Audio Roundup CXL

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by Joel Rich

LZ”N Gabriella Sarah Bat Kalman Zeev
Vayidom Yitzchak Yosef (lfi the pshat that aharon was silent immediately )

  • Rabbi H Schachter – What is Orthodox?

    Absolutely classic R’HS! Orthodoxy is subservience to Torah Shebal peh as interpreted by the Chachamim (me – “chachmei hamesorah”) in each generation. Full stop!
    * Orthodoxy means sometimes going against the tide.
    * He marked the tests and knows who got an 8/100 – that’s not chachmei hamesorah.
    * Emunat Chachamim probably means divine assistance and that they’re telling the truth. They entertain no political considerations (me- please count to 10 before you comment).
    * Reform started within strict halacha but didn’t ask gedolim – look what happened.
    * News Flash! If someone sneezes in NY, you don’t have to consult R’Elyashav.
    * R’YBS assumed people would understand not to do things that “weren’t recommended” even if not assur.
    * Great story about Agudah operations today vs. pre-war.
    * Must follow local Rabbis and their Rabbis (depending on nature of issue); if issue is big, LOR shouldn’t decide, if he does, it’s not orthodoxy.
    * Centrist Orthodoxy – do all mitzvot but are reasonable about it, live in the world, go to university, support Israel.

  • Rabbi M Willig – What is not Orthodox?

    What isn’t Orthodox? Denier of any of 13 principles (except maybe 5th – really!). R’Marc Shapiro – was really nitpicking exceptions. Some analysis of conservative experience and where they got it wrong (can’t resuscitate opinions that Talmud rejected).
    Who is entitled to an opinion? If a “leader” isn’t entitled to an opinion and goes off the ranch, what is the status of his followers? (probably not beyond the pale if they are sincere; yes if they are just doing it for convenience).
    What about Mashiach issue with Chabad? Can’t rely on them if they view rebbi as HKB”H , probably ok if they just believe he will be/is Moshiach. If a miyut hamatzui believe the former, would have to check individuals before reliance on them for kashrut etc.(and don’t hire the latter as your Rabbi in any event!). [Hmmm, if 10% (7.5%?R’Gil knows actuaries like to quantify) of my town (another issue-what is the universe you look at) don’t believe in one of the “ikarim” (they are closet scientists or academics :-)), I can’t trust their kashrut without checking (and what of the mashgiach at the local food store?)] Passion/Intention don’t make something right. Love the sinner, not his positions.

  • Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh-machshava 17 – Emunah 04 – proofs, mesorah, existentialism

    The Kuzari disagreed with the philosophical proofs of Judaism. The historical proof is based on the theory that mass revelation can’t be falsified. Another “proof” is “it’s obvious”. (Me – my favorite, however, we call it the “clearly” proof.)
    Once again I resonate to R’YBS’s frequency – the experiential “proof” – one “experiences” HKB”H; which implies I can’t convince you to believe I can only introduce you to a beautiful world. (Me – woe over those we have lost and are no longer found.; if I only knew how to set those souls on fire, if I only could perfect the Vulcan mind meld)

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter -Sotah Shiur#51

    Shimshon leads to comments on geirut for marriage. Absolute power corrupts absolutely (ok – Lord Acton, but R’HS was channeling him). Laws of war and self sacrifice (per R’HS Roni Klein ZT”L acted correctly because of hilchot milchama else wise his action would not be permitted).
    Suicide to avoid torture? Conversion and marriage in the rules in the time of Avraham? Can you choose not extend someone’s life?

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Laws and Customs of Chodesh Nissan

    Can “maot chitim” come from maaser? [no]. Prayer subtractions in Nissan. No eulogies, no fasting (with certain exceptions), no tzidduk hadin.
    Probably can visit cemetery on Yahrtzeit (Yes!) in Nissan.
    Glad R’Aryeh is also perplexed by the rubo d’chodesh k’kulo nature of Nissan.
    Got to wonder (I know R’Aryeh has a young community) how “tough” rabbis are in reinforcing the no hesped rule (including this isn’t a hesped it’s a ….) and what is the trade off in HKB”H’s eyes? (making family feel good vs. ratzon chachamim).

  • Rabbi Yonason Sacks -Inyonei Pesach I

    Purim vs. Pesach? Nice riff based on Yom Tov simcha being lifnei hashem (cue R’YBS or the Rich family roller coaster dvar torah) and why Rava holds must drink on Purim since we are still slaves to Achashveirosh (no need for artificial stimulants in the Mikdash but we’re not back to the garden yet).

  • Twentieth Century Rabbinic Thinkers: R. Moses Sofer (Hatam Sofer) – Dr. Marc Shapiro

    First in a series on the Chatam Sofer – perhaps the most important Rabbi in the last 200+ years. He really wasn’t a reactionary, his stringencies were against reform movement and he was lenient elsewhere. Bio includes R’Nosson Adler’s non-conformity and the lifelong rabbinically decreed estrangement of the CI from his father (I really don’t get this).
    Interesting discussion of alignment of Rabbis and upper class to protect their children from “choppers” – IMHO this deserves a series of its own.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -By Way Of Introduction – Kidmas Ha’eimek Part 1

    Netziv on Shiltot – first introduction. Originally two types of halachot – Daat = specific black and white; and Aish = needing more investigation. Aish can turn into daat over time through effort. Perhaps a third category which requires “siyata d’shmaya” (divine intervention? In halacha???) to move from aish to daat.
    The aish to daat (R’Micha??) may be what Rambam refers to as hilchita gmeirei.
    R’Aryeh – how can something be an ikkar (fundamental belief) now but not then? Are we saying we know better than Moseh Rabbeinu what is a “must” belief?

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -By Way Of Introduction – Kidmas Ha’eimek Part 2

    Q – How do we reconcile gemara that says all Tanach given at Sinai with one that says had we not sinned, the rest of Tanach wouldn’t have been given (me – maybe two tannaim disagreed?). A – It really means all Nach’s messages were encoded in Torah, by sinning we lost the secret decoder ring.
    Then discussion of learning styles (the more the merrier) and importance of ameilut.

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon -Bircas Hagomel (Part 6) – Being Motzi Others in the Bracha

    Can one individual be motzi a group of others in birchat hagomel? Are there special issues by birchat hagomel that make it different from other brachot in this regard? (e.g. need to give thanks in public). General discussion of yotze/motze/amen.

  • Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky -Hilchas Shabbas – when one’s permitted action results in a second, non-permitted action

    Highly technical discussion of halachic issues and results regarding davar sheino mitkaven, Psik reisha, nicha or lo nicha leih, patur, assur… in hilchot Shabbat as well as other halachic venues. One of my favorite questions: Is it a true halachic safeik (doubtful situation) if you don’t know some information, but the information is knowable?

  • Rabbi Elchanan Adler -IBC Topics Shiur – Birchas Kohanim – 1

    First of two in series. Focus here on tie between birchat kohanim and avodah (both actual sacrificial service and our “replacement” = prayer).

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon – IBC Topics Shiur – Hilchos Eruvin

    A general introduction to the rules of eruv chatzeirot (actually tzurat hapetach) – R’Simon views modern large scale eruvin as dependent on kulot and suggests not using them for unmarried bnai Yeshiva.

  • Rabbi Dr. Jacob J Schacter -Jewish Tradition and Human Decency: The Principle of Kavod Ha-Beriyot

    Examples of kavod habriyot (respect for others) from even the worst of role models.

  • Rabbi Uri Orlian -Halachos of the Workplace- Part I- Interacting with Gentiles

    Practical applications of lo tichaneim in life and in the workplace. My summary – use common sense and learn from role models.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -Ten Minute Halacha – Shoalin v’Dorshin b’Hilchos Hachag

    Analysis of the 30-day rule – Pesach only or other applications.

  • Rabbi Jeffrey Saks -Rambam’s Shemonah Perakim – Introduction

    First in a series on Rambam’s Shmoneh Prakim (commentary on Pirkei Avot). Includes a brief history of the Rambam then analysis of his approach here (no footnotes, some “outside sources”) and his dedication to the truth. The relationship of pirkei avot to the soul and the perfection of self.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes -Parshas Tzav Havdalah

    Is it a torah or rabbinic requirement? Some implications including the need of a bracha to allow post Shabbat mlacha.

  • Rabbi Uri Orlian -Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach: A Handbook for Non-Jews

    General discussion of the 7 mitzvot for bnai noach (and a few more)and then more specific on their requirement to establish courts and what torah they may be taught

  • Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky -Hashkafa Schmooze – “I Sinned – Now What?”

    There’s a fine line between feeling regret concerning your sins and using the power of that regret towards repentance, and falling into ruinous depression (goal is former). Try not to ascribe specific events in your life to specific sins but always try to raise the level of your game.

  • About Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

    53 comments

    1. “Try not to ascribe specific events in your life to specific sins”
      Agreed and certainly don’t ascribe other people events to sins that they may or may not have committed.

      “Shebal peh as interpreted by the Chachamim (me – “chachmei hamesorah”) in each generation”
      Really-depends what-certainly many of us have studied mishnayot with the help of a work of a bank employee.

      “He marked the tests and knows who got an 8/100 – that’s not chachmei hamesorah”
      So tests scores count for reliability-I suspect there are higher test scores by some who have either rejected traditional yahadus or some who have become Professors than some who are darlings of the right-I suspect they would not count as chachmei hamesorah-even if they knew more than a RY.

      “Emunat Chachamim probably means divine assistance”
      please explain

      “and that they’re telling the truth.”
      I assume that people like RHS are people of integrity that does not necessarily mean that in a cosmic sense they or anyone else is correct.

      ” They entertain no political considerations (me- please count to 10 before you comment).”
      As likely as economic considerations don’t enter into peoples decisions.

      “Reform started within strict halacha but didn’t ask gedolim – look what happened”
      Maybe it was the harsh treatment that they received from those like the Chasam Sofer that pushed them out.

      “Must follow local Rabbis and their Rabbis (depending on nature of issue);”
      If it is a halachik issue and the Rabbi is ones posek or his territory eg his schul.
      “if issue is big, LOR shouldn’t decide, if he does, it’s not orthodoxy”
      Who should decide someone who doesn’t know the facts on the ground. Psak unless a standard psak or an emergency psak on Shabbos or Yom tov is rarely done wo Rabbonim consulting other Rabbonim.

    2. “What isn’t Orthodox? Denier of any of 13 principles (except maybe 5th – really!). R’Marc Shapiro – was really nitpicking exceptions.”

      It isn’t R’Marc Shapiro who started the questioning of Rambams 13 Ikkarrim -start with the Raavad, R Albo, R Crescas etc etc.

      “The historical proof is based on the theory that mass revelation can’t be falsified.”
      Why not-the vast majority of people in the world believe everything was made up starting about 500 BCE. How do we know revelation from the Torah which of course is cicular reasoning.
      Of course I believe inTorah misinai but more because of “Once again I resonate to R’YBS’s frequency – the experiential “proof” – one “experiences” HKB”H; which implies I can’t convince you to believe I can only introduce you to a beautiful world”

      “Another “proof” is “it’s obvious”
      So obvious that less than one out of a few thousand people in the world believe in it. We in this blog are in general part of that very small minority.

    3. “Interesting discussion of alignment of Rabbis and upper class to protect their children from “choppers”

      Joel could you please explain-

    4. RJR- Who was Gabriella ZL?

    5. Ro”i Klein, not Roni Klein.

      Regarding R. Micha’s organization, it’s dos/das (daleth-tav), not da’as/da’at (daleth-ayin-tav).

      Also, the link to R. Marc Shapiro’s shiur is incorrect.

    6. “Emunat Chachamim probably means divine assistance”
      please explain

      sorry-it was a side comment without much detail iirc
      KT

    7. “Interesting discussion of alignment of Rabbis and upper class to protect their children from “choppers”

      Joel could you please explain-

      ===============================
      apparently “choppers” from the government had a quota of “volunteers” to produce for long army service which involved a high risk of minut. the selection process was apparently subject to intervention by those with “clout”. hameivin yavin.
      KT

    8. JR- Who was Gabriella ZL?

      ============================
      An extremely premature baby who survived 7 months who never left the hospital or breathed unaided.
      KT

    9. Ro”i Klein, not Roni Klein.

      ===========================
      my humblest apologies and request for mchilla, especially from a soul that imho was koneh olamo in its life and then in its exit from this mortal coil.
      KT

    10. Could you briefly summarize the kulot that R. Simon feels are not appropriate for unmarried bnei yeshiva to rely on?

    11. using an eruv that is in a town/neighborhood which relies on “kulot” as to no straight streets…
      kt

    12. R’ Mycroft,
      I do have some thoughts on the chachmei mesora
      1. Rambam aiui would say perfecting great intellectual abilities translates into highest level of perfection in all areas
      2.could be that a minimum level of intellectual ability (TBD) is reqquired before moving to other requirements
      3.clearly ability isn’t the sole determinanat at least according to the medrash that elazar(?) was greater than yehoshua in learning but yehoshua got it due to arranging the chairs in the beit medrash (shimush?)
      KT

    13. “joel rich on April 8, 2011 at 5:29 am
      “Interesting discussion of alignment of Rabbis and upper class to protect their children from “choppers”

      Joel could you please explain-

      ===============================
      apparently “choppers” from the government had a quota of “volunteers” to produce for long army service which involved a high risk of minut. the selection process was apparently subject to intervention by those with “clout”. hameivin yavin.
      KT”

      Thanks for explaining-so there is a immoral history of some “Rabbis and upper class” being conserned about themselves and not about the non machers.

    14. “R’ Mycroft,
      I do have some thoughts on the chachmei mesora
      1. Rambam aiui would say perfecting great intellectual abilities translates into highest level of perfection in all areas”

      or would he say that it is a requirement to reach the highest level of perfection.

      “2.could be that a minimum level of intellectual ability (TBD) is reqquired before moving to other requirements”

      Of course, whaich skills should probably change-2000 years ago to have a great memory would have been crucial-today much less so.

      “3.clearly ability isn’t the sole determinanat at least according to the medrash that elazar(?) was greater than yehoshua in learning but yehoshua got it due to arranging the chairs in the beit medrash (shimush?)”
      Thanks.

    15. I’d leave it as being concerned about their families. You might be interested in Sh”UT Noda byehuda – Mahadura tenina-Y”D #74 on a similar topic
      KT

    16. >apparently “choppers” from the government

      The “choppers” (חאפער) were not from the government. They were Jews. Bounty hunter-kidnappers who colluded with the powerful elements in Jewish society to snatch the children of the weak elements in order to fulfill the conscription quotas.

    17. >Thanks for explaining-so there is a immoral history of some “Rabbis and upper class” being conserned about themselves and not about the non machers.

      There were rabbis who spoke against it. But this dark period is part of the explanation of why it is that such a high percentage of Jews said “מאי אהני לן רבנן” later in the century.

    18. “So obvious that less than one out of a few thousand people in the world believe in it. We in this blog are in general part of that very small minority.”

      Depends what you are saying is obvious. A large fraction of the world’s population believes in some form of monotheism. Of course specific obscure historical details do not belong in the “obvious” category. Obviousness cannot be an argument for all of Orthodox Judaism, but arguably it can be an argument for a large part of it.

    19. “I’d leave it as being concerned about their families. ”
      But if so, why should one defer to a Rabbi they will act in a way that they are nogeah badavar. Thus, Rabbis who try and make a family business out of being a person who is spreading dvar Hashem should have to answer. or a Rabbi who rulkes in favor of his friends either that they are wealthy and support his mosdos or give him direct gifts would be beyond contempt. I am nottalking about any individuals just referring to behavior.
      BTW-the answer you gave is a good argument for the Church who insist on celibacy for its priests so that they won’t have the conflict between family and good for Klal.

    20. R’ Mycroft-+I’d leave it as being concerned about their families. ”
      But if so….

      It’s generally an issue-we expect a very high level of objectivity (as iiuc R’HS alluded to) of Rabbinic leadership and institutions. Unfortunately I was driven to cynicland (or perhaps it was DNA) by my experiences in my early life (especially elementary school, college and local shul) so I try not to say anything on the subject.
      KT

    21. “It’s generally an issue-we expect a very high level of objectivity (as iiuc R’HS alluded to) of Rabbinic leadership and institutions. Unfortunately I was driven to cynicland (or perhaps it was DNA) by my experiences in my early life (especially elementary school, college and local shul) so I try not to say anything on the subject.
      KT”
      What happened in HS? no cynical experiences?

    22. Mycroft, don’t the rabbis also have the right to try to protect their own children? If they protested the machers would have probably taken their children also, so what would have been the point of protesting (although some brave rabbis like the Tzemach Tzedek did protest how the poor were being discriminated against). But do you really expect that the ashirim would agree to a lottery where their kids might be taken as well? Get real. So yes, many rabbis were in league with the machers, but the machers paid their salary and if the rabbis didn’t keep their mouths shut, the machers would have found more compliant rabbis.

    23. R’Mycroft,
      Not really, going to MTA and not Stuyversant was one of the best decisions a kid from Queens (in those days bo one commuted to MTA from Queens – we were the first carpool to do so) ever made (Shout out to my Mom on her birthday, and to my father zll”hh for having the confidence (however misplaced) in me to let me decide.)
      KT

    24. I am very surprised that ‘lineman’ has not yet commented on R’ Simon’s view.

    25. “.., but the machers paid their salary and if the rabbis didn’t keep their mouths shut, the machers would have found more compliant rabbis”
      If so, why should one give deference to a Rabbi-shouldn’t one assume that their piskei halacha will represent their personal/financial gain. Thus,for a Rabbi or a Beis Din to be involved in an isssue the first requirement is integrity and not being a nogeah badavar. Nogerah badava IMHO is not merely being related to the parties in the case but if they or relatives could use that case as precedent in their situation they should recuse themselves.

    26. “don’t the rabbis also have the right to try to protect their own children”
      Not getting involved in issue of years ago-but certainly a Rabbi should not attempt to put family members in positions where he has a position. In factthe best policy IMHO is a blanket prohibition of any Rabbis family working in a job where they are working. Of course, sometimes one gets questioning when one sees in a simplistic matter children of Rabbis ABCD going to work in other schuls other than when their fathers are the RAbbis-like exchange of pulpits.

    27. R’Mycroft,
      The nogeah bdavar (especially the issue-giving psak for people on whom your livelihood depends)is certainly worth some thought.
      KT

    28. that post at seforim deals with the choppers

    29. >Mycroft, don’t the rabbis also have the right to try to protect their own children? If they protested the machers would have probably taken their children also, so what would have been the point of protesting (although some brave rabbis like the Tzemach Tzedek did protest how the poor were being discriminated against). But do you really expect that the ashirim would agree to a lottery where their kids might be taken as well? Get real. So yes, many rabbis were in league with the machers, but the machers paid their salary and if the rabbis didn’t keep their mouths shut, the machers would have found more compliant rabbis.

      Give me a break – did you expect that the rabbis would agree to a lottery? This was a class driven thing. The rabbis were part of the upper class, and when the government gives quotas for a draft the upper class doesn’t get drafted.

      Truly, no parents as a class would have agreed to a lottery, so of course you can’t really blame any one class on that account. And yet, those who assented to the kidnapping of lower class kids allowed it to happen. There’s no getting around that.

    30. MiMedinat HaYam

      and you here think such practices (as rabbis protecting themselves / their family / their class / their professional status / their congregation / their synagogue / their yeshiva / their outside business interests / their fundraising) doesnt occur today?

      2. rc church only insists on celibacy so that it gets to keep the priest’s real estate. (hey: that sounds like item above)

      3. regarding your actuarial info — i didnt relisten to r willig’s shiur (i was there at beth aaron) but he said (or rather meant) a community (not necessarily a town) (and so as not to cast aspersions on your own town, he specifically said there is no pblm with dr d’s views, cause they are nitpicking (i guess if not acceptable, which he did not say). and by the way, include rav e m preil in the doubters, was RY at riets in 1920’s (actually, he wrote that the “ani ma’amins” were not necesarily true, nor were they properly representative of the rambam’s 13 ikarim, but rather (bad) abridgements.)

      4. chappers, not choppers. were paid by the “community”.

    31. MiMedinat HaYam

      and the community he meant was the one in crown heights (and its extensions all over the world.) not a specific town (unless they may have such beliefs. not 10%, unless that 10% is the local mashgiach.)

      note — as i recall, dr berger’s objection is that only (kosher) jews can shecht. a goy or mumar cannot shecht. nothing directly to do with kashrut, which involves shmirat shabat, basically. (though one may say having a festive meal on 9av is similar to chilul shabat. or my personal observation — carrying outside an eruv is allowed — its only a “chitas”. personal observation.)

    32. “rc church only insists on celibacy so that it gets to keep the priest’s real estate. (hey: that sounds like item above”

      Not a church or an estate expert-but it would depend on the will -BTW-most priests do not take a vow of poverty-its about 30 years ago when I heard Tom Snyder interview Fr Greeley and asked him about his earnings (from his books). The Fathers response I don’t tell my bishop how much I earn and I certainly am not telling you. Priests can have assets justthat very few do or have the desire to-they after all don’t have any children to worry about.

    33. “The rabbis were part of the upper class”
      As are many today are including RY, Kollel Heads, administrators,principals, mechanchim etc. They in general are just not as upper class as their boards and thus may in their ignorance not even believe how well off they are.

    34. >chappers, not choppers.

      Are you seriously arguing with an English transliteration of a Yiddish word? Neither of them can be pronounced by looking at them in English anyway, without prior knowledge of what it is supposed to sound like. But “o” at least gives a better flavor of the vowel sound than “a”.

    35. “rc church only insists on celibacy so that it gets to keep the priest’s real estate. (hey: that sounds like item above”

      ===============================
      I heard it was to avoid the “bad king” syndrome associated with primogeniture in positions of authority (goes back to my cynical experiences)
      KT

    36. S. on April 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm
      “>chappers, not choppers.

      Are you seriously arguing with an English transliteration of a Yiddish word? Neither of them can be pronounced by looking at them in English anyway, without prior knowledge of what it is supposed to sound like. But “o” at least gives a better flavor of the vowel sound than “a”

      I might have recognized chappers-I was aware of the concept choppers led me to think of tree surgeons etc.

    37. Joels reason may be one of the reasons-the one he commented about is just a cynical approach-not many priests would have property when taking their vows and certainly family would not give them property after vows.
      I’m not an expert on Catholicism but suspect reason was pragmatic wanted their clergy to thonk only about what was best for their flock and not have conflicts that occur when there is for example a family business to take care of.

    38. Agree with you about Hakadosh Ro”i Klein HY’D. I believe the gemara says of people like him ‘ein lima’ala m’mechitzasam’.

      Re: Chabad. How you can write (and the rabbi can say) not to hire a Chabad rabbi is beyond me. As someone who has enjoyed this website in the past it was quite painful. I know many. They are among the best that the Jewish world has to offer today. If chas vesholom one were to lose his position, or not get one, thanks to this lecture, well, I don’t know how to end this sentence but it is a chilul Hashem.

      The other point he touches on – those who say that a human being is a god – I am painfully aware of this lunatic fringe. I would be surprised if they could form a minyan. They have been put in cherem (in Australia, Israel, and New York to my knowledge) by the Chabad rabbis in their areas and are not taken seriously by even the most extreme mishichistn.

      Talking kalt-blutik about whether or not an entire community of yereim ushleimim are guilty chas vesholom of kehira is in and of itself quite problematic. There are many who don’t like Chabad for other reasons and this gives it legitimacy. Shame.

    39. R’ Yosef,
      Just to be clear, I was reporting what I heard. If I misquoted I hope someone will correct me. On the more general issue, I certainly didn’t mean to be hurtful andd it’s certainly above my pay grade to determine what is acceptable, mistaken or kofer beliefs. It is my prayer that in the fullness of time the breaches will be repaired. It’s painful to me as well when I am read out of torah true judaism as well for believing certain scientific statements. Perhaps you can contact someone close to R’ Willig for further claification-I would welcome it as well..
      KT

    40. and also iirc he was talking about mashichists
      KT

    41. “joel rich on April 10, 2011 at 8:41 am
      and also iirc he was talking about mashichists”

      BTW-whats wrong with mashichists-I think they are wrong, misguided etc but if one could be a corporealist and according to the Ravaad be greather than the Rambam whats kefirah about mashichists.

    42. R’Mycroft,
      IIUC R’Willig was saying it is not kfira, just an error – one worthy of excluding the individual as your shul rabbi
      KT

    43. Gil wrote a wonderful pamphlet a while back discussing whether believing that the rebbe is mashiach constitutes kefirah. It is not so simple to just assume that they are miguided but not apikorsim. My experience has been that plenty of otherwise normal down to earth chabadniks will readily admit to believing that the rebbe is mashiach if you simply ask them what they believe.

    44. “IIUC R’Willig was saying it is not kfira, just an error – one worthy of excluding the individual as your shul rabbi”

      I wonder for how many types of ” errors ” does R WIllig one should have that individual as a shul Rabbi

      apikorsim-a technical term oftem loosely applied to anyone who disagrees with ones hashkafa or Rebbe.

    45. R’ Joel,
      Thanks for the clarification. I know many Lubavitchers and have davened in many Chabad shuls throughout the world. I certainly disagree strongly with the Meshichists but what they say does not make them chas veshalom chas vechalilah a kofer.

      There are many people to whom the idea of a Jewish Messiah is a distant, abstract concept…no one says they are kofrim who don’t believe in Moshiach’s coming (or Techiyas hameisim). It is pretty ironic to me that the Lubavitchers – the ones that make the biggest ta’amula about Moshiach – and I daresay keep it on the consciousness of the rest of the Jewish world – should be accused of lapses in that particular ikar ha’emunah.

      I disagree strongly with the meshichists. But among those that I know are people that are true talmidei chachamim, yerei shamayim, sincere Jews. One can argue with their interpretation of the sources but the leap to call them ‘kofrim’ can, I believe, only come from someone to whom the concept of ‘kofer’ is not that serious.

      (As an aside – not that this determines wheather they are correct – these are among the most welcoming and inclusive Jews I have ever encountered. They deserve to be treated with respect and consideration (as do all people come to think of it – hevei dan es kol adam lekaf zchus…)

      One final point: Many Lubavitchers devote their lives to community outreach, kiruv etc. If – G-d forbid, organizations or shuls were to take R Willig’s advice literally, not hiring Lubavitchers and/or dismissing them from leadership roles, it would be a tragedy for which R’ Willig would have to take responsibility. I’m no rabbi, but I’m almost sure that it is halachically problematic.

      Sincerely,

      Yosef

    46. Yosef: they are selfless idealistic “true talmidei hachamim”… who pray to a human being.

      J4J does plenty of kiruv too, you know.

    47. Shlomo,

      They do not. What you wrote is false. If it was directed at an individual he would be able to demand damages from you in a bet din. It is edus sheker of the most serious kind.

      As I wrote earlier there was a lunatic fringe (probably under a dozen worldwide) who have since been put in cherem. We have not been talking about them.

      The folks we’ve been discussing are Jews who observe the shulchan aruch (more meticulously than I) and are devoted to learning and teaching Torah. The problem people have with them is that the Moshiach issue.

      Being Torah-observant Jews, they would not have such beliefs if they did not have Torah sources – which they have amply (too amply?) provided. Of course, the way they interpret the sources is open to argument and many feel that their is incorrect.

      So far, no crimes have been committed. Now – a leap is made. If they are mistaken about this belief – they are (chas veshalom) kofrim. Or – to be more charitable – they are not kofrim but so wrong that they should not be placed in Rabbinic positions.

      (When I wrote that they are among the most welcoming people I’ve met I didn’t mean that this proves their right (as I noted there). I meant that they should be treated with respect and not tossed into the ‘untouchable’ category based on the wild imagination of their detractors.

      There may be much to disagree with. But there is far more to be admired. I do not hear the admiration, only scorn.

      Umisaymim b’tov.

      Sincerely,

      Yosef

    48. Rav Willig acknowledged that they are medakdek bemitszvot. Yet, he and the vast majority of jews(those who are not chabad) feel that this is not Judaism. It is 180 degrees of the way jews believed for thousands of years. It is a distortion of judaism. Hews abhorred the concept of second coming. All Talmidey chachomim of the generation (except those inside chabad). feel that this is highly inappropriate. No torah sources back the claim that LR is the Mashiach.

      Rav Willig did not say that they should not be treated with respect; what he actually said is that they are not suitable for teaching positions. since he feels that this kind of belief is inappropriate it is logical for him to hold such a position.

      Actually, Rav Shechter (who preceded Rav willig) said the same (i’m surprisedthat Joel did not mention this is his synopsis of the talks by Rav Shechter: Lubavitch does nothave the caliber of talmidey chachomim to innovate “yechi adoneynooh…”.

      It is precisely because lubavitch is such an influencing power that Rabbis have the right to tell the people that (although that may do good work) they should not be looked upon as Rabbis who teach torah principles since they actually may teach the ideas they believe in and furthermore since they espouse such beliefs while not being suitable and entitled to make such innovations they lack the qualities of being Rabbonim.

    49. Larry Lennhoff

      RHS’s talk reminded me (in content but not tone) of Rabbi Grossman of The Search Committee. Ultimately his message to the Balei Batim is “you have no voice.”

    50. R’ Larry,
      But only on halachic matters :-)|
      KT

    51. “Actually, Rav Shechter (who preceded Rav willig) said the same (i’m surprisedthat Joel did not mention this is his synopsis of the talks by Rav Shechter: Lubavitch does nothave the caliber of talmidey chachomim to innovate ”
      Who does RHS believe has the power to innovate? RHS? no one including himself is on that level of a talmid chacham? Who gives the person the exam to determine power of talmeidei chacham? Or is it based not on knowledge but based on thereasoning that if one does not accept certain ideas one is not a talmid chacham.

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