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Torat HaRav Aviner: Celebrating Purim after a Terrorist Attack
Made in Heaven
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Who’s an (Orthodox) oleh?
Israel’s chief rabbi: Some Diaspora clergy allow conversions for cash
Chayov Inish Livsumei? No, Says NCSY, Once Again Discouraging Drinking on Purim
German academic reveals secret Israeli Eichmann transcripts
Rabbi Tendler Is Exhibit A In Brain Death Dispute (yes joke)
Where are the Women in the Maccabeats Video? (no joke)
SALT Thursday
Remembering Rav Moshe On His 25th Yahrzeit
Modern Flavors Transform a Purim Tradition
Megillah readings to bring Israelis together
Rabbi Lichtenstein to Zionist rabbis: “Some humility, please”
Airline apologizes for plane prayer scare
Federations Face Tough Questions About Ties to Left-Wing Groups
The real Rami Levy
Chalav Yisrael Baby Formula in Short Supply
SALT Wednesday
Driving with tefillin
Website lets Jewish mothers find match for son, daughter
Israelis observe five minutes for Shalit
Chabad on the Frontlines of Humanitarian Relief in Japan
R. Matisyahu Salomon: Dormitory is Not Ideal for Yeshiva Bochurim
Being a Chabadnik in ‘sin city’
Why Arranged Marriages Go the Distance
Don’t believe gloomy forecasts on Conservative Judaism
R. Michael Broyde: The Case for the Sheitel
SALT Tuesday
Thinking About Chinuch: Color War in School – Why?
Boys in Japan Jail Thankfully Unaffected by Earthquake and Tsunami
Book Review: The Eichmann Trial
R. David Fohrman: Looking at Law Through Purim’s Prism
Jewish Day Schools Unveil Free Yeshiva Tuition Program
Give to the OU’s Victims of Terrorism Fund
SALT Monday
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About Gil Student

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

174 comments

  1. “Jewish Day Schools Unveil Free Yeshiva Tuition Program”

    is this only for one year or for the duration? my understanding is the that it’s the former?
    and it’s only for new students. kol hakavod for any initiative that seeks to include non-day school families within the day school orbit. (new york schools should learn from this example.)
    but this sounds more like those one year, interest free credit cards.
    what then after the first year?
    throwing more money at a problem isn’t always the best solution.

  2. My school had color war. I can’t think of a better example of a complete waste of time and energy.

  3. “is this only for one year or for the duration?”

    The website referred to in the article specifically says “Free year of tuition is for the 2011/2012 school year only.”

  4. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    i saw that, but i wondered if perhaps it’s a pilot program this year and if successful will be extended.
    otherwise this is really an initiative to attract non day-school familes (which is good), but nothing to do with putting a dent in the “tuition crisis”

  5. To our Rosh Yeshiva R. Student,
    The silence on this website regarding whether outside nations should intervene in the current situation in Lybia is “deafening”. In my opinion, this is a highly significant moral (and hence halakhic) question on the table (in terms of Hilkhot Bnei Noach) that merits Torah discussion.

  6. And now to identify the sources for such a discussion: RJDB has a chapter regarding the authority of a Noahide state to punish criminals in Benetivot Hahalakhah I, pp. 85-105 [-an English equivalent of which appears in Contemporary Halakhic Problems Vol. 4, ch. 4]. He also has a chapter regarding the authority of Noahides to impose capital punishment in Benetivot Hahalakhah II, pp. 153-168 [-and English equivalent of which appears in Contemporary Halakhic Problems Vol. 2].

    Although not published in written form, RJDB comments in an oral lecture that the Noahide Code does not take cognizance of political borders per se, in the sense that if there is crime in one part of the world, the duty devolves upon Noahides who have the ability in another part of the world (even if thousands of kilometers away) to bring the miscreant to justice, under the Noahide commandment of “dinim”.
    http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/711600/Rabbi_Dr._J._David_Bleich/War_I_of_II
    Presumably, there is at least one Noahide nowadays who fits RJDB’s description of a Noahide observer who enjoys the capacity to intervene, and his name is Barack Obama, the de facto human supervisor of the Noahide Code throughout the globe.

    What confuses me about the current situation in Libya is who is the miscreant and who is the victim who needs to be saved. Maybe President Obama should give RJDB a telephone call to request moral guidance. Or better yet, maybe the warring parties in Libya should call an immediate ceasefire and bring their dispute before an emergency Din Torah.

  7. I love reading R’ David Fohrman’s analysis of Tanach!

  8. Michael Rogovin

    “With the massive earthquake in Japan, all of Klal Yisroel is wondering how it has affected our dear brothers in prison over there.”

    ‘Glad’ to know that this is what is concerning our community. Not the tens of thousands of dead, the looming nuclear disaster or the disruption of lives for millions of people.

  9. Yet more proof that “all of Klal Yisroel” needs its collective head examined.

  10. R’ Michael Rogovin and R’ MJ,
    Yi’yasher kochakhem; you are certainly correct. A Jew must be diligently concerned with the welfare of all human beings, as underscored by R. Aharon Lichtenstein’s article “Jewish Philanthropy – Whither?” in Tradition 42:4. In fact, I’m sure the author of the statement agrees with you. His statement presumably means that there is a halakhic priority for Jewish concern toward fellow Jews before others, as one would expect a family to look after its own members before addressing the important needs of outsiders. But, ein hakhi nami, all of humanity is one large family, and is assuredly deserving of our attention.

  11. I’ll admit I didn’t give much thought to the Jewish smugglers convicted criminals who are in a Japanese prison because they chose to play dumb while knowingly smuggling and possibly do untold damage to civil society in the process. How many would have been damaged or killed had they succeeded? They’re lucky they got caught! I was too distracted by the tragedy of thousands dead, thousands missing, and the continuing threat for a nuclear disaster – an especially horrid and unspeakable thought in Japan, of all places. Forgive me if the safety of the criminals slipped my mind.

  12. MiMedinat HaYam

    to r spira:

    any jewish intervention (qua jews) will only exacerbate any proposed resolution.

    besides, i dont know if the proper jewish response isnt to support the current govts of jordan, saudim, bahrain, yemen. never thought i’d say something like this. i’m a “right winger”.

    perhaps you would call a din torah to determine which of the two resolutions we should encourage.

    2. colowar — i dont know if the educator who wrote the article is of a high school or elematary school, but i think its foolish for a high school. unless its a kiruv issue. (and even then …)

    3. i think those communities that $encourage$ young couples to move in offer free tuition for a year.

    4. i got an email from the o-u to give to japan. didnt receive one to give to terror victims. then again, the o-u doesnt have a good record on that issue (promoted oslo.)

  13. MiMedinat HaYam

    to joel rich — a post on a web site one has to find out differs from an email blast.

    2. plz post your shiur in aabdj — its an intersting topic.

  14. r’mh,
    1.agree
    2.how did you hear about it?

    r’gil,
    http://www.vosizneias.com/78583/2011/03/14/new-york-why-arranged-marriages-go-the-distance
    talk about how to pick the independent variable in a study (how about looking at the whole culture rather than the arrangedness)
    KT

  15. “any jewish intervention (qua jews) will only exacerbate any proposed resolution.”

  16. mycroft on March 15, 2011 at 4:42 am
    “any jewish intervention (qua jews) will only exacerbate any proposed resolution.”

    Agreed

  17. “talk about how to pick the independent variable in a study (how about looking at the whole culture rather than the arrangedness)
    KT”

    I have made a similar comment about the difficulty of accepting day schools PR about how successful they have been-compare their underlying populations to non day school populations.

  18. How about comparing the study re arranged marriages with last Sunday’s NY Times Magazine article that profiled a series of couples who were getting divorced? I thought that the none of the couples in the article in the NY Times could articulate a reason for getting married in the first place.

  19. “I’ll admit I didn’t give much thought to the Jewish smugglers convicted criminals who are in a Japanese prison because they chose to play dumb while knowingly smuggling and possibly do untold damage to civil society in the process. How many would have been damaged or killed had they succeeded? They’re lucky they got caught! I was too distracted by the tragedy of thousands dead, thousands missing, and the continuing threat for a nuclear disaster – an especially horrid and unspeakable thought in Japan, of all places. Forgive me if the safety of the criminals slipped my mind.”

    While my main focus is also the nuclear crisis and loss of in Japan, please get your facts straight and don’t make unsupported claims about the three bochurim. My goodness, I see you like to throw around the term “criminals”, when in fact only bachur has been convicted, with no appeal because he was transferred to an Israeli prison, one was convicted and is on appeal (and I hope he wins his appeal – see latest Mishpacha Magazine article on some of the problems with the State’s case against them) and one is still is still on trial! You can criticize the focus on the bachurim at this time without putting them down based on your dislike for Chareidim, which is evidenced by most of your posts I’ve seen here.

  20. Rafael Araujo on March 15, 2011 at 8:35 am,

    Without backing the tone of Mr. Scher or all his points,

    You just conceded that 2 of the 3 are indeed convicted criminals. Moreover, the Mishpacha article you cited termed them “innocent” but, reading what was available online, it in fact was saying they were “blind mules” who thought they were smuggling in religious articles. That is still a crime, albeit a far lesser one.

  21. Re tefillin: If it’s harmful to the tefillin to leave them in the car, there’s an easy solution–just wear them to work.

    Re arranged marriages: Yeshivishe people don’t have arranged marriages. They have arranged meetings which may lead to voluntary marriages. True, they’re under various forms of pressure to make a fairly quick decision, but that doesn’t make the marriage arranged. The proof is that some people go out with dozens of prospects before getting married.

    Chasidishe people, on the other hand, have arranged marriages (with a limited veto power). Or at least so I understand; I have no first-hand knowledge.

  22. With all due respect, they are convicted criminals in the Japanese criminal justice system. This system operates where persons charged are in all likelihood going to be convicted. Being a lawyer here in Toronto and having represented individuals on criminal and quasi-criminal matters here, calling two of the bachurim convicted criminals in a system where the result is almost guaranteed is an insult to justice, fairness, and the rule of law. In other words, on the basis of principles of justice, the Japanese system is not a just system, despite the fact that it operates within a democratic political system.

    You are correct about the theory of the article, which is that prosecutors, by going after and convicting “blind mules” are barking up the wrong tree and let the dealers of the hook.

    I agree with you that its Scher’s tone, which is consistent with his anti-Chareidi bias, and which many here share, that got me all riled up. I certainly agree that the comments he and others are criticizing are certainly misplaced in comparison to the human tragedy we see unfolding in Japan, he used his critique to slag the bachurim. I wonder what Mr. Scher would do if it was his own son in such a situation? I shudder to think.

  23. MYCROFT:

    “I have made a similar comment about the difficulty of accepting day schools PR about how successful they have been-compare their underlying populations to non day school populations”

    agreed. compare apples and apples. i.e., compare with a public school whose student body hails from a comparable cultural-value and socio-economic profile. also, day schools are self selective. it’s easy to prove superiority when you aren’t mandated to enroll every single applicant no matter what type of learning or other disabilities he/she may have.

  24. HAGTBG:

    “Without backing the tone of Mr. Scher or all his points”

    i know he doesn’t sign with any title, but if we’re going to use a title with reference to him it should be rabbi.

    RAFAEL:

    “the Japanese system is not a just system”

    i know this is what the claim that their defenders are playing up, but is it really true? i have no idea either way, but i’m just curious what is the position of amnesty international, other western governments, etc.

    in any case, what turns off a lot off a lot of people and turns them against the bochrim is the constant publicity claims that they are completely innocent. but they aren’t. no one denies that they had intent to break the law. the only question is which law. they may or may not be innocent of (intentional) drug smuggling, but they knowingly broke the law.

    so if their defenders would argue that the japanese ciminial justice system is unfair, that they are being mistreated, they are being unreasonably sentenced, they are are nebechs, etc., maybe i would get on board. these might be reasonable claims. but not with the standard presentation of them being holy martyrs.

    “I wonder what Mr. Scher would do if it was his own son in such a situation?”

    a la golda meir, i would expect him to do everything in his power to get his son freed.

  25. Rafael Araujo-your point re the Japanese criminal justice system is well taken, but travellers from the US to any foreign country should never presume that the American legal system’s norms operate in a foreign country.

  26. the op-ed on the vitality of the conservative movement is a real spin piece. despite what he presents about the world-wide conservative movement, the fact remains that in the US it is shrinking. also he ignores the “hashkafic” chasm between the US conservative movement and some of its foreign branches.

    regarding the yeshivah dorms, i’m not sure what age he is addressing, but i’ve never understand the practice of shipping off teenagers. this is when kids need their parents the most.

  27. “so if their defenders would argue that the japanese ciminial justice system is unfair, that they are being mistreated, they are being unreasonably sentenced, they are are nebechs, etc., maybe i would get on board. these might be reasonable claims. but not with the standard presentation of them being holy martyrs.”

    Agreed. I believe that their supporters have not done a very good or precise job of representing the merits of their case and certainly presenting them as innocent (I believe naive is a better description of their mindset) has not worked in their favour.

    “Rafael Araujo-your point re the Japanese criminal justice system is well taken, but travellers from the US to any foreign country should never presume that the American legal system’s norms operate in a foreign country.”

    I agree. In general, most East Asian countries have zero tolerance for any crime, which fits with the mores of their respective cultures. This is should be something known by Westerners. I believe that these bachurim had no clue about the rigidity of Japanese culture, as opposed to the more informal Israeli societal standards, and they were in for quite a shock.

  28. Re: dorms. I wonder if the idea of dorms is really a modern day (even though there were dorms in early 20th century yeshivas in Lita) implementation of the Litivish yeshiva experience, where a young bochur would leave his family learn in a yeshiva and have minimal contact with his family while at yeshiva.

  29. I’m a bad person. When the tsunami hit, I didn’t think about the Japanese people or about the bachurim in jail. Sure, I felt bad in a general way, but the suffering is so great that it’s hard to relate to it.

    It’s easier to relate to something like the Chilean miners, which was a rescue story involving a limited number of people. But to be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to that story either. As I said, I’m a bad person.

    Now, if we really cared about human suffering, our focus would be on Africa. A million Africans die of malaria each year, and many could be saved by an inexpensive mosquito net. Many others could be saved by providing access to clean water.

    Africa is a very poor continent, while Japan, despite the difficulties its economy has experienced, remains a rich place. It ranks third in the world in gross domestic product, behind the U.S. and China.

    Nobody can replace the people who have died, but economically, Japan should rebound well from this disaster, just as New York rebounded from 9/11. If one is truly interested in helping non-Jews, Africa should be the focus of one’s efforts.

  30. i know he doesn’t sign with any title, but if we’re going to use a title with reference to him it should be rabbi.

    I did not know he was a rabbi and used the standard honorific. No insult was intended.

    With all due respect, they are convicted criminals in the Japanese criminal justice system. This system operates where persons charged are in all likelihood going to be convicted.

    This is also the case in the United States: if you are charged you are likely to be convicted. And, anecdotally, the only criminal defense counsel I’ve spoken to believe that most of their clients are indeed guilty. Is the US also not a just system, as you term the Japanese system?

    I believe that these bachurim had no clue about the rigidity of Japanese culture, as opposed to the more informal Israeli societal standards, and they were in for quite a shock.

    This too does not make the Japanese system unjust.

  31. Well, I have a different perspective from the defence attorney you spoke with. I have personally seen, in action, pure police sloppiness, negligence, and manipulation of evidence. I disagree with your friend’s assessment and I put guilt at about between 50 to 80%, a far cry from the Japanese conviction rate, which sits at 99%! A 99% conviction rate means more than “most are guilty” perspective. It supports quite well the contention that the Japanese courts are rubber stamping a policy of criminal convictions, evidence be damned.

  32. The Mirrer Yeshiva, 1935:

    “The Yeshiva had no dormitories, so the student boarded with the townspeople. Small groups of six to eight students banded together in private homes and hired the baalaboste, the wife or widow of a house owner, to look after them. In general, the homes were only able to accommodate two students for sleeping. I lodged in the home of a Torah scribe and ate in the home of a widow, Etka Miranka, the latter name given to her because she lived in Miranka street. Etka catered for seven young men, among whom were Polish, American, English, and Irish students. Etka had two sons and a daughter who served at the table.”

    By Rabbi Theodore Lewis, who passed away recently and was for many years rabbi of the Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI.

    http://pages.uoregon.edu/rkimble/Mirweb/RememberMir.html

  33. Scott,

    I read somewhere recently (I believe in the HaModia) that bachurim had a dorm in Radin. Of course, I don’t have perfect recall at my age.

  34. R’ MiMedinat Hayam and R’ Mycroft,
    Thank you for kind responses and insights. I think it only redounds to the credit of Jewry that a morally principled stand on Lybia is taken. The question, however, is what the moral stance should be (i.e. what the Halakhah is). Indeed, I left a telephone message on RJDB’s answering machine last night seeking his opinion.

  35. “Small groups of six to eight students banded together in private homes”

    isn’t that essntisch?

  36. Rafael,

    Don’t know about Radin. Perhaps you were thinking of Lublin:

    “The Yeshiva was built between 1924 and 1930 thanks to the donations of Jews from all over the world on the initiative and due to the efforts of Rabbi Jehuda Meir Shapiro. . . . The imposing five floor building housed a dormitory for 200 people, a lecture hall being at the same time a synagogue, a conference room and a library containing 10,000 books as well as reading rooms.”

    http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/article/lublin/11,synagogues-prayer-houses-and-others/140,the-chachmej-lublin-yeshiva-the-yeshiva-of-the-sages-from-lublin-85-lubartowska-street-/

    But I think this was an innovation at the time.

  37. Abba, I think the expression was essenteg, or eating days. Students would eat each day in a different home.

  38. My Safrut rebbe in YU- a real iconoclast- pointed out that the only pasul tefillin he’d ever seen were *really* passul- they were never worn and bookworms had gotten into them. If you wear them every day and don’t notice anything externally wrong (e.g., they don’t get into water or out in the sun or heat too long), you may even be best never opening them. Even the retzuot should stay fresh for at least decades thanks to the oils in your skin.

  39. Nachum: I loved that guy. I lost my tefillin while studying under him and he made me new tefillin as a class project (I paid for the materials).

  40. SCOTT:

    yes, essentog. haven’t heard about it since high school.

    NACHUM:

    what is the difference between tefillin and mezuzot regarding frequency of inspection?

  41. MiMedinat HaYam

    yeshiva studenbts eating in private homes — improper. why, next thimg you’ll know, they’ll be exposed to the outside world, they’ll start learning about distgusting (non yeshivish) things like work, and eventually, start reading (bad) web sites.

    above satire.

    actually , many lakewood offshoots locate in out of the way towns just so that they’ll have little or no intereactions with the general public. (but the RY isnt stupid — he still wants the locals to donate to his yeshiva. follishly, some do.)

    2. my father often mentions families of those he / his brother’s hy”d ate “teg” by. (the phrase is “essen” ( = eat) “teg” )( = day).

    and the revolution of yeshiva chachmei lublin was that students did not eat teg, but ate in the dorms.

    and “teg” also means living in private homes, not necessarily the one you ate by, that day.

    the point is, lifelong ties were created by the “teg” system.

    call it “networking.”

    3. is the writer advocating wearing the tfillin while driving? eitherway, i see no damage to my tfilin in the trunk of my car for several years. (yes, i get it checked twice in seven years. or so.)

    mezuzot technically dont have to be checked, but …

  42. “MYCROFT:

    “I have made a similar comment about the difficulty of accepting day schools PR about how successful they have been-compare their underlying populations to non day school populations”

    agreed. compare apples and apples. i.e., compare with a public school whose student body hails from a comparable cultural-value and socio-economic profile. also, day schools are self selective. it’s easy to prove superiority when you aren’t mandated to enroll every single applicant no matter what type of learning or other disabilities he/she may have.”

    Agreed-even taking into account that day schools are self selective there was an eye opener in many suburban NY counties about a decade ago. NYS gave I believe 4th and 8th grade achievement tests and released the test scores of both publicand private schools-and in the suburbs many public schools scores beat the day schools in the same area. Of course what happened is that the private schools were furious and lobbied and since then only public schools scores have been released.

  43. MYCROFT:

    “only public schools scores have been released”

    only public school scores are published, but you can get any school’s score from albany. (i called up once to inquire, but never followed through.)

  44. “Thank you for kind responses and insights. I think it only redounds to the credit of Jewry that a morally principled stand on Lybia is taken”

    One has to be very careful in taking a “moral position” advocating putting people at risk when ones own group will in general not be putting their lives at risk.

  45. “mezuzot technically dont have to be checked”

    not mezuzot either? can someone please elaborate re. checking tefillin and mezuzot (r. enkin, how about a post?)

  46. mezuzot – 2 per 7 unless in exposed position
    tfillin-never unless reason to doubt
    kach shamati
    KT

  47. Abba’s Rantings on March 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm
    MYCROFT:

    ““only public schools scores have been released”

    only public school scores are published, but you can get any school’s score from albany. (i called up once to inquire, but never followed through.)”

    Are you sure? If they were public then for starters some paper would get the info to publish it.My impression is that since private schools don’t have to give the test as they don’t have to have the same amount of school days and they have the right to offer non Regents diplomas-the Regents backed off from publishing them. But my recollection could be wrong,

  48. MiMedinat HaYam: I received an email from the OU 2 days ago asking for a donation to their Victims of Terrorism fund. It began- “The heavens wept and the quiet solitude of Shabbos was shattered as news surfaced of the bloodthirsty terrorist attack in Itamar,Israel…”

  49. MYCROFT:

    “Are you sure?”

    i don’t remember the specifics, but they definately told me i could get the scores when i called. maybe i had to request in writing, or for one school at a time? i don’t remember. unless they gave me they wrong info.

    “private schools don’t have to give the test”

    says who?
    i don’t know either way, but i would assume that they have to give the test in order to get state money? otherwise why would the yeshivos give the tests to begin with if they don’t have to?

    “If they were public then for starters some paper would get the info to publish it.”

    big deal. so no paper has thought it about or is intereted. doesn’t mean the info isn’t public. propose it to the jewish week and i bet you they run with it.

    alternatively it would make a nice Ed.D. thesis

    “they don’t have to have the same amount of school days”

    true, with the footnote that the upk programs in yeshivos are required to have the same number of school days in order to be elligible for state funding

  50. ““private schools don’t have to give the test”

    says who?”
    Private schools in NYS since about 1942 have clearly not had to follow NYS standards-there are expensive non sectarian private schools that brag they don’t give Regents

    “”i don’t know either way, but i would assume that they have to give the test in order to get state money?””
    In the US there are serious constitutional limitations about what aid is permissible to religious schools-in NY the Blaine Amendment is even more restrictive. Most aid that you see in schools is reality aid by the school districts to their residents. Thus, a school district could easily demand that the individual student go to the public school district and borrow and then return the individual books to them. I knew of one suburban school district that was seriously considering it-obviously not a School Board controlled by non public school parents.

    “otherwise why would the yeshivos give the tests to begin with if they don’t have to?”
    For starters assuming arguendo that schools care even a little bit about their students it gives them objective data aboutthe individuals knowledge-but if I recall correctly the schools that gave the test in general were MO schools with a few chareidi ones mixed in. Why do MO day schools offer AP courses-not required. MO schools often try to market get the bost of both worlds-for some that is true sadly for many they get very little of either world.

    ““If they were public then for starters some paper would get the info to publish it.”

    big deal. so no paper has thought it about or is intereted. doesn’t mean the info isn’t public. propose it to the jewish week and i bet you they run with it.”
    Of course, theJewish Week and Forward would run with it-of course if the figures could be spun positively for the Yeshivot Hamodia and the JP would print it.

  51. Absolutely right about the dorms in chachmei lublin being an innovation. Rav Meir Shapiro decided to make dorms because before that bochrim were sleeping on the benches in women’s sections of shuls and beis medrishes and on the floors of shops and starving half of the time (when it wasn’t their essen tag). There is a very moving chapter on the gashmius state of the yeshiva bochrim outside of Lublin in A Blaze in the Darkening Gloom. RMS felt that it was too much to ask in terms of mesirus nefesh and that a lot of people were turned off from learning in yeshiva because of the situation. But bringing the dormitory idea to communities in which the families who are perfectly well off live within walking distance doesn’t seem to make much sense, especially considering some of the unpleasant and/or evil things we hear about dormitories…

  52. Abba:

    I don’t recall exactly, but I think if the mezuza is outdoors, it might be different. But note that both have a chazaka of kashrut so long as they’re not opened.

    Gil:

    There’s a shiur of R’ Schneid on YUTorah, where he discusses, for example, how it’s perfectly fine to write STAM using a liquid rollerball pen you can get in any store. (As long as it’s black, of course.) He also approved of using simple block letters. Yes, you too can write a Sefer Torah! (The parchment is really, really expensive, though.)

  53. mor: That’s a pro-Israel, Jewish, conserative columnist.

  54. “For starters assuming arguendo that schools care even a little bit about their students….”

    Tsk, tsk.

  55. MYCROFT:

    “In the US there are serious constitutional limitations about what aid is permissible to religious schools . . .”

    of course, but perhaps even whatever limited aid that is given is predicated on adhering to certain standard, including administering various tests? just guessing.

    “there are expensive non sectarian private schools that brag they don’t give Regents”

    e.g., ramaz (iirc). but they don’t brag about not giving regents in of itself, but rather because regents are irrelevant to the very selective schools their graduates are attending (no YU or queens college for these kids)

  56. I loved the journal article-
    glad to know that chalav yisrael is only a chassidic issue glad to know that sakanta chamura misura is not an operative concern and glad to know that chalav yisrael doesn’t exist in the US since it requires that ” the milk has to be watched by a kosher supervisor from the time it leaves the cow,”
    KT

  57. Apparently humility is a one-way street.

  58. R. Enkin – R. Shlomo Zalmen in Halichos Shlomo, Hilchos Tefilla 4, note 52 says that nowadays one does not need to check mezuzas twice every seven years.

    Gil – Interesting article in Jewish Press on Reb Moshe Feinstein’s 25 yahrtzeit: http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/47598

    Are there any other sources that paint a similar attitude of poskim towards ‘glatt meat’ as that indicated in the article?

  59. Michael Rogovin

    There have been other tefillin incidents on board planes. My reaction is (1) there are few times when it is critical to lay tefillin on an airplane. It should be avoided for many reasons, among them a plane is a less than ideal place to daven. Certainly one should not stand and absolutely not when the seatbelt sign is on (pikuach nefesh). (2) If rare circumstances require laying tefillin, then I would suggest that the person explain what they are doing to nearby passengers and flight crew, show them the tefillin with a little education, be matter of fact and pleasant about it, and only wear them the minimum time. But I do anything to avoid the situation; a plane is not personal space nor is it a synagogue. This is not a halachic opinion obviously, it is common sense. Being shy or reticent leads to suspicion. While it is nice to have sensitivity training for airlines, we really have to take responsibility for our own foolish actions.

  60. since you seem to be interested in the forward’s sheitel debate, might as well post the latest installment: http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/136202/

  61. Amazing interview with RAL.

    Thank you for posting.

  62. LongTimeReader

    http://jewpsy.blogspot.com/2011/03/new-proposal-gay-marriage-orthodox.html

    An interesting take (I agree 100%) on the article last week on “Gay Marriage, Orthodox Style”.

  63. Bring it to Brooklyn

    J, see Prof. Mark Shapiro’s article on Glatt from a few years ago – http://www.forward.com/articles/1074/

  64. Nachum-Both RHS and R Welcher, our rav in KGH, gave me the same advice re Bdikas Tefilin.

  65. Bring it to Brooklyn:

    And see also R. Genack’s response.
    http://www.forward.com/articles/1699/

  66. Bring it – Thanks for the mareh makom. Shapiro doesn’t really bring any sources. There must be some sources on what common practise in Lita and Polin was. Or have we abandoned kashrus (as we have with many other areas of Judaism) to the Unterlanders to the extent that we don’t even know what our non-Hungarian ancestors did?

  67. “Amazing interview with RAL.

    Thank you for posting.”

    Agreed. Thank you.

  68. Gil – Thanks.

  69. The response to (the author’s imagination regarding) R. Broyde’s “case for the sheitel” is up – but it’s horribly written, and the author seems intent on actively distorting his position. It’s quite disgusting.

  70. MiMedinat HaYam

    blaine amendement concerns state money to religious purposes (however that is defined). has nothing to do with school scores.

    2. “glatt” today has nothing to do with “chalak”. it simply means “meat considered glatt”. prwsumably meaning transported in double sealed (though its really not double sealed — another issue), shmirat shabbat, handled by shomrei shabat, etc. but not necessarily no sirchot on the lungs, etc.

    3. chlav yisrael baby formula is in shortage, because — face it — its not economical. yes, there’s always a crazy who’ll pay $30, but on a regular basis? besides too much govt regulation, there was a bad batch from germany a few years ago that went to israel (by a well respected manufacturer; i think it was nestle), and i can imagine it is exteremely difficult to get proper liability ins. (let alone, ppl will say its made from stale milk.)

    4. RMF article — RMDT says RMF defined american milk as “chalav yisrael.” i think RMF wrote you dont need chalav yisrael, but he did not write it is chalav yisrael.

  71. MiMedinat HaYam

    https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/AllSchool.do?year=2010

    search the word “yeshiva” — none found. will send them an email requesting info — lets see what happens.

  72. “e.g., ramaz (iirc). but they don’t brag about not giving regents in of itself, but rather because regents are irrelevant to the very selective schools their graduates are attending (no YU or queens college for these kids”
    Probably more YU and Queens college for those kids than you think-just yesterday while leaving where I was eating lunch I met someone who 40 years ago lived in my neighborhood-he was waiting to meet his youngest son who went to Ramaz and is going to Queens College.

  73. MiMedinat HaYam

    how about stats on what colleges (yeshivot?) ramaz (and other high school yeshivot) alums go to?

    besides the tombstone ads they may put out listing without numbers. i assume from the discussion here, that ramaz will not list queens college on such ads.

  74. Lawrence Kaplan

    IIRC, RMF created a new term for non-halav Yisrael milk: “Halav ha-companees.”

  75. INteresting quotes from RAL interview
    “I don’t have God’s phone number, the way some others seem to have. I was raised on the words of the Talmud about Balaam: he claimed having knowledge of ‘the will of the Supreme.’ He couldn’t even tell what his own beast wanted, and he claimed to know the will of the Supreme?!”

    “the sense that I can explain exactly why a bus explodes and kills 22 children is enormous. It is religious arrogance. It also smacks of people over-stepping their limitations.”

    “Here were some rabbis who wrote an open letter that dismissed, with the stroke of a pen, the entire legal system and its many layers, saying in effect that the whole system is either stupid or evil. I know the verses the rabbis cited from the book of Isaiah just as well as they do. But what do they want? To have no legal system whatsoever? To live in total social anarchy?”

  76. (no YU or queens college for these kids)

    Ramaz sends lots of kids to YU and public universities.
    They gave some regents then but not enough to get a State Regents diploma. Since Ramaz, like many other day schools, is an independently accredited high school with a good track record of their students excelling in college, its graduates dont need a regents diploma to get into college.

  77. “MiMedinat HaYam on March 16, 2011 at 8:11 pm
    how about stats on what colleges (yeshivot?) ramaz (and other high school yeshivot) alums go to?”
    Or even stats about what happens to kids who ENTER the high school. It is no trick to say that 100% of your grads go to college if you ENCOURAGE weaker academic kids to leave.

    “besides the tombstone ads they may put out listing without numbers. i assume from the discussion here, that ramaz will not list queens college on such ads”
    I don’t know Ramaz besides my accidental meeting in a pizza shop this week with a Ramaz student who goes to Queens-but certainly other MO schools have listed such places as Touro, FIT, etc.

  78. “Ramaz sends lots of kids to YU and public universities.
    They gave some regents then but not enough to get a State Regents diploma. Since Ramaz, like many other day schools, is an independently accredited high school with a good track record of their students excelling in college, its graduates dont need a regents diploma to get into college”

    That statement about RAmaz is certainly true for other MO schools that people have the impression are feeder schools for Harvard etc-there simply very few kids even from schools that advertise heavily their IVY League pathway. Recently, I saw a list of the schools attended by Harvard freshmen who came from my general area-2 were from Day Schools. I can think of at least 5 MO schools from that geographic area which some commentators in Hirhurim would refer to as Harvard feeders.
    Query-how many Maimonides grads have gone to Harvard? Of those how many had Harvard profs as parents? It is just a myth that MO schools are sending a major porportion of their students to really top notch schools.

  79. IMHO we ned to consider whether Ivy League attendance should be how we define success. I remember a year when one not so large community sent 5 boys to the Gush and thinking how much fanfare there would have been if it had sent 5 to Harvard vs. how much there was for this event (none)
    KT

  80. joel rich on March 17, 2011 at 5:33 am
    IMHO we ned to consider whether Ivy League attendance should be how we define success. I remember a year when one not so large community sent 5 boys to the Gush and thinking how much fanfare there would have been if it had sent 5 to Harvard vs. how much there was for this event (none)
    KT

    Agree with general thought of R Joel
    Of course, our communities are not only made up of those who get into Gush and Harvard. What credentials does one need to be accepted by our communities.

  81. Shachar Ha'amim

    RAL unfortunately doesn’t really deal with athiests or agnostics who might be humble and also have some degree of intelligence – but who actually clearly foresaw the results of the disengagement and know why buses blew up killing 22 people. They didn’t need a direct line to God – they don’t even believe in God.
    Sometimes a lifetime of hairsplitting can also lead to deficient thinking. I understand where he is going with his criticism of the rabbanim on this point – and largely agree with him about it – it his application of the principle that is faulty. Most people who opposed the disengagement did so because there is a clear and provable linkage between Israeli surrender and withdrawals and an increase in terror activity. You don’t need to be a nobel prize winning professor of game theory to see this (though it might help to listen to what he had to say about this topic – I don’t think Professor Auman ever claimed to have a direct line to God – but he has a beard like a Rabbi!)
    This is where I think that Rav AY Kook’s concept about the how sometimes the “instincts” of the people are “healthier” than the Rabbanim come into play (RAL knows about this piece – it’s quoted in this year’s Har Etzion alumni journal in a piece on the minor fast days – I assume he read it)

  82. “the sense that I can explain exactly why a bus explodes and kills 22 children is enormous.”

    I can, if it was an Arab who did it: A murderous Arab decided to do it. The fact that R’ Liechtenstein uses the passive voice here is very telling, and I wonder if a lack of humility for positions *he* has taken has anything to do with it.

  83. Mycroft,
    yes, I was just using that as an example even within that subspace. Personally our family coat of arms would be inscribed (Kach mkublani mbeit avi abba) “כב כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, אַל-יִתְהַלֵּל חָכָם בְּחָכְמָתוֹ, וְאַל-יִתְהַלֵּל הַגִּבּוֹר, בִּגְבוּרָתוֹ; אַל-יִתְהַלֵּל עָשִׁיר, בְּעָשְׁרוֹ. כג כִּי אִם-בְּזֹאת יִתְהַלֵּל הַמִּתְהַלֵּל, הַשְׂכֵּל וְיָדֹעַ אוֹתִי–כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה, עֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה בָּאָרֶץ: כִּי-בְאֵלֶּה חָפַצְתִּי, נְאֻם-יְהוָה. {ס}”

    Thus saith the LORD: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches;
    But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth, and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD who exercise mercy, justice, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. {S}

    KT

  84. The commentary from Rabbi Feigelson and his wife Ms. Blitt is quite sad, frankly. It just sucks the life and fun out enjoying the new song and video. The Maccabeats can do whatever they wish and they should not be dictated to by every other Jew with a pet peeve. If Rabbi Feigelson and his wife don’t like it, then why don’t they display their musical talent and put together a truly representative version of the Maccabeats video? Armchair critics, I tell you.

  85. Shachar Ha'amim

    Nahum – that’s a good point. The pasive voice is also in the original Hebrew.
    אבל בין זה לבין תחושה שאני יכול בדייקנות להסביר למה מתפוצץ אוטובוס ונהרגים 22 ילדים, המרחק גדול ביותר, זו עזות דתית ויש בזה גם כן נימה שאדם נכנס למהלך שגדול עליו

    This type of terminology was – and stil is – very common to the the left in Israel – the bus blew up; kassam rockets fell; etc etc. They almost never discuss this in the active voice – who blew up the bus; who shot the rockets.

    again – I understand where he is going with this. “the bus blew” up”; “the cars crashed”; “the erathquake happened” – we don’t know what God’s reasoning for the SPECIFIC victims or incident were.
    But if a drunk was driving the car recklessly – we know why the accident happened. A negligent, reckless driver caused it.
    If the bus was blown up by a suicidal arab terrorist, we also know why it happened – a reckless, suicidal government embarked on policies which have been proven to increase arab terror and aggression against the State of Israel.
    Even avowed atheists can – and do – reach the above conclusions – both with respect to the car accident and the bus bombing.

    Regarding the lack of humility – it is not unheard of for people – especially highly intelligent ones who have spent their whole life in an elitist environment to be somewhat incapable of being humble regarding their convictions. I have no doubt that RAL can change his view – he has done so with respect to e.g. derech halimud issues. But I don’t think he will ever reach the same conclusioon that others, e.g Prof. Auman, reached regarding the “peace process”.

  86. “If the bus was blown up by a suicidal arab terrorist, we also know why it happened – a reckless, suicidal government embarked on policies which have been proven to increase arab terror and aggression against the State of Israel”

    Does not tanach suggest in several places that military victories are determined not by tactical choices but by God’s will?

  87. I think it’s fair to criticize the author of an article on humility about his article. However, note that he doesn’t say to listen to him. He says to be less strident and confident in your statements, whatever they may be.

  88. Regarding the mitzvah of drinking of wine on Purim, I congratulate the NCSY on its excellent public education initiative for the sake of promoting the public health and welfare. It seems to me that there is a benefit to be enjoyed in reviewing the halakhic parameters of the obligation to drink wine on Purim:

    1) There is a bona fide rabbinic obligation for a Jew to drink intoxicating alcoholic wine as part of the Purim meal. Just as a Jew *must* listen to the shofar on the second day of Rosh Hashanah (-a rabbinic obligation), and just as a Jew *must* wave the lulav on Chol Hamo’ed Sukkot (-a rabbinic obligation outside the Temple precinct), and just as a Jew *must* eat maror at the Seder (-a rabbinic obligation in the absence of the Pesach sacrifice), a Jew *must* drink wine at the Purim meal. This is not a form of hedonism; the Torah discourages hedonism (as per Tosafot to Ketubot 104a, s.v. “lo neheneiti”). Rather, the drinking of wine is a spiritual act of devotion to HKB”H (just like the acts of shofar, lulav and maror). By drinking wine, one offers thanksgiving to HKB”H for the miracles of Purim.

    Although some Rishonim claimed that the miraculous episode of Rabbah and Rabbi Zeira (in Megillah 7b) caused the obligation to be repealed, the consensus of poskim holds that the obligation is normative, and such is the codified law in Shulchan Arukh. [See R. Shlomo Yosef Zevin’s “Ad Dilo Yada” in Hamo’adim Bahalakhah for a beautiful exposition.]

    2) Although throughout the year, obligations requiring wine (e.g. Kiddush, Havdalah, Arba Kossot) can – according to many poskim based on Shulchan Arukh Orach Chaim 272:2 – be fulfilled by drinking grape juice (-and such is in fact my personal practice on the advice of my teacher R. Joshua Shmidman of blessed memory), grape juice is totally inadequate for Purim. The halakhic obligation is to drink *intoxicating* wine, not just wine.

    Thus, it is entirely reasonable for the Jewish communal leaders (functioning under the rubric of “sheva tuvei ha’ir” as per Shulchan Arukh CM 2) as a measure for protecting the wellbeing of its members, to insist that all public Kiddushes throughout the year be orchestrated with grape juice, to the exclusion of alcoholic wine. However, there is no way for communal leaders to ban alchoholic wine on Purim. The Gemara, Rambam, Shulchan Arukh and consensus of poskim clearly require drinking wine on Purim, and thus the community must allow (and indeed encourage) its members to fulfill this rabbinic mitzvah. “Kol Yisra’el arevim zeh bazeh” (as per the gemara in Shevu’ot 39a) includes an obligation that we ensure that all Jews are capable of celebrating the Purim meal according to Halakhah, which includes alcoholic wine.

    3) There is no obligation to drink wine at night on Purim; only during the Purim meal during the day (Shulchan Arukh Orach Chaim 695:1). Thus, it is entirely reasonable for communal leaders to ban the drinking of wine during Purim night (which serves no purpose).

    4) There is no obligation to operate a motorized vehicle during Purim. Although often convenient for delivering mishlo’ach manot to acquaintances who live at far distances, our pre-twentieth century ancestors have been delivering mishlo’ach manot on foot for over two millenia, without the benefit of an automobile. [It’s also environmentally friendly to do so, itself a noble halakhic value as per the principles bespoken in the second chapter of Bava Batra.] Thus, it is entirely reasonable for communal leaders to ban travel by automobile on Purim day (-except obviously for the extraordinary lifesaving event of driving a dangerously ill patient to a hospital), seeing as Jews are obligated to drink wine, and one who drinks wine is absolutely forbidden to drive an automobile, both because of dina dimalkhuta dina and because of the mitzvah of piku’ach nefesh.

    5) According to some poskim (including Rashi and Rambam), the obligation can only be fulfilled with alcoholic wine, not other alcoholic beverages. Other poskim hold the obligation can be fulfilled with any alcoholic beverage. All agree that wine is certainly acceptable; the only question is alcoholic beverages other than wine. (See R. Simchah Rabinowitz’ Piskei Teshuvot to Mishnah Berurah VI, pp. 580-581). Thus, it is entirely reasonable for Jewish community leaders to ban the drinking of any alcoholic beverage other than wine on Purim, since other beverages are not needed (and according to some poskim, unacceptable) for the mitzvah.

    6) There is only an obligation to drink wine at the Purim *meal*, but not at any other time on Purim day. A meal, by definition, is only eaten indoors, as per the gemara in Kiddushin 40b. Thus, it is entirely reasonable for community leaders to establish a policy banning the drinking of wine outdoors on Purim day.

    Bi’ezrat Hashem, with these guidelines, hopefully our controlled drinking of alcoholic wine on Purim will open our hearts further to Torah, as it did in the case of Rava (as per the gemara in Yoma 76b). A freilekhen Purim to one and all. [I am grateful to R. Yosef Blau, whose memorandum regarding Purim celebrations at Yeshiva University has inspired these guidelines that I have proposed.]

  89. Nachum and Shachar Ha’amim:

    We both know that if that were all there was to it, RAL wouldn’t have a problem. The problem is a) when rabbis conflate those considerations with theological ones and b) when they dont distinguish their theological agendas from their political ones. Specifically (b). When a rabbi gets up and says “we need to fight the disengagement,” are they telling us what the Torah says on the issue – “what God wants”? Where in the Torah does it say anything about disengaging Gaza? (yes I know that there were rabbis who made Halakhic arguments in that regard, but they clearly aren’t the subject of his criticism.) and if they aren’t telling us “what God wants,” then their uninformed opinion is just as good as mine – so why are they speaking with theological authority? As you both are aware, plenty of rabbis informed us prior to the disengagement that bad things would happen if we did it. How did they know? If it was because the disengagement was not “what God wanted”, well how did they know that and how did they know what the consequences would be? And if, as you argue, it had nothing to do with religion, then why on Earth are they talking qua rabbis?

  90. R’ Spira’s analysis of drinking intoxicating beverages on Purim doesn’t include anything about amount of alcohol or the state of the drinker, i.e, the parameters of ‘ad delo yadah’. R.D. Abraham Twerski in VIN, on the other hand, focused on the latter point citing the Rema and the Mishna Berurah to the effect that ‘ad delo yadah’ is satisfied by drinking more than usual and taking a snooze thereafter. Drunkenness and disgusting behavior is never sanctioned. He inveighed against the idea of kids and teenagers drinking alcohol since they tend to be more prone to exaggerated notions of requirements and to loss of self-control. Moreover, drunkenness for a presumed mitzvah can lead to habitual behavior and addiction. R’ Spira noted the danger of driving under the influence of alcohol. There is also a danger to inattentive, drunk pedestrians from vehicles and road hazards. It seems to me that putting yourself or others in danger, or knowing that drinking is likely to lead to inappropriate behavior are considerations that outweigh the supposed mitzvah of getting drunk on Purim.

  91. Thank you and yi’yasher kochakha, R’ Y. Aharon. These are important points that I overlooked.

    I concede to you that we should build alcohol-free communities, for the sake of avoiding any possibility of addiction. Thus, all year long, and at all family semachot, we should only serve grape juice and abjure the use of any wine or any other alcoholic beverage. [Full disclosure: there was alcohol at my bar mitzvah. But I have since done teshuvah, and Bi’ezrat Hashem, if I should merit to perform the mitzvah of kiddushin, the goblets of birkat erusin, birkat nissu’in and birkat hamazon will be exclusively grape juice.] Nevertheless, the Purim meal is an exception by rabbinic decree; one day a year, we must drink intoxicating wine. Still, as you correctly indicate in the name of R. Twerski, the quantity imbibed can be a controlled amount. Indeed, as far as my personal central nervous system is concerned, a revi’it or two of low-alcohol wine is enough to render me unconscious – thus fulfilling the Rema and Mishnah Berurah’s standard – so that’s all I plan to drink.

  92. Har Nof Academic

    Gil,

    I am disappointed to see you linked to the Jewish Week’s disrespectful piece on HaRav Tendler. Even in the spirit of Purim, I find it distasteful to mock one of the Rosh Yeshivah. Shame on you!

  93. I too am disappointed about the link.

  94. I mean, I’m disappointed and upset. Please do remove it.

  95. lawrence kaplan

    I found the part of the JP article dealing with Rabbi Tendler in poor taste and not very funnny.

    OTOH, the part of the article about RCA Victor and the Chief Rabbinate was very funny and cut close to the bone.

  96. R’ Mycroft,

    Thank you very much for your response regarding Lybia on March 15 at 7:14 p.m., to which I fully concede. Now that the UN Security Council has voted on the matter, hopefully all the parties (i.e. Libyan leader Ghaddafi, Lybian opposition leader, UN Security Council leaders) will peacefully convene for a Din Torah to peacefully resolve in terms of Hilkhot Bnei Noach what should be the future of governance in Lybia, in a manner that is mutually beneficial to all the parties involved.

    In response to my question what the Halakhah is, I was privileged to receive the following letter today (by way of e-mail) from RJDB:

    “I think that for a variety of reasons one should do whatever possible to rescue live[s] in Libya. But I doubt that anyone in Canada – including the Prime Minister – is in a position to d[o] anything that will make a particle of difference. There is no obligation to engage in exercises in futility.”

  97. “מתפוצץ”

    Really? The Hitpa’el???

    Look, I won’t go as far as you did and discuss the Israeli government. But *at the very least* there should be some notation that the bus was blown up by an evil human being. I mean, what’s next? In order to avoid theological justifications of the Holocaust (which is perfectly OK with me), we’re going to start using a Hebrew phrase that, literally translated, would mean “they killed themselves”?

    Jon:

    1. Someone just tried this argument on me. Now, it’s absolutely correct. I don’t think religious leaders should issue declarations like that. But if R’ Lichtenstein doesn’t think that, as someone whose sole position(s) are religious, any public declaration he makes is going to have rabbinic authority (supposedly) behind it, he’s fooling himself. Yibadel, did R’ Amital not realize what having a rosh yeshiva in his cabinet meant to the Peres government?

    2. Kind of interesting that bad things *did* develop from the disengagement, no?

  98. lawrence kaplan

    Rabbi Spira: I think you should take the sage words of Rabbi Bleich to heart.

  99. Re Conversions for cash-a red herring the CR is attacking conversions of essentially all MO Rabbonim who did them in North America. BTW-including those who REFUSED to even accept cash for conversions-“even free will gifts”. Often some would pay the mohel fee and mikveh fee too. Naturally these were Rabbonim who did not do many geirus-it wasn’t their business. BTW-I heard a couple of decades ago that some of edah chareidis Rabbonim were lenient at times coincidentally when cash was involved.

  100. “In response to my question what the Halakhah is, I was privileged to receive the following letter today (by way of e-mail) from RJDB:

    “I think that for a variety of reasons one should do whatever possible to rescue live[s] in Libya. But I doubt that anyone in Canada – including the Prime Minister – is in a position to d[o] anything that will make a particle of difference. There is no obligation to engage in exercises in futility.””
    “lawrence kaplan on March 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm
    Rabbi Spira: I think you should take the sage words of Rabbi Bleich to heart”

    The words of RDJB are accurate as far as he writes concerning Canada-but obviously any POTUS as commander in chief could make a difference. Should he ? I am not rushin in where angerls fear to tread.

  101. “Haredi wheeler-dealers in Israel are, for political and sectorial reasons, excommunicating the vast majority of the United States’s rabbis, preventing many people from making aliya,” he said. “This is a disgraceful situation, caused by the unacceptable self-deprecation of the state’s authorities before extremist rabbis.”

    Head of the Reform Movement in Israel Rabbi Gilad Kariv, who attended the discussion, proposed in a statement a practical line of action to his Orthodox brethren in the Diaspora, one he said has already proven successful: “We suggest that Orthodox leaders in the Diaspora who oppose this haredi takeover [of conversion in the world] learn from the experience of the Reform Movement and exert direct influence on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.””

    The problem is that the current RCA leadership in order to try and get kavod for themselves as being frummer than prior Rabbonim has no interest in fighting for those converted under prior arrangements. Thus, we have the situation that those converted by RCA rabbonim and went to Jewish day schools, have kids who went to Yeshivot can’t make aliyah while those who were converted by Rabbis of HUC or JTS can make aliyah.

  102. I thank Mori ViRebbi R. Kaplan and R’ Mycroft for their kind responses.

    Re: where angels fear to tread. I agree. I would definitely recommend that the POTUS invite all the parties for a Din Torah, rather than immediately reach for the trigger. [-The reason being I’m not sure who’s in the right and I’m not sure who’s in the wrong here in terms of Hilkhot Bnei Noach, although the UN Security Council certainly seems to have “paskened” (if such a term can be employed) in favour of the Lybian opposition.] RJDB’s message to me was simply a response to my individual question whether I as a Canadian citizen have any sort of moral obligation to speak up to my government representative to intervene in Lybia. The response from RJDB was clearly to dismiss my question (-much to my relief), since Canada can’t change anything in Lybia anyway (with all due respect to Canada). [And in fact, to that effect, I never spoke up on this matter to any politician.]

    Bi’ezrat Hashem, the study of Torah will bring peace to our world, as per the aphorism “talmidei chakhamim marbim shalom ba’olam” (Berakhot 64a).

  103. 1. I’m sure R. Lichtenstein is not fooling himself in that regard either – if you’ll notice, he really doesn’t take political positions, or positions on public issues, without just answering the related religious questions. For example, as far as I recall, his position on the disengagement was “the people who are saying this is assur are wrong” – not, “we should do the disengagement” or “it’s a chiyuv to do the disengagement.”

    2. … as much as it is interesting that bad things *did* develop from settling in the deep West Bank (too soon? If so, my apologies.)

  104. Interesting combination of posts about RMF’s 25th yahrzeit and that of the study of history.

  105. “The response from RJDB was clearly to dismiss my question (-much to my relief), since Canada can’t change anything in Lybia anyway (with all due respect to Canada)”

    Of course a Canadian was powerful enough to pressure Israel to withdraw from the Sinai and win a Nobel Prize for doing that. Pearson as in the airport name which was the basis for that other Watson’s mistake in answering Toronto for a city that has 2 airports one named after a war hero. Watson the one named after biggest shareholders of IBM rather than Sherlock’s assistant in solving crimes.

  106. Jon:

    “if you’ll notice, he really doesn’t take political positions, or positions on public issues, without just answering the related religious questions. For example, as far as I recall, his position on the disengagement was “the people who are saying this is assur are wrong” – not, “we should do the disengagement” or “it’s a chiyuv to do the disengagement.””

    Gosh, I wonder where he stands on those issues. I really have no idea. Perhaps you can guess? Because the whole State of Israel can.

    “as much as it is interesting that bad things *did* develop from settling in the deep West Bank (too soon? If so, my apologies.)”

    Or Tel Aviv.

  107. “we ned to consider whether Ivy League attendance should be how we define success”
    How does the Orthodox community define succes?

  108. Mr. Spira, before you issue Qaddhafi a seruv (Ha! Purim every day here in Hirhurim land, although I feel for R’ Bleich), perhaps it would be helpful to learn how to spell the name of his country. 🙂

  109. Lawrence Kaplan

    Nachum: See my comment “in the Purim spirit” in “Modesty in the Megillah.”

  110. R Gil and all readers-take a look at yesterday’s Jewish Ideas Daily and especially William Kristol’s article on J_Street, and the links therein that demonstrate that one of its founders and many who attended its annual conference would love to see the establishment of a Palestinian state even and especially if it would mean the demise of the State of Israel.

  111. RAL’s comments are illustrative of his long held views and can be seen in his writings elsewhere. I was looking for and perhaps I missed some sympathy for Israeli citizens who settled in Gaza at the behest of their government, served on the front lines against terror and whose lives and livelihoods were deemed expendable by an Israeli government determined to show its citizens that withdrawal from Gaza would bring peace in their time-which the citizens of Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod and other victims of terrorist sponsored missile attacks can testify is simply not the case.

    I was also looking to see if RAL had rethought his long stated positions re Oslo, but saw none. Viewing Oslo as a treaty that was supposedly approved by the military and intelligence communities and then sold to the Knesset is part and parcel of a faulty analysis of Oslo inasmuch there is ample documentation that Peres & Beilin sold Oslo I as a fait accompli and then labelled any would be dissenter as engaging in “hamradah” or incitement.

  112. “Is College Still Worth the Expense?”

    a bad article. he devotes a lot of space to naming all the big successes who didn’t go to college, but admits these may be outliers. (may be?)
    on the other he presents the income gap between college and h.s. grads. this indeed shows the importance of going to college. but his initial question is whether college is worth $52k at harvard. so the real numbers we need to see are comparisons between ivy leagues schools and lower tier schools.

    GIL:

    i can guess, but what is the jewish relevance here?

  113. I agree with Joel Rich’s comments-Ivy League admissions should never be seen as the sin qua non of success. As far as the value of Ramaz’s diploma and its dispensing with a NYS Regents diploma is concerned, can anyone tell us whether Ramaz gives AP courses? I think that I saw that Scarsdale HS also has walked away from Regents’ diplomas for the same reason. However, I think that we need some solid evidence as to how many graduates from the yeshiva sustem, both Charedi and MO, remain observant, go OTD or move from MO into the Charedi world. I would maintain that such a survey properly can be done when graduates are married, and setting up their own households. The immediate effect of the year in Israel as described in Flipping Out is important, but the long range effect can only be measured years down the road.

  114. Rafael Araujo wrote:

    “The commentary from Rabbi Feigelson and his wife Ms. Blitt is quite sad, frankly. It just sucks the life and fun out enjoying the new song and video. The Maccabeats can do whatever they wish and they should not be dictated to by every other Jew with a pet peeve. If Rabbi Feigelson and his wife don’t like it, then why don’t they display their musical talent and put together a truly representative version of the Maccabeats video? Armchair critics, I tell you”

    Take a look at R Feigelson’s prior articles on a wide variety of issues. I think that it is fair to describe his POV and that of his wife as LW MO eminating from the halls of YCT.

  115. Do these individual narratives amount to a hill of beans? Or are they just evidence that the best and brightest among us will always find a way to achieve their inevitable level of excellence, with or without the benefit of a traditional education?
    ============================
    IMHO the latter – reminds me of the numerous comments about X who learned in Y and then went on to Harvard Law super duper cum laude (implication is that any ben yeshiva with no secular training can do it) Yes, just like anyone could be M. Jordan – look what the result of that kind of thinking is on education – even for those who stay within the system – witness the graduation rates of the student athletes currently at the big dance, what percentage of even this elite will make a living in BBall?
    KT

  116. i think the NY Times was koneh olamo with the one quote that starts the article ”If people see that one answer is good and another answer is good, gradually you will be accepted.” It speaks volumes concerning the symbiotic relationship that is the real halachic process.
    KT

  117. “The Tzohar readings will take place in community centers or school gyms rather than synagogues to make it a more open and welcoming environment for all Israelis”
    Query as American schuls have drifted away from having gyms and being a community center have we also drifted away from being welcoming to all?

  118. .” However, I think that we need some solid evidence as to how many graduates from the yeshiva sustem, both Charedi and MO, remain observant, go OTD or move from MO into the Charedi world. I would maintain that such a survey properly can be done when graduates are married, and setting up their own households.”
    Agreed-but of course to see the “value” of any form of education one must see not only the output but the input.It is likely that the Chareidi kid entered the system with a much more committed outlook-one would have to judge the impact of education on the changes on each type of student.

    “The immediate effect of the year in Israel as described in Flipping Out is important, but the long range effect can only be measured years down the road.”
    Agreed!!!!!!!!

  119. “joel rich on March 18, 2011 at 10:28 am
    Do these individual narratives amount to a hill of beans? Or are they just evidence that the best and brightest among us will always find a way to achieve their inevitable level of excellence, with or without the benefit of a traditional education?
    ============================
    IMHO the latter – reminds me of the numerous comments about X who learned in Y and then went on to Harvard Law super duper cum laude (implication is that any ben yeshiva with no secular training can do it) Yes, just like anyone could be M. Jordan – look what the result of that kind of thinking is on education – even for those who stay within the system – witness the graduation rates of the student athletes currently at the big dance, what percentage of even this elite will make a living in BBall?
    KT”

    Agreed.

  120. Mycroft wrote:

    “Query as American schuls have drifted away from having gyms and being a community center have we also drifted away from being welcoming to all”

    Mycroft-what do you see as the purpose of a shul? WADR, I think that being a community center and/or having a gym or pool, is at best an ancillary purpose and fund raiser. I don’t think that having a JCC, gym or pool per se is anywhere near a portal for a potential BT as a Shabbos meal with a family.

  121. MYCROFT:

    “Query as American schuls have drifted away from having gyms and being a community center have we also drifted away from being welcoming to all?”

    i’m not sure if there it’s really true that shul + community center = welcome to all
    but for whatever reason, i do think that ortho has become less welcoming to all. the shuls (and day schools) i grew up in had a healthy dose of “socially orthodox” among the regulars. this is much less common nowadays in new york-area ortho shuls. (i can’t even think of any non-chabad shuls like this in is the suburbs i’m familiar with.) this is due in part because ortho strengthened its core over the years and many of these “socially orthodox” members, or more likely their children, gradually transition into regular orthodox.
    on the other hand, as ortho (particularly MO) streghnthened its core and became less tolerant, many of these “socially orthodox” members, or more likely their children, transitioned into conservative shuls (or beyond).

  122. This is how Mimi Feigelson (one of the authors of the article critiquing the Maccabeats) is described on her webpage at the American Jewish University:
    “Reb Mimi (Miriam Sara) Feigelson is an Israeli orthodox rabbi and scholar of Chassidic Thought. She was recruited in 2001 to serve as the Mashpi’ah Ruchanit (spiritual mentor) and Lecturer of Rabbinic Literature and Chassidic Thought at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.”

  123. J.
    Mimi Feigelson had nothing to do the article on the Maccabeats and, to the best of my knowledge, is not even related to the authors. (I can state definitively that she is neither mother nor sister to them.)

  124. Chanoch Berenson

    I think the author(s) of the Jewish Week piece on the Maccabeats totally missed the whole point of the video.

    The whole story of Purim is about how Esther, a woman, hid her identity so that she could save the Jewish people. Esther wasn’t up in anyone’s face. She was modest and didn’t take the spotlight. There’s a whole play on words on Esther’s name, even. Her name comes from the Persian Ishtar(a deity,) which is at the very least phonetically similar to הסתר in Hebrew, meaning Hidden – her very name meant she was ‘hidden.’ This point is only made stronger by the fact that we have Jewish sources that say her real name was הדסה – Myrtle. She had to adopt a non-Jewish name to enter into the contest.

    Another point: This article basically says that everyone EXCEPT young Orthodox Jewish men get a voice. The author rejects the Maccabeats’ voices simply because they did not mix their voices with women’s. That approach is a great example of someone’s liberal values actually turning fascist- “I will not accept you unless you do everything the way I say you should.”

    Another point: To say it’s preposterous to have a Purim meal with only men and children is just straight forward ignorant. Many YU Purim meals are single gendered because we have separate campuses, AND a lot of Jewish people believe it’s more proper since alcohol is usually served. We all know what happens on most college campuses when guys and girls get together and drink. Just because you think it’s “natural” for people to hook up at parties does not give you the right to judge me for creating or participating in parties where that’s less likely to occur. See my previous point. I know with this paragraph I’m probably preaching the the choir here…

    I find it interesting that the author(s) basically assume(s) that since there are children there it would be preposterous that women wouldn’t be there. Just food for thought… I think it’s impressive that Rabbis feel safe bringing their children to visit their students, when they know their students are drinking and having a merry time. Call me self-righteous.

  125. Thank you, R’ Nachum, for the pointer, which is well taken. [My apologies for my orthographic error.] Bichasdei HKB”H, Yishtabach Shemo, a ceasefire has now been declared in Libya. [Hopefully all of humanity will emulate this example.] What a wonderful Purim miracle…

  126. CHANOCH:

    i just watched the video and your (correct) point that “Many YU Purim meals are single gendered because we have separate campuses” is irrelevant. the video is clearly is trying to depict a family seudah, not a collegiate seudah.

    “AND a lot of Jewish people believe it’s more proper . . .”

    maybe a lot of jewish people in williamsburg. i don’t know of any YU grads who think it is prefderred to host separate-sex purim seudos. (i’m sure there are some like yourself, but they don’t represent YU or the majority of its students)

  127. CHANOCH:

    there are 3 possible reasons why there are no women in the video:

    1) it’s just a bunch of YU guys having some fun and they didn’t even give it a second thought
    2) it was a practical decision so as not to turn off potential fans in brooklyn, etc.
    3) it was a hashkafic decision.

    i can live with nos. 1-2, but your rationalizations seem to border on no. 3

  128. Abba’s rantings wrote:

    “maybe a lot of jewish people in williamsburg. i don’t know of any YU grads who think it is prefderred to host separate-sex purim seudos. (i’m sure there are some like yourself, but they don’t represent YU or the majority of its students)”

    I think that Chanoch’s point was that outside of the immediate family setting, such gatherings as a Channukah or Purim Chagigah/Seudah for yeshiva talmidim have always been for a rebbe and his talmidim. YU had problems with issues of inappropriate mixed gender conduct even when there was a mechitzah in the old Beis Medrash. Thus, the decision to have the YU/SOY and SCW Chagigos in different locations makes a lot of sense.

  129. “it must also be pointed out that there is a difference between dovish or even leftist sentiments about Israel and support for BDS, which is a form of economic warfare aimed at the destruction of the Jewish state.”

    Agreed and often forgotten by many.

  130. STEVE BRIZEL:

    the video (as i understood it, maybe i’m wrong) depicts a family seudah. if it were a seudah for a rebbe and his talmidim, then ok. what type of a seudah did you think it depicts?
    and what may be appropriate for YU students on campus is one thing, but how many YU grads leave their families (i.e., wives/kids) to spend purim with their rav? do you think this is normative (or normal)?

  131. MiMedinat HaYam

    a few years ago (during the yu / torah version of desert storm), a good number of stern students requested a womens only bus for the touring aspects of the trip to israel. (supposedly) on the “advice” of their RW RY of the “seminaries they attended in israel (i believe yu since put them out of the yu program, but …)

    so much for no women in any purim seuda video.

  132. Steve Brizel on March 18, 2011 at 11:03 am
    Mycroft wrote:

    “Query as American schuls have drifted away from having gyms and being a community center have we also drifted away from being welcoming to all”

    “Mycroft-what do you see as the purpose of a shul? WADR, I think that being a community center and/or having a gym or pool, is at best an ancillary purpose and fund raiser. I don’t think that having a JCC, gym or pool per se is anywhere near a portal for a potential BT as a Shabbos meal with a family.”

    Someone could check the date but about half a century ago I attended a shiur given by the Rav in HONOR of the new center-schul, pool etc that was built by the schul of R C Weinberg in Malden.

  133. “is due in part because ortho strengthened its core over the years and many of these “socially orthodox” members, or more likely their children, gradually transition into regular orthodox.
    on the other hand, as ortho (particularly MO) streghnthened its core and became less tolerant, many of these “socially orthodox” members, or more likely their children, transitioned into conservative shuls (or beyond).”

    Could be part of the reason-of course it could also be who the anscestry of the different populations-the older Orthodox are in general descendants of those of the 1880s-1910 immigration to America-while the new Orthodox are generally from Nazi period in Europe and beyond.

  134. MiMedinat HaYam

    for anyone interested, i followed up with the nys dept of ed, and they sent me statistics on private school testing, which i posted at https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B4GfF1jWtrJCNmQ5NzQxODAtYWI5Zi00ZGQ1LWE3M2QtNTI3OWZjODhkNWRm&hl=en&authkey=CO6_mKUE
    with the cover letter at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SliMPK6gBzcyvWC7X5GMc-0dMZFDbQ0CWiSogxvXrcc/edit?hl=en&authkey=COXw1sYO.

    (i suggest using ctrl-f with the word “yeshiva” but you will see many more institutions without the word yeshiva.)

  135. MiMedinat HaYam

    to mycroft — interesting commment about malden.

    the rav there now (several years) is a lakewood musmach. personally charedi, but open minded. i know him personally, and can vouch for him, but … charedi education, family, etc …

  136. MiMedinat HaYam

    regarding rav spira’s bet din.

    it seems his buddies on first ave have the same pblm batei din have — no enforcement. or lack of will to enforce.

  137. Chanoch Berenson

    I have since talked to a couple Maccabeats and I was definitely off in my assumptions!

    Their main message to me was that they (well, the three I spoke to) resonate with the author’s underlying question regarding the inclusion of women. They didn’t have women in their video because of a few reasons. The two I remember are A) The only adults in the video were the Maccabeats and the Greeks who were a throw-back to their previous video, they barely had enough time to give each Maccabeat “screen-time” B) They get cajoled and cat-called a lot in public and do not want their female friends exposed to that.

    There was a lot more but I’m off to a Chagigah!

  138. Nachum and Steve,
    RAL is not the left winger you think he is. To the best of my recollection he was opposed to the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and made public statement to that effect. The Lichtenstein family suffered directly from the trauma of the hitnatkut.

  139. My daughter in Brandeis told me that the Brandeis Orthodox Organization (BOO) has separate Purim se’udot for men and women. When I expressed horror, she told me it was because of the drinking and I shouldn’t worry; other than davening and Purim se’udah, everything’s mixed seating.

  140. Steve,
    The “shul with a pool” model may be one whose time has past, but dont
    knock the concept.
    Every thing has its time and place.
    Moshe

  141. Moshe Shoshan on March 20, 2011 at 8:31 am
    “”Steve,
    The “shul with a pool” model may be one whose time has past, but dont
    knock the concept.
    Every thing has its time and place.
    Moshe””
    It may SADLY be a model whose time has past NOT because the model is theoretically no good but rather machers of schuls no longer give gigantic money to schuls. Thus, besides pools the schuls very rarely have Talmud Torahs associated with them.It is a matter of money-quite often those who went to Talmud Torahs were the less wealthy residents of a general area and the machers who sent their kids to day schools were not interested in subsidizing the Talmud Torahs.

  142. “MiMedinat HaYam on March 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm
    for anyone interested, i followed up with the nys dept of ed, and they sent me statistics on private school testing, which i posted “&hl=en&authkey=CO6_mKUE
    with the cover letter at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SliMPK6gBzcyvWC7X5GMc-0dMZFDbQ0CWiSogxvXrcc/edit?hl=en&authkey=COXw1sYO.

    (i suggest using ctrl-f with the word “yeshiva” but you will see many more institutions without the word yeshiva”

    Al regel achat the vast majority of day school students are not superior-a sizeable minority will have difficulty getting 65 on Regents exams and yet we stick to the myth of the genius day school student.
    BTW scores of MO institutions and chareidi ones marketing to wealthy suburbs in the few that I compared seemed similar.

  143. Important recent NBER study re choosing of major who picks math and science- especially should be of interest to Joel Rich.

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w16869.pdf

  144. Abba’s Rantings wrote:

    “the video (as i understood it, maybe i’m wrong) depicts a family seudah. if it were a seudah for a rebbe and his talmidim, then ok. what type of a seudah did you think it depicts?
    and what may be appropriate for YU students on campus is one thing, but how many YU grads leave their families (i.e., wives/kids) to spend purim with their rav? do you think this is normative (or normal)?

    Two of my closest friends went to many a Purim Chagigah at the apartment of their rebbe RDL ZL with their children for years. My chavrusa and I have been going to the YU Purim Chagigah for a number of years. Aside from the fact that we see attending the same as a Kiyun in Hakaras Hatov to the Yeshiva that offered us the still unbeatable combination of a great yeshiva and a college, the chagigah is alwasys very leibedich, some of the costumes are a scream and the Purim Shpiel is alwasys quite good. Take a guess which brilliant young Talmid Chacham has portrayed RHS for years with uncanny accuracy? I highly reccomend it for any loyal and critical YU alumnus. Of course, the SCW Chagigah is now off campus so as to avoid any Pirtzos in Tznius !

  145. “answer is that many of the contemporary Orthodox communities hail from Eastern Europe and Russia where excessive drinking is part of the culture.

    In Russia, for example, it is customary to drink vodka whenever people get together with friends–toasting over vodka even in the workplace or on the train is very common in Russia. Clearly, pre-war Orthodox Jews living in the Pale of Settlement adopted the local drinking culture, albeit in a Judaized manner. Today this has continued and saying multiple L’Chaims with friends has now become a normal part of Orthodox Jewish life.

    Recognizing where this comes from is important, because the argument has been made that saying “L’Chaim” over hard liquor is an authentic Jewish custom. This is far from the truth”

    How many other Jewish customs have their source in the societies that Jews lived in-various dress habits, eating habits, even hashkafa-is it a coincidence that the Rambam lived in a Rational non Jewish environment while R Yehudah Hachassid lived among leading non Jewish mystics. I don’t mean to state that either did not follow Jewish tradition but rather what of our mesworah appealed to each may be a result of their environment.

  146. “STEVE BRIZEL:

    the video (as i understood it, maybe i’m wrong) depicts a family seudah. if it were a seudah for a rebbe and his talmidim, then ok. what type of a seudah did you think it depicts?
    and what may be appropriate for YU students on campus is one thing, but how many YU grads leave their families (i.e., wives/kids) to spend purim with their rav? do you think this is normative (or normal)?”

    Forget YU-any Yeshiva-do the bloggers feel it is appropriate for a Yeshiva bochur to stay at ones Yeshiva for the seudah and not join ones mother-father is dead- grandmother and other siblings for a seudah? Oh facts yeshiva bochur would have travel 3 miles for seudah, others who attended bochurs mother travelled 100 miles, siblings 2 for 100 miles, 2 other siblings 30 miles-all attend except for Yeshiva bochur.

  147. In my day, there was no Purim seudah at YU and I had to go to a friend’s house every year.

  148. My story did not involve YU-in my day Parkers(YU Cafeteria) offered a Purim Seudah-I went there a couple of times for the seudah. My recollection some neighborhood people also ate there for seudah.

  149. I am not sure if TYU offers a Purim Seudah presently. However, many, if not all of the RY in RIETS attend the Chagigah, and invite their talmnidim to their homes for Purim Seudah.

    Mycroft asked :

    “Forget YU-any Yeshiva-do the bloggers feel it is appropriate for a Yeshiva bochur to stay at ones Yeshiva for the seudah and not join ones mother-father is dead- grandmother and other siblings for a seudah? Oh facts yeshiva bochur would have travel 3 miles for seudah, others who attended bochurs mother travelled 100 miles, siblings 2 for 100 miles, 2 other siblings 30 miles-all attend except for Yeshiva bochur”

    I suspect that the above is a classical case of extenuating circumstances that does not compel a conclusion or even a general approach that all Talmidim in all yeshivos should be home for all Yamim Tovim. The facts are that the religious environment in a yeshiva on the Yamim Noraim, attending a rebbe’s Channukah and Purim Chagigah and on Shavuous cannot be replicated in most shuls, communities and neighborhoods. The build up to Sukkos and Pesach as well as some time in the summer is generally consdidered as Bein Hazmanin, although hardly a time when talmidim consider themselves as exempt from maintaining a Seder.

  150. BTW-in my day I don’t recall SCW women coming to the SOY Purim chagigah. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen I just don’t recall it happening.

  151. Steve, in my four years as a YC undergrad I was only invited once by a RY to a seudah — Purim, Yom Tov or Shabbos.

  152. “I suspect that the above is a classical case of extenuating circumstances that does not compel a conclusion or even a general approach that all Talmidim in all yeshivos should be home for all Yamim Tovim. The facts are that the religious environment in a yeshiva on the Yamim Noraim, attending a rebbe’s Channukah and Purim Chagigah and on Shavuous cannot be replicated in most shuls, communities and neighborhoods.”

    The facts are that kibud of ones parent and arguably of ones grandparent should be worth an hour or two away from ones Yeshiva.My story is NOT from YU-and a Yeshiva that is not in the YU orbit-but a moderate Chareidi to Chareidi institution.

  153. “Steve Brizel on March 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm
    I am not sure if TYU offers a Purim Seudah presently. However, many, if not all of the RY in RIETS attend the Chagigah, and invite their talmnidim to their homes for Purim Seudah.”
    Steves:
    “The facts are that the religious environment in a yeshiva on the Yamim Noraim, attending a rebbe’s Channukah and Purim Chagigah and on Shavuous cannot be replicated in most shuls, communities and neighborhoods”

    Gil’s
    “Hirhurim on March 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm
    Steve, in my four years as a YC undergrad I was only invited once by a RY to a seudah — Purim, Yom Tov or Shabbos.”

    Unscientific -how many remember Steve’s reality and how many remember Gil’s reality.

  154. STEVE BRIZEL:

    “Two of my closest friends went to many a Purim Chagigah at the apartment of their rebbe RDL ZL with their children for years. My chavrusa and I have been going to the YU Purim Chagigah for a number of years . . .”

    thank you for sharing these stories, but how are they relevant? I wrote about the purim seudah, so why do you respond to me with reference to the chagigah?

  155. In my day (not so long ago), the cafeteria served a Purim-themed meal- the dishes were named after various Megillah characters, etc. It was fun. Oh, and there were women on campus during the chagiga and no great disaster struck, contrary to Steve’s exclamation point, which I find rather distasteful.

  156. ” Of course, the SCW Chagigah is now off campus so as to avoid any Pirtzos in Tznius !”

    Off campus- is the SCW Chagiga in Midtown?

  157. Mycroft asked:

    “Off campus- is the SCW Chagiga in Midtown?”

    Last year, the SCW Chagigah was held in the Cardozo SL building. This year, it was held at SCW’s campus.

  158. Nachum wrote in part:

    “Oh, and there were women on campus during the chagiga and no great disaster struck, contrary to Steve’s exclamation point, which I find rather distasteful”

    No great disaster broke, but numerous complaints were made about inappropriate activities on different parts of the uptwown campus between men and women for many years, even when there was a Mechitzah in the beis Medrash.

  159. Abba-Many Charedi families either ensure that either all of their teen age children of one gender are home or arrange for the opposite gender not to be present for Shabbos meal. As far as a Purim Seudah, I can’t vouch what the arrangements would be, but many a RY’s Chagigah is part and parcel of his family’s Purim Seudah as well.

  160. R Gil and Mycroft-I am sorry to confuse a Purim Chagigah with a Shabbos or YT Seudah. RHS once mentioned that Talmidei Chachamim are of two schools of thought with respect to Shabbos or YT meals-some have an open house policy for talmidim all the time and others have view Shabbos and YT as quality time with their families. OTOH, many, if not all RY, have a Purim Chagigah of their own, to which talmidim are invited, which may very well be the kick off to their own private seudah or a Seudah to which all Talmidim, depending on the RY, may also be invited as well .

    When I was in YU, many of the young couples in the RIETS Smicha and Kollel programs hosted many talmidim who would otherwise have to eat in the cafeteria for a Shabbos meal. OORC, there was an informal Hachnosas Orchim committee with many of the young couples, and other Baale Batim in the Breuers’ Kehilah and the Shtieblach in WH. I found those Shabbos meals to be a great change of scenery from the cafeteria, as well as a great educational lesson in how to enjoy a Shabbos meal while helping one’s spouse deal with an infant or two.

    FWIW, when I was in JSS, R Willig’s wife gave birth to their oldest twin sons, and I vividly recall the Shalom Zachor with R Willig’s parents Zicronam Livracha, as well his father in law ZL and Yivadleinu LChaim cramped into a small apartment on Wadsworth Terrace, where RHS gave a brief Dvar Torah, together with many of R Willig’s friends and many of my classmates.

    OTOH,the atmosphere for the Yamim Noraim, Purim and Shavuous in a yeshiva, cannot be duplicated elsewhere, even if one is eating one’s meals in a yeshiva cafeteria. Lately, in YU, due in no small part to that many Talmidim grew to appreciate the Tefilos of the Yamim Noraim in their year or two learning in Israel, at least for the Yamim Noraim, aside from the wonderful Baalei Tefilah in the Beis Medrash ( as well as in Schenck), there are shiurim, etc, on Iyanei D Yoma, as well as a generally packed Beis Medrash for the Yamim Noraim.

  161. In my day, the men were in the Beit Midrash and the women were in Belfer, nowhere near each other. There was no mechitza in the Beit Midrash.

    The men later moved to the gym, which is closer. (Some women would watch the shpiel from the running track.) Apparently too close, horrors.

  162. In my day (at least in my freshman year) we had a Dean’s Reception where guys brought dates to YU. Horrors, indeed! (Nachum, I’m finally with you on something.)

  163. Nachum: I thought we were in YU at the same time? Certainly in 91 & 92 the women were in the beis medrash. But some guys kept taking down the mechitzah. I remember RHS once leaving in disgust when they took down the whole mechitzah and not just the front so women can see. So the head of SOY — maybe Lavi Greenspan in 94 — moved the women to a different building and encouraged them to put on their own shpiel. I seem to recall that they got better music.

  164. Joseph: I think they had it in my day also, just not very well-attended.

  165. Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “In my day (at least in my freshman year) we had a Dean’s Reception where guys brought dates to YU”

    Bayimim Hahem Bazman Hazeh.

  166. Gil, you’re a couple of years ahead of me.

    My father tells a story from the 50’s where R’ David Lifshitz refused to cross the street into the main building on Simchat Torah because there were women there. His talmidim finally talked him into it.

  167. lawrence kaplan

    Steve: Re the change: Yesh dorshin li-shevach, ve-yesh…

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