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SALT Tuesday

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SALT Monday

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About Gil Student

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

255 comments

  1. Reuven Spolter

    From the intermarriage article: “Judaism has survived for more than 4,000 years because we evolved and adapted to our time and place. The great first century sage, Rabbi Hillel, urged leaders of his generation to Puk Hazai Mai Amma Davar — “Go and see what the people are doing.”

    It’s shocking to me (and I’m very rarely shocked anymore) that a rabbi can claim that Judaism survived throughout history because we “adapted to our time and place”, and that today means that we should intermarry. We’re watching liberal Judaism disintegrate before our very eyes.

  2. We’re watching liberal Judaism disintegrate before our very eyes.

    Of course, people have been saying that for a few hundred years now. There are many serious discussions to be had on this topic, but this trope immediately trivializes the discussion. Try again.

  3. On the topic of intermarriage, this weekend the NYT published a clear-eyed piece by the author of the linked “Synagogue Hopping” story: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/opinion/interfaith-marriages-a-mixed-blessing.html?hp&_r=0

  4. comments on the eruv article are terrible. i’m not even going to bother clicking on link to herpes article

  5. IH:

    “Of course, people have been saying that for a few hundred years now. There are many serious discussions to be had on this topic, but this trope immediately trivializes the discussion”

    simply rejecting the trope by saying that people have been saying it for hundreds (?) of years also immediately trivializes the discussion.
    of course no one can predict with certainty what will happen to liberal (or ortho) judaism. no one know if x, y or z will happen and change the trajectory. and it’s nice to be hopeful that this will happen. but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t also consider the possibilities if matters continue as they are.

  6. Abba — Sure, we can also discuss the possibility the sun will cease to exist. Neither Liberal Judaism nor Orthodox Judaism (nor the sun) will disappear in our lifetime.

  7. The intermarriage discussion reminds me of something I saw last week that I have not had time to look into.

    “About 52% of Ashkenazim with a tradition of Levite descent on their direct male line belong to the R1a1a Ashkenazi Levite cluster. R1a1a Ashkenazi Levites are descended on their direct male line from a common male ancestor who lived about 1,300 years ago. It appears that perhaps 90% of R1a1a Ashkenazi Levites are descended from a single man who lived about 600 years ago.”

    What is intriguing about this is that these Ashkenazi Levi’im do not seem to be descended from the same common male ancestor as the Cohanim with the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Aaron DNA.

  8. For more see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1180600/

    Previous Y chromosome studies have shown that the Cohanim, a paternally inherited Jewish priestly caste, predominantly share a recent common ancestry irrespective of the geographically defined post-Diaspora community to which they belong, a finding consistent with common Jewish origins in the Near East. In contrast, the Levites, another paternally inherited Jewish caste, display evidence for multiple recent origins, with Ashkenazi Levites having a high frequency of a distinctive, non–Near Eastern haplogroup. Here, we show that the Ashkenazi Levite microsatellite haplotypes within this haplogroup are extremely tightly clustered, with an inferred common ancestor within the past 2,000 years. Comparisons with other Jewish and non-Jewish groups suggest that a founding event, probably involving one or very few European men occurring at a time close to the initial formation and settlement of the Ashkenazi community, is the most likely explanation for the presence of this distinctive haplogroup found today in >50% of Ashkenazi Levites.

  9. Reuven Spolter

    IH – Fair enough. But when did we ever see clergy using intermarriage as a tool for Jewish survival? The very tool destroying Judaism is offered in the article as its salvation. This stems, of course, from a very different idea of what Judaism is. And, while I agree that some form of liberal Judaism will exist in America (as long as there are Jews there), how many of its adherents will actually be halachically Jewish?

  10. Reuven — As we are learning from our DNA: it’s complicated (hence my Levi’im example).

    Sticking with the more-focused contemporary intermarriage discussion, there is an increasing amount of evidence that intermarried families who raise their children Jewish (i.e. it’s a Jewish home le’ma’aseh except that one of the parents has not converted) are often more Jewishly active than halachicly Jewish ones.

    If the mother is halachicly Jewish then that’s easy, but what if she isn’t. How do you propose to deal with these families?

    Perhaps instead of looking at this in the binary way we have been for the past 20+ years, we ought to be following the lead of Liberal Judaism to find ways to being them in (e.g. Zera Yisrael).

    —–

    As a personal testimonial, I know of two cases in the past year of young liberal Jews who chose to marry a non-Jew, but because the Jewish parents and their synagogue community found a way to include the young couple (not as full-fledged Jews, in both cases), the spouse is currently in the process of conversion to Judaism.

  11. IH:

    “Sure, we can also discuss the possibility the sun will cease to exist . . .”

    i’m sure sadducees, karaites, sabbateans, samaritans, baal worshippers, etc. have all made the same optimistic predictions in the past.
    what indicators do you see in present liberal judaism that indicate a promising future, or at the very least indicate an ability to maintain the status quo?

  12. IH:

    “the spouse is currently in the process of conversion to Judaism”

    ortho beis din?

  13. You know, if their rabbis are able to spell a word “yamakah,” yeah, I can see liberal Judaism disappearing relatively quickly, or least being a lot, lot smaller. Ask yourself this: Outside of clergy, how many Conservative Jews observe halakha?

    Consider: Up until a few years ago, 90% of American Jews were affiliated Conservative or Reform. Now it’s about 40%. That’s a drop of over 50%.

  14. IH:

    you can’t pretend a puppy is a kitten

  15. Abba — see my immediately preceding comment. The question is what will Orthodoxy do to preserve Judaism’s future, in light of the fact that most Jews will not become Orthodox.

  16. “Puk chazi,” of course, means those of the masses who observe halakha in the first place. Of course, it’s one of the favorite tropes of non-Orthodox thinkers, right up there with the tanur of Achnai and twisting Hillel beyond recognition.

    Zera Yisrael should be used for those *already* in the situation, not to create more!

  17. Nachum — Let’s not cascade into false triumphalism. The alleged drop in Conservative affiliation is a drop in dues-paying members to the USCJ (United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism).

    The OU, doesn’t publish its membership trendline.

  18. IH:

    i can’t offer an immediate panacea.
    but being delusional isn’t a solution either.

  19. Zera Yisrael should be used for those *already* in the situation, not to create more!

    You’re negotiating with yourself. Young people choose spouses; the question is what we do when they choose a non-Jewish one. Sit shiva?

  20. IH:

    you didn’t answer. was it an ortho beis din?

    “Let’s not cascade into false triumphalism”

    again, let’s not cascade into delusions

    “The alleged drop . . .”

    you’re always citing from the jewish pop studies. which indicators show the drop is only alleged? if it isn’t 50%, what do those studies indicate?

  21. Abba — no one has the answer. And all the cogent analysis for the past 20+ years has proven false. So, let’s not cut off answers we don’t like without serious consideration just because they sound delusional. One or more of these “delusional” answers may contain the embryo of an answer that Orthodoxy can support.

    On “Ortho Beit Din” — neither has completed their conversion. I do know that in both cases, Orthodox Rabbis are involved in the teaching process; but, I do not know what happens at completion (in two different States by the way).

  22. Well, you see, with the general lack of observance and the monopoly over their movements the central bodies have- Orthodoxy has neither such issue, for better or worse- the only way to measure Conservative and Reform Jews is through synagogue membership. So, yeah, if USCJ and URJ memberships go down, so do the numbers of Conservative and Reform Jews. Not so Orthodoxy, for obvious reasons.

    I don’t know if sitting shiva is the answer, but the answer sure ain’t officiating at their marriages.

  23. From p. 123 of the 2011 Jewish Community Study of NY:

    Indeed, we find more denominational stability than switching over time, but the inter-denominational differences are noteworthy. Of those raised Orthodox, 64% remained Orthodox, and most of the others split between Conservative and nondenominational. Of those raised Conservative, just 46% remained Conservative — the lowest retention rate of all denominational groups — with most of the others becoming Reform and a large proportion not currently identifying with any denomination. Of the Reform, two-thirds remained Reform (even more “loyal” than the Orthodox), with the vast majority of the others becoming nondenominational.

  24. And, nu, why then doesn’t the OU publish its numbers. If the triumphalist spin is correct, they should be “up and to the right” graphs which would be great for fundraising.

    Or, perhaps, they’re not that good looking either.

  25. I don’t know if sitting shiva is the answer, but the answer sure ain’t officiating at their marriages.

    And if they did convert, if it wasn’t aigned off by an Orthodox Beit Din then you wouldn’t accept the conversion either.

    And if a non-halachic spouse-to-be went through an Orthodox Beit Din, but didn’t lie and say he/she would observe all the mitzvot, they couldn’t be converted in an Orthodox Beit Din.

    Catch-22.

  26. “One of the guiding principles of Reform Judaism is the autonomy of the individual. A Reform Jew has the right to decide whether to subscribe to this particular belief or to that particular practice.” [statement of the Central Conference of American Rabbis]

    Any discussion of the number of American Jews identifying as “Reform” is inherently meaningless. This is so because the nominal “Reform” (upper case) — identifying a formalized religious movement as embodied by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations — has, in the present generation, devolved into the nominal “reform” (lower case), meaning a person who self-identifies as “Jewish” (regardless of the halachic reality) and who does not “subscribe to [any] particular belief or to [any] particular practice.” Ergo, when population studies are done, thousands of self-identified Jews who believe and practice nothing at all (and certainly do not join any denominational movement) will respond that they are “reform.” The Reform Movement gleefully (but deceiptfully) capitalizes the “R” for these people, claim them as their own, and then boast of being the largest Jewish denominational movement in America. It is, of course, all hocus pocus nonsense.

    So, yes, there will be (for the foreseeable future) a population of mixed-multitudes who identify themselves as “reform” to the telephone pollsters. The “Reform Movement” will continue to bellow about it with sound and fury, but all signifying nothing. Eventually, there will not be enough of an assimilated (acculturated?) population left to even bother answering “reform.” The Reform movement itself, (a religion admittedly without any compelling beliefs or practices) will see their populations diminish to the point when many buildings will be sold off to the local Hindu or Muslim community and converted into temples and mosques.

  27. IH: The OU’s numbers are meaningless. The majority of American Orthodox synagogues are not OU members.

    As to conversion, well, that’s Orthodoxy for you. The nerve!

  28. Nachum — Stop trying to score points and think about what you want to achieve and what is achievable. Shmirat Mitzvot in the Orthodox meaning will never dominate.

    There is a loop between dealing with conversion and dealing with intermarriage. If you want to minimize intermarriage among people who will raise Jewish families, then make conversion easier (e.g. using R. Uzziel’s shita).

    But, it is delusional — to use Abba’s terminology — to be strict on both conversion and intermarriage.

  29. “You’re negotiating with yourself. Young people choose spouses; the question is what we do when they choose a non-Jewish one. Sit shiva?”
    IH- when one marries out of the faith it is a pretty tragic event. It’s not just about the couple being Jewish minded, it’s about having Jewish kids. Unless the spouse to be is already considering conversion, I can’t really imagine that being welcoming to the new couple will culminate in he/she receiving an orthodox conversion (your sparse anecdotal evidence notwithstanding). Furthermore, I can understand trying to keep the Jewish child still affiliated and not to shun him/her, but why should we make the spouse feel welcome in the community, what he/she did was wrong? The best thing that can happen from an interfaith marriage is an amicable divorce.

  30. Ben — The data proves otherwise. For example, from the 2010 Chicago Jewish Demographic study:

    “Intermarriage has grown, from 30 percent in 2000 to 37 percent in 2010, but the proportion of children in interfaith families who are being reared as exclusively Jewish has jumped to 49 percent, up from 38 percent in 2000.

    ‘The fact that one in two local interfaith families is choosing to rear their children as Jewish has profound significance for the Jewish future,’ said Peter Friedman, Federation executive vice president. ‘This finding has hopeful implications for Jewish continuity, and reinforces the importance of JUF/Federation’s multi-faceted ‘Joyfully Jewish’ outreach programs for families with young children.’

    Those interfaith families rearing children Jewish indicate strong connection to Judaism and Jewish community, with 85 percent saying that being Jewish is “very important” to them, 43 percent belonging to a synagogue, JCC or other Jewish organization, and 36 percent having traveled to Israel. (Overall, 50 percent of Chicago Jews have visited the Jewish State.)

  31. And a sharper point in the 2011 NY Study:

    Affiliated intermarried households are close to the congregationally affiliated in-married in their observance of seasonal Jewish holidays, accessing Jewish websites, contributing to Jewish charities, and participating in Jewish cultural events and programs at Jewish community centers.

  32. I am a little confused about the arguments here. Are you discussing whether intermarriage is a problem, what the solution is, or what the solution isn’t?
    I am not aware of a system of preventing intermarriage that exists in a vacuum of any other Jewish values. That is why the argument that you cannot be equally strict on intermarriage and conversion is true and specious at the same time. If the point was identifying people as jews, IH is correct. However, if intermarriage is a symptom and an outcome of a value system that is distant from authentic Torah-Judaism, then being strict on both is a Torah value and Judaism outreach can reflect the background of being and acting like a Jew, which should result in the prevention of intermarriage.

  33. Groinem — If you are willing to write off anyone who is not an adherent to “authentic Torah-Judaism” (which I think means some form of Charedi Orthodoxy to you) then the discussion is irrelevant. But the metziyut is that 80% to 90% of Jews do not identify as Orthodox at all. And I am not willing to write them out of Judaism.

    That today is Yom ha’Shoah just adds to that commitment to all She’erit Yisrael (and especially those ha’Omerim She’ma Yisrael as all Liberal Jews also do).

  34. IH – amazing how you go and group MO together with non-Orthodox in your response to groinem. Helps you cause, doesn’t it?

    Also, your comments show that you define Orthodox triumphalism = rejection of non-Orthodox solutions. Why don’t you propose a solution that would be acceptable to most Orthodox Jews, rather than assuming that the only solution is the one never proposed by Orthodoxy?

    I think your proposal to sit shiva might be a good one. I can you that from two counsins, one engaged to a non-Jew, and one living with a non-Jew, that the value of marrying Jewish has not been instilled in them. They have not seen the seriousness of marrying out. Maybe sitting shiva would get their attention.

  35. This is just so freakingly frustrating! You people are all cogitating about an essentially non-existant problem. Here is the paradigm over which everyone is having such agita: Jeremy Levy grew up actively involved in the youth group of his Reform temple. Jeremy believes himself to be Jewish (and a Levi no less) by the Reform decree of patrilineal descent (since Jeremy’s mother is not Jewish of course). When Jeremy is married to Christina by his agnostic Reform female rabbi, the Chicago/Denver/NY (fill in whatever city you wish) Jewish Population Study considers this an “intermarriage,” and into the statistical hodgepodge it goes.

    The commenters on this thread are all chiming in about the effect such “intermarriages” will have on the future of Klal Yisrael. But indeed, the comments are all “sound and fury, signifying NOTHING!” (Macbeth, Act V, Scene V). (Dare I mention the preceding part of the quote about a tale told by an idiot)?

    The vast majority of these supposed intermarriages are by pseudo-Jews (i.e. Reform Jews, i.e. gentiles) to gentile spouses. Stop being idiots! The damage was already done a generation or two ago with the pernicious rise (and assimilationist attractiveness) of Reformism in America, which damage can no longer be reversed. Reformism (and Conservativism) created a permanent and unbreachable schism in historical Judaism; the schism has created a safek which prevents the determination of halachic Jewishness to the entire Reform population. Therefore, at this late date in disapora history the effect of these so-called intermarriages on Klal Yisrael’s future is ZERO!!!

  36. Shua – your point is generally valid in respect of the children of Jewish men and non-Jewish women. Why we should worried about the children of such marriages having a Jewish identity is beyond me, though maybe the father can do teshuvah one day. However, it ignores what I am seeing and experiencing in my family, where halachic Jews could have married Jewish. Also, what do we do about situations where the mother is Jewish, hence the children are Jewish. I agree that IH’s “solutions” are not solutions, but we have to try and get them before they disappear as Jews.

  37. Hoffa A. – “I think your proposal to sit shiva might be a good one.”

    well the market has voted. it didn’t work. RAL has observed and said the days of sitting shiva – as a solution or deterrent – are over. we must leave a door open and never cut ourselves off from jews who go in a different direction.
    of course total acceptance that there is nothing wrong is also not a solution. people do not marry out l’hachis or to run away and assimilate anymore.

  38. shaul shapira

    “Groinem — If you are willing to write off anyone who is not an adherent to “authentic Torah-Judaism” (which I think means some form of Charedi Orthodoxy to you) then the discussion is irrelevant. But the metziyut is that 80% to 90% of Jews do not identify as Orthodox at all. And I am not willing to write them out of Judaism.”

    So don’t. What difference does your write-off make anyhow?

    “That today is Yom ha’Shoah just adds to that commitment to all She’erit Yisrael (and especially those ha’Omerim She’ma Yisrael as all Liberal Jews also do).”

    No it doesn’t. Hitler’s descision on who the “Amcha” are is irrelevant.

    (BTW, of all the zionist holidays, Yom Hashoah is my least favorite. I don’t need them telling me when to mourn the holocaust. They’re entitled to an independence day, and I try to learn lezecher nishmas their fallen chayalim on Yom Hazikaron, but Yom Hashoah doesn’t register with me at all. It’s not like they own the holocaust, even if some of them helped make it happen, per Ben Hecht)

  39. > “…it ignores what I am seeing and experiencing in my family, where halachic Jews could have married Jewish. Also, what do we do about situations where the mother is Jewish, hence the children are Jewish?”

    >> My point is that the ability to determine who is Jewish, among the shrinking population of authentic Jews among the assimilated masses, is becoming increasingly difficult (if not nearly impossible). In my paradigm (above), Christina considers herself a “Jewish” mother by virtue of her membership in a Reform temple; she considers her children “Jewish” (even if one were to question her own status) by virtue of patrilineal descent. The secular polling organization will not challenge her erroneous assumptions about Jewish identification. But how are halachic Jews involved in kiruv supposed to figure out who are the authentic Jews that you want to save from disappearing? How much of a kiruv effort is to be made on behalf of an individual who self-identifies as the child of a “Jewish” mother, but whose mother’s own past is tangled in a family history of multiple intermarriages and/or inauthentic conversions? I believe that as the final geula wraps up only Eliyahu HaNavi will be able to figure it all out. For the rest of us, I think that, for the most part, it’s simply too late. Our efforts should be directed at shoring up the leakage in the community of Bnei Torah (reflected by the well-known and frightening OTD phenomenon); at least ours is a community in which the mesorah of authentic Jewish identification is pretty solid.

  40. shaul shapira – “I don’t need them telling me when to mourn the holocaust…It’s not like they own the holocaust, even if some of them helped make it happen..”

    I don’t know which part of your statement is more disturbing. the arrogance or the blaming of other jews. from a rabbi no less. show some love (at least understanding) to those you may disagree with.
    btw, when and how do you remember the shoah on its own.

  41. Joseph Kaplan

    “even if some of them helped make it happen.”

    This is as vile and 20-20 hind-sighting the gedolim who told their flocks to stay in Europe.

  42. “They’re entitled to an independence day, and I try to learn lezecher nishmas their fallen chayalim on Yom Hazikaron”

    illu who haya sham, lo nigaal. “they” “their”? lo yafeh.

  43. Lawrence Kaplan

    There is a vast scholarly literature on all aspects of the Holocaust, and all the Haredim can do ad nauseum is to quote is Ben Hecht. This secular, very talented but highly partisan journalist has been elevated to the position of one of the “Gedolei ha-dor” just because Perfidy can be used as a stick to beat the Zionists.

  44. As a big fan of Hecht, let me point out the irony of anti-Zionist charedim quoting a secular Zionist, who fought for and suffered for a Jewish State more than most Americans, in their defense. In the beginning of Perfidy itself, he explicitly says that his only problem with Israel is the Mapai government. (He uses “Zionist” in the way many did back then, to mean the Mapai Zionist establishment. Begin was a Zionist, and Hecht loved him.)

    Also, let me add my disgust over the lines “They’re entitled to an independence day, and I try to learn lezecher nishmas their fallen chayalim on Yom Hazikaron”. Look, as much as it may kill you, it’s your Independence Day and they’re certainly your soldiers in so many ways, and that you can write such things is disgusting.

    I want to add a point to Shua, if not as fervently as him: What he says about “telephone poll” “Reform” Jews is true of Conservatives as well, for different reasons. Self-identification as Reform probably results from an unaffiliated Jew saying, “What’s the most liberal group? Reform?” while self-identification as Conservative probably is a result of parents or grandparents, but it’s soley self-identification all the same. Even more so, considering that Conservatism does have halakhic standards, and yet I’ve had many acquaintances and colleagues who’ve said things like, “Oh, I don’t have to keep kosher because I’m Conservative.” If they were actual members of a Conservative synagogue, OK, maybe I’d count them. See Naomi Schaefer Riley herself, at the end of her piece on intermarriage. An intermarried Conservative Jew who thinks that’s cool? Really? But knowing her output, she’s probably at least serious in her religion. Others, not so much.

    That said, I think Shua is exaggerating a *lot*. I imagine the vast majority of non-Orthodox Jews- even Reform and unaffiliated- are halakhic Jews.

  45. “Also, let me add my disgust over the lines “They’re entitled to an independence day, and I try to learn lezecher nishmas their fallen chayalim on Yom Hazikaron”. Look, as much as it may kill you, it’s your Independence Day and they’re certainly your soldiers in so many ways, and that you can write such things is disgusting”

    Saw this posted today.. seems relevant.

    http://machonshilo.org/en/eng/component/content/article/34-featured/631-do-frum-jews-celebrate-yom-haatzmaut

  46. Nachum — It’s a shame that you allow your prejudices to make unwarranted assumptions that then color what you read. In addition to self-identification, the NY study also asks a series of questions on praxis and affiliation that informs its conclusions (and the SPSS dataset is available to all who wish to analyze it, I understand).

    In any case, the one-word take-away from all the demographic studies in the past couple of years is affiliation. As in:

    Affiliated intermarried households are close to the congregationally affiliated in-married in their observance of seasonal Jewish holidays, accessing Jewish websites, contributing to Jewish charities, and participating in Jewish cultural events and programs at Jewish community centers.

    And this is what is leading to articles such as the one linked by Gil.

  47. To file under R. Lamm’s dictum of “The passage of time solves many problems”: http://www.kipa.co.il/jew/51413.html

    הרב יעקב אריאל, רבה של רמת גן, פוסק כי ניתן להתפלל בבית כנסת בו נוהגות נשים להתעטף בטלית – זאת במידה והן עושות זאת מתוך כוונה טהורה ולא מתוך התרסה או הבעת עמדה חברתית

  48. About the Cardozo students’ “right” to honor Jimmy Carter:

    They have a right to punch themselves in the face, but only a fool would do that.

  49. I see I have created a minor storm outside of my vision.
    IH – you are indulging in reductio ad absurdum. I did not write off jews who do not adhere to Torah and its beliefs (your prejudice in parentheses was priceless). I said that I am not aware of any method of preventing intermarriage that does not include a context of Torah – true values.
    The problem with intermarriage is not the disappearance of jews. The chareidim will take care of that. The problem is the individual who has cut him/herself off so drastically from what he was created to be. The pesukim about intermarriage also allude to that problem. If a person is at risk for intermarriage he is also in pretty bad shape. He is obviously not connected enough to his Judaism that would render even the thought of such a union as repugnant.
    I am not aware of any religious significance to Yom HaShoah. The day we cry and mourn over the troubles of our exile is Tisha Be’av and the holocaust is not exemplary in any way, except by those who profiteered from it, namely the Zionists, who would like to deny it today, but 65 years ago used the holocaust for their political entity called the State of Israel.
    Avi – how is ‘their’ independence day, mine? I live in the US and the State of Israel is relevant to me only as far as it affects my co-religionists in the middle east. The French independence day is also relevant to me because of Jews living in France etc.

  50. Groinem — Many thanks. As with the comments from Hoffa and Shaul, you highlight a key difference between normative Modern Orthodoxy and normative Charedism:

    The day we cry and mourn over the troubles of our exile is Tisha Be’av and the holocaust is not exemplary in any way, except by those who profiteered from it, namely the Zionists, who would like to deny it today, but 65 years ago used the holocaust for their political entity called the State of Israel.

    .

    RWMO schism-seekers take note.

  51. IH – Was actually making a coherent point not a viable option?

  52. I am not aware of any religious significance to Yom HaShoah. The day we cry and mourn over the troubles of our exile is Tisha Be’av and the holocaust is not exemplary in any way, except by those who profiteered from it, namely the Zionists, who would like to deny it today, but 65 years ago used the holocaust for their political entity called the State of Israel.
    ====================================
    We attended a program for Yom Hashoah and I kept thinking of it as a shikul hadaat of meta over local halachic considerations. I would have preferred rolling it into tisha bav but HKB”H paskined otherwise through klal yisrael and history so now one is faced with a choice. I’m comfortable with mine.

    KT

  53. Joel – How did Klal Yisroel pasken otherwise? Was it because one of the many political entities that are membered by Jewish people decided to do something? How is that Klal Yisroel? Was there a legitimate vote amongst all of Klal Yisroel? After Rav Kook, amongst others, paskened that women should not be allowed to vote, do they have an opinion in this? Do you have a source (chapter and verse) for this idea that HKB”H paskens through Klal Yisroel? Maybe intermarriage is acceptable through that pesak?
    If it looks like I am making fun of you, it is because I am trying to show you the frivolity of attitude that is prevalent in that way of thinking. Please let us stick to the רק עם חכם ונבון and not use shallow, feelings-based ideas to decide matters in Judaism.

  54. I am not aware of any religious significance to Yom HaShoah. The day we cry and mourn over the troubles of our exile is Tisha Be’av and the holocaust is not exemplary in any way, except by those who profiteered from it, namely the Zionists, who would like to deny it today, but 65 years ago used the holocaust for their political entity called the State of Israel.

    Unless I am misunderstanding you, the word “exemplary” in your sentence is incorrect. I think you meant to say “exceptional.” If you mourn for the Holocaust on Tish b’Av, then indeed you are saying that it is exemplary of the tsaros of galus, as opposed to some exceptional event.

    On the substance, it is my impression that a good deal of the MO world has been following the Charedi custom of saying kinnos for the Holocaust on Tisha b’Av, and indeed that has spread in a good deal of the Charedi world of late. (It helps that there are two kinnos out there, one by R. Schwab, the other by the former Bobover Rebbe.)

  55. groinem – “I live in the US and the State of Israel is relevant to me only as far as it affects my co-religionists in the middle east. The French independence..”

    equating the state of israel – forget yom ha’atzmaut- as relevant as bastille day – wow that is a special comment to be noted.

    yom hashoah does not have any religious is true. its a day of remembrance period. i guess you agree with these folks’ barbeque yesterday -http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4365348,00.html

    Rabbi Metzger said it well: ““I’m not only offended; I completely reject those who stand apart from the general public,” he said.”
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/chief-rabbi-pans-ultra-orthodox-who-revel-on-holocaust-day/

  56. Tal Benshachar – I was looking for a translation of the Yiddish אויסנאמליך and I did not think exceptional is correct. I stand corrected.

  57. IH – “RWMO schism-seekers take note.”

    i would say chareidi. i doubt that anyone who doesn’t recognize yom hashoah and yom ha’atzmaut is rwmo or any type of mo.

  58. Ruvie – Why do you think that the Jews of France are less worthy or connected to us than the Jews living under the State of Israel?
    I am always tickled to see prejudice and bigotry at the hands of those who would be quick to accuse others of the same (you have commented enough times on this blog for me to have a solid basis for that belief and not just my own conjecture, you may return the favor).
    You say I probably agree with those who made the barbecue in Gan Soccer. In fact, I don’t because barbecued food contains many carcinogens and is dangerous to health. Although in the pictures the participants were mostly not chareidi, I care about non- chareidim’s health too.

  59. Ruvie — Just to clarify, what I meant is the RWMO agitating for schism from LWMO and who think they have more in common with Charedim.

  60. Tal – “my impression that a good deal of the MO world has been following the Charedi custom of saying kinnos for the Holocaust on Tisha b’Av, and indeed that has spread in a good deal of the Charedi world of late”

    As far as i can remember the mo world (as far as i know) has been saying those two kinot(and maybe some other poetry/lamentation) on tisha b’av for a long time and has always try to have the holocaust associated with tisha b’av in their summer camps. i wonder what is the history on this (as well as some acceptance by more than the followers of the 2 mentioned kinot writers in the chareidi world).

  61. A summary of the history by R. Shlomo Brody from a few years back:
    http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=139251

  62. IH – When the RWMO believes that the LWMO have severed too many ties with halacha and Chareidim have too few ties with the State of Israel, what choice does that leave RWMO? Is there an issue what is more important; Halacha or Zionism? Does such a question need an answer? Or, may such a question be asked under the rubric of Orthodoxy? Unless the schism is a cultural one, not a theological one. 😉

  63. Each person will sleep in the bed they make. I was just observing.
    Caveat Emptor.

  64. TAL:

    “the Charedi custom of saying kinnos for the Holocaust on Tisha b’Av, and indeed that has spread in a good deal of the Charedi world of late.”

    how widespread is this in the charedi world? i’ve been to various charedi shuls on tisha beav, but it’s been a while and i don’t recall either way if they recited them. is it the vast majority, a majority, some, a few; is it localized to one region (e.g. israel vs america) or group (misnagdim vs. chasidim), etc.? i’m not trying to be argumentative here, i’m really just curious.

    but now to be argumentative . . .
    as i get older i find myself questioning certain aspects of yom hashoah (even though i still do attend commemorations and encourage others to do so). however, i still do feel that the holocaust deserves some type of dedicated mourning. maybe it should be part of yom hashoah. but my impression is that many of those who argue that tisha beav is the day they mourn the holocuast really do only mourn it then in a general sense; the holocaust in specific really doesn’t
    factor that much into the days programming (either in or out of davening), if at all.

    “It helps that there are two kinnos out there, one by R. Schwab, the other by the former Bobover Rebbe”

    iirc the british kinos contain one for the holocuast by r. broyde (as well as 1 or 2 for medieval english jews)

  65. Joel – How did Klal Yisroel pasken otherwise? Was it because one of the many political entities that are membered by Jewish people decided to do something? How is that Klal Yisroel? Was there a legitimate vote amongst all of Klal Yisroel? After Rav Kook, amongst others, paskened that women should not be allowed to vote, do they have an opinion in this? Do you have a source (chapter and verse) for this idea that HKB”H paskens through Klal Yisroel? Maybe intermarriage is acceptable through that pesak?
    ===========================================
    This is a subject for lengthy discussion but let me respond in short form:
    1. The comparison to intermarriage is not compelling since that is something that is against halacha, here there was a choice between rolling the rememberance up into tisha bav or not (see the R’ Brody article for sources on each approach)
    2. The psak through history question is one that R’YBS used when switching from Agudah through Mizrachi but is certainly one we also see in the development of minhag – for example even those who use tisha bav for this rememberance have added kinot specific to the holocaust. the entire institution of vnahagu (where chazal accepted amcha’s practice is based on this)
    3. The state as representative of am yisrael berertz yisrael (in place of melech)is discussed by r’ Kook

    If you are bothered (I don’t know this to be the case) by the classic chareidi issue of how could HKB”H paskin through history to return the Jewish people to the land of Israel through non-religious hands, I suggest considering the story of Purim and the method HKB”H chose for deliverance there.

    KT

  66. groinem – all jews are connected no matter what affiliation (politically or religiously).

    the founding of the state of israel in 1948 is a unique jewish event – it effects all jews everywhere now and in the future. bastille day or 4th of july is not eventhough jews participated. i am sorry you cannot see the difference. the bbq comment was in jest but i assume you would have no problem in celebrating on that day because others have chosen it as a day to remember the shoah.

  67. Abba — See Groinem’s specific words before his diatribe: “The day we cry and mourn over the troubles of our exile is Tisha Be’av and the holocaust is not exemplary in any way”

  68. If it looks like I am making fun of you, it is because I am trying to show you the frivolity of attitude that is prevalent in that way of thinking. Please let us stick to the רק עם חכם ונבון and not use shallow, feelings-based ideas to decide matters in Judaism.
    ==========================================
    I leave the answer to the question of what it looks like to the reader. As to the seifa, I couldn’t agree more.

    KT

  69. ow widespread is this in the charedi world? i’ve been to various charedi shuls on tisha beav, but it’s been a while and i don’t recall either way if they recited them. is it the vast majority, a majority, some, a few; is it localized to one region (e.g. israel vs america) or group (misnagdim vs. chasidim), etc.? i’m not trying to be argumentative here, i’m really just curious.

    I don’t know, I haven’t taken a survey. In Passaic where I live, I think it generally is said by most shuls. IIRC, Artscroll included the two kinnos I mentioned in their Kinnos book, so that is some indication of general acceptance.

  70. Anyone read the outreach article? I thought it was very good.

  71. Ruvie, I can tell you that in the 60s there was no association of the Holocaust and Tisha B’Av in many summer camps.

  72. JK – there was at morasha but that was the late 70s. i recall feeling it was more yom hashoah than tisha b’av (but my memory can be selective). i assume they did to keep it relevant for the kids.

    IH – my question above on the history was to Tal’s comment on the mo following the hareidi adoption of associating holocaust to tisha b’av. i wonder if that is accurate that the hareidi had in general adopted that and earlier. i am not challenging it just would like to know if its based on anything.

  73. Joel – I don’t know what am yisroel be’eretz yisroel means. Could you make a coherent halachic point with a halachic basis to prove that world Jewry is somehow subservient to an executive decision of the State of Israel? Don’t name drop, just give me the halachic basis.
    If HKB”h could pasken something through an episode that occurs, why is that different to a halacha in the Torah? Why can that not be mattir everything? Maybe the holocaust was also justified, because it happened. The dangers of this way of thinking should be obvious, but they are personally distasteful to me because of its illogical basis. Torah and Halacha are major intellectual exercises, not decided by catch phrases.
    Ruvie – all humanity is connected no matter what affiliation (political, religious or racial). What’s your point?
    The effect the State of Israel had on all Jews, some positive and some negative (Sephardic Jewry for one) does not give it an inherent Jewish value. We can argue this ad nauseum, but I don’t see how you cannot see the monumental the discovery of the US had on world Jewry and Judaism, and the establishment of the Republic of the United States of America has changed the practicalities of Jewish life forever.
    מיום שחרב ביהמ”ק אין לו להקב”ה אלא ד’ אמות של הלכה
    I would think that the industrial revolution has had a larger effect on the ד’ אמות של הלכה than the establishment of the State of Israel.

  74. Ruvie – I am not looking to pick fights with people, so I probably would not celebrate in public in front of people who are mourning the holocaust, even though what they are doing may be against halacha, because they would not understand and see it as insensitivity to the victims of the holocaust instead of a halachic statement. There is no Mitzva of Tochacha when it will not be understood.
    But generally you are right. Yom HaShoah is not a day in my life and most times I would not even remember it. When I learnt in Yeshiva in EY, I heard the siren on the fourth of Iyar, I thought it was an air raid. I went to the closest street near my apartment to see what it was about and I got yelled at and cursed by an old man. I had no idea what he wanted. (I thought only chareidim in Meah She’arim curse and yell!) BTW, his curse was that I would not find a shiduch or have children. Thnk G-d I have disproven him five times already (one shiduch, four children, not the other scenarios you were thinking of).

  75. I am posting this again, as it seems to have been lost in the comment pageing.

    http://machonshilo.org/en/eng/component/content/article/34-featured/631-do-frum-jews-celebrate-yom-haatzmaut

    Gd did not tell Moses to bring the Jewish people to France, the USA, or even Germany. He did tell them to go to Israel. I suggest you spend the 12 minutes to listen to the video carefully.

  76. JK:

    “Ruvie, I can tell you that in the 60s there was no association of the Holocaust and Tisha B’Av in many summer camps.”

    i went to camp raleigh z”l in the 80s. definite association btw the 2. i recall one summer watching escape from sobibor in the canteen. i also remember a staff performance of anne frank.
    agree with ruvie about keeping it relevant for campers and (related) that my memory may be selective here.

  77. Avie – My filter does not allow youtube. What does he say there? Does it make sense? Or is it sentimental rubbish with no torah basis besides the stories?

  78. “The day we cry and mourn over the troubles of our exile is Tisha Be’av”

    and 20 Sivan?

  79. nice to see the hareidim showing how they really feel – the fallout is only beginning:

    The Ra’avad [Rosh Av Beis Din] of the Eidah HaChareidis, the Gaon Rav Moshe Shternbuch, chose to speak out against the entire Religious Zionist [Mizrachi] sector: “The Mizrachnikim are haters of Judaism [sonei das]. Today they revealed their true faces.” By way of distancing from the [Religious Zionist] entity he did not [even] agree to mention the name of [Naftali] Bennett [head of the HaBayit HaYehudi party]: “In holy places one does not mention such names.”The Ra’avad did not leave it at that, but he [Rav Moshe Shternbuch] also chose to attack the entire Religious Zionist community: “For years we knew that the Mizrachnikim were haters of [our] faith [sonei das], but they were always careful to display themselves as “lovers” of [our Jewish] faith and that they themselves are “religious” [dati’im] and they came to preach [lidrosh] in synagogues, today they revealed their true [hypocritical double] faces because they have joined with the haters of the [Jewish] religion [sonei hadas].

  80. No great surprise

    “Gay Orthodox Jews to gather and discuss challenges they face”

    Rabbi Shafner, the spiritual leader under whom the program is scheduled to take place, is a big contributor to the notorious Morethodoxy blog, and just came out strongly in favor of the Maharat innovation. So basically he is a YCT type of fellow (yes, it is true that he was ordained elsewhere, however, when he was ordained YCT was not yet in existence). Is it really such a surprise when the ultra left hosts such a program (like when a YCT musmach ran a similar program in Denver recently)? If you do some research, you will see that he and his congregation are very liberal and are located near a large university. No big chidush that the secular, liberal values of the neighboring institution hold such sway in his congregation. אוי לרשע אוי לשכנו.

  81. Joel – I don’t know what am yisroel be’eretz yisroel means. Could you make a coherent halachic point with a halachic basis to prove that world Jewry is somehow subservient to an executive decision of the State of Israel? Don’t name drop, just give me the halachic basis.
    If HKB”h could pasken something through an episode that occurs, why is that different to a halacha in the Torah? Why can that not be mattir everything? Maybe the holocaust was also justified, because it happened. The dangers of this way of thinking should be obvious, but they are personally distasteful to me because of its illogical basis. Torah and Halacha are major intellectual exercises, not decided by catch phrases.
    ======================================
    R’ Gronim,
    By the context ISTM that when you say “coherent halachic point” it means something you agree with? When you originally asked for a source I assumed that providing the well known authors (e.g. R’YBS and R’ Kook) would be sufficient to look up their well known opinions on the matter but apparently that is name dropping? If you need assistance in finding the specific tshuvot where R’ Kook discusses the concept of the powers of the king devolving to the government or the specific place in chameish drashot where R’YBS makes the claim, or the gemara which differentiates between nahagu vs hitkinu etc., please let me know and I will do so when I get home IY”H

    As to the seifa, I apologize for my inability to understand the point you are making so if you want to take another shot at expanding and clarifying your thinking, please do so.

    KT

  82. oops I forgot to mention the gemara where kahal is defined as only the Jews in Israel.
    KT

  83. Shades of Gray

    Has anone seen the editorial in this past week’s AMI about Rabbi Hershel Schacter’s 2 speeches in London? Rabbi Frankfurter defends RHS from the Foward’s criticism(“RHS doesn’t have a racist bone in his body”).

    R. Frankfuter disagrees with RHS’ position on Metzizah. He quotes from Nefesh Harav, and also from the RCA 2005 statement below, but attributes R Chaim’s position to when there was an epidemic in Brisk.

    Rabbi Frankfuter quotes from the Brisker Rav, and a rabbi in Germany that R Chaim’s position was not as is quoted below by the RCA. Can anyone clarify what R. Chaim Brisker held?

    ========

    “Rabbi Schachter even reports that Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik reports that his father, Rav Moshe Soloveitchik, would not permit a mohel to perform metzitza be’peh with direct oral contact, and that his grandfather, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, instructed mohelim in Brisk not to do metzitza be’peh with direct oral contact. However, although Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik also generally prohibited metzitza be’peh with direct oral contact, he did not ban it by those who insisted upon it, and neither does the RCA advocate any such ban”

  84. In the video he says many things, all based on halacha, and nothing based on emotion. 3 key points are made. 1. They day should be called Yom Takum yisrael, the day of Israel’s resurrection, rather than Yom haatzmaut. Jewish soverigty is more than just a nationalistic idea that all other countres have. 2. To say al hanisism and other prayers for the day. 3. An explantion of why those prayers should be said, and what the halacha is regarding that day.

  85. Regarding Yom Hoshoa, I find a few troubling things.

    1. Yom Hashoa is at the begining of the sefirat haomer where many of those who won’t mourn on Yom Hoshoa, instead mourn for Rabbi Akiva’s students. (apparently while having a bbq and drinking alchohol)

    2. Tisha B’Av is not the only day we mourn tragedies. There is also Tzom Gedaliah, 10th of Tevet, fast of esther, etc etc. What’s another day?

    3. From where I was standing, the entire city stood still for 2 minutes. Is it so difficult to be part of the Jewish people who stand for 2 minutes in the most amazing display of unity? Do you hate your fellow Jews that much?

  86. 3. From where I was standing, the entire city stood still for 2 minutes. Is it so difficult to be part of the Jewish people who stand for 2 minutes in the most amazing display of unity? Do you hate your fellow Jews that much?

    They believe that the possibility of unity – common ground, interaction, mutual understanding – threatens their way of life.

  87. is it something in the air? – so many articles on this topic – here is another one today besides the one posted in the links.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/why-women-dont-go-to-shul/

  88. more give and take on: Schlissel Challah

    http://5tjt.com/schlissel-challah-revisited/

  89. Ruvie —
    Although I am a child of survivors, I heard nothing about the Shoah from my father. My mother did begin talking after my college years but in short bursts. (I think did a fair amount of reading in HS and college.)
    Still, I felt that the Shoah was in my DNA so I earned a pass from Yom Hashoah activities (which I did not encounter until my college years). They also felt contrived to me.
    I recently compared notes with my survivor cousins who also heard little from their parents. I wonder if our failure to receive more from our parents was us or them. I am OK with my ignorance but I wish I had more to pass on to the next generation.

  90. Joel – Names are not halachic points. Chamesh derashos is not a halachic sefer. Please show me a teshuva lehalacha about this issue.
    Your quote from a gemara is telling. It is taken out of context. The gemoro is discussing Par He’elem dovor shel tzibur, not who gets to make takanos for klal Yisroel.
    BTW, most of Klal Yisroel did not stand still during those two minutes. Unless your bigotry has excused non-zionists from Klal Yisroel, most people in the Jewish world did not even know that the two minutes had started.

  91. Zalman — Much has been written about the silence of that generation and there are several organizations to help their children and grandchildren. The good news is that much of the available data has been digitized and is available for research online, so it is not too late to fill in some of the gaps. Starting from almost nothing, I have been able to document 35 progeny of my Great Grandparents who perished including some of the backstories. I have even found photographs for some.

    A good place to start is http://db.yadvashem.org/names/search.html?language=en

  92. ruvie-

    “I don’t know which part of your statement is more disturbing. the arrogance or the blaming of other jews.”

    Whatever you make of my statement I have no idea what arrogance has to do with it. I also blame Jews for the riots at amona and mitpheh. Either some zionists caused some of the carnage in the holocaust or they didn’t. If I think they did, why shouldn’t I blame them?

    “from a rabbi no less.”
    Huh??? Ben Hecht was intermarried back when rabbis used to not intermarry! 🙂

    “show some love (at least understanding) to those you may disagree with.”
    I try to. Just not toward Nazi- aiders. Okay with you?

    “btw, when and how do you remember the shoah on its own.”

    As others have already mentioned, on Tisha Be’av. I make sure to say the two about the holocaust, as well as the one about the Crusades. (Which Artscroll has a footnote on telling of the Brisker Rav’s opposition to Yom Hashoah.)

    Joseph Kaplan-
    “This is as vile and 20-20 hind-sighting the gedolim who told their flocks to stay in Europe.”

    No. The claim is that they *knowingly* abbeted the slaughter for the claim of ‘a greater good’ . But I appreciate that you find it vile when people hind-sight the gedolim who told their flocks to stay in Europe. I do too.

    ruvie-

    “They’re entitled to an independence day, and I try to learn lezecher nishmas their fallen chayalim on Yom Hazikaron”

    illu who haya sham, lo nigaal. “they” “their”? lo yafeh.”

    It’s their state, not mine. I’m not for the state or against it, but as I live in the diaspora, it’s their state, their Gesher Hametarim, their rakevett ha’klallalh and their soldiers. I happen to be grateful to the people who defend the largest collection of Jews in the world. Not because it says Tzahal on their uniform but because of their sacrifice.

    Lawrence Kaplan on April 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    “There is a vast scholarly literature on all aspects of the Holocaust, and all the Haredim can do ad nauseum is to quote is Ben Hecht. This secular, very talented but highly partisan journalist has been elevated to the position of one of the “Gedolei ha-dor” just because Perfidy can be used as a stick to beat the Zionists.”

    Oh come on. Whatever you think of the ‘Haredim and Ben Hecht, it’s defintely not true “all the Haredim can do ad nauseum is to quote is Ben Hecht.” Have you never heard of say, Min Hametzar? And a quick google search can find all kinds of stuff
    http://www.truetorahjews.org/lieberman
    Nachum- I don’t think it’s ironic at all. See my comments above.

    IH- Happy Schism hunting. Maybe have an interdenomanational conference about it.

  93. zalman- it’s interesting to see parents having different reactions in how they deal with the their past with their children. Children, like myself, always felt that they walked a fine line between gaining knowledge about their family past and inflicting mental anguish for the painful memories of their parents.
    Yes it’s in our DNA for we lived with it everyday of our lives- for our childhood was not a normal upbringing by any standards. Mavin yavin.

  94. The claim is that they *knowingly* abbeted the slaughter for the claim of ‘a greater good’.

    Shaul — do you believe this?

  95. FWIW, despite my often voiced reservations about Yom HaShoah represents a negative and dead end view of Jewish continuity as per R N Lamm and a situation where Jews know more about the horrific events between 1933-45 than any of the elements contained in the verses of Echad MiYodea,as per R E Buchwald, we always attend the Yom HaShoah at the YIKGH.

    Last night, Mrs. Debbie Spiro, a guide at Yad VaShem spoke about the survivors of the Kindertransport, and R F Schonfeld spoke about how he left Austria and arrived in the UK on one of the Kinndertransports, and how he and other Jewish children survived the war years in the UK. It was an awesome evening.

    As far as Mrs. Spiro is concerned, the fact that she and Rabbanit Esther Farbstein are quite involved in Yad VaShem on a very steady basis is a huge Kiddush HaShem and should mean that Yad VaShem is in the process of becoming a far more friendly place with respect to its sensitivity to its depiction of Orthodox pre war Jewish life and spiritual resistance-which IIRC, were ideas that were viewed as beyond the authorizing legislation passed by the Knesset that created Yad VaShem, an the view that Yom HaShoah was dedicated soley as Yom HaShoah veHaGvurah ( the Warsaw Ghetto revolt).

    (FWIW, while I once felt that tours of Eastern Europe merely subsidized the current rules of countries whose soil are soaked in Jewish blood, I now feel that such tours, which are led by many prominent RY and Rabbanim, enable us to realize that the authors of many of our most important seforim lived in real communities. It is akin to my views on visiting Kivrei Tzadikim-as a form of hakaras hatov, as opposed to R”L davening to an intermediary.)

  96. Anonymous-engaging in theodicy style rhetoric on Yom HaShoah is repugnant-regardless of whether who you intend to purportedly blame in the context of your posts. We can learn from the horrific events, but using rhetoric that claims to set forth a reductionist answer and assessing blame cannnot be seen IMO as productive in any way, shape or form.

  97. Shaul — Was it Mir you studied in when you were living in Meah She’arim?

  98. IH-
    “The claim is that they *knowingly* abbeted the slaughter for the claim of ‘a greater good’.

    Shaul — do you believe this?”

    To be honest, I don’t really know. Ben Hecht seemed to think so (he accused Weizman among others.) In general, the holocaust is a depressing topic which I mainly avoid reading up on. (As an aside, I have great respect for the zionist Hillel Kook’s efforts with his Bergson group.) Other than that, I have little interest in the topic. My attitude towards the state isn’t shaped by it one way or the other. Whatever my issues with Israel’s current leaders, I don’t blame them for shooting Dehaan or anything.

    My main point with my original comment was that I don’t consider Yom Hashoah any different than any other day of the year. I threw in the part about zionists causing the holocaust partially to see how the other commenters would react. Like most discussions on this blog, most responses were fairly predictable.

  99. For another take on the Holocaust Day contretemps, see here:

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Terra-incognita-The-haredim-and-Yom-Hashoah-309272

    It sounds like this is mostly a media cooked up story that has been given far more attention than it deserves. Yes, many Charedim ignore Yom ha Shoah. How many go to the park for a BBQ? On any day? AFAIK, most just ignore it and go about their business, either learning or whatever else they might be doing.

  100. r’ gronim,
    OK we wioll have to agree to disagree and leave it to the readers to make their own value decisions. BTW you might consider showing your posts to your poseik and ask him his opinion of your tone – “Would some power the gift to gie us to see ourselves as others see us” (Robert Byrne)
    KT

  101. Shaul — Was it Mir you studied in when you were living in Meah She’arim

    Yes. To be exact, I was living in a machsan in batei ungarin, but the rest of the country knows the whole area as Meah Sh’earim.
    Why?

  102. Tal — with all due respect, the discussion here on Hirhurim demonstrates this is more than a “media cooked up story”.

  103. Why?

    Steve Brizel’s full-throated defense, in recent weeks, of why Israeli taxpayers should be subsidizing Americans studying at Mir.

  104. “IH on April 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Tal — with all due respect, the discussion here on Hirhurim demonstrates this is more than a “media cooked up story”.”

    IH- with all due respect, the discussion here on Hirhurim consists of about 8 people who highly value their own opinions (I especially value mine and think everyone’s entitled to it.)
    This isn’t the first time you’ve projected a bunch of blog comments as somehow representing reality at large. Do you live in a computer screen? Is that where your generation moved when yellow submarines went out of style?

  105. “Why?

    Steve Brizel’s full-throated defense, in recent weeks, of why Israeli taxpayers should be subsidizing Americans studying at Mir.”

    Last I checked, I’m not Steve Brizel.

  106. Tal — with all due respect, the discussion here on Hirhurim demonstrates this is more than a “media cooked up story”.

    Really? How many people here said they went out to the park for a BBQ on Monday?

    The link you provided above re the history of Yom ha Shoah indicates that it has a long, controversial history, for several ideological, theological and even halakhic reasons. Charedim, for good reason, and based on the decision of their leadership, ignore it. For that matter, so do most MO outside of Israel, and most non-Orthodox. I imagine that most Charedim in Israel treated it like just another day. I rather doubt that some Rosh Yeshiva said, “Hey, today is Yom ha Shoah, let’s take a break from learning, go down to the park, and have a BBQ.”

  107. The point is not the BBQ, the point is the socialization (e.g. Ben Hecht’s Perfidy as touchstone) that leads to anti-social behavior (whether it’s BBQ’s or not respecting the 2 min siren).

    Blaming it on the meedja is dishonest.

  108. The point is, there has been a conscious decision, for good theological and halakhic reasons, and by persons of great stature, to ignore the observance. Your armchair sociology notwithstanding.

    How many MO shuls in the U.S. had any kind of observance on Yom ha Shoah? Without taking a poll, I would bet a minority only.

  109. I rather doubt that some Rosh Yeshiva said, “Hey, today is Yom ha Shoah, let’s take a break from learning…”

    Now that we’re discussing it, who is socializing Ben Hecht’s Perfidy? My now B-I-L was peddling that to me when he was in Mir Brooklyn 35 years ago; and each new Mir generation seems to be reading it.

  110. “How many MO shuls in the U.S. had any kind of observance on Yom ha Shoah? Without taking a poll, I would bet a minority only.”

    From what it looks like to me- all of the ones in Riverdale and the UWS. YI of Great Neck (which I know about due to my in-laws going there). Though that’s hardly representative, I suppose.

  111. abba's rantings

    “Much has been written about the silence of that generation”

    on sunday night i went to a performance of witness theater. part of its rationale is to survivors who’ve kept quiet to express themselves and talk about their experience through drama.

  112. The point is, there has been a conscious decision, for good theological and halakhic reasons, and by persons of great stature, to ignore the observance.

    Tal — do you accept there is a difference between ignoring the observance at a personal level (e.g. not going out of one’s way to participate in Yom ha’Shoah) and resisting the observance (e.g. intentionally disregarding the two minute siren) if caught up in it.

    But, perhaps I have missed the “good theological and halakhic reasons” for the latter, since it comes up year after year. Educate me.

  113. Tal — do you accept there is a difference between ignoring the observance at a personal level (e.g. not going out of one’s way to participate in Yom ha’Shoah) and resisting the observance (e.g. intentionally disregarding the two minute siren) if caught up in it.

    That begs the question as to what it means “if caught up with it.” The State is imposing itself on the entire country, everywhere. That’s coercion, and Charedim don’t have to respect that. Who, for example, gave the photographers who go into Meah Shearim (or any other Charedi area) a pass on respecting the siren?

    If a person happens to be in an area where everyone else is listening to the siren, then it is rude to ignore it.

    The reasons are really quite simple. First of all, the day itself has anti-religious origins, as your own link above indicates, and the observance (standing silent for a siren) is foreign to Judaism. How come no one ever thought of saying kinnos, or Tehillim on Yom ha Shoah?

  114. Here is a counter-proposal. Let’s have an enforced moment of silence on Tisha b’Av. That’s been a national day of mourning for 2000 years. Think that would fly? Or would it be opposed as religious coercion?

  115. If a person happens to be in an area where everyone else is listening to the siren, then it is rude to ignore it.

    If this is what Charedim practiced, that meets my needs. Bring it on.

  116. “If this is what Charedim practiced, that meets my needs. Bring it on.”

    I don’t know if you noticed, but there is not one unified group called “Charedim.” In the picture accompanying the article from the JPost I linked above, it showed one clearly Charedi man standing in silence.

    Problem is, you ignored the rest of my post. The siren is something done by the government, imposed on everyone, everywhere. That is something I think is fine to ignore, assuming there are not many others around whom it offends.

    To use an analogy from the U.S., if I am driving down the road and see cars lined up for a funeral, it is rude and obnoxious to cut in, and I would never do it. But if my town or State passed a law saying I must attend a certain funeral, then I might well ignore. Who are they to tell me that I should respect that person, or how I should do it?

  117. Tal — That cuts both ways: the government shouldn’t be banning public transport on Shabbat & Chaggim, then either. Right?

  118. By the by, I find it highly entertaining when Charedim argue on the basis of the uniquely-American libertarian approach to government.

  119. “The point is, there has been a conscious decision, for good theological and halakhic reasons, and by persons of great stature, to ignore the observance”

    I was surprise by some the comments on yom hashoah. I wonder why the visceral reaction from hareidim to acknowledging the dead in that we all bled and died as Jews – am yisrael and klal yisrael was decimated. Because it was the Zionist who declared the date? It’s in nissan? The gedolim didn’t approve? I can understand in some way the push back for yom ha’atzmaut – but yom hashoah I cannot understand the rationale.

    In the many conversations I had in the last 24 hours someone actually shed some light on the issue – it’s the narrative actually the hareidi narrative to Jewish history. The narrative is ahistorical. Nothing new can happen till the mashiach comes. We live in the past and see the future only thru the past events. So tisha b’av can include the Shoah or maybe 20th of Sivan. But no new dates can be allowed on the Jewish calendar or we loose the narrative…nothing new under the sun. We live in the shtetl and there can be no uniqueness to events in our lifetime no matter what – holocaust? We have the crusades or the churban. Medinat yisrael – jewish sovereignty- does not exist (or meaningless to our reality) only eretz yisrael – because it can’t. No changes are allowed now or in the future even though circumstances and reality have changed – until the mashiach. Or maybe the recognition of this day would also include their failures as well for their leaders can never make mistakes.

    Tal- how many mo shuls participate in yom hashoah? I do not know any shuls that do not have something on the Shoah or that join together with other shuls in their community on this day. Also, every mo school as well. It’s a learning and teaching moment. How cold you think otherwise?

  120. Tal: No Rosh Yeshiva would have said that, because yeshivot are off this week. 🙂

    You do know that it’s illegal for a restaurant to be open on Tisha B’Av night just as it’s illegal for them to be open on Yom HaShoah night, right? Enforced or not, Israeli law treats them the same.

    Let’s be fair to Hecht: His first marriage, to a non-Jew, did not last, and his second wife was Jewish, and survived him. He had a daughter from each marriage, both actresses; the second died very young and the first, remarkably, seems to still be alive at 97.

  121. It doesn’t bother me that much that chareidim ignore Yom HAshoah. I amnot a big fan of a holiday meant to put the holocaust into the zionist narrative. More importantly, by ignoring it chareidim are merely showing a lack of connection to the civic culture of the state. IT is absurd to suggest that this behavior is in any way disrespectfulof the victims of the Shoah who were disproportiately “chareidi”.

    For me the real issue is yom hazikaron. by continuing along in their business during the siren, chareidim are declaring, “not only dont we send our kids to fight and die for our collective security, we do not appreciate the tremendous sacrifices of those who do. ” If they feel that the siren is chukas akum, fine. Let them do other things that express their appreciation and sympathy to the public.

  122. I see the original link of that video I posted, has a source sheet for the topics discussed.

    http://machonshilo.org/en/component/content/article/631?lang=eng

  123. There is video of the people who went to the bbq on the eve of Yom Hashoa… claiming that this is a media consipiracy is lunacy.

    http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=969527.

  124. Ruvie: why don’t you read IH’s link above to an article that summarizes the history of the date. There you will see that the date has a long controversial history and has had numerous objections on theological and religious grounds. Actually researching something works better than arm-chair sociological speculation.

  125. “There is video of the people who went to the bbq on the eve of Yom Hashoa… claiming that this is a media consipiracy is lunacy.”

    If you actually look at the video, you will see that there are maybe 8 bachurim, fairly young, most of whom do not look too serious, who are running a BBQ and running off at the mouth. Is that typical of the tens of thousands of Charedim in Yerushalayim? For that matter, how many Charedi yeshivas give a day off, as the journalist there claims?

    It is easy to take a small incident and blow it up into a scandal to tar a whole group of people. It appears that’s what happened here.

  126. Tal – you either didn’t read/understand my post or the article by r’ Brody that was link to by IH. Read before commenting.

  127. Tal — Any views on the continuing socialization of Mir bochurim using Ben Hecht’s Perfidy to promote anti-Zionism. This seems to be top-down. I find it strange on multiple levels.

  128. “how many Charedi yeshivas give a day off”

    As I said above, they’re all off through Rosh Chodesh. It has nothing to do with Yom HaShoah.

  129. IH- thanks for the link. My mother was also born in bedzin, Poland. My son is requesting her birth certificate for his application for polish citizenship – nice to see the records weren’t destroyed.

    In regards to the article, I think most parents lie or misdirect by omission rather than outright lying ( but I cold be wrong). I had a guest at my Seder a few years ago in her late fifties that told me she did not know she was Jewish let alone her mother a holocaust survivor till her 20’s.(in order to protect her). I was unaware of my mother’s marriage and child before the war till my 20s when I saw an invitation- by accident- to her wedding at the hotel Bristol in bedzin before the war.

  130. YU insiders- So what’s the betting line on R’ Rosenzweig going to KBY? is it moved by this announcement?
    KT

  131. By the by, many “Polish” Birth/Marriage/Death records (over 100 years old) are indexed at: http://www.jewishgen.org/jri-pl/ I have obtained many family records as a result of this incredible (volunteer) effort including both my grandfather’s birth records (one from Bialystok, written in Cyrillic and Hebrew with Julian and Jewish dates; the other from Galicia written in Polish).

  132. Update on R’ MR -http://www.kby.org.il/hebrew/bogrim/?id=1451
    KT

  133. Also of interest may be http://data.jewishgen.org/wconnect/wc.dll?jg~jgsys~community~-493096 and, for those who don’t know the Yizkor books are all available online via the NYPL (e.g. http://yizkor.nypl.org/index.php?id=1789 for Bedzin).

  134. “If you actually look at the video, you will see that there are maybe 8 bachurim, fairly young, ”

    8? I suggest you watch the video again, and look at the background rather than the focus of the camera.

  135. ““How many MO shuls in the U.S. had any kind of observance on Yom ha Shoah? Without taking a poll, I would bet a minority only.”

    From what it looks like to me- all of the ones in Riverdale and the UWS. YI of Great Neck (which I know about due to my in-laws going there). Though that’s hardly representative, I suppose.”

    There was also, as there has been for the past 20 or so years, a Jewish community wide commemoration in Teaneck which is supported and sponsored by most of the MO shuls and attended by many of their members.

  136. “I find it highly entertaining when Charedim argue on the basis of the uniquely-American libertarian approach to government”

    i almost died laughing when the (chabad) rabbi of my old shul said fingerprinting of yeshivah staff is wrong because it is an invasion of privacy.

  137. Just to chime in, from what I remember, all of the MO, and some of the non-MO- shuls of Kew Gardens Hills and some surrounding neighborhoods- about a dozen?- would have a joint Yom HaShoah commemoration.

  138. JOSEPH:

    “community wide commemoration in Teaneck which is supported and sponsored by most of the MO shuls”

    what do you mean by most? are there really shuls in teaneck that don’t participate? or do they have their own commemorations?

  139. NACHUM (re. KGH) and Joseph (re. Teaneck):

    I actually wonder if these community-wide programs for Yom Hashoa/Yom Haatzmaut are something to be proud of. What would you say if all of Tenack/KGH each had a community-wide Kinnot for Tisha be-Av, or a community-wide megila leining for Purim? I don’t think this would reflect well on the commitment of those communities’ respective members to those days and what they stand for.

    Especially with regard to Yom Haatzmaut. All those halakhic justifications for suspending sefira and liturgical innovations, etc. (as well as the anger against those who don’t observe the day). And yet so many MOers themselves don’t mark the day in any meaningful way, many not at all? (I won’t even ask how many observe the day itself in a manner befitting the importance we ascribe to it. Probably very, very few.)

  140. Joseph Kaplan: There was also, as there has been for the past 20 or so years, a Jewish community wide commemoration in Teaneck which is supported and sponsored by most of the MO shuls and attended by many of their members.

    To my memory, at least 30 years. And the MO rabbis, at least in my day, made a point of attending.

  141. ari kisberg,
    there is something to your observation.

    re: yom hashoah, tachlis, it’s usually a weekday, and the event is usually an evening lecture/gathering. how many ppl go out for evening events during the week in general? also, a joint event allows all shuls to get a well-known speaker rather than every shul having its own never-heard-of-person and/or competing with the one place that snags a “big name.”

    re: yom haatzmaut, i think it is more common for shuls to do their own thing – have davening as usual, with hallel and whatever. i am more used to single-shul celebrations, too. if, in addition, there are other joint events, it’s like shuls having a joint purim carnival (not unheard of), and totally reasonable.

  142. are we ready for a 2 state solution or is it 3 states? purim comes early.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/166978#.UWWM4Kuc5Gt

    “..hareidi news outlet Hamodia has proposed creating a hareidi autonomy within the borders of Israel.”

    ““Autonomy means administrative independence regarding internal affairs, without the status of a sovereign state, with legislative and economic independence and police, and without an army or foreign policy,” it stated.

    According to the writers, the plan has a real chance of success. “If we managed to establish Bnei Brak, Elad and Modiin Illit, Laniado [hospital] and Ezer Mitzion, we can also establish an electric company, highways, and whatever else is needed,” they wrote.”

    i wonder what the economic base will look like.

  143. Joel Rich – looks like its almost a done deal for R’MR in a year from now. it doesn’t mean he is 100% leaving yu just 99%. a friend quipped where will the gush boys go now? is there a reason for them to go to yu any more? according to him r’mr was the main attraction (and no one else).

  144. “For me the real issue is yom hazikaron. by continuing along in their business during the siren, chareidim are declaring, “not only dont we send our kids to fight and die for our collective security, we do not appreciate the tremendous sacrifices of those who do. ” If they feel that the siren is chukas akum, fine. Let them do other things that express their appreciation and sympathy to the public.”

    Moshe – I agree you 100%. Chareidim should show hakaras hatov to the soldiers of the IDF for what they do. If I lived in Israel, I would definately try to mark it and stop what I am doing and stand during the siren.

  145. Ruvie:

    remember what happened with the suggestion to spit RBS into 2 municipalities and who objected and why?

  146. Sorry, that should read “It contains nivul peh and should not be gracing the comments section of this blog.”

  147. Re Teaneck. I said “most” in my lawyerly pedantic way; wasn’t sure if all so I hedged. Might, in fact, be all. As for MO rabbis, I know not all, and at least one doesn’t come on principle. A number of years ago he tried to completely disassociate his shul from the commemoration (not sponsor, not announce on Shabbat or put in the weekly announcements etc.) but his membership, I guess, also has principles so they didn’t let him do that.

  148. It’s nivul something. Not sure if peh is the right word.

  149. Tal, it’s interesting. i get the impression that in popular speech the offending acronym is considered far less vulgar than the phrase for which it stands. (and yes, people do say the acronym itself, like they say “oh em gee.”) though still not especially polite. plus the f could stand for “fork.”

  150. (sorry, that was for hoffa mostly.)

  151. r’ ruvie,
    When I read the 3 state solution I didn’ know whether to laugh or cry (and there were at least 2 dinim in crying – absurdity and irony)
    your comments on r’mr were in line with my thoughts although I’m not as up on the current r”y but my impression in the past wasthere was an strong sense of a specific style bias(plus who will take over the tuesday am Kaye Scholler shiur I attend – after all, it is all about me, isn’t it?)

    KT

  152. agree with emma. i see people using wtf even though they would never say what it stands for

  153. “I actually wonder if these community-wide programs for Yom Hashoa/Yom Haatzmaut are something to be proud of.”

    Well, I’m actually quite proud of our community wide program for Yom Hasoah. And I’m also proud that in order to keep it community-wide, everyone involved from all parts of the community agreed not to have any women singing and have the Kel Maley sung by an Orthodox rabbi (who has a real chazanus voice). For Yom Haatzmaut, the celebration is a joint program by all the Orthodox shuls.

  154. Agree with Emma but I removed the comment anyway. It’s kind of like Snafu, that is now a word used in polite society.

  155. “agree with emma. i see people using wtf even though they would never say what it stands for”

    And that makes it better? Its nivul peh, it stands for nivul peh. The letter “F” does not stand for fork, for flat, or flock. My gosh…I should known I would get these reactions here.

    Does this mean that we will be seeing more comments here using this acronym in the future? I sure hope not.

  156. Gil – sorry, but that is not true. Would anybody use WTF in speaking? No, they would spell it out. Why is writing any different? Because its an acronym?

    Also, your response implies that when used in polite company, it is not nivul peh. Am I reading you right about this? If not, I would appreciate if you could clarify.

  157. people use the acronym for the same reason some ppl say “what the fork,” which is that it is not as vulgar as the “original.” like i said still not polite. and perhaps still too impolite for this setting. but what makes things vulgar is their social meaning, and the three letter acronym is just not the same, from that perspective, as the four letter word.
    IOW, it’s rude, but not, in my view, ruder than spelling out “what the h___ (Deleted in excess of caution),” or perhaps other emphatic uses of “the H word” that have appeared on this blog from time to time…

  158. “Would anybody use WTF in speaking? No, they would spell it out.”

    actually yes, that’s what i was trying to say. it’s like OMG – people say out the acronym in speech sometimes. at least young whippersnappers do. and when they say out the acronym it’s often because they find the non-acronymized version too vulgar.

  159. emma, sorry but nobody uses that acronym to spell out “what the fork”. If people want to say “fork” they will spell it out to ensure people don’t think they are using nivul peh, and not an acronym which is used by 99.9% of people as nivul peh.

    Also, the use of the acronym in speech is also with the intent of saying the nivul peh, but use the acronym as per our email/internet/texting generation. If people text “c u tmr at 5 u shd nt kum” and then they get tired speling things out, what do you expect.

  160. JR- you have a year left for that shiur…so enjoy it while its still available (was tempted to go many years ago). R’MR style is simillar to RAL (and i said before the only one that follows RYBS derech halimud at yu)… interesting times (although r’mr really didn’t influence the broader mo community to my knowledge – he seems it was happy in his daled amot from the main building to revel/furst hall and back).

  161. JOSEPH:

    I’m sure it was a very nice program. And it’s nice that special efforts were made to be inclusive so that everyone could feel comfortable attending. That is indeed something to be proud of.

    But should someone likewise be proud if only 10% (feel free to alter the number) of a community attended a megillah leining on Purim? Or if only 10% attended kinnot on Tisha be-Av? Or if only 10% came to shul on a given Shabbat? Or on Pesach? (I use this chag specifically because justifications for Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut are based on comparisons with Pesach.) Shouldn’t evey single shul be full on Yom Hashoah/Yom Haatzmaut? (We’re not even talking about the full day observance these days really deserve, but a 90-120 minute event in the evening.)

    I just feel that when it comes to observing Yom Haatzmaut/Yom Hashoah, to a certain extent we (not you personally) are mostly (or entirely) all talk.

  162. at the risk of beating a dead horse, i’ll say this: whether a word is vulgar depends on its social-cultural valence, not its etymology. you apparently have a different view of the socio-cultural valence of this acronym than many other posters here. I suspect that is at least partly because of our relative ages, and also social circles. Your view is useful to anyone who wants to avoid being taken the wrong way in mixed company (eg, this blog), but is not persuasive as to “objective” vulgarity for those of us who have observed, in our own social spheres, the medium-level (ie, not extreme) rudeness of this term…

    (also i imagine you would agree “what the eff” and “no effing way” are less vulgar than the original, which is part of why the acronym, which effectively uses “eff,” is too…)

  163. Joseph:

    P.S. You wrote that the Yom Hashoah event was for all shuls, not just the Orthodox ones. Again, this inclusiveness and attempt at unity is laudable, but it means that Orthodox participation is even lower than I originally understood it to be.

  164. at least re: yom hashoah, i don’t think, and i don’t think most ppl think, a “full day observance” is the ideal, or even remotely on the table. this is a regular workday where people set aside some time. even on tisha b’av, where full-day observance is ideal, people who have to work do work…

    as for yom haatzmaut, again, it’s a work day in the US. i do think one sees slightly more ppl at morning minyan that day than others. in the end, there is no issur melacha that frees up time to spend the day on holiday-related activities, and not “mitzvah” like megillah that forces people to rearrange their schedules to gather in public. To me the better analogy is chanukah – how much do ppl who don’t usually go to shul alter their daily schedule to hear the leining? Aren’t they stil; “observing” it if they say al hanissim and hallel at home? If they don’t come to a shul chanukah party what meaning does that have?

  165. “Shouldn’t every single shul be full on Yom Hashoah/Yom Haatzmaut?”

    You sound like my (MO) rabbi. Our Yom Haatzmaut tefillah/celebration is held in the biggest Orthodox shul and it fills up, but every year my rabbi admonishes us that he won’t be satisfied until we won’t be able to have it in one shul.

    “You wrote that the Yom Hashoah event was for all shuls, not just the Orthodox ones. Again, this inclusiveness and attempt at unity is laudable, but it means that Orthodox participation is even lower than I originally understood it to be.”

    We get a crowd of between 1,500-2,000 I think and it’s very very heavily MO. That’s not to say that we couldn’t/shouldn’t do better.

  166. Helicoptering up, Erica Brown has raised the alarm of MO’s problem with all the ritualistic mourning from Sefira through Tisha b’Av that doesn’t resonate for many today.

    Perhaps there is an opportunity here for a revised look at this calendar interval that capitalized on our new observances using both Yom ha’Shoah, Yom ha’Zikaron, Yom ha’Atzmaut and Yom Yerushalyim.

    Such a narrative may not only resolve some of the tensions over the new Religious Zionist ritual, but could deepen our involvement and commitment to older ritual that suffers from the reality of Jewish sovereignty in the Eretz Israel (e.g. https://www.torahmusings.com/2007/07/nachem-nowadays-ii/)

  167. “you apparently have a different view of the socio-cultural valence of this acronym than many other posters here.”

    Really, based on how many replies? Three? You are making the unfounded assumption, that everybody but Hoffa Araujo and Tal and a few other fuddy-duddies think the “F” stands for fork or flock.

    If this is medium-level vulgarity in your circles, heaven help us. Is nivul peh going the same way as pre-marital sex? I have to tell you, but until I saw avi’s comment today, I had never seen the use of that nivul peh acronym on any frum blog or site. This was a first.

  168. “(also i imagine you would agree “what the eff” and “no effing way” are less vulgar than the original, which is part of why the acronym, which effectively uses “eff,” is too…)”

    No, I would not agree. Nivul peh, even a hint to it, is assur.

  169. emma hit the nail on the head.

    Of course, in Israel, it’s a holiday, and everybody celebrates it.

  170. Gil having removed the original comment and some of us having no idea what’s being discussed, can we drop the whole acronym discussion?

  171. ok, three isn’t “many.” but one of them is the baal hablog 🙂 and i am pretty confident that my view is representative of most of my peers.

    i have been intentionally referring to “less vulgar.” i can’t speak to where along the spectrum of vulgarity the lines of “nivul peh” fall. except to say that there seems to be at the very least reasonable disagreement about whether “what the hell” is permissible. (see, e.g., https://www.torahmusings.com/2009/02/r-noah-weinberg-ztl/) and as i said above i think the acronym in question is about as acceptable, to many people, as what the hell. perhaps you argue that as long as it retains any rudeness (unlike “snafu”) the etymology remains relevant to prohibit hinting at “nivul peh” even if you would admit that the phrase itself is not exactly equivalent, socially, to the original. i could buy that. Perhaps my main point was in defense of the original poster, who i don’t think did something as vulgar as you think he did…

  172. Gil having removed the original comment and some of us having no idea what’s being discussed, can we drop the whole acronym discussion?

    yah, sorry…

  173. “I was surprise by some the comments on yom hashoah. I wonder why the visceral reaction from hareidim to acknowledging the dead in that we all bled and died as Jews – am yisrael and klal yisrael was decimated.”

    To borrow some of your monikers, that is ‘disturbing’ ‘arrogant’ ‘hubris’ etc. The idea that ignoring Yom Hashoah = not caring/ mourning about the holocaust, is sick.

    “Because it was the Zionist who declared the date?”
    Partially.

    “In the many conversations I had in the last 24 hours someone actually shed some light on the issue – it’s the narrative actually the hareidi narrative to Jewish history. The narrative is ahistorical. Nothing new can happen till the mashiach comes. We live in the past and see the future only thru the past events. So tisha b’av can include the Shoah or maybe 20th of Sivan. But no new dates can be allowed on the Jewish calendar or we loose the narrative…nothing new under the sun. We live in the shtetl and there can be no uniqueness to events in our lifetime no matter what – holocaust? We have the crusades or the churban. Medinat yisrael – jewish sovereignty- does not exist (or meaningless to our reality) only eretz yisrael – because it can’t. No changes are allowed now or in the future even though circumstances and reality have changed – until the mashiach.”

    You have a point there. Many Charedim, myself included, don’t think we need any new holidays and the one’s Chazal instituted are just fine. Also, we don’t idolize the State of Israel. I didn’t realize that was one of the gimmel aveiros chamuros.

    PS- don’t forget: 10 Iyar is Yom Herzl. Make sure to lein Alteneuland with trop.

  174. Nachum – I am the one beating the dead horse now 🙂

  175. Nachum – I am the one beating the dead horse now 🙂

    Which you can shorten to BTDH.

    Not nivul peh, although it is tsaar baalei chayim.

  176. EMMA:

    I knew I shouldn’t have included that comment about the all-day observance. It detracted from my main point, i.e., most MOers don’t observe these days even in a minimal way by attending a 90-minute evening event. I understand about work schedules, etc., but as Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Hashoa commemorate, respectively, the happiest and saddest events in our history of last 2 millenia*, I don’t think 90 minutes is too much to expect.
    (*I’m not looking to debate this point. Obviously my comments here are intended vis-à-vis those who would agree with this assessment of these days.)

    As far as the all-day observance, of course you are correct that it isn’t going to happen and it’s not even on the table. But when I think about it, it just seems that there is no correlation between the importance MO ascribes to these days (and all the energy—laced with a healthy dose of indignation—that MOers expend justifying these days) on the one hand, and how we observe the days (and how widely they are observed) on the other. (I include myself as a subject of this critique.)

    I understand your Hanukkah analogy, but take Purim for example. Even though it’s a work day, many, many people (all of them in my circles) do take off.

    One final note on Yom Hashoah: I feel that as much as MO/DL argues for the observance of Yom Hashoah, it has taken a back seat in shaping the observances. Yom Haatzmaut in religious circles has a distinct mark to it, but no so Yom Hashoah. Except for a Kel Male, the Yom Hashoah observances (in my experience at least) are generally a-religious and are what you would find in a JCC, etc. (I have a few theories for why this is so.)

  177. Actually at the observance I attend at YoF they also recite the perek of atzamot yeveshot.

    JOSEPH:

    “You sound like my (MO) rabbi.”

    I don’t know who that might be, but I guess barukh she-kivanti?

    “Our Yom Haatzmaut tefillah/celebration is held in the biggest Orthodox shul and it fills up”

    And on a shabbat morning all* the shuls in Teaneck fill up. So it isn’t impressive that on YH only one fills up, even if it’s the largest.

    (*At least the ones I’m familiar with. I should add that they all are wonderful shuls and I’m happy to have had many opportunities to daven in them.)

  178. Tal – FWIW, YSN that IFTW BTDH. TYFTC! Oh, and may the fork be with you!

  179. ari, i basically agree that there is some dissonance here. but i also see the dissonance if the alternative world, where yom hashoa would potentially be treated more seriously than any number of actual mitzvos.
    I’d say more MO (and jewish in general) people think and read about the shoah on yom hashoah than think and read about the siege of jerusalem on 10 tevet.
    ppl who can, take off purim. i guess i would basically agree that it would be internally consistent of MO to get to a place where the same was true of yom haatzmaut. but in reality, the number of people who “can” will be lower – you can’t expect ppl to prioritize yom haatzmaut over purim, tisha b’av, and even chol hamoed…

  180. “And on a shabbat morning all* the shuls in Teaneck fill up. So it isn’t impressive that on YH only one fills up, even if it’s the largest.”

    Ari, that’s exactly my rabbi’s point, so your baruch shekivanti is, indeed, correct. We’ll make you a MO rabbi yet! 🙂

  181. EMMA:

    Yes, dissonance, congnitive dissonance. Thanks for reminding me.

    Interesting regarding the other side of the dissonance you raise. But I guess what bugs me on a macro level is that MO is about grappling with modernity and achieving synthesis between it and Judaism. This plays out in halakhah, theology, social issues, etc., but I see YH/YH also elements of modernity that MO should be grappling with to a greater extent. Yes, we’ve accepted these and intergrated them into the calendar, but perhaps part of our interaction with modenity should include further molding and internalizing these days as well.

    (Of course one could argue that the natural conclusion of my critique is that the only way to truly actuate what Yom Haatzmaut marks is to make aliyah. In which case we’d join Nachum and not have to worry about missing a day of work.)

  182. EMMA:

    “I’d say more MO (and jewish in general) people think and read about the shoah on yom hashoah than think and read about the siege of jerusalem on 10 tevet”

    Agreed, although I wonder how much longer that will continue. Proximity to the Holocaust engenders an incredibly strong emotional interest in it. Will that dissipate over time?

  183. “Agreed, although I wonder how much longer that will continue. Proximity to the Holocaust engenders an incredibly strong emotional interest in it. Will that dissipate over time?”

    And if it does?

    “Interesting regarding the other side of the dissonance you raise. But I guess what bugs me on a macro level is that MO is about grappling with modernity and achieving synthesis between it and Judaism. This plays out in halakhah, theology, social issues, etc., but I see YH/YH also elements of modernity that MO should be grappling with to a greater extent. Yes, we’ve accepted these and intergrated them into the calendar, but perhaps part of our interaction with modenity should include further molding and internalizing these days as well. ”

    Another example of the flip side: compare the seriousness with which many MO ppl treat the misheberach for the state of israel on shabbos with that with which they treat, say, torah reading… I am pretty convinced that attachment to israel is one of the primary “religious” attachments of many MO jews. That it does not neccessarily play out as such through the elevation of yom haatzmaut per se is interesting, and perhaps meaningful, but I don’t think the issue is failure to “internalize” its zionism. (and i certainly see very little evidence of “grappling”…)

  184. “but I don’t think the issue is failure to “internalize” its zionism.”
    -I mean except, of course, for the obvious non-aliyah issue…

  185. Ari, In 1992 I had an article in Sh’ma magazine entitled “Yom Hasdhoah as Orthodox Commemoration” printed in Sh’ma magazine. It begins “Holocaust Day speaks to the mind, articulates the principles, and touches the soul of the Modern Orthodox Jew. Of all the holidays and other days of Jewish commemoration that we celebrate or observe throughout the Jewish year, Yom Hashoah, together to a somewhat lesser extent with Yom Ha’atzma’ut, Israel Independence Day, differentiates us from our more right wing brothers and sisters, and defines our religious philosophy. By the way we observe we show others, but perhaps more importantly we teach ourselves, that to be Modern Orthodox is truly a positive religious value.”

  186. IH-One of the issues that plagues Israeli politics and culture is overinflated rhetoric, and a studied inability to walk back from the edge of the proverbial plank off the ship that such rhetorical and ideological excesses inevitably create. This phenomenon unfortunately knows no exceptions and prevents any serious nuanced discussion, and has a long and unpleasant history. Thus, why I do believe that a state that funds secular higher education that is the intellectual home of BDS and culture that often is self hating and all too often imitates the worst elements of contemporary culture, should be able to fund all yeshivos-hesder and charedi-as well as fund the MASA program-for which all students receive a subsidy -which AFAIk includes both Charedi and many gap year programs. That being said, I have yest to see a serious discussion that discusses whether military service is a national necessity for all, whether all yeshiva students should be learning indefinitely and whether all DL/RZ students should even participate in hesder or sherut l’ami, if there is a perceived risk to their religious values by so paricipating.

    The comments of anonymous do not provide any aid to this discussion. AFAIk, the RY of the Mir do not allow their talmidim to participate in hafganot and are quite apolitical in their POVs. I find it hard to believe that either Ben Hecht or the equivalent in Charedi historiography re the “causes” of Churban Europa are discussed in any detail in the Batei Midrashim of the Mir.

  187. Nachum wrote:

    “Just to chime in, from what I remember, all of the MO, and some of the non-MO- shuls of Kew Gardens Hills and some surrounding neighborhoods- about a dozen?- would have a joint Yom HaShoah commemoration”

    That is absolutely correct. IF RFS’s discussion and Mrs. Debbie Spiro’s lecture are on the YIKGH’s website, I will post them next week. The same werre riveting in their discussion of the impact of the Holocaust on those who left behind their families, and how they were able to survive the war years.

  188. shaul shapira – “The idea that ignoring Yom Hashoah = not caring/ mourning about the holocaust, is sick.’

    you missed the point. please show us how you care. pick another day do an azkarah, make it a teaching moment for the kinder. recognize it as a unique event. do something. isn’t worthy of at least like a yarzheit for a parent – memorializing it- maybe a few words about the fallen as a collective for identifying with your fellow jews – all jews.

    ” don’t think we need any new holidays” – its not a holiday. its a remembrance on the collective/national level. pick another day exclusively for this.

  189. For those interested, RMR has been giving a weekly and very demanding shiur at the YIJE for some time on Monday nights. Due to the Yom HaShoah program at the YIJE, RMR cancelled his shiur. I do recall that RHS also was a speaker at one of the YIKGH’s Yom HaShoah programs in the past. I agree that BBQs and the like, as well as chasunahs being scheduled on Yom HaShoah are highly questionnable in nature, and are arguably as inappropriate as going to a chasunah on the day of a Yahrtzeit. I am sure that any capable Talmid Chacham could give a shiur on Yom HaShoah with special emphasis on the Chiddushei Torah, Piskei Halacha and Machshavah of the Talmidei Chachamim who perished in the Shoah.

  190. Steve — The anti-Zionism is being socialized/indoctrinated at Mir and bizarrely Ben Hecht’s 1961 Perfidy is the vehicle. Sophomoric anti-Zionism is beyond my red-line.

  191. Ruvie wrote:

    “shaul shapira – “The idea that ignoring Yom Hashoah = not caring/ mourning about the holocaust, is sick.’

    you missed the point. please show us how you care. pick another day do an azkarah, make it a teaching moment for the kinder. recognize it as a unique event. do something

    I agree-I can’t believe that any Talmid Chacham worthy of the name is incapable of discussing the Torah of the Gdolei Talmidei Chachamim who perished in the Shoah. REW, the Dvar Avraham and R Menachem Ziemba Zicronam Livracha, HaShem Yimkam Damam are three easy examples.

  192. Ari/Emma – Related to your exchange, I made a point earlier that may have gotten lost in the acronym kerfuffle. I am reposting it, in case it adds something to your exchange.

    —–

    Helicoptering up, Erica Brown has raised the alarm of MO’s problem with all the ritualistic mourning from Sefira through Tisha b’Av that doesn’t resonate for many today.

    Perhaps there is an opportunity here for a revised look at this calendar interval that capitalizes on our new observances using Yom ha’Shoah, Yom ha’Zikaron, Yom ha’Atzmaut and Yom Yerushalyim.

    Such a narrative may not only resolve some of the tensions over the new Religious Zionist ritual, but could deepen our involvement and commitment to older ritual that suffers from the reality of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Israel (e.g. https://www.torahmusings.com/2007/07/nachem-nowadays-ii/)

  193. IH-if one looks, one can find links to Sichos, etc given by the Roshei Chaburah at the Mir. I can’t believe that Ben Hecht is considered leisure time reading in the Mir. The RY of the Mir are studiously anti political in nature, and are well known for telling talmidim to act in a manner that demonstrates religious solidarity with the IDF on the front lines and serving in the reserves.

  194. “(Of course one could argue that the natural conclusion of my critique is that the only way to truly actuate what Yom Haatzmaut marks is to make aliyah. In which case we’d join Nachum and not have to worry about missing a day of work.)”

    I don’t understand why you need to miss a day of work for Yom Hatazmaut. Say Hallel, read the Torah, add some things to your benching. Purim is a bit different since there is the mitzvah of the seudah and giving shalach manot, but Yom Hatzmaut, halachically, is purely celebrated at the shul.

    “Helicoptering up, Erica Brown has raised the alarm of MO’s problem with all the ritualistic mourning from Sefira through Tisha b’Av that doesn’t resonate for many today.

    Perhaps there is an opportunity here for a revised look at this calendar interval that capitalizes on our new observances using Yom ha’Shoah, Yom ha’Zikaron, Yom ha’Atzmaut and Yom Yerushalyim.

    Living in Israel, the time from Purim to Shevuot, feels like the same atmosphere that Holoween to Super Bowl Sunday had in the States.

  195. The professor, he reminded his fellow council members, had once called Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, a “stupid idiot.”

    The nature of halachic Judaism or the occupation of the West Bank can be debated endlessly, and even calmly, by intelligent people, but a decades-old insult to Ovadia Yosef? The debate about the late great philosopher and provocateur of Jerusalem was now over. “In light of these harsh quotes” said Eli Simhayoff, the chairman of the Shas faction in the city council, “we are sweepingly voting against (the proposal) and are condemning every word he said against our master.”
    ———————————————
    Hmmmm- who else is known for harsh quotes?
    KT

  196. So Liebowitz gets his jollies and his fame by deliberately calling people harsh names, hoping they’ll take offense, and his followers are surprised that there are people who take said offense, and then have to act like it’s no big deal? I think Liebowitz wouldn’t care: He knew he was sabotaging his chances for official recognition, and got a lot more out of the deal anyway. His followers, lacking what he got, seem to be much more wounded.

  197. Holocaust Remembrance Day doesn’t apply to haredim, says Deri
    “Personally, I don’t see any sanctity or distinctiveness in this day,” Shas co-chairman explains
    • “The secular authorities decided that Holocaust Remembrance Day would be in the month of Nisan, and we all know that you don’t mourn in Nisan,” says Deri.

    “No one can come and tell us about the Holocaust. The Holocaust Remembrance Day that ‘they’ declared because of the Warsaw ghetto doesn’t apply to us as haredi Jews,” he reportedly said.

    does remembering=mourning? sorry to beat this dead horse – its in my dna (says the scorpion to the frog).

  198. In Hamodia: Rav Elimelech Kornfeld: do hareidim believe in democracy?

    “Olim coming from the United State often have a preconceived notion that one’s personal decision of who to vote for is his basic democratic right and that nobody has the right to dictate his vote. They are not always aware that here in Eretz Yisrael serious religious issues are on the line and the decision of who we vote for is made by the Rabbanim and Gedolim, who are most aware of the pressing religious needs.”

  199. An interesting interview with Rav Lichtenstein on yeshiva bochurim serving in the army:
    http://pagesoffaith.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/on-the-drafting-of-yeshivah-students/

  200. “and we all know that you don’t mourn in Nisan”

    Huh. My two-week beard begs to differ.

    Also, of course, halakhic “mourning” means saying kel maleh for an individual.

  201. ‘Twas me.

  202. As I said above, they’re all off through Rosh Chodesh. It has nothing to do with Yom HaShoah.

    Another interesting point. Many people I know get around 12 vacation days a year from work. Israel charedim in kollel get around 70 days, if you add up the various bein hazmanims. How can you say that Torah is your profession if you don’t work full time in it?

    “..hareidi news outlet Hamodia has proposed creating a hareidi autonomy within the borders of Israel.”

    I would be totally in favor if they decided to establish it within the borders of “Palestine”…

    R’MR style is simillar to RAL (and i said before the only one that follows RYBS derech halimud at yu)…

    I have heard Gushniks say the opposite – that RAL’s shiur has (had?) an extremely formulaic style, while RMR would always go off in different directions based on his chiddushim…

  203. on BBQ on yom hashoah

    “Voices will emerge saying that these are merely the bad apples of haredi and Orthodox society. But this is disrespectful toward those who oppose the Zionist narrative. The haredi story is not the same as the story of Zionism. It is a story that is opposed in its thought processes to the hegemonic story of the State of Israel. The symptom — Orthodox Jews who barbecue on Holocaust Day — belies a problem that goes deeper than we think.”

    “Even if people within the haredi community make light of the barbecue, saying it was carried out by those on the margins of haredi society, we must not accept this explanation. We must be revolted by the deep rejection many haredim express towards the most basic values of Jewish society. I am not saying that everyone has to mourn in the same way, but it is important to honor public space.”

  204. continued:

    “We have to ask hard questions about education in the haredi world and the place of the Holocaust in it. We must not accept the glib theological answers of Orthodox religious education. The heads of the community and the community itself must do some serious soul-searching about how they relate to Holocaust Remembrance Day. If the opposite were to occur and the values of Orthodox Jews were to be treated with public disrespect, this would generate a furor.”

    this is one of the under currents that is not usually voiced or acknowledged.

  205. From R’ Lichtenstein:

    “who contribute in a meaningful way to the discourse of the beit midrash, who are exempt from army service. As I would agree that some individuals should be exempt because they are great artists, great thinkers”

    Me: And why can’t any of those people take a couple of years off for service? The only profession I can *maybe* hear an argument for are athletes.

    The Wife: And who says that army service is a negative for any of these people?

    I can’t help shake the feeling that whenever a RZ figure takes too long to answer a yes-or-no question on the draft with a really simple explanation (Milchemet mitzvah. Period.), they’re really trying to avoid saying that charedim should have to serve. And, of course, even the question of “exemptions” misses the point- no one’s talking about exemptions; what’s being discussed (or should be) is whether a *class* of people should be exempt merely because of the community they were born into and the headgear they wear. Making it sound like you’re theoretically discussing the top five students in Gush or KBY is missing the point entirely, deliberately or not.

  206. Shlomo – i was reflecting an attitude by gushniks who go from RAL’s shiur to R’MR. for them there is little else at yu that draws them(from my talks to alumni) – in terms of shiurim (from what i understand). in that both RAL and R”MR are similar to the rav than anyone else – but i could be wrong since i can’t compare (haven’t been to many r’mr shiurim).

  207. Nachum – to be fair to RAL – he always stated publicly that he had no issue to exempt the top 5% (maybe less)of all talmidim (with the greatest promise only) for the reason that they are doing something for the state by learning. you can disagree with that but he has been consistent for the last 20 plus years on this.

  208. Ruvie: Where’s that from?

  209. LongTimeReader

    “I can’t help shake the feeling that whenever a RZ figure takes too long to answer a yes-or-no question on the draft with a really simple explanation (Milchemet mitzvah. Period.), they’re really trying to avoid saying that charedim should have to serve. ”

    Have you ever hear RAL answer any question with a simple yes or no?

  210. Ruvie: OK. I then disagree, on a few fronts.

  211. Nachum – many times speaking publicly. he says he can see justifying theoretically as a public policy when discussing the situation in israel about hareidim – as oppose to giving them exemption. i don’t belleve he advocates it for YHE or the hesder yeshivas.

  212. Nachum, even Lapid says that some students should be exempt from army service and learning.

  213. condemnation of the israeli press portraying hareidim:

    “Daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth’s decision to publish a picture of haredim enjoying barbecues on Holocaust Remembrance Day is nothing less than incitement to bigotry. On the evening before Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yedioth columnist Nahum Barnea “caught” dozens of haredim ostensibly barbecuing in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park. It’s not pretty. It’s even a little annoying. Still, it doesn’t say anything about the entire haredi public. But Yedioth decided to barbecue the ultra-Orthodox community.

    On the front page of its Holocaust Remembrance Day edition, in bold red letters, the headline of Yedioth’s scoop read: “For shame — ultra-Orthodox celebrate with barbecues in Jerusalem.” How original we are! We don’t present the haredim who don’t stand during the memorial siren; we show haredim celebrating with barbecues. The top of the front page was stamped with the emblematic yellow star and barbed wire bordered the edges. The photograph of the haredim was designed to look aged. Even the headline was hostile: “A ceremony at Yad Vashem — a barbecue in Sacher Park.”

    In other words, the masses have gathered at Yad Vashem, but the others? Well, the others ..

    Then, Barnea deploys his standard patronage: “They weren’t there to defile other people’s rituals, to belittle their grief, or disregard their misfortune … the ghetto walls that have been built around them shield them from the tragedies, grief and ceremonies of others.” Haredim do not mourn Holocaust victims? The tragedy of the Holocaust isn’t also theirs? And what about the metaphor of “the ghetto walls.”

  214. Of course, every paper had some Holocaust imagery on its front page.

    Ruvie, well, I can’t see justifying it theoretically, especially not to a class. Avi: Nu, I don’t know if I agree with Lapid either.

  215. Regarding former Chief Rabbi of France:

    Interesting that he would think that not having been honest does not “directly concern the tasks I was entrusted with as chief rabbi.”

  216. IH- This will B’N be my last sophomoric comment on this thread.

    “Steve — The anti-Zionism is being socialized/indoctrinated at Mir and bizarrely Ben Hecht’s 1961 Perfidy is the vehicle.”

    As Steve indicated, you haven’t got the foggiest idea of what they teach at the Mir. They’re not pro or anti zionist. It’s a non/dead issue. I got Perfidy from my father who never learnt in the Mir. I don’t even remember ever hearing about it in EY.
    Oh, and R Chaim Shmuelevitz was a R”Y at the Mir.

    “Sophomoric anti-Zionism is beyond my red-line.”

    Well I’m glad something is. This is the same thread where you approvingly linked to a ‘clear eyed’ article that sees the benefits of intermarriage. You’ve also expressed support for Gay marriage and the need for Heterodox movements. Maybe you’re red line is drawn correctly but you’re standing on the wrong side of it and looking in the wrong direction?

    ruvie-
    “you missed the point. please show us how you care. pick another day do an azkarah, make it a teaching moment for the kinder. recognize it as a unique event. do something. isn’t worthy of at least like a yarzheit for a parent – memorializing it- maybe a few words about the fallen as a collective for identifying with your fellow jews – all jews.”

    As I said before, I say kinnos about the Kedoshim every Tisha Be’av while uncomfortably shifting position on the floor in shul for the 1000’th time. This past year I also read some of this (which I assume was muttar on T Be’av):

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004IASH2G/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1/191-2092492-7403739?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_r=0PNW4Y1F3TFVW8E10GQS&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=1532201582&pf_rd_i=1880582716#reader_B004IASH2G

    Do you care about the Jews burnt at the stake during the inquisition? How about the pregnant women who had their stomaches slit open and cats shoved in during the Cossacks terror? How do you show your sympathy?

    I hope my response satisfies you somewhat, but if not here’s a perfect opportunity to “show some love (at least understanding) to those you may disagree with”.

  217. frumkeit – or is it a chilul hashem -has entered the public sphere of internet pop culture:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/1c4jie/an_orthodox_jew_in_an_airplane_with_women_so_he

    and
    http://gothamist.com/2013/04/11/photo_orthodox_jewish_man_covers_hi.php

    400,000 views of the picture in 10 hours and over 2,000 comments….give the guy a free ticket

  218. Can this heritage be passed on to the next generation, in large numbers, as a sustaining source of Jewish identity?

  219. Do you guys spend you free time googling these things? Or, did you set up Google alerts so you can free time to post here (like me :))?

  220. Hoffa A. – nah..shows up on my rss feed or on fb page…plus i had too much free time today.

    Best gothamist comment on the picture from my 4:12pm: “Look, it’s simple.
    The graveyards spirits release bad-juju vapors, which can travel 30,000ft and permeate the fuselage of the plane, but can not pass through a dry-cleaner bag. Gosh, did you even TAKE science in school?”

    Science? funnier than the poster realized. english for 100?

    is this effective enough? i mean shouldn’t he be double wrapped. is this similar to double wrap in an oven? don’t we have a mesorah for a gezera shava? what’s the difference between the 2 cases…what’s not…purim has come early this year.
    not only 500k views 2500 comments on reddit but gothamist shows 2400 likes too. simply fascinating.

  221. No expert in Taharot, but why is the bag better than the plane?

  222. A serious discussion of the plane/tumah issue, from Yeshivat Har Etzion, is available here:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:uU_Z9OcQOcwJ:www.vbm-torah.org/archive/halak62/10plane.rtf+&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk

    If I read it correctly, a bag is superior in that: 1) the plastic bag is certainly not mekabel tumah, while the aluminum fuselage might be; 2) the bag can be sealed in an acceptable manner, while the plane door might not be considered an acceptable seal.

  223. Shlomo, I’d think that *nothing*, short of spacecraft and submarines, seals better than an aircraft door.

    Also, if it matters, there’s no exposed aluminum inside the aircraft- it’s all carpet and cushions and plastic walls- nor, for that matter, outside- it’s all painted.

  224. Maybe he is a burka man and he ordered the wrong coloure by mistake???

  225. “while the plane door might not be considered an acceptable seal.”

    if so, doesn’t this highlight the reality detachment of halacha, though? as nachum says, under the ordinary meaning of “seal” a plane door is about as sealed as they get.

  226. Tumah works according to the ordinary laws of nature and our conceptions of what is sealed up? It has its own internal logic.

  227. i know, i know. and i am sure there is a way of saying “not an acceptable seal” in a slightly more complicated way that properly reflects the internal logic at work. but i still think the apparent absurdity of the attempt to speak of it in plain english is noteworthy.

  228. Nothing on that story over the weekend. There’s no rush.

  229. Emma – I don’t think that there is an acceptable way of describing it. To the rest of the world, tumah/tahara is such an inane concept, that the best PR firm wouldn’t be able to explain it in understanding terms.

    Gil – were you writing about something in particular? Your comment makes no sense to me.

    A gutten Shabbos to everyone!

  230. I had to delete a comment. If you don’t understand it, don’t worry.

  231. Emma: Think of it this way. Even an airplane, no matter how well “sealed” would not keep out gamma rays. Those travel through most substances (although maybe not a thick lead shield.) No reason tumah should not have its own rules.

  232. Hoffa, Tal — Assuming you’re not joking, is this how crazy things are propagated in the Charedi world. First you start looking for charitable explanations and then you end up realizing that is actually the halacha?

    And if Gamma Rays, why not DNA testing to see if the plastic-wrapped nebuch is even a descendent of Aharon?

  233. re the comments of R A Deri, etc, as well as the equally triumphalistic comments of Feiglin-I found both equally inappropriate. Perhaps, R Deri should learn about the deportations , etc in North Africa during the Shoah before making such comments. More importantly, why should American Torah committed Olim view political decisions as beyond their ability? Look at what happened in Lakewood during the last gubernatorial election-that was a case of the presumed Daas Torah being ignored by the electorate.

  234. I can’t speak for other communities, but in KGH, the YIKGH was packed with people who are Mispalelim at many shuls and shtieblach last Monday. These people voted with their feet-and IMO, they found the rationales voiced against commemoration in a proper way rather unconvincing. R A Deri’s comment IMO fails to address the fact that scheduling a chasunah or party on Yom HaShoah arguably is akin to going to a party or chasunah on the day of a Yahrtzeit or worse-a case of Loeg LaRosh on a massive level.

  235. IH: Not quite sure what the conceptual implication is in your comment. The allusion to Gamma Rays was for sake of illustrating a point. In other words, a mashal. On the other hand, DNA testing–at least to my knowledge–cannot be halakhically relied upon to either validate or delegitimize claims of Kohenic ancestry.

  236. IH, emma, Nachum – your questions are all addressed in the article, go read it. To quote the conclusion: “Where does that leave us, if not altogether confused? Hopefully, it leaves us with an understanding of both positions and a bit more knowledge of the fascinating and complex world of taharot.”

  237. By the way, the author of the article, who is a talmid of RAL and involved in a major Israeli social justice organization, rejects the plastic bag solution at the end.

  238. “Shlomo, I’d think that *nothing*, short of spacecraft and submarines, seals better than an aircraft door.

    Also, if it matters, there’s no exposed aluminum inside the aircraft- it’s all carpet and cushions and plastic walls- nor, for that matter, outside- it’s all painted.”

    I was just reading in eruvin, that you can put a wooden board under a person to allow a Cohen to travel through a cemetary. No need for being sealed. A simple wooden “seat” would do.

  239. Yeah, Chabad does it at the Rebbe’s grave all the time.

  240. What happens when the “top down” “broad shoulders” take a serious, critical look in the mirror…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/13/pope-francis-reform-church_n_3075838.html?view=print&comm_ref=false

    “Pope Francis named eight cardinals from around the globe Saturday to advise him on running the Catholic Church and reforming the Vatican bureaucracy, marking his first month as pope with a major initiative to reflect the universal nature of the church in key governing decisions.

    The advisory panel includes only one current Vatican official. The rest are cardinals from North, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. Many have been outspoken in calling for a shake-up of the Vatican bureaucracy, which was last reformed 25 years ago, while others have tried to clean up the church from sexually abusive priests.”

  241. Ruvie wrote in part:

    “Holocaust Remembrance Day doesn’t apply to haredim, says Deri
    “Personally, I don’t see any sanctity or distinctiveness in this day”

    Can anyone imagine either a RZ. DL, MO or Charedi said that the events that led to Gerush Sfarad had no theological or hashkafic meaning? Statements such as R Deri’s are part of the problem.

  242. Of the many Facebook posts regarding Yom ha’Zikaron, this 19 second video clip stands out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGzoWK4q-aU

    יהי זכרם ברוך

  243. Update on the Kohen in the bag story: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4368141,00.html

    A kiruv success?

  244. He seems like a honorable, generous, and well intentioned person. He relied on his “local” rabbi for a final psak, which is all you can reasonably expect from someone who grew up without a Jewish education. I think that rabbi should be held responsible for the chilul hashem, not him.

  245. And now for a comedic interlude:

    (warning: recorded music during sefirah, but it’s Yom Haatzmaut, at least where I am)

  246. The previous was posted before I heard about the Boston bombing, and would not have been posted afterwards.

  247. Given the number of posts on other subjects, this linkhttp://www.nytimes.com/ obviously underscores the meaning of a Mishnah in Avos 3:2, and what should be foremost on our minds. Anyone from Boston posting here?

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