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The Difference Between Hirhurim and the Yated
RCA on Western Wall Compromise
Faith and Matrimony
A Sephardic S.Y. Agnon
Faculty layoffs at Moriah
A coffee shop of her own
Dialogue between future Pope, Argentine rabbi released in English
New Chief Rabbi Appointment Pitting Bennett Against Lapid
Brooklyn College cleared of discrimination charge over BDS event
R Aviner: A Chief Rabbi Vis-à-vis the Diaspora Rabbinate
A review of the Thatcher Jewish connection
First Ultra-Orthodox Sex-Segregated Playground Opens
Frum Dress Codes V. Human Rights?
Deal Approved In Muslims’ Suit Against McDonald’s
SALT Friday

Landver rejects call to take aliya control from JAFI
After the Death of Gay Marriage
Israel needs only one chief rabbi, lawmaker says
Is Your Commitment to Judaism Strong Enough?
Carmen Weinstein, a Leader of Egypt’s Jewish Community, Dies at 82
SALT Thursday

Quick Conversions Won’t Last
Ben-Gurion and the debate over Winston Churchill’s funeral
The New Rosh Hashanah
R Yaakov Ariel for Chief Rabbi Slot?
Tunisian Jews Seek Place in New Democracy — as Tunisians
Kotel compromise notwithstanding, Israel facing uphill battle over religious pluralism
Atzeres Tefillah in NYC Called Off
SALT Wednesday

Lincoln’s assassination and the Russian Hebrew press
Prager: The Bible vs. the Heart
Maine Rabbi’s Injury Forges Remarkable Partnership Between 2 Branches of Faith
Hasidic Fixer Key to Sprawling Corruption Probe — But Are They Dying Breed?
Researchers: Orthodox Groups Distorted Our Report on Controversial Circumcision Rite
Haredi Frenchman says barred from seeing son due to religion
Breakthrough in war against get refusers
Taking a Jewish Page From the Book of Mormon on Interfaith Marriage
The women (with a small “w”) at the Wall
Anti-bullying bill divides Winnipeg rabbis
Tithing and Taxes
SALT Tuesday

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Hat Tips
Note: Some links were found through other websites, some of which are mentioned below:
First Thoughts

About Gil Student

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

110 comments

  1. As I was reading the poignant story of the Reform Rabbi invited to lead Kabbalat Shabbat in an Orthodox shul, I couldn’t help but contrast that to the news that has been haunting us all since Friday.

    Ironically, R. Broyde addresses the crux of the issue in the Preface of his Women Wearing Talit post in which he relates this “very thoughtful but actually saddening reply from one of my close friends” to his post:

    There is, I think, a larger issue looming here, independent of the context of this particular question. Our community is divided into three groups. (1) The first are those who are members of the Modern Orthodox community whose allegiance to our community and its practices are not really dependent on intellectual satisfaction, but are driven by more spiritual ideas. (2) The second are people who are simply content to have a less progressive life in their religious existence than in their professional life, for social, family or other reasons. Both of these groups will be content with your essay. But there is a third group present in our community. This group (3) is not content with a halacha that is lacking modern day sensibilities. This essay argues that we are stuck with various conventions and attitudes even when halacha could afford much greater flexibility. All of us worry if we are providing the right responses for this group, which is made up of people who are who are looking for the same intellectual openness, progressiveness and creativity in all spheres of their life, including Judaism. They are, for sure, less traditional than the rest of the community, but fully bound by halacha. We are at risk of losing this portion of our community and we have to work harder to address the religious needs of this population as it is one that you and I probably identify with most closely. If we are not careful, after writing these kinds of reasonable but conservative responses for a few more decades, you will see that you have not been meeting the needs of this group and we will all agonize over a failed opportunity to strengthen this vital segment of our community.

  2. Regarding Reuven Spolter’s post, the mostly male audience here may be interested in two photo essays on what the Kotel is like for (Orthodox) women: http://www.amotherinisrael.com/separate-unequal-at-the-western-wall/ and http://www.amotherinisrael.com/return-to-the-western-wall-passover-2013/

  3. ” ▪ Lincoln’s assassination and the Russian Hebrew press”

    Did they spell/pronounce it “Linkolin”? 🙂

  4. When I visited the kotel two hours ago (Yom Haatzmaut), there was a big circle of ulpana/seminary girls dancing in a circle and singing frummie songs very loud in the main plaza. Nobody seems to object.

    Then I went to say mincha, and if I heard correctly, this one charedi guy said “Avinu malkeinu” after shemoneh esreh…

  5. “Maine Rabbi’s Injury Forges Remarkable Partnership Between 2 Branches of Faith”

    very admirable the way he opened his shul to her. but i don’t understand how she would have felt any less comfortable there had he not permitted her to lead kabbalat shabbat.

    IH:

    those posts add a very graphic element to discussion about gender inequality at the kotel. overall i think it’s terrible, but it does seem from the pictures that the outside women’s section is sparsely attended where the men’s section is full. one could easily argue that the women have too much space. (i assume during other times the women’s section fills up and that is when there is a problem.)

    also, those are concerned about equality at the kotel should be equally concerned about equality on har ha-bayit. why don’t WOW protest that they can’t have services on har ha-bayit?

  6. “also, those are concerned about equality at the kotel should be equally concerned about equality on har ha-bayit. why don’t WOW protest that they can’t have services on har ha-bayit?”

    They should hold their monthly services there, and avoid the fight at the kotel all together.

  7. but i don’t understand how she would have felt any less comfortable there had he not permitted her to lead kabbalat shabbat.

    Abba — You mean, she could have just been a spectator in the Ezrat Nashim, or did you have something else in mind that would have allowed this woman to regain her pre-illness religious experience, within the bounds of halacha?

    Maybe Orthodoxy would have fewer religious, moral and ethical failures if more Rabbinic energy was spent on empathetic psak such as this. R. Avi Weiss hit on the head — “Judaism is not just a system of the head, but a system of the heart. It’s a balance.”

  8. I must say I just don’t get the Maine story.
    In trying to pin down why, my preliminary thought is that i am uneasy about the portrayal as a simple, perhaps even spontaneous, act of interpersonal kindness/chessed, when it was also clearly a very public move (100 ppl came as opposed to the usual handful? that means there was some publicity involved), being capitalized on for cross-community bonding and other institutional purposes. seems a bit exploitative, honestly.

  9. Claiming that a study supports your position when in reality it clearly and plainly doesn’t and the authors have to publicly protest- it seems to me that there should be repercussions. If there are none, it will only illustrate that for the groups involved, truth is not the highest priority.

  10. “The first are those who are members of the Modern Orthodox community whose allegiance to our community and its practices are not really dependent on intellectual satisfaction, but are driven by more spiritual ideas.”

    Just the opposite, I’d think.

  11. Nachum — yes, I agree.

    Emma — You’re trying too hard 🙂

  12. let’s say a male reform rabbi had the exact same unfortunate accident, and wanted to come to an ortho shul to say kaddish, and the ortho rabbi thought it would be a nice gesture to ask him to lead maariv also. it might, in fact, be such a nice gesture. (although it’s also at odds with what i think is the normal practice of _not_ giving out shabbos davening on the basis of a yahrzeit.) would 100 people come to see it?

  13. “Then I went to say mincha, and if I heard correctly, this one charedi guy said “Avinu malkeinu” after shemoneh esreh…״

    He could have been observing BAHAB, following Pesach.

  14. IH-what proof is that most women who daven at the Kosel subscribe to the views expressed in your two linked articles?

  15. IH wrote in part:

    “Maybe Orthodoxy would have fewer religious, moral and ethical failures if more Rabbinic energy was spent on empathetic psak such as this”

    Proof please?

  16. IH-let’s be real-I would not expect a YCT grad not to allow a woman to lead Kabalas Shabbos. The story reminds me of a story that a very good friend who represents the OU at interdemoninational confabs told me when one of the main players in RJ told him about female rabbis-his reaction was -for your Baale Batim, I would expected nothing less.

  17. The following letter was published almost 10 years ago re WOW. http://chicagojewishnews.com/story.htm?sid=8&id=161307 The more things change..

  18. IH wrote in part:

    “Maybe Orthodoxy would have fewer religious, moral and ethical failures if more Rabbinic energy was spent on empathetic psak such as this. R. Avi Weiss hit on the head — “Judaism is not just a
    system of the head, but a system of the heart. It’s a balance.”

    Sometimes, even someone who has RIETS smicha can make a comment that sounds all too similar like a supercessionist and antinomian critique of the necessity to adhere to Halacha, even when it is unpopular and requires you to say no. Only a YCT grad would view leading the davening as an act of chesed, when in fact, as a person, he could provide any Jew, regardless of his or her affiliation with an act of Chesed in the usual and traditional sense of the word.

  19. MK Ruth Calderon spoke at a number of NYC venues over the past week. The final 6 minutes of the following video adds her perspective to the discussion we had after her inaugural Knesset speech about studying Talmud from a non-halachic perspective.

    http://tinyurl.com/bmvggb4 (it will start playing at the correct point).

  20. IH:

    “Abba — You mean, she could have just been a spectator in the Ezrat Nashim”

    yes, that’s exactly what i mean. (and she could have also said kaddish from the ezrat nashim.) she could have been a “spectator” (is davening a sport for you?) just like every other woman in the shul.

    ftr i’m not opposed in principle to a woman leading kabbalat shabbat. but this was the wrong way for that change to occur, if it should have occurred.

    and quite frankly, the proper and respectful response would have been for her to decline in deference to what she very well knows are standards in 99.9% of the orthodox world.

    “or did you have something else in mind that would have allowed this woman to regain her pre-illness religious experience”

    yeah, maybe she should have been permitted to strum a guitar as she led the service.

    “Maybe Orthodoxy would have fewer religious, moral and ethical failures if more Rabbinic energy was spent on empathetic psak such as this.”

    yes, because non-orthodox jews have that many fewer religious, moral and ethical failures.

  21. Dude, Bahab was Monday. Yom Haatzmaut was Tuesday.

    Steve, you do know who the letter writer is, right? Layers of irony there.

  22. we are told. Rather, the asifa arrangements disintegrated on these shores, with gedolim giving the final approval to cancel it earlier this evening.
    ========================
    Note the most excellent use of the passive voice – the arrangements disintegrated on their own!
    KT

  23. I remember watching Princess Diana’s funeral. It was on Shabbat, but PBS replayed it later. At one point, they showed R’ Sacks standing outside with some of his congregants. The reporter said that “As this is the Jewish Sabbath, he is prohibited from entering the Abbey, a Christian house of worship.” I always wondered if that was true, or if it was just an excuse; on the other hand, R’ Sacks did, I think, attend the recent wedding in the same place. It says in the article linked here that the problem is a *funeral* on Shabbat, not a church. Does anyone know if any of this is true?

  24. Nachum,
    I think he was in a clear plastic bag? (oops-wrong thread)
    KT

  25. MiMedinat HaYam

    if this R rabbi has to experience davening in an O shul, as a therapeutic experience, i think there are other issues at play here.

    as for the male R rabbi desiring to daven on a yarzeit, i think he would understand the “minhag hamakom” (which R congregations may have, too.) BTW, its regular / customary for a yarzeit. you are confusing avelut (11 months) with yarzeit.

    in fact, i recall when living in an out of town community (which is scheduled at the upcoming “community fair”) the local C rabbi (who was somewhat of a talmid chacham, meaning he knew how to learn, not necessarily exemplary) who came once on shabbat mincha cause he had a yarzeit, was given the amud, and starting coming regularly to the rabbis gemara shiur before mincha every shabbat. (of course, he drove.)

  26. maine rabbi article: interesting how R’ asher lopatin framed the issue

    “I realize that the article raises many questions about Jewish law and ritual. However, Orthodox Jews need to be at the forefront of putting these challenges on the table, discussing them thoughtfully, and making them an integral part of living a Halakhic, God-fearing life. I believe this conversation – and acting on it in the way we believe is consistent with Torah – is what Yeshivat Chovevei Torah is all about.”

  27. MiMedinat HaYam

    azeret postponement — cause historicaly, almost exclusively MO high school and college students attend these events. and there’$ nothing in it for charedi RY to agree.

    churchill funeral — RHS points out that most catholic funerals feature a “funeral mass”, a specific religious ceremony jews should not attend (let alone receive the (elite) wafer and (kedem) wine.) i doubt anglicans do such a ceremony; just speeches / hespedim. maybe a dirge or two.

    quick conversions — another ad for the rca bet din.

  28. R’ Ruvie,
    Funn, that’s what I thought life was all about? Except I wouldn’t say consistent, I would say mandated.
    KT

  29. I don’t get the hoopla over this Maine rabbi story. He says he is “uncomfortable” with a woman leading kabalat shabbat, but he obviously thinks that it’s basically allowed, which is why he allowed it here. Why is that courageous? I imagine that even he would draw a line somewhere and not allow, for example, a woman to lead maariv, or count in the minyan, or serve as an eid , etc., no matter how much it would uplift her.

    So were are left with: liberal YCT rabbi allows a woman to do something he thinks she can do anyway, but would not allow her to do things he thinks she can’t do. Describing this as some sort of heroic courageous stance is silly. The people celebrating this are doing so because of its liberal feminist implications, not because of any chessed which was done. Steve Brizel hits the nail right on the head in saying that only a rabbi operating under non-Orthodox epistemology could view this as an act of chessed, as opposed to just more traditionally being warm and welcoming and kind without compromising halacha.

  30. MiMedinat HaYam-

    How is that an ad for the RCA bet din? I firmly disagree with Cosgrove’s approach, but on the other hand, I know too many examples of people who’ve been treated poorly by them to really be approving of them. An ad for them would be a story about people who were interested in Judaism (for whatever reason), approached a rabbi, went through a process of conversion, were treated kindly and sensitively, and eventually converted.

  31. MiMedinat HaYam

    Jlan — the author’s website refers potentials to the rca bet din’s web site.

    i have no problem with their premise (encouraging potential intermarrieds to convert, subject to …), but referring to only one bet din (when there are many in the us) is a tactic the rca bet din uses too often in other cases. as is the tactic of using other front organizations to send them business.

  32. In the YI of my wife’s hometown, a retired C rabbi who was a YU grad and ordained by JTS davened at the YI and received an aliyah with no excitement whatsoever.

    The notion that Orthodox Jews are guilty of ethical , lapses, IMO borders on a peculiarly nasty kind of Jewish self hatred. One can find ethical lapses in many “titans” of Wall Street who are definitely quite removed from any notion of Torah observance, and who have served and serving time at various Federal penitentaries and heterodox clergymen accused of arranging their wife’s murder and sexual harrassment.

  33. Nachum wrote:

    “Steve, you do know who the letter writer is, right? Layers of irony there.”

    Obviously, even someone who paricipates in a WTG can realize that WOW is interested more in staging media moments than in anything else.

  34. Well, sure. That’s why they do it on the same day, and only that day, every month.

  35. After a many paragraphs about how “gay” should not be an identity, it was strange to read this: “These were innocent victims of an epidemic for whom gays bear guilt. Yet, like other postmoderns, who redefine dangerous behavior that threatens society as benign . . . the gays never expressed remorse. AIDS may be treatable, but at tremendous cost, and gays historically played a causal role in the epidemic.”

    Also, of course, he is thinking specifically about the epidemic in the US. I am not aware of a theory (and certainly not a widespread one) that links the original emergence of AIDS in Africa 100-odd years ago to “gays” specifically. Promiscuity comes in all flavors…

    Also, to the extent that AIDS was spread in Africa by “colonialists” doing things like sharing vaccination needles, do “westerners” now all need to “express remorse”?

  36. It is instructive to read intelligent views that differ from your own. That article, though, betrays such fatuous and muddled thinking that it only serves to explain why tolerance for Gay Marriage has passed a tipping point.

  37. “Israel needs only one chief rabbi, lawmaker says”

    i agree, but not because of feiglin’s logic.
    for the most part today (at least this is my impression), the role of the chief rabbi is largely irrelevant. at best it’s a figurehead. no need for 2 religious figureheads. no need for 2 presidents to represent all of israel at state functions, no need for 2 chief rabbis to represent all of israel to the pope.

    if one the other hand the chief rabbis played a positive religious role, then i’d sayt there should be 2, and very real differences in halacha/minhag should not be sacrificed, as feiglin implies, for the sake of unity as represented in one chief rabbi. interesting though, i didn’t realize, that the chief rabbis alternate as head of high religious court. what is this court? who sits on it? what does it do? is there only one for ashkenazim and sephardim?

  38. emma, it’s really quite simple: Just because Jewish tradition doesn’t recognize a homosexual identity doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who define themselves as such and act, often for the worse, on that basis.

    And of course he’s talking about the US. You don’t see a push for gay marriage in Africa. Nor have I ever heard this about needles before. AIDS spreads widely for one big reason around the world, and especially in Africa.

    IH, your logic is really faulty. Let’s assume you don’t like the tone of this guy’s argument. Let’s even assume that his argument is faulty. Does that provide justification for you to happily jettison a clear prohibition not just of Jewish law and tradition but of thousands of years of history and biological fact, or is your post just a way for you to try to hang your prior rejection, for reasons that, of course, have nothing to do with Judaism, on some new hook?

  39. Abba: The court is, well, the top rabbinical court in Israel. The position of head rotates between the two chief rabbis during their term, although I believe Metzger doesn’t hold it because he doesn’t have Yadin Yadin or something, so Amar has had it all this time.

    I don’t see why minhag has to enter into it even if the position was “real.”

  40. “AIDS spreads widely for one big reason around the world, and especially in Africa.”

    If you mean the reason is “promiscuity” i basically agree. But most of the relevant promiscuity, at this point everywhere, and in Africa all along, is heterosexual.

    The needles thing is one hypothesis as to why HIV became epidemic when it did, despite presumably having been around and having had the chance to enter the human population for a long time. The basic idea is that it makes sense to look for something that changed around when HIV got its real foothold in humans. Widespread vaccination is one such thing, rise of cities (and concominant rise in men living away from wives and promiscuity) is another, there are other theories as well i think, I don’t know much more than that. Perhaps they all worked together, r”l.

  41. Nachum:

    “The court is, well, the top rabbinical court in Israel.”

    thanks for explaining, well, absolutely nothing.
    here in new york we have a supremem court that is, well, not the supreme court in the conventional sense.
    so i don’t know what it means that this rabbinical court is the top court. does it only hear certain types of cases? cases between certain parties? cases of state issues? is it a trial court or an appeals court? or a high court of appeals?
    and who sits on it? in this context i asked with reference to if they are ashkenazim or sephardim. if it’s mixed, i think this is interesting and am curious how it works le-maase.

    “I don’t see why minhag has to enter into it even if the position was “real.””

    in general one turns to a rav of his own edah for halakhic needs. you want to separate out minhag from halacha, fine. i won’t waste time quibbling over it because the main question then still remains wrt “real halacha”

  42. Nachum — I am simply making the point that articles such as the one posted will tend to make undecided people more sympathetic to the now majority view. No one wants to look in the mirror and see Archie Bunker.

  43. Abba: What’s so difficult? Alongside the secular court system in Israel, there is a religious court system (actually, one system for each of the fifteen or so recognized religions) that has jurisdiction (sometimes exclusive, sometimes optional) over certain matters. Like the secular courts, the rabbinical courts have levels- trial, appeal, supreme. (This is not found in halacha, but was one of the conditions the British imposed when setting them up. Another was written decisions and I think women as witness was one as well.) The Supreme Rabbinical Court takes appeals; its judges are from all edot and sit together. I imagine in the rare instances where which edah one comes from matters (does it ever in cases of mamonot or marriage?), they go by whichever the person comes from, as the rest of the Rabbanut does. (For example, the Rabbanut will not marry people on certain days, but it’s different for different edot. I guess they just ask you which you are.)

    As to your second point, see above. There’s really no action the Chief Rabbi could take that would somehow be different for Sephardim and Ashkenazim that they don’t already- remember, there are two national chief rabbis, but everything else- courts, local rabbinates, etc. etc.- are united, and that’s where the actual action takes place. (I know Jerusalem has two chief rabbis, but at the moment it has none.)

    emma: Airplane travel is a big one. “Patient X” was supposedly a gay flight attendant who got around to various cities. But I already pointed out that Africa is irrelevant here.

    IH: Archie Bunker was, you know, a fictional character written by one liberal and portrayed by another. A caricature. But why not? I’d like to see Archie Bunker in the mirror, certainly more than the gay rights fanatics out there.

  44. “emma: Airplane travel is a big one. “Patient X” was supposedly a gay flight attendant who got around to various cities. But I already pointed out that Africa is irrelevant here.”

    there are at least three separate issue, which happened at separate times:
    – how did HIV get cross over from monkeys to humans
    – how did HIV become widespread/epidemic in africa/why did that happen when it did, and
    – how did HIV become widespread outside africa, and in theUS in particular.

    gay men are relevant to the last question only. but if we accept the premise that “the gays” should feel bad about the (unknowing) gay role in AIDS, would we also accept the premise that the groups responsible for whatever actions led to the first two steps (in africa) should also feel bad? i don’t think so, and if not, the whole argument is spurious.

  45. MiMedinat HaYam

    if you get rid of one chief rabbi, you’ll have complaints from the edah now “disenfranchised”. bad political move (though i usually agree with feiglin on governance issues like this.)

    expect calls for a morroccan chief rabbi, a syrian chief rabbi, a yekke chief rabbi, a french chief rabbi, etc. if this proposal gets too much attention.

    AIDS — when a well known american basketball player (the one who claimed to have slept with 1,000 women) announced he had AIDS, it was pointed out that while one can get it from heterosexual behavior, it is extremely extremely unlikely.

    also, various types of sex partners are accepted practice in africa.

    thus, its spread is predominantly from non standard sexual behavior (though of course, homosexual behavior is considered standard behavior today.)

    rosh hakahal of egypt — not mentioned is that almost all the remaining jews in egypt are (widows) of intermarried relationships. which of course, is not a problem to the NYT (or the Forward, which had a similar article by former ambassador Dan Kurtzer’s wife.)

  46. >> when a well known american basketball player (the one who claimed to have slept with 1,000 women) announced he had AIDS …<<

    Sorry, but you're confusing two different people. Magic Johnson made no such claim, but announced many years ago he's HIV positive. Wilt Chamberlain purportedly claimed to have had sex with 10000 women, but is not reported to have HIV.

    I know, they all look the same to you.

  47. MiMedinat HaYam

    just sayin that all basketball players look the same, not about other types, like you imply.

    but there was discussion in the press at the time regarding what i wrote.

  48. IH wrote:

    “That article, though, betrays such fatuous and muddled thinking that it only serves to explain why tolerance for Gay Marriage has passed a tipping point.”

    Why? One can argue very conviningly that one of the major intended consequences the so-called “sexual revolution” whiich is so dependent on “reproductive rights” was to legitimize or decriminalize what we call Parshas HaArayos. The Talmud tells us in Chulin 92 that Egypt’s fate as a society was sealed upon the writing of same gender marriage agreements. I think that it is not a coincidence that the moral decay that marked Weimar Germany was followed by Nazi Germany.

  49. Emma-re your comments re HIV, the facts remain that providing a cure for such a retrovirus which can only be described as one of the Cholim Raain UNeemanim ( see the nusach of Nishmas), remain illusive. IIRC, all that there is available is a “cocktail”, which slowes the growth, but does not provide a cure. Yes-all victims of HIV deserve our Tefilos-but the conduct that leads to the onset of such a socially destructive disease deserve to be addressed as well,especially in those sectors of society where such conduct is prevalent. IOW, blaming the so-called “straight world” for a lack of sympathy, etc hardly is a fair argument.

  50. ” it was pointed out that while one can get it from heterosexual behavior, it is extremely extremely unlikely. ”

    first of all, i guess by “one” you must mean men since heterosexual contact is the major way that women get aids. second, i don’t think what you say is true. there is a real risk to a man to contract hiv from a woman through “conventional” means, especially if one or both of them has another std and/or any open sores. acc to webmd “about 16% of men and 78% of women become HIV-positive through heterosexual contact.” i suspect that is a US statistic. as i understand it heterosexual contact is in fact the driving factor behind aids in many countries. anyway, at this point this is mostly an exercise in “the conventional wisdom is likely wrong inimportant ways, even if it’s onvenient for your ideological position” than in actually critiquing the article in question, and y’all can google epidemiological literature just as well as me if you care to, so i think i am done on this…

    also, i believe magic johnson said he had slept with so many women he couldn’t know whom he got it from, but didn’t mention the “1000” number…

  51. “There cannot be a situation where every American immigrant must pass through a private organization,”
    If true I agree-can’t an American oleh go to Israel on a tourist visa etc and while there do internal aliyah wo NBN. I am aware that NBN encourages people to use them but I did not believe it is required.

    ” But in America? Forget about it. America is three-quarters of the entire Diaspora, and nobody there is going to respond to some pamphlet of some shaliach [emissary].”
    And how many Americans aliyah would be changed one way or the other by the free cab ride that Olim can get from BG to anyplace in the country. BTW-why should Israel subsidize non poor American olim?

  52. R’ Ruvie,
    Is the article available? I’m hurt that they didn’t contact me for a comment! I would of started with “Chazal teach us that Hirhurim mutarim”
    KT

  53. r’ jr- its not online but the end of article there is a link to a jpg

    https://www.torahmusings.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Yated.jpg

  54. It is unclear if any U.S. government funds were used for the project. U.S. or New York State funds cannot be used to build a facility that discriminates based on gender.
    =============================
    But Town funds can? The article also says that there will be individuals excluded based on religion??
    KT

  55. Fotheringay-Phipps

    The Fink article is very misleading, and possibly deliberately so.

    His central claim is “the presumption that the Hirhurim community and R’ Gil Student use his blog to attack charedim on a regular basis”. He rebuts this by saying “I looked at several weeks of blog posts on Hirhurim. It’s not so much that Hirhurim bashes charedim, it’s more like Hirhurim completely ignores charedim. I know that it does not feel especially good to be ignored, but being ignored is hardly akin to bashing.”

    The fact is that no where in that article does the author accuse Gil Student of bashing Chareidim, in his posts.

    What he says is that “Hirhurim has been a site featuring links to articles that bash or expose perceived chareidi misdeeds”. You can’t rebut that by checking out “blog posts” because that was not the claim being made. (The Yated accusation, FWIW, is that the site does not link to articles about the Broyde affair.)

    So ISTM that Fink has either made a serious mistake, or is being dishonest himself.

    The other related claim in the article is that the commentors frequently included chareidi bashers. Hard to imagine that anyone disputes that, and Fink conveniently ignores this issue.

    [Note: this is not to say that I agree with the Yated article. ISTM that there’s some truth to it, but it overstates the extent. Particularly since, IMHO, what R’ Broyde did, while not speaking well of his integrity, is not all that egregious.]

  56. FP: Reading the Yated article, one would not know that commenters like you, Tal and others defend the chareidi community. You certainly would not know that I generally do not take any stance on such issues. And you’d have no idea that the bulk of this blog is about halakhah, hashkafah, etc.

  57. The other related claim in the article is that the commentors frequently included chareidi bashers. Hard to imagine that anyone disputes that, and Fink conveniently ignores this issue.
    =======================
    Did they mention LWMO bashing?
    KT

  58. Part of the problem is that anything not fawning toward Charedim is often taken by them as bashing. Harry Maryles is downright obsequious to the Moetzes and he too is regularly accused of bashing.

    So, once again we see people who are happy to dish it out (and hard), but can’t take it in (even soft). Nu nu.

  59. Fotheringay-Phipps

    GS: “FP: Reading the Yated article, one would not know that commenters like you, Tal and others defend the chareidi community. You certainly would not know that I generally do not take any stance on such issues. And you’d have no idea that the bulk of this blog is about halakhah, hashkafah, etc.”

    I agree with all this.

    But if you read the Fink blog post one would not know that the
    Yated never accused you of bashing chareidim in your blog posts. So Fink was being very misleading by pretending otherwise. That’s all I was saying.

    [Again, I agree with you that the Yated did not present an accurate picture of this blog. The focus of the Yated article was not about the evils of this blog – it was selected as an illustration of a perceived double-standard in the MO treatment of R’ Broyde’s pecadillos versus charedi ones. The fact that it did not present a more well rounded picture of the blog is collateral damage.]

    JR: “Did they mention LWMO bashing?”

    No. Should they have?

  60. “a perceived double-standard in the MO treatment of R’ Broyde’s pecadillos versus charedi ones.”

    (1) i do believe there is such a double standard
    but
    (2) there is also the little issue of what rabbi broyde admits to having done being much less serious than many other rabbinic “pecadillos,” especially the sort that end up getting linked here.
    there is some irony in that rabbi broyde, by admitting to something of medium severity, becomes somehow worse than ppl who deny credible accusations of serious misdeeds… after all, as long as rabbi X denies it we can say the media made it up.

  61. FP: No link??? Within hours of the publication of the article about Broyde’s misdeeds, I linked to it within his apology, which (sadly) is the most viewed post in this blog’s history.

  62. agree, the implication that you were covering up that story is ridiculous. and there were links to other news coverage in the comments.

  63. Fotheringay-Phipps

    emma: “there is also the little issue of what rabbi broyde admits to having done being much less serious than many other rabbinic “pecadillos,” especially the sort that end up getting linked here.”

    I observed something similar in my 10:01 comment.

    I would add further that it’s hard to compare the different types of crimes. For the most part, the crimes for which (major) rabbis get bashed fall into two categories. 1) Differences of opinion (e.g. hashkafa, or how to deal with child abuse etc.) and 2) ambiguous circumstances, which involve much speculation about facts and motivation (e.g. “how much did he know and when did he know it?”). I’m trying to remember a case where the facts were as unambiguous as this and did not represent ideological differences, and having a hard time. (For someone of R’ Broyde’s stature, that is. The LT case was much worse than this one, of course, but LT was a relatively minor figure.)

    Gil Student: “No link??? Within hours of the publication of the article about Broyde’s misdeeds, I linked to it within his apology”

    He thinks there would be more coverage otherwise.

    “which (sadly) is the most viewed post in this blog’s history.”

    IMO, that’s because the blog is part of the story. R’ Broyde’s apology post here is his most substantial statement on the subject, and most of the stories about the issue referenced or linked to this post.

  64. ▪ First Ultra-Orthodox Sex-Segregated Playground Opens

    I blame the playground contractor. Four times the income!

  65. the playground seems just brazen… my question is who will be the plaintiff on the lawsuit.

    (also, i think the english report is incorrect: acc to http://www.bhol.co.il/Article_old.aspx?id=53207 the sections are: girls, boys, mothers with little kids, and fathers with little kids, not moms+girls and dads+boys, which would be really inconvenient…)

  66. “I’m trying to remember a case where the facts were as unambiguous as this and did not represent ideological differences”

    i did not follow recent events in london closely but my understanding is that at this point there is basic agreement on the facts among all but the die hard, and that the facts are pretty bad… of course no admission, proving my point above that one gets dinged for not pushing full throttle into denial mode.

  67. FP – Without getting into specifics, there was recently a scandal in England involving a Charedi rav whose stature was at least equivalent to R. Broyde’s as far as the UK Charedi community is concerned, and whose misdeeds were several orders of magnitude more serious.

    Whilst perhaps ostensibly not as unequivocal (at least in terms that he ‘publicly’ denied all the allegations), and he still has some nutcases prepared to support him (despite the fact that individual concerned has been condemned in writing by the leading local Charedi rabbonim and is currently on bail having been arrested on suspicion of several cases of sexual assault and perverting the course of justice), the absolute silence of the Charedi press on the issue certainly makes an interesting contrast with Yated’s lack of ambivalence in commenting on the R. Broyde scandal.

  68. Fotheringay-Phipps

    I’ve not followed the story that closely either, but even if you’re right, did that rabbi have anything like the stature that R’ Broyde had? ISTM that he was just another rabbi of a shteeble. (I certainly never heard of him prior to this incident.) R’ Broyde seems to be one of the leading MO rabbis/scholars in the country.

  69. Fotheringay-Phipps

    My prior comment was addressed to emma.

    J: “the absolute silence of the Charedi press on the issue certainly makes an interesting contrast with Yated’s lack of ambivalence in commenting on the R. Broyde scandal”.

    If you’re trying to make the case that the charedi press has a double standard, there’s no need. That’s beyond obvious.

    (Although, FTR, I don’t think this rabbi’s stature was anything close to R’ Broyde’s. Also, you can’t compare the American press covering a British scandal to an American one.)

  70. FP – Perhaps I’m biased, having formerly been close to him, but in my estimation he was probably the second most prominent Charedi rav in London, and among the top ten in Europe. He was the posek for most local organisations (Hatzoloh, fertility tzedakos etc), the rav of several educational establishments (including my daughter’s school), and a quasi-‘rebbe’ in his own right. So, yes, he was very prominent.

  71. i think he had a good degree of stature just by virtue of his last name, but J. clearly knows better…

  72. (posted that before J. should have just waited…)

  73. And, I don’t expect the American Charedi press to have cover it. We have our own Charedi press too (including our own edition of Hamodia).

    Actually, I did overlook one oblique reference that was made in one of newspaper here. One writer noted an incident in the Torah (don’t remember which) where the name of the sinner was covered up, apparently to spare his family’s shame…

  74. The Yated has double standards also.

    If there is a heter to mention R. Broyde’s name in a negative context or others in Modern Orthodoxy when they criticize their positions, how come no names of high-profile Charedim are mentioned in the Yated when they are in the media for negative reasons? It seems the Yated, like all people are human, and its easier to criticize those outside your own orbit.

    As far as the Yated mentioning Orwell, there is an irony. Rabbi Avi Shafran wrote about Charedi newspapers(“The Jewish Week’s “Haredi Problem”):

    “Gary[Rosenblatt] might reply that, well, haredi papers don’t exactly include non-haredi, and certainly not non-Orthodox, points of view. That is true. But haredi papers are very open about their mandate, which is entirely limited to providing the haredi community with news it needs and haredi views of current events. They are not, for better or worse, intended as forums for the broader Jewish community, and make no such claim.”

    Speaking of ironies, the author of the Yated article is actually one of my favorite columnists. While I don’t like this type of article, most of his articles I consider thoughtful and “devarim hayotzim min haleiv”, and his columns are the first I turn to read. There are also other worthy features in the Yated, despite the above aspects which I disagree with.

  75. FP: There was plenty of discussion of this issue, over 300 comments. If I understand your description of his complaint, it is that the discussion happened on that post and not on a news post. Hardly seems like a reason to write an attack piece.

  76. Fotheringay-Phipps

    GS: His complaints – as relates to this blog specifically – seemed to be that 1) you did not provide enough ongoing coverage in your News & Links section, and 2) that the commentors were – on the whole – more forgiving than they typically are of charedi misdeeds.

    I said in my first comment on the subject (10:01) that “ISTM that there’s some truth to it, but it overstates the extent”.

    My main point was that the blog post that you linked to misrepresented the Yated’s criticism.

  77. Fotheringay-Phipps

    I should add, BTW, that the perception of people who write articles in the Yated is that they are under constant attack from the blogosphere (and I agree that they are correct). That type of attack piece is a reaction to this.

  78. FP – “The fact is that no where in that article does the author accuse Gil Student of bashing Chareidim, in his posts.”

    from the article – “Rabbi Student often comments on blog postings and does not seem to be the type for a loss of words – certainly not with regards to chareidi issues.”

    connects to:
    “many of the commentators who post on the website viciously attack chareidim and our way of life and frequently appear angry and resentful about anything chareidi. what especially seems to interest those who frequent Hirhurim are scandals of various improprieties attributed to chareidim, regardless of whether anyone verified if they are true or false. Any article out there, even if written by haters of the religion, is fodder for comment.”

    “I wonder if it was evil that they [ruvie-Gil and his commentators] or just certain type of people who perpetrate evil.”

    yep, FP its all about them links. also, r’ broyde’s misdeed is now evil and equated to chareidi misdeeds of evil which would include sodomy and child sexual abuse (let alone stealing and money laundering) – nice comparison.

    “The other related claim in the article is that the commentors frequently included chareidi bashers. Hard to imagine that anyone disputes that, and Fink conveniently ignores this issue.”

    yep, being critical is = to bashing. one of things that Gil does not tolerate is any bashing. nice parsing of the text (although the point of links as oppose to post is fair and correct).

  79. lawrence kaplan

    As if Yated in a million years would answer similar questions! Never mind they “forgot” to mention that the RCA as soon as possible removed R Broyde from the Beit Din.

  80. “Gary[Rosenblatt] might reply that, well, haredi papers don’t exactly include non-haredi, and certainly not non-Orthodox, points of view. That is true. But haredi papers are very open about their mandate, which is entirely limited to providing the haredi community with news it needs and haredi views of current events. They are not, for better or worse, intended as forums for the broader Jewish community, and make no such claim.”

    That is a key here from my POV. And it goes to discussions about daas torah as well. Whatever you think of DT; love it, hate it, believe in it, think it’s a modern conception of rabbinic authority, at least it does not claim to be democratic. As a crude analogy, it’s a lot more honest to declare ‘I am the state’, than to have some ‘democratic people’s republic’ where the people’s army shoots the people demonstrating with people’s bullets.

    “Speaking of ironies, the author of the Yated article is actually one of my favorite columnists. While I don’t like this type of article, most of his articles I consider thoughtful and “devarim hayotzim min haleiv”, and his columns are the first I turn to read. There are also other worthy features in the Yated, despite the above aspects which I disagree with.”

    He’s not one of mine and I much prefer Hamodia anyhow.
    Does someone have a link to R Franfurters editorial in the Ami? Me thinks he writes just be provocative. (Yeah I know kol haposel…)

    And this charedi thanks R Gil for his many informative posts. Hoping for Posts along the way volume 2…

  81. (From JID)

    “The debate that Kirzane has launched is yet another indication that the Reform movement is swiftly becoming not so much a religious movement as a Jewish activities club. It does not matter, so it would seem, what one believes but rather how one identifies. While this serves the “Big Tent” recruitment strategy of the movement very well, at least in the short term, it undermines any claims Reform Judaism might have to represent a true and compelling ethical monotheistic faith. Rabbinical students at HUC do not have to believe in any specific theology or engage in any particular form of ritual practice”

    I think R Sternbuch has a Teshuva that uses this lomdus to explain why we accept ba’alei teshuva from Reform- contra the Chasam Sofer’s cherem.

  82. FP: I should add, BTW, that the perception of people who write articles in the Yated is that they are under constant attack from the blogosphere (and I agree that they are correct)

    I agree but not under attack from me!

  83. דעלך סני – לחברך לא תעביד

    If they don’t want to feel attacked, they should stop attacking others.

  84. “As a crude analogy, it’s a lot more honest to declare ‘I am the state’, than to have some ‘democratic people’s republic’ where the people’s army shoots the people demonstrating with people’s bullets.”

    But when the people’s republic criticizes the democracy because voting for senators isn’t done on a one person one vote basis, yes, there’s lots of irony.

  85. MiMedinat HaYam

    interesting. yated cites r broide’s left wing views on women leading kabbalat shabbat, and covering their hair. but his position is identical to the ysted position — he is against. (though i agree with opposing the jimmy carter issue, hardly a charedi position.)

    how come i dont believe they actually wrote r gil the letter they quote?

    of course, yated its adept at using nom de plumes in their bylines.

    playgrounds — it doesnt need any official enforcement; its just being practical. similar to egged segregation. can only be tested if an outsider decides to come in and use the playground.

    dress codes v human rights — calling it a human rights issue is a misnomer. its a potential sexual discrimination issue, not a human rights issue. but that of course doesnt give it as much international press (unless you infer another sexual discrimination.) of course, the nyc commission likes to target nail shops that charge more for men’s mani / pedi cures, and dry cleaners that charge more for women’s shirts. but not restaurants with dress codes.

  86. how come i dont believe they actually wrote r gil the letter they quote?

    They did.

  87. R Fibnk deserves a Yasher Koach for demonstrating the ability to distinguish facts and rants. I thought that the Yated columnist’s reaction was over the top. The notion that R Gil supports the LW MO agenda cannot be sustained from a serious review of his posts on issues related to and raised by the LW of MO on this blog.

  88. “calling it a human rights issue is a misnomer. its a potential sexual discrimination issue, not a human rights issue.”

    as i suspect you know, sex discrimination in new york is governed by the “human rights law,” so no need to search for nefarious international motives…

  89. MiMedinat HaYam

    i refer to the jewish week headline, not the nyc human rights commission that enforces the nyc law.

  90. MiMedinat HaYam

    “how come i dont believe they actually wrote r gil the letter they quote?”

    its not a letter (“questions” submitted, according to the op ed) as much as a call to arms.

    was it posted on the relevant blog post? should have been.

  91. the story refers to the law and the commission. perhaps they could/should have used the more common “sex discrimination” in the title, but “human rights” is necessarily in the air in this story, it’s not out of the blue in the title.

  92. Fotheringay-Phipps

    GS: “I agree but not under attack from me!”

    Keyvan shenitan reshus lehashchis shuv eino mavchin bein tzadik lerasha. 🙂

  93. I think that I have mentioned previously that we subscribe to the Yated, for a variety of reasons. The Charedi media deserve a major Yasher Koach for their utterly unapologetic championing Torah,. Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim as the raison de etre of Jewish continuity in the purest sense of those terms-that is why there is far more Kavod HaTorah for RIETS, including RYBS ZL and Yivdadleinu Lchaim , all of its RY in most issues of the Yated than you will ever see in the secular Jewish media.

    The American edition of the Yated is an excellent sociological window into the Torah personalities and issues in the Charedi community, with a great lettters section, and some fascinating roundtables on chinuch and shidduchim. The back of the paper contains a fairly good amount of neo conservative columnists, an interview with Malcolm Hoenlein courtesy of Nachum Segal, coupled with quotes from very conservative thinkers. The editor’s piece and many of the columnists either are good or over the top-depending on the issue. There are pictures of Charedi Gdolim at simchas, saying shiurim, performing certain mitzvo etc, which serves as a kind of Page 6 and lots of information re the many dinners, parlor meetings and other examples of Torah personalities from Israel visiting the US , opportunities for chesed bgufo uvmanano, as well as hagiographical pieces and hespedim. Women are relegated to their own section with inspirational articles, stories, poems and a few pieces on Halacha LMaaseh.

    My reading is that the red meat party faithful issues of Daas Torah, anti Zionism, kollel for life for everyone, etc are trotted out periodically, but even as the columnist in question mentioned in one of his columns- these issues are not the issues that the Charedi community is facing. There is no shortage of forums for working Charedim, which in its own way highlights the major difference between American charedim and their brethren in Israel-work. The real difference between Yated and Hamodia is that in Yated all roads lead to BMG, while Hamodia has a decidedly Chasidishe orientation.

    Mishpacha, OTOH, while not afraid to interview RHS, or R P Stolper, seems to push the hashkafic envelope more, but can always be counted to cut its sails back to the classic Charedi line. Other Charedi magazines such as Ami, either try to rival Mishpacha’s coverage or cater solely to Charedi women in a very unintellectual and what one might call a fluff filled manner
    ( Binah).

    (Occasionally, you will see ads for new sefarim, but what is missing both in publications like Tradition, the RJJ Journal or the Charedi press is any kind of review of new sefarim-as to the quality of the work, etc. R SY Zevin ZL wrote a sefer that consisted of his reviews of many classical seforim, which has been long of print. I have heard that one prominent Charedi RY state that there is no quality control on the number and/or contents of many sefarim today. That issue certainly is helped by the Seforim Blog which deals with issues like plagiarism, and the reviews here.

    OTOH, anyone who lives in Israel can testify to the fact that the Israeli Yated is far more ideologically attuned than the American Yated.

    Anyone who blogs here and is a Yated reader can recall the Yated’s past articles re YCT-IMO, most of the same read like a cut and paste job from the discussions on this blog. That struck me as one of the more ironic facts about the broadside from the Yated columnist in question.

  94. R Shafran made this very important point:

    “Gary[Rosenblatt] might reply that, well, haredi papers don’t exactly include non-haredi, and certainly not non-Orthodox, points of view. That is true. But haredi papers are very open about their mandate, which is entirely limited to providing the haredi community with news it needs and haredi views of current events. They are not, for better or worse, intended as forums for the broader Jewish community, and make no such claim.”

    This is why the Yated does not discuss who is accused of or found guilty of what crime, who walked a “perp walk”, etc. The closest that you will see in that regard are discussions such as the recent incident in LA re a prominent market that sold treife and a far worse instance in Monsey that had its antecedents in a passage in Maseces Sanhredin.

  95. Re the article re layoffs at Moriah-perhaps Joseph Kaplan can tell us the areas of difference and emphasis that require the presence of so many MO schools in Bergen County.

  96. For those interested, and I don’t think that there are links available, Mishpacha, in a fairly recent issue, ran a profile of someone who served time in Federal prison for white collar time. The anonymous subject detailed life behind bars, and made it quite clear that Otisville is hardly a country club. There have been other articles in Mishpacha discussing white collar crime in the Charedi world from the perspective of a prominent Orthodox defense attorney.

  97. “But when the people’s republic criticizes the democracy because voting for senators isn’t done on a one person one vote basis, yes, there’s lots of irony.”

    Obviously correct. That’s part of why it’s only a crude analogy.

    I don’t fully comprehend your response though. My analogy did not include a democracy. Both were authoratarian just one openly so.

    As something closer to reality: Satmar basically asserts that they’re right and everyone slse is either kofrim or meshuchad by them. DL community in EY has been making the claim that the next chief rabbis must be zionist oriented to better reflect the the populace. That obviously leaves them open to IH-type points that most of the poulace isn’t O to begin with. And why a democracy should regulate shmiras shabbos in anyway etc. (I think it also opens the questions lost of Conservative rabbis seem to be grappling with: Namely why it ought to be a Jewish state altogether.) My views may actually be closer to R Yaakov Ariel than Satmar, but I hear the point.

  98. “This is why the Yated does not discuss who is accused of or found guilty of what crime, who walked a “perp walk”, etc.”

    They also stay away from sex scandals. Even non-chareidi ones. Loyal Yated readers are still wondering what Bill Clinton was impeached for, why Elliot Spitzer resigned as governor of NY, and likely have no idea why former Israeli Pres Moshe Katsav went to jail. That’s just the way it is.

    Joseph Kaplan- I likely won’t be leaving a comment for another few days, so my silence shouldn’t be interpertered as agreement. I’ll pop up in a later thread sometime.

  99. Shades of Gray

    “that is why there is far more Kavod HaTorah for RIETS, including RYBS ZL and Yivdadleinu Lchaim , all of its RY in most issues of the Yated than you will ever see in the secular Jewish media.”

    I agree.

    Ami seems to have the most respect for RIETS, as R. Frankfurter has spoken to RHS, and has published an editorial by him. For example, when writing about what he terms R. Schachter’s “conspiracy theory” on Metziah B’peh, R. Frankfuter writes of his conversation with him, “while I respect him immensely, I wasn’t sure how to react” and then proceeds to disagree about the issue.

    Ami also has a mandate to defend Chasidim and Charedim from criticism on anti-Charedi blogs and media; R. Frankfurter writes about this mandate in Ami and speaks on Zev Brenner’s program about it. One might think he sometimes goes to far, like publishing a pro-Webberman article, but he is right to an extent about excess criticism.

    You can hear a discussion between him and Steve Savitsky on a podcast on the OU website posted last month titled, “The Chassidish and Chareidi World: An Unsustainable Economy and the Onslaught of Self-Hating Jew-Bloggers”:

    “Self-hating Jews are the biggest challenge to the Chareidi world.” Steve Savitsky talks with Yitzhak Frankfurter, editor of Ami magazine, about Chassidic and Haredi viewpoints on challenges facing their community”

  100. Meantime, the discontinuities continue…

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/19/can-ruth-calderon-unite-religious-and-secular-israelis.html


    You might argue—as Calderon’s left-wing critics have—that a movement that supports anti-Arab, anti-gay policies is too far-gone to be worth engaging; the gap is just too wide. Maybe. But if anyone could breach that divide, it would be Calderon. Both literally and figuratively, she speaks the language of the religious community (sometimes even better than they do; in the above video, she actually corrects the Hebrew of the man who interrupts her). She’s able to argue with them on their own terms, adducing a wide array of biblical and rabbinic prooftexts. Just as importantly, even though she doesn’t adhere to Jewish law, she has tremendous respect for Jewish tradition. You see this in the video—she mentions kavod, meaning honor or respect, for Jewish culture—and even on her Facebook page, where she posts admiringly about moderate religious Zionist figures such as the late Rabbi Froman.

    Like Froman, Calderon’s strength lies in the fact that she’s able to bridge different worlds. She’s not an angry rebel storming the castle of Orthodoxy. She doesn’t want to dismantle Orthodox power wholesale; she just wants to breaks its hegemony, so that there can be an equitable division of resources between the different denominations. She’s aware that Israel’s stridently secular, Torah-allergic culture often exacerbates the religious community’s fear of having its power completely stripped away from it, and that that fear in turn widens the rift between the two groups. And while some in Israel are perfectly content to let that rift widen, to see the two communities drift apart until the fabric of Jewish Israeli society is stretched to the point of disintegration, she would rather try to heal that rift.”

  101. Shades of Gray-How does R Frankfurter define a self hating Jew? It is a term that seems far more applicable to those who view Israel as deserving more scrutiny than North Korea. I would certainly not use the term in describing a fellow Shomer Torah Umitzvos who disagrees with me on a few halachic or hashkafic issues-even if I feel that such views are well beyond classical hashkafic and halachic discourse.

  102. Perhaps, R Frankgfurter is referring to dropouts from the Charedi world and their tell all memoirs, blogs and novels. The genre makes for a tiresome read.

  103. IH-the only way to bridge the gaps is on a person to person level outside of the harsh spotlight of the media and chattering classes.I doubt that except for those who here and elsewhere who supported Ms. Calderon that her speech will have any impact in the Charedi world

  104. Shades of Gray

    “How does R Frankfurter define a self hating Jew?”

    I think he’s mostly referring to the FM blog which is dedicated to showing the flaws in Orthodox and Charedi life and never any praise. He’s published an article by a former KKK member(who I think now writes for the Simon Weisenthal Center) that such blogs are bad for all Jews, as anti-Semites don’t discriminate.

    They are also concerned about Hela Winston’s articles, Prof. Samuel Heilman’s comments to the press, Ynet and the like.

    “Perhaps, R Frankgfurter is referring to dropouts from the Charedi world and their tell all memoirs, blogs and novels. The genre makes for a tiresome read.”

    The Forward and the like, like the droputs, but the other side to all of this is that not discussing the negative is hiding one’s head in the sand. In general, perhaps there is a vicious cycle between excess media criticism resulting in the Charedi press being more defensive.

  105. “Re the article re layoffs at Moriah-perhaps Joseph Kaplan can tell us the areas of difference and emphasis that require the presence of so many MO schools in Bergen County.”

    While my kids are way past elementary school. my understanding is that the reason for so many schools is two-fold: demographic and ideologic/educational. The first is self-explanatory; if, for example, there was no Moriah, where would the 790 kids go? Most of the other schools are filled. As for ideology, there are some differences: teach girls the same curriculum as boys or not, co-ed or not, balanced learning or not, ashkenazic emphasis or sephardic? I always found that variety was very beneficial to mitigate conflict in the community; I could send my daughters to a coed school that had the same curriculum for boys and girls and not get into fights with friends who wanted non-coed and non-gemarah for their daughters.

  106. Further to the discussion of Wertheimer’s column about Kiruv in Commentary:

    http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/chabad-s-dangerous-message-of-love-without-commitment.premium-1.516704

    “And there is a broader set of concerns that Wertheimer mentions but minimizes. Chabad offers an approach to Judaism that is rabbi-oriented, deeply personal, and has little use for bureaucracy and hierarchy. There is some wisdom in this. Many American synagogues have come to share this view; they too are emphasizing relationships and personal connections while cutting back on committee work and complex volunteer structures.
    On the other hand, the personal approach of Chabad to Jewish outreach—often combined with glitzy, high-profile, one-time events—has a major negative: It is built on absolutely minimal expectations. Its message seems to be: We will love you, but we won’t require anything of you. On this point, somewhat bizarrely, the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox critics seem to agree. The Orthodox critics ask Chabad rabbis: Why don’t you expect Jews to become Orthodox? The non-Orthodox ask: Why don’t you expect anything at all?”

  107. “Both literally and figuratively, she speaks the language of the religious community . . . She’s able to argue with them on their own terms, adducing a wide array of biblical and rabbinic prooftexts. . . Like Froman, Calderon’s strength lies in the fact that she’s able to bridge different worlds….”

    IH, you’re not getting it. Calderon can cite “talmud” till she’s blue in the face, she still wont be speaking the language of the religious community. She’s not one of them, and there’s an end to it. The suggestion that this non-religous woman will have any impact whatsoever on the religious is a fantasy. She’ll have no impact on the non-religious (once her media-created 15 minutes of fame fad peters out, as it is starting to do already) kal vichomer on the religious.

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