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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.

124 comments

  1. Michael Rogovin

    So now the Queens Va’ad (no hotbed of leniency in general and certainly no conversions for cash) does not make the cut for Israel (aliyah now, not just marriage, burial, etc). All of the arguments in favor of the RCA’s response (some say capitulation) to the Chief Rabbinate (creating the conversion tribunals) are being chipped away one by one. Giving into extremism never works. The RCA may have thought it achieved peace in our time, but it was not to be.

  2. Shalom Rosenfeld

    Before going to the press, has anyone @VHQ tried working with the Rabbanut about this? As R’ Gil said in a previous quick takes posting — may just be a customer service problem.

  3. First, did the VHQ in fact authorize the conversion? Just because the article states it doesn’t make it so. For instance, its possible it was done by a rabbi who is a member of the VHQ which would make it no different then the issue now of when a conversion is done by a RCA member but not the RCA itself.

    Second, the implication (even before the VHQ connection was alleged) is that all conversions prior to the RCA panel are not sufficient basis to establish Judaism as per the law of return. All of Modern Orthodox Judaism is no longer deemed legitimate outside of the RCA conversion panel.

    Third, assuming the facts as alleged, I think we all agree that the VHQ has a “good” reputation generally. If their conversions are no good, its not a customer service “problem.” It means there is no customer service.

  4. Larry Lennhoff

    Martin Niemoller, paging Pastor Martin Niemoller …. Oddly, this time history repeats itself and it is still tragedy, rather than farce.

  5. Re Death Penalty:

    Reb Moshe’s tshuva is dated on Purim. I’ve always wondered if there was any significance to that.

  6. I think the death penalty’s headline, should be more, Reb Moshe’s explaination of the Torah View of Death Penalty.

  7. ← Outlawing Jewish Law
    March 20, 2011 · 10:51 pm ↓ Jump to CommentsThe Death Penalty in Illinois and in Jewish Law
    Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois recently signed a law that abolished the death penalty in that state. According to an enlightening article in the Chicago Tribune, “It wasn’t the question of morality but the question of accuracy that led state to abolish capital punishment.” Apparently, it used to be only those who morally opposed the death penalty who were the sole supporters of its abrogation. However, after several wrongful convictions were publicized, even those who morally supported capital punishment had a reason to oppose it: a concern that innocent people were being put to death.

    The concern for accuracy in capital punishment is by no means foreign to Jewish jurisprudence. Thirty years ago Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was asked by an American government official (see the comments for a discussion regarding who it was) for an explanation of the Jewish view of capital punishment. In his response (Igros Moshe, Chosen Mishpat, vol. 2, § 68), Rabbi Feinstein emphasized two points. First, unlike secular governments, the Torah does not impose the death penalty as a means of revenge or keeping the peace through fear. For that, we trust that God will do as He sees fit. Rather, capital punishment serves an educational purpose: it teaches us which transgressions are the most serious.

    Furthermore, explains Rabbi Feinstein, the Torah shows concern for human life by ensuring that capital punishment is only imposed after satisfying numerous procedural safeguards. Some examples of the requirements that must be met before one can be punished with death are: a Beis Din whose judges have received Semicha (which is only bestowed upon great and wise men); a quorum of 23 judges; three rows of knowledgeable men must sit before the court and offer any arguments in favor of the accused; two purely impartial witnesses; the witnesses must have warned the accused, and he must have acknowledged the warning; and finally, capital punishment could only be imposed when the Great Sanhedrin of 71 judges sat in the Beis Hamikdash (the Temple). As a result, throughout Jewish history, the death penalty was rarely imposed (see Makkos 7a)––not because of any moral opposition to it, but because of a concern for accuracy.

    For a fascinating discussion of criminal punishment in Jewish law and Western legal systems, see generally Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein (Chief Rabbi of South Africa), Defending the Human Spirit: Jewish Law’s Vision for a Moral Society 223-333 (Feldheim Publishers 2006).

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    5 Comments
    Filed under American Law, Halacha / Jewish Law, News

    Tagged as capital punishment, criminal justice, death penalty

    ← Outlawing Jewish LawLikeBe the first to like this post.
    5 Responses to The Death Penalty in Illinois and in Jewish Law
    Shalom Rosenfeld
    March 21, 2011 at 10:07 am
    I strongly believe you’re mistaken regarding President Reagan.

    Rav Moshe is addressing “Sar HaMedinah.” That title is the governor of the state; New York’s Governor Carey was involved in some rethinking of New York’s death penalty.

    Rav Moshe concludes his letter with blessing for the “sar hamedinah’s” continued leadership “in this wonderful country of the United States.” Similarly, take a look at the prayer for the US Government found in the Tikun Meir siddur, which uses the same rabbinic nomenclature as R’ Moshe’s:

    The president is “nesi artzos habris”
    The governor is “sar hamedina”
    The mayor is “rosh ha’ir”

    Reply
    Jewish and American Law
    March 21, 2011 at 11:56 am
    You are probably right about that. All of the sources that I have seen referring to this letter state that it was written to President Reagan. However, after your comment, I asked a student of Rabbi Feinstein whom I know, and he also said he believes it was written to the governor of New York. Your observation regarding the language of the opening and closing of the letter also seems to indicate that.

    Thanks for the correction!

    Reply
    Shalom Rosenfeld
    March 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm
    Baruch Shekivanti.

    Pingback: News & Links | Hirhurim – Torah Musings

    Shmuel
    March 21, 2011 at 11:57 am
    In addition to formal capital punishment bais din had other means in its armamentarium to punish capital crimes. The “kippah” was a small where the accused was confine and fed a diet of grain and water which resulted in gastric rupture and death. The level of proof required was much less than the Torah’s mandate of 2 witnesses , a warning and acknowledgement thereof by the perpetrator

  8. Re:VHQ
    Having spoken with someone involved,it was a inadvertent mistake that will that will be resolved quickly.

  9. Re:VHQ
    Having spoken with someone involved,it was a inadvertent mistake that will that will be resolved quickly.

    An anonymous comment citing to an anonymous source with an unsubstantiated view (since if it would have been resolved quickly it would already be resolved). Now already being anonymously critiqued.

  10. MiMedinat HaYam

    actually, the queens vaad has an expert on giyur, who told me he opposes the rca because they are too liberal. (though an rca member, he told me they (purposely) dont consult him.) those in kgh can probably figure out who i mean.

    2. gov carey has always been a good catholic (except for his current marriage issues), and was prob trying to get a more ecumenical argument. he has always been close to the jewish community. (when campaigning for congress, he stopped by a bakery in boro park. the owner’s wife saw him and went crazy. turns out the gov was the us army colonel who liberated her from matthausen. not obama’s uncle, not any african americans, but colonel carey. survivors have a distinct trait of remembering the day and events of their liberation.)

  11. Carey was a major, not a colonel, and it was Nordhausen not Matthausen. And Obama’s great uncle was in the 89th Infantry Division that liberated Ohrdruf, a Subcamp of Buchenwald, which was liberated by Americans in April, 1945. But other than that, you got it right.

  12. I think the Forward does not have its facts straight in this paragraph:

    Until recently, the Interior Ministry never took this selective approach; it accepted all Orthodox conversions for immigration of Jews to Israel under the Law of Return. But about a year ago, the ministry started deferring to the Chief Rabbinate’s principles when handling aliyah applications; it would reject people who were converted by Orthodox batai din that were not on the rabbinate’s list.

    I know that about 5 years ago several US batei din’s converts were not recognized by Israel when those geirim tried to make aliya. The RCA’s revamping of their geirus procedures and rules was in response to that issue.

    So to say this has only happened in the past year is not true.

  13. “Second, the implication (even before the VHQ connection was alleged) is that all conversions prior to the RCA panel are not sufficient basis to establish Judaism as per the law of return. All of Modern Orthodox Judaism is no longer deemed legitimate outside of the RCA conversion panel”

    IT is NOT JUST THE IMPLICATION IT IS REALITY THAT CONVERSIONS DONE BY RCA RABBONIM ARE NOT BEING ACCEPTED. It is shameless but it has been obvious since the RCA effectively refused to stand by converts who followed their procedures and that of the CR. The problem is that too many people look at the issue as one of Kavod Rabbonim. Trying to give kavod to existing Rabbonim even if leading RY is no excuse for onas hager. Is Rabbi Blau the only one who sees the injustice.

  14. “I know that about 5 years ago several US batei din’s converts were not recognized by Israel when those geirim tried to make aliya. The RCA’s revamping of their geirus procedures and rules was in response to that issue.”

    It certainly goes back a few years-the RCA has been shameless in not defending gerim who followed their procedures. It has been a number of years-I was attacked on this blog for raising the issue a few years ago while the “solution” was being celebrated.

  15. I thought this was an interesting parallel to the question of whether there is acceptance in our community of single rabbis:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/us/22pastor.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

  16. Furthermore, explains Rabbi Feinstein, the Torah shows concern for human life by ensuring that capital punishment is only imposed after satisfying numerous procedural safeguards. Some examples of the requirements that must be met before one can be punished with death are: a Beis Din whose judges have received Semicha (which is only bestowed upon great and wise men); a quorum of 23 judges; three rows of knowledgeable men must sit before the court and offer any arguments in favor of the accused; two purely impartial witnesses; the witnesses must have warned the accused, and he must have acknowledged the warning; and finally, capital punishment could only be imposed when the Great Sanhedrin of 71 judges sat in the Beis Hamikdash (the Temple). As a result, throughout Jewish history, the death penalty was rarely imposed (see Makkos 7a)––not because of any moral opposition to it, but because of a concern for accuracy.

    True but misleading see eg How many witches did SHimon Ben Shetach kill in one day-and how about revenge killing when falsetestimony against his son and then Chazal kill the son despite belief in innocence-false witness had charata becasue of kevin shehigid shuv ano chozer umaggid

  17. I know that about 5 years ago several US batei din’s converts were not recognized by Israel when those geirim tried to make aliya. The RCA’s revamping of their geirus procedures and rules was in response to that issue.

    Not correct. The Chief Rabbinate controls marriage and divorce (and burial?, and most conversions?) in Israel. It was their refusal to recognize MO converts that led to the RCA revamping (which some in the US wanted anyway). However other branches of the Israeli government used a broader definition.

    Now the issue is the Interior Ministry (controlled by Shas) which enforces the Law of Return. Until now all MO conversions were recognized for the purposes of the Law of Return.

  18. Ban or no ban, not a Lipa fan at all. Not my taste in music. Even though I enjoy hantelach, and so do my children after his video for it was included on the Oorah Shmorg DVD two years ago. I go for performers like Eitan Katz, Shlomo Katz, Yehudah Green, etc.

  19. MiMedinat HaYam

    1. wikipedia — carey was a colonel. the baker’s wife was a yekke (mandlebaum) which would place her at either that you list, being in germany. but …

    2. if you’re mentioning that rca does not respect its own member’s actions / psakim / gerut (unless they have proper rca protexia), you should also mention they dont respect psakim of their own bet din.

    and while you’re at it, note that some policies of the rca bet din are objectionable to the rabbanut (and O jewry in general), and one of these days, rca gitten may be dishonored for this reason. but the rca doesnt care. (i refer to writing a get before the (general) terms of the divorce are agreed to.)

  20. MiMedinat HaYam

    the RMF tshuva on death penalty says (in last para) that terrorists and others who dont value human life (and in times of extreme murderous times) should still be put to death.

    but not crimes of passion and murder for $ (except in extreme murderous times).

    and it was dated purim. interesting.

  21. Obviously, one cannot speak in a manner of “holding accountable” when addressing HKB”H, Yishtabach Shemo. As Shimon ben Shetach told Choni Hame’agel (mishnah, Ta’anit 19a), one must be extraordinarily careful to address the Ribbono Shel Olam with the utmost of reverence. Or, as Kohelet (4:1) said
    אַל-תְּבַהֵל עַל-פִּיךָ וְלִבְּךָ אַל-יְמַהֵר, לְהוֹצִיא דָבָר–לִפְנֵי הָאֱ-לֹקים: כִּי הָאֱ-לֹקים בַּשָּׁמַיִם וְאַתָּה עַל-הָאָרֶץ, עַל-כֵּן יִהְיוּ דְבָרֶיךָ מְעַטִּים

  22. MiMedinat HaYam

    the “zebra” neices article has a bad link. correct is http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4045136,00.html

  23. MiMedinat HaYam

    the british royal family has a tradition of giving their sons a bris, using a mohel, since they consider themselves descended from shlomo hamelech (to establish their royal bona fides.)

    as for the father’s charitable work, perhaps next week he will give to vaad hair or vaad harabonim or one of the other tzedaka’s.

    2. i guess you cant sing the “traditional” shoshanat yaakov in airmont. lipa banned it for internal political reasons.

  24. >Royal wedding to include Jewish custom

    Is anyone going to tell them that it’s to mourn for Zion?

  25. “He saw combat with the Army in Europe in World War II, rising to major and earning both a Bronze Star and the Croix de Guerre.”

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/books/the_man_who_saved_new_york_eDQ0aIu3TrMaofZAIgsylO#ixzz1HLm5rT7X

  26. Concerning the Maxwell House haggadah now not referring to G-d in the masculine, which is in the Hebrew original, it is quite a shame that Joseph Jacobs Advertising is evidently unconcerned if its changes make a previously popular and benign haggada into an ideological front. Joseph Jacobs Advertising is Maxwell House’s marketer to the Jewish community and is responsible for the new edition. For a company that focuses on the Jewish community and the kosher purchaser, it is strange that they would risk alienating a large segment of the kosher purchaser for what has been for their client such excellent niche product placement.

  27. Michael Rogovin

    Not sure about the comment on Maxwell House re that the original is not gender neutral when referring to God. True, melech is a zachar form, but zachar can be either male or neutral gender and there are texts (particularly in the sepharadic tradition) that use a nekevah form form when refering to God. Also, the ubiquitos term “hu” when referring to God could be rendered “hi” without changing spelling since the original is not vowelled (granted we have a mesora on how to read it). It is hard to argue with the statement in the article that God does not have a gender. The fact that Hebrew uses, or appears to use, male gender language to refer to God could mean (depending on context) that a particular characteristic that is typically male is being referenced (ie “ish milchama”)or that given the grammar of the language, there was no neutral term, or that the term is in fact gender neutral despite the zachar form (ie “melech”).

    Like most translations, the Maxwell House translation is probably flawed in more serious ways, though I don’t have anything particular in mind.

  28. HAGTBG:

    “For a company that focuses on the Jewish community and the kosher purchaser, it is strange that they would risk alienating a large segment of the kosher purchaser . . .”

    oh please.
    1) most american jews don’t care about this (if they even notice), and the numbers that are actually offended are probably balanced out by those applaud it.
    2) most frum jews of my generation aren’t using maxwell house haggadas.
    so i ask you, who exactly are they alienating?

  29. MICHAEL ROGOVIN:

    “there are texts (particularly in the sepharadic tradition) that use a nekevah form form when refering to God”

    which sephardic texts?
    are you confusing feminine forms with pausal forms (e.g., in yedid nefesh)?

  30. 1. I agree most Jews don’t care. No do I think most would stop using the haggadah one way or the other. So why do something that makes an icon controversial? As a marketer to the kosher community, Joseph Jacobs Advertising is supposed to know the nuances of that community.

    2. I have no idea what your generation is. In my family, we use the Maxwell House haggdah. Particularly after Maggid, when at least by us we have less comments and less need for commentary.

    I would be hesitant to use a haggadah whose translation goes out of its way not to be faithful to tradition.

  31. It seems like MH just took all pronouns out when referring to HKBH. This does not change any meaning and no community should be upset by this. The title that R’ Gil used seems to have stirred the pot, but see what they did before you condemn.

  32. Former YU, You must have meant HKB.

  33. Abba, maybe he is referring to the Sephard Kedusha of Shacharit versus the almost identical Ashkenazi Kedusha of Mussaf.

  34. Shalom Rosenfeld

    Right, the places the Sephardic text ends the word with “ach” instead of “echa.” Though when is that feminine, and when is it just Aramaic?

    The best quote on this subject is RYBS saying he could feel the Shechniah hovering over him when he learned, “and SHE would ask, ‘nu, yoshe ber, what do you think?’ ”

    Hebrew is a very strongly-gendered language. Some languages aren’t gendered at all (I think Chinese is that way). English is somewhere in between, which is what causes all the confusion. We all say “actor” vs “actress”, but what about “sculptor” vs “sculptress”? I recall the American Heritage Dictionary talks a lot about this.

  35. R Rosenfeld: that’s not necessarily Aramaic, it’s more likely Mishnaic Hebrew. Someone mentioned recently (on Avodah?) that the shift from -ach to -echa in the siddur, e.g. in Yedid Nefesh, was an effect of the 19th-century dikduk geeks, such as Heidenheim, who thought the siddur should be in a “purer” Biblical Hebrew rather than Mishnaic Hebrew.

    That would also go for, I guess, Yisgadeil Veyiskadeish, rather than Yisgadal veYiskadash, although there it’s more clearly a shift betwee Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.

    Or, as we said on Thursday, and which hasn’t shifted, “aseih lemaan datach, asei lemaan hodach…”

    Anyway, how much gender neutralization is there? The article only mentioned gender-neutral God-language, which seems pretty innocuous.

  36. I think you are overdoing the changes in the Maxwell House Haggadah. According to the JTA article, the new translation is subtly, rather than glaringly, politically correct. (I haven’t seen the new Haggadah; my comments are solely based on the JTA article.)

  37. I’ve been informed that this article “Royal wedding to include Jewish custom” which no longer seems to be online was a Purim joke.

  38. “HAGTBG on March 22, 2011 at 7:51 am
    I know that about 5 years ago several US batei din’s converts were not recognized by Israel when those geirim tried to make aliya. The RCA’s revamping of their geirus procedures and rules was in response to that issue.

    Not correct. The Chief Rabbinate controls marriage and divorce (and burial?, and most conversions?) in Israel. It was their refusal to recognize MO converts that led to the RCA revamping (which some in the US wanted anyway). ”

    What is unethical is that the CR as an institution had an agreement to accept conversions done by RCA Rabbonim. The Rabbonim would send a copy of the letter that the 3 signed that states when geirus took place etc-the CR was not in the business per the agreement of being bochen the RCA Rabbis in good standing-the Beis Din-I believe that it would have been at times R Gedaliah Schwartz would certify that the Rabbis were in good standing and the CR would recognize the conversion. It was never a frequent event-most RCA Rabbonim would not do many conversions-they tended to be either giyurei katan-or people brought up as Jews and then ealized that they were not halachikally Jewish. The subset of those who gerim who made aliyah were never great numbers-assuming the general number of American olim were never more than roughly 3000 a year and if gerim were probably approximatelu !% of Jewish population-we were nottalking about big numbers. Of course, the RCAs shameless retreat in supporting people who followed their own procedures is scandalous.

  39. Michael Rogovin

    Sorry, I don’t recall which liturgical poems, but I distinctly recall “hee” vs “hu” in several texts, particularly in sepharadic texts. I am not, nor purport to be, a grammar expert in any language (a good place to ask is mail-jewish where they will debate this endlessly). In any case, my main point stands – God is neither masculine nor feminine, but unique. When referring to God, language is inadequate. While it is not surprising that that largely male composers of texts would use male pronouns, one must remember that even in English, the word “man” can refer either to males or to all of humanity. Gender neutral seems perfectly appropriate in English (and perhpas Hebrew if it HAD a gender neutral grammar form) for references to God.

  40. R’ Michael Rogovin,
    Yi’yasher kochakha, well said. Language is totally inadequate to describe HKB”H, Yishtabach Shemo, Who is “transcendent, transcendent, transcendent”. Therefore, we can only use the terminology the HKB”H has revealed through His Written and Oral Torah. That’s how my teacher R. Joshua Shmidman explained the gemara in Yoma 69b regarding “Ha-(K)-l HaGadol HaGibor VihaNora”. We human beings have no permission to offer direct descriptions of HKB”H; we can only use the descriptions HKB”H reveals to us in His Torah. Since the gemara speaks of “HaKadosh Barukh Hu”, we do as well, and since the gemara speaks of Shekhinah in the feminine, we do as well.

  41. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but what a dispiriting piece about the British Orthodox Jews. I suppose I can just say, “Al tidamu b’nafshechem lihimalet betoch ha-Aravim mikol haYehudim.” First they come for the Zionists, and they won’t talk up because they’re not “Zionists.” Then they’ll come for the “Orthodox Jewish, British, Pro-Israel, Pro-peace” crowd, then for “Yohanan Baruch,” and then, yes, for the Rabbis for Human Rights and their crowd. And then there will be no one to speak up. What a pity it can’t be the other way around so the normal Jews don’t have to suffer before they can wake up.

  42. “the Torah shows concern for human life by ensuring that capital punishment is only imposed after satisfying numerous procedural safeguards”

    None of those safeguards exist in the US.

  43. “Concerning the Maxwell House haggadah now not referring to G-d in the masculine, which is in the Hebrew original, it is quite a shame that Joseph Jacobs Advertising is evidently unconcerned if its changes make a previously popular and benign haggada into an ideological front.”

    Someone probably reminded them that Rambam’s Third Principle prohibits ascribing human characteristics such as masculinity or femininity to the Divine.

    “Some languages aren’t gendered at all (I think Chinese is that way).”

    Correct. Native Chinese speakers who learn English as a second language constantly mix up male and female pronouns. I understand that Hungarian is also gender-free.

  44. Someone probably reminded them that Rambam’s Third Principle prohibits ascribing human characteristics such as masculinity or femininity to the Divine.

    Which is why we stick to the original and don’t make any changes, lest our changes be insufficient.

  45. Gil: Which is why we stick to the original and don’t make any changes, lest our changes be insufficient.

    According to this point of view, how does one account for the changes made in the liturgy by grammarians?

  46. There are no changes to the Hebrew text. It is a classic Haggadah.

  47. Gil,
    There is no “original” English.

  48. “Gil,
    There is no “original” English.”

    Maxwell House is the original English. So they have deviated from the original 🙂

  49. MiMedinat HaYam

    have to check shakespeare’s haggada for english text. shakespeare = original english.

    oops! it doesnt have chad gadya.

    2. to mycroft — i was once invited to make a minyan at a wedding that involved the rav you mention. he charged (at the time) $5000 for a gerut, and it included the wedding ceremony. (that’s a respectable figure, compared to a BT friend of mine who now realizes his daughter is not really jewish cause he paid his charedi rov (of the shul he grew up in, though few there were shomer shabat) $200 for a meaningless giyur (which i guess included the chuppa vekiddushin) for his then wife.) it turns out the rov you mention was the go-to-rov in the rca for giyur (at the time.)

  50. “. to mycroft — i was once invited to make a minyan at a wedding that involved the rav you mention. he charged (at the time) $5000 for a gerut, and it included the wedding ceremony. (that’s a respectable figure, compared to a BT friend of mine who now realizes his daughter is not really jewish cause he paid his charedi rov (of the shul he grew up in, though few there were shomer shabat) $200 for a meaningless giyur (which i guess included the chuppa vekiddushin) for his then wife.) it turns out the rov you mention was the go-to-rov in the rca for giyur (at the time.)”

    But note there were other RCA Rabbonim who REFUSED to accept anything for Geirus-sometimes depending on the circumstances they would even pay out of their own pockets milah and mikveh fees. Depending on waht you mean go-to-rov I’m not sure that I agree with you.At least a couple of those who refused to accept anything held at various times various positons of leadership in the RCA

  51. Abba’s Rantings,

    I can’t read the aleph link you cited. Would you please paste in the title/author, etc.?

    Thanks!

  52. “Which is why we stick to the original and don’t make any changes, lest our changes be insufficient.”

    Onkelos made a lot of changes to the text of the Torah when he translated it into Aramaic.

  53. Charlie: he was extending your citation of the Rambam. In other words, that’s the Rambam’s view. If you’d like to make an argument from Onkelos, a) the Talmud already says he had “ruah hakodesh” or something like that, b) you’ll still have to ask the Rambam.

  54. Is there anyone today who DOESN’T hold by Rambam’s Third Principle?

  55. Charlie, Targum is not translation, it’s a running commentary; some more than others. You may argue all translation is, but the targumim we have date to the period of the Tannaim at the earliest and reflect the Torah Shebeal Pe.

    As the third principle, Marc Shapiro sometimes seems not to. 🙂

  56. “Targum is not translation, it’s a running commentary; some more than others. You may argue all translation is, but the targumim we have date to the period of the Tannaim at the earliest and reflect the Torah Shebeal Pe.”

    Got it. The new genderless translation is a commentary reflecting the opinion of Rambam; the older gendered translation reflects the opinion of his opponents who were willing to ascribe anthropomorphic characteristics to God.

  57. re the JW article about public schools vs yeshiva:
    The most telling item in this article is the ‘unavailability’ of anyone to speak for the Yeshivas, other than Rav Ronen. This leaves one wondering if they have a coherent story to tell about why it’s worth it to send your kids there.
    Or maybe, like Israel, the problem is simply one of ‘hasbara’…

  58. re: Yoffie
    Strange stuff? An odd editorial comment, Gil. I actually thought it was a great piece. What did you find strange?
    But probably one should ask an actual teenager for a reaction…

  59. Gil –

    I don’t know if this is the kind of thing you include in your links, but check it out:
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-march-23-2011/the-thin-jew-line

  60. At first I thought that millions of Koreans were reading the Talmud in Hebrew, which would have been absurd. Then I realized that the article was in Hebrew. Even so, it’s weird, and even a bit scary.
    I wonder. How many of the various jewish Nobelists had even a rudimentary Talmud education?

  61. cyberdov: You don’t think it’s weird for a rabbi to tell teenagers without qualification that sex is good?

  62. The Apple link doesn’t seem to work

    Interesting is that the tuition article implies only nameless bloggers are against the idea.

    “Robotic Judaism” – I’m shocked, shocked!

    KT

  63. Now, one of the side benefits of leading a Torah lifestyle and, in fact, one of the indicators of how religious you are, is how happy you are.
    =====================================
    Ahhh, I always new Country Joe was the frummest guy I knew back in the day:
    And its 1,2,3 what are we fighting for?
    Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn,
    The next stop is Vietnam,
    And its 5,6,7 open up the pearly gates,
    Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
    WHOOPEE we’re all gonna die

    KT

  64. Of course Rabbi Yoffie tells them that sex is good. They already know that it is, and if he tells them otherwise, they’ll know he’s lying to them and won’t listen to anything else he says.

    He’s not speaking to a yeshiva/bais yaakov audience. He’s speaking to ordinary American teenagers.

    He does qualify his statement. The qualification comes a few paragraphs later.

  65. Re: the JW article about day-school kids switching to public school.

    Is it just me, or does this article have some major faults? First, it begins with the story of someone who has switched his kid, and the implication is that he did so for financial reasons. Only much later in the article do we find out that his decision had nothing to do with money.

    Second, any writing that analyzes people who switch schools for financial reasons needs to talk about the lifestyles of those parents. Otherwise, we have no way of knowing if these parents simply are loath to give up on their fancy cars and trips overseas or if they really can’t make ends meet. I’m not judging; I just need more information.

  66. lawrence kaplan

    Gil: Scott is right. Rabbi Yoffie doea qualify his statement. Reread the article.

    In gnelra I think you should just present the links’ titles without changes and avoid editorializing.

  67. So basically his view is sex in relationship (marital or not) = good. No sex in relationship = bad. Sex outside of relationship = bad.

    You must deal with the crises of our day, and, at the same time, deal with difficult matters in your personal lives — especially the issues of sex, alcohol and drugs. These are conventional temptations, of course, that teens have faced since the beginning of time. But today’s cultural climate makes these decisions even harder for you than they have been before. My advice can be summarized in three general rules.

    The general rule with sex is that it’s a good thing. Freud was right: it is the motor that makes the world run. People who like sex are happier and less violent; they don’t go to war because they would rather stay home under the covers.

    But my broader point is that you are not yet adults, and each of these temptations could potentially be a killer, emotionally and physically. You will benefit from finding a standard outside of your own feelings before you decide to indulge. And the place to start is with your parents, your rabbis, your youth groups — and the teachings of Judaism.

    And the best way to approach these decision is with emunah — faith. Faith in Judaism and faith in God.

    ***
    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Sex_and_Sexuality/Premarital_Sex.shtml
    Even the Conservative and Reform movements, who still stress the ideal of marital sex, acknowledge that Judaism’s position on human sexuality is not consonant with the trends of contemporary life. Both denominations have suggested that premarital sexual relationships–where they exist–should be conducted according to the ethical principles that govern married sex: namely with the respect due to all humans as beings created in the image of God. In addition, Conservative rabbi Elliot Dorff has stressed the importance of modesty, fidelity, and health and safety in non-marital sex.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-eric-h-yoffie/sexual-obsession-and-the-_b_785785.html
    most Americans, buffeted by hard times and looking for comfort and support, crave religious teaching that is richer, deeper, more spiritual and more embracing than what they have been hearing. They feel, instinctively and correctly, that religion has a broader mandate, and that if it is narrowly focused on sexual restrictions, it is distorting authentic religious values.

    Does this mean that the only alternative is a moral free-for-all? Hardly. In these difficult days, Americans need a religious teaching that begins with the premise that sexuality is linked to blessing, commandment and God; that focuses on holiness and self-respect; and that sends the message that each of them is a person of irreducible worth, made in the image of God. And if they will not get this message from the preachers of the fundamentalist world, it is up to liberal religious voices to fill the void.

    But the 1950s are over, never to return. As the Religious Right has discovered, a “just say no” approach will not work and will leave Americans alienated and alone. It is time for others both to expand religion’s horizons and to offer thoughtful and sophisticated thinking on matters of sex.

  68. As Allan Bloom would say, Romeo and Juliet were not in a “relationship.”

  69. Where does he limit his statement about sex to relationship?
    His says it is generally good. He insinuates that it can cause emotional turmoil for a person, but does not in any way mention how or in what form.
    I would contrast his article with this recent one from the WSJ:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703899704576204580623018562.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

    Which one is more reflective of Jewish values (even if neither is Orthodox)

  70. As if any teenager was of the opinion that sex is not a good thing.

  71. I agree with Nachum Lamm’s assessment of the segment of UK Jewry profiled in the linked article.For those interested in another IMO misleadingly rosy picture of anti Semitism in the UK and the response of Anglo Jewry, see this week’s Jewish Week. One searches in vein from any quote from Anthony Julius, whose “The Trials of the Diaspora” is must reading on the historical and cultural antecedents of anti Semitism in Britain.

  72. I read the interview with R Shafier. Like it or not, in most yeshivos, excluding YU, one is considered a Bdieved if one is not learning 24/7, as opposed to being a learner-earner. When one is exposed to such a hashkafa which views the Yissocher-Zevulun relationship as pivotal,and ignores the fact that all male Jews are supposed to maximize their time so that they can learn,, regardless of their income level, it is no wonder that Mitzvos Anashim Mlumadah has emerged as an issue.

  73. Steve,

    While the JW article is certainly not perfect,I’m not sure your criticisms are entirely correct. The importance of starting with Flynn was not the erason for his moving his child to public school. Rather, he’s important because (a0 he gave his name which so few (for understandable reasons in this context) did and (b)that he received many calls from other Orthodox parents asking him about it. Thus, it demonstrates the trmendous interest of this issue in bergen County. And as far as more details about how the people spend their money, do you really think many people interviewed for this article are going to discuss their personal spending habits (although “Sarah” and the Vidavers did in part). I agree, it would be helpful getting taht information, but it’s not very easy to get — unless, od course, you’re on a yeshiva scholarship committee.

  74. Steve: I am wondering on what basis you make your claim at 4:43 about UK Jewry and UK anti-Semitism. Having lived in London for the majority of the first decade of this century, I do not recognize your, or Nachum’s, assertions.

    That is not to say that I ignore the anti-Zionist Jewish voices, who are splendidly skewered in Howard Jacobson’s “The Finkler Question” which one this years Booker Prize (in the allegedly “anti-Semitic” UK).

  75. Oops. “which one this years Booker prize” should be “which won this year’s Booker prize”. An ironic typo, when discussing literary prizes.

  76. Michael Rogovin

    The important thing about the article on public school is that a particular parent’s decision about where to send a particular child is nobody’s business except the parent. It is not a communal issue and pressure, social or otherwise, placed on parents who for one reason or another to conform with a relatively recent standard of day school is a terrible wrong. The collective exodus might be a communal issue and whether we can continue to support so many schools is a reasonable question. But no one should condemn an individual decision.

    Will some parents switch to public school so they can buy a new Lexus or go on more vacations? Maybe. Or some might choose to save more for retirement, or pay down bills. Or host more Shabbat guests. Or give more tzedaka. Or make some home improvements since they don’t travel to Israel or Puerto Rico for pesach every year. Remember — it is their choice.

    Another good point in the article (and I know this to be the case) is that Teaneck regular public schools are good. They have some excellent teachers and administrators and caring staff. And they can be sensitive to Jewish concerns. Could they be better? Sure. Are there issues? Yes. So what? There are no problems in Yeshivas? And if more parents choose this option, things will only improve. Options are important. Yeshiva may be for most, but it is not for everyone.

  77. MiMedinat HaYam

    regarding the korean talmud article — assuming its not a purim torah or april fools day article, i note that many germans (mostly “academic” types, intellectuals, etc) study talmud regularly; some with pretty good knowledge of what’s going on.

  78. Clearly the vast majority of adult members of the MO community who grew up within the community attended a day school and conventional wisdom is that this is pretty much the only way to achieve communal continuity.But we really have no idea what the long term effects would be of having many kids growing up in frum suburban communities and attending public schools of one kind of another. My sense is that if they make it through high school frum and spend the requisite year in Israel doing whatever that is supposed to do, they will have virtually the same outcome for religious affiliation.

    Consider that even the MO day schools think that the year in Israel experience is essential. What does that say about what they are accomplishing? What are they even trying to accomplish? If the goal is simply continued religious affiliation then the bar is already so low that it is hard to imagine a public school plus charter program and TT couldn’t do the same if it is well run.

  79. “What does that say about what they are accomplishing? What are they even trying to accomplish? If the goal is simply continued religious affiliation then the bar is already so low that it is hard to imagine a public school plus charter program and TT couldn’t do the same if it is well run.”

    That’s certainly not “simply the goal” as anyone who has any experience in yeshiva/day schools knows, or should know. They are schools after all, and another extremely important part of the goal is, obviously, that the graduates are knowledgable Jewishly,a goal that has many facets. In fact, we were discussing this issue around our Shabbat table last week and I said that one of my disappointments with the schools my kids went to (and I was very pleased with them, for the most part) was that they weren’t fluent in Hebrew. And the two of my kids who were there said that when they graduated high school they were pretty fluent in Hebrew, such that in Israel they understood almost everything when Israelis spoke to them in Hebrew and they could communicate pretty well when they had to on the street, in stores, in classes hat were taught in Hebrew (as some were in their school), and with families who didn’t speak English etc. And I know their exposure in limudei kodesh was pretty broad and they’re comfortable in listening to a shiur or picking up a sefer. Interestingly, their biggest complaint of what they weren’t taught? The history of Zionism and the State of israel. Now, I know that others had experiences that weren’t as positive as my family’s but all this talk about how our kids come out of 12 years of yeshiva/day schools Jewishly illiterate and without any feelings for Yahadut is an unfair and extreme evaluation of a system that, though far far far from perfect and not for everyone, has had lots and lots of successes and, on the whole, has been a positive for our community. They’re an easy target to bash, though, especially anonymously.

  80. Joseph, how is it you didn’t know that your kids were so good in Hebrew? Question: Was it the boys or the girls?

    IH, I never mentioned British anti-Semitism. That was all Steve, latching on to an unrelated comment I made.

  81. “Now, I know that others had experiences that weren’t as positive as my family’s but all this talk about how our kids come out of 12 years of yeshiva/day schools Jewishly illiterate and without any feelings for Yahadut is an unfair and extreme evaluation of a system that, though far far far from perfect and not for everyone, has had lots and lots of successes”

    Essentially agree-certainly there have lots of successes-the current day school movement is made for roughly the top 1/3 of kids-it would not surprise me that Kaplan kids would be in the top 1/3 of ability. That group can master the double program essentially as taught now. The middle 1/3rd or so could benefit from a modified program ie in HS more Nach and halacha. The bottom 1/3 or so just can’t do the program-the goal realistically is to hope that they could learn how to read a siddur with good fluency and learn basic knowledge in English by the end of HS.

    ” and, on the whole, has been a positive for our community. ”
    It is a statement that has been accepted by the Orthodox community wo rigorous proof. It is clear that the bottom 1/3rd of our students are much worse off Judaically since they don’t fit in than they would ahve been in a system wo day schools-the middle 1/3rd are probably split. Of course, day schools have limited those who can be part of Orthodox Jewish life-unless one has a way above average income one can’t even dream of sending ones child to a day school-thus there has been an economic bar to entry to Orthodoxy. WhenI read the various blogs of the so called tuition crisis it appears that the vast majority of writers have incomes way above the American average-the so called tuition crisis is only a crisis for those groups a major portion couldn’t afford it even in boom times.

  82. “that a particular parent’s decision about where to send a particular child is nobody’s business except the parent. It is not a communal issue and pressure, social or otherwise, placed on parents who for one reason or another to conform with a relatively recent standard of day school is a terrible wrong”

    Agreed-but sadly the social pressure is to send ones child to a day school even if not appropriate for the child-it is the social environment which the day schools are really selling for many students/parents.

  83. By the way, why is my old classmate Yitz Flynn any less “frum” than the Satmar who set up a public school district for pretty much the same reasons?

  84. Lawrence: I think those are all valid points, but in the case of how the article begins, I think they are outweighed by Yitz Flynn’s anomalous situation: 1) Many stories start with aliases, so while you’re right that it is better to have a real name, it’s hardly necessary. 2) I think that the article could have focused on the calls without beginning with Mr. Flynn; the starting point could have one of the callers, for example.

    As far as whether more lifestyle info could have been gathered, yes, I do think that could have been done. Obviously, I’m not talking about a bank balance or anything even close to that – just the types of jobs, the types of cars, etc. Certainly, if any of the interviews were done in the subjects’ houses, it would have been easy enough to note if the house is especially large. And people might be more willing to share information about vacations as such than we’d think.

    Full disclosure: I realize that the whole thing is sordid; I have no great desire to know what people do with their money. But these are important things, and articles can influence public policy. I expected more balance.

  85. The YU Undergrad school consolidation story sounds like a very big deal. I can’t figure out the mechanics of it all, but it sounds like something that could fundamentally transform the Yeshiva parts of the school (not RIETS, which was already made apart some time ago.) Why is this not seen as a major and possibly scary event?

  86. The consolidation of the faculty is (I hope) designed to:

    1) Save some money

    2) Address the educational inequities between YU and Stern

    3)(Crossing my fingers) Finally begin building quality disciplinary departments with full time professors who will spend their careers at YU. You can’t have a decent department with one or two full faculty members and five adjuncts that no sane scholar looking for a viable tenure track position would ever join.

  87. Too bad that YU didn’t choose to get specific in order to short circuit the guessing game.
    KT

  88. BTW this paragraph is worth it’s weight in spun gold:

    Over the next period of time, we will work together as a faculty and explore curricular and professional opportunities that emerge from being a unified faculty. We will now also begin a period of increased consultation with different constituents including faculty, students and alumni to get the best and next creative thinking to ensure the success of our students in their futures.

    KT

  89. Nachum: Because I speak to them in English. Unfortunately, their Hebrew skills have deteriorated because they use it so infrequently. But when they go to Israel for any extended period of time, it starts to come back.. And I have only daughters.

  90. Lawrence Kaplan

    Steve: In your 10:45am comment you adressed me when you meant to address my brother. Contrary to what some may think, we are NOT fungable!

  91. “Yitz Flynn any less “frum” than the Satmar who set up a public school district for pretty much the same reasons”

    Because the Satmar hanhala makes the money-here the money is being lost to School establishments.

  92. The linked article at CNN re PETA illustrates IMO, that PETA does not comprehend that man and woman were created in the Divine Image in a qualitatively different manner than animals, and that man was commanded to be fruitful, multiply and subdue the rest of the world. Prior to the Flood, man may have very well been a vegetarian, and was permitted to eat meat thereafter and to offer animal based Korbanos, ( notwithstanding R Kook ZL’s views on what will be offered in Bayis Shlishi), there is nothing IMO in the Torah that would support PETA’s often voiced claim that there is no difference between humans and the animal kingdom. Only a view that denies the Divinely Ordained role of man and woman as having a Neshama could reach such a conclusion.

  93. I read the JW article re the parents in Bergen County. The reason why a year in a yehiva or seminary in Israel is essential is because it is very difficult for the average teen in America, especially in the MO world, to wrestle with issues such as the importance of striving in Avodas HaShem, Talmud TorahKedusha, etc, are not on the wavelength of many MO teens. RAL bemoaned this fact in one of his articles. A RaM in one of the programs for American post high school men told me that he was astonished at the poor level of basic knowledge of Halacha LMaaseh, as opposed to Hidurim and Chumros, in many basic areas of Halacha of many post high school students. That could be because Limudei Kodesh has to compete with APs, extracurricular activities and American culture . For many of the students in the post year programs, the same serve as their first and only exposure to Talmud Torah Lishmah.

  94. IH wrote:

    “Steve: I am wondering on what basis you make your claim at 4:43 about UK Jewry and UK anti-Semitism. Having lived in London for the majority of the first decade of this century, I do not recognize your, or Nachum’s, assertions.”

    Have you read “The Trials of the Diaspora”? It is must reading on the origins of anti Semitism in the UK.

  95. MiMedinat HaYam

    the “spun gold” quote referenced at 120pm (by joel r):

    but he has rejected alumni all the time (ironically, despite being the first yu director of alumni)

    2. i think someone went on some hotel junket in florida, and / or somebody hired some con$ultants who told him to do this.

    3. the riets comment (yehupitz 1121am) is interesting. he is trying to buy off rebbeim by getting them scholar in residence and lecture gigs.

    4. anyway, its all part of his plan to create “hillel university”.

  96. BTW, the Jewish Week has an article on the Maxwell House haggadah. The article notes it is explicitly catering to the non-Orthodox who mostly use the haggadah and that its now the four children.

  97. “schools my kids went to (and I was very pleased with them, for the most part) was that they weren’t fluent in Hebrew”

    It is very possible that many terrorists are more fluent inHebrew than are many Rabbonim-so what.

  98. “”But we really have no idea what the long term effects would be of having many kids growing up in frum suburban communities and attending public schools of one kind of another. My sense is that if they make it through high school frum and spend the requisite year in Israel doing whatever that is supposed to do, they will have virtually the same outcome for religious affiliation”

    Lets see for starters RMTs father went to public HS and went to Israel to study.Pretty knowledgeable and religious.

  99. I reread the JW article and I think that one can identify parents with legitimate financial issues, those who never anticipated any kind of Mesiras Nefesh such as sacrificing vacations and home repairs, and others who mistakenly IMo are thinking that they can provide a decent Jewish education and inculcate a Torah based hashkafa in their children while sending them to public schools. If the latter two groups are representative of these issues and thinking of this nature in the MO citadel of Bergen County, then the importance of Mesiras Nefesh to live a committed life to Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim within one’s means within MO needs to be underscored.

  100. People don’t go through college, have both spouses working, and move to a a place where the average house runs above 400k and property tax rates near the highest in the country to then live as paupers because tuition eats up 50% of their after tax income. That was not anyone’s life plan. Doing so isn’t mesiras nefesh. It’s plain idiocy. Unless you expect your kids to have a significantly lower standard of living than you, you need to realize that this is a response to a very serious problem, not simply a lack of proper priorities.

  101. MJ wrote:

    “People don’t go through college, have both spouses working, and move to a a place where the average house runs above 400k and property tax rates near the highest in the country to then live as paupers because tuition eats up 50% of their after tax income. That was not anyone’s life plan. Doing so isn’t mesiras nefesh. It’s plain idiocy. Unless you expect your kids to have a significantly lower standard of living than you, you need to realize that this is a response to a very serious problem, not simply a lack of proper priorities”

    MJ-Like it or not, what you quoted are the facts of life in Bergen County or in any major MO community. It has nothing to do what your kids earn-but rather one views as priorities in life. If you view your kids education as a paramount value, you will be Moser Nefesh, and realize that you can’t always get what you want . If you don’t, you are simply IMO unrealistic or should have considered Aliyah long before your kids entered their school years.

  102. http://www.torahweb.org/torah/2005/parsha/rsch_matos.htmlI think that RHS’s comment re priorities is a must read on this issue.

  103. Steve: You have to distinguish between the problem and people’s reaction. MJ aptly described the problem. You are saying that people have to live with it no matter how bad it is. I agree with both of you except that I think the community has to find a solution because it cannot realistically expect most people to be moser nefesh to that extent. It isn’t going to happen in any community. Although I have to say that I still don’t understand why yeshiva in Teaneck costs double what it does in Brooklyn.

  104. R Gil-Perhaps-the issue is that I see no evidence of those who are working on the tuition crisis consulting with or even being represented by parents who confront or who have survived the issues, as opposed to people for whom the issues really don’t appear on their radar except as a means of Chesed. IOW, input from someone who has been a job switch or downsizing and kept his or her kids in the yeshiva system would be helpful while maintaining a semblance of public and personal sanity, calm and Bitachon in the face of such a perfect storm would be helpful.

    As far as tuition costs go, I would suggest that MO yeshiva costs are double that of Brooklyn yeshivos simply because the MO schools emphasize that they have the same academic and extracurricular “bells and whistles” as either the best public or private schools.

    I do think that that the article depicts three distinct subgroups-the financially strapped, the financially able but unwilling to sacrifice and those who think IMO mistakenly that they can educate their kids without any financial cost while exposing them to the worst elements of 21st century American culture.

  105. GIL:

    ” I still don’t understand why yeshiva in Teaneck costs double what it does in Brooklyn.”

    in life you generally get what you pay for. this isn’t to say that bergen county schools are “better” than brooklyn schools, but the parents bodies have very different expectations of what they want in a school. yes, you could run a brooklyn-type school in bergen county at brooklyn prices, but that’s not what most bergen county parents want.

  106. Seems to me it’s better than sending Jewish kids to public school.

  107. STEVE:

    “It has nothing to do what your kids earn”

    i’m not sure what MJ meant, but please realize many parents my age have zero college savings for their kids, have no realistic plans to create such savings and they will furthermore be unable to assume any type of debt burden to finance their kids’ college education.

    (i’m sure you don’t think it’s important to go to an expensive ivy league–or similar–school, but how much do you think YU costs these days?)

    and i won’t even about how many people have inadequate (or zero) retirement savings. the only thing many of my generation will be bequeathing to their kids is debt.

  108. GIL:

    “Seems to me it’s better than sending Jewish kids to public school.”

    i don’t necessarily think ps is the best commnunal response, but on a personal level everyone has to make their own cheshbon
    (disclosure: my child is in public school)

  109. “others who mistakenly IMo are thinking that they can provide a decent Jewish education and inculcate a Torah based hashkafa in their children while sending them to public schools.”

    Sadly many are not getting a decent Jewish education in Jewish schools and due to abuse and in general I am not talking about sexual or physical abuse but the psychological abuse that many get from rebbeim and administrators they would have bee nfar better off going to public schools.

  110. GIL:

    ” I still don’t understand why yeshiva in Teaneck costs double what it does in Brooklyn.”

    “in life you generally get what you pay for. this isn’t to say that bergen county schools are “better” than brooklyn schools, but the parents bodies have very different expectations of what they want in a school. yes, you could run a brooklyn-type school in bergen county at brooklyn prices, but that’s not what most bergen county parents want”

    Its not a matter of hashkafa its amatter of profit maximizing by the institutions-I don’t know prices but it is my impression that South Shore and Darchei in the 5Ts and Far Rockaway area charge much more than the Brooklyn chareidi schools. It is my understanding that in general their total fees are in the league of the more modern schools of the area not those of the Brooklyn schools. Someone who knows the exact tuitions can correct me.

  111. “Unless you expect your kids to have a significantly lower standard of living than you,”

    Which sadly will not be a rare occurrence at all in the future.

  112. “Steve Brizel on March 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm
    http://www.torahweb.org/torah/2005/parsha/rsch_matos.htmlI think that RHS’s comment re priorities is a must read on this issue”

    Are you sure that is a correct functioning link.
    I received the following in response to my attempt to read RHS comments

    “Not Found
    The requested URL /torah/2005/parsha/rsch_matos.htmlI was not found on this server.

    Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request”

  113. “The first step will be to take maximum advantage of all of our strengths by organizing the Stern College, Sy Syms School and Yeshiva College faculties into one Yeshiva University undergraduate faculty that will allow us to provide the highest quality education for our students with greater strength, flexibility, creativity and inter-disciplinary collaboration”

    From thenYU Press release signed by Richared Joel linked to by Gil. I certainly don’t know what this means-it could be simply a matter of what happens -heads of institutions like to reorganize even if it accomplishes nothing, it may be the beginning of a merger of undergraduate divisions-which would also save money and be more effective in education. I am not advocating that last thought just stating a possibility.

  114. “R Gil-Perhaps-the issue is that I see no evidence of those who are working on the tuition crisis consulting with or even being represented by parents who confront or who have survived the issues, as opposed to people for whom the issues really don’t appear on their radar except as a means of Chesed.”
    Agreed-and for those who it is not a crisis because they couldn’t even dream of paying tuition NO ONE is concerned about them.

  115. ““Seems to me it’s better than sending Jewish kids to public school.”

    …, but on a personal level everyone has to make their own cheshbon”
    Everyone has to make a cheshbon on what will be better for their child and don’t be pressured by the day school industrial complex.
    Ask around and get advice on your own personal situattion.

  116. “Agreed-and for those who it is not a crisis because they couldn’t even dream of paying tuition NO ONE is concerned about them.”

    I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean that there are people who truly can’t afford tuition because their income all goes for their basic needs and schools won’t admit them and give them scholarships?

  117. “Joseph Kaplan on March 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm
    “Agreed-and for those who it is not a crisis because they couldn’t even dream of paying tuition NO ONE is concerned about them.”

    I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean that there are people who truly can’t afford tuition because their income all goes for their basic needs and schools won’t admit them and give them scholarships?”

    Yes and even more that there are people who are not way above median income wouldn’t even try.

  118. Regarding the “Gay Cure” app: Does Apple permit advertisements for other kinds of junk medical treatments?

  119. “Yes and even more that there are people who are not way above median income wouldn’t even try.”

    I’m surprised. I’ve spoken to people on scholarship committees in two of the Teaneck/Englewood schools and they’ve told me that they’ve never turned anyone down who really couldn’t afford the tuition. And I have similar — albeit third-hand — information about other T/E schools as well as west side ones. So, am I not being told the truth? Can you tell us the names of the schools, or at least where they are located, that turned away people who truly can’t afford tuition because their income all goes for their basic needs? If that’s true, it would be, I think, a scandal. But simply a claim like that from an anonymous source with no details doesn’t make a scandal.

  120. “”Joseph Kaplan on March 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm
    “Yes and even more that there are people who are not way above median income wouldn’t even try.”

    I’m surprised. I’ve spoken to people on scholarship committees in two of the Teaneck/Englewood schools and they’ve told me that they’ve never turned anyone down who really couldn’t afford the tuition. And I have similar — albeit third-hand — information about other T/E schools as well as west side ones. So, am I not being told the truth? Can you tell us the names of the schools, or at least where they are located, that turned away people who truly can’t afford tuition because their income all goes for their basic needs? If that’s true, it would be, I think, a scandal. But simply a claim like that from an anonymous source with no details doesn’t make a scandal”

    Joe:
    There are at least a few cases over the decades that I have been familiar with in detail-one from a few decades ago-parents shomer shabbos daughter goes to public school in the South Bronx-couldn’t afford tuition-parents holocaust survivors worked in garment district as seamstress-fortunately Stern let her in and between grants and loans woman graduated, professional school and at least one daughter went to Stern-happy ending but no thanks to day school establishment. Another example-I don’t know this persons income statement but judging by who and what he worked for he did not have money and more obviously he lived in a small house in a moderately high crime area where his family euphamistically integrated the neighborhood-he was told by a moderate chareidi school to get lost. Another example a young worker who worked for a someplace he showed his w-2-OBVIOUSLY NO OUTSIDE INCOME-A COUPLE OF KIDS was willing to pay more than Rabeeim pay and he earned less than Rabeiim was told to get lost.
    Schools except for Bronx were not in Manhattan NJ or Westchester most were pseudo chareidi-a couple MO.
    Joe schools are not communal activities each one is incompetition with others and except for the rare Russian which is glamorous and easy to show as examples for scholarship dinners no one is interested in those who will not be of advantage to the school.
    Schools of course, push out the weak-well known.
    A school trying to maximize its institutional future should not be a surprise to you-thats what every school from Harvard down to the local cheder tries to do.

    “because their income all goes for their basic needs?”
    I list food,medicine and lodging as basic needs-one will be made to feel like dirt asking for scholarships-BTW I am not sure howimmoral that is in our present situation-where the community does not see its responsibility to supply aJewish education to all.

  121. Re Was slaughterhouse conviction excessive?
    CNBC replayed the show this morning 3AM EDT-I was up flipping through stations and saw last 45 minutes of show-show appears to be a fair summary of issues-they do give a few minutes to Rubashkins attorneys for their arguments of excessive punishment. Since the show is part of a series American Greed obviously it does not make Rubashkin appear to be a Zaddik. Worthwhile to watch by all.

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