News & Links

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


The Orthodox Surge
Kol Isha and a Rabbinic Conundrum
Ask the Rabbi: May a Jew own a gun store?
It’s official: JCOT Joins OU
London’s Jewish community buries time capsule
Will Another Historic Lower East Side Synagogue Make Way for Condos?
Websites tell the story of Jewish exodus from Arab countries
Going iPhone-less: Camps trying to ban gadgets while embracing technology
A Grand Bargain: Why We Must Encourage Charitable Giving
Chopped Herring and the Making of the American Kosher Certification System
SALT Friday

A rabbinic lesson in marriage counseling
Maharat Student: Inside Sex Education for Orthodox Couples
New York May Ease Statute of Limitations for Decades-Old Child Sex Abuse Claims
Muslim group helps save ancient English synagogue
Yeshiva students ‘waiting to be arrested’
On Darwin and the Talmud
Analyzing Myths of Female Beauty: An Alternative Approach To Teaching Tzniut
When Unity Reigned In A Diverse Orthodox Community
Jezebel Owner Anticipated Name Change As ‘Concession’
Prisoner escapes J’lem Rabbinical Court through window
Dr Blau: Some Radical Ideas
SALT Thurssday

Is Pesach Cleaning Hazardous to Your Health?
Who Says There Are No Coincidences?
When a Jewish infant dies
Fringe Benefits?
Vienna university offers rare melting pot for European Jews
Jewish group backs RI gay marriage bill
Pre-Passover Survival Guide From the OU
A Roundup of Passover Guides for 2013/5773
AIPAC Is Exhibit A of Orthodox Jews’ Increasing Political Influence
New “Pninei Halakha” Volume: 2nd Day of Yomtov
Does Bamba Prevent Peanut Allergies in Kids?
SALT Wednesday

The Locusts Are Coming! Yum!
Jerusalem’s Sexist Street Signs
Lower East Side Development Spells Decline of Old Jewish Power Brokers
Senate approves Jacob Lew as Treasury secretary
Amsterdam Jewish community gets back former synagogue
Rabbis: Stopping assimilation overrides Shabbat
Encyclopedia of ghettos available online
Russian and American Chabad Arms Split Over Schneerson Library
Disease Threatens U.S. Kosher Chicken Supply at Empire Kosher and Other Plants
This Story Stinks
Learning from the Litvak
FDR and the Jews
Hip Hop, Hebrew, And Heritage
The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking
Jewish club explores kosher in new translations
Day school education — is it worth it?
SALT Monday

Prior news & links posts
Rules: link
Hat Tips
Note: Some links were found through other websites, some of which are mentioned below:

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.

205 comments

  1. In the end, my argument comes down to this: according to an Avi Chai survey by Amy L. Sales and Leonard Saxe, “Particularism in the University: Realities and Opportunities for Jewish Life on Campus,” and to Jonathan Ament in “American Jewish Religious Denominations,” somewhere between a quarter and nearly half of Orthodox Students entering college are no longer Orthodox by the time they graduate. (“For example, one-quarter of the students who come to college as Orthodox Jews report that they have changed their denominational identity while at college. About half of these chose Conservative Judaism,” Sales and Saxe write. Ament, meanwhile, adds, “For example, the table indicates that among those who were raised Orthodox, 42% are still Orthodox…”)
    ==========================================
    And what would the rates be if they didn’t have that education (try the early 1900’s as one possible data point)
    KT

  2. Chickens-who holds 6% (or 2%) is miyut hamatzui????
    KT

  3. “Russian and American Chabad Arms Split Over Schneerson Library”

    i feel strongly that chabad should get the library back and support their judicial and state department efforts to do so.
    but the article highlights an interesting rift between russian and american chabad. i thought the article would say that putin agrees to give the library to *russian* chabad. on the face of it, would be hard to disagree with this compromise.

    also interesting is the larger context that putin raises of the pandora’s box. although it’s not clear to what extent this motive is really driving him, or its just the pretext.

  4. chickens- of course this happens right before pesach, so there will be a good excuse for rise in prices

  5. “The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking”

    i saw this report yesterday, and i think it put exchange between STBO and moshe shoshan on gun control and the warsaw ghetto into perspective. a few guns in the hands of those brave warsaw jews didn’t stop the holocaust, but they held for longer than anticipated and diverted german resources all the while. if these types of revolts had erupted in scores or hundreds of ghettos . . .

  6. if these types of revolts had erupted in scores or hundreds of ghettos . . .

    It would have made no difference at all. [And, btw, there is scholarship on this subject].

  7. “It would have made no difference at all”

    Agreed. At the same time, it is ludicrous to compare armed rebellion against one of the best and most ruthless armed forces in history and everyday self-defense. The former is madness, the latter perfectly normal.

  8. I dunno that I’m in agreement w/the article on Jewish education. In Israel, for instance, the attrition rates were far worse – with or without college – in the 50s and 60s.

  9. Thank you for posting that important article from the LA Times. Gluttony, decadence, and excess. I guess that’s North American Modern Orthodoxy for you.

  10. R’ Dude,
    Unfortunately there have been a spate of such reports. No wonder the ou made Jezebel change their name (like that will help)
    KT

  11. IH:

    “It would have made no difference at all”

    why not?

  12. “No wonder the ou made Jezebel change their name (like that will help)”

    the name is the least of the problems there, from an ethical/moral perspective…

  13. JOEL RICH:

    “And what would the rates be if they didn’t have that education (try the early 1900′s as one possible data point)”

    i agree. i was also thinking that this is half/full glass issue. on the other hand it’s important not to overlook the nuances that characterized the american “orthodox” community in 1900 and make direct comparison as a data point somewhat complicated.

    i agree wholeheartedly with the author that the role, success, etc., of jewish day school needs a more critical appraisal.

  14. r’ abba,
    I agree as well, I just don’t like the point ruined by bad logic.

    r’emma,
    I agree as well – but amcha has been voting this way with their feet for a while.
    KT

  15. Abba,

    May I suggest reading on how costly the war effort was on the Eastern Front against the Germans. It’ll give you a pretty good idea as to why.

  16. DUDE:

    “Thank you for posting that important article from the LA Times. Gluttony, decadence, and excess”

    i know this is just a re-visit of the kiddush conversation last week, but i don’t think that just because someone enjoys good food and can afford to pay for it, this person is inherently a glutton, etc.
    as far as this specific article, maybe i’m overreaching, but i thought it puts the attendees in a positive light, i.e., they don’t compromise on their faith.
    and of course even if there is a negative context to this, the event still may be a valuable service, as some of these people might otherwise seek out this food without a hechsher (or do you think being a glutton–and i don’t know if they are gluttons–with hechshered food is the same as making sure your girldfriend dips in the mikva before sleeping with her)

    EMMA:

    postscript to the kiddush converstation, aside from the usual unruly mob attack at the serving stations this week, there was a special candy table for the kids. my wife was very upset the way the kids attacked the table, pushing and shoving, etc., as if they never had candy before and will never again.

  17. AIWAC:

    “May I suggest reading . . .”

    i’ll politely decline. not because i think you are sending me on a wild good chase, but i’ll never get around to it.

  18. i hate candy at shul, but it’s impossible to avoid without a universal consensus, which is unachievable. still, the fault for kids acting like that is on the adults, who set them up to it, as opposed to, eg, giving out candy to kids waiting in aline…

  19. May I suggest reading on how costly the war effort was on the Eastern Front against the Germans. It’ll give you a pretty good idea as to why.

    I also wondered about this. Are you saying that so many Germans were killed at the battlefront that killing a few more in the ghettos wouldn’t have mattered? But it matters not just how many were killed, but where. If fighting were to erupt in innumerable urban areas, it would have caused a significant disruption of public order, no?

  20. There is scholarship on this, but here is a paragraph from a Tablet essay in reaction to Newtown:

    Regardless of one’s view of Napolitano’s broader defense of gun ownership, his invocation of the Holocaust is factually and logically flawed. First, only around 20—not 300—Germans were killed during the Warsaw Uprising (historian Peter Longerich estimates that the Nazis “suffered several dozen fatalities”), while approximately 13,000 Jews were killed in the ghetto, and the 50,000 surviving captives were quickly deported to concentration camps. Second, it is optimistic to think that revolt from poorly armed, poorly trained, and undermanned citizens against the mighty German military would have substantially altered the fate of German or Eastern European Jews.

    Ref: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/119543/gun-control-and-the-holocaust?all=1

  21. IH-what about the effect of the various resistance groups on the Nazi war efort? Are you claiming that their results were miniscule?

  22. I am not claiming anything about Nazi resistance beyond the specific point under discussion.

  23. EMMA:

    at first i never let my son take from the candy man in shul. at some point i broke down, and now with my daughter, forget about it (on a good day i try for moderation)

    IH:

    perhaps i don’t know enough to play these “what if” games. but i’m inclined to agree with shlomo. the issue isn’t if the jews could have killed masses of germans and defeat them all the way back to berlin, but
    a) could they have provided enough of nuisance to the germans to force the mamzerim to reconsider their jewish policies.
    b) could they have postponed what would have anyway been an inevitable defeat. perhaps this wouldn’t have helped in places like warsaw, but what about in hungary, where they would not have had to hold out (relatively) that long?

    “I am not claiming anything about Nazi resistance beyond the specific point under discussion.”

    you don’t have to claim anything, but i think steve’s point is relevant.

    and from the article you quoted:

    “Second, it is optimistic to think that revolt from poorly armed, poorly trained, and undermanned citizens against the mighty German military”

    funny. i’d have thought you would be one of the first to emphasize the me’atim be-yad rabim, chalashim be-yad giborim, etc. as opposed to nes pach hashemen.

  24. also, i don’t understand the debate. the question isn’t whether armed resistance would have produced better or worse results than the alternative (shtadlanut, bribery, emigration, conversion, etc.).
    there was *no* alternative to speak of. so halevai they would have had/used the mass resistance option. maybe we’d still have yom hashoah in any case. but maybe we’d have instead another chanukah.

  25. This is not something I’m interested in spending time on at this point in my life, but I have read some of the scholarship in the past. Of course, there is new scholarship all the time and perhaps you can find something to solidify your desire for the answer to be different. I will be happy to re-assess based on any new evidence you may find.

  26. IH:

    thank you for your well articulated explanation.

    AIWAC:

    did partisans have a higher rate of survival, or was it just as dismal?

  27. Shlomo,

    And if so, so what? We’re talking about a war machine that was only defeated by the combined efforts of the US, the British Empire and the Soviet Union at tremendous cost in lives and material.

    Moreover, the Germans were very adept and ruthless at anti-partisan warfare, which (that is, partisan warfare) tended to be ineffective until later in the war when the Nazi Regime was already tottering anyway. If you don’t believe me, read up on the other Eastern European peoples who tried to resist.

    It hurts to say this, but there was *no* realistic option to stop the overall Holocaust save beating the Nazis. Everything else – rebellion, bribes, political maneuvering – was tried. With the exception of colloborating regimes such as Bulgaria and Roumania, they all failed.

  28. Abba,

    It’s not just a question of partisan casualties (I don’t have the info on how much they suffered) but the general civilian population. Not everyone was fit to run away in the forests and fight even if you could find them the guns & ammo (eg, Defiance). The civilian population suffered terribly in ‘anti-partisan’ activity.

  29. LongTimeReader

    abba’s rantings on March 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    there was *no* alternative to speak of. so halevai they would have had/used the mass resistance option. maybe we’d still have yom hashoah in any case. but maybe we’d have instead another chanukah.
    ————-

    That’s pretty troubling theologically, no?

  30. Abba — see: http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Armed_Resistance

    “In the end, armed resistance was an option available to relatively few Jews, mainly to the young who were physically fit. By the time mass deportations came and Jews found themselves with their backs to the walls, months and years of living under the harsh ghetto regime had reduced the numbers capable of fighting to a minimum. […]

    Even in the ghettos themselves, armed resistance movements were often unpopular because they seemed to put the lives of other ghetto inhabitants at risk. Most Jews preferred strategies aimed at saving lives, however impossible they might be, to taking arms in hand, which promised only a hero’s death and hastened the end. Under those circumstances, it is not surprising that armed resistance was a minority phenomenon among Jews. Actually, it is remarkable that its dimensions were as widespread as they were.”

  31. Well, as R’ Ziemba said when they asked him about the revolt (this is published in his teshuvot), while Jews used to die al kiddush Hashem, in his time, when the Germans simply wanted to kill Jews no matter what they did, it might be better to *live* al kiddush Hashem (his precise words), i.e., go down fighting. So maybe we should consider that as a factor? What would you rather have done?

    Steven Spielberg, whose feelings about guns are fanatic (he edited the guns the policemen were holding in ET into walkie-talkies when he rereleased it!) left out the part in Schindler’s List where Schindler arms the Jews so they can have a fighting chance against the German guards should they decide to kill them.

  32. IH,

    Thank you.

    Nachum,

    All of this discussion of alternatives assumes foreknoweldge about the war and its outcome (what’s known on WWII forums as the OTL or Official Timeline), knowledge which no-one possessed. Everyone tried their preferred solution. As said before, they all failed to stop the overall Holocaust and to expect otherwise is fantasy.

  33. R. Rich:

    just to clarify, i happen to agree (in theory) with the author that tuition is not a good value and day school does not have to be mandatory (at least in the early grades, i’m not so sure about later on). but le-maase, i think he sees it too much in black and white. as if he argues there are kids who come from good homes, are religously inclined, etc. and they will turn out the same without day school, so they don’t need it. and then there are kids who who go to day school, but without positive results to show for it. ergo there is no net benefit and no need of day school. but surely there are plenty of kids in the middle, who come from bad homes, etc. yet are positively influenced in day school? or even average kids who need that framework. (also what are the endpoints? ok, observance stat is not sanguine, but are day grads still more likely marry in, observe some basic rituals, etc.? i mean are those day school grads who go away for college marrying non-jews, eating pork on yom kippur, etc.). also, was there a control group or any type of comparative data?)

  34. That’s pretty troubling theologically, no?

    Not more than any other case of murder when, beyond some point, there is nothing the victim can do to stop it.

  35. R. Rich,

    also le-maase he doesn’t take into account that the support and infrastructure he thinks can substitute for day school doesn’t necessarily exist. i mean consider his original premise, i.e., that day schools have poor results and produce grads who are illiterate, unemotional and perhaps headed to non-observance; so why does he think these parents who themselves are products of these day school are up to the task of breaking the cycle and providing their kids with a substitute for day school? and certainly the jewish community at large won’t step up to the plate.

  36. LTR:

    “That’s pretty troubling theologically, no?”

    not nearly as troubling as the assertion that they had no option whatsoever to save themselves

    NACHUM

    “Well, as R’ Ziemba said when they asked him about the revolt . . . while Jews used to die al kiddush Hashem, in his time, when the Germans simply wanted to kill Jews no matter what they did, it might be better to *live* al kiddush Hashem (his precise words), i.e., go down fighting.”

    in general i don’t think there is anything noble about dying without a fight (although this is what ghandi recommended to the jews in this period).
    what he says about the germans is true, but i find one possible implication to be difficult to process. i hesitate to ask this, but why exactly do we say that that the holocaust victims died al kishush hashem?

    (and that’s crazy about ET)

    AIWAC:

    “All of this discussion of alternatives assumes foreknoweldge about the war and its outcome”

    this i think is strongest argument against those who link support for guns with the holocaust precedent. it’s easy to say in hindsight that the day that hitler assumed power in 1933 the jews should have unsheathed their arms, but as events unfold, it’s difficult to isolate when exactly is the point of return. (on the other hand, i don’t think the guns for jewish defence rests on the holocaust arugment. just because it might no have helped then, doesn’t mean armed jewish defense would never work)

  37. Nachum-It is also well documented that R M Ziemba ZL, HaShem Yimkam Damo, ultimately supported the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

  38. Abba,

    Exactly, which is why I think it’s absurd to bring up the Holocaust in the context of the US gun debate – and I say this as someone who’s very pro Second Amendment.

  39. Abba — When I turned 40, I was telling a close friend that I was now older than my grandfather when he moved his family from Berlin in 1938. My friend, btw, responded that he would not have survived because his personality would have driven him to stay and wait it out. A couple of years ago, when I was researching my family history, my uncle, his son — who was 5 when they left — pointed out: 1) yes, but why did he stay until as late as 1938; and, 2) they moved to Antwerp because my grandfather thought Hitler would never invade Belgium.

    Guns for defense is so far removed from the reality of Jewish existence in those years that it is an absurd discussion, regardless of whether we’re discussing Western, Central or Eastern Europe.

  40. On a more reality-related level, here’s some Hebrew material (with an extensive bibliography) on Jewish soldiers in the Red Army (about half a million):

    http://www.shoa.org.il/files/38.38508054.pdf

  41. LongTimeReader

    Shlomo on March 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm
    That’s pretty troubling theologically, no?

    Not more than any other case of murder when, beyond some point, there is nothing the victim can do to stop it.
    —————

    I meant the idea that the difference between the victory of Chanuka & the devastation of the holocaust was how well armed the “me’atim” were. Questions about the Holocaust aside, why do you say Hallel on Chanuka?

  42. “The right to be a parent, freedom of occupation, and human dignity and freedom’ says the court supersede the right of a religious school to refuse to expose its students to alternative family models. […]

    IVF for single women has been accepted, post factum, by some modern Orthodox rabbis, such as Rabbi Yuval Sherlo. During the hearings, the school did not claim that the woman had violated Jewish law, but rather argued that she was setting an improper example for the students.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/israeli-court-rules-religious-school-cannot-fire-teacher-for-pregnancy.premium-1.507265

  43. IH quoted this tidbit of Israeli judicial activism in action:

    “The right to be a parent, freedom of occupation, and human dignity and freedom’ says the court supersede the right of a religious school to refuse to expose its students to alternative family models”

    What are the sources, if any, for the above “rights”, all of which are so vague that one could drive a proverbial Mack trucj through each of them, as opposed to a right of free exercise of religion, which I would think would include a POV that “alternative family models” are neither hashkafically nor halachically appropriate?

  44. Steve: In all fairness, those (at least some of them) are part of Israel’s Basic Laws, duly passed by the Knesset.

    I thought it stank when some school in Belgium refused to admit a Neturei Karta guy’s kids to teach him a lesson. Lo yumtu banim all avotam…

    Steve (again): Indeed, that is the precise teshuva of R’ Ziemba I cited.

    Abba & Aiwac: You are, of course, right. I imagine most Jews thought it would blow over. But the thing is, we *do* have perfect hindsight *now*.

    Abba (again): Yes, the status of whether they died al kiddush Hashem has been dealt with. R’ Rakeffet has written a piece on it, as have others. Of course, language changes. We use the phrase “Chasid Umot HaOlam” in an entirely different way than anyone did before World War II.

  45. “But the thing is, we *do* have perfect hindsight *now*”

    And with that hindsight, we can say that a mass rebellion would probably have merely sped up the killing process. It certainly would not have stopped it.

  46. r’ avi,
    thanks for the link – gives new meaning to the gemara that tells us you only really know a person b’kiso, b’kaso u’bkoso (here 2 out of 3 ain’t bad – cue Meatloaf)
    KT

  47. Avi:

    i don’t generally oppose boycotts, but this really seems like biting the hand that feeds you. One never knows in Israel what will be the ultimate outcome, but it really seems like the charedi status quo is under attack in so many areas (draft, elementary curriculum, rabbanut, etc.). This type of a move really can’t help their long term interests.

  48. Nachum-members of R Menachem Ziemba ZL’s family have written that R Ziemba ZL supported the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. I will find and post a link.

  49. Thank you, Steve. I knew of this: R’ Leiman once gave a shiur on the topic. That’s how I learned of the teshuva in the first place.

  50. I think the fringe benefits article should be tagged to the partnership minyan discussion. It speaks volumes.
    KT

  51. Gil: I raised it elsewhere, but since you link to the Pesach guides here: Yes, I saw the OU guide is as printed online. However, search engines are not a problem: Just post text versions of all the articles alongside a “as printed” version. Not hard, I’d think.

    As to second day of chag, the most consistent and logical position is two days for everyone (even Israeli visitors) outside of Israel; one day for all in Israel. I look forward to R’ Melamed’s next piece.

  52. “Is Pesach Cleaning Hazardous to Your Health?”

    seriously? an entire article on this subject without pointing out that much of what consists of “passover cleaning” today is really nothing of the such?

    “Pre-Passover Survival Guide From the OU”

    at least this article was better in this regard. however, if the OU were serious about making sure people understand what is and isn’t required for passover, perhaps they should stop putting k-p designation on items that don’t require it. or perhaps i will see a k-p section home depot ths year (a la http://abbasrantings.blogspot.com/2012/12/kosher-comes-to-home-depot.html

  53. Abba: These are excerpts from the OU Passover Guide so you shouldn’t expect one idea to be repeated in multiple places.

  54. “AIPAC Is Exhibit A of Orthodox Jews’ Increasing Political Influence”

    on the one hand it’s good to see growing frum concentrations in such venues. but are these frum jews adding numbers to the overall ranks, or are they replacing vanishing non-ortho numbers?

    GIL:

    an article specifically devoted to avoiding mental and physical pitfalls of pesach cleaning can’t ignore that the best piece of advice is to distinguish between what is and what isn’t necessary. no matter how many times this is mentioned elsewhere in the magazine.

  55. NACHUM:

    agree re. yom tov sheni. although i find that it is more common for benei chutz la-aretz to hold one day in israel than for israelis to hold 2 in chul. (but in of itself i don’t think is *that* common for benei chul to hold 1 in israel) i don’t think i’ve even ever met an israeli visitor holding 2 days. (i even know israelis who’ve been here many years and are *never* going back, but continue to hold 1 day)

  56. baby article is very sad. i wonder about the naming custom.

  57. “an article specifically devoted to avoiding mental and physical pitfalls of pesach cleaning can’t ignore that the best piece of advice is to distinguish between what is and what isn’t necessary. no matter how many times this is mentioned elsewhere in the magazine.”

    it would have been nice to have a sentence, yes. but the things that “really” need cleaning are the things that tend to be most-helped by chemical cleaners (Eg, ovens). so the topic is still highly relevant even for the pesach minimalist.

  58. EMMA:

    the point of departure for the article is bleach. what part of pesach cleaning requiers bleach? (the only thing i’ve heard of is if there is a crevice you can’t get to, then to clean it with bleach, but in general, what is the use for bleach?)

    and what about this:

    “Only disinfect surfaces people are likely to touch (e.g., doorknobs). You do not typically need to use a disinfectant on floors or walls.”

    disinfect? when did pesach cleaning become about disinfecting? and you have to clean all the doorknobs for pesach?

  59. EMMA:

    and the section at the end on mental health doesn’t explore that the anxiety can be caused by expectations and standards that have nothing to do with halacha.

    (re. over cleaners, our first year i burned my arms from the easy off. who knew about gloves. didn’t use the oven after that until very recently. one day will spring for self cleaning mode.)

  60. yeah, i basically agree. i am just happy to see orthodox people being skeptical, ever, of the various technologies on which they “need” to rely to do mitzvos as they see fit…

  61. R C P Sheinberg ZL was none for underscoring that we should never confuse spring cleaning with pre-Pesach cleaning.

  62. I dont get the point of the tallit article.

  63. MiMedinat HaYam

    jo — she wants to wear a tallit, so she can daven for the amud. but doesnt have the guts to actually say so.

  64. abba’s rantings: ” (but in of itself i don’t think is *that* common for benei chul to hold 1 in israel) ”
    i would say in the mo world i think the majority do keep 1 day (thats my observation over the last 10 plus years). its interesting that almost no mo shul rabbis – or reits ry – tell their congregants to keep 1 day – yet they do – similar to pm issue as well.

  65. ruvie:

    how many in israel after high school hold 1 day?

    pm?

  66. abba – anecdotally i would say 60-70% of mo visiting for chagim. check out how many second seders there are at the hotels. 20 years when i first when i was surprised how many did. i am sure much less in the rwmo circles unless they own their own apartment etc.

    if you are referring to children in israel for the year – will depend on the family minhag – if there is one (and if their family is visiting) and pressure from the yeshiva for do X.

  67. Nachum wrote in part:

    “As to second day of chag, the most consistent and logical position is two days for everyone (even Israeli visitors) outside of Israel; one day for all in Israel. I look forward to R’ Melamed’s next piece”

    That may be all well and true-but the entire issue is a major Machlokes HaPoskim. One should consult either one’s Posek or competent LOR on such an issue.

  68. RUVIE:

    i guess the truth is i don’t know that many people who go to israel for the chagim, but when i tell people that i held 1 day in yeshivah they usually think it’s wierd.

    “will depend on the family minhag”

    how can there be a family “minhag” for something so recent (and in any case not really that widespread, at least in my circles)

    “if you are referring to children in israel for the year – ”

    perhaps it’s changed. from what i remember, when i was in yeshiva in israel 20 years ago most people i knew held 2 days. (our rosh yeshiva gave us a shiur on the subject and told us both are acceptable options and we could choose. 14/15 did 1 day.)

    what is pm?

  69. Jo-simple question-does the author observe the other Mitzvos that are incumbent on both men and women, as well as those mitzvos that women are obligated in ( Hilcos Nidah, Challah)?

  70. r’ruvie,
    IMHO the % 40 years ago was close to 0. I’ve commented before that I don’t think the change was based on changes in rabbinic opinion.
    KT

  71. abba – pm – is partnership minyan.
    many ry will say you should follow what your parents do if they come to israel. Many give shiurim on 1, 1 1/2 and 2 day minhagim. it also depends if they stay with relatives who keep one day. i have seen all permutations.

    Many families have been going to israel for sukkot and pesach over the last 20 years. especially if their children are studying in there.btw, we never let our children come home for holidays.

  72. reb joel – i would agree and that was point in my observation in the earlier post (similar to partnership minyan). the only rabbis in the nyc – that i know-area that say to keep one day is r’ lookstein, r’ adler(teaneck), and maybe r’ a. weiss. also you can add lubavitch. no YU RY. interesting, no?

  73. I was once told by R. Adler that there are Teaneck residents who daven in other shuls but are affiliate members of Rinat just so they can consider R. Adler their moreh deasra and follow his psak on observing only 1 day. We’re full members so it was slam dunk that all four of my kids observed 1 day during their year in Israel. And my sense is from speaking to friends that more and more MO observe only 1 day in Israel, some of whom observed 2 days not so long ago.

  74. Rabbi Freundel jokes that all of his congregants happily keep his p’sak to keep one day, but, oddly, no Israelis listen to him when he tells them to keep two in chu”l. 🙂

    I think a big factor is that more children are making aliyah- I think it was R’ Schonfeld who commented how awkward it is when your grandchildren are watching TV or whatever (or just turning on the lights) while you’re having a seder.

    R’ Rakeffet is, of course, majorly in favor of one day (not doing melacha d’oraita if you want to be “frum”; he keeps two in chu”l but puts on tefillin in private), and of course he points out that this was the Rav’s opinion and the opinion of quite a few poskim. It’s his view- I find it hard to avoid this point- that politics gets tied up in it quite a bit. (It’s probably no coincidence that outside of Chabad, you won’t find any non-Zionists today even mentioning the option.)

  75. Reuven Spolter

    Re the 1 day of YT in Israel: I too have noticed the phenomenon, which is not surprising. When kulot gain prominence, people begin to wonder, “Why not me?” If a reputable rabbi allows it, they see no reason why they should be more stringent than their friends down the block, irrespective of whether they’re actually members of that shul or not. I see a day not too far in the future when the majority of the MO community will keep only one day, a smaller minority keeping “1.5 days” and the full 2 days reserved only for American chareidim.

  76. I have seen many Americans claim to keep 2 days while in Israel, but in reality they don’t. Especially the last day of pesach. And I can’t blame them, it’s really hard to go against your nation.

  77. “When kulot gain prominence..” – i wouldn’t phrase it that way. its not exactly a kulah. i do think folks look at friends more religious than them keep one day and wonder the rationale plus the frequency of travel creates the situation (as well the optics of all israelis keeping one day). its the people deciding for themselves regardless of their rav – i am not even sure that many even ask anymore. Do we see this happening in any other areas of halacha?

  78. r’ ruvie,
    very interesting indeed – the analytic in me always wonders what the underlying decision function(s) is (are).
    Why were Sabbateans not Chasidim? Why did eating dairy out (especially in vegetarian restaurants) die out? Why did plain kosher? why are sheitels ok?……….
    The list goes on. As I have said before, HKB”H will paskin through history.
    KT

  79. shachar haamim

    “I have seen many Americans claim to keep 2 days while in Israel, but in reality they don’t. Especially the last day of pesach. And I can’t blame them, it’s really hard to go against your nation.”

    I think there is also more awareness today that it is essentially assur to leave E”Y, except for certain specific exemptions, and that keeping two days in E”Y is essentially saying that your intend to do something that is assur.

  80. There is no Kula in keeping one day. Keeping two days involves many bracha l’vatala. (And I’m sure other things I’m not thinking about)

  81. Adapting some words authored by a Hirhurim commenter on another thread last night:

    as someone who lives in a community with Zionists, I do not agree. I think many people become Zionist and then their religiosity declines. Yom Tov Sheni is the first obvious example (things like, observing only 1 day when visiting Israel). I have noticed a general decline in the religious practice of many friends who have started to go Zionist. Of course they don’t think they’re getting less religious, they just adopt a new mentality.

    🙂

  82. Reb Joel – I do not think he cases you mentioned are analogous to the switch to one day. I do think there is a religious intuition by Orthodox – religious or shomer mitzvot – Jews that is at work in history too ( cue in hagaon Reb j. Katz). Much ink has been spilled on this but not sure if its accepted by all in orthodoxy.

  83. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23240-the-father-of-all-men-is-340000-years-old.html?full=true&print=true

    “Michael Hammer, a geneticist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, heard about Perry’s unusual Y chromosome and did some further testing. His team’s research revealed something extraordinary: Perry did not descend from the genetic Adam. In fact, his Y chromosome was so distinct that his male lineage probably separated from all others about 338,000 years ago.

    […]

    Digging deeper, Hammer’s team examined an African database of nearly 6000 Y chromosomes and found similarities between Perry’s and those in samples taken from 11 men, all living in one village in Cameroon. This may indicate where in Africa Perry’s ancestors hailed from.”

  84. “Yeshiva students waiting to be arrested”.

    While I personally believe that chareidim are going to have to eventually compromise on the issue of the IDF draft, if many bachurim are prepared to go to jail for their beliefs at least they are ready to put their money where their mouth is.

  85. put their money where their mouth is

    Actually, it is the taxpayer money they receive that is at risk, not jail (which serves no purpose beyond martyrdom).

    To follow the money, see also: http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/ultra-orthodox-could-lose-mass-state-funding-without-spot-in-netanyahu-coalition-1.507520

  86. Right, because going to jail, especially an Israeli jail is a picnic…tell me when you are ready, if necessary, to go to jail for Partnership Minyans.

  87. Huh. Going to jail is a Charedi strawman used to whip up emotions among the Charedim and their sympathizers.

    I’m reminded of that scene in the 1st Indiana Jones movie with the Arab doing the fancy sword acrobatic and Indiana Jones looks him up and down and just shoots him.

    For the irony-free: the sword acrobatics is the talk of jail; and the gun is cutting off funding to draft dodgers (directly and indirectly).

  88. Sure…whatever you say.

  89. Lawrence Kaplan

    Hoffa:

    Hoffa: Let’s see if they are really willing to go to jail. I have a feeling that it will not come to that. But we are all guessing.

  90. Lawrence – I agree with you. My earlier comment is predicated on them “putting their money where their mouth is”. Obviously, if they are paying lip service to civil disobedience, then yes, all this talk is simply putting up a brave front.

  91. IH,

    You’re totally incorrect re: the seriousness of the students’ commitment. Most of them are willing to be jailed if it comes to that.

  92. I have a strong feeling that many of them are eager for the “excuse” of “They made me do it!” I suspect many are taking advantage right now.

  93. “IH,

    You’re totally incorrect re: the seriousness of the students’ commitment. Most of them are willing to be jailed if it comes to that.”

    Because going to jail is no different than their current life? 😛

  94. Nachum – I actually agree with you. For those who are hangin’ out in yeshivos/kollel as a lifestyle and not because they are seriously learning, but wish to breakout, especially since in Isreali society employment is tied to IDF service (which I believe should and will eventually change), they plead just that.

    I have to say: it will be very interesting to see what is going to happen in Israel in the coming months…very interesting.

  95. For the record, I do not doubt the students’ commitment. They’re just preparing for the wrong scenario. Why would anyone put them in jail and create martyrs when you can just cut off their allowance?

  96. I assuming that the answer to your question is that if you are “draft dodger” in Israel, the law is, like in many other jurisdictions, is to go to jail. Not cutoff government payments.

  97. And because, IH, it’s not all about money, but equal service.

  98. Hoffa — No, it’s like not paying unemployment if the recipient doesn’t demonstrate he is looking for a job. Nachum — don’t confuse the symptom with the disease.

  99. All the papers in Israel are saying that the police have no intention of arresting anybody. Which is a shame really. (since the reports say it’s only a couple hundred people who have warrants)

  100. re Yeshiva students ‘waiting to be arrested’; let’s see R.Aurebach sit in jail with his students for a year or so

    if he wants war, he will get it – and lose, thanks to people like lapid

    that is of course, if the state makes good on its promise and jails all draft dodgers.

    come to think of it, do haredim in the us register for selective service? to not do so is also a crime.

  101. “come to think of it, do haredim in the us register for selective service? to not do so is also a crime.”

    What the…? Are MO in the U.S. doing so and I don’t know about it?

  102. “Hoffa — No, it’s like not paying unemployment if the recipient doesn’t demonstrate he is looking for a job.”

    Let’s see what Israeli statute has to say, shell we?

    Defence Service Law:

    Under Part 2, Reporting for Registration and Examination
    12. (a) Where a person designated for defence service has been called upon to report for determination of his fitness for defence service and has not so reported, or reported has refused to be examined or to complete the examinations, a calling-up officer may call upon him to report for defence service, under section 13 or 27, as the case may be, if he is at the time of military age, even though his fitness for defence service has not yet been determined; but he shall not begin military training so long as he has not been medically examined for the purpose of determining his medical fitness for defence service and been found fit for service; and the provisions of sections 5 to 8 shall apply to the examination mutatis mutandis; the examination shall take place within one month of his reporting, and if he refuses to be examined, he shall be treated as a person who has contravened section 122 of the Military Justice Law, 5714-1955[6].
    (b) Subsection (a) shall apply mutatis mutandis, to a person of military age found temporarily unfit for service who has been called upon to report for reexamination under section 6 and does not report or, having reported, refuses to be examined or to complete the examinations.

  103. Here’s more where that came from:

    Chapter Six: Offences and Procedure

    Penalties 46. (a) A person who – (1) fails to fulfil a duty imposed on him by or under this Law or
    (2) knowingly supplies to an authority acting under this Law false information as to a particular which he is bound to supply thereunder or

    (3) by knowingly supplying to an authority acting under this Law false information as to a material particular, obtains an order of exemption from service, or of deferment of service, under section 36, or an exemption under section 40, an exit permit under section 43 or any other relaxation under this Law or

    (4) commits an offence under section 43 shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of two years.

    (b) A person who

    (1) does one of the things specified in subsection (a) with intent to evade defence service or

    (2) injures or maims, or allows another person to injure or maim, his body with intent thereby to impair his medical fitness for defence service shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.

    Offence 47. The courts in Israel shall be competent to try a committed abroad person who while abroad commits an offence under section 46.

  104. As as I can see, this statute does not grant any rights to claw back on benefits and other payments as a result of the violating its provisions.

    This can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

    So the answer is pretty clear: cutting off is not an option available to those tasked with enforcing this statute.

  105. Nachum-RSZA, in one of the sefarim published posthumously, discusses the view of the Chacham Tzvi, who argues in favor of one day. It is well worth going through for anyone interested in the issue, which cannot be reduced stereotypically to a Charedi vs RZ/MO issue.

  106. “cutting off is not an option available to those tasked with enforcing this statute.”

    but isn’t it an option for the legislature? the powers that be may decide not to make martyrs and arrest ppl, but through the political process the majority could exact a “punishment” of its own not on individuals but on their communities – i.e., cut funding until a deal is reached on army. Not saying whether that is likely or not, but i thought that’s what IH was saying.

  107. The contours of the new legislation is what forced the election; and, is the exemplar being modeled in the coalition negotiation underway.

    For a refresh, see the sanctions section in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plesner_Committee

  108. For ease of reference:

    Proposed sanctions on individual haredi draft dodgers

    An immediate fine of 7,500 NIS.
    An additional fine of 75 NIS for every day in which a draft dodger failed to report for military service.
    Cancellation of the individual’s yeshiva allowance and of the individual’s special income support scholarship which is granted to yeshiva students.
    Cancellation of the individual’s yeshiva student status at the National Insurance Institute.
    Eliminating the individual’s eligibility for state support for housing and mortgages.
    Eliminating the individual’s eligibility for a discount on property tax.
    A yeshiva which would have more than a quarter of its students absent would stop receiving support payments, and if at the next check up it would be the same that yeshiva would be closed.
    Ministry of Education would visit yeshivas, and if any of the 1,500 selected yeshiva students would be missing from the school, it would be fined 50,000 NIS.

  109. One wonders whether such sanctions in existing or proposed legislation exist for high tech industries and other secular institutions which are also known for encouraging their employees to shirk army service. Such legislation, to the extent that it focuses solely on Charedim, cannot escape a legitimate critique that the same is discriminatory.

  110. The snippets posted by IH and the reported threats by yeshiva students to serve in jail illustrate to me that more discussion, and less irresponsible rhetoric on all sides is needed. The issues are :
    1) does the IDF need every Charedi yeshiva student to serve in the IDF?

    2) should every young man either from a Charedi or RZ hesder yeshiva serve?

    3) should both the secular sector and its dubious allies demonize the Charedi world that translated into American terms borders on racism?

  111. Given the frequent lambasting of Judicial Activism here:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/a-big-new-power/

  112. MiMedinat HaYam

    dont you have to be registered with US selective service to get any type of college scholarship in us? (scholarship = those yeshivot that are called colleges, and issue BTL degrees.)

    You dont need RSZA for the chacham tzvi. its in his his shut. (One of the early ones, i believe. before the alien / martian counting for a mezuman.)

    the first ten charedim arrested for not registering will be hailed as great heros. thats why the authorities know better than arrest them. the next batch, will be treated as poor slobs. eventually, the “civil disobedience” will peter out.

    actually, i wouldnt call it “civil disobedience” as much as a cost of being charedi (as opposed to a cost of being jewish.)

    cutting off $ to yeshivot is a bracha le’vatalah. they will use political pull to keep the $. but cutting off arnona discounts, bituach leumi payments, etc is worth it. the (charedi) RY wont do nothing about it. cost of being charedi.

    hi tech industries, etc only / might discourage “milluim”, not original army serice. though many secular high schools have a low rate of enlistment. in truth, the army doesnt need recruits from shechunat hatikvah, but i will be called racist for saying so.

  113. Th etalk of jail is bc that is actually the law. Any talk of benefits would require a new law which is easier said then done.

  114. Except that’s why there were elections. No major party wants the default law without additional legislation as it does not solve the problems the electorate has identified.

  115. IH: “Why would anyone put them in jail and create martyrs when you can just cut off their allowance?”

    Agreed. Ending special subsidies is the cleanest way for Knesset politicians to change the status quo, without needing to even mention threats of prison or conscription. It removes the specter of mass conscription from the entire discussion and lets people focus on their own lives.

  116. ““come to think of it, do haredim in the us register for selective service? to not do so is also a crime.”

    What the…? Are MO in the U.S. doing so and I don’t know about it?”

    When I turned 16 I filled out the card.

  117. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/opinion/brooks-the-orthodox-surge.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
    The Orthodox Surge
    By DAVID BROOKS
    In Midwood, Brooklyn, there’s a luxury kosher grocery store called Pomegranate serving the modern Orthodox and Hasidic communities. It looks like a really nice Whole Foods. There’s a wide selection of kosher cheeses from Italy and France, wasabi herring, gluten-free ritual foods and nicely toned wood flooring.

    Interesting read-remindes me again that all data is theory driven.

    KT

  118. the only data i could see in that article was that layaliza soloveichik is a us attorney. (good for her.) the rest was absolute gobledeygook, imho…

  119. Steven, in answer to your questions:

    1) + 2) No.

    3) The feelings are mutual. You should hear or read some of the depictions of secular Jews in Charedi schools and media.

  120. I was thinking of how one views the Promogranate phenomena. I’m sure R; MS was an affable tour guide 🙂
    KT

  121. I know. It just seems to me brooks is so obviously wrong, or rather, has no idea what he is talking about. a fancy supermarket wher you can buy pareve deserts is not proof that broolyn orthodox jews are fundamentally countercultural in the way that brooks seems to be searching for. (similar to his article on china, linked in the comments last week, in which he likes the idea of a certain way of living but offers not proof that he has actually found it among real people…)

  122. I disagree. Brooks recognized that the Torah’s laws are integrated directly into our lives in a way that is counter-cultural. That we don’t even see it anymore is proof that he is right.

  123. I agree that orthodoxy, even consumerist orthodoxy, is still counrercultural in important respects. i just think that this article is a bizarre and superficial puff piece that does not refelct the lived reality of most orthodox ppl. They “have to” get married because God sais do (well, to men) but also for the same reasons that white kids at dalton “have to” go to college. it’s not some mysterious alternative form of social organization at work…

    also
    “The laws are gradually internalized through a system of lifelong study, argument and practice.” and “Much of the delight in life comes from arguing about the law and different interpretations of God’s command.” both struck me as absurdly male-centric (not to mention idealized, dare i say soloveitchikian) depictions of the orthodox way of life/virtue, which is odd in an article about a grocery store.

  124. *sais do = said so…

  125. emma: I think you are being overly cynical. The community standards of early marriage and relatively large families are due to halakhah. If many people observe them because of communal that doesn’t detract from the source, which again is counter-cultural.

  126. also, his view of “mainstream america” seems conveniently to exclude the large portions thereof who still have strong communal bonds and “family values.”

    i’ll put it this way. pomegranate itself is not “superficially a comfortable part of mainstream American culture, but built upon a moral code that is deeply countercultural.” pomegranate provides goods to people who live by a moral code, yes, but that doesn’t mean that the store itself is somehow therefore transformed from being a fundamentally consumerist one like whole foods or target or whatever.

  127. I suspect he would consider Evangelicals to also be counter-cultural and I would agree.

    I do not like Pomegranate and what it stands for. I would have preferred if he had gone to Moisha’s or some other discount kosher supermarket.

  128. I disagree. Brooks recognized that the Torah’s laws are integrated directly into our lives in a way that is counter-cultural. That we don’t even see it anymore is proof that he is right.

    From the position of society-at-large it is counter cultural. From the communal perspective, it is about meeting demands for the comforts of general society previously unmet.

  129. also “Mostly, I notice how incredibly self-confident they are. Once dismissed as relics, they now feel that they are the future. ” – huh? it seems to me that this perception of confidence can read as nothing other than brooks’ own projection. the families may be confident, but this last line assumes a lot more intimate knowledge about the orthodox community than the conceit of “i just happened to visit this cool store and came up with some neat observations” allows…

  130. I was thinking also mormons, who are an even better example of something fundamentally _american_ while at the same time being countercultural. i guess i was just annoyed because i felt like this article betrays no actual knowledge of the complexities of the community he is idealizing, yet at the same time reads like a piece of extreme inside baseball.

  131. The Brooks article could have been written by Avi Shafran.

    “They are like the grocery store Pomegranate, superficially a comfortable part of mainstream American culture, but built upon a moral code that is deeply countercultural.”

    Kashrut, schita on Shabbat, and parve desserts are reflections of morality? I forget, did this blog decide that kasher=moral?

  132. HAGTBG: From the position of society-at-large it is counter cultural

    Writing in the NY Times, what perspective do you think he is taking?

    emma: huh? it seems to me that this perception of confidence can read as nothing other than brooks’ own projection…

    No, I totally agree with Brooks about this. There is no insecurity about being a persecuted minority or living in a precarious communal situation. There is total self-confidence, probably too much because some kids will go off-the-derech. But there is justified confidence that the community will continue much as it has and will grow larger very quickly.

  133. if he had gone to moishas i don’t think i would have found the article so ridiculous. i felt like, as written, this piece is just a whitewash of the complex relationships between counterculture and consumerism, which conveniently provides a back-door justification for consumerism in general itself by refusing to identify it as its own value that can be accepted or not, and instead focusing solely on the “underlying” moreal code…

  134. now where would he have gotten a soloveitchikian idea like that ????

    i’ll put it this way. pomegranate itself is not “superficially a comfortable part of mainstream American culture, but built upon a moral code that is deeply countercultural.” pomegranate provides goods to people who live by a moral code, yes, but the fact that there is a large demand for high end consumer products makes one wonder how much that countercultural code is being impacted by the mainstream culture.

    I guess deep down I hope he is right but I fear the code isn’t as deep as he imagines it.

    KT

  135. i agree, but what evidence does he give?

  136. Chaim: Yes, kashrus is a moral code. While there are certainly questionable cases on the margins, as a brief description it is accurate.

  137. emma: His evidence is the attitude he saw in people, into which he read a good deal — accurately.

  138. (that was, i agree that there is confidence, but what eveidence does he give?)

  139. Writing in the NY Times, what perspective do you think he is taking?
    Obviously. But Pomegranate was not created to counter non-kosher foods. It was created to make money by making kosher high quality foods available to the Brooklyn Jewish community. In reality it is a type of assimilation.

  140. HAGTBG: Isn’t that his point? It’s being a part of society while still being counter-cultural by abiding to an ancient code.

  141. if i were a secular reader, what reason would i have to trust his impressions? maybe he should go to the parking lot at walmart and tell me how the working poor feel about america after standing there for 10 minutes. i mean, maybe he could and would do that, and get somethings right, but it takes remarkable self-confidence in ones own perceptive abilities to talk that way as if “what i saw in the parking lot,” without any concrete examples, matters…

  142. HAGTBG: Isn’t that his point?

    Agreed. But his point would also extend to people at a regular supermarket buying food because it was kosher certified (or doing anything because they adhere to a code that broader society does not).

  143. frankly, would his point not extend to whole foods itself as well? people engaging in high-end discretionary spending but with an underlying moral agenda that is somewhat at odds with the american mainstream, questions various common assumptions, etc?

  144. Reading the comments section on that article is rather depressing and shows a general dislike and disaffection for religion that non-Orthodox Jews have, in line with a sweeping anti-religious mindset that is becoming more commonplace.

  145. R’HAGTBG – In reality it is a type of assimilation.

    I’d say acculturation (which iiuc relates to my point about the depth of the moral code being impacted.
    KT

  146. MiMedinat HaYam

    going to moisha’s is like going to the old style supermarket / grocery, some of which still exist in jersey (and maybe upper east side) (but even those are transforming to the wegman’s / whole foods model.) (i understand moisha’s is (in process of) remodeling. to look like a pomegranate. ditto the new supersol = seasons (why do you think it got sold). and many shoprites here in jersey.

    kashrus is a moral code — thats why we dont have stores called jezebel.

    prisoner escapes — not the first time it happened; though that was a hushed up international incident, cause the prisoner held a us passport (and no other passport) trying to “enforce” a religious law.

  147. Chaim: Yes, kashrus is a moral code.

    Gil, Please (briefly -maybe a few points) describe the morality of kashrut as exhibited at Pomegranite (meat/milk, utensils for shmirat Shabbat) I will concede shchita as a moral practice.

  148. Chaim: One stream of thought considers the kashrus prohibitions as an exercise in self control. Self restraint is itself a moral virtue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_virtues I guess it would fall under temperance.

  149. My own view is that Chazal, the Rishonim and pre-20th century Achronim would be horrified at the factory sh’chita that we depend on today.

    Is it really moral to eat meat that is technically kosher (by modern standards), but suffered tza’ar ba’alei chaim in the process of sh’chita (e.g. “Shackle and Hoist”)? Or, is that kosher and immoral?

  150. “Will Another Historic Lower East Side Synagogue Make Way for Condos?”

    tear it down. neither communal nor public funds should be used to maintain empty shuls

  151. GIL:

    “I do not like Pomegranate and what it stands for. I would have preferred if he had gone to Moisha’s or some other discount kosher supermarket.”

    i don’t shop at pomengrante, although i’m not sure what you mean that you don’t like what it stands for. in any case, i don’t like what moisha’s etc. stand for either: crowded and narrow isles, rude employees, food past the sale date, terrible (and yet overpriced) selection of fresh produce, wagons with broken wheels, lack of chalav stam and non-heimish brands (depending on the store), etc. but the worst offense imho, and the reason i generally avoid jewish supermarkets as much as possible, is the poor to non-existent posting of prices.

  152. GIL:

    “One stream of thought considers the kashrus prohibitions as an exercise in self control”

    well to a large extent i think that describes a lot of the mitzvot. but i don’t think this imbues them with an inherintly moral charachter. (particular when, as IH notes, the actual activity is comprised of that which some say is immoral.) except perhaps post facto in an apologetic sense.

    is someone who adopts a non-carb diet engaging in a moral act?

  153. abba: well to a large extent i think that describes a lot of the mitzvot. but i don’t think this imbues them with an inherintly moral charachter

    I disagree. I believe it does imbue them with an inherent moral character. They aren’t all you need to live a moral life but they are still important moral tools.

    is someone who adopts a non-carb diet engaging in a moral act?

    If someone engages in self-control then yes. Moral does not have to be bein adam le-chaveiro

  154. One stream of thought considers the kashrus prohibitions as an exercise in self control

    That implies it is otherwise random.

  155. Chaim: One stream of thought considers the kashrus prohibitions as an exercise in self control. Self restraint is itself a moral virtue

    Gil, Is Pomegranate really about self control and restraint? I thought the whole point of stores like this is that you don’t feel restrained or deprived. You can have almost anything that other people are eating, or at least a close approximation.

  156. Chaim: You are correct, to insiders who are used to restricting their shopping. To an outsider, the very nature of selectively shopping to fit an ancient diet is self-restraint.

  157. MiMedinat HaYam

    chopped herring article — money quote: “The slow and incomplete release of information concerning the … incident [is] typical of the delaying and stonewalling tactics used by many of the kashruth supervisory agencies, adding to the confusion and distrust of the consuming public.”

  158. Aiwac-I read (and subscribe ) to the American editions of Yated and Mishpacha and read the local “freebies.” There is a lot of Musar, Chasidus and community news and pictures of simchas, etc,.There is legitimate social and cultural criticism of the problems in the secular world, but no discussion in a way that is openly or even implicitly discriminatory. I stand by my comment that the legislation is discriminatory against the Charedi world and would not pass muster if the same were aimed at curtailing welfare benefits in the US.

  159. David Brooks again proves why he is on the market as an astute social observer and critic ( as in his superb Bobos in Paradise-where he devotes some discussion to Orthorpraxy). His article re literacy in China and the comparison to the recent Siyum HaShas was superb-as was this article-Look at it this way-the days in most Torah observant neighborhoods ( except for those of us who buy challah before Shacharis on Erev Shabbos) is that of stores that have what is needed to run a Torah observant household in terms of selection of foods, utensils,etc. in a pleasant atmosphere where the check out counters aren’t chock full of secular magazines of dubious taste. The days of a sawdust filled store where one bought meat in such neighborhoods ended a long time ago. There certainly is no mitzvah of midas chasidus in purchasing kosher food in a dump, and AFAIK, what Midas Chasidus or Mitzvas Aseh or Lo Saaseh is entailed in where one decides to shopping other than price, availability and shopping atmosphere?

    In a similar vein, while I prefer buying seforim at a store like Biegeleisen, stores like Eichler’s, Lishkas HaSeforim and Tuvia’s as well as the YU Sale are all very well organized and are consumer friendly.

  160. The article on the effect of the “wine vinegar scandal” on kashrut agencies leaves me puzzled. I well remember the great clamor that occurred that Pesach. We were just told, however, that the major kashrut agency implicated had unwittingly certified a grape alchol product made by Gentiles,i.e., ‘stam yeinam’. If, indeed, the vinegar and precursor alcohol were made from dry grape skins, seeds, pulp, and stems (pomace), can that be considered included in the rabbinic prohibition regarding ‘stam yainom’? It seems to me that whiskey aged in old wine barrels is considered acceptable and not adulterated by ‘stam yeinam’. The suitability for Pesach use of such an unsupervised product may be problematic, but still acceptable if bought unsuspectingly prior to Pesach when bitul works. The whole sad episode hints at one-upsmanship that was at play in the kashrut agencies.

  161. With respect to Pomegranate’s and other stores ( like one in my neighborhood which competes with two other stores), it is important to note that the Talmud tells us in Chulin that everything that the Torah prohibited is permitted in another similar manner. There is no reason why shopping has to be a miserable, and claustohrobic experience with an unresponsive staff without parking. The new stores recognize that simple fact in their offerings, and features which are designed to make shopping a more pleasant experience.

  162. Abba-re your comment re self control, among other reasons, the Talmud tells us that the mitzvos were given to refine human nature. That statement IMO seems to apply regardless of whether the mitzvah is a Chok or something that we would observe out of our own rational capacity.

  163. MiMedinat HaYam

    y aharon — although whisky aged in old wine casks is permitted by IM / RMF (three tshuvot with RMPTeitz), no kashrut agency will certify / accept / not allow at a catered function. of course, your point stands. note too, that cream of tartar ( = wine sediment) is allowed by all without certification.

    steve b — ah, the power of capitalism. note, the stores only compete cause originally, your local big store started competing with the “interloper” in his neighborhood. but dont dare allow a shoprite / wegmans to come in (of course, the economics doesnt work for them).

    camps — and my camp was bashed in its time for not allowing campers to call (POTS) home. (do they still ban such calls?)

  164. Pssst. Moisha’s expanded and the discussion about it is moot.

  165. “What the…? Are MO in the U.S. doing so and I don’t know about it?”

    When I turned 16 I filled out the card”

    When I turned 18 I had to go to my local draft board-they weighed me, checked my height etc.

  166. “abba’s rantings on March 8, 2013 at 11:59 am
    “Will Another Historic Lower East Side Synagogue Make Way for Condos?”

    tear it down. neither communal nor public funds should be used to maintain empty shuls”

    Halacha says otherwise.

  167. moshe shoshan

    “One wonders whether such sanctions in existing or proposed legislation exist for high tech industries and other secular institutions which are also known for encouraging their employees to shirk army service.”

    What on Earth are you talking about! proof please. I dont even know what this might mean. you need a university degree to get ajob in a high tech firm in 90% of the cases which means the prospective employee has either done army service or already been exempted.

    The is no other community in Israel in which army service is opposed by the leadership and in which only a tiny percentage serve.

    Once again you have no idea what you are talking about, just reflexively defending the chareidi world.

  168. Is it really moral to eat meat that is technically kosher (by modern standards), but suffered tza’ar ba’alei chaim in the process of sh’chita (e.g. “Shackle and Hoist”)? Or, is that kosher and immoral?

    I really don’t understand why the concern about tzaar baalei chaim focuses on the half hour before the cow dies, rather than the years beforehand it was confined in a narrow stall, unable to move, stuffed with food it wouldn’t naturally eat.

  169. “One wonders whether such sanctions in existing or proposed legislation exist for high tech industries and other secular institutions which are also known for encouraging their employees to shirk army service.”

    I work for a hi-tech company in Israel. We are currently behind schedule on a major project, and everyone is working overtime to make up the gap. Last week my boss was called up to miluim. Despite the fact that he could probably find a way out, and that his neck is on the line for this project, he missed four days of work for miluim. As expected, our group’s productivity suffered in his absence. Usually circumstances are not as extreme as this, but I know of no cases where someone in our company has “shirked” army service. Perhaps you have heard different stories, but it is ignorant and offensive to say that shirking is the norm.

  170. My own view is that Chazal, the Rishonim and pre-20th century Achronim would be horrified at the factory sh’chita that we depend on today.
    Is it really moral to eat meat that is technically kosher (by modern standards), but suffered tza’ar ba’alei chaim in the process of sh’chita (e.g. “Shackle and Hoist”)? Or, is that kosher and immoral?

    This is what is called projection. Chazal and the Rishonim would judge the issue by the laws of the Torah, not by whether intuitively they feel sorry for the animal.

    Until the modern era, domestic animals often lived difficult lives — limited food and hard work, especially for beasts of burden.

    Tsaar baalei chaim means that it is forbidden to cause gratuitous pain to animals. The classic example is where a beast of burden is standing around and requires unloading — the Torah requires one to help in unloading, so it does not have to be burdened longer than it has to. What the Torah does NOT forbid is causing pain for a purpose — a donkey or other beast of burden can be loaded and made to carry the load, even though he would surely prefer to rest and eat some hay.

    Modern animal husbandry and slaughter methods have a real purpose — they make meat more efficient and hence cheaper to raise, making it more available for those who would otherwise either do without or only eat it rarely, which was the case until the modern era. Some of the methods (shackle and hoist) also have a sanitary purpose (at least that is the reason the FDA imposed it). So long as it has a real purpose, it is permitted.

    (For the same reason, R. Elyashiv permitted raising and eating foie gras.)

    Animals are not people and nothing in the Torah requires us to treat them as such, even as a middas chassidus. What would be cruel and immoral towards a person (e.g., making them work as a beast of burden) was until 100 years ago perfectly normal as to animals.

  171. Steve
    I await your appology for your gratutious rechilus against and entire sector of the Israeli population.

    Tal
    I do not know what rishonim or achronim would think of the current saituation nor am iqualified to rule on any given case. However, I do not believe that you presentation of ztaar baalei chayyim is acurate. The msut be some cost benefit analysis involved on this halacha. You cannot inflict pain approaching infinity inorder to acheive a gain that approaches zero. Muzzling an Ox on the threshing floor serves and economic purpose yet it is assur. Hoist and shackel is illegal in Israel, the US and europe yet meat producers there seem to make a tidy profit.

    Furthermore, just because something is mutar does not make it desirable. Rebbi died because he lacked sympathy for a sheep being lead to the slaughter. clearly concern for animal welfare beyond the halachos of tzaar baalei chayyim is a value in judasim.

  172. Tal and Shlomo – The issue I was raising was not animal welfare, per se. For home cooking, personally I prefer veal to beef knowing full well how the veal got to me. The issue I was raising is that any discussion of “moral” in regard to kosher strikes me as absurd in the context of factory kosher sh’chita of 250 cattle an hour in a single facility.

    If one wants kosher and moral, though, there are people who do put their money where their mouths are:

    As a business, EcoGlatt has its challenges. Saunders takes his time slaughtering, saying a standard blessing over each animal―rather than over a whole lot, as is common among kosher meat producers―and guiding each animal into a slaughter box. After the cut is made, EcoGlatt delays processing until an animal has fully bled out and ceased all motion, a process that takes between 10 to 15 minutes. That means they can process only four or five animals an hour. The fastest conventional kosher meat lines can process about 250 heads an hour; non-kosher slaughterhouses can process nearly 400 an hour.

    Each slaughter “is a conscious act,” Saunders said. “And that’s how I hope people will consume the food.”

    Ref: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/85608/cuts-above

  173. IH, once again, that strikes me as an unwarranted obsession about a tiny fraction of the suffering that a cow undergoes during its life, while simply ignoring much greater causes of suffering. If the hippie/organic/homeopathic crowd wants to pay extra for this, it’s their problem. But really, with the resources that are spent on making cow slaughter more friendly, it would be much better to work on improving chronic pain management in humans.

  174. Shlomo
    Once again Or4thodox Jews have embraced the forgien values found in the conservative agenda. Of course teh ame thing happens on the left.

  175. Shlomo — Would you be so kind as to translate Gil’s original sentence into modern Hebrew:

    “Yes, kashrus is a moral code.”

    Maybe that will help us get to a common understanding.

  176. Tal
    I do not know what rishonim or achronim would think of the current saituation nor am iqualified to rule on any given case. However, I do not believe that you presentation of ztaar baalei chayyim is acurate. The msut be some cost benefit analysis involved on this halacha. You cannot inflict pain approaching infinity inorder to acheive a gain that approaches zero. Muzzling an Ox on the threshing floor serves and economic purpose yet it is assur. Hoist and shackel is illegal in Israel, the US and europe yet meat producers there seem to make a tidy profit.

    Furthermore, just because something is mutar does not make it desirable. Rebbi died because he lacked sympathy for a sheep being lead to the slaughter. clearly concern for animal welfare beyond the halachos of tzaar baalei chayyim is a value in judasim

    1. Moshe, the benefit in this case is having meat and chicken, which are highly nutritious foods, widely available and affordable for many people. 100 years ago, meat was a luxury for many people — at best they could afford a chicken for shabbos. Today, the average working person can afford meat several times a week — not a fancy steak, sure, but chicken or ground beef. That is a major improvement in nutrition, and it is a result of modern factory farming and slaughtering methods.

    2. Muzzling an ox is a specific prohibition in the Torah.

    3. Shackle and hoist is not something either required by halacha or even something that rabbonim came up with. It was imposed on the kosher slaughter industry by the FDA for sanitary reasons. My understanding is that it is still used for most of the kosher meat sold in Israel, particularly that which comes from South America, although the Rabbinate is trying to phase it out.

    If there is a better method which causes less pain and is still efficient, then sure, that should be used.

    4. The story with Rebbi (which was a calf, not a sheep) has to do with his callous attitude. No one, AFAIK, interprets that gemara to mean that he should have stopped the slaughter completely. Compassion for animals is an important Jewish value — it is a reflection of ve rachamav al kol maasav. But that does not mean you treat them like people, or you let your compassion get in the way of alleviating human suffering or need.

  177. IH, Gil already gave at least one example of what he sees as morality in kashrut. Anyway, I don’t see your example here as particularly moral. Morality is not about making YOU feel good by removing your association with things that feel icky. It’s about doing what is best for other people (and in this case animals) based on a consideration of THEIR needs. I’ve already suggested two or three moral concerns that may be more pressing than improving the shechita method. But rather than evaluating those concerns, you basically just return to “oh, but slaughtering is icky!”

    Tal: I don’t know whether beef is really an improvement to our diet, but in general your point is a good one.

  178. Tal — you are answering a strawman of your own making. Again, my only point is that Gil’s statement “Yes, kashrus is a moral code” strikes me as absurd in the context of factory kosher sh’chita of 250 cattle an hour in a single facility.

    Shlomo — The issue is not that slaightering is icky, but that the fact of modern factory slaughtering belies Gil’s “kashrus is a moral code”. I’m *not* saying it’s immoral, just that morality and kashrut are not directly related.

  179. And, I was serious about rendering Gil’s sentence in modern Hebrew. I think that can help us get to a common understanding.

    For grins, this is what Google Translate renders:
    כן, כשרות היא קוד מוסרי

    and Bing Translate:
    כן, כשרות הוא קוד מוסרי

  180. Tal
    A senior person in the Kashrus in dustry recently told me that there is no connect between the cost of production and the price of kosher meat, its all suply and demand. So will you will have to come up with another excuse for using shakle and hoist.

    We learn from mitzvos like to tachsom and from the story of rebbi that the Torah demind great sensitivity towards the suffering of animals, even when they are being used for human benefit. No one but you ever suggested that animals be treated like humans, that your straw man.

  181. IH and Gil
    cant we split the difference and say that kashrus is a code that has ethical elements?

  182. Works for me, Moshe. Thx.

  183. IH wrote:

    “My own view is that Chazal, the Rishonim and pre-20th century Achronim would be horrified at the factory sh’chita that we depend on today”

    What if Chazal, Rishonim and Acharonim intended that their understanding of Hilchos Shechitah was meant to be operative regardless of the society that Jews lived in, and regardless of the surroundings where shechitah took place?

  184. Moshe-I read both Haaretz and the then published Jersualem Reportfor a while on line-both had an obvious anti Charedi and RZ POV.

  185. The Hebrew version of Rav Melamed’s article on yom tov sheni for visitors in Israel is up:
    http://www.inn.co.il/Articles/Article.aspx/11050

    He has what to me seems like a common-sense approach, which essentially maintains the framework of the majority of Acharonim who argue on the Chacham Tzvi, but makes adjustments for people with a deeper connection to Israel than regular ‘visitors’.

    פיכך, העולה לארץ למשך שנת לימודים, דינו כבן ארץ ישראל. ואף שיש לו תכנית ברורה לחזור ולהתגורר בחוץ לארץ, והוריו גרים בחוץ לארץ, ובאמצע השנה הוא יורד לבקר אצלם, שהייתו הארוכה בארץ הופכת אותו לבן ארץ ישראל במשך שהותו כאן. בנוסף לכך, תמיד יש סיכוי כלשהו שיחליט לעלות לארץ, שכן מצווה מהתורה לעלות לארץ.

    ואף ששנת לימודים בפועל היא כעשרה חודשים, מכל מקום כיוון שיש לה חשיבות – במשך זמן השהייה בארץ התלמיד נחשב כבן הארץ. אבל אם הגיע לפחות משנת לימודים, עדיין אינו נחשב כבן הארץ למשך אותה תקופה.

    אם יש למבקר בארץ ילדים או הורים שעלו לארץ, גם אם אינו מתכוון לעלות, כיוון שיש לו קשר משפחתי עמוק לארץ, הרי שיש לו זיקה חזקה לארץ, ובנוסף לכך יש סיכוי כלשהו שיעלה, ולכן במשך שהותו בארץ דינו כבן ארץ ישראל.

    וכן מי שקנה דירה בארץ ישראל כדי לגור בה במשך ביקוריו, בשעה שהוא בארץ דינו כבן ארץ ישראל.

  186. Moshe Shoshan-try reading “Real Jews”-the book is full of descriptions of chilonim who are expected to shirk army service in the course of working in high tech jobs or completing their university studies. Legislation that is aimed solely at the Charedi world can only be viewed as discriminatory in nature.

  187. Steve,
    I dont think you have been folowing this conversation. No one hereis challenging hilchos shechita.

  188. MeMedinat HaYam wrote in part:

    “steve b — ah, the power of capitalism. note, the stores only compete cause originally, your local big store started competing with the “interloper” in his neighborhood. but dont dare allow a shoprite / wegmans to come in (of course, the economics doesnt work for them).”

    There was a Waldbaum’s, but it is now an Associated, and the store simply does not have anywhere near what either Aarons, Brachs or Season’s have in what the average frum customer is looking for when he or she is shopping. The three identified stores know that they have to compete with each other for the buyer’s attention and needs.

  189. “The is no other community in Israel in which army service is opposed by the leadership and in which only a tiny percentage serve.”

    The Arabs.

    “meat and chicken, which are highly nutritious foods”

    Vegan diets are healthier. Better for the environment too!

    ” It was imposed on the kosher slaughter industry by the FDA for sanitary reasons.”

    Shackle and hoist is not used in non-religious slaughterhouses in the US today.

  190. R. Spolter in the Kol isha article claims that singing in the israeli version of thr voice lacks the backing of any major posek. First of all the Rav went to the opera which apparently has to include a fat lady singing. In addition he actually cites an article listing rabbonim whose positions support the young lady’s actions. I guess those rabbonim don’t count in his eyes.

    What he misses is that many thinking MO care more about the quality if the argument(within reason) than the number of ‘gedolim’ who support it. This is especially true if those gedolim do not share basic fundamental approaches to psak. To take a less contraversial example, someone who believes that the science of the Talmud is not an eternal truth is not likely to insist on metziza b’peh no matter how many gedolim claim it is an obligation. Simply because many of those gedolim actually do consider the science of the Talmud as obligatory and that is the major basis of their opinion.

  191. Noam: MO in general may not care for what the majority of gedolim say, but many of them do care that at least one person who they recognize as a gadol supports their position. So, what exactly was RYBS’s position on kol isha? Or has someone thought about going to RHS and asking him how he understands kol isha in light of the reports that RYBS went to the opera?

  192. “The Arabs.”

    Also excluded from every single government (in fairness, some Arabs vote for “Jewish” parties and some choose to serve in the army or national service, so they are not all excluded in either sense)

  193. Are the current Arab parties excluded or do they decide on principle to not join?

  194. Steve,
    I am not interested in the books you read, I live and know a lot about the hi tech world. My wife works there and so do about 50% of my neighbors. repeating rechilus doesnt make it OK.

    As for antoi Charedi view points. Virtually everone Iknow here in Beit Shemesh came here with fairly positive attitudes towards charedim. If they didnt they would not have move to a town with such a large chareid population. and virtually every one I know has lost all respect for the charedi leadershipo here. They whine when some oen is not respectfull to them ayet give no respect otanyoine else. They reject the authority of thegovernemnt to tell them what to do but gladly join the govenment to milk it for money and “jobim” The wont use the rabbanut but impose their views on every one else.
    The AMerican Chareid leadership is little better. Like you they will never say anything bad about “fun unserers” even when they are rioting in the street.

    People are sick of it. Yes they also dont like zfon telavivis who shirk army service, but they never claim to be morally superior for doing so. (OK so some radicla post zionist do, but they are really despised, more than charedim). They represent a tiny percentange of the population and when some one like Bar Refaeli brags about escaping army service it is considered scandlous.

    If the chareid leadership were willing to negotiate at all on hte army issue, instead of comparing hte Israel to Czarist russia, they would get a very good deal. A harsh deal will hurt the DAti LEumi Yeshivas as well, and Bennet doesnt want that if he can avoid it. But they go on with their holier than thou rhetoric as if God spoke to them directly.

    Hopefully the many wonderfull zechuyot of the masses of chasreidim will swavbe them from their leadership.

  195. Shlomo- you don’t need to ask, you know what he did, unless you are accusing RYBS of violating his own position. RHS and many others(right and left) are not necessarily accurate transmitters of RYBS’s positions as Professor Kaplan has demonstrated in Revisionism and the Rav.

  196. LongTimeReader

    If you’re going to evaluate RMS’s theory on Kashrus, discuss the essay, not the op-ed summary that didn’t even have space for the whole Crispix story.

    http://azure.org.il/include/print.php?id=151

  197. On the other hand, we have R. David Holzer’s recording of RYBS telling him not to listen to his female students sing zemiros.

  198. What was the context, and was this a private psak? The Rav was known for paskening conflicting psak depending on the circumstances of the individual asking (one of his talmidim gave me an example recently, related to kashrut where the Rav’s psak was machmir for him, but not for others).

  199. As IH has noted, the Rav gave specific psak to specific people that related to specific circumstance. It is hard to imagine that he thought there was a blanket issur for women to sing by themselves in public when he was going to hear them himself. Furthermore, if I am not mistaken, YU has an opera fundraiser. I don’t know who sings in it but that might be useful information.
    R. Bigman and others wrote that there isn’t a problem with it and unless you are claiming that he isn’t qualified to make psak then further discussion should rest where it should always have been, on the quality of the arguments and underlying beliefs for and against.

  200. Dr. Stadlan: Apparently RYBS gave conflicting answers. Are you only interested in the answers that fit your desired outcome?

    You have R. David Bigman. He seems enough for you so why are you trying to conceal the nuances of RYBS’ opinion?

    YU’s institutional fundraisers do not ask she’eilos of the roshei yeshiva.

    When I was a YC undergrad there was an official YC trip to a Broadway musical. Some people made a stink about it and the defenders never claimed it was mutar, just that YC has people of different levels of mitzvah observance and needs to accommodate all students.

  201. R. Gil- I believe in finding as much truth as possible. I think that most poskim are more machmir on themselves than on others. That is one reason why I would place more weight on what he did in a regular basis than on what he told someone in a specific situation. In addition, even if you hold that singing is ok, you can easily imagine situations where you would tell someone not to listen. On the other hand, if you hold that all women singing al pi din is assur, it is much more difficult to think of circumstances where you would voluntarily and regularly go listen.

    Do you know with certainty that sheelot were not asked when the fundraising events and broadway trip were first started?

    It is hard to imagine that YU would accept money raised specifically via violation of Halacha. Is that what you are claiming?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: