News and Essays In and Out of Orthodoxy – Parshas Balak 5776

Take Rabbi Lichtenstein’s legacy at full depth

When the Victims of Terror Are Not Jews

Binyamina Rebbe laid to rest in Har Hamenuchot

Western Wall Negotiating Team Tells PM Netanyahu: Legal Action Is At Hand – The Conservative movement threatens legal action on Western Wall issue

Jewish Woman Dies in Nice Attack; Sister Seriously Injured

In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Jewish Past Comes to Life

Jewish Baby Boom Alters Israeli-Palestinian Dynamic

BMG Talmidim lead NJ in first time pass rate on CPA exam

Does Rabbinic Key Card Ruling Mean Shabbat Has ‘Lost the Fight Against Technology’? – This blows the issue way out of proportion. To change the way that Shabbos is observed requires a broad-based p’sak from gedolei ha-dor, which is absent here – not to detract from the greatness of Rabbi Nahum Rabinovitch. Also: “If digital action is not considered halakhically prohibited activity… cooking would be muttar [permitted] since we light our stoves digitally. One would, for the same reason, also be allowed to drive a car on Shabbat.” This is not so, as cooking and driving vehicles entail additional and independent Shabbos prohibitions.

The Sensitive Rabbi

Harry’s Video – Cash or Credit?

Truman and Jacobson Video – Despite the overtly secular presentation in this AIPAC video, it is a true story of Hashgacha P’ratis.

Watch: Nissim Black Relates His Amazing Journey to Yiddishkeit

Rabbi Ari Wolf to Deliver Invocation at RNC – As we know, this was subsequent to this. And please see A Rebuke to the Rebukers and The Jewish Community Owes Rabbi Haskel Lookstein an Apology.

Video of Invocation

Governor Pence and the Jews of the Midwest

Lakewood’s Dr. Rich Roberts appointed as Donald Trump’s Vice Chair of Israel Advisory Committee

In Their Own Words-Interview with Artist Itshak Holtz

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

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28 Responses

  1. mycroft says:

    Re Rav Lichtenstein ZT”L there is no doubt that Torah to him was the most important thing in his life as it is BTW for all of us. As a close relative of mine who lived on Bennett Ave once stated re a NYTimes article it is emes that is sheker-every word quoted or fact mentioned may be true but the impression is false. To selectively quote some facts/statements about a man and not put it in context is misleading to say the least.

    Al regel achat RAL did not believe heterodox movements were the enemy, he believed better for a Jew top identify that way than no way. RAL was firmly in the side of if it work out land for peace. RAL was willing to consider the recommendations of the Neeman Commission if it could be worked out. RAL went to conferences comprised of Rabbis/theologians from Orthodox and non Orthodox movements. RAL certainly  had referred to misrad hadatot a circus-I heard him say that at a Yavneh convention late 60s. RAL had respect for gdolim thats why he stated about RMFs heter of no get required when marriage was by non Orthodox clergy- if you want to accept the heter you should realize it would be laughed out if it were not for a zaddik like RM who made it. RAL was nuanced.

    • Steve brizel says:

      Read RALs assessments of MO and then ask yourself if your summary is as accurate as you have set forth.

  2. Dr. Tzvikah Emet says:

    Though I am pleasantly surprised by the ambivalence with which Chovevei Torah has approached the “key card” ruling (I honestly believed they would run to embrace it), I still found myself disappointed by this quote:

    “over the years were not afraid to introduce accommodations that made Shabbos bearable for the elderly, the sick, the infirm, or anybody else who was unduly inconvenienced by the prohibitions”

    This is a perfect encapsulation of OO’s approach. Instead of Shabbos being an anticipated and beautiful time of introspection, Ysoscher Katz views it as something that needs to be made “bearable” and it’s prohibitions as “unduly inconveniences”.



  3. dr. bill says:

    the article about RAL ztl is a collection of quotes, some without context, others made in relation to a different era, by someone who i do not recognize as one whose opinions deserve top billing. those partial quotes need to judged against a plethora of other articles, quotes and sichot by RAL.  his opening, quoting a shiur by R. Lebowitz may also likely lead you astray.  If you have the time, listen to the shiur in its entirety to hear a more measured approach.


    • Steve brizel says:

      The articles quoted are printed in two of the books of the essays of RAL. You can read each article and then ask who is suppressing the views of RAL Zl.

  4. lacosta says:

    kindly refrain from listing articles that the non-wealthy ,  who don’t break down paywalls, can’t read…

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      The articles all appeared as full text on my computer, although I am not a subscriber or donor to any of these media. I think it depends on the computer, and that after a few days, all of the articles appear in full text even without pay or subscription.

  5. dr. bill says:

    RAL ztl must have a special zechut to have people wait over a year before attempts at revisionism.   I guess cross-currents deserves a huge yasher koach for ferreting out an attempt.  Fortunately RAL wrote and spoke about his views on many subjects extensively and consistently.

  6. R.B. says:

    Rabbis Riskin and Sherlo respond to Rabbi Levinstein:,7340,L-4830084,00.html?utm_content=bufferc62ff&utm_medium=social&

    Rabbi Riskin showing that Beit Hillel is the Israeli version of OO.


    • dr. bill says:

      the OO in the US have no where near the intellectual firepower or the numerous talmidei chachamim and poskim that are members of beit hillel.  ki mitzion taytzeh torah.

      • mycroft says:

        Note Rabbi Riskin was the one who gave the speech made by the highest ranking smicha student at theChag Hasmicha 1963 I believe-the speech is in a Gesher from that time period.

        BTW an interesting experiment would be to look at the speakers from musmachim at the Chag Hasmicha until 1975 or so and see how many were right wing and how many were MO

      • R.B. says:

        But they come to same conclusions. Go figure….

      • mycroft says:

        Agreed!! A thought experiment how would Orthodoxy in US changed if RAL had not made aliyah?  IMO an argument could be made that MO would have developed because there would have been much less revisionism about the Rav if RAL were still there.Other RY wouldn’t have dared to try and distort the Rav.Instead we have a situation for at least 30 years there is no real intellectual talmid chacham MO force in the US

      • Steve brizel says:

        An utter waste of time. Do you really think that RAL zl would think that was am optimal use of time by his erstwhile protectors and propagators of his legacy?

  7. R.B. says:

    “Beinart Joins Jews Confronting IDF in Hebron”

    This, my friends, is where the Jewish political left in the US is heading. Sickening.

    I saw one comment that illustrates this group’s ignorance. The article says the “activists” started to sing “Lo Yisa Goy” in Hebron. Maybe they should look up those pasukim (Yeshayu 2:2-3) that speak about the Bais HaMikdash being built on Har HaBayis and the nations of the world going up the Bais Hamikdosh to learn, in the days of Moshiach. Quite sad, really.


    • mycroft says:

      I have mixed feelings about the Hebron enterprise-my graduate school roommate has been buried  in Hebron for a quarter of a century-last time I met him we met in Maaras Hamachpela-when I go to Hebron I visit his grave. Yet sadly on a rational basis one has to know what to fight for and what is suicidal.

      • Steve brizel says:

        Were you ever in ISrael pre 1967? No less than Abba Eban called the pre 1967 armistice line the Auschwitz like borders.

      • mycroft says:

        No I wasn’t-BTW I remember my parents who were in Israel many times pre 67 telling me of Jordanian soldiers shooting which one could vividly hear in the King David. The settlements are not an issue of security-proof in the narrowest section of pre 67 near Highway 6 where the distance to the sea is less than 10 miles there are essentially very few settlements and separation fence is very close to the green line. Defense arrangements are much different issue than yishuv Eretz Israel trying to bring mashiach.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        I also went on a pre bar Mitzvah tour with my uncle ZL and my grandmother ZL in 1966, We toured every inch of the country and I have never forgotten the sights of the Syrian artillery on top of the Golan Heights, the bomb shelters in the kibbutzim and the warnings not to walk too far in the garden behind the King David because of Jordanian snipers. Abba Eban’s comments remain as prescient as ever-regardless of the messianist view of many within the RZ world.

      • Reb Yid says:

        So now on the basis of that single visit a long time ago, you are more of an expert than the vast majority of Israel’s military and intelligence officials over the past 50 years who have called for Israel’s political leaders to make peace within essentially these same borders.

  8. Shua Cohen says:

    Becky Silverstein of Pasadena, California, a self-identified “queergender Conservative rabbi” states: “I still have my period, and I don’t see that as a sign of femininity.” She insists on being called a “he,” is “halachically married” to a lesbian, and snubs anyone who doesn’t buy into her/his severe gender (and Judaism) confusion. Read the Ynet article and decide if, perhaps, the sky really is falling!,7340,L-4829498,00.html

  9. R.B. says:

    “Beard Crisis: Religious Soldiers in a Dilemma”.


  10. david z says:

    obviously the coming on Shabbat thing from the guests was idiotic. But as to driving an electric cart (say golf cart) what additional isurim are there?

  11. david z says:

    Oops. “Cooking on Shabbat from the forward was idiotic”

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