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Appeals Court: Rubashkin Doesn’t Deserve New Trial
The Lonely Man of Faith (video)
Australian burial society live-streams funerals
Rabbis differ over women singing in army
Republican wins Democratic New York House seat
Gay Marriage Divides Evangelicals Along Generation Gap
JTS Rabbis and Israel, Then and Now
Din Torah Over Seating In Ponevezh Yeshiva
Jewish law goes to court: Mesira meets American justice
How to Reverse the West’s Decline
SALT Friday
Major Jewish Groups Won’t Rally Against Statehood Bid at U.N.
A New Chapter for JPS
Rabbis, scholars compile materials to guide civility drive
‘Friday Night Dinner’ may be coming to U.S. TV
YU student to donate compensation award to terror victims
Changing the educational paradox
Rabbi: IDF degrading religious public
Kabbalat Shabbat With Music?
Campus Life 201: Trying Out Frum
Jewish-Evangelical Alliance Fraying As UN Session Opens
Parents Of Special-Needs Children Fear For Future
SALT Thursday
Revenge Of The Jews; Dem Seat Turns In NYC
Republican wins Democratic New York House seat
Uman pilgrimage to set all-time record
Women’s singing debate reaches court
Aliyah Now A ‘Career Move’
Orthodox Jewish groups get most security grants
Regents Approve Measures to Curb Educators’ Cheating
SALT Wednesday
Spying for Zion
The Ruminators
New rabbi seen as bridge-builder for Conservative congregation
Jewish doctors perform many abortions
In Sicily, Jews reach out to Inquisition-era forgotten Jews
JTS opening interreligious center with $2 million gift
Bnei Brak vs. female teachers
SALT Tuesday
Are Jews heading rightward
Our hard Jewish lives – a snapshot from abroad
Challenging Religious Extremism in Bet Shemesh
ADL supports ‘World Trade Center Cross’
IDF chief: Religious soldiers not exempt from events where women perform
Rabbis to IDF: Solve women’s singing issue
Government loses round one against Jewish school
NU Press to buy Jewish publisher’s inventory
Hands-on parents will raise dependent dependents
Rabbi Maroof takes on Open Orthodoxy
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 and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance 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.

329 comments

  1. Hands on parents every child is different, do what’s right for yours (btw-would the author recommend not learning with your child[or require you learn something other than what the child is learning in school]
    KT

  2. Re: Rabbi Maroof takes on Open Orthodoxy

    I have to agree that was an accurate title. He includes YCT as a sponsor of an event that it has nothing to do with (as R’ Helfgott commented there). If YCT is considered the flagship of Open Orthodoxy then R’ Maroof is just targeting them for no reason at all.

  3. GIL:

    is there any particular jewish angle to the parenting article that i’m missing (not that it isn’t otherwise an important article)

    “That would be 1971, when scholastic achievement was significantly higher than it is today . . . I believe it is more than coincidence that when parents did not render regular assistance with homework, children emancipated more successfully and much earlier than is the case today.”

    this may or may not be true, but it is silly to casually assert a causation in this manner in reference to a time when so many changes were taking place in the american educational system.

  4. Abba's Rantings

    that last anon was me

  5. Media brouhaha over ongoing carnival in honour of returning drug smuggler leads to cancellation of the next stage of the celebrations: http://www.bhol.co.il/Article.aspx?id=32003

  6. Abba's Rantings

    “describes itself as the oldest publisher of jewish books in the united states”

    JPS can describe itself as it pleases, but historically speaking this statement is false. bloch is more than a quarter of a century older.

  7. Abba's Rantings

    “Our hard Jewish lives – a snapshot from abroad”

    depressing article. thank god for israel and america (leaving aside obvious criticism of this statement). and what’s the deal with israeli dance in all these countries?

  8. HAGTBG: I agree that it is unfair to tar an institution based on an event with which it has no connection. However, if YCT students and graduates attend the event, that raises legitimate concerns about the school’s educational program.

  9. Gil,
    There were YU musmachim speaking and attending the event as well. I didn’t see any comments on _that_.

  10. MDJ: And that might raise questions about YU’s policies also. But I think that with YCT the questions are different and more to the core of the institution.

  11. Fair enough.

  12. I was disappointed with Rabbi Maroof’s lack of interest in accuracy in his critiques, especially as exemplified by his response to a comment, ‘Once you cross the line of halakhic observance, the question of whether something is “full blown” egalitarianism or not becomes moot.’ In other words, once you disagree with someone, any type of misleading and untrue statement is okay? Midvar sheker tirhak?

  13. David,

    Please see the follow up comments there. I believe I better clarified my position further on.

  14. But I think that with YCT the questions are different and more to the core of the institution.

    This is all speculative. Perhaps they are are also more prone to go to Chamber concertos or Lady Gaga concerts. Maybe they are more prone to order healthy foods. Maybe they marry earlier or maybe they marry later. Who really knows.

    Now we are talking about an article attacking someone for possibly associating with people who associate with certain groups. Basically it is an attack on them merely for being of the left. As I said speculative.

  15. Dear Rabbi Maroof,
    Thank you for pointing me to your further comments. I appreciate your position in opposing the partnership minyan phenomenon. I continue to think that the terminology you used is misleading, in spite of your concerns about the slippery slope, and undermines your arguments.

  16. HAGTBG: It’s only speculative in the sense that it is not definitively proven. But there is plenty of room to reasonably see YCT as a hotbed of experimental halakhah.

  17. What bothers me about “torah true” jews such as R. Maroof is that attacks from people like him seem to be only against the left. What about the extreme rightist elements? Where’s an article, written in the same tone, attacking satmar, who, one could argue, have warped the term “orthodoxy” for their own purposes as well?

  18. But there is plenty of room to reasonably see YCT as a hotbed of experimental halakhah.

    Its speculative in the sense that there is no evidence of any link at all, other then the one is to the left and the other is to the left. That YCT is “a hotbed of experimental halakha” does not make it “the hotbed of experimental halakha.” And you want to know something: if you can show 1 or 2 students from YCT went that would show nothing much more then that. If half the student body went or goes then we can talk.

  19. HAGTBG: Its speculative in the sense that there is no evidence of any link at all, other then the one is to the left and the other is to the left.

    Take a step back. I am talking about the implications of the event if YCT graduates and students attend or lead it as compared to the implication is YU graduates and students attend or lead it.

  20. Abba's Rantings

    DK:

    “What about the extreme rightist elements? Where’s an article, written in the same tone, attacking satmar, who, one could argue, have warped the term “orthodoxy” for their own purposes as well?”

    presumably he isn’t worried that those within his tent could potentially gravitate toward satmar and there is thus no pressing need to confront satmar in a similar manner.

  21. Rabbi Maroof is 100% accurate.

    One of the speakers is a YCT Musmach who is the head of Yeshivat Maharat, which coincidentally is located in the same building as HIR and YCT.

    Yes, YCT, HIR, and Y’MR”T claim that they are all technically independent and have nothing to do with each other. But nobody outside of the few individuals in YCT (R’Linzer, R’Helfgott etc..) who say this, actually believe and objectively believe that they are really independent. Its almost like trying to believe that the plethora of “independent” chabad institutions in Crown Heights are all independent of each other, especially when the Rebbe was alive and well (Avi Weiss is the “Rebbe” of HIR, YCT, AND Y’ MAHARAT)

  22. I am talking about the implications of the event if YCT graduates and students attend or lead it as compared to the implication is YU graduates and students attend or lead it.

    First off, is the issue really the holding of this event? Seems to me the issue is whether these minyanim are somehow justifiable halachically period. If someone runs such a minyan and that minyan can not be justified halachically and that person sees his role as defending the deviation as opposed to trying to inch the minyan back to halacha then we are talking of the real matter. And evidently (according to one comment on R Maroof’s blog) at least one speaker is involved in one such minyan so I won’t say there is no concern. That speaker happens to be evidently the head of Yeshivat Maharat (and a relative through marriage of R’ Maroof). But that people meet to discuss how to make the minyanim more halachically defensible, not sure thats a big issue.

    I think the implications you reference are as speculative as anything else said, absent evidence the school itself, or a significant part of the student body is behind it.

  23. “Please see the follow up comments there. I believe I better clarified my position further on.”

    Rabbo Maroof, I read you follow up comments but they simply do not ]undo the falsity of the words “full blown.” I don’t know you but from what I have read on-line for some time it seems clear to me that you are undoubtedly a scholar and an honorable person. I therefore cannot understand your stubborness in not simply deleting those two words and removing an inaccuracy that is staining your post.

  24. r’ gil – “It’s only speculative in the sense that it is not definitively proven. But there is plenty of room to reasonably see YCT as a hotbed of experimental halakhah.”

    same was said about yu musmachim (as well as students) 30 years ago by everyone on the right of yu. therefore what? smear away.

    rjm post was just simply an emotional rant “of the sound and fury signifying nothing”

  25. HAGTBG: First off, is the issue really the holding of this event?

    Yes, the issue is the event which will discuss how to “halakhically” hold a partnership minyan, quotes intentional. The idea that this can be done in any way is non-halakhic.

    Ruvie: same was said about yu musmachim (as well as students) 30 years ago by everyone on the right of yu.

    And they were correct, to a degree. I don’t know how it is now but at least in those days, YU had no (or very little) filter mechanism of its semicha program and is deserving of criticism for many of its ordainees. But they were always a small portion and did not reflect a general YU attitude, which everyone seems to say had already swung right by then.

  26. I agree entirely with this comment by R. Maroof:

    “I am not suggesting any sort of conscious, deliberate or explicit collusion. I am observing a social trend, the incremental developments manifest in Open Orthodoxy. This is not a grass-roots revolution being organized and directed from a “situation room” at YCT. It is a gradual unfolding of trends fueled by the ideological influence of Open Orthodoxy. Rabbis and laypersons alike are testing the waters to see how far they can push the limits of halakha before they are “pushed back” by or “pushed out” of Orthodoxy.

    They are feeding off of one another’s initiatives, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. In that sense, I perceive the movement, as a whole, progressing in a certain direction.”

    http://vesomsechel.blogspot.com/2011/09/sad-but-not-surprising.html?showComment=1315843320995#c7047384161813393610

  27. Seems to me that Rabbi Maroof is trying to reclaim his image from Matzav, which keeps trying to associate him with the “semikha” that was given to (neutral-title) Hurwitz. A shame, because the whole post is really just a rant. There isn’t a single argument actually made, only a collection of speculations with no evidence or emotive content.

  28. I edited the controversial sentence to read as follows:

    “Only weeks later, further movement in the direction of full-blown egalitarianism is being publicly advocated and endorsed by musmachim of YCT and representatives of Yeshivat Maharat.”

  29. Seems to me that Rabbi Maroof is trying to reclaim his image from Matzav

    Its not only Matzav.

  30. jon_brooklyn – it was all “emotive”

    r’ gil – it was said also of the rav 50 plus years ago and his students as well – that yu as an institution was a bunch of left leaning apikursim.

    one can say or speculate that the partnership minyanim are an outgrowth of the rejection of wtg by mainstay of yu rebeiim. there seems to be a shift back from the right in parts of the mo world and this is reflected in the partnership minyanim which is lead not by yct rabbis (actually r’ linzer and helfgot are oppose to them from an halachic viewpoint) but by mo lay people – its as grassroots as you get in the religious community. yct rabbis do not give them cover or support to my knowledge.

    the social trend that r’ maroof observes is simply a move away from the right of the mo world led and demanded by many of its – mo- lay people. i find it hard to believe that this critiques – or is it yelling – comes from the person who “pushed” for maharat for women.

  31. And they were correct, to a degree. I don’t know how it is now but at least in those days, YU had no (or very little) filter mechanism of its semicha program and is deserving of criticism for many of its ordainees.

    I think this sentence has dangerous implications so I’m going to call it out. The implication that the rabbinate will insure the rabbis are always more conservative to the general populace of MO and thus the rabbinate will always skew conservative.

  32. Abba’s rantings:

    “presumably he isn’t worried that those within his tent could potentially gravitate toward satmar and there is thus no pressing need to confront satmar in a similar manner.”

    interesting point, but I’m speaking more generally. RCA rabbinic types like to call out the left for using the term “orthodox” in a manner they don’t like; why don’t they do the same for the more rightest elements?

  33. DK,

    The reason is because the issue with “rightest elements” is not their Orthodoxy, i.e., their commitment to the traditional beliefs and practice of Judaism. There are other issues with some of these “elements” in the community – extremism in interpretation of sources, violence against those who disagree with their interpretations/customs, exclusionary policies, etc., – but none of this spells a lack of “Orthodoxy” on their part.

  34. There are other issues with some of these “elements” in the community – extremism in interpretation of sources, violence against those who disagree with their interpretations/customs, exclusionary policies, etc., – but none of this spells a lack of “Orthodoxy” on their part

    Only of Orthodoxy as a social construct. Not as a thought process, an ideology or praxist.

  35. Dk: you, and everyone else knows the answer to that question. It’s because for the past 200 or so years, those adhering to traditional, rightwing norms have been on the defensive; said adherents do so primarily because they feel that they have to; and that adherence to traditional norms has formed the core of this group’s identity. Thus any move towards an exaggeration of those traditional norms – or even rewriting them outright, as long as they are perceived as appropriately right-wing – is not regarded as a threat, and indeed, insofar as those moves embody the assumed virtue of traditionalism and right-wing-ness, are considered praiseworthy; whereas, obviously, the same cannot be said for those moves in an anti-traditional and left-wing direction, even if they are more correct.

    Satisfied?

  36. ruvie: it was said also of the rav 50 plus years ago and his students as well – that yu as an institution was a bunch of left leaning apikursim.

    Are you saying that because bad criticisms have been made, no one is ever allowed to criticize anyone? I don’t know whether the Rav, or rather the RIETS administration, should have been more selective with the YU semicha program 50 years ago. Anecdotal evidence is that they could have been more careful (as could other yeshivos). So maybe the criticism was valid to a degree. I know that in my day RIETS should have been more selective.

    one can say or speculate that the partnership minyanim are an outgrowth of the rejection of wtg by mainstay of yu rebeiim.

    One can, although I’d speculate in the opposite direction — the RIETS rabbeim were right and foresaw this development which they could not prevent.

    there seems to be a shift back from the right in parts of the mo world and this is reflected in the partnership minyanim which is lead not by yct rabbis (actually r’ linzer and helfgot are oppose to them from an halachic viewpoint) but by mo lay people

    It’s not a matter of whether YCT rabbis are leading it but whether they are participating in and supporting it. I don’t have enough information to answer that.

    the social trend that r’ maroof observes is simply a move away from the right of the mo world led and demanded by many of its – mo- lay people.

    A leftward shift on the margins is as old as history. What’s disappointing is the support it is receiving from institutions that claim to be Orthodox, like JOFA and Yeshivat Maharat.

    HAGTBG: The implication that the rabbinate will insure the rabbis are always more conservative to the general populace of MO and thus the rabbinate will always skew conservative.

    No, the implication is that rabbis will be committed to the halakhic process even if laity is not. I don’t find that objectionable.

  37. I applaud Rabbi Maroof’s rephrasing of his critique, and withdraw my own criticism. Gil should feel free to delete my comment of 11:27 am. That small change makes a big difference.

  38. Rabbi Maroof is right on the mark in his analysis. Since this is a sensitive topic people are picking apart his post phrase by phrase looking for the smallest reason to invalidate it rather than looking at the big picture which Rabbi Maroof is trying to represent.

    The comment by Rabbi Maroof that Gil quotes in his comment of 2:25 PM is exactly on the mark and represents the big picture. However, there is one key thing to add: The outcomes that the YCT/IRF/Yeshiva Maharat/HIR axis want to achieve are not derived from halachic sources. They are driven by Western values. As a result they either fit poorly or not at all in a Halachic framework. However, they have a very strong emotional appeal to people raised around Western values no matter what their level of frumkeit.

    Ultimately I believe the “Open Orthodox” phenomenon derives from a lack of conviction in the divinity of the Torah. If this is the case then Open Orthodoxy will go the way of the Conservative movement sooner or later.

  39. the RIETS rabbeim were right and foresaw this development which they could not prevent.

    Its called self-fulfilling prophecy.

    15-20 years ago the REITS rabbeim were the primary voice of Modern Orthodoxy and the LW then is now considered the sensible LW, the left wing rabbis you now thing of as i”in the camp.” If that changed its entirely their own doing. They drove Weiss out, and patted themselves on the back for purifying YU. I remember the references to Amalek. They desired the explicit separation of institutions, though I don’t know that they anticipated YCT, and wanted the schism.

    So now, no, they have little say with LW MO. Just like they wanted. And I bet if you were to go talk to them, they would not be sorry about it.

    What was it you approvingly quoted before… “They are feeding off of one another’s initiatives, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. In that sense, I perceive the movement, as a whole, progressing in a certain direction.”

  40. They are driven by Western values.

    Basically, a euphamism for their hearts being tainted unlike your own pure “unWestern” one. Spare me.

  41. No, the implication is that rabbis will be committed to the halakhic process even if laity is not. I don’t find that objectionable.

    That is not objectionable in the least. But that’s not all that’s going on here.

  42. r’ gil -” “one can say or speculate that the partnership minyanim are an outgrowth of the rejection of wtg by mainstay of yu rebeiim.”
    One can, although I’d speculate in the opposite direction — the RIETS rabbeim were right and foresaw this development which they could not prevent.”

    actually, i think your statement is false and has many ramifications if taken at face values. i would think that the wtg could have been better for women’s ownership of their own prayer service. women would ran it and fully participate in every aspect of it. instead, they share – or shall we say cut out – roles in service that still is in effect played by men’s rule. they are allowed to do some stuff and not others and therefore their ownership is of an inferior status as opposed to what they could have had in a wtg. i believe – i have no firm data just anecdotes – that many of the participants are women that have no wtg to go to and are disenfranchised by regular prayer service.
    the riets rabbis were insensitive and demeaning in their treatment of the matter. they foresaw nothing of a slippery slope which is always the canard of the right to those looking for innovation to new developments. which is what the charedeim rabbis said of the rav and yu with regards to coed elementary schools, women learning advanced gemera, yu’s coed camp (staff where men and women would sing in plays)…

  43. r’ gil – the ramification to your statement that as long as rabbis “foresee” the development you can assur anything that is permissible by your logic like women’s learning, bat mitzvah, use of electricity (passive) on shabbat etc. of course, if you believe riets rabbis have da’at torah then i understand your point.

  44. HAGTBG: 15-20 years ago the REITS rabbeim were the primary voice of Modern Orthodoxy

    I do not believe that the status of the RIETS rabbeim has changed much in the past 20 years. I remember what things were like in 1991 and I didn’t see their stature changing. The LW then, as now, bemoaned the “shift to the right” and ignored the right wing RIETS rabbis. Maybe you mean in the prior decade, which could be true but I can’t speak intelligently about it.

    ruvie: actually, i think your statement is false and has many ramifications if taken at face values. i would think that the wtg could have been better for women’s ownership of their own prayer service. women would ran it and fully participate in every aspect of it.

    The communities we are discussing never rejected WPGs, despite the disapproval of the RIETS faculty.

    the riets rabbis were insensitive and demeaning in their treatment of the matter.

    You say insensitive. I say prescient.

  45. ruvie: the ramification to your statement that as long as rabbis “foresee” the development you can assur anything that is permissible by your logic like women’s learning, bat mitzvah, use of electricity (passive) on shabbat etc. of course, if you believe riets rabbis have da’at torah then i understand your point.

    They don’t need an infallible, semi-prophetic “Da’as Torah” to have wisdom and good judgment.

  46. R Maroof should be applauded for a superb column in which he explores what he sees as the intellectual shortcomings of Open Orthodoxy. I would suggest that he is in good company with R Frimer.

  47. It’s inappropriate to speculate about motives, but I am disappointed in Rabbi Maroof’s current stance on women’s issues and LWMO. If he is serious about his definition of Orthodoxy as being faithful to traditional beliefs and practices, then he should, indeed, be able to attack the ‘Orthodox’ credentials of many elements in OJ. On the left and center, the rejection of the literal interpretation of the creation ‘days’ as 24 hour periods or the global reach of Noah’s flood is certainly not traditional. On the right, the cavalier attitude about obeying secular law, or the abominable attempt to retroactively disenfranchise converts who don’t conform to the Hareidi lifestyle, or to attempt to disqualify the conversions of a prominent RZ rav for being an alleged “rasha”, should qualify as a basis for questioning their Orthodoxy.

    Life and religious practices aren’t meant to be static lest we reinforce Toynbee’s characterization of Judaism as a fossilized religion. Conditions change, attitudes change, and knowledge of the world increases. It is inappropriate, it seems to me, to agitate only about changes from the left, when changes from the right are, at least, equally untraditional and problematic.

  48. r’ gil – “You say insensitive. I say prescient.”
    what is prescient about questioning their motives as inauthentic. that is insensitive. i think this was the beginning of many in the mo community to question the leadership of the riets rabbis and to look elsewhere for their halachik questions. hence the rise of yct as well as israeli rabbis in the mo community. there was no place in yu for that thought process. hence, the lessening of “control”, respect, and allegiance from the mo community.

  49. I do not believe that the status of the RIETS rabbeim has changed much in the past 20 years.

    Among the group that follows them it hasn’t. Its just that group is a smaller segment of Orthodoxy then it was, assuming you still consider the left Orthodox. I do not deny that the move to the right of a decade ago now overlaps with a move to the left.

  50. ruvie: what is prescient about questioning their motives as inauthentic. that is insensitive.

    It was entirely accurate. And the search for rabbis who will tell them what they want to hear, well, that’s precisely the point.

    HAGTBG: Among the group that follows them it hasn’t. Its just that group is a smaller segment of Orthodoxy then it was, assuming you still consider the left Orthodox.

    In other words, the left has grown over the past 20 years. I agree but think it has much more to do with cultural trends than with the behavior of the RIETS rabbeim.

  51. “Are you saying that because bad criticisms have been made, no one is ever allowed to criticize anyone? I don’t know whether the Rav, or rather the RIETS administration, should have been more selective with the YU semicha program 50 years ago. Anecdotal evidence is that they could have been more careful (as could other yeshivos). So maybe the criticism was valid to a degree. I know that in my day RIETS should have been more selective.”

    And why is that? No one knows what a 24 year old is going to turn out like. Constricting the rabbinate is not likely to help it. If Orthodoxy is in need of rabbis it didn’t then and it doesn’t now have the luxury of pushing those who are willing away with two hands. You know, there are plenty of people who think a rabbi in Israel cannot be someone who watched the Big Lebowski.

  52. is it me but i feel we have entered the age of McCarthyism in the mo community ? it must purified from the infidels.

  53. lawrence kaplan

    Steve: Actually, I think that R. Frimmer’s critiques are much less emotive and much more substantive textually and halakhically than that of R. Maroof.

    That said, I congratulate R. Maroof for acknowledging his imprecision and revising his article in response to criticism

  54. S: And why is that? No one knows what a 24 year old is going to turn out like.

    It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for warning signs, such as a textual ignorance combined with brazen independence or an open mind to changing halakhah.

    ruvie: is it me but i feel we have entered the age of McCarthyism in the mo community ?

    People have been making that complaint for decades. They prefer an Orthodoxy with no boundaries. As long as they say they are Orthodox they can do whatever they want.

  55. Y. Aharon,

    I don’t think it is fair or wise to paint all of LWMO in a single brushstroke, and I certainly don’t mean to do that. There are differences and variations across and within institutions, including YCT, not to mention differences between individuals, including students and musmachim of YCT.

    As for women’s issues, please see my comments back on my own blog, where I wrote the following:

    “I stand behind the content of the speech I gave at the conferral ceremony 100%. I have never backed down from it or changed my view of it; in fact, I am proud of what I said, and this is why I uploaded the clip to Youtube myself.My only regrets had to do with the context of the event, which led to my broader hashkafic stance being misinterpreted in the media….You are fundamentally misunderstanding the thrust of this post. I am not vigorously opposing “women’s advancement”. On the contrary, I am strongly in favor of women’s advancement, WITHIN the bounds of halakhic practice and Torah thought.

    The problem is that those who are promoting women’s advancement through “Partnership Minyanim” seem to be dispensing, at least in part, with the objective study of and adherence to traditional halakhic principles and norms.

    This is not what I would call advancement.I believe this is a setback, because it is leading women that we should be “advancing” in Torah and Mitzvot away from the very system of halakha and hashkafa that we value so tremendously.”

  56. L. Kaplan,

    Although it may be fair to characterize this most recent post as “less substantive” than other contributions to the discussion of Open Orthodoxy, I would argue that the other posts I wrote on my blog on this topic were very substantive (for blog posts, as opposed to journal articles), particularly this one:

    http://vesomsechel.blogspot.com/2011/08/more-on-morethodoxy.html

    If you disagree, I welcome your feedback and constructive criticism. I don’t think anyone will accuse me of closed to new ideas and perspectives. I strive to be as intellectually honest as I can.

  57. “It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for warning signs, such as a textual ignorance combined with brazen independence or an open mind to changing halakhah.”

    No, but you can’t catch everyone. Maybe they were exercising caution, you just didn’t realize it? Maybe they were balancing something bigger, like the need to nurture Orthodox rabbis, which you couldn’t do through pushing interested young men away in numbers which you would like? Maybe they saw something in those people and hoped that encouraging them, rather than pushing them out, would bear fruit? Maybe some of it has already borne fruit. It’s a davar yaduah that R. Yitzchak Elchanan would give semicha practically to anyone who came to him (others did this too). He saw it as a step in encouraging young men to a life dedicated to Torah. Who says this is the wrong approach? We all have our opinion.

  58. The real issue, as per the linked NY Post article, is whether American Jews view voting Democratic as the 614th Commandment. The real issue in the special election tomorrow is the choice-do those of us who are Democrats ( full disclosure such as myself and my family) register a one year protest vote against a President who has been quoted as downplaying the uniqueness of the US, views its actions as subject to the approval of the EU and Third World, and could not bring himeself to mention the many victims of terror in Israel, especially if the Congresssional district in question is being reapportioned in one year. At least, IMO, these issues strikes me as far more problematic for the Democrats than a Democrat who is affiliated with the MO world who defended a vote on gay rights as a matter of not discrimination or an even more curious rationale for defending the location of a Mosque near Ground Zero. I would suggest that if the Republican wins or even makes the race close, the message will be sent to Washington that many in the Jewish community are fed up with the President’s views on a wide variety of issues. I would add that our choice is not added by the choice of a Republican whose role in producing a certain talk show in Hollywood hardly strikes me IMO as a paragon of moral values

  59. See, this is one of the reasons I like Israel – we have more than two (at most three) options in elections. Worst comes to worst we can vote for Aleh Yarok for the heck of it. Vehamevin Yavin.

  60. “ruvie:… i would think that the wtg could have been better for women’s ownership of their own prayer service. women would ran it and fully participate in every aspect of it.

    gil: The communities we are discussing never rejected WPGs, despite the disapproval of the RIETS faculty.”

    The communities never rejected WTG, but as I said re: R. Frimmer’s post I think the YU ban was successful in poisoning the WTG enterprise for the next generation – the generation who went to dayschools where YU musmachim taught themall about the halachik process and the evils of “spiritual self-stimulation.” Women are rejecting WTG because they perceive them as “not real.” That perception is a direct outgrowth of the attack on WTG by YU rabbis.

  61. R Gil wrote in response:

    “The communities we are discussing never rejected WPGs, despite the disapproval of the RIETS faculty.

    the riets rabbis were insensitive and demeaning in their treatment of the matter.

    You say insensitive. I say prescient”

    I would agree with R Gil 100%. The RIETS RY, based on RYBS’s public rejection of the feminist critique of Halacha as slanderous, were on the mark on rejecting innovations that proved to be wholly motivated by the need to seek the approval of radical egalitarian feminists at the expense of Halachic precision.

  62. steve b – and yet RAL wasn’t on board with the riets 5. you would think he would be if it was an assur deoraita as they claimed. when you overshoot your claims (as well in the rabbah issue as an assur of yyy) you loose your credibility.

  63. ruvie,

    Friendly tip – you need to be careful when you spell “lose”. I’ve seen you spell it as “loose” a number of times already.

  64. The RIETS RY, based on RYBS’s public rejection of the feminist critique of Halacha as slanderous, were on the mark on rejecting innovations that proved to be wholly motivated by the need to seek the approval of radical egalitarian feminists at the expense of Halachic precision.

    Oh wow. Steve Brizel agrees with the YU Roshei Yeshiva. Who would have thought that would happen? Anyone? Anyone?

  65. I agree but think it has much more to do with cultural trends than with the behavior of the RIETS rabbeim.

    Their behavior and their tactics insured they would be ignored.

  66. aiwac – sorry. you are right and sometimes i hit the post button before re-reading the post and ipad check changes stuff too (as well as today’s grammatical errors). so much for multi tasking (add and starring at 3 screens while typing). but no excuse.

  67. “and yet RAL wasn’t on board with the riets 5.” RAL?!? The Rav wasn’t on board. (His position was much more nuanced as per the Frimers’ article; yes, Steve, the Frimer you always rely on when his position agrees with yours.)

  68. Ruvie wrote:

    “and yet RAL wasn’t on board with the riets 5. you would think he would be if it was an assur deoraita as they claimed. when you overshoot your claims (as well in the rabbah issue as an assur of yyy) you loose your credibility”

    Ruvie-since when was RAL considered a Posek for the American MO community?

  69. lawrence kaplan

    R. Maroof: When I wrote “that of R. Maroof” I meant “that” in the singular, i.e.,I meant to refer to your particular post under discussion and NOT to characterize your posts in general. I am sorry for not being clearer.

  70. Joseph Kaplan-Despite many discussions on the WTG issue, WADR,IMO,you have never set forth an iota of proof that RYBS either held that WTGs were Mutar lchatchilah or that he accepted the validity of the feminist critique of Halacha on any other issue of Halacha, Minhag or Hashkafa as legitimately rooted in Halacha and Mesorah, as opposed to first and foremost being based in radical egalitarian feminism. I invited anyone to listen to the relevant portions of RYBS’s shiourim on Korach and Gerus and then assert that RYBS’s stance was “highly nuanced”.

    WADR, your many recountings of what transpired at LSS and what transpired RYBS and R S Riskin cannot convert what was described as a Bdeived into a lchatchilah. Obviously RYBS drew the line between women learning TSBP and Talmud, but it is IMO revisionism to claim that RYBS accepted the feminist critique with respect to feminist rooted and inspired innovations such as R Rackman ZL’s proposals re Hafkaas Kiddushin, any changes within Minhagei Beis HaKnesses or any changes that would have implicated an Issur Srarah.

    FWIW, when the RIETS RY wrote their Psak circa 1984, IIRC, RYBS was certainly no longer actively issuing Psak Halacha and had almost retired from giving shiurim.

    As far as R Frimer is concerned-IMIO, it is obvious based on a review of R Frimer’s writings that R Frimer’s writings have evolved from his initial article in Tradition in which he asserted that RYBS’s view was “highly nuanced” and that he now sees feminism dictating halachic change as opposed to halacha being a legitimate brake on the demands of feminism, after having lectured extensively and written in serious and feminist oriented journals. Perhaps, it is the feminist camp and their supporters who have a hard time dealing with the same, but I admire the trait of intellectual honesty especially in the face of PC, and R Frimer exudes the same.

  71. Emma wrote:

    “The communities never rejected WTG, but as I said re: R. Frimmer’s post I think the YU ban was successful in poisoning the WTG enterprise for the next generation – the generation who went to dayschools where YU musmachim taught themall about the halachik process and the evils of “spiritual self-stimulation.” Women are rejecting WTG because they perceive them as “not real.” That perception is a direct outgrowth of the attack on WTG by YU rabbis”

    Emma-if you were in search of a conspiracy target, IMO, you were way off. How about a generation of women educated in BY and MO women who attended seminaries where they realized that there were far more legitimate ways of expressing one’s Avodas HaShem than in imitating the ritual roles of men?

  72. With the increasingly nasty “drive time” radio ads for one special congressional race, you might think that we lived in NJ-the home of the nastiest drive time ads in American politics.

  73. where they realized that there were far more legitimate ways of expressing one’s Avodas HaShem than in imitating the ritual roles of men?

    … and that is why there are no Shira Chadasha type minyans today. The end.

  74. “you have never set forth an iota of proof that RYBS either held that WTGs were Mutar lchatchilah or that he accepted the validity of the feminist critique of Halacha on any other issue of Halacha, Minhag or Hashkafa as legitimately rooted in Halacha and Mesorah, as opposed to first and foremost being based in radical egalitarian feminism.”

    You’re absolutely right; I never set forth any proof for that statement because I never made such a statement. Ever. Anywhere. So why in heaven’s name should I have set forth any support for a statement I never made. All I said here was that the Rav’s position on WTGs was more nuanced than that of the RIETS 5. Do you disagree with that statement? My support for it is the Frimers’ article; you know, the article by someone who exudes intellectual honesty. (In that description of R’ Aryeh we do, at least, agree.) That is the statement I made and that is m y support for it. Do you disagree with that statement? If you do, what is your support?

  75. HAGTBG wrote , I responded and HAGTBG responded:

    “The RIETS RY, based on RYBS’s public rejection of the feminist critique of Halacha as slanderous, were on the mark on rejecting innovations that proved to be wholly motivated by the need to seek the approval of radical egalitarian feminists at the expense of Halachic precision.

    Oh wow. Steve Brizel agrees with the YU Roshei Yeshiva. Who would have thought that would happen? Anyone? Anyone”

    Obviously, you deem yourslef yourself on a level where you think that you have the right to disagree with Talmidei Chahamim whose level of Torah knowledge is far greater than either you or me. How refreshingly candid but oh so typical of so many MO who don’t understand what halachic hierarchy means.

  76. “How about a generation of women educated in BY and MO women who attended seminaries…”

    Here I actually agree with you. But my take is a bit different. This seminary education of this generation of MO women had, IMO, two results: one, the type of women you describe, and two, women (and I personally know plenty of them) whose believe that the education they received supports their feeling that an appropriate way of expressing their Avodat Hashem is not through WTGs but rather through partnership minyanim and regular minyanim.

  77. I don’t know if R’ Aryeh is following this thread, but if he is, I wonder if he would agree that he changed his mind from his original analysis that the Rav’s position on WTGs was more nuanced than that of the RIETS 5. I have read much of his (RAF’s) writings on feminism and halacha, and while I would not deny that there may have been some changes in his views, I don’t recall him ever changing his analysis of the Rav’s position which was, of course, the subject that Steve took issue with.

  78. Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “You’re absolutely right; I never set forth any proof for that statement because I never made such a statement. Ever. Anywhere. So why in heaven’s name should I have set forth any support for a statement I never made. All I said here was that the Rav’s position on WTGs was more nuanced than that of the RIETS 5. Do you disagree with that statement”

    That’s because you openly admitted that there was no such Heter Lchatchilah. Claiming that RYBS’s stance is “more nuanced” IMO is an unfounded claim, especially in light of the shiurim on Korach and Gerus .IMO, the claim of “highly nuanced” cannot be sustained in light of the aforementioned shiurim, and cannot be used to dismiss RYBS’s strongly worded objections and rejection of the feminist critique of Halacha, which are available to any listener to listen to, but which you studiously avoided in discussing except to classify as “highly nuanced.”

    Again, relying on R Frimer’s earliest written article cannot IMO cannot be justified in light of his later writings. The earlier article cannot be viewed IMO as having any validity in light of R Frimer’s more recent highly critical views of feminism and their supporters.

  79. Obviously, you deem yourslef yourself on a level where you think that you have the right to disagree with Talmidei Chahamim whose level of Torah knowledge is far greater than either you or me. How refreshingly candid but oh so typical of so many MO who don’t understand what halachic hierarchy means.

    Steve, I’m just a small man standing on the back of my own poskim. You are aware that there are Orthodox poskim other then the YU RY, right? You often give me pause to wonder.

  80. “15-20 years ago the REITS rabbeim were the primary voice of Modern Orthodoxy and the LW then is now considered the sensible LW, the left wing rabbis you now thing of as i”in the camp.” If that changed its entirely their own doing. They drove Weiss out, and patted themselves on the back for purifying YU”

    A lot of the so called change in Orthodoxy is simply a RIETS change since the Rav left RIETS
    see eg Prof Waxman “This may, in part, help explain the perception of the “move to the right.” It may well be that Modern Orthodox rabbis,
    including those ordained at RIETS in the latter part of the twentieth century, were considerably more to the right
    than were their predecessors. In other words, the move to the right may have been within the RIETS semikhah (ordination)
    program, under the influence of a revisionist approach to the thinking of its revered head, the late Rabbi Joseph
    B. Soloveitchik (“the Rav”), rather than within Orthodoxy as a whole, but is so glaring because rabbis are much more
    visible than the laity. On revisionism with respect to the Rav, see Lawrence Kaplan, “Revisionism and the Rav: The
    Struggle for the Soul of Modern Orthodoxy,” Judaism 48,3 (Summer 1999): 290-311.”

  81. joseph kaplan – ““and yet RAL wasn’t on board with the riets 5.” RAL?!? The Rav wasn’t on board.”
    joseph you are right about the rav’s opinion being nuanced and i didn’t have the time and resources (and the memory recall)to look it up. But i had a few personal conversations with RAL on the issue (as well as other issues) around 10 plus years ago where he said that assuming taking care of some minor technicalities he saw no reason why wtg can’t be held in certain communities. he believed it was a public policy issue dependent on the nature and need of the community. he also mentioned that its not an issue for him in alon shevut since there is no demand by the women there – its an american issue and he doesn’t pasken here (it seems they prefer daf yomi – my commentary not his). that is why i mentioned his name to show the overreach of the riets 5 (as well as other issues)- but then again there is no way for anyone to know that reason.

    steve b – RAL is the major posek in general for the mo community on many matters. he has many students that are rabbis in the us who still consult with him on many halachik matters. also, it seems the rca needed this posek on the rabbah issue as well (to his chagrin) which was an american matter.;

  82. “That’s because you openly admitted that there was no such Heter Lchatchilah.” Of course I said no such thing because I didn’t speak about lechatchilah or bedieved at all. But since you again try to put words in my mouth that I never said and since you seem unable to understand the difference between OTOneH R. Frimer’s analysis of the Rav’s position, which analysis he never changed, and OTOtherH his (RAF’s) own position on feminism which he might or might not have changed (R. Frimer’s personal position is not really relevant to this discussion), I give up. Or, in the words of that famous sage, Emily Latella, never mind.

  83. Ruvie, understood. I was making a point, not criticizing you.

  84. “How refreshingly candid but oh so typical of so many MO who don’t understand what halachic hierarchy means”

    We don’t have a Sanhedrin certainly in US we don’t have a halachik hierarchy-there is simply no obligation to listen to any Rabbi who is not YOUR Rebbe. Obviously, one may be a fool notto listen to those whose are considered the most knowledgeable but unless Klal Israel has accepted them they have no binding authority-persuasive authority. Note R Chaim Brisker refused to join the Agudah on preciselyy this popint-absent a Sanhedrin no Rabbi can tell someone else who has not submitted to that persons authority or part of a community that has to listen to any specirfic Rav/RY.

  85. Gil, will you be responding to response of your Vegetarian review of Cosgrove’s book?

  86. No, I’m not interested in a dialogue.

  87. You should respond anyway, intellectual dishonesty like that demonstrated in the first response shouldn’t be left alone like that. But I would definitely understand if you chose not to.

  88. HAGTBG on September 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm
    “I do not believe that the status of the RIETS rabbeim has changed much in the past 20 years.

    Among the group that follows them it hasn’t. Its just that group is a smaller segment of Orthodoxy then it was, assuming you still consider the left Orthodox. I do not deny that the move to the right of a decade ago now overlaps with a move to the left”

    Re this general area essential reading is” Yehuda Turetsky and Chaim I. Waxman
    SLIDING TO THE LEFT? CONTEMPORARY
    AMERICAN MODERN ORTHODOXY”

    “that the modern Orthodox sector, in particular, is neither of one stripe nor has it overwhelmingly ‘‘haredized’’ and, indeed, there have been some developments indicating significant ritualistic departure not only from haredi norms and values but from traditional Jewish religious behavior as well”

    of course Hirhurim readers must see the following reference “In response to the sliding to the left in the Modern Orthodox
    community, Gil Student, the founder of one of the most eminent
    blogs in that community, torahmusings.com, suggested the term
    ‘‘Post-Orthodox’’ to describe a group that has veered from traditional Orthodox beliefs and practices, and he set down a new set of ‘‘thirteen principles’’ that are characteristic of Post-Orthodoxy.26 The more-than 250 comments to that blog indicate widespread disagreement with the very notion of setting down principles as well as widespread heterogeneity of belief and practice within the Modern Orthodox community.If those comments are in any way reflective of that community, it can hardly be characterized as either haredi or as ‘‘sliding to the right.’’”
    balanced by the following

    “One rabbi, however,
    was very clearly pessimistic if not fatalistic:
    In the past decade, Modern Orthodoxy has suffered serious erosion
    in the United States. This is manifested in many ways. I don’t believe
    Modern Orthodoxy controls any of the basic religious institutions:
    mikvaot [ritual baths], kashruth agencies, eiruv37 makers. These have
    all fallen under the control of haredi Orthodoxy. Even the OU
    [Orthodox Union], which is supposedly the bastion of “mainstream”
    Orthodoxy, is essentially a haredi operation when it comes to kashruth;
    it wants legitimacy within the haredi community and acts accordingly.
    The RCA has essentially ceded halakhic authority to the haredi
    elements within the RCA, and there is no real ‘‘modern Orthodox’’
    pesikah [halakhic decision-making] coming from the RCA. The classic
    example is the RCA’s capitulation in the area of geirut, where the
    RCA no longer will endorse the conversions performed by its own
    members unless the conversions go through a centralized bureaucracy
    that the RCA set up to stay in line with Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.
    When Orthodox Jews use the term ‘‘gedolim,’’ they are almost never
    referring to anyone Modern Orthodox; this is true of the Modern
    Orthodox themselves. If all religious authority is ceded to the haredi ‘‘gedolim’’ in all areas of halakha, this also seeps into hashkafa—and into communal sociological patterns.
    The perception of and anxiety about a move to the right may be
    characteristic of specific localities. Several of our respondents mentioned the Five Towns, in New York’s Nassau County, as experiencing a dramatic move to the right, which may actually be the case and may be the result of demographic changes. “

  89. r’mycroft,
    It’s an interesting application imho of negotiation theory, if one side percieves the other side’s minimal demands are outside the least that the other side will accept, you either have to walk away or capitulate.
    KT

  90. R. Gil,

    I feel your headline for the abortion article is slightly inaccurate. It should read something more like ‘Jewish doctors perform more abortions than Catholics and Protestants’.

    Also, keep in mind that a majority of Jewish doctors are likely not religious, in keeping with the proportion of religious Jews in the USJ population, including C and R(speaking of which, and please forgive my ignorance, what IS the general conservative position on abortions)?

  91. aiwac: I agree. I just wanted to give a quick explanation of what to look for in the article.

  92. The municipal law bans ads which include pictures of women in this city. It hurts the haredi public’s feelings
    =======================
    Interesting explanation – implies it’s halachically permissible but results in hurt feelings?
    KT

  93. We don’t have a Sanhedrin certainly in US we don’t have a halachik hierarchy-there is simply no obligation to listen to any Rabbi who is not YOUR Rebbe.

    More than 23 years ago (roughly 1988), my roommate invited me to his home in West Hempstead for Shabbos. That shabbos, R. Herschel Schachter was the scholar-in-residence at the Young Israel, and spoke repeatedly on the topic of rabbinic authority. On motzaei shabbos, there was a question and answer session. Most of the questions were unexceptionable. But apparently a few weeks before a woman had spoken in the communnity in favor of WTGs, and had attacked R. Schachter. So there were a few malcontents who decided to take up her cause.

    Then one man asked, “R. Schachter, you told use this morning that one is obligated to follow the local mora d’asra. Isn’t that what these shuls [that have WTGs] are doing?”

    His answer, which I can still remember clearly, was as follows:

    “When I said that, I meant qualified rabbonim. The question is do those communities consider them qualified?

    Now when there is a shayloh about the eruv in Teaneck they call me. When there is a shayloh about the mikvah in the West side, they call me. When the OU has a shayloh in kashrus, they call me. But when one of these shuls wants to have a WTG, they call Avi Weiss.”

  94. Now when there is a shayloh about the eruv in Teaneck they call me. When there is a shayloh about the mikvah in the West side, they call me. When the OU has a shayloh in kashrus, they call me. But when one of these shuls wants to have a WTG, they call Avi Weiss.”

    There are rabbis who have paskened for several communities eruvim who approved of WTG. There are rabbis who work on kashrut who have approved WTG. There are rabbis with far better reputations as poskim then R’ Avi Weiss for you to say it is his baby. And those rabbis were not doing it to make R’ Weiss happy but to meet a desire of their congregants. If you heard RHS say that then it represents precisely his disconnect from the actual motivation of what was going on. Or his love for a glib line. But I doubt you recall it precisely right since I know for fact he knew the above.

  95. “but to meet a desire of their congregants”

    So that’s what Orthodoxy is about?

  96. HAGTBG: I believe R. Schachter’s point in 1988 was that Teaneck had, in fact, called on him to check their eruv (a whole other story) and the UWS had also asked him about their mikvah. Yet while the communities asked him those halakhic questions, they took their question about Women’s Prayer Groups elsewhere. It’s the inconsistency, or rather the looking for the answer they want, to which he objected.

  97. So that’s what Orthodoxy is about?

    If its permitted of course. Or is Orthodoxy about doing everything the same simply because it was done like that yesterday?

    It’s the inconsistency, or rather the looking for the answer they want, to which he objected.

    How does any of that go to “qualified rabbonim”? The implication is not that they are inconsistent but their other source was incompetent.

  98. r’ gil – wtg is not a community issue – at least not on the uws – its an individual shul issue. eruv is a community issue and rav schachter was one of the rabbis consulted among others ( i believe r’ tendler was also consulted). so the two issues may different addresses depending on the rabbis involved. i assume r’ riskin (the first to my acknowledge but it was before my time) went to his rebbi for approval. the second wtg that i am aware of the rabbi consulted either his rebbi or a ry and yu (they maybe both this rabbi) but not rav schachter. so rav schachter’s complaint really is not applicable here. with regards to eruvim, communities usually go to those rabbis that can give them acceptability on questionable situations. btw, the yeshivish/cheredei do not abide by the eruv on the uws.

  99. >Then one man asked, “R. Schachter, you told use this morning that one is obligated to follow the local mora d’asra. Isn’t that what these shuls [that have WTGs] are doing?”

    >His answer, which I can still remember clearly, was as follows:

    >“When I said that, I meant qualified rabbonim. The question is do those communities consider them qualified?

    >Now when there is a shayloh about the eruv in Teaneck they call me. When there is a shayloh about the mikvah in the West side, they call me. When the OU has a shayloh in kashrus, they call me. But when one of these shuls wants to have a WTG, they call Avi Weiss.”

    That’s a great story, but not everything in Judaism is a halachic inquiry of the same type. If they had a query about dikduk they probably wouldn’t call Rav Schachter. Not that he’s a slouch, but there are others who are undoubtedly better suited to answering such questions. Clearly Rav Schacter believes that WTG is a question like a question about an eruv, but probably others disagree. Given that premise who is to say that he is the [real] proper address for such a question?

  100. prior post: “either his rebbi or a ry and yu ” should read either his rebbi or a ry at yu (which also may have been his rebbi) – the name was never publicly disclosed by the rabbi.

  101. “I believe R. Schachter’s point in 1988 was that Teaneck had, in fact, called on him to check their eruv (a whole other story) and the UWS had also asked him about their mikvah. Yet while the communities asked him those halakhic questions, they took their question about Women’s Prayer Groups elsewhere. It’s the inconsistency, or rather the looking for the answer they want, to which he objected.”

    Of course, there’s no inconsistency at all; you (and RHS) are comparing apples and oranges. I don’t believe it’s true in the UWS but I know it’s not true in teaneck. In Teaneck, the eruv is truly an official project of the entire Orthodox community with all of the O shuls and rabbis (through their rabbinical organization the RCBC) being part of it. So if there is a halachic question to be asked, the entire leadership of the O community has to agree on someone to ask. And RHS was the consensus candidate who was acceptable to all of them with respect to eruv.

    WTG is not a part of any shul or under the auspicies oa any rabbinic group. It’s an independent group made up of individual members of the O community and, indeed, meets in private homes and not in shuls. So the leadership of that group of individuals (who are different than Teaneck’s eruv leadership) are the ones who decide to whom to ask their questions. Where is the inconsistency? One group asks one person and another group asks another. And with resopect to the all too few Teaneck rabbis (IMO) who support the WTG, they make their own decisions or ask those whose guidance they seek in other matters. RHS is not the person whose guidance at least one of them seeks when he is seeking advice individually and not as a member of the RCBC. So again, where’s the inconsistency? It’s just not there.

  102. Mycroft-who says that you need a functioning Sanhedrin to underscore the importance of adhering to Halachic hierarchy?

  103. S wrote:

    “That’s a great story, but not everything in Judaism is a halachic inquiry of the same type. If they had a query about dikduk they probably wouldn’t call Rav Schachter. Not that he’s a slouch, but there are others who are undoubtedly better suited to answering such questions. Clearly Rav Schacter believes that WTG is a question like a question about an eruv, but probably others disagree. Given that premise who is to say that he is the [real] proper address for such a question”

    This is WADR the crux of the matter. Name one Posek of RHS’s caliber in the US, not Israel, who MO turns or should turn to for its difficult and not so difficult Halachic and Hashkafic issues.

  104. HAGTBG wrote in part:

    “There are rabbis who have paskened for several communities eruvim who approved of WTG. There are rabbis who work on kashrut who have approved WTG. There are rabbis with far better reputations as poskim then R’ Avi Weiss for you to say it is his baby”

    Name one such Morah DAsrah who is considered in the same league as RHS, who issued a Psak, who works on Kashrut, and is entitled to have his Psak considered in the same breadth.

  105. Name one such Morah DAsrah who is considered in the same league as RHS, who issued a Psak, who works on Kashrut, and is entitled to have his Psak considered in the same breadth.

    Why is that relevant? Is it your position that every posek in MO must defer to RHS?

  106. “This is WADR the crux of the matter. Name one Posek of RHS’s caliber in the US, not Israel, who MO turns or should turn to for its difficult and not so difficult Halachic and Hashkafic issues.”

    My point was that

    1. It’s not necessarily a question for a posek, rather than a question for a rabbi who knows the concerns and issues in his community. You don’t need a posek to tell you how many minutes to brush your teeth, and *perhaps* you don’t need a posek to tell you that something which is muttar meikar hadin is a desirable practice for your community.

    or

    2. Although Rav Schachter knows more about eruvin than Rabbi Weiss, *maybe* Rabbi Weiss is a bar plugta in women’s issues, since this is an area of major concern for him and he’s a requisite talmud chochom in this area. It is possible for a rabbi to be an expert in certain areas of Torah and render a psak or a public policy pronouncement without being an expert in all areas.

    The idea that only someone who knows kol hatorah kula is entitled to say anything about Judaism is novel. Furthermore, Rav Schachter has a jaundiced view of feminism and women’s issues, probably basically indistinguishable from the mainstream yeshivish opinion. So why would anyone from Teaneck or Riverdale consider asking him in the first place? They also wouldn’t have asked the Satmar Rav, and presumably Rav Schachter would have seen that as appropriate.

  107. S wrote:

    “It’s not necessarily a question for a posek, rather than a question for a rabbi who knows the concerns and issues in his community. You don’t need a posek to tell you how many minutes to brush your teeth, and *perhaps* you don’t need a posek to tell you that something which is muttar meikar hadin is a desirable practice for your community.

    or

    2. Although Rav Schachter knows more about eruvin than Rabbi Weiss, *maybe* Rabbi Weiss is a bar plugta in women’s issues, since this is an area of major concern for him and he’s a requisite talmud chochom in this area. It is possible for a rabbi to be an expert in certain areas of Torah and render a psak or a public policy pronouncement without being an expert in all areas.

    The idea that only someone who knows kol hatorah kula is entitled to say anything about Judaism is novel. Furthermore, Rav Schachter has a jaundiced view of feminism and women’s issues, probably basically indistinguishable from the mainstream yeshivish opinion. So why would anyone from Teaneck or Riverdale consider asking him in the first place? They also wouldn’t have asked the Satmar Rav, and presumably Rav Schachter would have seen that as appropriate

    First of all, not every issue can be analogized to brushing your teeth, and what is Mutar MeIkar HaDin is hardly the end of any Posek’s inquiry-quite often the issue is a meta halachic or between the lines type of inquiry which may dictate a more machmir or meikil response depending on the circumstances that prompted the inquiry in the first instance.

    R Weiss’s book on women’s issues was panned by none less than R G Schwartz. Viewing R Weiss as a Bar Plugta of RHS on any Halachic issue requires more than a blanket statement to that effect on a blog. Psak requires being an expert in Halacha-untill someone is recognized as such, that person’s opinions are not exactly viewed as being the address for any halachic or hashkafic inquiry.

    RYBS also had a strong opposing view against the feminist critique of halacha. Are you intimating that only someone who supports the same is entitled to a POV? I think that borders on the intellectually dishonest for members of the same community who seek RHS’s halachic expertise on eruvin not to consider him the address for hashkafic issues.

  108. S wrote:

    “The idea that only someone who knows kol hatorah kula is entitled to say anything about Judaism is novel”

    See RYBS’s Halachic Man and the CI’s Emunah UBitachon which clearly state that knowledge of the Jewish view on any halachic issue is a prerequisite for anyone to offer his view on anything related to Judaism.

  109. HAGTBG wrote in response:

    “Name one such Morah DAsrah who is considered in the same league as RHS, who issued a Psak, who works on Kashrut, and is entitled to have his Psak considered in the same breadth.

    Why is that relevant? Is it your position that every posek in MO must defer to RHS”

    On any area of Halacha where a rav does not have expertise, he must have a rebbe who he turns to or consults with before rendering or voicing a POV. In MO in the US-who else would you maintain that fits that description?

  110. “See RYBS’s Halachic Man and the CI’s Emunah UBitachon which clearly state that knowledge of the Jewish view on any halachic issue is a prerequisite for anyone to offer his view on anything related to Judaism.”

    If you had read what I wrote, I suggested that this may not be a halachic issue requiring a posek.

  111. “I think that borders on the intellectually dishonest for members of the same community who seek RHS’s halachic expertise on eruvin not to consider him the address for hashkafic issues.”

    Because the rabbis in my Teaneck community decide to ask RHS questions about eruv, I’m obligated to ask him questions about issues dealing with women?!? Why in heavens name should I have to do that? I don’t consider him my rebbe/posek whatever, I’ve never asked him a question in my life (except when I was in his shiur almost 43 years ago, but the statute of limitations has run on that), and, quite frankly, I disagree with his general views about feminism which influence his conclusions. He’s entitled of course to do that, but is the whole O world obligated to listen to him? That’s a rhetorical question and my answer to it is a resounding “no.” You want to follow him, be my guest, but don’t tell me who I have to listen to. I’m not picking and choosing here; I’ve never chosen him. We’re not a dictatorship — yet [sigh].

  112. “First of all, not every issue can be analogized to brushing your teeth”

    I know. I agree. WTG arguably can. Arguably they cannot. But arguably they can. And if this is one’s position then why would one ask a posek?

  113. Joseph Kaplan wrote in part:

    “Because the rabbis in my Teaneck community decide to ask RHS questions about eruv, I’m obligated to ask him questions about issues dealing with women?!? Why in heavens name should I have to do that? I don’t consider him my rebbe/posek whatever, I’ve never asked him a question in my life (except when I was in his shiur almost 43 years ago, but the statute of limitations has run on that), and, quite frankly, I disagree with his general views about feminism which influence his conclusions.”

    What if RHS was asked by the rabbanim in Teaneck about WTGS and furnished the same response that he gave in his teshuvah? Obviously your POV re feminism and its outer limits dictate what you view as acceptable practices and who you would even ask such an inquiry. WADR, don’t begin to blame great Talmidei Chachamim for seeing feminism as a threat to Torah merely because you have a different perspective that is rooted in accepting feminist based changes-even in the absence of any halachic mandate for the same. That is very similar to kula shopping which the Talmud in RH sharply condemns.

  114. S wrote:

    “I know. I agree. WTG arguably can. Arguably they cannot. But arguably they can. And if this is one’s position then why would one ask a posek?”

    WADR, one can see sefarim on Halacha and Minhag which were written by Gdolei Acharonim-were they preoccupied with issues which you characterize as the equivalent of brushing one’s teeth?

    Ruvie-RHS has long been on record that if the eruv on the UWS had a Tikun on the fourth wall, he would carry there himself. Take a guess-who is the rav hamachsir of the eruv that extends from the YU campus for a number of blocks in Washington Heights?

  115. “WADR, one can see sefarim on Halacha and Minhag which were written by Gdolei Acharonim-were they preoccupied with issues which you characterize as the equivalent of brushing one’s teeth?”

    ?

    All I’m saying is that poskim do not need to be consulted for everything under the sun, not even for everything happening in the Jewish world. Reasonable people can disagree if WTG is one such issue or not. Furthermore, no specific posek must be consulted about any one thing. This doesn’t change even if a posek is of the view that such and such is an issue which requires consulting with a posek, and that the posek should be him.

  116. On any area of Halacha where a rav does not have expertise, he must have a rebbe who he turns to or consults with before rendering or voicing a POV. In MO in the US-who else would you maintain that fits that description?

    And who does RHS consult? And what if a Rav feels he is qualified to render a psak but it just so happens that he disagrees with RHS?

    You’ve created this whole system in your head. RHS is the rebbe to many rabbeim. Not all. And if he is their rebbe, that doesn’t make RHS the rebbe of their congregants.

  117. What if RHS was asked by the rabbanim in Teaneck about WTGS and furnished the same response that he gave in his teshuvah?

    What if a beit din said A, and RHS said negative-A? I know of at least one instance where RHS has disagreed with multiple batei din on a matter as is his right. That doesn’t mean they must bow to his view. Indeed, they may well be prohibited from doing so.

  118. “What if RHS was asked by the rabbanim in Teaneck about WTGS and furnished the same response that he gave in his teshuvah?” Well, guess what, he wasn’t. And he certainly wasn’t, and my guess is never will be, asked by the rabbi of my shul. So your hypothetical question is merely that. If it happens, I’ll worry about it then. But my guess is the moshiach will come first.

    “WADR, don’t begin to blame great Talmidei Chachamim for seeing feminism as a threat to Torah merely because you have a different perspective that is rooted in accepting feminist based changes-even in the absence of any halachic mandate for the same. That is very similar to kula shopping which the Talmud in RH sharply condemns.”

    Once again you put words in my mouth that I never said and I really wish you’d stop it. I haven’t in this thread blamed great TC for anything. All I said is that the Teaneck community is not bound by who you think is the great MO TC. He thinks feminism is a threat? He’s certainly entitled to that opinion. And I, and others, are entitled to ours. As for kulah shopping, once again I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  119. “On any area of Halacha where a rav does not have expertise, he must have a rebbe who he turns to or consults with before rendering or voicing a POV”

    But it is sufficient if the Rav knows what the accepted halacha is in America on an issue.

  120. “Steve Brizel on September 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm
    Mycroft-who says that you need a functioning Sanhedrin to underscore the importance of adhering to Halachic hierarchy?”

    A community has a right to appoint a Rav-and if selected by the community as in RCOG the community would have to follow him absent that as in the CI who was not appointed one need not follow him. It is not a matter of being a talmid chacham it is a matter of power given by the community.
    There is no formal halachic hierchy-the reason why the SA is accepted is not that R Caro or R Issereles were great talmeidei chachamim which of course they were-but it issimply that people accepted them-thus Yeminite Jewry which did not accept the Sa has noo bligation to accept the SA. We simply do not have halachic power coming downward except for Sanh3edrin which of course is the ideal system but absentthat we don’t have it wo ocnsent of the governed.

  121. Joseph Kapklan wrote :

    “Once again you put words in my mouth that I never said and I really wish you’d stop it. I haven’t in this thread blamed great TC for anything. All I said is that the Teaneck community is not bound by who you think is the great MO TC. He thinks feminism is a threat? He’s certainly entitled to that opinion. And I, and others, are entitled to ours. As for kulah shopping, once again I have no idea what you’re talking about”

    Since when are yours or any other comments here sacrosanct or Kodshei Kodshim to the pouint where they can’t be critiqued by someone who not coincidentaly doesn’t share your views? Since when is freedom of speech freedom from criticism here or anywhere else merely because you disagree with the message?

    That being said, please define who you mean by the “Teaneck community-thiose who share your views as opposed to most of the rabbanim who you noted don’t on the issue of WTGS? If you think that your POV is worth as much on an issue of hashkafa as a great Talmid Chacham, that illustrates once again one of the issues within certain elements of MO-that Baalei Batim think that their views on Halacha and Hashkafa have value when compared to that of a Talmid Chacham. When a sector of MO views RHS as their Posek on some issues but studiously claims that it has the right to ignore his Psak on another issue despite the clear and present danger that it causes to both Halacha and Mesorah, that is kulah shopping writ large.

  122. Mycroft-see the Hakdamah of the Rambam to the MT-all of us are obligated to accept the Psak Halacha of the Chachmei HaDor. The absence of a formal Sanhedrin is WADR irrelevant. Ask yourself a simple question-up and down-yes or no-without any Pilpulim-even in the absence of a Sanhedrin today-can any Torah observant Jew blow Shofar on RH that comes out on Shabbos?

  123. Steve’s position appears to be that since I would trust RHS’s kashrut, eat at his home and trust that the OU is a responsible agency for relying on his psak for them, therefore I am obligated to follow RHS in all areas.

    Sorry Steve, just because I believe that RHS is a bona fide Talmud Chachum, brilliant, honest and believes in what he does, doesn’t mean he’s the Sanhredrin or that I have to agree with him on every point. It’s not a small distinction you are missing.

  124. Just a note that the JPS which has existed for more than 120 acted as a legitimate publishers-they were not copublishers-they even paid royalties to their authors, Of course, givne the number of book sales that Jewish scholary books sell-no one got rich writing for them.
    Sadly much of Jewish writing today is vanity press-you pay someone they’ll print anyones autobiography. The JPS had standards.

  125. “can any Torah observant Jew blow Shofar on RH that comes out on Shabbos?”
    No because klal Israel has accepted that one does not blow Shofar on Shabbos-end of story.

  126. “-all of us are obligated to accept the Psak Halacha of the Chachmei HaDor. ”

    To the extent there is consensus that the community accepts I agree.
    The reason that we accept the Bavli or SA is that Klal Israel accepted it as binding.

  127. lawrence kaplan

    Steve Brizel: Where does the Rav in HM clearly state that knowledge of the Jewish view on any halakhic issue is a prerequisite for anyone to offer his view on anything related to Judaism?

    My understanding of the evolution of R. Frimer’s position, as he clarified it in response to my brother’s query, is that he regretted originally and continues to regret that the Roshei Yeshiva presented what were essentially public policy considerations against WTGs in halakhic garb. In this respect he sides with the Rav, who always framed his objections to WTGs as a matter of public policy, The difference is that in terms of public policy R. Frimer was originally more sympathetic to WTGs and now he is less sympathetic. Nuances, Steve, nuances.

  128. lawrence kaplan

    Steve: Where in the world does the Rambam in the Hakdamah to the MT say that we have to accept the pesak of Hakhmei ha-Dor? He says we have to accept the Bavli. You may be confusing the Rambam with the Hinukh.

  129. “When a sector of MO views RHS as their Posek on some issues but studiously claims that it has the right to ignore his Psak on another issue despite the clear and present danger that it causes to both Halacha and Mesorah, that is kulah shopping writ large.”

    I don’t see the logic clearly you don’t believe that a talmid of the Rav even a great talmid of the Rav must accept the Ravs viewpoints on issues such as Eretz Israel hashleima etc

    “When a sector of Orthodoxy views the Rav as their guide on some issues but studiously claims that it has the right to ignore his viewpoints on another issues despite the clear and present danger that it causes according to the Rav to both Yiddishkeit and Klal Israel, that is shopping for what one wants not what ones Rebbe desired.”
    Of course Steve you realize that sentence could apply to some leading RY at YU-one simply doesn’t have to accept all or nothing of anyone nobody does-the Rav was different that R Chaim etc.

  130. “Since when are yours or any other comments here sacrosanct or Kodshei Kodshim to the pouint where they can’t be critiqued by someone who not coincidentaly doesn’t share your views?”

    Steve, you’re simply impossible. Critique what I say all you want. But don’t critique what I haven’t said and falsely claim that I did say it. There’s a difference between a critique and a false statement. Sorry you son’t seem to understand.

    As for the definition you want it’s very simple: a group of Orthodox men and women who either participate or support participation in WTGs. There are rabbis who personally (as opposed to the institutions with which they are affiliated) who support such participation. Many of these individuals have spoken to rabbis they respect about halachic issues when they arise. As far as I know, no one who is affiliated with the Teaneck WTG considers her/himself a student of RHS or asks him halachic questions. No reason to start now. As far as I know, no one in Teaneck elected him the town’s posek.

  131. When a sector of MO views RHS as their Posek on some issues but studiously claims that it has the right to ignore his Psak on another issue
    ================================
    like wearing tcheilet?
    KT

  132. “RHS is the rebbe to many rabbeim. Not all. And if he is their rebbe, that doesn’t make RHS the rebbe of their congregants”
    Agreed -BTW that statement is true about everyone who has ever been in America ncluding the Rav, RAK, RMF etc.

  133. joel rich on September 14, 2011 at 5:17 am
    When a sector of MO views RHS as their Posek on some issues but studiously claims that it has the right to ignore his Psak on another issue
    ================================
    like wearing tcheilet?
    KT

    Excellent or his view of accessing computers in Israel from US when it is Shabbos in Israel-see eg various links accessible by Ortho blogs on Friday.

  134. Shalom Rosenfeld

    IIRC the point RHS makes in b’ikvei hatzon is his public-policy concern about where WTG are taking Orthodoxy as a whole. A town’s eruv and mikva affect people at the city level; paradigm shifts are broader than that.

    R’ Joel — what strings I wear doesn’t affect my neighbor — okay other than general concept of arvus.

    To some, WTG is about what these fifteen women want to do behind closed doors, it’s a local matter. To RHS, it’s much, much bigger than that; hence the need for discussion with national-level poskim about it.

    There was an article a while ago about WTG:TNG — looking at the daughters of the women who were doing WTG thirty+ years ago: many go to normal minyanim; a few still do WTG; and many have moved onward to Partnership minyanim.

  135. r’sr,
    my comment was not related to wtg but to the halachic conncept of being kafuf to someone’s opinion.
    KT

  136. Will the NY Assembly’s passage of same sex marriage earlier this year mean that the speaker will face similar headwinds from certain segments of orthodoxy’s leaders? If not, why not?
    KT

  137. Abba's Rantings

    “Revenge Of The Jews; Dem Seat Turns In NYC”

    i’m amazed by all the brainless brooklynites who turned this election into a crusade. people who knew nothing about either candidate (or worse yet acknowledged weiprin but new nothing about turner) voted for turner because of an issue that really doesn’t effect them.

    nu, some people are really against gays. i understand that. but how come i’ve recieved dozens of automated phone calls and flyers from jewish organizations regarding an issue that doesn’t affect us, yet silence (and worse yet, actively denying and hiding) when it comes to sexual deviancy of a much more insiduous nature that does affect us?

  138. Abba's Rantings

    the next time the legislature considers bills to require fingerprinting of private school teachers or mandatory reporting in private schools, i hope to see a similar level of jewish activity in the effort to eradicate to’eivos from our midst.

  139. Gay marriage was a side show. Most votes were cast based on Israel and the economy.

  140. The National Organization for Marriage(NOM) is an anti-gay marriage political group run jointly by the Church of Latter Day Saints(Mormons) and the Roman Catholic Church.
    This is what NOM says about its part in yesterday’s election in the NY 9th CD..

    The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) invested $75k in mailers in NY-9 late last week; Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein recorded robocalls yesterday on NOM’s behalf; and NOM has been quoted in various publications regarding their strong influence in this race….

    The Mormons baptize Jews after their deaths. In this case some will-knoen rabbis seem to have agreed to be baptized before they reached a hundred and twenty.

  141. Abba's Rantings

    GIL:

    “Gay marriage was a side show.”

    not in my experience. this is all people spoke about. and it was clear from the phone calls, etc. this was an election about family values

    “Most votes were cast based on Israel and the economy.”

    because turner will be more pro-israel (or better for parochial jewish needs in america) than weiprin? because he has better proposals for stimulating the economy?
    (and if you mean that this was a vote against obama, then imho it was foolish even though i don’t like obama myself)

  142. Abba's Rantings

    have presidents ever exhibited a volte face in foreign policy (specifically wrt israel) following this type of mid term election message? (i have no idea, but curious)
    any indication that obama will do so?

  143. That was my experience, and it also seems to be the message of the VIN video.

    Votes for Turner were rejections of Obama’s direction. You can call it foolish but the message was heard around the country that Jews are voting out Democrats because of Obama’s policies.

  144. have presidents ever exhibited a volte face in foreign policy (specifically wrt israel) following this type of mid term election message?

    When you restrict it to Israel, you are asking for an overly detailed example. In general, yes, presidents have made major changes in their agendas based on the results of midterm elections. Just look at Clinton. This is also a kick-in-the-rear to implement more seriously policies he has adopted half-heartedly.

  145. Abba's Rantings

    GIL:

    what is turner’s legislative record on israel? what is his record on servicing the needs of the local jewish community? do you really think it was wise to toss weiprin, a known friendly quantity, to send a “message” to the dems?

    (and btw, the message obama’s advisors are probably getting isn’t that jews are voting out dems because of obama’s policies, but that frum jews in brooklyn are voting out one dem, maybe because of obama’s policies, and maybe because of some local sideshow gay rights issue)

  146. When someone has no record, you can only judge him on what he says. This is a classic anti-incumbent party vote. I’m not sure why you find this so strange.

    Frum Jews in the district represent about 1/3 of the Jews and 1/9 of the total population. Obama’s advisors hopefully realize that.

  147. Abba's Rantings

    GIL:

    “When you restrict it to Israel, you are asking for an overly detailed example”

    so?
    if people are arguing that we can send a message to obama vis-a-vis israel by electing one republican, then it’s reasonable for me ask on what are they basing this assumption.
    do you think obama is really feeling threatened because a few frum conservative jews in one district who would tend not to vote for him to begin with have elected a republican in a local election?

  148. do you think obama is really feeling threatened because a few frum conservative jews in one district who would tend not to vote for him to begin with have elected a republican in a local election

    The district voted for Obama and for a Democratic congressman for the past 80 years! It clearly isn’t only frum Jews.

    And, yes, if Obama’s policies lost one congressional seat then he is definitely feeling pressure.

  149. Abba's Rantings

    GIL:

    “When someone has no record, you can only judge him on what he says.”

    and when someone does have a record then you can judge him on that record.
    so you are saying that what someone promises to do (which is what again?) carries more weight than what someone has a proven track record of doing?

    “This is a classic anti-incumbent party vote. I’m not sure why you find this so strange.”

    i understand the concept of the “classic anti-incumbent party vote” (although i’m not convinced that’s what’s at play here). i just question whether it made sense for the jewish community in this case. do you think so?

    “Frum Jews in the district represent about 1/3 of the Jews and 1/9 of the total population. Obama’s advisors hopefully realize that”

    i’m sure they realize that. but they probably also realize that most (?) of those frum jews didn’t vote for to begin with and wouldn’t do so next time even if he were annointed mashiach.

  150. i’m sure they realize that. but they probably also realize that most (?) of those frum jews didn’t vote for to begin with and wouldn’t do so next time even if he were annointed mashiach.

    If they do realize that then the fact Weprin lost is even more effective. This is a Democratic district that voted for Obama *despite* the frum vote and yet elected a Republican to Congress.

  151. Abba's Rantings

    “The district voted for Obama”

    come on, how many of your neighbors voted for obama?

    “It clearly isn’t only frum Jews.”

    if true, then how does this send a message to obama about israel?
    (and then why are the headlines about this being a ***jewish*** story?)

    i would be curious to see some type of intra-district stats to see how jews have voted compared to the rest of the population (are these types of stats available? is the district broken down by neighborhood or block?)

  152. Abba's Rantings

    GIL:

    “If they do realize that then the fact Weprin lost is even more effective. This is a Democratic district that voted for Obama *despite* the frum vote and yet elected a Republican to Congress.”

    so then how is this is message to him about israel?

  153. Abba's Rantings

    GIL:

    “Read this”

    ok
    (but who these days has the attention span for anything longer than a blog post? 😉

  154. To add to the dicussion, there was a poll a day or two ago indicating that only 7% of those polled in the district (I forget if it was probable voters or not) had Israel as their top priority.

  155. And there was another poll showing among the 37% of voters who said Israel was very important to them, 71% voted for Turner.

    On JTA: Did Israel, sex or the economy make the difference in GOP congressional win in NY? http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/09/14/3089385/republicans-claim-weiners-seat-and-a-victory-in-battle-for-jewish-vote

  156. Abba's Rantings

    GIL:

    ok, it wasn’t a full article. anyway,

    “If true, there’s the really bad news for Obama and the Obama-ites”

    if true.

    i’d be curious to see some time of demographic breakdown for the election.

  157. Interesting. I guess, as the old expression says, al polls va’raiach ein l’hitvakeach, although it might be possible to shtim the two.

  158. Making aliyah for a job.. makes sense.

    All Jews accepting the Shulchan aruch… Except for those ashkenazim who re-wrote it, and the numerous laws we don’t follow today.

  159. avi: Which of the Rambam’s 613 mitzvos is making aliyah? It isn’t only Ashkenazim!

  160. Frum Jews may not be a majority of the district, but they are a very sizable percentage of the voters who turn out to vote. It also seems that Jews were largely responsible for the shift in voting that enabled a Republican to win the district for the first time. Subtract the gay issue and the Israel issue, and the district would likely have gone to Weprin.

    Obama knows that losing the Jewish vote in Brooklyn will not affect his odds much at all. If anything, it will make him focus more on Florida, but his reelection campaign probably doesn’t expect to win Florida anyway. If Obama loses all of the “swing” states he won in 2008 but holds on to every state that “safely” went for him in 2008, his reelection odds remain fairly high. His overall lagging numbers surely concern him, but there is no indication that he would focus on Jewish interest issues any differently because of this election.

  161. We never saw such a late and heavy turnout for a special election as we voted when the polls closed. As the late Tip O’Neill observed, all politics are indeed rooted in local issues.

    It was indeed sad when we saw Mrs. Weprin and her daughters asking for votes for her soon to be defeated husband, as we approached the polling place. OTOH,the Kol Korehs urging us to vote for the alternative-someone who produced a show on TV that was Pritzus in the worst sense ( Jerry Springer) struck me IMO as focusing on the wrong issue. The issue was not Mr. Weprin’s vote on gay marriage, but rather a simple up and down, yes or no,expression of one’s confidence, or lack thereof, in the current administration in Washington which could not even acknowledge Israel’s fight and casualties sustained in the war against terror, and its inability to right our economic situation.

    Simply stated-I wondered what was worse-enabling gay marriage or producing a morally offensive TV show. I leave that Chakirah to greater minds to ponder. Even though I voted against Weprin, I thought that some of the advertisements, especially in the Charedi media,were simply over the top simply because the victor was hardly a paragon of moral values and resided in a gated community that is not known for being overly hospitable to its Jewish neighbors. In any event, since the current district is being reapportioned next year, all bets are off as to who will be representing my former district in 2013.

  162. Larry Kaplan-I will provide the reference to the Hakdamah to the MT tonight.

  163. Larry Kaplan wrote:

    “My understanding of the evolution of R. Frimer’s position, as he clarified it in response to my brother’s query, is that he regretted originally and continues to regret that the Roshei Yeshiva presented what were essentially public policy considerations against WTGs in halakhic garb. In this respect he sides with the Rav, who always framed his objections to WTGs as a matter of public policy, The difference is that in terms of public policy R. Frimer was originally more sympathetic to WTGs and now he is less sympathetic. Nuances, Steve, nuances”

    WADR, I think that you are understating R Frimer’s evolution and current POV,as expressed in his more current and latest articles and blog posts, in which he views feminist rooted concerns as causing many LW MO who support WTGS, to view Halacha as an obstacle to at best be overcome, no matter what, or worse, to simply be disregarded.

  164. Mycroft wrote:

    “can any Torah observant Jew blow Shofar on RH that comes out on Shabbos?”
    No because klal Israel has accepted that one does not blow Shofar on Shabbos-end of story”

    WADR, I don’t think that your comment represents either Pshat in the relevant Sugya or the view of most Rishonim.

  165. Mycroft wrote:

    “There is no formal halachic hierchy-the reason why the SA is accepted is not that R Caro or R Issereles were great talmeidei chachamim which of course they were-but it issimply that people accepted them”

    Why did people accept the Mchaber and the Rema-because they were first and foremost great Talmidie Chachamim. The Mchaber based his rulings in SA based on the rulings of Rif, Rambam and Rosh and the Rema added Ashkenazic based Psak without doing violence to the basic structure and concept of the SA.

  166. Larry Kaplan asked :

    “Steve Brizel: Where does the Rav in HM clearly state that knowledge of the Jewish view on any halakhic issue is a prerequisite for anyone to offer his view on anything related to Judaism”

    See where RYBS champions the knowledge of TSBP and Halacha, as opposed to either being a great Baal Musar, in the same way that the CI does in Emunah UBitachon.

  167. Mycroft wrote:

    “A community has a right to appoint a Rav-and if selected by the community as in RCOG the community would have to follow him absent that as in the CI who was not appointed one need not follow him. It is not a matter of being a talmid chacham it is a matter of power given by the community”

    How do you explain the influence in Psak of so many Talmidei Chachamim who were not community appointed, but were recognized as such because of their Gadlus BaTorah such as RMF, the CI , RSZA, etc?

  168. Steve,
    Whatever Prof. Frimer’s current halachic position, he remains far more sympathetic to feminists concerns than you are. Its not always about bottom line halachic positions. R. Amital was also against WTGs, apparently on halachic grounds, but his approach to the position ways radically different from the one that you have recieved from your teachers.

  169. “How do you explain the influence in Psak of so many Talmidei Chachamim who were not community appointed, but were recognized as such because of their Gadlus BaTorah such as RMF, the CI , RSZA, etc?”

    No one is saying that freelance talmidei chachomim are unimportant. But there is no such thing as a “רשכבה”ג” for real.

  170. Larry Kaplan-see the following in the Hakdamah of the Rambam to the MT in Page three of the Frankel edition in the left hand column from the last word in the first column to about 1/3 of the way down the page;

    ” Gam Yisbaer mehem devarim shegazru Chachamim uNeviim sbehcol dor vador laasos siyag LaTorah…Vchen Yisbaer Mahem HaMinhagos vHaMinhagos VHaTakanos sheiskenu or nahagu bchol Dor vador lpi sheasur lasur mehem Sheneemar Lo Sasaur Mickol davar asher Ygidu Lcha Yamin Usmol.”

    Please esplain your understanding of the above passage.

  171. S wrote:

    “No one is saying that freelance talmidei chachomim are unimportant. But there is no such thing as a “רשכבה”ג” for real’

    No-but there are Talmidei Chachamim who are seen as the address for Halachic inquiries regardless of whether they are communal appointees or “freelance” precisely because of their breadth and depth of Torah knowledge.

  172. Moshe Shoshan wrote:

    “Whatever Prof. Frimer’s current halachic position, he remains far more sympathetic to feminists concerns than you are”

    IMo, that statement is true in theory, but not LMaaseh. As far as R Amital ZL is concerned, he is well known for viewing Halacha as only one of many factors, which is an approach that we haven’t seen in the US articulated by any major Posek.

  173. Moshe Shoshan wrote:

    “Whatever Prof. Frimer’s current halachic position, he remains far more sympathetic to feminists concerns than you are”

    WADR, sympathy is not the issue, but rather explaining how R Frimer has evolved from a theoretical support of WETGs or explaining why RYBS’s POv differed from RHS to now viewing feminism as the intellectual force that views halacha as a pretzel that can be bent or ignored whenever the same is inconvenient to the desires and demands of feminists.

    WADR, dismissing that issue with “whatever” does not offer a principled explanation. In contrast, R Frimer’s own words, botyh here and elsewhere, are evidence of his disillusionment with “halachic feminists”, and its advocates, spokesmen, whether rabbinic, academic or lay in nature.

  174. “No-but there are Talmidei Chachamim who are seen as the address for Halachic inquiries regardless of whether they are communal appointees or “freelance” precisely because of their breadth and depth of Torah knowledge.”

    Sure, but often it’s a nice thing to hear horaah from a famous gaon, but not an absolute need. For example, take the yarmulke at work teshuva. It is clear that there was no she’elah to ask in the first place, but so long as someone did it’s wonderful to know Rav Moshe’s take on it. But really all someone needed to do was know the discussion himself, or failing that ask a regular rabbi. Not everything is a Federal case.

  175. “Why did people accept the Mchaber and the Rema-because they were first and foremost great Talmidie Chachamim. ”

    Not necessarily why people accepted the Mchaber and Rama-certainly they were great Talmeidie Chachamim-a work was written which reflected what people in general were doing-do people today follow the Esras Torah luach because Rav Henkin was the greatest Talmid Chacham-it is possible that Jerusalem has accepted minhag hagra because circa 1840 the Gras students put out the first local widely printed luach with minhaggim in Jerusalem. Do people follow Art Scroll halacha orRav Eiders works because of lamdus-people accept different works and thats it.
    Those works are accepted and now thats end of story. Same reason for not having women lead Kabbalas Shabbos is not lomdus but they haven’t done so-thus end of story.

    “The Mchaber based his rulings in SA based on the rulings of Rif, Rambam and Rosh and the Rema added Ashkenazic based Psak without doing violence to the basic structure and concept of the SA.”
    In general true but still acceptance is what counts.

  176. “How do you explain the influence in Psak of so many Talmidei Chachamim who were not community appointed, but were recognized as such because of their Gadlus BaTorah such as RMF, the CI , RSZA, etc?”
    They have influence and it may well be worthwhile following them but one is NOT required to follow them. They are followed because of persuasive authority not because of position. In persuasive authority one need not follow a position unless one asked a sheila or the position has become generally accepted.

  177. Steve Brizel on September 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm
    Mycroft wrote:

    ““can any Torah observant Jew blow Shofar on RH that comes out on Shabbos?”
    No because klal Israel has accepted that one does not blow Shofar on Shabbos-end of story”

    WADR, I don’t think that your comment represents either Pshat in the relevant Sugya or the view of most Rishonim”
    Even a gezerah that was not accepted is not a gezerah-things change-I suspect most of uswill do business Dec 24. “shlosha yamim lifnei eidehem..”

  178. “joel rich on September 14, 2011 at 8:47 am
    Will the NY Assembly’s passage of same sex marriage earlier this year mean that the speaker will face similar headwinds from certain segments of orthodoxy’s leaders? If not, why not?
    KT”

    No because Sheldon Silver controls money and has a good chance to keep on controlling it-It was very unlikely that either candidate due to redistricting would be in the house after Jan 3,2013 anyway so this was sort of a free pass. This Congress will not really have too much new gravy to give out.

  179. “” Gam Yisbaer mehem devarim shegazru Chachamim uNeviim sbehcol dor vador laasos siyag LaTorah…Vchen Yisbaer Mahem HaMinhagos vHaMinhagos VHaTakanos sheiskenu or nahagu bchol Dor vador lpi sheasur lasur mehem Sheneemar Lo Sasaur Mickol davar asher Ygidu Lcha Yamin Usmol.”

    Please esplain your understanding of the above passage.”

    Lol

  180. lawrence kaplan

    Steve Brizel: Do you really think I am not aware of this passage in the Hakdamah?! I cannot tell you how many times I taught the Hakdamah in courses at McGill. But I obviously have to explain the passage to YOU, since you, I am constrained to say, do not understand it in the slightest. For God’s sake, have you ever heard of context? Gam yitbaer meihem refers to, if you look at the previous paragraph, the two Talmuds and the Mishneh, Tosefta, and midreshei halakhah. The Rambam in the passage you cited is referring to Hakhmei ha-Mesorah up until Rav Ashi. He then continues at great length to differentiate between the authority these Hakhmei ha-Mesorah and that of post-Talmudic authorities. All this is really alef bet. Both my brother and I have crossed swords with you many times, but I am genuinely surprised you do not know this.

  181. I’m putting $1k down that he doesn’t back down.

  182. Dear Larry (Kaplan) and Steve (Brizel),
    I am truly honored that you are fighting over what I believe and how I have evolved. I believe that Joseph Kaplan got it right when he wrote that my “views are thoughtful, highly nuanced and
    carefully expressed.” I have very strong feminist sensitivities – but I try my darndest to be intellectually honest and faithful to Halakha. Walking through the drops is very hard – nobody is happy with you… Like everyone else, I luv to be luved (:-)! But as Hazal have warned, one has to be careful that “haAhava” should not be “mekalkel et ha-shura.”

    Steve is right that over the past 4 decades that I have been an Halakhic feminist, I have become very disillusioned with the Orthodox feminist leadership (as I am sure they are with me). In fact, I’ve NEVER been invited to speak at JOFA or Kolech, although they are fully aware of my sensitivities, publication list and speaking abilities. They are goal oriented and hence in many cases are not really concerned with the halakhic truth.

    But I do believe that the vast majority of the rank and file are leShem Shamayyim. Besides, if giving women nahat Ruach is a rabbinic obligation, then I have to keep on trying to see what I can do within the halakhic bounds to meet that challenge. But as a Torah Jew, I also have an obligation to forcefully speak against what I see to be improper innovations. At the same time I have to speak forcefully against those who are insensitive to nahat Ruach. Life just ain’t simple… But it ain’t boring either…

  183. ” As far as R Amital ZL is concerned, he is well known for viewing Halacha as only one of many factors, which is an approach that we haven’t seen in the US articulated by any major Posek.”

    I dont think that R. Amital would have liked this characterization of his approach. As R. Yaakov of Paris a”h would have said “there is nothing outside the (halakhic) text”

  184. Dr. Frimer,

    Whatever your sensitivities may be, has it ever occurred to you that what you right in the name of halakhic truth and intellectual honesty, whether for or against a particular practice, approach, or critique, comes across us unrelentingly condescending- and perhaps it is for this reason that nether JOFA or Kolech has invited you. I’ve seen RD Sperber’s face cringe at some things said in his presence at JOFA events, but he never responds with condescension.

    I understand that you dismiss any external critiques of halakhic practice as irrelevant or even (though you generally use softer language) heretical, and you must hang nearly every “leniency” you support on the peg of nahat ruah, but that just reinforces the notion that in your conception of the halakhic universe women are almost always the objects upon whom halakha acts or reacts to, and never the subjects who have a direct role in shaping it. Your cri de coeur of intellectual honesty cuts both ways and is not self evidently a justification for absolute halakhic internalism as mush as a tautological defense of it.

  185. R. Frimer,
    Can you articulate what your halachic feminism consists in at the current time. That is, given the evolution of your views, why do you (now) call yourself a halachic feminist?

  186. Shachar Ha'amim

    “Dear Larry (Kaplan) and Steve (Brizel),
    I am truly honored that you are fighting over what I believe and how I have evolved. I believe that Joseph Kaplan got it right when he wrote that my “views are thoughtful, highly nuanced and
    carefully expressed.” I have very strong feminist sensitivities – but I try my darndest to be intellectually honest and faithful to Halakha. Walking through the drops is very hard – nobody is happy with you… Like everyone else, I luv to be luved (:-)! But as Hazal have warned, one has to be careful that “haAhava” should not be “mekalkel et ha-shura.”

    Steve is right that over the past 4 decades that I have been an Halakhic feminist, I have become very disillusioned with the Orthodox feminist leadership (as I am sure they are with me). In fact, I’ve NEVER been invited to speak at JOFA or Kolech, although they are fully aware of my sensitivities, publication list and speaking abilities. They are goal oriented and hence in many cases are not really concerned with the halakhic truth. ”

    Dr. Frimer – since we’re in the mood of quoting Chaza”l, how much of this would fall under “aizehu chacham? haroeh et hanolad.”
    You can’t be intellectually honset and say that there weren’t people and talmidei chachamim (even in the modern orthodox camp and even 4 decades ago) who warned of the slippery slope.

  187. lawrence kaplan

    Jon_brooklyn: Alas. I would not take you up on your bet. But one can always dream.

  188. Abba's Rantings

    “When the society was founded in 1888, Jewish books weren’t published in America, so JPS filled a considerable void.”

    as i mentioned on a previous thread, this is patently false. jps may have been unique at the time wrt its mission, but it certainly wasn’t the only jewish publisher.

    anyway, big deal re. its demise. indeed historically it served an important role, but today it is irrelevant to american jewish life. aside from its bible translation and commentaries what new titles of note has it published recently?

  189. Shachar Ha'amim

    “Skeptic on September 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    “A clarification of a religious dilemma -by Rabbi Hyim Shafner”
    http://morethodoxy.org/2011/09/12/a-clarification-of-a-religious-dilemma-by-rabbi-hyim-shafner/

    In a comment to his original post, in reply to me, he indicated that “I do not think these (forbidden sexual relationship questions) are moral questions, solely halachic ones. See my previous post here on the subject based on the Rambam: http://morethodoxy.org/2009/07/03/is-the-torah-moral-parshat-chukat-and-taamey-hamitzvot-reasons-for-the-commandments-and-an-answer-to-rick-by-rabbi-hyim-shafner/#more-148

    I have no problems with this statement as there are certainly postivist streams in Jewish Law and Jewish Thought amongst Orthodox rabbis and thinkers (e.g. Chazon Ish, Prof. Yeshayahu Leibovitz and others). But it should be ackowledged that this is a view on the extreme.

  190. MDJ wrote:
    R. Frimer,
    Can you articulate what your halachic feminism consists in at the current time. That is, given the evolution of your views, why do you (now) call yourself a halachic feminist?

    Kindly read:
    “Indeed! Keep the Conversation on Orthodox Feminism Honest!” Aryeh A. Frimer, Hirhurim – Torah Musings (Aug. 21, 2011), online at https://www.torahmusings.com/2011/08/keep-the-conversation-honest/.

  191. Abba's Rantings

    re. musical instruments for kabbalat shabbat:

    “Synagogues should properly cater not only to unobservant Jews who will hopefully become ba’alei teshuvah in the future but also to those who do not wish to tangle with the time-honored mesorah.”

    this is a point worthy of discussion. but imho the rest of the article is wanting. why does he begin with the AH and MB, or at least why doesn’t he define this for contemporary psak and then work backwards? doing so would have produced a more nuanced article with indications that there are textual and historical precedents for musical instruments at kabbalat shabbat (and even on shabbat/chag itself?). obviously these earlier sources and practices did not become mainstream in the long run and the broad consensus has been not to permit the practice. but r. cohen should not have concluded “it would never become halachically accepted”

  192. Shachar haAmim wrote:
    Dr. Frimer – since we’re in the mood of quoting Chaza”l, how much of this would fall under “aizehu chacham? haroeh et hanolad.”
    You can’t be intellectually honest and say that there weren’t people and talmidei chachamim (even in the modern orthodox camp and even 4 decades ago) who warned of the slippery slope.

    I do admit it and I don’t pooh-pooh the problem. But a good deal of the problem stemmed from the fact that the rabbinate attempted to stonewall every development, instead of getting involved, taking the bull by the horns and guiding the process. Now the balabatim don’t even ask the Rabbis but pasken for themselves. It’s not completely clear to me who’s at fault for this halakhic anarchy. My articles demonstrate that I do ask the gedolim and try to get the information out.

  193. MJ
    Nahat Ruah is the motivation. The Kulot I support are all very solidly based on gedolei haPoskim. The validity of the Halakhic process and analysis has nothing to do with gender – it has everything to do with the validity of the argument.
    Since you don’t know me, keep clear of ad hominum arguments and unbased charges.
    By the way, R. Sperber and I are warm colleagues and have been so for 35 years – though I believe his analysis and application of Halakha on many issues to be way off the mark.

  194. Campus Life 201: Trying Out Frum

    “But on a deeper level, it was unsettling to know that as a woman I simply did not count. However warm a community I had found in those shared, carved-out hours of the day, I would not be able to continue praying in it.”

  195. Larry Kaplan wrote:

    “Steve Brizel: Do you really think I am not aware of this passage in the Hakdamah?! I cannot tell you how many times I taught the Hakdamah in courses at McGill. But I obviously have to explain the passage to YOU, since you, I am constrained to say, do not understand it in the slightest. For God’s sake, have you ever heard of context? Gam yitbaer meihem refers to, if you look at the previous paragraph, the two Talmuds and the Mishneh, Tosefta, and midreshei halakhah. The Rambam in the passage you cited is referring to Hakhmei ha-Mesorah up until Rav Ashi. He then continues at great length to differentiate between the authority these Hakhmei ha-Mesorah and that of post-Talmudic authorities. All this is really alef bet. Both my brother and I have crossed swords with you many times, but I am genuinely surprised you do not know this”

    WADR, are you claiming that the above cited portion of the Hakdamah in the context that I quoted does not say that we are obligated pursuant to Lo Sasur to obey enactments that are post Talmudic in nature?

  196. R. Frimer’s current view of “halachic feminism” reminds me of Barbra Streisand’s quip about marriage as recorded in Peter’s Quotations (p. 324): “Why does a woman work ten years to change a man’s habits and then complain that he’s not the man she married?”

  197. R Aryeh Frimer-thank you for your words of clarification.

  198. I’d be interested to hear what some ba’alei teshuva have to say about the Campus Life 201 “frum week” piece.

  199. Richard Kahn-I thought that the Campus Life 201 “frum week” piece was a great article by someone who, despite a very tough atmosphere to the contrary, was willing to see how a Shomer Torah UMitzvos lives, if only for a brief period of time. FWIW, last RH , we hosted the daughter of a R rabbi who had graduated an Ivy League campus, explored her committment to Judaism, attended Midreshet Rachel, and was fully committed to Torah and Mitzvos.

  200. Steve that passage doesn’t even come close to resembling saying that.

  201. Larry Kaplan and Jon-I guess that R Asher Weiss’s reading of that passage of the Hakdamah seemingly suffers from the same conclusion?

  202. The well written “Frum Week” piece illustrates the absurdity of the תינוקות שנשבו concept when applied to modern times (and perhaps as far back as Spinoza’s time).

    Incidentally, while in Israel I met a fascinating Israeli Reform Rabbi — see the 2nd profile in: http://huc.edu/newspubs/pressroom/article.php?pressroomid=1409

  203. “The well written “Frum Week” piece illustrates the absurdity of the תינוקות שנשבו concept when applied to modern times (and perhaps as far back as Spinoza’s time).”

    So you are suggesting what, that we practice moridin v’lo maalin? Somehow I doubt.

  204. IH-I would be interested in seeing where the author of the “frum week” ends up “down the road.” The notion that such a person, despite his or her doubts, may very well become a BT is hardly absurd or fantasy.

  205. Steve – do you really, honestly think I care where that incorrect reading comes from?

  206. “‘Price tag’ – paying for our educational failures” by R. Yosef Blau (who can’t be dismissed as a “BDS Supporting Leftist” :-)):

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=237723

  207. Steve — Indeed. Likewise, an Orthodox musmach may be re-ordained as Reform, such as R. Dagan…

  208. IH-let’s see where R R Dagan winds up down the road.

  209. Jon wrote:

    “Steve – do you really, honestly think I care where that incorrect reading comes from”

    Perhaps, the issue is that you think that there is only one “correct” way of understanding that passage in the Rambam, let alone that other Rishonim ( eg. RaN)clearly disagree with the same, let alone what such a reading does to such halachic concepts of Bshichusaihu Avdinan.

  210. Another issue raised by an overly restrictive reading of the Rambam is that it negates any understanding of Lo Sasur not as giving Torah content to rabbinic level edicts, but denying that the power to create Chiddushim, kulos, chumros, etc is also a Torah based concept rooted in Lo Sasur as well.

  211. IH-I would like to see R Blau provide some support or at least a link that document his concerns re what he asserts is taught in some RZ oriented schools.

  212. IH-I would hardly classify a person who was ordained in a RZ institution and then was “reordained” by a R institution a BT.

  213. Steve do you really want to go down the road of “many interpretations”? Because I have a looooooooot of interesting interpretations of various texts that you won’t like. Why don’t you just come out and admit that you tailor your readings of texts to accommodate a theological agenda, and that you tailor that agenda to accomodate the views of whatever rabbis you happen to be hearing shiurim from?

    Bottom line is, that isn’t what the passage means, that isn’t what the Rambam meant when he wrote it either, and if that means “chiddushim, chumros and kulos” lose their bases, even better!

  214. MiMedinat HaYam

    mycroft — exactly my (belasted) comment on the speaker.

    2. the non pulpit rasbbis names mentioned, are wrre all RY which have a constituency of their own. (though, interrstingly, the particular names mentioned are more of the “frrelance” types, in that their yeshivot are basically one man operations.)

    while on the subject, RHS has attained the status of getting unique “followrs”, akin (not exactly) to a rebbe (or other charedi RY). in the past 10 or so years, young yu students / musmachim gravitate to his every word, follow him around, etc.

  215. Dr. Frimer,

    I did not attack you personally (and ad hominem attack)I pointed out that you come across with a consistently condescending tone toward those who you claim to have great sympathy for (a comment on your rhetoric). Nahat Ruah is the kind of motivation one has for helping those who can’t help themselves because they have no part to play in the halakhic process as you define it. And Kullot are dispensations and leniencies – not exactly the language a self-described feminist would use to describe women’s greater participation in the performance of mitzvot. (Or perhaps I should tell my wife that she’s actually relying on a Kulla to learn and teach Talmud? Perhaps as she grows in ruhniyut she will become more machmir…) Now, all this is condescending enough, but if you honestly haven’t noticed that you have penned critiques dripping with condescension, then you clearly lack the very sensitivities that you regularly ascribe to yourself. If it was all about the arguments then you could have dispensed with many a rhetorical embellishment.

    And honestly, can you say with a straight face that it’s all about the argument and has nothing to do with gender? Halakha is not mathematics or formal logic whose answers are already fixed by the rules one adopts from the outset. No, the halakhic process is driven to a large extent by those who make the arguments. Halakhic truth is not platonic, waiting hidden in the realm of the ideal for someone to simply make us aware of it. It emerges from the clash of ideas, personalities, and competing claims of authority.

    By your own characterization the halakhist listens to women not as equals on the playing field where halakhic arguments are made, but as a group whose interests (nahat ruah) ought to be taken into account. If JOFA and Kolech appear goal oriented it is likely because they realized early on that their arguments were not, and would not be taken seriously. Over and over again the answer, implicitly or explicitly, is sorry ladies, halakha just isn’t your area of expertise and unfortunately it would take much to long to teach you how it works and familiarize you with enough of the relevant material. So just bring us your petitions and we will return with our considered judgment.

    So you have a group who are excluded from arguing for their interests. Instead they are left to explain over and over again what their interests are hoping that a sympathetic (an attitude one has toward the less fortunate) rabbi will listen and give them some Nahat Ruah — and now you wonder why Orthodox Feminists are goal oriented?

    I have read too much of your writings to believe that any of this actually matters to you. Nonetheless I must ask: is halakha so immune from critique that one cannot even question whether not having women represent and argue for their own interest as human beings and as ovdei Hashem; not having a voice of their own, but at best sympathetic proxies, has had no effect on the shape of halakha?

    The answer that Modern Orthodoxy as a whole has given to this question thus far is that it doesn’t matter one way or the other, because we are so committed to the way that gender has already structured halakhic authority, that to imagine that things could be otherwise is to already imagine something that is no longer Orthodoxy (rather goal oriented in that regard). Well, some people, those who in my estimation are halakhic feminists, imagine things differently.

  216. lawrence kaplan

    Steve Brizel: Indeed, I think it is clear as day that for the Rambam post-talmudic decrees have only limited authority and do not have the status of lo tasur. And, for the Rambam, post-Talmudic hiddushim have NO authority at all. As for what Rav Asher Weiss says, please quote him verbatim or link to him, instead of giving us your always misleading paraphrases (like your paraphrase of Halakhic Man). Since you don’t know how to read the Rambam, why should I assume you know how to read Rav Weiss?

    Jon_brooklyn; I’m glad I didn’t take you up on your bet!

  217. “Steve Brizel on September 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm
    IH-I would like to see R Blau provide some support or at least a link that document his concerns re what he asserts is taught in some RZ oriented schools”

    Just read the link-you have doubts that the message R Blau states is taught is taught in at least some RZ oriented schools. There are certainly some who believe in NA that the only people who should have a voice in deciding what Israel does eg in territories is the frum community in Israel.
    R Blau appears to have the closest rough hashkafot of any RY to the Rav-maybe because he not only studied with him but clearly spent a couple of years in Boston seeing whatthe Rav did halacha lemaaseh.

  218. “The DOE recognized that it couldn’t it fulfill its legal obligation to provide appropriate placement for special-needs Orthodox children within the public school system. ”
    Why not-the requirement in special ed is to supply thenecessary services-there is no reason to bleieve that necessary servicew which must be of a non denominational nature can’t be done in an appropriate public school setting. Obviously, Orthodox parents prefer day schools for the religious socialization but that is not the publics responsibility to pay for.

    .” Thus, the DOE resolved to provide free services such as physical and occupational therapy”
    or any other required therapy

    ” but required yeshiva parents to raise a portion of the hefty school tuition fees on their own.”
    Yeshiva tuition is not the taxpayers responsibility.

    Many public school districts would perform their special ed responsibilities in the public school buildings with public school staff and then bus the children back to the yeshiva/day school for the rest of the day. Of course, kids could find out that public schools have better facilities and better secualr faculty than even the most modern day schools have-but that is a different matter.

  219. “Halakha is not mathematics or formal logic whose answers are already fixed by the rules one adopts from the outset”
    Of course, that is why we use Rabbonim for psak-not a computer.

  220. A good news story about Israeli socialization (particularly children teaching their parents) and public policy: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4120273,00.html

  221. Does anyone know if the Lonely Man of Faith DVD has additional material that was not in the one that has been publicly shown.

  222. I don’t recall any additional material in the DVD.

  223. Abba's Rantings

    MYCROFT:

    “Many public school districts would perform their special ed responsibilities in the public school buildings with public school staff and then bus the children back to the yeshiva/day school for the rest of the day.”

    presumably the article was referring to facilities that cater to children who require a full-time special ed environment. nonetheless, i don’t understand the claim in the article that children will be denied the services they need if the schools fold. it is not the state’s role to fund religiously-motivated educational choices. i fully understand the parents’ desire for such facilities, but it isn’t the state’s role to pay.

    but aside from all this, the fact is that there is tremendous overspending wrt special ed and other adjunctive services/therapies in new york, a large part of which is due to border-line or strait-out fraud. you can’t continue to abuse the system and expect it not to bite back at some point. it is terrible that some kids are not getting the services they need (it has been getting bad for a few years and will get even worse in the coming years), but instead of blaming bloomberg for trying to solve a problem, blame new york’s parents and special ed/therapy industry for creating the problem.

    btw, a side repercussion of these cuts is they will wipe out the parnosoh of many frum families, as frum jews (particularly women) are overly concentrated in these fields. (but the writing for them, particularly those in home care, has been on the walls for 2 years already)

  224. Abba's Rantings

    re. JTS rabbis and israel:

    some of the differences between the generations i can shrug off. but the difference wrt “If Israel were destroyed, I would feel as if I had suffered one of the greatest personal tragedies of my life” is disturbing

  225. MJ on September 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm
    What you are essentially saying is that since an honest halakhic analysis demonstrates the answer to be “no” – then feminists have the right to do as they please. Sure they have the right to do as they please – but don’t be dishonest and call it halakhic.
    You err in believing that criticism is equivalent to condescension. You err badly as well when you suggest I have a problem with women scholars and poskot – I’ve spent to much of life being engaged in women’s education for that. I do have a serious problem with poor preparation, bad analysis, intellectual dishonesty, and a lack of halakhic integrity – be it on the right or the left, be it male or female.
    This explains in part why every argument I make in print is documented with a zillion mekorot. If you want to change the halakhic facts it has to be through solid argumentation – not by “gut feelings” and not by ranting and raving. Because something feels right – doesn’t make it right; too much immorality can be justified by that argument. Halakhic analysis requires clear logic, hard work, and solid arguments. There gender source is irrelevant. The validity of the argument is relevant. I refuse to reject an argument just because it from a woman – but I refuse accept it just because it from a woman. That’s intellectual dishonesty.

  226. “YOUNG PEOPLE are attracted to absolutes, black and white: all Arabs are potential terrorists; there is no need to respond to their human needs because they should not be living on our land.

    The actual process of resettling them in Arab countries will somehow happen.

    Knowing that God’s will is clear and that settling the land will bring the Messiah removes any need to make pragmatic compromises. All problems come from diverging from the path of building in all areas of the full Israel. There is no need for political alliances and the support of the United States. When the Jews follow the commandments they have no reason to fear enemies.

    During demonstrations in recent years the primary participants are teenagers, with the majority often being women. The high schools encourage their attendance; those who resist arrest are heroes. The message communicated is that demonstrating is more important than learning, certainly for girls.

    While adults are inhibited from acting totally on their principles and are constrained by family and other obligations, many young people are prepared to act. What can be more appealing than a rebellion that is religiously sanctified? Highly educated parents do not object to their sixteenyear old children dropping out of school and living on a hilltop because they admire the idealism and commitment of their daughters and sons.

    When some of these youngsters act on these beliefs and show no restraint, the adult community is suddenly shocked. Adults understand that there is a larger society that does not share these assumptions and compromises have to be made.

    Yet it is not certain that this message has been transmitted. If other views have not been taught as equally legitimate, adult compromise will be viewed by adolescents as weakness.

    MY DESCRIPTION does not apply to all Religious Zionist schools or rabbis. The percentage that fully articulate the positions I have described is not a majority, but it is not insignificant.”

    Wonder how much of R Blau’s description is accurate as to the spirit of waht is taught im RZ schools-also “If other views have not been taught as equally legitimate, adult compromise will be viewed by adolescents as weakness.” can’t this apply to trainig of religious teenagers in the US especially in Yeshivot of all spectrums.

  227. “Halakha is not mathematics or formal logic whose answers are already fixed by the rules one adopts from the outset”
    Of course, that is why we use Rabbonim for psak-not a computer.
    ====================================================
    Yet the defence is always that it has it’s own rules and logic.
    KT

  228. http://www.ou.org/shabbat_shalom/article/orthodox_judaism_do_we_have_an_economic_model_that_works/

    In many ways a sad article. If this is all we’ve got, we’ve got some serious thinking to do.
    KT

  229. ““If Israel were destroyed, I would
    feel as if I had suffered one of the greatest personal tragedies of my life.””

    DOn’t understand comment-even Tradition about 30 years ago published an article about what the impact chas vshalom if Israel ceased to exist-since the existence of the State is not an Ikkar Emunah and we don’t know what will happen it is a valid question.

  230. joel rich on September 16, 2011 at 11:07 am
    “http://www.ou.org/shabbat_shalom/article/orthodox_judaism_do_we_have_an_economic_model_that_works/

    In many ways a sad article. If this is all we’ve got, we’ve got some serious thinking to do.
    KT”

    I give Steve Savitsky credit for at least raising the issue-of course I would go further but at least he recognizes the issue.

  231. joel rich on September 16, 2011 at 10:54 am
    ““Halakha is not mathematics or formal logic whose answers are already fixed by the rules one adopts from the outset”
    Of course, that is why we use Rabbonim for psak-not a computer.
    ====================================================
    Yet the defence is always that it has it’s own rules and logic.
    KT”
    If it does who would care if a psak came from RAW or RHS-one should just analyze the rules and logic used by each. I submit that is not what the system is.

  232. from joel rich’s link:
    “First, a community must possess the basic infrastructure: shuls, mikvahs, a yeshiva environment, access to kosher shopping, an eruv, and kosher restaurants.”

    many things about this list suggest an inability to think, err, out of the box. for starters, the pluralization of “shul” and especially “mikvah.” and what is “a yeshiva envionment” vs a yeshiva? and kosher restaurants = “basic infrastructure”?

  233. I submit that is not what the system is.
    ===============================================
    Agreed, but many pretend it is when it is convenient for them.
    KT

  234. ““If Israel were destroyed, I would
    feel as if I had suffered one of the greatest personal tragedies of my life.”

    DOn’t understand comment-even Tradition about 30 years ago published an article about what the impact chas vshalom if Israel ceased to exist-since the existence of the State is not an Ikkar Emunah and we don’t know what will happen it is a valid question.”

    I don’t understand your comment. Just because an article was published 30 years ago raising a question means that R. Blau can’t feel that way? And you wouldn’t think it was a great personal tragedy? I would and I daresay many (most?) members of the MO and RWO communities would feel that way too.

    BTW, I remember the article well; its author was, at that time, a good friend of mine, and he was so vilified for even raising the question that when I wrote him a letter about the article (remember letters?), he responded that he was so scarred by the reaction of the Orthodox community that he didn’t discuss the article any longer even with a good friend like me.

  235. No surprise-Re Rubashkin and appeals court-notice comment – sentence in lower end of guidelines.

  236. “joel rich on September 16, 2011 at 11:47 am
    I submit that is not what the system is.
    ===============================================
    Agreed, but many pretend it is when it is convenient for them.
    KT”
    Agreed-like calls for achdus usually mean agree with me and drop your opposition to my position.

  237. “Joseph Kaplan on September 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm
    ““If Israel were destroyed, I would
    feel as if I had suffered one of the greatest personal tragedies of my life.”

    DOn’t understand comment-even Tradition about 30 years ago published an article about what the impact chas vshalom if Israel ceased to exist-since the existence of the State is not an Ikkar Emunah and we don’t know what will happen it is a valid question.”

    I don’t understand your comment. Just because an article was published 30 years ago raising a question means that R. Blau can’t feel that way?”

    I thought I was quoting from S Cohens article comparing JTS grads then and now-

    “And you wouldn’t think it was a great personal tragedy?”
    Yes.
    ” I would and I daresay many (most?) members of the MO and RWO communities would feel that way too”
    Yes as would most LWMO communities would feelsuch a tragedy as much as RWMO.

  238. Larry Kaplan wrote;

    “Steve Brizel: Indeed, I think it is clear as day that for the Rambam post-talmudic decrees have only limited authority and do not have the status of lo tasur. And, for the Rambam, post-Talmudic hiddushim have NO authority at all. As for what Rav Asher Weiss says, please quote him verbatim or link to him, instead of giving us your always misleading paraphrases (like your paraphrase of Halakhic Man). Since you don’t know how to read the Rambam, why should I assume you know how to read Rav Weiss”

    R Asher Weiss’s shiurim on Ratzon HaTorah and related subjects like Mosru HaKasuv Lachachamim are in his sefarim Minchas Asher on Sefer Devarim in Parshas Ki Savo. You can also access R Asher Weiss’s shiurim either at the Bergen County Beis Medrash website. I guess by your critique the Sefer HaChinuch’s understanding of Lo Sasur, is incorrect as well. I am surprised at what is clearly a “my way or the highway” approach that you have taken on this issue by claiming that there is no Torah basis for rabbinical authority after Chasimas HaTalmud. Again-the issue is not whether a rabbinical edict after Chasimas HaTalmud is and of itself a Torah law, but rather the power of post Talmudic authorities to offer Kulos, Chumros, Chiddushim, Psak, etc.

  239. Jon wrote in part:

    “Steve do you really want to go down the road of “many interpretations”? Because I have a looooooooot of interesting interpretations of various texts that you won’t like”

    You mean like your interpretation of MN3:18 , for which no authority in the words of either the Mossad HaRav Kook edition or an English translation could be found in support thereof?

  240. Joel Rich quoted this from a linked article :

    “First, a community must possess the basic infrastructure: shuls, mikvahs, a yeshiva environment, access to kosher shopping, an eruv, and kosher restaurants.”

    IMO, regardless of the hashkafic title,a Torah observant community, regardless of the hashkafic label, is that is by definition, more than a “one shul” community. Such a community is also marked by the existence or easy access to kosher shopping, a sefarim store, a mikvah, an eruv and kosher restuarants in addition to having the availability of Torah learning and formal educational structures on a K-Kollel level. These elements are IMO the superstructure that attact new residents and keep older residents in a community, as well as have the potential to create a strong pro-Israel and voting community.

  241. R Gil-this week’s FJTN has a fascinating article with R R Pelcowitz. Must reading for anyone interested in the evolution of the rabbinate in the O world.

  242. What in the world is the FJTN and why would you think that I know what it is?

  243. Mycroft- you mentioned the teens who are a significant segment of the “hilltop youth”. I recall reading an article in the NYT Magazine about these teens. I was saddened that their entire committment to Torah was based on what they perceived to be Yishuv EY HaShelemah-despite much evidence in the article that their Shmiras HaMitzvos in other at least equally important areas were not as keenly developed or articulated.

  244. R Gil-The Five Towns Jewish News.

  245. Do you mean the Five Towns Jewish Times?

  246. R Gil-yes.

  247. I read the article in the hard copy edition, but I don’t see it on the website as of this minute.

  248. Mycroft-like it or not, there was no up or down vote on the acceptance of the SA. In a similar manner, the Talmidei Chachamim who I previously mentioned and who were characterized as “freelancers” never were subjected to such a litmus test. Rather, their Gadlus BaTorah, especially in Psak, established them as leading Talmidei Chachamim-especially RMF, RSZA and the CI.

  249. Mycroft wrote:

    “Not necessarily why people accepted the Mchaber and Rama-certainly they were great Talmeidie Chachamim-a work was written which reflected what people in general were doing-do people today follow the Esras Torah luach because Rav Henkin was the greatest Talmid Chacham-it is possible that Jerusalem has accepted minhag hagra because circa 1840 the Gras students put out the first local widely printed luach with minhaggim in Jerusalem. Do people follow Art Scroll halacha orRav Eiders works because of lamdus-people accept different works and thats it”

    I think that your comparison of the SA and Rema do not serve as a comparison for why a certain Luach is followed. The luachos that you cited merely presented the existing practice. The Mchaber codified Halacha primarily by comparing the writings of Rambam, Rif and Rosh. The Rema merely added on Ashkenazix sources without doing violence to the concept of the SA-perhaps that gesture of Achdus led to its acceptance.

    ArtScroll halacha or R Eider’s works IMO don’t aid in the discussion-they merely illustrate the principle of “Kli Sheni Aino Mvashel” and IMO can unfortunately lead to the same being a substitute or, worse, a crutch in the absence of a real understanding of the halachic issues, based on learning the sources from the Torah and Talmud to the views of the Poskei Zmaneinu.

  250. This was from Aug.25 2011
    2) What you are really asking for is for MO/DL rabbis to write so that charedim accept their ideas as legitimate. This will not work. Charedi hashkafah is allergic to the idea of universal morality;

    After Tues. election,would the writer agree to reverse it

    Steve B.
    am surprised at your election comments,One is the cornerstone minimum basis for civilization,the other (TV show)while it shouldn’t be unnoticed,isn’t.

  251. MiMedinat HaYam

    MYCROFT:

    “Many public school districts would perform their special ed responsibilities in the public school buildings with public school staff and then bus the children back to the yeshiva/day school for the rest of the day.”

    actually, many school boards (incluyding nyc) used to think the off premises location was legally manadatory, but nys ct of appls ruled they can do the education on the parochial school premises.

    hiwever, the air conditioned trailer rental companies ($50k each annually) have good lobbying campaigns to prevent it.

  252. lawrence kaplan

    Steve Brizel: For someone who wants to anoint RHS as the posek aharon for all Modern Orthodoxy, you are the last person to accuse me of “my way or the highway.”

    As for the substance of your accusation: You comment, “I guess by your critique the Sefer ha-Hinukh’s understanding of lo-tasur is incorrect as well.” You guess wrong. Indeed, you have provided us here with an even better example. if possible, of your inability to read. I criticized your interpretation of the Rambam on lo-tasur, and said that the view you attribute to the Rambam is, in fact, that of the Hinukh. Where in the world did I say that the Rambam’s view is right and that of the Hinukh is wrong?! Do you really think I would be so presumptuous to say such a thing about a mahloket Rishonim? For God’s sake, give me some credit. What I will say is that the majority of Rishonim differ from the Hinukh on this matter. In any event, you owe me an apology for your false accusation, not that I am holding my breath.

  253. Why oh why does R’ Sack’s have to tie everything in with religion and morality. The US debt crisis has nothing to do with social cohesion (and its debt was not “renegotiated”). In fact, the US has shown great resolve in fighting terrorism all over the world. Just because Al-Qaeda succeeded in murdering 2,000 people doesn’t mean they have insight into world-historical concepts.

  254. “Steve Brizel on September 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm
    Mycroft-like it or not, there was no up or down vote on the acceptance of the SA”
    Correct they were ACCEPTED by Consensus where it wasn’t accepted eg Yeminite Jewry the SA was not binding.

    “actually, many school boards (incluyding nyc) used to think the off premises location was legally manadatory, but nys ct of appls ruled they can do the education on the parochial school premises”
    but they can do it in public schools together with non day school students if they so desire.

  255. Why was the link to the eruvonline series on Rav Belsky deleted? Admittedly, the tone was heated – but it’s not like Rav Belsky doesn’t give as good as he gets. If someone called my posek/kehilla ‘mechallelei shabbos’ then I would also react strongly.

  256. Because it was not just disrespectful but mocking.

  257. “J. on September 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm
    Why was the link to the eruvonline series on Rav Belsky deleted? Admittedly, the tone was heated – but it’s not like Rav Belsky doesn’t give as good as he gets. If someone called my posek/kehilla ‘mechallelei shabbos’ then I would also react strongly”

    I had never read that blog-of course due to the comment I read a couple of comments-interesting reading. I am not an expert in eruvin-but one thing I remember about 25 years ago the UWS was thinking of making an eruv. R MD Tendler was involved in the potential eruv-at a session at LSS he spoke-RMDT was asked if he would carry in an UWS eruv-he answered no because he would install the eruv according to the viewpoint of RMF like the Monsey eruv but RMDT did not use the Monsey eruv out of respoect to his Rebbe the Rav. RMDT stated that his wife and children did not spend many years at the Ravs shiur and thus used the Monsey eruv.
    RMDT then was asked about the Manhattan Eruv -he stated that his shvere RMF was opposed to the Manhattan eruv thinking that the heter was wrong midvar mishne but would not attack anyone who followed it because a gadol like Rav Henkin approved of it-but the Brooklyn eruv didn’t have a gadol like Rav Henkin in favor of it and thus would attack those who used it, Thus, we have a clear example that often what gets attacked or not depends on whom is behind the heter, position rather than objective beliefs of truth of the position.

  258. “Hirhurim on September 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm
    Because it was not just disrespectful but mocking”

    Would you post mocking comments about LWMO Rabbis?

  259. Gil – So Rav Belsky can call great poskim every name in the book but nobody is allowed to react in kind?
    Mycroft – WADR to R. Tendler, RMF said that he thought there were ‘taamim gedolim lehatir’ in Manhattan. Also, Rav Henkin actually wrote in favour of making an eruv in Brooklyn.

  260. “Mycroft – WADR to R. Tendler, RMF said that he thought there were ‘taamim gedolim lehatir’ in Manhattan. Also, Rav Henkin actually wrote in favour of making an eruv in Brooklyn”

    I am just quoting R Tendler-IMHO the problems of making an eruv in parts of Brooklyn appear less than the problems of an eruv around all of Manhattan-not an expert in eruvin but just gut feelings from a la7ymens understanding of the problems of eruvin and from occasional pseaking about issue to various Rabbonim not involved.

  261. Larry Kaplan and Jon from Brooklyn-the Talmud in BK 41b that just as one deserves Scar al HaDrisha , , so too one deserves praise al HaPrisha. I apologize to both of you, and anyone else who read my comments for advocating a reading in the Hakdamah in the MT as well as in R Asher Weiss’s understanding of the same in Minchas Asher Devarim, Parshas Shoftim, siman 26.

    That being the case, I would also point out to any interested reader that both the Sefer HaChinuch and the Chidushei HaRan to Sanhedrin 89a offer a POV that Lo Sasur is by no means limited to the edicts of bes Din HaGadol. R Asher Weiss discusses the ideas of Mosran KaKasuv Lchachamim and Ratzon HaTorah in Minchas Asher Devarim:Parshas Shoftim Siman 27 and Parshas Ki Savo Siman 51.

    The Minchas Chinuch, in his discussion of Lo Sasur questions very strongly the premise of the Chinuch. One of the footnotes in the Machon Yerushalayaim edition of the Minchas Chinuch quotes the Maharatz Chayos in Toras HaNeviim that the Rambam’s view is “ikar’. Another footnote to the text of the Chinuch also refers the reader to the Ritva in Eruvin 13b s.v. Elu vElu which understands a statement in Sanhedrin 17a that when Moshe Rabbeinu received the Torah, he was shown by HaShem every issue and 49 means of ruling in a permitted or probibited manner , and that this means of Psak was “masur Lchachmei Yisrael bchol Dor vaDor.”

    See also the sugya of “Yiftach Kdoro ” in RH 25b and comments of Tosfos al atar s.v. Sheyamim and Ritva s.v.a Shekal HaKasuv, which articulate a similar premise, namely that we should follow the shofet byamecha and never assume that the term “shofet” is limited to the Sanhedrin.

    I am sure that you know that many Rishonim and Acharonim, including R Meir Simcha in the Meshech Chachmah and RYBS have devoted their own explanations to a famous Machlokes Rambam and Ramban in Shoresh Rishon of the Sefer Hamitzvos why all rabbinic decrees cannot be seen as of Torah origin, except for the duty to obey the same based on Lo Sasur.

    That being said, I invite any reader to read RYBS’s shiur on Parsha Korach which was transcribed verbatim in Noroas HaRav Volume 10, Pages 63-97, and to simply ask oneself whether all Torah observant Jews , or even rabbanim, have the same power of Psak and interpretation of Talmidei Chachamim who are far greater than they are in terms of Torah knowledge. To paraphrase RYBS’s words, such an approach is common sense being substituted for Lomdus.

  262. BTW for all those who accuse the ACLU of not supporting Jewish causes see first name listed on brief for Rubashkin- ACLU of Iowa.

  263. J: He cannot call them anything on this blog. For that matter, neither can Rav Tendler.

  264. “Mycroft – WADR to R. Tendler, RMF said that he thought there were ‘taamim gedolim lehatir’ in Manhattan. Also, Rav Henkin actually wrote in favour of making an eruv in Brooklyn”

    Of interst see “The Manhattan Eruv: From the Writings of Rav Menachem M. Kasher (Ktav Pub. House, 1986). edited by Shalom Carmy,”
    If I recall correctly I read the pamphlet in the NYPL Judaica Section about ten years ago.

  265. Re R Sacks and implosion of USSR-it was not a complete surprise see eg Daniel Patrick Moynihan was one of many who predicted it years in advance. Basically Russia was sick of supporting the satellites-they had the oil and other resources-thus they stated setzchem leshalom.

  266. lawrence kaplan

    Steve: Your apology is accepted. I am glad that you have been modeh al ha-emet.

    As for the larger issues you raise, that is a complex matter, as I need not tell you. I touch on some of these issues in my article on
    Daas Torah, but obviously there is much more to say. Prof. Gerald Blidstein’s article on lo tasur and his commentary on Hilkhot Mamrim are good places to start.

  267. Re din torah over seats-why have permanently assigned seats ever-including Yomim Noraim.

  268. National Library of Israel Exhibit traces history of pashkvil:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4123166,00.html

  269. Shachar Ha'amim

    Taking what Rav Yuval Cherlow said about the signing (full quote below), one can certainly realistically envision a scenario that this ruling could have been applied to communal co-ed showers, had the IDF imported those from the kibbutz movement which at one time comprised much of the officer corps of the IDF

    “Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of a hesder yeshiva in Petah Tikva, gave a ruling similar to Rabbi Aviner saying it is completely permissible to enter into a situation, such as women singing, if there was no other choice.

    “It is incredibly important that the IDF is a Jewish army acting according to Jewish law as part of the Jewish democratic state,” he stressed in a statement on the issue, saying soldiers should also struggle for their rights not to be present at cultural events involving women singing.

    “At the same time, when we’re talking about a military ceremony involving the whole unit, there is nothing more correct from a halachic perspective than to be there with everyone else.

    This should be the a priori position of the army and the military rabbinate,” Cherlow stated.

    “Singing at ceremonies is an integral part of secular culture in the State of Israel, including women singing,” he continued, saying that in order to maintain a united army it is necessary to understand that that there are things that are important to different elements of society and that “different halachic tools can be used” to accommodate this kind of situation.

  270. Larry Kaplan-I reread your article on Daas Torah. Obviously, RYBS did not subscribe to the 20th century concept of Daas Torah, but IMO, a fair reading of the Korach shiur indicates that RYBS emphatically understood and underscored the fact that while all Jews are part of an Am Kadosh, the level of Kedusha of a great Talmid Chacham greatly exceeded that of the average Baal HaBayis and that RYBS was very suspicious of whatthe advocates of “meaningful halaca”, “unfreezing of the halacha”, and “empirical halacha”- ( see Noraos HaRav , Vol,.10, at Page 95),all of which can be argued the bases of the concepts which continue to be advocated and advanced by the rabbinical and academic supporters of feminist rooted changes within Orthodoxy. Like it or not, as long as the [primary rabbinical support for feminist rooted changes eminates from thinkers who deny the uniqueness of the relationship between God and the Jewish People, who pronounce TSBP as sexist, and who think that changing Nusach HaTefilah is a minor matter, feminist rooted changes will be viewed with grave suspicion.

  271. lawrence kaplan

    Steve: Again, I do not wish to enter into the larger issues here. My original comments were very limited in nature.

  272. Steve — you do your side no favors by resorting to misrepresentations of views other than your own. If just for Elul, give it a rest…

  273. Rabbi Y.H. Henkin

    Concerning Lo Tasur, Rambam, Chinuch. Chayei Adam, et al, see Bnei Banim 2:23 (5).
    Concerning my grandfather and the Brooklyn eruv, where did he write this?

  274. “as long as the [primary rabbinical support for feminist rooted changes eminates from thinkers who deny the uniqueness of the relationship between God and the Jewish People, who pronounce TSBP as sexist, and who think that changing Nusach HaTefilah is a minor matter”

    Nice objective statement of what others believe. Glad you clarified that.

  275. SH

    It is true that R. Cherlow’s words could to used to permit all sorts of issurim, if they are applied by someone who lacks halakhioc knowledge and sensibilities. However the informer reader will know that the issur of kol isha in situations such as the one in question is far less serious than mixed nude swimming. dayo lavo min hadin

  276. Steve,

    If all you mean to establish is that Rabbis wield halachic authority proportionate to their stature, I dont think you will get many arguments in this forum. The problem is determining the exact extent and jurisdiction of any given Talmid Chacham. This is particularly complex in our current (post) modern condition.
    So lets stop arguing about the theories of various rishonim and discuss the way rabbinic authority actually works (or not) in contemporary conditions. So far you dont seem to have anything to say on this matter.

  277. I thought Eruvonline’s point by point critique of Rav Belsky displayed a masterful understanding of all the relevant sources and issues. In what way was it disrespectful?

  278. I think this whole tararam over women’s singing needs to be put back into its proper proportions. Life in the IDF for a religious Jews is A LOT easier today than it was back in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Think women’s singing is an issue? Back in the day, Rav Goren &co had to fight tooth and nail to ensure that religious soldiers not be forced to unnecessarily violate Shabbat (and I mean REALLY unnecessarily) or be left without kosher food. The religious situation in the early days of the IDF was especially bad, with commanders treating religious requests with either indifference or outright hostility.

    A majority of the religious public and political leadership of the time (those “wishy-washy” Mafdalinks everyone laughs at today) clamored for religious only units (you know, that “fundamentalist” demand made only by religious zealots and not by “enlightened” and “moderate” RZers).

    Ironically enough, it was the “evil anti-religious” David Ben-Gurion who ensured that conditions slowly became minimally tolerable for religious soldiers by giving Rav Goren full backing against the army brass w/regard to Shabbat, Kashrut &c.

    Really, religious leaders and commentators need to get a grip. If women’s singing is the major problem, then I’d say that’s what’s known in Israel as צרות של עשירים.

  279. Rabbi Henkin – regarding an eruv in Brooklyn, the eruvonline blog quotes your grandfather as follows:
    עדותו של הגאון הגדול רבי יוסף אלי’ הענקין זצ”ל (במכתבו מיום כ”ח תמוז תשכ”א) וז”ל: “… ולזרז רבנים שיעשו מחיצות כדי לעשות עירובי חצרות בהבאראס ברוקלין, בראנקס וקווינס וכו’ שאין שם עירוב כללי” (כתבי הגרי”א הענקין, סימן כ”ה).

  280. James – I don’t think any objective reader would deny that eruvonline’s review of Rav Belsky’s teshuva is disrespectful; the question is whether the disrespect is warranted. Just be aware that the aggression is not exactly unprovoked. I would post a link to a transcript of a shiur that Rav Belsky gave on the topic, but it would likely be deleted (and for good reason).

  281. aiwac: your comment reminds me of a comment of the Steipler Gaon, who once stated that we are currently in the golus of the Yevsektsiya.

    Really, religious leaders and commentators need to get a grip. If women’s singing is the major problem, then I’d say that’s what’s known in Israel as צרות של עשירים

    Your comment inadvertently touches upon one of the major machloksim between the RZs and the Charedim. The RZs feel free to compromise on religious principles — if they get something, then they feel they have accomplished something. Look, we have kosher food in the Army! So what if we have to listen to ervah, at least we get to keep Shabbos.

    The Brisker Rov once said that we are not the baalim on the Torah. The Torah is an obligation we owe God. There is therefore no room for compromise — because peshara is dependent on one having ownership over the matter. In a din Torah on dinei mamonos, yes, pshara is a good thing, because each of the baalei din has an ownership interest in what is being decided, and can give up in part to reach a peshara. Not so in mili di shmaya.

    (I once heard from R. Aharon Soloveichik that this is pshat in the gemara that one who praises Yehuda is a blasphemer — botzeiah berach nietz Hashehm. Reuven suggested that they save Yosef, while the other brothers wanted to kill him. So Yehuda made a peshara and said, let’s sell him into slavery. Anyone who praises such a peshara is a blasphemer, says the Gemara in Sanhedrin, because the brothers were not in a position to agree to such a “compromise” — they were not the baalim over the issurim of retzhichah and geneivah, only Hashem is.)

    After this sorry affair (the cadets had come from Nachal Charedi), why any Charedi parent would send their sons to the Army in EY is a mystery.

  282. R. Yosef Eliyahu Henkin’s statement encouraging the construction of eruvin in Brooklyn, together with other NY boroughs, can be found here (under ‘2’):
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=22080&hilite=b79d0545-9efe-4030-bd68-5f70a80121a9&st=%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%91&pgnum=50

  283. Tal,

    I don’t have time to respond to your entire diatribe, so I’ll restrict myself to a couple of points:

    1) Rabbis, even gedolim like the Steipler, can’t legislate reality. Just because he said that Medinat Yisra’el is like the yevseskya doesn’t make it so. One need look no further than the ever-growing Charedi eduction system which eschews any life skills yet is funded by the government to belie this accusation. People like Rav Goren would never have been allowed to exist or function in a yevsektzya-like state.

    2) You need to start forming a more realistic picture of the Brisker. Yes, it’s great to hear uncompromising ideologues (I think that was part of Leibowitz’s appeal) scream and yell. It feels good and makes us think that this is possible.

    However, in real life, we all make compromises, often painful ones. The Charedi world is no exception. They never rejected the idea that the state should not support yeshivot a la the Brisker. They largely adopted the Chazon Ish’s principle of cultural fortification, even if they paid lip service to the the Brisker’s more vicious and virulent attitude towards the state.

    The “compromising” Mizrachi kept more Jews religious via the Mamad system and contributed more to the fight against secularization in the public square during the 50s and 60s than the Brisker Rav ever did or could have done. The Charedi world today is very much riding the coat-tails of RZ accomplishments. So show some G*d-damned gratitude.

  284. “They never rejected the idea that the state should not support yeshivot a la the Brisker.”

    Sorry, should say ‘accepted the idea’.

  285. Rabbi Y.H. Henkin

    As opposed to Manhattan, the quote of my grandfather doesn’t refer to any particular eruv/ mechitzot in Brooklyn, Bronx or Queens– there were none at the time.

  286. However, in real life, we all make compromises, often painful ones.

    In “real life,” we understand that the compromises are a product of outside forces, either oness (such as a dreaded disease) or a me’aness (such as the yevsektzia). Those are realities that have to be dealt with, not celebrated. If my relative got cancer, r”l, I would have to deal with it. I might even be mechallel shabbos if the occassion called for it. But I would not say Hallel.

    The idea that we should feel “rich” because the State now allows soldiers to keep Shabbos and kashrus but merely forces them to experience ervah, is a really funny way of defining “rich.”

  287. Experiencing erva? You get turned on every time you hear a woman sing?!

  288. BTW, would you call the “tinok shenishba” psak of the CI a case of “ones” (I remember seeing somewhere that the Brisker called this psak Reform)?

  289. There was an interesting comment by a chareidi poster on the Arevim list serv which was discussing the army/women singing issue. He told the story of some rav, obviously chareidi (of an earlier generation) whose name, unfortunately, I don’t remember. (Micha, if you’re reading this you might be able to help out.) The gist of the story was that he had an older single woman guest at his seder every year who liked to sing the seder songs in a loud voice. When his sons got older they became uncomfortable, and he told them that when she was singing they should think of pesukim from tehillim to prevent them from sin. I wasn’t exactly sure what point the poster was trying to make, but what I took away from this story is that one must weigh and balance considerations when dealing with this issue and things aren’t black and white. And not insulting this woman or making her feel uncomfortable was obviously a valid consideration.

    Why should chareidi parents who were so inclined continue to send their sons to the army? Because by doing so they are helping protect the State of Israel including their parents and siblings and wives and children and rebbeim and friends etc. etc. etc. And because the world isn’t black and white and intelligent people have to learn how to deal with some grays. The Chareidi community figured out ways to accept monetary support from a government they don’t feel is legitimate which enables them to live a life of Torah as they understand it; they can figure out a way to deal with this issue that, if handled differently by all (and from what I’ve read, the IDF shares in much, though not all, of the blame for this getting out of hand) could have been resolved without such great difficulty.

  290. R. Henkin – Indeed. However, it is also clear that your grandfather saw no objection in principle to making an eruv in Brooklyn, otherwise he wouldn’t have advised making an eruv there.

  291. J.,

    I havent read all six parts or EruvOnline’s review. I started reading them and found the tone to be as respectful as possible (especially the introduction to the series). Perhaps it degenerated later in the series but is it any more disrespectful than Haym Soloveitchik’s review of Peter Haas or Saul Lieberman’s review of Neusner? Both of those were published by reputable journals and are disrespectful only to the extent that the underlying work under review deserves little respect from a scholarly point of view.

    Can you send me a link to the transcript? Jamesabramson at yahoo.com

  292. Experiencing erva? You get turned on every time you hear a woman sing?!

    You don’t seriously think this is dispositive of the issue.

    BTW, would you call the “tinok shenishba” psak of the CI a case of “ones” (I remember seeing somewhere that the Brisker called this psak Reform)?

    This is actually an old machlokes between Rabbenu Tam and the Rambam. I don’t know what you mean that the psak is “oness,” although it assumes that the tinol is in a state of oness. That’s the basis of the Rambam.

  293. No, but I’d say the issue is not as cut and dry as you make it out to be.

  294. “The Brisker Rov once said that we are not the baalim on the Torah. The Torah is an obligation we owe God. There is therefore no room for compromise — because peshara is dependent on one having ownership over the matter. In a din Torah on dinei mamonos, yes, pshara is a good thing, because each of the baalei din has an ownership interest in what is being decided, and can give up in part to reach a peshara. Not so in mili di shmaya.

    (I once heard from R. Aharon Soloveichik that this is pshat in the gemara that one who praises Yehuda is a blasphemer — botzeiah berach nietz Hashehm. Reuven suggested that they save Yosef, while the other brothers wanted to kill him. So Yehuda made a peshara and said, let’s sell him into slavery. Anyone who praises such a peshara is a blasphemer, says the Gemara in Sanhedrin, because the brothers were not in a position to agree to such a “compromise” — they were not the baalim over the issurim of retzhichah and geneivah, only Hashem is.)”

    Interesting that of descendants of Rav Chaim Brisker you quote those who were much more RW than their respective brothers. Rav Velvel was certainly entirely different from Rav Moshe and certainly the Rav was entirely different in approach than RAS was. No one can say that either the Rav and his father were not totally committed to halacha but had different approaches than theior brothers.

  295. IH-WADR, I think that I fairly sumamrized the view of the major rabbinic and academic proponents of feminism, based on their own words.

    Moshe Shoshan wrote:

    “If all you mean to establish is that Rabbis wield halachic authority proportionate to their stature, I dont think you will get many arguments in this forum. The problem is determining the exact extent and jurisdiction of any given Talmid Chacham. This is particularly complex in our current (post) modern condition.
    So lets stop arguing about the theories of various rishonim and discuss the way rabbinic authority actually works (or not) in contemporary conditions”

    WADR, if one lacks the ability to recognize who is a Talmid Chacham who is entitled to an opinion on any particular issue, then such a person IMO, nebech, is an Am HaAretz, as opposed to someone who maintains that all musmachim of all yeshivos, no matter what their particular level of knowledge, are entitled to n opinion on the difficult and no so difficult issues. IMO, it a mistake of no small proportuion to contend that such a choice is “particularly complex.”

  296. An interesting difference between Rav Moshe and his brother Rav Velvel was their approach to reading of secular books-as is well known Rav Moshe encouraged his children to be educated-all had at least college with I believe at least 4 having advanced degrees. Rav Velvel was less inclined to tolerate reading secular books but to what shouldn’t be a surprise his daughter Lifsha was interested in reading secular books. Rav Velvel insisted in reading all the books first trying to control what was being read-of course at the end Lifsha read what she wanted to anyway.
    Of course I believe all the children of both Rav Moshe and Rav Velvel stayed frum-of course Lifsha became Rebbetzin Lifsha Feinstein A”H, the wife of Rav Yechiel Michel Feinstien A”H.

  297. Just curious, and perhaps Lineman, a fine Talmid Chacham, especially in the very difficult area of Eruvin, can comment on where the CI fits in with respect to the so-called divide between Misnagdim and Chasidim on this area of Halacha.

    If anyone has seen R B Simon’s sefer Imrei Baruch on Eruvin,, one can see that none less than RAK, based on the well known Shitas HaRambam as to the dimensions of a Reshus HaRabin Min HaTorah, was quite critical of the CI’s shitos, which AFAIK, are relied upon and used by many Poskim in this area of Halacha, especially RHS. R Simon points out that RAK’s POV, for wholly different reasons, was not accepted by RMF.

    Parenthetically, it should be noted that while Lakewood does not yet have a communal wide eruv like KGH, there are small eruvin AFAIK, in various apartment complexes in Lakewood. I would predict as more and more Chasidim move to Lakewood, that it would only be a matter of time before there is a community wide Eruv in Lakewood. Similarly, in Flatbush,if a recent discussion at a Shabbos Sheva Brachos table is a sociological thermometer, I would suspect that young couples who can afford to buy a house will buy homes in communities with eruvin that have been approved by reputable Talmidei Chachamim such as KGH and the Five Towns. Perhaps, such an exodus of young couples will cause the current Poskim in that community to revisit the issue of the kashrus of the Flatbush eruv.

  298. “I think that I fairly sumamrized the view of the major rabbinic and academic proponents of feminism, based on their own words.”

    So, I guess we’re back to your reading skill challenges. Sigh…

  299. “Perhaps, such an exodus of young couples will cause the current Poskim in that community to revisit the issue of the kashrus of the Flatbush eruv.”

    what’s that? bending halacha to the whim of the masses who pick and choose poskim based on what fits with their contemporary sensibilities?

  300. Steve: For what it’s worth, Flatbush would be overflowing with young couples if houses were more affordable. People who grew up without an eruv generally have no trouble living that way.

  301. “Tal Benschar on September 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm
    However, in real life, we all make compromises, often painful ones.

    In “real life,” we understand that the compromises are a product of outside forces, either oness (such as a dreaded disease) or a me’aness (such as the yevsektzia). Those are realities that have to be dealt with, not celebrated. If my relative got cancer, r”l, I would have to deal with it. I might even be mechallel shabbos if the occassion called for it. But I would not say Hallel.

    The idea that we should feel “rich” because the State now allows soldiers to keep Shabbos and kashrus but merely forces them to experience ervah, is a really funny way of defining “rich.””

    Let us compare Israel with a country that you certainly have more familiarity with than I have Canada-

    from
    http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/orphans/english/themes/immigration/page3.html

    “In 1938, thirty-two nations, including Canada, attended the Evian Conference to discuss the problem of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, but refused further Jewish immigration. In 1939, a shipload of German Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. St. Louis, were refused sanctuary in Canada and forced to return to Europe. During the Holocaust, Canada admitted only about 5,000 Jews — one of the worst records of any of the refugee receiving countries.”

    “about a decade ago I read And I Will Dwell in Their Midst: Orthodox Jews in Suburbia
    Etan Diamond / Author University of North Carolina Press $45 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8078-2576-1
    Diamond, an American social historian who is a senior research associate at The Polis Center in Indiana, notes that although “”one does not typically associate Orthodox Jews with postwar suburbia,”” such Jews flocked to the suburbs of almost every major city in North America after WWII. To demonstrate, Diamond offers a persuasive case study of suburban Toronto’s Orthodox Jews, whose experience was in certain ways quite different from the typical suburban life. While suburbs are thought to be atomizing, not at all conducive to the pop-in-and-chat familiarity of urban apartment buildings, Diamond counters that religion fosters built-in community. He shows that Orthodox Jewish suburbia has differed from regular suburbia spatially; since observant Jews can’t drive on the Sabbath, they must all live within walking distance of their synagogue. Diamond also finds fascinating historical change over time. When Orthodox Jews first moved to the suburbs, they introduced some fashionable practices into their new synagogues, like doing away with the women’s balcony and allowing women to sit, still sex-segregated, on the same level as men. In the 1980s, as they were more comfortably entrenched in their surroundings, Orthodox Jews eschewed these innovations in favor of more traditional worship services. This book raises the bar for Jewish North American history; Diamond accomplishes for postwar Jews what Jenna Weissman Joselit (The Wonders of America) did for fin de si cle immigrant Jews. Yasher koach! (Oct.) ”

    I remember some details of the book-including the writer used Toronto as his model for research as old census data in Canada had religious data which of course is nonexistent in the US-while people complain about treatment of chareidim in Israel perhaps should be reminded of an incident recorded in that book

    see
    http://www.virtualjudaica.com/Item/25448/Report_of_the_Royal_Commission_of_Inquiry
    “Title Information
    Title (English) Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry
    Author Dalton C. Wells
    City Toronto
    Publication Date [1962]

    Collection Information
    Independent Item This listing is an independent item not part of any collection

    Description Information
    Physical
    Description Only edition. 99 pp., 285:210 mm., light age staining. A very good copy bound as issued.

    Detailed
    Description “One Friday night in January, 1962, Rabbi Norbert Leiner, a teacher at the Orthodox Jewish Ner Israel Yeshiva, was stopped by the police in the Bathhurst-St. Clair neighborhood in York Township.The police in the area had been put on alert for a suspicious person whom neighborhood residents claimed was stalking the area. Although Rabbi Leiner looked nothing like the suspected stalker, the police nevertheless confronted him, used abusive language,and demanded that he enter their automobile.Rabbi Leiner refused, citing the Jewish Sabbath’s prohibitions against riding in a vehicle. The officers pushed the rabbi into their car, drove him to the police station, and held him overnight. At the station, officers slapped Rabbi Leiner after he again refused to cooperate with fingerprinting and other procedures because of his Sabbath observances. Rabbi Leiner was released the next day when authorities admitted that he had been mistakenly apprehended.
    Both the Jewish and the non-Jewish press attacked the police for their actions, and a specially convened royal commission condemned the authorities for the incident.Although the arrest was not deemed anti-Semitic, the commission admonished the police for failing to understand or be sensitive to Rabbi Leiner’s religious observances.

    At the same time, the commission did not spare Rabbi Leiner, criticizing him for not cooperating to the extent that he might have.”

    Reference
    Description And I will dwell in their midst: Orthodox Jews in suburbia By Etan Diamond p. 45 ”

    I believe Toronto’s main airport is named after someone who received a Nobel Prize for pressuring Israel after the Suez Campaign.

    Do you not believe that ashreinu shezacinu lecach that there is a State of Israel that certainly would have admittedfar morethan 5000 Jews during the Holocaust period, Israel perfect no but certainkly better for Jewsthan any Galus country.

  302. “Hirhurim on September 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm
    Steve: For what it’s worth, Flatbush would be overflowing with young couples if houses were more affordable. People who grew up without an eruv generally have no trouble living that way.”

    Essentially agree with Gil.
    I’ve lived many places wo an eruv-remeber the Shabbos keys-belts and tie clips.

  303. I also grew up in a community w/o an eruv and would not have lived w/o an eruv as an adult. My parents had no choice; my friends and I did, and a community having an eruv was an important factor in the communities we chose to live in. So, as rare as this may be, I agree with Steve. In fact, I also agree with Steve that sometimes halacha (a) changes and (b) is determined by results which is why, I assume, he thinks that “such an exodus of young couples will cause the current Poskim in that community to revisit the issue of the kashrus [i.e., change the halacha to get predetermined results] of the Flatbush eruv.” 🙂

  304. ” Flatbush would be overflowing with young couples if houses were more affordable”

    Houses are even more expensive in Riverdale and the shuls are overflowing with young couples.

    (The rabbis of all the local shuls agree that the eruv can be used.)

  305. “see eg Daniel Patrick Moynihan was one of many who predicted it years in advance”

    IIRC it was the declining life expectancy that caused Sen. Moynihan to realize that, back in the 1970s. We could have saved a lot of money had we listened to him.

  306. “why any Charedi parent would send their sons to the Army in EY is a mystery.”

    It’s kind of funny you write this. Many Nachal Charedi soldiers are there *against* parental wishes. Some have already dropped out and/or been thrown out, and are placed- by the IDF!- in Nachal Charedi to “straighten them out.” Some simply enter despite their parents’ wishes.

  307. R. Gil – It’s easy for men without an eruv; try telling a woman with a large family who lives in a small apartment that an eruv is a luxury. Moreover, the desire to make use of an eruv is itself a ‘kosher’ one, as per the Prisha Orach Chaim 395, who states that an eruv is a mitzva for our benefit, to facilitate ‘tiyul’.

  308. Joseph

    “A hit, a very palpable hit!”

  309. And what’s wrong with revisiting the shaila of an eruv due to changed circumstances? Many of the discussions the last time round in Flatbush did not take into account certain issues that had changed (or at least had been confirmed) since R. Moshe wrote his teshuvos, such as the mechitzos around Brooklyn, so it is not a question of changing the halacha to arrive at a predefined conclusion. Coming from London, I would be more than happy if the rabbanim ha’ossrim here would have the fortitude to be modeh al ha’emes and reverse their previous issur.

  310. “why any Charedi parent would send their sons to the Army in EY is a mystery.”

    Life is full of mysteries but this is not one of them. An incident like this would *never* have happened in a Nahal Chareidi unit or one of the new frame works for chareidi non-combat soldiers. This was a combat officer training course. Becoming an officer is a privilege and the army does not have the same obligation to accodate the needs of religious soldiers and serious religious challenges are to be expected (which does not excuse the officers outrageous behavior in this case). Basic service is an obligation and the Army has been bending over backwards to help accommodate chareidim fulfill this obligation. See the Cross Currents piece that I refered to previously. Eyein sham v’dok.

  311. the lower east side might provide a test case for communities without an eruv – i’ve heard the demographics are changing.
    KT

  312. “Why should chareidi parents who were so inclined continue to send their sons to the army? Because by doing so they are helping protect the State of Israel”

    Why they won’t first of all the freeloader issue-others will do the service so why should they and of course in general the Chareidi world is sad thatIsrael exists it is at most masui certainly not rasui.

  313. Charlie Hall on September 19, 2011 at 12:49 am
    ““see eg Daniel Patrick Moynihan was one of many who predicted it years in advance”

    IIRC it was the declining life expectancy that caused Sen. Moynihan to realize that, back in the 1970s. We could have saved a lot of money had we listened to him.”

    If life expectancy were the reason why Moynihan believed that the USSR would implode why not believe that the US would implode. The US I believe has the 2nd lowest life expectancy of any OECD country while we pay by far the most for medical care would you say the US is likely to imlode-doubt it.
    The Gini Coefficient which measures income inequality for developed countries is very high in Israel and the US-does that mean those countries will implode-I hope not. Of course policies in both countries for the past 30 years or so have caused the median and below median person to fall behind. More crucial for Israel which needs social cohesion even more than US. After all Israel faces existential threats to its existence which the US doesn’t.

  314. “joel rich on September 19, 2011 at 5:20 am
    the lower east side might provide a test case for communities without an eruv – i’ve heard the demographics are changing.
    KT”
    Haven’t the demographic been changing for decades?

  315. Shachar Ha'amim

    “Moshe Shoshan on September 18, 2011 at 10:34 am
    SH

    It is true that R. Cherlow’s words could to used to permit all sorts of issurim, if they are applied by someone who lacks halakhioc knowledge and sensibilities. However the informer reader will know that the issur of kol isha in situations such as the one in question is far less serious than mixed nude swimming. dayo lavo min hadin”

    I’m not sure that people who are of the view that kol isha is ervah would see any difference, nor am I certain that the kibbutzim and mapam saw the promotion of the collective ideals via, amongst others, the idea of common showers as any less a value than the army singing troupes or friday night hora dances.

  316. “kol isha erva” is a Gemara. I know of no halakhic position that litchatchila allows a man to go to a concert in which a woman sings (though there are constant unsubstantiated rumors that such opions existed in the past) There is however a range of views about the status of this issur. Some seem to treat it very seriously, perhaps even as yeharieg v’al yaavor while others, famously the seredei eish, feel that it is an issur of a lesser stature and that there may be room to be meikil in extenuating circumstances. both views are equals committed to the maintnence of the highest halakhic standards.

  317. I just re-checked my copy of Pandaemonium, in which Moynihan makes clear that his prediction for the collapse of the USSR was based on ethnic tensions as the primary cause of economic stagnation (of which the Soviet Jewry phenomenon was an example). See pp. 41-62.

  318. Mycroft and Gil wrote:

    “Steve: For what it’s worth, Flatbush would be overflowing with young couples if houses were more affordable. People who grew up without an eruv generally have no trouble living that way.”

    Essentially agree with Gil.
    I’ve lived many places wo an eruv-remeber the Shabbos keys-belts and tie clips”

    Look at Forest Hills-which has had an eruv, but also has priced young couples out of the ability to buy a decent house for a long time. I grew up without an eruv-but have lived in KGH since we have been married. I wouldn’t live in a community without a reliable eruv.

  319. Look at Marine Park, on the outskirts of Flatbush. Prices are relatively affordable but no reliable eruv (at least no more reliable than the general Flatbush eruv) and overflowing with young couples.

    I barely remember what life is like with an eruv. We’ve somehow made it work pretty well.

  320. r’mycroft
    accelerating aiui
    KT

  321. MiMedinat HaYam

    though some such as r gil remain (diito on the LES), lets face it — MO are NOT flocking to flatbush, eruv or not. (actually, even charedim are not exactly flocking in, either.)

    even KGH is suffering from too high property values (thanx to the bucharim everyone hates (with their high walls, low level of shmirat shabat / kashrut / yeshiva attendance etc.) young couples move out to west hemstead, teaneck, 5towns, etc, as soon as they can. (look at r moshe rosenberg’s shul).

    the LES has been stagnating, but they dont have an eruv for another reason (its still RMF’s town, somewhat akin to crown heights.)

  322. “However, in real life, we all make compromises, often painful ones”

    Even Rav Velvel ended up accepting hi daughters readings of secular books.

  323. “I wasn’t exactly sure what point the poster was trying to make, but what I took away from this story is that one must weigh and balance considerations when dealing with this issue and things aren’t black and white. ”

    good advice in general.

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