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YU Torah Pesach to Go
Shabtai: A voice that should be heard
Oy, Morris, we hardly knew ye!
Bringing Back Some Jewish Character on the Lower East Side
Technology leading the way to lower-cost day school education
Is Football Treyf?
Supermarkets Battle Over Israeli Matzo
Atheists sue Pennsylvania for declaring 2012 ‘Year of the Bible’
Synagogues must reach out to ‘the uninspired’
Another Battle over a Mezuzah in a Condominium
The rabbinate: Making a practice of discrimination
Beirut synagogue gets a face lift
Don’t Go Under the Knife So Fast
SALT Friday
Stuck In The Middle With YU
Baltimore Paper Goes on Auction Block
Trayvon and the Rodef
Naomi Ragen ordered to pay damages in plagiarism case
Amsterdam Jews want out of long-distance relationship with U.S. rabbi
Jordan group translates Talmud into Arabic
Gilad’s special Passover
‘The Old Rabbi’ Authenticated as a Rembrandt
Review: Women and the Recitation of Kaddish
Determined To Break Cycle Of Abuse In Brooklyn’s Hasidic, Orthodox Communities
SALT Thursday
R Aviner: How to do your Pesach Cleaning Cheerfully in Less than One Day
YU’s Challenge
Haredi Rift Opens Over Bris Ritual
The Serious History of Chelm
Grant’s Anti-Semitism—And Tolerance
Brooklyn food co-op rejects Israel boycott
Play tells tale of Jewish refugees in WW2 Shanghai
Gila Manolson: A Response to Yitta Halberstam’s Plea
OU and Crown Heights Lubavitch Unite to Fight Tutition Burden
Researcher’s Findings in the Amazon Pit Him Against Noam Chomsky
Religion in Prisons: A 50-State Survey of Prison Chaplains
Stony Brook U. defends having classes on Jewish holidays
Bible Codes: Response to a Misleading Hamodia Article
SALT Wednesday
Wieseltier on the New American Haggadah
Universal health care: A Jewish moral imperative
Darwin and the Rabbis: some nineteenth century Jewish responses to Darwinian evolution
From Neo-Nazi to Hasidic Jew
Biblical Top Chef
Collectors Bid for Million-Dollar Shekel
Court ruling against historic Berlin shul suggests congregation is a fiction
Words are dying
The challenges of exercising for some Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women
Justices: Courts should decide whether Jerusalem-born Americans can list Israel as birthplace
Flying Home: Believing the Airline Steward
SALT Tuesday
State University Will No Longer Cancel Classes For Christian, Jewish Holidays
Orthodox Jews Find Pick in Santorum
Critics see holes in Consumer Reports’ bagel rankings
Supreme Rabbinical Court gets temporary appointments
Rabbi permitted eating chametz at concentration camp
US schools woo Israelis with scholarships
Is the Synagogue a Relic?
Christians Called To Serve Jewish Settlers
Shabbat-friendly espionage, Israeli style
SALT Monday
Prior news & links posts
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About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor 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 has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He 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.

171 comments

  1. “Jewish students would be impacted on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover and Holy Week.”

    1. What the heck is Holy Week?
    2. If the enumerated in the article are correct, they removed one Christian holiday, and numerous Jewish ones.
    3. “Equal support and equal respect,” when the equal amount is zero, does not tell a story of support or respect.

  2. On the Santorum and Orthodox Jews story, see also: http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/more-see-too-much-religious-talk-by-politicians.aspx

    “Nearly four-in-ten Americans (38%) now say there has been too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders, while 30% say there has been too little. In 2010, more said there was too little than too much religious expression from politicians (37% vs. 29%).”

    Note how the percentages have flipped.

  3. PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly this weekend had a s segment on the Jewish Jesus books with both Prof. AJ Levine and R. Boteach: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/march-23-2012/jewish-jesus/10572/

    There is also a (paywalled) review in the new issue of The Jewish Book Review.

  4. Useful data in the JPost article regarding issuance of gittin in Israel:

    “the average time it takes for a woman to receive a get once proceedings have been initiated in the rabbinical courts is 642 days.

    Between 1995 and 2007, 12.5 percent of the cases took more than four years before a get was given, and 28.4% took at least two years.”

  5. IH:

    “Between 1995 and 2007, 12.5 percent of the cases took more than four years before a get was given, and 28.4% took at least two years.””

    doesn’t sound too good
    but i’m curious what are the stats for civil divorce in the US?

  6. HG:

    ““Equal support and equal respect,” when the equal amount is zero, does not tell a story of support or respect.”

    don’t be so sensitive. if you want to go to a school that is closed on jewish holidays then go to a jewish (or israeli) school.
    as long as observant students are accomadated with exams, etc., what’s the problem?

  7. (For much of my college education) I did. I just think it’s very disingenuous to to imply greater accommodation, when people are only being inconvenienced by the changes.

  8. “Shabbat-friendly espionage, Israeli style”

    Maybe they read R Gil’s article on texting.

  9. HG:

    “I just think it’s very disingenuous to to imply greater accommodation”

    the article implied no such thing. it explicitly explained the purpose of the new policy is equity, i.e., no one gets special treatment.

    “when people are only being inconvenienced by the changes.”

    most people are not being invonvienced by the changes. (and some probably prefer the conventional academic calendar that doesn’t revolve around jewish holidays.)

  10. HG:

    a college can’t close down for everyone’s holidays. it’s that simple. today’s college campuses are very different demographically than they were 40 years ago. (and colleges that close for jewish holidays are the exception to begin with anyway.)

  11. Listen, I’m not saying that colleges HAVE to close for holidays.

    But:
    1. They’re causing significant inconvenience to many people and they can certainly expect backlash.
    2. When they speak of “afford[ing] equal support and equal respect to students and faculty from all faiths,” yeah, they are implying greater accommodation instead of less.

    There is nobody jumping for joy over these changes. There are some people that are genuinely (and reasonably) annoyed.

    With regards to equality, they’re improving the situation. With regards to accommodation, they’re walking backwards.

  12. MiMedinat HaYam

    academic calendar — this issue crops up every few years.

    nys has a law that an educational institution (public, private, or sectarian) cannot require attendance and / or exam on religious holiday. i believe you lose out on the lesson of the day, anyway (no makeup required) but the exam must be rescheduled (even for one student) and / or not counted in final grade. there wass an issue with another suny college (in buffalo) a number of years go, that nevertheless refused to abide by the law, till pressure …

    bagels — a partner of one of the local dunkin donuts franchises tells me lenders makes the bagels for dunkin (just bigger size for dunkin, compared to chintzy size lenders). and yes, they’re frozen. pretty bad stuff. definitely not hamotzie quality (but thats another issue.)

    scholarships — its only $3000. not a big deal.

    christians serving settlers — but why harvest the grapes? — too close to the crush.

  13. Dunkin Donuts bagels: Meh… The dissenters got it right.

  14. The Forward article re Santorum would have a lot more importance if Santorum was even remotely close to Romney in the delegate count.

  15. Princeton gave Shabbos exams on Motzi Shabbos to those who needed it. When I was a freshman, orientation week coincided with Rosh Hashana (Thur-Fri), so they made sure I had all my appointments and placement tests before then.

    Princeton is still perhaps the last school to give exams in January, rather than before Xmas, so they start and finish later than a lot of schools.

  16. They probably instituted the Christian holidays in the first place to be “even handed.” I’d be interested to know if any Christian denomination states that exams can’t be taken on certain days. (Ditto alternate side parking.) Then, of course, they can eliminate all of them in the name of “fairness.”

  17. Nachum, these rules are not (exclusively or primarily) for the orthodox, which is why they don’t track issur-melacha days (shavuot? sukkot? shemini atseret?). The majority of Jews who do not take exams on yom kippur, say, do not believe (nor do they belong to denominations that believe) that doing so is categorically forbidden. Just that it’s an important day that they should spend doing religious things. Very similar to how practicing xtians view Easter.

    FWIW, having been a student at two universities that proceeded as usual on holidays, but made accomodations re: exams for observant students, I don’t see this as a big deal at all. If anything just a comment on the changing demographics of the SUNYs.

  18. Santorum’s pro-choice position is not a fit with our values.

    Today, nothing in US law (with the possible exception of Obamacare) prevents Jews from keeping halacha regard to abortion. Under Santorum that would change.

    When the mother’s life is endangered by a pregnancy, halacha considers the foetus a rodef and requires an abortion. Santorum is on-record as favouring a ban on abortion even in those circumstances.

  19. MiMedinat HaYam

    nachum: movie a number of years ago about friend of prince of wales who refused to run the olympics (track) on sunday, out of religious convictions. of course, not really practiced, except by “observant” christians (which are so infintesimal, the catholics look super observant.)

    david — santorum (or anyone else) cant do nothing about row v wade, which will remain on the books. its a non issue, just polemics. (of course, things like parental consent, waiting period, etc are another issue. which do not apply to (real, not perceived) emergency situatoins.)

    (and i support santorum (prefer the unethical gingrich, but…)

  20. MiMedinat HaYam

    emma: actually, christians (and i guess moslems and all other religions) have no concept of “melacha”. they just have a concept of regular workday, which to students means attending classes (nothing to do with exams.)

    thats why nonobservant jews picture yom kippur, etc as not an exam issue, but a “workday” issue.

  21. Mimedinat, not sure why you think I don’t agree w what you just wrote. (I do)

  22. TO H G: Holy Week is the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. It is observed in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. This year it takes place next week.

    Nachum: I attended public school many years ago (in the late 60’s) and SAT exams were given on Saturday. For those with religious reasons, a second session was held on Sunday. Three students from my high school took the SAT on Sunday – two Jews and one Seventh Day Adventist – who traditionallly observe a Friday night to Saturday night Sabbath.

  23. “They probably instituted the Christian holidays in the first place to be “even handed.” I’d be interested to know if any Christian denomination states that exams can’t be taken on certain days.”

    There are certainly some denominations that prohibit work on certain days see eg Hardison in the Supreme Ct case of Hardison vs TWA. A lot of Sabbath Observer cases have bee nfiled by certain Chrisitan sect members.

  24. That’s all Saturdays. I meant Christian holidays.

    I remember Cardinal O’Connor being upset at baseball games on Sundays. So there’s that.

  25. RE: Christians Called To Serve Jewish Settlers:

    The call itself is a fulfillment of another prophecy isn’t it?

  26. Great review of Chariots of Fire
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082158/
    (yes determined -but to do what?)
    KT

  27. “FWIW, having been a student at two universities that proceeded as usual on holidays, but made accomodations re: exams for observant students, I don’t see this as a big deal at all. If anything just a comment on the changing demographics of the SUNYs”
    Agreed.

  28. Interesting that the “rule” to bring the kid home for Pesach (and then back again?) must be observed, even if it means sketchy flights. Why not save?

  29. “Darwin and the Rabbis: some nineteenth century Jewish responses to Darwinian evolution”

    WRT to R Kook and evolution, it’s probably worth bringing this from R Aviner (Shu”T SMS number 100)

    Evolution
    Q: Is it true that Maran Ha-Rav Kook believed in Evolution?
    A: No. He only said that it does not contradict the Torah. He also said that the theory of Evolution needs to evolve (Igrot Ha-Re’eiyah 1, 91).

  30. “If there is no indication that the fruit did come from Israel, there would be no need or fear that the steward or stewardess is telling the truth.”

    Not the best way to say that. Perhaps “no need to assume the truth of his or her statement for halachic purposes.” But “fear” that he or she is “telling the truth”?

  31. interesting review by wieseltier. critical of the haggadah and american jewry.

  32. my problem with rabbi hoffman’s article (and in general discussions of ne’emanus) is that i know too many honest non-jews and too many dishohest jews.

    i’ve also never understood why these kids need to come home for pesach. seems strange to leave davka for one of the shalosh regalim. they’ll be home in another 2 months anyway.

  33. Because the Pesach seder is all about maintaining a family’s mesorah and minhagim, which will not be preserved as well around a stranger’s table.

  34. And which they did not succeed in cementing with their kids in eighteen whole years.

  35. “Interesting that the “rule” to bring the kid home for Pesach (and then back again?) must be observed, even if it means sketchy flights. Why not save?”

    Just another of the (few) areas where we agree. When all four of my kids went to Israel for a year, they stayed there for all of the yomim tovim. It was not (only) financial; being there for yom tov was part of the experience that we hoped they would get during their gap year. Similarly, we did not visit them during the year, believing that (semi) independence in a foreign country without ones parents was another part of what we wanted them to experience.

  36. RAFAEL:

    “Because the Pesach seder is all about maintaining a family’s mesorah and minhagim, which will not be preserved as well around a stranger’s table.”

    interesting way of looking at it, but i was unaware that this is what “the pesach seder is all about.” also, why davka are parents worried about kids losing minhagim at pesach and not the rest of year? and nahum is correct. are they really going to abandon family seder minhagim because of one year (or two) away from the family? anyway, personally i’ve never heard a parent say this is the reason they bring their kids home for pesach.

    (and parents (rightly) cry about the expense of yeshivah in israel, yet then voluntarily tack on another $1-2k?)

    i guess (for me) it comes down partly to the reason why one goes to learn in israel.

  37. MiMedinat HaYam

    but the yeshivot insist on inculcating yeshivish values (and customs), not family values (and customs).

    my previous post seems lost:

    emma — i’m not arguing, just expanding and explaining.

    flying airline steward — careful using a non pc word. the female is not a stewardess, she is a flight attendant. (though perhaps not on aerosvit, in which case the RY should forbid that airline.

    berlin shul — halacha provides for a “private” shul. (though not claiming 1,000 members for $ / DM / euro purposes.) anyway, german jewish community consists of mostly russian immigrants.

    universal healthcare — ?the talmud requires notary publics in each community? interesting. would like a source.

    nevertheless, the talmud she is quoting requires communal health care for the community’s jews, not for the outside world (issues of “eivah excepted.) perhaps not a value in r shonefeld’s RA constituency.)

  38. I do agree with the expense and the experience of Pesach in EY is worth staying. However, as many on here complain about, yeshivos and learning Hil Pesach in MB could cause those talmidim/talmidos to change their family minhagim.

  39. Abba’s Rantings:

    I am proposing that the fact that many families bring their children home for Pesach is based on, how do I put it…a cultural norm, or, to put it another way, an ingrained practice to have one’s family close by for the seder. That’s how I see it.

  40. This focus on family and having all family around the seder table derives from the kiyum of the mitzvoh of sippur yetzias mitzrayim.

  41. The only time I ever spent pesach away from my family was my post-high-school year in Israel. Staying was the obvious thing to do, but I have to say that as happy as I was to be in Israel for the whole break, I was not happy to be at an “alien” seder. There was nothing wrong with the seder I attended, but it made me really miss (and appreciate even the eyeroll-inducing aspects of) my family sedarim. Which is all a way of saying that being without your parents at the seder can be lonely for a 19 year old, so it’s not crazy to want to avoid that.

  42. Possible reasons a child comes home for pesach:
    (1)He is not there for the ‘gap year’ but rather is in a yeshvishe yeshiva for a number of years. He’s gotta come home somtime, so why not pesach? Furthermore, in the case of the author, the son who came home is returning to an American yeshiva after Pesach.
    (2) the father takes the mitzva of higadata l’vinvha very seriously, which requries the child to be at the seder
    (3) the mother misses her daughter a lot and $1500 is not that big a deal to her (representing only about a 7% increase in cost for the entire year at a sem with $20k tuition, $1700 airfare even without the pesach trip, hundreds in phone bills due to the rip- off cell phone company that the sem demands your daughter have, hundreds in food bills since the sem does not serve three meals a day and has way too many shabbosos the girls are on their own, etc.)
    (4) the parents think it is rude to ask their cousins (or even further removed aquaintances) to host their child for pesach
    (4b) This includes finding a second seder
    (5) The boy was told by his (American) RY say that running around bein hazmanim in EY is a bad idea, and it is better for him to come home.
    (6) younger brothers at home may need to see their older chashuva brother and how much he has grown in learning (or sisters and their spirituality)

    Feel free to add your own.

  43. All very fair points.

    By the way, the number of Anglo olim who go “home” for Pesach is actually pretty high.

  44. Et chata’ai ani mazkir hayom. We did not give our oldest daughter sufficient guidance wiht respect to where she should be for the seder (only one) and it was terrible; she told us later that she spent part fo the time crying inthe bathroom. suffice it to say the seder experience for our next three daughters was very positive.

  45. As someone who came home for Pesach both years in yeshiva in the recent past(and ended up starting YU right after after my second Pesach) but spent Sukkos in Israel, I can tell you firsthand that spending Yom Tov in Israel without family or close family friends can be awful. Remember that bein ha’zmanim is more than just the one week of Pesach itself but is an entire month where you have to make sure that you have a roof over your head each night. Mooching off of people for that long can be awkward and uncomfortable, it was bad enough for the shorter Sukkos break even with spending 2nd days in yeshiva. Remember that over Pesach some dorms are completely closed because of halakhic issues with chametz. Obviously, if it is not financially feasible than it shouldn’t happen but if it is possible, then it really isn’t so crazy. Unless you have somewhere that you are really comfortable having as somewhere to live for an extended period of time.

  46. “From Neo-Nazi to Hasidic Jew”

    “Pawel Bromson grew up in Poland where he and his skinhead friends sometimes roamed the streets of Warsaw, terrorizing Jewish, Arab and black children…
    “I wasn’t just anti-Semitic, I was anti-everyone,” Bromson recalled.”

    A very important distincion. IMHO too many garden variety cranks get labebled anti-this and anti that, when they could much more simply- and accurately- be classified as simple creeps.

  47. “also, why davka are parents worried about kids losing minhagim at pesach and not the rest of year? and nahum is correct. are they really going to abandon family seder minhagim because of one year (or two) away from the family? anyway, personally i’ve never heard a parent say this is the reason they bring their kids home for pesach.”

    “Et chata’ai ani mazkir hayom. We did not give our oldest daughter sufficient guidance wiht respect to where she should be for the seder (only one) and it was terrible; she told us later that she spent part fo the time crying inthe bathroom. suffice it to say the seder experience for our next three daughters was very positive.”

    It’s nice to see that Hirhurim now has it’s very own Chinuch Rountable LTD. 🙂

  48. My wife is so happy that my daughter is coming home that she has not yet once complained about cleaning, shopping, etc. So now both of us are happy.

  49. i’m curious if it was always the standard to come home for pesach?

    i did tochnit nissan for bein hazemanim, although i don’t know if bnei akiva still has it.

    for the first day of pesach i was lucky to be invited to the home of r. mordechai breuer. my only regret about staying in israel for pesach (not that i really had an option) was that at the time i really didn’t appreciate the opportunity to be at his seder.

  50. MiMedinat–The claim of the article was that Orthodox voters should like Santorum’s pro-life position. My point is, his position violates halacha.

    True, an abortion ban just ain’t gonna happen. It’s a sideshow–like most ‘culture war’ issues.

    Which begs the question: why do so many in our community make this stuff the basis of their political decisions?

  51. “Nachum on March 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm
    All very fair points.

    By the way, the number of Anglo olim who go “home” for Pesach is actually pretty high”

    How much of that is practical-an extended couple of weeks when children are off from school-especially if both parents are US citizens two sets of parents to see.

  52. Sometimes,it depends on whether your sons or dauighters actually want to stay or be at home with the family for Pesach.

  53. “We cannot let 50 more years pass, a universal system of health care is a moral mandate that a society seeking any measure of justice must have”
    Agreed.

  54. “Sometimes,it depends on whether your sons or dauighters actually want to stay or be at home with the family for Pesach”
    How much of that is based on keeping up with the Joneses-everybody else is coming home

  55. From the main Jewish Week article:
    The very circumstances behind Joel’s arrival were an indication of how hard the job of leading from the center would be. His hiring was the product of a bitter, protracted search at the end of which the university acknowledged that its ideal candidate — a Torah scholar with secular academic credentials who was also a dynamic fundraiser and competent administrator — just didn’t exist.
    ==========================================

    That about imho sums up MO/YU problems – we did not create a cadre of (TUM at YU) role models so (most) many people see (absolutely) no material difference between going to Landers YU or Queens/whatever.

    KT

  56. joel rich,

    While I think your overall point has validity, I don’t recall TUM putting an emphasis on either fundraising or administrative skills.

  57. R’HAGTBG,
    Correct-I was really focused on the first two elements (although in theory if we had a large enough pool I assume there would be some who had at least one of the other 2)
    KT

  58. I’m finding it difficult to see the distinction Gila Manolson makes between small breasts and a hooked nose. Both reflect sibjective attarction issues. There are men who actually like small breasts, and there are men who can find women attractive despite a “large hooked” nose. Frankly there have been many well known entertainment industry figures who have small breasts and/or a large nose and have NOT had reconstructive surgery on either and are considered to be attractive women by most standards

  59. “By the way, the number of Anglo olim who go “home” for Pesach is actually pretty high”

    How much of that is practical-an extended couple of weeks when children are off from school-especially if both parents are US citizens two sets of parents to see.”

    I think the more correct sentence would have been “By the way, the number of Anglo olim who go “home” for Pesach during the first year or two after making Aliyah is perhaps significantly higher than amongst Olim or Israelis in general”

    Once you have a few kids and have settled in on an israeli salary and the parents in the heim have adapated to traveling to E. Israel rather than expecting you to fly back to them, you begin to stay for more and more chagim. that’s even without having absorbed the essential nature of the chagim which prima facie dictate celebrating them prefereably in E”Y along with the rest of the Jewish people – that usually takes a few more years of living here to really fully settle in.

  60. Very true, Shachar. I should have put it that way.

    On the other hand, there are families- charedim, who thus don’t really fit your criteria anyway, for example never making aliya- who pack up huge families every year, believe it or not.

  61. MiMedinat HaYam

    david — if you mean many make abortion a killer issue, there are almost no O advocates who consider abortion such an issue. israel (in its many political manifestations) and gay rights (to some) maybe, but not abortion. not on a national level (maybe a local congressman, but not national office.) orgs such as agudah even lobby for a permissible position (but thats because its practiced in charedi circles — its still a big secret) as an advocacy issue, not as a “vote for person” issue.

    shachar — her point is that many want such surgery for “hollywood” reasons, not for “is it (really) a problem?” reasons.

    shanghai play — every major chinese city is a “free city” under international law (as a consequense of the opium wars of the mid 1800’s), and anyone can live there. but in the “western zone” area, loosely defined (everything in china is loosely defined.)

    joel r — the problem exactly. what is being done about this today (short of a loosely defined heir apparent)?

    and by the way, there are many yu educated (or affilliated; shall i say TUM affilliated) fundraisers for the charedi world. of course fundraiser = administrator in all worlds.

    olim “visiting” america for pesach — its a convenient time of the year to visit the “old country”. i guess “vehigadeta lebincha” includes showing them around america.

    reminds me of the (relatively) poor israeli couple i met on my post college trip to europe — “we went to vaduz to count our money.”

  62. On the MbP:

    I think that its telling that it is the Agudah Shtadlonim like Dr. Berman and Shafran who are not serious talmidei Chachamim that are defending MbP whereas a serious Talmid Chacham like R. Kamenetzky opposes it.

  63. Lawrence Kaplan

    I think that R. Kamenetsky’s point is that using a pipette counts as MBP.

  64. MiMedinat HaYam

    MO — actually, i went to (certified MO) high school with dr berman (“danny” to us). he was valedictorian in a class of high accomplishers (come to think about it, r dr aaron glatt was in our class, too.)

    say what you want, he is seriuos (and his twin sister, i heard, “converted” to charedism, and does not practice medicine anymore; not full time, at least.)

    and he is not at all political — not any politics.

  65. Joel Rich’s point re YU is well taken. While it is well known that YU has competition from some charedi yeshivos to which some would be students gravitate to after a year or two in Israel as well as Lander College, I would suggest that the same is due to the fact that YU, like all yeshivos, is confronted with being in a buyer’s market, as opposed to being in control in a monopoly as it was for decades. Having davened Maariv a few times in Lander’s Beis Medrash, I remain skeptical as to the claim, voiced in the JW article, as to whether Lander is more yeshivish than YU’s Beis Medrash. Lander, as opposed to Yeshivah Ohr HaChaim, is not a black hat yeshiva, but rather quitye similar to YU, with a few former RIETS RY ( R Parnes and R Bronspiegel) and other fine Talmidei Chachamim such as R A Berzon, R M Soloveitchik ( R Aaron ZL’s son) and a fine Mashgiach in R Bamberger. I would suggest as I have in the past that one of YU’s advantages is the wide variety of RY who are giving shiur, whether in RIETS or the Stone Beis Medrash Program. IMO, that fact should be seen as a huge selling point for would be students.

  66. My point was that R. Kamenetzky does not feel it necessary to defend MbP without a pipette because he has greater Torah knowledge and is more secure.

    My point was not to impugn Dr. Berman’s intelligence. But from what I have read he is adopting a classical reactionary position, namely questioning scientific consensus to defend a religious view that he views as under attack.

    Highly intelligent people often defend intellectually indefensible positions where they feel emotionally threatened.

  67. Some find this article interesting, as it relates to the YU article (though I’m not sure yet exactly how): http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/why-its-cheaper-to-go-to-harvard-than-a-california-state-school/254073/.

  68. Rabbi E. Soloveichik (R Aaron’ ZL’s son), not Rabbi M.

  69. HG-I stand corrected. Thanks.

  70. I’m finding it difficult to see the distinction Gila Manolson makes between small breasts and a hooked nose. Both reflect sibjective attarction issues.

    Presumably women would prefer you looking at their attractive nose to looking at their attractive breasts? Because the nose is part of the face and is associated with personality. The breasts are strongly associated with something else.

  71. From what I read here, Dr. Berman could be considered guilty of medical malpractice in denying the reality of metzitza bifeh as a means of transmitting the potentially fatal or life-changing consequences of herpes simplex virus to a neonatal with an immature immune system. One wonders what else this presumed infectious disease specialist considers unproven.

  72. i didn’t understand this:

    “When asked about rabbis who believe that using a tube is not valid under Jewish law, Rabbi Kamenetsky replied, “Nobody holds like that.” ”

    what does he mean that nobody holds like that?

  73. MiMedinat HaYam

    shlomo — “associated with something else”. but look at all the tight fitting dresses that is classified as dressy tzniut clothing in charedi circles.

    (of course, i disagree with her desire, esp for a 17 yr old teenager. however, in these circles, this immaturte 17 yr old teenager is liable to get married any day, without really realizing the implications.)

    larry kaplan and abba — “nobody holds like that”, but there is a tendency among charedim that non adherence to (sometimes improper) chumrot is to be held to.

    that said, brit millah has a historical point of adhering to practices handed down through the ages (assuming MbP is a particular practice handed down through the ages) due to historical prohibitions of brit millah. of course, this being practiced by a group (ok — a few groups) that have little or no concept of history.

    y aharon — no malpractice. a general statement, not addressed to a particular client.

    besides (and i mentioned this a number of times) its a case where secular law conflicts with (supposed, so its a bad example) religious law, a topic we should explore in depth from a professional viewpoint.

  74. I assume the purported difference between nose and breasts was that it is more seemly to imagine others looking at your nose. But since she was not talking about general confidence but confidence re: shidduchim, one might think that a potential spouse (unlike others), can legitimately care about non-face attributes, which is what makes the distinction somewhat spurious.

    To me the more obvious distinction is that you don’t feed babies with your nose. (Yes, some people can nurse after implants, but why risk it?)

  75. I thought “nobody holds like that” is a way of saying “nobody should hold like that” and perhaps “therefore, anybody who holds like that is nobody.”

  76. “My point was that R. Kamenetzky does not feel it necessary to defend MbP without a pipette because he has greater Torah knowledge and is more secure.”

    If he has greater Torah knowledge, professing to have had no clue about this issue surely doesn’t demonstrate it.

  77. shachar haamim

    “Presumably women would prefer you looking at their attractive nose to looking at their attractive breasts? Because the nose is part of the face and is associated with personality. The breasts are strongly associated with something else.”

    I could really have a lot of fun going through those 3 sentences….

  78. Fascinating link to article about evolution -query same analysis about Galileo-the Church was not uniformly opposedto him by any means-were there any similar discussions/problems from our sources.

  79. “There is still the question of how to fulfill the mitzvah of Bedikat Chametz (the search for leaven). If you arrive at your Pesach destination by the fourteenth of Nisan, perform the search there”
    Isn’t one required to do a bedikah if one is leaving ones house for Pesach within 30 days?

  80. “Amsterdam Jews want out of long-distance relationship with U.S. rabbi”

    how the mighty have fallen. (i mean amsterdam jewry, not r. ralbag.)

    “Jordan group translates Talmud into Arabic”

    so another page from christian anti-semitism?

  81. STEVE BRIZEL:

    “Having davened Maariv a few times in Lander’s Beis Medrash, I remain skeptical as to the claim, voiced in the JW article, as to whether Lander is more yeshivish than YU’s Beis Medrash.”

    i somewhat agree. there is large overlap, although i think YU has a wider range.

    “I would suggest as I have in the past that one of YU’s advantages is the wide variety of RY who are giving shiur, whether in RIETS or the Stone Beis Medrash Program. IMO, that fact should be seen as a huge selling point for would be students.”

    maybe i’m wrong, but i don’t think many prospective students/parents are pulled to YU because of the rebbeim in particular. vast majority probably even have no idea who the rebbeim are? (this is my impression from when i was graduating high school back in the day)

  82. maybe i missed it because it read quickly, but does the aricle mention non-RW competition to YU such as YCT, drisha, etc.?

  83. “so another page from christian anti-semitism?”

    Sure, but boy do I want a copy.

  84. So is R. Ralbag’s Triangle-K hechsher for TJ’s meat now considered acceptable?

  85. Speaking of Arabic translations of the Talmud, in Sefer Hakabbalah it is claimed (or repeated) that one Joseph abn Abitur translated the Talmud into Arabic for a 10th century kaliph.

  86. YCT and Drisha are not undergraduate colleges.

  87. “▪ Jordan group translates Talmud into Arabic”

    While in EY, I once visited the Machon Lemishpat Ha’ivri at HU. I was surprised to discover an arab poring over a Masachtas Shabbos that had nekudos filled in. I asked him what he was doing and he barked that he was trying to learn the Aramaic. Praise Allah for the new artscroll.

  88. There is lots to say about the YU article. Abba, you are correct in pointing out that the article did not mention the non-RW competition and that is the real key question. RJ pivoted left, so it is logical that more rw students might go elsewhere (although no statistics were given), but the number choosing YU over secular college should increase since that was who he was targeting with the changes.

    One telling statistic would be to take a non-ivy league school and compare to YU. University of Maryland and Rutgers come to mind. I believe that in the last 10-15 years the number of students at UMD who attended yeshiva or seminary in Israel beforehand has increased more than 10 fold. In that era, UMD was getting around 10 such students a year and now that number is above 100. For out-of-state students it is not cheaper and the academics are probably about the same as YU (meaning if you want a very rigourous education you can get it and if you want a laid back school you can get it).

  89. The “non-RW competition” is secular colleges, which are mentioned in the article. It is true, however, that the article could have discussed increased attendance at specific colleges other than Queens, rather than just general “some people might want to go to secular college so they can be in a more open environment.”
    I think people used to perceive YU as a good value (not as good as columbia but cheaper) but now there are real questions why send there when you can get an equivalent education for much less, or a better education for the same (if you can get in).

  90. “While in EY, I once visited the Machon Lemishpat Ha’ivri at HU. I was surprised to discover an arab poring over a Masachtas Shabbos that had nekudos filled in. I asked him what he was doing and he barked that he was trying to learn the Aramaic. Praise Allah for the new artscroll.”

    He barked it?

  91. Lawrence Kaplan

    “bragged”?

  92. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bark?s=t

    bark
    noun
    4. a brusque order, reply, etc.: The foreman’s bark sent the idlers back to their machines.

  93. Just to chime in, I agree with abba’s rantings that YU gets a larger range of students than Lander, though there is real overlap.

  94. Abba-why then does YU send many RY on what are recruitment oriented shiurim to yeshivos where would be YU students are learning during on a one year program?

  95. steve b. – when you are in the your year in israel you have already decided which college to go to and asked for a 1 yr extension. the recruitment if there is any is to help people who change their minds.

  96. former yu – how do you think RJ pivoted left? by bolstering the academics? could he have pivoted right – and if so by doing what – and still be a college?

    i would add that places like umd have made a commitment to recruit in the orthodox (especially mo) community and have a created a friendly atmosphere on campus for them. plus the orthodox students have a lot of options for learning and socializing – hillel, chabad… – i wonder how much of the growth is men vs women since stern had a lower rep for academics than yc ?

    some people do not want a dual curriculum after day and high schools and are fine learning without pressure of tests and long hours of attendance.

  97. Ruvie wrote:

    “when you are in the your year in israel you have already decided which college to go to and asked for a 1 yr extension. the recruitment if there is any is to help people who change their minds.”

    Sometimes, it is helps students who had thought going elsewhere change their minds and attend YU.

  98. Ruvie,

    The article states “Joel’s decision to cultivate the colleges’ more liberal applicant pool — the students who would consider both YU and secular colleges — was also a strategic one.”

    Richard Joel made a strategic pivot and has lost students. My point was only that the real question is to understand why he is not getting the students he was targeting which the article completely ignores, instead focusing on Landers and those learning in yeshiva in the morning and queens college in the afternoon.

    The students going to UMD are not doing it for financial reasons or academics the question is why- you make some suggestions, but whatever the reasons I think they are important for those at YU and MO generally to think about.

  99. S. on March 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm
    “He barked it?”

    Lawrence Kaplan on March 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm
    “bragged”?

    He barked it in the sense of the word R Gil provided. I asked him a polite question and he reacted like I was trying to steal his land. I’m also stereotyping somewhat.

  100. Ruvie wrote:

    “some people do not want a dual curriculum after day and high schools and are fine learning without pressure of tests and long hours of attendance”

    Proof please? I think that it is hard to prove that someone who views learning as an extracurricular or spare time activity after 12 years of a day school and MO yeshiva high school background can learn on the same levell as someone who is learning on a full time basis with a true committment to learning in RIETS or elsewhere.

  101. Former YU wrote:

    “The students going to UMD are not doing it for financial reasons or academics the question is why- you make some suggestions, but whatever the reasons I think they are important for those at YU and MO generally to think about”

    This is the critical issue-the real issue is whether the average MO high school grad who attends a secular college, whether in a city where there is a strong Orthodox population or elsewhere, will be observant or at the same, a stronger or weaker level-even after a year or two in Israel. That IMO is an issue for MO. Vis a vis YU, anyone who attends YU knows that YU neither is Lakewood, the Mir, Harvard or Brandeis.

  102. steve b. – the proof is that they don’t feel compelled to go to yu (or landers) and learn in a beit medrash, shor y’shuv or other programs in the morning. there is no less true commitment to learning by these folks from their viewpoint or others. one can even say – why do i need all these bible, nach, ivrit etc classes on top of going to shiur?

  103. Lawrence Kaplan

    Steve Brizel: I think Ruvie clearly meant that these students feel fine with learning as a spare time activity. He did not say anything about their learning being on the same level as students at RIETS. You are confusing the shadows of hills with the hills.

  104. Ruvie wrote :

    “the proof is that they don’t feel compelled to go to yu (or landers) and learn in a beit medrash, shor y’shuv or other programs in the morning. there is no less true commitment to learning by these folks from their viewpoint or others”

    Proof please? I would argue that those who attend YU, Lander, Shaar Yashuv or Ohr HaChaim demonstrate that Koveas Itim LaTorah at that point in their lives is a very important value. I would use a term other than “compell” to describe their attendance because the same perpetuates a stereotype that students in such programs are there because someone is forcing them or has brainwashed them to enroll in such programs.

  105. former yu – “Richard Joel made a strategic pivot and has lost students.” i am not sure if he had a choice. i can’t imagine what yu would lok like or change if it went to the right anyway. the question to me would be if didn’t make this change would he have lost more students? and what students would he missed that go to landers? what is the quality of that student and their success rate in getting into the top law and medical schools etc? or is yu viewed as treif by a large segment of orthodoxy on the right and its never a consideration? without real data its hard to quantify the reasons unless one is there in the middle of it.

    your question is a good one and the jw article didn’t address it. also, what is the drop out rate at yu? i have heard from those that know the numbers that they have accepted students in the past couple that really do not qualify (and struggle) – very low sat scores etc and there is an huge increase in remedial work.

  106. Ruvie-A number of years ago, two MO students who attended Harvard and MIT, IIRC, wrote an article online about the religious issues that students face on secular college campuses, both inside and outside of the classroom, and how they can cope with the issues. How MO copes with the same is probably of equal importance with its reaction to kids who “flip out.” The OU acknowledged the issue by partnering with Hillel and placing young MO couples on campuses to serve as role models and sounding boards for such students.

  107. steve b. – ” That IMO is an issue for MO. Vis a vis YU, anyone who attends YU knows that YU neither is Lakewood, the Mir, Harvard or Brandeis.”

    i think the mo community has no problem in sending kids to secular college anymore and in fact would argue that today they feel much more comfortable than anytime in the last 30 years. lastly, i would argue that going to yu does not insure your child’s frumkeit either. since there is no data its just speculation and hope.

  108. steve b. – “The OU acknowledged the issue by partnering with Hillel and placing young MO couples on campuses to serve as role models and sounding boards for such students.”

    i believe there are many programs out there with young couples running batei midrashes and other programs – plus hillel and chabad. for this reason – as you demonstrated – the mo community is very comfortable in sending their kids to specifically these colleges – not because of the perceive problems – like umd, bu, brandeis, binghamton etc. once there is a core group it expands – case in point as former yu pointed out is umd that had barely anyone there 15 years ago from the nyc area.

  109. steve b – ” I would use a term other than “compell” to describe their attendance ”

    if you go to yu you are compelled to do the dual curriculum – its not optional and you do not attend at your leisure or set your on schedule and you have tests.

  110. “the real issue is whether the average MO high school grad who attends a secular college, whether in a city where there is a strong Orthodox population or elsewhere, will be observant or at the same, a stronger or weaker level-even after a year or two in Israel.”

    That’s a good question. Unfortunately we don’t have an answer. And that’s really true about most of this issue; there aren’t any serious studies that I know of we therefore don’t have any solid answers, just lots of personal experiences (either ourselves or people we know). That’s why asking “proof please” about these matters is not nearly as good a question as the one above. You have your opinions based on who you know and others have their opinion based on who they know. I see no “proof” that either opinion has more weight than the other.

  111. “I would argue that those who attend YU, Lander, Shaar Yashuv or Ohr HaChaim demonstrate that Koveas Itim LaTorah at that point in their lives is a very important value. I would use a term other than “compell” to describe their attendance because the same perpetuates a stereotype that students in such programs are there because someone is forcing them or has brainwashed them to enroll in such programs.”

    Steve Brizel:
    1. Attendance at any of these institutions COULD indicate commitment to Koveas Ititm Latorah. Alternately, it can be a result of societal, peer, or parental pressure.
    2. Is it fair to assume that someone who stopped their formal yeshiva education after, say, 13 years is less committed to limud torah than one who stops it after 16 years? (Especially today, with the ability to learn torah from others via the internet.)

  112. Secular colleges are co-ed. The article about YU doesn’t mention this, and neither do any of the comments, as far as I can see. One of the big differences between Stern/YU and other universities is that it really doesn’t feel like a college campus that way.

    I’m not saying that avoiding Stern (and YU) is an attempt to avoid a personal shidduch crisis. But I do think it’s easier to find one’s bashert at a secular college, especially to the less well connected/less NY centered/more BT folks out there who are more left leaning.

  113. Random Girl,

    I agree that is a large part of the attraction, but it has nothing to do with finding a bashert more easily.

    In many MO high schools, especially those that are co-ed, one is considered “extremely religious” to even go to YU since it is single sex. As someone who has spent Shabbosim at both ivy and non-ivy institutions, the contrast to YU is striking.
    At YU’s campus, only the “bummiest” guys would attend an oneg on Friday night containing girls and alcohol together. On a secular campus co-ed Friday night onegs containing alcohol are attended by even the most serious students as they generally do not want to be poresh min hatzibur even when the tzibbur involves those less religious.
    As I have been saying these issues raise questions for MO generally. Should/can YU be co-ed? Should serious MO people in their 20’s and not particular looking for marriage college hang out in a social setting where many people openly violate issurim involving harchakos arayos? You mention out of town vs. NY – Out of town there are very few single sex MO high schools(outside of YULA and OC in Toronto I can think of none)- if one wants to raise their children MO outside NY but without exposure to co-ed settings involving a “hook-up” culture what should one do?

  114. The 2011 Day School Census, indicates:

    CoEd (Modern) Orthodox: 83 schools, 29,766 students enrolled
    Non-CoEd (Centrist) Orthodox: 65 schools, 18,776 students enrolled

  115. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/realestate/posting-bringing-back-some-jewish-character-on-the-lower-east-side.html

    “A more serious issue for some potential residents may be that the Lower East Side, unlike the East Village and several other Manhattan neighborhoods, does not have an eruv — a zone demarcated by an overhead wire, within which Jewish law, in some interpretations, allows believers to perform certain activities on the Sabbath that would otherwise be prohibited. Because those activities include carrying children, an eruv would make the Lower East Side more hospitable to young modern Orthodox Jewish families.”

  116. Does the idea that the authority of a rav in a particular geographic location extends to communities that were established after his passing and never accepted his authority have any halachic basis?

  117. IH,

    The survey includes elementary and high school. I was referring to high schools. Almost all MO elementary schools are co-ed. Even if the classes are separate the elementary schools have co-ed buildings and activities.

    The students in TABC, MTA, Rambam, HALB-DRS, YULA and Ohr Chaim-Toronto overwhelmingly attended co-ed elementary schools. Still these are definitely MO schools (defined to mean that YU is considered the l’chatchila option by the administration AND the vast majority of rebbeim over a more RW yeshiva). JEC and Skokie yeshiva are two schools where the students also overwhelmingly come from MO backgrounds and co-ed elementary schools but the schools themselves have a slightly more RW bent.
    I think I just named all single-sex boys MO high schools in the US, but am happy if someone can add any to the list.

    I am not as familiar with girls schools, but all the schools I listed have an all-female counterpart excluding Skokie and Rambam. I believe Shulamis in Brooklyn and 5 towns would also fit the bill as MO.

    Also, one commentator mentioned the NY-centric nature of YU. Perhaps this is self-selection since the overwhelming number of MO students from single sex high schools come from NY, where as the number for co-ed schools, especially those that are more visibly religious, is more balanced geographically. Cleveland, Philadelphia, Silver Spring, Baltimore, Dallas, Atlanta, South Florida, Montreal, Detroit, Seattle, Denver, Memphis and Houston are just some of the communities that have co-ed MO high schools and no MO or even centrist single-sex option. If YU attracts a larger proportion of students from single-sex schools rather than co-ed ones it would make sense that YU would feel more NY-centric.

    On secular campuses there may be more balance between NY and outside. I would think (but on this point I am less confident) that there may even be a higher proportion of highly engaged, serious out-of towners at secular campuses. In NY a large number of students at some of the co-ed high schools, like Ramaz or Frisch, come from homes that are not shomer shabbos. These students may not be as visibly religious or as connected to the Orthodox communities on campus. Children who come from more engaged and serious families may also be more likely to attend one of the fine MO single-sex options. In contrast, out-of-town there may be a higher proportion of MO families who take davening and learning seriously and send their children to co-ed schools. These students from co-ed schools may be more serious about their learning and davening when they get to college.

  118. I’m not quite sure why, but there were two big articles on the abuse cover-up issue in Brooklyn in today’s Guardian (the leading left-of-center newspaper in the UK):

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/29/brooklyn-orthodox-jews-child-abuse-cover-up-feature?newsfeed=true
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/29/brooklyn-da-orthodox-jews-cover-up

  119. a lot of ink has been spilled on the jp article by yitta halbetstam in the past few weeks. this one i think is one of the best analysis of the issue: has anyone seen any better ones?

    http://morethodoxy.org/2012/03/30/frum-bridalplasty-on-shidduch-dating-and-bean-counting-by-rabbi-zev-farber/

    interestingly enough, everyone has an opinion on this issue – last i look you had over 600 comments in the jp online version alone.

  120. Regarding RD Shabtai’s column: utter nonsense. He’s almost lying. Everyone agrees that by “death” we mean “when the soul leaves the body” i.e. when the body is no longer conscious, or capable of consciousness. That may or may not be a scientific question, but it has nothing to do with Halakha.

  121. ruvie: It’s not that I think R. Farber is wrong to criticize the “check-list” mentality of dating, I just don’t think his analysis is connected to reality. Does he really think that in the world of coeducation girls don’t get nose jobs or are otherwise extremely looks-conscious? Talk to a high school teacher in a coed school.

  122. Jon: Everyone agrees that by “death” we mean “when the soul leaves the body” i.e. when the body is no longer conscious, or capable of consciousness.

    Certainly not! And he wrote a whole book to explain the different views.

  123. Former YU — the point is that there is no need to hypothesize based on personal experience. The enrollment data is available by grade level and standard business analysis methodologies can be applied. I am confident YU has done the analysis, even though they may choose not to share the results.

  124. MiMedinat HaYam

    RD Shabtai’s article — the doctors oppose an ethics ( = rabbinical) committee? (sounds like attorneys opposing a non bar ethics / greivance committee.)

    j — one question is — is this a new community or not? (actually, historically speaking, it was part of the LES, which post 1960s contracted into three or four coop buildings on grand st. the only reason it did not die out (a la east ny, brownsville, etc) is because it remained in those 2-3 coops, with special built in housing incentives to remain. and a powerful godol whose family exerted its influence to force the local girls school to remain. that same influence keeps the eruv out. i understand the local populace is happy with the non eruv situation.)

    should we force them to change? (rhetorical)

    (i personally dont advocate either way.)

    similar to discussion of a powerful family in a new jersey city. (actually, that nj rav also opposed an eruv, but established it on community request. and is the rav hamachshir for the eruv. (actually, he will not allow another rav to be the rav hamachshir.) )

    3. by the way, the same LES that educated “morris”,if you read that article. i guess that’s r gil’s version of april first foolery.

  125. “Does he really think that in the world of coeducation girls don’t get nose jobs or are otherwise extremely looks-conscious? Talk to a high school teacher in a coed school.”

    In this vein, I seem to recall Rav Rakeffet saying that Nechama Leibowitz was unhappy when (some institution where she taught – Machon Lev?) went from co-ed to single sex because the girls stopped dressing well for class.

  126. Let me also add that the plastic surgeon offering free surgery to people in the shidduch scene who cannot afford it went to a coed yeshiva. He was my classmate in Frisch. He was definitely never a part of the “check-list” shidduch scene.

  127. I think that the replies about MO students on secular campuses reveal a great deal of defensiveness and a lack of reality. Merely having ann opinion based on one’s POV or viewing the problem as warranting further study is akin to avoiding a discussion, studying the problem, and developing some approaches, all of which should be underway rather than maintaining a “I’m a parent, you are a parent, and we all opinions on the subject”.

    I don’t think that everyone per se chooses U of Maryland over YU because of superior academics. That depends on a particular potential major. I stand by my comment as to why young men choose to attend YU, Lander, Ohr Chaim, Shaar Yashuv or similar programs,as well as the measure of one’s committment after a secular college. While part of RJ’s strategy was to sell YC/SCW to some students who would otherwise have attended an Ivy,or similar caliber school, such a tactic IMO will never attract students who are dead set on attending a secular college either because as Random Girl states because of a lack of a coed atmosphere as at a “real college”, as opposed to a yeshiva, or because after 12 years in the same schools with the same students, YC/SCW are simply too parochial for their taste, or by dint of financial constraints, would not apply to YC/SCW.

    Perhaps, YU and its leadership dealing with the issues described in the JW article should be asking themselves and YU’s alumni why so many of their children either opt for other colleges or for yeshivos that are part of the Charedi world.

    Re my prior comment about YU neither being Ponevehc, Mir, Harvard or Brandeis, one would hope that future students are are not told that YU is a pluralistic Hillel House above the Harlem River. As far as the OU’s JLIC program, the same was enacted as a response to the issues described by two MO young men as existent and prevalent on the average college campus, as opposed to any confidence in the atmosphere thereon.

    As a JSS alumnus, I would hope that JSS, which was once a magnet for BTs who wanted a textually based education rooted in “It and not about it”, is in the process of reasserting itself as a magnet for the same, as opposed to YU, MO’s flagship institution, viewing Kiruv as a mission that is not part of YU and MO’s raison de etre.

  128. HG wrote:

    “Steve Brizel:
    1. Attendance at any of these institutions COULD indicate commitment to Koveas Ititm Latorah. Alternately, it can be a result of societal, peer, or parental pressure.
    2. Is it fair to assume that someone who stopped their formal yeshiva education after, say, 13 years is less committed to limud torah than one who stops it after 16 years? (Especially today, with the ability to learn torah from others via the internet.)”

    HG-Your initial query is rooted in a stereotype. I would seriously question whether there is a Kiyum Talmud Torah in the same manner and level as attending a shiur or having chavursos on a study basis by what you call learning “Torah from others via the internet”

  129. Ruvie wrote:

    “steve b – ” I would use a term other than “compell” to describe their attendance ”

    if you go to yu you are compelled to do the dual curriculum – its not optional and you do not attend at your leisure or set your on schedule and you have tests”

    I would insist that anyone who decides to attend YU does so with full knowledge and out of their own choice to do so-and is fully aware of the requirements of a dual curriculum. Again, I would disagree with your choice of “compel”, as if someone is doing something under duress.

  130. r’ gil – i think r’ farber analysis goes further to explain the problem relative to others who have opined on the issue in the public sphere. whether the yeshivish/chareidei world (and now parts of the mo world) will change and allow the sexes to mix and figure it out themselves is doubtful. but his analysis of the problem is best i have seem – please offer a better one.

    ” Does he really think that in the world of coeducation girls don’t get nose jobs or are otherwise extremely looks-conscious? ” not to get married. and how is this relevant to his article? anecdotally, do you find or know of many nose jobs for cosmetics in the co-ed schools ? the issue is the people in the middle and the lists – and its not just the men here. a friend of mine was ask by a shadchun whether she stacks on shabbat or cover her tablecloth with plastic ? i reminded her that her children are not in shidduch world and yet she still worries. will it change? probably not.

  131. Steve Brizel:

    1. I’m not saying that MOST of the people who attend these institutions are there for societal, peer, or parental pressure. But there’s no question that some are.

    “I would seriously question whether there is a Kiyum Talmud Torah in the same manner and level as attending a shiur or having chavursos on a study basis by what you call learning “Torah from others via the internet”

    I think you are stereotyping.

    Don’t get me wrong, stereotyping is efficient. If you were to calculate the commitment to Torah of those at Yeshiva College and those (Orthodox Jews) at, say, Baruch, you would quite likely find that the Yeshiva students’ commitment to learning is higher.

    I’m not trying to denigrate the YU/Lander students or unjustly praise the secular university students. But there are various factors that go into where people go to university, including strength of program and location. For people who DON’T live in New York (and want to stay at home for college) or for people who want to go to college for, say, engineering (to my understanding, there are no Orthodox Jewish institutions in America with good engineering programs) there are real problems with the Jewish institutions.

    Will they learn quite as well as if they went to a yeshiva? It’s possible. (Rav Soloveitchik, did not go to YU or Lander, nor did his son.) For someone with a commitment to learning, there is – as we all know – an incredible amount of torah online, including daily shiurim on varying levels from various rabbis.

  132. Anybody know if and when there’s a new Hakira coming?

  133. Intereesting article on a new attempt to bring shomer mitzvos people to the Lower East Side.
    Kosher food
    Separate Swimming hours in a pool at the Madison Jackson
    from frum developer Michael Bolla

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/realestate/posting-bringing-back-some-jewish-character-on-the-lower-east-side.html?hpw

  134. anonymous – ” I am confident YU has done the analysis, even though they may choose not to share the results.”

    i wish that was true. as one insider told me recently, RJ goal was to increase enrollment by 1000 students. yu gets a 1/3 of the feeder schools population and their numbers were not growing in that population. so there was no real data analysis for that projection and they have or had bad reporting controls on their cash flow so they did not know how much would be in the bank when they spent all the money in the past 5 years (even before the madoff loss). if you set out to build a school for an extra 1000 students that never enroll plus administrative staff then you end up firing many people – which is what is happening now.

  135. Oops — Anonymous on March 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm was me.

    —–

    As balance to Wieseltier’s criticisms (with which I am sympathetic to a point), the Jewish Book Week talk with Jonathan Safran Foer and Jeffrey Goldberg on the new haggadah can now be viewed on http://www.jewishbookweek.com/2012/retelling-the-story.php

    I have not yet had the opportunity to read through my copy (I’m too busy with Safrai’s “Haggadah of the Sages” at present), but the queue to have copies signed by Foer on the night was substantial, with many wearing kipot…

  136. Interesting article by Rav/Dr. Shabtai. I dont envy the tightrope that he is walking. He advocates that the chief rabbinate should have involvement in determining death, yet he does not make a statement in the article of support for their halachic point of view(and in fact states that it is a minority point of view- perhaps the reader of the article was supposed to draw a conclusion from that statement).

    At issue is whether determining death is more of a legislative process or judicial. In other words, they can state a specific set of criteria for the determination of death, and, for each particular patient, it would be simple matter for physicians to determine if a patient fulfills the criteria or not. Once the criteria are set, rabbinical input is not necessary(unless there is concern regarding physicians not applying the criteria appropriately, which is a seperate issue of trust. If that is the case, there needs to be a ‘mashgiach’ to make sure that steps are followed properly).

    On the other hand, if the criteria change with differing circumstances, then obviously the rabbinate needs to be involved because each case may be different, and the rules cannot be uniformly applied without the rabbinate determining what the rules are going to be for that particular case. This would imply that the criteria being used are not exactly set in stone and is significantly problematic. I suggest that it is fallacious to compare an established set of criteria for death to deciding on one of differing options for care. If the patient fulfills criteria for death, he is dead. If he does not fulfill criteria for death, he is not dead. Patient choice has nothing to do with it.(There are opinions in the ethics literature(Gardiner, Bernat, Lizza etc.) who allow the patient’s choice not to be resuscitated to create the reality that the loss of circulation is irreversible, but this is highly problematic from a halachic point of view, and in fact was specifically opposed by Rabbi Bush in his paper)
    I think that the idea that the criteria are going to be different case to case undermines the idea of a uniform concept of death. From a physicians point of view, once the criteria for death are set, the physicians are the ones best equiped to determine if a patient fulfills them or not. Whether they need a ‘mashgiach’ is a seperate issue.

    While death and life are labels that are applied, I suggest that ultimately death is a condition that is discoverable, and is an intrinsic characteristic of the body to which that life is/was attached. The position that death is not an intrinsic characteristic opens up the possibility of external decisions(whether there is an intent to do CPR or not, whether there is a DNR order or not, availability of technology, etc.) affecting the declaration of death.

  137. HG wrote in part:

    ““I would seriously question whether there is a Kiyum Talmud Torah in the same manner and level as attending a shiur or having chavursos on a study basis by what you call learning “Torah from others via the internet”

    I think you are stereotyping.”

    I don’t see any comparison in the Kiyum Mitzvas Talmud Torah between someone who is Kovea itim LaTorah either via steady shiurim, chavrusos and and actively trying to understand Dvar HaShem Zu Halacha in a Rishon or Acharon, or in any of the classical Mfarshim on Chumash and passively reading an Internet based presentation. IMO, the element of Ameilus BaTorah simply isn’t present.

  138. HG wrote in part:

    “Will they learn quite as well as if they went to a yeshiva? It’s possible. (Rav Soloveitchik, did not go to YU or Lander, nor did his son.) For someone with a commitment to learning, there is – as we all know – an incredible amount of torah online, including daily shiurim on varying levels from various rabbis”

    I would hesitate strongly before I would ever consider what is called “Torah online”, the equivalent of learning actively. It is IMO a passive venture that, demands little action on the part of the person who listens and/or downloads a particular shiur, drasha, article, etc. One will never become a Ben Torah or Talmid Chacham solely by downloading shiurim from websites simply because the person who does so will never develope a feeling of working and struggling with the text and the issues presented therein, and gaining an insight therein on your own.

  139. HG wrote:

    “(Rav Soloveitchik, did not go to YU or Lander, nor did his son.”

    See R Rakkafet’s book as to RYBS’s rebbe was and which Talmidei Chachmim he met in pre WW2 Lithuania. Comparing anyone in this generation of MO high school graduates as to their level of Talmud Torah and devotion to the same as RYBS IMO is a highly dubious proposition. If you ask anyone who is a rebbe in any of the one year programs, they will provide you the following observation-all too often, graduates from MO high schools have a poor baseline knowledge of Halacha LMaaseh, and have viewed Limudei Kodesh as a series of tests that compete with the Regents, APs and the SATS, without appreciating the fact that the Torah has a POV on everything in their lives. That’s why comparing growing up in a Torah saturated environment as the Beis HaRav really has no relevance for the average MO student, where as RAL noted, far too many students know far more about secular culture and celebrities than they do about our greates Talmidei Chachamim and their contributions to Torah.

  140. Similarly, Steve, one will not become a Ben Torah or Talmid Chacham solely by attending shiurim in which, often, someone tells you how to read a text (and therefore how to think) “because the person who does so will never develop a feeling of working and struggling with the text and the issues presented therein, and gaining an insight therein on your own.”

  141. “If you ask anyone who is a rebbe in any of the one year programs, they will provide you the following observation-all too often, graduates from MO high schools have a poor baseline knowledge of Halacha LMaaseh, and have viewed Limudei Kodesh as a series of tests that compete with the Regents, APs and the SATS, without appreciating the fact that the Torah has a POV on everything in their lives.”

    It seems R. Meiselman has a different take, from that interview in Mishpacha that you recommended a while back. He wrote:

    “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.”

    And I don’t think he was talking about Day School MO graduates.

  142. IH-I said that attending shiurim was a key componet, but not the only element in becoming a Ben Torah or Talmid Chacham. Attending a shiur , hearing and comprehending, and even challenging the presentation of someone who is greater in Torah knowledge than the talmid is part and parcel of the process of growing in Torah knowledge because a rebbe and talmid should be learning from each other, and always be willing to ask questions of each other.OTOH, the rebbe, by dint of his being a link in the chain of Mesorah of TSBP, has the ability to help his talmidim fill in the blanks between the lines. When you combine those elements with developing the ability and desire to learn on your own, then you have taken the first steps in the process of becoming a Ben Torah and possibly a Talmid Chacham.

  143. IH wrote:

    “It seems R. Meiselman has a different take, from that interview in Mishpacha that you recommended a while back. He wrote:

    “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.”

    And I don’t think he was talking about Day School MO graduates”

    Ain Haci Nami-Depending on Torah in translation or what I call textual literacy is hardly a phenomenon confined to the MO world. Why else would ArtScroll and similar works be so popular?

  144. IH-Whoops -I meant textual illiteracy.

  145. R. Mayer Twersky went to Maimonides, R. Baruch Simon went to MTA, R. Daniel Feldman went to Frisch, R. Zvi Romm went to Ramaz,…

  146. IH-your link to R Meiselman’s comments reminded me of one of my pet peeves. R Meiselman’s comments are IMO, rooted in the great tradition of R M Besdin ZL, the director of YU’s JSS in its greatest years, whose educational mantra was “it and not about it.” I have previously posted here and elsewhere, that while ArtScroll’s Siddur and Machzor are wonderful, I have serious reservations on the Schottenstein Talmud, which can serve as an introduction, but which has the concomitant danger of becoming a crutch ala Methadone to a drug addict. The Schottenstein Talmud, aside from statements in the footnotes on Halacha and Hashkafa, which cannot always be relied upon as to accuracy and which have a very Charedi view ( i.e. see the notes re Mitzvas Yishuv EY on Ksubos 110 and compare with the treatment in the ET) cannot magically per se create Bnei Torah and Talmidei Chachamim. In the same manner, rendering the MB and Ramban on Chumash or sections of the Maharal’s writings into English will not assist anyone in developing a sense of textual literacy or appreciation of the issues in the text. Such works, in the words of a dear friend and chavrusa when we decided to learn a sefer about Hilcos Shabbos ( SSK, as opposed to the English works of R S Eider ZL)are at best “kli Sheni Sheino Mvashel.” In a very tragic sense, such works are necessary for a generation that wants books at a click, but which IMO do not aid one’s sense of Ameilus BaTorah.

  147. R Gil wrote:

    “R. Mayer Twersky went to Maimonides, R. Baruch Simon went to MTA, R. Daniel Feldman went to Frisch, R. Zvi Romm went to Ramaz”

    Ain Haci Nami-Are these Talmidei Chachamim the exceptions to the rule and/or can they be role models for anyone in such schools who aspires to become a Ben Torah and Talmid Chacham?

  148. HG-if taken to its logical conclusion-every university in the US should shut down simply because one can get an online degree.

  149. STEVE:

    there are boys and girls who choose YU (i’m not not going to argue with you whether its a few, some, many, most) even though they aren’t serious about learning. for whatever reason, they think YU has something to offer them that overrides the fact that they will be required to learn even though they really have little or no interest in it. yes, this means that in order to attend they are being “compelled” to learn.

    just anectodal, i had 3 good friends who went to YU. 1 really took the leaning seriously. the other 2 weren’t intersted in learning but went anyway. just like in my college everyone knew which courses/professors were the easy As, so too in YU everyone knows which are the shiurim/rebbeim that will you sleep through for 4 years. so how does one generalize about the committment of YU students to leaning rather than who is being “compelled”?

  150. HG:

    ” there are no Orthodox Jewish institutions in America with good engineering programs) there are real problems with the Jewish institutions”

    YU had (has?) a joint program with columbia engineering, with the last 2 years at columbia. it was (is?) a great program because it enabled students who wanted to spend some at YU first do so, and gave students with a weak HS background a back door into columbia and a genuine columbia degree.
    but aside from this, it’s hard to think of a really good “academic” reason to pick YU over a second or even third tier secular university.

  151. abba’s rantings:

    Doesn’t that program take longer than a traditional program (which would de-incentivize it?)

  152. “if taken to its logical conclusion-every university in the US should
    shut down simply because one can get an online degree.”

    Steve Brizel:

    You’re going too far. I didn’t say that there’s no benefit in going to a yeshiva over learning online. I’m simply pointing out that it’s unfair to paint all people who go to YU or Lander as being more into Torah study than all those who don’t.

    There are various (non-idealistic reasons) to go to the yeshiva programs, and various reasons not to.

    “I don’t see any comparison in the Kiyum Mitzvas Talmud Torah between someone who is Kovea itim LaTorah either via steady shiurim, chavrusos and and actively trying to understand Dvar HaShem Zu Halacha in a Rishon or Acharon, or in any of the classical Mfarshim on Chumash and passively reading an Internet based presentation. IMO, the element of Ameilus BaTorah simply isn’t present.”
    I was really thinking of listening to shiurim. And, if one wanted to, they could learn bechavrusa in preparation for online shiur.

    “I would hesitate strongly before I would ever consider what is called “Torah online”, the equivalent of learning actively. It is IMO a passive venture that, demands little action on the part of the person who listens and/or downloads a particular shiur, drasha, article, etc. One will never become a Ben Torah or Talmid Chacham solely by downloading shiurim from websites simply because the person who does so will never develope a feeling of working and struggling with the text and the issues presented therein, and gaining an insight therein on your own.”
    Most people won’t become talmidei chachamim either way.

    Listen, I’m not saying there are no (Torah-related) benefits to going to a yeshiva versus learning on your own. But I think you have to recognize that (like I said, especially these days) there’s a heckuva lot of Torah study that could be done even if you’re not on the campus of a Torah institution. That someone doesn’t go to Yeshiva College doesn’t mean he doesn’t learn.

  153. “HG-if taken to its logical conclusion-every university in the US should shut down simply because one can get an online degree.”

    Steven,

    I actually happen to support closing down or downsizing departments in favor of online programs. For a far too large body of students, the costs of physical college far outweighs the benefits. There’s a reason there’s so much talk of a Higher Education Bubble.

  154. “…viewed Limudei Kodesh as a series of tests that compete with the Regents, APs and the SATS…”

    If I were attempting to convince people NOT to go to YU, Lander, etc., this would be my point.

    For 12 years, students view Limudei Kodesh as tests competing with the Regents. Putting Talmud on the students’ transcripts is continuing the trend.

  155. HG:

    “Doesn’t that program take longer than a traditional program (which would de-incentivize it?)”

    it was a 5 year program, i think 3 at YU and 2 at columbia? yes, someone with a strong high school background and no interest in spending time at YU would not consider it.
    but for someone who lacks the strong high school background or really wants to spend some time at YU, yet wants an engineering (or columbia) degree, it’s not a matter of being a good or bad incentive, but rather the only option.
    i guess a good question would be is how many students used this option and of that number how many did it because they wanted to go to YU vs. could not get in to CU traditionally.
    also, i don’t remember, but does CU even give a full year for israel? if not, then one doesn’t really lose a year with the 5 year program, as YU counts one year. at least this is how it worked when my friend did it.

  156. HG:

    also, does engineering require a grad degree? i have no idea. but if it doesn’t, than a 5-year program really shouldn’t be a dis-incentive, considering that so many other YU students major in something that doesn’t require further schooling beyond 4 years anyway.

    btw, ultimately i don’t know if it really matters that YU doesn’t have an in-house engineering program. i’m not sure how much interest there really is for it. (and it happens, my friend who did the 5 year program took the computer enginnering route and became a computer programer, which he could have done by staying at YU, perhaps with fewer opportunities at graduation.)
    on the other hand, i think it’s interesting that stern doesn’t (or does it?) have programs for the therapies.

  157. “considering that so many other YU students major in something that doesn’t require”

    that *does* require

  158. How are the STEM studies at YU?

  159. Petal to the metal.

  160. Abba wrote:

    “there are boys and girls who choose YU (i

  161. Abba wrote:

    “there are boys and girls who choose YU (i

  162. Abba wrote:

    “there are boys and girls who choose YU (i

  163. there are boys and girls who choose YU (i’m not not going to argue with you whether its a few, some, many, most) even though they aren’t serious about learning. for whatever reason, they think YU has something to offer them that overrides the fact that they will be required to learn even though they really have little or no interest in it. yes, this means that in order to attend they are being “compelled” to learn.

    just anectodal, i had 3 good friends who went to YU. 1 really took the leaning seriously. the other 2 weren’t intersted in learning but went anyway. just like in my college everyone knew which courses/professors were the easy As, so too in YU everyone knows which are the shiurim/rebbeim that will you sleep through for 4 years. so how does one generalize about the committment of YU students to leaning rather than who is being “compelled

    YU has always been populated by what I call the “silent majority”, who want to get their degree without upsetting the religious, intellectual, educational, amd cultural modus vivendi. There is a noisy left whose views you can find in certain student publications depending on the year. There are some students whose lives revolve around shiur and seder and others who wrestle with the challenges of a dual curriculum in and out of class and shiur.

  164. Discussion regarding milah,metzitzah,etc.:

    http://www.mohelinsouthflorida.com

  165. “For 12 years, students view Limudei Kodesh as tests competing with the Regents. Putting Talmud on the students’ transcripts is continuing the trend”

    And of course, the below average fail limudei Kodesh-so people don’t do things that they fail at-so long limudei kodesh for hose who fail.

  166. I think the bar for failure is pretty low.

  167. Abba wrote:

    “there are boys and girls who choose YU (i’m not not going to argue with you whether its a few, some, many, most) even though they aren’t serious about learning. for whatever reason, they think YU has something to offer them that overrides the fact that they will be required to learn even though they really have little or no interest in it. yes, this means that in order to attend they are being “compelled” to learn”

    I think that the subject of why students attend YC and SCW, would make for an interesting sociological study, with or without YU’s approval.

  168. HG wrote:

    “Listen, I’m not saying there are no (Torah-related) benefits to going to a yeshiva versus learning on your own. But I think you have to recognize that (like I said, especially these days) there’s a heckuva lot of Torah study that could be done even if you’re not on the campus of a Torah institution. That someone doesn’t go to Yeshiva College doesn’t mean he doesn’t learn”

    Hamotzi MeChavero Alav HaRayah. Without a rebbe, shiur, and chavrusos, I think that it is very hard for someone out of a yeshiva setting to maintain a formal seder. One will never become a Ben Torah or even dream of reaching the level of a Talmid Chacham without at least being on the campus of a yeshiva.

  169. I think we’re talking past each other.

    I agree that:

    – Without a rebbe, etc. it’s hard for someone to maintain a formal seder.

    – One is most unlikely to become a talmid chacham without attending a yeshiva.

    However, I feel the broad generalization that one’s commitment to Torah can be determined by their college is sloppy. There are MANY yeshiva students in New York who have absolutely no commitment to significant limmud torah (or if they do, don’t act on their commitment). There are ways in which one who is committed can do significant, legitimate learning.

    If you’re attempting to create a REAL talmid chacham, your chances of success are much greater if you put the person in a yeshviva. But most people are, honestly, not going to reach that level anyway.

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