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

Hagaon Harav Moshe Mordechai Chadash, Zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshivas Ohr Elchanan

Hagaon Rav Aryeh Finkel zt”l

Rebbetzin Shoshana Schechter, A”h, Wife of Chaim Berlin Rosh Yeshiva Rav Aharon Shechter, Shlita

Rav Shmuel Naftali Ganger zt”l

Rav Lau: Don’t Cover Up Abuse of children

Report: Traveling zoo set up on Holocaust execution site in Ukraine

Lithuanian city defends recreational events at former Nazi concentration camp – This is the Lithuanian execution site where Reb Elchonon Wasserman zt”l, along with thousands of Jews, were murdered by Lithuanians.

It’s All About Words – A great and much-needed essay.

Wrong Time, Wrong Message – Letter from YCT graduate/IRF board member in response to open letter of “YCT 11”.

Orthodoxy And Its Discontents – Looks like Rabbi Rosenthal’s book is making an impact. Let’s see what happens.

Jewish historian renounces Zionism, but at least she’s being honest

Joseph Wilf, Holocaust survivor and major Jewish philanthropist, dies at 91

Can These Newly Ordained Rabbis Upend the Status Quo in Israel? – An unrealistic question, but worth reading what these people are doing.

The Datlash Conundrum: why so many from observant homes are no longer ‎observant

Rabbi Levenstein’s Important Message

Back to Life: The Story of a Contemporary Miracle and the Power of Tefillah

Agudath Israel Holds 7th Annual Conference of Midwest Synagogue Rabbonim

Israelis barred from entering Jordan over kippot

Torah education to be recognized as academic degree

New Websites for Washington Heights’ Khal Adath Jeshurun (KAJ/”Breuer’s”) and Shaare Hatikvah, loaded with shiurim, rich historical data and beautiful photos.

Raising Christian money for Jewish causes, a star rabbi earns praise and scorn

Will liberals defend American Jews’ religious freedom when most practicing Jews are Orthodox?

The great ‘shtadlan’: Josel of Rosheim takes on Martin Luther


The Tel Aviv Synagogue That Never Grows Old

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

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12 Responses

  1. R.B. says:

    Just wanted to add a couple of more: – “and devote up to half their time to Torah studies” (oh the horror!) and has doubled to sixty institutions with 10,000 pupils” (Maybe this is due to popular demand by parents of pupils attending these Chardali schools!).

    • Chochom b'mah nishtanah says:


      To the first article you referece, the Author asks rhetorically why she will not be fasting on Tish B’Av and then writes a whole bunch of babble which can be easily summed up o one short answer.  Because she is not  religious.

  2. Weaver says:

    Rav Lau: Don’t Cover Up Abuse of children

    Wow – from “mesirah/rodef/yeherag va’al ya’avor” to “mitzvah to report offenders” (RCA, R’ Kanievsky, etc.) in just a couple years!

  3. lacosta says:

    in re r rosenblum’s Tzahal critique.  if one TRULY believes that the haredi community ie  bnai yeshiva , are what controls the fate of the state, then [considering so few haredi youngsters are ever in the army environment] he needn’t be so concerned about yennem’s environment [ ie let their leadership worry about it] .

    rather,  he SHOULD be concerned about the hundreds of wayward young haredi disaffected youth , who are neither in army or yeshiva , but rather wandering the streets, as Israel channel 2  reported on last week….

  4. dr. bill says:

    I strongly agree, eight women receiving ordination from “these people” will not “upend the status quo” in Israel. (BTW, I would eat from the hashgacha of “these people.”)
    However, as I have argued repeatedly, movements/institutions like tzohar, beit hillel, hundreds of serious, religious, academic scholars of canonical texts and halakha, har etzion, har gilboa, etc. and even those to their left and right are not under attack or threat by the equivalent of the right/chareidi wing of the RCA.  In Israel, rabbis of a hashkafah like the right/chareidi wing of the RCA are associated with the status quo and are often supportive of the “state rabbinate” that is promoting an ever growing backlash from the Israeli public.  In Israel the need for orthodox rabbis for kiruv will continue to favor (mostly left-leaning) clergy who are not viewed as establishment.
    YCT / OO remains a much easier target.  The entire intellectual leadership and membership of OO/YCT pales in insignificance both qualitatively and quantitatively when compared to their much more diverse Israeli counterparts.  You (or I) do not have enough hours in the day to read/hear all that is produced by those you would brand OO or worse in Israel.  One value exposure to their Torat Eretz Yisroel provides is a more complete view of what some OO rabbis are trying to say, imho rather imprecisely, about emunah/belief.  In any case, taking a snippet from Rabbi Feldman or Rabbi Katz is rarely useful to understand, but very effective if one wants to attack.

    • sb says:


      because I have always valued your levelheadedness, when I started reading this blog a year and a half ago I started trying to look at OO statements through your approach, with “nuance”. I have seen you make the above comments numerous times and never commented. But in light of two recent conversations I would like to ask two questions.

      The First conversation involves a patient of mine. She is a middle aged secular, feminist with j street leanings who is still having a hard time voting for Hillary.  So after I invited her to join me in a protest libertarian vote, we started discussing Israeli politics. In regards her j street leanings I asked her if she seriously couldn’t understand the right wing view of Arabs . Specifically I said that for twenty years I have been hearing world leaders excuse Arab hate speech by calling it “rhetoric”.  I asked her, doesn’t it make sense to actually believe what the Arabs say? So my first question is why can’t we take OO statements as they are? When (in your eyes) is kefira actuall kefira and not nuance?

      The second conversation happened about a week ago.  A YU grad I know took a rabbinical position in a MO synagogue in the tri state area. I would describe him as slightly right of center. He commented to me that OO is like a cancer in his shul. Because people will hear or read an article from them and then come to him to make a change. When he refuses he is labeled a fanatic. The most recent case involved a woman who wanted her daughter to daven for the amud for her bat mitzvah and labeled him a fanatic for refusing. So my second question is, facts on the ground, do you think OO are bringing people closer to traditional Judaism or pushing people further toward conservatism?

      • joel rich says:

        interesting that you mention OO and the current presidential campaign in the same paragraph.  I have suggested to folks that instead of focusing on the leaders who may be flawed, they give thought to what is driving the laity into their arms.

        She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

      • mycroft says:

        To follow Joel Rich maybe see what if anything is flawed on our side. Note Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur did not say Rome, Greece is at fault-first I am at fault, then my family and then Klal Israel. Do self analysis. Cheshbon hanefesh of our positions including tactics of  those taking our positions. Even assuming aargue do that our position is correct-if the net result of attacks is to receive compliments from the Amen quarter and leaders from ones own neighborhood, street etc if the attacks just push people away from what we may consider to be Torah Judaism cease them

      • dr. bill says:

        sb, i am having difficulty responding; technical issues

      • dr. bill says:

        sb, thank you. Your first question is difficult to answer succinctly; let me provide an approach rather than a precise answer, addressing belief in the area that seems to be the center of controversy.  I think in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions not to be labeled a kofer. As a necessary condition, one must sincerely (a hard word to define) believe that a Jew’s relationship with God is rooted in halakha and the halakhic process, both of which are based on Divine encounters.  While necessary, that belief is not sufficient.  (more later).

  5. david z says:

    The yated article on words was nice but then ended with rubashkin in federal prison for fraud and nightly forging documents related to shipments of meat and the legal status of his employees. And lamenting he’s in club Fed but can’t make phone calls whenever he likes. Huh? How about we can learn where lying can get us?

  6. DF says:

    Re “Will liberals defend religious freedom when most Jews are orthodox” – the answer is no, of course they wont.  Liberalism is just an organized hypocrisy. It is characterized chiefly by its visceral bigotry towards all matter of religion, but primarily Christian religion. And you don’t have to look into the future, for the future is already here. There have been many cases of homosexual vs. religious issues, and always the left comes down on the side of homosexuals.

    Its a moot point to some degree because liberalism is dying, and will not survive beyond the end of the baby boomer’s period of activity. The right will inevitably begin to flex its muscles, as we already are beginning to see, and will begin to erase the excesses of liberalism. This too will create issues for orthodox Jews, no doubt, but nothing more than we have already encountered. Thus, one need not even pose the question of whether liberals will defend orthodox Jews: They don’t already, they will not do so in the future, and it wont matter.

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