Are Some Open Orthodox Rabbis Rethinking Resistance to Intermarriage?

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203 Responses

  1. DF says:

    “… I fear that they are igniting a massive inferno…”Your posts keep doing this. That is, you take meaningless articles, written by nobodies to be read by nobodies, and suggest that they are somehow dangerous. The other week you fretted that a transparent political attack was somehow “damaging” to orthodox Jews. This time, you worry about a silly little article which shouldn’t even have been published, much less commented upon. The writer is obviously not orthodox, despite his claim, and so his support of intermarriage is nothing new. You shouldn’t even deign to address it.

    • nt says:

      you have to nip it in the bud.

    • Sarah Elias says:

      To you he’s obviously not Orthodox; to the Jewishly-uneducated he is Orthodox because he says he is.

      I think it’s very important to protest such opinions so that no one be misled about the Torah position.

      • Y. Ben-David says:

        The Reform and Conservatives have been speaking in the name of “Judaism” for up to 200 years, but Torah has survived. 200 years ago, almost all Jews of the time more or less observed the mitzvot.  Since then, the majority of world Jewry has abandoned it but NOT because of the R and C’s or the Haskalah or secular Zionism. It happened because, for whatever reasons, the majority of Jews no longer found that Torah Judaism gave them the answers to life that they needed and the leaders found it increasingly difficult to communicate with the mass of world Jewry.  R and C and Haskalah merely filled in the vacuum, but with something that really wasn’t substantial.  After all, in Israel, R and C are basically non-existent, but in the pre-state and early years of the state, there was also a massive falling away of immigrant Jews who came from traditional backgrounds.

        Thus, the challenge of the Torah community is to communicate directly with the Jews who have fallen away from observance by showing the relevancy of Torah to the modern Jews. Simply attacking the non-Orthodox will NOT achieve anything because if a Jew does not understand the importance of Torah, having an Orthodox Jews bash the non-Orthodox will either be meaningless to him, or even turn him off completely.

        As Rav Kook said IIRC, the real tzaddik does not curse the dark but rather adds light.

        • nt says:

          There are a lot of well meaning and committed Jews without the background to know when the rabbi is breaking from tradition, and they are sitting ducks for someone to tell them things that just ain’t so.

          I think of the community in Sacramento where I lived for a bit. There is a small kehilla of committed Jews who don’t have a lot of independent learning background and unfortunately recently hired an OO rabbi. They had struggled for years to find a rabbi for their small out-of-the-way community and recently got a full-time YCT grad; that YCT possibly pays salaries of their graduates for a year or two (see here) may have contributed.  These are the people R’ Gordimer was trying to reach.

          Btw if YCT is paying the salaries for its graduates and actively trying to proselytize, we should counter that by paying for salaries for frum rabbanim. It’s expensive but likely worth it to protect innocent kehillos.

          • Sarah Elias says:

            Those are exactly the kind of people I was referring to.

          • dr. bill says:

            i guess we have gone from castigating individual yct associated individuals to attacking all.  nice.  you raised my curiosity and brief googling allows me to add onaat ha’ger to your list of accomplishments.  really nice.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Dr Bill – no one has ever confused or conflated the course of study at YCT with any other yes give including RIETS. Its graduates continue to write and engage in practices that. Go well beyond what is accepted halachic and hashkafic boundaries in the MO world

        • mycroft says:

          Agreed but would slightly change one sentence from

          “Thus, the challenge of the Torah community is to communicate directly with the Jews who have fallen away from observance by showing the relevancy of Torah to the modern Jews”

          to “Thus, the challenge of the Torah community is to communicate directly with all  Jews  both  to those who have fallen away from observance  and those who are still believers in Torah by showing the relevancy of Torah to the modern Jews”

          • nt says:

            dr. bill wrote: “i guess we have gone from castigating individual yct associated individuals to attacking all.”

            If prominent leaders of a group make certain statements repeatedly, it is fair to assume all self-identified adherents to that group agree to them, or at least think they are respectable opinions. Prominent leaders of OO have made many objectionable statements (my friend David Rosenthal has chronicled many of them), so by syllogism it is fair to say all YCT graduates hold these opinions. It isn’t just little ol’ me who says this, major figures like R’ Aharon Feldman criticize YCT and OO wholesale.

            Just for clarification, I don’t think these people are ill-intentioned, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to fight distortions of Judaism where we find them.

            As to the Onaat ha’ger comment, I said NOTHING about this person that he does not say himself. He sounds like an interesting person with an interesting life story, but that does not mean the institutes that gave him smicha and taught him about Judaism were respectable institutions.

             

          • dr. bill says:

            NT, nice try.  but trying to smear a graduate based on the place he received semicha, in particular a person you do not know, who happens to be a ger is another step in the direction of unmitigated divisiveness.  and quoting the RY of Ner Israel, is taken cover under the mantle of someone to whom RAL ztl wrote an artful, relevant, cogent, and powerful reprimand.

            and your use of words like syllogism does not justify entirely illogical conclusions.  in any case, your assumption about all the leaders is is just that – an assumption which happens to be untrue.

  2. dr. bill says:

    What an isolated YCT graduate does is hardly newsworthy.  actually, those who supported rabbi sherman’s wholesale invalidation of converts or the present undercurrent of those chomping at the bit to invalidate Ivanka Trump’s geirut were it not for the combination of facts that one of the members of the BD is a YU icon and she the President’s daughter.

    The opinions of a far out YCT alumnus pales in insignificance relative to the disaster that will result from inability to make a significant dent in the challenges created by the miraculous arrival of Soviet Jews in Israel, decades ago.  that issue is the result of orthodox/chareidi policy that is as short-sighted as it is questionable, certainly given its unprecedented circumstance.  my fear is that the time for action has, in some measure, already passed.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Your logic escapes me. We are not halacha police as to the standards for gerus either in the US or in Israel . we have far greater problems on our communal plate than engaging in online or other conversations that are tantamount to Onaas HaGer.It is akin to blaming terror attacks on those who are the victims of terror and the victims of Alexandria on the over the top rhetoric of the left since last November. Like it or not the views of YCT despite their clear deviations from halachic and hashkafic norms are viewed as legitimate when they should be challenged as illegitimate whenever they write something as set forth by R Gordimer.

    • Rafael Quinoaface says:

      What? I can’t believe you! American Jewry is crisis, in a desperate situation, and you keep hammering away at R’ Sherman? The Russian imigres issue in Israel pales in significance. You seem to have a one-track mind, but hey, if it keeps you busy in retirement, be my guest.

      See this blog post about the disappearance of American Jewry and how proposal like Mlotek’s will make things worse, not better: http://rabbisblog.brsonline.org/new-study-shows-american-jewry-disappearing-patrilineal-descent-intermarriage-problem-not-solution/?utm_content=buffer5f3dd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

      • dr. bill says:

        first, i tend to concentrate on solvable problems.  assimilation of american jews is not; absorption of soviet jews in israel is.  second, were the cogency of what i comment on greater, it might waste more of my time; this is a harmless and rather brief diversion from my work, reading and learning in retirement.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          A column published in the Jewish Week is hardly isolated but rather prominently featured. That is what happens when the editor is a pres agent for the YCT and JOFA agenda. Hard to believe that you have written off the issue of assimilation when we know that chizuk and kiruv work when employed properly

          • mycroft says:

            Chizuk and kiruv are the basic obligations of anyone entering a kleikodesh field.

          • dr. bill says:

            dream on.  Sadly, chizuk and kiruv have a negligible she’be negligible impact.  not even a miut she’ano matsui.

            as much as i value some who kiruv brings back, i will not delude myself of its overall impact.  where the current trend will end up is well above my pay-grade and something i cannot impact

          • Mycroft says:

            Dr BillObviously the chizuk and kiruv professionals have not accomplished much. Look at the numbers we’ve lost far more than we gained.Look at the report of the numbers of MO Jews, it has not increased. We lose more than we gain. I am merely stating that it is a side job of every professional Klei kodesh to do that work.Nobody knows the future, impact has been minimal in past with obvious exceptions.

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, we agree – the impact has been minimal.  what is the well kept secret is the cost per baal teshuvah in some of these programs.  i know it is a bit crass, but the community has to look across its needs to prioritize. unscientifically and only intuitively, i view chinuch within orthodox institutions to be of higher return than other activities.  jewish resources are not unlimited.  too much emphasis can divert much needed funds.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          No problem no matter how seemingly insurmountable should be casually, let alone cavalierly dismissed.Every Shemoneh Esreh has a bracha  that states how we praise HaShem for being Mchayeh HaMesim-which one can understand as being the physically living but spiritually dead. Every week day Amidah refers to Teshuvah accomplished by a return to Torah.

          RYBS in one of his Teshuvah drashos in Al HaTeshuvah emphasized that believing in the possibility of teshuvah, no matter how remote , is directly related tothe ultimate redemption of Kneses Yisrael. ” Your tone which borders on the dismissive reminds me of how the Dubno Magid charactized the Gra and his life, and unfortunately dredges up the metaphor of a Tzadik Im Peltz-(someone who works, reads and learns and ignores the present state of American Jewry simply because he has written it off) or someone who does mitzvos, etc but ignores the plight of Klal Yisrael as descriibed by Rambam in Hilcos Teshuvah.

      • mycroft says:

        You  quote       Rabbi Efrem Goldberg’s blog post. I will copy what he copies  here: ”

        “Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l wrote (Tradition, Spring 1982):
        Nor do I share the glee some feel over the prospective demise of the competition. Surely, we have many sharp differences with the Conservative and Reform movements, and these should not be sloughed over or blurred. However, we also share many values with them – and this, too, should not be obscured. Their disappearance might strengthen us in some respects, but would unquestionably weaken us in others. And of course, if we transcend our own interests and think of the people currently served by these movements – many of them, both presently and potentially, well beyond our reach or ken – how would they, or klal Yisrael as a whole, be affected by such a change? Can anyone responsibly state that it is better for a marginal Jew in Dallas or Dubuque to lose his religious identity altogether rather than drive to his temple?”
        Can anyone truly state in the spirit of RAL that we would better off if OO didn’t exist. I personally disagree with much that they advocate but they are certainly no worse than Conservative or Reform Jewry.  We are better off  with OO than the alternative of no affiliation.

         

        • Rafael Quinoaface says:

          I would grant you that at one time Reform and Conservative kept Jews “Jewish”, that is no longer the case. The laity and much of their leadership now aids and abets the disappearance of American Jewry. I don’t know how you can argue that they are doing the same thing they did even 40 years ago.

          • mycroft says:

            “Our study analyzes the broad spectrum of American Jews ages 25-54, from Modern Orthodox Jews at one end of the continuum to non-denominational Jews, who score lowest on measures of Jewish engagement. Many of the latter call themselves “partially Jewish,” often because they are children of one Jewish parent. One third of our respondents (33 percent) had one Jewish parent; 62 percent had two Jewish parents; and 5 percent reported that neither parent was Jewish. Their self-defined Jewish denominations include 41 percent who have no denomination; 36 percent Reform; 19 percent Conservative; and 5 percent Modern Orthodox.”

             

            Not exactly showing that R and C are no longer identification for Jews identifying as Jews.

          • dr. bill says:

            FACT_FREE UNPROVEN CLAIM:”The laity and much of their leadership now aids and abets the disappearance of American Jewry.”

            AN ATTACK ON SOMETHING NEVER SAID: “I don’t know how you can argue that they are doing the same thing they did even 40 years ago.”

            it is easier to argue against what was never claimed.  sophistry hardly disguised.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          We are decades from.1982 and RAL ZL was very critical of OO. Hardly an appropriate basis for defending OO which you now do .

          • mycroft says:

            No it is clear that he has much problems with many aspects of OO, but I am simply reporting that if you treat them as Conservative, Conservative is better than nothing.

          • dr. bill says:

            he was critical.  I am critical of Rabbis shmuel Auerbach and Avi Weiss; but that does not cause me to want them defined outside the tent.  Additionally, his co-RY was a board member and the RCA was a bit more cautious before his death.

          • Mycroft says:

            RAL was a man of caution, polite,and extremely credible. He was not one to distort the Rav. He of course, like many had other influences on him. Among them R A Soloveichik, R Y Hutner, R Y Kamanetzky. However, RAL has never been accused of distorting the Rav, he is open when he disagrees with the Rav. It is no secret that I believe for a number of reasons American Orthodox Jewry would have been better off if he had not made Aliya.of course, one could say that Srael benefited immensely from his presence but we see the results of the tone that would not have happened IMO if he had stayed at YU.

          • mycroft says:

            There is very little that I agree with OO on, it is the tone   of the attacks and the attempts to make red lines that    bothers me. What bothers me most is the attack on personalities and institutions. Attack any position but not   the speaker.  RAL even when   he was in YU had red lines,see eg his exchange with Rabbi Greenberg. B u t    notice the non harsh language.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Any one active in logic and chizuk will tell you that many would be BTS have never experienced a Seder had a Bar mitzvah or bas mitzvah or require some sort of gerus lchumra to allow for full acceptance in the Torah observant world .their grandparents may have had a Seder or lit Shabbos candles but the degree of affiliation among their assimilated parents is markedly lower. Today anyone involved in logic and chizuk the flip coin of kiduv will tell you

           

          • Steve Brizel says:

            This is a continuation of my prior post

            Anyone active in logic and chixuk will tell you that the days when Torah Observant Judaism had to present itself apologetically as one of three so called equal branches of Judaism are over and that TORAJ Judaism when presented in its full depth and profundity whether MO or Charedi needs no apologetics. The tragedy is that in 2017 assimilation is viewed as hopeless and pluralism is championed as a communal goal when there are major and irreparable differences between the Torah observant world and the heterodox community.

          • mycroft says:

            The complete breach  between Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism is at least 70 years old. Manifested after Rabbi Gordis 1945  article in allowing driving on Shabbos. Nothing in OO comes close to that

          • Mycroft says:

            obviously if one was if one was not megayer before a Bes Din one is not a ger. A Bes din is any three people who qualify. Steve, you, Dr Bill and I could qualify and be as a legitimate as any BD that got an icon to OK. The issue is could a Bes Din of non frum people be a kosher Bes din lechumra in gerus. Certainly the Rav held so ruling a woman who was converted by. reform Rabbi, kiddushin by a Reform Rabbi, civil divorce required a get before she could get married.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Read the rest if the article. I thought the references to RAL ZL R Noach Weinberg ZL and the analysis of the star of American Jewry were excellent.

        • mycroft says:

          Dr Bill wrote:

           

          “the impact has been minimal.  what is the well kept secret is the cost per baal teshuvah in some of these programs. ”

          I know a BT Kiruv Professional who has stated to me that people in his organization have often noticed how much it costs for each BT.The fact does not make their fundraising brochures, dinners etc but is known by many other than their public defenders  .

          “i know it is a bit crass, but the community has to look across its needs to prioritize. ”

          Agreed. On a related idea the community should take into consideration cost affects   of its attempts at raising the bar and realize the trade offs that result from it.

          “unscientifically and only intuitively, i view chinuch within orthodox institutions to be of higher return than other activities.”

          It may well be or may be not see eg from my July     19th 141pm comment on this thread” Among them are day school attendance for seven years or more (a decline of 16 percentage points), attending Hebrew school for seven years or more (a seven-point difference), and attending an overnight camp with Jewish content (worth 11 points toward improved chances of marrying a Jew).  That significant impact is not confined to inmarriage alone; it extends to the likelihood of raising Jewish-by-religion children. ” Maybe a cost  benefit analysis might show     that   day schools per neshama saved are  not the best usage of limited communal      funds but   we  won’t know wo objective studies.

          ” jewish resources are not unlimited.” Agreed. No t   j u st   communal needs, but individuals also have priorities. Religion in   economics is a discretionary good.

      • mycroft says:

        I was interested  in your post but then went to the original study

         

        .” Even after controlling for parents’ denomination, their inmarriage state, as well as respondents’ age and sex, Jewish educational experiences in one’s youth are predictive of lower intermarriage. Among them are day school attendance for seven years or more (a decline of 16 percentage points), attending Hebrew school for seven years or more (a seven-point difference), and attending an overnight camp with Jewish content (worth 11 points toward improved chances of marrying a Jew).  That significant impact is not confined to inmarriage alone; it extends to the likelihood of raising Jewish-by-religion children. Having seven or more years of day school raises such probability by seven percentage points, compared with 15 points for seven or more years of Hebrew school, and seven points for Jewish camping”

        .Certainly does not indicate anything    that implies nothing than day schools makes a difference.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          So what is your point other than an admission that signs of identity with the Jewish community and in particular the Torah observant world generate positive results for parents children and the community as a whole.

          • mycroft says:

            The idea that day schools should be the only option is disastrous.Other activities     decrease intermarriage and increase Jewish identification

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Mycroft please explain what you meant when you wrote;

          “Other activities     decrease intermarriage and increase Jewish identification”

          • mycroft says:

            Day schools aren’t the only means to decrease intermarriage and increase Jewish identification.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      A column published in the Jewish Week is hardly isolated but rather prominently featured. That is what happens when the editor is a pres agent for the YCT and JOFA agenda

    • nt says:

      dr. bill wrote: “quoting the RY of Ner Israel, is taken cover under the mantle of someone to whom RAL ztl wrote an artful, relevant, cogent, and powerful reprimand.”

      Taking cover is exactly what I was trying to do. As a talmid of Ner Yisroel, R’ Feldman’s opinion matters far more to me than RAL’s. I heard first-hand from him that he was entirely unmoved by RAL’s response; therefore, I am not even particularly curious as to what that response was.

      As for divisiveness, I am not on the side that routinely maligns its opponents as being unfeeling, insensitive, and patriarchal. To my knowledge, no chareidim or MO have used the courts to attack the OO; OO has threatened lawsuits against this very forum!

       

      • dr. bill says:

        writing:  “I am not even particularly curious as to what that response was.”  says all you need to.  if you feel no need even to read the brilliant insights that he wrote and your RY was unmoved, there is nothing further to say. As far as RAF is concerned i strongly hope you misunderstood him.

  3. Raymond says:

    Perhaps it is not my place to even make a comment on this issue, as I for the life of me do not understand where they are coming from whatsoever.  Why would anybody encourage intermarriage or the blurring of the lines as to what constitutes a proper Jewish conversion?  I am thinking that people who seek to always push the envelope, seeing how much they can get away with, are simply bored with their lives or perhaps just their Jewishness.  This, too, strikes me as odd, since there is enough depth in Judaism to satisfy several lifetimes worth of anybody’s curiosity.  I would like to recommend to such people to redirect their focus toward studying the great Torah commentaries throughout our history, or delving into Jewish history itself.  I guarantee that it is enough to keep one’s attention for a very long time.

  4. mycroft says:

    “actually, those who supported rabbi sherman’s wholesale invalidation of converts or the present undercurrent of those chomping at the bit to invalidate Ivanka Trump’s geirut were it not for the combination of facts that one of the members of the BD is a YU icon and she the President’s daughter.”

    I try and make the point that it is hypocritical and scandalous to attack practically any gers gerut when one accepts a gerut which was publicly done because it was a condition of marriage and where it was obvious that giyores had no intention from day one of accepting a frum lifestyle. That giyores was connected enough to get an YU icon means nothing to whether or not she had a proforma statement of words with no intention of keeping such a lifestyle.

    A vignette after Ivanka Trump’s gerus  someone who I knew  at lunch would attack the gerus  and the Rabbi who was behind it,once found     out that the  icon was behind it all of a sudden became a gerus that was no longer attacked. WO a single standard the whole thing appears to be politics, Apply consistent standards for the poor and wealthy.

    • dr.bill says:

      there is a single standard (across rich and poor) applied by all self-respecting rabbis i know of performing halakhic conversions.  for better or worse, that standard is not uniform across batei dinim.  but that is true of all halakhic matters.  rather than respecting diversity, some have argued for ONLY the strictest standard to always be used; nice try of adding a NEW seif that was never recorded in traditional halakhic literature.

      • mycroft says:

        “there “Should BE” my change and emphasisis “a single standard (across rich and poor) applied by all self-respecting rabbis i know of performing halakhic conversions.” ” for better or worse, that standard is not uniform across batei dinim.  but that is true of all halakhic matters. ”

        but then the same standards should be applied to ALL POTENTIAL GERIM, not only in gerus that a member of a BD is involved in but more importantly in what they teach other   potential    Rabbonim

        “; nice try of adding a NEW seif that was never recorded in traditional halakhic literature.”

        Unfortunately  one can find in the public record statements that are consistent with what you   call a “NEW seif”

    • Steve Brizel says:

      We previously discussed your singularly inappropriate and pretextual comments the gerus in question. I see no reason for a rehashing of the issue here . I do note that you have failed to comment on the linked article in question and can only wonder why given its rejection of many Yesodei emunah and the a cited view of the author on other issues that would clearly place him beyond any definition of committed MO but rather defining his own conception of what works and what doesn’t work in defining Jewish continuity but which clearly cannot be rationalized with being Torah observant Jew.

      • mycroft says:

        You accuse me of making things up

        thus

        “I don’t know what shaalos people are asking to poskim, but Rav Hershel Schachter clearly states in the following shiur (12:47) that it is unfair to being children into the world with the expectation that others will foot their tuition bills:
        [Go to YUTorah.org, and find the R Hershel Schacter audio of July 3, 2008]”

        I heard a similar more recent quote on a YUTorah Q&A with RHS in Israel at a meeting of North Americans in some Yeshiva.

         

         

         

        Romm outlined the basic requirements: Shabbat and kosher observance; daily prayer; fluency with the blessings; wearing a head covering and tzitzit ritual fringes for men; and commitment to family purity observances – abstaining from sex during menstruation and immersing in the mikvah afterward. Hebrew reading skills also are usually required, and the person must be part of an Orthodox community.

        On average, the process takes about two years, Romm says.

        During that time, dating is banned because it’s a Catch-22: Romantic relationships with non-Jews are forbidden, and any Jew willing to date someone who has not formally converted is thought to be an unsuitable romantic partner for the convert.

        Read more: http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/208062/after-freundel-scandal-converts-in-waiting-complai/

        That can be a dangerous proposition, however, Romm says, because the beit din wants to be confident that the convert will be able to afford the higher costs associated with an Orthodox lifestyle: kosher food, Jewish education, housing in an Orthodox neighborhood.

        “One of the considerations we make is, can the person hack it financially?” Romm said

        Read more: http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/208062/after-freundel-scandal-converts-in-waiting-complai/

         

         

        That can be a dangerous proposition, however, Romm says, because the beit din wants to be confident that the convert will be able to afford the higher costs associated with an Orthodox lifestyle: kosher food, Jewish education, housing in an Orthodox neighborhood.

        “One of the considerations we make is, can the person hack it financially?” Romm said

        Read more: http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/208062/after-freundel-scandal-converts-in-waiting-complai/

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I seen nothing objectionable in R Romans article. To welcome for encourage a her without discussing the economic and financial realities of being a Torah committed person would be an abdication of responsibility by a Brain and and not consistent with what the Talmud and halacha describe as informing a ger of ol Umitzvos

          • mycroft says:

            To warn people that becoming a  potential ger that becoming will expose them to more expenses is altogether proper. To make financial ability a test to becoming a ger is not only objectionable but scandalous and immoral IMO. Show me the source anyplace that entrance to yahadus has a financial test.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          The links to Freundel arevutterly irrelevant and are merely illustrative of logic rooted in th growing out the baby with the bathwater.

          • mycroft says:

            At least as logical as your attacks on pre GPS gerus implying that having kerovim on a Beis Din and other improprieties was common. It is very relevant because GPS advocates claimed that their system would be more reliable because of the quality of who was behind it. The head of the RCA GPS was Rabbi Barry Freundel.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          What is the point of mentioning the fact that large families are a wonderful ideal if you can afford the communal costs?

          • mycroft says:

            Who determines that these communal costs are mandatory to meet in order to have children.It is a   basic human desire to have children and of course a mitzvah.Are you  seriously advocating that is better not to have children if one can’t afford day school tuition?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Like it or not you do cite the same data and misinterpret many other statements for the purposes of justifying your point of view.

      • YbhM says:

        I do note that you have failed to comment on the linked article in question and can only wonder why given its rejection of many Yesodei emunah and the a cited view of the author on other issues that would clearly place him beyond any definition of committed MO

        Indeed.

        This rabbi states: “(I)t’s time we revisit our tribalistic approach toward intermarriage and our highly divisive conversion practices.”

        This glib language and shallow dismissive attitude are familiar from other OO writings about issues such as Torah mi-sinai or semicha for women.

        I would be more inclined to take these people seriously if they were capable of questioning their own assumptions about “tribalism” or whatever else.

      • Mycroft says:

        i saw no need to comment to the linked article. But you make negative comments about me. For what it’s worth there can be no kiddushin between a Jew and a non Jew. The article did not directly address the issue, but you challenge me, so obviously there can be no Halachik marriage between a Jew and a non Jew.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          It is hard to believe that you had nothing better to discuss at a Shabos table than the gerus in question. That type of conversation may very well be Onaas HaGer.

          When you make comments here and elsewhere that reflect your own opinion without any factual basis other than to justify your POV on a wide variety of issues, such viewpoints as do those of others deserve to be challenged as to the factual basis or their lack thereof and as illustrating what is your agenda and POV, which you have you set forth repeatedly here and elsewhere on a wide range of issues . . FYI, if you think that Freundel wrote the GPS protocol you are sadly and completely mistaken.Like it or not,R Rapp’s shiurim establish that gerus pre GPS was dysfunctional, that there were violations of SA CM and the YU Torah to Go merely reiterates what the Gemara in Yevamos 47-47 discusses-do you want to do what is necessary to be a member of the Jewish People including spending the money ( Bchol Meodecha  as set forth in the first verse of Krias Shema) to be a part of the Jewish People , which clearly implies a willingness to spent what it means and takes to be part of the Torah observant community. That is what is called Mesiras Nefesh-a basic element of committment to Yahadaus since the Akedah. Yetzias Mitzrayim and Matan Torah

        • Steve Brizel says:

          That’s the point. You despite your protests about what ails the Torah observant world are studiously silent about OO here .

        • Steve Brizel says:

          That is precisely the point

          here .despite a wide range of observations on a range of issues you fail to see the problems raised by OO

          • Mycroft says:

            No need for me to comment on failings of OO, I do not belong to an OO schul, and for what it’s worth when I ask a Sheila it is to a student of RHS , BTW in a relatively recent Sheila he told me he was going to ask RHS. Perfectly content. Being an expert in Halacha doesn’t necessarily equal expertise in seeing whether or not someone doesn’t believe answers given to one on a Bes Din and certainly does not make one an expert on what works.l

  5. Steve Brizel says:

    More pretextual comments on gerus. The Yu Torah to GO ON Shavuos should be read and R Rapps about in on the dysfunctional nature of gerus in the US and disregard of basic requirements of a Beis Din with respect to psulei edus such as krovim should reviewed before one yearns for the not so good old days prior to the adoption of GPS by the RCA.

  6. mycroft says:

    “The Yu Torah to GO ON Shavuos should be read and R Rapps about in on the dysfunctional nature of gerus in the US and disregard of basic requirements of a Beis Din with respect to psulei edus such as krovim should reviewed before one yearns for the not so good old days prior to the adoption of GPS by the RCA.”

    You  are constantly spreading   lashon hara about prior gerus. You take an example that mayor may not have occurred and are attacking a system wh olesale. I dont care about the attacks on Rabbonim many are in the olam haemet, reality most conversions were not leshem ishut-many were giyurei katan. Nature of changes in society and                                        technology have decreased those numbers ,but left with them and their descendants.

    There are certainly questionable Rabbonim on new system and their have been protected-if a Rav on a prior system had been proven to regularly violate halacha it would be part of your political attack, but you         protect those gerus because it is consistent with your necessity to defend current system.

  7. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in relevant part:

    “You  are constantly spreading   lashon hara about prior gerus. You take an example that mayor may not have occurred and are attacking a system wholesale”
    When you tell us that you have listened to R Rapp’s shiurim on the subject, then you can tell us in  whether or not the prior system was functional.

    The above comment is a classicall pretextual comment inasmuch you are defending the prior system , you have continually denied  that problems existed, and you view GPS as flawed because it was devised by Freundel-which it was not.

  8. Ben Waxman says:

    From the TOI article, I understood that the rabbi wants to be inclusive of intermarried couples, not that he wants to permit intermarriage.

    I wonder if HaRav David Zvi Hoffman heard similar responses when he paskened that mechalelei Shabbat can be counted in a minyan.

    • Mycroft says:

      obviously if one was if one was not megayer before a Bes Din one is not a ger. A Bes din is any three people who qualify. Steve, you, Dr Bill and I could qualify and be as a legitimate as any BD that got an icon to OK. The issue is could a Bes Din of non frum people be a kosher Bes din lechumra in gerus. Certainly the Rav held so ruling a woman who was converted by. reform Rabbi, kiddushin by a Reform Rabbi, civil divorce required a get before she could get married.

    • Mycroft says:

      How to treat the Jew in an intermarriage situation was even decades ago a point of discussion among non OO Rabbis. It is my impression that there was unanimity.  That a non Jewish partner can’t be a member of a synagogue,  but again my impression/recollection that there were those who advocated encouraging Jewish person to attend schul, etc the same way we encourage sinners to come to schil, mechallel Shabbos etc.

  9. Been there says:

    mycroft wrote:  “The complete breach  between Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism is at least 70 years old. Manifested after Rabbi Gordis 1945  article in allowing driving on Shabbos.”

    I’m afraid your historical  memory is a little jumbled.  Rabbi Gordis’s introduction to the Silverman Siddur in 1945 explained the  changes that were being made to some of  the language in  the prayers.  (For example, “shesham assu avoteinu lefanecha…”, instead of “vesham naaseh lefanecha…”.)  The decision about traveling to the synagogue — only on Shabbat, please note —  was written by  other people, in 1950.

    This  may not make much practical difference today, but I hope you’d agree that getting the  historical facts right is a good thing.

    • Been there says:

      Sorry; jumbled fingers.  I wrote “The decision about traveling to the synagogue — only on Shabbat, please note…”.  I meant, of course, “The decision about traveling on Shabbat  — only to the synagogue, please note…”.

  10. mycroft says:

    I am not referring to Rabbi Gordis introduction to Silverman Prayer Book I am referring to Robert Gordis, Conservative Judaism; An American Philosophy, 1945.

    In it he suggested making changes to Jewish law to because of  Jews lives changing such as moves to the suburbs and general change from Traditional Europe.
    . Gordis   suggested using”puk chazi”) and to serve general Jews
    suggesting Jews have  to overcome the  past and therefore needed to adapt by making legal those concessions to the changing modern lives of the common Jew.

    That is my basis for picking a 1945 date. It is possible you can disagree with this analysis, but I was aware of the two dates and actions.

  11. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft and Dr Bill you both should spend a Shabbos in any community that has many BTs and shuls with large numbers of BTs such as Dallas Passaic and West Rogers Park. Mycroft has always expressed himself with respect to NCSY in a style that borders on the pretextual but ask anyone who knows -today’s NCSY success stories start from anywhere in the US and represent why NCSY its summer programs and programs for public school youth and MO youth work . liked it or not kiruv is a one mitzvah at a time progression that should never be measured in numbers. The way that you both write on the subject makes me wonder whether either have ever met a BT in the flesh.FWIW Dallas sent 125 participants to the last Siyum HaShas.

     

     

     

    • dr. bill says:

      help me.  it seems you have discovered a new word – “pretextual.”  pray tell, what do you think it means?  it has appeared consistently in your recent posts.

      in any case, numeracy does not appear to be your strength.  Having lived in WRP for 18 months, visited dallas frequently and helped a few newly observant jew deal some of the intellectual challenges faced, i am aware of a large but wholly insignificant number of Baalei teshuvah.  those deserting orthodox practice dwarf those joining orthodox ranks.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Pretextual means that statements offered disguise a hidden agenda. Your statements about Dallas and West Rogers Park are simply factually inaccurate to say the least.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Fair disclosure would require that you mention when and for how long you lived in WRP. I assure that the WRP of 2017 contains shuls that did not exist, shuls that did exist with different rabbonim, a very strong BMG oriented Kollel and an equally strong YU oriented kollel and at least one shul that is predominantly populated by BTs, all of which may have not been extant or as prominent when you lived in WRP. Dallas has strong kolellim and a community built around the same that sent 125 participants to the last Siyum HaShas. Passaic , which you did not comment on, has many BTS in many of its shuls.

        • dr. bill says:

          irrelevancy coupled with a severe case of innumeracy.  did we gain more baalei teshuvah than the number of people who are no longer orthodox?   the answer is obvious.

          orthodoxy is growing due primarily to birthrate, not new adherents.  in any case pray tell what inaccuracies about WRP or Dallas did i state.  and use of pretextual is often an opinion which may or not be factual.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            When did you reside in WRP and when did you visit Dallas? Your comments in this thread have the typical disdain of the FFB regardless of his hashkafa who has neither met BTs who are well integrated into their community or hosted a BT for a Shabbos meal.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Spend a Shabbos in Passaic. There are many BTs And Gerei Tzedek who live in Passaic and who helped that community which was in decline until a killer arrived into a real choice for yeshivishe couples won’t schlep to NYC from.Lakewood or Monsey. Again looking at numbers when it comes to BTs is fundamentally wrong because teshuvah is an individual step by process that only subsequently in the next generation can be evaluated as to the choice of community .

          • dr.bill says:

            it might surprise you but a rav, a 1970’s graduate of that open orthodox bastion called BMG, asked me to help him with a BT that was particularly well read in some aspects of Judaism, but from a rather non-orthodox perspective. The rabbi in questioned assumed correctly that i might be familiar with at least some of “those books.” that individual is one of a number of individuals of that ilk i have enjoyed spending time with especially over shabbat.  i cannot say that any will count as a BT by all measures, but almost all send their kids to Jewish day schools through high school.

            it would require a lengthy essay, but the average cost of producing BTs and the size of the groups joining and leaving orthodoxy, however defined, are numbers that must anchor any discussion.  equally relevant are the number who do not return but whose level of identification with Judaism is enhanced.

  12. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-i read the critique of RYG by RAL ZL.it was a full scale point by point refutation of RYGs stances both while at YU and the false sense of persecution created by RYG with respect to his POV and his opponents afterwards.

    • mycroft says:

      A refutation    and exchange is one thing. Read his tone.I first read it over half a century ago. RAL did not continue to spend his whole time attacking those he disagreed with. During the late 60s and early 70s both before and after his aliyah RAL would meet               theologians of not only Orthodox but also those of Conservative and Reform.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Another pretextual comment. See R ALs own words in My Yeshiva College which do not support your contentions here about such meetings and R ALs views towards the same.

        • mycroft says:

          I   wrote:”During the late 60s and early 70s both before and after his aliyah RAL would meet               theologians of not only Orthodox but also those of Conservative and Reform.” Steve Brizel wrote:  “Another pretextual comment. See RALs own words in My Yeshiva College which do not support your contentions here about such meetings and RALs views towards the same.”

          Show me precisely where RAL states anywhere denying that he attended,conferences,seminars on Jewish thought that had  participants who were Conservative and Reform Rabbis.  I am stating that I remember specific occurrences.

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, As a talmid of that era, I also have such recollections.  if I am not mistaken, there is even an account of his (very much a be’deavad) role in a non-orthodox conversion.  in particular, i remember his participation in the Commentary written symposium that resulted in their assertion that orthodox versus non-orthodox is a more fact based descriptor than O,C and R.

          • Mycroft says:

            I believe your recollection of the statement of the 1966 Commentary Symposium is by Milton Himmelfarb.IIRC he  stated in the introduction that wo seeing the names by just reading the submissions one could distinguish between the Orthodox and non Orthodox. He was not able to distinguish C and R. Note of course Orthodox ran the gamut from editor of JO to those who would today certainly be called OO.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RAL ZL wrote in the YU Judaica book that he attended such meetings but he was hardly enthusiastic about the same at page 375 of the YU Judaica book.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        RAL ZL wrote the letter in the Commentator that was published in the YU Judaica book precisely because of RYGs incorrect summary of the meeting and revisionist summary of the events that transpired therein.it was certainly not apologetic. But rather a full fledged attack on an author who used that meeting falsely to advance his own post denominational agenda and attack anti one who differed with his perspective.

  13. Steve Brizel says:

    Obviously those who have fallen for the rhetoric behind the demographers can not appreciate today’s Orthodoxy but instead tell us about the glorious and not so good old days when Orthodoxy was on the defensive. The most recent Pew study finally displayed some awareness of today’s Orthodox community but the demographers have until recently written nothing about the Orthodox communities of today.

     

    • mycroft says:

      Sadly the PEW study after leaving out Haredim does not show growth in Orthodoxy. Dr Marvin Schick who is an expert on these matters. Since he is a contributor      to CC  I’dappreciate his analysis

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Leaving out either the yeshivish and Chasidi communities while claiming to examine Orthodoxy is tantamount to ignoring the same to suit a preordained conclusion.looking forward to a full study of the Orthodox communities not biased by such a contention

        • mycroft says:

          Nobody is claiming that they are not Orthodox, but day schools are not the reason why Chareidim have kept their numbers. You want to show success of kiruv, day schools etc show me their success in the non Hareidi Orthodox.

          • Mycroft says:

            The success of the Chareidi population growth is due to population growth- number of children.Judging from the average number of children born and number of generations it is likely that they have lost many also.

    • Mycroft says:

      Demographers. You are well aware that there are frum Orthodox demographers. Are you stating that they are also prejudiced against Orthodoxy

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Ask yourself whose views on Orthodoxy are more accurate-Jack Wertheimer or Samuel Heilman?

        • dr. bill says:

          both are articulate observers, albeit with different backgrounds both academically and professionally.  their views are valuable and often insightful; in a generation or so we will be better able to judge whose views turn out more accurate.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            No-if you read their views in a wide range of articles, Wertheimer is far more accurate than Heilman whom since his first book on Charedim in Yerushalayim has become a one man cottage industry bemoaning the shift to the right and writing a quasi bio on the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZL’s years in Paris. If you didn’t know their backgrounds, you would think that Werthheimer was Orthodox.  I don’t think that Heilman is capable of writing an article that explored Lakewood and BMG in the same depth and fashion as Werthheimer did in Commentary a few years ago.

  14. Reb Yid says:

    Why take potshots at someone for enrolling a child outside the day school system?

    We know quite a few folks including other rabbis who also do. Most Jewish schools are simply not equipped to deal with kids who are outside the box.

    • Mycroft says:

      Ability is one good reason why kids are not enrolled in day schools. Another reason is the lack of resources, no income/assets to pay the tuition.Pay the teachers well, the money must come from somewhere.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The Schechet schools that have recently closed were all in affluent suburbs. Like it or not CJ never supported the day school as an educational imperative for its lay population

        • Mycroft says:

          Show me where the children are who attend MO day schools with parental household income below the national meanThat Schechter schools did not attract average household income is. Not an excuse for those who believe they Re spreading Davar Hashem but limiting it to the upper half . Of course we all realize in practice. The vast majority are from way above the 50th percentile.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Again you miss the point. Orthodox Jewish Children as the critical element in receiving Toras HAshem Temimah deserve the yeshiva where they will entusiastically develop as Ovdei HAShem first and foremost not to merely be exposed to 12 years of an expensive private education with Judaic studies having to compete with a bells and whistles secular education.

  15. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote:

    ““I don’t know what shaalos people are asking to poskim, but Rav Hershel Schachter clearly states in the following shiur (12:47) that it is unfair to being children into the world with the expectation that others will foot their tuition bills”

    A fair reading of the above quoted excerpt is that RHS supports “spacing” of children by a family.  That has little if any relevance to the financial burden that a ger tzedek let alone anyone else in Klal Yisrael willing assumes. The Gemara in Yevamos 46-47 clearly sets forth cost as a factor as well as the first verse in the first Parsha of Krias Shema ( uvchol meodecha).

    • Mycroft says:

      My quotes of both Rabbi Romm and RHS are both to show each has maintained a position that Yahadus is only open to those who have money. One apparently says don’t have children if one won’t be able to afford day school tuition for the child, the other says we won’t accept you tachat kanfei hashcheina if one can’t afford an Orthodox lifestyle- defined as including such recent inventions as day schools.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        A cheder or day school is hardly a recent invention. The Talmud discusses the importance of the same.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        An alternative reading of both shiurim.is that you ha e to be willing to serve HaShes uvecol meodecha and that any responsible Posen deals with couples who space the births of their children for a wide variety of reasons including finances and emotional well health.

        • Mycroft says:

          If Rabbi Romm had stated that becoming a Jew once must be willing to serve God be hol moedecha I would have no problem. The problem is making a bar to having a certain amount of assets.Obviously,even Halacha recognizes financial limits see eg even for a dooraisa Ashe, one need not spend more than chomesh. Karbanot are sometimes different spending n financial status.

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote:

    “Who determines that these communal costs are mandatory to meet in order to have children.It is a   basic human desire to have children and of course a mitzvah.Are you  seriously advocating that is better not to have children if one can’t afford day school tuition?”

    It is no secret that day school tuition is a de facto form of birth control that enables families to pay tuitions. It is also no secret that if a family is undergoing a financial or other stress that threatens the Shalom Bayis of the family unit, then if you ask any competent Posek they will consider the same in telling a family to defer having more children.

    • Mycroft says:

      The issue is not deferring more children, the issue is not being able to afford children if day school is the only choice. Why do you insist on day schools if the choice is no children.

  17. There have been numerous articles written by Rabbis  recently regarding the Conservative movement and intermarriage. Some Rabbis have resigned from the Rabbinical Assembly so that they can conduct intermarriages. The truth is, soon the Conservative movement will turn into Conserv-Reform if intermarriage ceremonies are allowed. Intermarriage can happen to anyone. Once on the college campus one can easily meet and fall in love with non Jews as well as Jews. Love is blind. The only thing holding back many from intermarriage is the fact they were raised in a strong religious environment with religious education. Even in these cases there is still intermarriage but significantly less. If the intermarried couple does not raise their children in a strong Jewish environment their children will most likely not seek a Jewish identity.Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  18. yg says:

    Mycroft wrote:
    ““I don’t know what shaalos people are asking to poskim, but Rav Hershel Schachter clearly states in the following shiur (12:47) that it is unfair to being children into the world with the expectation that others will foot their tuition bills”
     

     
    Mycroft says:

    June 21, 2017 at 11:23 pm
    My quotes of both Rabbi Romm and RHS are both to show each has maintained a position that Yahadus is only open to those who have money. One apparently says don’t have children if one won’t be able to afford day school tuition for the child, the other says we won’t accept you tachat kanfei hashcheina if one can’t afford an Orthodox lifestyle- defined as including such recent inventions as day schools.

    I have heard RHS discuss family planning and birth control often. I don’t remember him using the term cited above. But I do know one of his favorite sayings is ‘within reason’. So I did some research.
     In the shiur Mycroft refers to, RHS is discussing the parameters of peru urevu. (it has nothing to do with spacing children either. That is a separate halachic discussion.)
    He quotes Achronim who discuss how many children to have. He quoted the Rama who discusses an example when one should not fulfill the din of “la’erev lo tanuch yadecha” which is the obligation to have children beyond the pru urvu minimum. The Rama is quoting the Terumas Hadeshen. RHS quotes that the poskim quote the makor of the Terumas Hadeshen. According to the view that yibum is kodem to chalitza, then beis din should give “the eitzah hahogenes lo”. RHS quotes the examples from the poskim (if the yevama is much older or much younger than the yavam).
    The sevara of the Rama, as RHS explains from the poskim is that since having more children beyond the minimum is a midas chassidus, therefore if there is a ‘reasonable’ reason why not to have more children, such as the Rama’s case, or the cases RHS quotes from the poskim later, then the halachic eitzah hahogenes is not to have more children.
    So RHS extrapolates, quite reasonably, that there are other cases where the reasonable “eitzah ha’hogenes” would be not to have more children beyond the basic mitzvah.
    In that context, he quotes that you have communities where the families with “many children” pay nearly no tuition, and their tuition costs are covered by the families paying full tuition, who are often asked (pressured) to provide even more beyond the tuition. He said he knows of cases where this causes friction in the community. And in that context he says that in his opinion, a community like that would be a place where the eitzah hahogenes would be for families with many children to maybe not have more for that reason.
    By the way, he never uses the exact lashon Mycroft quotes. The issue is not what is ‘fair or unfair’. The issue is the halachic category and definition of eitzah hahogenes lo, as quoted in the shulchan aruch and defined by the poskim.
    Anyway, given the context, RHS’s comments are a very reasonable, sound piece of halachic eitzah from one of the Gedolei Haposkim. Basing himself on a Rama, built on a Trumas Hadeshen, RHS extrapolates, based on the sevara yeshara of one who knows Shas Poskim, kederech the Gedolei Haposkim. Mycroft, apparently, based on his sevara, doesn’t like the extrapolation, which is certainly his right. (I assume Mycroft has worked through the sugya (many times) to understand the 3 precedents RHS quoted, the Rama, the Terumas hadeshen, and the earlier gemara, and based on his own analysis of the sugya as well as the Poskim RHS referred to, he considers RHS’s extrapolation a mistake in learning.)
    But to say that RHS there is making a general rule that poor people should not ‘have children’ or to connect that to a discussion of Gerus is pure fantasy.

    And therefore, to write,
     “One apparently says don’t have children if one won’t be able to afford day school tuition for the child,”
    Is unfortunately pure hotzaas shem ra, r”l, against one of the Gedolei haposkim.
     
     

    • mycroft says:

      I heard RHS state in response to a question on YUTorah that if one can’t afford children and  the associated day school tuition don’t bring children into the world. It may well be that in his mind he was referring to beyond the halachik minimum. But that is not what he said. It is the halachik minimum that many people cant afford in a day school environment In another blog I just referred in passing to the economic barriers to Yahadus and the comments of Rabbi Romm and RHS. I was challenged that I make up things. Thus, was forced to find cites that are consistent with my recollection.

      If you can find a cite for where RHS states that one should have children even if having them they won’t be able to afford day school for their  children I would very much appreciate it.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Thank you for that excellent clarification and summary of that a hour which was obviously not presented in a clear and accurate fashion by Mycroft or myself.

      • mycroft says:

        As I wrote my recollection was not from the cite that I found but from a answer to a session that RHS gave to a whole host of unrelated questions. I do not claim to be an expert on RHS but have over the years listened to him more than any other person on YU Torah .I certainly agree with what yg quotes RHS “In that context, he quotes that you have communities where the families with “many children” pay nearly no tuition, and their tuition costs are covered by the families paying full tuition, who are often asked (pressured) to provide even more beyond the tuition. He said he knows of cases where this causes friction in the community. And in that context he says that in his opinion, a community like that would be a place where the eitzah hahogenes would be for families with many children to maybe not have more for that reason.”

        Obviously, I have a different assumption on policy than RHS. It is an apparent assumption that day school is such a necessity that it is an “eitzah” not to have more children. Empirical testing must be done to see the impact of day schools to see if it truly is the panacea that the day school establishment states.

        People have  children not because of mitzvah requirement. I believe Rabbi Bleich has made the point that mitzvah pru urvu does not require doing anything more than natural tashmish one is not required to take more steps.  I believe he also states that the question  that we all will face assakata bepirya vriva is specifically   dealing    assakta not success. But that is irrelevant to any frum couple wo children they will go to any means to attempt to have children not because of the mitzvah which certainly they would have no problem with because of ones rachmanei patrei

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I think your view of why frumm parents have or should have children is mistaken. RHS quotes many Acharonim.that Matan Torah the nature of the mitzvah changed from.having children per se to transmitting the Torah successfully to future generations. That is why talmidim are considered as children by the Talmud. It is sufficient for this discussion to note that RHS lmaaseh disagrees with RBleich as to the means of hishtadlus that would be hopeful patents can and should utilize.

          • Mycroft says:

            RHS himself has spread Torah as much as anyone currently alive. Yet he has far more than the Halachik requirement for children , IIRC nine. Thus, all the homiletical devices out there to enable people to feel better wo children do not take away from the desire to have children. Thus, it is at least a cruel result of a requirement that makes it impossible for a frum couple to have more or at least some children.Of course, from a Klal Israel situation more is very desirable. We are way down comparatively in the last 120 years. IIRC in 1900 there were about 15 Muslims in the world compared to each Jew, currently the ratio is in the area of 100 to 1.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Who says that you are entitled to an opinion on such subjects which clearly involve halachic and hashkafic consequences?

          • mycroft says:

            Show  what is wrong with my analysis. Show how the desire to open Yahadus to the non wealthy is wrong. The system you are demanding is OK for the wealthy,how about the rest of the world.

          • dr. bill says:

            even for you such comments are remarkable.  while i would agree that only someone well versed in both principles of halakha and the prevailing circumstance can decide a complex issue, the opinion of many others can and do add perspective to a particular situation that even an acknowledged gadol should welcome.

            it is well known that decisors value the opinion of others.

          • mycroft says:

            Dr Bill states:

            “the opinion of many others can and do add perspective to a particular situation that even an acknowledged gadol should welcome.”

            I believe the Rav’s actions are consistent with Dr Bill’s statement. I know that the Rav was alone once with someone who was a pretty good science student took the advantage to review and update his knowledge of quantum mechanics. In many practical subjects not in the Rav’s specialty the Rav would be interested in what people were studying, my impression and recollection it was more than being polite, the Rav really had a desire for all knowledge.

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, you are obviously correct about the Rav ztl.  even on non-scientific – social, legal,political, etc. – issues he sought the advice of people with a different/specialized/broader perspective.  some viewed that as being too circumspect or even pliable.  RAL ztl behaved similarly. chaval al devadin.

  19. yg says:

    You did cite a post that you claimed was consistent with your original claim, which some claimed you made up. I checked your citation and proved that you indeed made it up. RHS never said in that shiur anything close to what you claimed. Either your memory is faulty or you didn’t focus on the context.The burden of proof to support your claim is on you, not on anyone else to refute it. If you have such a recording, cite it. We will listen and I am quite convinced we will find again that you are misquoting.By the way, the very recording which you cited does say that one should have children even if they can’t afford the day school tuition. He clearly says that the halachic issue of eitza hogenes lo applies to the middas chassidus of la’erev lo tanuch yadecha, and not to the basic chiyuv of peru urevu.A more appropriate response to my proof would have been an apology for misleading people about RHS’s position. 

    • mycroft says:

      .It is  not an issue of fulfilling a mitzvah of pru urvu it is an issue that day school expense prevents people from having the number of children that they would have absent day school.You are taking away a fundamental desire of people all for a goal which is extra.Yahadus  existed for thousands of years wo day schools. Demanding that ones ends your children to day school limits  for many the number of children. It also makes Orthodoxy unavailable to those wo above average incomes. Who says day schools should be a requirement for yahadus. Compare     income/professions   of those in mamlachti dati schools vs MO schools in US. Students similar hashkafa but Israel open to non elite incomes.US hanhala is satisfied dealing only with those who have above  average incomes.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      IIRC RHS once stated in a Dvar Torah printed on Torahweb that families should live as frugally as necessary do that they can pay tuition.

  20. Steve Brizel says:

    Are you claiming that the takana of R Yehoshua Ben Gamla had no galactic import or that chederim did not exist in Easrtern European Jewish communities? Like it or not one can argue that if mamlacti were the functional equivalent if day schools in the US one would not see a wide variety of options such as Chardal etc for parents who view mamlacti dati schools as lacking for one or more of a number of valid reasons. Your tea is rests on the problematic thesis that hashkafa dictates a choice if school even and especially when the school will lack what the child need to develop as an Eved HaShem.

    • mycroft says:

      One must recognize the impacts both positive and negative of the decree. The positive ones are obvious and known to anyone who attended a Yeshiva.,  Among the negative effects was conversion to other religions due to expense of education read “The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492 by Eckstein and Botticini-interesting reading I read soon after it was    published.

      The relevance to today is obvious, that we lose Jews because of added expense that is instituted. It may be worth it, but it is an explicit judgement that has to be made, realizing the negative consequences as well.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The takana not only is viewed as necessary and praiseworthy by Chazal as saving the spiritual lives of Jewish children. That is far more important than any academic survey and its conclusions.

        • Mycroft says:

          one does not go to Chazal to determine what medicine to take, what weapons to use in fighting a war or to the practical results of attempting to follow an ideal. Assuming Chazal believed 2000 years ago that a policy would save Jews but it is determined that following that policy in 2017 would kill Jews one would not follow that policy.Hypothetical example, because I did not say that Jewish education is not ideal, I am questioning the necessity or desire ability of demanding day school education as a condition to exist.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Your analogy is seriously flawed.The transmission of and study of Torah is a positive mitzvah of almost overarching impotrance. We must and can only be guided by Chazals formulation and definition of the mitzvah as a community and as individuals. This issue is not akin to a medical issue where one seeks medical expertise but rather the views of the Gdolei Talmidei Chachamim.who we turn to on such issues. Your logic would lead to a conclusion that Shemirad Shabbos is harmful to the global economy.

        • mycroft says:

          BTW-Day schools are a relatively modern invention. There are various methods to teach our mesorah. Why teaching American history being taught at parents expense rather than the states is  halachikally required is a  question I have no answer to.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            American days schools are the American Orthodox response and recognition that the K-12 years and summer camp are the critical years and proper environment for transmitting a love of Torah Mitzvos and instilling Yiras Shamayim.  Day Schools are the American version of a cheder which has a long history going back to the Talmud. The Talmud Torah has never been viewed as a successful means for inculcating the above values especially when in competition with a hypersexualized  post modern secular culture.

      • quoted in hare says:

        The takana in question is viewed as having critical importance by Chazal in furthering the transmission of Torah to the next generation.RYBS as quoted in Harei Kedem based on the Gra understood the takana to be a communal obligation, not just an individual obligation.R Hutner ZL stated that yeshivos today fulfil the twin purpose of Noah’s ark ( in protecting our chidren from the corrupt and decaden tvalues of the secular world and providing a refuge for the inculcation of the Torah and its values) but also a Mishkan ( where Matan Torah is an ongoing experience).

        Like it or not, since  preserving and transmission of the Mesorah of Torah in any environment   to the next generation is a paramount and superseding value, whether you live in Galus or Israel then you do what it takes to pay tuition, and to provide your children with the reinforcement of their education via camp and intensive learning that is not in competition with secular studies. That is what is called Mesiras Nefesh. Even if you are in a high paying profession, tuition for your family is an act of Mesiras Nefesh because it impacts on how, where, when and why you spend your disposable income.  Someone who does not want to be Moser Nefesh but does have money for redoing their home and the latest cell phone and flat screen tV will invent all kinds of reasons and concoct all kinds of rationale as to why he or she was not Moser Nefesh for their children’s chinuch, especially when they are not happy with the quality of the chinuch or they move out of the orbit of Orthodoxy but in essence is sending a clear message as to their priorities.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          The above was my reply.

        • mycroft says:

          “.RYBS as quoted in Harei Kedem based on the Gra understood the takana to be a communal obligation, not just an individual obligation.”

          If so why limit peoples ability to have children because they can’t afford day school. Make the delivery of services a communal obligation not                         responsibility of parents.

          “since  preserving and transmission of the Mesorah of Torah in any environment   to the next generation is a paramount and superseding value”

          One has to have a next generation. Those not born because of finances required because of day school requirement are certain to not add to the chain of Mesorah.

          “Even if you are in a high paying profession, tuition for your family is an act of Mesiras Nefesh because it impacts on how, where, when and why you spend your disposable income. ”

          My financial argument is not for those in a high paying profession, A red herring.Why do you essentially only see families   who are at least above median income in MO because they can’t meet the financial admission test

          “Someone who does not want to be Moser Nefesh but does have money for redoing their home and the latest cell phone and flat screen tV will invent all kinds of reasons and concoct all kinds of rationale as to why he or she was not Moser Nefesh for their children’s chinuch”

          I  am  not  writing   about the                          responsibility      to pay for chinuch  over               luxuries    such       as Pesach hotels. I am              writing about making the ability to pay a requirement   to have children .

          • steve Brizel says:

            I think that you are mistaken. If you live in suburban America where most of American Jewry lives today, you probably own a house  and two cars. Even if you are not at the top of your professsion or job and your spouse works and you don’t live an extravagant life style you can and should be able to pay tuitions and send your kids to camp. Like it or not RHS is merely stating that in such situations, the Ikar haDin definition of Piryah vRivah as opposed to the Midas Chasidus level governs your family size in such a circumstance. I hate to break it to you but there is no mitzvas aseh of only sending your kid to a MO school. If the option is school with charedi faculty and orientation or public school, I think that it is the height of parental irresponsibility to choose public school.

          • mycroft says:

            “I think that you are mistaken. If you live in suburban America where most of American Jewry lives today, you probably own a house  and two cars. ”

            Problem in your assumptions-I DO LIVE IN THE SUBURBS,but my wife and I share one car. I was above average US income when working-now retired- but not in the league of many  Rebeiim  and certainly   the income       that is assumed by you and talmeidei chachamim that you quote etc.

            “Even if you are not at the top of your professsion or job and your spouse works and you don’t live an extravagant life style you can and should be able to pay tuitions and send your kids to camp.”

            I did pay full tuition but one child, I did not feel correct to take charity-ie tuition reduction. But there are people -most of US-  who were way below my income and clearly can’t afford a Jewish lifestyle.   Counter to drashas  “The rabbis of the Talmud had a tradition that     tuition                                                   of one’s children will be reimbursed. ” clearly is not true bolam hazeh.

    • mycroft says:

      “Your tea is rests on the problematic thesis that hashkafa dictates a choice”

      Of course hashkafa dictates a choice. Neither of us  would send a child to Heschel.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        That is a poor analogy. Obviously you view hashkafa as paramount as opposed to instilling a love of Torah Mitzvos and Yiras Shamayim.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        But if a clearly Charedi school was better for your child’s spiritual and educationa growth as opposed to a MO school, would you make the leap of faith and send a child to a Charedi school or vice versa? I know many parents who have made that choice. That is what is called Chanoch LNaar Lfi Darcho.

  21. Steve Brizel says:

    But would you send a child to a yes give or girls school that did not advocate MO lchtachilah?

    • Mycroft says:

      Depends on the choices.  A big problem BTW for MO is that there are very few Klei kodesh who serve today who believe in MO. Good or bad the change is obvious..An example in my area, forty years ago many local Rabbonim sent their children to MO institutions, today I am not aware of any. Even those serving shuls with vast majority of MO send their children to Chareidi or pseudo chareidi schools. A much bigger problem is mechanchim in MO schools, if they don’t send their children to an MO school they are telling thei children in the school, I don’t believe in the schools hashkafa thus sending kids to a different school. When there is a dissonance between beliefs taught at home and at school/schul children are likely to reject both. For that reason chareidi schools would never take a MO Rebbe.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        All parents, including Rabbonim and RY have the right and imperative to send their children to the schools that are the best in instilling a love of Torah and Mitzvos and instilling Yiras Shamayim as opposed to picking a yeshiva based on hashkafa.I think that hashkafa should play at best a minimal role as opposed to where the child will stand a chance of graduating  with a love of Torah, Mitzvos and  Yiras Shamayim.

        • Mycroft says:

          i will not judge the tradeoffs that people make in doing what they believe is best for their family versus what would be best for Klal Israel, but children being taught different message than the parents believe causes an attitude in the child that neither is good. You may believe that anything other than the Centrist Judaism that you espouse is worthless and bad, I don’t.It is a big problem in Chinuch and Rabbanus to pretend otherwise is putting ones head in the sand.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        When MO views chinuch and klei kodesh with the same esteem as the high paying professions, MO will be able to develop its own mchanchim. Until then it will be dependent on Charedi trained mchanchim.

        • mycroft says:

          The sad fact is that an MO person would not be hired by a Chareidi institution, a Chareidi would be hired by   an MO institution. Reality most mechanchim are better off than median US income, not as well as mosdos machers but far from low. Certainly most for hours worked during year are not below average.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        I think that it is more important that Klei Kodesh succeed in  instilling a love of Torah and Mitzvos and Yiras Shamayim than emphasizing any hashkafic doctrines. It is far more important that any graduate after 12 years of education that a student emerges with the above than in being au courant with what is current in  MO hashkafa. Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Terushalayim while wonderful days that are obviously worth celebrating should never be viewed with more enthusisasm than a Siddur Mesibah, Chumash Mesibah, Hashcalas Gemara Shabbos  YT and Tznius.

        • mycroft says:

          “I think that it is more important that Klei Kodesh succeed in  instilling a love of Torah and Mitzvos and Yiras Shamayim than emphasizing any hashkafic doctrines.”

          Agreed-but also essential installing a belief that we are all part of Am Israel and kol Israel Areivim zeh lazeh

          “It is far more important that any graduate after 12 years of education that a student emerges with the above than in being au courant with what is current in  MO hashkafa.”

          Or au courant in the latest Chareidi hashkafa.It is at least as much a reaction to the Enlightenment as MO is.

          “Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Terushalayim while wonderful days that are obviously worth celebrating “As one who only says Hallel   on those days when my Yahrzeit falls out on when Yom Haatzmaut is observed and thus I am the shaliach zibbur I disagree with the continuation that those days are less important than the celebrations made up by schools

          “should never be viewed with more enthusisasm than a Siddur Mesibah, Chumash Mesibah, Hashcalas Gemara Shabbos”

          • Steve Brizel says:

            I stand by my assessment of what is important in chinuch.we as a people would never have survived and do not base our survival on the likes of Tacitus Toynbee and studies that bemoan the cost of a takana of Chazal but rather the Toras Emes Asher Nota Bsochenu

          • mycroft says:

            “I stand by my assessment of what is important in chinuch.we as a people would never have survived”

            One has to judge all decisions by what works and doesn’t work. It is not a decision based on what one feels would be ideal.

            “studies that bemoan the cost of a takana of Chazal but rather the Toras Emes Asher Nota Bsochenu”

            First chazal never knew of North American day schools. I agree Emes Atah hu Rishon,Emes not merely parroting talking points that are even  stated by people who believe them, what is needed is reacting to reality. Reality has to be determined objectively not by those who are nogeah badavar. It has to be determined accurately as possible not by anecdotal stories. Data and analysis. One does prescribe medicine based on anecdotal stories, similarly policies for continuation of klal Israel must be analyzed objectively.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Events like Siddur Mesiba Chumash Mesibah and Haschalas Gemara events are celebrations of educational milestones. Try attending one before claiming that they are merely ” celebrations made up by schools.”

          • mycroft says:

            “Events like Siddur Mesiba Chumash Mesibah and Haschalas Gemara events are celebrations of educational milestones. Try attending one before claiming that they are merely ” celebrations made up by schools.”

            I’ve been to some and have attended some. Speeches do not impress me in these cases. You get impressed by those I don’t. Show me achievement, similar to siyyumim when people become bar mitzvah the kadish for siyyum mesechtais the same that will be said after 120 by  our grave at the siyyumof our lives.Celebrate after completion at the end.

  22. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “RHS himself has spread Torah as much as anyone currently alive. Yet he has far more than the Halachik requirement for children , IIRC nine. Thus, all the homiletical devices out there to enable people to feel better wo children do not take away from the desire to have children.”

    I guess that you regard the Pshat in last Shabbos’s Haftarah as mere homiletics? You seem to be unaware that Rambam in Hilcos Deos and RaN on Nedarim 20b posit that Talmidei Chachamim are by their nature different than the average Baal HaBayis on the street in the way they act, dress and  live their lives. OTOH, RHS very often says that Talmidei Chachamim should be machmir on themselves (and meikil on others) with respect to Kiyum HaMitzvos Bein Adam LaMakom and Bein Adam Lchavero,Tzedaka,  Chesed shemamon ubeguf. I think that you posing a false dichotomy between a desire to have a large family , the costs of life and whether Halacha would require such a choice as opposed to not having children at all.

  23. mycroft says:

    “You seem to be unaware that Rambam in Hilcos Deos and RaN on Nedarim 20b posit that Talmidei Chachamim are by their nature different than the average Baal HaBayis on the street in the way they act, dress and  live their lives.”

    The    question   is do people who are recognized as Talmeidei Chachamim act in such a  way. The  sad part is that we all emphasize knowledge rather than personal behavior. There is a wonderful story about R A Kotler’s  funeral.Afterwards his widow was furious that hespedim were about his Torah knowledge rather than his zidkus in behavior.                                                                                                                                   “RHS very often says that Talmidei Chachamim should be machmir on themselves (and meikil on others) with respect to Kiyum HaMitzvos Bein Adam LaMakom and Bein Adam Lchavero,Tzedaka ”

    i  have commented in the past that RHS apparently gives more than 20% Zedakah because he treats himself as an ashir.

    “I think that you posing a false dichotomy between a desire to have a large family , the costs of life and whether Halacha would require such a choice as opposed to not having children at all.  ”

    We disagree. One must consider every proposal for Jewish behavior when not a Torah command as to its cost and impact on raising the bar to Yiddishkeit both in existing Jews and its prevention of more Jews being born.

    • steve Brizel says:

      Takie a look at how Chazal define an Ashir. RHS is well known for saying that he gives to the mosdos and yeshivos that have had the most the impact on him individually and his family. RHS is hardly a gvir in the classical sense of that term.

      • Mycroft says:

        I wrote positively about RHS that he gives more than 20%. For some reason you treat that as a negative. I once heard Rabbi Leibowitz state that certainly he is not an Ashir compared to some in his neighborhood and those should take Mussar from RHS example. 

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Anyone who has attended a parlor meeting or the like when RHS is the speaker can testify that RHS generally writes a generous check as the first donor which inspires those who have the $ to do so as well.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          If I were to summarize your views about RHS they would approximate “some of my best friends are ..”.

          • mycroft says:

            Only because you attack anyone who doesn’t accept everything that he says. You refuse to let others judge his words with the same analysis that you judge others.He isa great talmid chacham, that does not mean like others his words can’t be analyzed like others for accuracy, logic,agreement with other recollections etc

      • mycroft says:

        He certainly solicits for mosdos-if the reason that he gives is they had the most impact on him individually and his family,why should I give to his mosdos. Why solicit,everyone has their closest ones.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          RHS says that Anieyei Ircha which is how priorties in Tzedaka are defined means the mosdos thathave had the most impact on you and your family. If you want to give to whoever RHS gives, that is your prerogative..

  24. steve Brizel says:

    mycroft wrote:

    ” One must consider every proposal for Jewish behavior when not a Torah command as to its cost and impact on raising the bar to Yiddishkeit both in existing Jews and its prevention of more Jews being born.”

    First of all, the transmission of Torah from one generation is a Torah commandment. Chazal trace the existence of yeshivos back to the Avos. The Takana of Yehoshua Ben Gamla was a rabbinc ordinance designed to strengthen and preserve that mitzvah in the same way that rabbinic ordinances preserve Shemiras Shabbos and many other Torah based positive and negative commandments . All Torah commands are fulfilled in the way that we are told today by our Gdolei Talmidei Chachamim not based on sociological surveys and the like. The ionly bar that exists is a lack of willingness to teach and learn and thinking that the circumstances today even remotely approach those of the 1950s let alone the 1980s.

  25. steve Brizel says:

    mycroft wrote:

    ” One must consider every proposal for Jewish behavior when not a Torah command as to its cost and impact on raising the bar to Yiddishkeit both in existing Jews and its prevention of more Jews being born.”

    Chazal trace the existence of yeshivos back to the Avos. The Takana of Yehoshua Ben Gamla was a rabbinc ordinance designed to strengthen and preserve that mitzvah in the same way that rabbinic ordinances preserve Shemiras Shabbos and many other Torah based positive and negative commandments . All Torah commands are fulfilled in the way that we are told today by our Gdolei Talmidei Chachamim not based on sociological surveys and the like. The ionly bar that exists is a lack of willingness to teach and learn and thinking that the circumstances today even remotely approach those of the 1950s let alone the 1980s.

  26. steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in why instiling a love of Torah Mitzvos and Yiras Shamayim should be seen as a priority see the annexed link.http://torahweb.org/torah/2005/parsha/rsch_matos.html

  27. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “First chazal never knew of North American day schools. I agree Emes Atah hu Rishon,Emes not merely parroting talking points that are even  stated by people who believe them, what is needed is reacting to reality. Reality has to be determined objectively not by those who are nogeah badavar.”

    We disagree, to be polite. The notion of a cheder and yeshiva can be traced back to the Avos. The entire Takana of Yeshoshua Ben Gamla was that of compulsory education in every community precisely because the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah could not be achieved in the family setting. Toras Emes  remains eternal as opposed to the views of social scientists, etc which change very fluidly. I note that you have yet to post what would be an alternative to day school education combined with summer camp as a means of helping transmit Jewish continuity to the next generation in 2017-not the 1950s or the 1980s.

  28. mycroft says:

    I agree that ideal for those who can afford it and    whose children have the ability to attend day schools is a day school, but talmud Torah must bean option not necessarily the deal but an option for either financial or ability reasons. If we welcomed them it would likely be more successful than your apparent approach of all or nothing.BTW who says Takana can’t work with Talmud Torahs teaching Torah and Yahadus can be taught in different ways. Problem is now for political reasons it is all or nothing.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Talmud Torahs have never worked as a means of instilling a love for Torah and Mitzvos  They were at best Bar Mitzvah factories. They were never able to  compete with a secular school and after school atmosphere.

  29. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote:

    “First chazal never knew of North American day schools”

    I am not going to repeat my prior statements re Chazal and the education of Tinokos Shel Beis Rabban. By your logic, since Chazal never stepped foot out of their environment, all mitzvos, and especially those that have some necessary cost,  have to be examined as to their viability by “data and analysis” as opposed to fulfililng the same . Shemiras HaMitzvos and especially the transmission of Torah Mitzvos and Yiras Shamayim should never be subjected to such an inherently biased approach. I invoked Tacitus and Toynbee because many “public intellectuals” have always held Torah observance and the Mesiras Nefesh involved therewith to public ridicule. Nothing in that regard changes-just the message that “data and analysis” need to tell us how to transmit the Mesorah. I must reject such a proposition as inherently flawed simply because Am Yisrael has never been a mass movement but rather always a committed minority.

    WADr, your perspective on this thread reminds me of what Rashi wrote about the majority who refused to enter the ark-Rashi describes them as Ketanei Emunah. Under any cost benefit analysis or the like, Torah observance would RL have perished hundreds of years ago. IMO, your approach to these issues is almost  Marxist-socialist in viewing everything thru how much it costs and how unfair it is to suburbanites but noticeably absent of Mesiras Nefesh or an alternative to day schools as a vehicle for transmitting Torah and Yiras Shamayim to the next generation.

    Your comment about the Jewish population being down has merit because the secular Jewish population assumed as truth the unsupported fiction called Zero Population Growth.

    Parenthetically-please provide a source for your comment that tuition costs should be refunded.

    • mycroft says:

      ” viewing everything thru how much it costs and how unfair it is to suburbanites”

      Cost of housing is much less in the suburbs compared to NYC-at least the boros of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

      “but noticeably absent of Mesiras Nefesh or an alternative to day schools as a vehicle for transmitting Torah and Yiras Shamayim to the next generation.”

      I gave my alternative to day schools-how can you tell other people what mesiras nefesh to do and certainly people who earn many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year can’t give the average person lectures on how they must spend their money.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Try renting an apartment of buying a house in Manhattan or in any of the frum neighborhoods in Queens or Brooklyn. There are no bargains except for tuition and lower property taxes than in LI and NJ.

        I think that you protest too much about the cost of tuition. Putting aside someone who is out of work and who can request and receive a reduction in tuition or even a deferment from paying tuition, anyone who lives, is gainfully employed ( generally both spouses) and who thinks that tuition takes precedence over mili dgashmius can pay tuition. They may have a smaller family than others,  and even get by with the help of other more affluent family members in rocky economic times, but prioritization of how one spends money is what is called Mesiras Nefesh-which has never been and which should never be seen as a politically incorrect idea in Yahadus.

    • mycroft says:

      “Am Yisrael has never been a mass movement but rather always a committed minority.”

      This is a fundamental hashkafic difference-Am Israel includes ALL Jews, as the Rav once said in answer to someone who asked what do I have in common with this type of Jew, “Hitler”

      Do you believe that only frum Jews are part of Am Israel, thus in your viewpoint the Jewish soldier fighting for Israel who is not frum is not part of Am Israel. Do you believe that only frum Jews can make decisions on security questions involving Israel because they are the only ones part of Am Israel. You apparently don’t believe that we are all am echad. Tell me where I am wrong.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Ask yourself how Am Yisrael is defined-today-by Bris Avos ( as opposed to Zcus Avos) or Bris Sinai.

        • mycroft says:

          Bris Avos  still exists. An atheist is part of Am Yisrael. Need any more proof that R Chaim Brisker had  yom kippur violated to save a life of a Bundist.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Any Jewish soldier who fights for Am Yisrael is part of Am Yisrael. That is not the issue. RYBS made a very similar comment as to Am Yisrael not being a mass movement. You seem to forget the diffference between a Bris Goral and a Bris Yeud, which RYBS emphasized. The Bris Avos has never been seen as enough in and of itself to be a definition of Am Yisrael.

        • mycroft says:

          Remember the positive letter in which the Rav states that he can’t attend the dinner in honor of Rabbi Shubow because he cant give implied approval to mixed pews but the Rav thanked them for the new building in helping bringing Judaism to a new section of Boston. Thus, Conservative Judaism according to the Rav can help bring Judaism to an area,certainly consistent with RAL about Conservative and Reform Judaism

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Take a look at one view cited in  Rashi in Parshas Bo on Makas Choshech, which must be read in conjunction with the Medrash quoted therein by Rashi. According to Rashi, 80% of Am Yisrael never made it out of Mitzrayim because as elaborated on the Medrash, they were so assimilated they had never even entertained the thought of leaving their comfort zone in Egypt. RYBS pointed out in a Dvar Torah on Parshas Reeh that we were not liberated because of our numbers but rather because of our willingness to receive and accept the Torah.

        • mycroft says:

          One is required to save everyone,. Leaving comfort zone applies more to those in Diaspora who following example of galut Babel stayed in their comfort zone.

  30. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote in relevant part:

    “while i would agree that only someone well versed in both principles of halakha and the prevailing circumstance can decide a complex issue, the opinion of many others can and do add perspective to a particular situation that even an acknowledged gadol should welcome”

    That depends on the subject and the nature of the opinion of the many others. Here are a few admittedly wholly unrelated examples.Once upon a time, Sovietologists were consulted or suggested to be consulted as to the efficacy of demonstrations on behalf of Soviet Jewry.  Whether or not experts with biases on the subject should be consulted on the now discredited notion of “land for peace” remains at best one of many approaches to the subject. The consideration of issues related to the end of life may or may not require such similar expertise, depending on whether you accept brain death as having a source in the Talmud or being a reaction to the Harvard criteria defining death that cannot be squared with the stated definitions of death in the Talmud.

    Yet, the ultimate right to hold an opinion on any issue of halacha and hashkafa remains with a Gadol, not anyone here.  The simplest example is that no physician per se can tell a patient not to fast on YK, but a rav who speaks to a doctor who tells the rav that the patient should not fast, can certainly pasken that halachic query . We who write and respond about such issues here and elsewhere, can only report and try to analyze the efficacy of the statements that we have heard from our Baalei Mesorah.

    • dr. bill says:

      2 points for you to ponder.

      1)  the rabbis said – tofastah merubah lo tofastah.  you remain wrong on two levels when you write “Yet, the ultimate right to hold an opinion on any issue of halacha and hashkafa remains with a Gadol, not anyone here.”  first, your word any is clearly wrong – a rav does not have to be a gadol to rule in areas where he has competence.  second, even a Gadol will occasionally request the opinion of others as anyone who interacted with one can attest.

      2)  your excursion into the the issue of brain death is much t0o important to address in this forum.  i have read multiple teshuvot and have had lengthy conversations with persons i view as experts in this area.  how my own rather academic but imho incontrovertible view of the talmudic sugyot should impact practical psak is yet unclear to me.

      • mycroft says:

        Dr Bill states:

        “Yet, the ultimate right to hold an opinion on any issue of halacha and hashkafa remains with a Gadol, not anyone here.”  first, your word any is clearly wrong – a rav does not have to be a gadol to rule in areas where he has competence.”

        What you write is as basic  as anything in yahadus,What I am curious is why certain people have made up the doctrine that only a gadol can answer a question.Anyone competent can. Psychological reasons, power grab/ I just don’t know

        The Rav would at times refuse to answer questions from talmidim stating they were there. The complete opposite approach of what Steve advocates.

        “second, even a Gadol will occasionally request the opinion of others as anyone who interacted with one can attest.”

        The Rav certainly did that.

        second, even a Gadol will occasionally request the opinion of others as anyone who interacted with one can attes

  31. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    I’ve been to some and have attended some. Speeches do not impress me in these cases. You get impressed by those I don’t”

    That is because I am an idealist and inspired by such milestones  and your posts on the issue reveal cynicism as opposed to realism

    • mycroft says:

      I look for reality not inspirational drashot in order to determine what is expected

      • Steve Brizel says:

        R Yaakov Emden ZL pointed out that by all objective and realistic standards Klal Yisrael RL has defied all realistic odds. We have not survived by being realistic but rather despite the odds being stacked against us. RMF ZL points out in a famous tesghuvah about purchasing insurance that the fanous verse that resulted from the expulsion from Gan Eden has no relevance with respect to Shemiras haMitzvos.

        • mycroft says:

          You probably disagree with the Rav, but he was clear that decision to give back land including the kotel was   a military/diplomatic one which he had no special expertise.  It was for experts and no requirement that the experts and deciders were shomer mitzvot

      • Steve Brizel says:

        WADR, I think that you look for reality in the wrong places.

        • Mycroft says:

          Even Chazal state ein somchimal Hanes. Why two very dangerous consequences, first Beis Hamikdash when people reveled despite warning by Neviim because they believed same as God protected us in miracle 120 years earlier with Sancherib he will protect us now and Churban Bayis Sheini when Biryonim rebelled believing just like Chanukkah God had a miracle Wesley now. Of course, both were sadly theological madness

  32. Steve Brizel says:

    RHS wrote:

    “To fulfill the mitzvah of pru u’rvu it is not sufficient to merely give birth to children, rather we must transmit Torah values to them as well. And we should not be fiscally conservative in performing this crucial mitzvah! We should not focus on the cost of tuition when determining which school to enroll our children in. The only criteria to be considered ought to be where they will receive the best education in middos (character development), deios (principles of faith), and Torah knowledge. The cost should not be a deciding consideration. The rabbis of the Talmud had a tradition that whatever one spends on the Torah education of one’s children will be reimbursed. At the outset of the year (i.e. in Tishrei) it is determined how much money one will earn, but this does not include s’char limud which he pays (Beitza 16a). That is an additional allocation that we receive min hashomayim. Whatever we spend on our children’s Torah education will not reduce the amount of money we are supposed to earn during the year.”

    This is the full paragraph of which Mycroft cut and pasted the following:

    “The rabbis of the Talmud had a tradition that whatever one spends on the Torah education of one’s children will be reimbursed”

    Taking words out of context does not aid one’s presentation. Obviously the real reward  is children who want to be Shomrei Torah Umitzvos and who are as adults

    • mycroft says:

      The full paragraph is mussar-it does not change anything one iota from my point stating that  empirically the statement that I quoted ““The rabbis of the Talmud had a tradition that whatever one spends on the Torah education of one’s children will be reimbursed” is not true-at least baolam hazeh.  May be able to understand GAAP statements but I don’t know celestial accounting.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The citations to Beitzah 16a is the key to the entire paragraph and rests on many more mareh mkomos in Chazal and Rishonim to that effect. One need not be able to read GAAP statements to realize and comprehend that  contrary to an uber rationalist perspective, HaShem runs this world and our roles vis a vis our children should be just as RHS stated-none of which remotely can be described as mussar :

        “All children should be treated as if they might reach the greatest spiritual heights. The Medrash[7] tells us that because Moshe Rabbeinu was destined to become a prophet and speak with the Shechinah, it was not proper for him as an infant to nurse from non-Jewish women (who ate non-kosher food). The Rema (Yoreh Deah 81:7) encourages all parents to consider the possibility that their children too will some day become nevi’im, and therefore in the event that a mother is unable to nurse her child and a non-Jewish woman must nurse the child, the parents should see to it that the wet-nurse should not eat any non-kosher food as long as she is nursing the Jewish child.
        We should not be afraid of our children becoming more knowledgeable or observant than we are. The Talmud tells us that normal parents are never jealous of their child’s accomplishments (Sanhedrin 105b). Parents view the child as an extension of themselves and consider the child’s accomplishments as their own. A parent who cherishes Torah knowledge would be very proud to say that his child is more learned than he. And likewise, a parent who cherishes observance of mitzvos would be very proud if his child were more observant than he.
        On a communal level, we have lost our bearings regarding what is a normal and proper lifestyle, and what is an opulent and improper one[8]. In that context, some Orthodox people spend large sums of money on non-essentials without making yeshiva tuition a top priority, and consequently want to send their children to public school to save money. We, too, need Moshe Rabbeinu‘s rebuke! What an unfortunate confusion of priorities! Our children are immeasurably more valuable than our homes and all other material possessions. If we really believed G-d that the Torah is the “kli chemdah” (Avos 3:18), and that observance of the mitzvos is the wish of the Creator of the world, how could we possibly be so lax regarding the Torah education of our children?”

        • mycroft says:

          ” some Orthodox people spend large sums of money on non-essentials”

          A   red  herring.It   may  surprise                                                you but there    are many Jews who do       not have large sums           of money for non essentials                                                                                                                                   .

      • Steve Brizel says:

        You aren’t seriously maintaining that the reimbursement is in Olam Hazeh? That is not a fair reading of what RHS wrote-but rather your spin.

        • Mycroft says:

          I can’t argue about Olam ha ba payments. I was simply stating empirically bolam hazeh it costs money to send ones child to day school, money that one may need to live bolam hazeh, food shelter etc.

          i do not know celestial accounting but it certainly is reasonable that God will pay back for good deeds. But note mechanchim aren’t satisfied with 9lam haba has, they do not want to get paid peanuts. Hey one expects even those who get less than peanuts to pay Olam hazeh payments to those who are receiving peanuts.

  33. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote:

    “I’ve been to some and have attended some. Speeches do not impress me in these cases. You get impressed by those I don’t. Show me achievement, similar to siyyumim when people become bar mitzvah the kadish for siyyum mesechtais the same that will be said after 120 by  our grave at the siyyumof our lives.Celebrate after completion at the end.”

    I guess that Avos Ubanim ( where fathers grandfathers and sons learn together on Shabbos) does not impress you either.Talmud Torah is a unique mitzvah for which the benefit is the effort entailed in busting your head to understand a sugya, Rishon or Acharon. Very few of us can even dream of learning Aliba DHilcasa which is the province of great Talmidei Chachamim. The mesibos are a communal way of applauding the young students for their efforts, applauding and celebrating their progress to the next step . Siyumim are wonderful and important as a goal no matter who and how many but each step of progress in Limud HaTorah deserves public support and a demonstration via niggunim and rikud that Talmud Torah as Avnei Nezer wrote in his hakdama to Eglei Tal is the sweetest of mitzvos.

     

    • mycroft says:

      I am impressed if the child is a teenager or older.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Actually, when a grandchild sees that his father and grandfather view what he is learning, even if it is on the most elementary level, that sends a very powerful and positive message of reinforcement to a child that his father and grandfather not only cherish Talmud Torah as a mitzvah in their spare time and on Shabbos when they could be learning or sleeping  but that they cherish spending that time with their son and einekelach.  We tend to forget that there is a special zcus in a verse in Parshas Vayechi aboutthe spiritual unity of  three generations .

  34. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested on whether large numbers are the key to Jewish survival.http://www.torahmusings.com/2013/10/the-pew-the-few-and-the-many-rav-soloveitchik-on-jewish-numbers/

  35. Mycroft says:

    I see you determine that MO is a failure because Chareidi Judaism has more adherents, but then you cite that numbers don’t matter. If numbers don’t matter  why do kiruv altogether sit and learn and keep Yahadus to the chosen few. FWIW the Rav gave popular Torah lectures to non Talmeidei chachamim. The Rav was a believer in reaching masses, he was concerned about Klal Israel,he was even involved in issues concerning religious needs of Jewish prisoners in the mid 40 s. He did not limit himself to theoretical shiurim. In fact a minority of his week was spent on that.

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