Weekly Digest – News and Essays In and Out of Orthodoxy – Parshas Acharei Mos 5776

Harav Yaakov Thumim, Altshtadter Rav, zt”l

Jerusalem Post Editorial: Everyone’s Rabbi


How my grandmother’s chutzpah helped Sugihara rescue thousands of Jews

American Jewry Will No Longer Be the Center of the Jewish World

Great Adventure: How an amusement park goes Orthodox for Passover

Op-Ed: Birkat Kohanot? Priestess’ blessing at the Wall?

The Heinz Passover Ad Campain’t

The Peace Process Is an Obstacle to Peace – And it always has been, because its premises are false

Op-Ed: Surprise, surprise: another affluent Palestinian terrorist

The Leiman Library

Parshas Acharei Mos – A Lesson in Contrasts

Conservative Jewry nullifies all discriminatory laws against non-Jews

Prominent scholars blast theory tracing Ashkenazi Jews to Turkey

Buoyed by haredi growth, Jewish school enrollment in NY up by 4.4 percent in one year

Where Drug Lords Once Reigned, Colombian Jewish Converts Now Pray

Op-Ed: Netanyahu is not the first leader the White House found “frustrating”

Last week’s installment of Weekly Digest – News and Essays In and Out of Orthodoxy can be viewed here.

You may also like...

18 Responses

  1. R.B. says:

    R’ Gordimer,

    You may want to add this story: http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Conservative-Jewry-nullifies-all-discriminatory-laws-against-non-Jews-452876.

  2. Avrohom Gordimer says:

    Thank you! That link has just been added.

    • mb says:

      Thanks for posting it.

      Do you have an objection to that position?

      • R.B. says:

        I do as most Orthodox Jews do. Can I guess from your comment that you don’t? Are you okay with Stam Yayin now, for example?

      • mb says:

        Stam yayin? Now that’s a non sequitur. The Conservative movement long ago rejected that concept.

        Correct I do not object to a position that rejects the murder of Infants because they might grow up to harm Jews. Don’t you? Even God saved Ishmail, remember?

      • R.B. says:

        Of course I don’t agree with Torat Hamelech. But that’s not the vote was about, it appears, though it was apparently a reaction, or overreaction in this case. The vote was to annul halacha. You agree with that? I would hope you agree that, Torat Hamelech notwithstanding, halacha doesn’t work this way and this vote is non-halachic.

        As for my comment about stam yayin, I admit I have not seen the teshuvah and I have been searching for it. Do you have a link to it? If not, your presumption that it only annuls civil and moral discrimination is as valid as my assumption that it goes beyond that.

      • Avrohom Gordimer says:

        My pleasure.

        I do object to this position, and I leave it to readers to appreciate the problems here.


  3. Tal Benschar says:

    Conservative Jewry nullifies all discriminatory laws against non-Jews

    Good thing they waited until after Pesach.  Otherwise there could be no mechiras chometz.  Who could they sell it to?

    Wonder what they will do next year, though.

    • mb says:

      I don’t understand this comment. What has the sale of Chametz have to do with it?

      The statement was referring to civil and moral discrimination, not ritual.

      Am I missing something?

      • Tal Benschar says:

        So some discrimination is good (or at least acceptable) and some is bad.  And the difference between the two we base on the latest fads as stated in the NY Times.  Got it.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        This phenomenon didn’t start today. Think about the “heterim” for driving to shul on Shabbos, mixed seating, changes in the Siddur ( look in Musaf and the daily Shemoneh Esreh), allowing aliyos and then rabbinical degrees for women. Can Amalek, mamzerus, and intermarriage or even allowing remarriage without a get be far behind especially as CJ moves closer to RJ and ceases to have any pretense of halachic moorings?

      • mycroft says:

        Agreed-it started at least 70 years ago with Rabbi Gordis famous article-it has been 65 years since they allowed driving on Shabbos-most other items are not as bad as driving on Shabbos,

    • mycroft says:

      “Good thing they waited until after Pesach.  Otherwise there could be no mechiras chometz”

      For whatever its worth I don’t sell my family’s chametz-we get rid of it. Of course we have no whiskey so it is easy to not rely on the  “mechira”

    • Y. Ben-David says:

      Actually, there are prominent Orthodox scholars , such as Rav Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg who also called for a re-evaluation of Jewish attitudes towards non-Jews.

  4. R.B. says:

    I just found the “teshuva”: https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/sites/default/files/public/halakhah/teshuvot/2011-2020/hammer-non-jews-law-lore.pdf

    “A. Jewish Law 1. It is a positive commandment – mitzvat asei- to treat non-Jews lovingly and to perform acts of tzedakah and gemilut hasadim for Gentiles. Rulings teaching that a Jew may kill an Arab child, even an infant, because “it is clear that they will injure us when then grow up (Torat HaMelekh 206)” are distortions of Jewish Law and are invalid. These and other such rulings found in works such as Torat HaMelekh contradict traditional Jewish belief that does not consider Jews to be superior to non-Jews, does not claim that the Jewish soul is superior to that of the non-Jew or that all Arabs can be killed because they are all pursuers.

    2. Following the example of Rabban Gamliel II and invoking the principles of Kiddush HaShem and Darkhei Shalom, we declare that any rulings concerning matters of financial or civil law in the Mishnah and Talmud that discriminate against Gentiles are not to be considered official operative Jewish Law in our day. In accord with the teachings of the Meiri we further rule that any such laws were time bound, referring specifically to pagans of any early time and therefore do not apply to non-Jews in our era. We consider such laws to be in violation of our highest moral values and impede us from attaining higher moral virtues, as Rabbi Sevi Ashkenazi indicated. Thus in regard to such matters as permission to violate the Sabbath for purposes of saving lives, the Jew and the Gentile are to be treated alike. Similarly killing, stealing and other moral and ethical offences prohibited by the Torah and Jewish Law apply to both Jews and nonJews. It is forbidden to murder, rob, cheat, deceive or otherwise harm a non-Jew. Only those rulings regarding ritual differences between Jews and non-Jews Jews and laws that effectively contribute to continued Jewish existence such as the prohibition of intermarriage remain in effect while laws intended to keep Jews from contact with idolaters such as bishul akum and the prohibition of stam yenam are no longer valid.”

    So does that mean that Hilchos Ribbis must be applied to non-Jews? Have to sign heterei iska with them as well? What about not being buried with non-Jews, since that doesn’t contribute to the continued Jewish existence?

  5. L. Oberstein says:

    The Messiah is on the way! I read an article by Rabbi Gordimer and agreed with everything he wrote!

    While one can debate specific doctrinal issues, Rabbi Greenberg  has simply distorted the historical truth to fit his own views. Now, the other side also does that too. Honest debate means everyone accepts what the facts are and then agrees to disagree on interpretation.

    The stance of orthodoxy in the 1950’s was “a study of institutional decay” as I believe Marshall Sklare described it. Fast forward to today, Marshal Sklare’s grandson is a tremendous Talmudic scholar whose shiurim here in Baltimore are attracting a growing fan club. On the other hand, Conservative Judaism is a study in institutional decay.

    Open Orthodoxy and Yeshiva/Chassidic Orthodoxy are divergent and ,as time goes on, it will not be possible to include both in the same category. That is not a value judgement simply a statement of fact. Open Orthodoxy is no threat to today’s trends toward more adherence to standards that are far beyond anything our Litvish ancestors imagined e.g. no women’s pictures in publications. Open Orthodoxy is appealing to a totally different demographic who couldn’t care less what the Moetzes thinks. However, Rabbi Greenberg should not confuse his animus with historical accuracy.

    So, for once, Rabbi Gordimer hit the nail on the head.

    • lacosta says:

      1.  who is the star einikel in baltimore?

      2. who said it’s a mayleh that women’s  pics can’t be featured even in articles about said species? [ it is a little irritating that one of the pesach haredi mags  feature a power israeli haredi media couple— but can’t picture her.   i understand the standards of the mag but  why bother even acknowledging the existence of such an individual?  those so frum that images are disturbing don’t  need to know stories about women either….


    • lacosta says:

      >>>Open Orthodoxy is appealing to a totally different demographic who couldn’t care less what the Moetzes thinks

      correct , an element of O people who are not going to buy into haredi message.

      but as to ‘ couldn’t care less what the Moetzes thinks ‘ , that applies to the [vast] majority of centrist MO .

      and the converse is also true— those who care what the Moetzes thinks , pay no mind to anything RIETS or DL leadership has to say either….

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This