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Ultra-Orthodox spitting attacks on Old City clergymen becoming daily
Teaching kids to hate Talmud
Kaliningrad Jews battle circus over restoring synagogue
Divorcing the rabbinate
The controversial acronym “akum”
Jews Need Count, Not Wishful Thinking
OU Press Publishes Koren Mesorat HaRav Siddur
SALT Friday
Interview with R. Aharon Lichtenstein on his Jubilee Of Leadership
Rabbinical court will be obligated to set Get date
Oprah visits Brooklyn mikveh
The Making of Post-Haredism
City Removes Barricades That Blocked Struggling Wall Street Cafe
Going Into The Supreme Court, United For Jerusalem
R. Meir Soloveichik speaks with R. Jonathan Sacks
SALT Thursday
Jerusalem women challenge ultra-Orthodox ban on ‘immodest’ posters
Government closes down Yitzhar yeshiva
Polish president, rabbis condemn Dutch anti-‘shechita’ law
Halacha and Shariah Have Plenty in Common
Population boom? Why 7 billion isn’t enough
Bill passed on sanctions for ‘recalcitrant’ husbands
Kosher Cafe Owner Sacks 21 Employees As Consequence Of Occupy Wall Street Demonstration
Australian lawmakers agree to maintain shechita
SALT Wednesday
In praise of liberal arts
Beit Shemesh shows Israel at a crossroads
Poland has largest gathering of rabbis since WWII
Manicures and Torah Studies Meet
Top Cardinal Claims Jews Want Sainthood for Nazi-Era Pope
The Great Orthodox Comeback
Tzohar’s flagship wedding project in danger of shutting down
Israel and the Apartheid Slander
This Time, IDF Soldiers Permitted To Leave Kol Isha Event
SALT Tuesday
Judge quashes indictment of pugilistic priest (turn the other cheek fist?)
Crackdown on Child Sex Abuse Unravels
Day School Tuition Should Be Income-Based
Oreos: The Forbidden Fruit
White House Responds to Petition to Remove ‘Under God’ from Pledge of Allegiance
White House on Rubashkin petition: Why We Can’t Comment
The Origins of Jewish Creativity
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 of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

146 comments

  1. Re: the Forward article. The problem with abuse cases is that the alleged molester is often found guilty way before his/her day in court. The courts are doing precisely what they are supposed to be doing – investigation allegations. Just because someone make an allegation does not make it true.

    On the topic, R. Mordechai Elon refused to take a plea deal, which would mean no jail time. According to the news in Israel, the charges include “hugging” minors in a way that they misinterpreted. If this is the true extent of the allegations, it is drastically different from what was originally insinuated.

  2. Norma: I don’t know the specifics of either cases, but that is the reason I generally only post about convictions and not arrests or accusations.

  3. it it also the case that the inability to convict does not make one necessarily innocent. I would not want my grandchildren or any child in the company of R. elon or lebovits. that is why we need something within our schools that acts well before abuse is repeated and proven in a court of law.

    RAL and those who dealt with r. elon are beyond reproach.

  4. “RAL and those who dealt with r. elon are beyond reproach.”

    Precisely the problem. Isn’t it possible that, despite the best of intentions, they were wrong?

    Until people go directly to the police, this problem will not be solved.

  5. it it also the case that the inability to convict does not make one necessarily innocent

    This is true for many reasons — including that the standard for criminal conviction is much higher than one would want for permitting a person to have unsupervised access to children.

    The NYPD has a review board for police misconduct, which can discipline and even terminate police who misbehave. They use a different standard than that for criminal conviction — an in fact police who have been acquitted have neverthless been suspended or terminated. This is because (a) they use the preponderance standard, and (b) the issue they need to determine is not guilt or innocence, but fitness to continue to exercise the authority of a police officer.

    IMHO, getting the criminal justice system involved creates a mess, as this latest case illustrates. Perhaps the Jewish community should consider setting up something similar to the NYPD board for those who work with children (teachers, etc.)

  6. Tal
    This is precisely what Takana was meant to do for the RZ community in Israel. The point is that even if the prosecutors never succeed in bring Moti Elon to trial, he is no longer in a position to harm students. As you probably know the Departmental Disciplinary Committee in NYS functions for lawyer misconduct in manner similar to the NYPD board.

    Norma,
    Motti Elon was accused of (and as far as I understand admitted to) things much worse than hugging.

  7. Shalom Rosenfeld

    “Perhaps the Jewish community should consider setting up something similar to the NYPD board for those who work with children (teachers, etc.)”

    — To the best of my understanding, that is exactly what the Takkana Forum (helmed by Rabbi Lichtenstein) is in Israel.

  8. “Perhaps the Jewish community should consider setting up something similar to the NYPD board for those who work with children (teachers, etc.)”

    That’s a fine idea as long as it’s not in addition to, and not instead of, the criminal process — exactly like the police disciplinary procedures you discussed.

  9. Joseph,

    It isn’t, at least when it comes to Takanah. Takanah was set up to deal with cases that don’t rise to the level that can be prosecuted, but are nevertheless inappropriate and danger signs for things to come.

  10. MiMedinat HaYam

    police review board (as opposed to civilian review board, another story) is purely political. only if the case is “politically” charged does the officer get suspended / fired. (maybe cases where loss of vacation days or other minor infractions, but not serious cases.)

    dept grievance comm for attys is only if the atty stole from the escrow account. otherwise, they are only practical if a judge refers a case to them. a private citizen or other (attys (almost) never refer cases; its considered unethical in the profession) is worthless with regards to them.

    come to think aboutit, rabbis (almost) never refer cases to such a takana forum. but here, there (must have) pressure from (supposedly) numerous victims.

    and as i now recall, a similar (non abuse) case here in america, the accused rav wanted a commitment that the rca committee’s decision will be accepted by the accuser. she specifically stated she will not be bound by an adverse (to her) decision, so the accused declined to get involved. (in the grand scheme of things, it was probably not a good decision on his part, but thats monday morning quarterbacking. anyway, he won in civil court on “no case” grounds, but lost in rca court he declined to participate in.)

  11. MiMedinat HaYam

    Perhaps the Jewish community should consider setting up something similar to the NYPD board for those who work with children (teachers, etc.)”

    That’s a fine idea as long as it’s not in addition to, and not instead of, the criminal process — exactly like the police disciplinary procedures you discussed.
    ————-

    not practical

    1. subject to prosecution of interfering with offical function.

    2. will have to defer to civil authorities to interview witnesses, etc. meanwhile accused is teaching in schools, etc.

  12. Mycroft: I would be happy to host your guest post rebutting R. Zev Eleff’s claims in his history of NCSY.

  13. Takana was established for cases that that there was not mandated reporting and the abused refused to go to the police.
    Takana has much serious data on R.Elon.If anything they waited too long to publicize their findings.R.Elon admitted to them and therefor agreed to move to a small community and once there broke the rules he agreed to.
    There are those who continue to be in denial.

  14. Joseph Kaplan-how did your part of Teaneck deal with the storm this past Shabbos? Power restored or still out?

  15. R Gil wrote:

    “Mycroft: I would be happy to host your guest post rebutting R. Zev Eleff’s claims in his history of NCSY”

    Based on all of his prior submissions on the subject, I would hardly consider any of his observations on the issue even remotely approaching a a rebuttal, but rather sour grapes, and a refusal to consider the evidence in Eleff’s book.

  16. MiMedinat HaYam

    while i dont disagree with the judge’s ruling, i disagree with his statement that “These things are the cornerstone of the Declaration of Independence, and the rock of the foundation of Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state.”” as the term Rock of Israel specifically refers to Hashem. its an improper reinterpretation of that “clause” in the “megillat ha’atzma’ut”.

    also, if there is a law that ““Needless to say, spitting toward the accused when he was wearing the mantle of the church is a criminal offense,” the judge said.” , is there a similar law regarding spitting at a jew while wearing a talit and tfillin (or carrying a lulav and etrog, or similar)?

  17. “It is disrespectful to cast families who cannot make those often heart-wrenching choices as somehow not sufficiently valuing Jewish education, as the “appropriate place” terminology does.”

    Especially by mechanchim including those with endowed chairs who earn far more than the median Jew does.

  18. “Based on all of his prior submissions on the subject, I would hardly consider any of his observations on the issue even remotely approaching a a rebuttal, but rather sour grapes,”

    I have no interest in either organization-I have never been employed by either organization except occasional busboy over Yom Tov-YU Succah- and Shabbos -I attended YU, remember YUSY as having vibrant activities and remember when they were pushed out. Institutions do good and certainly NCSY does but I resent the implication given by some posters that only NCSY was virtuous they do good but also have been interested in institutional benefit. We simply should not be dealing with excessive praise that person x or y was a Zaddik and be certain that when 20th century history is written bashammayim anyone is certainly a zaddik or reverse. Victor Geller refers to why and how it happened-he was around to remember it intimately-I remember YUSY as more than a vehicle for the Seminars first the Summer one at Camp Monroe before there was a Morasha and then additional winter ones.

  19. “” as the term Rock of Israel specifically refers to Hashem”
    The term was put in there because it can be interpreted both ways to frumJews as Hashem and to Communists as not.

  20. MeMedinat, I get the feeling that in the original Hebrew, he didn’t use the word “tzur.”

    A certain poster here gratuitously (and groundlessly) insulted me in last week’s thread. I will take a page from my namesake’s playbook and leave it at that.

  21. “it it also the case that the inability to convict does not make one necessarily innocent.”
    Agreed thats why some jurisdictions prefer the expression “not proven” to innocent.

  22. Joseph Kaplan

    “Joseph Kaplan-how did your part of Teaneck deal with the storm this past Shabbos? Power restored or still out?”

    Thanks for asking. Power went out about 5PM Shabbat. Went back about 5PM yesterday. Went out again 4AM this morning. Feels like a 3rd world country. But here’s a nice story. One of our local kosher supermarkets offered free hot dinners to anybody without power.

  23. Rafael Araujo

    “But here’s a nice story. One of our local kosher supermarkets offered free hot dinners to anybody without power.”

    Mi keamchah Yisroel!

  24. Rabbi Lipman writes,

    “The ultra- Orthodox population is reproducing at a far more rapid pace than the rest of the country. At some stage, the ultra-Orthodox will constitute a majority of Jews in Israel.

    Is that a problem? God forbid! The average ultra-Orthodox Jew on the street has no interest in forcing his values on any other Israeli, has no interest in making any city or the country ultra-Orthodox, and is busy simply making a living and raising a family.”

    Is this correct? Is it really the case that the average ultra-Orthodox Jew has no interest in forcing his values on other people and making the country ultra-Orthodox?

    It appears to me to be just the opposite, and if the country ever became majority ultra-Orthodox, that would be the end of Israel as a democratic country, where all are welcomed. Religious oppression of the non-religious and the non-haredi would become standard. I would be curious to hear what others think

  25. “while i dont disagree with the judge’s ruling, i disagree with his statement”

    Well I do. Spitting in front of someone is rude and a provocation, but as far as I know does not justify physical assault. The opinion as reported is a travesty of political correctness.

    My parents used to live in a small town in Southern NJ. There was an Orthodox shul about 1 mile away, to which I would walk on Shabbos. The path took me right next to a car wash, where the workers would stand outside to dry the cars. They would invariably shout anti-semitic taunts and throw pennies when I passed. Had I walked over and punch one of them in the face, does anyone think that I would not have been prosecuted for assault?

  26. Ya gotta to love the picture of the guy collecting hats from the Rabbanim at the Conference. Gold, Jerry, gold!!

  27. Joseph Kaplan

    Just to add to the nice story (re power outage). We have an email list in Teaneck (TeaneckShuls). On the list today there are more than a dozen people opening their homes — ranging from recharging, telephone, internet, hot showers, meals, sleeping arrangements etc. — to those without power.

  28. R’JK,
    West Orange centralized the shadchanut through the AABJ&D, Beth Israel offered anyone who needed could stay there.
    KT

  29. Joseph Kaplan-Thanks for the response and the great examples of Chesed all over Teaneck.

  30. Mycroft wrote:

    “We simply should not be dealing with excessive praise that person x or y was a Zaddik and be certain that when 20th century history is written bashammayim anyone is certainly a zaddik or reverse”

    Why are you so seemingly allergic and to use the term Tzadik or Tzadekes for people who are clearly entitled to be known as such? That, IMO, is a sign of your often displayed spiritual myopia , and cynicism,at work.

  31. “They use a different standard than that for criminal conviction — an in fact police who have been acquitted have neverthless been suspended or terminated. This is because (a) they use the preponderance standard, and (b) the issue they need to determine is not guilt or innocence,”

    Of course for many POs a termination has much more affect than conviction of a minor crimeny-losong a job with no other skills is worse than a five thousand dollar fine .

  32. “Steve Brizel on November 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm
    Mycroft wrote:

    “We simply should not be dealing with excessive praise that person x or y was a Zaddik and be certain that when 20th century history is written bashammayim anyone is certainly a zaddik or reverse”

    Why are you so seemingly allergic and to use the term Tzadik or Tzadekes for people who are clearly entitled to be known as such? That, IMO, is a sign of your often displayed spiritual myopia , and cynicism,at work”
    “for people who are clearly entitled to be known as such”
    according to whose standards-some people would refer to some of the extreme LWRabbis as Zaddikim-you clearly wouldn’t,some will automatically refer to a RY as a Zaddik-I wouldn’t it. We simply do not know who is a Zaddik and who isn’t. We may know who is a talmid chacham-but we are not able to bochen klayot valev. It is not appropriate to rate rate people-it is appropriate to discuss ideas. There are enough people who have a reputation as Zaddikim who clearly are not. Also listing person X as ZT”L for example next to person Y as Z”L insults the memory of Y.
    If a person is a Zaddik whuich BTW tends to be used by theChareidi world about their own he is-but a Zaddik doesn’t ned the publicity. Of course, anyone in our century never knows the truth about anyone is person X a Zaddik or a crook. What we do know is various behavior thati s attributed to people-often as part of PR for organization x.

  33. MiMedinat HaYam

    tal: “Spitting in front of someone is rude and a provocation, but as far as I know does not justify physical assault. The opinion as reported is a travesty of political correctness.”

    i thought about it later, too. it seems the israeli police did (or prob did not) take in both men for fighting with each other, in the expectation (here in the us) that charges will be dropped against both. (tell it to the judge). but here, the judge (according to my reading of the article) dropped the charges against the physical assaulter, and kept the charges against the “spiritual” assaulter.

    and compounded it by invoking a (historically) compromise clause (with a specific meaning, even if it was a compromise meaning, its still as meaning.) to instigate. (the “tzur” clause.)

    improper decision, and improper phrasing on the judge’s part. or rather further harrasment by the car wash overseer.

  34. With regard to Beit shemesh.It is very sad that all Rabbis both Chareidi and Dati Leumi do not join hands against extremist hooligans.This is nt a Chareidi vs.Dat Leumi issue but one of isolating abusive kanaim.

  35. “Ynet learns chief rabbinate and Ministry of Religious Services stopped providing organization with marriage certificates. Tzohar rabbis: Move will push thousands of secular couples to wed in civil marriage and even to assimilate”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4142033,00.html

  36. What is the purpose of the Rubashkin petition?

  37. Re new Cardinal on Jewish issues-why are people commenting on him to the Forward one way or the other silence is golden in these matters. Not our position to comment on effectiveness of other religions officials.

  38. If he is the Catholic “Liaison to Jewry,” presumably he would want the Jewry to liase with him.

  39. “IMHO, getting the criminal justice system involved creates a mess, as this latest case illustrates”
    Once one gets another group involved they will follow their priorities which may not be the priorities of the one making the referral.

  40. Regarding the woman’s images article; If anyone is under the illusion that the slow erasure of women’s faces from the orthodox public sphere has not spread to MO camps, just have a look at the YU Yarchei Kallah Thanksgiving weekend ad that Gil linked to ; 8 speakers are listed:6 men,2 women. Guess which 2 pictures have been left out?

  41. >Guess which 2 pictures have been left out?

    Why be RWMO when you can go all out and experience the real deal?

  42. Probably just due to availability of images. Whoever put the ad together didn’t have a PR photo of the women. I just did a Google image search and couldn’t find anything from either women.

  43. Erm, one of the men got left off too. YU has a stock of PR photos- if you check YUTorah, you’ll see that there are photos of both men and women, and non-photos of men and women. Men might be overrepresented, if only because the women are often not YU faculty.

  44. “Probably just due to availability of images. Whoever put the ad together didn’t have a PR photo of the women. I just did a Google image search and couldn’t find anything from either women.”

    What are you talking about? Didn’t Zehava accurately identify the vast right-wing conspiracy to do away with women? C’mon Gil, you are just making excuses. 🙂

  45. Lawrence Kaplan

    Zehava and anonymous: You are simply off-base here. As Nachum correctly said, just go to YU online and you will see many pictures of women. In the ad for the forthcoming Shabbaton in
    Teaneck there are pictures of the three women speakers, alongside the pictures of the 10 or so men speakers, most of them distinguished Roshei Yeshiva.

  46. “Re new Cardinal on Jewish issues-why are people commenting on him to the Forward one way or the other silence is golden in these matters. Not our position to comment on effectiveness of other religions officials”

    Not only is he the Catholic liason to the Jewish community, he was speaking at an interfaith event. He even stated that Jews should view the cross as their Yom Kippur. (“This past July, he came into conflict with Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segna, when he wrote in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, that the cross is “the permanent and universal Yom Kippur”)

    These interfaith talks are really silly.

  47. Mycroft wrote:
    “It is not appropriate to rate rate people-it is appropriate to discuss ideas. There are enough people who have a reputation as Zaddikim who clearly are not. Also listing person X as ZT”L for example next to person Y as Z”L insults the memory of Y.”

    Thank you, Mycroft, for writing this. Until now I’ve had vague feelings of discomfort when seeing “ZT’L” for enormous numbers of people, but you’ve articulated the issue exactly. In our day let Hashem alone decide who’s a tzaddik.

  48. Re Day School tuition-? Why aren’t the profits from Kashrut used to subsidize day schools, mikvaot etc?

  49. Lawrence Kaplan on November 2, 2011 at 11:43 am
    “Zehava and anonymous: You are simply off-base here. As Nachum correctly said, just go to YU online and you will see many pictures of women. In the ad for the forthcoming Shabbaton in
    Teaneck there are pictures of the three women speakers, alongside the pictures of the 10 or so men speakers, most of them distinguished Roshei Yeshiva.”

    Not too long ago YU sponsored a doubleheader of speakers on a Sunday morning in my general neighborhood-the first speaker a Male RY was open to men and women the 2nd speaker a women who was goingto speak on the Sreidei eish was open only to men. Thus YU will on occasion sponser lectures which are not open to men. I don’t understand why men were not invited-but YU has done that on occasion.

  50. Gil,

    I’m seeing more and more people talk about the nikur being done at http://www.bisrakosher.com/

    Perhaps you can put up a post on any issues involved in such meat?

  51. MiMedinat HaYam

    kashrut profits go to ncsy, not to yeshiva (or day school) education. its the o-u’s call what to do with its profits. (is this unrelated business income???) they also schnorr $ from (some of) those they give hechsherim to, for specific projects (such as ncsy).

    and as r gil will vouch, i am the last person to speak up for the o-u.

    2. i once drove up specifically for a midreshet yom rishon event (held in schottenstein / the old shul) only to be turned away at the door, as that event was “women only”. (i offered to sit in the back / ezrat nashim / inobtrusive place / even outside the door / room, but was turned down.) had to go to midrash yom rishon to hear a reg YU RY who was cheered on by his “chassidim” students.

  52. I’m seeing more and more people talk about the nikur being done at http://www.bisrakosher.com/

    Perhaps you can put up a post on any issues involved in such meat?

    Interestingly, that website offers not only beef and lamb, but also kosher goat! Something I don’t believe exists anywhere else in America.

  53. Tal – Leg of lamb as well! which is not available anywhere in america. Rabbi Elkin just (5 min. ago) delivered to me one leg of goat and leg of lamb. eventually he plans to do duck, pheasant, and geese (chanukah oh chanukah).

  54. Re NY Milk St Cafe-Haven’t there been other similar downtown kosher places that have closed down?

  55. “Haven’t there been other similar downtown kosher places that have closed down?”

    Restaurants go in and out of business all the time. Just a month ago, a deli in Riverdale that had been in business for 45 years closed. (The strip shopping center where it was located has five other kosher businesses!) But in this case, it looks like there is a specific reason for the drop in business: The Occupy Wall Street protesters. They should reimburse the owner.

  56. “MiMedinat HaYam on November 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm
    kashrut profits go to ncsy, not to yeshiva (or day school) education. its the o-u’s call what to do with its profits. (is this unrelated business income???) they also schnorr $ from (some of) those they give hechsherim to, for specific projects (such as ncsy).

    and as r gil will vouch, i am the last person to speak up for the o-u”

    I intentionally commented in general-not referring to the OU-the lack of community input in many local Vaads that clearly should be profitable as to how money should be spent.-

  57. “These interfaith talks are really silly.”

    Especially when the other side makes embarrassing statements like that.

  58. “!) But in this case, it looks like there is a specific reason for the drop in business:”
    That was my question-I have been to the Milk St Cafe in Boston but not to the one in NY-when I heard they were opening up one in downtown NY I had doubts as to the viability of such a restaurant in such a neighborhood. Even before 9/11 it was not an easy area-certainly for a non bargain place.

  59. Regarding day school tuition, people don’t have a clue as to the magnitude of the problem. The total cost of Jewish day schools in the US is probably on the order of two billion dollars a year. What is the OU’s annual budget? Certainly a tiny fraction of that.

  60. “Charlie Hall on November 3, 2011 at 12:00 am
    “These interfaith talks are really silly.”

    Especially when the other side makes embarrassing statements like that”
    Disagree-it is important for usto hear what people really believe-having said that we must be careful in what we say.

  61. “2. i once drove up specifically for a midreshet yom rishon event (held in schottenstein / the old shul) only to be turned away at the door, as that event was “women only”. (i offered to sit in the back / ezrat nashim / inobtrusive place / even outside the door / room, but was turned down.) had to go to midrash yom rishon to hear a reg YU RY who was cheered on by his “chassidim” students”

    Why does YU sponser Torah that males are not allowed to attend -even in separate seating?

  62. You can always get it on their website. There’s a popular female speaker in Israel who gives the password to her website recordings to women only.

    Anyway, YU’s system seems to work. For some reason, women never speak to the male division, but they do to joint events.

  63. ” Not all participants in the closed session, which included at least one nationally prominent and respected Orthodox personality, would agree to to be publicly identified, illustrating continuing sensitivity within the Orthodox community to meetings with Muslims.”

    I have no inside information on the person referred to-but since the Rav stopped being able to answer sheilot and certainly since the passing of the Rav at least some of those loyal to the Rav might be more reluctant to deal with these issues. The center of acceptable behavior on interfaith matters has changed-there are many certainly within YU/RIETS who follow a simplistictheological/nontheological difference in acceptable dialogue-versus followingthe nuances of what the Rav permitted.

  64. On Milk Street Cafe in the 40 Wall Street Trump building, the reviews on yelp indicate there are other issues that may explain the business plan not being met.

    In an area with no lack of competition, trying to cater to those not restricted by kashrut requires matching the competition in either value or quality.

  65. Chief Rabbi Sacks has clearly achieved a degree of resonance with American Modern Orthodox that marks him as a thought leader unlike, say, RHS. I attended his talk at 92Y on Sunday (an “interview” with Ari Goldman) and he hit all the right notes for the audience.

    Goldman was a bit too fawning for my taste and there were no probing questions until the Q&A when an audience member asked what he meant by “Orthodox” in his multiple references to 70% of Anglo Jewry being Orthodox. To his credit, R. Sacks answered it in a straightforward manner — these Jews ranged from Charedi to completely non-observant. For the latter it is the shul they don’t go to [but he did not explain further that the shul to which they belong but do not attend will provide for their burial after a long life].

    He was equally forthright about wanting to spend more time teaching Torah in both the US and Israel after retirement.

    For those who want to hear a more challenging discussion with CR Sacks, I would recommend the 2007 Jewish Book Week talk with Leon Wieseltier about his Siddur available at http://www.jewishbookweek.com/2007/270207f.php (which I was delighted to have attended in person).

    Hopefully recordings of his talks this past week at YU and 92Y will also be made available.

  66. RHS is a talmudist and halakhist, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. The MO need someone like him just as they need someone like R. Sacks.

  67. That neither contradicts nor disagree with my comment.

    I also want to clarify what I mean by “more challenging discussion”. Like any skilled communicator of ideas, R. Sacks has a toolbox of anecdotes and narratives honed to get his point across. Left to his own devices he will happily fit them togather — as he did in the successful 92Y talk. The talk with Wiesltier on the other hand, required that he think & communicate in real-time to unexpected turns in conversation. To me, this is far more interesting and thought-provoking.

  68. R’IH,
    I had the same feeling about the BBC discussion I reviewed-more push is better for clarifying ideas and ideals (oops)
    KT

  69. From R’AL-Now, in certain respects, some things which I value have been lost in the process. Not totally lost, but reduced I would hope that something of that spirit which animated some of us here, back in the 60s and 70s, would be reinvigorated, and that the Torah U’Madda ideology and reality would be felt more powerfully than it is felt today.

    =================
    Talk about being a master of understatement
    KT

  70. r’ joel – what did you expect from rav aaharon? something not too subtle?

  71. “That neither contradicts nor disagree with my comment.”

    Your comments brought the following question to my mind: should American MO look to a philospher like R Sacks as its leader, or a talmudist and posek like RHS? I would say the latter, since being a Jew means committing to and following halachoh and knowing what are the mitzvos and how to perform them.

  72. Gil – What MO needs is someone who combines both of those skills with a charismatic personality, or at least to have leaders of both sorts with a common language, which I don’t believe RHS and R. Sacks really have. R. Sacks’ intellectual development occurred entirely outside of the yeshiva world. I’m not even sure if it could have happened within it (his charedi critics would agree with me on that one).
    On another note, it’s interesting that the CR attracts more attention (among frum Jews at least) on his trips to the US, than on his home turf. Of course, this is largely a function of the makeup of Anglo-Orthodoxy, with its fat tails and general lack of a ‘committed but curious’ middle.

  73. abba's rantings

    RAFAEL:

    ” I would say the latter, since being a Jew means committing to and following halachoh and knowing what are the mitzvos and how to perform them”

    of course being a Jews means committing to and following halachoh, etc., but we’re human beings, not robots.

  74. I agree with R Gil. MO, especially in the US , needs both RHS as well as CR Sacks, with their respective skill sets.

  75. FTR, I was making an observation of reality; not positing any thesis.

  76. “Of course, this is largely a function of the makeup of Anglo-Orthodoxy, with its fat tails and general lack of a ‘committed but curious’ middle.”

    I disagree. For Anglo Jews, he has socio-political authority and there are those who fault him for decisions he has taken in that role. E.g. the Jews’ Free School (now JFS) court case fiasco.

    US Jews are neither knowledgable about, nor interested, in Anglo-Jewish politics. They see CR Sacks for in terms of his popular theological writing and speaking.

  77. “Your comments brought the following question to my mind: should American MO look to a philospher like R Sacks as its leader, or a talmudist and posek like RHS? I would say the latter, since being a Jew means committing to and following halachoh and knowing what are the mitzvos and how to perform them.”

    For that you have your mimetic tradition, your textual skills, and your local Orthodox rabbi, or the posek himself if you are on speaking terms, and if you are lacking any or all of those, you still have your LOR. I don’t see why being the posek must equal the pinnacle of leadership for an entire community?

  78. IH – Sorry, I should have made myself clearer. I was referring to the attention he attracts as a theologian and ‘darshan’ amongst the frum community. His plausible audience as a proportion of the orthodox demographic is quite simply smaller here than it is in the US.

  79. ‘On another note, it’s interesting that the CR attracts more attention (among frum Jews at least) on his trips to the US, than on his home turf”

    Because a CR is not really considered theboss by local Jews-outside of the UK the title seems more impressive.

  80. “RHS is a talmudist and halakhist, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else”
    Agreed-but if he likes it or not he is also a leader of Klal Israel.

  81. MiMedinat HaYam

    mycroft — “I intentionally commented in general-not referring to the OU-the lack of community input in many local Vaads that clearly should be profitable as to how money should be spent”

    the original comment was soecific about the o-u. either way, local vaadim are a: similarly entitled to spend their $ however they want b: kashrut is usually a one man operation in many / most local vaadim, so the profits are basically that one man’s to distribute (to himself as his / her “salary” / business profits.) c: one (then prominent) vaad for many years was simply a dinner for whatever rav was assigned to that establishment. i.e., his personal “business” under vaad aegis.

    either way, kashrut is a business (like it or not, and i have no objection), whose profits are up to the vaad to distribute as it sees fit. not necessarily for chinuch (unless the rav sends the vaad check to pay his children’s tuition.)

    2. interfaith talks — yes their silly, when there’s no committment to fairness. the cardinal said his truth, which is not fairness to us. the muslims didnt say their truth (itbach al yehudi) for the spirit of staying in the talks / presumed $.

    and they may very well have similar claims about us.

    as for unified voice — forget it.

    3. CR sacks — perhaps thats why he sees his (retired) future writing books and speeches (?teaching in YU?) in america and israel.

    4. milk st — its not a discount store area (century 21 is a cross between discount of high quality items. perhaps a good model for milk st. yeah. discounted $25 steaks for $10? i dont think so.) nor is it a destination market (no one is going to come there from another area just to eat.) the only thing left is business lunches (and catering). with the downgrade of the FIRE market, and its moving to out of manhattan area, whats left?

  82. “MiMedinat HaYam on November 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm
    mycroft — “I intentionally commented in general-not referring to the OU-the lack of community input in many local Vaads that clearly should be profitable as to how money should be spent”

    the original comment was soecific about the o-u. either way,”

    See my original comment

    “mycroft on November 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm
    Re Day School tuition-? Why aren’t the profits from Kashrut used to subsidize day schools, mikvaot etc?”
    No mention of OU at all.

    “local vaadim are a: similarly entitled to spend their $ however they want b: kashrut is usually a one man operation in many / most local vaadim, so the profits are basically that one man’s to distribute (to himself as his / her “salary” / business profits.) c: one (then prominent) vaad for many years was simply a dinner for whatever rav was assigned to that establishment. i.e., his personal “business” under vaad aegis.”
    I didn’t realize that was true about many local Vaads that they are simply sole properties of individual
    rabbonim-if true I guess I wasn’t cynical enough to realize that,

    “either way, kashrut is a business (like it or not, and i have no objection), whose profits are up to the vaad to distribute as it sees fit.”
    If a business they should not be soliciting contributions, having annual dinners etc.

    .” milk st — its not a discount store area (century 21 is a cross between discount of high quality items. perhaps a good model for milk st. yeah. discounted $25 steaks for $10? i dont think so.) nor is it a destination market (no one is going to come there from another area just to eat.) the only thing left is business lunches (and catering). with the downgrade of the FIRE market, and its moving to out of manhattan area, whats left?”
    Essentially agree

  83. “Why does YU sponser Torah that males are not allowed to attend -even in separate seating?”

    YU sponsors Torah that females are not allowed to attend. Do you support entirely co-ed events?

    (Full disclosure: I am employee of YU. My opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.)

  84. “Charlie Hall on November 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm
    “Why does YU sponser Torah that males are not allowed to attend -even in separate seating?”

    YU sponsors Torah that females are not allowed to attend. Do you support entirely co-ed events?”

    I see no reason why all Torah lectures should not be open to both men and women.
    Besides the Ravs obvious approval of mixed classes in Maimonides-both men and women attended his Saturday night shiurim and on occasion if a women shoed up to his advance Gemarrah shiurim in the Boston area he would invitethem into the room.

  85. Read
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/opinion/oligarchy-american-style.html?_r=1

    and see if the same ideas are relevant to the modern Jewish life.

  86. “US Jews are neither knowledgable about, nor interested, in Anglo-Jewish politics. They see CR Sacks for in terms of his popular theological writing and speaking.”

    I suspect his CR title helps his popularity-I heard him speak before he was CR and was impressed by him.

  87. Muslim cab drivers rescue New York City’s oldest Jewish bagel bakery from closing, plan to keep it kosher

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/muslim-cab-drivers-rescue-york-city-oldest-jewish-bagel-bakery-closing-plan-kosher-article-1.972123

  88. On the disgusting spitting attacks, if the publicity spreads it will not take long before the UK solution is applied:
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/static/corporate/media/newscentre/archive/8353.html

  89. Re Interview with RAL-Of trivia interest is that both RAL and RYBS first taught in YU as non RY-RAL as Stern teacher and RYBS as Philosophy teacher.

  90. “http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=244187”
    dealing with why Israeli kids hate Talmud probably applies to at leastthe same porportion of NA kids.I wonder how much the attempt to teach Talmud to more than elite students is a major contributing factor to kids going OTD. If you ahte a high porportion of your religious studies time doesn’t it stand to reason youre going to hate religion.

  91. “For that you have your mimetic tradition, your textual skills, and your local Orthodox rabbi, or the posek himself if you are on speaking terms, and if you are lacking any or all of those, you still have your LOR. I don’t see why being the posek must equal the pinnacle of leadership”

    Not an expert but my impression is that rarely in our history were poskim the leaders of our communities.

  92. Mycroft and IH, see the following snippet from the Forward re surveys of Orthodox areas:

    “It is also true that criticisms of the earlier NJPS 1990 that it might have undercounted Orthodox Jews led to strong outreach efforts for NJPS 2000. It appears that this was successful and, if anything, there may have been a slightly higher participation rate for Orthodox in 2000”

    Once again, we see that the methodology and organization fronting the bill for a survey plays no small role in dictating the demographic conclusion. Unless demographers and those who commission them realize that there are many strong MO and Charedi communities, we can expect to see continued tokenism ( as in one page in a survey of Chicago), ignoring the existence of strong Orthodox communities in surveys
    ( Baltimore) and undercounting of Orthodox areas in such surveys.

  93. Mycroft wrote:

    “Not an expert but my impression is that rarely in our history were poskim the leaders of our communities”

    How about the Noda BiYehudah, Chasam Sofer and the Gra for three examples of Poskim who were leaders of their communities?

  94. The Gra wasn’t a community leader. The other two were.

  95. Steve — Help me out. Where’s the disagreement with what mycroft or I have said?

    In any case what does “may have been a slighty higher participation rate” mean? Fewer people having up the telephone on the survey agent? Is it statistically significant?

  96. hanging up the telephone…

  97. IH-the author engaged in what was clearly “blame the victim” rhetoric. Perhaps, he should talk to Dr Helmreich or Dr Heilman about to do demographic work in Charedi or MO communities, as opposed to blaming the residents therein.

  98. R Gil-How about the SR for a modern day communal leader who was also a very influential Posek?

  99. MiMedinat HaYam

    mycroft — “If a business they should not be soliciting contributions, having annual dinners etc. ”

    what do you call almost every day school / yeshiva? i call it a business, incorporated as a non profit, with a (possible) altruistic purpose. who’se profits accrue to the “principal” of the business, known as RY or admnistrator. some exceptions, but few and far between.

    (conversely, i call apple computer a business that has / had an altruistic purpose.) (ditto milk st cafe) my point is, there’s nothing wrong it. just tax code / incorporation preferences.

    2. sorry — your original post did not allude to the o-u. but i interpreted it that way. sorry. but my comment remains — its their decision (and / or their donors) how to spend their “profits”.

  100. IH-one begrudingly tokenist page in a Chicago survey and the complete failure to even discuss the very strong Baltimore Charedi and MO communities speaks volumes as to the methodology and conclusions reached by demographers.

  101. MiMedinat HaYam

    armenian spitting — there are security video cameras all over the (so called) old city. just look at them (and / or install new ones in appropriate locations)

    as i commented oreviously — is it against the law to spit at an (appropriately dressed / identified) rav? if we want to go on about this, this must be clarified.

    also, are arabs also spitting? (or do the armenians prefer not to get into that, as all the various christian churches do not want to protest against those they are fearful of (greek orthodox, excepted; they are known as notorious supporters.)

    london busses — i heard (tv news reports) that nyc bus drivers have same issues in “minority” neighborhoods.

  102. Steve — you’re right. Orthodoxy really accounts for 20% of Jews in the US only 10% – 15% hang up on the survey agents or do not identify themselves as Orthodox thereby skewing the statistics 🙂

  103. “His plausible audience as a proportion of the orthodox demographic is quite simply smaller here than it is in the US.”
    Really-except for Lubavitch which has a liking to the CR for obvious parochial reasons what proportion of the Chassidic and Hareidi audience does he have in the US

  104. “the complete failure to even discuss the very strong Baltimore Charedi and MO communities speaks volumes as to the methodology and conclusions reached by demographers.”

    Baltimore is atypical of the US-it has probably been the most Orthodox city in the US since Rabbi Rice in the mid 1800s-they were the first city outside of NY to have Jewish day HS TA (circa 1919).
    Approximate percentage of Jews in the US in Baltimore 2%
    Number of Jews by city
    New York-1.9 mil, LA-625,000, Phily-276,000, Chicago-261,000, Boston-227,000, Washington-165,000, Baltimore-95,000, Detriot-94,000

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_Jewish_population_by_US_city#ixzz1clnDqqXl

    leaves out the approximate 500k from South Florida-the Dade/Broward/Palm Beach megalopolis does not fit easily into cities.

  105. “Steve Brizel on November 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    IH-one begrudingly tokenist page in a Chicago survey and the complete failure to even discuss the very strong Baltimore Charedi and MO communities speaks volumes as to the methodology and conclusions reached by demographers”

    There are some well known Orthodox demographers/sociologists etc-are you aware of any who have written statingthat the methodology and demographers have intentionally undercounted the number ofOrthodox Jews in the US? If you aware of any please post a link to their writings.

  106. Apropos Freund’s article, I recently translated a biting critique by R. Dr. Yehuda Brandes on the subject of gemara education in high school, available here in pdf form:

    http://aiwac.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/how-not-to-teach-gemara-in-high-school-pdf-version/

    Enjoy, or cringe.

  107. Didn’t Atid publish a debate between R. Brandes and R. Aharon Lichtenstein on this subject? I recall finding R. Lichtenstein more convincing.

  108. “What MO needs is someone who combines both of those skills with a charismatic personality”
    Since the Rav who has had both skills?

  109. Yes, they did.

    R. Lichtenstein, while passionate, only convinces me w/regard to savants (which, quite frankly, is all most yeshivot really care about at the end of the day). His method is not relevant for normal folk, certainly not in the beginning, in a rigid school setting.

    His insistence on “Brisk, Brisk and only Brisk” rubs me the wrong way. You’d think that all the previous generations ONLY learned according to R. Haim’s method the way he waxes eloquent about it.

    PS Have you gotten to the section about the CI’s (far from positive) attitude towards Brisk? I found it fascinating.

  110. “Hirhurim on November 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm
    Didn’t Atid publish a debate between R. Brandes and R. Aharon Lichtenstein on this subject? I recall finding R. Lichtenstein more convincing”

    The question should be one that has an empirical answer-which on first impression may well be different in Israel and the Diaspora.

  111. “/regard to savants (which, quite frankly, is all most yeshivot really care about at the end of the day”

    AGREED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  112. abba's rantings

    Steve Brizel on November 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    Mycroft wrote:

    “Not an expert but my impression is that rarely in our history were poskim the leaders of our communities”

    How about the Noda BiYehudah, Chasam Sofer and the Gra for three examples of Poskim who were leaders of their communities?
    _______________
    STEVE:

    so you named 2 (the gra wasn’t as gil pointed out). even if you name more, this doesn’t refute what mycroft wrote. he didn’t say they didn’t exist. just that they were rare. of course to an extent this hinges on how one defines “community” and “posek”

  113. Joseph Kaplan

    “what do you call almost every day school / yeshiva? i call it a business, incorporated as a non profit, with a (possible) altruistic purpose. who’se profits accrue to the “principal” of the business, known as RY or admnistrator. some exceptions, but few and far between.”

    Not all the day schools I know. There are no “profits [to] accrue” and those who are the administrators receive a salary.

  114. Abba- “of course to an extent this hinges on how one defines “community” and “posek””

    Please could someone define a leader – and whether that has changed over time?

  115. “His method is not relevant for normal folk, certainly not in the beginning, ”

    A Yeshiva method is not relevant for the majority of the population.

  116. “Not an expert but my impression is that rarely in our history were poskim the leaders of our communities”

    BTW-the Gra is an example of where a world class talmid chacham was not the leader of the Vilna community-his cherem against Hassidus I believe was signed by the leaders of the community.

  117. “Joseph Kaplan on November 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm
    “what do you call almost every day school / yeshiva? i call it a business, incorporated as a non profit, with a (possible) altruistic purpose. who’se profits accrue to the “principal” of the business, known as RY or admnistrator. some exceptions, but few and far between.”

    Not all the day schools I know. There are no “profits [to] accrue” and those who are the administrators receive a salary.”

    Profits in nonprofits general is a tricky business-closely held ones make sure to pay out in salaries etc enough to not “make money”
    For a day school-lets take a conservative example
    20 students in a class-usually more
    20000 tuition far from the highest
    400000 revenue-not including dinners etc
    Assume Rebbe costs 150K-on the high side
    leaves 250K for other expenses-secular teachers moonlighting will go for less than 10k a period-thus will average less than 50k for the secular studies-leaving 200k for other amortized expenses-building depreciation, heat, administrator salaries etc
    Don’t like my figures/assumptions- do a proforma with your figures/assumptions and see what you come up with.

  118. “Ruvie on November 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm
    Abba- “of course to an extent this hinges on how one defines “community” and “posek”””
    I define community as Jews who lived in a geographic area-obviously if one defines community as those who accept X or Y as Gadol Hador/Posek Hador the answer might change for them- if onecould have had a Gallup Poll back then and asked aJews who you’re leaders are.
    Obviously-we tend to know years later about the talmeidei chachamim rather than the leaders ofthe communities.

  119. There may be some newer books but IMHO it is worth the time and effort to read Salo Baron’s “A Social and Religious History of the Jews” to understand Jewish History is more than just a study of our poskim and rabbonim.

  120. Mycroft – “Obviously-we tend to know years later about the talmeidei chachamim rather than the leaders ofthe communities.”

    True, leaders generally do not write shu”t or other sefarim if they are not rabbis. I am just surprised that leaders in general here are regarded to be only rabbis. Why in general one would think that a ry or a posek is a leader of a community without communal roles is strange by indicative to how the layity think these days. But, it would be true of Hasidic communities where the rebbe is the leader.

  121. Ex-Mossad Chief warns…. ‘Ultra-Orthodox radicalization poses bigger threat than Ahmadinejad,’
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4143909,00.html

    Ousted Jerusalem city council member Rachel Azaria worries that Israel is giving too much ground to religious extremists.
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/what-s-happened-to-this-model-state-1.393938

    Is this extremism showing up in the USA with signs asking them to walk on the other side of the street or move over for men? Time will tell. Will the people of israel at some point not cave into haredei demands?
    not likely soon but at some point expect to see a major backlash.

  122. Mycroft:

    I have no idea what the correct figures are. What I do have an idea about are the people who are involved (teachers, administrators, board members) in the day schools that I am familiar with. And I know know that to say, as MMHY said, that the (alleged) “profits accrue” to the administrators of the schools is an unjustified, anonymous attack on many many people who who devote themselves to the cause of Jewish education.

  123. With regard to Freund’s article, my doctoral research focused on this exact issue in an American context. While limited in scope, it offered some degree of hope.

    Click here for the study: http://lookstein.org/articles/motivational_issues.pdf

  124. “Menachem Z. Rosensaft, the child of Holocaust survivors, teaches a class on the law of genocide at Columbia Law School.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/05/nyregion/for-this-instructor-teaching-about-genocide-is-personal.html

    His Wikipedia entry is interesting, btw.

  125. “Rabbi Rice in the mid 1800s-they were the first city outside of NY to have Jewish day HS TA (circa 1919).”

    Actually, Rabbi Rice himself had started a day school in the mid-19th century. That still made Baltimore #2, behind New York, as Gershom Mendes Seixas and Israel Bear Kursheedt had started one decades earlier. None of these attempts lasted, though.

  126. “The proposal was initiated by Knesset Members Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Otniel Schneller (Kadima) will obligate the rabbinical court to set a date for granting a Get.”
    Problem with establishment of Religion in Israel-once one has batei dinim set up-a secular government and theoretically based on decisions of non Jews can force a beis din to do x or y

  127. Charlie Hall on November 6, 2011 at 12:19 am
    ““Rabbi Rice in the mid 1800s-they were the first city outside of NY to have Jewish day HS TA (circa 1919).”

    Actually, Rabbi Rice himself had started a day school in the mid-19th century. That still made Baltimore #2, behind New York, as Gershom Mendes Seixas and Israel Bear Kursheedt had started one decades earlier. None of these attempts lasted, though”

    Are you maintaininig that there were Day HS in the US before MTA-if I recall correctly R Rakeffet in his book about Revel maintains that Revel startedthe first HS with both Jewish and secualr studies in theUS around 1915 or so when MTA was founded- Is my recollection wrong?

  128. Joseph Kaplan-
    I am not challenging any individuals good faith in the day school movement-I just posted a back of the envelope revenue and expenses for 1 case using my assumptions-I invite others to come up with different proformas using different assumptions.

  129. Ruvie on November 5, 2011 at 11:10 pm
    Mycroft – “Obviously-we tend to know years later about the talmeidei chachamim rather than the leaders ofthe communities.”

    “True, leaders generally do not write shu”t or other sefarim if they are not rabbis. I am just surprised that leaders in general here are regarded to be only rabbis.”
    Iam not sure that is correct-there are certainly bloggers who believe that not sure how many.

    “Why in general one would think that a ry or a posek is a leader of a community without communal roles is strange by indicative to how the layity think these days.”
    Most Jewish laity don’t think that way

    “But, it would be true of Hasidic communities where the rebbe is the leader”
    Agreed but Hasidism is less than 300 years old-Judaism is over 3000 years old.

  130. “YU sponsors Torah that females are not allowed to attend. Do you support entirely co-ed events”
    Outside of davening in a schul-WHY NOT?

  131. mycroft – “Most Jewish laity don’t think that way” i meant frum laity in general.

  132. Joseph Kaplan

    My original comment was not to you. My second comment (to you, this time) was simply pointing out that I didn’t think your response was particularly relevant to the point I was making.

  133. “ruvie on November 6, 2011 at 7:37 am
    mycroft – “Most Jewish laity don’t think that way” i meant frum laity in general.

    fair enough but its an open question does frum laity believe that way -or is there sometimes a figleaf of putting Rabbinic names as decison makers-see Agudah-for many years Rabbi Sherer ran the Agudah-his smicha is irrelevant no one wouldclaim that his power was based on his being a talmid chacham but he effectively used the Moetzet Gdolei Hatorah as a cover for his succesful running of the organization.
    But the question of is the Agudah a Rabbibic led organization or lay goes back to its founding maybe some scholar can opine on Breuer vs Rosenheim.

  134. ,” required that he think & communicate in real-time to unexpected turns in conversation. To me, this is far more interesting and thought-provoking.”
    Agreed

  135. no comments on chareidi spitting attacks against non Chareidi clergy?

  136. ” I am just surprised that leaders in general here are regarded to be only rabbis.”
    Was that true historically? Or is it that most of the bloggers here have gone through a Yeshiva education which means studying in depth the Rabbinic past of our heritage.

  137. “November 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm
    With regard to Freund’s article, my doctoral research focused on this exact issue in an American context. While limited in scope, it offered some degree of hope.

    Click here for the study: http://lookstein.org/articles/motivational_issues.pdf

    thanks for the link-interesting study-I posted a fragment of your abstract-as my Readers digest for those who don’t have the time to read all of it.

    The most significant finds of these analyses was that student motivation to study Talmud seems to be most closely linked to his motivation to succeed in school in general,while the impact of parents, peers, and teachers on motivation was significant only with regard to the relationships that students reported having with their rebbeim. When asked to rank their classes, one-third of the students placed Talmud in the lower one-third of
    their classes, but almost one-half ranked Talmud in the top one-third of their classes, with one-third ranking it first among their subjects. Analyses of variance were performed to
    better explain the relationship between the rankings and the actual motivation that students had towards Talmud. In general, student motivation correlated well with the ranking that students gave their Talmud class. The one surprising finding was that many
    students who ranked Talmud lower among their subjects still reported a positive relationship with their rebbe. These findings bring some focus to the question of what schools are attempting to accomplish by allotting over two hours of instructional time per
    day to the study of Talmud, and the suggestion is made that it is not the study of Talmud itself which is most important, but rather the increased exposure to the positive religious
    role model of the rebbe.

  138. MiMedinat HaYam

    “Not all the day schools I know. There are no “profits [to] accrue” and those who are the administrators receive a salary.””

    just like the pres of goldman sachs walks out of the room during a board meeting and a board member quickly proposes $Xmill salary to him this year (with no debate.) ditto day school “administrator”.

    (yeah — goldman sachs has a compensation committe, etc. i’m just trhowing out a hypothetical comparison with day schools.)

    actually, nothing wrong with it, in my opinion. administrator salary is a function of fundraising (which i notice many day schools do not do anymore) and market forces (go to work for the day school next door, which is similarly managed.)

    the day school admninistrator couldnt do a steve jobs or bill gates (no / little salary, and stock compensation.)

    thank you mycroft for the back of the envelope support.

  139. Joseph Kaplan on November 6, 2011 at 7:50 am
    My original comment was not to you. My second comment (to you, this time) was simply pointing out that I didn’t think your response was particularly relevant to the point I was making

    Thanks for the clarification

  140. Joseph Kaplan

    ” i’m just trhowing out a hypothetical comparison with day schools.”

    Your alleged “comparison” is a vile slur on many fine people. You have no idea what you’re talking about with respect to many yeshivot and day schools. But hiding behind a pseudonym you feel free to malign anyone — as you continually do. And Mycroft’s analysis, correct or not (I’m not competent to judge — and I suspect you’re not either) doesn’t support your odious attacks.

  141. “meant frum laity in general.”
    Curious what is your operational definition of frum.

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