News & Links

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


New Law In New York Keeps Things Kosher
Is Romantic Love a Jewish Value?
In the US, looking through the poor of Israel
The Scoop on Ice Cream’s Jewish History, From Häagen-Dazs to Ben & Jerry’s
With poetry and scholarship, Daf Yomi Talmud study grows beyond Orthodox
British judge approves Christian conversion for 10-year-old Jewish girl
Jewish Mom and Pop Stores
Spirituality is not a spectator sport
Jerusalem holds gay pride parade
Technology and Social Media: How Are They Affecting the Post-High School Year in Israel?
SALT Friday

The Daily Page: A “Siyum”-posium (I contributed)
Unpacking Chabad: Their Ten Core Elements for Success
Lakewood rabbi gets 30 days to clean up or pay up
ADL must reassess opposition to gov’t support for parochial schools
Alive and Well?
Jewish Youth Activism: A Model for Leadership Development?
Nearly 90,000 Jews Celebrate Talmud at MetLife Stadium
Women must steer clear of National Service in police
Pharmacy covers women’s pictures on toothbrush box
Rabbi pleads guilty to sexually assaulting boys
Hebrew National Faces New Kosher Hearing
Overhauling Orthodox Education To Make Better Jews
Does Israel Really Need A Compulsory Draft?
YouTube Removes Hundreds of Videos in Response to New Report on Online Anti-Semitism
Gore Vidal and “The Hate That Dare Not Speak Its Name”
SALT Thursday

Behind the Largest Daf Yomi in the World
First, Build an Art School
Crying Over Dead Jews
The primacy of ritual over language
Barak orders haredi Orthodox conscription
The Bagel, Perfected by Science
Daf Yomi Siyum: Unity for Whom?
The Tuition Crisis: Religious Zionist Edition
How to Live Like a Superhero
IDF Says ‘No’ to Meshichist ‘Yechi’ Yarmulkes
The Shloch Rock Musical
SALT Wednesday

A One-Man Supreme Court
Biblical rhapsody and regret
Eruv Fits Early Into Route 34 Plans
For Some Orthodox Jews, a Rule Against Chopping Down Fruit Trees
A Baptist among Jews
Conservative Judaism, Intellectually Untethered
‘Hidden Jews’ from Poland uniting for Talmud seminar
As we engage in mirth of Tu b’Av, remember importance of genetic testing
With special prayers and kosher food, Jewish London embracing Olympic spirit
Israeli summer camps venture into Jewish identity building
Circle of Pro-Israel Writers Rises
Jews Celebrate end of 7-year Talmud study cycle
Tal Tales
J Rosenblum: Our Own Worst Enemies
We’ve Learned Nothing in 2000 Years
R Maroof: Eliminate Denominations follow-up
R Carmy: Evil Within and Without ($)
R Adlerstein: Doing the Daf
SALT Tuesday

Hebrews in Two Riots
Tzohar Conference Deals with Modern Challenges
A nice Jewish boy from planet Krypton
Women and Daf Yomi
Jamie Geller Preps for Aliyah
Sports and the many sides of silence
Riding across the U.S., Hazon bikers are spokespeople for food justice
Converts Who Changed the Church
Rabbis call for social responsibility
Soldiers barred from praying in protest of draft
Chicken a la Emanuel
The Economist explores Judaism
An African American Convert’s Take on Tisha B’Av
A Synagogue Comes to Life on the Bowery
Rubashkin Revenge: Ethical Certificates at Center of Dispute
Manchester University installs automated Pray-o-Mat booth
Former Australian Chabad youth leader cleared of sex abuse charges
The Male Rosa Parks?
Cel-Ray Soda Grabs New Fans
Torah in a box
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 of New Jersey, 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 and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and 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.

103 comments

  1. I can swallow the idea that Siegel and Schuster may have been familiar with a mishna from Pirkei Avot when they created Superman’s mantra of “truth, justice, and the American way”: but to say that they knew about a kabbalistic concept as obscure at the time as shvirat keilim, and that the destruction of Krypton was modeled after this concept – bit of a stretch, no?

  2. ” Some were glorious, like when Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the ’68 Olympics raised their clenched fists in solidarity against the discrimination of blacks.”

    Really, Rabbi Weiss? The Black Power movement in 1968 was a glorious thing? Really, the left end of Orthodoxy is getting laughably predictable in their political stances.

  3. My own summation of the Economist pieces: Jews and Judaism are doing great, and would be just perfect if it wasn’t for those darn religious right-wing types!

    My own summation of the NYU piece: Chabad PR strikes again. (See the comments to get a really funny view.) There’s no mention at all that there’s an official, long-established, Jewish center at NYU. The story repeats itself, over and over. (And where on *Earth* does all that money come from?)

    On segregated sheruts: I’m all in favor of ending this craziness. I just hope the activists come to realize how much it hurts them when the “Rosa Parks” “coincidentally” “happens” to work for a pluralism organization. (As, indeed, did Rosa Parks herself. 🙂 )

    Re Hazon and “social justice,” see my comment above. Taxes are about to go way up in Israel; as one editorial put it, “Want ‘social justice?’ You’re going to have to pay for it!”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, and I know they’re just quoting, but other reports I’ve read about the R’ Jacob Joseph riots amounted to a lot more than water balloons, a piece of wood, and scuffles.

    Oh, and I love Cel-Ray. And black licorice, and marmite. Just thought I’d say.

  4. I can swallow the idea that Siegel and Schuster may have been familiar with a mishna from Pirkei Avot when they created Superman’s mantra of “truth, justice, and the American way”: but to say that they knew about obscure kabbalistic concepts – bit of a stretch, no?

  5. Is it possible to have a deli sandwich without cel-ray soda -)?

  6. “The Male Rosa Parks?”

    Contrary to Nahum, I have no problem with the women doing this (or the man if vice versa). However, from the article it seems that this is causing monetary loss to the taxi drivers, presumably because they cannot find someone of the same gender to fill the seat. (I am a but dubious about that, but let’s assume it is true.) If someone wants to be frum and not sit next to someone of the same gender, then he or she either has to bring along someone of the same gender to sit next to them, or pay for an extra seat. Otherwise you are being a tsaddik oif yenem’s cheshbon.

    BTW, how many seats are we talking about here? From what I remember, sheruts typically sat one passenger in the front and three in the back, plus the driver. The back seat tended to be squishy, so I can understand not wanting to sit next to someone of the same gender.

    “Soldiers barred from praying in protest of draft”

    Can anyone say “thought police?” So now the IDF can dictate to its soldiers what they may or may not pray for?

  7. Just as an aside, please note how I indicated the article I was commenting on by title. Maybe I am just dense, but I often find comments here addressing something and have no idea what it is. At least orient the reader to what (an article) or to whom (a prior poster) you are commenting.

  8. “Manchester University installs automated Pray-o-Mat booth”

    Maybe they should just send an email.
    Try [email protected]_and_earth.com

  9. From the “Sports and the many sides of silence” article:

    To paraphrase the Book of Ethics, “In the place where is there is no person, stand up and be a person.”

    What a paraphrase. How poetic.

  10. Tal: The sheruts are minivans with high ceilings. (The article has a picture.) They seat about twelve people, 2-aisle-2, 2-aisle-2, 4, from front to back. (It may be nine or eleven, but you get the idea.) They are *very* roomy.

    The rest of your points are spot-on.

    As to the IDF, note that, essentially, you have an army demanding that its soldiers not say a prayer which is, essentially, praying against the army’s interests. I think that of all things, they’d have a right to do that.

    What’s more perverse is that people *in* the IDF are praying that *others* not enter. There’s a world of sociology there. And in a man like Yishai, who served, being opposed to the draft.

  11. Nachum: It’s more than that. It’s the IDF Chief Rabbinate insisting that they are the posek for all soldiers, including Charedim. This is delusional and is part of the infrastructure of the IDF that will have to change if Charedim are drafted.

    “We still have to see if the haredi soldiers will obey the Military Rabbinate or follow the civilian rabbis,” said a source from the Military Rabbinate.

    No, they will not. That should be obvious.

  12. As to the IDF, note that, essentially, you have an army demanding that its soldiers not say a prayer which is, essentially, praying against the army’s interests. I think that of all things, they’d have a right to do that.

    What’s more perverse is that people *in* the IDF are praying that *others* not enter. There’s a world of sociology there. And in a man like Yishai, who served, being opposed to the draft.

    Sorry, I cannot agree. First of all. there are those who have argued that it is in the IDF’s interest to go to a volunteer basis. (Some even have argued this on a purely secular basis, although obviously the Charedim would support it.) Second, the IDF is a branch of the State, not the other way around. So the people who are praying may believe that it is better for society as a whole not to draft people learning Torah, even if the IDF will be worse off for it. The Army is the servant of the State, which is the servant of the people. When you flip that around, you have tyranny.

    As for those inside praying that others don’t enter, that is not acccurate either. They are praying that others not be FORCED to enter, and concomittantly not be FORCED to stop learning Torah. Nothing inconsistent from someone saying, I am not cut out to learn 12 hours a day, so I volunteer to serve, but those who are sitting and learning should continue to do so.

    (Would it be permitted for the IDF to order that you cannot pray, for example, for the recovery of R. Elyashiv, on the grounds that his public positions are not in the IDF’s interest? I would think not.)

  13. Tal: The sheruts are minivans with high ceilings. (The article has a picture.) They seat about twelve people, 2-aisle-2, 2-aisle-2, 4, from front to back. (It may be nine or eleven, but you get the idea.) They are *very* roomy.

    The rest of your points are spot-on

    So I gather that if someone does not want to set next to someone of the same gender, at most he or she would have to pay for one extra seat.

  14. MiMedinat HaYam

    at a daf yomi i often go to in small town usa, two participants are women, including a reconstructionist rabbi. the truth is, they dont get much jewish learning out of it, as their questions indicate very minimal background, and not “getting it”. (more so than some of the other participants, who “get it” somewhat.)

    two “judaic” articles on the bowery in one day. the factory workers mentioned in that brooklyn eagle article on chief rabbi RJJ wre ethnic germans, who came only to riot at the funeral (it was a sunday, when they dont work.)

    chicken ala rahm emanuel — if boston denies them a building permit (as per press reports), its out and out religious discrimination.

    avinu malkenu — while r gil is coreect that the IDF chief rabbinate (shouldnt) pasken for charedi units, the charedi community should recognize that what they are doing is not halachic. perhaps they should listen to their (now discredited, by virtue of his accepting his position) r amar. (note too, the innapropriate ad right next to the quotations in the jpost)

  15. NACHUM:

    “There’s no mention at all that there’s an official, long-established, Jewish center at NYU.”

    is the on campus jewish center under orthodox auspices? if not, then there is no need to mention it.

    “And where on *Earth* does all that money come from?”

    i guess that’s what happens when you don’t push away non-orthodox jews?

    ““Want ‘social justice?’ You’re going to have to pay for it!””

    do those who want indeed be paying for it?

    “Correct me if I’m wrong, and I know they’re just quoting, but other reports I’ve read about the R’ Jacob Joseph riots amounted to a lot more than water balloons, a piece of wood, and scuffles.”

    there is a an article by leonard dinnerstein on the funeral in gerber’s book on anti-semitism in america. (although iirc, the funeral riot is sometimes contextualized as urban ethnic tension rather than anti-semitism.) one line that caught my eye in the article gil linked to is that the police intervened when jews tried to enter the factories. intervened is an understatement.

  16. “Really, Rabbi Weiss? The Black Power movement in 1968 was a glorious thing? Really, the left end of Orthodoxy is getting laughably predictable in their political stances.”

    what do you have against the 1960s black power movement (as a whole)? i would have thought that of all people a kahanist could empathize with it 😉

  17. There’s a good quote from R’ Kahane about it in Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic. Basically, he thought it was a good thing until- as it had by 1968- it degenerated into violence, racism, and anti-Semitism.

    “is the on campus jewish center under orthodox auspices? if not, then there is no need to mention it.”

    You mean long-established Hillels can just shrivel up and die because Chabad decides to do their own thing, just because they cater to all Jews?

    “i guess that’s what happens when you don’t push away non-orthodox jews?”

    Didn’t you just say that Hillels (which by definition don’t push anyone away) don’t matter? You can’t have it both ways.

    “do those who want indeed be paying for it?”

    Ha. Usually not.

    Gil: Why do the Charedim have to be accommodated? The state has been accommodating them since 1948 and will continue to do so in many ways long after August 1st. Why can’t the Charedim accommodate for once? On this topic, for example, letting every soldier have his own posek is a formula for disaster. That’s what happens in an army- by necessity, you lose your individuality. (It’s the only way to get someone to ignore thousands of years of conditioning and run *into* fire.) And before you ask, yes, it’s true for the chardalim too.

  18. “they cater” above means the Hillels.

  19. “Sports and the many sides of silence”

    i don’t know if schools still do letter writing exercises, but if yes then they (or i guess the camps) should have all the kids send a note expressing hakaras hatov to bob costas. of course all adults should do the same as well.

    btw, an interesting footnote to the reaction to the munich massacre is that reggie jackson wore a black armband to commemorate the tragedy: http://nyc.sabr.org/PDF/2005winter.pdf

  20. NACHUM:

    “Basically, he thought it was a good thing until- as it had by 1968- it degenerated into violence, racism, and anti-Semitism.”

    i don’t understand. doesn’t kahanism itself glorify racism and violence?

    “You mean long-established Hillels can just shrivel up and die because Chabad decides to do their own thing, just because they cater to all Jews?”

    i didn’t say i think hillel houses are irrelevant. i merely stated that chabad acts as if they don’t exist (which is typically how they relate to existing insitutional infrastructure, orthodox or not)

    “Didn’t you just say that Hillels (which by definition don’t push anyone away) don’t matter?”

    no i didn’t. and my comment about chabad not pushing away non-ortho jews (and hence widening it’s fundraising potential), to which you responded, was not in contrast to hillel, but rather to MO (and to a lesser extent orthodoxy in general).

    “do those who want indeed be paying for it?”

    Ha. Usually not.

  21. Gil: the IDF Chief Rabbinate must be the posek for all soldiers, including Charedim. This is part of the infrastructure of the IDF that cannot change if Charedim are drafted.
    Certainly you can see the need for uniformity in the army.
    Otoh, not all matters relating to soldiers need a uniform psak from the IDF Chief Rabbinate.

  22. Nachum: Why do the Charedim have to be accommodated?

    Because thousands of them will be entering the army. Either the army accommodates them or deals with thousands of disgruntled soldiers.

    On this topic, for example, letting every soldier have his own posek is a formula for disaster.

    Maybe they’ll settle for a single Charedi posek for the entire IDF, or at least one who doesn’t force them to listen to women singing etc. It’s not just Charedim who criticize the Military Rabbinate. Chardalim do, as well.

  23. R. Eliezer Melamed on the “glory days” of the IDF Rabbinate: link

  24. Religious soldiers in the IDF owe R. Goren a debt that is rarely acknowledged and can probably never be repaid.

  25. “Nachum: It’s more than that. It’s the IDF Chief Rabbinate insisting that they are the posek for all soldiers, including Charedim. This is delusional and is part of the infrastructure of the IDF that will have to change if Charedim are drafted.”

    R Gil- That is one of the your points in your article in the O Forum. You were quoting R Melamed. Be careful who you call delusional though:

    Here’s R Aviner. I have a sneaking suspicion he’s responding to R Melamed.
    http://www.ravaviner.com/2012/06/in-defense-of-chief-rabbi-of-tzahal.html
    “Questions arise for soldiers. For example: if a soldier keeps six hours between meat and milk, but he cannot wait the full amount of time because, for example, he’s going out to lay an ambush, what should he do? The illustrious Ha-Rav Shlomo Goren, first Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Army, said that the army is like a different country, and the soldier is considered as one living in that country. He is thereby obligated to rely on the local authority.”

    It goes to the fact that the kav is just more mamlachti than Merckaz Harav and the father and son duo of R Melamed’s. It came up during the disengagement and it’s going to keep coming up every time there’s a fight between the state’s infrastructure and it’s citizens. R Aviner and R Tau are going to go with the State, and the other group (don’t know what that faction is called) are going to be more likely to (e.g.) tell soldiers to defy orders when told they have listen to women singing. R Melamed went so as to praise the no’ar hagiveah.

  26. Nachum-
    Depends which Charedim. The Eidah Charedis didn’t and doesn’t want the State, doesn’t want their army, and doesn’t take their money. Lo mi’duvsheich v’lo mi’uktzeich. You may not like it, but migrash ha’rusim isn’t big enough to fit them all even if you should try to do something about it, anyhow.

    Aiwac- Can you link or elaborate? I’m interested in the subject.

  27. R Gil-
    My linked text isn’t the part that most struck me as being intended to counter R Aviner.

    Later in the Shu’t he says:

    “Claim 3: The Chief Rabbi of Tzahal does not know how to rule on Jewish law. He is a total ignoramus.

    Answer: To say that is to show contempt for Torah scholars. Some, in response, engage in casuistry, claiming “they’re not showing contempt for Torah scholars, for he is no Torah scholar.” It’s like those people who call other Jews the “mixed multitude”, and when they are told that it’s forbidden to call a Jew by that name they respond, “But they’re not Jews! They’re the mixed multitude…” You cannot say that a Rabbi does not know how to rule on Halachah unless you prove it. Show me that the Chief Rabbi of Tzahal has ruled falsely in the name of the Torah.

    ….

    Claim 4: The Chief Rabbi of Tzahal is under the thumb of the Army Chief-of-Staff. He takes orders from the army, and they tell him what to rule.

    This claim that he lies in the name of the Torah because he is under pressure from the Chief-of-Staff and has vested interests, also constitutes a show of contempt for Torah scholars. It is similar to the ruling of the Satmar Rebbe who said that all Rabbis of Eretz Yisrael are invalid to issue rulings regarding questions related to Israel, because they are all under the thumb of the State of the Heretics. Therefore, regarding such questions, one should ask Rabbis in America… (see Va-Yoel Moshe, Shalosh Shevuot #60, 171-172).”

    Gotta love that dig at the end. ‘You’re almost as extreme as the Satmar Rav!’

  28. First line in my last comment should read “intended to counter R MELAMED”

  29. It’s not a matter of what should be but what is and what will be. Charedim will not listen to the kind of rabbis who become army rabbis.

  30. Gil: Actually, the military rabbinate, like much of the official rabbinate, is becoming a refuge for connected quasi-charedim. But you are quite correct, inasmuch as, for the last fifty years or so, it has been a mark of charedim to recognize *no* local rabbinate, rather turning only to their rosh yeshiva or rebbe.

    As to the rest of you’re points: I’m not saying you’re wrong. I guess I’m just a bit frustrated that the argument already begins by being so far skewed to one side. By being drafted, the Charedim will simply be doing what is expected of *everyone,* so they can’t be considered, in honesty, to be “accommodating” anything. On the other hand, *anything* special done for them by the IDF is an accommodation. So why don’t we ever see attempts at moving from their side?

    I know the answer, of course. But like I said, I’m just expressing my frustration.

    Abba:

    “i don’t understand. doesn’t kahanism itself glorify racism and violence?”

    Ha ha. First, no. Second, “The Party at Lenny’s” took place in 1970, when R’ Kahane still lived in the US and was commenting on the American situation. It was pretty clear what the Black Power movement had become by that point. Norman Podhoretz had written his famous essay in 1963, in fact, and was writing about his youth twenty years earlier at that point. So to hold that incident up as something glorious is either delusional, pandering, or betraying a left-wing viewpoint that blinds one to obvious truths.

    As to your two points about the Hillel/Chabad thing, gotcha. You’re right. Although I have a sneaking suspicion that Chabad would ignore even an exclusively Orthodox presence. As they sometimes stress, they are a seperate movement.

  31. abba's rantings

    NACHUM:

    seriously? you don’t think he was a racist? he advocated for transfer of the arabs. for stripping them of political rights and making them into second class citizens. etc. all because they are arab. this isn’t racist? (or whatever word you prefer, obviously i’m using racist in the general sense of class bigotry and not wrt biological schema)

    and you don’t think kahane glorified violence? would you prefer if i used the word militancy instead?

    (i’m not sure why you’re getting all defensive. i don’t necessarily think his racism in israel or embrace of violence in america are wrong, particularly the latter. i just don’t understand why you refuse to be honest about what he stood for.)

    also, while i’m sure revisionism played a large part in forming kahane’s ideology, if i had to guess i’d say the black power movement was also an inspiration/model for him and his followers. (in general the rise and growing acceptance of ethnic pride at the time was a catalyst for greate public jewish identification and renewal.)

    but back to avi weiss. as i’m sure you’re aware, the “black power” movement meant many different things. i’m sure rabbi weiss wasn’t praising it’s violent and anti-semitic excesses. and for whatever it’s worth, the two black athletes don’t seem to have identified with the violent strains of black power. and the silver winner, a white australian, wore a badge demonstrating his sympathy with the 2 black athletes’ stance.

    out of curiosity, how would you characterize the position of the blacks in 1960s american society?

  32. The OU JLIC program has a branch on NYU campus. I would consider the Othodox Union to be pretty Orthodox.

  33. Since this seems to be a favorite of Nachum’s, the Tom Wolfe article is available online at: http://nymag.com/news/features/46170/

    While Bernstein certainly was a fool for holding the party, Wolfe doesn’t come across that well 32 years later either (but, then his white suit also looks silly).

    The Wikipedia summary of the controversy is:

    Like many of his friends and colleagues, Bernstein had been involved in various left wing causes and organizations since the 1940s. He was blacklisted by the US State Department and CBS in the early 1950s, but unlike others his career was not greatly affected, and he was never required to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. His political life received substantial press coverage though in 1970 due to a gathering hosted at his Manhattan apartment. Bernstein and his wife held the event seeking to raise awareness and money for the defense of several members of the Black Panther Party against a variety of charges. The New York Times initially covered the gathering as a lifestyle item, but later posted an editorial harshly unfavorable to Bernstein following generally negative reaction to the widely publicized story. This reaction culminated in June 1970 with the appearance of “Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s”, an essay by satirist Tom Wolfe featured on the cover of the New York Magazine. The article contrasted the Bernsteins’ comfortable lifestyle in one of the world’s most expensive neighborhoods with the anti-establishment politics of the Black Panthers. It led to the popularization of “radical chic” as a critical term. Both Bernstein and his wife Felicia responded to the criticism, arguing that they were motivated not by a shallow desire to express fashionable sympathy but by their concern for civil liberties.

    At the end of the day, Kahane will be a footnote in history; but Bernstein will be remembered for his enormous contribution to music (despite his histrionics on stage and off).

  34. For the young conservatives too young to remember this, it is worth watching: http://www.amazon.com/Ode-Freedom-Beethoven-Symphony-Bernstein/dp/B002JP9HJO/ref=sr_1_87

  35. Shmuel Ben-Gad’s observations about the Conservative movement would certainly seem to make sense, although I am less optimistic than he is that it is possible to come up with a coherent halachic methodology once we accept their assumptions about the Torah’s authorship. If we admit that the Torah was written by men (and kal va’chomer if we accept James Kugel’s view that it is no more than a slight variation on Near Eastern mythology), what room is there for halachos that are often based on drashos which pay attention to minute nuances of phraseology? All attempts I’ve seen to ground the binding nature of halacha (apparently excepting halachos which mandate beliefs about the Torah’s authorship) from Louis Jacobs to James Kugel run swiftly into incoherence.

  36. From the tree article:

    “It is a fear,” Rabbi Schiller said of the attitude in certain groups. “A mystical fear of mystical forces.”

    Asked about his personal approach to the subject, he said, “I try to maintain the traditions of my community.” And besides, he added, “why take a chance?”
    ===============================
    Is this a good thing?
    KT

  37. “I guess I’m just a bit frustrated that the argument already begins by being so far skewed to one side. By being drafted, the Charedim will simply be doing what is expected of *everyone,* so they can’t be considered, in honesty, to be “accommodating” anything.”

    Nachum- *Everyone* goes to the army? Really?
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/idf-nearly-28-of-israeli-males-avoided-conscription-in-2007-1.232645

    A large percentage of the ones that *do* conscript are likely Chardali. Y’know, the type that get kicked out of military training courses when their posek tells them they’re not allowed to hear kol isha. I’d like to know what percentage of self identifying secular Jews conscript. Check further in combat units, Golani, Givati, and Sayeret Matkal.
    And of course there’s the Israeli Arabs who are more accomadated than anyone else could possibly be. (Which kind of goes to my next point…)

    Abba- R Kahane was NOT a rascist in any meaningful sense of the term. On the contrary, he realized that very few self respecting Arabs are going to be able to take pride in being part of a JEWISH state. There’s a reason why supreme court justice Salim Joubran didn’t want to rise when they played a song that said something about a “nefesh YEHUDI homiya.” He’d be crazy to. You have a member of the Israeli Knesset who used to be Arafat’s advisor. Another member once arrived in Israel by way of Turkish Terrorist flotilla. This is insane.
    You may not like R Kahane’s answers, but you do have to deal with his Uncomfortable Questions For Comfortable Jews.
    http://www.amazon.com/Uncomfortable-Questions-Comfortable-Jews-Kahane/dp/0818404388

  38. abba's rantings

    SHAUL SHAPIRA:

    “Check further in combat units, Golani, Givati, and Sayeret Matkal.”

    i’m willing to bet that there are few datiyim (probably no chardalim) in sayeret matkal. (my understanding is that for the most part the hesder framework precludes a large dati representation in sayeret matkal and for the most part other sayarot, the air force, navy, etc. this was certainly one of the reasons that kibbutz hadati established its own “shiluv” framework, and possibly a motivation for the newer pre-army yeshiva programs)

    “R Kahane was NOT a rascist in any meaningful sense of the term.”

    he didn’t like an entire ethnically-defined class of people and as such sought to take drastic discriminatory action against them as a class by turning them into second class citizens as a prelude for a plan of ethnic cleansing.

    but he wasn’t a racist?

    “Uncomfortable Questions For Comfortable Jews.”

    i have the book. for the most part i don’t deny the problems he highlights (at least vis-a-vis the arabs) and i may or may not sympathize with his solutions, at least in an ideal world. but what does this have to do with him being a racist?

  39. I have to agree with Shaul. Kanahe, whatever else he was (and I am far from a Kahanist) was no racist. The word you are looking for is nationalist. The State of Israel was founded as the home for an ethnic nation. Unfortunately for its founders, there already existed an ethnic group in that part of the world (albeit one with no nationalism — that was a European imporation) that is not part of and has no intention of being part of the Jewish/Israeli nation.

    That is miles removed from the situation in America up to the 1960s, where the African Americans (then called Negroes) did not identify themselves as a separate nation, they simply wanted to be treated the same as any other American. Indeed, when given the chance, the African Americans served their country admirably in various wars, and certainly never identified with a foreign enemy or acted as a Fifth Column.

  40. Rantings (I always use surnames) — the difference is that Kahane, I imagine, would have no issue with an Arab converting to Judaism and accepting loyalty to the Jewish people. Such a person, I imagine, he would accept openly as a citizen of the State.

    The notion of a Negro “converting” in America circa 1950 would have been an utter absurdity.

  41. BTW, just curious. What was Kahane’s view of, say, the Druze, at least those who are loyal to the State? That seems like another good test case.

  42. From V Jabotinsky Z”L – Shtei Gadot layarden
    Two Banks has the Jordan –
    This is ours and, that is as well.

    From the wealth of our land there shall prosper
    The Arab, the Christian, and the Jew,
    For our flag is a pure and just one
    It will illuminate both sides of my Jordan.

    KT

  43. Shaul, I wrote *expected* to serve. And as a class. There’s no other class in Israel (apart from Arabs, of course, and religious women) who as a class are not expected (or expect not to) serve.

    IH, trust me, conservatives are well used to ignoring the silly political statements and acts of talented artists. We’d likely never enjoy art again otherwise.

  44. By the way, a favorite statement of R’ Kahane was “I don’t hate Arabs, I love Jews.” You can debate if he meant it, and whether or not that was always upheld in word or deed, but he did say that.

  45. abba's rantings

    TAL:

    “What was Kahane’s view of, say, the Druze, at least those who are loyal to the State?”

    iirc toshavim without political rights

    R. JOEL:

    for all his prescient insight, i don’t think jabotinsky zl (his yahrzeit btw was last week) adequately addressed the place of non-jews in the jewish state.
    i assume because
    1) his program was predicated on a complete emptying of the diaspora, so perhaps he thought that this mass aliyah (if the ghetto weren’t liquidated first) would assure the jews of numerical superiority in eretz yisrael
    2) his formative years were in a period when indiginious peoples knew their place and in any case colonial type structures were acceptable in polite society. what to do with the arabs may simply not have been an major issue for him.

  46. abba's rantings

    R. Joel:

    and of course tel hai

  47. R’ Abba,
    Yes – particularly touching for Camp Betar (A”H) alumni where he died of a heart attack in 1940.
    KT

  48. Addressing: “i don’t think jabotinsky zl (his yahrzeit btw was last week) adequately addressed the place of non-jews in the jewish state.
    i assume because
    1) his program was predicated on a complete emptying of the diaspora, so perhaps he thought that this mass aliyah (if the ghetto weren’t liquidated first) would assure the jews of numerical superiority in eretz yisrael
    2) his formative years were in a period when indiginious peoples knew their place and in any case colonial type structures were acceptable in polite society. what to do with the arabs may simply not have been an major issue for him.”

    I do not have the room to adequately address the issue so, let me summarize in bullet point:

    a) Jabotinsky recognized a strong local Arab national consciousness in Eretz-Yisrael;

    b) because of that, until they recognized that the Jews also had the same and even better, due to our historical, religious and cultural past, objectively no peace (and therefore the concept of the Iron Wall);

    c) when willing to accept Jewish statehood, Arabs to be accorded all rights of cultural self-rule and equal civic rights (A Round-table with the Arabs, 1931) and national rights of full equality (Iron Wall, 1923);

    d) in his last book, The War and the Jew, published after his death, there is a chapter The Arab Angle – Undramatized”. There he even raises willingness to accept a Jewiosh president and Arab vice-president and vice versa. He bases his ideas on the primate of a Jewish majority. On that basis, cultural autonomy is to be granted as well. But he also options a “trek” as it terms it to other Arab countries is the local Arabs can’t accept Jewish rule. he does not term that as ‘domination’ of Arabs but simply that the Jews, due to anti-Semitism, must find a home and only Erezt-Yisrael can be that home.

    There are other article where he ridicules the “peace activists”, what we would call the forerunners of Peace Now, B’tselem & Yesh Din today but that’s a bit outside the topic.

  49. Thanks to the the former rosh hanhaga artzit for his insights
    KT

  50. abba's rantings

    YISRAEL MEDAD:

    so as i understand you they would not have political equality. rights.

    “He bases his ideas on the primate of a Jewish majority”

    what were his demographic predictions, particularly considering his advocacy of shtei gedot layarden?

    thanks for clarifying!

  51. “Shaul, I wrote *expected* to serve. And as a class. There’s no other class in Israel (apart from Arabs, of course, and religious women) who as a class are not expected (or expect not to) serve.”

    Nachum- But they don’t. U’vdah. What exactly frustrates you about Charedim in particular?

    Abba- He explained exactly why it was neccesary. They are quite open about the fact that they don’t believe that ANY Jewish State has a right to exist. Consider: If Israel were at war with e.g. Egypt. Who would the vast majority support? I think it’s a no brainer.
    Ahmed Tibi recently expressed his contempt of Ilan Ramon z”l for destroying the reactors in Iraq. And he’s voting on laws regarding Israeli policy?!

    IH- This young conservative {i.e. me} ultimately has an anchor that reaches far earlier than the sixties. That can’t be said even for an old and wise Conservative such as yourself.
    How was Woodstock?

  52. With all the opinions, some facts about chiloni Tel-Aviv “draft dodgers”:

    The Tel Aviv education authorities recently examined the matter. They looked at the percentage of conscripts and the quality of military service among those who had completed 12 years of school and were born in 1992. The survey covered 13 state secular schools in Tel Aviv – Ironi Alef, Ironi Daled, Ironi Heh, Ironi Vav (Bialik-Rogozin ), Ironi Zayin, Ironi Tet, Alliance, Ironi Yud Daled, Tichon Hadash, Gymnasia Herzliya, Amal Lady Davis, Ort Singalovski and Shevach Mofet. In addition, three state religious high schools were examined – Ironi Het, Yeshivat Bar-Ilan, and Beit Sefer Amit.

    The results were amazing. The rate of enlistment among boys in the 16 high schools was 94 percent, and at the 13 nonreligious schools it was 95 percent! Isn’t that a surprise?

    And how many of these students, from among those with a suitable profile, go into combat units? In the state secular schools, 38 percent become combat soldiers – just the opposite of draft dodging. That’s higher than the national average. The percentage doing “quality service” – assisting the combatants – stands at 33 percent. That’s the opposite of draft dodging, too.

    And how many go to an officers course? Seven percent – also higher than the national average. And how many of these come from the vilified high schools of north Tel Aviv like Ironi Daled, Alliance, Ironi Yud Daled and Lady Davis? More than 10 percent. So who exactly is evading military service?

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/which-draft-dodgers-from-north-tel-aviv.premium-1.450824

  53. http://www.vosizneias.com/110980/2012/07/31/new-york-official-agudah-announcement-siyum-is-on-for-tomorrow-night

    Participants are requested to do their utmost to make a Kiddush Hashem at this one of a kind event, which will be the subject of significant attention from both the Jewish and the secular media
    ====================================

    In contrast to other times when we shouldn’t be trying our utmost due to lack of percieved significant attention?:-)

    KT

  54. IH- I can’t read the whole article because it isn’t free. (I will NOT send an agorah to ha’aretz.)
    I have some questions though:

    1) What percentage of self identifying Chilonim nationwide enlist (especially in combat units)? Chardalim? Charedim? DL-Mizrachi? Arabs?

    2)Are those all the schools in TA?

    3)How does the person who wrote this article react towards e.g. Daphni Leef (who calls on others to refuse to serve as part of the Israeli Occupation?)

    Just as aside: This article from Yediot (which is free) gloriously places TA as 53rd nationwide.
    http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4073393,00.html

  55. I will NOT send an agorah to ha’aretz.

    They still have agorot?

  56. Tal- LOL, Yes. If you look hard enough. I had a five Agorah coin for a while in Israel, and met someone who had a one. They still charge you in Agorot and round the price. If you shop savvilly enough, you can actually save ten Agorot. Then it gets lost in the dollar exchange rate from your parent’s account in America.
    🙂

  57. Tal- LOL, Yes. If you look hard enough. I had a five Agorah coin for a while in Israel, and met someone who had a one. They still charge you in Agorot and round the price. If you shop savvilly enough, you can actually save ten Agorot. Then it gets lost in the dollar exchange rate from your parent’s account in America.
    🙂

  58. Don’t know why that posted twice. Can you delete one of them?

  59. IH- Thanks for the whole article.

    What are his views on the Arabs?

  60. ▪ J Rosenblum: Our Own Worst Enemies

    “I recently read an interview with Aviad Friedman, a dati member of the Plesner Committee, in which he attributes his determination to see many more yeshiva students drafted into the army to an incident during the Second Lebanon War. He related how upon returning from the front lines and having witnessed horrors that no person should ever have to see, he picked up two yeshiva students who were hitchhiking in the North. In response to his question as to what they had been doing during the fighting, they looked at him sheepishly. It was clear to him that for them it had been just another bein hazemanim.”

    He’s right of course. And according to Dr Ephraim Shach, to some extent his father would agree as well.
    http://www.srugim.co.il/14570-%D7%91%D7%A0%D7%95-%D7%A9%D7%9C-%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91-%D7%A9%D7%9A-%D7%90%D7%91%D7%99-%D7%94%D7%99%D7%94-%D7%90%D7%93%D7%9D-%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%A4%D7%A8-%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%9C%D7%99?di=1
    ” עם זאת חשוב לי להדגיש שאלה שרשומים בישיבה ולא לומדים, אבא ראה בהם גזלנים. פשוט גזלנים. ואם הוא נתקל באחד כזה, הוא היה תולה אותו. על אחד כזה הוא אמר שצריך לגייס אותו מיד לצבא”.

    Also worth reading R Yisrael Reisman’s chapter ‘Israel At War.’

    http://www.amazon.com/Pathways-The-Prophets-Treasury-Ourselves/dp/142260893X

    R Gil- Can you *please* delete my comments from 6:05 pm as well as one of the ones from 6:04 pm? After this comment posts, I’m going to own something like 6 out of the last 8 comments on this thread!

  61. Knesset Speaker (and MK Likud) Rivlin on the draft for Arabs:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4262468,00.html

  62. Cel-Ray Tonic = Jewish champagne.

  63. shaul shapira

    IH-
    1) What happened with Mr Schnaler?

    2)Here’s an article about Rivlin

    http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=278052

    ‘“Not everyone can be a leading Torah scholar of the generation,” argued Rivlin in reference to the demand for a ceiling to be placed on the number of yeshiva students who are able to receive exemptions from national service through full-time study.

    “But coercion is not desirable either,” the Knesset chairman emphasized. “All sides need to understand that there must be compromise, and for this we need to sit down together.”’

    “Ariel Deri, director of the Tov movement, said the proposals presented up until now by the various political factions would only worsen the lack of haredim in national service, because the coercive elements of such legislation would alienate the ultra-Orthodox community.”

    Adopting Schnaler’s views on the Charedim together with Rivlin’s views on the Arabs makes for a synthetic synthesis of hellishly hypocritical proportions[1].
    D’ai! Maspik!

    [1] I’m not saying you’re doing that, but I think MK Plessner and his va’adah were coming pretty close. It’s as absurd as it is obscene.

  64. The RZ education piece really hit home – how much should/must one be mevater for others who don’t reciprocate .
    KT

  65. I had a 1 agura piece. It is a pretty neat coin actually.

  66. abba's rantings

    R. JOEL,

    the article is not entirely accurate. not all women sat separately from men. the suite balconies had mixed seating. (money talks?)

    i was told that letters were sent to suite sponsors requesting that women remain inside the suite rather than on the balconies themselves, but i didn’t think to ask if the letter specified during davening or in general.

    as an aside, i was surprised to see many young girls.

  67. r’abba,
    It’s a great ice breaker-like saying you were at woodstock 🙂

    Now that I think about it-when he asks about hashkafa, she might answer :

    Well maybe it is just the time of year,
    Or maybe it’s the time of man.
    I don’t know who I am,
    But you know life is for learning.

    We are stardust.
    We are golden.
    And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.(of Eden of course-or perhaps MSG for the next siyum?)

    KT

  68. abba's rantings

    R. Joel:

    “It’s a great ice breaker-like saying you were at woodstock :-)”

    could be dangerous. follow up question might be, “but were you in the women’s only or mixed section?”

  69. While the education overhaul is worth thinking about, the more immediate lesson is to manage expectations or actually agree on a price prior to rendering service. It avoids a lot of hard feelings later on.
    KT

  70. R’Gil,
    rotflol- don’t know which I liked better-your subversive title (Has Alex Comfort sued you yet?) or your hat tip to the msirut nefesh of the non-scholar daf yomi folks.
    KT

  71. RE: “Does Israel Really Need A Compulsory Draft?”

    His math is all wrong. He claims only 59% of eligable men serve in the army for the full term, but according to his numbers it’s actually 63%

    Most of his arguments also make no sense. The US army is a fully volunteer army, and if you visit any army base, most people are sitting around doing nothing. I do believe the movie Jarhead focused entirely on that issue.

  72. R’Avi;
    Perhaps this will clarify the issue
    http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishFeatures/Article.aspx?id=279744
    especially this fascinating line of reasoning (I wonder if he checked it out with rabbinical staff?
    ““Maybe their beliefs should be subverted to mine? If there were a majority of haredim in this country and we made everyone study Torah eight hours a day or observe Shabbat, would that be okay?” he asked rhetorically. “Just because the majority is the majority does not mean they can do what they want to the minority”
    KT

  73. Gil has said that Charedim in the IDF should be able to turn to their own posek. Well:

    “Many Chabad soldiers who proudly sport a Yechi Yarmulke asked Rabbi Sholom Dov Wolpo what should be done, and he responded: “Since it is a decree which goes against the religion and conscience of the soldiers, it doesn’t make sense that a Jewish soldier should listen to it . . Therefore it is clear that according to Halacha it is prohibited to follow this directive, and soldiers should be ready to go do jail for disobeying””

    Joel: He’s basically perverting a classical argument of democracy (which he’s probably not a big fan of anyway) for his own purposes. This is nothing like that.

  74. shaul shapira

    Anyone who thinks Charedim without guns are dangerous should be aware that after you draft us and give us M16’s and Merkava tanks we’ll make RBS look tame. I can’t wait to become the majority so that we can implement our theocracy![1]

    [1] Of course there will be no theocracy http://www.idi.org.il/PublicationsCatalog/Pages/PP_50/Publications_Catalog_2050.aspx ,but reality never got in the way of Charedi bashing anyhow.

    A Government headed by a S’gan Rosh Memshala, a rotating Ramatkal and three Bagatz’s that don’t recognize each other’s authority. I really can’t wait.

  75. The siyum is coming! The Siyum is coming!

    Me again,.,,thanks to all the rabbonim for not listening to my pleading lsast week. we barely made chatzos for krias shema at maariv. Certainly missed ashmora rishina but then again we hold like the chochomim right? I think that is tomorrows daf 🙂

  76. “R’Avi;
    Perhaps this will clarify the issue”

    I don’t see how. Being drafted into an Army has nothing to do with beliefs.

  77. Rabbi Daniel Freelander, senior vice president at the Union for Reform Judaism, says Talmud study is not a priority for his movement, which assigns the same authority to contemporary Reform rabbis as it does to Talmudic sages.

    “Text study is very important to us, but we focus on the Ur-text, on Torah in particular. Talmud, the Oral Law, is not our core text,” he said. It “certainly doesn’t rise anywhere to the level of a daily study encouragement for us.”

    Fascinating. Or, maybe I shouldn’t be suprised. Talmud has no influence or sway on Reform’s decisions? How do they decided their so-called “halocho” with any reference to primary sources, which the Talmud is.

  78. How do they decided their so-called “halocho” with any reference to primary sources, which the Talmud is

    By referring to the editorial page of the NY Times and the platform of the Democratic Party.

  79. Unlike Conservatives, I don’t think Reform claims to *have* halakha. What they observe is done in a very Kaplan-like fashion.

    Poetry by Ilana Kurshan! We broke the fast with her and her husband on Sunday. (They paid me five silver shekels for their son.)

  80. And WADR to the Conservative rabbi quoted, what a load of nonsense:

    “It’s breadth over depth. The Conservative approach to Jewish study tends to be more depth-oriented.”

    I must have missed all the great lomdus coming out of Conservative circles. I’m sure it’s their deep focus on iyun which doesn’t allow them to cover too much ground.

    I think Anshel Pfeffer’s (no Orthodox propagandist) article on the London Daf Yomi siyum (http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/the-curtain-of-talmud-1.455664) presents a more accurate reflection of the state of Talmud study in the Conservative movement:

    “My partner was a Conservative rabbi, a leader of a community and a man much wiser than me in years and study, but after just a few lines, he became frustrated and impatient to reach “the point.” The sad fact is that today there are only a handful of people outside the Orthodox community who can tackle an unadorned page of Talmud, and almost all of them spent their formative years in yeshiva before abandoning that world.”

  81. It’s breadth over depth.
    ======================================
    That part is certainly true – I know last night as I was preparing my 1 night a week daf shiur (we rotate) I couldn’t help but think how many fascinating tangents there are on each of the dapim in the first week of brachot and how many people will never know they exist.

    KT

  82. joel rich – see david landes comments on the talmud blog:

    http://thetalmudblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/solidarity-and-redemption-at-metlife-stadium-notes-from-the-siyum-ha-shas-guest-post-by-david-j-landes/

    “Daf ha-yomi would seem to fit Asad’s understanding of ritual quite well: for many it seems to be more a matter of performance akin to davening (daily Jewish prayer), than the acquisition and retention of knowledge.” how true, nevertheless no small feat either.

  83. R’ Ruvie,
    Thanks for the interesting link. “In any event, the performance of the ritual is particularly demanding of one’s time and intellect,” IMHO the former is certainly true, I hope the latter is true for most participants.
    KT

  84. shaul shapira

    Apropos this and other conversations on this blog:

    http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/av_ii.pdf

    …tradition recorded in the Sifra perceives in the individual
    verses of this Scriptural warning the outline for the history of the development of apostasy against God and His Law, an apostasy which began innocently but continually grew. This development passes through the following stages, as explained in the Sifra: the study of the Law is abandoned; the Law is no longer fulfilled; those who live according to the Law are scorned; the sages,
    who teach the Law, are hated; observance of the Law by others is
    3Pposed [sic]; the Divine Revelation is denied; the existence of God isdenied.”

    Sorry for quoting such a ‘heresy-hunter’.

  85. Having just been reminded of the pros/cons of the Israeli Shabbat shul experience, I found David Landes’ comparison of Daf Yomi to davening interesting but underdeveloped.   

    As the Jewish literacy and skills of the average davener has increased as dramatically as it has, and as the force of mimetic ritual has lessened (e.g. the admixture of minhagim which levels the playing field) has Daf Yomi become a new measure by which males are ranked within their sociological peer group?

    To be clear, this is not meant in any way to belittle Daf Yomi, which I think is more valuable now than ever before, particularly given the realities of modern living and technological tools.

  86. I found the comments from Rabbi Daniel Freelander of the URJ quoted in the JTA article quite bizarre, particularly the 2nd half which sounded downright Karaite — not to mention anachronistic in regard to then”ur text” phraseology. I would hope they were the result of miscommunication and not an accurate representation of the American Reform movement’s view of Talmud.

  87. Bizarre? Why, were you under the impression that Reform Judaism has some sort of interest in the Talmud?

  88. IH – I do not know about ranking and the pecking order. But I found the similarities of ritual and daf ha-yomi quite interesting and more spot on than anything else I have read about the phenom. It seems more about ritual of completing it than knowledge gain in its speed reading. Wonder how much time is givien to shneim mikra and v’echod targum and any other indepth learning for your non-kollel person.

  89. Re: The poor of Israel.

    Does anybody know the reality of the impact say, $5,000 has being given to a chronically poor family in a poor neighborhood, vs giving that money to someone who is otherwise comfortable but is now able to have an experience they could never have had otherwise?

    It’s a situation that I can’t quite wrap my head around, but I know offering to pay people’s bills or help them pay rent is often not wanted/appreicated as much as paying the same amount of money for food for a simcha.

  90. Ruvie. — see also the Anshel Pfeffer that J. mentioned:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/the-curtain-of-talmud-1.455664

    “As Prof. Samuel Heilman, perhaps our foremost researcher of Jewish study patterns, points out: ‘Before the Holocaust, most religious Jews belonged to Hevrat Tehilim or Hevrat Mishnayot (groups who met to recite Psalms or chapters of the Mishna ), but daf yomi enabled them to join the upper class of Hevrat Shas. They have joined the elite but this has also caused a dumbing down of Talmud, as many of those studying a daf in 45 minutes are just reading it, they don’t really understand very much of it. It is closer to prayer than study.'”

  91. r’ih
    true. question-would chassidut have gotten off the ground if the masses had felt engaged as in your quote?
    KT

  92. The thing is, up until a few decades ago, there was no *expectation* that the masses would ever learn Gemara in their lives. The people didn’t expect it, and the leaders shouldn’t have looked down on those who didn’t. Whether or not they did is another question…

  93. “The thing is, up until a few decades ago, there was no *expectation* that the masses would ever learn Gemara in their lives.”

    I still see no expectation that the masses will ever learn Gemara.

    But then I don’t limit my view of the masses to Orthodox families. 😛

  94. ” just reading it, they don’t really understand very much of it. It is closer to prayer than study.’””

    What a terrible condemnation of Prayer!!

    Perhaps what is needed now is a new “chasidut movement” that focuses on meaningful prayer, where people know and understand what they are saying?

  95. “I still see no expectation that the masses will ever learn Gemara.

    But then I don’t limit my view of the masses to Orthodox families. ”

    I have no expectation that the masses of those identifying as Orthodox will ever learn Gemarah-but that I don’t mean to imply that masses of Orthodox Jews won’t have physical attendance at shiurim where a Rebbe/magid shiur is teaching Gemarrah.

  96. Sorry-due to a computer breakdown at home, and the demands of work, I have beem busy. I thought that the Siyum HaShas was a Kiddush HaShem in showing the entire world how we celebrate long distance achievements without the need for drugs, booze or instantaneous gratification. R Lau, R Frand, R Shmuel Kaminetsky, R Perlow, R A M Kotler, R Y Hillel and R Y Scheiner all spoke prirmarily, if not entirely in English amd the emphasis was on Limud HaTorah as a unifying factor among all Torah observant Jews. Aside from one overly long Yiddish drasha and Maariv, which was scheduled in a way that we almost didn’t finish before Chatzos, the entire evening was superb. Perhaps, at the next Siyum, the Divrei Drush about Achdus will be translated into a flesh and blood reality simply because IMO the old Agudah, which never lost an opportunity to bash MO and YU, has many lay leaders who grew up in the MO world, and now has mellowed ito a NCYI for the Charedi world. I think that at the next Siyum we will see a RY from RIETS either giving a Hadran or major drasha tp an audience that clearly views English at its lingua franca.

  97. I think that Professor Heilam underestimates the role of Talmud study and especially Daf Yomi. Learning DY, even at its accelerated pace, gives the average Ben Torah a far greater appreciation of TSBP and what Chazal , Rishonim and Acharonim concerned themselves with than in the average amount of Talmud learned per zman.

  98. I thought that the symposium re the Siyum HaShas had some great articles. Like it or not, the editorial in the JW was far superior to a clearly ambivalent, if not negative article in the NYT. I am amazed that the NYT deemed it necessary to have a quote from a feminist whose views of TSBP , unfortunately, are mistaken.

  99. why should anyone be surprised re a prominent RJ official’a view re the study of Talmud? The quoted view can be traced back to the earliest days of RJ. I think that Artscroll deserves a huge Yasher Koach, as R D M Shapiro stressed, for enabling many Jews who last looked at Talmud in high school to open what had been a text that had been collecting dust for a long time.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: