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Q&A with Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Maharat
The Orthodox Jewish senate district in Brooklyn
Jewish immigrants are being misled about the benefits of aliyah
WSJ: Mormons and Baptism by Proxy
YU 2012 Seforim Sale featured in Mishpacha Magazine
May Israelis eat grain products products outside of Israel?
Near and Apparent: The Next Posek HaDor
No Kosher Food at Malta Jewish Conference
SALT Friday
Prior news & links posts
Rules: link

Note: This week we are experimenting with daily posts for news & links, in an attempt to allow for easier discussion in the comments section. The most recent post will always be in the featured section. Prior posts will be available in the News section, for which there is a link in the navigation bar on top of the page.

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.

86 comments

  1. New Dialogue is out. link

  2. While I disagree with most of thelinked author’s ideas re feminism, http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/recognizing_feminisms_moral_claim I would certainly concur with the quoted excerpt from Marc Stern-far too many shiruim for women ignore the fact that women in Torah observant communities want serious textually based shiurim in Tanach, Tefilah, Halacha and Jewish history, as opposed to entertainment rooted drashos, musar shpielen, that view women as intellectually brain dead. IMO, the Charedi media that purports to publish articles and special sections for women ( Mishpacha, etc) especially view women as recipients for the same subjects-shidduchim, tznius, chesed, recipes,and drush on a high school level, without any attempt at considering textual study as necessary despite the fact that the intended audience has at least 12 years of full time education

  3. Dialogue: I’ll post my review within a few days. I’ve only read two articles and there’s already a lot to say.

    Steve: far too many shiruim for women ignore the fact that women in Torah observant communities want serious textually based shiurim in Tanach, Tefilah, Halacha and Jewish history, as opposed to entertainment rooted drashos, musar shpielen, that view women as intellectually brain dead

    I know rabbis who have tried and found little interest. You have to give what your customers want. The same goes for men’s shiurim, which are increasingly “dumbed down” and yet to my surprise draw big crowds.

  4. R Gil-I would argue that shiurim, whether for men or women, which ignore text and concentrate either primarily on being entertaining or focusing on the “about it” will not in the long run help the intended audience to become either a seriously committed Ben or Bas Torah. Kli Sheni Aino Mvashel

  5. I’m always extremely impressed with R. Brody’s articles in the JPost. He manages to present an accurate portrayal of the issues at hand in a remarkably concise and even-handed manner.

    I’m also enjoying some ‘guilty pleasure’ from reading Haaretz’s articles on the internecine struggles within the Litvish world in Israel. So many of us chutznikers are deaf to these sort of things, and it’s hard for many to appreciate the nuances between say, R. Nissim Karelitz and R. Shmuel Auerbach, when in reality these nuances have been amplified into opposing societal manifestos.

  6. Steve: I agree but the first job is bringing them in the door.

  7. “Opposing societal manifestos?” Haaretz has a tendency to overstate the battles within the Haredi world for the sake of entertainment. There is very little hashkafic difference between RNK and RSA. Whatever disagreements there may be, they can not be characterized as “opposing societal manifestos”.

  8. James – OK, I’m over-dramatizing a little. But there are very real differences between the Yerushalayim group under the leadership of people like R. Shmuel Auerbach and R. Shmuel Deutsch (affiliated with the ‘mechablim” camp in Ponevezh) and the Bnei Brak group under R. Nissim Karelitz, Rav Shteinman, R. Gershon Eidelstein (associated with the ‘sonim’ in Ponevezh).

    Take, for example, Rav Eidelstein’s comments about Beit Shemesh – R. Shmuel Auerbach would never have said this. And in the next few years, when the Charedi leadership has to make some real decisions about the degree to which they actively oppose the societal changes happening beneath their feet(no Charedi leaders will actually encourage the changes), the ‘small differences’ are likely to have a big impact.

  9. Off of that insight, it’s not surprising that Marc Stern lives in Passaic. The Torah opportunities for women are (with few exceptions) notoriously fluffy, though to some extent it is a product of what the market wants.

  10. r’LTR,
    To some extent? I’d guess it’s to a great extent, hashkafically women’s hard core talmud torah is not aiui high on the community’s priority list (and that’s certainly up to the community to define)
    KT

  11. FWIW, Congregation Etz Chaim in KGH has an outstanding Shiur HaChodesh every month for women , which I would not call fluff. Our shul sponsors a weekly shiur by Dr Michelle Levine for women on Parshanut, which have dealt with Rashbam, Malbim and Seforno. FWIW, I have sat behind a mechitzah at an otherwise all women Shabbos Shuvah Drasha given by Dr. Levine which was extraordinary in content and approach, and enhanced my YK immensely.

  12. The real issue is why there are son many graduates of BYs who are very textually trained, but once they move on in life, one rarely sees a post college BY summer or communal learning program. In this respect, think of BJJ, Bnos Sarah, etc.

  13. Because it leads to less efficient child rearing?

  14. I think people are just tired and don’t have the time or energy. Perhaps they don’t have the interest, either.

  15. Anonymous-there is no shortage of so called “shiurim” on Chinuch, and other child rearing related subjects.

    R Gil-I accept your rationales as a Limud Zcus-but I would posit that that Marc Stern’s critique has a lot of validity to it, especially in those communities where women, who may not even want to learn Talmud, probably have more expertise in Tanach, Halacha LMaaseh and Jewish history than their male counterparts-married or single.

  16. “New Dialogue is out. link”

    Is there anything in there remotely related to the Slifkin controversy? If not, I’m not particularly interested.

    I see there’s an article in there from R Avi Shafran. While I really love his stuff, I wish he would take some time to actually respond to his critics. It seems strange that his columns on CC never allow comments. I know he doesn’t post them there, but still.

  17. Why is it a limud zechus? Why should women be obligated in textual learning? Let them choose how to use their time and what to learn.

  18. Thank you, R. Gil. for this week’s format experiment. It has certainly made it much easier to follow the discussions.

  19. It seems strange that his columns on CC never allow comments.
    ============================================
    and that means that the readership will assume their own reasonsfor the closing of comments – what would you guess the reason is?
    KT

  20. He’s a writer, not a blogger. Not everyone has the time or desire to get into a back-and-forth in blog format.

  21. Unfortunately, with blogs, we sometimes attribute sinister intentions to the blogger or commentator.

  22. “He’s a writer, not a blogger. Not everyone has the time or desire to get into a back-and-forth in blog format.”

    I know, and I wasn’t saying he should. But there is a tremendous amount to be achieved by having the readers of the article debate it’s merits among themselves. For one thing, it helps to clarify the issues, especially on a blog like CC where you ussually have some readers who agree with the original article.. For another it helps to keep the writer rigidly honest if he knows that any of his distortions are going to carry a shover bitzidum identifying them as such. One of the many reasons I love this blog is that I know that if you take any unfounded (or indeed, founded) liberties to the right, you will be immiediatly called on it and linked to death by the likes of IH. I almost never agree with anytrhing he writes here, but I think he performs a valuable service

  23. “Jewish immigrants are being misled about the benefits of aliyah, says Knesset committee”

    a ridiculous title for what is described in the article (gil, i know it’s not your title)

  24. MiMedinat HaYam

    the los angeles rabbi’s comments on feminism is an outright twisting of RMF’s words — RMF specifically wrote that if the woman wants to observe only out of a sense of feminism, she is wrong. exact opposite of rabbi k’s conclusions.

    of course marc stern’s (and following comments here) should distinguish between lecture and shiur. a communal “lecture” is often “dumbed down”, but a textual (or other) “shiur” often skips (almost all) tosafotim, to save time, not to “dumb down”.

    in the yeshivish world, most rabbeim cant distinguish between a shiur in the yeshiva, and a public shiur. i recall the last siyum hashas, where one of the speakers (on live feed, not on video where can be edited) just went on and on. no one was paying attention, but the RY continued speaking, to (i was later told) the consternation of the aguda organizers.

    misled about aliyah beni’s — what? i’m schocked! ppl expect a govt agency (esp one known for bureacracy) to keep its word (in spirit, at least, if not in actual facts.)

    as for the difficulty in speaking hebrew in the knesset, i recall a chaver knesset (flatto sharon) in the 70s who only campaigned and got his seat to avoid extradition to france (parliamentary immunity prevented his extradition). when he actually got in the knesset, he took it seriously, and participated in debates — in yiddish. (as opposed to sar hachutz FM levi (In begin administrations), who conducted all his private and official business in french.)

    mishpacha soy seforim sale — maybe i’m paranoid, but is that picture of the “ceo” photoshopped kippa, tzitzit hanging out, black suit?

  25. I just checked back in on CC and I see that RAS allowed comments on his last article. But then the first comment is his own, and he pretty much blows any cover of possible objectivity. I think there’s something fundamentally wrong with moderating a debate you happen to be participating in.
    (Not that I disagree with his underling views, of course.)

  26. shaul: But there is a tremendous amount to be achieved by having the readers of the article debate it’s merits among themselves

    I think that was his original intent but there were always questions directed to him and his lack of response appeared awkward.

  27. R Gil wrote:

    “Why is it a limud zechus? Why should women be obligated in textual learning? Let them choose how to use their time and what to learn.”

    AFAIK, Ashkenazic women, as opposed to Sephardic women, recite Birkas HaTorah,according to many Poskim,. are obligated to daven,and are obligated to know Tanach and Halacha. I have never understood why women in our communities are subjected to an overabundance of fluff like shiurim ,drashos, newspaper and magazine articles that have no textual content, which strike me as entertainment oriented, as opposed to having an educational orientation,and which remind me of the well known adage that is applicable to Chinese food.

    I would suggest that the shiurim that I mentioned, some women only chaburas in Nesivos Shalom, R Shira Smiles’s shiurim and the SRO shiurim open to all in our shul by R Schwerd are definite exceptions to the rule, inasmuch all work off a text or a list of Mareh Mkomos, as opposed to an audience being entertained in a passive manner by a darshan.

  28. Steve: are obligated to know Tanach and Halacha

    I do not believe they are obligated to know Tanach. They are obligated to know enough halacha to live a frum life. I believe most do.

    I would suggest that the shiurim that I mentioned…

    All I’m saying is that this is all optional for women. They have the choice. Unlike men, they do not need to know kol ha-Torah kulah.

    I’ve heard some of Shira Smiles’ shiurim (and looked at her two books, which are essentially identical to her lectures) and would classify them as light learning. Like the Nesivos Shalom. I would not advise Bnei Torah to spend their time on any of that unless it’s their down time.

  29. R Gil wrote:

    “I do not believe they are obligated to know Tanach. They are obligated to know enough halacha to live a frum life. I believe most do.

    I would suggest that the shiurim that I mentioned”

    My point has nothing to do with what constitutes the nature of the obligation to learn Torah for men and women, whith which I agree with the above statement, as well your categorization of Nesivos Shalom and Rebbitzen Smiles’s shiurim. However, if you check any BY worthy of the name outside of Satmar-Isn’t Tanach with Mfarshim part and parcel of the Limudei Kodesh curriculum? As far as Halacha is concerned, does the average man or woman know if it is permitted to buy from a “merchant” who does not charge sales tax?

  30. I agree with the above statement

    Good, so we agree that women can choose what shiurim they wish to attend regardless of what curricula schools adopt. There is nothing wrong with them choosing inspirational shiurim for their (rare) free time rather than more difficult textual shiurim. And as long as they know the halachos necessary for daily life, as most do, they are doing everything right.

  31. R Gil-do you think that most men and women know the difference between a Kli Rishon and Kli Sheni, what is Maacal Ben Drusai, and other Halachos?

  32. Yes. At least those who would go to a halakhah shiur, do.

  33. regarding the fluff that passes for women’s torah, i actually agree with steve brizel. what is the world coming to?

    i also don’t understand why in certain cirlces only a “rebbetzin” is qualified to give a shiur. i was at a shabbos table once and one woman asked another if she wanted to go to a shiur by so-and-so. the second woman replied, “oh, i didn’t realize she was a rebbetzin.” marrying a rabbi is what a makes a person qualified to give a shiur.

  34. MiMedinat HaYam

    just like men rabbis, women rebbetzins (who want to make a business / career out of it) need marketing, be they MO or charedi.

    some are successful, some arent. some give serious shiurim, some give fluff, some dont have to cause thats not their marketing niche, etc issues. and some have no concept of marketing themselves. and some rest on their yichus, some base themselves on having taught at particular yeshivot / seminaries / etc. this paragraph applies to rabbis and rebbetzins (and lay ppl).

  35. Re the Mishpacha article re the SOY Seforim sale, it was interesting to see what were noted as the largest selling books-R Ribiat’s voluminous, but as R D Brofksy mentioned on the Tradition blog, quite Machmir work on Hilcos Shabbos.

  36. For those interested,on halacha handbooks, seehttp://text.rcarabbis.org/have-halakha-handbooks-changed-pesikat-halakha/ the linked article by R S Brody and R D Brofsky’s comments.

  37. “I know rabbis who have tried and found little interest. ”

    Gil, the reason why women dont show up to serious shiurim is that they have bween educated and socialed not too their entire lives. We have girls coming to our house from the entire range of seminaries, right and left and most of them, even some that teach gemara, are aeriously selling their students short. The administration of these seminaries will claim that if they dont provide what the market demands tehy will go under. this has some truth to it. But there is also a lot of latent (and not so latent sexism) sexism as well the fact that alot of the people running and teaching in these seminaries can’t teach beyond a high school level.

  38. I have to say this is a real chicken and egg situation – what comes first – the socialization to be “dumbed down” or the inherent lack of interest in such things?

    Myself, I also bemoan the incredibly superficial level of the woman’s educational system. There are lots of girls who could greatly benefit from a more advanced Torah education – if they’re advancing מחיל אל חיל in other fields, why not Torah?

    OTOH, I am against forcing hyper-intellectualism down people’s throats – whether male or female. I really fear that saying “every girl should be a top-level talmida chachama” will have the same negative effect it has on the boys – a few will excel, and far too many will be turned off of the whole system.

    What we really need is to allow a range of options rather than dictate one-size-fits-all.

  39. BTW, here’s an interesting and well-written defense of those who choose NOT to make aliyah:

    http://parsha.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-not-make-aliyah.html

  40. This is not a chicken an egg issue. Plenty of these girls are bright and inquisitive and are very interested in learning. I get some of these girls in my class when they come back to study in th eOVerseas school in HU. Even average students shine when challenged and given the opportunity to lean. There is a danger of excessive intellectualism, but the not in current womens educational system.

    btw the term is talmidat chachamim

  41. “Plenty of these girls are bright and inquisitive and are very interested in learning. I get some of these girls in my class when they come back to study in th eOVerseas school in HU. Even average students shine when challenged and given the opportunity to lean”

    So why is the current method so shallow? Do increased intellectual growth and raising a family really clash so much (just trying to get into the mind of the naysayers here)?!

  42. ““Jewish immigrants are being misled about the benefits of aliyah, says Knesset committee”

    a ridiculous title for what is described in the article (gil, i know it’s not your title)”

    Readers of newspapers, misled about articles by headlines. Nothing new there 🙂

  43. “BTW, here’s an interesting and well-written defense of those who choose NOT to make aliyah:

    http://parsha.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-not-make-aliyah.html

    Interesting and well written, but all it says is that such people do not truly believe in Judaism.

    Such people would have converted to Christianity during the Inquisition, and for all the same reasons. (Who can blame them, right?)

  44. Moshe: the reason why women dont show up to serious shiurim is that they have bween educated and socialed not too their entire lives

    I don’t buy it. If that was the only issue, why do so few men come to serious shiurim?

    You’re discussing single women with no other responsibility in life than attending class. The real world is very different.

  45. STEVE BRIZEL:

    “R Ribiat’s voluminous, but as R D Brofksy mentioned on the Tradition blog, quite Machmir work on Hilcos Shabbos.”

    alternative?

  46. I have found that many women do appreciate a text-based shiur, but on the whole, what draws them [and many men as well] is the hashkafah fluffy style that is long on dramatics and emotion and short on serious thought-provoking content. Thus, one who wishes to be invited to speak on a regular occasion had better adjust his/her style to what is drawing them in the first place, even if he/she prefers a more intellectually rigorous approach.

  47. Rabbi Shafran used to allow comments on CC just like the other writers. He was terribly troubled, however, by the personal and venomous nature of some of the comments that we lodged at him and therefore chose to discontinue them. He has invited those who disagree with him to email him personally and he responds to those emails. I’ve taken him up on this offer a number of times and each time received a polite and comprehensive response. Personally, I have no problem with his decision because it bothers me tremendously when folks refuse to stick to the issue and attack the individual.

  48. “I know rabbis who have tried and found little interest. You have to give what your customers want. The same goes for men’s shiurim, which are increasingly “dumbed down” and yet to my surprise draw big crowds.”

    maybe if they advertise it as such…i think most women expect “fluff” in shiurim advertised for women, and those who prefer more content skip them.

  49. “that we lodged at him”

    should read, “that were lodged at him”

  50. “that we lodged at him”

    should read, “that were lodged at him” 🙂

  51. former seforim sale runner

    the article about the seforim sale seems to indicate that it’s continually growing in size, I think thats inaccurate

    In 2001 it reached around 1.3-1.4million in sales with a 15% markup. Considering my spot check of seforim sale prices (catalog from back then) corresponds to cpi change (30% or so) and they had a 24% markup, it seems they have significantly shrunk in size.

    I’d also note that back in the day we would get single publications from authors themselves (I’m thinking specifically of Gil in this case, believe it was his moshiach book, but that seems to have been published in 2002, he might be able to correct me, I certainly remember wondering what type of last name was “student” when I was labeling the book).

    Somewhere along the line the mesorah of the sale seems to have been lost. Probably around the time people wanted to turn it into a “real business”.

  52. Excuse me gil,
    I have been teaching women who are married with children for over ten years in various frame works. It is difficult, but Once women are getting out of the house for a fluff shiur, they can do it for one with content. I also constantly get feed back from women who really want to go but cant because home responsibilities.

    There is nothing inherent in women thatmakes them uninterested in intellectualy challenging learning. The is a lot inherent in much ofthe Orthodox world’s approach to women’s education that discourages this interest.

    AIWAC- I told you sexism and lack of capacity of many teachers

  53. Shaul Shapira,
    I once e-mailed R. Adlerstein about the lack of comments of on R. shafran’s articles. He said that this was R. shafran’s rule, because he thought that there were to many “inappropriate” comments.
    I Told R. Adlerstein that his action only reinforces the wide spread perception in the Jewish (especially MO) community at large that the Agudah and the Chareidi community it is supposed to represent sees itself as beyond criticism and is not open to dialog.

  54. abba's rantings

    agree with moshe shoshan
    my impression is that the lack of serious shiurim or support for for individual learning is due at least small part to the idea that serious learning for women is a feminist agenda

  55. “serious learning for women is a feminist agenda”

    Why does this perception exist? I know many women who are seriously learned and are not religious feminists.

  56. Serious learning is seen as a highly masculine endeavor in many sectors of Orthodoxy.

  57. “Serious learning is seen as a highly masculine endeavor in many sectors of Orthodoxy”

    Why? How are the two connected?

  58. “Why? How are the two connected?”

    Maybe it’s like the chicken and the egg – but they are.

  59. How are the two connected?

    Read Daniel Boyarin’s Unheroic Conduct and SA’s Yentle. Lernen is a quintessentialy male act for Jews no less than going into battle is for most goyim.

  60. Indeed. However, I think AIWAC is proposing “learning,” not “lernen.”

  61. AIWAC

    SA = sholom aleichem?
    except that yentl is IB Singer

  62. presumably its certainly not shulchan aruch

  63. “Moshe Shoshan on February 26, 2012 at 1:39 am
    Shaul Shapira,
    I once e-mailed R. Adlerstein about the lack of comments of on R. shafran’s articles. He said that this was R. shafran’s rule, because he thought that there were to many “inappropriate” comments.
    I Told R. Adlerstein that his action only reinforces the wide spread perception in the Jewish (especially MO) community at large that the Agudah and the Chareidi community it is supposed to represent sees itself as beyond criticism and is not open to dialog”

    And when R Shafran has answered comments he has come off well. Cross Currents will at time spost criticism of their basic beliefs- it has given them credibility.

  64. “Steve: far too many shiruim for women ignore the fact that women in Torah observant communities want serious textually based shiurim in Tanach, Tefilah, Halacha and Jewish history, as opposed to entertainment rooted drashos, musar shpielen, that view women as intellectually brain dead

    I know rabbis who have tried and found little interest. You have to give what your customers want. The same goes for men’s shiurim, which are increasingly “dumbed down” and yet to my surprise draw big crowds”
    Agreed and BTW for any rteasonably kniowledgeable Rav it is much easierto give a text oriented class.

    “Mark on February 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm
    Rabbi Shafran used to allow comments on CC just like the other writers. He was terribly troubled, however, by the personal and venomous nature of some of the comments that we lodged at him and therefore chose to discontinue them.

    CC will not publish comments that are even in ballpark of venomous against a writer.

    “Moshe Shoshan on February 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm
    This is not a chicken an egg issue. Plenty of these girls are bright and inquisitive and are very interested in learning. I get some of these girls in my class when they come back to study in th eOVerseas school in HU. Even average students shine when challenged and given the opportunity to lean. There is a danger of excessive intellectualism, but the not in current womens educational system.”

    An average person 100 IQ will not be attending any division of HU.

  65. I once e-mailed R. Adlerstein about the lack of comments of on R. shafran’s articles. He said that this was R. shafran’s rule, because he thought that there were to many “inappropriate” comments.

    I don’t read CC enough to know, but were the comment directed at him any more innapropriate than those directed atsay, R Menken? Personally, I’m lead to believe that as spokesman for the Agudah he can’t risk saying anything that remotely undercuts their policy. (I just started reading Proffesor Kaplan’s article on Daas Torah, and was struck by the almost comical footnote at the beginning.) Now, that’s fair I think- I don’t expect Robert Gibbs to start running his mouth either- but I think it should be made more clear that he’s bound to the party line.

  66. In previous comment, I meant to put first paragraph from Mycroft in quotes.

  67. “▪ Near and Apparent: The Next Posek HaDor”

    Baruch Hashem- it appears to have become somewhat less near.

  68. One way to solve this issue is to have co-ed shiurim (mechitzah or not, depending on the audience). That way there will be appropriate shiurim for everyone depending on their level of knowledge and interest rather than their sex. That’s how it’s done in my shul and in certain other MO shuls I know of.

  69. Abba-Believe it or not, IMO, Shemiras Shabbos Kehilcasa and Orchos Shabbos ( 3 volumes) combine both Psak, awarness of contemporary halachic issues, and excellent discussion for a chavrusa , shiur or chabura in the footnotes, on the same page as the text, which are as important, if not more so,than the actual text itself. R Nevenzal also has a two ( soon to be three) volume work on Shabbos ( one volume with Sichos Mussar Chiddushim on Aggadah and the Daf of Masecta Shabbos, and a second volume on Halacha with superb footnotes). When I started learning with one of my chavrusos years ago, the first sefer that we learned cover to cover was SSK, as opposed to R S Eider ZL’s English work on Hilcos Shabbos. My chavrusa offered the following reason for learning SSK, which has been one a guiding rule for many years “Kli Sheni ASino Mvashel.”

  70. STEVE BRIZEL:

    your recommendations may be good for hebrew readers, but 39 meloachos has the advantage for many of being in english.

    the SSK english ed. lacks the notes (i don’t recall for sure, but isn’t the main text itself abridged?). r. eider is in english, but iirc its pretty machmir too (i have a copy but haven’t opened it in many years)

  71. Abba-Having gone through SSk in the original twice, and having seen the translation, I was loath and remain very reluctant to buy and learn from English Halacha works.I find it hard to believe that the average Baal HaBayis who is at least textually literate in the most rudimentary sense cannot learn “from the real McCoy.”

  72. Abba-let me give you comparable example. I took a look at the much discussed Hamafteach. The author deserves a Yasher Koach for the fine quality of the work, but IMO, it does not have the in depth, albeit incomplete, coverage of any Halachic issue in the ET. I once asked RHS if I should purchase the ET or a set of MHK Ritvas, and RHS very enthusiastically recommended the ET, which I subsequently followed with the purchase of both the MHK Ritvas and a Frankel Rambam.

  73. Former seforim sale runner wrote in part:

    ” Somewhere along the line the mesorah of the sale seems to have been lost. Probably around the time people wanted to turn it into a “real business”

    Like it or not, unless you are in Israel during the week of the annual seforim sale, the prices for the big sets at the sale are simply the best in the US. OTOH, I have been able to buy at stores in the NY area seforim that haven’t made the shelves of the sale. When we were in Israel whhen we visited our kids in seminary and while visiting our daughter SIL and grandchildren at Gruss, I was overwhelmed by the number of excellent seforim stores in the Geulah-Meah Shearmim area, especially Manny’s, Girsa, and Feldheim.

  74. “Joseph Kaplan on February 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm
    One way to solve this issue is to have co-ed shiurim (mechitzah or not, depending on the audience). That way there will be appropriate shiurim for everyone depending on their level of knowledge and interest rather than their sex. That’s how it’s done in my shul and in certain other MO shuls I know of.”

    The Rav had no problem with women showing up to shiurim-certainly his Saturday night shiurim had women attending and on occasion even his summer shiurim that were basically for YU smicha shiur attendees-there was at least one summer where there was a women attending.

  75. “I was overwhelmed by the number of excellent seforim stores in the Geulah-Meah Shearmim area, especially Manny’s, Girsa, and Feldheim.”
    Why be surprised Israelis who know Hebrew can read Sfarim much better than the average American can and much faster.

  76. If you’re still taking comments on the trial system (separate news posts every day) i’m against it. To many posts to check to keep up.

  77. Lawrence Kaplan

    No to mention it pushes other posts off more quickly. Am I correct?

  78. former seforim sale runner

    steve, you are probably right for big sets. However, for normal books (say artscroll, did a spot check, Barnes & Noble (!!) is cheaper than the seforim sale for the the stone chumash, both travel and full size).

  79. Just like around 5 percent of men would still be interested in and actively pursue learning even if they weren’t taught that they are _supposed_ to enjoy and excel in it, around 5 percent of women try to pursue serious learning, at least at some point in their lives. Of course, there is much less of a framework for women who want to learn, so they are much less successful than their male counterparts. The rest of women are like what most men would be like if they (the men) didn’t have a chiyuv in talmud Torah.

    I think that things might change, but there would need to be a change in the zeitgeist in order for that to happen. If people in general became less apathetic towards “ruchnius,” that would have a big effect on women’s education.

    Also — idealizing the “elite” bais yaakovs is a mistake.
    Just my 2 cents.

  80. ‘former seforim sale runner on February 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    steve, you are probably right for big sets. However, for normal books (say artscroll, did a spot check, Barnes & Noble (!!) is cheaper than the seforim sale for the the stone chumash, both travel and full size).”
    I have often bought Jewish subject books on Amazon.

  81. IBS it is sorry for the mistake.

  82. mycroft,

    I meant that they were average for the students there and that the semnaries should be full of girls on their level.

  83. “Also — idealizing the “elite” bais yaakovs is a mistake”

    I would change to a more general
    Also — idealizing the “elite” is a mistake

  84. “Moshe Shoshan on February 27, 2012 at 2:44 am
    mycroft,

    I meant that they were average for the students there and that the semnaries should be full of girls on their level”

    In that meaning I agree.

  85. “Just like around 5 percent of men would still be interested in and actively pursue learning even if they weren’t taught that they are _supposed_ to enjoy and excel in it, around 5 percent of women try to pursue serious learning, at least at some point in their lives”

    We have to be concerned about the other 95%.

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