Open Orthodoxy’s Name Change: New Brand, Same Product

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158 Responses

  1. Chaim says:

    So now they’re co-opting the phrase “Modern Orthodoxy.”

  2. dr. bill says:

    During the middle of the last century (1920-1980) modern orthodoxy came to be identified with several positions: 1) support for more active, albeit limited, engagement with the entire Jewish people (e.g. SCA). 2) a natural suspicion of a broad notion of data torah. 3) a clear position promoting the intrinsic and independent (from torah/Talmud/halakha) value of secular knowledge, beyond just kardom lachapor bah. 4) unambiguous support for the state of Israel and belief in its Divine character. 5) staunch support for women’s pursuit of all aspects of Jewish studies.

    All of that brief list survives although aspects have attempted to be reformulated. However, since 1980, not much has been added to the list. In fact many leaders of what were unabashedly called modern orthodox organizations in that period are now much happier with Rabbi Lamm’s attempt to rebrand MO as Centrist Orthodoxy, but for what I see as different reasons.

    Into what is clearly a vacuum, OO leaders want to claim they are this century’s inheritors of the old moniker. Frankly, their new leaders and their fellow travelers in Israel are correct in choosing this path forward. I don’t see YCT as that big a deal; but its counterparts in Israel certainly are. Once again ki mi’tzion taytze Torah.

    • Mycroft says:

      Essentially agree with Dr. Bill. Quibbling on minor points I would use the same year 1984 as IIRC Dr Brill does as the change from MO to Centrist Judaism. The Tshuva of many YU RY on women was a major demarcation point. Depending on what you mean in number four about Israel, I may differ. It is clear that support for the yishuv and state were clear for MO, however one must remember that religious Zionism pre 67 was clearly a non messianic type. Thus, there were MO Rabbis who were not in favor of saying relish it smi hat geulateinu. Note the Ravs Zionism was clearly non Messianic. It was R Zvi Yehudah Kooks messianic religious Zionism that became popular. In the wake of the Six day War. IMO the current leaders of RIETS are much more aggressively Zionistic- to the extent one can say anyone living in the diaspora now is a Zionist- than the Rav and other RY were when you were in RIETS.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The world has changed since 1967 and 1984 in many ways.the assumption that it has not makes for retrospective analysis which has little if any application to the facts on the ground today. Such thinking reminds me of those glorify the not so grand old cAuses of the Confederacy and Communism

        • Mycroft says:

          It has changed to the extent that sadly the Orthodox Jewish community is much more insular, much less concerned about what happens outside of our 4 Amos.See eg how many Orthodox schuls now versus your date 1967 would have Talmud Torahs versus today. Not for all by many means but for many that became the entry point for lifelong shemiras Hamitzvot. The old JSP/JSS program was full of such people. We have given up on normal outreach and raised the bar to be welcome. Financial reasons of course, but back then they were big money losers also.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Those of who attended JSS and other yeshivos of a similar nature were the clear motivated ex emotions to the overwhelming majority of children educated in Talmud Torahs who assimilated rather than pursue any type of a serious Jewish identity and education.again the notion that Talmud Torahs were a pipeline should never be viewed as accurate. Those of us who chose to go to JSS were motivated by their participation in Either YU seminar or NCSY during the heyday of JSS.

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve
            Thre are various reasons why those who went to JSP/JSS went there . Some were motivated by a TLS or NCSY, some were motivated by the Talmud Torah directly. Some motivated by the Rabbi of the schul where they went to Talmud Torah. Obviously not all Talmud Torah students went on for higher learning or stayed frum, the same sentence applies to day school students. But not having Talmud Torah as an option means that very close to 100 per cent of those now not receiving any Jewish education are going to be lost. The Talmud Torahs were not perfect in ensuring Jewish continuity and shemiras Hamitzvot but they were a lot better than having nothing which is the effective result without offering Talmud Torahs.

          • tzippi says:

            And those Talmud Torahs met 3 times a week. And the parents were often more traditional. And kids took a leave of absence from college to go to E”Y. (I’m basing this on the products of one such school I know.)

            I don’t think any such schools on the planet meet that often these days. I don’t think the parents or children would be committed. Those who are, will send to Solomon Schechter schools.

            There are other factors than that”[w]e have given up on normal outreach.”

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Mycroft-If Talmud Torahs were the success that you persistently claim that they were, there would have been a lot more motivated students than there actually were. Like it or not, most JSS students who attended JSS were the creme de la creme of YU’s TLs, NCSY and were self motivated as opposed to being encouraged by their LORs. Talmud Torahs never successfully competed with the extra currcicular options of American public schools and secular options and rarely served as a means of enhancing Jewish identity or as a platform whereby the average teen would even think about attending YU’s JSS program which it was known when I attended-not JSP. . It is revisionist history to maintain otherwise.

            http://nleresources.com/2017/07/state-of-the-nation-the-baal-teshuvah-movement-at-50/#.WZyQWNQrJiw an important assessment on Kiruv in the millenial age.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Most of my contemporaries and myself who attended YU’s JSS were admitted to and chose YU over universities with more prestige precisely because they, as opposed to a rabbi or family member, suggested that they attend YU as opposed to the more prestigious school.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Your comments about the overall effect of Talmud Torah continue to strike me as factually unsupported and in defense of an educational concept that failed to serve as an entry for Jewish commitment by its students. The day school movement was a recognition that successful Jewish education so as to inculcate Jewish identity required that Jewish and secular education be part of the school day together with after school and summer activities in day and sleep away camps as opposed to the largely ineffectual results of Talmud Torahs. It is simply historically wrong to maintain that the local Talmud Torahs were successful either as an entry point for most or even many of those who passed through en route to a bar mitzvah.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Please define insularity as you see how it relates to the Orthodox community of today and state how Orthodoxy has given up on normal outreach.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Please define and delineate what you mean by “insular” and explain what you mean by the Orthodox world having “given up on normal outreach and raised the bar” other than by reasons that you associate with financial considerations?

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve
            You make general unsupported statements. What data do you have for what motivated those to enter JSS during its heyday? What objective rigorous studies were done?even assuming most assimilated from Talmud Torahs, a lot more stayed than if they didn’t have the option of Talmud Torah

          • Mycroft says:

            Tzippi
            My primary market for Talmud Orahs would not send their children to Solomon Schechter schools . Tuition is at least as high as day schools and they are also not marketing themselves to the average IQ. Same problem with community schools and certainly the non denominational North American Hebrew Academy.
            My market for Talmud Torahs are for those who either can’t afford day school or for those whose academic verbal ability is incompatible with modern day schools.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The teshuvah of the RIETS RY can be traced back to RYBS’s own clear rejection of the feminist critique of Halacha. Comparing RZ pre 1967 and post 1967 without thinking about or acknowledging the seismic effect of the Six Day War IMO and WADR shows a lack of appreciation of existentially threatening chain of events that led to the Six Day War and the amazing victory that ensued when Israel, left alone by its allies, launched a war of self defenses. You really ought to read Six Days in June by former Ambassador Oren for the necessary background which has all been confirmed by the recent release of the Israeli cabinet discussions before dismissing the reaction to the same as Messianistic in nature.

        • Mycroft says:

          I am very much aware of the Six Day War. I remember the Rav just before the Six Day War, probably reason why he was still there Thursday evening before Shkia, asks when is Shkia , answered 801. The Rav said will Daven 802 and then remember counting sfira at 809. The Rav after the 6 day War did not get caught up in the messianic beliefs of R Zvi Yehudah Kook, or Rav Goren , etc. he gave a public lecture in Rubin Schul in the Spring of 1968 where he specifically said he would give up the Kotel to save one life. The Rav was always very cautious in his approach to Israel. You might disagree but he was different. As a Rabbi in my schul who is a close talmid of RHS stated American Orthodoxy follows in general RHS about Israel and Zionism and not the Rav. He may well be correct, certainly many bloggers Bd commentators on CC are clearly following RHS rather than the Rav. I have no problem with that-EXCEPT just don’t say one is following the Rav while rejecting him.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Not responsive. Ask anyone who was in Israel prior to the outbreak of fighting about the sense of Israel and the Jewish People standing alone and deserted. Theoretical discussions about land for peace should be contrasted with the facts on the ground as to the meaningless nature of such undertakings.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            No one Rishon Acharon or talmid chacham has the answers to all issues halacha and hashkafa. Show me where RYBS actually supported the agenda k own as land for peace between 1967 and 1984 . FWIW I have never read anything indicating that the Gush should be closed or abandoned as a sacrifice for peace or that RYBS was asked and voiced his approval of Oslo based on hi statements or actions during or after the Six Day War.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            I mentioned the lead up to the war in Israel. Your post studiously ignored the facts on the ground of Israel being deserted by the UN, NATO and the US

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve
            We ar discussing the Rav, are Israel and Six Day War. I happened to be in Israel for the period which included the 50th anniversary of the 6 Day War and Yom Yerushalayim. Unfortunately for people in Jerusalem two of the days were atrocious due to visit of American President just after he signed agreement to sell biggest anti Semite country in world more weapons by far than total Israel defense budget.
            I am not an Israeli citizen and still spend most of my time in US, thus it is not my position to say good or bad policy. Unlike you the Ravs position was hat ever the military political experts would say would likely save the most lives was his position. Since the Rav was not messianic he had no need too make security excuse to keep territories hiding a messianic agenda.

          • dr. bill says:

            Steve Brizel, everyone knows the Rav ztl said if the mumchim, the generals/security experts, agreed, the government can even return the Kotel. I was sitting up front at the 92nd street Y, next to one of the Rav’s confidantes, when the Rav said this in 1967 or 1968. in fact the late Prof. pinchas Peli was sitting and taking notes and if i recall correctly the Rav said something about getting his view accurately reported. Even Rav Schechter knows his views on this subject vary from his rebbe. he instructed the person who often represented him to various israeli officials consistently on this issue. sadly he was stricken well before Oslo.

            Mycroft is absolutely correct is asserting Rav Schecter’s position is different.

        • dr. bill says:

          Steve Brizel, 1) Someone’s signature was absent from the document by some RIETS RY. 2) Ask the person who represented the Rav ztl’s views to various sides in Israel how the Rav viewed the messianic zeal that had begun developing in the late 70’s. When a real history of that time is written, if the Rav’s views are somehow determined, you will be surprised by how negative and prescient his views were.

          • mycroft says:

            “1) Someone’s signature was absent from the document by some RIETS RY.”
            I would have been shocked if the Rav would have ever signed something like the document. Major reason language and dicta added to the document. BTW-can one imagine RY of another Yeshiva issuing a psak while their Rebbe wasstill giving shiur at the Yeshiva.
            2)” Ask the person who represented the Rav ztl’s views to various sides in Israel how the Rav viewed the messianic zeal that had begun developing in the late 70’s.”
            IIRC messianic zeal started after 6 Day War after R Yehuda Zvi Kook’s approach. The Rav never bought into it.See eg his speech in Spring 1968 in Rubin Schul at YU when he stated “he would give up the Kotel to save one life”

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RYBS was negative but in no way prescient as to the consequences of the Six Day War.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Y ou have to prove that RYBS. Approved of. Feminism and its critique of halacha which is surely not the case.as of 1984 RYBS was barely able to say a sour let alone take a public stance. The teshuva in question is a direct consequence of the shiurim and drashos I cited.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RYBS was barely capable of givuing a shiur in public and was not issuing public statements in 1984. Anyone who asserts that RYBS would have disagreed with the teshuvah signed by Five RIETS RY must show affirmative proof, not retrospective speculation that RYBS agreed with the feminist critique of halacha which RYBS vehemently disagreed with in public on two prior occasions in the 1970s. The absence of any such proof conclusively proves that the teshuvah merely echoed what RYBS had already said on two prior occasions.

          • dr. bill says:

            Steve, i said prescient wrt what might occur from messianic fervor. i was at the Rav ztl’s last Yahrtzeit shiur, an event no one there, especially those who understood what was happening, will ever forget. nonetheless his shiurim continued for a number of years, and even in his reduced state made many important decisions.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Great summary of MO in theory.decidedly little detail on MO in application and its future today where there is evidence of attrition to the Charedi and nonobservant worlds

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Nice formulation of some MO hashkafic essentials -but where is the concept Torah observance and study has profound contemporary relevance? Aside from the above, theory and talk are both cheap and the essence is in the adherence to details and success in transmission of the legacy of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim to the next generation by whatever hashkafic framework within the mainstream of accepted Jewish thought and Halacha works for you-one cannot deny that MO has had defections to the Charedi and non-observant worlds which require addressing if MO will remain a lchatchilah optioon as opposed to a default fall back option ala some who choose chinuch.

      • dr. bill says:

        i assume that was me :). those you mentioned do not define MO but are valid across a wider spectrum of jews both to the right and left of MO.

  3. Shmuel Golden says:

    Bravo, Rabbi Gordimer! Very well put.

  4. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gordimer once again reminds us of President Lincoln’s comment that one can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

  5. mb says:

    “Will Open Orthodoxy no longer encourage the deletion of some of the morning blessings”
    I don’t care whether they will or won’t, because I, for one, refuse to say Shelo asani goy”

  6. Raymond says:

    While I happen to think that Rav Soloveitchik was actually a Chareidi Rabbi who sometimes couched his ideas in modern-sounding terms, there are those who, perhaps with some legitimacy, consider him to be the standard-bearer for Modern Orthodox Judaism. This means that the Open Orthodoxy movement, by re-naming itself Modern Orthodoxy, is strongly suggesting that their version of Judaism is on par with the Rav whom many consider the most brilliant of the past century. This strikes me as being a particularly outrageous example of utter chutzpah. It also seems to me that legal action can be taken against them for misrepresenting Judaism. If the Open Orthodoxy movement had any integrity at all, they would make it clear that they are not part of Orthodox Judaism. Even Reform Judaism has had enough honesty to acknowledge that for their own movement.

    • dr. bill says:

      what you think is “interesting,” but the reality is more important. a visit to his second floor library indicates the breadth of his secular knowledge and the time/effort that went into acquiring it. Ask any of his children, who are all still alive; or just read “The Emergence of Ethical Man.”

    • Mycroft says:

      The Rav was a ma’am in basher and may well trembled before God, but as the term Chareidi is used the Rav was certainly not Chareidi. He had a desire to learn everything, a great thirst for knowledge. I am aware of him discussing what was then thirty five years of advances in Quantuum Mechanics from his time in Berlin. The Rav besides believing that women should be taught the same curriculum as boys even once had a woman one summer attend his shiurim that he gave in Boston to essentially smicha students.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        All part of the issue of RYBS legacywhich is not necessarily or even remotely the issue raised by RGordimer.

        • dr. bill says:

          the issue is tied up in the legacy of the Rav ztl. his children categorically reject the views of many of his students as representing his legacy. in perhaps a yet stronger tone they reject those on the left of MO attempting to claim his mantle. it is time to admit the Rav was a complex Gadol, sui generis. Attempts to say how he would react to all/various contemporary issues is fruitless. One can have opinions, but the certainty exhibited, especially at the margins is likely incorrect. perhaps we ought celebrate the breadth of individuals of diverse hashkafot claiming to be followers. however, what i would never celebrate are those who believe their individual derech is the only one.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RAL ZL noted that time will tell what would b the legacy of RYBS. Repeated references to RYBS second floor library and nuanced views are fascinating but not persuasive as I start reviewing the wonderful volumes of Noraos HaRav and Harei Kedem.

          • mycroft says:

            “it is time to admit the Rav was a complex Gadol, sui generis. Attempts to say how he would react to all/various contemporary issues is fruitless”
            Except for the “all” I agree-there are certain issues where one can safely predict the Rav’s beliefs, the Rav for example would believe that one can’t cheat the government in order to support a makom Torah. The Rav would not agree with not printing pictures of women. The Rav would not have taken a messianic viewpoint that implies Jews do not have to worry about the impact of their actions .
            I will go further than ” his children categorically reject the views of many of his students as representing his legacy. in perhaps a yet stronger tone they reject those on the left of MO attempting to claim his mantle. ” Not only his children but all non musmachim who sat shiva for the Rav would IMO agree with that. I am not sure who are the left of MO ,if you are referring to those listed and discussed by Prof Kaplan as Revisionists I have no doubt that the two on the right were much closer to the Ravs hashkafa than the two on the left . I personally wouldn’t include those two as MO. Of course, the problem is that assuming Dr Bill is correct about the Ravs children which I do, one can see the problem that some of us have with citing parts of the Ravs record while ignoring his actions and practices of himself and institutions that followed him faithfully.

          • dr. bill says:

            steve brizel, i assume that you agree that a person’s public legacy and the reality of his life are at times two different things. people often redraw past generations in their own image; as xenophanes observed, if horses had gods, they would have four legs.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Why? We have RYBS’s public statements easily accessible to all. By your litmus test, there would be little if any benefit in applying any statement by a Tanna, Amora and Rishon especially the Rambam to contemporary events, and the result would be reducing the application of Toras Emes to that of intellectual archaelogy, at best, and reserved solely for the interests of the archaeologists of the intellect.

          • dr. bill says:

            here is the nub of our disagreement. i am for applying the views of gedolim of past generations with the necessary provision that differences in the reality be accounted for thoughtfully. some are distinctions without a difference; others are critical. torah is not frozen in time, but applicable by adaptation eternally. without adaptation we get sometimes unfortunate positions.

        • Mycroft says:

          Implicitly the Ravs legacy is raised when one quotes a statement of the Rav. When one part of the Ravs statements, actions and try to extrapolate from it. One must always look at the Rav in total, looking at thecRav from what he may have said in shiur, is as about as accurate as making a judgement on RMF based solely on Darah Moshe and ignoring Igros Moshe

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Merely repeating a factually unsupported POV does not render it factually correct merely because it reflects your POV.

          • Mycroft says:

            Certainly Noaros Harav and Hareidim Kelemer are worth reading, but certainly Dr Bills statements are an important reminder of how Emes can be misleading. The New York Times fact checks very effectively what it reports, choosing what to report can make an impression misleading. Reporting the Rav without necessary nuances will be an accurate quote but misleading,.
            What facts do you claim I am incorrect on. Steve your viewpoint on the Rav reflects in general one viewpoint there are other viewpoints on the Rav. A reader can determine do they wish to base ones viewpoints on the basis of selected quotations from what he said in shiur or on the basis of what he did. Remember a shiur statement may well be a chakira that did not reflect his Halacha lemaaseh approach.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The above quote from a shiur on Gerus and a drasha on Parshas Korach illustrate very clearly that RYBS rejected the feminist assault on Halacha. In the absence of a Psak or endorsement of any practice anywhere that would even remotely contradict the above quoted language, the burden of proof that RYBS held differently on such issues remains with those who would ascribe such views to RYBS.

      • dr.bill says:

        quite right. perhaps i should not have left out halakhic mind, which covers many fields of knowledge, but not a book for popular reading. one story. one year in shiur, the rav ztl agreed to give a mussar drasha before RH. at some point, ral ztl raised his hand and began by saying – a similar point was made by a 14th century – when the rav cut him saying the boys don’t need to know about X – a name i never heard before or after.

        rav wurtzberger ztl’s description of the rav’s piety reciting hallel at the seder is something i will never forget – your point is again very accurate.

    • Bob Miller says:

      Raymond, do you think that, back in the day, only rabbis of the type lately called Chareidi held like Rav Soloveitchik?

  7. Yossi says:

    MB,
    You won’t say shelo asani goy? Why not?

    Would you not say that you’re happy not to be a doctor or lawyer because their hours are too long (assuming you aren’t one)? Of course you wouldn’t say it in front of them, but you wouldn’t say it at all?

  8. Y. Ben-David says:

    I grew up in Southern California in a “tradionalist” but not Orthodox family, When I was in public high school in the early 1970’s I have a vague feeling that I didn’t fit in with the surrounding society and culture. When I was in University at the time of the Yom Kippur War, I had my Jewish identity shocked, and I started looking for answers. I then encountered Orthodox Jews for the first time and I was thrilled to meet people who actually believed in something and had rock-hard values……Avraham Avinu on one side and the rest of the world on the other. Now, I ended up as part of the Religious ZIonist community in Israel, comfortable in the knowledge that my children could receive an education that continues Avraham Avinu’s stand on one side, against the nonsense of the rest of the world. When the controversy over Open Orthodoxy began some time ago, I didn’t really take notice. I didn’t think they were a major force
    However, lately, we are now seeing apparently mainline Orthodox rabbis adopting ideas that have spun out of the OO world. One issue in particular is the attempt to legitimize homosexuality and homosexual “marriage”. I am not a scholar, but I do read the parshat hashavua. Since there is a mitzvah to do so (unlike the Catholics who banned study of the Bible because of is contradictions of Church dogma) and since there is a mitzvah to read it publicly, IT MUST have a message that the average Jew can understand, and one of the basic messages is that giluy arayot (sexual immorality) is very bad, Eretz Israel can not tolerate it. So I have to ask myself, how is it that knowlegable Jews now think that “it isn’t so bad”, or that even “they can’t help it so we have to make them feel good about themselves and tell them that we welcome their public expressions of it”? Where are the limits? Are Orthodox Jews now more concerned about what (antisemitic) ideologues like Angela Davis and Judith Butler or the New York Times and Hollywood TV shows say and are accepting them are the ones who define morality? Is saying “well people want it so we have to twist certain Talmudic statements like a pretzel in order to give them what they want?”. There is no question now that OO and those it is affecting are a serious challenge. There is no doubt in my mind that they will end up disintegrating as did their Conservative predecessors, but by insisting on calling themselves Orthodox they are creating a lot of confusion. It is unfortunate that this is leading to a lot of conflict and it would be far preferable that they drop the name “Orthodox” (either “OO” or “MO” or whatever) but they are certainly becoming a negative influence on the rest of the Orthodox world.

    • Dr. Bill says:

      This is not unique. Throughout Jewish history trends that started outside the mainstream were accomadated with some modifications by future poskim. Poskim will eventually deal with LGBT issues in ways we cannot yet ascertain with certainty

      • Steve Brizel says:

        How by RL asserting that Issuerei Torah are not binding by conflated readings of Rishonim?

      • Bob Miller says:

        The affected parties in your example insist on total acceptance of immoral practices. The Torah insists on total eradication.

      • dr. bill says:

        i do not know how. but if/as medical knowledge becomes more definitive, what should happen will surely relate to those findings. today, many are predicting where that knowledge will converge; i prefer to deal with individual situations and wait before making definitive pronouncements like rabbi riskin did (which i also believe was also krum halakhically.)

  9. Robert says:

    While I find all the labels to be imprecise but convenient colloquialisms, OO has now given the rest of MO reason to take a stronger stand against liberalization and feminization. With their own “brand”, OO was self-defined as too liberal. Now MO will have to further draw a line in the sand like the OU cracking down on female clergy in member Shuls. Wait for Yeshivat Maharat to soon make the same proclamation of being MO, forcing the hand of OU and driving a few Maharat-employing OU Shuls to leave OU because OU will never risk being seen as breaking from the rest of orthodoxy.

  10. Bob Miller says:

    I read in OU’s Jewish Action a leadership call for better pan-orthodox-community organization at the national level. On the way to that ambitious goal, the organizers would need to define who is to be inside and who outside the big project. Clearly, self-labeling of interested parties wouldn’t be good enough to determine inclusion.

    In any case, modernity in general society is a moving target that is falling off a moral and intellectual cliff, despite or because of the many technological goodies. 1917-modern was a lot more traditional than 2017-modern is. Rav SR Hirsch made many cogent points against Jews going with this flow.

  11. Bo says:

    This is good news. They confirm that with the old label they flopped. But this new change won’t get them very far. The contents (that are now put in the new wrapper) have been and are on display everywhere. Thanks to Rabbi Gordimer’s (and their own!) articles people were able to reach their own conclusions — and will continue to do so.

  12. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “What facts do you claim I am incorrect on. Steve your viewpoint on the Rav reflects in general one viewpoint there are other viewpoints on the Rav. A reader can determine do they wish to base ones viewpoints on the basis of selected quotations from what he said in shiur or on the basis of what he did. Remember a shiur statement may well be a chakira that did not reflect his Halacha lemaaseh approach”

    You tend to repeat the same comments about RYBS that suit your POV ( i.e. the dinner at the C synagogue that RYBS refused to attend rather than grant the same legitimacy which you persistently distort as to what RYBS actually did, as opposed to what you perceive as Divrei Bracha to a heterodox house of worship ). You use the term chakira without seemingly realizing that the same is far more associated with the Telz derech halimud, which was as and is different than Brisker analysis as day and night, and that many of the Piskei Halacha, Chiddushim, and Minhagim whether Lchumra and Lkula are available for anyone who wants to learn the same, both in English and Lashon HaKodesh. You just tend to view anything that happened in Boston, no matter what the circumstances were or the intended audience or community, as more reliable to anything mentioned either at a shiur at Moriah, Motzaei Shabbos in Boston, or a shiur to the RCA or RIETS shiur in NY. You are certaibnly entitled to your POV butcomments without a factual basis deserve to be challenged in any discipline. When you refuse to provide sources, you remove the possibility of fact checking by anyone. (As far as the NYT is concerned, when it ceased being a newspaper and became a press agent to the resistance against Republicans, it lost any pretense of objectivity. )When you assert either anonymous sources or refuse to divulge the same or use rhetoric that can best be described as “some of my best friends are …” especially with respect to RHS and refusing to give the words of RYBS their due import because you think otherwise, you are not engaging in dialogue.

    Read your comments here and elsewhere on this issue again. I am not going to set forth a bill of particulars of your comments that are based on your observations as opposed to facts because you tend to repeat them anytime that RYBS and his legacy is even remotely implicated. I will state that both Noroaos HarRav and Harei Kedem are both wonderful means of accessing RYBS’s Torah on the Moadim. As far as the legacy of RYBS is concerned, both RAL ZL and R Rakkafet have stated that is properly the role of historians as opposed to either Dr Bill you or myself who all accentuate what we think is the key legacy.

    • mycroft says:

      “). You use the term chakira ”
      I use the term chakira because I am quoting someone who living who knew the Rav better than anyone on this blog or commentators on this blog.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        A chaikra is patently the wrong term to use to any of RYBS’s Torah. It is a term more suitable to Telz. I can’ and will not relate to anonymous sources on issues of this nature,.

        • Mycroft says:

          You know that chakira is the wrong term to use for what the Rav said in shiur. The person who said that is extremely close to the Rav. Closer than anyone writing on this blog. You can choose not to relate to what you call are anonymous sources. Because the person did not state n front of many- not publicly will not cite the name.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            N o citation of a source by name equals no source. Sloppy use of the word chakra is just poor usage of a term used in the yeshiva world.when you cite sources by name we can talk with your sources being presented in an accepted manner rather than anecdotally and without attribution

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Hiding behind anonymous sources when discussing Amitah Shel Torah is intellectual disbonesty writ large.

        • dr. bill says:

          i am sorry but you are hopelessly confusing a word with a methodology. indeed, telz, RSS ztl and RCS ztl and others had differing methodologies/derahim in limmud. you can include many many others from the GRASH to the CI to the various RY of Hildeseimer, kohaina ve khahainah. a chakirah is just a word. chakirot occur across many, many methodologies, although it its frequency varies by methodology from often to rarely.

  13. mycroft says:

    “You just tend to view anything that happened in Boston, no matter what the circumstances were or the intended audience or community, as more reliable to anything mentioned either at a shiur at Moriah, Motzaei Shabbos in Boston, or a shiur to the RCA or RIETS shiur in NY”
    Boston reflects what the Rav believed halacha lemaaseh.One of the sad distortions spread about Boston is that it was somehow unique. I believe Boston after NY has the second highest ratio of Jews to population of American cities after NY. I also have said look at how the Rav paskened for the RCA Halachik Commission, see the Ravs guidelines on inter-religious and intra-religious cooperation, see what he permitted lemaaseh. One will not find that in his RIETS shiurim in general.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Obviously, what RYBS said and did in Boston differed because in terms of Psak than that which he responded to with respect to Talmidim in his shiur because RYBS considered who was asking the question and their degree of adherence to Halacha. How you can view Boston as being superior when RYBS was dealing with basic issues as creating and sustaining Maimonides as a real choice as opposed to his shiurim to far more committed talmidim in NY in RIETS and at Moriah requires a comparison of Piskeu Halacha given to different people on the same questions posed to RYBS. Until then, any claim that Boston was somehow Ikar and NY Tafel should be viewed with a Tzarich Iyun gadol.

      • Mycroft says:

        You have just stated that Boston and Maimonides reflects Halacha lemaaseh. He gave piskei Halacha to Rabbis and mechanchim in Boston. It was lemaaseh. Because the answersx may disagree with some revision is writings centered in current YU, you have a desire to make up the whole mesh gas about Boston. Nothing beats the nonsense that I heard on YU Torah not from RHS that when the Rav came to Boston. six shomer Shabbos families and three became his brothers in laws. Why the need to change history and distort someone, you want to follow RHS fine and good, he is certainly a person worth following, but RHS positions do NOT equal the Ravs, Israel being a prime example.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Contrary to your claim the level of observance in Boston hardly matched that of any contemporary Orthodox community. That is why RYBS was instrumental in the founding of Maimonides.

          • Mycroft says:

            Complete nonsense. Boston was not a Midbar. You had many schuls,The Rav himself was brought to Boston by the Chevra Shas. You mouth talKing points that are simply there by revisionists who have to change history. Al regel achat families that you have heard about before the Rav was there were the Krinsky’s of Lbavitch fame, the Horowitz BostonercRebbe Rebbe, e Twersky’s the Ravs SIL was born in Boston before the Rav moved there. Note the amount of schuls there were. There were plenty of Rabbis who were there who did not follow the Rav, generally of Chareidi ilk. It is complete nonsense to assume Boston was special. And thus the Rav was doing things that he would not have elsewhere done.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Take a Look at the comments of RYBS ZL in R Rakkafet’s book and DR Alvin Shif to the contrary. Boston when RYBS arrived was hardly the Vilna or Jerusalem of America.

          • Mycroft says:

            Just a little humor, if any city had descendants of Vilva it was Boston, there was even a Vilna Schul which in early 70s living in Cambridge occasionally walked just over the Charles River to Boston to help make a minyan there. As you are aware Rabbi Rakeffet writes a lot but has on occasion made. Not every place has current frumkeit of KGH.
            Boston was actually the most litvak city.
            I have never lived in the Bronx but I do know Boston. I was born in Boston. Had relatives in Boston for over 100 years. I am aware of many of the schuls, day schools in Boston area. Maimonides might have been first in 37 by the end of WW 11 there were others.
            If one looks at schul attendance during the 20s and 30 s, 40s it dwarfed current schul attendance I total Metro Boston. Metro Boston because of population shifting from Roxbury, Dorchester to suburbs including interior suburb of Boston.
            The Rav was in charge of hashgacha in Boston, non Glatt, not like a recent musmach tells me of YU, well i.e. st was Boston and Rav compromised. I said ridiculous Rav used to say why not Glatt that he pasuls more meat than those shecht houses that glatt because he is concerned with more than just the lungs.
            I am aware of language that many people when they came. Yes when the Rav came to Boston schochtim were having difficulties. He led demonstration, he had fights against other Rabbonim and difficulties with some of the Chareidi type, but the fact remains looking at facts on he ground no day schools but there were those who had frum children when times were much more difficult, see eg no Saturday, don’t come in Monday, trivia my mother in SATs no Sunday administration, had to stay with another shomer Shabbos women in a shomer Shabbos teachers house to take exam right after Shabbos 900 AM to 300 PM.
            There is a problem when people write history wo checking data and having facts wrong. And relying on impressions.
            There were Young Israels in areas that don’t exist anymore, there were plenty of schuls. Certainly the Rav added a lot, his Saturday night popular shiurim attracted many. The Rav had many loyalists in Boston.

          • Mycroft says:

            Maybe about issues of the Rav ask people who From Washington Street to Washington Street does not mean from the Bronx to Jerusalem, but Washington Street of Dudley Square and Roxbury to the other Washington Street from Brookline to Brighton.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          How many of the should that you mentioned in early 20th century Boston emerged as vibrant after the move out of Roxbury and Dorchester? AFAIK Boston has had viable MO and Charedi options for Tefilah and learning . it to claim that Boston was as strong 100 years ago as any Torah observant community today was refuted both by RYBS and Dr Alvin Schiff.

          • Mycroft says:

            The issue of communities and how they were and changed by gedolim and for some reason desire to believe that life was a Midbar before X came is interesting. See eg Rav A Kotler went to Lakewood because of vibrant Jewish community that could support him- at time a student off Rav Isaar Zalman was aRav there. Before Rav Ruderman went to Baltimore, there was TA the first Jewish HS outside Ny from about 1919, before the Rav came to Boston there were plenty of other Rabbis.
            What Torah observant communities do you see 100 years ago, what observance do you require to include someone as Orthodox? What per cent age of members of OU affiliated schuls today satisfy your test.

          • Mycroft says:

            How many Jews emerged as vibrant after the moVe out of the Bronx, Brooklyn,, to the suburbs. What percent are frum in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Putnam, Fairfield counties?
            You are playing statistical sleight of hand comparing any city to “any Torah observant community today” the real comparison is intermarriage, kosher meat consumption, schul attendance then and now.
            There was much greater schul attendance 85 years ago in Boston before the Rav moved than there is in allMetro Boston today.. Some Midbar.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Your post of 8.25 ,17 at 5:50 is a nice revisiting what was the difficult circumstances in raising an Orthodox family even in Boston many decades ago. The assertion that the environment represented anything but severe difficulties for the same should be viewed as fan fiction writ large. Yearning for such circumstances hardly means that the same were conducive to the transmission of Torah to the next generation.

          • Mycroft says:

            I am simply stating that Boston like Metro NY has had changes over the decades, some for the better some for the worse, the all or nothing program implicit in your comments that nothing other than day school has any positive benefit is IMO incorrect. Following that approach that one must be a yodea Sefer to be Orthodox is in IMO a sac religious point of view. If I am incorrect in my understanding please correct it.
            Boston is not unique, NY has also had major decreases in the number of Orthodox Schulz over the decades. See V Gellers book for details. Metro Boston has followed a similar decrease. Kosher meat consumption in US is way down.

  14. Steve Brizel says:

    As usual, you have elevated Boston above all other venues where RYBS also rendered Psak Halacha and gave shiurim. Until and unless you give us real proof, and not just anecdotal evidence mixed in with other observatiions, we will have to wait for others to tell us what Piskei Halacha you are referring to. Ojne more point-until you reveal your sources, its hard to take the same seriously. WADR, we are not dealing with Sisrei Torah, patents or secrets under a judicial lock and seal.

    • Mycroft says:

      You demand proof, show me proof for much of mipneinei Harav, certainly books written to that are supposedly breaking confidence of the AV what he said when he was close to 8 in private conversations. If you want to limit discussing to what the Rav wrote in his lifetime and public actions that he did fne and good. We would have much less distortion. If we left out books written by talmidim.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Show me one piece of paper where RYBS demanded that his talmidim were required to sign a confidentiality statement with respect to any Chiddush chumra or Kula .

        • Mycroft says:

          A Rebbe does not ask a talmid to sign a confidentiality agreement. Story from very early on the Ravs tenure at YU. The Rav meets RavRuderman on the train and RavRuderman compliments the Rav on a good piece of Torah. The Rav gets upset I didn’t say that. The Rav goes back to his shiur and tells them I don’t want you telling over my Torah.
          More practical danger from various publications that have been published since the Ravs ptirah, even assuming arguendo that the writer believes he is not distorting the Ravs words, the kula, chumra could easily be dependent on facts of the case. I once spoke to someone who dealt with communal affairs and was close with Rav. He stated without the Rav he would be extremely cautious in getting involved in these issues. He knew what the Rav told him but he can’t be sure which factor was crucial for the Rav as either the deal breaker or deal maker.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        RHS documents every sourced to the extent possible. Look in the sefer yourself before raising such an unsupported claim.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        No such breach of any purported confidence took place. Your POV on this issue and many such related issues is suppression of the truth.

        • Mycroft says:

          When one is taking care of a man on the decline one does not publicize conversations that he had privately with the Rav. There are many people who Dr Bill has written about who were very close to the Rav and had private conversations with the Rav on sensitive matters, do you see them writing books on Conversations with the Rav.
          BTW one of those books not by RHS is full of material which one can find counter material before the Ravs decline.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            In the absence of a confidentiality agreement or a. Ourt order mandating such you lack any basis for your contentions of a purported beach of confidentiality. The bio of R Moshe Twersky ZL contained many photos of RYBS and his family and was written with their express cooperation.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            All of the conversations took place in the mid to late 1970s when RYBS was still actively givingshiurim.and commuting from.Boston to NY.

        • mycroft says:

          I am not referring to a book by RHS. I treat books by butlers , nurses etc about the secrets of people they are assisting a breach of confidence.

          • Mycroft says:

            As one who attended the levaya of Rav Moshe Twersky HYD and was Menachem Avel, I will make it clear that none of my comments reflect any memorials to him. Acharei mot kedoshim Emor.

          • Mycroft says:

            Many people had conversations with the Rav. The vast majority of people have not disclosed those conversations. Many might use the information that they have learned from such conversations but treat it as background type material not for attribution. People cite public speeches, writings not private individuals.
            Of course, the Rav was still giving shiurim when the “psak” by certain RY on women’s issues was promulgated.

    • Bob Miller says:

      It seems to me that the OO approach by any name would have offended RYBS no matter where he was at the time—New York, Boston, passenger train, or whatever.

      • Mycroft says:

        There is no doubt that the Rav would have disagreed with much of R A Weiss’ approach but there is also no doubt that he would disagree also with the approach of much of current RIETS RY approach.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          There you again voicing your. Equating the head of YCT with RY of RIEYD because the latter are not mindless mirror images of RYBS.

          • Mycroft says:

            If you like the person and they disagree with the Rav they are ” not mi ndless mirror images of RYBS” so why bring up RYBS in the first place, when one agrees with him then attack others who do not follow him and when one follows people who disagree with him they are “not mindless mirror images” show people are wrong.

    • Mycroft says:

      You may not choose to follow my points, your choice. For better or worse we all have certain credibility or not in the blogosphere. I do not quote by name anyone who I have spoken to unless I have seen the item in writing or heard it stated publicly. I do not quote by name conversations That I have had with people- even if they were with people we are discussing. I will not write not write anything that I believe is incorrect. None of us are infallible, no one in the world is. I write what I believe is true. You have different opinions fine show where I am wrong.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Hiding behind anononymity is. Intellectually dishonest and not worth a response.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Without mentioning a source or verifiable link.an anonymous source is IMO worthless.

        • Mycroft says:

          It is the consistency of what someone states with what is known is important. A person can sign his names do write what supposedly the Rav told him in shiur or when he acted as doorman for the Rav, but if what the person claims what the Rav said is inconsistent with the Ravs public speeches and actions during his lifetime why wait.
          If the Rav didn’t object to publishing his private conversations from the mid late 70 s why wait thirty years to publish them. Why not publish them during the 70s and 80 s while the Rav was still around.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Anonymous claims as to any fact let alone Amitah Shel Torah deserve to be viewed as fan fiction .

        • dr. bill says:

          i have seen teshuvot from RMF ztl where he wrote NOT to show the teshuvah to others who might not follow it precisely. similarly, i have been told things i would not attribute by name because the information was conveyed to me that way. given how poorly many things are understood, and certainly by many in the blogosphere, mycroft is wise to not provide names.

          that said, anyones credibility in such assertions is a function of their personal judgment, something often valued very differently.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Anonymous sources are far more problematic than a Teshuvah written by RMF with a directive that the same not be disseminated publicly Obviously RMF’s directive was not followed because you saw the same, thus raising the possibility of the same being published with or without the consent of the RMF Foundation which is publishing additional volumes of Igros Moshe. Zero accessibility to a source equals no source.

          • dr. bill says:

            first, the teshuvah was to an individual who has passed on and was found by a granddaughter going through her fathers papers after he died as well. it left her grandfather in an awkward position doing something for which he received a heter but unable to tell anyone from whom.

            individuals often receive sensitive information and once verified, their unwillingness to reveal the source requires they versus the source be trusted. it is hardly of zero value.

  15. Steve Brizel says:

    That borders on the absurd because we have sefarim written by talmidim on the chiddushim and perish in of their rebbes. Just look at any page in Shas where the Baalei Tosfos quote Perish Hakuntres. There is a wonderful series of sefarum.called Halichos Shlomo on the Piskei Halacha of RSZS and Maaseh Rav if the Gra. With respect to RYBS we have R M Hopi s wonderful. Oil on dawning with RYBS in his minyan. Your standard eviscerated much of what is Mitzvos Talmud Torah the verification of any statement by a Tana or Amora by a disciple.it is a classic example of suppressing the truth to satisfy ones own partisan agenda and reeks of intellectual dishonesty

    • Mycroft says:

      I hope the other books written by Talmeidim on their Rebbes viewpoints much more accurately reflect their Rebbe than much written by Talmeidim of the Rav. There is a reason why Prof Kaplan could write his article only a few years after the Rav was niftar on Revisionism and the Rav. See what the Rav did in his lifetime, not comments written by explainers after his ptirah. If written befor 1975 or so much greater credibility if wrong the Rav would let everyone know.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        No one has ever challenged any of the searim that i cited as being less than 100% accurate.

        • dr.bill says:

          i am not sure what seforim you are referring to. but all who in one way or the other have attempted to re-cast’s the rav ztl’s personal engagement with secular knowledge have been increasingly shown to be wrong both by the Rav’s own writings and those who were able to converse with him in various secular subjects. you would not have expected him to discuss neo-kantian philosophy with RY x or advanced quantum theory with a talmid who barely passed mechanics. as a result those with whom he had such conversations, especially on matters that impacted halakha or hashkafah were few and far between. i cherish the very few recollections of conversations by those individuals that i have heard. and as mycroft noted above, those individuals rarely say/said much. my hope is that more and more trained historians will interview those people, integrate their recollections and eventually give us something like marc shapiro’s biography of RYYW ztl or benny brown’s of the CI ztl. talmidim are very valuable as sources not biographers.

          • Mycroft says:

            I have a similar hope that someone will write a book about the Rav that reflects him as accurately as does Marc Shapiros’s on the Sreidei Eish. Unfortunately due to the nature of things sadly as the years go one there are fewer people who could be interviewed who dealt with the Rav on matters of Halacha or hashkafa.c

          • Steve Brizel says:

            See my post of 8.25.17 at 6:10 A,M.

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill-The fact that RHS differed from RYBS on land for peace does not diminish RHS’s stature as a Talmid Muvhak of RYBS nor do the events and facts on the ground in Israel from 1968 to the present remotely prove that RYBS was correct.

    • dr.bill says:

      so far no one has been proven correct. but in terms of where the rz movement will end up, the rav ztl was accurate as was the late prof. katz

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Ask any family that has buried a victim of a terror attack since 1i93 and look at the polls in Israel. Hardly a ringing endorsement of land for peace.

        • dr. bill says:

          i do not know of any serious politician who does not acknowledge that any imaginable peace agreement will involve land for peace. whether peace will be achieved in the near-term is arguable. i hope so. read dr. walter reich’s book of over 40 years ago; it is still relevant for reasons that require a long conversation. remember what he did in the Clinton era.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Talk is cheap and books that are best sellers or purport to see forth an expert use can be bought at the Strand and used as doorstop. The facts on the ground are what count.

        • Mycroft says:

          IIrrelevant, I shared an apartment in grad school with someone who has been buried in Hebron for a quarter of a century.
          Neither you or I live in Israel thus not involved in decisions of what risks Israel should take because of messianic beliefs.
          Israelis and Israel will make their own decisions. Clearly no Israeli government has annexed territory other than parts of Jerusalem, they have also applied Israeli law to Golan. No one knows the future, there are reasonable people taking different positions. It is Chabad and RZ messianists who tend to take strong positions against relinquishing territory because they really believe that it is counter to bringing the Messiah. It is not due to analysis of security etc that would be done in a War College.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            IIRC, the only sector of the Israeli public that still endorses land for peace despite all of the facts on the ground to the contrary is the secular Ashkenazic left-I don’t see any polls that Sephardim or Charedim support a two state solution. The simple facts have nothing to do with Chabad or RZ messianists-there is no serious partner to negoitate with , let alone trust as a real partner for peace. When the Gush decides that it belongs on the pre 1948 side of the Green Line, then any and all talk about how the sector of non messianist RZ think will have some validity.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The leadership of the DIF was totally in the dark as to the Oslo negotiations and disastrous treaty that ensued therefrom.

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill-I attended all of the Drashos that RYBS gave while a student in YU and part of a Yahrtzeit shiur. Those were electrifying demonstrations of Talmud Torah. I attended the last summer shiur in Boston at Maimondies and it was sadly quite clear that RYBS was not giving the shiur with anything near the same clarity and strength as the shiurim in the early to mid 1970s.

  18. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill-Does the fact that the Baalei Tosfos quote and disagree, rather sharply at times with Rashi on almost every daf in Shas render the Baalei HaTosfos not talmidim of Rashi?

    • dr.bill says:

      of course he is a talmud muvhak; but neither the baalei tosfot or he reflect the views of rashi or the rav ztl. in the case of rhs, his shiurim, drush and hashkafah all differ.

      • Mycroft says:

        Can one be a talus muvhak if one does not follow ones Rebbe Muvhaks views?

        • dr. bill says:

          i think that in terms of hanhagot, RHS is a talmid muvhak. however, in today’s world more influences are more common.

          • Mycroft says:

            What do you mean by ha hanhagot? The Rav clearly did not expect others to follow his customs such as not wearing tfillin chol hamoed. The Rav advised someone whose father did not put on tfillin that he should wear tfillin chol hamoed.

          • dr. bill says:

            i agree that the rav ztl stressed family minhagim. that said various minhagim about standing, when to cover your head with a tallis, leshonot hatefillah, approach to various hilkhot shabbat both le’humrah and le’kula, etc. have made their way all the way to some of RHS’s students, who i see much more regularly than RHS.

          • Mycroft says:

            Spiritual influences ? I am ignorant as to what you mean in the above post.

          • mycroft says:

            “i agree that the rav ztl stressed family minhagim. that said various minhagim about standing, when to cover your head with a tallis, leshonot hatefillah, approach to various hilkhot shabbat both le’humrah and le’kula, etc. have made their way all the way to some of RHS’s students, who i see much more regularly than RHS”
            I have taken the position that one must distinguish what the Rav did following family minhagim versus what he did that he felt should be done generally. A simple example the Rav did not put on tfillin chol hamoed-yet when asked by someone in smicha program whose father never put on tfillin, should he put on tfillin chol hamoed was told yes.Rav asked but Rebbe you don’t put on tfillin chol hamoed, response of the Rav was’ what I do has nothing to do with what you should do.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          The Gemara many times tells that a Tana or Amora is offering both his own views and that of his rebbe in resolving a machlokes.

  19. mycroft says:

    Is the following necessary to be a talmid muvhak of an individual “Commitment to mesorah means following one’s rebbe muvhak’s views, whether lenient or strict. Even if he is no longer alive, one must still try to determine the guidance his rebbe muvhak would have offered. One must use all the tools at his disposal in this task, including inquiring of other students who were close with his rebbe, and he is then required to follow his best estimation of his mentor’s views. We see examples in the Talmud of following a rabbi’s unique halachic positions even long after he has died. For example, Rabbi Yossi HaGelili’s community would eat fowl with milk, and Rabbi Eliezer’s community would violate the laws of Shabbat in preparation for a circumcision, all in accordance with their deceased mentors’ positions” RHS from
    https://www.ou.org/jewish_action/10/2010/preserving_our_mesorah_a_symposium/

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Not worth a response to a poor use of an important source

      • Mycroft says:

        It is very easy to live in the US and state that Israel can’t attempt if it so desires peace certainly no one knows the future reasonable people can differ, value of land versus bigger fifth column, issue of world support ne cessary. No one seriously believes Israel is capable of producing first generation weapons

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Talk is cheap. I don’t see any recent poll of Israelis who view such issues as determining whether Israel should approach the situation in anything other than the view that there is no one to talk to on the ground and that Oslo has been a disaster in its implementation.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I guess from your POV Israel should R”L allowed the Arab world to launch a war of destruction in 1967? After all, you keep on reminding us of the reluctance of the RZs in the security cabinet against launching a war-despite the fact that the UN abdicated its responsibilities and the US could not and would not mobilize support to break the blockade of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Eilat.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            FWIW, in numerous post shiurim after 1967, RYBS defended the right of Israel to defend itself and against the hypocritical criticism offered by its international critics both in the UN Europe and the US. WADR, RYBS neither would have supported what you call the messianist part of RZ ( although AFAIK, we all recite brachos every week day about rebuilding Jerusalem and hastening Bias HaMoshiach and restoring His Presence to Zion) nor such groups as Peace Now.

      • Mycroft says:

        Should a talmid muvhak follow his Rebbe Muvhaks views even after death of Rebbe? Rav Schachter appears to say yes. Is Rav Schachter correct in your opinion.

  20. Bob Miller says:

    We’re now very aware that Steve Brizel and “Mycroft” have different takes about Rav Soloveitchik ZT”L. No amount of back and forth in this comment thread will resolve the issue, which is at best tangential to the matter at hand–OO’s rebranding to further its consumer fraud.

    • dr. bill says:

      fraud is a rather harsh word. i wonder who you feel was defrauded? rebranding occurred when rabbi lamm renamed modern orthodoxy as centrist orthodoxy. i do not know if he intended what occurred; i tend to doubt it. given their rather tumultuous beginning i think their re-branding and closer association with a much broader and intellectually mature movement in Israel is smart. since what now passes for centrist orthodoxy in the US will not give tzohar or beit hillel and any number of other movements an unmitigated endorsement, a vacuum was created into which the OO crowd would be negligent not to step in.

      just look at tzohar and beit hillel quantitatively – their leadership (of the political political, lomdus/halakhic and thought/hashkafah variety) is 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than the US OO. a smart move by the OO triumvirate that will grow with time. if you are looking for fraud, i can suggest some other places to look.

      • Mycroft says:

        Dr Bill
        I am not an expert on reasons for Rabbi Lamm changing MO appellation to Centrist Orthodoxy. I did have a brief conversation with Rabbi Lamm about the subject. It is 15 years but IIRC he didn’t try to make a big deal about the change. It is my impression certainly at looking at Rabbi Lamm’s writings before he became President of YU he certainly would not be classified as Centrist in the classification of MO vs Centrist. My gut is the term was made as President of YU as a marketing ploy to have students to be interested in YU wo being forced to identify as MO.
        I believe an unintended result of Rabbi Lamm’s rebranding is a lack of people considering MO ideology. To me a sad result is that RIETS has produced very few MO musmachim in the past few decades. Since there are very few MO musmachim, Chinuch and Rabbanos are in the control of Chareidi/centrist Rabbonim. Which means students are taught both explicitly that MO message of parents is invalid and implicitly by the choice of teachers schools that they send their own children. Children in MO schools see teachers who don’t believe what they are teaching or certainly what the school claims it is teaching. It can lead to a plague on both, some students will become Chareidi but many will drop both, they will reject both their parents religion and the teachers.
        Regarding Israel, I agree that there is a very strong MO movement there. Not coincidentally Dr Tovah Lichsteinstein has written that her fathers influence has increased in Israel and decreased in US since his ptirah. The reason why her fathers influence has gone down in US that there is no major institution advocating his basic approach. Certainly not YU. WO a MO smicha program at YU it left an opening for YCT. YCT is certainly not identical with the Ravs hashka but the turn to the right left a vacuum for YCT.

        • Mycroft says:

          To clarify all my impressions of MO and Centrist are based on is information that is available in published works by Rabbi Lamm about his viewpoints. It is my conjecture, I did have a very brief conversation with him and others, all tha one can read from the fact that I spoke to him about MO and Centrist is that I was interested in the issue 15 years ago. Rabbi Lamm had the ability to defuse questions diplomatically so one can’t read anything into his polite successful attempt to defuse the question.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Mycroft wrote :

          “To me a sad result is that RIETS has produced very few MO musmachim in the past few decades”

          You constantly make this claim. If you can’t explain what you mean please don’t make such claims

          • Mycroft says:

            What is unclear about my statement? Do you believe RIETS has produced MO Rebbis in the past few decades? What MO influence have they had? Maybe you and I define it different.

      • Bob Miller says:

        The OO fraud is their anti-halachic outlook. The PR means they use to promote it are accessories to the fraud. Whether the group is modern or not is beside the point. It is not orthodox.

        • Mycroft says:

          Do you have a cite where the leaders of OO reject Torah minhashamayim? Do you have a cite where it’s leaders reject the binding authority of Talmud ? Do you have a cite where it’s leaders take the position that Conservative Judaism did more than 65 years ago stating that one can ride on Shabbos.
          I personally disagree with much of OO ask my sheilas to a talmid of RHS, but the over the top language against them gives them credibility.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Take a look at any and all of R Godimer’s links. The evidence where OO stands on Torah Min HaShamayim and Torah MiSinai is obvious.

          • Bob Miller says:

            Nothing gives them credibility. Do you expect them to clearly own up to the reality of their outlook? It’s all smoke and mirrors.

          • Mycroft says:

            I checked a few of the links,essentially those that didn’t prevent me by paywall one certainly has a lot of issues that many including myself will disagree with. The proper approach is to respond is by showing how they are. Wrong halachikally, it can’t be done by claims to authority. No One has authority over someone who doesn’t recognize that personas his Rebbe. Thus I never had a problem with anyone not recognizing the Rav, my problem is with those who try and read their positions into the Rav

  21. Mycroft says:

    It would be much better if those who wish to attack OO did so on the ideas. When one brings statements of the Rav- which different people tend to bring different statements see eg Steve frequently refers to the Rav on Korach, I have frequently referred to the Rav referring to a new Conservative synagogue in a new section of Boston as helping bring Judaism to a different part of Bostxon

    • Steve Brizel says:

      That is a complete mischaracterization of the letter in question-read why RYBS refused to attend the dinner of that institution.

      • Mycroft says:

        Are you denying that the Rav wrote the sentence that I quoted? Of course,there is no dispute that the Rav was opposed to mixed pews, but that does not take one iota away from the Ravs statement that a Conservative synagogue helped bring Judaism to an area which was not served before. IMO consistent with. RAL famous statement that certainly in places like Dallas and Dubuque we can’t say we are worse off because Csynagogues are there.

  22. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-read my article re JSS in the YuJudaica book. I stand by the veracity of that article as to who attended JSS.

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