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Blasting the Borough Park Shomrim
100 Years Since Bialik’s Sefer HaAggadah
Slaughterhouse Rules
AJS program engages Christian leaders in Jewish study
Rabbi stabbed to death in Beersheba
Judaism is more than ‘tikkun olam’
“Intergalactic Judaism” and Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch
R. Shlomo Aviner: One’s Duty to Immediately Report Child Abuse, at all Costs
Rabbi ‘should step down’
Texting on Shabbos Is the Tip of the Iceberg
SALT Friday
R. Yair Hoffman: Reporting Abuse
Menachem Zivotofsky case before Supreme Court
Should rabbis be active on Facebook?
S.F. court rules to remove anti-circumcision measure from ballot
Kosher Pork in Sunnyside
The Martyr of Reason
Crusading Editor Who Brought Orthodox Sex Abuse to Light
W. Hempstead Boundary Blues
Has Tech Reached The Tipping Point?
Effects of Divorce On Orthodox Children
SALT Thursday
Knesset votes down civil marriage, divorce option
Officials: New donor cards will reduce organ transplants
Sloatsburg rest stop offers Jewish men place to pray
Rabbinical group seeks to fortify communal ties in Europe
Mind Games: French Jewish Intellectuals Argue About Anti-Semitism
Pay to Pray: Farming Out Prayer
Did Winehouse’s funeral violate Jewish law?
Observant Chefs Put Gourmet in Kosher Menus
Orthodox Children Face Unchanging Milestones
Christians United For Israel Stake Claim on Right
Orthodox groups clarify positions on reporting child abuse
Rabbinical court opens sex abuse debate in orthodox community
SALT Wednesday
RCA Reaffirms Halachic Requirement to Report Abuse Without Delay
Israeli grocery store keeps Arab baggers and Jewish cashiers apart
Hospital merger sparks end-of-life worries
Priests, rabbis, muftis meet to promote green behavior
Aliyah and a Free Jewish Education
Haredi families live in warehouses, garages
Jerusalem Rabbinical Court wants woman jailed for refusing to accept divorce
‘Innovationists’ must make changes
SALT Tuesday
Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman Rules on Elite Girls School
Will Bob Marley’s Grandchildren Be Jewish?
The New Biblical Archeology
Religious parties want inspection of secular institutions
Ashkenazi Jews rank smartest in world
Over 4,000 ultra-Orthodox flock to Jerusalem job fair
Of fire and death: The Lookstein legacy
Aguda commends TSA on new scanner technology
SALT Monday
Last week’s news & links
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About Gil Student

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

175 comments

  1. I was struck by the juxtaposition of the chareidi job fair and R’ Lookstein articles – projecting some wishful thinking I’d say both communities have what to learn from each other.

    KT

  2. what were the religious concerns with the old TSA scanner technology? That a frum male TSA employee might be forced to view the outline of a female form?
    KT

  3. Joel,

    To be fair, this isn’t solely a frummer concern. Many fully secularist Americans have complained about the invasive nature of both the scanning and the frisking done under TSA rules. Not every complaint AI has on this subject of sexuality is bogus (and before you ask, I’m a hundred miles away from their hashkafa).

  4. R’ Aiwac,
    I know that many objected, I simply ask what is the religious nature of the objection. For those of us old enough to remember the xray glasses sold from the back of comic books, would someone have the right to demand that no one wear them (and that is a much greater issue since they can actually see who the person is who is creating the image)
    KT

  5. Joel,

    You and I both know there’s a huge difference between individuals and a state-run organization conducting said invasive scannings.

    As to what the religious objections are – really, do I have to spell it out?

  6. R’ Aiwac,
    Yes, what specific halachic violation is there a concern for (for the person walking through the scanner) that outweighs the security concern that society has deemed worthy enough to spend tons of money on scanner technology and set up a system so that the viewer has no idea who the person is who is walking through the scanner.
    KT

  7. Why does it have to be something that’s “spelled out”? Are you really such a strict constructionist? Isn’t the person feeling violated enough? Or does there have to be an article in the Shulchan Aruch specifically about x-ray scanning? Yeesh.

    I understand that the state decided that the security concerns justify it. But AI (or anyone) is fully justified in arguing to the contrary and proposing alternate solutions.

  8. R’ Aiwac,
    In the words of Kenny Rogers – “you gotta know when to hold em, when to fold em”. You are certainly right that they have the right in a free and open society to argue to the contrary but any organization has limited resources and chits to call in (as well as concern for what the “cost” in PR is). I would argue that in the absence of a specific halachic concern, this was not a good use of AI resources.

    BTW if one takes the approach that halacha fully defines ethics, then who are we to establish new areas of ethical concern (e.g. would we be better off spending the time convincing folks that tzniut does not include form fitting dresses that cover the entire form then worrying about a tsa employee seeing some form that he has no idea who generated and could just as well me a computer model-wait , it actually is one, isn’t it?.)

    I’ll leave it at that.

    KT

  9. MiMedinat HaYam

    joel r:

    a few months ago, a number of images were released on the internet of (according to tsa, the machines are incapable of saving images) images.

    and some rock star’s image was sold for a measly $100.

    the objection is there. the solution is simple — screen the particular ethnic group we know is responsible. racist, precedent setting, but solves too many other issues.

    2. regarding rav shteinman and the bais yaakovs — they’ll find another way. they always do. i see no comment on not accepting sephardic girls, and / or other girls (families) they just dont want.

  10. In the technical sense, you don’t gain or lose Jews from intermarriage, as long as every Jewish woman marries someone. But I think that misses the point.

  11. “Batia Kahana-Dror, who heads the organization Mevoi Satum, which helps and advocates for women being denied a divorce, said she had never heard of a woman being jailed for refusing to accept a get. Nevertheless, she backed the court’s action. ‘A get should not be a blackmailing tool for a man or a woman,’ she said.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/rabbinical-court-wants-woman-jailed-for-refusing-to-accept-divorce-1.375294

  12. “if one takes the approach that halacha fully defines ethics, then who are we to establish new areas of ethical concern”

    Which is far from a universally held position among Orthodox Rabbonim.

  13. “You and I both know there’s a huge difference between individuals and a state-run organization conducting said invasive scannings.”

    One has the choice not to fly. Invasive scannings treated by the authorities as necessary for security.

  14. Re Ashkenazic Jews averaging high IQs-no doubt it is true although most people tha I have asked over the years would estimate that day school attendees average close to 115.
    Of course-it is the verbal/math components that Ashkenazic Jews excel in. As the articles mention they don’t generally do well in spatial skills.
    Of course, what society treats as important gets measured by its tests-a society that requires guiding wo a map by stars from island to island is one that general skills of Ashkenazic Jews would not excel in.
    What is the reason-is it possible just like today that over the centuries our average ability Jews were encouraged to leave Yahadus-Yahadus the ashkenazic variety is limited to the elite-otherwise one is not fit to be admitted.
    Obviously with a mean of certainly above average-schools of Ashkenazic children will not be interested in average IQ students. Thus, the very sad situation that the Day School Rabbinic complex has succeeded in making attendance in day schools a requirement to be accepted into the Orthodox community. A child with a verbal/mathematical IQ of 100 would succeed in a public school environment but be considered a loser in a day schol environment. Once one is not welcome-somem subtly some less subtly by the my way or the highway mechnachim-not only are the kids likely to leave Orthodoxy but also have a good chance of going down a spiral which they would have gone down if they went to public school.

  15. Mycroft,
    Until very recently in history, far too recently to have exerted a selective advantage, noone was forced out of the Ashkenazic community because there was nowhere else to go. Furthermore, the vast majority were not in situations where a high IQ was needed — tradesmen, farmers. Here, as often, you’re cyncism leads you terribly astray, although it does give you an opportunity to take gratuitous swipes at one of your favorite targets.
    Note that I do not know for sure why ashekanzim have a higher IQ on average, just that Mycroft is way off the mark. (Although a cultural preference for smart people could lead to a selective advantage for them in otherways that have nothing to do with shoving people out of the community.)

  16. mycroft: Of course, one can ask whether the invasive scannings are really enhancing security or only a way of looking as though the authorities are doing something. Somehow the israelis manage to provide airport security in a different fashion, although their methods are invasive in a different sense and I am not sure they would scale to the flight volume of the US.

  17. I received the following e-mail- I am not sure which source is being quoted-it appears it is from some blog discussing the issue
    but I am just quoting it for what its worth

    “This book was published in 2000. (see below, starting http) Recent estimates suggest mean Ashkenazi IQ’s of a little below 110, well below the 117 cited. Naturally, the results depend very much on how the IQ tests weigh the spatial reasoning component, as Ashkenazim perform below average on this component.

    http://sn136w.snt136.mail.live.com/default.aspx#!/mail/InboxLight.aspx?mid=d7b918b6-b747-1 1e0-8129-00237de3f118&n=1447985820!fid=1&fav=1&n=1167104340&cv=1
    This book has nothing to do with Cambridge University: none of the authors work there and the only connection is that the book was published by the Cambridge University Press.
    This is not a study: no original research was done to substantiate the argument of high IQ of Ashkenazi Jews.
    This book is not about Ashkenazi Jews or IQ: this is a general discussion of eugenics, in terms of its biological, ethical and legal . The Jews/IQ point is only a snippet of the authors’ discussion.

    On top of everything: this book was published quite some time ago. Wasn’t your correspondent intelligent enough to notice it earlier?

    Ariel , USA (07.23.11 “

  18. “oft,
    Until very recently in history, far too recently to have exerted a selective advantage, noone was forced out of the Ashkenazic community because there was nowhere else to go.”

    If so, why is the Jewish population today less than double of what it was 2000 years ago-the answer is not pogroms. Jews have left voluntarily throughout the ages.

  19. Mycroft,
    Where do you get your data from. There are currently around 13 million Jews in the world (which, if not for the holocaust, would be well over 20 million). The world population 2000 years ago was around 230 million ( http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=7 ). If there were 6.5 million Jews 2000 years ago, they would have represented 3% of the worlds population at the time. Do you have any evidence of this? OTOH, the best number I can find for the population of “Palestine” at this time in 1 million, not all of whom were Jews. even if all were, Jews then made up 0.33% of the world population. If we take the corrected Jewish population of the world (corrected for the holocaust) to be 20Million (simply adding the 6 million, assuming they did not have any population growth) we get around 20 million Jews in teh world which is… 0.34% of a 6Billion world population. IOW, tehe JEwish population has grown at the same rate as the general population, except for the holocaust. None of these numbers are exact, but they show that you don’t know what you are talking about. BTW, these numbers took me 5 minutes to find on line.

  20. I should note that not all Jews lived in Israel 2000 years ago, but even if we put the Jewish population at 2 million back then, jews still grew at a rate around 1/2 that of the rest of the world. For this, I think the holocaust and other negative effects of being persecuted is enough of an explanation.

  21. RE: Hospital merger sparks end-of-life worries

    This is just uninformed speculation. Is there any evidence that Catholic hospitals do not honor requests to remove life-support. I’m not saying this isn’t the case, just that this article has only one fact in it — that these hospitals are merging, and that this is a very uninteresting fact. (I guess there is a second fact, that people have a certain anxiety, but this too is uninteresting.) If you want to alert us to the policies of Catholic hospitals, find something on point, not some piece of journalism reporting fears.

  22. >If there were 6.5 million Jews 2000 years ago, they would have represented 3% of the worlds population at the time. Do you have any evidence of this?

    There’s no real evidence, but the claim/ estimate is based on the Claudian census of the Roman Empire in the year 48 which found that there were 5,984,072 Roman citizens, and that 10% of the population were Jews. These numbers of course need to be massaged to account for women, children, non-citizens, etc. In addition, Josephus claims that there were about 200 towns in Judea with a population of 15,000. That’s 3 million Jews in Judea alone, apart for the diaspora.

    Believe these, don’t believe them. But that’s basically where the numbers come from.

  23. Demographic estimates in pre-Modern times are notoriously unreliable. Numbers often vary wildly (for instance, the ests. for pop. in Israel in Roman times runs between 1 and 3 mill.). The best we can speak of is proportions – rise in pop. and lowering in pop.

    Anyone who speaks with “absolute authority” on numbers – whether minimizing or maximizing, is talking out of their a$$. Not everything online is holy writ, even if written by scholars.

  24. I think that vis a vis Mycrofts claim about how the Jewish community hasn’t grown because of forcing people out, these Roman citizens can be pretty much ignored, because there is a much more plausible hyptothesis as to what happened to them. I susspect that they were not well integrated into the Jewish world, and returned to general society within a few generation, when it ceased to be fashionable to be Jewish. Nothing to do with intellectual elitism. Furthermore, it is one thing to say that there may have been as many as 6.5 million jews 2000 years ago, and saying, as mycroft did, that the fact that there were 6.5 million jews then proves something (negative) about Jewish society.

  25. MDJ,

    I think all this hand-wringing about Jews leaving, then and now, is besides the point. It falsely assumes that Jews leaving the fold is entirely up to us (“push forces”) while ignoring the attraction of leaving and integrating into general society (“pull forces”). No Jewish leadership, certainly in modernity, has the kind of omniscience and omnipotence ascribed to them by their detractors.

  26. From the RCA: “As always where the facts are uncertain one should use common sense and consultations with experts, both lay and rabbinic, to determine, how and when to report such matters to the authorities.”

    I like to think that this is what Agudah meant.

  27. >I like to think that this is what Agudah meant.

    And I’d like a pony with a rainbow colored mane.

  28. Wishful thinking. If they had meant that, they would have said that. Instead they came out with a deliberately obfuscatory piece that was designed to placate people who understand the issue and R. Shmuel Kamenetsky, and probably only succeeded with the latter. Aguda certainly wouldn’t agree with the last part of the RCA statement.

  29. The commenters on V-I-N apparently see a difference in the statements. Interesting shailah, is it a din in the intent of the statement maker or the understanding of the recipients? 🙂
    KT

  30. “I like to think that this is what Agudah meant.”

    I’d like to think that too — but, unfortunately, it wasn’t. If that’s what they meant, Dovid Zweibel a Harvard/Paul Weiss trained lawyer would have said it. He knows how. But he didn’t because that’s not what they meant.

    I’ve complained a lot about the RCA on this blog on other issues. Well, this one they got just right and, especially in light of Agudah’s position, I express my gratitude to them for showing true leadership on a difficult issue.

  31. “Israeli settlers on the West Bank: Might some stay?

    It is conceivable that some Jewish settlers could remain in a Palestinian state”

    http://www.economist.com/node/18988684

  32. FWIW, I asked the former head of ethics at a Catholic Hospital, and he said that they generally have no problem withdrawing life support when the patient has no quality of life.

  33. MiMedinat HaYam

    some catholic hospitals are not as observant as others.

    some do abortions (separate division, etc) some have crucifixes in every room, some dont, etc. some have diff definitions of quality of life, etc. (even doctors have similar issues.)

    2. the issue of “settlers” staying in a “palestinian” west bank is an old one. either way, even the “moderate” abbas says no way, they cannot stay.

  34. “None of these numbers are exact, but they show that you don’t know what you are talking about. BTW, these numbers took me 5 minutes to find on line.”

    I have heard various estimates of 3-10 million Jews in the world 2000 years ago

    I’ll essentially quote the following:
    “Anonymous on July 26, 2011 at 10:38 am
    >If there were 6.5 million Jews 2000 years ago, they would have represented 3% of the worlds population at the time. Do you have any evidence of this?

    There’s no real evidence, but the claim/ estimate is based on the Claudian census of the Roman Empire in the year 48 which found that there were 5,984,072 Roman citizens, and that 10% of the population were Jews. These numbers of course need to be massaged to account for women, children, non-citizens, etc. In addition, Josephus claims that there were about 200 towns in Judea with a population of 15,000. That’s 3 million Jews in Judea alone, apart for the diaspora.”

    PLus remember Babylonia which was never conquered by Rome probably had more Jews than Israel at all times since the destruction of the First Temple until relatively recently.

  35. “Hirhurim on July 26, 2011 at 11:19 am
    From the RCA: “As always where the facts are uncertain one should use common sense and consultations with experts, both lay and rabbinic, to determine, how and when to report such matters to the authorities.”

    I like to think that this is what Agudah meant”

    Agree with Gil

  36. “aiwac on July 26, 2011 at 10:48 am
    Demographic estimates in pre-Modern times are notoriously unreliable. Numbers often vary wildly (for instance, the ests. for pop. in Israel in Roman times runs between 1 and 3 mill.). The best we can speak of is proportions – rise in pop. and lowering in pop”

    But it is clearly undisputed that the porportion of Jews in the world has decreased.

  37. “aiwac on July 26, 2011 at 11:02 am
    MDJ,

    I think all this hand-wringing about Jews leaving, then and now, is besides the point. It falsely assumes that Jews leaving the fold is entirely up to us (“push forces”) while ignoring the attraction of leaving and integrating into general society (“pull forces”). No Jewish leadership, certainly in modernity, has the kind of omniscience and omnipotence ascribed to them by their detractors.”

    But push forces are extrememly relevant to the porportion of those likely to find the pull forces of entering general society.

  38. IH:

    what did you find compelling about an article highlighting jews who (literally) give comfort to the enemy?

    (and btw, it is patently false that all jews, as opposed to arabs from the territories, enjoy freedom of movement between the jordan and the mediterranean)

  39. “But it is clearly undisputed that the porportion of Jews in the world has decreased.”

    Based on what? I know nothing about this but I don’t see anything in this discussion so far that supports that claim. Unless by “world” you mean “Roman Empire” and some supposed modern corrolary along the lines of “the West.”

  40. .” MDJ on July 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm
    Mycroft,
    Until very recently in history, far too recently to have exerted a selective advantage, no one was forced out of the Ashkenazic community because there was nowhere else to go.”

    Until the Nazis Jews were welcome in general to enter general society if they converted-substantial numbers did.

    ” Furthermore, the vast majority were not in situations where a high IQ was needed — tradesmen, farmers. ”

    What percentage of Ashkenazic Jews were farmers?
    What professions needed a high IQ?
    A tradesman who had to have skills that I suspect neither you or I may have.

    “Here, as often, you’re cyncism leads you terribly astray, ”

    Am I really wrong on my facts-why did the Chassidic movement originate? Is it not that the classical Jewish movements looked down on the Am haaretz-and if you are looked down as inferior you’ll go someplace that will accept you.
    although it does give you an opportunity to take gratuitous swipes at one of your favorite targets.

    “Note that I do not know for sure why ashekanzim have a higher IQ on average, just that Mycroft is way off the mark. (Although a cultural preference for smart people could lead to a selective advantage for them in otherways that have nothing to do with shoving people out of the community.)”

    And wouldn’t even a “cultural preference” encourage people to leave. I submit that it is almost a distinction wo a difference.

  41. “emma on July 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm
    “But it is clearly undisputed that the porportion of Jews in the world has decreased.”

    Based on what? I know nothing about this but I don’t see anything in this discussion so far that supports that claim. Unless by “world” you mean “Roman Empire” and some supposed modern corrolary along the lines of “the West.””

    A quick Google search- shows a world population 2000 years ago about 200 million-300 million-2011 estimates of 7 billion thus world population increased by 23-35 times in past 2000 years.
    Assuming Jewish population of 5 million 2000 years ago-Jewish population increased by 3 times-thus the world population increased almost at a rate of 10 times the rate of Jewish population.

  42. My croft – ” In addition, Josephus claims that there were about 200 towns in Judea with a population of 15,000. That’s 3 million Jews in Judea alone, apart for the diaspora.””

    Huh? Did I miss some zeroes somewhere.

  43. From RCA statement

    “In addition and as a separate matter, those within the Jewish community whom secular law deem to be “mandated reporters,” must certainly obey the particular reporting requirements, which vary from state to state in the US. A person covered by mandatory reporter laws must comply with those laws, even in a case in which Jewish law might otherwise not require a person to report such child abuse or endangerment. ”

    If Jewish law does not require reporting something would Jewish law permit reporting something?
    If Jewish law would not permit something-how deos secualr law change ones required actions?
    Or is statement an example of problem of issuing public statements-one can’t issue a public statement that does not indicate that one must obey the law.

  44. “Naturally, the results depend very much on how the IQ tests weigh the spatial reasoning component, as Ashkenazim perform below average on this component. ”

    That’s interesting and notable. Also interesting is the fact that a huge proportion of the world’s greatest physicists have been Jewish (http://www.jinfo.org/Physicists.html) even though that discipline heavily relies on spatial reasoning. What accounts for the large number of outliers?

  45. “Ruvie on July 27, 2011 at 12:50 am
    My croft – ” In addition, Josephus claims that there were about 200 towns in Judea with a population of 15,000. That’s 3 million Jews in Judea alone, apart for the diaspora.””

    Huh? Did I miss some zeroes somewhere.”

    I was quoting anonymous- but 20*15000 equals 3 million. Are you questioning the number of towns the population per town reasonable challenge-of course Jerusalem for starters had far more Jews than 15000.

    See Eg
    “First Century JerusalemDuring the first Jewish-Roman war (66–73 CE) the population of Jerusalem was estimated at 600,000 persons by Roman historian Tacitus, while Josephus, estimated that there were as many as 1,100,000, inhabitants of Jerusalem of whom 97,000 were sold as slaves [4]According to Josephus(“B. J.” v. 13, § 7),after the Roman victory over the Jews, as many as 115,880 dead bodies were carried out through one gate between the months of Nisan and Tammuz”
    from

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_Jerusalem

  46. Mycroft,
    1) The world population is not yet 7 Billion, closer to 6.5 based on UN figures
    2) 5 million Jews is a maximalist number. I can just as well come up with 2 million.

  47. >>Until the Nazis Jews were welcome in general to enter general society if they converted-substantial numbers did.

    That was true for all of 150 years

  48. “But push forces are extrememly relevant to the porportion of those likely to find the pull forces of entering general society.”

    That remains to be proven. From what I have read, the pull forces were far more responsible. If you have evidence or scholarship to the contrary, please share.

  49. “That was true for all of 150 years”

    …It’s very much true today. European Jewry is disappearing at a far faster rate than American Jewry because of this. There are few, if any, “push facters” involved.

  50. “Guest on July 27, 2011 at 4:56 am
    “Naturally, the results depend very much on how the IQ tests weigh the spatial reasoning component, as Ashkenazim perform below average on this component. ”

    That’s interesting and notable. Also interesting is the fact that a huge proportion of the world’s greatest physicists have been Jewish (http://www.jinfo.org/Physicists.html) even though that discipline heavily relies on spatial reasoning. What accounts for the large number of outliers?”

    Not an expert on skills of the greatest physicists but my impression ability in advanced mathematics is what is required rather than spatial ability-but that is an impression only. BTW-outliers are not necessary a large number but inbreeding may possibly increase both tails of the distribution-I could stand corrected.

    “MDJ on July 27, 2011 at 6:10 am
    Mycroft,
    1) The world population is not yet 7 Billion, closer to 6.5 based on UN figures”

    Not an expert but when I googled worlds population-a few sites stated world population expected to reach 7 billion in 2011-but not worth arguing about.

    “2) 5 million Jews is a maximalist number. I can just as well come up with 2 million”
    5 million is not a maximilist number I have heard in my lifetime estimates from 3-10 million. Just the population of Jerusalem alone added to Babylonia which was a major Jewish centre is enough to go above 2 million.

    “MDJ on July 27, 2011 at 6:11 am
    >>Until the Nazis Jews were welcome in general to enter general society if they converted-substantial numbers did.

    That was true for all of 150 years”

    Way before current time periods see eg Spain where BenZIon Netanyahu has written that approximately 2/3 of Jews in time period of 1391-1492 converted voluntarily to Christianity.

    “aiwac on July 27, 2011 at 6:33 am
    “But push forces are extrememly relevant to the porportion of those likely to find the pull forces of entering general society.”

    That remains to be proven. From what I have read, the pull forces were far more responsible”

    How do you prove that pull forces are more responsible? Hoiw many happy people in their religion convert-thus how many RIETS or Lakewood students have converted-I’d assume very few if any-they were not students who got pushed away for not being above average IQ.

  51. Aiwac,
    Of course, I was referring to Mycrofts comment about the time before the Nazi’s.

    Mycroft,
    >>Way before current time periods see eg Spain where BenZIon Netanyahu has written that approximately 2/3 of Jews in time period of 1391-1492 converted voluntarily to Christianity.

    And, according to you, they converted because of the intellectual elitism of European Jewry?!

  52. mycroft,

    I agree with you that intellectual elitism in Jewry is a problem, but I think you greatly exaggerate its power in pushing people away – esp. in Chassidut or “simple Jew” circles. Keep in mind that C and R have been no more successful at Jewish retention than O Jews, and they are less elitiest (as far as I know, anyway). Besides, not everything revolves around RIETS and Lakewood.

    You do not help your case by exaggerating the effects of the problem.

  53. Thrilled to see that the logical progression to outsourcing prayer is continuing. Perhaps India will get into the game and drive the price down?
    KT

  54. Very sad about Winehouse (her short but self-abused life, her death, and her cremation).

    However, given the continuing push by the environmentalists on issues such as land use for batei chaim, how long before groups in Orthodoxy start trying to find a heter for cremation? I wouldn’t be surprised.

  55. mycroft – still think your number was unreasonably high. here is a comment from an ancient historian from a major university that i emailed last night: i guess the economics do not match the numbers.

    “Short answer: unknown. The figure you mention comes from the Arabic version of the Chronicle of Gregorius Abu’l-Faraj Bar-Hebraeus, a 12th century Syrian bishop, and he gives it as the number of Jews in the roman empire. It has long since been demonstrated that his sources presented it as the number of citizens in general (remember most roman subject were not citizens in the first century; the convention figure for inhabitants of the Roman Empire as a whole at the time is 50-60 million). There are certainly no grounds whatsoever for making any use at all of Bar-Hebraeus’s figure to estimate the number of Jews in the RE. it would be like trying to estimate the number of irish Americans on the basis of the figure of tyotal AARP members—just compeletly irrelevant. But it doesn’t leave us with much. You can make rough guesstimates of the population capacity of premodern Palestine—let’s say between 600,000 and 1,000,000—but this assumes: 1) every acre of arable is planted and productive; 2) the economy is running at near subsistence level (if it’s more commerce reliant then all bets are off); 3) it assumes a certain age structure, which has implications for calorie consumption. Then, we don’t know what proportion of the population even of Palestine the jews constituted. We could still say that 3-500,000 seems plausible. But then what? How many in Egypt? Asia Minor? Italy? No way of knowing. By the way, I’m assuming that figures provided by ancient authors are in general totally useless.”

  56. Ruvie,

    I had a course on this, and saw bigger estimates (around 1-1.5 million). Bottom line, one may as well roll dice to estimate exact numbers and the “skeptical” types, one of which you quote, is no better than the maximalists.

    I’ll say it again, we can only speak of expansion or contraction of population – not exact size.

  57. aiwac,

    That is a solution for EY. What about Chutz La’Aretz?

  58. Well,

    First we’d need archaeological markers for Jewish houses, towns or neighborhoods (maybe also graveyards?). Then see their expansion or contraction over time.

    I guess the best (very rough) method would be synagogues – their use and disuse over time. But that would still only be a (very rough) method of estimating the committed Jews and number of communities. It wouldn’t tell us very much about those who assimilated into general society.

  59. However, given the continuing push by the environmentalists on issues such as land use for batei chaim, how long before groups in Orthodoxy start trying to find a heter for cremation? I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Or how about a reversion to older Jewish burials, i.e. apothecaries.

  60. HAGTBG
    I think you mean “ossuaries”

  61. Or that. 😛

  62. AIWAC:

    “European Jewry is disappearing at a far faster rate than American Jewry because of this.”

    would probably be even worse in certain areas if not for massive immigration? (north africans in france and russians in germany)

    MYCROFT:

    “Way before current time periods see eg Spain where BenZIon Netanyahu has written that approximately 2/3 of Jews in time period of 1391-1492 converted voluntarily to Christianity.”

    1) please define “voluntarily.” (probably 2/3 of us would have also converted “voluntarily” under those circumstances)
    2) i don’t recall BZN saying these jews were pushed out, and certainly not because of intellectual elitism. (if anything, one critique of the community is that is it was overly intellectual–in a philosophical and worldly sense–which paved the way for conversion rather than martyrdom

  63. MYCROFT:

    you clearly have an issue with intellectual elitism in the contemporary american ortho community, particularly in educational institutions. you said as much on various occasions.

    i wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you in this regard. but imho you are so off base in your attempts to retroproject historically your contemporary critiques

  64. “Knesset votes down civil marriage, divorce option”

    IMO, big mistake by the religious parties. This will only lead to pressure to accept gerim who have no interest in kabalas ol mitzvos and ziuf ha Torah. The purpose of the religious monopoly on marriage and divorces is to preserve unity among the Jewish people. If 300,000 fake gerim are accepted under political pressure, then most of the religious community will refuse to marry them anyway. You will end up with two groups who refuse to marry each other. So what is the point?

    No to mention that the rationale loses its force when so many can simply go to Cyprus.

  65. MiMedinat HaYam

    there’s a gemara (and a josephus that basically agrees) that gives the number of of korban pesach “katim” * (approx) 20 ppl per “seh” (another gemara) comes to several million.

    dr ben zion netanyahu’s son, in a lecture in lamport auditoruium, said that 10% of the world population in (undated, by him) roman times was jewish, with a large number of gerim. presumably, he meant world = western world.

    2. most halachot of kvura are really local minhagim (which (may) have achieved the status of halacha.) In america its ?different? since most chevra kaddishot adopted a mishmash of european minhagim (supposedly) kept in europe, etc.

    ossuaries were also the standard among jewish romans (at least in “ancient” times.)

    new orleans supposedly had above ground jewish burials; rav ilowy had no problem with it. (new orleans was built on lowlands, hence katrina’s flooding. the story goes that the local indians / native americans warned the french settlers about building the city in the lowlands. the french, being arrogant, didnt listen, and …

  66. The Agudah statement and the RCA statement differ substantially.
    The Agudah statement states one must always go to the Rav to determine if there is “raglaim ladavar.”In their conference they stated even mandated reporters cannot go to the authorities until tHey receive permission from their Rav.
    The RCA states if there is “reasonable suspicion”(and that is the criteria for mandated reporters generally also)there is a religious obligation to report that abuse to the authorities without delay .

  67. Mycroft-what is your take on programs such as Kulanu, YESS, PTach. etc?

  68. Mycroft-how about setting forth in an affirmative and positive fashion what you believe are the required elements for a Torah education today for all? Do you believe that textual literacy in Siddur, Tanach, Mishnah, Talmud and Halacha is necessary? Should American Jewish youth be taught in their native tongue?Instead of viewing the enterprise as inherently doomed because of IQ based data, how about setting forth your vision of what are the necessary elements of a Torah education?

  69. Dr Marvin Schick has long been one of the keenest observers of the Charedi, MO and secular Jewish communities. For those interested in his view on the Jewish Week’s coverage of the recent tragedy in Boro Park, see the annexed link.http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2011/07/27/a-new-low-at-the-jewish-week/comment-page-1

  70. Shades of Gray

    On a side note, it’s interesting that this blog was quoted in Dr. Waxman and Turetsky’s article in Modern Judaism(“Sliding to the Left? Contemporary American Modern Orthodoxy”)regarding “Post Orthodoxy”. The authors were also just interviewed on OU Radio:

    http://www.ou.org/ouradio/channel/C271/

  71. Mycroft,
    “>>Way before current time periods see eg Spain where BenZIon Netanyahu has written that approximately 2/3 of Jews in time period of 1391-1492 converted voluntarily to Christianity.

    And, according to you, they converted because of the intellectual elitism of European Jewry?!”

    I brought in the Spanish conversions of Jews to Christianity just to show how Jews were welcome in Europe if they left Judaism.

  72. MYCROFT:

    ““Way before current time periods see eg Spain where BenZIon Netanyahu has written that approximately 2/3 of Jews in time period of 1391-1492 converted voluntarily to Christianity.”

    1) please define “voluntarily.” (probably 2/3 of us would have also converted “voluntarily” under those circumstances)”

    My recollection for careers, finacial gain etc-it was not the case that most converted because of the threat of death.

    “if anything, one critique of the community is that is it was overly intellectual–in a philosophical and worldly sense–which paved the way for conversion rather than martyrdom”
    Or like modern world many really didn’t believe in Yahadus-so for financial gain would mumble some words and go to a different building once a week. My recollection-its been awhile since I read BZN’s circa 1000 page book on time period.

  73. “Abba’s Rantings on July 27, 2011 at 10:48 am
    MYCROFT:

    you clearly have an issue with intellectual elitism in the contemporary american ortho community, particularly in educational institutions. you said as much on various occasions.

    i wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you in this regard. but imho you are so off base in your attempts to retroproject historically your contemporary critiques”

    Perhaps-but what is the attitude of chazal towards the am haaretz.

  74. “Steve Brizel on July 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm
    Mycroft-what is your take on programs such as Kulanu, YESS, PTach. etc”

    There is a need for programs like those-for those who NEED it they are very good.
    SLIGHT PROBLEM IN PRACTICE THAT there are some kids who could be mainstreamed and would be in public school- but due to double program are shipped to these programs. Programs can be used as an excuse for day schools to ignore their “obligation” IMHO to teach those of average IQ or a little bit below average IQ.
    I have given to some of these programs and see them as a net positive.

  75. “Steve Brizel on July 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm
    Mycroft-how about setting forth in an affirmative and positive fashion what you believe are the required elements for a Torah education today for all?”
    Chanoch lenaar al pi darko

    “Do you believe that textual literacy in Siddur, Tanach, Mishnah, Talmud and Halacha is necessary?”
    An attempt should be made to teach ALL textual literacy-but sadly a time can be reached in anywhere from 35%-65% depending on how one defines literacy that one has to go to plan B. For one who starts in a day school certainly the first few years success or lack of success must be measured on testual literacy-most basic reading of vocalized Hebrew at a rate that one can daven at a decent rate-otherwise the child a decade later will unlikely attend schul which is the center of Jewish life in NA-if not in schul there are other places that will welcome the child.

    “Should American Jewish youth be taught in their native tongue?”
    Yes-not ivrit bivrit from one who went to elementary and JHS to Ivrit bivrit and was a counsellor in Massad. Ivrit bivrit is a nice fringe-but not the essence of a Jewish eductaion-one can learn what a ramzor etc is in Israel in one week.

    “Instead of viewing the enterprise as inherently doomed because of IQ based data, how about setting forth your vision of what are the necessary elements of a Torah education?”

    Total emphasis on textual literacy the first 3-4 years-for those who don’t get it by then need a different program-not Gemaarah or advanced Halacha but ideas and basic practical laws in English with intensive practice in Reading tfillot and understanding them so that the child will at least attend schul and not be attracted to where hem amelim.

  76. “Shades of Gray on July 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm
    On a side note, it’s interesting that this blog was quoted in Dr. Waxman and Turetsky’s article in Modern Judaism(“Sliding to the Left? Contemporary American Modern Orthodoxy”)regarding “Post Orthodoxy”.”

    Suggest article as a blog discussion-worthwhile reading

  77. Mycroft Curriculum for North Americah Jewish children

    Grades 1-4 Learn how to read fluently -first even wo understanding-then start learning but textual each word has a meaning eag Baresit-in the beginning etc

    Grades 5-7 start teaching mishna to those who have mastered reading-those who haven’t mastered reading textual reading and ideas in English
    Grades 8-12 top 1/3 same essential program as all kids get today
    middle 1/3 learn how to read and understand shnayim mikra vechad targum, learn how to read SA etc with intensive language skills
    bottom 1/3 nothing in Hebrew except for intensive study of Siddur at least to read at a different pace and hopefully understand=all other courses in English-basic halacha , yidios etc.

  78. MYCROFT:

    “Grades 1-4 Learn how to read fluently -first even wo understanding”

    1) waiting until grade 1 is already a problem
    2) this is not a natural way to learn a language. first you learn to speak/understand. then you learn to decode with reading.
    think about how you learned english.
    do you really think it is stimulating and fruitful to spend inordinate amount of time putting together letters into . . . mishkeboble rather than meaningful words?

  79. MYCROFT:

    “I brought in the Spanish conversions of Jews to Christianity just to show how Jews were welcome in Europe if they left Judaism.”

    to the contrary. this is in fact the worst example you could use.
    until 15th+ c. spain indeed jews could create new lives for themselves as christians and assimilate into christian society. in 15th c. spain for the first time was the emergence of a new racist anti-semitism rather a religious anti-semitism. converted jews could not assimilate into christian society. they were in a separate class as “new christians.” they could not intermarry with “old christians,” enter certain fields, enjoy free travel, etc.
    this race-based anti-semitism rather religious anti-semitism, which understood that “once a jew, always a jew,” culminated in the race-based holocaust.

    “My recollection for careers, finacial gain etc-it was not the case that most converted because of the threat of death.”

    spanish jewry endured a full century of intense anti-jewish and conversionary activity leading up to 1492. perhaps the jews didn’t face death on a daily basis–although there were pogroms–it doesn’t tell the entire story to state simply that they converted “voluntarily”
    and as far as the converts of 1492/98, what do you think they should have done? what would you have done? you think it was so easy to just buy an airplane ticket and move to america or make aliyah?

  80. “The traditional anti-Semitism that pulsed through French politics and literature prior to World War II, they noted, was now little more than a “ghostly residue.””

    Not entirely; the National Front still gets about one out of every six votes. But Baruch HaShem they aren’t ever going to win a national election.

    “Charles de Gaulle”

    I was just in France last week and met many French Jews. I could not resist asking them what they thought of de Gaulle. The response was that they considered him to have been an anti-Semite.

    “While estimates of size vary from 5 to 6 million, France’s Muslim population is by far the largest within the European Union.”

    True in numbers but not in fraction of the population; Bulgaria is 12% Muslim and the Pew survey of a few years ago found that France was about 6% Muslim.

  81. “Perhaps-but what is the attitude of chazal towards the am haaretz.”

    An ambivalent one. Read the works of Aharon Oppenheimer.

    BTW, the CI davka had a benevolent, if paternalistic view of those who weren’t talmidei chachamim, according to Dr. Benny Brown’s book…

  82. “Abba’s Rantings on July 28, 2011 at 12:56 am
    MYCROFT:

    “Grades 1-4 Learn how to read fluently -first even wo understanding”

    1) waiting until grade 1 is already a problem

    not necessarily so-I believe that there are some countries that refuse to teach anyone to read until age 7 or so andthey have less dyslexia than we do.

    “2) this is not a natural way to learn a language. first you learn to speak/understand. then you learn to decode with reading.
    think about how you learned english.”

    I was writing assuming ones native language is not Hebrew- how one learns ones native language is a different question-but notice reading is a different skill than speaking-practically every child in North America can speak English-many can hardly read. Reading is a different skill entirely which for the vast majority of human history has not been necessary thus we have not evolved with abilities to read naturally but can speak and hear.

    “do you really think it is stimulating and fruitful to spend inordinate amount of time putting together letters into . . . mishkeboble rather than meaningful words?”

    Of course not-but the issue is not how stimu.lating a 6 year old is-the issue is how engaged he or she will be at 14-22. If they don’t know how to read Hebrew fluently they will certainly not show up to most American schuls.
    Give the 6 year old more gym etc but one has to learn the phonetic code.

  83. “to the contrary. this is in fact the worst example you could use.
    until 15th+ c. spain indeed jews could create new lives for themselves as christians and assimilate into christian society. in 15th c. spain for the first time was the emergence of a new racist anti-semitism rather a religious anti-semitism. converted jews could not assimilate into christian society. they were in a separate class as “new christians.” they could not intermarry with “old christians,” enter certain fields, enjoy free travel, etc.”

    Agreed to the extent that for the first time the local Spainards did not want the competition of new Christians.

    “this race-based anti-semitism rather religious anti-semitism, which understood that “once a jew, always a jew,” culminated in the race-based holocaust”

    Or once a Jew be very suspicious of the converso to make sure that he genuinely converted remember the Inquisition was directed at Christians.

    “and as far as the converts of 1492/98, what do you think they should have done? what would you have done? you think it was so easy to just buy an airplane ticket and move to america or make aliyah?”
    I did not discuuss the expulsion-agreed its a different factpattern entirely.

  84. “aiwac on July 28, 2011 at 5:24 am
    “Perhaps-but what is the attitude of chazal towards the am haaretz.”

    An ambivalent one”

    Does one stay where one is treated ambivalently or go someplace where one will be accepted/loved.

  85. Mycroft,

    This is a real bee in your bonnet, isn’t it?

    More importantly, the am ha’aretz didn’t particularly care, and their love came from the community. It was the loving community that accepted and loved them, and it was the community’s collapse that caused them to leave. More to the point, many Jews willingly abandoned the love of their community for the outside world.

  86. This is to say nothing of the “simple Jew” ideology of much of Chasidism.

  87. Is the R’ Hoffman article in the news section or the opinion section?

    I wonder if he sees the irony in the quote “While the Agudah position may not be popular, it does have the merit of experience.”

    KT

  88. R. Joel,
    I thought the more interesting part of that statement (in response to the comparison to one who delays re: pikuach nefesh on shabbos being “considered shofech damim”) was the implicit humanism: the downside of reporting avuse is worse than the downside of chilllul shabbos!

    “A response to this question was provided by a rav of an Agudah affiliate synagogue. “Possibly the difference between here and Shabbos is the fact that an error on the side of caution can result in the absolute destruction of the reputation and parnassah of an innocent human being. In an ugly divorce case, for example, there are unethical lawyers that recommend to one side to put forth false allegations. Let’s not be blind to the fact that sometimes this does happen. People are put in jail, they lose jobs, and quite often they are never hired again. This can happen to completely innocent human beings. While the Agudah position may not be popular, it does have the merit of experience.””

  89. On “Tech Reached the Tipping Point”, see article in this week’s Hamodia Inyan Mag about the “Torah Live” project of Rabbi Dan Roth.

  90. R. Joel,
    I thought the more interesting part of that statement (in response to the comparison to one who delays re: pikuach nefesh on shabbos being “considered shofech damim”) was the implicit humanism: the downside of reporting avuse is worse than the downside of chilllul shabbos!

    Pikuach nefesh docheh Shabbos. While not defending Agudah policy, I hope you acknowledge that false accusations of a person could ruin the falsely accused for life. But, then so does abuse ruin the victim for life. It really is a difficult matter and caution is sometimes called for.

    See on internet about Canadian children’s performer Eric Nagler and what it did to him, even after charges were dropped.

  91. I thought the more interesting part of that statement (in response to the comparison to one who delays re: pikuach nefesh on shabbos being “considered shofech damim”) was the implicit humanism: the downside of reporting avuse is worse than the downside of chilllul shabbos!

    Not sure this is exactly right. In Pikuach Nefesh of Shabbos, even a sofeik is docheh Shabbos. (R. Chaim Brisker used to say, even on a 1 in a million chance. Not sure if all agree, but it makes the point.) Even a small risk to life means that the prohibition of Shabbos has been completely set aside.

    Example: someone feels pain in his chest on Shabbos. Suspecting a heart attack, I drive him to the hospital. Doctor examines him, and says all he had was some bad indigestion. He never was in any danger.

    Was I mechallel shabbos? No I wasn’t, because sofeik pikuach nefesh is docheh shabbos, and I had a real sofeik.

    OTOH, when you are talking about competing bein adam le chaveiros, the damage is still real even if a had a doubt. A false accusation can ruin someones life, even if the person who made it acted in good faith and even if I had a real doubt. The damage is done regardless.

  92. ” I hope you acknowledge that false accusations of a person could ruin the falsely accused for life…

    Of course. But just as pikuach nefesh is docheh shabbos presumably it is docheh reputational harm – no? Tal’s point is a good one that the formal structure of the rule re: shabbos mean that the answer is not necessarily an implicit “bein adam lechaveiro is more important than chillul shabbos” – (as i understood tal’s point, perhaps safek pikuach nefesh docheh shabbos, but safek pikuach nefesh is not docheh lashon hara?) but I have to think about it more.

  93. MiMedinat HaYam

    abba (ansd i guess mycrioft) — the problem with no comprehensiion ./ ish kebibl that youy refer to is that schools teach children to think in english and translate to hebrew. (you can see this with idiomatic expressions and word order cases.)

    i recall that the ONLY enfglish my french professor (madame kra, for those of us who went to yc) ever said in class was to answer the questyion why we speak exclsively french for the 1-1/2 ghour class. the reason she said, weas sop thaty we think in french, and speak french, not think in english and translate to french. and i noticved that that is what i was doing (even today, wehen i speak french. ditto hebrwew, and yiidish. and even aramaic and yeshivish.

  94. (as i understood tal’s point, perhaps safek pikuach nefesh docheh shabbos, but safek pikuach nefesh is not docheh lashon hara?) but I have to think about it more.

    Not exactly my point. Some laws in the Torah have only an issure component, others have an additional damage component.

    A classic example is stealing. IIRC, the Shulkhan Arukh says the pikuach nefesh pushes aside the prohibition of stealing. If you have to steal to save a life, you may. However, if the owner sues you, you still have to pay back for what you stole. IOW, the ISSUR of stealing is set aside by pikuach nefesh, but the CHIYUV MAMMON (monetary obligation) is not.

    Shabbos is only an issur. If halakha says one may violate Shabbos (pikuach nefesh), then no harm done. But that is not the case with other things like lashon hara or mesirah. The damage may still be done, even if you are permitted to do it.

  95. MiMedinat HaYam

    abba (and i guess mycroft) — the problem with no comprehension / ish kebibl that you refer to is that schools teach children to think in english and translate to hebrew. (you can see this with idiomatic expressions and word order cases.)

    i recall that the ONLY english my french professor (madame kra, for those of us who went to yc) ever said in class was to answer the question why we speak exclsively french for the 1-1/2 hour class. the reason she said, was so that we think in french, and speak french, not think in english and translate to french. and i noticed that that is what i was doing (even today, when i speak french. ditto hebrew, and yidish. and even aramaic and yeshivish (what little yeshivish i speak.).

    2. regarding anti semitism in pre 1492 spain — this dates back to even the rambam’s childhood, and even earlier. yes , there (supposedly) was a “tur hazahav”, but jews were persecuted. some might have converted for $ or social stature, but more commonly by actual physical force. and once convetrte, they wre forced to remain christians. the only difference q

  96. MiMedinat HaYam

    abba (and i guess mycroft) — the problem with no comprehension / ish kebibl that you refer to is that schools teach children to think in english and translate to hebrew. (you can see this with idiomatic expressions and word order cases.)

    i recall that the ONLY english my french professor (madame kra, for those of us who went to yc) ever said in class was to answer the question why we speak exclsively french for the 1-1/2 hour class. the reason she said, was so that we think in french, and speak french, not think in english and translate to french. and i noticed that that is what i was doing (even today, when i speak french. ditto hebrew, and yidish. and even aramaic and yeshivish (what little yeshivish i speak.).

    2. regarding anti semitism in pre 1492 spain — this dates back to even the rambam’s childhood, and even earlier. yes , there (supposedly) was a “tur hazahav”, but jews were persecuted. some might have converted for $ or social stature, but more commonly by actual physical force. and once converted, they were forced to remain christians. the only difference 1492 entered into the equation was the consolidation of the parts of spain (due to the royal wedding) and the desire to finally solve the jewish problem.

    thus netanyahu’s father’s statement is either wrong, or misinterpreted.

    3. please delete / ignore the previous two comments. must be a pblm with my computer.

  97. Tal, thanks for clarifying. I was thinking that it is still “chillul habbos” even if there is no “issur.” ie, on a metaphysical level shabbos has been violated and cannot be corrected. Take the gemara’s reasoning that you should “challel alav shabbat zeh” – it’s still called chillul shabbos. This may also be related to hutrah vs. dechuyah, which I understand is a machloket but about which I don’t know much in this context. But if dechuyah, as in “pikuach nefesh docheh shabbat,” can you really say that nothing bad has happened?
    That’s my point – the assumption is that bad interpersonal consequences are worse than bad metaphysical consequences. What is the source of that?

  98. “More to the point, many Jews willingly abandoned the love of their community for the outside world”

    People generally don’t willingly abandon where they are loved unconditionally.

    “aiwac on July 28, 2011 at 8:15 am
    This is to say nothing of the “simple Jew” ideology of much of Chasidism”
    I’m not a Chassid but agree with the sentiments of Chassidus being open to all certainly in the Beshts time.
    The atraction of Chassidism is that it emancipated the am haaretz-when it first began it revolutionized European Jewry in that it made everyone feel welcome. Now to a great extent Chassidism is an inherited social club-but certainly the ideology of Chassidism is to make everyone welcome. To a great extent Chabad still will welcome anyone-since they are independent franchises they each have to earn their own money and thus tend to settle i nwelathy areas-but Chabad is inclusive to even the dpown and out-they won’t let you get involved and become part of native Chabbadniks but atleast they have some achraus to every Jew.

  99. Of course I forgot to mention that Chassidim is less than 300 years old-approximately 1/7 of the time since churban bayis sheini.

  100. “Pikuach nefesh docheh Shabbos. While not defending Agudah policy, I hope you acknowledge that false accusations of a person could ruin the falsely accused for life. But, then so does abuse ruin the victim for life. It really is a difficult matter and caution is sometimes called for”

    Agreed

    “i recall that the ONLY enfglish my french professor (madame kra, for those of us who went to yc) ever said in class was to answer the questyion why we speak exclsively french for the 1-1/2 ghour class. the reason she said, weas sop thaty we think in french, and speak french, not think in english and translate to french. and i noticved that that is what i was doing (even today, wehen i speak french. ditto hebrwew, and yiidish. and even aramaic and yeshivish”

    But when one had to take beyond the language skills course the advanced literature course-le chanson de roland etc=we discussed the literature in English and to be realisitic searched for translations -remember being advisedto go to 42nd st library to reach translations.
    Of course, I didn’t speak French in CharlesDe Gualle airport-I try and avoid Hebrew in Ben Gurion also-I’d rather speak a language where I don’t have a comparative disadvantage-security at BG always askes me to speak a few sentencesby the frequency of my visits they suspectthat I can speak Hebrew.
    But those of us who were able to go to YC are notthe population of those who couldn’t master language we wouldn’t have been at YU-peope who can’t pass YU deserve to be allowed in Yahadus.

    ” even earlier. yes , there (supposedly) was a “tur hazahav”, but jews were persecuted. some might have converted for $ or social stature, but more commonly by actual physical force”
    all causes of conversion-not sure more commonly by actual physical force-BZNetanyahus book in my recollection makes a point of willingness to go to baptismal font not because of force.

  101. IMHO Rabbis should not have a facebook page.

  102. “what did you find compelling about an article highlighting jews who (literally) give comfort to the enemy?”

    Abba – I was surprised by your comment. I have no issue with objecting to civil disobedience — either by the left or the right — which frankly is my position. But, in regard to your objection, as far as I’m aware, Israel’s explicitly stated policy is that Palestinian civilians in Judea & Samaria are not enemies; nor, does Israel engage in collective punishment.

  103. IH:

    why is palestinian women not being able to go to israeli beaches “collective punishment”?

  104. “Abba’s Rantings on July 29, 2011 at 12:46 am
    IH:

    why is palestinian women not being able to go to israeli beaches “collective punishment”?”

    As long as Israel does not claim sovereignty over the West Bank which it never has-not letting people of another country visit is not collective punishment-it is securing ones border. Obviously the issue would be different if Israel did that to lawful residents of ares that it claims sovereignty see eg Jerusalem.

  105. Re Kosher Pork story-mistakes happen even in the best of hashgachot. We try our best-but even great talmeidei chachami8m have made mistakes.

  106. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904888304576473833767141282.html?KEYWORDS=abortion

    especially -The rooms are spartan and lights go out at 9 p.m. Following Cardinal O’Connor’s vision, the nuns take a healing approach. They don’t keep records of who is Catholic and who isn’t, they don’t try to convert anyone or arrange a baptism unless asked, and they don’t even require that the women pray.

    Since the first guest arrived in 1998, 150 babies have been born at the convent. The sisters take heart in “the beauty of a mother coming to the understanding of the dignity of her calling and how that gives life back to her,” Sister Rita Marie explains.

    KT

  107. MiMedinat HaYam

    mycroft — the french only class is also in yale. perhaps they shouldnt allowed in “yahadut”.

    my point was that this is the only real way for competency in hevrew. non hebrew speakers are a distinct disadvantage in yahadut, besides their inability to daven more properly.

    my french literature elective was completely in french, too. and i only found an english bovary a few days before finals. sartre in french and english is completely different.

    and why is TLV mishteret hagvul asking you to speak a few words of hebrew? they have your travel history on their computer system?

    havent seen BZ netanyahu’s facebook page (i’m a low life. dont have one myself either), but unless they’re in the kiruv business, rabbi’s shouldnt have one either.

    IH — when the palestinians allow me on the gaza beaches, i will consider allowing palestinian women on tlv beaches. at least i dont have to be afraid of suicide bombers. and if the women only beaches in israel are social scenes, well, social scenes (properly) discriminate. that is the nature of social scenes.

  108. Abba, Mycroft, MMhY — Abba’s objection was to “Jews who (literally) give comfort to the enemy”. Do you concede the women in the article are not “the enemy” per Israeli policy?

    Further, I did not claim in my response there was collective punishment; to the contrary, I reiterated Israel’s policy there is none.

    Shabbat Shalom

  109. Nonewithstanding the above, how can we not be affected by: “Manal, who had never been to the sea before, is 36, the mother of three and pregnant”.

    Are we really unable to feel for another, even if we can rationalize the situation that makes it so?

  110. [And for those who do not know, Ethan Bronner, the journalist has a son in Tzava: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/opinion/07pubed.html%5D

  111. “MiMedinat HaYam on July 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm
    mycroft — the french only class is also in yale. perhaps they shouldnt allowed in “yahadut”.”

    I remeber reading that Yale exempts about 6% of their students from taking

    “my point was that this is the only real way for competency in hevrew. non hebrew speakers are a distinct disadvantage in yahadut, besides their inability to daven more properly.”

    But far from everyone can learn a second language

    my french literature elective was completely in french, too. and i only found an english bovary a few days before finals. sartre in french and english is completely different.

    “and why is TLV mishteret hagvul asking you to speak a few words of hebrew?”
    They probably see my passport having been in Israel a few times-they ask about relatives in Israel so they correctly assume I should be able to speak some Hebrew-I believe they are checking for myHebrew with an American accent.

    ” they have your travel history on their computer system?”
    They obviously have travel on computer-lasttime I left they asked me why am I leaving on my American passport rather than my Israeli one-I answered correctly that I am not an Israeli. A very close relative with same last name and born in same US city does have Israeli citizenship and they thought I was that relative-a coupel of minutes I explained the situation and they understood and let me leave-but obviously they keep track of comings and goings on computer-one can’t live in Israel on staying on tourist visa for 90 days leaving for a day and coming back immediately after.

    “havent seen BZ netanyahu’s facebook page (i’m a low life. dont have one myself either), but unless they’re in the kiruv business, rabbi’s shouldnt have one either”
    All Rabbis should be in Kiruv and I don’t believe facebook is appropriate for Rabbis.

  112. “The National Institutes of Health estimates that approximately 15% of the U.S. population is affected by learning disabilities …..Other studies from Yale University indicate that reading difficulties such as Dyslexia, affect 20% of the population (1 in 5)……Every year, 120,00 students are found to have learning disabilities, a diagnosis now shared by 2.4 million U.S. school children.” (The International Dyslexia Association, May 1999) ”

    The ability to read a second language is even more widespread than reading ones native language. Hebrew and English are an expecially bad combination-one reads left to right the other right to left.
    I assume the vast majority of those reading hirhurim were fortunately did not have that problem. I have been told by HS mechanchim of both MO and Chareidi schools that approximately 1/3 of 11th graders can’t read a siddur with any degree of fluency.

  113. There are a lot of things to remember…

  114. All of the morning stuff, including pesukei dizimra…that requires not a small degree of skill.

  115. IH:

    “Do you concede the women in the article are not “the enemy””

    no

    “per Israeli policy?”

    i have no idea what israel’s official policy is, but it is irrelevant

    “Are we really unable to feel for another”

    feel for what? inability to go to the beach?

  116. Mycroft wrote in response to my query:

    “Steve Brizel on July 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm
    Mycroft-how about setting forth in an affirmative and positive fashion what you believe are the required elements for a Torah education today for all?”
    Chanoch lenaar al pi darko

    “Do you believe that textual literacy in Siddur, Tanach, Mishnah, Talmud and Halacha is necessary?”
    An attempt should be made to teach ALL textual literacy-but sadly a time can be reached in anywhere from 35%-65% depending on how one defines literacy that one has to go to plan B. For one who starts in a day school certainly the first few years success or lack of success must be measured on testual literacy-most basic reading of vocalized Hebrew at a rate that one can daven at a decent rate-otherwise the child a decade later will unlikely attend schul which is the center of Jewish life in NA-if not in schul there are other places that will welcome the child.

    “Should American Jewish youth be taught in their native tongue?”
    Yes-not ivrit bivrit from one who went to elementary and JHS to Ivrit bivrit and was a counsellor in Massad. Ivrit bivrit is a nice fringe-but not the essence of a Jewish eductaion-one can learn what a ramzor etc is in Israel in one week.

    “Instead of viewing the enterprise as inherently doomed because of IQ based data, how about setting forth your vision of what are the necessary elements of a Torah education?”

    Total emphasis on textual literacy the first 3-4 years-for those who don’t get it by then need a different program-not Gemaarah or advanced Halacha but ideas and basic practical laws in English with intensive practice in Reading tfillot and understanding them so that the child will at least attend schul and not be attracted to where hem amelim”

    Mycroft-your foundation is positive, but viewing Talmud and advanced Halacha as for the elite, as you seemingly imply, means a minimal exposure to TSBP, which is a critical component of the covenant between HaShem and the Jewish People. Have you seen or read about the Charedi schools both in Israel and the US that follow the Mishnah’s age based curriculums?

  117. Mycroft wrote:

    “There is a need for programs like those-for those who NEED it they are very good.
    SLIGHT PROBLEM IN PRACTICE THAT there are some kids who could be mainstreamed and would be in public school- but due to double program are shipped to these programs. Programs can be used as an excuse for day schools to ignore their “obligation” IMHO to teach those of average IQ or a little bit below average IQ.
    I have given to some of these programs and see them as a net positive.”

    Halevai that schools and parents “shipped” students, regardless of the label attached to a kid who needs help in any area, to these programs.

  118. IH wrote:

    “Nonewithstanding the above, how can we not be affected by: “Manal, who had never been to the sea before, is 36, the mother of three and pregnant”.

    Are we really unable to feel for another, even if we can rationalize the situation that makes it so?

    WADR, if such a person harbors the views of Hamas or Hezbellah, empathy in such a situation might be slightly misplaced-especially if none would be forthcoming from such a person to the average Israeli.

  119. I probably need to re-read this after more coffee, but I don’t understand how this (Orthodox) activist thinks he can legislate against Shariah, but not also Jewish Batei Din. e.g. the anti-religious-slaughter legislation in The Netherlands (where shechita got caught up in the populist anti-Islam measure).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/us/31shariah.html/?pagewanted=all

  120. The article, btw, is on the front page above the fold, center, in the hardcopy NYT that was just delivered to me.

  121. “Mycroft-your foundation is positive, but viewing Talmud and advanced Halacha as for the elite, as you seemingly imply, means a minimal exposure to TSBP, which is a critical component of the covenant between HaShem and the Jewish People.”
    Certainly the concept that TSBP is a critical covenant between God and Jewish people does not mean that anything like the current education system is appropriate for many-for some the first mishna that one says when one reads Pirkei Avot gives a crucial understanding. The Maharal already questioned the idea of teaching to baaol batim gemarran with tosafot-he advocated printing a new Shas with Rashi and the Rif on the side Tosafot in the back.

    ” Have you seen or read about the Charedi schools both in Israel and the US that follow the Mishnah’s age based curriculums?”
    I have seen a couple in Israel-not aware in US-but certainly believe it would have a better chance of success than either the standard chareidi or MO system. A caveat I remember reading a book about elementary education in Tanaatic times and remember reading that even before teaching understanding of anything they made sure that kids knew how to read!!! Elementary school is the time for that-its our last chance if a child does not know how to read with fluency later it will likely be too late.

  122. “Steve Brizel on July 30, 2011 at 11:48 pm
    Mycroft wrote:

    “There is a need for programs like those-for those who NEED it they are very good.
    SLIGHT PROBLEM IN PRACTICE THAT there are some kids who could be mainstreamed and would be in public school- but due to double program are shipped to these programs. Programs can be used as an excuse for day schools to ignore their “obligation” IMHO to teach those of average IQ or a little bit below average IQ.
    I have given to some of these programs and see them as a net positive.”

    Halevai that schools and parents “shipped” students, regardless of the label attached to a kid who needs help in any area, to these programs.”

    Steve you don’t understand akid who is shipped to those programs whio could be mainstreamed in public schools does not belong in thoise programs-a Kulanu etc is for the children who have developmental problems- one does not ship children who are normal to such a program. Very quickly they become centers for kids to learn anti-social behaviors from each other. Remember at least by the teenage years kids learn from their peers far more than they do from counsellors etc.
    Attaching the label to a kid means that he has lost his normal friends-he will search out “normal” friends. One will be very lucky if the normal friends would be the average student in a public HS. The friends will be the biggest influence on his future.

  123. BTW-Steve don’t necessarily believe PR of any organization-walk the streets near some of the programs during the school days and see what is really going on.

  124. Judaism is more than tikkun olam-
    but
    Tikkun Olam is a part of Judaism

  125. “Are we really unable to feel for another”

    A cousin of mine, now deceased, was a professor of history at a prominent NY University. After WWII, he was invited on an exchange program to a German university. While there were many positive aspects of his trip, one thing that irked him was that the Germans often complained about how the Allies had treated them during WWII, including the famous Dresden bombing and other intense bombing raids. Unimpressed, my cousin always answered them, “Next time don’t elect a madman as your leader and start up a war with the whole world, and you won’t get bombed.”

    The Arabs surrounding Israel have for 60 years waged relentless war against it and have tried to drive it into the sea. Even today, when the glare of Western media is elsewhere and they are speaking in Arabic to Arabs, the leaders make it clear that that remains their ultimate goal. The Arab collective has chosen war, and that always results in suffering. Nu, so the woman is suffering the inability to go to the beach. If an open door policy were resumed, then so would terror bombings, as we saw a few years ago. How much sympathy has the Arab side shown for the victims of terrorism? At least the woman is not being blow up at a pizza shop while pregnant with her first child, like the wife of someone who davens in my shul.

    The woman should take her complaints to her own people. Not to mention that a woman not being able to go to the beach is suffering alot less than those who were bombed at Dresden.

  126. Mycroft wrote:

    “Steve you don’t understand akid who is shipped to those programs whio could be mainstreamed in public schools does not belong in thoise programs-a Kulanu etc is for the children who have developmental problems- one does not ship children who are normal to such a program. Very quickly they become centers for kids to learn anti-social behaviors from each other. Remember at least by the teenage years kids learn from their peers far more than they do from counsellors etc.
    Attaching the label to a kid means that he has lost his normal friends-he will search out “normal” friends. One will be very lucky if the normal friends would be the average student in a public HS. The friends will be the biggest influence on his future”

    First of all, as someone who was in on the ground level of the founding of such a program in KGH and Queens,the programs are geared for any kid who has any sort of educational need and challenge. It is IMO wrong to view them as a warehouse solely for kids who solely have developmental issues-however that term is broadly defined within the medical establishment. There is no need IMO why a student with, for instance, or dyslexia or Kriah problems should be deemed incapable of developing textual literacy.

    Please present proof that kids actually learn anti social behavior from being in such a program more so than on the streets of our communities or in the moral hefkerus of today’s public schools. WADr, your proposal suggests that we simply write off such students as being able to be provided a Torah education. IMo, that is a premise that deems students and Yiddishe Neshamps expendable.

    IH-As indicated in the NY Times, adherence to Halacha and canon law in the Western Hemisphere have no copnstititional implications beyond the legitimate POV of the protection of their adherents. Supporters of the traditional notions of Jihad, as demonstrated by their behavior throughout history, are not bound by any such limitations.

  127. Tal — FTR, the women weren’t complaining; the reporter was reporting.

  128. Steve — actually, as the article states: “In the United States, Shariah, like Jewish law, most commonly surfaces in court through divorce and custody proceedings or in commercial litigation. Often these cases involve contracts that failed to be resolved in a religious setting.”

    I don’t see how this will not backfire on Jews.

  129. I really hate to say this, but IH has a point. Kind of like the constant focus on religious fundamentalism helped fuel the whole “new atheist” movement, which doesn’t like us any more than Islam.

  130. IH-I read a fascinating book over Shabbos entitled ” A Psalm in Jenin”. I recommend it for anyonen who is concerned how about the IDF fought in that bastion of terrorism and other similar locales, as well to well meaning academics who profess concern about military ethics, but who don’t understand the nature of war or view R”L the IDF as the Wehrmacht. WADR, if houses and groves of trees, etc are hiding places and shelters for terrorists,and display evidence of support for terror with the worst possible anti Semitic rhetoric, I see no reason IMO, why any of us should lose an ounce of sleep over the destruction of the same, which clearly serve to aid and abett terror, by the IDF. Tal Benschar’s post explains why many of us really don’t have a lot of sympathy for the Palestinian women at the beach and view the Israeli women who spoke as essentially displaying the Stockholm Syndrome in action.

    The fact that Ethan Bronner has a son in the IDF, which caused his editors and employer no small amount of consternation, is IMO, irrelevant. I see no difference in his coverage of Israel than the self-hating editors and reporters at Haaretz, including one reporter who was on the infamous flotilla and has made a career of her hatred towards Israel. When an editor of Haaretz views intermarriage as a solution to terrorism, that IMO is indicative of how far out of tune, such a person is with the views of the average Israeli.

  131. Steve — with respect, the difference is that while you pontificate in your armchair, those you name have skin on the line — either directly, or via close family. As do I.

  132. IH-the article also noted as follows:

    “Mr. Yerushalmi’s legislation has drawn opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union as well as from Catholic bishops and Jewish groups. Mr. Yerushalmi said he did not believe that court cases involving Jewish or canon law would be affected by the statutes because they are unlikely to involve violations of constitutional rights”

    IH-I don’t see the comparison. Litigation of legitimate free exercise cases such as zoning cases with yeshivos, shuls, mikvaos and eruvin or kosher food for prisoners or enforcement of a din Torah does not mean that Halacha and halachic needs are presented as the needs beyond its adherents-none of whose adherents have caused incidents of violence of a terrible nature beginning with an assassination of a US Senator, and terrorist attacks on US citizens justified by the Koran.

  133. IH,

    That doesn’t make anyone’s opinion any more “right”. There are plenty of anti-Zionists who served in the IDF/have children who serve in the IDF. Would you really validate their opinions solely on that basis?

  134. aiwac — not solely, but it is certainly a factor.

  135. Steve — you ad absurdum at 12:11 makes about as much sense as someone using the book “Torah Hamelech” to demonstrate the immorality of Jewish religious law.

    If and when this sword starts swinging, Jewish Batei Din will be treated no differently than Islamic Sharia Courts.

  136. “aiwac on July 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    I really hate to say this, but IH has a point. Kind of like the constant focus on religious fundamentalism helped fuel the whole “new atheist” movement, which doesn’t like us any more than Islam.”

    BTW remember the RD CS famous article in Tradition about mimetic Judaism etc was first published a few years before in a volume about Fundamentalism in various religions published by University of Chicago Press

  137. mycroft,

    “BTW remember the RD CS famous article in Tradition about mimetic Judaism etc was first published a few years before in a volume about Fundamentalism in various religions published by University of Chicago Press”

    …and therefore?

  138. “First of all, as someone who was in on the ground level of the founding of such a program in KGH and Queens,the programs are geared for any kid who has any sort of educational need and challenge. It is IMO wrong to view them as a warehouse solely for kids who solely have developmental issues-however that term is broadly defined within the medical establishment. There is no need IMO why a student with, for instance, or dyslexia or Kriah problems should be deemed incapable of developing textual literacy”

    A kid with normal IQ ,normal development , no social problems who has textual literacy problems in a second language who would prosper in a public school does NOT BELONG with kids with developmental/social issues.

    “Please present proof that kids actually learn anti social behavior from being in such a program more so than on the streets of our communities or in the moral hefkerus of today’s public schools.”
    Please present PROOF that normal kids who were sent to such programs turn out better than those who went to a normal suburban HS. PROOF DOES NOT EQUAL SALES BROCHURES, FILMS SEEM AT CHARITIES BREAKFASTS AND DINNERS. Certainly, the streets are filled with the HS students who go t osuch programs-its there after school program.

    “WADr, your proposal suggests that we simply write off such students as being able to be provided a Torah education.”
    MY proposal is that community day schools ahve the obligation to keep all behaving students that would be kept in normal public HS- in their schools until end of Grade 12. Behaving should not be defined any differently forthose who are Intel finalists, Bible Contest winners as those who are struggling academically. Your solution effectively writes kids off by being sent to chutz lenormal machene.

    “IMo, that is a premise that deems students and Yiddishe Neshamps expendable”
    The DAy School establishment has done that for decades.

  139. “When an editor of Haaretz views intermarriage as a solution to terrorism, that IMO is indicative of how far out of tune, such a person is with the views of the average Israeli.”
    The average Israeli determines Israeli policy by its election of Knesset members.

  140. IH:

    “Steve — with respect, the difference is that while you pontificate in your armchair, those you name have skin on the line — either directly, or via close family. As do I.”

    1) big deal. you think you (and bronner) are the only ones here with with close family/friends in israel?
    2) i personally don’t support public protests against the irsaeli government, whether LW or RW. but why can’t we each have our personal opinions and discuss them here? i find that people (LW and RW) too easily play the “you have nothing to lose here in america” card as a shut-up tactic.
    3) just because one doesn’t live in israel means he can’t express an opinion? do i have to live in china to have an opinion on tibet?

    “Tal — FTR, the women weren’t complaining; the reporter was reporting.”

    well the israeli women were certainly complaining. even going so far as to implicitly equate israel with nazi germany. and they also lied. it is patently false that jews are free to travel wherever they please between the jordan and the mediterranean. (and for that matter, israeli arabs probably have greater freedom of movement than even israeli jews.) and they wished to “to meet and befriend our brave Palestinian neighbors.” what is so brave about a terrorist society?

    i remember when i was in a yeshivah slightly north of the gaza strip 20 years ago. white plates were almost as frequent on the roads as yellow plates. perhaps that author could have give a little more context as to what happened during the past 20 years to change that.

    and as far as manal, whom you seem to feel bad for: she has 5 brothers in israeli prisons and a 6th was killed while carrying out a terrorist attack in a yeshivah. i’m sure manal is the liberal in the family.

  141. C’mon, Abba. I never said what you imply. Au contraire, as soon as anything with a whiff of LW Israeli politics turns up here, it is immediately demonized.

  142. That doesn’t make anyone’s opinion any more “right”. There are plenty of anti-Zionists who served in the IDF/have children who serve in the IDF. Would you really validate their opinions solely on that basis?

    More to the point: much of the right wing would agree that left-wing policies are good in the SHORT TERM. The anti-Zionists and their children served in the army now or in the past. In the long term, when the consequences of policies like arming your enemies are felt, the anti-Zionists mostly end up in London or Berkeley.

  143. And we both agree on:

    IH on July 29, 2011 at 12:22 am

    […] I have no issue with objecting to civil disobedience — either by the left or the right — which frankly is my position. […]

    Abba’s Rantings on July 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    […] i personally don’t support public protests against the irsaeli government, whether LW or RW. […]

  144. Does anyone have any evidence the Israeli women in the article are anti-Zionists? Or Bronner himself?

  145. Mycroft-

    1)I don’t think that merekly because a kid would thrive in public school is grounds for a parent, let alone a school, to have a kid transferred or enrolled in a public school.

    2)what about extra curriculuar programs-why you seemingly write them off?

    3)I think that most schools work with most kids and their parents and provide either enriched or alternative means of instruction for kids who aren’t alll stars.

  146. IH-take a look at how and why Orthodox groups utilize the Courts-merely to protect their own communal and individual rights, but not as a mask to dictate means of behavior by the American public. Again-ask yourself who was responsible for some of the most dastardly acts in American history-those who advocate Shariah.

  147. IH0-the women in the article IIRC, were certainly against what they called “the occupation”, and evidenced all of the behavior associated with the Stockholm Syndrome.

  148. IH wrote:

    “Steve — with respect, the difference is that while you pontificate in your armchair, those you name have skin on the line — either directly, or via close family. As do I”

    I think that Abba and Aiwac summed up my POV, but I will pose one question to and Mycroft-should the US give up all of the lands that it conquered as a result of the Mexican War? If not-why not?

  149. “the women in the article IIRC, were certainly against what they called “the occupation”…”

    So what? This is evidence they are “anti-Zionist”? Is everyone who opposes “the occupation” anti-Zionist” in your worldview?

  150. “So what? This is evidence they are “anti-Zionist”? Is everyone who opposes “the occupation” anti-Zionist” in your worldview”

    They certainly hold their own country to a higher standard than other countries with a far worse human rights record and blame their own country for its predicament-That IMO is more than sufficient evidence of the Stockholm syndrome at work. As far being anti Zionist, look at the LW media and academic worlds in Israel, their views, especially as exemplified in Haaretz, HU, and TAU, as well as the recently reported reluctance to play Hatikvah at law school graduations orto teach young children its words, are evidence of how far the self hating LW has infiltrated into mainstream Israeli institutions.

  151. IH would you call the author a Zionist, a loyal citizen or someone who applies standards to her own country that she would not apply elsewhere?http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/if-there-is-a-heaven-1.290214

  152. Steve — I am opposed to civil disobedience by both the Left and the Right. You?

  153. “They certainly hold their own country to a higher standard than other countries with a far worse human rights record”

    I’d also be interested in understanding to which country you think The Jewish State should match its own human rights standards.

  154. “Mycroft-should the US give up all of the lands that it conquered as a result of the Mexican War? If not-why not?”

    Would a vote of current residents of the area vote to return the land to Mexico?
    In the last quarter century there have been many examples of countries dividing to more equally reflect the ethnicity of the populations see eg Czechoslovakia int 2 countries, Yugosalvia into numerous countries, the USSR into numerous countries. I don’t believe the PQ in Quebec ever quite won a vote to be independent of Canada but I believe that at least 1 Canadian PM stated in words similoar to the following if they want to leave geh guzentaheit. Note Steve-that many referendum had a majority of French speaking voters voting for Independence but even the PQ never took the position that only French residents had a right to vote on matters involving Quebec.

  155. ” as well as the recently reported reluctance to play Hatikvah at law school graduations orto teach young children its words, are evidence of how far the self hating LW has infiltrated into mainstream Israeli institutions”

    I doubt too many of us who live in the NYC area have ever visited the grave of the writer of Hatikvah-its in NY.
    Are the Chareidim in Bnei Brak self hating Jews is Rav Eliashev a self hating Jew-when was the last time he sang Hatikvah.

    I suspect Hatikvah is sang a higher percentage of the time in Israel than the Star Spangled Banner is in the US.

  156. “take a look at how and why Orthodox groups utilize the Courts-merely to protect their own communal and individual rights, but not as a mask to dictate means of behavior by the American public.”

    Steve, can you give us one specific case where advocates of Shariah “utilized the courts as a mask to dictate means of behavior by the American public”?

  157. “Steve, can you give us one specific case where advocates of Shariah “utilized the courts as a mask to dictate means of behavior by the American public”?”

    BTW-It is more common established US religions who have done that for example those filing suit opposing “gay marriage”

  158. IH wrote:

    “Steve — I am opposed to civil disobedience by both the Left and the Right. You?”

    Presumably-you are talking about Israel? If that is the case, I would agree-but I would certainly not agree with the way that “incitement” statutes are applied almost indiscriminately against the right.

  159. Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “Steve, can you give us one specific case where advocates of Shariah “utilized the courts as a mask to dictate means of behavior by the American public”?”

    How about those Islamic groups that in the wake of 9-11, that were IIRC, indicted and convicted of aiding and abetting terrrorism, and which counselled their members not to talk or cooperate with the FBI?

  160. Mycroft wrote:

    “Mycroft-should the US give up all of the lands that it conquered as a result of the Mexican War? If not-why not?”

    Would a vote of current residents of the area vote to return the land to Mexico?
    In the last quarter century there have been many examples of countries dividing to more equally reflect the ethnicity of the populations see eg Czechoslovakia int 2 countries, Yugosalvia into numerous countries, the USSR into numerous countries. I don’t believe the PQ in Quebec ever quite won a vote to be independent of Canada but I believe that at least 1 Canadian PM stated in words similoar to the following if they want to leave geh guzentaheit. Note Steve-that many referendum had a majority of French speaking voters voting for Independence but even the PQ never took the position that only French residents had a right to vote on matters involving Quebec”

    The above examples IMO are irrelevant cases-Czechoslovakia , the USSR, and Yugoslavia were all sovereign countries until ithey were recently divided. Again-would you support the returning of the American Southwest to Mexico, as a matter of American foreign policy-which is determined by the President and Senate-not the voters?

  161. IH wrote:

    “I’d also be interested in understanding to which country you think The Jewish State should match its own human rights standards”

    Compared to the overwhelming majority of the membership of the UN, Israel’s human right standards are exemplary. Perhaps, the question should be whether the majority of the UN should match the standards of Israel and/or the US?

  162. Myrcroft posted the following retort:

    “as well as the recently reported reluctance to play Hatikvah at law school graduations orto teach young children its words, are evidence of how far the self hating LW has infiltrated into mainstream Israeli institutions”

    I doubt too many of us who live in the NYC area have ever visited the grave of the writer of Hatikvah-its in NY.
    Are the Chareidim in Bnei Brak self hating Jews is Rav Eliashev a self hating Jew-when was the last time he sang Hatikvah”

    Again-IMO-an irelevant response. I would maintain that RYSE, in the same vein as RYBS viewed the Brisker Rav ZL, probably is a great Ohev EY, even if he has grave reservations about some of the political decisions and long ago walked away from the CR, and has a far greater love of the Land of Israel than the self hating intellectuals and media types. I tend to doubt that RYSE or any of his talmidim would be on a float to Gaza. WADR, you failed to address my comment re Hatikvah at Israeli universities and educational institutions where one would expect that it would and should be played.

  163. IH-FWIW, I think that the civil disobedience tactics employed by the American civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s played no small role in the passage of the civil rights law and in allowing all ethnic groups to express their ethnicitu during the late 1960s, which previously all had viewed becoming part of the American “melting pot” as the sign of success. In Israel, I would argue that civil disobedience, whether by opponents of the occupation or opponents of withdrawal from Judea and Sammaria, has the potential of destroying the IDF as a means of providing unity, and R”L creating the potential for civil war.

  164. IH-simople yes or no, up or down question, which requires no intellectual gymnastics-would you consider the respondents to the linked article as loyal Zionists , leftists or by their own admission, advocates of BDS?http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=557

  165. This is must reading for anyone interested n Israel’s leftist, and secular media which makes no pretenses at all about objectivity, and views its mission as combatting the right. http://www.acpr.org.il/pp/pp050-medad-pollakE.pdf

  166. “The above examples IMO are irrelevant cases-Czechoslovakia , the USSR, and Yugoslavia were all sovereign countries until ithey were recently divided. ”

    If sovereign countries could be divided for ethnic reasons a fortiori one would give up territory for ethnic purposes which the country doesn’t even claim sovereignty to.

  167. “WADR, you failed to address my comment re Hatikvah at Israeli universities and educational institutions where one would expect that it would and should be played.”

    My understanding is that in Jerusalem mamlachti dati schools Hatikvah is not sang regulary-only for special occasions. The apparently do not open a routine day with Hatikvah.

  168. Baruch Alster

    Gil,
    Rimon is censoring your entire News & Links for the week of Aug. 1. Anything I can do to read it?

  169. Complain to Rimon

  170. For those interested in Hezbullah’s tactics and influence, see this link. http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/content/module/2011/8/4/main-feature/1/hizballah-in-america/g/1

  171. Mycroft wrote:

    “If sovereign countries could be divided for ethnic reasons a fortiori one would give up territory for ethnic purposes which the country doesn’t even claim sovereignty to”

    Again-the comparison between the US before and after the Mexican War IMO is valid.

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