Jared and Ivanka: WE Are the Ones to Blame

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142 Responses

  1. Chava Rubin says:

    I  am puzzled by something. A person who chooses to convert to Judaism through an approved GPS program run by the RCA, how can she then decide that she isn’t  fully observant?

    Didn’t  she have to have a sincere kabbalas hamitzvos? And if she didn’t  have  a  sincere commitment  to observing all the laws, then does that call into question  the validity of her  conversion, notwithstanding  the  fact  that  it was an Orthodox  conversion?

    I am honestly confused !

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      No beis din that we know of has any hold over geirim after they leave the mikveh. Like all other Jews, some do better, and some do worse. A beis din has no recourse but to make the judgment call that the candidate is equipped for shmiras mitzvos, and voices and evidences every intention to observe them, according to the basic level of observance common in his/her community

      • Bob Miller says:

        Do we know what heterim have been given to the Kushners for political or diplomatic activities and by whom?

        • Sass says:

          Who cares? What business is it of ours?

          Do you make it your business every time someone Jewish, or even Orthodox does something questionable or even wrong?

          • Bob Miller says:

            This could be significant for any Jew who is in government work at that level.

          • Mycroft says:

            It would be significant to Jews even at lower levels of government work who travel internationally and meet with representatives of other countries.

        • Sass says:

          Who cares? What business sis it of ours?

          do you make it your business every time someone Jewish or even Orthodox does something on Shabbos that is halachically questionable, or halachically wrong?

          • Mycroft says:

            it is relevant because they hold themselves out as Orthodox. Ivanka has referred to her not using devices for 25 hours because of her Orthodox religion.

      • Charlie Hall says:

        There actually have been a few such cases. Here is one:

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/top-court-backs-rabbis-who-revoked-conversion-over-secular-lifestyle/

        The unlamented Tropper program also reportedly revoked some conversions.

    • Rachel Lewkowicz says:

      Why would you hold a convert to a higher standard than a person who is born Jewish?  Many Jews from birth are not observant, many become observant, some remain, some stop, some swing back and forth and others never become observant. And yet, their identity as Jews is never questioned. But a convert — should they exhibit the same behavior – they are excoriated for it and their identity as Jews is questioned.  This is patently wrong and very “unJewish”…

      • Rafael Quinoaface says:

        Because a convert can only join the Jewish people on basis that they will keep the Torah and mitzvos, not that they will be non-observant and get the name “Jew” as a social or cultural identifier. This does create a double standard to a certain extent, but you can say, in a positive fashion, that a ger tzedek is living that life that every Jew should be living!

        • dr. bill says:

          thank you for your rendering of the halakha.  However, i prefer the opinions of RCOG ztl and RMF ztl and RAL ztl to name a few.

          • Rafael Quinoaface says:

            What did I write that is incongruent with what the views Gedolei Torah you cite? You and I both agree that a Ger who leaves observance is still a Jew. However, l’chatchila, everyone agrees that we require “kabbalas ol hamitzvos”, which is what I am referring to.

            See here: http://kolharav.blogspot.ca/2011/02/ruling-of-rav-ovadia-yosef-and-rav.html/

            Dost protest too much, bill. Maybe work on your reading comprehension skills as well.

          • dr. bill says:

            if that is what you meant, then you have a less than elegant way of expressing it.

          • Shai Meyerson says:

            Bill, what Rafael wrote was clear enough. Pardon me, but you seem to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder.

  2. Bob Miller says:

    They’re not asking for our opinion nor we for theirs.   They could do us and the US a lot of good if we just go about our business and don’t get distracted by delusions that they answer to or represent us.

  3. joel rich says:

    I am not making any statement conccerning the Kushner’s activities.

    I would point out that while R’ Gordimer ultimately rejects Mr. Pomerantz’s concerns ( employers will henceforth reply to requests to be excused from Sabbath work and travel with, “I really don’t understand, the president’s daughter and son in law are observant and they get permission to work on the Sabbath, why can’t you?”), both the TORA statement and R’ Student’s article both directly address this concern.  Of course the question is how many employers will have this issue and how many will read either of these responses?  In such a situation the poseik guiding the questioners would have to take this issue into account as well when evaluating the impact of his psak.

    An old time example of a calculation-did accountants and lawyers who asked their poskim in the 1950’s about wearing a head covering at work get an update in the 1970’s?  How many younger folks didn’t wear one because of employers saying (or thinking) Moshe doesn’t wear one, why should you? (Fortunately for me there was no actuarial mesorah as insurance companies for some reason did not seem to have many “frum” [or jewish in some places0 employees.)

    KT

     

  4. New Yorker says:

    Rabbi Gordimer is certainly correct that the perception of Kushner /Trump as observant is a contrivance of the Orthodox community.  But it is worth asking why this is so with respect to their observance, and to contrast the attention paid to their religiosity with that of others, such as Jack Lew.  Lew held two of the most important jobs in Washington, including Chief of Staff to the President, and yet little if any attention was paid to his observance.

    While some of the difference may explained by Lew’s adherence to hatznea leches and Kushner /Trump’s much more public and glamorous lifestyle, there may be another factor at work — that the Trump /Kushner affiliation with a Republican and more conservative administration has become a credential that is used by many to validate their observance.  Lew (and Lieberman) was affiliated with Democratic and more liberal administrations, and so many in the Orthodox community don’t take their religion as seriously or speak about it with the same pride.

    If I am correct, we are witnessing a subversion of the order of our values, an order in which one’s political values inform our view of their religiosity more than their personal conduct.

     

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Senator Lieberman, although a Democrat in the Scoop Jackson tradition, was vilified by many in his own party for condemning the actions of former President Clinton and supporting the war in Iraq-which led to a primary which Lieberman lost,but was reelected as an independent. I have heard from impeccable sources thatSenator Mc Cain strongly considered Lieberman as a running mate in 2008.

    • Bob Miller says:

      Was the Obama Treasury Department not involved directly in the large delivery of cash to Iran?

      Was the Obama Treasury Department’s IRS not involved directly in persecuting the Tea Party and others?

      Some shady things were going on during this hatznea leches.  The Secretary of the Treasury should have stopped them or quit.

       

      • Charlie Hall says:

        The $400 million cash to Iran was sent as part of a deal that got the US out of liability that could have been as much as $10 billion. The idea that Lew should have done something else is preposterous. Snopes has all the details:

        http://www.snopes.com/obama-bribed-iran-400-million-to-release-u-s-prisoners/

        The IRS was right to go after the fake “social welfare” 501(c)4s such as the Tea Party groups that were really political action groups that should have registered under a different part of the statute. They were improperly attempting to hide the identity of their donors. And the Obama administration had nothing to do with the actions that were taken by Bush era holdovers. Finally, Lew did not become Treasury Secretary until later — not that the Treasury Secretary should used political influence to interfere with IRS investigations.

        • Bob Miller says:

          See my links below.  The problem did not end when Lew took the reins.

          As for US liability to Iran and the reliability of Snopes, don’t make us laugh.

           

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Nixon employed the same improper logic to mouse the IR S against liberal activists.  Both were palpable invasions of  constituionally protected freedom.of speech

        • mycroft says:

          It would be a criminal offense for a Sec of Treas to get involved in a specific application.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Most secretaries of Treasury are good fundraisers as opposed to being scholars in the murky science of economics.  most attorney generals are loyal consigliores for the president who nominated them

    • Bob Miller says:

      Was the Obama Treasury Department not involved directly in the large delivery of cash to Iran?
      Some shady things were going on during this hatznea leches.  The Secretary of the Treasury should have stopped them or quit.
      Also, what about this?
      http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/354592/lew-yes-irs-scandal-phony-eliana-johnson
      https://cei.org/blog/another-court-ruling-confirms-irs-illegally-targeted-tea-party-and-conservative-groups

      • mycroft says:

        SEE

        https://www.propublica.org/article/six-facts-lost-in-irs-scandal

        FOR A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON IRS read David Cay Johnston for administrative issues,Lee Sheppard on tax notes to understand gaming of system by the powerful and Florida Tax Law Review, a few years ago showed the politics of continually by the unfair and non balanced talking points media of making scandals up as a way to limit the ability of the government to tax the rich and powerful

        • Steve Brizel says:

          We now thanks to voluminous documents released in Litigation commenced against the IRS resulting from the misuse of the IRS that the IRS was only granting tax exemptions after inquiring and requiring that applicants state thEy were conservative and pro Israel. Obviously Obama used the IRS as a tool to silence pro Israel and conservative activists. The. Omparison to Nixon’s use of the IRS is odious and obvious.

          • Mycroft says:

            Show me a cite to a decision, not a claim of that. Show me reported decision that IRS refused to grant pro Israel tax exemption on that basis.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            You can access the discovery released yourself . I saw a link to it but I don’t recall the exact link now. In any event the documents clearly demonstrate that conservative groups were forced to give up First Amendment rights to obtain IRS approval.

          • Mycroft says:

            I have read tax literature counter to your points on the IRS including a University of Flrida tax law review article on the supposed attacks on conservative groups. See I have not seen your proof, but it is true that in order to be tax exempt every organization gives up 1st amendment rights of campaigning for office on the tax exempt funds. Thus, there maybe siometging nefarious in the point or maybe enforcing the law.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Law review articles are nice theoretical discussions but ignore the wholesale violation of the First Amendment and Equal protection clause when the IRS was misused solely as a wedge against conservative groups just as it was misused during the Nixon years against liberal groups. That is the consequence of a president who thought that because of his being elected that he could ignore and deligitimitize his opposition. If Obama was Nixon he would have been impeached and we would have seen him.flying away from the White House in disgrace.

          • mycroft says:

            Besides Conservative political advocacy that you  love to quote show mean IG report, GAO report or other source that shows that there was a policy implemented by the IRS to go after conservative groups ONLY that engaged in prohibited political activity rather than go after impermissible political activity in general

          • mycroft says:

            The law review article is documented with proof and footnoted. Not simply repeating Conservative talking points. BTW you love Commentary, I remember John Podhoretz on Jeopardy, he did well in most categories especially Russia,poorly in one that I remember the Bible.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          At least one federal district court and the DC circuit court of appeals have strongly excoriated the IRS for targeting conservative groups and attempting to improperly withhold discoverable documents by asserting improper and nonexistent bases for doing so. Just more proof of the Deep State at work that is funded by our taxes

    • dr. bill says:

      blaming them for the attention they attract seems a bit odd.  the question is why they garner the attention from the press?  i have not seen much evidence that such attention is sought out by the Kushners.

      while there are many potential answers, what i find most interesting is press coverage of their trip to Whistler for Pesach.  it is rather instructive to read the batch of news stories that resulted from that trip.  i found it rather informative.

      • Mycroft says:

        Obviously noticed that they can be thousands of miles away from DC and the President for days on vacation.

    • Mycroft says:

      Both Jack Lew and Senator Leiberman who held higher posts in government openly were shower Shabbos , not driving etc. Thus, they identified as Shomer Shabbos and certainly did nothing in public to show differently.

      • dr. bill says:

        i do not recall if either accompanied a sitting president on a foreign trip of any sort let alone one of extreme import for issues over which the laws of shabbat are abrogated.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Lee was a wall streetet who was a major fund raiser for Obama

      • mycroft says:

        Lew was a beneficiary of Dr. Allen Schick’s hospitality when he first came to DC as was Ari Weiss-later Tip Onneillsl Chief of Staff. Dr Schick is a major expert on FedBudgeting

        • Steve Brizel says:

          We have previously discussed Dr Tovah Lichrensteins article and observations and I do not consider it worthwhile or productive to rehash my prior observations as to the same .

  5. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gordimer is correct. It is noone’s right or job , parttime or full time to question what the couple in question do. R Rakkafet does have an interesting observation to the effect that the same level of observance can be found among many members of a prominent NY MO shul as well.

    • Mycroft says:

      Given the famous experiment by some JTS professors who sent their children to Ramaz in a group meeting of parents discussing mission statement of school suggested Reconstructionist statement, parents were enthused by it. I don’t believe Gerus would be acceptable for someone who accepts Reconstructionist ideology. Not saying that any particular gerus did, but certainly one must determine what they believe they are accepting. Not a matter of simply stating a formula.

  6. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote:

    “it is relevant because they hold themselves out as Orthodox. Ivanka has referred to her not using devices for 25 hours because of her Orthodox religion.”

    Noone has the right or permission to engage in what is onaas hager , a very sever Issur Torah, in speculating what may permissible to Ivanka Trump, especially given her being a daughter of the President. After all, we name children Esther despite the fact that Esther HaMalkah resided with Achashverush for her entire life, precisely because she was the right person in the right place.

    • Mycroft says:

      I don’t see the complaints against onaas hager of people by the Israeli CR. In your eyes they are lucky that on their BD for gerus they had a leading talmid chacham who used to regularly give shiur in the schul of the RAbbi involved. That does not increase any potential onaas hager over the many who were megahertz with approval of three frum Rabbonim.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        That is because you are blind and insensitive to the halacha of Onaas HaGer and belittle the gerus of Mr.Trump.

        • mycroft says:

          I am not the one who got excited at the no 1 onaas hager of gerim from decades before the GPS. I am not the one who challenges gerus routinely. I am not the one who protects gerus by Rabbis serving time in jail, but does not defend gerus of standard Rabbis for decades who haveno pgam on them.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            While your comments on a wide range of issues are interesting and fascinating. I think that a fair reading of them is that many are pretextual in nature and basically set forth what you think is wrong with the Torah observant community today and your yearning for the Orthodoxy of a different generation.

          • mycroft says:

            “I think that a fair reading of them is that many are pretextual in nature and basically set forth what you think is wrong with the Torah observant community today”

            Show where my comments are wrong

            “and your yearning for the Orthodoxy of a different generation.”

            I yearn for honesty and integrity, not treating people differently because they have more money. I yearn for a Torah world that has integrity and how it treats a situation is based on the facts not who is behind it.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Denying that your comments are pretextual indicates that you must have a series of comments ready to post on any one of your pet peeves. Living in the past is fine but inflicting your views on a wide range of issues in a grossly pretextual manner borders on intellectual dishonesty.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Are you claiming that a conversion presided over by a bes din that consisted of kerivim is valid? I would hope not.

    • yoelish says:

      Bolder dash! don’t mix in old stuff in today’s mayhem, chaz”l say that the years she was with him she never actually had to live with him so to speak, but one point that no one touched upon, who’s agenda was it to play up their Judaism in the first place? Not sure how to put this any nicer, but the so called orthodox Israeli right wing, to serve a certain agenda, for all in thence and purposes, they do it time and time again, and then fall on their sword.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      I think that your comments about Me Trump are as equally deplorable as were those of Ramaz alumni when R Lookstein was invited to speak at the Republican convention.

      • Mycroft says:

        FWIW IMO Rabbis should not enter the political jungle and speak at party conventions whether for Carter in Dems or Trump as GOP..

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I guess rabbis should never offer their views on any issue that may effect Klal Israel? What a stereotypically and perversely  liberal POV that elevates the establishment clause as superior in constitutional value to the free exercise clause

           

           

           

           

           

  7. Mycroft says:

    Blogs including CC question behavior al the time. There is no problem in approving comments  just from the pas few daysthat kids go OTD because parents are not koveeh ittim latorah, no problem in approving comments that people who go to mincha during the week at work are not showing proper commitment to yiddishkeit. Thus, behavior comments are permitted. It depends on what is being questioned and involving who.

    • Sass says:

      Sorry, but this is not an honest comment.

      There is obviously a difference between opining on a general phenomenon versus very specific criticism of specifically named people (who are not making policy statements for any group at large or attempting to change the character of Orthodoxy.)

      There is also a wide difference between casting a specific behavior as an aveira, versus saying that there is a much higher bar to prevent a child from going OTD and that some things are no longer sufficient to prevent a child from going OTD.

       

    • Steve Brizel says:

      I guess you missed the shiur on why Sefira is a time of Tikun HaMidos a prerequisite to Kabalas HaTorah

      • mycroft says:

        If one can spend time attacking OO, others can reply against inconsistencies of the current establishment.

      • Mycroft says:

        you just engaged in wholesale Onaas Hager by quoting people that question en mass pre 2006 gerus that followed RCA procedures, and that were if needed an Israeli need, Aliyah or marriage in Israel would have been certified by RCA BD. You criticize me for raising inconsistencies of defending gerus of one who continues to attend family parties of non Jewisg holidays among other things while not defending gerus of Gerim or children of Gerim that took lac decades before. Individual cases always can have problems, but just as it may be well appropriate to accept I Trump kal vachomer it is appropriate to accept those wo public activities from right after gerus that are publicly inconsistent with a frum lifestyle.

        post 2006 there have been problems too,certainly having as a major person in RCA gerus one who violated many halachot is a problem.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Why do you continually resort to bashing the RCA about Freundel when as RRapp mentions there were many conversions pre BDS being implemented with krovim.sitting on the same conversion and similar violations of SA? Acknoweleding the truth as to the cleay improper procedures has nothing to do with the obviously improper and disgusting conduct of Freundel

          • Mycroft says:

            Give me a break, many conversions with krovim. BTW the BD would have to be Karov to each other.  Don’t believe it was frequent, mistakes could happen, certainly at leas a mistake if not worse on Barry Freundel. Meanwhile for your agenda attacking Rabbonim in general including many unlike some of your heroes would not as a matter of principle deal with conversions where marriage is the reason.

            You have no problem spreading lashon Hara over Gerim for decades. Unlike your new professional BDS system which by demanding money is against some viewpoints that a BD should not be allowed to accept money. You attack people who sho incongruities of defending gerus when it was public knowledge that was for purpose of marriage and public knowledge that continued to attend family Christmas parties after gerus and other behavior that wold not meet your approval but for the circumstances of gerus.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I think that your comments about R.Rapp are not only factually incorrect but qualify you for membership in the flat earth society. I in its you and another reader to look at the most recent Yu Torah to go on the issues of get us to see how Hilcos Gerus is properly performed in 2017.

          • Mycroft says:

            Explain to me for starters where in hilchos gerus there is a financial test for becoming a ger. There was a public statement by the head of one of GPS BD stating that they ensure potential Gerim can afford lifestyle.

            show me how it is ideal to charge Gerim for conversion, as I wrote I am aware of those who did not charge pre GPS and have seen that there are poskim who state that one should not charge a potential ger for gerus.

            what makes this system ideal that you have people making decisions who are not the experts on motivation of potential ger. Remember the Rav used to believe that decisions should be made by those who are familiar with the facts on the ground.

            i am not aware of there having been a leading Rav in gerus in the old system taping new nude potential Gerim in mikvaot.

            the politics of those depends on who is in charge, take a test what your attitude to IT gerus would be if the BD was comprised of three Rabbis who were willing to go to a church and censored by their Rabbinic association. How does changing one of the members to someone who taught Talmud for a long time at his schul change things?

             

  8. mavin says:

    Please, let’s be honest.  The non-Jew doesn’t know the difference.  It’s we the Jews who should understand the difference.  It’s obvious they are (religiously) more conservative than orthodox.

    • Mycroft says:

      I don’t see the complaints against onaas hager of people by the Israeli CR. In your eyes they are lucky that on their BD for gerus they had a leading talmid chacham who used to regularly give shiur in the schul of the RAbbi involved. That does not increase any potential onaas hager over the many who were megahertz with approval of three frum Rabbonim.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        You obviously did not read the articles in the YU Torah to go about gerus. Learn Hilcos Edus and see how far the Psul of krovim applies. It goes much further than merely two brothers father and son.

        • mycroft says:

          I own and have read Menachem Finkelstein on Conversion. I have read relevant portions of R Gedaliah Felder’s Nachalat Zvi, the Aruch Hashulchan on gerus, debate between Rabbi Melech Schachter andRabbi Mark Angel on gerus from 50-45 years ago. I do not claim to be a halachik authority but do recognize when positions change based on the individuals involved. Read much more and remember discussing issue 35 years ago. Youi are repeating canards against prior gerus just to make current Rabbonim in power look better. Onaas Hagerdoesn’t seem to bother people

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Regardless of what you have read as stated above, the SA in CM contains rules as to what constitutes a proper Bes Din and Edus. Krovim is a very extensive psul .

          • mycroft says:

            Halacha must be complied with, including laws of kosher BD

          • Steve Brizel says:

            What about the relevant sugyos and Rishonim and SA and relevant ShuT, or even the ET entry on Gerus as relevant sources as equally relevant and important as  R G FelderZL , the AS or the debate which you cite  or even the ET entry on Gerus? All of the sources that you cite are interesting but IMO seem like icing on the cake if and when you haven’t digested the main course.  Citing such sources is akin in this context borders very perilously to just looking at a KSA and then saying that nothing else either is pertinent or relevant .

    • mycroft says:

      Some non Jews thankfully notice the difference with them. People who I used to work with have noticed their public non Orthodox behavior. Thank God because otherwise their behavior would be expected norm for other Orthodox Jews

  9. ben dov says:

    If you identify as an Orthodox Jew and you are a public figure, then you have to take responsibility for your presentation, even if you do not claim to be a religious authority or role model.  To say at a Republican convention speech “my father is an ethical man” when he obviously isn’t, creates the impression that Orthodox Judaism is okay with philanders and verbal abusers.  That is chilul Hashem.

    I don’t know who if anyone gave them a psak to violate Shabbos, but hypothetically if there is no legitimate heter, that is chilul Shabbos in the most public manner possible and sends a message that Shabbos is dispensable.  I can’t judge them without the facts, but do not agree that what they do is purely their own business.

    • Leib says:

      It’s a chilul hashem that few of Trump’s frum supporters will acknowledge.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        How about the ongoing Chillul HaShem of some defending Obamas impermissible surveillance of domestic opponents and mouse of the IRS to intimidate his critics? If OBama’s name was Nixon the press and academia would have been calling for a special prosecutor issuance of subpoenas and a full press Congressional investigation

    • Mycroft says:

      Even assuminG arguendo that they received a heter, the message sent that when it is inconvenient for your politics one can violate Shabbos-h

  10. James Fisher says:

    Mr Pomerantz is wrong!!!!!!!  Netanyahu & every Israeli Government official get to travel on the Sabbath in order to carry out their Government duties.  We Jews love to argue EVERYTHING at the drop of a hat.

    • mycroft says:

      Netanyahu does not claim to be Orthodox

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Netanyahu has coalition partners he must answer to in the event of Chillul Shabbos etc .

    • Mycroft says:

      There are restrictions in ISrael on government activity on SHabbos

      • Steve Brizel says:

        There are numerous sifrei halacha such as by R Rimon that set forth in very clear detail what the average soldier in the IDF can do on Shabbos.

  11. Ralph Suiskind says:

    Very interesting.  I find the activity of so-called  Orthodox Observant Jews problematic. I’m not in any position to judge others. But I find troubling the activities of the most elite members among us.

    One expects those that G-d has blessed  with immense wealth as well as  leadership qualities to propel the rest of us to greater observance.

    Unfortunately, most of  our  community rabbis are not trained to guide their community, on a path of greater observance, but rather attuned to buckle under pressure from the wealthiest of their respective community.

    Note, there had been a time in which Jewish communities were led by fearless lay as well as rabbinic leadership

    Agree, WE ARE TO BLAME….

     

    • Mycroft says:

      Ralph

      is there a reason why in the third paragraph you state that community rabbis are attuned to buckle under pressure from the wealthiest. Why do limit the accusation to community rabbis.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Most if not all communities appreciate and know that sweat and time equity by supporters is as important as having major financial supporters. This is a fact that goes back as far as the machtzis hashekel. There are always honorees officers board members etc for local and national organizations who are being honored or on the board for their long term sweat and time equity and support. Many gvirim.invite their friends to dinners with the full knowledge that the gvir is covering the cost because the presence of the time and equity supporter is as important as the gvir himself.

  12. David Ohsie says:

    I don’t think that it is hard to understand what is going on here.  People like to gossip and to feel superior.  Here they can kill two birds with one stone.

    As far as them confusing employers, anyone who takes off for a holiday like Shavuos that no one knows anything about is going to confuse an employer who thinks that they need to police religious observance.

  13. ROBERT LEBOVITS says:

    A very close friend who would identify himself as Centrist in his Orthodoxy was sharing with me his enormous distress at the pictures of chareidim being “perp walked” after being arrested for some criminal activity. He expressed the opinion that this was an enormous chillul Hashem to non-Jews particularly, because of their appearance and dress.

    Sometime later I had to take my car in for service at a repair shop owned by a very religious evangelical. I typically wear a yarmulke – though not a hat and jacket – and in the course of our conversation he offered to do something helpful for me with the Pesach holiday coming. He told me, “You know, we believers have to stick together.”

    Non-Jews are not nuanced in their perception of religious Jews. They simply identify people of faith from those who are not. When told that some observant Jews practice in one fashion and others in another, they don’t try to determine who’s doing it right, who’s cutting corners, and who’s excessive. I doubt very highly that any non-Jew will benchmark the Kushners’ behavior as the basis for their expectations of other observant Jews.

    • Mycroft says:

      My experience is different, why can’t you do this, person X who is also a religious Jew does that. Issues involve, eating, Yom Tov, Shabbos and on and on.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        My experience is that as long as you do your job properly your boss and co workers will respect the fact that you are a Shomer Torah UMitzvos.I.suspect that many of us have had more difficulty with secular Jewish bosses than either an evangelical or very traditional RC boss.

        • Mycroft says:

          But they will not respect your claiming religious basis for your actions if other “Orthodox” are not doing your chumrros. A chumrros that they will interpret at their expense. Being a zaddik at someone else’s expense.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Not my experience in over 30 plus years as a litigating attorney. Just do your job properly and the respect and accommodation for your religious needs  will be forthcoming as a matter if course.

             

             

             

             

             

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Most if not all. Oses realize that if you are working in the secular world in a profession you are hardly to be compared with those who learn 24/7 or Chasidi who have a far lesser exposure if any to the secular world. In addition to doing your job and realizing that your prime purpose in working is being. Kiddish HaShem you always have to keep yourself focused on why you work even if you are in a situation where you don’t have sipuk hanefesh I.e. so that you can support your family. It always helps to have pictures from family simchos on your desk to remind you that fact.that o e sends a huge message to your fellow employees and your boss especially in an environment where talking like a sailor is viewed as normal.

  14. Mitch Morgenstern says:

    I just got back from visiting my daughter in Boynton Beach.  I was able to attend Daf Yomi at BRS.  When one is able to daven at Chabad of Boynton Beach and hear the Torah of BRS, there are no questions or second guessing.   We are joyous that are part of these great fortresses of the Jewish people and the Jewish people.

    I would be remiss, if I did not mention that today being Memorial day, is a day we honor our heros, who fought for this great country, so we Jews can live here in peace, prosper.  and be part of this great country.

    In the Nusach Ari Shul in Albany Park (Chicago) there was a honor roll Board for all the guys who served in the Armed forces during WW II.  If I could go back in time, I would find out  what happened to them.

     

    • Steve Brizel says:

      What a beautiful way if expressing hakarad hatov! Then again Chicago has a great museum devoted to the greatness of America that you won’t find anywhere else and the only UBoat captured and on display in a museum.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      We have a daughter SIL and grandchildren in West Rogers Park who we are spending the week with for an Erev Yom.Tom.bris Yom tov and a Siddur mesibah who we love taking around the city to various sites. A wonderful city even if more blue than NYC

    • mycroft says:

      “But the most startling evidence of Palm Beach County’s transformation into one of the world’s leading centers of Jewish life will come next month, when the county’s two Jewish federations – one based in Boca, the other in West Palm – reveal the results of a population study.

      It’s expected to show that there are 254,300 Jews in the county, representing more than 20 percent of the overall population of about 1.2 million.

      That means one out of every five local residents is Jewish.

      And that means Palm Beach County tops every metropolitan area in the country by a wide margin. Even the closest rival,                                                      metropolitan New York City, has a Jewish population that represents only 9.7 percent of the overall population.”

      From 2005 http://historicpalmbeach.blog.p                              ounty-more-jewish-than-new-york/

      With Jewish population actually county has minimal Jewish traditional llife

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The overwhelming number of such surveys except for Pew’s recent survey go out if their way not to consider major Orthodox communities in their analysis of Jewish life. It is a major flaw that I think in no small part is driven by who pays and user writer such studies

  15. DF says:

    R. Gordimer asserts that the noise about the Kushner’s religion is damaging. I don’t think so. I doubt there is even a single Jew, let alone large numbers of them, who doesn’t understand that this all just political fun and games. Everyone knows the non-orthodox vote D. Thus, is at any surprise, in a Republican administration, that a non-orthodox writer in a non-orthodox blog (Times of Israel) is suddenly worried about “chillul Shabbos”? Let’s not be naïve here.

    All the points R. Gordimer made are valid, as are the points R. Pruzansky made in a lecture on this topic several months ago. (viz., that one has to know exactly what is chillul Shabbos, and that already in the Gemara we find hetterim for people who, like the Kushners, are koruv limalchus (close to the government.) But its a moot point, because the whole thing isn’t fooling anybody. The left’s interest in Shabbos, unfortunately, only extends so far as they (erroneously) think they can make political hay with it.

  16. david z says:

    Gordimer just takes it for granted that everyone knows they’re not really orthodox. Except that they themselves claim they are orthodox. It works sold everybody’s problem if they just stopped pretending. Or, if the author is wrong about that and they are orthodox, then pomerantz is right. so either way gordimer is dead wrong.

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycrtoft-did you read the annexed link (http://www.yutorah.org/sidebar/lecture.cfm/879468/editor-to-go/benjamin-and-rose-berger-shavuot-to-go-5777/ ) and especially the special section on gerus? Just curious

  18. mycroft says:

    Yes, read most of the articles.I have heard many shiurim on YU Torah by many of the writers, including on gerus. Most I have heard multiple shiurim by.

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