News & Links

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Jewish Secularism’s Moment

A Jewish imperative to live in the Diaspora?
Knowing the results
Sabbath Observance a Big Winner at Cannes Film Festival
Gay, Female and Seeking a Home in the Orthodox Community
Israeli Philanthropists Launch Nation’s First American-Style Jewish Federation>
SALT Friday
The Changing World of Jewish Scholarship
Orthodox Jewish gays in Israel seek acceptance, but clash over tactics and religiosity
New approach to teaching Chumash (video)
Schechter Rebranding Effort Takes On Hurdles
Come to minyan, get a free batting helmet!
Open Letter to Judge in the Case of Wendy Runge
The Modern Orthodox Case for Gender Segregation on Public Buses
Ovadia Yosef favors appointment of women to religious councils
Our Teachers Deserve Unbounded Admiration
‘Cooperative’ yeshiva aims for low tuition fees
Democracy Creates Conflict Between Blacks, Orthodox Jews and Liberals
SALT Thursday
Rav Shteinman: “Do You Want Them to Read Secular Newspapers?”
‘Defiant’ Wendi Runge receives 10 years
Won ‘Jeopardy!’ (What did the rabbi do on Monday?)
Shas rabbi: Woman’s voice allowed on radio
Inside Europe’s biggest Hasidic community
Agudath Israel Urges Community To Stand Up In Fight Against Gay Marriage
No school for 180 Sephardic girls
BVA calls for total pre-stunned slaughter
Three-Part Harmony
The Ben Ish Hai and Women’s Hair Covering: An Interesting Case of Censorship?
The Life of Prayer>
SALT Wednesday
Hasidic news publication censors again
Jewish Organizations Barred from UN Conference
Tunisia cancels Jewish pilgrimage for first time
Rabbi: Don’t artificially inseminate from dead man
2 Woodburys seek merger to dissolve village, save money
Schools Fight Gets Heated (WSJ)
Minority within a Minority
The Strange Alchemy of the Settlements
SALT Monday
Last week’s news & links
Rules: link

About Gil Student

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

211 comments

  1. Thanks for posting the Gorenberg piece which highlights an example of the Israel loony right and the distorted lens through which religion can be used to promote hate.

    But, I have no illusions that American Orthodoxy has any interest in listening to dati voices such as Gorenberg’s. I imagine some readers here will even be accusing him of being a self-hating if not anti-Semitic Jew.

  2. Gorenberg’s been obsessed with “the settlements” and the Israeli right for decades. I don’t know if he’s a “self-hating Jew”, just a committed leftist.

  3. IH-I would have to concur with STBO in his assessment of Gorenberg’s views.

  4. He is a leftist (with whom I disagree on some things, but not all). Do you deny that he is a legitimate point here regarding the 2 examples of building settlements on Shabbat and stealing or vandalizing Arab olive trees?

  5. IH-I don’t think his point is legitimate. The Talmud permits a Jew to enter into a contract with a non-Jew for the purchase of land in the Land of Israel because of the magnitude of the Mitzvah. The only people who claim that “Arab” olive trees have either been stolen or vandalized are the usual suspects-leftists, Rabbis for Human Rights and their supporters-many of whom are active in the BDS movement.

  6. Whoops-I should have added that one may enter into a contract with a non-Jew to buy land in the Land of Israel even on Shabbos because of the magnitude of the mitzvah.

  7. I love how Steve picks and chooses which kinds of creative halakhic reasoning he supports: if it’s promote women’s religious participation he thinks its instantly suspect. To promote a RW political ideology he barely bats an eyelash.

    Also, are you implying that he wrote up that “psak” calling on the local Jewish residents to steal or destroy Arab olive harvests? Or did a different leftist write it up and post it on the bulletin board in the yeshiva?

  8. Steve Brizel:
    “IH-I don’t think his point is legitimate. The Talmud permits a Jew to enter into a contract with a non-Jew for the purchase of land in the Land of Israel because of the magnitude of the Mitzvah.”

    I don’t get it. Are you supporting the idea of building on shabbat? If this is such an obvious extension of the Talmudic principle you cite why isn’t it widely practiced? and if you do not support actual building on shabbat, how is your citation relevant?

    “The only people who claim that “Arab” olive trees have either been stolen or vandalized are the usual suspects-leftists, Rabbis for Human Rights and their supporters-many of whom are active in the BDS movement.”

    What do you make of gorenberg’s report of a leaflet in a yeshiva supporting such theft? Is he lying? Or did he misunderstand?

  9. Steve — you just validated Gorenberg’s point: “an interpreter of sacred texts can make a sin into an obligation. Theologies that absorb extreme political doctrines are particularly vulnerable to this kind of photo-negative morality (as with Islamic radicals who turn the sin of suicide into martyrdom).”

  10. IH-Regardless of what Gorenberg read or claims to have read-who says that the Arabs were ever the legitimate owners of the land, let alone olive trees, at any time in the history of the land of Israel?I am not saying that it is permitted to build on Shabbos, but that entering into a contract with a non-Jew on Shabbos for the purposes of buying land in the Land of Israel is a very well known halachic principle. Stealing and vandalizing “Arab trees” is a claim that is advanced by Rabbis for Human Rights, Btzelem, and other fellow travelers who subscribe to BDS, which are all dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel. I do not consider it a “RW political ideology” to question their motives and claims.

  11. IH-Regardless of what Gorenberg read or claims to have read-who says that the Arabs were ever the legitimate owners of the land, let alone olive trees, at any time in the history of the land of Israel?I am not saying that it is permitted to build on Shabbos, but that entering into a contract with a non-Jew on Shabbos for the purposes of buying land in the Land of Israel is a very well known halachic principle. Stealing and vandalizing “Arab trees” is a claim that is advanced by Rabbis for Human Rights, Btselem, and other fellow travelers who subscribe to BDS, which are all dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel. I do not consider it a “RW political ideology” to question their motives and claims. For more on why one should never trust antything from BTselem, see http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-btselem-witch-trials/

  12. “I am not saying that it is permitted to build on Shabbos, but that entering into a contract with a non-Jew on Shabbos for the purposes of buying land in the Land of Israel is a very well known halachic principle.”

    Well, the article was about people saying it’s ok to build on shabbos, so please explain the relevance of your “very well-known halachic principle.”

  13. So Steve is saying that first of all, the trees don’t belong to the Arabs, so it’s ok to steal or destroy them. Second, all claims about the activities I just endorsed are manufactured by left wing groups.

    The good old “I didn’t do it, but I was justified defense.”

    It’s funny because I recall this cryptic pasuk somewhere about destroying fruit trees. But once we enter the realm of ends-means halakhic justification for political lunacy all bets are off.

  14. MJ wrote in part:

    “Second, all claims about the activities I just endorsed are manufactured by left wing groups.”

    WADR, it is sad that posters on this blog accept the claims set forth by Rabbis for Human Rights, Btselem, and other fellow travelers who are in favor of BDS.

  15. I accept some of the claims when backed up 1) by evidence and 2) having met the kind of people who have bee accused of these activities and heard them essentially admit to doing this type of stuff. I suppose that if BTselem had reported that a Hesder alumnus had killed the prime minister of Israel you would have been rather skeptical.

  16. Be clear, Steve: are you accusing the Orthodox Zionist Gershom Gorenberg of being “Rabbis for Human Rights, Btselem, and other fellow travelers who are in favor of BDS.”

    If yes, please provide evidence.
    If no, cease the lashon ha’ra.

  17. MJ-I would not accept any claim advanced by Btselem especially in light of its well documented POV in favor of BDS. I don’t think that the analogy to a PM being killed makes sense simply because even given the facts underlying the assassination of PM Rabin, there were never any evidence set forth that the same was based or predicated on any particular teaching in any yeshiva.

  18. IH -read the Commentary article, which clearly sets forth the case as to BTselem, and have previously commented on RHR as having the same POV. To the extent that Gorenberg reiterates the arguments made by BTselem and RHR, he is using their arguments and strikes me as a fellow traveler in favor of their positions.

  19. See under: strawman. You raised B’Tselem as a diversion. That is not the topic of discussion.

  20. Steve: are you accusing the Orthodox Zionist Gershom Gorenberg of being “Rabbis for Human Rights, Btselem, and other fellow travelers who are in favor of BDS.”

  21. MJ-Assuming that such trees have been destroyed by the IDF, cannot one argue that such tactics were necessary to fight terrorism?

  22. Another diversion. Focus, Steve.

  23. IH wrote:

    “See under: strawman. You raised B’Tselem as a diversion. That is not the topic of discussion.”

    WADR, we disagree. Viewing Gorenberg’s POV as somehow distinct from BTselem ignores the fact that Gorenberg is a LW RZ. Btselem and RHR have been making the same claim for years to their audience. I have never seen in his writings anywhere , such as in the Jerusalem Report or elsewhere that he views Btselem as a source that should not be trusted or RHR as a credible group.

  24. Guilt by association, then. How is that not Lashon ha’Ra?

  25. Steve, there are two factual claims in the article, neither of which relies on anything but Gorenberg’s own experiences:
    (1) a settler leader claimed she wanted to start building on shabbos.
    (2) a flyer in a yeshiva promoted harvesting arab olives or destroying the trees.

    What do you think about these?
    Do you believe that gorenberg is lying about his covnersations/observations because he is a “leftist”? (You have come close to implying as much.) If not, what do these facts mean to you?

    You haven’t said anything directly to #1. As to #2, you suggest that the olives are probably not the arabs’ anyay. Do you believe that they belong to the jews who take it upon themselves to harvest the fruit? On what basis? In any case, how would that justify destroying the trees? (Note that this is an exhortation to civilians without any apparent military threat, so your IDF comment is not on point).

  26. IH wrote:

    “Guilt by association, then. How is that not Lashon ha’Ra?”

    WADR,if Gorenberg and others trumpet the work of Btselem and RHR as evidence, that merely proves that their sources of evidence are groups strongly engaged in and which have been behind the BDS movement for years. Further, if the trees are used to advance terror, then the notion that the IDF wantonly destroyed the same is also devoid of evidence. I would trust anything written by Gorenberg, Bstelem or RHR on the issue.

  27. But, the only place this is happening is in your mind.

  28. Steve, it sounds like you did not read the article. (That would exaplin why none of your responses have been, well, responsive.)
    Gorenberg did not “trumpet” anything but his own personal observations as evidence, and he was not refering to trees uprooted by the IDF.

  29. Steve — WADR, it seems to me that Gorenberg’s point hits home in discussions with you: “an interpreter of sacred texts can make a sin into an obligation. Theologies that absorb extreme political doctrines are particularly vulnerable to this kind of photo-negative morality (as with Islamic radicals who turn the sin of suicide into martyrdom).”

  30. IH and Emma-Rabbanit Weiss stated that she would like to build on Shabbos. Whether she has halachic permission to do so is a wholly different issue than whether the property in question ever legally belonged to its current residents. If the property in question, especially the fruit trees was being utilized for military purposes against either settlers and/or the IDF, then the same should have been cut down. FWIW, I would not consider Gorenberg, Btselem, or RHR as being a credible source.

  31. Rabbanit Weiss?

  32. IH-see the annexed link re Gorenberg and the left. http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=free_speech_and_funding_in_israel

    Viewing settlers who wish to raise their families as the equivalent to Arabs who view death by Jihad is yet another example IMO of moral equivalence at work.

  33. MJ-Assuming that such trees have been destroyed by the IDF, cannot one argue that such tactics were necessary to fight terrorism?

    I’m not sure what you are claiming, but if it is that since the IDF sometimes uses a certain tactic anyone can do the same then the answer is obviously no.

    Moreover I would hope that the justification is not ex post facto as you suggest. Shouldn’t the necessity of the tactic be determined prior to implementing it?

  34. “see the annexed link re Gorenberg and the left. http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=free_speech_and_funding_in_israel

    Steve — point me to the incriminating quotation beyond your usual mud slinging.

    You still haven’t answered how your comments on the Orthodox Zionist Gershom Gorenberg are not Lashon ha’Ra.

  35. Or did God give you a free pass because you’re defaming “a leftist”?

  36. Seriously, it’s not as if similar sentiments about politics distorting halakha have not been expressed by notable rabbis like R. Aaron Lichtenstein.

  37. “Rabbanit Weiss stated that she would like to build on Shabbos. Whether she has halachic permission to do so is a wholly different issue than whether the property in question ever legally belonged to its current residents”

    It is different, and I don’t recall anyone saying otherwise. Anyway, so let’s focus on the first. The article does not state what permission, if any, she received. So is your defense that there is nothing to see here unless/until someone actually implements building on shabbat? Would you apply the same defense to provocative statements from the left that are not yet implemented?

  38. “who says that the Arabs were ever the legitimate owners of the land, let alone olive trees, at any time in the history of the land of Israel”

    Are you saying that Arabs have no business being in the Land of Israel, and that we can steal their property anytime we wish?

  39. IH-WADR, you are engaging in dismissing the undeniable evidence. If you wish to defend Gorenberg, feel free on the merits. The links IMO ilustrate Gorenberg’s well documented POV and where he likes to speak in the US. http://conference.jstreet.org/Speakers_and_Sessions
    http://www.hrw.org/en/node/95059/section/14
    http://www.btvshalom.org/chapters/newyork/

  40. steve, one last time: are you saying that he is lying about the pamphlet he saw, misinterpreting it, or something else?

  41. Charlie Hall-Neither the IDF nor the Jewish People ever stole any “Arab property” in the Land of Israel. There was never an Arab state at any time in the Land of Israel.

  42. Emma wrote:

    “steve, one last time: are you saying that he is lying about the pamphlet he saw, misinterpreting it, or something else?”

    I am merely commenting that anything that Gorenberg writes on the issue needs to taken with a great deal of skepticism, especially considering his POV.

  43. “nudge nudge, wink wink”

  44. “Charlie Hall-Neither the IDF nor the Jewish People ever stole any “Arab property” in the Land of Israel. There was never an Arab state at any time in the Land of Israel.”

    There is no Jewish state in America. There never was one. Does that mean that anybody can steal my property?

    Because I know you’re not a fan of logic, I’ll just spell it out clearly. There can be Arab property without there being an Arab state. Or do you think that only Jews can own property in Israel?

  45. ok, i get it. you take his report with a “great deal of skepticism” so that you don;t have to deny it or call him a liar, but still don’t have to deal with the implications of what he reports. nice.

  46. MJ wrote in part:

    “Shouldn’t the necessity of the tactic be determined prior to implementing it?”

    Not necessarily-sometimes the exigenicies of the moment do not allow for the necessity of a particular tactic to be considered. Sometimes, a tactic that turns out was the best tactic may be immediately necessary that in retropect was the proper decision even though the propriety of the same either was not approved by the powers that be or in retrospect with the hindsight of history seemed unfair at the time.

  47. Richard Kahn wrote:

    “There can be Arab property without there being an Arab state”

    WADR, how can someone be a legal owner of property without a sovereign legal system that determines the rights and liabilities of an owner, etc? In the US, the courts determine the rights of American citizens and others protected under the Constitution. The Arab population certainly can reside in the State and Land of Israel, and enjoy all legal rights and privileges, providing that the same is loyal, as opposed to comprising a fifth column. It is ironic that Israel offers full medical and other treatment to a sector of a population whose representatives at time show minimal, if any appreciation, of the same.

    Emma-I would be loath to give a lot of credibility to any institution affiliated under the HMO rubric or anyone who relies on their very clearly biased perspective.

  48. like i said, i get it. no one with whom you already disagree can change your mind by presenting evidence because you don’t trust them to tell the truth. convenient.

    there was a sovereign legal system in place before the jewish state.
    if you deny that (which would be pretty incredible), would you agree that jewish claims to property based on pre-1948 title are also meaningless?

  49. Emma wrote:

    “So is your defense that there is nothing to see here unless/until someone actually implements building on shabbat? Would you apply the same defense to provocative statements from the left that are not yet implemented?”

    In the US, the First Amendment allows for full debate, consideration of, acceptance and rejection, in whole and part of the left and right providing that the boundary of a clear and present danger is not breached. I do not consider either advocacy by Charedim,settlers or secular Zionists a danger until actions are engaged in that go beyond advocacy and freedom of expression. Once that boundary is crossed, regardless of the source, there is far too great a possibility of R”L civil war. For that reason, I have equal concerns about burning of garbage cans, obstructing the IDF and engaging in conduct that aids and abetts BDS.

  50. Emma wrote:

    “there was a sovereign legal system in place before the jewish state.
    if you deny that (which would be pretty incredible), would you agree that jewish claims to property based on pre-1948 title are also meaningless”

    IIRC, the only such systems were that of the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate. Do you consider the same as comprising a “sovereign legal system” or simply the systems imposed by two colonial empires? Jewish purchases inthe Land of Israel as part of the secular Zionist movement are rooted in such systems, but our claim to the Land is predicated on our being granted the Land of Israel by HaShem.

  51. Emma-“evidence”based on any organization or individual linked with BDS efforts should be rejected in outright.

  52. Steve — I have no issue with your stating your politics even though they are loathsome to me. The issue I have is when you abuse Torah and halacha to deny opposing viewpoints.

    This is particularly hypocritical when you engage in lashon ha’ra in the process, which is the rule rather than the exception.

  53. IH-I stand by my analysis of Gorenberg & Co, who Chazal long ago discussed the concept of what constituted a Shachen Tov or Shachen Rah. A person can certainly be evaluated by his or her companions, intellectual or otherwise. I applaud the fact that this blog encourages the discussion and defense of diverse POVs. Yet, freedom to express one’s POV never meant that the same should be confused with the expectation that one is immune from criticism.

  54. IH- Your last comment about Steve passes a red line.6:27
    You are accusing Steve and making a generalization about him which you yourself are committing.
    State your opinion about an issue and not about the person.

  55. Criticism on the issues is fine, but not ad hominem attacks as you have resorted to in this thread (and many others).

    You owe Gershom Gorenberg a public apology for falsely accusing him of being a BDS supporter.

  56. daat y — I withdraw the final clause of the 6:27 post, starting with “which”. Now, will you apply the same standard to Steve?

  57. IH-When Steve states that you engage in lashon hara as the rule I will apply the same standard.
    I suggest you state your point of view and not denigrate the person who disagrees with you.
    You are attemting to convince that your point of view is the only valid one.State uor point of view and let the readers decide.

  58. IH-When Steve states that you engage in lashon hara as the rule I will apply the same standard.
    I suggest you state your point of view and not denigrate the person who disagrees with you.
    You are attemting to convince that your point of view is the only valid one.State your point of view and let the readers decide.

  59. Recap of Steven’s shifting views:

    It never happened- these charges were fabricated (No, there is documentary evidence and no actual reason to doubt it)
    It was justified because it was done to fight terrorism (Stealing fruit fights terrorism?)
    “” the Arabs did not legally own the land, there was no “sovereign” legal system (Yes, there was.)
    “” God gave the land to us, so Arabs cannot have legal ownership of the land. (Once theology overrides the rule of law then Israel ceases to be a democratic state.)

  60. fascinating post – text and texture – on ben ish hai and women’s head covering – also, censorship. as well as a reference to r’ broyde’s “limud zichut” article.

    http://text.rcarabbis.org/the-ben-ish-hai-and-women%E2%80%99s-hair-covering-an-interesting-case-of-censorship-by-jacob-sasson/

  61. Michael Rogovin

    Emma, IM, MJ: A very wise man advised me to stop answering Steve. I have trouble following said advice but it is excellent counsel. Don’t bother, it is not worth it. The rest of us already got it. Best to just ignore and save the heartburn.

  62. Michael — on the politics, I completely agree. The problem is the pseudo-lomdus that people may be fooled into believing. Especially given that he appears on the masthead of the blog.

  63. IH, I can guarantee you that nobody, but those who already agree with him are swayed by his arguments.

    In an unrelated note:
    I wonder if all this bad chasidic press is going to alter the way non-chasidim interact with Chasidic institutions.

  64. “In an unrelated note:
    I wonder if all this bad chasidic press is going to alter the way non-chasidim interact with Chasidic institutions.”

    What is new?

  65. I ate a Friday night meal once with Gorenberg’s wife and daughters (he was out of the country on business). Lovely people, as I’m sure he is. (One daughter was exhausted, being on leave from the IDF for Shabbat. I don’t criticize people with kids the IDF too much.) I thought it polite not to mention that I’d once sent him a very angry letter, and my views on his views haven’t changed at all. 🙂

  66. I have no reason to doubt the veracity of what Gorenberg has observed. I do, however, think he is finding examples of fringe extremists in the settlements and passing them off as the norm. Based on my observations, most Israeli’s living over the green line do not support these activities.

  67. “most Israeli’s living over the green line do not support these activities.”

    True. And many, if not most, are not even there for ideological reasons. But, it is the extremists who define the policy. In the same way as with the Palestinians.

  68. This is an eye-opening explanation of what we don’t want to see:

    “But I believe that understanding what is going on in the South Hebron Hills, a tiny part of the conflict, can free us from misconceptions about how the intricate machine works. There are relatively few settlers around Hebron and far fewer in the outposts that have been set up there. Their number is not about to get dramatically larger. Nonetheless, the official Israeli machinery is inexorably having its effect—it controls the land and gets rid of the Palestinians living on it by making their lives intolerable. The intricate machine does not depend on the number of settlers. It depends far more on the ways the roads to the settlements and the outposts are planned, built, and protected by the Israeli forces.

    In fact, many of the outposts in the West Bank are little more than Potemkin villages, but this, too, is almost irrelevant, since the roads leading to them are roads that, according to official doctrine, need to be protected constantly, in order to ensure the safety of the inhabitants even if they consist of only one or two families. The fewer the number of settlers, the more vulnerable they are, and so they need heavier protection. Protecting a road means preventing the Palestinians from getting near both sides of it and regulating their movement by means of barriers on the roads they are allowed to use. There are 539 barriers to movement in the West Bank, eighty-six of which are manned checkpoints.

    So the roads are the method by which the West Bank is fragmented, with almost no mobility for the Arabs locked in their enclaves. In addition to this, every settlement and every outpost is surrounded by a safety zone called a “special security area.” So the expansion of Israeli control of the West Bank is not determined by the number of settlers but by the extent of the zone of protection, from which Palestinians are excluded.

    Here is how it works. First, a settlement is established with a designated area for future development and a wide zone of protection. Then satellite outposts are erected in the hills on the outskirts of the settlement. The outposts enlarge the area to be protected and especially the roads leading to the outposts. The commentators who emphasize the growth of the number of settlers in the West Bank miss the intricacy of the machine. Population growth is not the main factor. In fact, the main growth in population in recent years has been in four ultra-orthodox towns that are not far from the Green Line. The population in these four towns now amounts to nearly one third of the settlers in the West Bank. Clearly more important than the increase of settlers is the increase in the number of outposts and their interconnecting roads.”

    Prof. Avishai Margalit in the 6 December 2007 NY Review of Books

  69. IH-“True. And many, if not most, are not even there for ideological reasons. But, it is the extremists who define the policy. In the same way as with the Palestinians”

    I don’t understand. Gorenberg’s article was about the extremism created by living in the settlements and then brings 3 “proofs” from the most extreme sources he can find. If a large majority of residents in these places don’t adhere to these views, what’s his point? This is a far cry from the hate and incitement to violence that pervades all MAINSTREAM palestinian media.

    Also, while I don’t doubt that there are Jews who committ crimes of violence and vandalism in these areas, their frequencey is artificially inflated by Yesh Din and other left-wing NGO’s. This was proven by documents leaked from thier headquarters a few months ago. (Source: See first article http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article.php?operation=print&id=3242)

  70. IH: I take it you do not live in Beer Sheva. Were it not for the settlers who insisted on living in the South Hevron hills, rockets would be fired from there on Beer Sheva every day just as they are on Sderot.

    Furthermore, I note the discomfort you have with the tactics Jews use trying to expel Arabs from the West Bank (stealing olives), while not being preoccupied by the tactics Arabs use trying to expel Jews (slitting babies’ throats).

  71. קטן עליך

  72. Moving on.

    An interesting news analysis on a Time Magazine blog “Behind the Israel Protest Turmoil: A Middle East Without a Peace Process

    Read more: http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/05/16/israel-protest-turmoil-a-middle-east-without-a-peace-process/

  73. Avraham — “I don’t understand. Gorenberg’s article was about the extremism created by living in the settlements and then brings 3 “proofs” from the most extreme sources he can find. If a large majority of residents in these places don’t adhere to these views, what’s his point?”

    Gorenberg is explicit and yet you seem to read more: “And even within West Bank settlements, residents from the Nablus and Hebron areas have a reputation for radicalism. Driving home toward Jerusalem, I thought over Weiss’s comments. They were, I realized, merely a reminder of greater distortions of Judaism that have been cultivated in the settlements ringing Nablus.”

    He is talking about extremists and backing it up with examples.

  74. Fat fingers: He is talking about the extremist “settlements ringing Nablus” — not about settlements in general — and backing it up with examples.

  75. Wow, IH, that’s cool. You get into an argument, start losing, and then proclaim that it’s time to “move on.”

    I’m just curious: Do you think the Hebron Hills- regardless of what you think of Arab “rights,” of the “peace” process, of who should get it eventually, etc.- are, in fact, Jewish property? Do you think that claim can even be made? Do you think there will one day be a future Jewish state that will occupy all the land God gave us? Do you think God gave us anything? Did he give us Gush Dan?

  76. I’m losing because Shlomo makes a disgusting comment? And, btw, I visited Elon Moreh in 1977 and went to Yeshivat Kiryat Arba in 1979 before I decided I didn’t like the “let’s go out and shoot some Arabs” mentality I personally witnessed.

  77. And if you insist on going down Shlomo’s track, someone close to me was good friends with the murdered Udi Fogel , so don’t preach to me on that issue.

  78. Any more before we move on?

  79. Fine. AFTER Gorenberg discusses examples of settler extremism which he admits is extreme even within the settlements, he concludes by extrapolating about all residents over the green line who for the most part have nothing to do with the extremism he discusses.

    “It is still possible to pursue that hope, but not by building more settlements.”

    He also compares these settler extremists to palestinian extremists which, as I pointed out earlier, is unfair because of the pervasiveness of hate and incitement in all forms of mainstream palestinian media.

  80. OK. Maybe some of the commentators should just calm down. Just because you disagree on certain points that you feel passionaltly about does not mean you have to resort to attacking the other side.

  81. Avraham — I am not sure I understand. Other than the extremists, there general agreement that expansion should be in the existing large settlements which will be swapped into the future peace accord.

    As mentioned at the beginning of the thread, I have my own disagreements with Gorenberg, but I don’t think he is saying anything in this piece that is not agreed by a plurality of MKs.

  82. For those on the religious right: do you think we should re-enact what we did when God told us to conquer Jericho?

    As a reminder:
    כ וַיָּרַע הָעָם, וַיִּתְקְעוּ בַּשֹּׁפָרוֹת; וַיְהִי כִשְׁמֹעַ הָעָם אֶת-קוֹל הַשּׁוֹפָר, וַיָּרִיעוּ הָעָם תְּרוּעָה גְדוֹלָה, וַתִּפֹּל הַחוֹמָה תַּחְתֶּיהָ וַיַּעַל הָעָם הָעִירָה אִישׁ נֶגְדּוֹ, וַיִּלְכְּדוּ אֶת-הָעִיר. כא וַיַּחֲרִימוּ, אֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר בָּעִיר, מֵאִישׁ וְעַד-אִשָּׁה, מִנַּעַר וְעַד-זָקֵן; וְעַד שׁוֹר וָשֶׂה וַחֲמוֹר, לְפִי-חָרֶב.

    The Orthodox Davka Tanach translation of Joshua 6:21: “And they completely destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”

  83. “Furthermore, I note the discomfort you have with the tactics Jews use trying to expel Arabs from the West Bank (stealing olives), while not being preoccupied by the tactics Arabs use trying to expel Jews (slitting babies’ throats).”

    That’s incredibly unfair and uncalled for. For shame!

  84. IH-It is becoming obvious to me that you cannot stop unless you have someone agree that your opinion is the only correct one.
    Your comment about Jericho is again beyond understanding.
    That was G-d’s command to Yehoshua.
    Today we follow our Torah leaders.

  85. “For those on the religious right: do you think we should re-enact what we did when God told us to conquer Jericho?”

    Very revealing of you mindset. Do you think what was done to Yericho “immoral?”

  86. “I have my own disagreements with Gorenberg.”

    What are they, pray tell?

  87. Like it or not, IMO, Gorenberg’s opinions , the far left publisher ( The Nation) of at least one of his books, and those who share his views deserve to be scrutinized, as opposed to raising the banner of Lashon Hara in the same manner that some use patriotism to defer criticism. To the extent that Gorenberg lends his name, articles, books and opinions to the BDS crowd, which seeks to destroy Israel via the ICJ ,academia and the foreign press in a manner which the Israeli electorate has rejected, his views should be seen as providing vital ammunition to the same and deserving of criticism, as opposed to be seen as that of an objective LW MO journalist.

  88. It is unfortunate but true but many of the liberal left bent have far more compassion about the alleged destruction of olive groves than the killing of Jews, both within and beyond the so-called “green line.”

  89. “That was G-d’s command to Yehoshua.
    Today we follow our Torah leaders.”

    I refer you to the 1982 Tradition article by R. Jakobovits just reposted on: http://text.rcarabbis.org/from-our-archives-religious-responses-to-jewish-statehood-by-immanuel-jakobovits/

    “On his [RYBS] philosophy of religious Zionism in general, see his Kol Dodi Dofek in Hadat Vehamedinah. Tel Aviv, 5724; and Hamesh Derashot, Jerusalem, 5734. Although on record as stating that he would surrender even the Western Wall to save a single Jewish life, he has lately taken no public stand on peace and the terrtories. Remarkably, the known moderate attitudes of this acknowledged leader of modern Orthodoxy in America are not shared by most of his disciples, now comprising the principal personalities of the modern Orthodox rabbinate in America.”

  90. MiMedinat HaYam

    regarding building on shabat — that refers to the “heter” (originally by the chatam sofer to build in pressburg) to subcontract the building to arab contractors (yes , israel uses a gc system, just like here in america; parenthetically, just like in post napoleonic pressburg) where “time is of the essence”.

    we use the extended heter of the chatam sofer extensively today in the concept of “amirah l’amirah” (which may deserve a separate halachic post of its own)

  91. IH-RYBS never forced any of his Talmidim Muvhakim to follow his stances on any issue. The question remains whether land for peace today, especially in the absence of a real netotiating partner, as opposed to a terrorist front, is or was ever a POV that was ever presented to the Knesset after due consideration and deliberation by the military and intelligence powers that be or was hoisted upon the Knesset as a fait accompli.

  92. Steve — reasonable people can disagree on the politics. But, Torah leaders are represented across the spectrum of political opinion. As long as we don’t confuse Halacha with Politics, I am fine — that is what democracy is all about.

  93. IH-RYBS never forced any of his Talmidim Muvhakim to follow his stances on any issue, whether in Halacha, Hashkafa, and the Mesorah of TSBP. However, those who are considered the Talmidei Muvhakim of RYBS have different areas of expertise, regardless of the subject.

    The question remains whether land for peace today, especially in the absence of a real netotiating partner, as opposed to a terrorist front whose cultural, educational and media organs are replete and redolent with anti Semitism, is or was ever a POV that was ever presented to the Knesset after due consideration and deliberation by the military and intelligence powers that be or was hoisted upon the Knesset as a fait accompli.

  94. IH wrote:

    “reasonable people can disagree on the politics. But, Torah leaders are represented across the spectrum of political opinion. As long as we don’t confuse Halacha with Politics, I am fine — that is what democracy is all about”

    I agree with your first statement-providing that one’s right to disagree does not aid and abett the enemies of Israel, which BDS supporters actively make no pretense about their intent and purposes. Why then cite either RYBS or RAL’s views, as opposed to viewing the issue solely one of politics?

  95. IH referred us to an article by:

    Prof. Avishai Margalit in the 6 December 2007 NY Review of Books

    See this link for Professor Margalit’s involvement with Btselem-an organization that is part and parcel of the BDS movement.Avraham on May 17, 2011 at 10:54 am
    http://www.btselem.org/english/press_releases/20110327.asp. For more on Btselem’s intent, see http://www.btselem.org/english/About_BTselem/Staff_Members.asp, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/beyond-goldstone-a-truer-discussion-about-israel-hamas-and-the-gaza-conflict/2011/04/05/AFsP7PlC_story.htmlandhttp://www.btselem.org/English/USA/20110324_JStreet_Conference_2011.asp then see the article in Commentary that I previously linked to. http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=52340

  96. For more on Btselem see this link. http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/b_tselem

  97. Just back from the Israel Film Festival screening of the moving film about Amoz Oz: http://www.ymfilms.co.il/139141/Amos-Oz-Film-1

    The trailer at this URL concentrates on his family story, but most of the film is about his passionate Zionism and Jewishness.

  98. For those of you who have not encountered an RZ leftist, a tragically human side can be seen on this new post: http://southjerusalem.com/2011/05/remembering-niot-on-sojo/

  99. Can people stop using the tired” land for peace” slogan as a whipping post?. No one in the Israeli government ever thought that you get peace in exchange for land. The question has always been how to have strategically and morally defensible borders. This is by far how the majority of Israelis see the issue today. How camping out on hilltops and committing vandalism are going to get us closer to that point is beyond me. If you have a totally different idea of what the endgame is for Israel then you are probably living in a messianic lala land.

  100. MJ wrote:

    “Can people stop using the tired” land for peace” slogan as a whipping post?. No one in the Israeli government ever thought that you get peace in exchange for land. The question has always been how to have strategically and morally defensible borders. This is by far how the majority of Israelis see the issue today.”

    WADR, this ignores the fact that land for peace was the basis and rationale for Oslo I and II, and that none less than Abba Eban described the 1967 “borders” , which no Arab state ever accepted, as “Auswchitz borders.” I think that most Israelis realize in the wake of two Intifadas and the fact that Israeli cities are the subject of rocket attacks from Gaza, that one does not negotiate with entities that seek your destruction as a country. In the US, that is called buying the Brooklyn Bridge, regardless of whether it is called land for peace or stategically and morally defensible borders. I don’t view camping on hilltops, random acts of vandalism or acts of appeasement to Islamofascist anti Semites as constituting elements of a normative and rational national defense policy.

  101. For more on the “passionate Zionism and Jewishness” of Amos Oz, see the articles by R Sir Jonathan Sacks and Yoram Hazony at First Things and Azure.

  102. Steve — since you are so keen to defame passionate Zionsists like Gershom Gorenberg and Amos Oz — who live in Israel — perhaps you should share with us what skin you have in the game? Any close family in tzava at present, for example?

  103. Other than the extremists, there general agreement that expansion should be in the existing large settlements which will be swapped into the future peace accord.

    That’s your delusion. When the most moderate Palestinians ask the UN to recognize a state on the 1967 borders, they make no special exception for existing large settlements.

    Not to mention the “right of return”, which 10 years from now you and the rest of the left will accept as a necessary part of any future peace agreement – just as you iteratively accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state, the division of Jerusalem, continued rocket fire on Israel, and so on, after the Palestinians failed to compromise on those issues for a sufficient period.

    perhaps you should share with us what skin you have in the game?

    When did we abandon the ideal of “accept the truth from whoever says it”? (Not that I necessarily agree with everything Steve says)

    For the record, a member of my immediate family will be receiving a tzav rishon in a few days.

  104. summary of previous link (from the article itself):
    השאלה הבאה הוצגה בפני פוסק הדור, מרן הגרי”ש אלישיב על-ידי אברך, לאחר שביזה אישה משום שהפרה את הכללים בקוו מהדרין. הגרי”ש שמע את פרטי הסיפור והשיב לאברך כי אינו צריך לבקש ממנה סליחה, מאחר והאישה היתה צריכה לעבור לחלק שיועד לנשים ולא להתעקש להפר את הסדר המהדרין

  105. I’m always puzzled by this: If daas torah is so important to hareidim, then why don’t the gedolim have functional procedures for making their opinions known?

    It seems that most are terribly afraid of stepping out and expressing their opinions in writing so they go along with a system of collective decrees and individual denial of responsibility. “Oh, that kol korei? I had nothing to do with it. If you really want to know what I think you need to stop by my apartment right after mayriv before I eat supper.”

    I find this much more bizarre than the bans or proclamations themselves.

  106. If daas torah is so important to hareidim, then why don’t the gedolim have functional procedures for making their opinions known?

    Part of being a charedi “godol” is concentrating on Torah study to the exclusion of familiarity with the outside world. Therefore, they cannot on their own become aware of problems which need addressing. The askanim who bring problems to their attention will by necessity play a role in formulating the response.

  107. Part of being a charedi “godol” is concentrating on Torah study to the exclusion of familiarity with the outside world.

    Their own community is the “outside world”? This isn’t a question of keeping up with geoplotiics, it’s about having the minimal familiarity with what’s going on in your backyard to have even the slightest efficacy as a leader.

    The askanim who bring problems to their attention will by necessity play a role in formulating the response

    That doesn’t explain why they don’t have secretaries who type up their responses on letterhead, bring them for approval and signature, and then issue them to the askanim. If I was in the position where by the fifth time my name was attached to a collective letter that I did not fully endorse I would start doing things differently. Isn’t having one’s views clearly made known and reliably attributed a matter of personal integrity?

    Look at the previous post re R. Elyashiv and segregated buses. The fact that hearsay is so newsworthy is a direct result of the fact that the gedolim aren’t writing down what they think. WHich calls into question whether they even see themselves as issuing public policy edicts or simply answering questions. If it’s the former than they need to take better care of how these edicts are created and disseminated. If the latter then they should make that clear and get out of being in the business of signing on to edicts.

    Don’t they realize that they are perpetuating a systemically dysfunctional way of going about the business of being a gadol? Maybe the Agudah (they have a few bright people working there) should write up a little booklet “So Now You’re a Godol: A Practical Guide for Getting Your Views Disseminated and Avoiding Exploitation.”

  108. But guys, look at the recent chochma displayed by RALS. First, as noted above, RALS sent the askanim who asked him to sign on to a kol koreh banning mags and newspapers packing. Earlier, he came out against the attempt to ban sales to Arabs, citing the possible repercussions against Jews in Europe. Before that, he rejected attempts by a menahel to prevent a certain boy from attending his educational institution. RALS appears to see through the bogus, false, and negative campaigns by “askanim” with an agenda.

  109. Why is the article about Wendi Runge here?

  110. Does that change the fact that you have an entire segment of Israeli society under the leadership of hearsay and collective disownership of public policy decisions?

  111. > daat y on May 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    >IH-It is becoming obvious to me that you cannot stop unless you
    >have someone agree that your opinion is the only correct one.
    >Your comment about Jericho is again beyond understanding.
    >That was G-d’s command to Yehoshua.
    >Today we follow our Torah leaders.

    Do we? Do we follow the Rambam? Has anyone gainsaid his understanding of the rules of war: a war in defense of Jews is a milchemet mitzvah; when capturing a city, offer a choice between slavery and death; genocide (death or expulsion) for cities captured during a Seven-Nations war? Or do “today’s Torah leaders” just ignore the Rambam because it inconveniently differs from contemporary morality?

    Read Hil. Melachim sometime, the first 8 chapters, not just the last 4 that talk about Noachides and Moshiach’s-tzeiten.

  112. >Why is the article about Wendi Runge here?

    Look at her picture – looks like a frumma lady to me. Sheitl, long-sleeved dress.

    Will there be campaigns for clemency for her? I tend to doubt it. She has no mitigating factors:

    – Pollard is unrepentant, but at least he spied FOR ISRAEL;
    – Rubashkin is unrepentant, but at least he did GOOD WORKS on the side;
    – Runge is unrepentant, and she stole from the government, FOR HERSELF.

  113. IH wrote:
    “since you are so keen to defame passionate Zionsists like Gershom Gorenberg and Amos Oz — who live in Israel — perhaps you should share with us what skin you have in the game? Any close family in tzava at present, for example”

    I have no relatives in the IDF. I do believe that neither Zionism nor the fact that I live in ChuL deprives me of the right or of anyone else to express concerns over the directions of the left, the Israeli sources of the BDS movement or post Zionism. Given the importance of the State of Israel to all of us, regardless of where we live or our hashkafos, I would submit that Zionism does not include the right of national suicide, or aiding and abetting those who promote such a pernicious idea, of which there is no shortage among Israeli post Zionists.

    However, I object to your POV that any questionning of the Zionist credentials of Gershom Gorenberg and Amos Oz is beyond the pale. WADR, there is no reason why the readership here and elsewhere should not be aware of how Messrs. Gorenberg and Oz define Zionism, based on their own writings, and activities. How that translates into defaming either Gorenberg or Oz mystifies me.

  114. Rafael: wow you’re right! He *didn’t* issue morally repugnant edict! I’m so glad our standard for leaders is so high.

  115. IH-FYI, I say Hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut, and Yom Yerushalayim. Both of our daughters attended seminaries in Israel-especially right during and after the height of the second Intifada.

    Our older daughter SIL and grandchildren have been in Bayit Vagan for the last two years, and we visited our children and spent much time traveling, touring and visiting friends who made aliyah on each of our trips. We rode buses,with the full awareness of the fact that some of the stops were targets of terrorists R”L.

    WADR, not having a child in the IDF IMO should never disqualify anyone from not having an opinion on the dangers posted by Post Zionists and BDS.

  116. Steve — disagree with them all you want — you can call them fools, deluded, or useful idiots. But lying about someone’s patriotism because you disagree with their politicsl stance IS beyond the pale.

    Guilt by association — as you have been doing — is nothing short of McCarthyism. Either present direct evidence that either of these passionate Zionists is “post-Zionist” or supports BDS — or cease and desist from defaming them (and others).

  117. “Agudath Israel Urges Community To Stand Up In Fight Against Gay Marriage”

    let them be so public and bold when it comes to their sexual deviants within the orthodox world.

  118. Abba: To me, it seems like an obvious power ploy. The Haredi community has made it clear that they resent the deals their leadership makes with candidates that don’t share their “values”, and the recent elections in Brooklyn and Lakewood indicate that Aguda has lost its ability to represent anyone. Aguda is playing to its base now.

  119. Case of Wendi Runge is just another example of the dangers of Jews claiming the justice system is prejudiced against them-see Rubashkin as another Iowa matter.

  120. “Shas rabbi: Woman’s voice allowed on radio”

    a very disturbing article. i thought it was about women singing. but a psak is needed so women can call into a radio show and talk?

  121. Rabbi Binyamin Goldfarb writes that the judge in the Wendy Runge analysis was right in every point except that her cooperation, honesty etc. after her arrest should not reflect on her sentencing. With respect, he apparently demonstrates some of the precise Jew-focused viewpoint of the legal system he condemns. Cooperation with DOJ and state Attorney General’s is a factor in sentencing every day. S/o cooperates with the investigation and subsequent prosecution of his co-conspirators and gets a reduced sentence. Why? His initial acts were just as bad as theirs. Odds are he is acting to save his own skin rather then out of tshuva. Why, as a moral matter is he different? Yet we would not have the semblance of justice that we have were we not to reward those who cooperate with the government and, similarly, punish those who slander their prosecutors. When Rabbi Goldfarb conceded that Runge was uncooperative and defamed the prosecutors as anti-Semitic, he set forth a reason for a sentence on the higher end of what she pled guilty to. As the judge found.

  122. I disagree with R’ Warburg’s piece – which is a mix of halachic, secular law and philosophy. IMHO the line he tries to drawis really a political line that society must draw based on facts on the ground (see San Francisco/ brit banning referendum)

    However, Imho Ms. Maryles Sztokman does not further her cause within “orthodoxy” by taking up the banner of inequality without grounding it in the halachic system. As my sister so insightfully commented elsewhere:

    “Risa said…
    “I don’t know why a woman sitting n the front of the bus is equal to a woman wearing immodest clothing…”
    It seems that just being a woman publicly is immodest these days.”

    but that doesn’t absolve the MO community of asking itself “are we truly practicing tzniut” (and that is a question for males as well.

    KT

  123. However, Imho Ms. Maryles Sztokman does not further her cause within “orthodoxy” by taking up the banner of inequality without grounding it in the halachic system. As my sister so insightfully commented elsewhere:

    If someone slaps your mother in front of you for no reason, is it necessary to articulate that what you witnessed was halachically wrong and cite chapter and verse or can you just say: this is wrong! That is Ms. Maryles Sztokman’s reaction here.

  124. I was all prepared to be outraged by the open letter to the judge on the Runge case. But I was pleasantly surprised; I found it thoughtful, balanced, fair and articulate. HAGTBG’s comments about the letter may or may not be right; I’m no expert in criminal law. But reasonable people can disagree about sentencing and I found R. Goldfarb’s letter to be eminently reasonable. Too bad supporters of those convicted in other highly publicized cases didn’t follow his example.

  125. IH wrote;

    “Steve — disagree with them all you want — you can call them fools, deluded, or useful idiots. But lying about someone’s patriotism because you disagree with their politicsl stance IS beyond the pale.

    Guilt by association — as you have been doing — is nothing short of McCarthyism. Either present direct evidence that either of these passionate Zionists is “post-Zionist” or supports BDS — or cease and desist from defaming them (and others).”

    IH-WADR, anyone’s views on any issue have always been analyzed in terms of their published writings and the POV expressed therein, as well as whom they share their POV woth-regardless of their POV-I consider it Orwellian in the worst sense of that term to view legitimate criticism of anyone’s POV as McCarthyism. Rather, attempts to squelch debate by deeming someone’s writings and public appearances as beyond the pale of discussion strike me IMO as an attempt rooted in intellectual imperialism to dictate how one should and can react to the proponent of any POV. The mere assertion of any POV should never mean that the same is immune from criticism.

    WADR, McCarthyism and its well known cousin academic freedom, should have been added a long time ago to Samuel Johnson’s observation as to patriotism as a unique refuse in the course of public debate.

  126. Jon_brooklyn: Its not that he didn’t issue “morally repugnant edict.” Its that he did not go along with the askanim and saw right through their scheme. It don’t see how that is not meeting the highest standard. The highest standard is that the askanim wouldn’t approach RALS for an “edict” in the first place.

    I was responding to how many claim that askanim exploit Gedolei Yisroel. Well, the evidence shows that RALS does not let himself be exploited. That’s all.

  127. IH wrote:

    “Either present direct evidence that either of these passionate Zionists is “post-Zionist” or supports BDS — or cease and desist from defaming them (and others”

    First of all-I invited all present to consider whether Oz is a passionate Zionist by referring to Hazony’s book. I consider his views as cited therein as indicative of post Zionism. Anyone such as Oz, Margolit or other academics who lends his or her name to the activities of Btselem, which Noah Pollack has brilliantly illustrated , supports BDS efforts, is aiding and abetting BDS. I reject your attempt to stifle debate as to the propriety of Btselem’s activities, and its leaders public statemments. Are you seriously denying that the statements that I posted links to actually exist? WADR, stifling debate is an all too common tactic among those who view public discourse on poltical issues as rooted in the notion of “their way or the highway”, and now illustrates why McCarthyism, academic freedom and patriotism should now all be seen as having the same lack of merit when asserted by anyone who wishes to foreclose debate on any public issue.

  128. Jon_brookly: The nature of the role of a Gadol today is to answer halachic queries and make decision on non-halachic, or seemingly non-halachic issues. So the Gadol is usually that issues are brought to the Gadol and not the other way around. This system makes sense, since a Gadol cannot come up with test cases that would match real life scenarios. People have to bring each unique situation to them.

  129. R’ HAGTBG ,
    You can certainly say “this is wrong” however when your same claim (“this is wrong”) is made by those who totally ignore any reasonable definition of tzniut (again this impacts men and women imho), then you have to ask yourself if just saying “this is wrong” will be effective in furthering your cause. Of course one could just say yes, it does. In this case I disagree.
    KT

  130. “You can certainly say “this is wrong” however when your same claim (“this is wrong”) is made by those who totally ignore any reasonable definition of tzniut (again this impacts men and women imho), then you have to ask yourself if just saying “this is wrong” will be effective in furthering your cause. Of course one could just say yes, it does. In this case I disagree”

    You may be practically correct – people don’t want to listen to intuitive ethical arguments. but what does that say about our community when there is no baseline bein-adam-lechavero intuition, no empathy?

  131. r. joel, btw, I found your quote from your sister – “it seems that just being a woman i public is immodest these days” – to be confusing in light of the rest of your argumentm, since it seems like exactly the sort of non-halachic argument you are criticizing. It taps a fundamental intuition in laymen’s terms, but that intuition can be amply rebutted by careful selection of traditional sources (even if supported by others).

  132. R’ Emma,
    “people don’t want to listen to intuitive ethical arguments. but what does that say about our community when there is no baseline bein-adam-lechavero intuition, no empathy?”

    The chareidim would argue there is a baseline but disagree with you on what it is.

    KT

  133. R’ Joel — if memory serves, Yehudah Mirsky has several written several newspaper columns about the bus issue including explicit discussion about the broader issue of tzniut in Israeli society.

    Perhaps it is unfair to expect a “sisterhood blog” post — written to express shock and dismay — to also cover the broader context?

  134. R’ Emma,
    My sister’s quote was exactly as you described and you are correct about the opposite being supportable (see the Rambam for example on women leaving the home). Halacha is a subjective process (my sons are all married and hopefully my saying this will not cause my grandchildren shidduch problems) but it is a process and imho requires halachic argumentation on issues in order to change – but of course there are sociological elements to that process and change as well.
    KT

  135. R’IH,
    Your point on intended audience is well taken.
    KT

  136. I think that the article by R Warburg can be critiqued on the basis that the logic underlying the same can be used to justify abusive practices against women. That being the case, the author IMO is sadly mistaken if she thinks that there are no Charedi women who support separate gender seating. See e.g. http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2007/02/18/the-kidnapping-of-rosa-parks/

  137. “The chareidim would argue there is a baseline but disagree with you on what it is.”

    granted. BUT:
    i am reminded of the famous story of rav aharon lichtenstein (i think) re: children stopping to have a pilpul as to whether they can help a nonjew on shabbat. he seemed to prefer the intuitive “yes” position to the scholarly pilpul. the charedi “intuition,” however, does not begin from a point of view of empathy for fellow humans irrespective of status. My view is that it is worthy of criticism for that. I acknowledge that the response is “but halacha cares about status!” but I think that actually draws the point I am trying to make into sharper relief –

    formulated more strongly: it is impossible to voice critiques of the fundamental structure of some of these discussions (as Ms. EMS attempts to do, albeit in my view not as successfully as she could, in the end of her piece), such as the fact that the subject is always male, leaving women primarily as enablers/objects/accessories. This is a fundamental point about empathy – can you think about how this feels if you take yourself out of the subject position and put someone else in? I.e., Can you think about what it means to women when you talk about women, but not to them? Those who would limit themselves to “halacha” often demonstrate that their answer is no. If there is no room for that kind of thinking that itself is a problem.

    ps – I appreciate the honorific (you are the first on this blog to grant it to me, even in partial jest). now _that_ may hurt your grandkids’ shidduchim…

  138. then you have to ask yourself if just saying “this is wrong” will be effective in furthering your cause.

    With charedim no. I assume several charedim view the opposite as wrong.

    Nevertheless if the MO are one community and some haredi another in this context, that does not mean we need to tolerate the denigration of our women to support their viewpoints. We don’t.

    It is not tolerance to let your wife get mistreated.

    My understanding is that the law in Israel is that there is no enforceable rule on the charedi lines that they be gender separated. That is basically the unenforceable standard that others can chose to violate.

    The issue is where is the MO (and US charedi) outrage where women and men on the same part of a bus means the women will be disrespected.

  139. R’ Emma,
    IIRC it is R’ AL – or the famous “debate” as to whether one would eat something treif or human flesh in case of need. My point is halacha is influenced by “native” empathy but it must be part of a process imho, not a parallel track that doesn’t answer at some level to halacha.

    As for honorifics, I give it everyone, they can figure out what it stands for in their individual case 😉
    KT

  140. HAGTBG wrote:

    “Nevertheless if the MO are one community and some haredi another in this context, that does not mean we need to tolerate the denigration of our women to support their viewpoints. We don’t.”

    How about the adage of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”? WADR, I see nothing gained in a RZ or MO woman going out of her way to sit in the portion of a bus which Egged has designated for men only, and in which the RZ/MO woman is acting as a test case of sorts.

  141. “My point is halacha is influenced by “native” empathy but it must be part of a process imho, not a parallel track that doesn’t answer at some level to halacha.”

    this is reasonable. however, in times when the pendulum has swung so far towards demonizing and delegitimizing native empathy, (or whatever to call it) it is not clear the me that the right way to respond to the fact that there are now so many people who will not even listen to non-technical arguments is therefore to make sure everything is phrased, or easily translatable, in technical terms. One can’t give up the war on what sorts of discourse is even permitted in a (futile) attempt to win the battle on women on the bus.
    In other words, perhaps the answer to the disavowal of ethics has to be more ethical language, not less. (and we can figure out how to integrate the “process” later, once people recognize that there is actually something to integrate.)

  142. JOEL RICH:

    re. honorifics: the chabad rabbi of a shul i davened in had a habit of introducing me to people with the honorific of rabbi (in my capacity as a bar mitzva tutor). on a number of occassions i asked him not to do this, but he ignored me. finally i told him that if he insists on giving me his personal semicha, then i want it in writing.

  143. How about the adage of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”? WADR, I see nothing gained in a RZ or MO woman going out of her way to sit in the portion of a bus which Egged has designated for men only, and in which the RZ/MO woman is acting as a test case of sorts.

    An adage that the haredim will adhere to themselves we can be sure as they’ve adhered to such in the past.

    Out of their way? Why bother when circumstance will bring this to a choice of competing values in its own right.

    First off, in some places these buses are the only public transportation. Seconds, these are not charedi lines but public ones. Third, if there is an empty seat up front and none in the back?

    This has already happened. We know what happens to women in those circumstances who opt to sit in the front. It is an issue of basic respect to allow women to sit when/where you full well know they are halachically and legally entitled to (and aside from that also being general mores).

    Why can’t we simply say this is an issue of competing values and we will stand by our ideals to the best of our ability – when it harms our community members in particular – and not bow to others we disagree with when it will lead to disrespect of our own?

  144. Why can’t we simply say this is an issue of competing values and we will stand by our ideals to the best of our ability – when it harms our community members in particular – and not bow to others we disagree with when it will lead to disrespect of our own?
    =================================
    Agree-which I thought was the flaw in the original argumentation
    KT

  145. HAGTBG wrote:

    “Why can’t we simply say this is an issue of competing values and we will stand by our ideals to the best of our ability – when it harms our community members in particular – and not bow to others we disagree with when it will lead to disrespect of our own”

    Assuming that this is an issue of competing values, does this mean that every such isue warrants such a response? What about Ahavas Chinam-is that midah, which I thought was a hallmark of RZ, reserved solely for the not yet observant? If the answer is negative, then the entire approach voiced above strikes me IMO as merely political in nature. Even if the buses are public in nature-IIIRC, that was a business decision made by Egged which was approved of by the HCJ? Perhaps, RZ ( and Charedim as well) can and should be thinking of where they can form alliances based on the notion of mutual appreciation, as opposed to approval of each other’s perspectives.

  146. What about Ahavas Chinam-is that midah, which I thought was a hallmark of RZ, reserved solely for the not yet observant?

    You can love someone who spits on you. But that does not mean you tolerate getting spit on or allow others to be subject to the indignity. Ahavas Chinam applies to our women too.

  147. HAGTBG-Thanks for your comment. WADR, I don’t see why RZ/MO women should be leading the charge on this issue.

  148. If hareidi culture really was “equal but separate” then maybe, maybe a person could see acquiescing to a segregated arrangement in a public service as something that could be “appreciated.” However, the reality is quite different. The Tradition article, among its many pretenses, made it seem that gender segregation on buses occurred organically by hareidi men and women tacitly agreeing to sit on different ends of buses. In fact it was imposed coercively from the very beginning with wall posters, rabblerousers, and stickers placed in buses and in the backs of siddurim.

    Since separate in this situation does not reflect a condition of social equality or indigenous social norms, it is wrong for a state to agree to an alienation of a basic right to equal treatment that has been and will de facto be imposed on people unwillingly.

    Or to put it differently, when a non hareidi woman is segregated to the back of the bus does she feel that she is receiving equal treatment or that she has in fact been alienated of a right? If it’s the latter, then the state should cannot allow a situation where women are routinely alienated of basic rights.

    Nonetheless, it is a bit absurd for modern Orthodox apologists of any sort to criticize or endorse a practice like this “from the liberal cathedral(?)” when their own religious culture deprives women of fair equality of opportunity by the standards of liberal justice. You can argue that your religious culture ought to be respected, but it matters not from the perspective of liberal justice whether or not your religion has internally justifiable reasons for its practices- that is simply irrelevant. Whatever weight those reasons have within your culture, they have no standing in the realm of public reason.

  149. Steve, I don’t know about “leading the charge,” but I would sure like to be able to sit with my family on a bus. What if I haven’t seen my husband all day? Or what if we both want to interact with our child? Can’t there be ahavas chinam from the other side for our shalom bayis?

    PS – HAGTBG, re: “Ahavas Chinam applies to our women too.” I agree with the sentiment. But I have a real avesion to the phrase “our women” and respectfulyl suggest you phase it out of your vocabulary.

  150. MJ,

    What standards of inequality – in the public sphere – does Modern Orthodoxy impose that would affect someone who is not willing to be subject to it. Or haredism generally I’d add. This really only comes up in Israel? Perhaps its a failure of imagination on my part but can you enlighten me,

  151. Emma, our = MO, their = charedi. If I owned some women with a collective group, I’d think I’d know.

  152. MiMedinat HaYam

    steve b: “Can you think about what it means to women when you talk about women, but not to them?”

    there’s a trend in lakewood for women to call their good friends husbands “mr brizel”, instead of “steve”, to their face.

    2. i understand the complainant in the baga”tz is a prominent RZ woman. so much for test cases.

  153. What standards of inequality – in the public sphere – does Modern Orthodoxy impose that would affect someone who is not willing to be subject to it. Or haredism generally I’d add. This really only comes up in Israel? Perhaps its a failure of imagination on my part but can you enlighten me,

    I don’t think I made that claim. Perhaps you misunderstood me: from the perspective of liberal society Orthodoxy does not meet public conceptions of justice.

    But as to your question, it depends on what you mean by “not willing to be subjected to it.” There are plenty of people who do not want to be subjected to it but do so anyway for a variety of reasons, some more coercive than others. It’s a bit facile to think that people can just exit the culture they identify with and therefore the liberal state ought not take any interest in what minority cultures do.

  154. there’s a trend in lakewood for women to call their good friends husbands “mr brizel”, instead of “steve”, to their face.

    There is also a trend in Charedi papers to call all woman “Shetichyeh” as in Rabbi Moshe and his wife Shetichyeh.

    And this beauty of an obituary from a Charedi paper, which I unfortunately did not save: “The Rov had 6 chilren, 4 sons and two sons-in-law”

  155. From Marvin Schick’s excellent op-ed
    “I am confident that teachers at yeshivas and day schools are extraordinary in their devotion,”

    Some are and some aren’t

    “spending much time outside the classroom in preparation”
    really?

    “and also seeking ways to better connect with their students.”
    I’d be satisfied if they first di no harm

    “Nearly all of them are also social workers.”
    really ?

  156. “Emma, our = MO, their = charedi. If I owned some women with a collective group, I’d think I’d know”

    I know how you mean it and I know it often does not come with nefarious intent. However, I don’t recall ever seeing a woman refer to “our women” nor do i really recall “our men” being nearly as popular a phrase among writers/speakers of either gender. Perhaps yours is one of the rare cases where it could just have been “our own” but I just bristle at the phrase is all.

  157. Of course MO and RZ women should be leading the fight against these buses. If secular people do it, they’ll automatically be suspect in the eyes of the charedim. MO is suspect as well, of course, but at least these women can’t be dismissed as godless hussies, and may force charedim to consider that just maybe, their interpretation of Judaism is not the correct one.

    Of course, an ideal would be charedi women leading the charge, but I don’t have great hopes.

  158. Shalom Rosenfeld

    Re: “Knowing the Result”

    First, I’m shocked that a fellow of the American Psychological Association would confuse Zimbardo’s Stanford prisoner experiment (1971) with Milgram’s experiment of over a decade earlier. He’s describing the latter but calling it the former.

    Secondly, this is a job for a sociologist. There’s a segment of the (O) Jewish world that stigmatizes being a genetic carrier, whether in self or others. For that world, Dor Yeshorim is great as the alternative would be most people not getting tested. I would assume that Michael Salomon is coming from an entirely different worldview.

  159. R’SR,
    Are you troubled that the research result is apparently misstated in the Dor Yesharim literature? I always wondered why there was not at least an option for the testee to request the specific results.

    imperstive to live in the diaspora – 2 points
    1.R’YBS etc. all had the reason that the captain doesn’t leave the bridge etc., are we all that indispensible to Jewish life in the diaspora?
    2.The Big Chill -“ever gone a week without a rationalization”?
    KT

  160. Shalom Rosenfeld’s points are well taken. Certainly it goes against the way medical information is thought of today, but for certain segments of the Orthodox community it is probably still a good idea. Though one wonders whether in 20 years DY could have done more to reduce the stigma instead of perpetuate it. Unfortunately the MO community has not established a well-funded transparent alternative and so many think of it as the de facto source for communal genetic testing, particularly when doing so through standard medical testing services can be somewhat costly.

    It’s also unclear what makes this a particularly timely issue. This has been an issue that many have had with DY for along time and came up in earnest about five years ago when DY was invited to do testing at YU and Stern. A number of Rashei Yeshiva criticized both the anonymity and the lack of transparency as far as what markers they were testing for and what level of risk they were using as the cutoff.

  161. Here in Toronto, I simply went for a free test to the Hospital for Sick Children for tay-sachs and canavan disease. Once I found out what the results were (not a carrier) whoever I eventually married did not need to do any test. Of course, if I had tested positive as a carrier, than things would have been different. But finding out made my dating life and eventual engagement and marriage much easier and smoother.

  162. One may not like it, but todays’s OpEd by Prof. Carlo Strenger is worth reading: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/20/barack-obama-palestine-israel-palestinian-un/print

    (and to dampen Steve B’s inevitable accusation: here is Strenger on Post-Zionism: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/zionism-post-zionism-just-give-arguments-1.235552)

  163. Rafael, you might be of a Sephardic extraction, but for Ashkenazim there are 8-12 other recessive genetic traits that you would be tested for in a standard ashkenazic screening panel.

  164. IH, Strenger might be right, but the Armistice lines are not just indefensible, they are downright stupid. I doubt that 99% of people with strong opinions that the 1949 lines should become a border have actually looked at street level maps. The only border that convoluted in America is a gerrymandered congressional district. But the coming UN catastrophe has been in the making for 45 years. Israel has known for a long time that the Palestinian leadership never had any incentive to agree to a settlement because the status quo was unsustainable. All they had to wait for was for history to work things out for them and it looks like they won. Once the Palestinian state is recognized Israel will be in weaker negotiating position and will have to give even larger territorial concessions to retain major cities over the green line.

  165. MJ: I agree on the armistice line: both my sister and sister-in-law live on fault lines in the Latrun area, for example. These issues are well understood to be included in the land swaps.

    On the second point, it seems to me that Strenger makes a cogent counter argument. My own view is that the elephant in the room is recognition of self-determination for the (self-defined) Jewish people (parallel to the recognition of self-determination for the (self-defined) Palestinian people.

    There is a deal to be had, but it requires the partition of the land into 2 viable independent states, each with a minority population whose rights are protected de-jure and de-facto: A Palestinian State and a Jewish State. Not a Palestinian State and a bi-national State.

  166. While I agree that it would be better if DY followed the guidelines, they never would have received the necessary approvals from the religious leaders in some of the communities they serve if they would do so. But the are very transparent about what they do and what they don’t do and have made it clear that they are not a traditional genetic testing service. Thus, anyone who wants traditional genetic testing and counseling should have it done somewhere else. Or, if tested first by DY, once someone is told there is a problem they can then go for more traditional testing and counseling to find out the details and receive appropriate counseling.

  167. “Rafael, you might be of a Sephardic extraction, but for Ashkenazim there are 8-12 other recessive genetic traits that you would be tested for in a standard ashkenazic screening panel.”

    I am Ashkenazi. Rafael Araujo is not my real name. He is a former Center for the Toronto Raptors basketball team. The Hospital for Sick Children only tests for the predominant Ashkenazi genetic diseases.

  168. “There is a deal to be had…”

    No there isn’t. Many opposed to the two state solution are so opposed because it is clear from decades of history since the founding of the State of Israel that the Palestinians will not accept a Jewish State and 1974 Phased Plan is still in full effect. Helping Palestinians start a 2nd state side-by-side is basically committing national suicide. I mean, doesn’t the Fatah/Hamas merger prove this? Rename Hamas the Nazi Party of Gaza and you get the idea.

  169. The Palestinians have had their deals and they blew it. We should not keep going in circles and grovelling to them with the faint hope that we might see two states living side by side in peace. It ain’t going to happen. What’s the solution? I don’t know other then have faith in the Ribbono Shel Olam.

  170. [DY] are very transparent about what they do and what they don’t do

    Unless they have changed their policy, they don’t provide a complete list of what they are testing for or what risk level they use as a cutoff.

    The Hospital for Sick Children only tests for the predominant Ashkenazi genetic diseases.

    So why are they leaving out diseases with similar carrier frequencies (Familial dysautonomia, Gaucher disease, CF)? Perhaps you were tested a while ago or Canadian health insurance does not cover the other tests.

    Last I checked the standard ashkenazi panel in the US covers at least 8 and in Israel in covers 14 genetic diseases.

  171. IH on May 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I suggest you read the attached article from Haaretz which, as it presents it, the issue from Netanyahu’s perspective is not raising the 67 borders per se but raising them in a context that is not a final treaty: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/ahead-of-meeting-with-obama-netanyahu-says-there-are-things-that-can-t-be-swept-under-the-carpet-1.363041

    In other words he agrees with Strenger about the objective but makes the valid (I think) point that this tactic was just undercut yesterday. The issue now is that Obama went well past that, offering all ’67 land without peace; Strenger’s position is already moot.

    The people I’ve seen commenting are mostly angry about the 67 reference but I think its in fact the case that just about everyone in power, including Netanyahu, were going to be part of the basis of a final border. What the community need to understand is that its not the 67 border to get angry about but the context in which it was offered: all ’67 land for no peace (so long as the Palestinians.

    On a side note, the secular RW of Israel sees two primary options now: two states with a demilitarized Palestine and the absorption of the West Bank only and rely on maintaining a Jewish majority to maintain control of Israel. I have no idea why people think the later is somehow a better option (or more reliable a safeguard) then the former.

  172. (so long as the Palestinians say the right things)

  173. IH- Strenger’s first article expresses dismay that Obama was not more critical of Israel, and repeats the standard LW critique of PM Netanyahu that one can find in so many articles in Haaretz and the Jerusalem Report.

    Strenger’s second article is just another attempt to defuse and deflect comment from the damage that leftist post Zionist intellectuals, mainly in Israel, have done to Israel’s image. It is a nice attempt to paper over the facts that many in the left, especially academics in HU and TAU, as documented in Azure and by Hazony, view Israel as having been created in what amounts to original sin.

    Viewing the 1967 boundaries as the end game is completely contrary to the meaning of “safe and secure boundaries.” I can’t vouch for many others on this blog, but I travelled the entirety of pre 1967 Israel during the summer of 1966 and was acutely aware of the fact that the then existent boundaries were militarily defensible. Even the late Abba Eban, a Labor Party stalwart called the 1949 armistice line “Auschwitz boundaries.” As a Likud MK pointed out in yesterday’s NY Times, Israel all but ignored the UN in moving its capital to Jerusalem in 1949, and its making Jerusalem’s holy sites available to visitors of all religions after 1967, as well in annexing the city formally in 1982. When the US gives back the Indians its native lands and Mexico the Southwest, then the propriety of “giving back” land that was previously disputed and was conquered in a war of self defense is one for rational discussion. Until then, the demands made upon Israel by a collection of a near bankrupt third world despots should be ignored-especially if they are the product of actions at the UN-which stood by and was willing to let Israel be destroyed in 1967.

    Strenger’s comments about his fear of Israel being a pariah nation illustrate his seeming unawareness that being a nation apart from the rest of the world in terms of values, and sense of self preservation, is part and parcel of one’s Jewish identity. Merely having a great start up economy, a superb democracy and military, hi tech, a great party city and world class post modernist oriented universities IMO do not translate necessarily into why anyone should view Israel as unique. OTOH, if one believes that Israel plays a vital role in the renaissance of the Jewish People after the Holocaust, and the unique role of the Jewish People, then by defying all of the odds and predictions of doom of the Jewish People throughout history, such a Jewish state should never be preoccupied with worrying about moral approval from those who watched in silence and collaborated in the Final Solution.

  174. On “Jewish Secularism’s Moment” 3 reflections:

    1. Many of us know people who are profoundly Jewish, but secular. And I don’t mean “lox and bagel Jews” — I mean people who are deeply rooted in Jewish history and literacy. It seems to me that the Dati community should think about this as “מתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה”.

    2. I recently visited a cousin in Israel that I had not previously met. In e-mail she warned me “we are devout חילונים”. They have a Shas at home and we had an engaging discussion on the legal fiction of eruvim over dinner. I also recently met a 40-something ex-kibbutznik (the Marxist kind, not Kibbutz ha’Dati) and was blown away that she could read Ktav Rashi as easily as she could read Hebrew.

  175. HAGTBG wrote:

    “(so long as the Palestinians say the right things”

    Would you buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

  176. 3. For those who haven’t read it, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Shadows on the Hudson” is very insightful.

  177. All — the point of posting the Strenger piece was not to debate the issues — about which reasonable people can and should disagree — but to expose a different point of view. Don’t you guys get bored reading opinion pieces that just preach to your choir?

  178. IH wrote:

    “1. Many of us know people who are profoundly Jewish, but secular. And I don’t mean “lox and bagel Jews” — I mean people who are deeply rooted in Jewish history and literacy. It seems to me that the Dati community should think about this as “מתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה”.

    2. I recently visited a cousin in Israel that I had not previously met. In e-mail she warned me “we are devout חילונים”. They have a Shas at home and we had an engaging discussion on the legal fiction of eruvim over dinner. I also recently met a 40-something ex-kibbutznik (the Marxist kind, not Kibbutz ha’Dati) and was blown away that she could read Ktav Rashi as easily as she could read Hebrew”

    IH-such people and their children always have the possibility of becoming BTs, through whatever portal they might find. However, may I suggest that even such people are as per your description textually literate, an indepth study of Masececta Eruvin with Rishonim and especially the CI, would illustrate why Masecta Eruvin is seen as a continuation of Masecta Shabbos, as opposed to a “legal fiction.”

  179. IH wrote in part:

    “the point of posting the Strenger piece was not to debate the issues — about which reasonable people can and should disagree — but to expose a different point of view. Don’t you guys get bored reading opinion pieces that just preach to your choir”

    FWIW, I read much in the liberal/left and conservative/right media. I can only speak for myself-the abandonment of Israel is a process that was commenced and is actively aided and abetted by the tenured radicals and their allies in the media on the left.

  180. Re gender segregation on Israeli bus lines, am I correct that the same exists as a matter of law only on certain inter city lines? When we were in Yerushalayim this past December, my wife and I took buses everywhere and sat together on every bus.

  181. JOEL RICH:

    “I always wondered why there was not at least an option for the testee to request the specific results.”

    of course that option that exists, just not with DY. you’re welcome to go to you family doctor of OB and get the full panel with full disclosure (and if you have insurance then for much less $ as well).

    i’m very opposed to DY’s methods, but at least the RW is out there doing it. unless things have changed, the MO world sadly is way behind with regards to genetic testing and knowledge of these issues. i myself was tested for tay sachs at my college hillel. years later i got married and when we went to the OB for the first time he asked if we’d been tested. i said that i was negative for tay sachs so we were ok. i almost fell off my chair when he told us about all the other tests we’d never heard of. i felt like an idiot. it would have been nice had our choson-kallah tutors taken 5 minutes out of the 10 or so hours we met to talk to about it.

    i later spoke to my friends about this and it never even dawned on them to do any type of genetic testing. like i said, the MO world was (is?) way behind with this.

    “R’YBS etc. all had the reason that the captain doesn’t leave the bridge etc”

    does he write this himself?

  182. it would have been nice had our choson-kallah tutors taken 5 minutes out of the 10 or so hours we met to talk to about it.

    Just so you know, DY will not test people who are already engaged (though one could in theory claim not to be) and few MO rabbis have expressed a clear message about when people ought to get tested and at what point it should be brought up. They also differ on whether to strongly discourage people who match for a given disease from marrying.

    This is something that really is not in the purview of what choson-kallah teachers should be getting involved in beyond reminding people that if they have not been tested they should at least do so before they try to conceive.

  183. “Re gender segregation on Israeli bus lines, am I correct that the same exists as a matter of law only on certain inter city lines?”

    No. There are segregated bus lines in Jerusalem. And the light rail will provide more opportunity for divisiveness.

  184. IH-Even in Jerusalem-are the segregated bus lines de jure or de facto in nature?

  185. IH:

    “This is something that really is not in the purview of what choson-kallah teachers should be getting involved in beyond reminding people that if they have not been tested they should at least do so before they try to conceive.”

    agreed. i don’t think they need to get into all the detailed issues you mentioned, and if those issues are applicable the couple can be referred to other authorities. but really, just 5 minutes just to make them aware.

    i only did the tay sachs because i happened to walk into hillel the day they were doing it. i never thought about it again until we met with the OB when my wife was pregnant and he asked what type of genetic testing we had done. and that was more than any of my friends had done.

    i’m not sure when is a good time to educated MO kids about this. as opposed to RWers, for MOs high school is probably too early. perhaps in israel or on college campuses? i don’t know. but minimally the choson-kalah teachers should make their students aware of it if they’ve never been exposed to the basic issue. presumably the choson and kallah are adults (that should be topic for a different post) and they can then proceed with that knowledege as they feel appropriate.

  186. No distinction between inter and intra-city in this regard, as I understand it.

  187. IH-are there mixed gender and gender separated buses running on the same routes and on the same schedule and degree of availability?

  188. Steve — Sorry, but I am not an expert on this. The court decision can be accessed at: http://elyon1.court.gov.il/files/07/460/007/t38/07007460.t38.pdf

  189. R’ Abba,
    Actually I heard it with regard to the Lubavitcher Rebbi. See page 238 in Community Covenant and commitment – page 238 for some thoughts from R’YBS on the topic
    KT

  190. IH, just a heads-up: Steve, for some reason, gets *very* offended when someone calls eruvin a “legal fiction” even though, as a lawyer, he should know that the term does not contain any negative connotations, and, as a learned Jew, he should know it’s an accurate description.

  191. Nachum-anyone who has learned Eruvin knows that Masecta Eruvin is a continuation of Masecta Shabbos, especially in helping define the Arbah Rashuyos, of which many sugyos in Masecha Shabbos touch upon, such as in the first Perek and the first sugya in R Eliezer R Milah, and in strengthening our understanding of Meleches Hotzaah, which the Ritva and other Rishonim call a Melacha Gruah. IIRC, in one of the recent court cases involving Eruvin in the Hamptons, RHS submitted an affidavit as to the ancient nature of Eruvin. One can find much creativity in Masectah Eruvin precisely because the entire Masecta is rooted in concepts that really are completely defined by the TSBP. While there is no mitzah to build an eruv, there is no reason not to when the halachic criteria are satisfied. Anyone interested in Eruvin should look at Lineman’s wonderful blog as well as R B Simon’s superb sefer on the subject. I object to the term “legal fiction” because Eruvin is well known as one of the threee “Masectos Ani”-Eruvin, Nidah and Yevamos-due to the difficulty of the concepts therein, and because anyone who has learned Eruvin will tell you that the Masecta is replete with as much Lomdos as any Masecta in Shas.

  192. FWIW-One can argue that none less than the CI, as opposed to the MB and the Briskers, pioneered in rendering Hilcos Eruvin, and the construction of Eruvin, Halacha LMaaseh.

  193. You gotta love it when a fellow like Michael Salomon who has done virtually nothing to fight the scourge of Tay-Sachs has the gall to write an article criticizing DY for not meeting the standards of an organization that it never claimed to subscribe to.
    I don’t know anything about DY other than that I have used them for all of my kids shidduchim and went by the info they gave us. I have two employees who did not use them [before their time] and both have multiple children with serious genetic diseases and the hell they live through is more than enough for me to be convinced that DY is doing a great thing even if they haven’t managed to follow some arbitrary guidelines.
    It’s amazing how easy it is to criticize what the next fellow is doing. Unbelievable.
    Who’s stopping Salomon from setting up his own organization that will do exactly as he proposes? Na – it’s easier to criticize than to actually accomplish. Feh!

  194. Steve, haven’t we been through this before? I have no idea what your problem with the term is: Heter Iska, Pruzbul, Heter Mechira, all three types of eruvin, Mechirat Chametz, the very idea of “kinyan,” and many, many more are clearly legal fictions. For you to suggest that I somehow don’t approve of TSBP because I use the term- even though, of course, I heartily approve of each of these and would even say that one who doesn’t is a bit suspect in following the Rabbanan (well, maybe excluding eruv)- is very odd. Corporations and fiat money and so on are legal fictions as well, but I support all those strongly as well.

    In addition, we’ve said this before, but the simple fact is that Masechet Eruvin does not mention- anywhere, in any way- metropolitan eruvin.

  195. “I heartily approve of each of these and would even say that one who doesn’t is a bit suspect in following the Rabbanan (well, maybe excluding eruv)- is very odd.”

    I use Eruvin but since I don’t own whiskey I don’t sell chametz-Nachum another reason for you to call me “very odd”

  196. My father doesn’t hold from eruvin but sells his chametz. 🙂

  197. Mark,

    Dor Yesharim is certainly doing important work with regard to genetic disease. However, they are also perpetuating the stigma against carriers in the Chareidi community and thereby also hurting the fight against genetic disease. i think that there are very serious ethical problems here. Why can’t they offer the secret testing while simultaneously engaging in a gedoilim backed campaign against this ugly and dameaging prejudice in the Chareidi community?

  198. 1. Many of us know people who are profoundly Jewish, but secular. And I don’t mean “lox and bagel Jews” — I mean people who are deeply rooted in Jewish history and literacy.

    The problem is that most of these are elderly. The current generation of secular Israelis tends to be much less knowledgeable.

  199. Nachum wrote:

    “but the simple fact is that Masechet Eruvin does not mention- anywhere, in any way- metropolitan eruvin”

    FWIW, I also don’t rely on Meciras Chametz for the sale of Chametz Gamur, but I have absolutely no difficulty in using and relying upon Pruzbul, Heter Iska,Eruv Tavshilin or any of the Halachically valid means of constructing an Eruv including those means of acquiiring pernission from the local authorities. That may be historically true, but part of TSBP means applying the concepts set forth in the Talmud, etc to where and how Jews live. WADR, I don’t think that the CI was bothered by the fact that he was being consulted about Eruvin in 20th Century Western European cities.

  200. “The problem is that most of these are elderly. The current generation of secular Israelis tends to be much less knowledgeable.”

    Of course, Netanyahus son who goes to a secular school was a top contender in the Bible Contest. How much do Chareid Jews know about Jewish history other than halacha?

  201. “Why can’t they offer the secret testing while simultaneously engaging in a gedoilim backed campaign against this ugly and dameaging prejudice in the Chareidi community?”

    They can but they obviously don’t want to. That’s not their issue; they have a different issue which you agree they do well. It might be nice for them to do what you’d like them to do but it’s unfair to say to them: you do X so well, you should also do Y and it’s terrible that you don’t do Y.

  202. Moshe,

    I agree with Joseph Kaplan who made my point more elegantly than I did. Also, to my knowledge, they have done exactly the opposite of what you claim. They have removed the stigma from carriers by a) refusing to divulge whether a person is a carrier b) making it clear that being a carrier is not a reason AT ALL to avoid a shidduch.
    I know that the children of one of my employees who are almost certain to be carriers of a vicious disease are getting excellent shidduchim redt to them because there is no fear of this being a problem since they run everything by DY first.
    It galls me to see an org. like DY which has done amazing groundbreaking work in a field get criticized for something so nebulous and arbitrary. Let Mr. Salamon make his own organization to do as he proposes instead.

  203. “making it clear that being a carrier is not a reason AT ALL to avoid a shidduch.”
    so why test? Do they believe in testing in utero and then aborting?

  204. ““making it clear that being a carrier is not a reason AT ALL to avoid a shidduch.”
    so why test? Do they believe in testing in utero and then aborting?”

    mycroft: being a “carrier” alone is not a reason to avoid a shidduch UNLESS the other person is also a carrier. the point was that “carrier” status as such is not itself a problem – someone who is not a carrier should not avoid someone who is.
    as to your second question, anecdotal evidence (friends who work in hospiptals) has it that there are chassidic communities in which “therapeutic” abortions due to serious fetal abnormalities are common. it happens among the yeshivish too, as a visit to a frum women’s message board will tell you, but i am not sure if it is more or less common. however, i suspect that no one is relying on that as their sole form of defense against genetic diseases given the availability of pre-implantation testing. if people know they are both carriers I suspect most will use IVF. I also suspect that among the MO this may be a more “legit” option for childbearing, such that both being a carrier is not an automatic “no” the way i t is for DY. But those are just speculative impressions.

  205. ““making it clear that being a carrier is not a reason AT ALL to avoid a shidduch.”
    so why test? Do they believe in testing in utero and then aborting?”

    no – to avoid the shidduch.

  206. MiMedinat HaYam

    by the way, the source for the policy is Igrot MOshe.

  207. “mycroft: being a “carrier” alone is not a reason to avoid a shidduch UNLESS the other person is also a carrier. the point was that “carrier” status as such is not itself a problem ”
    except that a carrier can cause ones kids to be a carrier. Of course, we are all carriers for many different problems-if we checked for EVERYTHING NO shidduch could occur.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter


The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: