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Rocky Start to GOP Orthodox Outreach
Cycling / National Championships / No entry for observant Jews
Presidential Conference “Facing Tomorrow” While Facing Away from Observant Jews
R Yisrael Ariel Banned from Har HaBayis by Police
The Haredi World Wide Web
Man poses as woman at Kotel
Conservative Rabbis: Incitement by Chief Rabbi Amar
25,000 Orthodox Jews expected to make yearly pilgrimage to Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s grave on Saturday
Jerusalem eateries revolt against rabbinate’s kashrut inspectors
Liberal Prejudice Against the Orthodox Crosses a Line
SALT Friday

Hebrew National lawsuit: What happens to Jews who eat non-kosher food?
Wild Days At The RCA
R M Torczyner: I have a filter on my computer
The Last Holy Rebel
Spurred by a Shas lawmaker, abortion politics arrives in Israel
Reform female rabbis are paid less than male counterparts, study finds
The Undeserving Poor?
Woman detained at Kotel for wearing tallit
Chevra Kadisha to compensate woman for funeral
Major Threat to Religion? Clergy People Coming Out as Atheists
Evangelicals Update Their Message for Gays
Internet Safety: To Educate Or To Filter?
Agunot Advocate Boosting Power, Scope, Taking on Influential Orthodox Husbands
JFNA intervenes in Israeli religious politics
IDF Chief Rabbi Defends Military Conversions
Beit Shemesh: Woman attacked for dressing ‘immodestly’
Dear Abby – Kosher
SALT Thursday

Ulpana Residents Surrender to Government Evacuation Order
Amid Demographic Trends, Jewish Vote More Complex
URJ Overhauling The Bar/Bat Mitzvah
N.Y.’s Jewish community report can apply elsewhere in U.S.
What Archivists Are Worth
May women read from the Torah?
Haredi schools need to meet minimum standards
Dutch upper house rejects ban on ritual slaughter
McDonalds Israel halts Saturday employment of Jewish teens
SALT Wednesday

Chief Rabbi will oppose gay marriage
Brandeis and Zionism, In and Out of Love
Cynthia Ozick: Nobility Eclipsed
English Looking More Like Vowel-Free Hebrew
Orthodox rabbis: Business as usual
Uninvited from the party: Am Shalem betrays mission
The endangered conversation
Jewish day school grad says ‘no thanks’ to the major leagues
Jewish organizations petition U.S. gov’t on food justice
OU formally comments on Obama contraceptive coverage rules
30 years later, missing IDF trio is all but forgotten
Through Stained Glass, Brightly
SALT Tuesday

Friday Night Lights: Jewish Brothers in NFL
Rabbi Unhappy With Dutch Kosher Slaughter Deal
Why Obama’s Jewish support is slipping
Smaller congregations experimenting to stay vibrant, gaining attention from movements
Catholics, Jews, and Jewish Catholics
Jews, Catholics, and Our Bonds of Unity
The New Charedim
Yated Wars: Reactions to the New Charedim
‘Kosher’ and ‘All Natural’ lead new label claims for 2011
Dressing Frum in the Summer
The flaw of Jewish leadership development
Hebrew National Accused of Being Unkosher
Purity And Uprightness In The Camp
As NYC Jewish Population Grows, Haredim Deny Abusing the Safety Net
Hebrew Charter School Seeking Approval for Teaneck Location
SALT Monday

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.

97 comments

  1. Gil, thanks for the interesting link above about smaller congregations and their struggles.

    I would love to see you do a post on this related story from the most recent OU Jewish Action magazine:

    http://www.ou.org/jewish_action/06/2012/the-story-of-mahanoy-city-the-disappearance-of-a-jewish-community-in-a-small-american-town/

  2. We contacted Rabbi Avi Shafran of Agudath Israel to assess his thoughts on the matter and he replied that Magarik’s comments, to put it politely, were “ungenerous.”

    “A less polite person would call them obnoxious,” He said.
    =================================
    Is there a seif in hilchot lashon hara that allows a matir similar to “nicht on shabbos geret” to say something another person not as careful as oneself might have said the following lashon hara?
    KT

  3. But on a more philosophic note, it does raise an interesting question as to whether one is permitted to put oneself into a situation where they know they will be dependemnt on – 1) charity 2)non Jewish support (do their organizations take donations from non-Jews?)
    KT

  4. Small communities-interesting issue- is there a chiyuv and/or a strategic reason to support such communities or are there other areas that have a higher demand on our resources?
    KT

  5. David G: It’s a great article but what is there to say? Demographics change. You could write a similar (but different) article about Jewish Harlem. My aunt tells me about when she lived in a vibrant Jewish Washington Heights, which is actually in the midst of a revival but nothing like its former self.

  6. “A less polite person would call them obnoxious,” He said.
    =================================
    Is there a seif in hilchot lashon hara that allows a matir similar to “nicht on shabbos geret” to say something another person not as careful as oneself might have said the following lashon hara?

    joel, the charedi community may indeed use welfare legally. However, itsn “spirit” was meant for only those in need from circumstance … not those who aim to make a community function based off welfare (or, basically arguing, that society has determined there is merit in funding Torah scholarship via welfare for the destitute). Shafran’s pseudo-passive aggressiveness doesn’t raise issues of lashon hara to me because its simply not true; its his defense of entitlement as non-problematic that’s obnoxious. If anything (using the article’s example) an idiot in a drug haze is more what welfare was meant to support then a community that in an organized fashion seeks to make it a way of life.

  7. Hareidi and Proud has retired. link

  8. Shafran’s ‘argument’ is even more odd in light of the fact that much of the poverty in chassidic communities (i.e. those communities most dependent on welfare according to the survey) does not result from devotion to Talmudic scholarship and is rather attributable to cultural norms that are very much at odds with ideals that the American populace would deem worthy of public support (e.g. an active discouragement of the use of the ‘goyishe shprach’).

  9. Prof. Israel Knohl has an interesting theory about one of the psalms…
    http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=543 >/i>

    aiwac – thanks for the reference to the interesting article on Pharaoh Merneptah and Tehillim 68 which I am in the middle of reading. Coincidentally, the BAR article just before Mitchell First’s on Tehillim that I mentioned, is entitled Did Pharaoh Sheshonq Attack Jerusalem? (1 Kings 14:25-28; 2 Chronicles 12:2-9).

    The reason I’m writing to thank you before I have finished both articles, is that I was struck by a pasuk mentioned in Prof. Knohl’s article — Psalms 68:26 – apropos Gil’s February post of Did Miriam Sing?

    To check the translation used by Prof. Knohl, I just looked it up in Artscroll: “First went singers, then musicians; in the midst of timbrel-playing maidens.”

    No ambiguity in this pasuk (as opposed to Ex. 15:20-21).

  10. HAGTBG:

    “may indeed use welfare legally.”

    and sometimes not so legally

  11. An actual review of the editorial in Yated that led to the change in editorial board is surprising. It could have been written differently and I don’t think it should harp on externals like shirt color as much as it does. But, its basic message is that working people can be chareidi, so long as limud hatorah is their aspiration and they follow daas torah. That is a religious point.

    The editorial seems to be an attempt to explain that “New Chareidim” use the term “chareidi” as a sociological construct and not a religious one.

    The sociology of religious identity has been discussed in this forum numerous times and the actual debate over Yated probably relates to what is the appropriate approach to those who sociologically identify with “chareidim” but religiously in certain areas at least do not conform.

    This is an interesting debate that could be had in any community.

  12. joel rich on June 18, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Small communities-interesting issue- is there a chiyuv and/or a strategic reason to support such communities or are there other areas that have a higher demand on our resources?
    KT
    ___________

    Hirhurim on June 18, 2012 at 9:17 am

    David G: It’s a great article but what is there to say? Demographics change. You could write a similar (but different) article about Jewish Harlem. My aunt tells me about when she lived in a vibrant Jewish Washington Heights, which is actually in the midst of a revival but nothing like its former self.
    ______________________
    ______________________

    Joel & Gil, here’s the conversation I’d like to see:

    There are so many smaller Orthodox Jewish communities that are barely hanging in there these days. If they do not gain more members, their institutions will fold. Should that happen, the rest of the Orthodox Jewish world will be the poorer for it.

    Why? Those small Orthodox outposts around the country serve as points of entry for Jews who would never encounter big city Orthodox Jews in their lives. These small communities are places that have been producing fabulous Jews with backgrounds they never would have gained in the major Orthodox communities.

    Look at any large Orthodox community and you’ll see all the wonderful people who hail from the small places. Why did they leave their hometowns? Numerous reasons.

    The fact is if we cannot shore up those smaller places, we’ll be left with a few huge consolidated Orthodox communities and not much else. That would mean that the majority of non-Orthodox Jews will never encounter Orthodox Judaism in their lives.

    At some point, does this become a communal responsibility?

  13. The real issue re KY are the documented numbers of people working or being supported by our taxes, while the successors to the Satmar real estate trade legal arguments in the secular courts as to who is entitled to the same. Yes, one can find much Chesed, as well as much devotion to Torah and Avodah in the Satmar community, but one cannot write away the issues of a community that has many members below the poverty line and whose leadership is engaged in conduct in the secular courts that makes one wonder whatever happened to the prohibitions against litigating in the same.

  14. When it comes to “hard news”, as opposed to press releases, drashos, hespedim and the like, and especially articles where women are not perceived as brain dead whose interests lay in shopping, cooking and Shidduchim, one has to read between the lines in the Charedi media, and realize that in many instances, the Charedi media exist to manufacture an image of a Potemkin village like reality.

  15. The following is merely a sociological observation from one night at a chasunah-For all learner/earners, whose children are of the age of the gap year programs, etc-we were at a chasunah last night and the discussion of the effect of the year briefly reared its head in the course of a discussion. One person related that his friend’s daughter was going through at a certain Charedi seminary what he called the “rinse cycle” of being brainwashed and disabused of the notion that one could be actually be a learner/earner. Most of the participants in this discussion could be described as learner/earners or respectful of the same. I wondered in silence why such a person would send his daughter to an institution that would openly disparage his own values, unless he himself lacked confidence in their viability or viewed the position being espoused by the seminary as not constituting a threat to his POV.

    We also discussed briefly the expectations ( ala the recent Ami Magazine article) and agreed that Kollel couples with lower material expectations who were truly dedicated to Torasum Umnsasam were far more likely to succeed than such couples who appeared to have no isues financially or gave the appearance of being prosperous.

  16. Steve – I think we can ask numerous questions on this topic.

    Why are so many parents with girls looking to get married want a learner earner, but yet all their boys do is learn?

    Why do so many people have strong opinions on what orthodoz judaism should really be and yet support yeshivas that don’t agree?

    Why do so many yeshivas have strong opinions (at least they say so to their boys) about what orthodox judaism should be, and yet honor people at their dinners who don’t represent that vision at all?

    etc etc

    Sincerely, a long time RWer who has thrown in the towel on that branch of judaism.

  17. IH-

    First went singers, then musicians; in the midst of timbrel-playing maidens

    Doesn’t say they sang.

  18. But it was mixed dancing 🙂

  19. Reuven Spolter

    David G, you’re not taking into account the critical importance of Chabad, which has a presence and an incredible impact especially in the small towns where Orthodoxy is dying or has died. The dedication of passionate shlichim offers pretty much anyone who’s looking a window into some form of Orthodoxy. Moreover, assuming that it was a communal issue, where would it fall on the list of communal priorities? Above affordable day school? I don’t think so. In the end, it’s an issue of demographics, and the only thing that will force Orthodox Jews to move back to the small towns is an economic downturn of such force and magnitude that people would move anywhere just for a job. And no one hopes for that.

  20. Reuven, you wrote: “The dedication of passionate [Chabad] shlichim offers pretty much anyone who’s looking a window into some form of Orthodoxy.”

    The problem as I’ve seen it is that many (most?) of those passionate shlichim are looking to welcome all who seek into the world of full-throttle Chabad — and not any other form of Orthodoxy.

    Are you aware of any Chabad centers sending the people who came their way to any other form of Orthodoxy for furthering their knowledge?

  21. MiMedinat HaYam

    having lived a (non chabad) small town for two plus years, you’d be surprised at how dedicated / observant those of us that are observant are. and how many non observant want to keep observant. if it wouldnt be for the mechalleli shabbat, we wouldnt have had a daily minyan. shacharit or mincha / maariv.

    2. interesting contrast between conagra / hebrew national procedures, and the amsterdam procedures. (assuming its all true.) meat is “flash pasteurized” before soaking and salting. and some sort of post slaughter stunning. not indicated in jta article.

  22. MiMedinat HaYam

    alvin — a chabad rabbi once told me ‘my purpose is to send my people to a (NJ suburban community)’ like mine. better if he goes to morristown / other, but he’s practical (and not a meshichist / fanatic).

    chassidim — one thing we can say. they dont “mooch off” MO for their (non) kollel lifestyle, unlike yeshivish. but they do “mooch off” the general taxpayer base.

    nevertheless, their separatist lifestyle (not found in europe; definitely not to the degree here in america. israel is even more so) and their insistence on rejecting other jews and their opinions.

  23. IH – Nah, it’s a parade. They’re marching, or walking.

  24. Dov — the key word in Tehillim is בְּתוֹךְ in contra-distinction to Sh’mot.

  25. רש”י: בתוך עלמות תופפות . בתוך מרים ונערותיה אשר לקחה התוף בידה ואמרו בשבחם :

  26. Former RWer asked the following questions:

    “Why are so many parents with girls looking to get married want a learner earner, but yet all their boys do is learn?

    Why do so many people have strong opinions on what orthodoz judaism should really be and yet support yeshivas that don’t agree?

    Why do so many yeshivas have strong opinions (at least they say so to their boys) about what orthodox judaism should be, and yet honor people at their dinners who don’t represent that vision at all?”

    The above questions are excellent questions. Let me just offer a few observations, as opposed to even thinking of offering a definitive answer:

    1)There are many so-called Baaale Batim who are not just learners/earners. but are Magidei Shiurim and Talmidei Chahchamim whose Torah knowledge, in a word, is awesome.

    2)While kids have a right to choose their hashkafic routes in life, IMO, parents should give to the Mosdos HaTorah that have had the most impact on their lives. Parents should be able to realize that worked for them in their Torah education is viewed as inadequate or even inappropriate for themselves providing that they respect their parents educational and hashkafic POVs.

    3)Unfortunately, HaKesef Koneh es HaKol is a fundamental precept in fundraising. That being said, many Mosdos will honor people without substantial means as a way of saying that they respect people who contribute time and effort, albeit without a comcomitant financial contribution.

  27. IH – Ah, I see what you did. Very good. Call Artscroll, they should change their rendering to “along with timbrel-playing maidens.”

  28. “The fact is if we cannot shore up those smaller places, we’ll be left with a few huge consolidated Orthodox communities and not much else. That would mean that the majority of non-Orthodox Jews will never encounter Orthodox Judaism in their lives.

    At some point, does this become a communal responsibility?”

    Or they will just move to Israel.

  29. re the endangered conversation: the author is a bit smug about the orthodox community. often, real discussion is squelched there as well. What the ‘gedoilim’ supposedly say trumps actual discussion of some issues. This is no different than what he disdains about the non-O.

  30. Link from article Orthodox Rabbis business as usual

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/forbes-ranks-israels-richest-rabbis/

    of interest

  31. “Link from article Orthodox Rabbis business as usual

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/forbes-ranks-israels-richest-rabbis/

    of interest”

    There is a difference between “rabbis”, and “Jewish miracle workers through the dispensation of blessings” and the institution of the rabinate in Israel. These 3 groups rarely overlap, when they do, those people tend to be the greats.

  32. I am not familiar with most of the rabbis listed by Forbes, but it seems to me that the article is misleading in several respects. First of all, the article itself notes that some rabbis are also succesful businessmen. So how do they know that the money came from handing out blessings as opposed to his business? What’s wrong with someone being a rov and a succesful businessman?

    Second, what are they doing with the money? Is it personal wealth, or is it part of the institutions they run. For example, the Belzer rebbe is listed among the top 10. Belz has a very extensive network of schools and other mosdos. Is all that included in his personal wealth? The fact that the Belzer rebbe runs a vast network of institutions does not make him “wealthy” in the same way that Nelson Rockefeller was or Bill Gates is.

    Third, how much of the donations go to tseddakah. While blessings and miracle workers are not my cup of tea, it was my impression that when Chassidim (and their Sephardic equivalents, notable most of the names here are Sephardi) give a donation for a blessing, that money goes mostly to tsedakkahs of one kind or another. Granted most chassidische rebbes live in style (a few don’t), I don’t think they are running what they do as profit-making businesses.

    Someone once made a similar criticism about Forbes’ claim that the Queen of England is the wealthiest person in the world. Now there is no doubt that she has vast personal wealth and lives an extremely opulent lifestyle. But much of her supposed “wealth” consists of things which are really public items — like castles and works of art — that serve a public function. It’s not like she can sell Buckingham Palace or the crown jewels for cash the way I could sell my house or my wife’s earrings if I wanted to.

  33. Anyone else besides me completely ignorant of this part of Jewish history?

    http://muqata.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/writing-on-wall.html

  34. What’s wrong with someone being a rov and a succesful businessman?
    ==========================================
    It might lead to mixed dancing?
    KT

  35. Ulpana Residents Surrender to Government Evacuation Order

    “Rabbi Zalman Melamed, dean of the Beit El yeshiva, decided against a clash with Israel’s government over the demolition of Ulpana Hill.”

    Intersting. Sounds like he’s adopting R Aviner’s POV.
    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ulpana-residents-surrender-to-government-evacuation-order/2012/06/20/

    “Q: How should we relate to a State which destroyed Gush Katif, and now Migron, Givat Ulpana in Beit El, etc., and expels 10,000 Jews?

    A: This is the same State which settled 350,000 Jews in Yehudah and Shomrom, i.e. the destruction is 3% as compared to the building. A person must look at things in proportion in life. If not, his marriage will crash and burn.”

    I say adopting because during the disengagement, R Melamed(s) and R Avrohom Shapira were calling for total refusal to obey any such government commands. It was R Aviner and the Yeshivot Hakav who disagreed, maintaining pretty much the positions espoused here.

    Can anyone on the inside of Mamlachti-Dati Tziyoni (or whatever) inform?

  36. ▪ English Looking More Like Vowel-Free Hebrew

    LOL 😉

  37. “English Looking More Like Vowel-Free Hebrew”

    Maybe that should read:

    Nglsh Lkng Mr Lk Vwl-Fr Hbrw

  38. MiMedinat HaYam

    many such rabbonim are very successful in real estate here in ny. (in fact, some of those mentioned in the israeli article, too)

    i know of several extremely wealthy builders, who consider it an honor to put their rabbonim as partners, and in fact it has been very successful for both of them. (in these cases, it is personal investments, not “queen of england” investments.)

    remember, over half of yerushalayim (including the knesset land) is owned by the greek orthodox church. how about a similar atricle? (dont know about mixed greek dancing)

  39. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4240878,00.html

    “Tali Farkash, an ultra orthodox Israeli visits San Francisco’s Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, for people of all sexual identities; asks: Will Israeli gay community ever reclaim Jewish pride?”

  40. shachar haamim

    “Someone once made a similar criticism about Forbes’ claim that the Queen of England is the wealthiest person in the world. Now there is no doubt that she has vast personal wealth and lives an extremely opulent lifestyle. But much of her supposed “wealth” consists of things which are really public items — like castles and works of art — that serve a public function. It’s not like she can sell Buckingham Palace or the crown jewels for cash the way I could sell my house or my wife’s earrings if I wanted to.”

    First of all you have to separate the royal families personal holdings (and they have many) from the Crown Estate.
    http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/
    The sovereign owns Buckingham palace – not the state – but all the sovereign can do is pass it on to the next sovereign. When Edawrd the VIII abidacted his brother automatically inherited Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and other properties in the sovereign estate. But he had to buy out some of the privately held estates (such as Balmoral) which Edward inherited by virtue of being next in line, but weren’t directly tied to being the sovereign. These were probably entail type estates which stay whole and pass to only one beneficiary and abdication of title doesn’t mean relinquishment of the right to the estate.

    If there is a split in Gur (and there will be after this rebbe passes on – they brely held it together for this current reign) then whatever property is owned by the “mosdot” (i.e. amutot and non-profit organizations) will be a source of the fight over who controls these organizations (look to Satmar for how that plays out; or see the current example for the Yated Neeman NPO control battle which happened last week for something of this sort on a smaller scale). but privately held property will be subject to inheritance law.
    Many of these houses that are “given” to these rabbis by the big money player machers have limitations on ownership transfer and it isn’t so simple for the rabbi to sell the house.

  41. .” but privately held property will be subject to inheritance law”

    See mid 80s dispute about books between Barry Gurary and the Lubavitch Org-the 6th Rebbe had no will so the property dispute ended up in Federal Court. A lot of interesting info on Lubavitch from trial-famous Jewish attorneys on both sides-Howard Squadron for Gurary-Nat Lewin for Lubavitch-Judge was ex son-law of Reinhold Neibuhr. Expert witnesses included Rabbi Arthur Green certainly one of the leading Chassidic scholars.

  42. shachar haamim

    mycroft – exactly!!!
    the Forbes journalist obviously had an axe to grind and just used estimates of the worth of all the assets in the “mosdot”. But most of these are tied up in NPOs and its only a question about who controls the NPO. To the extent that money is siphoned off for private use these NPOs can lose their tex exempt status. Sure all the friends and relatives have jobs, “campus” homes and such. But they don’t “own” the assets – anymore than the Scheerson or Gurary families “owned” the library which was deemed to be property of the organization

  43. shachar haamim

    That being said I believe that the Gerer rebbe is independetly wealthy, as his father, the Lev Simcha Rebbe of Gur who succeeded his brother the Beis Yisroel, had purchased real estate in Palestine prior to WWII which ended up becoming very valuable property

  44. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4245014,00.html

    “Chevra Kadisha to compensate woman for funeral

    Court rules in favor of woman who claimed rabbi sex-segregated her father’s funeral, barred her from saying goodbye”

  45. “Speaking of linguistic brevity:”

    I take offense to posting the same link as me, as if I never posted it 😛

  46. http://yated.com/content.asp?contentid=665
    Interesting to see Yated has access to experts in statistics and epidemiology.
    KT

  47. Oops, Avi 🙂

  48. “it is felt that. . .
    “it is also rumored . . .”

    hard to tell if the overuse of passive voice is a sign of bad writing or also of complete lack of foundation.

  49. (oops – that was re: the yated article on the RCA)

  50. “JFNA intervenes in Israeli religious politics”

    Consistorio Disassembla Est.

    “Reform female rabbis are paid less than male counterparts, study finds”

    The article isn’t very informative. Often the pay gap shrinks or disappears when controlled for hours worked (both amount and type), risks or difficulties in tasks in various jobs &c.

    You can’t prove discrimination just with raw numbers without ruling out other mitigating factors.

  51. R Simcha Coffer has been taking on RNS’s view of RSRH. I’m curious if anyone has anything to offer.
    http://slifkin-opinions.blogspot.com/2012/06/rav-hirsch-and-science-of-chazal.html

    Unlike some other detractors of RNS, Rabbi Coffer actually comes with a haskama from the rationalist Gadol Hador himself.

    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2011/05/my-favorite-opponent.html

    “Of all my opponents, one stands out from the rest in consistently acting like a superb mensch. Rabbi Simcha Coffer of Toronto might keep some unsavory company and have some very strange views (of course, he thinks the same of me), but the way in which he has conducted himself is admirable and a lesson for us all. He is unfailingly polite and respectful, explains his objections in detail rather than issuing arguments from authority, and even allows open comments on his blog…. Every person, at every end of the religious spectrum, should take a lesson from this.”

  52. I can’t anyone finding R. Simcha Coffer’s arguments convincing. He points out that Rav Hirsch did not believe we should automatically accept everything that scientists say as contradicting the view that sometimes Chazal were mistaken on science. Ridiculous. Clearly Rav Hirsch was saying that you have to be measured in your approach and not take every scientific claim as proven beyond doubt but sometimes Chazal were wrong. That’s just a reasonable, common-sense attitude.

  53. The JP article on ORA seems to have been removed!

  54. MiMedinat HaYam

    james — i didnt know it was an article on ORA. but i also got a “not found” error from the jp. since you say it is ORA, i know of cases where they did not pursue influential husbands AND influential wives refusing to accept a get (despite promises to do so). will try to get a hard copy.

    women rabbis – nothing new. perhaps just an open secret. they are also not influential to their own congregants as well as fellow rabbis, and are held in disdain by most congregants. though they like to show off their women rabbis. exact same thing in C rabbinate.

    though the financial numbers are interesting. would like to see similar numbers for O rabbinate. i’m not holding my breath.
    (though i just found out two O rabbis from the same city were just (independently) fired by their synagogues for being too orthodox. (though their excellent salaries will still be paid.) the foolish board of one went to the RCA requesting a YCT rabbi, and were reffered to riets rabbinic placement.)

  55. “Sure all the friends and relatives have jobs, “campus” homes and such. But they don’t “own” the assets – anymore than the Scheerson or Gurary families “owned” the library which was deemed to be property of the organization”

    aCTUALLY THE COURT CASE COULD STAND FOR THE EXACT REVERSE-the issue was what did the 6th Lubavitch Rebbe intend to do with his property the books-he did not have a will-leading J Sifton to make the comment that he hopes that then Rebbe will make a will and not leave a mess that the prior Rebbe did.

  56. Interesting (and learned) article on contraception in Orthodox Judaism, linked at the end of this post:

    http://finkorswim.com/2012/06/21/superb-and-important-article-on-contraception-in-orthodox-judaism/

  57. Tobin is just blowing steam. He was caught being a hypocrite and his reaction amounts to ‘well you are too’. Criticizing those who choose to bilk the welfare system for all it’s worth (and then some) is not anti-Orthodox; as a matter of fact I would argue that it’s Orthodox people (outside of Williamsburg and KJ) who are frequently most upset by it.

  58. But while it is one thing to express concerns about the future of that community, it is quite another to write in a manner that speaks of the rising Orthodox birth rate as if we would all be better off if those children were never born. That is a shocking argument that would be quickly labeled as racist by the righteous liberals at the Forward were it aimed at inner-city blacks or Hispanics. A desire to comfort liberals about their impending political decline is no excuse for launching a kulturkampf against the Orthodox.
    ===============================================
    But would pointing out that the natural result of one commumity’s priorities (assuming no heavenly intervention) is that it will be dependent on the kindness of strangers (against the community’s principles aiui-but that’s a side point) be racist?
    KT

  59. GIL:

    “Jerusalem eateries revolt against rabbinate’s kashrut inspectors”

    no point in linking to articles that require a subscription

  60. I got it without a subscription

  61. GIL:

    i see 2 paragraphs and then “The full text is available for Haaretz subscribers.”

    do we have to beg you to elaborate on “I got it without a subscription” for the secret how to see the full article without paying? pretty please with a cherry top?

  62. I must have gotten it through Google News. Just search for the title.

  63. GIL:

    actually i just discovered that if you click on the print option it will pull up a screen with the entire article.

    the grievances all sound legitimate and from what i understand could be accurate. but shouldn’t the solution be to improve kashruth supervision rather than dispense with it?
    i understand the value of “trust.” but what trust can there be when 99.9% of the patrons don’t know the owner (to say nothing of the workers)?

  64. “Wild Days At The RCA”

    interesting article for a number of reasons. but i also got some good laughts. especially from “If the RCA is to be run more objectively, more openly, making better decisions, it behooves the RCA to make sure that it realizes the mantle of responsibility it bears.”
    i’d love to see the yated make a similar statement about any charedi organization or institution

  65. abba’s rantings:

    I read Yated’s statement as “We charedim are completely upfront about the fact that our decisions are made by gedoli torah, using daas torah, in a completely nontrasparent, subjective, and undemocratic manner. Maybe you should either admit it too, or else live up to your proclaimed (goyish) standards.”

  66. I think that Jonathan Tobin’s article was 100% on the mark, especially given the Forward’s noxious history of Orthodox, and especially Charedi bashing throughout the years. One can only imagine what reaction there would be if a conservative pundit wrote about welfare queens and drug lords in the inner cities whose medical bills are paid for by public dollars.

  67. MiMedinat HaYam

    steve b — these are not welfare queens and drug lords, though they are those who feed off the system. (and prob encourage actions like drug lords and welfare queens, given their general disdane for govt, or privste industry, fiscal controls.)

    the problem is that the govt has programs that makes anyone who qualifies, entitled. and for political reasons (i dont mean charedi political reasons, i mean war on poverty political reasons) they have no intention of changing that.

    2. “(outside of Williamsburg and KJ)” add lakewood, fltbush, bp, brighton, and other communities with actual community non profits who actually assist / encourage / advertise for residents to apply.

    3. pres conference — what with all these jerusalem conference, natanya conference, etc where bigwigs (and not so bigwigs, now crowned bigwigs) come to $peak, and the press fawns over them?

    you dont really expect a peres sponsored event to permit r ariel (for example) to speak? (let alone, $peak?)

    4. rabbanut hashgacha — i have read “kic” reports that oversee kashrut agencies in brooklyn. unfortunately, they wont put them online (gasp!) but the reports seem informative, but hard to get.

    face it, kosher eateries are not exactly a thriving business. (kosher delight broadway just closed this week, after J2 closed a couple months ago.) add to that harrasment (yes, i often see petty harrasment) and in israel, a bureaucratic agency known for its entrenched bureaucracy.

  68. What’s annoying to me is that the Rabbanut, according to the article, allows charedi hashgachot, but would probably not allow the MO one proposed.

  69. Following on Gil’s linked Evangelicals Update Their Message for Gays and Tali Farkash’s piece on ynet, this interesting piece in today’s NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/23/us/david-blankenhorn-drops-opposition-to-gay-marriage.html

    “David Blankenhorn, a national figure in the movement against same-sex marriage, has recanted his opposition, saying ‘the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do.’”

  70. “What’s annoying to me is that the Rabbanut, according to the article, allows charedi hashgachot, but would probably not allow the MO one proposed”

    Yet another reason to dismantle it.

  71. This year I was really struck by Rivei’i in today’s Parsha (Num. 17:9-15) and was not satisfied by the mefarshim in Mikraot G’dolot, nor did I see any relevant Talmudic reference in Torah Te’mima.

    Anyone know of any articles that explore the theological issues inherent in the unwarned, uncontrolled and indiscriminate “ha’ketzef mi’lifnei adonai hei’cheil ha’negef” and the unusual way in which it is stopped by Aharon?

  72. This footnote IMO is critical in understanding the recent study of the NY Jewish community:
    “Throughout this report, the eight-county area served by UJA-Federation of New York will be called the eight-county New York area or the New York area. The same eight counties were the focus of the 1991 and 2002 New York Jewish community studies. The eight-county area is a part of the much larger New York metropolitan area defined by the U.S. Census as the New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–CT–PA Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA).”

    Once again, demographers focused on a easy to stereotype part of the Charedi world, and ignored the fact that the Orthodox world in the greater NY area can be found in large numbers across the Hudson River-Orange and Rockland Counties with large Chasidic communities, as well as large MO and Charedi communities in Bergenfield, Teaneck, Passaic, Highland Park-Edison, West Orange and Lakewood, as well as Queens and the Five Towns. Why a study that purports to be definitive ignore such communities and instead concentrated on Williamsburg, and Boro Park mystifies me.

  73. “Once again, demographers focused on a easy to stereotype part of the Charedi world, and ignored the fact that the Orthodox world in the greater NY area can be found in large numbers across the Hudson River-Orange and Rockland Counties with large Chasidic communities, as well as large MO and Charedi communities in Bergenfield, Teaneck, Passaic, Highland Park-Edison, West Orange and Lakewood, as well as Queens and the Five Towns”

    that NJ would not be covered appears based on what is UJA Feds of NY area of responsibility “This footnote IMO is critical in understanding the recent study of the NY Jewish community:
    “Throughout this report, the eight-county area served by UJA-Federation of New York will be called the eight-county New York area or the New York area. The same eight counties were the focus of the 1991 and 2002 New York Jewish community studies. ”
    It appears Queens and 5Ts should be covered-BTW the 5Ts would not be a high percentage of total NY Jewry or Orthodox Jewry.

  74. IH wrote:

    “This year I was really struck by Rivei’i in today’s Parsha (Num. 17:9-15) and was not satisfied by the mefarshim in Mikraot G’dolot, nor did I see any relevant Talmudic reference in Torah Te’mima.

    Anyone know of any articles that explore the theological issues inherent in the unwarned, uncontrolled and indiscriminate “ha’ketzef mi’lifnei adonai hei’cheil ha’negef” and the unusual way in which it is stopped by Aharon?”

    IH-Look at R Bchaya on Bamidbar 17:6 and 11 and HaEemek Davar on the same Psukim. One can maintain that the plague in question resulted from a simple failure to appreciate the severe nature of the consequences of the revolt of Korach and the subsequent view that Shevet Levi had usurped the role of Shevet Levi, who had been selected for their role by HaShem.

  75. Steve — thanks, I understand that parshanut, but the ba’alei ha’mesorah separated the psukim from the Korach/Datan-Aviram story with both a {פ} after verse 5 and a {ס} after verse 8. On the other end, there is a {פ} after verse 15. And all this is reflected in Num. 17:9-15 being its own aliya (rivei’i).

  76. “Interesting to see Yated has access to experts in statistics and epidemiology.”

    For the record, I was not consulted.

  77. 25,000 Jews are going to go visit a grave… while nobody speaks up about visiting Har Habayit… Lovely.

  78. “Steve — thanks, I understand that parshanut, but the ba’alei ha’mesorah separated the psukim from the Korach/Datan-Aviram story with both a {פ} after verse 5 and a {ס} after verse 8. On the other end, there is a {פ} after verse 15. And all this is reflected in Num. 17:9-15 being its own aliya (rivei’i).”

    I’m not sure what you are asking.. however to me, it looks like the Next day the Jewish people complained and demonstrated against Moshe. Moshe went to the tent of meeting for some unstated reason. After some time, hence the break point, Gd tells Moshe that he is destroying the Jewish people, likely because of their complaining… again.

    That appears to me to be the simple way of reading it.

  79. This link might be better for Jerusalem eateries:

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/jerusalem-eateries-revolt-against-rabbinate-s-kashrut-inspectors.premium-1.440307

    What I find funny is the picture and the caption..

  80. IH – “Anyone know of any articles that explore the theological issues inherent in the unwarned, uncontrolled and indiscriminate “ha’ketzef mi’lifnei adonai hei’cheil ha’negef” and the unusual way in which it is stopped by Aharon?”

    See numbers 1:53 on the role of the leviim and stopping kesef.
    It would appear that the korach/datan v’aviram story ends in verse 5 – comprising of the uprising and subsequent punishments – as a literary unit (2 sections of approx. equal length).
    Sentences 9-15 shows the after effects of the breakdown of the mechaneh that can no longer safely contain the shechinah until the ketoret is employed as a kaparah – protection – for the nation. Next you see the reinstatement of the kahuna and the leviim. It seems this kesef was a consequence of setting up the mishkan of korach/datan v’aviram and the anarchy that ensued around the mishkan ( as well as the rejection of the leviim and kahuna).See the beginning of bamidbar on the set up of the mechaneh.

  81. Avi — thanks. I’m not looking for the simple way of reading it. There are some complex issues lurking here and I am looking for help in finding sources that discuss it.

    For a hint there is more than meets the eye, see Ibn Ezra on Num. 17:11 “ve’Sim Ketoret” and Rashi on 17:13 and Ramban on 17:10.

  82. Ruvie — many thanks. The use of קֶצֶף in Num 1:53 helps to explain the literary tie-in between the episodes. But, to get to one example of my lack of comprehension, wouldn’t it be more effective to get the Am back in order if the remedy was explicitly centered in the authorized Mishkan?

    Will check R. Samet’s articles in the next day or so. Also on my list is to check Hyman to find sources in the Rabbinic literature that quote these psukim, but that is time intensive.

    Have you come across any relevant MBS that covers this episode by any chance?

  83. IH – on kesef I didn’t see any. But on datan v’aviram’s lo nealeh statement – there is some great stuff on the literal vs metaphorical understanding of plucking out the eyes. See weinfeld and rubinstein on Hittite culture and slavery implications ( its rashi, rasag, onkelus vs Ibn Ezra, chizkuni and rashbam).

  84. IH, if you are looking for a indepth view of the episode, I recommend R. Yitz Etshalom’s multi part analysis of the rebellion and the solution. http://www.torah.org/advanced/mikra/5757/bm/dt.57.4.05.html

    The issue of how the Messoretics break up the paragraphs however, I think is best understood by the simple reading. The Messoretics are not looking to give you more than that.

  85. I’m completely confused by the story about the RCA. It sounds like a lot of beating around the bush to me, and none of it made any sense. Are there insider politics that went totally unreported? Meaning, is there some sort of issue that REALLY explains this, but no one was willing to talk about it? Because otherwise it just sounds like squabbling for the sake of squabbling and I’d personally like to believe that the RCA is above that.

  86. IH-re your query re Bamidbar 17:9-14-also see Rashbam.

  87. MiMedinat HaYam

    avi — soros is trying to reinstitute the “social” protest.
    (also, trying to head off news reports on tarir square demonstrations this coming week.)

    dont forget, this all startded with cottage cheese, but “they” ( = powers that be) are just increasing their margins on other foodstuffs. but social issues — thats another story.

    nachum — the ou tried their hashgacha — became discredited (in israel only)

    charlie — you work for that organization that yated hates. you cant expect them to use you as a source of expertise. they’d rather use badatz, or even the ou.

  88. “the ou tried their hashgacha — became discredited (in israel only)”

    Actually, I see the OU more and more on restaurants here.

  89. Becoming discredited in the ugly rabbinic games in Israel is a sign of success, not failure. It means you’ve managed to scare the competition.

  90. MiMedinat HaYam

    its not the same standards as ou in america. but r gil’s comments can be right on.

    (actually, i didnt know the ou still exists ion israel. sorry about that.)

  91. It’s generally higher standards than the Rabbanut. I’d say it’s there to appeal to American tourists, but you also see it on places that tourists don’t usually frequent.

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