
    we want the nice house, late model car(s), vacations, the expensive cable package, eating out, etc. just like they have, but then with same income on which they may barely be getting by we want 2 additional kids AND to send all of them to expensive private schools/camps?

  209. “High paying or high status jobs at chareidi schools in the NY area will receive 100+ applicants. In MO schools it will be many fewer (probably no more than 10 or 20) and they will significantly value the applicants who went to YU over any other institution.”

    If there is no shortage of applicants wouldn’t that indicate that mechanchim are overpaid.

  210. Any guesses as to which side advocated the fence in Jerusalem?-Any guesses to how the general population woul feel about subsidizing a group that won’t let their 5 year olds see the reso of the population?

  211. Joseph Kaplan

    “Stating that a fundraising dinner is meant to raise funds does not necessarily mean that the honoree is being honored for being a fundraiser-he may be someone who they wish to honor because others will want to pay money in his honor.”

    I agree, but that’s not what you said originally, to which I (and my brother, I think) took exception. What you said was: “remember R Riskin is a good fundraiser and has knowledge of where money is-they would give him the award.” Different implication.

  212. wasn’t there also an issue with a fence in a beit el school yard to separate ashkenazi and sephardi girls?

  213. “3. in defense of $150,000 mechanchim — these are a: administrators who”

    Administrators of non profits deserve a salary-but why more than the governors salaries, a Cabinet secretary, a VicePresident of the US etc?

    ” b: have protexia (and / or write the checks, with no board of directors over their heads.”
    If protexia-OK run it as a private business-don’t ask for zedakah and probably shouldn’t be non profit if the purpose of the business is private inurement.

    “and most important — c: are they fundraisers? if so, they deserve fundraiser salaries (which may very well be six figures), but for some reason are also “mechanchim”.”
    If fundraisers-don’t pretend they are klei kodesh -hire them for the campaign and pay them accordingly to what fundraisers get paid for raising the money that they raised.

  214. Abba wrote in part:

    ” I think the lack of MO klei kodesh is because we don’t respect the klei kodesh fields (mostly because they generally have limited income potential) and we discourage our kids (directly or indirectly) from entering them. (i also wonder if its because of an inferiority complex that some of us have?)”

    I rest my case.

  215. Nachum wrote in part:

    “Who has to talk about masturbation?”

    I think that Dr Sorotzkin’s article, which was posted as a link elsewhere, posits that the intense concern about masturbation is rooted in the Zohar, and that the Keser Rosh’s comments suggest that the proper aitzah lies in Talmud Torah, as oppposed to excoriating the transgressor.

  216. ““most jobs have a ceiling way below mechanchims ceiling”
    which white collar job that MO jews tend to gravitate toward have a lower ceiling than mechanchim? doctors? lawyers? systems analysts/programmers? wall street? accountants?””

    If ceiling is what concerns you-have your kids spend their time going to little league, Pop Warner etc-a top MLB player earns more than the ceiling of any of those fields. Relevance is what the range of figures that normal people get. Similarly-one shouldNOT enter the Rabbinate expecting to earn what a Rabbi in a big schul in Manhattan earns or what a Prez of Yu earns etc.

    “because you keep on comparing yeshivah teachers’ salaries with averages for various careers, but i don’t think those averages really represent MO income goals (and what is achieved). ”
    Those averages will represent somewhat close to what those who are born Jewish will earn-they do NOT represent MO because those who earn the averages or less are NOT welcome in MO. They can’t afford the tuition etc. Unless someone has family wealth they will leave. Remember religion is a discretionary good for most-first comes bread.

    “and i suspect your constant reference to brisman as if it was a typical salary further weakens the comparison.”
    I refer to him only because there is no disclosure of private info-Brisman’s case is a reported NY case online. Income that he received in 2005 for a a job of less than 170 days a year.

    “that MO jews (consciously or otherwise) compare what a teacher can make with (for example) a tyical lawyer in NYC (http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Attorney_%2f_Lawyer/Salary/by_City), not with what a national averag”

    The relevant comparison is looking at all who entered all the US law schools and see what incomes they are receiving decades later.
    I am somewhat familiar with the games played in statistics of what grads earn etc-in early mid 70s I was tangentially involved in a study which intended to try and track graduate degree recipients -in this case of Harvard and MIT of certain departments to determine how financial success was correlated with sex, race etc. The most interesting result was that salries that the study got by tracking ALL grads of these departments was significantly LESS than the placement departments stated. Much more accurate figures of earnings are from Census Bureau, BLS figures, and IRS Statistics of Income.

    “if that is true that is the scandal of American Orthodoxy.”
    you can’t own a home in a NY suburb, have 4 kids and send them to private schools (MO style) with the median national household income of $50-60k. i don’t know if that’s a scandal, but that’s just the way it is.”

    A person coiuld not be married with one child, live in a 1 bedroom apartment and send his child to MO day school with an average US income-that is a scandal.

    “or to put it differently regarding the “scandal” aspect:
    we expect to live the same general lifestyle as our non-ortho colleagues (and why shouldn’t we?, we work just as hard) but forget that they only have 2 kids and make sure to live in good districts so the school is free.
    we want the nice house, late model car(s), vacations, the expensive cable package, eating out, etc. just like they have, but then with same income on which they may barely be getting by we want 2 additional kids AND to send all of them to expensive private schools/camps?”

    Many have far from 4 kids-do not drive late model cars-my wife and I have 2 a 93 and a 99-the 93 we bought-the 99 received as a hand me down after my father died and my mother stopped driving a couple of years later . I earn more than the national average-but sick of the rants by those with or those klei kodesh who feel against typical above average income Americans.

  217. Steve Brizel on March 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm
    Abba wrote in part:

    “” I think the lack of MO klei kodesh is because we don’t respect the klei kodesh fields (mostly because they generally have limited income potential) and we discourage our kids (directly or indirectly) from entering them. (i also wonder if its because of an inferiority complex that some of us have?)””
    Of course, there are really no MO yeshivot left-thus who are trained by non MO Rabbonim are not likely to be MO-even if they went to the Yeshiva as MO.

  218. MiMedinat HaYam

    to mycroft — while i agree with you in principle (?principal?) —

    many ppl earn more than the prez, vp, governors, even the executives of fannie / freddi mae etc.

    if you dont like the fact its a non profit for private inurement — dont donate, tell those that donate not to (most of of them arent as naive as you seem to be; they know / or must know, a la current madoff claims / that some quote executives unquote are making six figures) and / or publicize it on a relevant place, not (only) on hirhurim. as far as the irs is concerned, i believe its ok. (the board is “supposedly” independent.)

    they are both (i presume) fundraisers and mechanchim simultaneously (mechanchim in the morning, fundraisers in the evening.) (or maybe not. should be checked out. and perhaps clarified on the 990.) i know that because i remember a high school (bta) principal of mine who once told us he was doing fundraising too. (not too succesfully, i presume.) the measure of a fundraiser is how much $ he fundraises.

  219. Steve brizel:

    “I rest my case”

    Which case?

  220. You might not call the school administration’s MO. But the fact is that the schools in MO communities pay a premium for YU graduates and outside of NY there is a definite shortage. The staff at MTA, TABC, Frisch, Ramaz, Halb, Haftr etc.. are almost exclusively YU graduates. Outside NY this is not the case. There are 2 possible reasons:
    1) not enough supply of YU-educated mechanchim
    2) schools outside NY do not care

    1 is the problem, not 2.

    Inside YU, it is widely known that the best candidates remain in NY. Why move out of town unless there is a big salary bump or administrative position. The schools in NY have openings, pay well, are closer to family and to their yeshiva rebbeim and there are more “serious” students from a learning perspective. As a general rule, the top students (defined as those going to KBY, Shaalvim or Gush) from out of town can not read a gemara as well as the top “in town” graduates. It is a fact and there are many reasons for it, but that is a different discussion.

  221. I’m shocked no one linked to Frost’s “Mending Wall” – “Good fences make good neighbors.” (NOT)
    KT

  222. “Abba’s Rantings on March 4, 2011 at 11:25 am
    FORMER YU:

    “there are many more opportunities for MO mechanchim than chareidi ones”

    if you’re talking about limude kodesh, no way. MO schools will hire both MO and haredi teachers. some schools might prefer MO rebbeim, but there mostly also have haredi rebbeim (my very MO school did). and there are MO (or pseudo-MO) schools where the haredi rebbeim dominate, even exclusively so. in some cases this is because the adminsitration itself is haredi or because the school itself serves a mixed population (or aspires to), in others cases it is a practical decision because kollel grad are cheaper than YU grads”

    Agreed
    on the other hand, how many haredi schools would even bother interviewing a MO rebbe?

  223. Interesting (le’havdil) piece in today’s NYT:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/us/05bell.html

  224. “Former YU on March 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    You might not call the school administration’s MO.”
    Certainly Richard Joel is far from Chareidi and to the extent he has an Orthodox ideology it is MO -but I believe it is not likely that the leaders of RIETS or the vast majority of RY are MO. Thus, although a substantial portion of Orthodox schhul members may be MO-the Rabbonim coming out of RIETS since the passing of the Rav had not had an MO training-see the following from Prof Waxman
    “7 This may, in part, help explain the perception of the “move to the right.” It may well be that Modern Orthodox rabbis,
    including those ordained at RIETS in the latter part of the twentieth century, were considerably more to the right
    than were their predecessors. In other words, the move to the right may have been within the RIETS semikhah (ordination)
    program, under the influence of a revisionist approach to the thinking of its revered head, the late Rabbi Joseph
    B. Soloveitchik (“the Rav”), rather than within Orthodoxy as a whole, but is so glaring because rabbis are much more
    visible than the laity. On revisionism with respect to the Rav, see Lawrence Kaplan, “Revisionism and the Rav: The
    Struggle for the Soul of Modern Orthodoxy,” Judaism 48,3 (Summer 1999): 290-311.””
    Frequent Hirhurim blogger Lawrence Kaplan can certainly write about Revisionism of the Ravs viewpoints.Prof Waxman has stated that the so called turn to the right is largely a RIETS isssue. I am following up and explaining why MO musmachim aren’t being produced now in any great numbers.

  225. “The staff at MTA, TABC, Frisch, Ramaz, Halb, Haftr etc.. are almost exclusively YU graduates”

    Not true for all of the above schools. MTA I assume still has almost all YU grads-some of the others have many non YU musmachim.

  226. Joseph Kaplan

    I know about Frisch and not the other schools. I don’t know the percentage of YU musmachim, though I suspect it’s large. What I do know is that the orientation of almost all the limudei kodesh teachers in Frisch is strongly MO and has been for many years (my oldest daughter graduated in ’92; my youngest in ’08, with two in between).

  227. “Joseph Kaplan on March 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm
    I know about Frisch and not the other schools. I don’t know the percentage of YU musmachim, though I suspect it’s large. What I do know is that the orientation of almost all the limudei kodesh teachers in Frisch is strongly MO and has been for many years ”

    I don’t know Frisch-but query how many of the Frisch Rabeeim send their kids to Frisch. I have a contemporary who is a MO pulpit Rabbi who believes strongly that when Rabbeim will not send their kids to the school they teach in-they give the message that they don’t believe in what they are teaching and thus kids will not follow the parents/official school hashkafa. Some will follow the more chareidi viewpoint of the teachers and others will follow nothing. When parents and teachers do not follow the same hashkafa-a plague on both your houses.

  228. “joel rich on March 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm
    I’m shocked no one linked to Frost’s “Mending Wall” – “Good fences make good neighbors.” (NOT)
    KT”
    Maybe that poets of JFKs inaugaral aren’t linked becasue JFKs inaugaral was the major reason why hats stopped being standard dress when men went outside. See old pictures of ballparks-people were wearing hats-many black hats-JFK didn’t like hats-he had his inaugaral hatless. Thus hat wearers may object to honoring Frost. Of course, I don’t own a hat-I do own some caps.

  229. If you want to argue that YU’s musmachim are not MO than I have no response. BTW, your argument illustrates every problem with MO and while I very seldom agree with Dr. Brill, he has a valid point on the following issue. For MO to be a viable philosophy it cannot be defined solely by one person’s actions or ideology, particularly if that person has not been heavily involved in public life for more than 30 years. For example, even if you assume that the Rav held of co-education l’chatchila, is a person not MO b/c he disagrees with that assertion. Can a person be MO and still believe it is not l’chatchila to send his children to Frisch?

    The bottom line is that in NY the vast majority of rebbeim in MO schools went to YU. I would venture to guess that of rebbeim hired within the last 10 years the number of non-YU rebbeim at the NY high schools I mentioned earlier (Ramaz, MTA, Frisch, TABC, HALB) is less than 10% and could be less than 5%.

  230. Joseph Kaplan

    “but query how many of the Frisch Rabeeim send their kids to Frisch.”

    What’s this? Argument by supposedly rhetorical question?

  231. “IH on March 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm
    Except: http://www.snopes.com/history/american/jfkhat.asp :-)”
    Thanks for the link
    So I guess there is something else that my Rabbeim taught me at YU that is incorrect. Of course, JFK spoke the inaugaral address hatless and that is the picture from the papers that I remember from Jan 20-of course “ask not what your country can do for you…” The urban legend started right away. Of course, it probably was the action that accelearated the lack of wearing hats in the street.

  232. “For MO to be a viable philosophy it cannot be defined solely by one person’s actions or ideology, particularly if that person has not been heavily involved in public life for more than 30 years.”
    Agreed-but of course with yeridad hadorot we all define ourselves by prior generations-there clearly are many who I would classify as MO see eg Rabbis Angel, Blau-both Yoseph and Yitzchak, Shlomo Brode, Michael Broyde, Carmy, …Weider etc. Probably about half of those mentioned never met the Rav.

    ” For example, even if you assume that the Rav held of co-education l’chatchila,””
    No reason to suspect otherwise-remember Maimonides had two coed classes per grade-they could have easily had one male-one female class.
    “is a person not MO b/c he disagrees with that assertion.”
    There is not one factor that is a litmus test for MO-but if one chooses in general to accept the chareidi narrative rather than the MO narrative one is not MO.

    “Can a person be MO and still believe it is not l’chatchila to send his children to Frisch? ”
    It depends where he sends his children-if to anothe MO school OK-reasons could be child needs special ed help that Frisch can’t give, teacher lives an hour away too far for child to commute etc-BUT then the crucial question does the teacher send his child to another MO school or a chareidi school.
    As I have written I live very close to a chareidi or pseudo chareidi school-single sex, Rebbes almost all wear beards-don’t believe a single YU musmach on faculty etc. I can’t tell you how many times over decades I’ve seen Rebbes in MO schools parking to either attend Parent teachers conferences or taking kids there for Sunday school. BTW kids who go to the MO schools have seen it and said hello to their Rebbes-the kids know and have stated of course the Rebbes don’t accept my school they are in it for the money. A chareidi teacher teaching in a chareidi school may be in it for the money too BUT he accepts the hashkafa for himself he’ll send his children there- unlike the teacher in MO schools. This may be the reason why you have the situation where some MO kids go to the right and many leave altogether-they realize the teachers don’t believe in what they are being told to believe.

  233. “Joseph Kaplan on March 6, 2011 at 7:44 am
    “but query how many of the Frisch Rabeeim send their kids to Frisch.”

    What’s this? Argument by supposedly rhetorical question?”

    Joe: I believe I’ve explained my position in my 954 post-written obviously after your post-if you still don’t see my position I’ll try and explain it.

  234. Lawrence Kaplan

    I don’t get it Mycroft. You can’t take “yes” for an answer. My brother, all of whose four daughters attended Frisch and who knows the diffeence between MO and Hareidi as well as anyone, categorically affirmed on the basis of extensive first-hand knowledge that the orientation of almost all the Rebbes and limudei kodesh teachers at Fisch is and has been strongly MO. I would have thought you would be happy to hear this. But I guess that for you good news no news.

  235. agreed with mycroft’s 9:54 post

  236. I’d extend the “how do they vote with theier (children’s) feet?” question to rabbis in MO pulpits as well. My guess is I’d not like the answer (but I would certainly understand it because of the MO lite issues)
    KT

  237. Re the case against Sheitel-Were there other religious communities besides LITA where it was accepted among people like wives of Rabbonim and RY not to keep their hair covered?

  238. In ramaz at least the proportion of Limudei kodesh teachers, at least talmud, who did not go to YU is almost certainly well above 10%.

  239. “Of course, it probably was the action that accelearated the lack of wearing hats in the street.”

    “Of course”? It’s a complete myth. No one ever wore hats when speaking. Lincoln didn’t wear a hat when speaking- we have photographs. People stopped wearing hats because clothing became less formal in the sixties, plain and simple.

  240. “Lawrence Kaplan on March 6, 2011 at 10:18 am
    I don’t get it Mycroft. You can’t take “yes” for an answer. My brother, all of whose four daughters attended Frisch and who knows the diffeence between MO and Hareidi as well as anyone, categorically affirmed on the basis of extensive first-hand knowledge that the orientation of almost all the Rebbes and limudei kodesh teachers at Fisch is and has been strongly MO. I would have thought you would be happy to hear this. But I guess that for you good news no news”

    Prof Kaplan: My experience was different than your brothers-I sent my son to a MO school-the vast majority of teachers he had would not send their kids to that school. Many sent their children to more chareidi schools in the neighborhood-as I indicated I would see some of the teachers going to a chareidi school less than 2 miles from where they worked for parents/teachers conferences etc.Frisch may be different -BTW I DO believe that if one were MO one with rare exceptions would send ones child to such a school. If one wishes to find an orientation of a person isn’t one of the best methods the schools they send their children to. Thus, for whatever reason there is which I can’t understand you attack my simple question “query how many of the Frisch Rabeeim send their kids to Frisch”
    Not only was it a simple question but I gave my reason for asking the question immediately afterwards: “I have a contemporary who is a MO pulpit Rabbi who believes strongly that when Rabbeim will not send their kids to the school they teach in-they give the message that they don’t believe in what they are teaching and thus kids will not follow the parents/official school hashkafa.”
    Agree/disagree with me or my premise but it is hardly IMHO “good news no news”

  241. “joel rich on March 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm
    I’d extend the “how do they vote with theier (children’s) feet?” question to rabbis in MO pulpits as well.”
    I agree-another issue. It is clear that a lot of MO parents go to schuls with non MO Rabbonim the following could probably apply to many such schuls:
    There is no evidence in this synagogue of a haredization
    of the community. Its rabbi graduated from Yeshiva
    University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
    (RIETS) in the 1970s and has been in his present position
    for several decades. Presumably, just as “leka ketubba delet
    bah tigra,” “there is no wedding ceremony that does not
    entail some friction,”6 there is no synagogue in which
    there is unqualified love between the rabbi and the congregants.
    There are, however, no overt indications of any
    serious issues between the rabbi and the membership.
    The rabbi is to the right of most of his congregants and
    probably goes along with some of the “modern” drift of
    the congregation with great reluctance.7 But he is firmly
    entrenched there, his congregants appear to view his role
    as very important, and their relations appear to be quite
    amicable.”

    ” My guess is I’d not like the answer (but I would certainly understand it because of the MO lite issues)”
    I agree-essentially the same problem exists in modern pulpit Rabbinates as in mechanchim in MO schools. We were discussing schools-but as to Joel Rich,in haci nami.

  242. Lawrence Kaplan

    Mycroft: That your experience was different from my brothe’s invaldates neither your experience nor his. The issue is not whether Frisch limmudie kodesh teachers send their children to Frisch. It is whether they send their children to MO schools. Surely, if, for example, a Frisch Rebbe chooses to send his daughter, say, to Maayanot rather than to Frisch, that says absolutely nothing about his commitment to MO. It would certainly be worthwhile to take a survey of where teachers of limmudri kodesh in MO schools send their children. My problem is that you do not appear to accord any credence to my brother’s extensive first hand knowledge unless he could provide you with the data you reasonably would wish to have.

  243. Joseph Kaplan

    Two things Mycroft.

    First: your experience is not different than mine. You have no experience with Frisch and that was the ONLY school I was commenting on because I, unlike others, try (not always successfully, I’m sure) not to speak about things that I have no knowledge of. I understand that your experience with your child’s school was different than my experience with mine. But your experience has NO relevance whatsoever to the only thing I was speaking about: Frisch.

    Second: I don’t think your “query” was really a question. As I intimated, I think it was a rhetorical question, but I’m not sure the answer you supposed is actually the correct answer. I’ve thought about the various rebbeim my daughters had and, off the top of my head, can’t think of any who had high school age kids at the time. Nor have I followed where those who subsequently did sent their kids. So neither you nor I (nor anyone else who has posted) know the answer to your question as it relates to Frisch. But what I do know is the haskafa of many of the rebbeim from speaking to them, and not only was MO the haskafa they expressed in class, but it is what I believe they truly believe in.

  244. “Lawrence Kaplan on March 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm
    Mycroft: That your experience was different from my brothe’s invaldates neither your experience nor his.”
    Agreed
    “The issue is not whether Frisch limmudie kodesh teachers send their children to Frisch. It is whether they send their children to MO schools. Surely, if, for example, a Frisch Rebbe chooses to send his daughter, say, to Maayanot rather than to Frisch, that says absolutely nothing about his commitment to MO.”
    Agree with principle-my anecdotal story that MO Rabbi friend contemporary of mine was at my sons Bar Mitzvah party. I guess we sat him with other Rabbis from the school. He asked them each do you send their kids to the school-none of them did-some said we don’t live in the neighborhood-he then asked them what schools do you send them to-of course, none were MO schools in those neighborhoods.

    “It would certainly be worthwhile to take a survey of where teachers of limmudri kodesh in MO schools send their children.”
    Agreed-

    “My problem is that you do not appear to accord any credence to my brother’s extensive first hand knowledge unless he could provide you with the data you reasonably would wish to have”
    I don’t recalll challenging your brothers statements-I may have questioned where they send their kids because IMHO in general that answers the questions of ones MO much more than answers in parent/teachers sessions or open school night etc-others may disagree.
    My challenges to any of yours or your brothers statements have been much gentler than challenges that I receive often in Hirhurim.
    I believe if one reads any of the comments that I have written over the years referring to either you or your brother they average being one of respect.

  245. I find a couple of things intriguing about the teacher argument that took place on Friday (and is still going on today):

    1) Several MO schools (though not many) in the NY area have women as gemara teachers, who are obviously not musmachim of anywhere. Ramaz has at least one in the middle school, though none in the upper school, SAR has several, Ma’ayanot has several, and I know that Central has had in the past, though I’m not sure about now.

    2) Keep in mind that in the last 10 years, YCT has also had several musmachim go into teaching, which would add to the MO pool without being YU musmachim.

  246. Iam not sure where your ramaz numbers come from.
    My review of the Ramaz faculty website shows 6 teachers listed as “Talmud” exclusively. Of these 5/6 have finished riets within the last 10 years. The other is assistant dean, but I have never heard of him. He may be a YU grad as well. There are several male “teacher’s” listed who I know personally teach limudei kodesh and went to YU.

  247. “I believe if one reads any of the comments that I have written over the years referring to either you or your brother they average being one of respect.”

    Prof Kaplan BTW-I don’t recall ever not referring to you or your brother with respect-I may have questioned certain statements but I think if one looks at all my comments they tend to show respect. To paraphrase Gil I don’t have an editor.

  248. “Joseph Kaplan on March 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    Two things Mycroft.

    First: your experience is not different than mine.”
    Agreed

    ” You have no experience with Frisch”
    “agreed and I believe have stated that and that was the ONLY school I was commenting on”
    True-but in general Hirhurim discussions are not local ones-we have frequent bloggers from around North America and Israel-discussions I believe should and do discuss general issues when a local example is given that appears different from others experience it is certainly desireable to get at least some follow up info and or clarifying info.

    “because I, unlike others, try (not always successfully, I’m sure) not to speak about things that I have no knowledge of.”
    I would not make the charge against anyone that they speak about things that they have no knowledge about-I have written many times taht frequent bloggers have a track record oftheir accuracy-thoise who are not accurate will be quickly shown to be so and will quickly lose credibility. Some things that bloggers write about are not facts but opinions-that can be seen in practically all bloggers.

    ” I understand that your experience with your child’s school was different than my experience with mine. But your experience has NO relevance whatsoever to the only thing I was speaking about: Frisch.”
    True-but the reason why people may be interested in either of our experiences is the extent that they represent MO schools-your brother has expressed what I believe better than I have in the following: “The issue is not whether Frisch limmudie kodesh teachers send their children to Frisch. It is whether they send their children to MO schools. Surely, if, for example, a Frisch Rebbe chooses to send his daughter, say, to Maayanot rather than to Frisch, that says absolutely nothing about his commitment to MO. It would certainly be worthwhile to take a survey of where teachers of limmudri kodesh in MO schools send their children. ”

    Second: I don’t think your “query” was really a question. As I intimated, I think it was a rhetorical question, but I’m not sure the answer you supposed is actually the correct answer. I’ve thought about the various rebbeim my daughters had and, off the top of my head, can’t think of any who had high school age kids at the time. Nor have I followed where those who subsequently did sent their kids. So neither you nor I (nor anyone else who has posted) know the answer to your question as it relates to Frisch. But what I do know is the haskafa of many of the rebbeim from speaking to them, and not only was MO the haskafa they expressed in class, but it is what I believe they truly believe in.

  249. Joseph Kaplan

    Mycroft,

    Let’s start over again. There were questions raised and comments made about a number of MO schools, including the valid question of the haskafa of limudei kodesh teachers in MO schools and where the teachers send their own children. I had some first hand information about one of the schools mentioned which I gave. I didn’t mean to say the questions and issues raised were not valid and I understand that other parents have different experiences with their children’s schools than I had with mine. But because of these different experiences I do think it’s important to understand that even though MO schools may, in many ways, share the same basic haskafa, they have different strengths and different problems and cannot be looked at in some monolithic way.

  250. “Several MO schools (though not many) in the NY area have women as gemara teachers”

    Do any of those women teach boys?

  251. “Joseph Kaplan on March 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm
    Mycroft,

    Let’s start over again. There were questions raised and comments made about a number of MO schools, including the valid question of the haskafa of limudei kodesh teachers in MO schools and where the teachers send their own children. I had some first hand information about one of the schools mentioned which I gave. I didn’t mean to say the questions and issues raised were not valid and I understand that other parents have different experiences with their children’s schools than I had with mine. But because of these different experiences I do think it’s important to understand that even though MO schools may, in many ways, share the same basic haskafa, they have different strengths and different problems and cannot be looked at in some monolithic way.”

    Agreed.

  252. Does anyone believe that Torah Vadaath, or Chaim Berlin would hire as a Rebbe someone who sent his children to Yeshiva of Flatbush-why would Yeshiva of Flatbush hire a rebbe who sent his children to Torah Vadaath or Chaim Berlin?

    For the record I never attended any of those institutions.

  253. Former YU,
    My review of their faculty list also shows 6 talmud teachers, though one is also the israel advisor. I too do not know where the assistant dean went to college, but at least one of the 6, with initials JW, did not go to YU toi the best of my knowledge, so that is one or 2 out of 6, but even 1 out of six is more than 10%. And I am not being technical here. My (implicit) point point earlier was that it was not true that a negligible number of faculty were not from YU. BTW, one very prominent member of that group who _did_ go to YC/REITS does not send his young children to Ramaz, and will almost certainly not do so in the future, certainly not of his own free will.

  254. Yes, but JW does have an academic degree in Jewish history, hardly chareidi. Also, as I noted all the recent hires are from YU. Finally, there are several other names not listed as Talmud who I know teach Talmud there and did go to YU.
    I may agree that to it is a negative for schools that teachers do not want to send their children there, but that does not make those teachers not MO.

  255. Not every faculty member has to send his children to that school. To reemphasize a point made earlier, just because one is a rebbe in Ramaz or Frisch doesn’t mean that it is necessarily appropriate for his children to that institution. At the same time, sending them to a haredi school isn’t sending the best message. But what’s wrong with sending those children to TABC/Maayanot/MTA etc. all MO schools but with a slightly different orientation. Especially because these teachers know firsthand some of the problems with those institutions. Also I’m wouldn’t be surprised that some of the people who complain about the tuition breaks that some schools offer their faculty are the same ones who are complaining when those teachers send their children to other schools (not necessarily anyone who has commented here but in general). Isn’t this some kind of double standard?

  256. ““Several MO schools (though not many) in the NY area have women as gemara teachers”

    Do any of those women teach boys?”

    Definitely at SAR (all classes except for gym are coed). I’d imagine also at Ramaz, though as I mentioned, it looks like all of the high school faculty for gemara are male; only the middle school has female gemara teachers listed.

  257. Former YU
    Agree that JW is not particularly chareidi. I was responding (I thought) to a comment specifically about the YU origins of faculty of day schools (in this case Ramaz). But while the recent hires are all YU, I’m not sure that represents a shift in hiring philosophy. (Though it may be that the current admin _does_ care more about that. BTW, there are YU educated teachers of secular studies at Ramaz who have decidedly non-MO (by my lights)approaches to history and science. (Not science teachers though, AFAIK).

  258. “But what’s wrong with sending those children to TABC/Maayanot/MTA etc. all MO schools but with a slightly different orientation. ”

    Agreed-but the problem is hypothetically if a Rebbe in Ramaz sends his kids to Torah Vaddaath. Most important if a Rebbe sends his kid to a chareidi school in the same neighborhood as the MO school that he teaches in. The issue is most obvious in elementary/junior highwhere it is clear that parents still control where their children attend school.

  259. Lawrence Kaplan

    Mycroft: There are enough real problems to worry about without having to worry about hypothetical ones. What appears encouraging is that while the picture is still not entirely clear, the general trend seems to be that over the past two or three decades the ratio of MO rebbes vis-a-vis Haredi Rebbes teaching in MO schools seems to have improved. Would you agree with this? Or is this news just too good for you to accept?

  260. “Lawrence Kaplan on March 7, 2011 at 10:29 am
    Mycroft: There are enough real problems to worry about without having to worry about hypothetical ones.”
    I don’t consider the education of our children a hypothetical problem.

    “What appears encouraging is that while the picture is still not entirely clear, the general trend seems to be that over the past two or three decades the ratio of MO rebbes vis-a-vis Haredi Rebbes teaching in MO schools seems to have improved. Would you agree with this?”
    I’m not sure-I am not all sure that the Rebbeim where I went to HS are more MO than when I went there-true more that two or three decades since I went to HS.-I have no reason to believe one way or the other-to the best of my knowledge I have not seen any studies on the issue.

    “Or is this news just too good for you to accept?”
    See the following footnote from Prof Waxman:

    “This may, in part, help explain the perception of the “move to the right.” It may well be that Modern Orthodox rabbis,
    including those ordained at RIETS in the latter part of the twentieth century, were considerably more to the right
    than were their predecessors. In other words, the move to the right may have been within the RIETS semikhah (ordination)
    program, under the influence of a revisionist approach to the thinking of its revered head, the late Rabbi Joseph
    B. Soloveitchik (“the Rav”), rather than within Orthodoxy as a whole, but is so glaring because rabbis are much more
    visible than the laity. On revisionism with respect to the Rav, see Lawrence Kaplan, “Revisionism and the Rav: The
    Struggle for the Soul of Modern Orthodoxy,” Judaism 48,3 (Summer 1999): 290-311″

    It may well be that even musmachim of YU in general are no longer MO and have turned to the right.

  261. Prof Kaplan: Would you consider a teacher that teaches the 2nd Beis Hamikdash lasted 420 years and thus was built around 350BCE MO?
    My impression far more MO schools will now use Seder Olam dates rather than generally accepted historical dates.

  262. MiMedinat HaYam

    to mycroft (and jlan, since you named the school)

    that teacher (drisha graduate) has difficulty getting her (male) students accepted to “our” yeshivot in israel.

    is the school doing a disservice to its students (graduates) by hiring a woman to teach gemara?

  263. Lawrence Kaplan

    Mycroft: You were the one who first introduced the word “hypothetical” to the discussion.

    I’m curious about the basis for your impression re Day Schools and Seder Olam.

    Somehow, the glass in your perception is always half empty.

  264. “MiMedinat HaYam on March 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm
    to mycroft (and jlan, since you named the school)

    that teacher (drisha graduate) has difficulty getting her (male) students accepted to “our” yeshivot in israel.

    is the school doing a disservice to its students (graduates) by hiring a woman to teach gemara?”
    Sadly IMHO if the reason why that school can’t get kids into a Yeshiva in Israel that kids from that school regularly would wish to attend that school is doing a disservice to its students. I would addthat the Yeshivot are acting immoral IF the reason they won’t accept a kid is that their teacher was a woman!!!

  265. “Lawrence Kaplan on March 8, 2011 at 12:07 am
    Mycroft: You were the one who first introduced the word “hypothetical” to the discussion.”
    I used the term “hypothetical” in the following:
    “Agreed-but the problem is hypothetically if a Rebbe in Ramaz sends his kids to Torah Vaddaath. Most important if a Rebbe sends his kid to a chareidi school in the same neighborhood as the MO school that he teaches in. The issue is most obvious in elementary/junior highwhere it is clear that parents still control where their children attend school”
    The “hypothetical”-was used for my example of a Rebbe in Ramaz sending his kids to Torah Vadaath.I know of no such case.Of course, I don’t know Ramaz or Torah Vadaath-BUT I clearly know of equivalent examples in my neighborhood-if you notice I try and avoid using examples involving people that are not PUBLICLY available. I will express my opinions about issues, institutions-but I try and avoid mentioning facts involving specific individuals that are not publicly available.

    “I’m curious about the basis for your impression re Day Schools and Seder Olam.”
    It started decades ago when I saw a mural on a wall in a MO school about Jewish history with dates only following seder Olam. My impression to the extent that Jewish history is taught the books in Orthodox schools in general follow Seder Olam.When I went to Yeshiva it was my impression that hardly anyone accepted the Seder Olam dates as a realistic historical possibility.

    “Somehow, the glass in your perception is always half empty.”
    Perhaps the reverse is unfortunately true the narrative expressed in mainstream Anglo Press responds to advertisements and machers of Boards-there is nothing gained except for the Forward in writing news and analysis which goes against the preferred narrative of the major institutions. Was I one already in YU who felt Kohelet spoke to me better than Shir Hashirim-yes-but what should count is are my facts accurate and is my narrative accurate.

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