A Schism Within Open Orthodoxy?

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135 Responses

  1. Ben K says:

    I think that YCT musmachim in general have a wider range of views than R’ Gordimer presents. I’m not sure this published statement is a rebellion so much as it is a demonstration of that fact.

    • mycroft says:

      The same way one has variety of beliefs among those who went to BMG, Torah Vaddas, Chaim Berlin, RIETS etc.

       

      • Steve Brizel says:

        “Variety of beliefs”-in respect to what-Hashkafa and/or Halacha? Please provide some details, even of an anecdotal nature, on issues other than Derech HaLimud, any theological significance to the State of Israel and gender related issues.

    • R.B. says:

      Okay, but have you seen a statement signed by Musmuchim like this before? I haven’t. This statement exposes a rift (I wouldn’t call it a schism) between a few musmachim and the OO leadership. What’s unique here is that while OO promotes its openness, the image it constantly presents is that of openness to the left, and liberal positions on women, LGBTQ, converts, etc. This “counterstatement” reveals that some are saying “genugt” openly, directed to its leadership.

    • Charles Gregor says:

      Wide range of views?  Just out of curiosity, how many YCT musmachim are Republicans?

      • mycroft says:

        How many CC writers voted f or Obama? Are you making a political test Republicans vs Democratic for belief in Yahadus? You can be liberal or conservative in politics and be a traditional Jew. Yahadus has elements of both and elements that disagree with both

        • Charles Gregor says:

          I don’t know how he voted, but at least one CC writer has said some very flattering things about Obama.  You are of course quite right that Orthodox Judaism has nothing to do with liberal or conservative politics.  Why then should YCT act as though its Holy Scriptures are the editorial pages of the New York Times?  Why the obsession with gay marriage, feminism, egalitarianism, multiculturalism, animal rights and income inequality?   

          Before long Orthodox institutions will be forced to allow men in women’s bathrooms, rent space to “simchos bais ha-toevah” and even censor drashos and shiurim.   YCT will no doubt agree with Hillary Clinton that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” 

          • Reb Yid says:

            You have the question phrased the wrong way, based on your initial observation:

            Why should many Orthodox institutions and shuls be so stubbornly reactionary and conservative?  In too many of these places, you are simply unwelcome (if not worse) if you espouse a political worldview that is not at minimum right of center (and often far more extreme than that).

            YCT and its related institutions are a needed corrective.  Rav Avi is a proud Republican as is my Rav.  You can hold a wide variety of political viewpoints

        • David Z says:

          The parts of liberalism that are compatible with Judaism are the economic and foreign policies (in that you can disagree on those and still be within halakha).  Those are not mostly the parts that YCT is interested in.  They are instead interested in what is called “social liberalism” and is completely incompatible with halakha.  What is different in modern Western society than in Roman times, for instance, is that they ask us what we think (as voters).  The Romans did whatever they did and we just had to separate from them.  Now they ask us and we have an obligation to respond with tora to be an or lagoyim.

  2. Eli Willner says:

    Before we start jumping for joy, let’s have a look at which of the OO positions they agree with, not just the ones  they disagree with. After all, if they disagreed with all of them, they would be baalei teshuva gemurim and should not be be tarred with the OO label at all.

    If, though, they continue to adhere to some of the deviationist views of OO, most of which are apikorsus of one kind or another, what is there to get excited about? If they are apikorsim on 5 out of 10 issues instead of 10 out of 10 issues, they are still apikorsim.

    • david z says:

      I’m pretty sure they addressed the only apikorsus. What other apikorsus do you know?

    • mycroft says:

      Who decides what is apikorsus, you, me ,Steve, Rabbi Gordimer-show by logical argument where you disagree with them.

      • David Z says:

        Why would logical argument be relevant?  We’re talking about whether you trust that khaza”l et al were telling the truth or whether they were covering up a historic lie (despite what R’ Weiss-Halivni says about the g’mara hinting at the corruption of the Bible with the story of ezra and the three sifre tora–and he’s not even accepted by them because they’re most interested in changing halakha).  It’s more of a holistic feeling after studying the corpus of Jewish literature.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see any logical argument proving one way or another whether hashem wrote the tora in a “funny” way or whether it was the act of scribes.  Whether the tora was given at sinai or whether that was invented as a founding myth.  Etc.  These events happened too long ago for extrinsic evidence and the literary theories attempting to rip apart Scripture are just that.

  3. larry says:

    טובל ושרץ בידו

    YCT graduates are not Rabbis.  They have no halachic standing.  Their psak  and halachic opinons are derived from a flawed and forbidden educational institution that destroys the fabric of Orthodoxy.  They have nothing to say to the Orthodox,  regardless of what they post on Facebook, which seems to be the repository of OO halacha.

     

    • mycroft says:

      One calls people by any name they wish.One asks sheilas to one who you trust has your basic hashkafa.

      The Rav would address letters to RC clergymen as Rabbis-it does not mean he agreed with them. One refers to people by the way they prefer.

      • larry says:

        One might construe that as proof that a YCT education in 2016 is worth less than a reform education in 1960.

        • Tzuri says:

          Alternatively one may construe that as proof that you, Larry, are nowhere near the level of the Rav when it comes to showing respect towards those who disagree with you.

          • larry says:

            It is the Rav’s own musmachim at the RCA, not me, who refuses to recognize their smicha.  It is one thing to call a person “rabbi.”  I am happy to call anyone from YCT rabbi, as a social courtesy.  It is another to recognize someone as a “Rabbi,” whose words have halachic weight.  You are talking semantics.  Not all ideas need to be respected.  I do not need to be near the level of the Rav to not respect anything about YCT.

            If a YCT musmach wants to publicly do teshuva, renounce their smicha and enter a legitiamte Orthodox yeshiva, that teaches Talmud rigorously, I would respect them greatly.   Have you ever seen 10 recent Rabbinic graduates from a legitimate yeshiva issue some kind of joint proclamation about what they believe?  YCT Rabbis are so lacking in humility, they think the world cares what they have to say.  Should we await with bated breath their upcoming proclamations on other irrelevent halachic issues?

          • mycroft says:

            The RAv had probably around 1000 musmachim. They don’t always agree on issues. It is presumptuous for many to say on an issue the RAv would have ruled X or Y. He was a very complex person, not into slogans but into the complexity of issues

          • mycroft says:

            Don’t pick on Larry. People today sadly don’t have his sense of  diplomacy. The RAv once critiqued a talmid of his for a harsh tone on the talmids polemic on Conservative Judaism. If one reads the over 50 year old article and compares to almost anything written now about OO-one would think that it was the height of tact and diplomacy.

            As a Rebbe of mine once told me what we have lost most by missing the RAv is not the lack of his Torah knowledge-Rebbeim in his institution know less but certainly enough- it is the lack of his shrewdness, diplomacy and ability to deal with people .

  4. DF says:

    Schism? Watershed moments in American Orthodox history? Whoa. A schism implies something of significance. According to Wikipedia, by June of 2016 the total number all-time of YCT graduates, from the day it began, was expected to be – 108.  That’s it. In other words,  about the size of a local basement minyan. And most of those aren’t even rabbis of shuls, just employees generally of schools, colleges, and the myriad Jewish organizations out there. This, my friends, is not what schisms are made of. Come back to me when they have twenty thousand adherents or so (still smaller than even a single good-sized chassidus) and we can talk.

    Anyway, why are you still hahndling with this? I thought both the Agudah and the RCA basically said they weren’t orthodox. Don’t you believe the Agudah doctrine that to debate with a group is to confer legitimacy on them? If not, then instead of wasting your time on insignificant passing fads like open orthodoxy, you should be going to conservative shuls and arranging debates.

    • tzippi says:

      When the graduates assume pulpits, or educational positions, or speak in schools, whether in shuls or schools where the parents consider themselves MO but are not OO-inclined, they can cause damage. It’s heartening to read Shaya’s post down-thread but such a product doesn’t seem to be typical.

      • mycroft says:

        damage can also be done by hiring anyone who has a different hashkafa than one desires. 

        Damage can be done by either hiring a chareidi  to a schul, school when the desired hashkafa is MO and damage can be done by hiring an MO when the desired hashkafa is chareidi.

  5. Jake says:

    I contend the author’s assertion that the graduates have much to fear regarding their statement.

    It seems to me that YCT/OO is all about open discussion – as it’s name implies – and that the leaders do not mind at all that the said this. It’s a laid-back approach to these issues (perhaps too relaxed, acc. to some) and have no problem with their musmachim saying things to the right or left of what the leadership might say themselves. Therefore, I do not think there is any such schism as you imply.

    In fact, R’ Lopatin praised them (as you quoted) for coming out and writing this letter.

    Why stir up controversy (within the YCT world, in this case) when it’s not really there?

  6. Reb Yid says:

    This actually points to one of the strengths of YCT, which is its diversity and respect for different approaches even if one does not personally  subscribe to it.

    I am blessed to live in a community and shul  with many YCT musmachim.  Some dress more formally than others.  Some arrive well before tefillot and some do not.  Some attend the Partnership Minyan in our community and some do not.  Their children do not all attend the same school but rather a diverse array of them.

    They and their families are a tremendous resource for our community.  Importantly they would never write someone out of their shul and certainly not out of observant institutional life .  You seem to want all folks to be more homogenous.  You are missing the boat.

     

     

     

     

    • Steve brizel says:

      Like or not Rambam codifies proper behavior and attire for talmidei chachamim and anyone who aspires to be a talmi Chacham.

  7. Steve brizel says:

    AFAIK the same Gemara Rishonim Acharonim SA and Poskim are learned in all of the above named yeshivos.

  8. dr. bill says:

    In a group that encourages questioning, that opinions differ is just not surprising.  Some groups encourage debate; others (often artificially) try to present a united front.  Relative to the two major issues raised:  1) Some are bothered by the (overwhelming and growing) challenges particularly to the more literal interpretations concerning the history of the written and oral law; some are not.   2) Some are looking to push the boundary on a variety of women’s issue; some are comfortable to move more slowly.
    Given the vibrant and growing community of observant academic scholars engaged in all aspects of Jewish study, (who make the ”heresies” of YCT seem trivial in comparison,) I remain encouraged; exactly where this will lead is as of yet unclear.
    In the long interim, I think there are more relevant issues to address despite the passion this topic seems to generate.
    Someone noted that those who as a matter of principle rewrite history consistently are the most strident supporters of an unchanged body of oral transmission.  A bit odd, perhaps?
     

  9. Arthur says:

    What I found most striking is that there are only 11 signatories.

    • mycroft says:

      Why how many musmachim of RIETS have signed open letters challenging RHS viewpoints?

      • Steve brizel says:

        Why would they if they recognize and view RHS and or R M willing as the address for their halachic and hashkafic guidance and inquiries?

        • mycroft says:

          Agreed with you-but same logic applies to why only 11 signed open letter. They accept whoever as there authorities

          • Arthur says:

            The letter expressed views that are very mainstream, orthodox, if you would, in Orthodoxy.  If only 11 musmachim agree, that tells one a lot, which you can characterize however you wish.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            That’s assuming that the average YCT grad excepting the 11 signatories, have such an address.

  10. shaya says:

    I know at least one YCT grad who is very mainstream MO and is recognized as such by the broader local Orthodox community, where he serves as an MO shul rabbi, speaks at events at more right-leaning Orthodox shuls,  and even taught in a charedi school. There are surely more YCT grads like him, as this letter affirms. Why did they choose to go to YCT? Maybe it was the most convenient option, or they didn’t realize what they were getting into, or perhaps their beliefs evolved during or after their time there. Or perhaps they see YCT as a place that is essentially MO but permits or tolerates views to its left.

    • david z says:

      Please remember that the yct heresy only started a few years ago. Before that it was a school that differentiated itself from yu by emphasizing “practical rabbinics” (sociology psychology counseling) more than Talmud scholarship. You can see why someone who was interested in a stele might have gone there.

      • Jake says:

        *Side point: YU has those same exact components (practical rabbinincs, etc) in its Smicha program.

        • mycroft says:

          It has had essentially the same components for at least 70 years. Unless you are like those YU Revisionists who like to state nothing was taught in the past. 75 years ago the RAv was there-practical Rabbinics by people like Rabbis JOseph Lookstein, Rabbi Leo Jung.

          • mycroft says:

            Note in a letter about the Smicha program the RAv talks about what a musmachim must know including things like Jewish philosophy. BTW at one time the RAv himself taught a course in Jewish philo.

          • David Z says:

            There’s a big disconnect if you think philosophy is what is lacking in practical rabbinics.  Maybe in 19th Century Germany.  🙂

          • mycroft says:

            If you believe a RAv need not know basic viewpoints of hashkafa of people such as the Rambam, Saadiah, yehudah hale I, for beginnings what do you believe is more important other than Halacha in basic Jewish literacy. The RAv was not writing in 19th century Germany

        • David Z says:

          I know (I went to YU) but they felt there was a lack of emphasis on counseling etc.  People have different points of view.  YU is certainly better at it than BMG.  Maybe there was a lack maybe there wasn’t but that was the perception and can’t blame someone.

  11. Shades of Gray says:

    Re.  “Defining belief as a-factual”, perhaps  meha leka l’mashma minei, as R. Gil Student recently  wrote  regarding a review of R. David Rosenthal’s book in the Jewish Link, “While I agree that this rabbi’s entire statement is incoherent, I believe it reflects confusion and/or poor writing, not necessarily heresy”. Similarly R. Aharon Feldman  in discussing the Moetzes statement wrote that “I myself am not sure what he means by such double-talk, nor do I believe he does”. In the comments on the Cross Currents 12/22/15 Weekly Digest thread, the original author agreed to discuss his statement at length providing the right venue could be found.

     

    • dr. bill says:

      Frankly, i was mystified by the language.  those who want to hear a more elaborate lecture on the notion of belief, listen to prof. halberthal in english or hebrew (u-tube at hartmann or ben gurion university respectively)  discuss belief in – beh (the biblical/rabbinic formulation), belief that – sheh (Rambam’s propositional formulation) and belief as – keh (a modern approach).  “Belief as” will be troubling to many, but may help unpack rabbi katz’s view.  in any case, those discussing the notion of belief will profit from the lecture.

  12. Bob Miller says:

    If these objectors or partial objectors to the current YCT-OO path are serious, they will now associate themselves with some Torah-true yeshiva.   They won’t change their current movement’s  destructive focus.   Lay that sheretz down.

     

    • david z says:

      Why would a rabbi be expected to associate with a yeshiva he never went to? Funny how cultural expectations change.

      • Bob Miller says:

        He should join in some capacity, not to claim affinity from a distance.

        • david z says:

          I mean what yeshiva? He’s a rav.  Perhaps you mean he should be clear who he considers to be his rav? No need for a “yeshiva.” And the ones I know certainly have people they go to for psak. Wouldn’t make any sense to do what you’re asking. Just a sign of the culture that only “yshivot” have legitimacy to you.

    • mycroft says:

      What is necessary to be Torah True? What more than accepting the Halachik process based on Revelation from God as its beginning?

  13. david z says:

    Some of the rabbis on this list have gotten s’mikha from alternate sources (e.g. Rav zalman nechemya goldberg) after yct went heretical.  Nobody who got s’mikha before the heresy has to renounce their s’mikha though.

    • dr. bill says:

      “Nobody who got s’mikha before the heresy has to renounce their s’mikha though.”

      how tolerant; mind telling me about “the heresy” and on what fateful day it occurred or began???

      • mycroft says:

        People claiming heresy should be specific Rachel bit ha katana. It should not be a term for someone who has a different hashkafa with me or one who had a scholarly exchange disagreeing with ones close rekative . Are rishon in who disagree with Rambam heretics? Are those who believe in Sfirot heretics? Or is it reserved for those who follow OO-which I am not in favor of but heretics?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I think that there is a difference between how some Rishonim view the  MN or whether one believes in Sefirot or recites a Lshem Yichud or Machnisei Rachamim or a stanza of Shalom Aleichem with a POV where one can find more than a few examples and exhibits of the rejection of Divine Authorship, Divine Revelation of Torah Shebicsav and TSBP,  the interaction between the contemporary Zeitgeist and Halacha with modernity seemingly always to take precedence, as well as  rabbinical authority and hierarchy. The former are merely hashkafic differences that have no relevant Halachic impact. The latter clearly go to bedrock Yesodei Emunah which we find in any Birkas HaMitzvah and the recitation of Malchiyos Zicronos and Shofaros.  I have never heard anyone say that one should not recite Amen to the bracha of the former. OTOH,   a Sefer Torah written by someone who denies the latter, especially Divine Authorship, Divine Revelation, and who goes out of his way to belittle others who disagree, may not only be Pasul, but may very well require Sreifah. This should be contrasted with R D Berger and his citation to the view of RYSA with respect to the shechita of a messianist, which I previously quoted here.

          • mycroft says:

            There have been those who have can’t distinguish the difference between non pure monotheism of certain other religions and certain kabbalistic thoughts. It is not a new question.

            “The former are merely hashkafic differences that have no relevant Halachic impact”

            10=1 3=1 What is the difference

      • David Z says:

        I would say it started with Zev Farber in his article on thetorah.org in July 2013.  So anyone who started at YCT after that.  🙂  http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2013/07/18/from-openness-to-heresy/

  14. Charles Gregor says:

    Any movement seeking change within the law must constantly guard against subversion by those who seek to overthrow the system.  The labor movement expelled Communists, even when it caused a rift in their organizations, as with Walter Reuther and the CIO.

     

    YCT should take for granted the need to disavow and if necessary expel heretical and antinomian elements in its ranks.  Unfortunately there have been very few calls to action, and they have not come from its leadership.

     

    • mycroft says:

      Do you believe that we should expul antinomians from our ranks- there certainly are elements of that in our mystical tradition.

      • Charles Gregor says:

        With the exception of Shabsai Tzvi, our mystical theoretical antinomians have upheld normative halacha, if you leave aside Shemini Atzeres and zmanei tefillah.  Someone who perverts the halachic process should certainly be expelled.  I’d start with those who falsely claim a legitimate marriage needs no get.  It seems not all of them are at YCT.

        • dr. bill says:

          have you seen the late tosher rebbe making a beracha; antinomian to the hilt.  read the book by werthheim to get a grasp of many other non-halakhic positions in early chassidut.

          your example of shemini atzeret is not restricted to chassidim only; such practice existed much earlier including some of rashi’s rabbeim.   chasidei ashkenaz but not chassidim:).

          • mycroft says:

            “your example of shemini atzeret is not restricted to chassidim only; such practice existed much earlier including some of rashi’s rabbeim.   chasidei ashkenaz but not chassidim:).”

            I am curious as to any  evidence that lemaaseh people  in the Diaspora did not eat in the Succah Shmeini Azeret. It is a psak of the Gemarrah. Was it not in their version of the Gemarrah?

          • mycroft says:

            In reality a lot of the spirit of Dr Berger’s on Lubavitch book could also be written about other Chassidm

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, there is an extensive article on the subject based on lectures from the Rav ztl, Rabbi werthheimer zl, dr grach, rabbi jj schechter, rabbi taubes on the seforim blog.   some/many/most rishonim clearly knew what is common knowledge to academics about the declarative statement.  i believe a book by someone from the 5 towns talks about the dozen or so times that ve’hilchesah is used in talmud bavli, claiming all are geonic interpolations.  the article on the seforim blog explains all.  there are at least a dozen sources prior to  17th century chassidut.

          • mycroft says:

            Dr Bill

            i recall being at at RAv Yoseph Kapachs once for a late afternoon Shmeinei Azeret  meal. I recall the discussion about eating in Succah in galut . Some of either his children or grandchildren asked him did they eat in Succah in Yemen on Shmeinei Azeret. His answer was yes and the first place that ignored the Gemarrah were theChassidim. As a halachist and certainly not a big believer in Kabbalah I accepted his answer. Besides his Yeminite education he studied in Israel too.

            I’ll have to find your señorim blog link.

          • mycroft says:

            Dr. Bill-thanks for the seforim blog reference. Read the article.Are you familiar with Brody on Geonim-I have heard probably leading scholar on Geonim around. Article on issue really doesn’t change assuming answer is Geonic it was accepted lehalacha. Secondary question of course when our text was finally accepted? Still have issue of Chassidim rejecting accepted halachah part of Halachik process. For an interesting way how this plays out. No secret for many years the RAv in Brookline stayed at his son in laws house. Shmeinei Azeret  the RAv would eat in theSukkah following his minhagim while the Twersky’s would not eat in the Succah.

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, the first place to avoid the succah at least for the night of SA after the 8th century, afaik, was northern europe in the 11th century.  i tend to doubt rav kapach ztl had studied seforim from before the 17th century that would comment in non-negative terms on such a tradition; the classic seforim are all negative (which btw implies the practice existed!!).   i doubt such a practice occurred anywhere in the middle east.

          • Aharon says:

            1) Rabosav Shel Rashi predated Chasidei Ashkenaz significantly.

            2) http://seforim.blogspot.com/2011/10/sukkah-on-shemini-atzeret-controversy.html

          • Aharon says:

            Here is the chilukei haminhagim regarding sukkah on shemini atzeres from the Sefer HaPardes http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=39330&st=&pgnum=263

          • Steve Brizel says:

            http://matzav.com/tosh-a-chassidic-oasis-in-quebec/ Dr Bill-do you daven Kabalas Shabbos in shul or sing Zmiros at your Shabbos table ? AFAIK,  the authors of Zmiros include none other than the Ibn Ezra in addition to many talmidim of the Ari . The whole Minhag of reciting Kabalas Shabbos was an innovation that has its origins among the Talmidei HaAri, but the Gemara in Masecta Shabbos clearly tells us that many of  Tanaim went and greeted the Shabbos and discuss the blowing of the Shofar to insure that the Tzibur accepted Shabbos in a proper and timely manner. It IMO a mistake to regard either the recitation of Kabalas Shabbos and Zmiros and Tosefes Shabbos as “antinomian” when , in fact, it is obvious , that for the same reason as muktzeh, such practices ( as well as the recitation of Divrei Torah as a form of Talmud Torah at the table by anyone present, as opposed to discussing current events and other gossip) were viewed as means of enhancing Shemiras Shabbos.  I haven’t spent a Shabbos in Tosh, but perhaps we could all grow a little in Avodas HaShem by enhancing the Zacor and the Shamor aspects of Shabbos, rather than put down as “antinomian” that which we probably have never experienced in our lives.

          • dr. bill says:

            aaron, thanks for the link to the article.  i was joking about the chassidic appellation – purposely confusing the earlier and later use.

            steve, i was referring to the rebbe making a brocha, nothing else.  a tamer version than i once heard is on utube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru6FtVFlCI0

            mycroft, i am very familiar with prof. brody

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, you are correct – it should not matter whether something is from the geonim or amoraim if it is accepted le’halakha.  however, not all rishonim behaved that way.  if something is not an attributed statement of a tanna or amora, some rishonim treat it as less authoritative.  when rambam appears to conflict with the maskanah of a gemara, that has been given as the reason.  this is not the forum to discuss, in any case.

        • mycroft says:

          “I’d start with those who falsely claim a legitimate marriage needs no get.”

          No one believes a “legitimate marriage needs no get” The question is that many now are effectively trying to effectively retroactively claim that  what Rabbonim have always claimed as marriages are not marriages. The most extreme of that position was Rav Moshe Feinstein-that R and C marriages do not require a get. His position was a classic daas yachid rejected by Rav Henkin, the Rav and I’ve been told the leading gdolim of his time-yet no one talked about expulsion of RMF. If anyone has any proof that R Yacov Kamentzky, R Aaron Kotler, R I Hutner, the Sreidei Eish agreed with RMF I’d appreciate hearing it.

          For what its worth I personally am opposed to any mass general way of claiming a marriage that we all considered a marriage is not a marriage for get purposes

          • Steve Brizel says:

            To the contrary, AFAIK,  RMF’s Psak on this issue was definitely accepted in the Yeshiva world and has been The entire issue is whether Halacha accords any halachic status to a man and woman who may have very well been considered married by secular law, but where the clergyman who performed the same was completely either nonobservant or substantially so and there were no kosher witnesses to the ceremony either designated as such or in the audience. One could argue very strongly that RMF’s Psak ( which was a Chiddush Atzum) has saved many would be BTs and Gerim from issues of Agunos, and worse, Mamzerus.

          • mycroft says:

            “Dr Bill-do you daven Kabalas Shabbos in shul or sing Zmiros at your Shabbos table ?”

            For what its worth the Rav did not sing Zmirot

            “AFAIK,  the authors of Zmiros include none other than the Ibn Ezra in addition to many talmidim of the Ari .”

            Of course, he treated them as important sources of hashkafa giving shiurim explianing them.

          • mycroft says:

            “RMF’s Psak on this issue was definitely accepted in the Yeshiva world and has been ”

            If so, it is an issue deserving of sociological analysis why something is accepted by the Yeshiva world if essentially a whose who of gdolim of the time rejected RMFs psak.

            ” . One could argue very strongly that RMF’s Psak ( which was a Chiddush Atzum) has saved many would be BTs and Gerim from issues of Agunos, and worse, Mamzerus.”

            Since ishus is a matter of fact-if RMF is wrong even if he were the biggest zaddik in history-we are then dealing with a factual matter-to be masig gvul of Joel Rich the issue is what type of error are you concerned with TypeI or TypeII  type I error is the incorrect rejection of a true null hypothesis (a “false positive”), while a type II error is incorrectly retaining a false null hypothesis (a “false negative”)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_I_and_type_II_errors

            Thus, one can argue that RMFs heter actually increases mamzerim-if he is wrong and remember when he was alive it was rejected by most of his contemporaries.

        • mycroft says:

          “if you leave aside Shemini Atzeres and zmanei tefillah.  Someone who perverts the halachic process should certainly be expelled”

          Chassidim also changed the nusach hatfilla. On what basis do you say changing customs, halacha of centuries is not a perversion of the halachik process?

      • sb says:

        Didn’t the GRA try? And didn’t the chassidim admit that it helped keep them on the path?

        • mycroft says:

          Of interest is that the Gra.s minhagim and changes essentially were not followed in Vilna. RAv Chaim Volozhin did not follow the Gras shiurim for his family and Yeshiva. Not that he argued on logic but menorah beats everything. Menorah is what Jews have followed forever-until probably the last century .

      • Steve Brizel says:

        That is only if one views the mystical tradition as beyond the pale, when, in fact, one can and must distinguish as to  many different and invaluable aspects of the same:

        1) Parshanut-Look at Ramban’s Commentary on Chumash and you will see Ramban’s rejection of the MN on the reason for Karbanos , Maacalos Asuros and many other mitzvos.

        2) One should never confuse Hidur Mitzvah which is in and of itself according to many Rishonim a Mitzvah Min HaTorah, in how one approaches Shmiras HaMitvos both Bein Adam LaMakom andBein Adam LChavero with antinominanism

        3) You can find many views in Rishonim in many sugyos in Shas that one demonstrates Ahavas HaShem by going beyond the objective minimum requirement-both with regard to Mitzvos min HaTorah and Drabanan

        4) I am sure that many of us attended a Chumash or Siddur party. You may not like the hashkafa of the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Cheder,  but the annexed linkhttp://matzav.com/photos-chumash-seudah-at-the-toldos-avrohom-yitzchok-cheder-in-yerushalayim-jdn/IMO is a wonderful illustration of a rebbe inculcates children at a young age about being excited about and understanding the importance of commencing one’s formal introduction to the mitzvah of Talmud Torah, as opposed to attending an expensive private school that has wonderful secular studies and a Judaic studies component.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        That would IMO be a vote against history-The Chasid Yaavetz in his commentary on Avos writes that those who were enamored with philosophical explanation and exploration in general fared worse with the Inquisition in Spain than those who lived by Emunah Pshutah. Is it not accepted by many historians  that the failure of the rationalist based hashkafa to provide a response to the Inquisition was one of the key factors in the popularization of Kabala and ultimately Chasidus as a hashkafic response to Gerush Sfarad?

        • mycroft says:

          BTW Benzion Netanyahu in his book on Spain from 1391-1492 makes a similar point.

          Historically it may be confusing staying within Yahadus and survival-there was essentially no voluntary conversion out in Crusades while in the 100 years from 1391-1492 there was much voluntary shmad.

  15. mycroft says:

    There is one writer who does not allow comments who IMO is mentioning some positive things about BHO-it is very easy to find negative comments about him in  Orthodox media.

    i would much prefer if politics were kept out of CC- issues are fair game and if the issues tend to be more consistent with one party or candidate so be it-but discuss the issues not people. Certainly, not who is a zaddik.

    • sb says:

      I would disagree.

      Rav Shafran is discussing an issue. His focus is never the politics rather his point is always about looking for Emes and mentschlikeit in a sea of sheker.

      I believe we can always use reminding that often people we don’t agree with have a legitimate point of view.

      • mycroft says:

        I wasn’t referring to Rabbi Shafran particularly when stating my opposition discussing politics and not just politics-discussion of whether or not there has been a conspiracy among climate scientists about global warming does not belong on CC. I look to CC as a source of in general well articulated positions that deal with Jewish topics

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Who or what  is “BHO”?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Why should “who is a Tzadik” be deemed inappropriate? Denial that Talmidei Chachamim who are renowned for the Tzidkus, Lomdus and Yashrus merely reduces someone who you stand up for by the very dint of his being a Talmid Chacham who fulfills these attributes to a walking encyclopedia, especially when we are commanded to respect and even revere such Talmidei Chachamim, as opposed to resorting to the often voiced and IMO disingenous claim that “I don’t know who is a Tzadik”.

      • mycroft says:

        Hypos : Are you required to stand up for a talmid chacham adulterer, a talmid chacham money launderer, a talmid chacham insurance fraud perpretator, tlmid chacham eater of treif?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          None of the above-because his actions are utterly inconsistent and incompatible with the definition of a talmid chacham

      • mycroft says:

        Would you respect as a talmid chacham a Catholic Cardinal who knows shas by heart-certainly not.-thus there are tests more than knowing sources by heart.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      I see no reason why politics and the current state of what passes for politics  and the current President and his policies, both domestic and foreign and its discussion should be deemed inappropriate. It would be obvious that the Torah cannot be inserted as a matter of convenience into either a liberal or conservative POV . However, what any politician, regardless of his or her views, says or has said or by dint of their previous associations and current statements that affects Jewish life and especially the issues confronting our communities, is worthy of fair comment.

      • mycroft says:

        If it affects Jewish issues agreed-many of the issues discussed are not specifically Jewish issues

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    You can walk into many shtieblach and find Mincha being davened well after Shekiyah well into Bein HaShoshos  during the week. OTOH, I have heard that RMF and RAK were able to persuade none less than the Satmar Rav ZL from allowing his Chasidim to do so Erev Shabbos.  Of course, the above practice is reflective of a major machlokes between Rabbeinu Tam and the Gaonim and the Gra in Masecta Shabbos-s0 the same is hardly beyond the boundary of any halachically accepted authority.

    • dr. bill says:

      you write:  “Mincha being davened well after Shekiyah well into Bein HaShoshos  during the week.” Halevi, they daven well after tzais hakokhavim. 

      you write:  “major machlokes between Rabbeinu Tam and the Gaonim and the Gra in Masecta Shabbos-s0 the same is hardly beyond the boundary of any halachically accepted authority.”  no, this is reflective of what happens when a text takes precedence over observation.  the Gra and the Baal ha’Tanya, did not just argue with RT’s position, they demonstrated that hachush maichish.  ein le’dayan ella ma she’einov ro’ot.

      btw, the gra is not in masechot shabbos but in the SA in multiple places; ( the Baal ha’Tanya is in his siddur which RMMS ztl wrote represents his final position.)

      even i who think eilu ve’eilu covers a broad swath, would never allow it to be stretched that far as to cover davening mincha an hour after sunset in the US.  in summary, shittas RT: schar for TT, yes; allowable practice, no.

      • Steve brizel says:

        Are you asserting

         

         

         

         

         

         

        I think tthatev

         

         

         

         

        I think that even if the Gaonim  the SA HaRav and the Gra are correct one cannot and should never think that there is no svara underlying the view of Rabbeinu Tam. Text versus observation is an argument rooted in history not lomdus

         

         

         

         

         

        • dr. bill says:

          wrong again.  modern lomdus has little to nothing to do with matter.  The Rav ztl gave one of 2 brilliant attempts in the 20th century to justify the opinion of RT in lomdus; but lekula – NEVER.  neither the gra or baal ha’Tanya ever mentioned history ONLY observation.   If you can find a word of history in their arguments or anyones for that matter, please tell me.  arguments based on latitude are present (correctly and not) in some achronim beginning in the 17th century, but not about history.

          • ISteve Brizel says:

            Look at your comment -“this is reflective of what happens when a text takes precedence over observation”)-which is a nice maskilishe paraphrase of the Gra’s comment ( Hachush Maichish) and rejectioon of RT-but obviously there are lomdishe justifications of Shitas RT and it remains a viable shitah used by many Poskim including a famous ShuT of RMF about making a hefsek taharah after Shkiah. 

          • dr. bill says:

            What is maskilish about the term observation, a term chazal used – ein ledayan ella mah she’einov ro’at, is as we say interesting.  i was talking about BOTH the Gra and the baal ha’tanya; the baal ha’tanya never used the term a hachush maichish.   but again as is your MO you said history, which was absolutely WRONG.  i am still awaiting your example of any posek using history to oppose RT.

            as to RT’s opinion, you realize that many gedolai olam, were not choshsh for RT even WRT ISSUREI DE’ORAYSAH.  that group included the Chazon Ish ztl.  The Rav ztl followed a version of RT, again ONLY le’chumrah for absolute de’oraysah’s, that was to the best of my knowledge, never practiced in the past (except by yichidei segulah).  if you understand what the Rav did, i challenge you to find me an example of such a practice (outside his father/grandfather, perhaps) among any famous posek.

            as far as RMF ztl’s very, very difficult rationale for allowing performing a hefsek taharah during the first NINE minutes after sunset, his rather restricted reliance on RT, does NOT involve an absolute de’oraysah. and NINE minutes is hardly a full-throated reliance on RT!!!! btw, the psak itself can also be justified without ANY reliance on RT.

      • ISteve Brizel says:

        Yet, in  the Chasidishe world, there is no doubt that many minyanim daven mincha based on Rabbeinu Tam’s  discusssion of “the beginning of the shkiah” and the “end of shkiah” as expressed in Tos. D.H. Trai on Shabbos 35a. That view may seem to you and me as  positively  of the wall and was clearly , no pun intended,  rejected by the Gra and SH HaRav but its acceptance is a fact-I once davened in a minyan after dinner in a Chasidishe hotel in New Hampshire where we ate and picked up food for Shabbos on a weekday evening and thought that they were davening Maariv-until the Chasidishe  Shlaliach Tzibur started “Ashrei Yushei Vasecha….”. It was a fascinating demonstration of the power of Minhag  based on a rejected Shita of one of the one of the most famous of the Baalei HaTosfos- even in the face of a powerful rejection of the same by the Gra based on the Shitas HaGaonim. I am positive that such a kehilah certainly followed Shitas Rabbeinu Tam Lkulah and Lchumra-especially on Motzaei Shabbos!

        • dr. bill says:

          it is not worth trying to impact your deep seated approach to limmud; it may be best rather than trying to respond that you (re-) read the sources.  you made two obvious errors.  1) the shittah of the baal hatanya is NOT found in the  “SH HaRav”  (sic).  2) the gra DOES NOT quote the geonim and his shittah is not based on the Geonim.  the differences in how the Baal hatanya and the Gra expressed their rejection of RT’s opinion would make for an interesting article.

      • Steve brizel says:

        Thank you for the source namely the Baal Hatanyas siddur. fwiw I have heard the phrase hachush macshish associated with the shitas hagra.

         

      • ISteve Brizel says:

        Thanks for referring all who are interested in RYBS’s explanation of the radically different  views of Rabbeinu Tam and the Gra as to Bein Hashmashos, Shikiya, etc. Upon reviewing that shiur  entitled “Yom VlLaylah:” you are correct that RYBS valiantly strove to explain Shitas Rabbeinu Tam ( starting at  Page 97 of Volume 1 of Shiurim LZecer Abba Mari as the complete presence of day and night as the demarcation point) in stark contrast to the view of the Gra. I did hear from RHS many years ago that what is assumed to be solely the view of the Gra was also the view of the Gaonim.

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    Reb Yid-I think that a fair case can be made that the academic elite and their liberal allies have adopted the POV that anyone who offers a dissenting POV,  on issues of culture and morality, not just but also including Orthodox Jews, should be fought, minimized and do not deserve a voice in discussing such issues, let alone in allowing their voices to grow as a moral countercultural POV.

    • Reb Yid says:

      Au contraire.   Any and all viewpoints are welcomed and subject to empirical, theoretical and critical analysis.

       

      • Steve brizel says:

        You made my point Torah has its own means of analysis

        • dr. bill says:

          what might that mean?  that torah has its own worldview, different from that of science or history, is a well articulated  view.  that the text of the torah has unique principles of hermeneutics is a well articulated view.  that torah has its own means of analysis is just incomprehensible and counter factual in any traditional, rational jewish sect.

          • Steve brizel says:

            Ever read the halachic mind and halachic man?take a look at the hakdamah of ramban to milchamos. If you think youcan apply secular disciplines to Talmud Torah you are making a grievous mistake

          • dr. bill says:

            Steve, it is well know that reading and comprehending are not the same.  as you seem to do with regularity, when you use the wrong word – analysis – you restate your position with some ad hominem remark and a very different word – secular disciplines.  if you keep digging you will not get out of the hole.   btw, various different secular disciplines are necessary to understand torah, as the adage attributed to the gra’s famously asserted.

          • ISteve Brizel says:

            There is no need either for disdain or supercilious comments in this thread. It is obvious that today’s edition of a text book in any secular discipline represents the cutting edge of the discipline. OYOH, when you learn any blatt Gemara,  the texts, even if they are the most mugah , are the same as employed in prior generations, and the most prized kashe and  chiddush is that which can be found in the shita of a Tanna, not a contemporary sefer  on the subject at hand.

        • mycroft says:

          on the other hand when R Haym Soloveitchik taught at RIETS he famously used Botany experts to explain Brachot.

    • mycroft says:

      They are certainly no less tolerant of dissenting views and on issues of culture and morality than those of the right.

      • Steve brizel says:

        There is far more intellectual freedom in any yeshiva worthy of the name than in any progressive indoctrination academy that  is the raison de etre of America m higher education today

        • mycroft says:

          Maybe true once one accepts ikar emunah eg Toraj min hashamayim. Try and be accepted in a Yeshiva if one argues against Torah minhashamayim. BTW-I am not saying that one should be admitted. A yeshiva assumes Torah ,  historical facts of yiziat mizraim etc. Thus, one is indoctrinated into what we believe.

          • Steve brizel says:

            I would call what you call indoctrination merely working within a set of accepted ground rules within which there’s a wide range of debate between peers via chavrusos and via shiurim and chaburos where chidushim kilos and chumros are test driven before they are presented in published form.

          • mycroft says:

            I agree-but then it should be equally so that the university is dealing within agreed rules. The agreed rules of a Yeshiva or frankly CC is no attacks on gedolei evn if true, no challenges to  basic emu nah. THey are the assumptions that both revolve around.Ground rules are equivalent to taking away freedom of thought. One can find different assumptions in the academic universe. But one has more freedom in the ground rules in academe where the belief is understanding human thought vs the Yeshiva where our assumption is we are learning dear Hashemite.

          • mycroft says:

            Humorous auto correct last two words obviously should read dvar Hashem-rather than any greetings to the occupiers of Eretz Israel for 19 years

          • ISteve Brizel says:

            Yet, when a chavrusa are arguing over Pshat in  a Rishon or Acharon,  or the discussion of how different Poskim approach any question in halacha,  then the only boundaries are sechel based on sevara-not conventional wisdom-safeguarded by Mesorah. Offering a view in which you even remotely imply that you know more than a Rishon or Chazal ZL should be rejected outright-offering a view that offers a genuine Chidush-as understood by R Chaim Volozhin as a new understanding in a sugya, Rishon or Acharon that now appeares clear to you should be applauded if it can be defended from within , not imported from without by reliance on external sources.

      • Steve brizel says:

        In 2016 censorship and suppression of alternative traditional and morally normative views is the trademark of the secularized left and their allies among the cultural and educational elites

         

         

         

         

         

         

        I think tthatev

         

         

         

         

        I think that even if the Gaonim  the SA HaRav and the Gra are correct one cannot and should never think that there is no svara underlying the view of Rabbeinu Tam. Text versus observation is an argument rooted in history not lomdus

         

         

         

         

         

      • ISteve Brizel says:

        Look at any Ivy League university and name any faculty members who are advocates of a conservative political and cultural perspective.

        • Richard says:

          Robert George (Princeton), Harvey Mansfield (Harvard), Robert Kagan (Yale).

          • Steve brizel says:

            Not even a distinct minority

             

          • Richard says:

            You asked me to name any faculty members. I did.

          • steve brizel says:

            I think that you would be hard pressed to find more on any single campus.

          • Richard says:

            Do you really want to play this game? Happy to name more than the one per campus at HYP that I named (off the top of my head, for what it’s worth).

            Yes, conservatives are vastly and problematically underrepresented on college campuses. But hyperbolic claims that there aren’t any conservative faculty don’t help.

          • Steve brizel says:

            You just made my case by admitting that conservatives are vastly and problematically underrepresented on most university faculties.

          • Richard says:

            That’s my case as well. We agree that this is a problem, and I hope that Jonathan Haidt’s efforts to increase campus intellectual diversity are successful. That conservative professors are 100% absent, such that it is difficult to name even one, is demonstrably false, and indicates an ignorance of academia.

  18. Steve Brizel says:

    I think that the letter by these 11 graduates of YCT deserves to be applauded for its intellectual honesty in confronting what they perceive as  the long underway march towards the inevitable sacrifice of halacha and halachic authority  on the altar of inclusiveness, pluralusm and tolerance that is the underlying hashkafa of YCT.

  19. steve brizel says:

    Dr Bill-I think that if you look through many ShuT in Hilcos Nidah you will find many ShuT that are Lkula in many different factual situations with the underlying premise  that Hilcos Nidah should not be used to unnecessarily keep a husband and wife apart than is required by the many halachos that are unique to that area of halacha. That may very well be why RMF was maikil in the critical Halacha of a Hefsek Taharah to allow the same during the first minutes after Shikiah, which as you point out need not have relied on Rabbeinu Tam to allow the critical Hefsek Taharah so as to allow the Zayin Nikiim to begin .  Nevertheless, RMD did rely on Rabbeinu Tam in what was clearly a Bdieved or Shas Hadchak  but one must consider why, and one plausible and reasonable answer would be to allow a Hefsek Taharah to proceed so that an Eshes Ish could go to Leil Tevilah at a time that might be Bzmanah with respect to bearing a child, which RMF was keenly aware of in his ShuT on the subject.

    Yes, most Poskim including those that you cited won’t rely on Shitas Rabbeinu Tam, but you can easily find many non chasidishe minyanim that will rely on Shitas Rabbeinu Tam Lchumra with respect to davening Maariv on Motzaei Shabbos as a Midas Chadidus of being Mosif MeKodesh LChol.

    • dr. bill says:

      you are getting closer to the way RT’s opinion is used.  as i said repeatedly often used to extend shabbos.  using it to daven mincha late is just a (mistaken) respect for tradition, like eating outside a succah on SA in the US.

      • ISteve Brizel says:

        Thanks for your assistance and the mareh makom to RYBS’s yartzeit shiurim where the differing vews of RT and Gra are explained Btuv Taam vDaas,

      • ISteve Brizel says:

        R Mordechai Willig in an essay entitled “The Brisker Derech and Pesak Halacha”( Pages 115-127) a Footnote 8 points out that one example of the Gra’s impact on Halacha LMaaseh can be seen in MB 261:23 where the MB notes that the SA cites RT but notes the Gra’s view , which then became normative in Lithuania. The Biruim and Musafim in the Dirshu edition of the MB also cite the practices and views of the CO, who is quoted as recommending lighting a half hour before Shkiah and that the Steipler likewise followed this practice. The aforementioned notes mention that the Gaonim  merely stated that one must refrain from melacha immediately after shekiayah. RMF is cited as stated that the practice of lighting 20 minutes before shikyah was solely for purposes of Tosefes Shabbos as opposed to fulfilling the view of the Yereim . RSZA is quoted ( by R Nevenzal in the MB Yitzchak Yikraea )  that the practice cited by RMF was followed so as to allow Tefilas Mincha BTzibbur and to say Kabalas Shabbos before Shkiah. All of the foregoing would support your POV that Rov Binyan Shel Poskim recommend avoiding on RT on Erev Shabbos.  In Rav Nevenzal’s sefer Shabbos Kodesh 2: 52:20, Rav Nevenzal notes that RSZA did not agree that one should rely on RT Lkula, even in a case of Bdieved because in EY the view of the Gaonim, which was accepted  there and which is “Shecamuhu Pasak HaGra” is not to rely on RT even in a case of safek.  The question of how and when RT becomes a factor on Motzaei Shabbos is discussed by Piskei Teshuvos based on MB 342:2 where thee is much discussion as to which Shevusim are permitted during Bein Hashmoshos, and whether one follows RT at Motzaei Shabbos as a Midas Chasidus or Meikar HaDin ( Yes-Virginia there do appear to be some who in fact follow RT at least at Motzaei Shabbos in this manner).

        • dr. bill says:

          there are literally hundreds of teshuvot/seforim on this topic.  if you are very interested first read bein hashemashot by rav yechial michal tukatzinsky ztl, whose influence on current practice is way beyond what most realize.  the current calendar of jerusalem follows his views. the other sefer, minchat kohen, from 400 years ago is by r. pimential ztl, a contemporary who was esteemed by the magen avraham.  while it contains a number of errors repeated ad hayom hazeh, it is the first reference to the impact of latitude and brilliantly summarizes and decides on the 2 fundamental disputes.  while it is no longer influential halakha lemaysa, it was incredibly important to the development of halakha.

          for those who know the history of YU, r. pimential’s sefer on ta’arovet was required reading in years long past for semicha students.

          • ISteve Brizel says:

            Thanks for the Mareh mkomos. Will also check the entry in the Encylclopedia Talmudis.

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