News & Links

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Internet Filters for the Orthodox Jew
Storobin emerges as winner in NY special election
Naming of Old City plaza after oligarch stirs debate
Female rabbis may receive state funding
Bible Codes a Lie That Won’t Die
Evangelicals : Righteous Gentiles for Israel
Securing Our Future Through Historic Jewish Communities
SALT Friday
May a Jew enter a non-Jewish house of worship
Either the Smartphone Goes or I Go, Rabbi Tells Followers
B’nai B’rith Archive Returns to View
Israel Navy sponsors kashrut competition
Make protection Orthodox: child abuse can’t continue
The Kosher Conundrum: When Healthy Lunch Meets Tight Budgets, Dietary Rules
Israeli gov’t decision to fund Reform, Conservative rabbis sets precedent
Respect haredi life while offering criticism
SALT Thursday
The Unsung Heroes of Daf Yomi
Rav Wosner changes opinion on internet (Hebrew)
A Small-Town Defense of Facebook
Chained: A New Technique To Solve An Old Problem
Will New Hebrew School Model Help Or Undermine Partner Synagogues?
Soferet: Jewish Female Scribes Receive The Torah
Hynes’ shift on sex abuse cases puts him on collision course with Agudah
Orthodox Women Are Making Films for Female Audiences
Authentically Egalitarian
Keep Politicians Out of the Sanctuary
SALT Wednesday
The haredi street and the Tal Law
Get lost! Women struggle to get Jewish divorce from their Orthodox husbands
Curb the Clergy?
Hynes Fires Back at Critics and Orthodox Leaders
Group slams Conversion Authority’s ‘closed door’
The historical sanctuary of Amsterdam’s Jews
No indictment against King’s Torah authors
Facebook reaches rabbinical court
The Tenth Commandment and Thoughtcrime
Israel to employ non-Orthodox rabbis
Interview with Prof. Shaul Stampfer
SALT Tuesday
Prior news & links posts
Rules: link

About Gil Student

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

203 comments

  1. A few months back, Gil, Prof. Kaplan and I engaged in discussion about the impact of the Jewish delegation to Cardinal Bea’s committee that ultimately delivered Nostra Aetate. As often happens, new research uncovers new angles. The current New Republic reviews a book published by Harvard University Press that is most intriguing: From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933–1965 by Prof. John Connelly

    http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103331/catholic-jewish-anti-semitism-pope-vatican-nazis

    The punchline is: “The truth is that the Church did not reform itself without struggle. Even today many Church officials still lapse into modes of Christian triumphalism and implicit anti-Judaism that were supposed to have been corrected decades ago. Indeed, it is one of the central lessons of Connelly’s book that the bonds of empathy that made Nostra Aetate a historical possibility are far more fragile, and less expansive, than one might care to imagine. The detailed history of its genesis reveals a singular fact: most of the architects of the Catholic statement concerning the Jews in 1965 were themselves, either by descent or practice or public definition, Jews who had converted to Christianity. A handful were Protestants. The drama of this discovery deserves emphasis (the italics are Connelly’s): “Without converts the Catholic Church would not have found a new language to speak to the Jews after the Holocaust.

  2. Is there any study of divorce of the Orthodox community re: reasons for divorce? Who initiates divorce – the husband or the wife &c?

    I know I keep harping on this, but I do think it’s important to know what the profile of a sarvan get is.

  3. IH- Is there an analogy here that you’d like to flesh out? You’re paragraph as quoted is rather banal.

  4. I disagree. The paragraph demonstrates that Prof. Heschel was far from the decisive influence on the Catholic development.

  5. ▪ The haredi street and the Tal Law

    Minor Disclaimer: The author is the head of a new miflagah that aims to undercut Shas. Not saying he’s wrong, just pointing to posssible COI issue.

  6. ▪ The haredi street and the Tal Law

    Minor disclaimer: The author is the head of a new miflagah that aims to undercut Shas. Not saying he’s wrong, just pointing to possible COI issue.

  7. Joel Rich

    Did you notice that the link you supplied contains the word assess instead of the word access. Only on VIN.

    KT

  8. R’Menachem P
    Yes, I thought it Freudian 🙂
    KT

  9. “Curb the Clergy?”

    I was rather surprised to learn that DA Hynes suggested that “clergy” be added to the list of mandatory reporters, and that some states already have that (without requiring everyone to be a mandatory reporter.) Without having researched the issue, it seems to me that a law that singles out religious functionaries for special duties merely because they are religious functionaries is constitutionally suspect. It certainly is NOT a law of general application such as was decided in Employment Division v. Smith.

    Though not generally the topic of this blog, does anyone know of any court decisions or articles that discuss the Constitutionality of such a law?

    (BEsides the Free Exercise Clause, it seems to me that such a law has serious Establishment Clause issues. What is a “clergy?” Does any spiritual advisor qualify? How about Dear Abby? Dr. Laura? Dr. Phil? How about the guy (now a woman) who writes the Ethics column in the NY Times? A professor of moral philosopy at a secular university?

    And, for that matter, how about someone (like me) who has semichah but is not a professional rabbi? Suppose my neighbor asks me for child rearing advise? Am I a “clergy?”)

  10. What is a “clergy?”

    It may be he referred to licensed clergy, which would be a narrow, defined term: http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/marriage/officiant_reg.shtml#clergy

  11. HAGTBG — I think that refers to a clergy licensed to perform marriages. There are many rabbis, and probably other clergy, who are not so licensed. I doubt you could circumvent the mandatory reporting law simply by not getting licensed to performed a marriage.

  12. I would think that the question of mandatory reporting for clergy is related to the issue of confidential communication with clergy, and the definition of clergy for that law. Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse could be defined as an exception to the protection of confidential communication. The definition of clergy for the rule would apply to the exception as well.

  13. The paragraph demonstrates that Prof. Heschel was far from the decisive influence on the Catholic development.

    The paragraph (and article) make clear that neither side in the debate we had was 100% correct because of a 3rd factor we did not consider (Connelly’s chidush). It is interesting to note the book is blurbed by Prof. Susannah Heschel.

    FWIW my reading from the article is that the book supports the view I presented that the Jewish involvement was a decisive factor. Sadly, the book is not previewable on Google Books.

  14. imho the juxtaposition of the non-orthodox rabbis and non-recognition of outside conversions is telling – a vision of insularity may underly both these results.
    KT

  15. The JPost reported seems to have missed a key part of the story. See: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4235672,00.html

  16. MiMedinat HaYam

    re licensed / unlicensed clergy — a friend of mine is legally married by a C rabbi, since the (O) mesdaer kiddushin realized after the chuppa that he was in another state, where he is not licensed, so they (rabbi and chatan) asked their mutual friend the C rabbi who was a guest to sign the license. no problem, he said (though perhaps a legal issue.) either way, he’s not licensed in another state he often “practices” clergy (lets say, not marriage) duties in, so would he be a mandated reporter (like a psychologist who may be in another state at time he is notified of …, or a psychologist who’se treating a patient who lives in another state …)

    the daily news article on agunot — the wife adnits she refuses to negotiate a settlement. is she entitled to an inmmediate get?

    also, the law firm mentioned in the article (jump on p2) is notorious for not agreeing to a get.

    facebook — a friend of mine had a similar issue, but they reconciled. nevertheless, i like the end of the article — damages awarded. can this be a precedent?

  17. The Times of Israel reporting, btw, includes a link to an informative Shmuel Rosner piece I don’t recall our discussing here:

    http://www.jewishjournal.com/rosnersdomain/item/can_you_believe_it_israel_has_more_conservative_and_reform_jews_than_haredi

  18. http://www.jewishjournal.com/rosnersdomain/item/can_you_believe_it_israel_has_more_conservative_and_reform_jews_than_haredi

    I have met many Israelis who have strong religious and spiritual inclinations yet are clearly not Orthodox. (They are generally the people who give me tremps, and are usually playing the Shuli Rand CD in their cars…) I can imagine many of them checking the Reform or Conservative box on a survey, but cannot imagine as many of them joining a Reform or Conservative congregation. I think such congregations in Israel are squeezed from many directions. Among the Orthodox, the currents of idealism and spirituality seem to be much deeper than in the US, and the range of communities and philosophies is certainly much broader. Meanwhile, many social justice activities in Israel are run by ostensibly secular volunteer organizations, which take the place of liberal synagogues (and perhaps due to their lack of synagogue affiliation, attract many O volunteers). In the intellectual sphere, many colleges and similar organizations host lectures on Jewish subjects from an “open” perspective. What is left for a R or C congregation to do? Its prayers will likely be sterile and foreign and unattractive to unaffiliated Israelis. All it really has going for it is egalitarian prayers, and in a society whose roots are in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, I don’t think egalitarianism is generally much of a priority.

    In any case, as someone who has repeatedly felt the size and strength of the Charedi community touch on my life in various ways (positive and negative), I think any comparison to the R and C community is simply ludicrous. For better or for worse.

  19. Shlomo — to compare anectdotal data points, last summer I attended an אירוע which was led by an Reform Rabbi from Haifa. The exclusively Israeli (non Dati) audience were very positive.

    In any case, there is a chicken-and-egg problem that this change in policy mitigates. The question is, once they are on equal footing, will these synagogues see significant growth. Time will tell.

  20. IH, the numbers within the article clearly contradict the headline, no matter how you read them.

    The impulse behind a lot of this is clear: Some (not all) of the very, very far left in Israel, to their credit perhaps, have religious impulses they don’t want satisfied with Orthodoxy for whatever reason (again, some are fine with Orthodoxy, and some are completely against religion), and so turn to the non-Orthodox movements without really identifying with their philosophy or even joining them. It’s why some kibbutzim have non-Orthodox (or semi-Orthodox) rabbis; it’s why Mevasseret Zion was the location of a recent development. (Running joke here: “Oh, that famous writer? He must live in Mevasseret- don’t they all?”) In a not unrelated fact, the main Reform place downtown in Jerusalem has a big banner advertising Bar Mitzva availability. The market is clear- a traditional or secular person looking for a nice place.

  21. Nachum — nu? An unfettered free market is a good thing.

  22. IH,

    “An unfettered free market is a good thing”

    Glad to see you’ve come around :).

  23. Not saying if it’s good or bad- I missed the sessions on religion and free market at the conference I went to last week. Just stating facts.

  24. Gil et al: can someone find and post the recent Ami magazine piece told from the perspective of the Kollel guy describing why he got divorced with 4 kids after 10 years of marriage because his wife did not earn enough to support him in Kollel forever. It’s a classic.

  25. Lawrence Kaplan

    IH: I read Peter Gordon’s review of Connelly’s book very carefully. I do not see how the review supports your view that Jewish involvement was a decisive factor in the issuing of Nostra Aetate. What the review and book do show is that conversionary sentiment, among many other factors, did play an important role in the issuing of the declaration.

  26. What facts changed that changed R’ Wosner’s “psak”?
    KT

  27. 2 classics:
    1.DA Hynes article-juxtaposition at a distance of the shakla vtarya makes us seem … (i can’t think of the right word to use on hirhurim)
    In an interview with the Forward, Hynes reportedly said that he was in “sharp disagreement” with the Agudah’s position, arguing that the rabbis “have no experience or expertise in sex abuse.” ……….“We’re not going to compromise our essence and our integrity because we are nervous about a relationship that may be damaged with a government leader,” Zweibel told the Forward.

    2.the movie article –
    “She and other religious female filmmakers are discovering what their audiences crave—suspenseful melodrama—and are working within the shifting confines of what religious authorities consider to be appropriate material to make movies for women who may have never seen a movie before.”

    was the author slyly hinting at “The Shifting Sands is the fourth book in the eight-volume Deltora Quest fantasy novel series written by Emily Rodda. It continues the trio’s journey to find the seven missing gems of Deltora, braving dangers and Guardians in each book.” or just that once the authorities understand what is going on they will move the goal posts?

    KT

  28. Prof. Kaplan — nu, so which of us will check the book itself? 🙂

  29. Incidentally, I draw your attention to Gordon’s discussion about Oesterreicher and conversion in the context of our previous discussion about Heschel on that very point.

    Kal va’Chomer, if the traditionalists were opposed to a repudiation of the doctrine of converting the Jews — and at least one of the key converts on the committee was also opposed — why would it exist in the final text?

  30. Can someone translate/explain the gist of the changed R. Wosner Psak? My Hebrew aint so great.

  31. “My Hebrew aint so great.”

    Neither is your English 🙂

  32. He spoke to some folks and decided that maybe you can have internet for work and you don’t have to throw the kids out of school.
    KT

  33. Re Rav Wosner- I guess ‘where there is a Halachic will there is a Halachic way’ is a Chareidi concept after all. Thanks for providing the proof.

    What is fascinating to me is that the Chareidi world is doing many of the things that they claim is ‘problematic’ in the left- ignoring the psak of their gedolim, reinterpreting psak to fit preconceived ideas, pressuring the gedolim to change psak to coincide with other perceived values, etc.

  34. Rav Wosner did not issue a Psak. He pronulgated a Tekana probably suggested to him by others. Given the Rav’s advanced age, the Rav is no longer able to independently determine whether such a Tekana is too much of an imposition on the public or not. Therefore the zigzagging back and forth as advisers with opposing agendas get the Rav’s ear.

    I agree that it is not a pretty sight and does not bring honor to Torah.

  35. Noam- old story.

  36. MiMedinat HaYam

    noam s — “reinterpreting psak to fit preconceived ideas, pressuring the gedolim to change psak to coincide with other perceived values, etc.”

    sounds like (other) “askanim” to me.

    question — is he in the running to replace …. (sheyichye)

  37. One thing that stuck out at me from R. Wosner’s psak was him reassuring everyone that the issur was an issur “me’ikar hadin”. Do Haredim use that phrase differently than I’m used to hearing it? Or does R. Wosner somehow think that the Torah itself, and not his takana, forbids the internet?

  38. http://www.timesofisrael.com/1600-year-old-mosaic-in-tiberias-synagogue-vandalized/

    “The Hammat Tiberias site, which also serves as an archaeological park, boasts 1,600-year-old mosaics. The site’s two synagogues date from 286 and 337 CE, when Tiberias was the seat of the Sanhedrin rabbinical court.”

  39. MJ – https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7bCKxX4IxykcEp1VHg5SkNKczg/edit?pli=1

    Not sure if this is satire. It’s too offensive to not be…

  40. Tal Benschar,

    The solution would be to take New Jersey’s approach and simply make EVERYONE a mandated reporter.

  41. My reference on Vatican II is *Vatican Council II* by Xavier Rynne. It has been a while since I’ve read it, but I don’t recall Heshel’s name appearing. I do recall that much of the opposition to the new policy towards Jews came from bishops from the Middle East.

  42. Oops. Heschel, not Heshel. My bad.

  43. YJ: Dear Lord. If it’s parody, I doubt Ami would have printed it knowingly. So it either got past their radar, which is bad for what it says about a world that publishes a magazine that doesn’t get it; is fiction but was written seriously, which is worse; or is actually true, which is tragic on more level than one.

  44. “▪ Respect haredi life while offering criticism”

    link doesn’t work

  45. I have to believe that Ami article was fiction but, whether true or whether false, I can’t imagine what the article’s point was (other then that kollel families don’t know that you can extend the loan to 30 years and halve the monthly payments).

  46. Contra to R. Brody’s statement “Eastern religions fall into this category, which has particular implications for tourists travelling to the Far East”, see this view from the Rabbanut: http://www.millenniumpeacesummit.com/2nd_Hindu-Jewish_Leadership_Summit_Declaration.pdf (hat tip: Prof. Marc Shapiro, footnote 5 of his Feb 20 Seforim blog post).

  47. HAGTBG: Obvious lesson: Don’t get a higher education. (Or, in their language, “Don’t send your daughters to college.” [sic])

    I’d sympathize with the general idea, but not the motivation here.

  48. the ostensible point, which is correct, is perhaps: don’t debt-finance an expensive professional education without realistically asessing whether the extra money is paying for more earning power or just more prestige. another correct point is: go into a marriage with a complete picture of each partner’s finances and clear expectations.
    the other, and mostly unintentional, points are the disturbing ones.

  49. I do not understand why the commentators are upset by the Ami article. People go through struggles and tribulations and a good magazine will offer a glimpse to the hardships and difficulties of life.
    Most are probably upset because it is written by the side who wanted to and naively expected to sit in kollel and was burned by the stresses of maintaining that lifestyle in the face of life, not realizing how life works.
    I wonder how many would be upset if instead of kollel the person dreamed and expected to be a musician or artist the rest of his life and his wife supported them, but as the family grew the resentment grew and the marriage ended. This happened to a cousin of mine. Its a shame and tragedy, but it is not a farce.

    Nothing in the article implied that higer education is bad, only that one should know what one is getting into and that wealthy in-laws are not a panacea for financial issues. Also, the points about student loans are well taken and not understood by many. At my job I help certain poor immigrants file for bankruptcy and every single one has crushing student loans debts that cannot be discharged and that will affect their lives for a long time.

  50. If an artist wrote “I married my wife because she could support my career and i feel cheated by her because we don’t have as much money as i though we would and i had to get another job” yes, that would be obnoxious. and it would probably not get published without at least a little bit of nuance to cut the whining.
    The problem is seeing one’s wife as a means to one’s own ends and taking any change in plans as a failure on her part rather than a joint challenge.
    An of course the complete disconnect with reality (who realistically expects an occupational therapist to singlehandedly but comfortably support a large and ever-growing family with kids in private school, all the while being the one who bears said children? wait, there is probably a coupe getting married in lakewood tomorrow who expects that. but it is ridiculous on its face). But the attitude of entitlement is what is truly offputting.

  51. The solution would be to take New Jersey’s approach and simply make EVERYONE a mandated reporter.

    That would resolve any First Amendment issues. You would then have to be willing to jail parents and grandparents for failing to report abuse.

    (BTW, in all the talk about abuse, one thing I have never seen discussed is whether one would wish to put his or her child through the grueling process of a police investigation and a trial, including rigorous cross-examination. That is a very separate issue from mesirah. Probably because most parents are ignorant of what they are getting into.)

  52. If the description of his maalos is accurate, then he had every reason to expect that he would get a shidduch where her off-the-charts wealthy parents would in fact support them openendedly. He was the star NBA player who was promised a 9 figure contract with 30 teams vying for his services, only the 9 figure contract team is actually bankrupt and he has to work three jobs to make 5 figures. You might not like the way the market works, but the Charedi shiduch world is very much a supply and demand economy. The guy was duped.

  53. “The Kosher Conundrum: When Healthy Lunch Meets Tight Budgets, Dietary Rules”

    As I previously posted, the answer to this “conundrum” is to use more vegetables that require minimal or no checking. You can make Israeli salad out of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, none of which require extensive checking acc. to most authorities, and serve that instead of lettuce. Probably more nutritious too.

  54. That is, Tal, until someone “discovers” a problem with those veggies as well. 🙂

    Yanky: Be as it may, it doesn’t explain the divorce. It almost seems as if *she* wanted him to learn more than he did, which can happen. I do wonder where the child-support is coming from.

  55. He expected to be taken care of and it turned out he had to help take care of himself. rather than discuss this as a joint (or personal) nisayon he whines and blames others. not very mature. and a system that encourages that reaction – also not very mature. is he more upset about paying child support or about not living with his kids?

  56. “I wonder how many would be upset if instead of kollel the person dreamed and expected to be a musician or artist the rest of his life and his wife supported them, but as the family grew the resentment grew and the marriage ended.”

    I think people would have the same disdain for the individual, but they would not find the story as worthy of notice because it would merely be an anecdote of one person’s foolish behavior, or at most, of a small group’s foolish behavior. In the case of the Ami story, the people who are upset believe that the foolish behavior in question is not only common, but heartily encouraged by entire communities. I don’t know the extent to which that belief is accurate, as I am not part of the communities in question. But if a person has that belief, it is perfectly rational to be more upset with the Ami article than a similar musician/artist article.

  57. He expected to be taken care of and it turned out he had to help take care of himself. rather than discuss this as a joint (or personal) nisayon he whines and blames others. not very mature.

    The point is that he was lied to in a serious matter that affected the entire trajectory of his life and shattered his ambitions, and he has deep-seated feelings of bitterness and resentment toward his wife about that. I think that’s pretty normal. This isn’t a “nisayon” like her falling ill suddenly or her family going broke. Her family lied and she knew it and married him under false pretenses.

  58. The guy was duped.

    Or he never understood finances enough to ask the right questions (which clearly he did not if he thought an occupational therapist makes a lavish salary). Or there never was the “meeting of the minds” on this topic. Or her parents fell on hard times.

    You might not like the way the market works, but the Charedi shiduch world is very much a supply and demand economy.

    And it sounds like the market worked out. He got a woman who met his needs and desires in every way for the first several years of his marriage, even past 2 children. Who is to say any of those other offers would have been any more financially secure?

    just visiting

    In the case of the Ami story, the people who are upset believe that the foolish behavior in question is not only common, but heartily encouraged by entire communities.

    I agree completely. Any one expressing this sense of entitlement would come off poorly; the problem is any community that views his position as the sympathetic one. I’d pity his ex-wife.

  59. HAGTBG,

    The family took out a student loan on her name, and it was hidden from him. There was nothing there from day one. He was duped.

  60. Lawrence Kaplan

    The story sounds suspicious. From everthing I know of the shidduch system in Haredi circles, finances issues and matters of parental support are checked thorougly. That the matter of student debts would not have been clarified beforehand seems difficult to believe.

    Another point not mentioned here yet. It appears, if one accepts the narrative at face value, that it was the birth of the fourth child which was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Did the bochur go to a posek after the third child, explain his diffcult situation, and ask whether he and his wife could put off having anymore children for a while until their finaces were in a better shape?

  61. “Or he never understood finances enough to ask the right questions (which clearly he did not if he thought an occupational therapist makes a lavish salary). Or there never was the “meeting of the minds” on this topic. Or her parents fell on hard times.”

    yes. it’s far from clear that there was any intentional deception on the in-law’s and ex’s part. just incompatible assumptions and failure to ask the right questions.
    as much as i hate the idea of fathers in law being asked to make explicit financial comittments, it’s probably better than sons in law having implicit expectations that no one ever agreed to…

  62. Lawrence Kaplan

    Yanky: He say he never asked. But, as I am sure you know, it is not the bochur who asks about and investigates these matters; it is his parents. So you really think his parents did not clarify this matter beforehand?

  63. The family took out a student loan on her name, and it was hidden from him. There was nothing there from day one. He was duped.

    Of course a student loan is in the student’s name. Who assumes that tuition to an Ivy League School is paid outright by parents? The default assumption of anyone at all familiar with the costs of education would be a student loan was issued. It’s when I hear otherwise that I am surprised.

    As others mention, she never lied to him. He simply never asked.

  64. I get that it is distasteful for a family to hold itself out as wealthier than it is, intentionally or just by spending everything they take in without putting any away for later. and that that may be what happened here. but boo hoo. his main complaint is that he is better than his wife because she is not as rich as he assumed. there is no universe in which that is not obnoxious, no matter how mch he had to change his plans.

    also, you have to be astronomically wealthy to fully support, in perpetuity, several large families, which is what he apparently expected his in laws to do (assuming Rivi has sisters/siblings too). As in, way more wealthy than having big house. It doesn’t sound like he ran the numbers at all.

  65. Lawrence Kaplan

    emma: I agree with everything you say. I just wish to reemphasize that it is nor the bochur’s job to “run the numbers,” but his parents’. Again, I find it hard to beleive, given the amount checking goes on in the Haredi shidduch system, that they could have been unaware of the Kallah’s student debts.

  66. ” Again, I find it hard to beleive, given the amount checking goes on in the Haredi shidduch system, that they could have been unaware of the Kallah’s student debts.”

    Actually – the “amount of checking” is vastly overstated. It is overstated to defend the system, by claiming that really everything is perfect on paper, therefore the only thing left is for the couple to agree. In actual fact credit checks and the like are rarely – if ever – performed.

  67. MiMedinat HaYam

    the RY (and the shadchan) assumed no checking needed — well to do family. they negotiated a several years grant (which turned out to be just till the columbia degree (it says new york and ivy league. perhpas they think every non yu school is ivy league) ). which also turned out to be inadequate. since when is a RY (or a shadchan, a financial planner? disclaimer — the RY is often a good financial planner for his own fundraising.)

    actually, the girl’s parents are somewhat to blame for the divorce. they shouldnt have allowed such $ issues to interfere with the marriage, if a: they can afford it and b: they knew the real picture, even if it wasnt part of the original agreement.

    also, this is just the man’s perspective.

  68. agree her parents do not come off too well, though his story is not at all clear on whether their situation changed.
    rather than pinning the blame on student debt, he could more usefully have critiqued the attitude some parents apparently have that their job is to marry their kids off to the highest-status match by whatever means necessary, without regard to whether the match (and the means) will make for a good marriage in the long run.
    agree that the “checking” into shidduchim rarely extends to independent verification of assets/debts.

  69. judging wealth based on a family’s conspicuous consumption is both foolish and, in my view, reinforces negative communal middot re: relationship to money and consumption.

  70. A new opportunity for a joint Agudah/RCA Press Release:

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/05/31/us/ap-us-gay-marriage-federal-benefits.html

    “Two of the three judges who decided the case Thursday were Republican appointees, while the other was a Democratic appointee. Boudin was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, while Judge Juan Torruella was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. Chief Judge Sandra Lynch is an appointee of President Bill Clinton.”

  71. Instead of discussing who has legitimate gripes, I think it is more interesting to speculate about why Ami ran it. Mussar for the kollel community? For whom? The men? The parents? The wives?

  72. I too agree with what R’ Emma has said re the Ami kollel couple article. But I will be more critical. We are only seeing one side of the story, and even so, the fellow makes a very poor case for both himself and his way of life.

    The Torah tells us that Yitzchak married Rivka and then “Vaye’ehoveha”. Having not met before (but he did have the shadchan check her out), Yitzchak got down to the task of loving his wife. There was work to do, but the verb form indicates that Yitzchak met the challenge with effort.

    I see none of this in this man’s writing. He is a victim of his own enlarged ego, viewing his wife as a commodity that would put bread on his table and support his dream. He was guilty of reading his own rave reviews a few times too many.

    He is also the victim of a system that breeds ignorant young men and women, who if they are not being supported carte blanche by parents/in-laws, ultimately find themselves in just their situation – lots of kids to feed, dress and educate, impossible work conditions such as long commutes, inconducive to raising small children, salaries eaten up by loans, be they student loans, car loans, gemach loans (who paid for the bris?). In addition, the fact that they were forced by economics to have someone else raise their kids from very young ages significantly reduced their simchas hachaim (imo) adding to their growing marital strife.

    This very system is afraid to set these guys straight. How about having them read and translate their wedding kesubah and point out to the guys what they are contractually obligated for? How about leaving Fakewood and moving to a kollel closer to where work is available, and maybe even closer to parents and in-laws who might be able to help out with their time, if not money. In all his writing, there were no indications of any alternatives to learning full time in Lakewood.

    He is a victim, but he does not evoke much sympathy.

    The entire system taught this loser an attitude of ess kimt meer. For that alone, he is not a mentch. And given that, all his Torah learning was worthless.

  73. For me, the critical line in the story came at the very beginning: “I never imagined that my future was anything less than a bed of roses.” And this from a supposed “top bochur.” If he was truly a top bochur and had that sense of entitlement and, indeed, complete lack of knowledge of the real world,” then I would hate to imagine what a lower rated bocur knows and i can’t imagine how anyone would ask anything of any student of that yeshiva.

    I truly hope it is a work of fiction. Then, while it’s not particularly good, it’s only fiction. But it would be horrifying to think that it is reality and that’s really how top bochrim think.

  74. You are right, they never spelled it out. But she was being devious when she said “she wanted to be part of the mitzvah.” She knew her parents couldn’t or wouldn’t support them.

    I agree with Dave that he does not evoke much sympathy, though.

    Why publish the piece? Buzz. $$$.

  75. Gneivat daat?
    KT

  76. “Gneivat daat?”

    By whom? Perhaps by him; he held himself out as a top bochur when he was really an egocentric fool. He made lots of assumptions: her parents were rich, her parents paid for her graduate school, she would get a great job and it would be near his yeshiva, her parents would help out financially, etc. Well, you know what they say about the word “assume.”

  77. Can someone provide a link to the Ami article that has been discussed, albeit without much sympathy or tolerance for the plight of the couple therein? Would an article that profiled a resident of a MO community who had been laid off or whose law firm where he was a partner folded have generated the same responses?

  78. It should not be surprising that elites within a certain society have a sense of entitlement. The same is true in many societiess. The truth is that both probably felt a sense of entitlement and life did not work out that way.
    In terms of child support he says he now works full-time.
    The tragedy is the lack of communication from beginning to end and lack of eviodence of an attempt to fix teh problems at any point. 4 kids, no money, overworked wife and shattered life dreams are an easy recipe for divorce if nothing is worked on.

    Divorce is not encouraged in chareidi circles (at least in the US) just over a need to go to work. Here the cause was years of resentment and lack of commnication were the cause. It is a sympathetic article bc anyone who is divorced with 4 kids and no money deserves sympathy. Sympathy does nto mean he is a tzaddik!

  79. R’JK,
    Facts and circumstance test I suppose, but holding oneself out as wealthy in a society where wealthy means continued support might qualify.
    KT

  80. steve, the link was on the previous page of comments. it’s https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7bCKxX4IxykcEp1VHg5SkNKczg/edit?pli=1
    you should probably wait to read it before deciding whether the author deserves sympathy, or whether your analogy is accurate.

  81. “It is a sympathetic article bc anyone who is divorced with 4 kids and no money deserves sympathy. Sympathy does nto mean he is a tzaddik!”
    it’s sad, yes. but not sympathetic.

  82. as a sociological aside, is it common for the non-earning husband to be responsible for (physically) paying the bills?

  83. ” It is a sympathetic article bc anyone who is divorced with 4 kids and no money deserves sympathy.”

    I would feel sympathetic if he didn’t blame everyone else for his problems and (a)take no personal responsibility and (b)seems to have learned nothing from his sad experience. He’s still angry because he still thinks he was entitled to, in his words, “a bed of roses.” The people I have sympathy for are his ex-wife and kids.

  84. ” Again, I find it hard to beleive, given the amount checking goes on in the Haredi shidduch system, that they could have been unaware of the Kallah’s student debts.”

    Professor Kaplan: Hard to know since most people don’t discuss it. My ‘insiders’ guess is that depending on the age of the girl, the age of the boy, his/her personal problems, etc- the scale slides on how deep you bother checking.

    My parents made crystal clear exactly what they could or couldn’t afford to do with all prospective mechutanim.

    …Speaking of which: a certain Mrs Gertie(?) Kaplan attended my parents chasuna. (My mom lived in crown heights) Any relation?

  85. Sounds like my mother (and Prof. Kaplan’s too). Who are your parents?

  86. I viewed the Ami article as a critique of the kollel system. (Though obviously not intended as such.)

    Responsible people work somewhat more than their lifestyle demands, and acquire savings, insurance, and so on. Kollel accounting does not leave room for this, and major crises in some families are the inevitable result. “Bitachon” is not an excuse, since a suddenly impoverished kollel family will not do their best with whatever God has given them, but rather will demand and get tzedaka from the community. The case in the article was not even a major crisis, in scale or predictability, but it was still enough to break up the marriage. How many broken marriages is a kollel society worth?

  87. Shlomo — to compare anectdotal data points, last summer I attended an אירוע which was led by an Reform Rabbi from Haifa. The exclusively Israeli (non Dati) audience were very positive.

    Your anecdote involves an audience which self-selected for a positive attitude towards Reform. My anecdotes involve more randomly chosen members of the population, and the data (i.e. number and size of synagogues in Israeli cities) makes quite what exactly the relative interest levels are. 🙂

  88. “I was the “top bochur” in my yeshiva. I carne from an “arnazing” family: my father a well-known maggid shiur, and my mother a beloved teacher in the local Bais Yaakov. As a popular, serious masmid, with yichus to boot, I had everything going for me.”

    Soap opera aside, this is a case study in why there are so few true talmedei chachamim coming out of the vaunted Lakewood kollel model.

  89. Does anybody know how to get a hold of the J Observer kids at risk issue? The link I got from Googling doesn’t seem to work.

    “Sounds like my mother (and Prof. Kaplan’s too). Who are your parents?”

    Nobody too exciting (I mean to outsiders!). I was more curious about you guys. I can e-mail you if you’re interested.

  90. I read the article and I have a lot of sympathy for a young husband and wife who began their marriage with youthful idealism , and whose visions of the future were torn apart by financial realities that obviously became apparent only after the proverbial chickens started coming home to roost.

    The article itself didn’t offer any information on whether the husband was seen after the marriage as a potential Talmid Chacham, why the wife went to an Ivy League OT school ( the same education and entry to jobs can be obtained for much less money), and the discussions and negotiations between the mchutanim, if any, prior to the chasunah. The article did not discuss whether the author considered any possible career in the “Klei Kodesh” outside of learning full time such as Rabbanus, Chinuch or even learning in a community kollel , or whether he could have employed by a Charedi publisher such as ArtScroll, as an editor or researcher.

    I agree with those whose posts who indicated that checking has its limitations and is overrated. I find it hard to believe that the notion that private detectives or the equivalent are used to “verify” income, or the equivalent, rather than “trust” representations as to the same are Maasim Bchol Yom in the Charedi world. Yet, the fact that he became the means of paying for a student loan that he never heard of until they received a bill struck me as an issue that should have been discussed between the parents.

    Unfortunately, when one focuses on $ and similar external factors which have nothing to do with the emotional and hashkafic compatibility of a would be chasan and kallah, as R Z Sobolofsky, you are inspecting a Cheftza,instead of focusing on the Gavra. A couple that makes a choice for a Kollel like life with the full knowledge that life is not a bed of roses is an emotionally well equipped couple, as opposed to the protagonists in the story, who unfortunately ignored the warning signals in their marriage.

    I agree with Former YU-in the Charedi world, money is not a cause of divorce, but rather such reasons as realizing a basic lack of compatibility well in advance of having children ( Yes Virginia, that happens!) as well as resent, lack of communication, and the mutual discovery that the sense of entitlement that permeated their dreams no longer existed.Similarly, if the author had a degree that rendered him largely if not completely unemployable such as a MFA or worse, or whose choice of career had absolutely no realistic possibility and which had led to the same consequences, would there be such a lack of sympathy or would we be surprised if such a person was part of OWS?

    Given the current economic climate, the tuition crisis and the collapse of financial institutions and law firms, etc, I wonder how an article by a former associate or non-equity partner who was now scrambling for a job and attempting to pay tuitions, etc, would be received. Would there be haughty comments dismissing the author for his priorities in life and expectations which came crashing down to earth on page 1 of the NYT and WSJ?

  91. if the article you describe were written by the hypothetical man’s formerly stay-at-home wife complaining about having to get a job because she was supposed to be taken care of and he was supposed to be a superstar whose career would only go up, then yes, the comments would be similar.

  92. I have no sympathy for the man. He is an emotional child who needs to grow up and deal with reality.

  93. One more point-I don’t recall the author discussing whether they went for therapy.

  94. Emma-why would only the wife of the former Park Avenue or Wall Street superstar be deserving of sympathy? Was the implosion of a well known and formerly prestigious concern a factor that could have been reasonably anticipated at the time of their marriage? More importantly, what is the proper emotional and hashkafic reaction,if any, to the economic downturn? IIRC, the OU website had an article by a former long term employee of a Wall Street concern that failed, and how he now spends his spare time. A recent issue of JA also contained articles that dealt with this issue as well.

  95. IH wrote:

    “Soap opera aside, this is a case study in why there are so few true talmedei chachamim coming out of the vaunted Lakewood kollel model”

    President Reagan was fond of insisting on verification of arms reductions by the FSU, as opposed to merely relying either on press announcements or treaties which were unenforceable without on site inspections, etc. That being the case, R Y Horowitz, a Charedi Mchanech from Monsey has some excellent articles for would be kolleleit and their parents to consider before committing to kollel life, as well as the choices that any kollelnik in the Charedi world should consider once he realizes that he is not destined to be a great Talmid Chacham.

  96. Lawrence Kaplan

    Shaul Shapira: My e-mail is [email protected]

    Re the Ami article: I wonder whether people agree with my point that given the financial and personal stresses and difficulties which emerged early on why they had four kids, and whether a posek, had they asked after say the third kid, might not have given them a heter to put off having more kids until their situation improved. Also I wonder along with Steve Brizel why if he was really such a “top bochur,” whether he considered getting a job as a Rav or RY.

  97. I agree that the article makes a perhaps unintentional case for more family planning, though it is not obvious that 4 kids in 10 years did not involve some such planning. (Impossible to know.) In addition to halachic considerations one a rav is asked, I think many couples would be embarassed to have “only” 3 kids in 10 years.

  98. I believe that story is true and I most certainly believe it could be true. Wealth is often judged by appearances and people readily buy into those appearances, including shadchanim and inexperienced young people.

    If a family lives well (nicely dressed children, beautifully appointed home, all the right camps) they are labeled “well off” but may well be in debt up to their eyeballs. A coupon cutting, home-camping, thrift store shopping family might be the “millionaries next door” who actually can pay for their children’s education, but they won’t be labelled “well off” because they don’t flash it. If you don’t get past the perceptions, you won’t even know the right questions to ask.

  99. “Soap opera aside, this is a case study in why there are so few true talmedei chachamim coming out of the vaunted Lakewood kollel model.”

    With all due respect, but how would you know this? You’re an outsider to this community and you’re basing your opinion on an Ami article? Also, for interest sake, what is the better kollel model?

  100. I doubt a Rav in their community would have given such a heter, but we cannot know so it is really moot.

    With respect to this “top bochur” using his Torah knowledge to teach or be a manhig, you make the assumption that men learning in kollel are in some sort of finishing school. That’s not the way they see it. His express dream was to sit and learn for the rest of his life. There was no thought of honing skills, learning pedagogy, or anything that might one day lead to earning one red cent. It was his own olam hatorah, and he was to be supported ad infinitum. I know some fellows just like this – they refuse to study for semicha, tutor on the side (it’s still learning, no?) or anything of the sort because they have been convinced that any deviation from learning full time will impinge on their acheiving olam habo, and that- and only that – is the goal. It is pure lilmod but not lelameid. I’m not sure what kavanos they have in the bracha before shma each morning.

    Kol yisrael yesh lahem cheilek la’oloam habo – we all need to strive for a cheilek yafeh. But I wonder if one learns for 120 years but winds up an ois mentch, with pauper children going door to door to pay for their weddings and a long suffering but miserable wife, how good will his cheilek be?

    (Lest one glean from my words that I am anti-kollel, please don’t make that assumption. I often attend a local community kollel, and include them in my tzedaka priorities, but they are consistently using their gift and their priviledge of learning to give shiurim, learn with balei batim and young people, do a little hands-on kiruv and generally make our community a better more Torah based place. They create Kiddush Hashem every day. Some of them will move on to Torah based jobs eventually, some will not. But theirs is an unselfish Torah.)

  101. Interesting link, HAGTBG. The key point seems to be in point 3: “It is not kiddushin … it [is] a BRIT – Covenant and PARTNERSHIP – Shutfot – but in English it is a marriage – and a wedding.”

  102. Lawrence Kaplan

    I evidently exaggerated the degree and effectiveness of financial checking in the Haredi shidduch system,and as Orthonomics correctly states it is hard to find out people’s true financial worth. But that is not the issue here. The young woman went for a Masters in OT at say Columbia, which has a 2 year program where (I googled the information ) the total package of educational expenses (before living expenses) comes to a little over $60,000 per year. Certainly the parents of the groom were derelict into not inquiring into the amount of finacial debt of the prospective bride and who was responsible for and the terms of paying it off. All this, of course, is not to detract from the main point, and that is the unrealistic and morally offensive sense of entitlement of the bochur. Indeed, he is still a bochur, and not a grownup.

  103. “The key point seems to be in point 3: “It is not kiddushin … it [is] a BRIT – Covenant and PARTNERSHIP – Shutfot – but in English it is a marriage – and a wedding.”

    IOW, if you take a $3 bill, and fancy it up with fine artwork and a picture of one of the founding fathers, it still remains a phony.

  104. Why? If I understand the brief post, they’re not pretending it is the halachic definition of wedding. Is a Canadian Dollar phony?

  105. Perhaps a better example is Bat-Mitzva or Simchat Bat, both of which are new rituals designed for inclusion.

  106. <i?IPerhaps a better example is Bat-Mitzva or Simchat Bat, both of which are new rituals designed for inclusion.

    The ceremony is new but there is agreement that the cause of the ceremony is a good thing / cause for happiness. Somehow, I think here that agreement will be lacking.

  107. Fair, but look how long it took for Bat Mitzva to become accepted as well, or women learning, etc.

  108. IH: You just illustrated something that I always wondered about and maybe now understand better. See Chullin 92b and Rashi there, “she ein kosvin.” Briefly, the gemara there notes that one of the few maalos the non-Jews have is that they do not recognize homosexual marriage. Rashi there says that while they DO engage in homosexuality, and even go so far as to set aside an individual for such practices, they do not go so far in frivolity (“kalus rosh”) as to actually perform a wedding ceremony for such.

    Marriage is a Torah institution for both Jews and non-Jews. Between a man and a woman. Anything else is a counterfeit — same as performing a marriage between a man and a goat. If someone did that, we would all recognize it as an utter joke.

    The game-playing with terminology does not impress me and further illustrates the kalus rosh that Rashi is talking about.

    Oy lanu she anu chayim be dor shafel ka zeh.

  109. Fair, but look how long it took for Bat Mitzva to become accepted as well, or women learning, etc.

    Well,I wonder how long it will take before an Orthodox circle starts adopting this ceremony….

  110. Tal — there is no need to rehearse the broader discussion about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Whether we like it or not, it is a fact of life in many of the jurisdictions in which Jews live. The question is what to do about it.

    We may not like what was announced in the post, but it demonstrates people seriously grappling with the issue while trying to minimize the conflict with halacha.

    When you are faced with a family situation which required that you find a way to deal with reality, perhaps this will open up a way of reconciling conflicting values.

  111. Marriage is a Torah institution for both Jews and non-Jews.

    If we are arguing terminology then here I have to disagree with you. What I find annoying about so much (but certainly not all) of the Orthodox opposition to civil marriage is that they reject the term “marriage” because of the implied sacrament. But tell that same person, civil union – remove G-d but leave everything else the same – and then suddenly they can live with it. Again this is not all opposition.

    Of course we are talking about civil marriage so, by definition, there is no sacrament in the first place and, furthermore, clearly for a long-period the term was therefore used in the absence of sacrament. Moreover “marriage” is not even a halachically or Jewishly meaningful term.

    Again, Tal Benschar, the above may not apply to you.

  112. To IH and HAGTBG

    It is not so amusing to watch “progressives” twist themselves into pretzels to alter terminology in order to give some kind of hechsher to what is patently treif.

    If you put a tutu on an elephant, it does not become a ballerina. It is still obviously an elephant, and smells as such too.

  113. Whether we like it or not, it is a fact of life in many of the jurisdictions in which Jews live. The question is what to do about it.

    Sorry IH but here you can not escape the broader question here. Also, I am not sure how the brit would minimize any halachic violations unless you start from the proposition that homosexuality is not prohibited. Finally, your argument about family situation can apply to any act someone disapproves of.

  114. “When you are faced with a family situation which required that you find a way to deal with reality, perhaps this will open up a way of reconciling conflicting values”

    You mean surrendering entirely to certain values with extremely creative interpretation. Kind of like the sheretz and the 150 reasons to purify it.

    I say better to not justify it but be accepting of the people to the extent possible. Much better than creating an halachic farce. I’ve heard it said that Shaul Lieberman said that one should not allow a personal tragedy to become an halachic comedy or something to that effect. Same applies here.

  115. HAGTBG:

    The link you cited to concerns Conservative Judaism’s “halakha” committee. No one needs their opinion about civil marriage — that is the province of the 50 states. What they are talking about is a religious ceremony for a forbidden union. So, yes, they are injecting a sacramental element into the issue — otherwise, go down to the local City Clerk and be done with it.

    As you suspect, I am not one of those who is fine with “civil unions,” which is just marriage with different terminology. That is still Toevah and kalus rosh as per my post.

    “Moreover “marriage” is not even a halachically or Jewishly meaningful term.”

    I beg to differ. “Marriage” is a God given institution that applies to non-Jews as well as Jews. A Ben Noach that committs adutlery is subject to capital punishment — that presupposes a halakhic definition of “marriage,” as the Gemara and poskim state. The gemara in Chullin itself is proof that Chazal considered the non-Jews’ refusal to condone such marriages to be in their merit. That has now been lost.

  116. “If you put a tutu on an elephant, it does not become a ballerina”

    Certainly a more colorful metaphor than my $3 bill example.

  117. HAGTBG — I’m not trying to escape the broader question, but nor will the discussion be any different than the last N times we’ve had it here.

    My point is that reality has a strange way of interfering. In my case, my wife and I each (in our respective families) have close cousins who are in long-term same-sex relationships. One is male; the other female. The female couple have children born naturally (one each). Our cousins grew up frum and their frum parents have found a way to deal. Perhaps the evolution of what has been described will be accepted over time, perhaps not. Time will tell.

  118. “We may not like what was announced in the post, but it demonstrates people seriously grappling with the issue while trying to minimize the conflict with halacha.”

    No, they are not “seriously grappling with the issue.” They are capitulation to the zeitgeist which, on this issue, is completely antithetical to the Torah, and trying to justify it with lingustic tricks that no one, not even the writer of the piece linked to, believes.

    The Biblical phrase for this behavior is “Poseiach al shtei ha seifim.” IOW, bowing to the God of Israel in the morning and the Baal in the afternoon.

  119. Tal — I understand your certainty. Do you have any gay family members yet?

  120. IH

    Perhaps the evolution of what has been described will be accepted over time, perhaps not. Time will tell.

    Long term sociological trends are no excuse for abandoning mores you believe are the foundation of everything worthwhile in human relations.

    This is not silent permission, live-and-let-live or tolerance but, as presented, 100% approval. They are sanctioning this relationship in the name of God and saying that this is Torah Judaism.

    What serious halachic argument can possibly underlie this? You know there isn’t one.

  121. “Tal — I understand your certainty. Do you have any gay family members yet?”

    IH: I will take that as an admission that you cannot deal with the issue on the merits, so you have to resort to cheap emotionalism. Boo Hoo.

    One could imagine the same question being asked in Eliyahu ha Navi’s time. (“I understand your certainty, but do you have any relatives who are Baal worshippers yet? How could you be so heartless to reject them?”)

    FYI, the answer to your question is not as far as I know. We do have a relative who is intermarried, to the great pain of his parents. My wife and I did not attend the wedding, and we will not invite the “spouse” to my son’s bar-mitzvah which will take place, with God’s will and help, this fall. We do try to be as friendly as possible to this relative when we see him, and send him occassional communications, such as Birthday cards and the like. It is entirely possible to be friendly, even loving, to a person as a person, without affirming behavior you believe is highly objectionable.

  122. This demonstrates one more time that if you believe, as IH apparently does , that all Torah is nothing but sociology, then all that is needed to permit, even bless, anything, is some social change.

    (Actually, what I just wrote is a tautology, but some people miss the point anyway.)

  123. “With its belief in monotheism and its lack of iconolatry, Islam does not fall into this category; therefore, a Jew may enter a mosque.”

    I am aware of a contrary opinion that a Jew may not enter a non Jewish house of worship-even if the house of worship has no idolatry and would be perfectly OK for a non Jew to enter.

  124. MiMedinat HaYam

    “without affirming behavior you believe is highly objectionable.”

    such as cropping the non jewish spouse out of an organizational picture. (i agree in doing this, although it turned out the cropping was a newspaper editorial decision based on space constraints, not a “deliberate” act. or so the photographer said.)

  125. “I am aware of a contrary opinion that a Jew may not enter a non Jewish house of worship-even if the house of worship has no idolatry and would be perfectly OK for a non Jew to enter.”

    Yes, there is such an opinion; it is a Daat Yachid Acharon referencing a disputed Daat Yachid Rishon who bases his opinion on inaccurate information — and in another authentic tshuvah states a contrary opinion.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0411/is_n3_v42/ai_14234286/

  126. ‘they do not go so far in frivolity (“kalus rosh”) as to actually perform a wedding ceremony for such.’

    It appears that two Roman Emperors may actually have had just such a ceremony. However, you won’t find contemporary same sex marriage supporters citing Nero and Elagabalus as precedent. The interesting thing is that such would occur in Rome, a rather homophobic society.

  127. “Or he never understood finances enough to ask the right question”

    I’m not part of the Charedi world, so the following question is from naivete rather than an attempt to cause trouble: Are young people even taught the essential questions to ask? Do they understand the constraints of finances?

    “whether he considered getting a job as a Rav or RY.”

    I was wondering that myself. If he really is that good, what is he doing hiding out in kollel and not sharing his torah with the rest of the world?

  128. I work with a lot of non-frum and non-Jewish 20somethings and 30somethings. Despite advanced degrees, they are struggling. They work second jobs, postpone marriage, and postpone children. The frum world is not exempt from the economic situation.

  129. The photo associated with http://www.timesofisrael.com/competing-visions-at-the-plesner-committee/ is captioned “Ultra-Orthodox soldiers attend a swearing in ceremony as they enter the IDF’s ‘Nahal Haredi’ unit on Thursday”. Note the kipa. Anyone know any facts regarding the demographics of the enrolled Charedim?

  130. “Charlie Hall on May 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    “I am aware of a contrary opinion that a Jew may not enter a non Jewish house of worship-even if the house of worship has no idolatry and would be perfectly OK for a non Jew to enter.”

    Yes, there is such an opinion; it is a Daat Yachid Acharon referencing a disputed Daat Yachid Rishon who bases his opinion on inaccurate information — and in another authentic tshuvah states a contrary opinion.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0411/is_n3_v42/ai_14234286/

    THE PERSON WHOSE OPINION I QUOTED CERTAINLY BELIEVED THAT ISLAM WAS NOT AZ FOR A NON JEW. BUT THE ISSUE OF ENTERING A HOUSE OF WORSHIP FOR A JEW IS A DIFFERENT QUESTION THAN WHETHER OR NOT THAT RELIGION PRACTICES AZ.

  131. IH:

    “Anyone know any facts regarding the demographics of the enrolled Charedim”

    i don’t recall specifics, but the stats i’ve seen wrt to nahal haredi indicate that it’s a misnomer

  132. Welcome back, Mycroft. Tying the two threads together, I’m curious whether the person whose opinion you quoted allow entering an explicitly meshichist Chabad house of worship?

  133. I’ve mentioned it before; I’ll mention it again. There is a mosque in the Bronx that hosts an Orthodox minyan every Shabat.

  134. ” ENTERING A HOUSE OF WORSHIP FOR A JEW IS A DIFFERENT QUESTION THAN WHETHER OR NOT THAT RELIGION PRACTICES AZ.”

    A different question, but the same answer. It is the AZ that prohibits the non-Jewish house of worship. No AZ, no prohibition.

  135. Charlie — is the Chabad minyan in the mosque sanctuary, or in the Islamic center that also contains a mosque? Not clear from http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/88849/a-bronx-tale-3

  136. A comment in the VIN republication of the Tablet article states: “It is in a classroom, not in the sanctuary of the mosque, so even according to the most strict opinion it is ok.”

  137. I’d like to point out that there are *seven* mitzvot b’nei noach, not one. Would you walk into a mosque that is, shall we say, a bit ambivalent about the question of murder?

    Note, also, that adherence to the seven mitzvot does not in and of itself make one a chasid umot haolam. See the Rambam. I see other factors at play when people make defenses like this.

    Charlie Hall: First, I object to your casual use of “homophobic,” as if people who objected to the practice were somehow mentally ill. Also, as is well known, some of the most “homophobic” societies were full of homosexuals. Nazi Germany, for example.

    I thought about the current economic situation, but note that this story begins over ten years ago.

    IH: Lots of Chabad, lots more of RZ. RZ are probably the majority. It’s a great idea, but not all it’s promoted to be.

  138. By the way, the line about child support reminded me of what the Mishna says about those who avoid paying what they should l’halakha. Something about government stepping in… 🙂

  139. Note the kipa. Anyone know any facts regarding the demographics of the enrolled Charedim?

    Lots of Chardal, Chabad, Breslov, and “at risk” types from the mainstream charedi community. Virtually no “respectable” members of the mainstream charedi community. Note that the first group in the list (chardal) is not charedi at all, they are the right-wing offshoot of dati leumi which appreciates the lack of women, more reliable kashrut, more time to daven, and so on of “Nahal Haredi”.

  140. http://amichai.me/cjls-vote-just-passed-yes-to-same-sex-weddings.html

    When the issue recently came up of government recognition of gay marriages, I heard a lot of voices saying that the Orthodox community should support it, since it did not reflect on our personal beliefs but rather on our desire for a government which does not restrict any minority’s activities.

    Now it is the Conservative movement accepting gay marriage, and the same people are supporting it, because it is “marriage but not kiddushin”.

    The arguments differ but the bottom line is the same.

    It is hard to shake the feeling that these people simply want to celebrate gay marriage, at the expense of any traditional Jewish approaches to the matter, and that the arguments they present in this situation or another are disingenuous.

  141. “Tal — I understand your certainty. Do you have any gay family members yet?”

    I can’t speak for Tal, but I do.

  142. Of course, as far out of line as this Conservative decision is, it’s probably no worse that the decision about driving to shul from decades ago. The bridge was crossed back then.

  143. “Charlie Hall on June 1, 2012 at 12:18 am
    ” ENTERING A HOUSE OF WORSHIP FOR A JEW IS A DIFFERENT QUESTION THAN WHETHER OR NOT THAT RELIGION PRACTICES AZ.”

    A different question, but the same answer. It is the AZ that prohibits the non-Jewish house of worship. No AZ, no prohibition”

    Your assumption is not shared by all-a non Jew would be prohibited from engaging in AZ-if not AZ which most today agree that both modern Christianity and Islam are not-makes their practice perhaps even desirable for a ben Noach but is assur 100% for a Jew. Thus entry into a mosque or church may be desireable for a ben Nioach but asur for a Jew-entry into a place of AZ is not desireable for a ben noach.

  144. “IH on May 31, 2012 at 11:23 pm
    Welcome back, Mycroft. Tying the two threads together, I’m curious whether the person whose opinion you quoted allow entering an explicitly meshichist Chabad house of worship”

    Ma inyan shmitta ezel har Sinai? Chabad apparently may accept halacha-they may be wrong and have different fundamental beliefs than most Jews but they are still Jews -so far have not IMO croseed the line to non Judaism.

  145. “Shlomo on June 1, 2012 at 5:21 am
    Of course, as far out of line as this Conservative decision is, it’s probably no worse that the decision about driving to shul from decades ago. The bridge was crossed back then”
    Agreed.

  146. The arguments differ but the bottom line is the same.

    I do not disagree. I was not in favor of same-sex marriage, as marriage, until I read Judge Walker’s Prop 8 opinion; but, once I understand his point (since upheld) it also resolved a moral challenge for me regarding my own family.

    It is hard to shake the feeling that these people simply want to celebrate gay marriage, at the expense of any traditional Jewish approaches to the matter, and that the arguments they present in this situation or another are disingenuous.

    Equally, one could argue that the socio-political conservatives in this forum simply want to deny the rights of the homosexual minority and the justifications of halacha/morality/etc. are disingenuous.

    While I don’t expect any of these discussions to change anyone’s mind in the short term, I am hopeful we each develop a better understanding of the other and, over time, allows for nuanced thinking that may provide new answers of overcoming the conflicting values presented to anyone modern and halachic.

  147. In regards to the quest for trying to allow for a creative ritual within a Jewish framework, I am reminded of the old derogatory joke we told about Reform when I was growing up: what bracha do you make on shrimp?

    In my middle age, I’m not so sure that is so laughable. Acknowledging God for the gift of plentiful food is itself a good thing, even if the food is treif.

    Similarly, in my view, we should celebrate Reform Bnei Mitzva because any connection to Judaism is better than none.

  148. R’ Simon is doing a June Zman series on avodah zara, the first shiur is on visiting churches (may be more in 2nd-haven’t listened yet)
    KT

  149. While I don’t expect any of these discussions to change anyone’s mind in the short term, I am hopeful we each develop a better understanding of the other and, over time, allows for nuanced thinking that may provide new answers of overcoming the conflicting values presented to anyone modern and halachic.

    This is code for denying the integrity of the traditionalist position.

    Equally, one could argue that the socio-political conservatives in this forum simply want to deny the rights of the homosexual minority and the justifications of halacha/morality/etc. are disingenuous.

    Bad argument. This is not a discussion of “rights” via natural law or as granted by a people-appointed body but a supposedly halachic opinion issued by the the Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards of the Conservative Movement at JTS. There is no halachic view with any tradition backing it that homosexual acts are permissible. None.

    we should celebrate Reform Bnei Mitzva because any connection to Judaism is better than none.

    This is kosher-style. It brings back nostalgia for those eating it who then go on about their day but someone who keeps kosher can’t ever sample the food.

  150. I have not and am not denying the integrity of the traditionalist position. I am arguing that some halachic accomodation will be made by Modern Orthodoxy out of necessity and what you posted should be seen in that light.

    There was also no halachic view with any tradition backing that women learning gemara is permissible. It was invented out of necessity.

  151. I am arguing that some halachic accomodation will be made by Modern Orthodoxy out of necessity and what you posted should be seen in that light.

    There may be some Orthodox accommodation generally to electronic locks on Shabbat, should they become ubiquitous as many expect. I am not sure what changes you are expecting to human nature that will create any new “necessity” for the Modern Orthodox.

  152. Just as women having equal rights of opportunity is normative in Western Society — a fundamental shift of moral perceptions that occurred over about 100 years; so homosexuals having equal rights of opportunity is becoming normative in Western Society.

    Halacha will find a way to co-exist, as it always has.

  153. If there is one thing the Asifa has demonstrated, it is that no one — no matter how conservative — can ignore metziut when paskening halacha.

  154. IH,

    Bad example. Women learning gemara/having a simhat bat was not a violation of an issur karet located in the “big three”. Metzi’ut must be considered but it does not dictate.

  155. BTW,

    Viewing porn online is also normative and accepted, even celebrated in Western society. I doubt you would argue that halacha should make similar accommodations for that.

  156. You know, more than a century ago, if you would tell your average American on the street that homosexuality would be legal, they would either faint or laugh you off. Homosexuality was viewed in the same way that incest and beastiality was – totally contrary to the Bible, societal norms, and nature. Fast forward to today – its being accepted in Europe and North America.

    So what does this all mean? I would argue that if something that was considered so unnatural, so immoral and contrary to G-d’s will is now legal, the trend toward permitting other sexual taboos, like incest, polygamy, and other are not outside of the realm of possibility. If that’s the case, would IH and others who take a subjective view on these matters agree that the same arguments they put forth would just as easily apply to these other taboos? I don’t see why not.

  157. In other words, IH should be prepared to argue for halachic accomodation (which is really not accomodation but ignoring Torah and halochoh or contortioning it like a pretzel) for other taboos that may in future reach a similar level of acceptance.

  158. Equally, one could argue that the socio-political conservatives in this forum simply want to deny the rights of the homosexual minority and the justifications of halacha/morality/etc. are disingenuous.

    Somehow I think “the midrash says that dor hamabul did not receive its verdict until it instituted same-sex marriages” is a more convincing argument than “this is marriage but not kiddushin so it’s OK”.

    And I’m not really a conservative. When it comes to domestic policy I mostly vote for Democrats. And were it not for my commitment to Torah observance (not that I think it can be separated out so easily…) I think I’d be in favor of gay marriage. As it is, while the Torah’s attitude to homosexual behavior is quite clear, I have a hard time understanding why it must be the way it is. I have some incomplete arguments, but mostly the matter just remains in a teiku. So the only thing motivating my responses on this topic is the feeling that halacha demands them.

    There was also no halachic view with any tradition backing that women learning gemara is permissible. It was invented out of necessity.

    The Rambam says it’s a mitzvah for women to learn Torah (not differentiating between types), but that they get less reward than for men. That sounds like a traditional view to me. But even if your point were correct, the fact that once a law was overturned by necessity does not mean that any law can be overturned whenever we feel necessity. If that were the case, what would remain from tradition?

  159. The opening to your article was a great matir-much like nicht on shabbos gerecht.
    KT

  160. IH-re your exchange with Tal, I suspect that many posters on this blog have relatives who are not Shomrei Torah UMitzvos. That fact alone does not render the conduct underlying the same as halachically and hashkafically objectionable.

  161. IH-of course, the metzius underlying any halachic or hashkafic query is relevant. The critical issue is the evaluation of the metzius under halachic principles, as opposed to declaring the same automatically permissible or prohibited.

  162. HAGTBG- I fully concur with your post of 9:16 AM.

  163. There was also no halachic view with any tradition backing that women learning gemara is permissible. It was invented out of necessity. – IH

    Just to reinforce what Shlomo stated, there is no real justification for the notion that women can’t study gemara or torah she’b’al’peh. Ancient counter-examples are the prophetess Devorah who judged her people and Beruria who was treated as a peer by Tana’im. As Shlomo stated, the Rambam rules that women who study such material voluntarily, get reward. It’s just that they aren’t so commanded. The only issue is teaching such material to girls or women. The opinion of R’ Eliezer that it is forbidden to teach such torah to one’s daughter is the view usually cited (rather than that of his disputant). The issue that has overruled the R’ Eliezer’s opinon on the matter in the view of some authorities such as RYBS and Rav Aharon Lichtenstein is the perceived need to provide intellectual stimulation. Otherwise, such stimulation may be restricted to secular studies and leave a distaste for Jewish studies and observance.

  164. MiMedinat HaYam

    charlie h — ” If he really is that good, what is he doing hiding out in kollel and not sharing his torah with the rest of the world?”

    if he’d have such (business) skills, he (might) not have gotten involved in the first place (or negiotiated a better “father in law” deal.)

    reform bnei mitzvah — side problem with that. many non jewish (classmates) are having a grand catered bar mitzvah. why should jews have all the “fun”? after all, it involves no religious setting / obligation. (except perhaps the “candles” ceremony. which they prob skip.) also, its really a party for the parents, not the kids. (hey: sounds like (most aspects of) a charedi wedding.)

    relatives who are gay — similar to the dispute with RSRH and most other german O “gedolim”. RSRH said complete separation (austritt) and EVERYONE else said some sort of accomodation. and most frankfurt O jews were unwilling to cut off contact with rest of the family, by separating.

  165. My understanding is that in the Reform movement, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah must undertake some Jewish learning with their community Rabbi. In fact, I have heard it mentioned in casual discussion that Chabad is problematic in that they are more accomodating of non-frum kids becoming Bar Mitzva in their competing shuls without any requirements.

    But, I am no expert and do not have firsr hand knowledge.

  166. It is no more likely that historical attitudes to homosexuality will become prevalent in Western Society, any more than historical attitudes to women, blacks or Jews.

  167. That should have read: historical attitudes to homosexuals

  168. shaul shapira

    IH- There is no reason that the next head of Reform judaism can’t be a Gentile atheist- excuse me, paternally Jewish secular humanist.

    As a Hirschian-wanna-be, I belive that it is better to be honest and admit that Reform Judaism is much further removed from Orthodox Judaism than is a messianic Jew who keep shabbos, kashrus, and believes in some sort of Torah M’isinai but just happens to believe in a Trinity. I make NO judgements about any of their characters, but it only beclouds the issue to call a low quality picture of a spade- a spade. Let’s call spades spades and pics pics.

    But I don’t hope to change anyone’s minds…

  169. shaul shapira

    IH on May 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm
    “Tal — I understand your certainty. Do you have any gay family members yet?”

    I don’t know of any. At any rate, they don’t march in parades to celebrate it.

    Out of sheer curiosity, has anybody in your family ever flipped out- gone all black? (I really am curious; I’m not trying to set you up!)

  170. Shaul — we have a diverse mix including some who are RAL-type RWMO and one who wears a gartle when he davens, but none whom I would consider “all black”. We also have some who are Adot ha’Mizrach mesorati’im, some non-Orthodox and some who are secular. I recently discovered some cousins I did not know who are Lakewood “all black” but we’ve only really discussed genealogy.

  171. Since you’re curious, I’ll disclose one more autobiographical fact: the Eidim on my parents’ ketuba are Rav Shlomo Goren and the Sadigura Rebbe (Knesset Mordechai). Shabbat Shalom.

  172. shaul – who hasn’t. and who hasn’t have family members go off the derech? but if you believe being gay is not a choice then its a different category.
    that being said – i do not see anyone in orthodoxy being mattir partnerships/civil unions/marriage or attending them. the only argument will be via those homosexuals are not the same of today’s homosexuals. similar to the gemera issue of the washing/laundering before tisha b’av – their laundering is our washing or something smilar to matir something that used to assur – also known as category shifting. i wouldn’t hold my breath to see that in my lifetime.
    as to family issues – you would be surprised what some rabbis would allow you to do – in my situation it was going to a reform bar mitzvah of a cousin – i was quiet surprise to the answer.

  173. Moshe Shoshan

    ” belive that it is better to be honest and admit that Reform Judaism is much further removed from Orthodox Judaism than is a messianic Jew who keep shabbos, kashrus, and believes in some sort of Torah M’isinai but just happens to believe in a Trinity.”

    This statement reveals truly twisted thinking and may border on kefira. Unless you have a source in which RSRH sya that reform is worse than shmad, you have great audacity to suggest that there is something Hirshian in your opinion.

  174. “This statement reveals truly twisted thinking and may border on kefira. Unless you have a source in which RSRH sya that reform is worse than shmad, you have great audacity to suggest that there is something Hirshian in your opinion”

    I don’t know whether it is Hirschian, but I don’t see what’s kefirah about it. Both beliefs are heretical, the only question is which is closer to Orthodox Judaism. Is saying that Islam is closer to Judaism than Christianity is, kefirah?

    Perhaps what you mean is that one who believes in the Trinity is treading upon more fundamental beliefs than a Reform Jew is. To use the Rambam’s language, the former is a Min, the latter is merely a Kofer in Torah min ha Shomayim. If that is what you mean, then you have a point, but the person saying so is merely confused, not a kofer.

  175. “Halacha will find a way to co-exist, as it always has.”

    We figured out a way to co-exist in a country whose basic law explicitly permits an idol worshiper or polytheist to hold any public office in the land, even the highest one. A lot of Jews will be voting for a polytheist this fall.

  176. ” is the Chabad minyan in the mosque sanctuary, or in the Islamic center that also contains a mosque”

    I think I read that it is not in the same room where the Muslim worship takes place, primarily because of a schedule conflict. Interestingly a Conservative Synagogue used to be 1/2 block away, but closed for good seven months ago. The building was sold to a non-religious school.

    ‘ First, I object to your casual use of “homophobic,” as if people who objected to the practice were somehow mentally ill. ‘

    I was simply using it according to the common understanding of today.

    ‘Also, as is well known, some of the most “homophobic” societies were full of homosexuals. Nazi Germany, for example.’

    The Roman Empire as well. The gemara in Avodah Zara criticizes Rome for not having sons suceed their fathers as kings. One reason was that many of the emperors weren’t interested in doing what was needed to father children!

    (This is a problematic passage for other reasons: First, the Romans didn’t even style their Emperors as Kings until the late third century and this passage is clearly from a century earlier. Second, the Emperor mentioned did manage to get his son to suceed him, and that son turned out to be such a disaster that he started the Empire’s long decline.)

    “most today agree that both modern Christianity and Islam are not”

    I’m not sure that is true about Christianity.

    “Is saying that Islam is closer to Judaism than Christianity is, kefirah?”

    I don’t know whether or not it is kefirah, but it is certainly true that Sunni Islam is much closer to Rabbinic Judaism in both theology and practice than any of the common forms of Christianity that exist today.

  177. Re: Either the Smartphone Goes or I Go, Rabbi Tells Followers

    I believe there was a time not too long ago when Rebbes saw their job as to follow their chassidim into the depths of hell, and to bring them up.

  178. Moshe Shoshan

    Tal,
    I only said that it borders of kefirah because it so seriously confuses basic theological and ethical priorities. I dont see how taking ssuch a position can lead to any thing but very serious trouble.

    I dont think we disagree that much on the principles here. you are just giving a more cooly rational analysis.

  179. For those interested, I came across http://responsafortoday.com/vol6/2_1.pdf:

    תשובה בענין הכניסה למסגדים וכנסיות
    (יו”ד קמ”ט-ק”נ)

    [This is a Conservative responsum from Shechter. The author is a graduate of Yeshiva College and I knew him in Bnei Akiva long ago].

  180. In the JPost comments on R. Brody’s article is this from one rar113:

    I believe R. Soloveitchik forbade even watching church services on TV (e.g. JFK’s funeral) because, according to the church’s teaching, watching on TV is considered participating in the service.

    Anyone know the facts?

  181. “IH on June 3, 2012 at 9:38 am
    In the JPost comments on R. Brody’s article is this from one rar113:

    I believe R. Soloveitchik forbade even watching church services on TV (e.g. JFK’s funeral) because, according to the church’s teaching, watching on TV is considered participating in the service.

    Anyone know the facts?”

    I don’t know the facts-but I recall JFKs assassination which was around Friday midday-funeral was on Monday. The Rav would not have usually been at YU during that time period.
    I believe there at least a few people who have commented at least occasionally in Hirhurim who were in the Ravs shiur at the time-do any of them have direct knowledge from that time period of the Rav stating that position.

  182. “From TorahWeb:

    Regarding the upcoming papal funeral TorahWeb’s Rabbinic Board (Rabbi Michael Rosensweig, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Mayer Twersky, Rabbi Mordechai Willig) would like to inform the public of the following

    In 1963 Rav Soloveitchik zt”l reacted to reports of Jews watching television coverage of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral service. At that time the Rov was distressed and stated that, according to Halachah, it is forbidden for a Jew to watch such a religious funeral service.

    See Nefesh Ha-Rav, p. 230.’

    All the people quoted are people of integrity-however, the source can only be RHS-if I am correct Rav Willig was in High School at the time-both of the others listed were minors and the one who would probably be one of the most trustworthy of all was 3 years old at the time.
    There were later famous funerals in the later 60s I don’t recall the Ravs apparent viewpoint being circulated at the time. Why? Do others who were in Ravs shiur or elsewhere in YU in November 63 remember this story? I am not asking them to deny it-they can simply state they never heard such a story at that time -they can’t RHS a man of great credibility states the story-I am asking simply as a matter of historical interest-if no one else heard the story why and what was the intent of the Ravs thinking aloud Psak or a Brisker chakira?
    BTW for those who didn’t hear of the story in 1963 but heard it before Nefesh Harav I am curious when they heard the story first-was it when the Rav was still active, still alive etc.

  183. Moshe Shoshan

    I heard from R. Yudin that the Rav told his shiur after the fact that it was prohibited towatch the JFK funeral on TV.

  184. “R. Soloveitchik forbade even watching church services on TV”

    The Rav permitted watching other things on TV?

  185. Moshe Shoshan

    The heard this in 1986

  186. “according to the church’s teaching”

    If we were to follow the definitions of the various Christian churches, it should be asur to enter almost any Catholic or Anglican building as the entire complex is officially sanctified for religious purposes. But for most non-Anglican protestants, there should be no issur in entering even the actual sanctuary itself (as long as services aren’t being held at the time) as by their definition there is no such thing and can be no such thing as a sanctified building.

    Does anyone pasken this way?

  187. “Moshe Shoshan on June 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm
    I heard from R. Yudin that the Rav told his shiur after the fact that it was prohibited towatch the JFK funeral on TV.

    Moshe Shoshan on June 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm
    The heard this in 1986”

    Thanks
    I believe that there are Hirhurim bloggers who were in the Ravs shiur during the JFK assassination-any of them remember the Rav stating that.

    anyone from any YU shiur before lets say about 1978-remember their teacher quoting the Rav as saying it was assur to watch a service on TV-not merely a bad idea-but assur.

  188. Lawrence Kaplan

    And from whom did Rabbi Yudin hear this? I, by the way, entered the Rav’s shiur only in 1964.

  189. shaul shapira

    “This statement reveals truly twisted thinking and may border on kefira. Unless you have a source in which RSRH sya that reform is worse than shmad, you have great audacity to suggest that there is something Hirshian in your opinion.”

    I said nothing about worse. That’s a value judgement. I was talking about similarity to authentic Judaism. I see the term ‘Reform Judaism’ as an oxymoron similar to ‘anarchist governance’. The issue of a Min versus an oveid avodah zarah is not anything I talked about. RSRH writes explicitly in Shemesh Marpeh “I have never stopped stressing the difference between heresy and the heretic. (It’s in a letter to Shir- I’ll try to find the source tomorrow.)

    At any rate, for starters check out RSRH’s essay “Inner Peace”. I think it’s in CW volume 5. IIRC he even argued before Parliament that Protestants and Catholics have more in common than Reform and Orthodox Jews do.

  190. Rather than use Kefirah or Minus, which one can do apply to RJ, as opposed to its practioners, I would suggest that the following linked article by Dr Jack Wertheimer is indispensable in understanding what passes for Jewish identity in many sectors of the US where there is no committment to Torah and Mitzvos.http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-ten-commandments-of-americas-jews/

  191. “Lawrence Kaplan on June 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm
    And from whom did Rabbi Yudin hear this? I, by the way, entered the Rav’s shiur only in 1964”

    Until Prof Kaplan wrote that comment I hadn’t bothered to check Rabbi Yudin’s bio-apparently a year later than Prof Kaplan- R Yudin graduating YC in 1966.
    Re Prof Kaplan’s comment-was Rabbi Yudin in the Ravs shiur before Prof Kaplan-if not he had to have heard it from someone else.

  192. Moshe Shoshan

    I remember R. Yudin telling the story as if her was in the shiur at the time. But as Prof. Kaplan points out this seems highly unlikely.
    Memory is a funny thing.

  193. “Moshe Shoshan on June 4, 2012 at 2:19 am
    I remember R. Yudin telling the story as if her was in the shiur at the time. But as Prof. Kaplan points out this seems highly unlikely.
    Memory is a funny thing”
    Memory is a funny thing-why certainly singular recollections that are uncorroborated are in general very problematic. This is so even if the recollections are expressed contemporaneously-see eg current Martin-Zimmerman case in Florida.

  194. Gil wrote in the linked Jewish Press article on filtering, “To my knowledge, no commercially available filters reach the standards of Orthodox Judaism. In particular, they do not block lashon hara and counter-religious websites.”

    If such existed, they might also be rigged to block sites that are objectively kosher but have a differ shita than that of the vendor or the vendor’s advisors! Caveat emptor.

  195. Is there any attribution as to who reported the story on p. 230 of Nefesh Ha-Rav prohibiting the watching of the JFK (church) funeral?

    Is there any recording (audio or written word) which corroborates the Rav paskened (or believed) that watching such a service on television was assur?

  196. Lawrence Kaplan

    “Counter-religious websites:” Like Torahmusings or Rationalist Judaism?

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter


The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: