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Bullied Jewish girl’s parents sue school
Steven Spielberg To Direct Moses Film ‘Gods And Kings’
Israeli parents protest growing extremist bent in religious schools
Proposal for National Museum of the Jewish People
Some Orthodox Jewish schools in NJ town backing off Thanksgiving busing request
SALT Friday
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Congress hears testimony on Holocaust claims
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Kiryas Tosh Synagogue Robbed In Latest Attack On Jewish Community
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A Breakthrough Model For Day Schools?
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Canada to fund safety of kosher food
Rabbi Einhorn’s Social Sermon Experiment
Crown Heights cracking down on sexual abuse
Among Righteous Men
SALT Wednesday
R. Riskin: Has the Chief Rabbinate outlived its usefulness?
Touro Under Scrutiny Over Israel Class
People of the Byte
Tnuva drops Brooklyn distributor following labor campaign
Google Street View Visits Meah Shearim – With Protection
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YU study finds correlation between services, optimism
SALT Tuesday
Modern Orthodoxy in the Crosshairs
Israel Trip Divides Jewish Service Group
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SALT Monday
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About Gil Student

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

117 comments

  1. I continue to be bemused by the insecurity of RWMO that produces the latest round of dialogue we see on Cross-Currents. Is there any evidence this debate is nothing more than a rehash of 18th century Mitnagdim vs. Chassidim?

    Go, team, go!!!

  2. Since I am having trouble posting on Rabbi Spolter’s blog, I am putting my comments here since I suspect he will read them here:

    Rabbi Spolter,

    I enjoyed your comments and I believe you raise some valuable points for consideration about the contribution of his Chicago experience to who the RY was. However, I want to point out that the assumption around is that if Reb Nosson Tzvi had stayed on that path, he wouldn’t have become a gadol. Instead, he would have a been a learned MO lawyer or something like that.

    Second, from the articles I have read, what really turned him on to learning and growth was seeing his misphachoh in EY. I understand that at 14 he wanted to leave Chicago/Chicagi and learn in the Mir but finished high school at the request of this parents. In other words, seeing the life lived in EY had a tremendous and profound effect on his life and caused the major change.

  3. Re Rav Finkle he was chareidi and thus entitled to acharei mos kedoshim emor. Rav Elazar Shach had a son Ephraim Shach A”H-his death hardly rated a mention. Perhaps because Dr Ephraim Shach served in the IDF-for the chareidi world it effectively made him persona non grata-at Elazar Shachs levayah his sons in law spoke not his son.
    Modern Orthodxy schools will be proud of those who become RY-chareid won’t be proud of those who become MO.

  4. http://orot.tv/Article.aspx?ID=962

    נפרדים מכתב רש”י video (Hebrew)

  5. R Finkel proudly reminisced of his memories playing hoops for Ida Crown Academy. Clearly, he saw the arc of his life as a natural development and extension rather than a break from any past rejected.

    Were this only true of the rest of our leadership.

    Elu v’elu…

  6. Reuven Spolter

    Rafael Araujo:
    First of all, I’m sorry that you couldn’t post a comment. I’ll get my IT dept to look at it 😉

    You also wrote,
    “Second, from the articles I have read, what really turned him on to learning and growth was seeing his misphachoh in EY. I understand that at 14 he wanted to leave Chicago/Chicagi and learn in the Mir but finished high school at the request of this parents. In other words, seeing the life lived in EY had a tremendous and profound effect on his life and caused the major change.”

    While your comment seems innocuous enough, the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. This is precisely the ‘rejectionist’ approach that i wrote about. I’m not sure if you consciously meant this, but effectively what you’re saying is that RNZF always wanted to reject his MO upbringing, and only delayed doing so to honor the wishes of his family. I have no idea if that’s true or not (and other comments seem to indicate otherwise). But it does say a great deal about a “frum” world that completely rejects the posivite benefits that Modern Orthodoxy and its educational system offer.

  7. Response to Rabbi Riskin: Hell, yes.

  8. R. Riskin writes:

    The story is told of Rabbi Aryeh Levin, the famed tzaddik of Jerusalem, who once spotted a young soldier on a short furlough from the army. The rabbi knew the young man from the neighborhood in Geula, and so he crossed the street in order to extend his hand in greeting. “Shalom Aleichem,” said the venerable sage. “Please come to my home. I would very much like to drink tea with you and hear about your activities.”

    The young soldier seemed uncomfortable.

    “I don’t think it’s right for me to come visit you,” he said. “I don’t wear a kippa anymore.”

    Rabbi Levin, in his black hat and black kaftan, smiled warmly at the young man and took his hand in his own.

    “Don’t you see?,” he said, “I’m a very short man. I see you, but I cannot look up so high as to notice as to whether you are wearing a kippa. But I can see your heart – and your heart is big and kind, and that’s what counts.

    You are also a soldier placing your life at risk for all of us in Israel. Please drink tea with me; your kippa is probably bigger than mine.”

    היו ימים

  9. “Touro Under Scrutiny Over Israel Class”

    i’m not a fan of touro. but i’ve also sat threw my share of classes with left-leaning (from liberal to communist) professors who regularly brought their politics into the classroom. so now a touro class goes the other way. big deal.

  10. The bigger question, and I ask this not to cast aspersions, but merely to further my understanding, is that if the historical approach was so undeveloped in the pre-modern era, and, as has just been noted, many of the historical descriptions in Tanach sound eerily similar to other ‘sifrei milchamos’ of the time (and later times), can we justify regarding the descriptions therein as absolute historical truth absent the positing of theological axioms which leave no room for either debate or understanding?

    It’s almost as if history done by ‘uninspired’ people had to develop over thousands of years, from Herodotus on, to even get anywhere near to the ‘truth’, whilst inspired literature, despite clearly echoing the literature of its day, gets a shortcut to ‘truth’, although this shortcut was not passed on to later Jewish literature, whose historical value must once again be assessed in human terms. I suppose that’s what divine revelation (or inspiration in the case of Nach) means.

  11. Sorry that comment went in the wrong thread – please delete it (and this one).

  12. “While your comment seems innocuous enough, the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. This is precisely the ‘rejectionist’ approach that i wrote about. I’m not sure if you consciously meant this, but effectively what you’re saying is that RNZF always wanted to reject his MO upbringing, and only delayed doing so to honor the wishes of his family. I have no idea if that’s true or not (and other comments seem to indicate otherwise). But it does say a great deal about a “frum” world that completely rejects the posivite benefits that Modern Orthodoxy and its educational system offer.”

    I am sorry if it comes across that way. However, that was what I read and to me, that was how I understand such information. I should point out that last night I heard, as part of a communal kinus for hespedim, the story was told by one speaker that somebody approached the RY zt”l and asked him why the Mir has such loose entrance requirements. The RY responded that if the entrance requirements were stricter, he might not have gained entrance. I agree with that we shouldn’t be discounting his past and its contribution. However, it seems to me, without having known RNTF personally, that his growth occurred once he made the move to Mir and EY and even he believed that without that transition, he wouldn’t have become what he became. If that is bothersome, it’s not intended to be but it is a perspective that must be considered and respected.

  13. Rabbi Spolter – an interesting comparison to RNTF is the reaction by Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff at the passing of Rav Gifter zt”l. Zuroff laments what RMG could have been had he not rejected his upbringing, left YU and went to learn in Lita.

  14. Agreed with Abba’s Rantings. The Forward should just mind its own business instead of looking for ways to harm Touro. This is part of the greater liberal-Jewish fetishization (look I used an IH word!) of higher-education and universities in general. Touro makes them uncomfortable.

  15. הרבנות הראשית מנסה למנוע את הסכם הפשרה עם צהר

    http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/education/1.1567175

  16. “In 2008, Schnall led a study that found that those attending services regularly had a lower mortality rate during the time period in which they were being studied”
    Certainly in a study involving older people-being able to attend services requires certain amouint of physical ability-people who get out of breath walking to schul and thuscan’t go to schul certainly have a lower life expectancy than those who can walk to schul.

  17. R’Mycroft,
    Practicing actuarial science without a license:-)?
    KT

  18. Mycroft,
    The vast majority of people who go to religious services to not walk. In fact, in the study, I’m sure it wasn’t even a mi’ut hamatzui. (Nevermind the other issues in the study design that make your point questinably relevant to it.)

  19. Looks like there are other relevant articles in this issue as well:
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/104938/ (for those so inclined).

    No promises, but from past experience if one connects to the Springer site from a NYPL branch WiFi, content access is free.

  20. The Chief Rabbinate called Tzohar’s claim that some municipal rabbis charge for conducting weddings while Tzohar’s rabbis do not a “grave libel” and “unparalleled chutzpah.” Does anyone know if (a) Tzohar made that claim and (b) if it did, whether it’s true?

  21. Joseph — see: http://www.vosizneias.com/46700/2010/01/11/israel-no-compensation-for-rabbis-presiding-over-weddings/. I would be shocked if some did not fully abide by the January 2010 change in the law.

  22. What is not clear is whether “tipping to the Rabbi’s discretionary fund” is also prohibited.

    E.g. you’re trying to schedule an outdoor chuppa for the spring to early summer before it gets too hot (Pesach through Shavuot is all but closed and then the 3 weeks).

    Related: I understand that in some Israeli segments it is considered normal to tip the waiter at a simcha at the beginning of the event to ensure you get the best / most / hottest of what is being offered by the hosts.

  23. IH
    the prohibition is only on taking money from couples from ones own community. that leaves a lot of people to take money from.

  24. ” This is part of the greater liberal-Jewish fetishization (look I used an IH word!) of higher-education and universities in general. Touro makes them uncomfortable.”

    Is Touro as a university more similar to YU of 2011, YU of 1965 or Grand Canyon University of 2011?

  25. “IH on November 16, 2011 at 11:52 am
    Joseph — see: http://www.vosizneias.com/46700/2010/01/11/israel-no-compensation-for-rabbis-presiding-over-weddings/. I would be shocked if some did not fully abide by the January 2010 change in the law”

    Are you shocked that there could be some Rabbis who do not fully abide by laws?
    Unlike Diogenes I believe I have found some honest Rabbis-who obey laws.

  26. “MDJ on November 16, 2011 at 9:15 am
    Mycroft,
    The vast majority of people who go to religious services to not walk. In fact, in the study, I’m sure it wasn’t even a mi’ut hamatzui. (Nevermind the other issues in the study design that make your point questinably relevant to it.)”

    Even if people are not walking attending services requires physical effort and mobility-the ability to do is certainly poositivgely correlated with attending services.
    BTW-I assume the vast majority of people who are attending services are attending services that we would consider completely assur for a Jew to attend-thus implicit in the study is that attending non Jewish services would help ones optimism.
    I am bothered by the assumption that religion should make one more optimistic-facing inevitable lifnei mi atid..din vcheshbon-I don’t see how that can make one optimistic.

  27. “He said students would be fluent in Hebrew by the end of the eighth grade”

    What per cent of MO kids who officially go toi Ivrit bivrit schools are fluent after 8th grade. What % of 8th grade Hebrew valedictorians from such schools can understand the speeches that they read attheir 8th grade “graduation”

  28. lawrence kaplan

    mycroft: I ma glad you have found some honest rabbis.

    Re optimism: See Schubert Spero’s article “Is Judaism an Optimistic Religion?”

  29. Mycroft,

    Don’t you think your time would be better spent making positive suggestions and constructive criticism than just b&*(hing about the O world 24/7? Surely the former would be more productive.

  30. Mycroft wrote:

    “Re Rav Finkle he was chareidi and thus entitled to acharei mos kedoshim emor”

    IMO, this is an overly simplified view. R NTF attended MO elementary and high schools, had a normal childhood ( I know people who went bowling with RNTF in Chicago) and cannot be viewed as someone whose early life would fit seamlessly into some Charedi hagiographic work. Rather RTNF ZL’s life proves that anyone with a normal intelligence who works very hard at Limud HaTorah can become a Talmid Chacham. Think of what motivated the Netziv-his parents being told that he would only amount to a shoemaker.

  31. PEOPLE OF THE BYTE EXPRESSED THE INTERESTING TRADEOFFS OF DIGITALIZATION

  32. “lawrence kaplan on November 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    mycroft: I ma glad you have found some honest rabbis.”
    That shouldn’t be news-I have referred in the past to some Rabbis who I respect-if I didn’t believe that they were honest I couldn’t respect them.

    “Re optimism: See Schubert Spero’s article “Is Judaism an Optimistic Religion?””
    I have tried to find al regel achat that Tradition or the 67 Tradition Anthology-I have found Traditions earlier see eg Fall 1960 where Rueben Gross in a communication who essentially points out that states are involved in religion by the tax exemptions-that NY City then with a population 4 times the State of Israel-ssee how that ratio has changed has essentially by its tax exemptions spent more than 12 times the amount on religious institutions than that spent by the Inistry of Religions in Israel. I’ve found Shubert Spero in Spring 1963 edition writing on theRationality ofJewiswh Ethics. If I find it-I’ll try andread the article.

  33. “aiwac on November 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm
    Mycroft,

    Don’t you think your time would be better spent making positive suggestions and constructive criticism than just b&*(hing about the O world 24/7? Surely the former would be more productive”

    I have made suggestions as to curriculum of schools. priorities of resources, responsibilities of klei kodesh etc.
    I’ll start with one suggestion which I believe was our policy sometime around 1400- NO ONE NO MATTER HOW APPARENTLY QUALIFIED SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO SUCCEED TO HIS FATHERS POSITION IN THE SAMESCHUL,YESHIVA ETC. THE QUALIFIED CAN ALWAYS FIND AN EQUALLY APPROPRIATE JOB.
    A Rabbi, RY etc must never be scarcastic to their talmidim, congregants etc.
    One must teach children how to read fluently before teaching them anything else. If a child can’t read Hebrew fluently to the level that they can read a perek Tehillim at the speed of schul davening-the chances of the child remaining religious are very small.
    Have more than just gemarrah for adult education in schuls.
    Stop pricing yahadus away from most people. Who says day schools are necessary? Stop making Yahadus an elitist-make it acceptable to the masses-why is it that there were 3-10 million Jews in the world 2000 years ago and we have been a small percentage since 600-it has not beem due to pogroms.
    Don’t overemphasize the holocaust and other tragedies-why should someone want to be Jewish if they and their children are likely to be oppressed.

    The Orthodox world is one that I was brought up in and thus my criticisms are based on a sum of my experiences like anyone-what I learnt from my parents, relatives, school, friends etc.
    Of course, it is also true as what I spoke to a Rebbe of mine from decades ago recently that the Jewish community can’t real do anything to me -I have no children in school etc and I don’t earn a penny from Jewish organizations.

  34. Re Rav Finkle he was chareidi and thus entitled to acharei mos kedoshim emor”

    “IMO, this is an overly simplified view. R NTF attended MO elementary and high schools, had a normal childhood ( I know people who went bowling with RNTF in Chicago) and cannot be viewed as someone whose early life would fit seamlessly into some Charedi hagiographic work.”
    He chose the Hareidi life. Query when has the Chareidi world ever referred to ANY MO person after 120 as a Zaddik? BTW even local chareidi or pseudochareidi weeklies from relatively small areas have at times ignored wo mention deaths of MO Rabbonim.

    “Rather RTNF ZL’s life proves that anyone with a normal intelligence who works very hard at Limud HaTorah can become a Talmid Chacham.”
    I assume he was a Talmid Chacham-although I never spoke a word to him-but I certainly have no way to assume that he only had normal intelligence. It is impossible to become a gadol btorah with “normal intelligence”. I argue that we should consider people who are not gdolei torah to be zaddikim. Arguabley BTW the Moetzet Gdolei Hatorah has gone that way-they certainly have had as members some who have accomplished a lot for Yiddishkeit who were NOT gdolei Torah.

    “Think of what motivated the Netziv-his parents being told that he would only amount to a shoemaker”
    I am aware of stories that his parents told him that he would not amount to anything-that means nothing might have been that Netziv did not apply himself-being a gadol btorah requires inspiration but wo perspiration it is highly unlikely to become a gadol btorah-some can but certainly by definition to be of the ability to win a Nobel Prize /gadol btroah one needs very high intelligence of a verbal section.

  35. Think of what motivated the Netziv-his parents being told that he would only amount to a shoemaker.

    ————————————
    I thought the story was his parents saying it to each other and him overhearing?
    KT

  36. “Supermarkets and other foodsellers lose a significant portion of their stock each year because of insect infestations in warehouses, manufacturing plants, and store shelves.”

    The hope is that they lose the food and don’t attempt to sell it.

  37. “On September 12th, in a media event, Google maps announced it was beginning to photograph Israeli streets towards inclusion in its global database.”

    Interesting exercise using Google directions from various Israeli points and listing destinations and see where Google will calculate and where it won’t.

  38. From the link to Rabbi Adlerstein

    “In both these communities, the rate of growth far exceeds the losses through attrition. This demographic success, however, contributes to a complacency that deflects attention from dealing more effectively with the challenges that plague an important number of Orthodox Jews, even if still very much a minority. ”

    Has there really been success-given the fertility rates of the Orthodox community in past 50 years why have the numbers not increased much more? In MO it is questionnable ifthere are even more than decades ago-chareid birthrates have been so greatthat even great losses due to those leaving would be hidden.

  39. Re the article re Touro in the Forward-it always pays to consider the source ( the Forward which views itself as some sort of American equivalent of Haaretz on Orthodoxy in America and which has a decidedly dovish perspective on Israeli foreign affairs), as well as an academic who recently was criticized here for his stances re Jewish Media Daily.

  40. Mycroft-did you see the Mishpacha interview with RHS last year? Regardless of RNTF’s hashkafic choice, the facts of his elementary and high school education cannot be denied. RHS mentioned in his hesped that during his summers with the NCSY summer Kollel, he took the talmidim who were enrolled therein, many if not all were from MO high schools, to meet RNTF, who told them without any embarassment about his educational background and life which were that of a typical MO teenager in Chicago, before he started learning in the Mir. WADR, I merely echoed that point and underscored that RNTF’s life was proof that anyone with reasonablly normal intelligence , as opposed to someone with educational challenges ( i.e., LD, ED) as well as a lot of Zitfleish could become a Talmid Chacham-I made no statement that RNTF either was a Tzadik, and I tend to doubt that you ( or anyone else) could verify the IQ of either RNTF or any other Talmid Chacham. WADR, who is on the Moetzes Gdolei Torah is wholly irrelevant to the discussion.

    As far as the Netziv is concerned ( as well as the Maharam Shik is concerned), I am unaware of any profile of the Netziv that does not recount the Netziv’s early years either as R Joel Rich or myself have described them. WADR, one needs both perspiration and inspiration to become a Talmid Chacham.

  41. Mycroft wrote:

    “Has there really been success-given the fertility rates of the Orthodox community in past 50 years why have the numbers not increased much more? In MO it is questionnable ifthere are even more than decades ago-chareid birthrates have been so greatthat even great losses due to those leaving would be hidden”

    Again-this query IMO seems predicated on demographical data , which, based on the models produced by IH, either engage in tokenism ( Chicago) or ignore huge Orthodox communities ( Baltimore)in their big tent defined to widen the definition of Jewishness as wide as possible.

  42. Regarding ynet’s “Single religious woman seeks baby”, it seems logical to deduce that some subset of these women are in fact gay, but will not admit it.

    Also, perhaps I am old-fashioned in this respect — and there are always exceptions — but it seems to me that couples having an only child with both mother & father in their 50s is an unfair and selfish proposition.

  43. Just flipping through the Crate & Barrel catalog that came in the mail and noticed a 2 page spread with these items (scroll down on the webpage for the same range of items): http://www.crateandbarrel.com/holidays/hanukkah/dreidel-plate/f38676

  44. MiMedinat HaYam

    “I plan to suggest that women freeze their eggs under halachic supervision, meaning that if they don’t get married they won’t use them.”

    wouldnt there be halachic issues?

  45. MiMedinat HaYam

    IH — subset may be gay, but saying many / most are is unfair, and prob incorrct.

    as for chanukah plate — get with the program. bed bath and beyond, and numerous sources carry such items. for several years. come to think about it, i saw it at the guanzhou fair several years ago.

    3. since you mention nyu, see http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-11-09/news/debt-and-debtor/ and substitute yu for nyu. substance for debate.

    4. having r wolpe debate pro religion? he specifically denies torah miSinai!

    5. digital water meter — wouldnt there be a similar pblm with analog water meters?

  46. Orthodoxy was their birthright, rather than their faith of choice.

  47. —” and there are always exceptions — but it seems to me that couples having an only child with both mother & father in their 50s is an unfair and selfish proposition”

    How is the child worse off than if it hadn’t been born? There are different tradeoffs at all ages of bringing up children.

  48. “Mycroft-did you see the Mishpacha interview with RHS last year?”
    If that is the Chareidi magazine that had the few page interview /description of him yes. I even purchased the magazine to read it.

    “I merely echoed that point and underscored that RNTF’s life was proof that anyone with reasonablly normal intelligence , as opposed to someone with educational challenges ( i.e., LD, ED) as well as a lot of Zitfleish could become a Talmid Chacham-I made no statement that RNTF either was a Tzadik, and I tend to doubt that you ( or anyone else) could verify the IQ of either RNTF or any other Talmid Chacham”

    A person with median verbal intelligence can’t become a talmid chacham. A native English speaker who is not above median Verbal subset of IQ can’t become a talmid chacham-end of story. That does not mean that the person can’t become a Zaddik-of course, they will likely be pushed out but thats a different story.
    One of the tragedies of the day school movement is that it has destroyed kids of roughly verbal 90-110 IQ-they could have been adaquate to graduate a normal public HS perhaps go to a Community College but due to the requirement of going to a day school-they are in practice effectively pushed out of Yahadus and don’t even have the acceptance in general society that they would have had they gone to public schools.
    I never met RNTF but there are many Rabbis/Talmeidei cahchamim that I have met. If one speaks to anyone for a while about different topics-one can usually get an idea of their intelligence orlack of it.

  49. “one needs both perspiration and inspiration to become a Talmid Chacham.”
    It hel[ps to have perspirtation
    Essentially the ability to become a talmid chacham is a function of 2 variables intelligence and zeishfleit. However there is a constraint of a pretty high level amount of intelligence required no matter what the perspiration.

    “mycroft on November 18, 2011 at 12:04 am
    Orthodoxy was their birthright, rather than their faith of choice”
    I meant to add that is essentially how it has been for centuries at least until the Enlightenment.

  50. Re IH andHaaretz item on parents who complain about religion taught at mamlachti dati schools-I have been outside waiting for dismissal to pick up a relative from mamlachti dati school-it appears that the average clothing worn by the parents was less chareidi/dati than that worn by parents at many MO schoos in theUS. The teachers were clearly dressed differently on average. You’d see the same thing in theUS where a very high % of the teachers in MO schoools are not MO. I have blogged elsewhere on the problems that it creates.

  51. I’ve had to drive kids to and from school on Thanksgiving (usually a half day) and it’s sheer madness. I always wondered why the police didn’t send someone rather than having assistant principals literally out in the street directing traffic. Another failure of the government to accomodate diversity.

  52. Why is it a failure? Allocation of scarce resources is the goal (particularly given the State’s financial situation.

    Deputy Mayor Steve Langert, who is Orthodox, said Lakewood is the only town in the country where private school kids so outnumber those in public school.

    “It presents unique challenges and unique situations,” he said.

    Among those: Lakewood appears to be the only town in the state where most kids go to school on Thanksgiving. A spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association said public and private schools are free to choose the holidays they close, but he knows of no public district that will be open on Thanksgiving.

  53. http://www.yated.com/content.asp?contentid=504
    =================================================
    Did we ever discuss the delicate balance required to determine whether we are on a slippery slope or just on the ususal uneven ground of life?
    KT

  54. GIL:

    “I’ve had to drive kids to and from school on Thanksgiving (usually a half day) and it’s sheer madness. I always wondered why the police didn’t send someone rather than having assistant principals literally out in the street directing traffic.”

    if it bothers parents that much, why don’t they volunteer their time (many are off from work anyway) so the APs don’t have to do traffic duty? obviously parents don’t care *that* much about the APs. or pay for private bussing.

    “Another failure of the government to accomodate diversity.”

    are you kidding me? yeshivos should be accomadated because they choose not to participate in a national civic holiday? should mail carriers be forced to deliver mail in brooklyn on thanksgiving as well? would you like garbage pickup?

    would it really kill the yeshivos just to give the day off? (and spare me the nonsense about not wanting to miss a day of learning torah. i don’t mean to denigrate talmud torah, but yeshivos give so many vacation and half days when not necessary so why davka on thanksgiving are they makpid on not skipping a day)

    and by the way, the state *does* accomadate diversity wrt bussing. the way it works in NY is that the private schools are permitted a certain amount of days (i forget how many) of bussing on days when public schools are off. this is why, for example, you might have to drive your kids to school on dec 25 and jan 1 but not the days inbetween. so just be thankful you get bussing on those days!

  55. Abba: There is someone out there directing traffic. He just doesn’t know how to do it. I can’t imagine a bunch of accountants would do any better.

    are you kidding me? yeshivos should be accomadated because they choose not to participate in a national civic holiday?

    We pay enough taxes that we should get the benefits promised to us. There are plenty of city workers who work on civic holidays.

    and by the way, the state *does* accomadate diversity wrt bussing

    That’s interesting. I didn’t know that.

  56. Gil,
    YOu were promised bussing on whatever day you wanted it? When, where? I (well, really my wife) had to take our daughter to school on Columbus Day, and you’re complaining about Thanksgiving?! Bussing is not an essential public service. People get days off, and you should be able to deal with it. AS it happens, in Lakewood, this seems to have been a contractual issue, so it is not a question of accomodation of diversity, and tney may well be entitle to the bussing. But, really, this is not a broad political/social issue.

  57. “However, it seems to me, without having known RNTF personally, that his growth occurred once he made the move to Mir and EY and even he believed that without that transition, he wouldn’t have become what he became. ”

    It appears from Rabbi Maryles that RNTF was a big mensch when he was in Chicago-so he became a talmid chacham later but his menchkite was there from way back.

  58. “and by the way, the state *does* accomadate diversity wrt bussing. the way it works in NY is that the private schools are permitted a certain amount of days (i forget how many) of bussing on days when public schools are off. this is why, for example, you might have to drive your kids to school on dec 25 and jan 1 but not the days inbetween. so just be thankful you get bussing on those days!”

    I believe NYS law is that school districts must offer busing on days when they are open but MAY offer busing on any day between Sept 1-June 30 which are permissible days of the school year ecept for I believe around 10 legal holidays or so when they are not permittedto offer busing-those days include Thanksgiving, Dec 25, Jan 1. They may if they choose offer busing Dec 26-Dec 31 althoiugh most schoolo districts don’t have school then -they may have school.

  59. are you kidding me? yeshivos should be accomadated because they choose not to participate in a national civic holiday?

    “We pay enough taxes that we should get the benefits promised to us. There are plenty of city workers who work on civic holidays”

    You pay taxes because the law requires it-you couldn’t have been promised benefits which the law does not permit. Someone might have incorrectly have misinformed you.

    “would it really kill the yeshivos just to give the day off? (and spare me the nonsense about not wanting to miss a day of learning torah. i don’t mean to denigrate talmud torah, but yeshivos give so many vacation and half days when not necessary so why davka on thanksgiving are they makpid on not skipping a day)”

    To show the phoniness of being concerned about missing Torah why don’t the schools start Sept1 and go to June 30 when there could be bussing.

  60. “I’ve had to drive kids to and from school on Thanksgiving (usually a half day) and it’s sheer madness”

    If you have school- have a whole day-half a day just enough to say we don’t believe in US Civic Holidays

  61. MiMedinat HaYam

    dont forgetthe yomim tovim (and chol hamoed) these drivers get off on.

    if its a negotiated contract, complain totheir union.

    maybe the accountants and actuaries should drive the busses, instead of traffic directing duties.

    but i assume bus driving is not an accepted profession for charedim (recent incident in yavneh (i believe it was there) where egged advertised for bus drivers for charedi routes (so no pblms). they didnt even get one response; any form of work is not permissible for kollelniks.) (of course, does not apply to lakewood charedim — real estate and mtge bkge are acceptable work.)

    the best compromise — every bus driver should get a free cooked kosher turkey (with all the trimmings) as a tip / accomodation. courtesy of the yeshiva. but they’ll have to eat the potato kugel, too.

  62. MiMedinat HaYam

    mycroft — “If you have school- have a whole day-half a day just enough to say we don’t believe in US Civic Holidays”

    secular teachers wont come in on civic holidays

  63. MiMedinat HaYam

    re: mamlachti dati school becoming charedi — hate to say it, but go to another school. the parent body in this / these schools have now changed, and the school administration must comply with (some sort of) majority.

    2. ” Lakewood appears to be the only town in the state where most kids go to school on Thanksgiving.”

    can you imagine the uproar if the school board decides to hire jewish only bus drivers to prevent such future incidents?

    3. hey — same argument in these two cases.

  64. “MiMedinat HaYam on November 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm
    mycroft — “If you have school- have a whole day-half a day just enough to say we don’t believe in US Civic Holidays”

    secular teachers wont come in on civic holidays”

    Depends on the conditions of the job. If I recall correctly I remember secular classes on Dec 25.
    Even if secular teachers won’t come then why not have a whole day of limudei kodesh. If parents have to bother to bring kids to and from school at least let them learn something for the day.

  65. Something about the Lakewood article seems off. In Clifton (the town next door to Passaic, where a number of Passaic families live, including our family), we had a major issue with busing. Basically, NJ state law says that the Scool Board is required to provide busing to any child who goes to a private school where the school is more than 2 miles from the home. For less than 2 miles, the School Board may, but is not required, to provide busing. One year the Clifton Board did provide busing to many parents to bus their children to yeshivas in Passaic, which were almost 2 miles away. The next year, they decided that we were too close and cut off funding. We petitioned the Board to provide busing because some of the yeshivas* were 1 3/4 miles away and many of the roads lack sidewalks and are dangerous. After some deliberation, they declined.

    _________
    Actually, it was one yeshiva, and the girls’ school of a second yeshiva. The boys school of the second one is located too close.

  66. While the schools, about 65 in number, are private, the public school district is legally obligated to provide transportation for them.

    They have 65 schools in Lakewood!?!

  67. “Basically, NJ state law says that the Scool Board is required to provide busing to any child who goes to a private school where the school is more than 2 miles from the home. For less than 2 miles, the School Board may, but is not required, to provide busing”

    My recollection is that NYS law mandates transportation being provided if more than 3 miles but less than 15 miles. However, if the school board offers transportation for public school students for less than 3 miles they are required to offer private schools tudents atthe same grade and distance transportation. I used the word transportation adviseadly in NYS transportation may be in the form of public transit vouchers. One can read Commissioner decisions on line about the issue. A case from a few years ago in my neighborhood-a person wanted to send his child to a Yeshiva out of neighborhood but less than 15 miles the School Board offered to give the syudent a pass on the local commuter railroad and a bus pass for connecting bus-it would take close to 2 hours each way . Parent took case to NYS Commish of Education and ruled in favor of school board. BTW cases are online at NYSED website. That time was not considered excessive -additionally the case cited cases that apparent danger of mass transit going through neighborhoods that are not safe can’t be used as a criteria to offer busing rather than mass transit vouchers.

  68. i believe the law in Nj re busing is the following. Whatever busing is offered to public school kids must be offered to private school kids. The state then sets some mandatory busing rules; e.g., if the school is more than 2 miles for certain grades, you have to provide busing; more than 1 mile for lower grades etc. A school district can offer busing where they are not required; e.g., if the state says you must provide busing if the school is 2 miles away, the district can provide busing 1 mile away, but it must do so for public AND private school kids. Since many yeshivot are farther away than public schools, often a higher percentage of yeshiva kids are bused than public school kids. So for those in NJ, we’re doing pretty well.

  69. “In an effort to ensure a high level of food safety, the Canadian federal government has announced a grant of up to $764,000 to help fund the safety of kosher food products.

    The announcement was made at the Jewish Community Council of Montreal, also known as the Vaad Ha’ir, which will play a major role in coordinating this new, voluntary initiative across the country.

    According to the Canadian Jewish News, The Canadian Kosher Food Safety Initiative will oversee all phases of food safety, from the raw materials to processing, distribution and retailing.

    “Food safety is a priority for this government and for all Canadians,” said Industry Minister Christian Paradis “This investment will further increase consumer confidence in the safety of kosher food and help build a more competitive sector.””

    Question-is this anything special? Does Canada use similar grants for food safety-Just curious why Montreal VaadHair coordinate across Canada?
    Anyone know? Professors in Universities in Montreal know?”

  70. “Since many yeshivot are farther away than public schools, often a higher percentage of yeshiva kids are bused than public school kids. So for those in NJ, we’re doing pretty well.”

    Which I agree would be true for NY as well.

  71. The Commentator at YU has a new website at http://www.yucommentator.org/.

    I recommend this article about President Obama and Israel: http://www.yucommentator.org/?p=381.

  72. Abba's Rantings

    JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    “Since many yeshivot are farther away than public schools, often a higher percentage of yeshiva kids are bused than public school kids. So for those in NJ, we’re doing pretty well.”

    as i understand it, one of the reasons most (all?) bergen county yeshivos are not actually in teaneck, etc. is to ensure bussing

  73. Abba's Rantings

    GIL:

    “We pay enough taxes”

    i’d be curious how the per capita tax burden of brooklyn’s orthodox jews compares with the rest of the state.

    “we should get the benefits promised to us.”

    what was promised to you and by whom?

    “There are plenty of city workers who work on civic holidays.”

    just close school for a day

    “That’s interesting. I didn’t know that.”

    the way i described it is how the principal of my son’s old yeshiva explained it to me.

  74. “of course, does not apply to lakewood charedim ”

    I have heard from some Lakewood resident that BMG has some deal with FDU for at least some fields whereby BMG students do not have to do much at FDU to get a degree.
    Certainly some Lakewood resident would know if whatI heard is true or false.

  75. “as i understand it, one of the reasons most (all?) bergen county yeshivos are not actually in teaneck, etc. is to ensure bussing”

    I don’t know NJ-but in NY if transportation is required to be given to the child it is the school district of the students residence not the school district of the school attended.

  76. Rather than relying on my recollections see the following
    from

    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/schoolbus/TransDirector/htm/trans_optional_holidays.htm

    “Transportation on Optional Days of School Session
    School districts do not have the authority to provide transportation for students attending nonpublic schools on the legal holidays that the state requires that the district be closed. On other optional holidays and days that a district chooses to be closed (conference days, training days, etc), there is no obligation for the district to provide transportation to nonpublic schools.

    School districts also are not obligated to provide transportation for students attending nonpublic schools before the first day of public school classes. A school district may, but is not required, to contract with a charter school to provide additional transportation to charter school students. The cost of the additional transportation is borne by the charter school.

    The Commissioner has held that both public and nonpublic schools have an obligation to share their calendars and start/dismissal times before the start of the school year. A school district may decide, after the start of school, not to transport on a future day (not due to an emergency situation) if they give reasonable notice to private schools. If a public school declines to provide transportation to a private school on a day on which the public school is optionally closed, and notice was provided after the start of school, an aggrieved party may appeal to the Commissioner or Court”

    Current through L.2004, chapters 4 to 38, 40 to 49, 52,61 to 77, 79 to 93, 96, 98 to 101and 104.

    “The term public holiday includes the following days in each year: the first day of January, known as New Year’s day; the third Monday of January known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day; the twelfth day of February, known as Lincoln’s birthday; the third Monday in February, known as Washington’s birthday; the last Monday in May, known as Memorial day; the second Sunday in June, known as Flag day; the fourth day of July, known as Independence day; the first Monday in September, known as Labor day; the second Monday in October, known as Columbus day; the eleventh day of November, known as Veterans’ day; the fourth Thursday in November, known as Thanksgiving day; and the twenty-fifth day of December, known as Christmas day, and if any of such days except Flag day is Sunday, the next day thereafter; each general election day, and each day appointed by the president of the United States or by the governor of this state as a day of general thanksgiving, general fasting and prayer, or other general religious observances. The term half-holiday includes the period from noon to midnight of each Saturday which is not a public holiday.”

    and see the following extract from a Commissioners decision:

    “A board of education has broad discretion as to the means to be used to provide transportation (Appeal of Clancy, 37 Ed Dept Rep 280, Decision No. 13,859; Appeal of DeVore, 36 id. 326, Decision No. 13,738; Appeal of Broad, 35 id. 248, Decision No. 13,530). A board of education may provide required transportation through the use of public carriers (Appeal of Clancy, supra; Appeal of Lavin, 32 Ed Dept Rep 249, Decision No. 12,821; Appeal of Kelley, 18 id. 507, Decision No. 9,943).

    When evaluating various means of transportation, a board of education is required to consider cost (See e.g. Appeal of Clancy, supra; Appeal of Broad, supra; Appeal of Byrne, et al., 34 Ed Dept Rep 389, Decision No. 13,355). It is the responsibility of the board of education to balance the overall efficiency and economy of a transportation system against the convenience of individual students (Appeal of Clancy, supra; Appeal of Corcoran, 36 Ed Dept Rep 324, Decision No. 13,737; Appeal of Polifka, 31 id. 61, Decision No. 12,569). Contrary to petitioner’s allegation, the mere fact that some pupils are transported on private buses does not mean that all must be (Appeal of Clancy, supra; Matter of Tomasso, 23 Ed Dept Rep 120, Decision No. 11,159; Appeal of Kelley, supra).

    In the appeal before me, only petitioner’s son and one other student from respondent’s district attend …. While respondent transports students to certain other nonpublic schools by bus, the hours of attendance at … (7:40 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), are different from those of the other schools and do not lend themselves to sharing buses. In addition, respondent has established that the cost of contracting a van to transport the two students … would have been $26,784, whereas the cost of providing that transportation to both students by public carriers would be ….

    Petitioner’s argument that the Education Law limits the number of transfers that can be required is also without legal basis. Education Law §3623-a(1)(c) defines transportation expenses eligible for State transportation aid for school districts, not student transportation requirements.

    Nor does petitioner cite any legal basis for his allegation that a district must notify parents within a certain time frame. His citation to the 30-day requirement in Education Law §3635(2) is not applicable here.

    Petitioner contends that the means of transportation is dangerous. The public policy of this State, as expressed in Education Law §3635, does not permit eligibility for transportation in individual cases to be determined on the basis of potential hazard (Pratt v. Robinson, 39 NY2d 554; Matter of Studley v. Allen, 24 AD2d 678; Appeal of Bruner, 32 Ed Dept Rep 276, Decision No. 12,829) except in limited circumstances not relevant here (Education Law §3635-a).

    With respect to petitioner’s argument that … is required to travel one hour and 50 minutes, I find that comparable travel times have been upheld (Appeal of DeVore, supra, one and one-half to two hours; Appeal of Corcoran, supra, one hour and 56 minutes for a first-grader; Appeal of Rouis, 20 Ed Dept Rep 493, Decision No. 10,493, one and one-half to one hour and 45 minutes).

    The Commissioner will uphold a district’s transportation determination unless it is wholly unreasonable or an abuse of discretion (Appeal of Polifka, supra; Appeal of Capozza, 25 Ed Dept Rep 15, Decision No. 11,482; Appeal of Tomasso, supra). In addition, petitioner has the burden of establishing the facts upon which he relies, and establishing a clear legal right to the relief sought (8 NYCRR §275.10; Appeal of Clancy, supra; Appeal of Samuels, 36 Ed Dept Rep 85, Decision No. 13,665). In this case, petitioner has failed to prove that respondent acted unreasonably or abused its discretion in providing transportation for his son.

    THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

    END OF FILE

  77. GIL:

    “We pay enough taxes”

    “i’d be curious how the per capita tax burden of brooklyn’s orthodox jews compares with the rest of the state.

    “we should get the benefits promised to us.”

    what was promised to you and by whom?”

    Even if someone promised the benefits that Gil was promised it would have been a promise against the law which is invalid-see my 1243AM post.

  78. “as i understand it, one of the reasons most (all?) bergen county yeshivos are not actually in teaneck, etc. is to ensure bussing.”

    That’s true of the elementary schools but not the high schools. IAE, Moriah is in Englewood which ha a large Orthodox population. The other elementary schools are outside Teaneck and in non-heavily populated Orthodox areas nearby. Done because of busing? Never heard that was the reason or even any speculation it was until now, but who knows.

  79. ” We petitioned the Board to provide busing because some of the yeshivas* were 1 3/4 miles away and many of the roads lack sidewalks and are dangerous. After some deliberation, they declined”
    Of course what happens at least in the suburbs is that few if any kids walk to school-if they aren’t entitled to busing parents take them.

  80. It appears to this non NJ resident that Jersey law requires transportation to non-profit nonpublicschools any Monday through Friday between Sept 1 and June 30. Thus it appears that busing should be given Dec 25.
    I wonder once this becomes known to the general world will NJ amend its rules to be similar to NYs

    From
    http://www.nj.gov/education/code/current/title6a/chap27.pdf

    “Transportation for nonpublic school students shall be provided Monday through Friday between September 1 and June 30 when the non-profit nonpublic school is in session”

  81. I received the following e-mail re our discussion about whether or not an average person who studies enough has a chance to become a talmid chacham:

    ““one needs both perspiration and inspiration to become a Talmid Chacham.”
    It hel[ps to have perspirtation
    Essentially the ability to become a talmid chacham is a function of 2 variables intelligence and zeishfleit. However there is a constraint of a pretty high level amount of intelligence required no matter what the perspiration. -end of quotation from Torah Musings

    see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/sorry-strivers-talent-matters.html “The remarkable finding of their study is that, compared with the participants who were “only” in the 99.1 percentile for intellectual ability at age 12, those who were in the 99.9 percentile — the profoundly gifted — were between three and five times more likely to go on to earn a doctorate, secure a patent, publish an article in a scientific journal or publish a literary work. A high level of intellectual ability gives you an enormous real-world advantage.”

    My comment: It gives enormous advantage when it comes to success in academic/scientific endeavours. If you want to become the next (Rabbi-added by Mycroft) Michael Rosensweig or (Rabbi-added by Mycroft) Jeremy Wieder, you had better be in the 99.9% percentile of intellectual ability — no matter how much sitzfleisch . By the age of 12, 99% realize that there is no way they can even approach that level. “

  82. “Committee members then threw out the names of causes whose budgets they would cut.

    “Nefesh B’Nefesh is chartering flights from North America,” said one.”

    Agreed the last thing in the world one needs is for the median Israeli to pay for NA ALiyah flight. It makes nice PR for the Nefesh Bnesfesh website-but does anyone truly believe that a person from NA will not make aliyah if he has to travel by himself to Israel. Of course -realtively trivial but pay for the taxi fare from the airport for NA olim?
    Not a JA expenditure-but even theIsraeli tax breaks for OLim are rarely necessary-the vast majority of olim with money come from countries with income tax treaties with Israel eg US for one. Income tax treaties essentially ensure that one pays tax in either of the 2 countries for a particulartype of income. No needto encourage Olim by changing general tax rules-the problem has been solved by tax treaties that apply to all -not just new olim.

  83. .” The other elementary schools are outside Teaneck and in non-heavily populated Orthodox areas nearby. Done because of busing? Never heard that was the reason or even any speculation it was until now, but who knows”
    A possibility might be as to how open various jurisdictions zoning laws are to private schools-height, parking requirements etc.

  84. My guess why most schools ended up out of teaneck is that Teaneck is (a) very highly developed (i.e., not much open land) and (b) not much industry (the 2 Teaneck yeshiva high schools are in retrofitted office buildings). I doubt busing was a consideration but, again, who knows?

  85. “Agreed the last thing in the world one needs is for the median Israeli to pay for NA ALiyah flight. It makes nice PR for the Nefesh Bnesfesh website-but does anyone truly believe that a person from NA will not make aliyah if he has to travel by himself to Israel. Of course -realtively trivial but pay for the taxi fare from the airport for NA olim?”

    I would not have made Aliyah if I had to buy the plane tickets. I would not have been able to afford them.

  86. Mycroft wrote in response:

    ” person with median verbal intelligence can’t become a talmid chacham. A native English speaker who is not above median Verbal subset of IQ can’t become a talmid chacham-end of story. That does not mean that the person can’t become a Zaddik-of course, they will likely be pushed out but thats a different story.
    One of the tragedies of the day school movement is that it has destroyed kids of roughly verbal 90-110 IQ-they could have been adaquate to graduate a normal public HS perhaps go to a Community College but due to the requirement of going to a day school-they are in practice effectively pushed out of Yahadus and don’t even have the acceptance in general society that they would have had they gone to public schools.
    I never met RNTF but there are many Rabbis/Talmeidei cahchamim that I have met. If one speaks to anyone for a while about different topics-one can usually get an idea of their intelligence orlack of it”

    Proof please?Take a look at today’s NY Times Magazine and especially an article that I linked to-why would you want any Jewish child to be exposed to such filth?

  87. Steve — I haven’t yet read the NYT Magazine cover story, but it’s not like Charedi Orthodoxy — which aggressively shields its children from sex education — has a steller track record.

    It’s a bit strange to assail “filth” in the secular world, while defending the all too frequent sex deviant stories in the Charedi velt as being no worse a problem than the ratio in secular society.

  88. It’s kind of funny that mycroft is always pointing out how every Orthodox Jew is not rich and then turns around and argues that American olim don’t need any breaks from the Israeli government.

  89. “i’d be curious how the per capita tax burden of brooklyn’s orthodox jews compares with the rest of the state.”

    Probably much lower. NYC property taxes are among the lowest of any urban area in the United States, at least for owner-occupied residential property. My wife and I have pretty high incomes, yet we determined that even paying NYC income taxes we STILL do much better in NYC than if we lived in Westchester County.

  90. ” ended up out of teaneck”

    If New York and New Jersey would adopt County school districts, property taxes would plummet. Compare quality of public schools and property tax rates in Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

  91. “God forbid you create something mediocre and put it in Washington,”

    Interesting quote-its from article about potential Jewish museum in Washington.

  92. “Nachum on November 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm
    It’s kind of funny that mycroft is always pointing out how every Orthodox Jew is not rich and then turns around and argues that American olim don’t need any breaks from the Israeli government.”

    Median 2007 household incomes from

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

    US $31,111
    Israel $14,066

    One could have double the median US household income and be far from rich and still have quadruple the amount of the Israeli household income. One should not expect a society that has household income half of anothers to subsidize the other society,

    “I would not have made Aliyah if I had to buy the plane tickets. I would not have been able to afford them”
    I have no reason to doubt you that you couldn’t afford the $500 or so for a one way ticket to Israel-certainly the JA could lend money to those who can’t afford the trip. If someone would submit a copy of their income tax returns- and the person was poor fine but free trip should not be given as a matter of right .

  93. “” ended up out of teaneck”

    If New York and New Jersey would adopt County school districts, property taxes would plummet.”
    Might decrease but wouldn’t plummet the vast majority of school expenses are teachers salaries and that wouldn’t change.
    BTW-why even have school districts-they are just enforcing stae law and mandates.

    “My wife and I have pretty high incomes, yet we determined that even paying NYC income taxes we STILL do much better in NYC than if we lived in Westchester County.”
    It would depend on your income and your house- most working high income people are paying less total taxes in the NY suburbs than they would in NYC-when they retire they are likely to be paying more in the suburbs.

  94. “Steve Brizel on November 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm
    Mycroft wrote in response:

    ” person with median verbal intelligence can’t become a talmid chacham. A native English speaker who is not above median Verbal subset of IQ can’t become a talmid chacham-end of story. That does not mean that the person can’t become a Zaddik-of course, they will likely be pushed out but thats a different story.
    One of the tragedies of the day school movement is that it has destroyed kids of roughly verbal 90-110 IQ-they could have been adaquate to graduate a normal public HS perhaps go to a Community College but due to the requirement of going to a day school-they are in practice effectively pushed out of Yahadus and don’t even have the acceptance in general society that they would have had they gone to public schools.
    I never met RNTF but there are many Rabbis/Talmeidei cahchamim that I have met. If one speaks to anyone for a while about different topics-one can usually get an idea of their intelligence orlack of it”

    Proof please?”

    The paragraphs that you quoted of mine have different thoughts in them. Which thoughts, facts of mine are you disputing. Give me some proof that I am wrong. Not PR of established organizations but proof by rigorous studies.

    “Take a look at today’s NY Times Magazine and especially an article that I linked to-why would you want any Jewish child to be exposed to such filth?”

    I had not read the article and probably wouldn’t have until your response referred to that article. Unfortunately our children are exposed to sex-I am talking about MO world-that does not mean that a high percentage have engageed in premarital intercourse during HS years but certainly they know people and places where it happens.
    Areas of many Kosher Pizza stores/delis etc become hangouts-and it is not a hangout for Mussar Schmoozes from the Mashgiach. The local kashrut agencies certainly know about it. What do you think OTD kids are doing.

  95. It was an interesting article that touched on many serious issues. It was particularly noteworthy that the educator profiles was a practicing Catholic.

    I am left wondering what Steve thinks of: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/12/nyregion/12religion.html ?

  96. “joel rich on November 18, 2011 at 11:11 am
    http://www.yated.com/content.asp?contentid=504
    =================================================
    Did we ever discuss the delicate balance required to determine whether we are on a slippery slope or just on the ususal uneven ground of life”

    Imagine the hue and cry by some in this blog if RAW had done the same thing as Rabbi Billet-is it who does the action? or who else is a guest regularly-RHS has been a guest at that schul many times.-I am not commenting on whether or not I agree with Rabbi Billet-I am not aware of other mainstream RWMO Rabbis like Rabbi Billet or even LWMO mainstream Rabbis who have invited priests to speak at their schuls-even Orthodox Rabbis who have been involved with frequent “discussions” with the Church.

  97. Thanks IH for the link
    Ithought “In the kind of prep schools Ramaz sees as scholastic peers, the notion of a required course covering sexuality might seem, if anything, irrelevant by 10th grade. We’re in “Gossip Girl” territory here, after all. For an Orthodox day-school or yeshiva, however, the subject is a land mine that many principals, teachers and parents would sooner avoid than risk setting off. ”
    would be most appropriate

  98. R. Arthur Schneier was the host for Pope Benedict’s visit to Park East Synagogue in 2008. And unlike Father Desbois, the former Cardinal Ratzinger is more controversial in terms of Jewish relations.

    Was the chiddush here that Father Desbois was invited to speak after Shabbat services, instead of as a discrete event?

  99. http://ldolphin.org/popul.html

    has an interesting chart of Jewish population and world population-curious as to the proportion of Jews and the world and absolute numbers seemedto decline drastically from the beginning of the Common Era to the year 600-roughly thetie period ofthe Mishna until the Saborraeim finished the Talmud. Any ideas if the correlation may well be a causation.

  100. “IH on November 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm
    R. Arthur Schneier was the host for Pope Benedict’s visit to Park East Synagogue in 2008. And unlike Father Desbois, the former Cardinal Ratzinger is more controversial in terms of Jewish relations.”
    Also a person with tremendous power-thus one can’t really insult the man. Of course, different Orthodox Rabbis have different hshkafot on issues.

    Was the chiddush here that Father Desbois was invited to speak after Shabbat services, instead of as a discrete event?”

    IMHO yes-he spoke the same time as many if not most YIW guest speakers speak after Shabbos davening in schul. My gut is if he were invited to speak from the social hall on a Sunday evening there would have been much less notice.

  101. “I have no reason to doubt you that you couldn’t afford the $500 or so for a one way ticket to Israel-certainly the JA could lend money to those who can’t afford the trip.”

    Umm, try $1,800 per ticket! Not including the prices for ‘extra luggage’ and attempting to convert dollars to shekels in the US or at the Airport.

  102. And it looks like that Today, a flight from LA to Tel Aviv is $2,000!

  103. “Any ideas if the correlation may well be a causation.”

    Oh, give me a break:

    1. Your argument is ridiculous.

    2. Correlation is *not* causation.

    3. You’re not even reading the chart correctly: The decline is from the Churban Bayit *until* the Mishna was written. Then it levels off.

    4. Talmud study was not widespread until 1850 at the earliest, and not even really until 1950 or later.

    5. Your argument is ridiculous. I know I said it already.

  104. “Any ideas if the correlation may well be a causation.”

    Gee, Mycroft, I don’t know. Do you think that the production of rabbinic literature was the most salient thing that happened starting in 70 CE,when the graph you linked to shows the decline starting?

    Like Nachum more or less said, that was one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever seen.

  105. ” Lakewood appears to be the only town in the state where most kids go to school on Thanksgiving.”

    “appears”?

  106. “Umm, try $1,800 per ticket! Not including the prices for ‘extra luggage’ and attempting to convert dollars to shekels in the US or at the Airport.”

    I have gone many times from NY and have never paid anything like that round trip. We’ve gone less expensive times and checked out various alternatives and have probably averaged 1000 round trip including all taxes, fees etc. Right now one can get tickets in that range.
    Extra luggage-if someone can’t afford by showing proof of financial need a shipping companies cost for freight shipping of areasonable amount of goods I could see the point-but there should be very strict income/asset t ests to receive aid. I don’t object to the individual Oleh claiming the aid like I don’t object to the corporation in the US claiming tax deductions that I believe are bad for the country-it is the societies corporate welfare in the US or Israel subsidizing comparatively wealthy olim that is my peoblem.

  107. “3. You’re not even reading the chart correctly: The decline is from the Churban Bayit *until* the Mishna was written. Then it levels off.”

    And didn’t the “revolution” in Yahadus happen during that period.The revolution from a Bais Mikdash/country centered revolution to a elite Rabbinic leadership.
    Were Amei Haaretz despised by Chazal before that period?

    “4. Talmud study was not widespread until 1850 at the earliest, and not even really until 1950 or later.”
    Not widespread in terms of a Yeshiva movement but wasn’t the revolution that Judaism became a religion whose elite were those who were excellent in verbal gymnastics.
    Isn’t one of the arguments why there is a higher proportion of extremely high IQs among Ashkenazic Jewry is that Judaism rewarded that type of skill-I am merely pointing out the flipside. Note of course, that the increase of Jews in the last few centuries coincided with an emancipation of the am haaretz that occurred with the invention of chassidus.

    “Gee, Mycroft, I don’t know. Do you think that the production of rabbinic literature was the most salient thing that happened starting in 70 CE,when the graph you linked to shows the decline starting?”
    How about the change in Judaism-post Churban? They used et laasot heferu torateicha

    “Like Nachum more or less said, that was one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever seen.”
    Please explain the chart-and BTW it couldn’t have been due to simply the tragedy and deaths due to the Romans in 50-140. Babylonia had more Jews than Israel and the decrease was much more than 50%.

  108. “Umm, try $1,800 per ticket! Not including the prices for ‘extra luggage’ and attempting to convert dollars to shekels in the US or at the Airport”

    Try ITA software fare searching-I just tried LAX and any airport within 50 miles and Tel Aviv allowing stops and changes of plane for cheapest within 30 days found acheapest at 1023 but found many roundtrip flights less than 1200.

  109. Realizing that an oleh does not need a roundtrip ticket-I used ITA software for a one way within 50 miloes ofLAX and Tel Aviv next 30 days allowing changes came to cheapest 806 but many options in the 800s-note the most expensive day cheapest fare was 1836-but an oleh could be flexible as to day. Thus, I am sure 1800 is probably accurate for non stops from Lax aroundYom Tov and DEc 25 but that is not the fare that one who is interested in saving money would use.

  110. mycroft, I realize you are unlikely to read this… but carrying your life possessions that you need with you before your shipment finally arrives (often months late) is really not very conducive to switching airplanes and airlines and flying through ridiculous routes just to attempt to make things affordable.

    If Aliya was not so easy to do today (because of the funding of programs which make it easy) I would not have done it, or even thought about it. And I most certainly would have entertained doing it if the flight I was on didn’t do all the paper work for us so we only had to spend hours instead of weeks, waiting to get into the system.

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