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Beyond “Religious” and “Secular”
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Israel: The Miracle
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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 of New Jersey, 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 and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and 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.

129 comments

  1. “Orthodox Jews in America Are Assimilating Too”

    >Walk into any Orthodox synagogue in the United States, writes Landau, even the most black-hat, and the siddurim lining the shelves will for the most part be dual-language ones.

    That’s simply and demonstrably not true, so how are we to take the article seriously?

    But in terms of acculturation, well gosh, who ever thought that American Orthodox Jews aren’t culturally quite American, even insular ones? Is this a chiddush?

  2. IF the Artscroll Talmud is a sign of Orthodox assimilation, then Israelis are assimilating too. I’ve seem prominent Ramim carrying the Hebrew Artscroll.

  3. “This is commendable, writes Landau. What’s strange though is that in the past no one with a yeshiva education would be caught dead using a dual-language siddur or Talmud.”

    Likewise, his assertion that translations in siddurim and chumashim, are a new Artscroll phenomenon is also not historically accurate. There were translations in Yiddish for a couple hundred years, if not longer, in the most Orthodox of settings throughout the European continent.

  4. My grandfather had a yiddish/hebrew machzor that he used every year. As pointed out, translations have neen around for a while even in frum settings. That these are now in English in the USA shouldn’t be a surprise.

  5. http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/EMR71omishpcha2.htm

    Gedolei Yisroel have issued warnings in the past to avoid the influence of the weeklies, and now we are hereby voicing our pain over the remarks recently made in the weekly magazine Mishpachah, which reflect on ongoing pattern of bringing in values from the outside world into our world, thereby causing extensive harm to the lofty and sacred values we work hard to bestow. Therefore they and all of the other various weeklies should be avoided.
    anyone know what remarks are referred to?
    KT

  6. Joel Rich – probably Jonathan Rosenblum’s articles about how there may be a tiny issue with a system in which everyone has to (as a ‘psik reisha’) go around the world begging for money to make ends meet, when the welfare money (ie everyone else’s taxes) they have lived on till then runs out.

  7. R’J
    Thanks- as long as there was a good reason 😉
    KT

  8. It was interesting to see how much more “pro” the VIN commentators were than “anti”. Then again, most of the commentators here are “pro” expansion of women’s roles in Judaism, and Gil tells us that the vast majority of the readership disagrees with us. So I guess commentators aren’t a great source of sociology.

  9. FWIW, I get the Yated, as well as Mishpacha. The US edition of the Yated carried no such ban.

  10. That statement by Rav Amsalem is an outrage –only someone with Daas Torah could properly say such a thing.

  11. Rafael Araujo

    “FWIW, I get the Yated, as well as Mishpacha. The US edition of the Yated carried no such ban.”

    As a matter of fact, they the English language versions of both publications work together and they have offered joint subscriptions for both.

  12. I think that Landau is correct-So many attendees at DY shiurim rely on ArtScroll. It would be interesting to compare the number of Seforim published in Lashon HaKodesh in Israel and the US.

  13. I would not belittle the all Hebrew ArtScroll Shas, which AFAIK, is based on the Oz VeHadar Shas. If you want a Vilna Shas with the Tzuras HaDaf in the traditional sense of that term, the Oz VeHadar Shas is not only esthetically pleasing, but a great help to any Talmid.

  14. >If you want a Vilna Shas with the Tzuras HaDaf in the traditional sense of that term, the Oz VeHadar Shas is not only esthetically pleasing, but a great help to any Talmid.

    They actually ruined one of the great features of the vilna shas by removing the מסורת הש”ס from the margines of the gemara and instead referencing the sources using letters. It completely disrupts what used to be a great aid to learning bekius.

  15. (chardal, I’m glad to hear someone else say that – It realy bugs me too!)

  16. yes, and why in the world did they do it? I see absolutely no valid reason. Yet everyone says how great they are.

  17. how does Gil *know* that the vast majority of readership disagrees with the commentariat? They don’t speak up! Must be “shtika kehodaah, dummy!” or, to quote Asimov, “silence gives consent”. The argument ex silentio is not necessarily conclusive, though.

  18. Chardal (on removing mesores hashas to numbered notes): my wife has the same complaint.

  19. Why did they do it? SO they could shove more commentaries into the margins, like musaf Rashi, and full verse quotes, etc. That mesores hashas in the margins was one of the earliest additions to the layout of the Talmud page.

  20. they don’t use all the space the מסורת הש”ס traditionally used. There is plenty of room to put it back in there.

  21. shachar ha'amim

    Folks – especially you guys that are rachmana litzla”n loy aleiynu still in chu”l – let’s be a bit honest about the “artscrolization” – sure there were translation in the past of the Talmud (aramaic, not hebrew) and the machzor (difficult poetic piyutim with obscure phreseology). But most Jews – and certainly rabbanim – were comfortable in Hebrew and could understand a basic Hebrew sentence and write a basic Hebrew document. Today in America we are confronted not just with laypeople that are largely analphabetic with basic Hebrew – but also rabbis AS WELL!!! I see American educated orthodox musmachim here in Israel break their teeth in a cab or in a restaurant and can’t even make out a simple newspaper article – let alone read a Hebrew translation of the Moreh Nevuchim. This is what Landau is driving at – this is the first time that even the rabbinical leadership simply can’t function in Hebrew.

  22. Tzitung’s airbrushing-out of Sec’y Clinton is presently the lead story on the frontpage of Yahoo!.

    We continue to believe that we can play like weirdos with fire and expect good results. And all of our history says the opposite.

  23. >This is what Landau is driving at – this is the first time that even the rabbinical leadership simply can’t function in Hebrew.

    I don’t think it’s what Landau is driving at. I think it’s what you’re driving at. You’re right (except for the assertion that at some point in the past “most Jews” were comfortable in Hebrew), but how does Landau make this point?

  24. I agree with the folks about מסורת הש”ס, but the other changes that עז והדר made I find very conducive to study.

  25. Landau may not have pinpointed the fire correctly, but he did highlight the smoke that we all know is present.

    On the point that Shachar ha’Amim makes, my sister in Israel observed that the son of a cousin who went to Ma’ale Gilboa to learn for a year after high school became increasingly comfortable in Hebrew over the course of his year there; whereas, the son of a cousin who went to learn in Jerusalem for a year after high school was never able to even master how to tell the bus driver where to let him off.

    From my own experience, in the Rova in Jerusalem one can walk stretches and barely hear any Hebrew at all.

  26. Since when did the ability to converse in Modern Hebrew have any connection to the ability to read rabbinic texts? Speaking is different than reading and the languages are very different. I doubt the Chasam Sofer would be able to converse with an Israeli bus driver but halevai we had more rabbis like him.

  27. “I would not belittle the all Hebrew ArtScroll Shas, which AFAIK, is based on the Oz VeHadar Shas. If you want a Vilna Shas with the Tzuras HaDaf in the traditional sense of that term, the Oz VeHadar Shas is not only esthetically pleasing, but a great help to any Talmid.”

    Translation: Steve doesn’t like Steinsaltz.

    (By the way, “based on Oz VeHadar” is a bit of an odd thing to say. It is a complete nonsequitor. Both English and Hebrew Artscroll use the Oz VeHadar as their “Hebrew” side, that’s all.)

  28. >. I doubt the Chasam Sofer would be able to converse with an Israeli bus driver

    I can guarantee you that the Chasam Sofer was capable of *speaking* in Hebrew. Yes, it would not have been modern Hebrew, but if many learned Jews across cultures could communicate in Hebrew, certainly the Chasam Sofer could. Furthermore, in the polemics surrounding Ohr Noga/ Noga Tzedek he evinced a very positive attitude toward Hebrew – call it Loshon Hakodesh or Loshon Chachomim if you like. He wrote Hebrew poetry too. Halevai rabbis (and non rabbis) should have his interest and facility with Hebrew.

    I am the same person who is questioning whether Landau was making this point, but surely apart for the whole “is Ivrit Hebrew?” question, which really serves as a smokescreen to justify disinterest in Hebrew, we can agree that not enough lomdim are really fluent in any form of Hebrew and they cannot really express themselves well in the language (especially if they can’t express themselves that well in English either).

  29. In case anyone would like to read and/ or evaluate the Chasam Sofer’s poems, they can be read here:

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/35195

  30. isn’t the real problem with artscroll not assimilation but rather the illusion of talmud torah? or to put it more accurately, people who are capable of original learning of rabbinic texts being to lazy to do so (I think artscroll is great for those who for whatever reason are unable to learn in the regular texts)

  31. Re Parsonage exemption-I can’t see how mainline Orthodoxy could claim parsonage for any female-I am specifically excluding YCT and Ms Hurwitz both of which I know little about.
    For an interesting discussion on activities etc that are minister of the gospel see case from 40 years ago reflecting what happened 50 years ago.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=7758033039300531402&q=Marc+H.+Tanenbaum,+58+TC+1+(1972).&hl=en&as_sdt=2,33

  32. Bonzo: Maybe so, but bear in mind that the Talmuds are not written in Hebrew. That’s important.

  33. “As pointed out, translations have neen around for a while even in frum settings.”

    like in antiquity for greek and aramaic speaking jews.
    and english translations of the siddur prepared by jews have been around since 1761. and the vast majority of siddurim printed in 19th c. america had a translation.

  34. Laundau somehow missed that in all big yeshivas it is still not considered acceptable to consult the artscroll regularly in the beis medrash. At YU, for example, many would only use artscroll to translate a word and at that in a side room. No one in the main beis medrash would use it as their primary gemara.

  35. Re parsonage-it started because of an application of prior exclusion not as a matter of theory. There was/is a law that the value of housing for one who lives on the premises of the employer and is required to do so as a condition of employment is excluded from income. Catholic priests in general were living in the same building as where they worked-Protestant clergy were usually living nearby-even across the street which didn’t qualify-thus Congress didn’t like a provision that benefited only Catholic priests passed the parsonage exemption.

  36. Re Art Scroll article-is it at least possible that American Chareid Jewry will resemble Alexandrian Jewry of 2000 years ago where knowledge of Hebrew was not standard.

  37. The picture in the Artscroll article is very misleading, as the Chassidim portrayed in the picture probably never even heard of Artscroll Talmuds, let alone use them.

  38. Menachen Petrushka

    It seems that everyone in re: Landau has fogotten about the institution of the Meturgaman who in talmudic times would translate the Torah verse by verse into Aramaic. Then thare was the institution of the Amora who did the same for the Rabbis speeches.

    There are great differences in the waht the study of Torah for the masses entails and waht the study of Torah for the elite demands

    Today, those differences are not appreciated and that is ruining both Torah tracks.

  39. Democratization is a double-edged sword in this respect.

  40. >The picture in the Artscroll article is very misleading, as the Chassidim portrayed in the picture probably never even heard of Artscroll Talmuds, let alone use them.

    I see Chassidim on the subway in NY using Artscroll gemaras all the time (albeit, to be fair, almost always the Hebrew version – which speaks well for them).

  41. “The picture in the Artscroll article is very misleading, as the Chassidim portrayed in the picture probably never even heard of Artscroll Talmuds”

    i was in boro park for pesach. the shtiebel i davened in had a (hebrew) artscroll shas

  42. Menachen Petrushka

    The Di Zeitung affair reminds me of the Talmudic statement about a Chosid Shoiteh.

    Di Zeitung really rubbed its face into the wall it erected between ii and the outside world in order not to look at a woman.

    The true chasidim of old must be rolling in their graves knowing that there progeny are publishing any pictures of human beings let alone women. They considered photograpgy a tool of idolatry to be avoided at all costs.

  43. MiMedinat HaYam

    (anecdotally speaking) there are much much more chassidim who come from israel, than litvish / yeshivish. (a study would be inorder, together with the study of hirhurim commenters.)

    using artscroll as a crutch, as opposed to a “meturgeman” type (all or nothing) situation, should be abolished. (i recall taking a french lit elective at yc, and being happy i finally found an english version of the required french novel in time for the final. was i right?)

    2. the origins of no women pix are from yated and hamoidia, yeshivish / litvish, non chassidic sources. as are rav amsellem’s daas torah argument.

    3. there is another yeshiva high school in middlesex county, but its a lakewood affilliated bais yaakov type for girls only. (no pix allowed.) and rjj for boys, but rjj is NOT the rjj of the lower east side; this one is definitely charedi / yeshivish. (but dont tell them their (previous) RY’s father / father in law were both RY at riets.)

  44. Nachum wrote:

    “Translation: Steve doesn’t like Steinsaltz.”

    WADR, I think that ArtScroll and Steinzaltz both serve a valid purpose.

  45. Shachar Ha'amim

    “On the point that Shachar ha’Amim makes, my sister in Israel observed that the son of a cousin who went to Ma’ale Gilboa to learn for a year after high school became increasingly comfortable in Hebrew over the course of his year there; whereas, the son of a cousin who went to learn in Jerusalem for a year after high school was never able to even master how to tell the bus driver where to let him off.”

    The edutainment programs that now pass for the year spent “learning” in israel don’t really make any attempt to teach the kids Hebrew. No one really discusses Aliyah or further academic or professional study in Israel as an option for the kids on these programs

  46. Shachar Ha'amim

    On Rav Ovadia Yosef’s daughter – I want to point out that the New Israel Fund and other left-wing NGO’s funded by foreign governments have long sponsored all sorts of “programming” for Shas functionaries and their families – trips abroad, paid-for “seminars” in hotels and the like. These are usually in the guise of ‘social activism’ – but the goal is really to get Shas leadership to vote with the left – even though their core constituency is right-wing.

    This is another example – along with the corrupt generals and generals turned politicians (which I have commented about in the past)- of why RYBS’s comment in the Rubin shul (a version of which was once also stated by ROY, as quoted by her daughter) is a nice “vort” for a shmooze or a tisch but really has no relevance halacha lemayseh under the Israeli “system” of government.

  47. “The edutainment programs that now pass for the year spent “learning” in israel don’t really make any attempt to teach the kids Hebrew. No one really discusses Aliyah or further academic or professional study in Israel as an option for the kids on these programs”

    If they did-they’d have a tough time getting American parents to pay the tuition to send their kids there. The parents woiuld send the kids to another institution.

  48. “This is another example – along with the corrupt generals and generals turned politicians (which I have commented about in the past)- of why RYBS’s comment in the Rubin shul (a version of which was once also stated by ROY, as quoted by her daughter) is a nice “vort” for a shmooze or a tisch but really has no relevance halacha lemayseh under the Israeli “system” of government.”

    The general hashkafa of the Ravs major speech in Rubin schul is as relevant today as it was 43 years ago.
    The Israeli form of government is at least as demoicratic as the American form. US elects Presidents with fewer votes-US has a system where unelected lifetime appointed judges substitute their viewpoints for the will of electd legislature. Israel has a porportional representation system and at leastthe major parties have primaries to determine who gets which seat in the Knesset. Don’t like the results because it disagrees with certain hashkafic views -but they probably represent a majority of Israeli views-consider over 20% are not Jewish.

  49. “The edutainment programs that now pass for the year spent “learning” in israel don’t really make any attempt to teach the kids Hebrew.”

    Pretty broad brush attack. Easy to do when you don’t use your name.

  50. Shachar Ha’amim:

    “The edutainment programs that now pass for the year spent “learning” in israel don’t really make any attempt to teach the kids Hebrew.”

    as opposed to the 12 years previous? seriously, for the most part you’re talking about american teachers in american programs with american kids. it’s the exact same culture of expectations on every level.
    let’s worry about improving hebrew in day schools, thus obviating the need for american programs. (one 5T high school offers ulpan to seniors to prepare them for israel. this boggles my mind. why not offer the same ulpan to freshman and then build on it for the next 3 years?)

    “No one really discusses Aliyah or further academic or professional study in Israel as an option for the kids on these programs”

    why should they? for the american programs (and even the israeli schools in which the americans are segregated into separate programs) this isn’t the goal.
    incidentally, i do think the MO high schools and YU should be more active in preparing kids for gainful employment in israel. high school and college guidance counselors should be helping students understand which professions are marketable in israel and which will make it unrealistic to plan an aliyah. similarly, there should be a frank discussion about the potential for student debt to cripple aliyah plans.

    MYCROFT:

    “If they did-they’d have a tough time getting American parents to pay the tuition to send their kids there.”

    which american parents are you referring to? most parents i know of are proud of their kids who live in israel. my own cohort is still young to have kids going to israel, but with a few exceptions i think all would be happy to have kids move there. (and while i don’t recall the option of staying in israel for university ever being discussed in my high school, they did have a scholarship program for alumni who went to israeli universities.)

  51. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    “pretty broad brush attack”

    which part of his statement are you objecting to? are you really denying that the american programs make no attempt to teach hebrew?

    or the edudtainment statement? i’m not sure exactly what that means, but i will note that in my impression there is a difference between israeli yeshivas and american yeshivas (including segregated american programs in israeli yeshivas). the goal in the former is to provide students with the opportunity to learn. the latter sees students as projects and the goal is to make them better jews.

  52. Shachar Ha'amim

    mycroft on May 11, 2011 at 6:53 am
    The general hashkafa of the Ravs major speech in Rubin schul is as relevant today as it was 43 years ago.
    The Israeli form of government is at least as demoicratic as the American form. US elects Presidents with fewer votes-US has a system where unelected lifetime appointed judges substitute their viewpoints for the will of electd legislature. Israel has a porportional representation system and at leastthe major parties have primaries to determine who gets which seat in the Knesset. Don’t like the results because it disagrees with certain hashkafic views -but they probably represent a majority of Israeli views-consider over 20% are not Jewish.”

    The Israeli justices do the same. And not only are they not elected and do not go through any form of vetting or apporval by the legislature, sitting Judges actually have a blocking minority on the judicial appointments committee – the judges in Israel effectively appoint themselves!!

    My point isn’t whether the country is more or less democratic – it is that there is no “objective” security view that the Rabbi/Posek can turn to. As Amnon Lord pointed out in his column a few weeks ago – the latest round of “security types” to come out in favor of a peace accord all have vested political and economic interests in staking out such a position. Also as Gen. Uzi Dayan (Res.) pointed out in an interview a few weeks ago – when he was military coordinator for the government during the Oslo talks he was asked by Rabin to prepare a map of Israeli strategic assets in the West Bank and Gaza. He mapped them out and left all the civilian settlements colored “white”. Rabin asked him what the white areas were and he told him “the settlements”. Rabin asked why they were left uncolored and Dayan said that it was b/c the decision was a national decision to make, not a military one. Rabin asked him to nonetheless tto color them in one way or the other. DAYAN REFUSED TO DO THIS FOR RABIN! He said that he would not couch political or social decisions in military terms. Yes he refused the order (and the army didn’t collpase – hello R. Yuval Cherlow….). The point here is that the army has been – and still can be – used for political purposes. So the idea of going to a security “expert” for a decision on these issues and accepting this opinion is simply not realistic. Rabbis have as much right to weigh in on these issues as do politicians and generals.

  53. Shachar Ha'amim

    Mycroft – your statement re: American parents is a sad testament to the reality of the so called “Zionism” of American orthodox community

  54. MYCROFT:

    “If they did-they’d have a tough time getting American parents to pay the tuition to send their kids there.”

    and even if you are correct that parents don’t want their kids making aliyah, many parents also don’t want their kids “flipping out.” yet this doesn’t stop so many parents (not just MO parents) from blindly sending their kids to schools that stand a good chance at producing a products the parents will complain about.* so are you arguing that parents are more scared about kids making aliyah than flipping out and not going to college altogether?

    (*i am always amazed at all the parents who make no effort to investigate the schools in israel and simply sign the check, and then later complain that their kid now wants to [fill in the blank]. these parents should spend at least as much time looking at these schools as they do deciding which smart phone to buy.)

    the truth is so many parents already are sending their kids (and paying tuition) to schools that will

  55. Shachar Ha'amim

    Here is the interview with Gen. Uzi Dayan:

    http://www.news1.co.il/Archive/0024-D-59051-00.html

    בין השאר, היה דיין ממונה על שרטוט מפת האינטרסים הביטחוניים של ישראל ביו”ש. כשהציג את המפה לרבין, הקפיד להשאיר את היישובים היהודיים בתוך כתמים ניטרליים בצבע לבן. “רבין שאל אותי מה זה הצבע הלבן. אמרתי לו, פה זה השטחים שהדרג המדיני צריך להחליט, כי הם לא אסטרטגיים מבחינה ביטחונית, הם אסטרטגיים מבחינה לאומית. רבין אמר לי שהוא מקבל מה שאני אומר, אך ביקש שבכל זאת אגיש הצעה מה לעשות עם הכתמים הלבנים. אמרתי ‘לא’. הוא שאל למה לא, ואני השבתי, ‘אתה יודע בדיוק למה לא’. אז רבין האדים ככה, ואמר ‘כן, אני יודע'”.

    דיין, אם להכניס פירוש רש”י לדיאלוג הזה, סירב לאפשר לרבין להסתתר מאחורי הגב של הצבא בסוגיה כה רגישה. הוא לא הסכים שהממשלה תשתמש בו כדי לתרץ עקירת יישובים והסתלקות ממקומות קדושים.

    the opinions of “security experts” should be no more of a “fig leaf” to a Rav and moreh hador than it should be to a politician.
    However, the “fig leaf” of the secuirty experts is a convenient way for ceratin rabbinical schools of thought to circumvent the need for confronting dealing with the social and national issues (and costs) involved with surrendering to the Arabs, avoiding dealing with the issues of civil disobedience and refusal of illegal orders (beyond stating the slippery slope unproven strawman argument that “it will destroy the country”) and creates a convenient fictional world for not ever having to admit that you were wrong.

  56. Shachar Ha’amim:

    “Mycroft – your statement re: American parents is a sad testament to the reality of the so called “Zionism” of American orthodox community”

    i don’t think mycroft is accurately portraying how american parents feel. you’re still right that we are “bad” zionists, but i think it’s a matter of apathy and indifference rather than actual opposition as mycroft desribes it.

  57. “one 5T high school offers ulpan to seniors to prepare them for israel. this boggles my mind. why not offer the same ulpan to freshman and then build on it for the next 3 years?”

    Great idea (yours, that is)!

    “which part of his statement are you objecting to?”

    I’m objecting to the broad brush nature of the comment which treats all programs as if they were the same.

  58. Unfortunately in many yeshivos (and I know Abba doesn’t only mean those, but still) there is this big stumbling block, which is this idealogical idea that Ivrit is NOT Loshon Hakodesh, and therefore is unimportant for learning Torah or (heaven help us) being able to communicate with 5 million Jews in their language.

  59. It is certainly true that many of the year in israel programs are little more than edutainment and that they make little effort to impart textual skills. to be fair however, many more programs offer Ulpanim that than did 10-20 years ago.

  60. With respect to one year programs, I think that it is unfair to brand many as “little more than edutainment and that they make little effort to impart textual skills.” The programs and alumni that I have met have returned with far greater textual skills, a far enhanced desire of what it means to be a Shomer Torah UMitzvos. Like it or not, the same requires a combination of shiurim, learning how to learn in a Beis Medrash setting and informal Vaadim and Kumsites as well as seeing how a rebbe or kollelnik interacts with his family. It is important to remember that Kabalas HaTorah for every generation has its emotional and intellectual components. I would also add that both yeshivos and semimaries share the same primary goals for their one year programs-helping the student body appreciate the profound nature of Torah study and observance. Other programs are more oriented towards interacting with the Israeli populace, but yeshivos and seminaries, especially the yeshivos affiliated with a hesder yeshiva and seminaries that have chesed programs, also allow for no small share of interaction with the Israeli public at large.

  61. I didn’t know it was possible to desire “what it means to be a Shomer Torah UMitzvos”. Regardless, you clearly haven’t spent much time with students in one-year programs if you think they get better textual skills. Most are severely incompetent upon leaving. Take it from someone who was in such a program only two years ago.

  62. Jon-ever hear of Mitzvos Anashim Mlumadah? Far too many of us go thru the motions and lack a real desire and passion in being a Shomer Torah Umitzvos.

    I have seen many “before” and “after” cases of students who have recently spent at least one year in one year programs-they may not be able to explain every Milchamos or view of Rabbeinu Tam in Shas, but they have a far greater appreciation of what it means to be a Shomer Torah Umitzvos, including being more mdakdek bmitzvos, more interested in being Kovea Itim LaTorah and far better textual skills. Such students, who take the year seriously, have a real chance at becoming Bnei and Bnos Torah, and even Talmidei Chachamim.

  63. “Far too many of us go thru the motions and lack a real desire and passion in being a Shomer Torah Umitzvos.”

    -Not what you said.

    “Who take the year seriously”

    -We’re down to about a quarter, at most, of the participants already.

  64. MiMedinat HaYam

    steve “but they have a far greater appreciation of what it means to be a Shomer Torah Umitzvos”

    perhaps true, but they still cant speak hebrew. also, that is the same argument for birthright, to a different market exoectation. though interestingly, secular parents are afraid their children might flip out, and do one or two mitzvot; nothing on a serious level. also, my personal feeling that birthright will be a failure turned out to be wrong, for exactly this point.

    2. s. (on main line) they might not teach ivrit cause its zionistic / not “lashon hakodesh”, but they dont teach what they call “lashon hakodesh” (unless you mean yeshivish, which even they admit is only kodesh cause its their twisted vernacular.) and thats not taught, but by osmosis (which i claim isd the only way to learn a language. yet they dont osmosis ort immersion any lanuage.)

  65. >2. s. (on main line) they might not teach ivrit cause its zionistic / not “lashon hakodesh”, but they dont teach what they call “lashon hakodesh” (unless you mean yeshivish, which even they admit is only kodesh cause its their twisted vernacular.) and thats not taught, but by osmosis (which i claim isd the only way to learn a language. yet they dont osmosis ort immersion any lanuage.)

    Of course – because “loshon hakodesh” is a fictional construct.

    As for whether it’s learned by osmosis, putting aside the question of whether it’s learned well, the osmosis approach only works if you’re really immersed in it.

  66. I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Aviva Zornberg’s thought provoking shiur the evening at the Union Theological Seminary. Her thesis revolved around the midrashic interpretation of כִּי נִבְהֲלוּ מִפָּנָיו and ultimately tying that to the Shoah. She started off with the Pri Tzaddik’s drash that can be found at http://tinyurl.com/6f62oyg and then went back to the Rashi on Breishit 37:33 and forward from there.

    From her website it appears this shiur will be given at other locations under the title “The Pit and the Rope: Joseph and Judah” in case you have an opportunity near you.

  67. Ivrit isn’t Lashon HaKodesh. One can easily read Mishna or Tur or whatever fluently, and still be unable to speak Hebrew, not least because many words and terms are pretty much exclusive to either halacha or vernacular. Factor in that most yeshivas spend quite a bit of time on Gemara, which is in another language entirely, and there is no way they would have time or skill to seriously teach language.

  68. Elon — lehavdil: Shakespeare’s plays are in an antiquated form of English, but native English speakers can still hear the plays as written and understand them (albeit missing nuance at times). But, someone who only has a classroom understanding of Shakespeare’s English with no fluency in modern English doesn’t stand a chance of understanding them performed at all.

  69. “the fourth installment of the “36 Under 36” list, highlights the dedicated lay leaders who are reordering our legacy organizations alongside community activists and social justice crusaders whose startups are chock-full of innovation.”

    http://www.thejewishweek.com/special_sections/36_under_36_2011_new_re_engineers/36_under_36_2011_new_re_engineers

    כל הכבוד לכולם

  70. >Ivrit isn’t Lashon HaKodesh. One can easily read Mishna or Tur or whatever fluently, and still be unable to speak Hebrew, not least because many words and terms are pretty much exclusive to either halacha or vernacular.

    You’re conflating speaking the language with understanding it, or being able to make yourself understood in it with some effort.

    If you understood the Hebrew of learning well, then you can use that tool to build up a better understanding of the language in its various forms. Conversely, every Israeli has a strong edge over an American because he can use his natural language as a tool to build up his understanding of Torah texts. Yes, the terms as they are used in rabbinic writings are not the same as in Ivrit. But they are related, and with some effort and imagination every Israeli can figure out what is meant most of the time. Conversely only those lomdim who have a developed superior understanding of the Hebrew language that *they* constantly are reading can do the same.

    As for no time because it’s all about Gemara – first of all, Gemara shows up on the scene usually in the 5th grade. What happened to the prior 5 years? Secondly, the yeshivos should make the time for it. There are hundreds and thousands of sources from the Gemara through the rishonim and acharonim extolling Hebrew, and none or a very few minimizing its importance. At most you’ll get the admission that we’re just not into it, but no one can give a really good reason why. And there has never been a world class talmid chochom who didn’t know Hebrew well. We don’t all have to become R Elya Bochur, but come on, a little Hebrew please?

  71. The Traditional Jewish Food article reminds me of an informative book that came out last year about the history of immigration to New York tee’ed off food: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/books/28book.html.

  72. Jon wrote in response:

    “Far too many of us go thru the motions and lack a real desire and passion in being a Shomer Torah Umitzvos.”

    -Not what you said.

    “Who take the year seriously”

    -We’re down to about a quarter, at most, of the participants already”

    WADR, I think that the term Mitzvos Anashim Mlumadah is an accurate description. Moreover,I know many people whose lives today are a direct product of their having taken the year seriously.

  73. Steve,
    you are welcome to your opinions,but you yourself admit that you have no basis for you opinion of one year programs over all other than your contact with a very limited number of alumni. I can tell you than my opinions on this matter are shared by many senior educators who work in these programs. I highly recommend that you read The Economics of the Year-in-Israel Job Market
    by Rabbi Dani Goldstein and The Closing of the One-Year-Program Mind at
    http://www.atid.org/resources/op-jed/edutainment.asp

    Steve, there is a problem, though it affects differing institutions to different degrees. Wake up and smell the instant oatmeal (am i dating myself?)

  74. ” I highly recommend that you read The Economics of the Year-in-Israel Job Market
    by Rabbi Dani Goldstein and The Closing of the One-Year-Program Mind at
    http://www.atid.org/resources/op-jed/edutainment.asp

    I have read both and both are worthwhile reading.

  75. “Moreover,I know many people whose lives today are a direct product of their having taken the year seriously.”

    I’m sure you do. So do I. How many of them are under 30? Mine are, so I’d say my anecdotal evidence is a tad more relevant.

  76. Moshe Shoshan & Mycroft-I read both articles when they were both initially posted at Atid’s site. I have met more than a “very limited number of alumni” and I would suggest that the best proof of the effect of the one year or more programs is how the same affects a student in his or her personal life. Given the US economy, it is amazing that so many parents are Moser Nefesh to spend the money for the programs. OTOH, I would suggest that parents of students in the programs spend some time with their students in their shiurim, sedarim, etc. They just might realize the money spent was a wise investment.

  77. Jon wrote:

    “I’m sure you do. So do I. How many of them are under 30? Mine are, so I’d say my anecdotal evidence is a tad more relevant”

    Most of the alumni of one year programs that I have met are between 20-30.

  78. Moshe Shoshan & Mycroft-the article by R D Goldstein merely confirms that a RIETS musmach’s best chance for employment in Israel is in a one year program, or to have someone help him start his own new institution, of which there are no shortage of and of which we always hear of new yeshivos and seminaries being founded. Unfortunately, many Musmachim scramble for their income to support themselves and their families in Israel by teaching at least two instititions. It would be interesting to see how many RIETS musmachim are RaMim in such institutions. The rabbinate in Israel is a vastly different profession than in the US. It takes a long time even for those Musmachim who would want to be part of the Charedi world in Israel to become a Rosh Chaburah in the Mir or a similar institution. I can’t speak as to how many RIETS Musmachim are RaMim at KBY, Gush or Shaalvim, or teach at various seminaries or other similar yeshivos but I would be curious as to any hard data.

  79. Moshe Shoshan and Mycroft-I am surprised that neither of you provided a link to Dr Yoel Finkelman’s article re one year programs vis a vis their goals, expectations and effects on students. IIRC, we discussed the Finkelman article previously here.

  80. Jon wrote:

    “I didn’t know it was possible to desire “what it means to be a Shomer Torah UMitzvos”.

    If a person keeps Shabbos and YT solely because that it is his or her family’s lifestyle, as opposed to the covenant between HaShem Yisborach and Klal Yisrael, then IMO, such a person lacks the requisite desire or the proverbial “fire in the belly” of why he or she engages in such conduct in the first place. THat state of mind IMO is a contemporary form of Mitzvos Anashim Mlumadah which the one year programs challenge with various degrees of success.

  81. Steve — are these 20-30 year alumni of one-year programs that you are using as the basis for you comments, a particular self-selected group from whom you are extrapolating your views? E.g. NCSY madrichim?

  82. Typo: that is 20 to 30 year old alumni.

  83. Moshe Shoshan & Mycroft-Having reread the article by R D Goldstein, IMO, the argument can be raised that Sefer Shmos, from the Parshiyos dealing with the Makos through Matan Torah tells us that a Torah education must have both emotional and educational components that initially wake up a student from his or her prior state of mind that is followed by an intense educational process that lasts long after a student leaves a one year program. We must remember that while even Moshe Rabbeinu was not completely successful, as we see throughout a careful study of Chumash, the model of a combined emotional and educational model remains as valid today as it was at the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim.

  84. IH wrote:

    “are these 20-30 year alumni of one-year programs that you are using as the basis for you comments, a particular self-selected group from whom you are extrapolating your views? E.g. NCSY madrichim?”

    No-many are lay leaders, others are Talmidie Chachamim who attended MO elementary and high schools, and have prominent roles in RIETS and elsewhere.

  85. And how representative do you think they are of the broader demographic of one-year program attendees?

  86. IH-when was the last time that you spent a day in a Beis Medrash with a one year program?

  87. Steve — I’m not making any assertions; you are. I’m just trying to understand why you’re so out of whack with the other people who have commented.

  88. IH-I think that the broader demographic with respect to one year program attendees really can’t be assesed with any certainty until and unless you know the communities that such students are living in after they have had a period of five years to complete their education, get married, commence a career and begin to raise a family. All of those elements plus the nature of someone’s committement to a life built on Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim are the only ways in determining a broader demographic.

    I can tell you from my own observations of many such alumni in my community , visiting the seminary where our daughters attended, and spending most of my last two winter vacations primarily in a Beis Medrash with a prominent one year program, that you can see the efforts being made by the talmidim in the one year program to appreciate the depth and profundity of Talmud Torah. There is definitely an aura of transformation of more than a few of the talmidim in the one year programs that is underway that I found very inspiring. It may not affect everyone in the same manner , but it is certainly present.

  89. IH-One of the Shanah Bet RaMim at a popular one year yeshiva commented to me that sometimes even after spending a year or two in such a program, a talmid really first flourishes as a Ben Torah after leaving the program and attending YU/RIETS. IOW, the transformation of such a talmid, or the lighting of the proverbial fire, begins in Israel, but the real effort continues long after returning back to the US.

  90. In a round about way, I think you explained the discrepency.

  91. STEVE:

    ” I can’t speak as to how many RIETS Musmachim are RaMim at KBY, Gush or Shaalvim, or teach at various seminaries or other similar yeshivos but I would be curious as to any hard data.”

    that’s actually an interesting question. i know in the israeli yeshivah i attended there were no RIETS musmachim (rosh yeshivah was american, but not from RIETS). what about everyone else out there?

    “a RIETS musmach’s best chance for employment in Israel is in a one year program”

    it’s a good thing i’m not a cynic . . .

    “it is amazing that so many parents are Moser Nefesh to spend the money for the programs”

    yes, mesiras nefesh combined sometimes with a dose of social pressure and communal expectations. i’ve met more than one parent who is bitter that he/she “doesn’t have a choice.”

  92. The change from one year programs on the MO community is apparent in a stroll around Bergenfield, Clifton or Woodmere as compared to 20 years ago. Obviously this does not effect everyone and the question remains about what is the effect on everyone, not just those who take it seriously. Even those who take it seriously need to be evaluated 10 years later. I participated in the landmark study by Dr. Jacobson (available at http://www.lookstein.org/articles/dj_dissertation.pdf) and am curious what answers he would get now (10 years later).

    Also with the proliferation of institutions there likely has been a watering down of standards as they compete for students (much like colleges and universities). This is basic economics. The question then is what are the effects of this.

  93. shachar ha'amim

    Steve Brizel on May 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm
    “Jon-ever hear of Mitzvos Anashim Mlumadah? Far too many of us go thru the motions and lack a real desire and passion in being a Shomer Torah Umitzvos.

    I have seen many “before” and “after” cases of students who have recently spent at least one year in one year programs-they may not be able to explain every Milchamos or view of Rabbeinu Tam in Shas, but they have a far greater appreciation of what it means to be a Shomer Torah Umitzvos, including being more mdakdek bmitzvos, more interested in being Kovea Itim LaTorah and far better textual skills. Such students, who take the year seriously, have a real chance at becoming Bnei and Bnos Torah, and even Talmidei Chachamim”

    I don’t know how someone who doesn’t at least give some form of consideration to striving to fulfill ALL the mitzvot on a daily basis – including mitzvat yishuva haaretz and all the mitzvot hateluyot baaretz can be considered a shomer torah umitzvot, a ben torah. Perhaps the only category that you enumerated that such person might fit into is a talmid chacham – one can not be shomer mitzvot and still be a talmid chacham.

  94. “Since Orthodox Judaism does not have a centralized leadership, the ministry has determined that Israel’s chief rabbi is the leader of Orthodoxy around the world. The chief rabbinate now only recognizes conversions performed by about 50 Orthodox rabbis in North America; there are more than 2,000 Orthodox rabbis in North America.”

    The 50 are not based solely on reliability-they include those who most of us wouldn’t drink water that had their hashgacha, it was
    primarily those who were looking for business in conversion versus those who only rarely did it.

    “Since March, twenty converts have approached ITIM who were denied aliyah because they converted Orthodox, according to Rabbi Seth Farber, director of ITIM.”

    It has impacted giyurei katan about the post year in Israel-a friend of mine a Rabbi told me he would not advise gerim who finish HS to go for the year in Israel-one who I believe all of his children went to the year in Israel. It has had a chilling affect on gerim-even those who aren’t consideringIsrael-including gerim over 3 deacdes length who go to minyan in the morning!!

    “An anomalous situation has been created where Orthodox converts are being discriminated against,” Farber said. “Unfortunately, only by going to the Supreme Court can we protect converts.”

    “This situation cannot continue,” he

  95. “The Agudah can reject Rav Breuer’s assertion of the intimate relationship between kashrut and yashrut. But since it recognizes that lack of yashrut in our community is a problem, it should be offering an alternative”

    Would the Agudah, OU certify a Kosher Playboy club? Clearly correctly not-so what is the logical issue of considering yahsrut as an important issue before issuing an hashgacha?

  96. Wrong thread. Apologies.

  97. “The rabbinate in Israel is a vastly different profession than in the US.”
    True-note how few immigrants to the US have been succesful as pulpit Rabbis-there have been some exceptions- but it is difficult for an immigrant to relate to people with different cultural background.

    It takes a long time even for those Musmachim who would want to be part of the Charedi world in Israel to become a Rosh Chaburah in the Mir or a similar institution

  98. “I don’t know how someone who doesn’t at least give some form of consideration to striving to fulfill ALL the mitzvot on a daily basis – including mitzvat yishuva haaretz and all the mitzvot hateluyot baaretz can be considered a shomer torah umitzvot, a ben torah.”

    A good Kuzari challenge

  99. “Former YU on May 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    The change from one year programs on the MO community is apparent in a stroll around Bergenfield, Clifton or Woodmere as compared to 20 years ago. Obviously this does not effect everyone and the question remains about what is the effect on everyone, not just those who take it seriously. Even those who take it seriously need to be evaluated 10 years later. I participated in the landmark study by Dr. Jacobson (available at “http://www.lookstein.org/articles/dj_dissertation.pdf) and am curious what answers he would get now (10 years later). ”

    Very important to determine what happens 10-50 years later-of course there are other variables to determine-the self selection of those who go to Israel etc.

  100. MiMedinat HaYam

    mycroft: “Would the Agudah, OU certify a Kosher Playboy club? Clearly correctly not-so what is the logical issue of considering yahsrut as an important issue before issuing an hashgacha?”

    but they also wont certify a restaurant in a (legal) casino.

    meaning, its a question of lines. and enforcement. certifying the “yashruit” of an establishment leads us to madoff type pblms — he was a highly respected prez of the stock exchange — and you dare not certify his restaurant! (ditto abramoff)

  101. Former yu- I too am curious of 5 and 10 years later. I think people will be surprise how many are not religious at all and certainly less religious from before and after going to israel.

  102. Ruvie,

    agreed.

  103. To use Steve’s phrase, lots of people attend programs in Israel as part of “Mitzvot Anashim Melumada,” and the effect on them is exactly what you’d expect.

  104. “MiMedinat HaYam on May 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm
    mycroft: “Would the Agudah, OU certify a Kosher Playboy club? Clearly correctly not-so what is the logical issue of considering yahsrut as an important issue before issuing an hashgacha?”

    but they also wont certify a restaurant in a (legal) casino”
    Agrees with my point-so why the intellectual argument against taking other factors besides kashrut into consideration-they already do-just certain things not yashrut.

  105. Re: the year in Israel:

    Could someone please explain exactly what Steve and his opponents are arguing about? I’m 36, so I’m not familiar as I would like to be with Jon’s 30-and-under crowd, but are we really saying that the year in Israel is not transformative anymore? Surely, one can’t bemoan the shift to the right of Modern Orthodoxy and still claim that the year in Israel has no effect.

    And on what are we basing the idea that standards have gone down in individual yeshivas – on one anonymous article? I went to one of the “Big Three.” Some didn’t take the year that seriously; some took it extremely seriously. For almost all, though, it was a year that set the tone for the rest of the lives – especially for those who were married in the next ten years – and increased their ability to deal with a text. Yes, more yeshivas have been added, but is there any evidence that the top-flight programs of old have deteriorated? And to what?

  106. So I read the Warburg article. Dissapointing. I found it very thin on the theory (what does he even mean by “liberal”?). Statements like “The implementation of separate pews in the synagogue has nothing to do with equality or inequality” are laughable. I am not saying there is nothing to R. Lamm’s or the Rav’s rationalle/apologietics – they may be right. But as applied, excluding women from the part of the synagogue where the service happens is definitionally “unequal.”

    Most dissapointing, I felt he did not argue for what he claimed to argue:
    He opens with a discussion of the high court ruling that separate seating may not be _mandatory_. The rest of his discussion is a defense of the position that haredim as a group should be allowed to voluntarily segregate, because of course women who don’t want to can opt out. But that is not what is at stake – what is at stake is coercion of others (either born-charedim who want to opt out, or people like me who want to visit their charedi relatives), which he does not address.
    Being able to “opt out” of taking buses is a a false solution – would he say that about a public dress code? (i.e., Women could “opt out” of mandatory burka-wearing under the taliban by staying indoors.) If it’s so easy to “opt out” why not let the people who don’t want to ride buses unless they can enforce separation opt out instead? This is never addressed.

  107. shachar ha'amim

    “mycroft on May 12, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    “I don’t know how someone who doesn’t at least give some form of consideration to striving to fulfill ALL the mitzvot on a daily basis – including mitzvat yishuva haaretz and all the mitzvot hateluyot baaretz can be considered a shomer torah umitzvot, a ben torah.”

    A good Kuzari challenge

    I disagree – the Kuzari was a book written at a time when Jews realistically could not get up and go en masse to E”Y. If anything it was probably targeted more at the waning desire to ever think in terms of going back to E”Y and vieiwng Spain as the “new Jerusalem”.
    My argument today is a practical one – on the ground. Every jew everywhere in the world can get on a plane paid for by the Jewish State and move to E”Y. This sight that will meet them is one that their great-great granparents going back 1,500++ years would have literally – LITERALLY – given up their rights arms and tongues for.
    The other week I met a woman born in Tel Aviv in 1948 whose father and his friend left Hungary with the shirts on their back in a kayak rowing done th Danube to Turkey. Naturally the “crazy” kayakers were the only members of their respective families to survive past the the year 1945.
    So it is not a “kuzari” argument – it is a simple question – how can someone who completes a year of study as an adult in E”Y without even giving a second thought to fulfiling ALL mitzvot including mitzvat yishuv haaretz and mitzvot hatluyot baaretz be considered a shomer torah umitzvot and a ben torah??? just what did s/he learn during the year?? how would s/he react if they were told that it is not so important to light shabbat candles or that it is difficult to eat kosher food??

  108. MiMedinat HaYam

    mycroft — “note how few immigrants to the US have been succesful as pulpit Rabbis-”

    actually, pulpit rabbi is a completely diff job in israel than in the us. (question — is that suburb of teaneck located between yerushalayim and chevron an “american pulpit”, or an israeli pulpit” in this concept?)

    2. also, just like american rabbis have several jobs (teaching, kashrut, orgs, etc) so do israeli rabbis. just that they tend to have several of the same jobs (i.e., two teaching jobs). and israelis in general also tend to have more than one job. so i wouldnt hold that against israeli american rabbis (or american israeli rabbis).

    3. the rabbi horowitz teaching method — too “modernish”. seems to rely on statistical analysis of most commmon words in the torah, etc. will be difficult to fly in charedi circles.

    (sarcasm — complete kudos to r horowitz)

    also, too close to tal am. (does tal am still exist anymore?)

  109. There is a difference between practicising inequality in intent, and inequality being the result while the intention is not to discriminate. In effect, the result is the same but not the intent. I guess for those who want complete gender equality, it doesn’t make a difference.

  110. the goal in the former is to provide students with the opportunity to learn. the latter sees students as projects and the goal is to make them better jews.

    Is that a bad thing? To put it crudely, why teach students halachot they won’t keep? Even Gush abandoned its original all-Hebrew curriculum for the Americans when it became clear that “making them better Jews” had to be a higher priority.

    there is this big stumbling block, which is this idealogical idea that Ivrit is NOT Loshon Hakodesh, and therefore is unimportant for learning Torah or (heaven help us) being able to communicate with 5 million Jews in their language.

    I think it’s more the idea that since Hebrew IS so holy, it must not be “polluted” by being brought down to the level of real life. A similar attitude accounts for the refusal to consider a possible divine role in the creation of the Jewish state.

    IOW, the transformation of such a talmid, or the lighting of the proverbial fire, begins in Israel, but the real effort continues long after returning back to the US.

    That is less an indictment of the year in Israel, and more a recognition of the fact that one year is a short time for personal growth, and that no 19 year old in any program can achieve the level of maturity we expect from much older people.

  111. MM HY,
    Yes, Tal Am is still in use.

  112. MMY:

    “the rabbi horowitz teaching method — too “modernish”. seems to rely on statistical analysis of most commmon words in the torah, etc. will be difficult to fly in charedi circles”

    there is a video of RH on VIN and he states that he discussed his method with a rav in israel (forget which one) and he told him use all the knowedlge available to him

  113. MMY:

    he also shows in the video kids using the program with the typical sing song “that has been used for perhaps 1,000 years” to show that he is not breaking with tradition altogether

    SHLOMO:

    “Is that a bad thing? To put it crudely, why teach students halachot they won’t keep?

    i don’t think i said in of itself it’s bad (or good). but it is an important distinction that many people gloss over. it is also important for parents to understand that different programs in israel have different ideas what it means to be a “better jew.” they shouldn’t blindly send their kids to israel and then complain when their kids return and want to [fill in the blank]

    “Even Gush abandoned its original all-Hebrew curriculum for the Americans when it became clear that “making them better Jews” had to be a higher priority.”

    is this really true?

  114. I was surprised that none of the articles at Atid that we have been discussing dealt with the biggest challenge any educator faces today-getting a student to pay attention to a lecturer and the subject matter while the student may be otherwise engaged in Facebook, etc.

  115. is this really true?

    I heard it from one of the rabbis when I was a student there, so it’s quite likely to be true.

    Nowadays the tanach/halacha/machshava classes are in English. The gemara shiurim make an effort to be in Hebrew but often lapse into English.

    I believe the original, abandoned, system was to simply drop the Americans into shiurim for Israelis. It is still the goal for Americans to move into those shiurim to some extent towards the end of shana alef. There is an ulpan too BTW.

  116. It always amuses me how so many people are convinced that Gush is a Jewish studies faculty rather than a yeshiva.

  117. MiMedinat HaYam

    abba’s r — he obviously discussed it with appropriate “gedolim”, but some / many schools wont accept it. though it is published by torah u’mesorah — they have a policy that they dont tell principals what to do — i.e., they give too much independence to their member schools. and wont back up even what they publish.

    (though r horowitz is highly respected in all communities, even MO, they wont necessarily respect his ideas.)

  118. “Surely, one can’t bemoan the shift to the right of Modern Orthodoxy and still claim that the year in Israel has no effect.”

    One could theoretically argue that the shift to the right is a result of a shift to the right of Rabbis teachers shiftingto the right after passing of the Rav.

  119. “mycroft — “note how few immigrants to the US have been succesful as pulpit Rabbis-”

    actually, pulpit rabbi is a completely diff job in israel than in the us.”

    In general yes- but one could argue that some Rabbis like R B Lau are trying to model themselves and schul somewhat on American model

  120. “I believe the original, abandoned, system was to simply drop the Americans into shiurim for Israelis”

    for better or worse I didn’t go-but I considered in the 60s going and had an Interview in the Jewish Agency building in Hebrew where it was clear that was the expectation. The total numbers couldn’t be taht great because one person spent one day interviewing potential applicants for KBY and Shalavim.Back then year in Israel programs were for the serious students

  121. R Warburg’s article was a fascinating tour de force, but I was left wondering-where would he draw the lines in defense of protecting minority rights-for instance, would he defend female genital mutilation or similar such practices as warranting protection?

  122. Steve — in the recommendation department, I would recommend: http://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Histories-Conspiracy-Shaping-History/dp/1594488959

    IH on May 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm
    Wrong thread. Apologies.

    I realize that this is the wrong thread but IIRC, the late Professor Richard Hoftstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” is still an excellent read in this area. FWIW, I don’t consider anti Semitism, a conspiracy, but rather one of humanity’s oldest social diseases, regardless of its ideological point of origin, and the left its greater source of incubation at the present.

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