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A Traditional Jewish Loan Program Helps Ease Pain of Tough Economic Times
Debate re Teaching Torah and Science
Agudah Convention Recap
Israeli city bans religious-friendly Italian circus
The Tenth Man
In Detroit, Jewish resurgence led by young aims to transform city
French Jews now allowed to reclaim their old surnames
R. Slifkin: Look Before You Leap
SALT Friday
Judaism as a First Language
Jews and Black Baseball
NYC’s Jewish Museum creates Menorah exhibit
Jewish group’s boss told ‘mensch’ where to pray
IDF inaugurates 1st military mikveh
Mea She’arim shop accedes to vandalist demands
Haredim shouldn’t join army
ACLU sues bus agency over refusal of ‘Boycott Israel’ ad
Orthodox shul welcomes female intern
New Ways To TackleThe Day School Tuition Crunch
Can Online Portals Transform Hebrew Schools?
Extradition Testing Rival B’klyn Patrol Groups
SALT Wednesday
Orthodox Jewish Feminist Challenges Traditional Patriarchy
Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum of Satmar Visits Miami Chabad Yeshiva
Strictly Orthodox now one fifth of British Jews
Is Judaism a Religion?
Time for Prophets and Moral Outrage
Pius XII’s Legacy Divides Catholics Too
Shas rabbi’s daughter for women’s rights
Russian book fair honors Israel-themed tome
Brooklyn DA claims record number of child sex-abuse charges vs. haredim
SALT Tuesday
Israel’s chief rabbi responds to Haaretz’s ‘Without the Rabbinate’ series on Orthodox Jews
Love, Marriage, and the Israeli Rabbinate
An Alter-ed Perspective on the Bible
NYC Jewish women want to join all-male EMT group
Conservatives Grapple With Gay Marriage Rite
Bill to end wedding fees for rabbis
Haredim seek secular mayoral candidate
R. Mosheh Lichtenstein on women singing in IDF (Hebrew)
At Agudah Convention: Brooklyn Rabbi Proposes Kosher 24/6 Internet Centers
A Jewish Edition of the New Testament
A Community of Holocaust Survivors Dwindles
R. Meiselman on Torah and Science

SALT Monday
Last week’s news & links
Rules: link

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.

212 comments

  1. On the Alter story, I have been incorporating his translation into my weekly study of parshat ha’shavua the past year and it has been very enriching.

    My interest was in stripping back to p’shat in this cycle so I have been reading a perek in Mikra’ot G’dolot referencing Rashi and Ibn Ezra and the the perek in Alter, through the parsha. I highly recommend it.

  2. And speaking of Bibles, Tablet reports on 3 rare medieval Hebrew Bibles on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York:

    http://www.tabletmag.com/arts-and-culture/83906/everything-is-illuminated/

  3. The story with Rav Soloveitchik and the Bris shows that the Rav felt that Chazal’s view as to when a bris occurs should be honored.

    How does that translate into saying that their scientific knowledge was superior?

    Perhaps teh Rav’s point was that the stability of the halachic process demands that we honor their view in this particular situation, irrespective of whether their scientific knowledge was superior?

    After all, we are not talking about a case where we are to place a baby in danger in deference to Chazal, but to postpone a halachic ritual.

    Does Rav Meiselman have any examples where the Rav said that we should ignore science and place babies in danger, in deference to Chazal?

  4. As Natan Slifkin pointed out, it’s not like the Rav was saying to ignore the doctors and make the brit *earlier* (or on time).

    IH, if you want p’shat, you should try Fox. 🙂

  5. Nachum — I have Fox too, of course. It has left me cold whenever I have tried to use it.

  6. Reuven Spolter

    I find there to be no small amount of irony that in the same list of articles, in which the Agudah suggests opening internet centers (how will they guard against bittul torah?), I went to click on the forward article about Gay marriage which Internet Rimon kindly blocked for me.
    I have no problem forgoing those few articles that Rimon blocks for the sense of relative (no, I’m not naive to think that it’s total) safety that Rimon gives me. At the time that I left the US, there was still no Rimon-like option available in the United States.
    Perhaps, instead of “banning” the internet, which will have no effect whatsoever, the Agudah should do the Jewish people in the United States a favor and import filtering services that filter at the source, thereby, “Saving countless Neshamos.” It’s also not something the Agudah would have to mandate. Parents would gladly pay for it.

  7. For illustration, in the past week’s parsha, Alter translates Gen 27:5 as:

    “And Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to Esau his son, and Esau went off to the field to hunt game to bring.”

    And provides these footnotes:

    5. And Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to Esau. According to the convention of biblical narrative, there can be only two interlocutors in a dialogue (as in Aeschylean tragedy), though one of them may be a collective person – e.g., a person addressing a crowd and receiving a collective response. Within the limits of this convention, the writer has woven an artful chain. The story, preponderantly in dialogue is made up of seven interlocking scenes: Isaac-Esau, Rebekah-Jacob, Jacob-Isaac, Isaac-Esau, Rebekah-Jacob, Rebekah-Isaac, Isaac-Jacob. (The last of these occupies the first four verses of Chapter 28). The first two pairs set out the father and his favorite son, then the mother and her favorite son, in opposing tracks. Husband and wife are kept apart until the penultimate scene; there is no dialogue at all between the brothers – sundered by the formal mechanics of the narrative – or between Rebekah and Esau. Although one must guard against the excesses of numerological exegesis, it is surely not accidental that there are just seven scenes, and that the key word “blessing” (berakhah.) is repeated seven times.

    to bring) The Septuagint reads instead “for his father,” which is phonetically akin to the word in the Masoretic Text (either variant is a single word in the Hebrew). The Septuagint reading has a slight advantage of syntactic completeness, but subsequent exchanges in the story insist repeatedly on the verb “to bring” as an essential element in the paternal instructions.

    Fox translates the pasuk (with no notes):

    “Now Rivka was listening as Yitzchak spoke to Esav his son,
    and so when Esav went off into the fields to hunt down hunted-game to being (to him)”

    And, for completeness, the pasuk in Hebrew:
    ה וְרִבְקָה שֹׁמַעַת–בְּדַבֵּר יִצְחָק, אֶל-עֵשָׂו בְּנוֹ; וַיֵּלֶךְ עֵשָׂו הַשָּׂדֶה, לָצוּד צַיִד לְהָבִיא

  8. “The story with Rav Soloveitchik and the Bris shows that the Rav felt that Chazal’s view as to when a bris occurs should be honored.”

    Isn’t the mohel supposed to make this call?

  9. Thanks Gil for linking to a Chareidi website posting a YouTube video of Rav Schorr attacking the Internet.

    How do you say irony in Yiddish?!

  10. At the time that I left the US, there was still no Rimon-like option available in the United States.
    Perhaps, instead of “banning” the internet, which will have no effect whatsoever, the Agudah should do the Jewish people in the United States a favor and import filtering services that filter at the source, thereby, “Saving countless Neshamos.” It’s also not something the Agudah would have to mandate. Parents would gladly pay for it.

    Is there something special about Rimon that commends it to frum people? There are plenty of filters in the U.S. We have one. (K9 Web Protection.)

    Our local yeshiva has a presentation every year about the dangers of internet, and use of a filter has always been promoted as the number one protection.

    (I recently read about someone in Lakewood who came up with a different kind of filter — which they called a White List. Instead of a black list of forbidden sights, the white list only permits a list of sites the person affirmatively signs up for. The idea is you put on innoccuous sites, like your bank or the local supermarket, and leave off the rest. Whether the idea has caught hold I don’t know.)

  11. “How do you say irony in Yiddish?!”

    Why should you say it in Yiddish when you can say it English in his accent? – an affected accent, considering that not only is he American-born, but his father was too.

  12. R. Gil, just to say thank you for your News & Links site each day. It always includes articles which I’m interested in but which I never have known about if not for you. Thank you again!

  13. Abba's Rantings

    “the white list only permits a list of sites the person affirmatively signs up for”

    intersting. i’ve been thinking of some type of filter for my son recently. this would work well for him.
    but realistically i think this would work better for younger kids than older kids or adults (at least for people i know)

  14. “Perhaps, instead of “banning” the internet, which will have no effect whatsoever, the Agudah should do the Jewish people in the United States a favor and import filtering services that filter at the source” (Reuven Spolter on November 28, 2011 at 9:50 am).

    If “I’m not naive to think that it’s total”, perhaps they’re not naive either?

  15. “Parallel but non-intersecting Jewish universes”-A tale of two funerals
    http://danielgordis.org/2011/11/25/a-tale-of-two-funerals-2/

  16. “While traditional Jewish marital rites — or kiddushin — describe the man as the owner of his wife”

    Really? Where?

  17. R’ Bleich used to tell us that.

  18. Lawrence Kaplan

    Nachum: Not quite. Rabbi Bleich writes: “The legalistic essence of marriage is, in effect, an exclusive conjugal servitude conveyed by the wife to the husband.”

  19. So you mean the word mekudeshes — i.e. assurah al kol ha olam kehekdesh — is what is being referred to as “property?”

  20. It’s interesting that you focus on the word mekudeshet rather than kinyan asin haisha niknes.

  21. I was reacting to this statement:

    “While traditional Jewish marital rites — or kiddushin — describe the man as the owner of his wife”

    THe word kinyan does not appear anywhere in teh traditional cermony. We do say harei at mekudeshes li ke das Moshe v’ Yisroel. THe kesubah also recites that the Chosson stated “hava li le intu ke das Moshe v’ Yisroel.”

    Neither are obvious forms of property.

    I am well aware of the first Mishna in kiddushin. That is not recited at most weddings I have been at.

  22. I agree that the Jewish marriage is more a sanctification of a relationship than a purchase. Nonethess, you can’t get away from the fact that the methodology used in such sactification is that used in acquiring an object. Saying you are aware of the use of kinyan in the mishna (I had no doubt about that) but completely ignoring it is this discussion tells only a part of the story.

  23. Perhaps the article’s “rite” reference is to the Ketuba which is indeed recited.

  24. IH: Perhaps. But where is the word kinyan written in the kesubah. (In reference to the marriage — not the chosson’s accepting the obligations to the wife.)

    Joseph: the point I was making is that AFAIK, the concept of kinyan is not mentioned anywhere in the typical marriage ceremony. Clearly, the concept is part of the Jewish concept of marriage as the Torah and Chazal present it.

  25. Tal —

    It it is implicit rather than explicit, but still part of the rites.

    “And we have completed the act of acquisition from _______ son of _______ of the family _______ the said bridegroom, for _______ daughter of _______ of the family _______ this maiden, for all that which is stated and explained above, by an instrument legally fit to establish a transaction. And everything is valid and established.”

    The Act of Acquisition (Kinyan). In order to seal all of the stipulated obligations, and to assure that the document is not asmakhta (based on speculation), the rabbis required the legal formality of kinyan, the act of acquisition. Because the bride cannot take possession of all the property, the groom affirms it by a symbolic act called kinyan suddar.

    Thus, at the wedding, the rabbi or one of the witnesses gives a handkerchief or other article (but not a coin) on behalf of the recipient (the bride) to the groom. The groom then returns it. Then they record in the ketubah, ve’kanina (“and we have completed the act of acquisition”). This symbolic act must be seen clearly by the witnesses, who are the makers of the contract, before they sign to its validity. If the ketubah is calligraphed by a scribe, or printed in advance of the wedding, one letter of the word ve’kanina (or the whole word) is usually omitted so that the ketubah is technically not completed before the kinyan itself is made. If this custom is overlooked, it does not alter the ketubah’s validity, so long as the witnesses in fact witness the kinyan-transfer of the handkerchief.

    R. Maurice Lamm in “The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage”

  26. IH, maybe you missed this comment of mine:

    In reference to the marriage — not the chosson’s accepting the obligations to the wife.

    Clearly, the chosson performs a kinyan to accept the various obligations of the kesubah. That is talking about HER proprietary interest in HIS obligations. (Which are monetary, and as to which he is pledging all his worldy goods — “even the shirt off my back.”)

    I was talking about the notion that the women becomes the property of the man through the act of marriage. (That is a gross oversimplication of what is happening.) THAT concept is mentioned nowhere in the kesubah.

  27. Tal — reasonable people can disagree. I think I have adequately demonstrated the validity of the quote to which you objected. But, you’re entitled to your view as well.

  28. Interesting that the New York Times should have spoken of Amy-Jill Levine’s new book as a landmark in publishing. Samuel Tobias Lachs’ A Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament: The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke has been available for over twenty years and is a work of tremendous erudition. I’ll do better than to judge Levine’s version on the basis of the one, meagre observation that this journalist saw fit to share, and would encourage anybody who is interested in the lines of convergence between different 1st-2nd c. Jewish groups to have at look at Lachs’ masterpiece as well.

  29. Simon — many thanks for the reference, but Googling for a review I came across this: http://www.jstor.org/pss/1454656 which is not encouraging from the one page freely available.

    I don’t know to what extent it figures in the new book, but it is also worth noting that DSS research has changed the landscape of material available in the intervening time.

  30. Who exactly are the “important poskim” on whom R. Mosheh Lichtenstein claims he is relying to say that listening to a woman singing alone in a performance is muttar? I think that Rav Ellinson’s sefer is considered pretty middle of the road when it comes to these matters, and I don’t believe that he quotes anyone more permissive than the sridei eish.

  31. How about those gedolim who we know attended performances featuring women singing?

    Prof. Kaplan, it was years ago, but I remember him saying something to our Cardozo class along the lines of “People like to say various things, but let’s be honest: He’s buying her.”

  32. …and yes, I know it’s not that simple, especially considering that:

    a) She’s worth more than a perutah.

    b) He’s giving the money to *her*.

    c) There are other methods.

    Etc. etc.

  33. Lawrence Kaplan

    Nachum: I just quoted from what Rabbi Bleich actualy wrote.

  34. …and yes, I know it’s not that simple, especially considering that:

    a) She’s worth more than a perutah.

    b) He’s giving the money to *her*.

    c) There are other methods.

    Etc. etc.

    Don’t know why you think these are so important. (His giving money to her is the way every sale works — the buyer gives money to a seller.) To my mind, the more salient differences are:

    1. Unlike property, the huband cannot sell her to someone else at will. All he can do is release her ishus through a get or death.

    2. The husband cannot even agree to allow someone else to invade his “exclusive conjugal servitude.” Even with consent of the husband it is still adultery, unlike property where consent of the owner turns theft into mere borrowing.

    R. Bleich’s formulation of “exclusive conjugal servitude” seems to me to best capture what is meant by a kinyan — an exclusivity of her wifehood to the husband. The marriage permits her to him (acc. to many Rishonim, on a deoraysa level) and forbids her to others.

  35. On the gay “marriage” story…

    For years now, gays have been saying they want “marriage” so they can be “equal.” I’m presuming that “equal” means “the same” or “congruent.”

    Well, “Conservative Judaism” was shortsighted enough to give them what they want.

    What do they say?

    The ceremony has to be different!! (For feminist reasons and reasons of equality no less!!)

    Wait. Do they want to be the same or different?

  36. …“exclusive conjugal servitude” seems to me to best capture…

    How about the simpler “chattel” which more fully articulates the status of a wife in halacha beyond the transaction that occures at Kiddhushin.

    chattel n. an item of personal property which is movable, as distinguished from real property (land and improvements).

  37. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no value judgement; our halacha was congruent with external society (and arguably better) for most of recorded history. But, lets be honest about the facts.

  38. Lawrence Kaplan

    IH: Conjugal servitude is NOT the same a chattel.

  39. Repeating the point: “chattel” which more fully articulates the status of a wife in halacha beyond the transaction that occurs at Kiddhushin.

    As a thought exercise, what are the rights of the wife as an individual in halachic codes (e.g. Rambam, Tur, SA), as opposed to her being viewed as her husband’s chattel.

    I’d be delighted to be proven wrong!!!

  40. “Restaurants around the world will soon use new DNA technology to assure patrons they are being served the genuine fish fillet or caviar they ordered, rather than inferior substitutes, an expert in genetic identification says.”

    “In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved so-called DNA bar coding – a standardised fingerprint that can identify a species like a supermarket scanner reads a bar code – to prevent the mislabelling of both locally produced and imported seafood in the United States.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8922521/Restaurants-plan-DNA-certified-premium-seafood.html

  41. Re chattel: See chapter 16 (p. 96ff.) of R. Moshe Meiselman’s Jewish Woman in Jewish Law: link to Google Books

  42. Gil — The chapter called “Nonhalkhic Approaches to the Divine”? The only relevant text I see in the Google Books preview is what we already know – an ex-wife has some proscribed individual rights. But, without prejudice to contrary evidence, in halacha the wife is her father’s chattel before Kiddushin and her husband’s from Kiddushin until/unless a Get occurs.

  43. Oops. Sorry — wrong chapter. Will look again later this afternoon.

  44. From the article on R. Yosef’s daughter:

    “Prohibiting women to sing is not about singing. It questions whether women and men can serve together in the IDF in general,” she said. “The processes taking place these days are unacceptable. It took years and many struggles to allow women to serve in combat units, and today there is an attempt to exclude them – and that’s serious.”

    so is this what’s behind the seemingly irrational attitude of the army (and secular society) toward the issue of religious soldiers and kol isha? they don’t care about this issue per se, but rather that women may be restricted or excluded in military duties? is this a slippery slope issue for them?

    i don’t know if i’d agree here with such a slippery slope argument, but it does make a lot more sense than requireing the religious soldiers’ presence because uniformity, not to insult the singers, etc.

  45. re. the debate above whether women are chattel and the kiddshin a financial transaction, etc., who cares? its all semantics. does anyone claim that husband and wife are equal partners in marriage with equal rights?

  46. IH: Merely ignoring evidence does not make it go away. Why don’t you address the two points I stated in my post about the difference between property (chattel is a form of property) and ishus.

    Same thing for the ketubah. Nothing in anything you posted indicates that anything in the ketubah even hints at the notion of kinyan with respect to the man marrying the woman. Kinyan is only mentioned wrt the man’s monetary obligations to the wife.

  47. Just to sharpen the point a bit suppose A loans money to B. A gets a shibbud ha guf (literally a lien on his body — a personal obligation) on B, as well as shibbud nechasim (a lien on his property). Does that turn B into A’s chattel? Hardly.

  48. “Orthodox Jewish Feminist Challenges Traditional Patriarchy”

    What makes her Orthodox?

    Seems that today calling oneself “orthodox” is a selling point.

  49. Tal – what makes anyone orthodox?

  50. Gil — I found the previewable 3 pages of R. Meiselman’s Chapter 16 utterly unconvincing. Perhaps there is more in the non-previewable pages but all I can see is that he establishes a distinction between “Kinyan Issur” and “Kinyan Mamom” and then makes some assertions about the marriage contract without any prooftexts, references or footnotes. It is not even clear the distinction is meaningful, given that he says “The use of kinyan in reference to marriage combines both meanings.”

  51. Tal — You are arguing for a very technical reading of the transaction outside of any context. But, you raised this (yesterday at 3:51pm) in objection to a quote in an article that is clearly about more than the legalistic fine print.

    As a thought exercise, what are the rights of the wife as an individual in halachic codes (e.g. MT, Tur, SA), as opposed to her being viewed as her husband’s chattel, or her father’s prior to kiddushin?

  52. Just to clarify on the R. Meiselman reference: there are a small number of footnotes, but none appear to be used to confirm his assertion about how we should “interpret” the kinyan in kiddushin.

  53. IH: There is nothign hypertechnical about anything I posted. You can’t deal with the simply facts, so you ignore them.

    I own lots of chattel — a car (rather beat up, but still gets me there), some furniture, gardening tools. I’d even own a dog if my wife let me. I can sell them at will, lend them out at will, I can even sell (or give away) a half interest in them at will. I can do none of these things with my wife. Calling a wife chattel is an absurdity.

    And kinyan issur is somethign the Ramban came up with, not R. Meiselman.

  54. “As a thought exercise, what are the rights of the wife as an individual in halachic codes (e.g. MT, Tur, SA), as opposed to her being viewed as her husband’s chattel, or her father’s prior to kiddushin?”

    Husband owes her support, conjugal rights, has to redeem her if captured (a rarity today, not so rare in prior times). If he divorces her or dies, she has a lien on all his property to collect what is written in the kesubah. Did you skip the pertinent sugyas in Kesubos that lay out the obligations of husband to wife and wife to husband?

    (That is another proof. Never heard of owing my chattel any obligations.)

  55. Tal, That you have different rights with an object doesn’t establish that one is a purchase and one is not. For example, as you noted one may own a dog or a car. A car is not allowed to be driven on the sidewalk. One may take take a dog on the sidewalk. Yet both may be owned.

    You say you do not owe your property obligations. If you do not feed your dog and someone alerts the authorities, do you believe they would adopt a similar view? I believe you’d make the 6pm news as one of those people with their shirt over their face as they face arrest.

    That marriage might be a specialized form of acquisition (assuming it is) whereby the chattel (i.e. the woman) has specialized rules as to usage does not take away from whether or not she is viewed more fundamentally viz-a-viz marriage as a person or an object.

    You call the reference to chattel an absurdity; the real question is not how frum Jews view this today but whether, contract among equals as to terms of their partnership (husband-wife) or whether a contract among equals as to the terms of a relationship between one and a piece of property of the other (husband-father of the wife) or, whether its really a hybrid model so that both you and IH are right.

  56. Last paragraph should read

    You call the reference to chattel an absurdity; the real question is not how frum Jews view this today but whether, in looking at the traditional halachic concept, contract among equals as to terms of their partnership (husband-wife) or whether a contract among equals as to the terms of a relationship between one and a piece of property of the other (husband-father of the wife) or, whether its really a hybrid model so that both you and IH are right.

    But then since you are arguing that the chattel concept is fundamentally absent from halacha l’maase, even if discussed in theory, that would still make IH right.

  57. “What makes her Orthodox?”

    I don’t know. What makes anyone Orthodox? Probably a combination of self affiliation which is really what all of us have (since there really are no gatekeepers though some try to set themselves up as one) and a commitment to halacha. I certainly didn’t see anything in the article that would make me doubt her being Orthodox.

  58. joseph kaplan – agree. i believe tal implied that calling herself orthodox doesn’t make it so (judging by his comment he questions her inclusion).

  59. does anyone know who is behind the anti gay declaration by ortho rabbis that was leaked out via huffington post?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jayson-littman/orthodox-rabbis-homosexuality-declaration_b_1114090.html

    scroll down to see some interesting faq or q&a. is this a beginning of a kiddush or chilul hahsem?

  60. Tal, That you have different rights with an object doesn’t establish that one is a purchase and one is not. For example, as you noted one may own a dog or a car. A car is not allowed to be driven on the sidewalk. One may take take a dog on the sidewalk. Yet both may be owned.

    That the State can regulate how I use my property, particuarly when I am on public property, does not change the nature of property itself. The fundamental nature of calling something “property” is that I can exclude others from using it, and can freely transfer it to others.

    IOW, that I cannot take my hatchet and kill someone hardly makes it less my property.

    You say you do not owe your property obligations. If you do not feed your dog and someone alerts the authorities, do you believe they would adopt a similar view? I believe you’d make the 6pm news as one of those people with their shirt over their face as they face arrest.

    This is not an obligation to the dog. It is a general crime of animal cruelty. The dog cannot sue me for support. The DA might prosecute me for the crime.

    That marriage might be a specialized form of acquisition (assuming it is) whereby the chattel (i.e. the woman) has specialized rules as to usage does not take away from whether or not she is viewed more fundamentally viz-a-viz marriage as a person or an object

    Or perhaps one can acquire a legal right in a person. Like a shibud ha guf when A loans money to B. Does not make B A’s chattel, it simply means that A has a lien on B and his money.

    R. Bleich’s formulation is still the most accurate, as far as I can tell. There is an exclusivity of conjugal relations to the husband. For sure, that is something personal to the husband — adultery is both an aveirah bein adam la makom and bein adam ve chaveiro. BUt that hardly makes her chattel.

    (To illustrate, R. Hutner quotes a Teshuvas ha Rashbah which discussed whether a woman who commits adultery be shoggeg has the din of Sotah. He differentiates between a case of omer muttar (i.e. the woman thinks adultery is permitted) and toeh be davar (the woman mistakenly believes that a man is her husband, e.g. he has a twin brother). He rules that the former has the issur Sotah, the latter does not. R. Hutner explains that the basis of Sotah is not the issur of neiuf, it is rather the betrayal of the woman of her husband. Thus in an omer muttar case, there is a betrayal, even if the woman is a shoggeg in terms of issurim. OTOH, a woman who believes that someone is her husband has not betrayed him.)

    Marriage creats a personal conjugal exclusivity to the husband — only he may have relations with her, all others may not. That is the essence of the kinyan issur.

    You want to call that an “object,” go ahead, but she is no more an object than he is when he obligates himself in the kessef kesubah — which as IH pointed out, is likewise created through a kinyan.

  61. One more thought, maybe it is irrelevant, but I will throw it in.

    I am intellectual property attorney. So my work involves a great deal of discussion about what is property. It is a basic concept that a patent or copyright is a form of property, but a trademark is not. Why? A patent or copyright are freely transferrable — they often are. A trademark is not. A trademark is simply the reputation of a business — a shorthand for who makes a product and stands behind its quality. If you try to transfer a trademark without transferring the ongoing business, that is invalid (termed an assigment in gross.)

    As I tell those to who I present this, you can no more separate a trademark from a business than you can separate a reputation from a person. I could tell you, leave you watch or jacket there and get out of the room. And you can do it. But I could not tell you to leave your reputation there and go out of the room.

    A trademark is merely the right to use a particular symbol as a shorthand for your business reputation. (To use the old Supreme Court language, it is a “right appurtenant to the good will of a trade.”)

    Ishus is no more property than a trademark, probably less so.

  62. Ruvie: That’s clearly a yeshivish effort because R. Shmuel Kamenetsky is the posek.

  63. The classic historical example of human chattel is slavery. I really don’t want to go there, but there is ample halachic discussion that could be brought in regarding obligations (ref Tal at 1:45 pm).

    Less emotionally, would be the halachic obligations one has to animals used for livelihood (as opposed to our modern notion of animals as pets).

  64. The “Declaration” appears to be hosted on http://www.ssc.org.il/ which is the Shehebar Sephardic Center (click on Media, then articles).

  65. Interestingly, on the SSC site the “Declaration” PDF is dated 16 December 2010. The Introduction PDF is dated 10 January 2011.

    The FAQ file (not on SSC) appears to be much newer: 3 November 2011 and the Hebrew is Ashekenazis.

  66. Oh, it gets better. The final PDF document — the one with R. Kamenetsky’s siganature is dated 23 November 2010. And the handwritten date with his signature is Nov 7, ’10!

  67. To IH:
    The classic historical example of human chattel is slavery. I really don’t want to go there, but there is ample halachic discussion that could be brought in regarding obligations (ref Tal at 1:45 pm).

    Spot on. The Ramban in Kiddushin (daf 7,8?) makes the point that you can’t perform Kiddushin on a woman through kinyan chazaka (displaying ownership like having her bring you your paper and slippers) or meshicha (walking her along a certain distance) as could be done to acquire a slave. But if she is chattel live a slave, then why not?

    This is the Ramban’s proof that a husband is not acquiring the woman’s body (kinyan haguf) through kiddushin like a slave’s but only her permission for relations (kinyan issur).
    Rumors and ignorant opinions to the contrary notwithstanding…

  68. Dovid — One can quote Rambam in the other direction as well (see, e.g. p. 56 in R. Berkovits’ “Jewish Women in Time and Torah”).

    In any case I am not equating the historical halachic status of a woman with the historical halachic status of a slave — but, a daughte/wife’s historical halachic status has enough similarities to justify a comparison to chattel, than not.

  69. MiMedinat haYam

    tal — didnt her father disavow being orthodox?

    (of course, the huff post wouldnt understand that, but …)

  70. What difference does it make what her father did?

  71. of course a wife or daughter’s status is different than that of a slave – that’s why they are different categories. but there are both substantive and literary parallels that suggest that there is some sort of continuum from, say, and animal (pure chattel) to different sorts of avadim to women to free males, with women definitely closer to chattel or some sort of hybrid. For example, a father has the authority to transform a daughter into a slave (albeit a special sort of slave acc to the rabbis) or into a wife. A cohen’s wife is “kinyan kaspo” for terumah purposes just like a slave. Maybe the word “chattel” is distracting, but she is clearly somehow in his “reshut.”

  72. * “with women definitely closer to chattel or some sort of hybrid” – i mean women are closer to chattel than men are to chattel, not necessarily that women are closer to chattel than they are to men.

  73. As far as Tova Hartman’s comments and congregation are conerned, IMO, the question is simple- why would you rather daven there as opposed to anywhere else among the many Batei Knesssios, Yeshivos, etc, in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, especially in light of RAL’s comments re partnership services?

    With respect to Kinyan Isur as defined by the Ramban in Kiddushin, all that the term implies is that the wife’s efforts are consecrated, dedicated and reserved for her husband. The Kesuvah is certainly attested to by two Kosher witnesses and recited under the chupah, but that does not mean that the reading of the text of the Ksubah has any halachic significance as opposed to either Chupah, Erusin and Kiddushin.

  74. “As far as Tova Hartman’s comments and congregation are conerned, IMO, the question is simple- why would you rather daven there as opposed to anywhere else among the many Batei Knesssios, Yeshivos, etc, in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, especially in light of RAL’s comments re partnership services?”

    And there’s really a simple answer: because it’s a wonderfully spiritual, participatory, melodic davening that many people find inspiring. That’s what’s so wonderful about having all those many Batei Knesssios, Yeshivos, etc, in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh; there’s something for everyone. Those who go to SC shouldn’t complain about shuls that put women in locations where they can’t see or hear anything and those who go to shuls with high mechitzot whose rabbis preach to one side of the shul only shouldn’t complain about SC. And as revered and respected as RAL is, he’s not the final authority for everyone. Y’know, I bet you knew the answer to that question.

  75. One thing Shira Chadasha has in common with all other “innovative” services is its Friday night/Shabbat morning schedule. Meanwhile, us boring folk continue to go to shul seven days a week.

  76. to the yeshivish anti gay statement: please note the ideology that every homosexual can change with therapy regardless of any empirical data to the contrary (cause hashem wouldn’t create humans in this type of situation). furthering the claim that the yeshivish world is anti science or anti any empirical data. to quote gemeras that prove this shows that rabbis have lost their connection to reality – that there is no possibility that one can be born a homosexual and that its a lifestyle choice.

  77. “cause hashem wouldn’t create humans in this type of situation”

    Because Hashem doesn’t create people with either mental illnesses and/or sinful cravings? Come on.

  78. >>Meanwhile, us boring folk continue to go to shul seven days a week.

    So do many of those who daven at Shira Chadasha.

  79. “As far as Tova Hartman’s comments and congregation are conerned, IMO, the question is simple- why would you rather daven there as opposed to anywhere else among the many Batei Knesssios, Yeshivos, etc, in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, especially in light of RAL’s comments re partnership services?”

    It’s actually one of the only places here in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh that even has a side by side ezrat nashim.

  80. “So do many of those who daven at Shira Chadasha”

    They don’t daven at Shira Chadasha seven days a week, because it’s only open one.

    I’ve always said, in response to those with the wacky and unhalachic idea of having ten men and ten women: Let
    s see ten- nay, two- women at regular morning minyan, and you *might* have an opening argument.

    “It’s actually one of the only places here in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh that even has a side by side ezrat nashim.”

    Yes, I remember Blu Greenberg once calling for an end to balconies. It’s a silly and impractical idea.

  81. “It’s a silly and impractical idea.”

    Why?

  82. Silly, because lots of women prefer the balcony- you can see a lot more from up there. Unless you’ve got a really short and/or creative mechitza, you’re not going to see much when on the same level. Not even men see much. Not seeing=not feeling part of it, no matter how much that matters to you.

    Impractical, because most places don’t have the room.

  83. “you can see a lot more from up there”

    Ah, yes, davening as spectator event. My wife is particularly fond of those Rabbis (and other speakers from the bima) who never look up at the female spectators when they speak.

  84. I think Joseph Kaplan got it exactly right yesterday: “Those who go to SC shouldn’t complain about shuls that put women in locations where they can’t see or hear anything and those who go to shuls with high mechitzot whose rabbis preach to one side of the shul only shouldn’t complain about SC.”

  85. Nachum,
    You didn’t say that they didn’t daven at SH 7 days a week. You said (or implied) that they didn’t daven 7 days a week. Do you daven at the same shul on shabbos as during the week. Many people don’t.

  86. “Silly, because lots of women prefer the balcony- you can see a lot more from up there. Unless you’ve got a really short and/or creative mechitza, you’re not going to see much when on the same level. Not even men see much.”

    What are you talking about? There are plenty of shuls that have side by side mechitzot where women can see and hear just fine. All it takes is the will to make that happens. But that’s something you probably don’t know about. As for men not seeing, huh? I can’t remember a shul I’ve davened in in the past — I don’t know how long — where many men couldn’t see and hear everything that’s going on. But again, different strokes for different folks. You want to go to a shul where your wife can’t see and hear, or she wants to go to such a shul, fine with me. But And if I insist on belonging to a shul where that’s not the case, it should be fine with you. And that was the simple answer I gave to Steve’s “simple” question.

  87. “You said (or implied) that they didn’t daven 7 days a week.”

    I certainly did not mean to imply that and apologize if it came across that way. I know many people who daven at Shira Chadasha and go elsewhere the other six days of the week. I *do* think that being only able to maintain that schedule is telling in a shul, though. (And I say this as someone who once davened in a place with a bulletproof mechitza which was open one day.)

    “There are plenty of shuls that have side by side mechitzot where women can see and hear just fine. All it takes is the will to make that happens.”

    And Blu Greenberg knows full well, or should, that that ain’t going to happen. A balcony is a fine, traditional compromise.

    “But that’s something you probably don’t know about.”

    Ah, yes, one must be part of a group to have an opinion on the subject. Or be sufficiently “enlightened.” (Then you can get away with murder, like a certain former president.) And if you’re not, not even being part of the group will help (Palin, Thomas).

    “As for men not seeing, huh?”

    Never been in a crowded shul with no raised bimah? We don’t all live in expansive suburban tracts with room to make majestic shuls full of modern-minded people.

    But you’re right, your answer to Steve is quite correct. Let me point out that there are a number of places in J-town that fit your description, most of them non-egalitarian.

  88. “We don’t all live in expansive suburban tracts with room to make majestic shuls full of modern-minded people.”

    The Israeli caravan shuls that I have davened in, have side-by-side mechitzot rather than a balcony. So, I don’t buy the impractical footprint argument.

  89. For info, there is an interesting sounding lecture at YIVO next week: http://www.yivo.org/events/index.php?tid=181&aid=908

    “The tens of thousands of personal petitions or ‘kvitlekh’ to Rabbi Eliyahu Guttmacher, the “tzaddik of Gratz” (Grodzisk, 1796 -1874), constitute a time capsule reflecting nearly every facet of Jewish life in Eastern Europe before the crisis of the 1880s. […] The kvitlekh force us to slow down, revealing how during the 1870s even a non-Hasidic rabbi could possess a long supra-communal reach owing to his miracle-working reputation, and how traditional social mores retained their hold.”

    That same evening, there is a panel discussion on Giyur at Cardozo:

    Conversion to Judaism Through the Ages: Historical and Theoretical Reflections

    Panelists include Arye Edrei (Tel-Aviv University Faculty of Law), Ephraim Kanarfogel (Yeshiva University), and Zvi Zohar (Bar-Ilan University). The panel will be moderated by Debra Kaplan (Yeshiva University).

  90. ““There are plenty of shuls that have side by side mechitzot where women can see and hear just fine. All it takes is the will to make that happens.”

    And Blu Greenberg knows full well, or should, that that ain’t going to happen. A balcony is a fine, traditional compromise.

    “But that’s something you probably don’t know about.”

    Ah, yes, one must be part of a group to have an opinion on the subject. Or be sufficiently “enlightened.””

    It’s not a question of “enlightened”; it’s a question of knowledge and your answer shows that you really don’t know what’s happening on this side of the Atlantic (which is what I was talking about because that’s what I know.) You say it ain’t gonna happen and yet it has happened in plenty of shuls in the US where those designing the shuls cared about making sure the women davening in shul would be able to see and hear comfortably. If you mean that in Israel there aren’t men and women, other than those who daven in SC, who care about that, well, I don’t live there so I will defer to your greater knowledge. But I do find it interesting that many of the side by side mechitzot in the US which have been made with care so women can see and hear comfortably were made in Israel.

  91. What are side by side mechitzos? I haven’t heard this used before? Do you mean ground level mechitzos? An explanation would be appreciated?

  92. I didn’t mean the last sentence to be a question. Sorry.

  93. “What are side by side mechitzos? I haven’t heard this used before? Do you mean ground level mechitzos?”

    I have been using it to mean ground level mechitzot where the women’s section is not behind the men’s section but on the side of it, so the women’s section, like that of the men’s, runs from the front of the anctuary to the back.

  94. “The kvitlekh force us to slow down, revealing how during the 1870s even a non-Hasidic rabbi could possess a long supra-communal reach owing to his miracle-working reputation, and how traditional social mores retained their hold.””

    I’m not sure it is really accurate to say that he was a “non-Hasidic rabbi.”

  95. Joseph – got it. Thanks.

    To be honest, in non-stieblach shul structures, I have never seen a ground level ezras nashim positioned behind the men, given the difficulty of men entering the sanctuary. But then, I am not well travelled. I always assumed ground level ezrasos nashim run alongside, though maybe not all the way to the front.

    Now that I thought about, in the article about SC it says that Aron Kodesh is positioned in the middle. How does that work? Are people standing with their backs to the aron kodesh? Just curious.

  96. Lawrence Kaplan

    I find it striking that Rafael Arujo did not know what side-by-side Mechitzot are.

  97. “Aron Kodesh is positioned in the middle. How does that work?”

    In the middle in the front. Think of the shul’s layout as a T, with the line representing the mechitzah.

  98. Prof. Kaplan,
    Although I understood your brother, in fairness to Raphael, the phrase “side-by-side mechitzo” is niether entirely clear nor accurate. The is only one mechitza, not mechitzot, and it is the sections that are side by side, nto the mechitza/ot.

  99. “I find it striking that Rafael Arujo did not know what side-by-side Mechitzot are.”

    How so. You are using terminology I have never heard before. Its like Americans say pop and in Canada we use the term soda (or in Quebec the term Pepsi :)) If I wasn’t familiar with the meaning of pop as used by Americans, I wouldn’t know what you are talking about. What’s so striking about that?

  100. >I’m not sure it is really accurate to say that he was a “non-Hasidic rabbi.”

    He was definitly influenced by chassidut. Is there a polish rabbi who was raised in the 19th century who was not? However, he self identified primarily as a student of R’ Akiva Eiger and his kabbala is in the end closer to the now nearly extinct litvish tradition than the chassidic one. Further, he never associated with a particular chassidic court nor did he start his own. There were plenty of non chassidic kabbalists who dabbled in practical kabbalah, so I think it would be inacurate to classify him as chassidic.

  101. MDJ is correct and I was imprecise in my phraseology. Sorry. But now that anyone who cares understands my (flawed) terminology, I’ll just keep using it in this thread (should I post again about this).

  102. MiMedinat HaYam

    tova hartman is identified with her father on the org’s web site. among other identification.

    just like r gil referenced ROY’s daughter as a shas-nik. (and perhaps should have identified the rabbinic intern as orthodox of a yct grad shul.) of course, he just (properly) copied the article title.

    2. military mikva — we have a policy in the us (where we often have side by side mechitzot) against non exclusively orthodox mikvaot. (to preclude issues of C and R gerim, etc). wait till this comes up in this case. (let alone chabad vs other mikvaot, etc)

    3. on the subject on mikvaot last week, many(?) ppl observe mikva, but do not observe time limits.

    4. satmar rebbe — maybe chabad can facilitate the two of them (somewhat) reconciling. lets start by inviting the other to daven in the same minyan in north miami beach.

    5. historically, there is very little discussion in halacha about mechitzot, because they were (almost) always constructed as balconies. perhaps we should insist on returning to old custom of no mechitzot, balconies only.

    and dont limit your analysis to shtibel’s. applies to (almost all) batei midrash, which a shtibel really is.

  103. MMhY — the book jacket of his latest book identifies RDH as Modern Orthodox.

  104. Anyone want to comment on R. Shafran’s latest missive on brain death?

    http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2011/11/29/is-anybody-there/

  105. “The book jacket of his latest book identifies RDH as Modern Orthodox.”

    I wondered about this; I thought he had disassociated from that label.

  106. “I wondered about this; I thought he had disassociated from that label.”

    I doubt his publisher has disassociated itself from selling more books.

  107. I wonder if Ami Magazine readers “get” the irony of R. Shafran citing Peter Singer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer)?

  108. “Singer believes, for example, that a human’s life is not necessarily more sacred than a dog’s, and that it might be more compassionate to carry out medical experiments on hopelessly disabled, unconscious orphans than on perfectly healthy rats… He laid out his brutally frank approach to ethics in “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”… He calls man’s dominion over other animals a “speciesist” outrage that can properly be compared only to the pain and suffering “which resulted from the centuries of tyranny by white humans over black humans.” For Singer, that “tyranny” is one of the central social issues of our age…. You don’t need to suffer from existential doubt to be miserable: the anguish of a pig that lives only to be confined and then butchered counts as suffering to Singer in just the same way that human anxiety does.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1999/09/06/1999_09_06_046_TNY_LIBRY_000018991

  109. R’ Gil, yasher koach for linking to that beautifully written and thoughtful article by Prof. Moshe Koppel.

  110. Actually, I know of one major shul in Passaic, that has a mechitzah on the same level as the men’s section, albeit to the rear of the same, that renders the Bimah, Aron Hakodesh, etc completely visible from the women’s section and completely invisible to the men’s section.

  111. Steve, I’m intrigued. Could you please describe how this works? Thanks. I assume the bumah be’emtzah is not in the women’s section.

  112. Raphael,
    Now it is you who are being imprecise. Only midwesterns (as far as I am aware) call it “pop”. The rest of the country calls it “soda”.

  113. I think R. Shafran is being misleading, perhaps unintentionally, by linking vegatative state and brain death; his in passing remark that brain death is a “different issue” really didn’t do the trick IMO.

  114. I see no irony in R Shafran citing Peter Singer and rejecting the same as evidence of a current view of a so-called “ethicist.” Singer’s views as quoted by R Shafran are no different and IMO equally repugnant to the views that were mentioned in the New Yorker. IIRC, a seriously physically challenged person wrote an article in the NY Times Magazine that decried Singer’s views in no small measure as inhuman , and insensitive to people with severe disabilities, let alone his obvious rejection of the fact that man was created Btzelem Elokim with a Neshama and/or conscience. What a travesty that such views are considered examples of how an “ethicist” projects his views. One can only wonder what kind of “ethical will” Singer has written with respect to his own life.

  115. Joseph Kaplan-the Mechitzah in question is across the width of the entire floor of the shul and definitely is more than 7-8 feet in height. The men cannot see a thing behind the curtains-not even tables or chairs, let alone their wives or daughters. My wife tells us that the Bimah, Aron HaKodesh, and platform from where the rav of the shul speaks are completely visible from the women’s section.

  116. That’s great. I hope the members of that shul in Passaic are as satisfied with their shul layout as I am with mine. I also hope that the rabbi of that shul has a good loud voice.

  117. “And there’s really a simple answer: because it’s a wonderfully spiritual, participatory, melodic davening that many people find inspiring. That’s what’s so wonderful about having all those many Batei Knesssios, Yeshivos, etc, in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh; there’s something for everyone. Those who go to SC shouldn’t complain about shuls that put women in locations where they can’t see or hear anything and those who go to shuls with high mechitzot whose rabbis preach to one side of the shul only shouldn’t complain about SC. And as revered and respected as RAL is, he’s not the final authority for everyone. Y’know, I bet you knew the answer to that question”

    IIRC, Ms. Hartman cited none other than her father RDH as the authority for SC. I don’t think that my question was answered because if the services at SC are structured not just to be “wonderfully spiritual, participatory, melodic davening that many people find inspiring” but rather raise issues that serious MO RY view as being problematic with respect to Halacha, that should be determinative-unless one is saying , as can be reasonably implied from your comment-that RAL is “revered and respected”, but only as to those issues that I would consider asking him and deem his Piskei Halacha and Divrei Hashkafa as binding and relevant to me. For those interested in an article in which RAL concurred as to the halachic problems with partnership services, see the annexed link. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=partnership%20services%20aharon%20licthtenstein&source=web&cd=10&sqi=2&ved=0CGUQFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftext.rcarabbis.org%2Fpartnership-minyanim-by-aryeh-a-frimer-and-dov-i-frimer%2F&ei=I67WTtriEaj10gGOi_T0AQ&usg=AFQjCNFa_hktCF5E7DelTFcmG8KY2Uw0qA

  118. Steve — instead of asking roundabout questions and then complaining that the answer was not the one you wanted to hear, why didn’t you just voice your view that you are opposed to Partnership Minyanim?

    Clearly, there are enough others who don’t agree with you that as one of the commenters directly on the article wrote: “I attended Shira Hadasha for Friday Night services a couple of times whilst I was living in Jerusalem. I have to say this place is amazing and it completely changed and impacted the way I look at religion.”

    You don’t like it, simple solution: don’t go when you’re next in Jerusalem.

  119. The article about the female intern is a) a month old and b) never mentions her as a “rabbinic intern”-she is only referred to as a “congregational intern”.

  120. I haven’t seen the specific articles that r. Shafran has mentioned, but it has been well known for quite a while in medical circles that those categorized as being in a permanent vegetative state sometimes have more function than realized, especially when specialized testing(functional MRI, transcranial stimulation, etc) is done. This of course has no bearing on the issue of brain death, and so it was gratuitous for him to mention it. In addition, he took the opportunity to mention the names of those opposed to brain death while neglecting to mention any tha support it. Pretty much the intellectually dishonest drivel we have come to expect from him. And it is sad because it takes away from his point that people with minimal function need to be seen and treated as people.
    By the way, having seen the MRI that was attributed to Terry Schiavo, if it indeed was her’s, it is very hard to imagine she had any of the reactions and functions being tested for in the article.

  121. Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “That’s great. I hope the members of that shul in Passaic are as satisfied with their shul layout as I am with mine. I also hope that the rabbi of that shul has a good loud voice”

    AFAIK, and we spend more than a few Shabbosos , etc in Passaic and daven in that shul, the shul members are very happy with the layout. The rav of the shul in question is a wonderful Talmid Chacham, darshan and Baal Midos who has a voice that can be heard in Teaneck.

  122. Steve, If you wanted to make the statement that SC does not comport with halacha and that O Jews, even MO Jews, shoudln’t daven there, you could have said so. We’ve been around that tree lots and lots of times; to mix metaphors, thatb horse has been beaten to death. But you asked what you called a “simple question,” I gave gave an answer. You probably menat the question as rhetorical. But Judith Kaye taught me many years ago that one should rarely, if ever, ask a rhetorical question in an argument because you might not get the answer you thought was the only one possible.

  123. IH commented:

    “Clearly, there are enough others who don’t agree with you that as one of the commenters directly on the article wrote: “I attended Shira Hadasha for Friday Night services a couple of times whilst I was living in Jerusalem. I have to say this place is amazing and it completely changed and impacted the way I look at religion.”

    These views IMO ignore the fact that Halacha demands discipline to accepted Halacha before one can determine and decide how one looks at religion.

  124. Joseph Kaplan-I knew very well the answer to my rhetorical question.

  125. Steve — as you well know, Orthodox Jews have many differing views on halacha. Whether you agree or not, Partnership Minyanim are accepted by many Modern Orthodox Jews as being halachic. Time will tell whether “Nusach Feminism” (as Gil dubbed it) will become as normative as Chassidism has become, despite the aggressive attempts to ban it in its early years.

    For now, it’s like the Jewish Robinson Crusoe joke: this is the shul I go to and that is the one I won’t go near.

  126. IH wrote in part:

    “Steve — as you well know, Orthodox Jews have many differing views on halacha”

    IOW, many Orthodox Jews express their views-but not necessarily as to whether their own views either are the views of Talmidei Chachamim with a far greater knowledge of Halacha than themselves.

  127. Steve — yep, that is what the Mitnagdim said about the Chassidim.

  128. “I knew very well the answer to my rhetorical question.”

    You don’t know “the” answer, you know “your” answer. There are others.

  129. Re: the Blu Greenberg suggestion – one of the things this brings out, or at least should, is the extremely real and relevant class issue at work between the LW and RW of Orthodoxy. Has anyone ever heard of a LWMO community that wasn’t on the whole upper-middle class? Greenberg’s suggestion – getting rid of balconies – only works if a community has such a huge surplus of cash that it can spend it (I would call it waste, but maybe that’s just me) on restructuring shuls – or more likely building new ones – that don’t have balconies. Even if she just meant that new shuls should avoid balconies – that means quadrupling the square-footage of the shul. Finally, it brings to mind a personal anecdote: I was once at a JOFA conference where the issue of advancing egalitarianism etc. was being discussed by a panel, as usual. One question from the audience asked “this is all real nice, but my community is not quite as amenable to change as yours. What can I do to change things in line with the aims being discussed here?” The response was “well, in the [some community] we don’t have those issues.” I think most people on the left fail to realize that the very fact that they have the time, energy, and financial resources to address the issues that concern them is a result of their being privileged in a way that most Orthodox Jews are not. If anyone wants to figure out a way to maintain Orthodox unity, I think acknowledging this divide and addressing it is step one.

  130. Steve – have you read Peter Singer? I didn’t think so. How about you read what he wrote before criticizing? You might actually learn something even if you still disagree.

  131. Jon, I had a long comment that I just deleted. Let me be short and blunt. 1. I think your attempt to turn this into class warfare is a lot of crap. 2. I’d like to know exactly what Blu said and the context in which she said it. 3. I’m sorry that you experienced a not particularly thoughtful comment at a JOFA conference. I experienced many thoughtful sessions.

  132. 1. Well I’d appreciate an argument. Mind you, this doesn’t really have very much to do with which ideology is actually correct. So if you’re just trying to defend the positions of LWMO, that’s unnecessary and irrelevant.

  133. You think balconies vs. one level sanctuaries is a class/money issue? I’m no architect but I know that if you have a balcony you need a much higher building; more expensive to build, to heat, to air-condition. The shuls that I know of who recently built new shuls with balconies did it out of ideological, not financial/class reasons. I even know one which has a balcony AND a main floor level women’s section because, as someone mentioned, there are women who feel comfortable in a balcony and they wanted to accommodate them. And shuls that don’t have balconies but put women behind walls or in separate rooms where they can’t hear or see; which class do they fall into? Who does that; upper-class, lower class or what? I want to make sure I have all the stereotypes down pat. Although I guess I’ll have to tell my feminist friends who are not upper middle class that they should be spending their time, energy, and financial resources on matters that concern their class status and not on things only those who are “privileged” have the luxury to be concerned with. As you say in your follow up comment, it’s really a matter of “ideology”; I found your turning it into class warfare wrong and divisive.

  134. Taking a glance at your response, it seems that I was correct, and you’re offended first and disagree second. A more substantive discussion will have to wait for tomorrow.

  135. I got to thinking about this this morning and don’t really want to contribute all my thoughts. But I’d just like add to Jon’s point that there’s clearly a political divide here as well, and for connected reasons.

  136. I found the Judaism as First language really quite fascinating. However, what the article fails to take into account, or truly discuss are words such as “rufus” in the movie “Never been kissed” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rufus

    Sometimes, the correct conditions allow for purposeful inclusion of new words/changed meanings.

  137. Anyone who is talking about balconies as a issue of Class, has clearly not taken anything such as geography, country, or history into account.

  138. “(or in Quebec the term Pepsi :)) ”

    I thought Pepsi was used to mean something entirely different

  139. 537 AM was me.

  140. “Steve Brizel on November 29, 2011 at 10:38 pm
    As far as Tova Hartman’s comments and congregation are conerned, IMO, the question is simple- why would you rather daven there as opposed to anywhere else among the many Batei Knesssios, Yeshivos, etc, in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, especially in light of RAL’s comments re partnership services?”
    It is not that Shira Chaddasha is the only schul where women are welcome-just a few blocks away Ramban will invite women to sit downstairs for Shabbos afternoon shiur, certainly Yedidya a few blocks further is a feminist schul. But Yedidya is a schul which the Rabbanut will accept as an Orthodox schul for geirus purposes they will not accept Shira Chadashah as an Orthodox schul.

  141. R. Shafran Makes the claim that “a diagnosis of “permanent vegetative state” can make it lawful to withdraw assisted nutrition and hydration.”

    R. Shafran is incorrect. The diagnosis alone is not enough to make it lawful. The diagnosis, coupled with a congruent desire to discontinue any life sustaining therapy expressed in an advanced directive or by a recognized proxy or surrogate could make it legal. However, by that standard a number of diagnoses are likewise sufficient, and it has nothing to do with whether the patient is conscious in some sense. Pretty much any adult patient can refuse treatment for pretty much any reason. If you don’t want to live in a given condition.

    And if R. Shafran is really worried about human beings turning into commodities, then instead of focusing on PVS he should think about the way that elements of his community have been at the forefront of trafficking in human organs.

  142. historically, there is very little discussion in halacha about mechitzot, because they were (almost) always constructed as balconies. perhaps we should insist on returning to old custom of no mechitzot, balconies only.

    Historically there were no women’s sections. Perhaps we should return to that custom.

  143. Joseph Kaplan

    “But I’d just like add to Jon’s point that there’s clearly a political divide here as well”

    There may be something to this (I’d have to think about it a bit more), but I would note that at the recent JOFA dinner I had a long chat with my close friend whose political views are probably to the right of Nahum’s.

  144. Joseph Kaplan

    “you’re offended first and disagree second”

    I don’t deny I was both offended and in strong disagreement. Await your substance.

  145. Joseph Kaplan

    “Historically there were no women’s sections. Perhaps we should return to that custom.”

    Pretty ambiguous suggestion.

  146. It is not that Shira Chaddasha is the only schul where women are welcome-just a few blocks away Ramban will invite women to sit downstairs for Shabbos afternoon shiur

    There’s a difference between being welcoming or accommodating (an attitude one has toward outsiders) and, egalitarianism aside, believing that women are as integral a part of what happens in shul (the davening part) as the as men.

    Now, I’m not taking this idea as a given, it’s certainly not a traditional view on the relationship between women, formal prayer and the synagogue (see my last post) but it is nonetheless an idea that modern Orthodoxy frequently pays lip service to. The problem is that it is an idea that Orthodox shuls are almost never able to cash in on. I think that many orthodox people attracted to SC are drawn to it precisely because they have have found no other way to cash in on this idea.

    If there was a non quasi-egalitarian shul that was able to instantiate this idea in a somewhat satisfactory way it would take a lot of steam away from SC-type minyanim.

    A final point that some people in the US may not appreciate is how perfunctory shabbos davening can be in Israel. It’s really the only day off for most people who be back at work early the next morning. SC, the few times I have been there, struck me with a certain sense of gravitas lacking in many other demographically similar shuls.

  147. On history: if memory serves, the women’s section of the Alt-Neu shul in Prague dates to around 1400.

  148. I imagine there is a more recent scholarly reference, but a quick look at Google books yielded: http://tinyurl.com/7nwcnxf

    “The primitive separation between men and women in Babylonia by pots or reeds implies that both men and women in worshipped in the same building. The Jews in the late Middle Ages developed a stricter observance of the Law…”

    Given how fraught with emotion the issue of Mechitza is, perhaps a more definitive history of its evolution would be helpful. Anyone know of one?

  149. MJ:

    “If there was a non quasi-egalitarian shul that was able to instantiate this idea in a somewhat satisfactory way it would take a lot of steam away from SC-type minyanim.”

    like what?

  150. Was anyone else puzzled by Koppel’s admittedly brilliant use of a series of deflationary and reductionist approaches to human nature, culture, and morality in an attempt to say something positive about how religion ought to function? Very unselfconsciously postmodern.

    [Also, I notice the following regarding many well-read people in the sciences these days: they will pretty much read and marshal everything and anything but philosophy in an attempt to do philosophy. Reading the paper was like reading a great mashup of Wittgenstein, Scholem, and MacIntyre with a touch of Rorty without any hint of the fact that they all made important contributions along the lines of what he was attempting. Is philosophy only worthy of note when it is endorsed by a psychologist, evolutionary biologist, or social scientist?]

  151. i davened once in SC. it started hailing terrible literally as i crossed the threshhold of the school compound where it is (was?) located. anyway, wrt to the question above of hos the aron could be on both sides, iirc the mehitza (which was very high–higher than in most MO shuls–but somewhat sheer) cuts down to the front (with the bimah in the middle) to beyond the seating areas and in the front is open space where the aron is

  152. “perhaps we should insist on returning to old custom of no mechitzot, balconies only”

    the 2 are not mutually exclusive. in older synagogues (at least in western/southern europe and the americas) women’s balconies were enclosed with grills or high latticework. (early debates in america regarding synagogue architechture revolved around whether or not to remove the lattice)

    and the memoirs of pauline wengroff or glikl of hameln (or both?) describe women’s “sections” that were basically separate rooms (and in which women conducted a quasi-independent service). one sees echoes of this in brooklyn today. one shu i’ve been in put the women in a separate room (with a couple of windows). in some others the women sit upstairs in a “balcony,” which is essentially the second floor with a hole cut out over the bimah.

  153. also consider some of the roles of the zogerke, which gives a good indication as to the place (physically and congregationally) of women in the synagogue

  154. The Sasov shtiebel that used to be on 103rd/WEA was in a narrow brownstone where the Ezrat Nashim is as Abba describes: the 2nd floor with a few holes cut out. Strangely, my mother (and Imany other women) avoided davenning there, despite the excellent cholent.

  155. ““If there was a non quasi-egalitarian shul that was able to instantiate this idea in a somewhat satisfactory way it would take a lot of steam away from SC-type minyanim.”

    like what?”

    Seems to me that a Women’s sanctuary that was just as big, if not bigger than the Men’s sanctuary, would be such a place.

    I would not be surprised to find the “Women only Tehlihim groups” to grow into their very own Shul buildings.

  156. Abba,

    The zogerke was there not because the women couldn’t hear the chazan but because they were mostly illiterate and did not know how to read the responsive parts.

  157. I saw in one of today’s papers a short blurb to the effect that the dissident Chasidic lawsuit concerning New Square was dismissed in court. Anyone have a longer link?

  158. Jon wrote:

    “Steve – have you read Peter Singer? I didn’t think so. How about you read what he wrote before criticizing? You might actually learn something even if you still disagree”

    IIRC, I read excerpts of Peter Singer’s quoted writings as well the quotes on Wikipedia. I stand by my perspective as to Singer’s writings and POV.

  159. IH-what relevance, if any, does your most recent link have to “some recent discussions”?

  160. Steve — A discussion with, as I recall, Avi and Nachum regarding the changed public attitudes to homosexuality. It is in the first page of comments on The Slippery Slope thread.

  161. BTW, Steve, the story came to my attention because it was posted on Facebook by an old work colleague who is a fundamentalist Christian and was appalled by the story.

  162. sorry, should have read: “…a fundamentalist Christian and who was appalled…”

  163. IH-Biracial marriages may be very well accepted in NY, DC and Boston and certain West Coast cities. I would question how accepted biracial marriages are viewed in the rural sections of the South, and Midwest.

  164. Steve — the statistics are very similar to tolerance for homsexuality, which was the original context:

    “A USA TODAY/Gallup poll released in September [2011] found that 86% of Americans approve of black-white marriages, compared with 48% in 1991. Among ages 18-37, 97% approved.”

  165. IH-where are the poll numbers based-NY, Boston, DC, SF , LA and their suburbs, or what we call “flyover country”?

  166. Steve — of course the whole point is that even in small Pike County Kentucky a decision by a small church to not accept interracial couples is deemed unacceptable by the surrounding society (in line with the poll statistics).

    The appalled Fundamentalist Christian guy who made me aware of this, btw, lives in non-urban “flyover country” and is in his early-40s.

  167. MiMedinat HaYam

    “Historically there were no women’s sections. Perhaps we should return to that custom”

    no, there always were womens sections. even in hungary, where women (almost) never went to shul (though when i once told my father i saw a woman saying kaddish, he told me it was a commmon occurence in hungary, and my father is of the pressburger yeshiva type).

    2. upper or other class or not, the ones who cough up the dough to build are upper class, and they determine architecual style. (though the tendency today is for one floor rooms, not grandoise multi level rooms. as discussed.)

    3. i was told those shuls in brooklyn have a room upstairs where women look at a simulated hole; i.e., they dont even have a real hole in wall (floor) to daven to.

    4. lattice or whatever — halachically, no mechitzah or anything is required for a balcony. but a “ma’akah” is required. hence a lattice or railings. but curtains are meaningless. the gemara in sukkah says nothing about mechitza or curatin, just a balcony. (though personally, i think that gemara is meaningless in terms of mechitza / separation requirements. and it has no reference to tfillah.)

  168. Poking around, I just found this gem from the 1926 AJC Yearbook on Synagogue architecture (plus other articles after it): http://www.ajcarchives.org/AJC_DATA/Files/1926_1927_5_SpecialArticles.pdf

  169. “they dont even have a real hole in wall (floor) to daven to.”

    Guess they just will have to daven to God Almighty.

  170. If anyone has acces, this may have some useful information: “The Architectural Origins of the Great Early Modern Urban Synagogue”

    http://leobaeck.oxfordjournals.org/content/56/1/105.extract

  171. http://menachemmendel.net/blog/2011/12/01/lawrence-kaplan-on-rashi-the-rambam-the-rav-and-the-laws-of-mourning/

    a video of a lecture by Lawrence Kaplan on “Can the Halakhah Suspend One’s Emotions? Rabbi Soloveitchik, Rashi, and Maimonidies on the Laws of Mourning.”

  172. Ok, so one thing at a time:

    “You think balconies vs. one level sanctuaries is a class/money issue? I’m no architect but I know that if you have a balcony you need a much higher building; more expensive to build, to heat, to air-condition. The shuls that I know of who recently built new shuls with balconies did it out of ideological, not financial/class reasons.”

    -So I’m not an engineer either, but I do know that if you’re talking about accommodating the same number of women as men, the volume of the building will necessarily remain roughly the same in either case. That’s just logic confirmed by calculus. Moreover, even if your argument were valid, it’s unsound, because up until only very recently, as you well know, urban areas were populated by poor people and suburban areas by the rich. You also know that land is always more expensive in urban than suburban areas.

    “And shuls that don’t have balconies but put women behind walls or in separate rooms where they can’t hear or see; which class do they fall into? Who does that; upper-class, lower class or what? I want to make sure I have all the stereotypes down pat. Although I guess I’ll have to tell my feminist friends who are not upper middle class that they should be spending their time, energy, and financial resources on matters that concern their class status and not on things only those who are “privileged” have the luxury to be concerned with.”

    -Here it seems you thoroughly misunderstood the argument. The argument was NOT specific AT ALL to mechitzot/balconies. The argument was SPECIFICALLY that LW/RW issues divide along economic lines for very specific reasons: RW people are generally poorer, so care very little about issues that come before the existence of their communities. LW people are richer, so their communities are intact, so need other issues to focus on. From there, we get the dynamic we have today. It said NOTHING about ANYTHING ELSE; it made NO judgments of those who took either side, nor did it make ANY judgments about the correctness of either side.

    “As you say in your follow up comment, it’s really a matter of “ideology”; I found your turning it into class warfare wrong and divisive.”

    -Umm you clearly misunderstood that comment. That was actually just a disclaimer that my argument had nothing to do with which side was correct. You turned it into some sort of pejorative??? Honestly I expected a much more thorough reading of that whole argument from you of all people. Seriously, I’m a bit disappointed.

  173. “RW people are generally poorer … LW people are richer…”

    Really? Do you have any data to back up those assertions? And do you mean LW/RW in general political terms or in O Judaism terms?

  174. “I saw in one of today’s papers a short blurb to the effect that the dissident Chasidic lawsuit concerning New Square was dismissed in court. Anyone have a longer link?”

    don’t know how short the blurb you saw was, but try http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111129/NEWS/111290322http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/e72899472d7e4a4dbcad57c0d4c94d55/NY–Hasidic-Enclave-Sued/

  175. no, there always were womens sections. even in hungary, where women (almost) never went to shul

    I’m not talking about the alter heim, I’m talking about the early medieval period when there was at best an almost entirely separate structure.

  176. IH: obviously Orthodox terms. And no I don’t have any data but frankly I think it’s pretty obvious as well.

  177. Steve Brizel: right, so you havent read him. That’s what I thought. Not beneath you to attack the writings of people you haven’t read apparently.

  178. Joseph Kaplan

    Jon, Either you misread or I was unclear in my final comment. I was agreeing with your comment that the debate over the type of mechitzah to have in a shul is a matter of ideology and that your comments to which I was responding were not taking sides on which ideology was “correct.” It was your class argument that I was, and still am, taking very serious issue with. And as to that argument, I would note that similar arguments were made about other LW/RW issues such as civil rights and feminism in broader society. Not only do I think, from my personal observations (no, I don’t have data), that such an analysis was incorrect, but I also think that the lower class benefited as much, if not more, from the successes of those movements as did the upper class.

  179. Jon — I don’t see it being that obvious — at least not within American MO. And even if there one could find a correlation, perhaps it is due to another independent variable: e.g. secular education level.

    Incidentally, while not directly related to this, some Israeli government data is rather interesting: http://tinyurl.com/7rhxlua (a statistical correlation of praxis and education/income among Mesoarti’im and Chilonim).

  180. Joseph Kaplan

    One more point. Let’s look at balcony vs. floor level women’s section without regard to feminism. What about elderly women for whom walking stairs is a problem? I think about the women I see every Shabbat who come to shul in wheelchairs (which my MIL did for her final years when she spent Shabbat with us), or canes, or walkers or leaning heavily on the arms of their husbands, sons or grandsons. And what about the women whose hearing is poor? I think of my grandmother who always complained she couldn’t hear the rabbi’s sermon while my grandfather, whose hearing was no better, had no trouble. Just think of the theater and which seats cost more. Or are these also issues that only upper middle class people think about?

  181. abba's rantings

    IH:

    “Jon — I don’t see it being that obvious — at least not within American MO.”

    it’s obvious to me.

    “And even if there one could find a correlation, perhaps it is due to another independent variable: e.g. secular education level.”

    i highly doubt jon was implying that that there is some inherent causative correlation between LW/RW and income levels. of course there are other variables, e.g., secular education and family size. but these variables are themselves associated with LW vs. RW.

  182. Abba — so, causality aside, on average RWMO have more children, less education and less income than LWMO?

  183. Rafael Araujo

    Anyway read the interview with RMM in this week’s edition of the Mishpacha?

    Since this is the first time I read about the controversy over RMM and what he claims are the views he heard from his uncle RYBS, could somebody provide me a summary of why other people disagree with his assessment of his uncle and this (in)famous Tradition article he penned in 1998. Thank you in advance.

  184. Rafael — thanks for the reference. I read the part available online (http://www.mishpacha.com/Browse/Article/1613/Mosaic-Of-Truth) and agree with his candid observation that:

    When I deal with most products of today’s yeshivos, I have to assume they’re not proficient in independently learning a Mishnah Berurah, so I have to teach them how to read a Mishnah Berurah. I have to assume the only seforim they’ve seen in mussar and machshava are ArtScroll books, and so I have to get them exposed to primary sources. Many of them are not equipped to go through things inside.”

    Perhaps the whole article will be made available online, so I can read more…

  185. I agree with that as well. Putting aside the controversy and ongoing debate with RNS over Torah and Science, RMM and other American RY in EY do a tremendous job of taking day school and yeshiva high school grads and giving them the skills to learn Torah texts independently. However, its unfortunate that these HS grads come to EY with the lack of such basic skills, despite having learned basic Torah texts for much of their lives.

    I must say but I know many TO-MO grads who are successful people today, whether they are in the working world, in learning, or chinuch, and they are dedicated to learning and living Torah and shmiras haMitzvos.

  186. Rabbi, can you just answer one question?’ I said, ‘What is it?’ They said, ‘Why is it that all the people we talk to say don’t let your son fall into that man’s hands?! You seem to be such a nice person.’
    =======================================
    Perhaps because being nice has nothing to do with the worldview being supported (pun intended)?
    KT

  187. Joel – but doesn’t this statement show, at least according to RMM, that parents of potential talmidim are not being told that he has a worldview at odds with theirs (MO) but that he isn’t nice. Unless they are conflating the two.

  188. R’RA,
    You are correct, I assumed they were conflating the 2. Interesting is that I see that often, i.e. if someone is very to one’s right or left, they assume the person himself isn’t “nice” (or whatever) rather than saying he’s very nice but we totally disagree on a philosophical point.
    KT

  189. MiMedinat HaYam

    regarding shuls where the bima / shatz / rabbi is basically in the back (and / or higher than the men’s section):

    isnt that italian synagogue architecture?

    and / or talmudic description of “yored la’teva”

    2. regarding aguda convention — i saw plenty of blackberries when i stopped by motzei shabat (on my way to the yu / riets / cjf event). and rabbi horowitz’s table located in an out of the way place. of course, he was only allowed to sell his “age appropriate” book to stimulate children discussion of improper actions (no mention what the improper actions are, or who might be doing it.) and seek out $peaking gig$.

  190. Thank you Abba Rantings for being reasonable!

    [deleted]. One does not need to have been “intimately involved” with the Rav to know his views. One can simply examine his writings. And no, RMM’s testimony that the Rav was lying in his writings is not sufficient by any means.

  191. Crowd sourcing question: today’s haftorah made me think about all the references to “Levanon” in Nach (and carried over into our liturgy).

    Does anyone know of an article or shuir that analyzes this theme in Talmudic/Midrashic sources?

  192. Regarding balconies and mechitzot, on Shabbat, while looking something up, I came across these two points from a 2005 essay by Chana Safrai:

    Over 50 years ago, my father published an article [1963, Tarbiz 32, pp 329-338] in which he claimed, based on historical analysis of traditional sources, that there was no partition (mehitzah) in synagogues of the first centuries. Although it aroused a storm of controversy at the time, both at home and abroad, it has been reiterated in various studies over the years. Research has confirmed this claim, and it has gained acceptance in synagogue scholarship.

    In the same article, my father also asserts that there is copious evidence that women were present in the synagogue. The presence of women without a partition attests to the fact that women numbered among synagogue-goers in ancient times. This idea has resonated in other studies on the synagogue and on the role of women in the synagogue.

    For those not familiar, her father was: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0017_0_17276.html

  193. Lawrence Kaplan

    Rafale Arujo: Read my article “Revisionism and the Rav” which is easily available on-line, and you will see what I find objectionable in Rabbi Msisleman’s article.

  194. Baruch Alster

    R. Gil,
    An article from Ynet (Hebrew) on Avelut for OTD children:
    http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4156519,00.html

  195. Baruch Alster

    IH,
    On Lebanon, see Sara Japhet, “‘Lebanon’in the transition from Derash to Peshat: Sources, etymology, and meaning”, in: Emanuel, Studies in Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and Dead Sea
    Scrolls in Honor of Emanuel Tov, eds. S.M. Paul, R.A.
    Kraft, L.H. Schiffman and W. Fields, Leiden-Boston, Brill,
    2003.

  196. Many thanks! Much of the article is previewable at http://tinyurl.com/7y7gdv5 and I will look up the missing pages at the library.

  197. The previously Shmuel Safrai article “האם היתה קיימת עזרת נשים בבית הכנסת בתקופה העתיקה” is available at: http://www.jstor.org/pss/70024304 for those interested.

  198. I haven’t been following this discussion but saw this most recent comment. In my book I have a long article on mechitzah in which, among other things, quote historians who disagree with Prof. Safrai(s).

  199. FTR, I have not researched the topic myself, but there was a discussion about balconies and mechitzot to which I found a few sources to share along the way.

  200. I read the article on RMM in Mishpacha, and thought it was a fascinating interview-far more revealing than either the interviews in the FTJN or the Yated.

    IH wrote:

    “Abba — so, causality aside, on average RWMO have more children, less education and less income than LWMO”

    I would not generalize in that format. I know many who are RW MO who have at least a college education and who are economically well off.

  201. Jon-It is apparent that R Gil may have deleted a series of links to Peter Singer’s writings that I posted last week. I stand by my reading of the links in question as the basis for my view of Singer’s views as repugnant to anyone who believes that man was created with a conscience and soul, as opposed to merely being a species of the animal world.

  202. Regarding Prof. R. Safrai’s controversial 1963 article, it is interesting to note that it pre-dates “Radical Feminism” by about 5 years (contrary to all those who claim that it is “Radical Feminism” to blame for the rise of women’s issues within Orthodoxy).

  203. But not Conservative Judaism.

  204. IH-IIRC, RYBS wrote his famous essay about mixed seating in the early to mid 1950s well before 1963. See Community, Covenant and Committment at Pages 129-136,139-149

  205. Steve — so?

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