YU’s Policies About Women — A Reply to Deborah Klapper

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289 Responses

  1. Shades of Gray says:

    “For example, it is related that Rav Soloveitchik zt”l was asked about separate hakafos for women on Simchas Torah, in the women’s section of shul. Rav Soloveitchik most firmly replied, “this is in violation of our entire mesorah”.”

    I don’t have the source now to cite definitively, but I recall reading about a rebbetzin whose husband is associated with the Agudah who, presumably with her husband’s approval, might have danced in the upstairs section of a shul with women on Simchas Torah after davening. There may be nuances in the story, such as the difference in “dancing” on Yom Tov versus “hakafos” or other particulars to those circumstances(Rabbi Gordimer can email me offline for the source).

    Regarding the YU issue, I see it at least as a minhag hamakom issue, where a minority can’t force change on the majority; kol hameshaneh yado al hatachtonah, the one who changes has the lower hand.

    • Truther says:

      I think the difference is clear – “hakafos” = with the sefer torah and is a violation of the mesorah. “Dancing” = without the sefer torah and presumably would depend on the circumstances in each specific locale.

      • Shades of Gray says:

        Another possible distinction, even without a Sefer Torah, might be whether the story in question took place in the ezras nashim or in a social hall, since according to R. Moshe Meiselman quoting R. Soloveitchik, the source is Berachos 63a “that just as there is an etiquette that regulates one’s behaviour when visiting someone else’s home, so too there is a tradition that regulates behaviour in the synagogue…Proper synagogue behaviour is determined by practice and tradition. ”

        See Torah Musing, linked below:
        https://www.torahmusings.com/2014/10/women-torah-scrolls/

      • mycroft says:

        Agreed

    • mycroft says:

      “Regarding the YU issue, I see it at least as a minhag hamakom issue, where a minority can’t force change on the majority; kol hameshaneh yado al hatachtonah, the one who changes has the lower hand”
      Agreed, certainly if one minyan agree, not sure if YU permits alterntive minyanim how it applies. Certainly as a broader issue if schul wants it no problem, or certainly a new schul should have no problem having women speak.

  2. dr. bill says:

    Thank God YU (now) has a very capable president with excellent rabbinic and academic training, something that blessed almost all of its history. If he has reached out to rabbi Gordimer for guidance, then that detail would be of critical importance. If not, I think it a bit unwise to offer guidance unless its purpose is to suggest the parameters of a legitimate response, which would raise a different issue.

    as his mentor Rabbi Dr. Lamm has said to the consternation of many, we are not arguing halakhic issues but ones concerned with the rate of change in (rapidly) changing circumstance. traditional societies tend to change but only more slowly. I am not a prophet or one who aspires to be one, but if women are not delivering divrei torah after Shabbat services, in various settings during my lifetime, I would be acutely surprised. in many an orthodox, YU musmach led synagogue it is already happening, so even at my advanced age, I feel comfortable with at least that prediction.

    these changes are rarely dictated by religious leaders; they occur bottom-up in a variety of settings. let us check back every few years, to observe the rate of change; its direction, however, is abundantly clear.

    quoting ancient history even from last generation’s greatest advocate of advanced learning for women makes for interesting study, but not authoritative guidance.

    • mycroft says:

      “I am not a prophet or one who aspires to be one, but if women are not delivering divrei torah after Shabbat services, in various settings during my lifetime, I would be acutely surprised. in many an orthodox, YU musmach led synagogue it is already happening, so even at my advanced age, I feel comfortable with at least that prediction.”
      I have seen women including girls celebrating Bat Mitzvah speak after schul. One in a schul whose Rav clearly follows RHS and RHS has been a guest scholar most years makes the point immediately after Adon Olam ,men are now taking off their talessim , davening over and now we’ll hear x speak. Everyone was expected to stay to here speech.
      “quoting ancient history even from last generation’s greatest advocate of advanced learning for women makes for interesting study, but not authoritative guidance.”
      The quote is apparently from the Rav about hakafot. Hakafot are a different issue. Agree or disagree how one handles a sefer Torah is a different issue from hearing a women say a dvar Torah. There re plenty of halachos which unfortunately tend to be ignored about taking out and handling sifrei Torah, irrelevant to the issue of hearing women speak. I am aware of MO Rabbis who were close talmidim of the Rav who would not let women carry a sefer Torah in schul but would certainly have no objection to a women teaching Torah to men.
      Of course, it is very questionable to argue one position from the Rav hakafot of women in schul to women speaking in schul. The Rav was very nuanced. I just point in passing that there are many halachik beliefs of the Rav that are completely ignored today by the people. How many will n ot have stained glass windows in schul? How many let children be shaliach zibbur for ein kelokeinu? Rav opposed to both. They pick and chose, no different both those who Rabbi Gordimer quotes from and appears to support and those who he tends to oppose do it.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Many big shuls dont have stained glass windows. One can argue that AIn Keleokeinu Aleinu and the kadeshim.have no relrationship to Tefilas Musaf and therefore when a boy under bar mitvzah is on the bimah there is no presumption that any tefilas hatzibur in its classically defined sense of Chazaras HaShatz is occuring . In many Beis Avel you will see Mishnayos recited or learned which IIRC RYBS was also against. These isdues have nothing to do with how Torah is transmitted and learned in a yeshiva which should be with the upmost sense of Kedusha and Taharah.

        • mycroft says:

          I a not arguing whether or not it is good policy to have children lead ein kelokeinu, I was stating that the Rav is quoted selectively.
          We have kaddashim said after Ein kelokeinu, and aleinu. If one can have a person leading tfila who is not mechuyav, it is a non entity, thus why not a woman if she doesn’t sing-avoid problem of kol isha. Not advocating it, but show if can have a minor why not a woman.

        • dr. bill says:

          Unrelated as the prayers at the end of mussaf are to this thread, it should be noted that RMF ztl would spend summers in the late 50’s/early 60’s at the home of the grandfather of YU’s current president. the mechitzah in the shul he davened did not meet his standard, stories about his interaction the president’s aunt (then avery young girl) have been altered to meet current religious standards, but one thing he did request is that the synagogue not allow a boy below BM to daven from ain kelokeinu to the end of aleinu. i am not sure about anim zemirot and don’t remember if it was recited.

          • mycroft says:

            In this case apparently RMF agreed with the Rav. Note teenagers would be the gabbaim at Maimonides. They had one easy decision who gets Levi But below BM an entirely different matter.

    • rkz says:

      Actually, as I pointed out in an article (that I linked in another thread)’ there a several issurim involved in this (and similar) “innovation”

      • dr. bill says:

        your view about issurim is interesting but not dispositive to a yeshiva that need not look outside for pesak

        • rkz says:

          Of course my opinion is mine and does not bind YU. However, I was responding to what you wrote, that there is no issur involved, and it appeared to me that you meant that no one would argue with that.

  3. Steve Brizel says:

    I fullynagree with R Gordimer. A yeshiva as opposed to a college or graduate schhool is not and should never be seen as an experimential proving ground for the implementation of the cultural and political Zeitgeist of the secular world.

    • Charlie Hall says:

      Yeshiva University is in fact a university with colleges and graduate schools. RIETS is a separate institution.

  4. mycroft says:

    The question is there a halachik objection. If there is a halachik objection to a woman teaching Torah to men, then one could not have women limudei kodesh teachers for post bar mitzvah boys. If a halachik objection, please cite SA source.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The question should be whethet having women limudei kodesh teachers for post nar mitzvah boys is mutar afilu bdieved and vice versa. Start with the sugyos in the last perek of Kiddushin and Rishonim for the basis of any discussion in this regard.

      • mycroft says:

        Rishonim did not have men teaching all women schools .

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Again the Gemara and Rishonim and Gidrei Tznius are the relevant starting points not was or wasnt the actual practice.

          • mycroft says:

            Actual practice determines mesorah, thus R Chaim Volozhin refused to follow for his Yeshiva and family the Gaons shiurim. Not that he disagreed with his analysis but what is important is what the mesorah as determined by practice was.

          • dr. bill says:

            rav chaim volozhin is an answer to one of my arba kashot for the seder. small or large reviis/beiah or zayit. 4 options – name a gadol for each. large reviit small zayit, small reviit and small zayit, large reviit large zayit, small both. older children need to supply some sevarah.

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft. What is the source that this was R’ Chaim Voloziner’s reason

          • dr. bill says:

            the reasoning was standard among gedolai yisroel; their practice was not followed except very selectively. this changed in the last century. Dr. Grach has a conjecture. note that the CS applied ain kol chadash to the enlarged shiurim that the NB and the CI strongly supported. of course, we now know how and where they erred and how equivalence between volume and length measures can be established.

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill yasher koach for the explanation. I understand that there are no direct sources about Rav Chaim Volozhziner’s shita on shiurim.

          • mycroft says:

            “Mycroft. What is the source that this was R’ Chaim Voloziner’s reason”
            IIRC a descendant of R Chaim Volozin.

    • Yossie says:

      Without much research here is a source in Shas and Shulchan Aruch comes to mind. The halacha that a woman or single man should not teach Cheider seems to be not only about Yichud with the parents who are dropping off the kids but about modesty.

  5. Steve Brizel says:

    Mesorah based objections need not be refer to be grounded in SA but rather the neshama of the Halacha . There is a mitzvah of Kedoshim.Tibiyu. You dont need a sefer that is hundreds of pages long with lomdishe and historical footnotes to define how that mitzvah is observed. Take a look at the Torahweb book on Chinuch and R M Rosensweigs comments about separate hender education as a factor that enhances Yiras Shamayim and Ameilus BaTorah which are the keys to succeeding in Talmud Torah Lishmah.

    • Charlie Hall says:

      One of the few halachic positions that we have in writing from Rav Soloveitchik is one in which he strongly opposes separate Jewish studies classes for men and women. And he, his wife, and his daughter personally implemented and oversaw co-ed classes for all Jewish studies at the Maimonides School. One can argue the Rav’s position on may issues but there is absolutely no question what he thought on this one.

  6. mycroft says:

    The neshama of the halacha depends on who is reading the halacha. You depend on certain people for how they understand the spirit of the halacha, others have a right to follow others. One is NOT required to follow any particular Rav.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Unless you are a Baal Mesorah you cannot and are not entitled to do so.

      • mycroft says:

        Show me how one defines who one listens to. What is a baal mesorah? I have a right to ask anyone for a psak. My local Rav at his discretion may ask others. We do not have a formal hierarchy. I personlly would rely on RHS rather thn RAW if that were the sole choice. That is my cholice I can’t demand it of others.

      • dr. bill says:

        can you describe the litmus test for that? generations later, we can determine who is a major figure, perhaps. at the time, we have erred in both directions burning Rambam’s books and embracing Rav Shaul Berlin. the rav ztl has thankfully become more honored since his death and Rav kook ztl very sadly less honored.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I would maintain that Klal Yisrael has always defined Baalei Mesorah as those individuals whose Lomdus Tzidkus Yashrus and awareness of thecfifth chelek of SA has rendered them the addresses for quedtions and isdues of halacha and hashkafa. R Shaul Berlin aka the author of Besamim.Rosh was viewed as a Maskil or worse by CS And many other Gdolim andnever accepted as a Baal Mesorah.

          • dr. bill says:

            check your history. some gedolai yisroel before and after the chatam sofer, quoted the besamim rosh.

            your definition of baalei hamesorah is sourced where? does not pass the sniff test for actionable

          • mycroft says:

            How do you treat R Yonasan Eibschutz as a great gadol or a mesis umediach. There have been people throughout history who have taken the different sides of that argument You mat be certain one way or the other but no one knows either way.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          RYSA RSZA RYBS the CI and RTPF all held RAYHK in very high regard.any disagreements with respect to RAYHK were solely with respect to his viees on secular Zionism.

        • mycroft says:

          The Rav has been honored by many who disagreed with him, by stating that much of what the Rav stated and believed he did not. He has been the victim of revisionism,

        • Steve Brizel says:

          With respect to burning Rambam’s books, one of the protagonists was R Yonah who realized that he was wrong in doing so and wrote Shaarei Teshuvah as his kaparah.

          • dr. bill says:

            some who burnt his books saw the destruction in paris of many editions of the talmud, as divine retribution. in times of tzorah, on occasion, divisions lessen, sadly only for a while.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Only a Baal Mesorah you cannot and are not entitled to do so.

      • mycroft says:

        >definition a baal mesorah is someone who agrees with your mesorah otherwise they are not a baal mesorah.
        Obviously a “baal mesorah” can distort his Rebbe see examples in Prof Kaplans Revisionism article.

  7. mycroft says:

    “R M Rosensweigs comments about separate hender education as a factor that enhances Yiras Shamayim and Ameilus BaTorah ”
    I’ll quote the Rav who held that he had no objection to mixed classes if it was educationally desirable. Curious, since you always quote grandchildren of people, how about the position of R Michael Rosensweigs FIL on coeducation.

    • rkz says:

      There was never a gadol whose psakim and shiitot were followed in their totality. Just like we do not follow Rabbenu Tam on the koshering of livers or on waiting between meat and milk, we do not follow shitot yakhid (or data miut katan) of any other posek. The same wrt to RYBS ztl and coed schooling.

      • mycroft says:

        We have NO ONE who all are required to follow. Some followed RMF, some followed RAKotler, some the Rav etc. No one is required to follow anyones psak unless there are the persons Rebbe or they asked him a sheila.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          The Baalei HaTosfos weite that we aee obligated to follow the views of the Gdolei haDor on halacha even if we nevet heard a word of Torah from.them.directly.

          • lacosta says:

            this is the quintessential question ‘who is a gadol’ . it seems that certain segments of orthodoxy arrogated to themselves the sole power to declare and define who is a gadol. of course, certain communities [chabad, satmar, etc] are outside that nexus—and so to is a very large swath of Modern Orthodoxy– everything to the left of its far right end…

          • mycroft says:

            “this is the quintessential question ‘who is a gadol’ . it seems that certain segments of orthodoxy arrogated to themselves the sole power to declare and define who is a gadol. of course, certain communities [chabad, satmar, etc] are outside that nexus—and so to is a very large swath of Modern Orthodoxy– everything to the left of its far right end”
            Of course, that is the issue. It is circular reasoning, the definition of baalei mesorah and bar hachi etc is that they believe and state what the writer wants.
            The case of the Rav is a classic as Dr Tovah Lichtenstein wrote: ” And yet, there are former students,
            notable among them a number of faculty members or former faculty
            members at RIETS, who have not only turned their backs on the complex
            worldview the Rov espoused but are anxious to claim that the Rov himself
            turned his back on this view. It has even been claimed that “Whatever
            he (the Rov) did aside from learning Torah came to him coincidentally.”xxx
            It is, indeed, preposterous to think that his major philosophical essays,
            which interweave general philosophy and science, are “coincidental.” “

          • rkz says:

            If you think that there is no difference between levels in Torah, and that everyone can venture an opinion, you stand in direct contrast to the Tzemach Tzedek (hakadmon) and the Noda Biyehuda.

          • mycroft says:

            “If you think that there is no difference between levels in Torah, and that everyone can venture an opinion, you stand in direct contrast to the Tzemach Tzedek (hakadmon) and the Noda Biyehuda.”
            There are in general different areas of Torah knowledge and different skills in each. What is important is the knowledge of both Torah and the mizuit of the issues. If one can show by a well reasoned argument , an issue if you disagree don’t say he is not a bar hachi or other ad hominem arguments show how he is wrong and your answer is superior.

          • dr. bill says:

            much has been written and not followed. any number of histories by distinguished historians of 11-13th century ashzenaz, tell the “real” story from Ta Shma ztl to yibadail lechaim soloveitchik, karnafogel, baumgarten, etc. i assume the baalei tosofot defined RT as the gadol hador. there is a great story and a chief rabbi in cracow or some other polish city that baumgarten tells.

            dr. soloveitchik explains that following the practice of gedolim was not always widespread, where hanhagot were not always followed

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft. WADR, please see again the sources that I mentioned, and what I wrote in Hakhi Itmar vol. 2, pp. 41-44 (available in otzar hakhochma database).
            Dr. Bill, my article deals with shittat chachmei Ashkenaz ve-Tzarfat.

        • rkz says:

          That’s not what I wrote. I wrote the opposite, that indeed there is no posek that is always followed in all of his psakim. However, there is a minhag psika, i.e. the general accepted halakhic position followed by klal Yisrael (or significant parts of klal Yisrael) for a few generations, and not influenced by anti-halakhic motivations. In the case of coed schooling, the universal practice from Matan Torah to the late modern era was to have complete separation between boys and girls. RYBS ztl ruled differently (AFAIK there is a makhloket between his talmidim if it was an et laasot psika), but WADR his psak was not accepted but the other gedolim and therefore did not become normative practice. I meant no disrespect to RYBS ztl, and that is why I wrote that no posek, no matter how great, is followed in toto.

          • Charlie Hall says:

            “the universal practice from Matan Torah to the late modern era was to have complete separation between boys and girls”

            Only if you define “late modern” as ending in the early 19th century.

            “but WADR his psak was not accepted”

            Not true; most modern orthodox schools today are co-ed.

          • rkz says:

            Actually, when I wrote “late modern era”, I was referring to the mid 19th century, when AFAIK there were a few orthodox coed schools.
            As for what you wrote that “Not true; most modern orthodox schools today are co-ed.”, I think that this claim (even if correct. I don’t know if it is correct or incorrect) contradicts what I wrote that “WADR his psak was not accepted by (I made a typo before and wrote “but” instead of “by”, and perhaps that’s why you didn’t agree with me ) the other gedolim and therefore did not become normative practice.” Indeed, those coed MO schools are not part of the normative practice.

          • mycroft says:

            ” (AFAIK there is a makhloket between his talmidim if it was an et laasot psika”
            We have living Rabbonim who did shimush by the Rav in Boston. IIRC Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yoseph Blau. Rabbi Blau was the assistant principal of Maimonides when R Moshe Twersky HYD was an elementary school student.
            The revisionism about the Rav is not headquartered among people who actually dealt with the Rav halacha lemaaseh, it is based on supposed private comments that the Rav made about two hundred miles from where he ran the institution involved.

          • rkz says:

            AFAIK, RHS wrote that it was an et laasot issue.

          • mycroft says:

            “AFAIK, RHS wrote that it was an et laasot issue”
            If you mean modern day America is et laasot versus what he would have advocated in 4th century Israel no dispute
            If you mean something special about Boston, nonsense there was nothing special about Boston.Not as large as NY but I believe second highest percentage of Jews of total population of a major city compared to general population. There has been a lot of nonsense stated about Boston, not from RHs but from another RY, when the Rav came to Boston only six shomer Shabbos families, laughable on its face. Anyone who has any connection with Boston knows the falsehoods. It is easier to make Revisionism about the Rav stating special circumstances. Especially circumstances that are only heard by people who stay in NY area,

          • dr. bill says:

            rkz, if it was, it may still be. RAL ztl never raised that; the Rav ztl’s actions and words would not imply that. curious if RHS has a credible source beyond his POV.

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft. I know nothing about the Boston Jewish community, and never claimed otherwise. What RHS explained was the RYBS ztl did what he did wrt to coed schools was et laasot (IIRC he did not refer to a unique situation davka in Boston too much) That made sense to me, as it brings RYBS closer to the psika of all the other gedolim who opposed coed schools (I had the zechut to be one of the founders of the boys Talmud-torah kindergarden here, and the rabbanim I spoke to’ esp. the mara de-atra were very supportive)
            (What you wrote about 4th cent. Israel I did not understand)

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Again read tbe book and essay in question. You are assuming that RYBS supporyed coed schools at all times snd in all places which R R Rakkafst has mentioned is at least is hardly a psak for all communities at all times.

      • mycroft says:

        Stop the phony revisionism, the Rav believed unlike RMF that coeducation was appropriate if it was educationally desirable. Maimonides was coed and had multiple classes per grade. They could have easily divided by gender but didn’t.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          That was true then. The issues today are not creating schools but creating an atmosphere where Ameilus BaTorah Kedoshim Tihiyu and Yiras Shamayim are religiois realities as opposed to mre slogans.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          The issue is what works today not worked years ago.

      • mycroft says:

        “kz March 21, 2018 at 3:33 am
        Mycroft. I know nothing about the Boston Jewish community, and never claimed otherwise. What RHS explained was the RYBS ztl did what he did wrt to coed schools was et laasot (IIRC he did not refer to a unique situation davka in Boston too much)”
        If Boston not unique and want to treat Ravs psak as limited to modern day North America fine that et laasot is irrelevant lemaaseh

        “That made sense to me, as it brings RYBS closer to the psika of all the other gedolim who opposed coed schools”
        In general it is a mistake to try and fit the Rav into other gedolim. Each had different frameworks while equally committed to halacha
        (

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Thr Yetzer Yarah prrsents itself in different ways. While coed schools may have snd may serve an important function in many communities one can argue as does RMRosenszweig thst they do not enhance Ameilus BaTorah Kdoshiim Tihiyu and Tiras Shamayim in many MO communities today.

      • dr. bill says:

        do you have a stempel delivered to you that authorizes you to declare what goals many MO communities should aspire to? the chutzpah is monumental!!

        • Steve Brizel says:

          There is nothing wrong and much to be applauded in exploring what enhan es and what detracts from Ameulus BaTorah Kedoshim Tihiyu and Yiras Shamayim and examing whether yesterday’s weapons and tools will be succrssful and helpful today as opposed to the important purposes which they aerve un some communities.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Didnt know that Ameulus BaTorah Kedoshim Tihiyu and Yiras Shamayim.werent goals all of us should be striving for.

          • dr. bill says:

            does that replace torah, ve’avodash and gemilat chasadim? you are severely in need of a course in logic. when you say these three are primary principles, that is objectionable. when you say they are values we should all aspire to; one yawns and says ok.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Without Ameilus BaTorah and striving for Yiras Shamayim and Kedoshim Tihiyu you will never get close to a proper emphasis on Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      We disagree as to whrther coeducation was necessary bdieved for yeshiva education to survive in its early years in the US or mutar lchatchilah. The question today is different. Does coeducation in the MO world enhance or detract fro..Ameulus BaTorah Yiras Shamayim and Kedishim Tihiyu? Todays Baalei Mesorah such as R M Rosensweig jave written about the issue. Quoting what RYBS said in a very different context is a historical footnote.

      • mycroft says:

        We do not have more Orthodox Jews than we had seventy years ago. It is certainly true if one leaves out Chassidic world which is a different sociological group. There were far more Orthodox pulpits at the end of WWII. Far more Orthodox positions available. Weve lost the inner city positions, in addition to whole states which Orthodox schules and don’t have them anymore.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          How is this relevant to the discussion? It is as if you are excluding them.from. the definition of Orthodoxy.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          We have a different snd more learned community in the MO and Charedi worlds today. Wgat you refer to is yhe immigrant community that constituted Orthodoxy pre WW2 . You consistently fsil to account for the fact that there are large Charedi and MO communities today that have never been the subject of a proper survey as to rhe numbers instiutions and stenghs of these communities that are a far cry from the commu ities that were Orthodox in name but hardly Orthodox in practice and msny of whose mext generation have assumilated or intermarried as they moved to the suburbs.

          • mycroft says:

            Are you aware that today the intermarriage rate of those who complete 12 years of an Orthodox Day School is greater than the American intermarriage rate 100 years ago.
            IIRC Marvin Schick once wrote that chareidim claim more adherents in a certain section of Brooklyn than census information shows for total population in census tracts including that area.
            There are communities today that didn’t exist years ago, but the numbers are nowhere close to replacing areas that were vibrant Jewish communities decades ago.
            Kosher meat consumption way down in US. Read Kosher USA

      • mycroft says:

        If one can’t quote gedoloim from less than fifty years ago, what type of mesorah do you say we must follow, just those mythical people who you like and call baal mesorah.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          BAALEI mesorah of today are not mythical . They are great talmidei chachamim who younhave heard many shiurim from.over the years.

          • mycroft says:

            A great talmid chacham and a great explainer of Torah does not necessarily equal being an accurate transmitter of mesorah. Hypothetically one could be misleading in what one quotes as part of mesorah, ignoring different aspects of history.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Noo e says you cant quote a Gadil from.fifty years sgo. But you cant and shouldnt automatically extrapolate from solutions and stategirs crom.past bwars and battles ro the battles and issues of today. You dont fight the Blitzkrieg with the Maginot Line.

          • mycroft says:

            You are advocating that essentially every generation of ones favored Rabbonim start from scratch. Thus, you -actually your guides dont like certain aspects of the Rav due to new circumstances, others such as OO don’t like other aspects of the Rav. No difference. Both sides are picking and choosing which parts of the Rav to accept.

      • dr. bill says:

        sadly, RAL ztl is not here to ask and I doubt you would trust the Rav ztl’s children. i have posted about RAL’s answer to this question. the Rav maintained his position on Maimonides until his illness. No one had the audacity to ask; many can give you their conjectures. 1980 was closer to 2020 than 1940; not just a historical pesak, that can easily be dismissed. as much as it will trouble you, various hypotheses are plausible to those who have a sense of The Rav.

        • mycroft says:

          There is no doubt that Maimonides was run by the Rav as a lechatchila. The head of the school committee was either the Ravs wife or his daughter to the time when Dr Twersky stepped down in this millenium. She was in her seventies when that happened. Every member of the school committee except for two was selected by either the Rav or his daughter. Those two were selected by the Rav himself.
          I once spoke to one of those two-actually I knew both,-about Maimonides school and the Rav. Essentially when the Rav wanted something to happen the school committee met and approved it.
          The Revisionism about the Rav is a big issue about mesorah. When one can see that in our lifetimes we see people changing positions of what happened because they don’t like the result, chas veshalom it is a challenge to integrity of mesorah.

      • mycroft says:

        Then say you don’t follow the Ravs position on coed schools being permissible even when there are enough students to have separate classes by gender. State that in your opinion what he stated would not work today. If that is your position, don’t attack those who do not follow the Rav in other matters, they will also say “The issue is what works today not worked years ago.”

      • mycroft says:

        “Quoting what RYBS said in a very different context is a historical footnote”.

        Everything that we learn is from a different context. Thus, don’t quote any of our gedolim.
        If someone believes coeducation is desirable have it, if one believes it is bad don’t have it

        • Steve Brizel says:

          It is not an issue of desirability but rather on a community wide basis it is necessary and whether even if coeducation worked in the past it should be viewed as a lchatchilah in all communities today . By the same reasoning R M Solomon years ago commented that with respect to none less than RAK and BMG that it is a mustake to fight todays battles with the educational tools of yesteryear. Rhe notion that the Maginot Line can stop a blitzkrieg was sheer folly. I think a strong case can be met that neither kollel for all nor coed K to 12 remotely approach Yehareg Val Yaacor.

  8. mycroft says:

    From statement to OU about women Rabbis
    “Roles women are currently assuming:
    a. Teaching ongoing classes and shiurim, and delivering lectures.
    b. Serving as a visiting scholar-in-residence”
    So what is wrong about having a woman give an after schul dvar Torah?

    • dr. bill says:

      do you really think, the entire cross-current crowd believes in the OU position? only what is prohibited is operative; the rest is to be fought on another day or read through a “different” lens.

      This treatment extends to other areas. take rabbi Rakeffet – on the OO and the approach to homosexuality; he is treated as the posek acharon. On geirut, mamzeirut, blacklists, Rav Goren ztl, etc. not so much.

      Of course, wrt to the Rav ztl, his rumblings in his elderly years are quoted as opposed to written pesakim and those given widely in his prime. I heard RAL ztl asked about one of the Rav’s most liberal pesakim. He did not disguise his disagreement but noted only that an (adjective deleted) fool would have the chutzpah to ask him to justify.

      What few appreciate, is that what is strictly halakhic is as much a cause of disagreement, as taking different halakhic positions. Gedolim like the Rav and RSZA ztl had an innate sense that was palpable. Other gedolim maintain a more expansive view of what falls entirely under the halakhic rubric.n

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Not in a Beis Medrash in a classical yeshiva.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        What RYBS said in the 1970s when he forcefully rejected the feminist critique of halacha should not be so viewed as “the rumblimgs of his elderly years “. They were voiced on public as major addresses to the RCA and RIETS alumni. It is also well known that RYBS was very opposed to RER ZL succeeding RDBellkin ZL as president of YU

        • mycroft says:

          Rabbi Rackman was older than Dr Belkin. No one could have predicted his arichas yamim. I have heard that from many sources about the Rav and Dr Belkin, yet I was aware at the time period that at least one of the Ravs close relatives was in favor of Rabbi Rackman.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RYBS spoke forcefully against RERs views on hafkaas kiddushin and u know that RYBs told RER Zl that he wad oppossed to his serving as President of YU.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Was that pwrson a tal.id chacham or RY in RIETS?

          • mycroft says:

            “Was that pwrson a tal.id chacham or RY in RIETS?”
            Yes-only answering because of or. I choose not to identify. Two aspects of importance, person did not believe President of YU need be the spiritual leader, he felt administrative, fundraising etc. Certainly when YU picked Richard Joel that was their attempt. One must also remember that what one perceives of traditional beliefs of people changes by position. Read Rabbi Lamms writings before 1970 or so when YU Pres was his clear goal and became active and attitudes to halacha as expressed by Rabbis Lmm and Rackman-it would be interesting.

      • mycroft says:

        “Gedolim like the Rav and RSZA ztl had an innate sense that was palpable. Other gedolim maintain a more expansive view of what falls entirely under the halakhic rubric.n”
        A time to quote the Rav: “I no special expertise in non halachik issues

        • dr. bill says:

          see also RAL ztl’s recount of a very complex sheailah he asked RSZA ztl, where he declared that it is not halakhic. as such, RSZA told him to follow the advice you think your great FIL would have given you. if you were my student, i would tell you my opinion.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Not in a Beis Medrash in a classical yeshiva.

      • dr. bill says:

        during the entire time the Rav ztl was alive, no one like Prof. Christine Hayes lectured at Revel. and therefore??

        those intimate with Rav, can tell you about his feelings after Dr. Belkin ztl was niftar. quoting a factoid about the late rabbi dr. rackman is interesting but incomplete. trying to imply something relevant today is not the sign of a wise, thoughtful individual. people who are aware of that era in history have spoken to jewish historians and after all those involved in those deliberations are in the olam ha’emet, the history will become public. hopefully, not too soon.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          BRGS never has been nor should it ne comflated with RIETS.

          • dr. bill says:

            the need to respond should not override the need to make sense. if you can find where I referred to RIETS, then your comment might have made sense. i did not, and you make no sense.

    • Charlie Hall says:

      “what is wrong about having a woman give an after schul dvar Torah?”

      Nothing.

      But if you don’t like the minhag of a minyan, there is nothing to prevent you from either (a) going to a different minyan, or (b) starting your own. Washington Heights has many other minyanim.

      That said, I find it unbelievable that Rabbi Gordimer would suggest that hearing a dvar Torah from some male undergraduate student would be preferable to hearing from a distinguished scholar. Would he really want to hear some college freshman rather than, say, Nechama Leibowitz were she still alive?

      • rkz says:

        Nechama Leibowitz refused to give any sort of a dvar Torah in a shul because she was a woman.

        • dr. bill says:

          which provides her view on what she felt proper doing; that deserves respect as a POV. As far as halakha, not really on point.

          • rkz says:

            I was responding to the comment above, which referred to her. I agree that her view was not a psikat halakha, but in this case it was also the correct halakha

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Nechama Leibowitz,Zl was neither an advocate or role model.for feminists nor impressed with the pshat only approach to learning Chumash.

  9. JS says:

    Mycroft, I happened to see you wrote this abour R Rakeffet in the post on Liberal Rabbis:

    “Rabbi Rakeffet refers to the as CI ”
    When he writes books like his on R Revel or R E Silver he is very worthwhile reading. BTW, supporting Meir Kahane is an approach at least as opposed to the Ravs approach as anything I can think of.”

    I’m not sure this is correct. I have in my possession a copy of a letter written by the Rav expressing moderate support for Kahane’s political activities in Israel in the mid 80s.

  10. mycroft says:

    “I’m not sure this is correct. I have in my possession a copy of a letter written by the Rav expressing moderate support for Kahane’s political activities in Israel in the mid 80s.”
    I am totally shocked . Not only did I refer to his public speech concerning Betar in 1968, but also was in Boston area during Yom Kippur War and remember discussions with the Rav about Israel and how Jews must act. I am also aware of his reaction to the massacres in Lebanon in the early 1980s and his reaction to the bombing by Israel of the Iraqi nuclear facility.
    Remember by 1984 the YU RY signed their own psak wo the Ravs signature, he was stilling occasionally giving shiur. It has been defended by the RY that the Rav was not in a position to get involved in such things by then. I have seen and actually have some examples of the Ravs handwriting but I am not a handwriting expert , nevertheless I am suspicious-not of you but circumstances of how what you have was produced. Of course, one can’t forget that due to illness the Rav over a decade before that time was known to be on the way down.

    • JS says:

      The letter is dated summer of ’84, so even if he wasn’t in a position to spearhead a major public fight then, I imagine he was capable of writing a personal letter, such as this one about Kahane.
      I would argue that the message here is that the Rav was sui generis, and no matter what you absolutely think you know about him, what his positions were, or what his position would be, or “an approach at least as opposed to the Ravs approach as anything I can think of” – you might very well be incorrect in your assessment, such as in this case of Rabbi Rakeffet/Kahane.
      Similarly – those who you think have turned their back on the Rav, don’t be so sure in your own judgments.

      • mycroft says:

        See
        https://www.torahmusings.com/2012/04/rav-soloveitchik-and-r-meir-kahane/ including especially
        “R. Shalom Carmy, “Orthodox Judaism and the Liberal Arts” in Academe, Jan-Feb 2001 (link):

        “In the 1980s a militant politician from Israel visited the United States to hawk his wares. Years later, this man was banned from candidacy for the Israeli Knesset because his anti-Arab harangues violated Israel’s antiracism law (which had been passed with him in mind). Already, the Rav regarded this man’s selective citation of Jewish sources as a distortion and desecration of Torah. He told people close to him that the individual should not be given a platform. But certain students desired the controversial speaker’s presence in our midst. Some, when they learned of the Rav’s displeasure, proceeded to cast aspersions on his Zionism. He, for his part, was not disposed to impose his opinion. The charismatic speaker made his way through the civilized but unambiguous demonstration that greeted him, ascended the rostrum, and allowed himself remarks about the Rav’s religious authenticity that would probably have provoked violence in a conventional yeshiva.”

        • mycroft says:

          JS
          I’ll repeat my general comment about what the Rav said or supposedly wrote. Be very suspicious of anything that is either a statement by the Rav told to anyone without witnesses which contradicts prior known positions of the Rav or any letters that appeared after his death which contradict his general viewpoints

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Why? You quote anonymous statwments from RYBS all the time? Many statements and somevofvthe important works works of the greatest talmudei chachamim were first made available to the wider public posthumously.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Noone claims that anything that has been published posthumously in the form of verbatim transmission of shiurim or drashos is inaccurate other than you. Tbe burden on those claiming that the same are inaccurate or do not reflect the “general views” of RYBS an exceedingly vague standard is on those who contend that anything posthumously published is inaccurate and if so publish what they perceive as accurate statements sgiurim.and drashos.

          • mycroft says:

            “Why? You quote anonymous statwments from RYBS all the time”
            Not often, I do not quote things inconsistent with what he wrote or actions done by institutions during his lifetime that he controlled. Burden is on those quoting private conversations that contradict his stated public positions. I am not aware that Ive done that. If I have please cite public position that is inconsistent with what I wrote

          • mycroft says:

            “Noone claims that anything that has been published posthumously in the form of verbatim transmission of shiurim or drashos is inaccurate other than you.”
            There are very few shiurim, drashas of the Rav that have been transcribed. At best they are mostly based on notes. I have heard from some in the Ravs shiur from early 60s who have disagreed with some claimed statements.

        • JS says:

          Interesting.
          Thanks for the link.
          Do you have a more specific timeframe (month/year) for when this incident occurred?

          Like I said, the Rav was sui generis. You might think you have the Rav’s positions all figured out due to incidents like this one, but the Rav might still surprise you.
          I plan to publish the letter, hopefully in the next few months. At that point, you and others should be able to form a more informed opinion on the matter.

          • dr. bill says:

            there is one well-known individual who represented the Rav ztl in such matters;
            he often traveled often to present the Rav ztl’s opinion. it would be wise to discuss the overall context with him. I imagine he might be helpful.

  11. mb says:

    My OU Synagogue often has a woman give a Shabbat morning drasha BEFORE Mussaf.
    And please note, several United Synagogues in the UK have Friday night women only prayer services. Rabbi Gordimer, The Times Are a’Changing , as Judaism and practice always have.

    • rkz says:

      Not every change is good, and some changes are forbidden. Halakha is decided by poskim, not by opinion polls. We have to remind other yidden that not every “minhag” is a minhag

      • dr. bill says:

        or more precisely : IN TIME, Halakha is decided by poskim, not by opinion polls.

        • mycroft says:

          There is a lot of feedback in the system of poskim, general population that determines ultimate practice. Over time things get sorted out what is accepted and what isn’t. Answer can depend on what community one is part of.

        • rkz says:

          Very true, but it does not change my general point

    • Steve Brizel says:

      No amount of sociological change can erase the fact that women are not obligated in the mitzvah of Talmud Torah . We should not be apologetic about hender based differences in halacha and minhag rhat go back fo the dawn of tbe Jewish People and tbe roles played by the Avos Imahos Moshe Rabbeinu Miriam HaNeviah and why women are exempt from positive time bound mitzvos namely because men not women need su h mitzvos as reminders and snchors of their identity as Jews snd women who remained faithful do not.

      • mb says:

        Women seem to be obligated in many time bound mitzvot. however, even when they are exempt, they may voluntaril,. even with a brachah(Ashkenazim, at least) as Talmud Torah surpasses them all, why wouldn’t we welcome women learning and teaching? I do. If it makes me a heretic, I’m proud of it.

        • dr. bill says:

          when asked by an early US post HS class at BMT, whether they should say hallel with bracha, Rav Goren ztl quipped, you say it and i accept your gehinom. prior to the current generation of religiously inspired anti-feminist, people told stories of women with great torah knowledge with pride. now, not so much

          • rkz says:

            Those women did not rebel against the halakha, but rather they learnt Torah on their own, as a personal chumra. Those women today who want to say divrei torah to men in shul, or talk in a khuppa etc. are rebelling against the whole derekh the Torah teaches us about the role of women in avodat Hashem. I refer again to rav Moshe’s seminal tshuva on feminism.

          • dr. bill says:

            rkz, you are both correct and incorrect. in their view, those women are rebelling against elements of jewish custom that reflect misogyny, not halakha. by poor analogy, they are like those who consider a roite bandel, a custom violating issurim against kishuf. they consider various practices a violation of the kavod God made innate to all people.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            How many such women were there throughout the generations? Show,us how when and where they were not tbe exception to the rule.

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill. I specifically referred to “the whole derekh the Torah teaches us about the role of women in avodat Hashem”. That’s not a custom, but the general Retzon Hashem. rebelling against it borders on kefira (you asked me before, in another thread, to minimize my use of this word. I really tried, and I think this is the first time in this thread that I used it), as Rav Moshe wrote.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Women never have the same level of obligation as men with respect to time bound positive mitzvos that have no connection to a negative commandment. It is at best at best aino mtzuveh voseh.

          • mb says:

            Great, I’ll tell my wife she only has to drink 3 cups or say shechyianu when lighting the yom tov candles.

          • mycroft says:

            ” That’s not a custom, but the general Retzon Hashem. rebelling against it borders on kefira (you asked me before, in another thread, to minimize my use of this word. I really tried, and I think this is the first time in this thread that I used it),”
            We try and follow Rezon Hashem obviously we believe following Halacha is part of that, beyond that we all have to try and determine razon hashem

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft. Retzon Hashem is following halakha and the general hashkafa and derekh that the Torah teaches us, as opoosed to foreign ideologies such as feminism. (However, I fell that we are arguing in circles).

      • mycroft says:

        Nashim, ktanim, vavadim

        • Steve Brizel says:

          All have same level of obligation . That is s chidush?

        • mycroft says:

          Retzon Hashem is following halakha and the general hashkafa and derekh that the Torah teaches us, as opoosed to foreign ideologies such as feminism. (However, I fell that we are arguin, g in circles).
          It is following halacha which one is required to follow the psak. Razon hashem is not as precise, the sum of hashkafot derived from halacha,aggadata, neviim approach, everything that one can think of. I agree it does not equal following foreign ideologies such as feminism, but also foreign ideologies such as capitalism, socialism, anti -feminism, conservative , liberal ideology-all of them and any others are foreign ideologies .

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Any ideilogy that dictates or purports to dictate and supercede the Torah and Halacha falls into that category including feninism and its itellectual and sociological comrades in arms.

          • mycroft says:

            Any ideilogy that dictates or purports to dictate and supercede the Torah and Halacha falls into that category including feninism and its itellectual and sociological comrades in arms.
            Agreed ANY IDEOLOGY thus agree that feminism can’t supercede Torah and Halacha which includes feminism, anti feminism, liberalism ,capitalism, conservatism , socialism, belief in middas sdom etc

          • rkz says:

            Absolutely true. However, practically it is the fat left wing ideologies such as feminism (and esp. feminism) who are subverting retzon Hashem in our generation, rt”l. In hakhi nami, if other ideologies will ch”v have such effects they shall be attacked as strongly.

          • rkz says:

            far left

  12. David z says:

    Is this talking about Stern? What girls are anywhere near the Yeshiva?

    • dr. bill says:

      wives of married students; some are students with or pursuing advanced degrees at revel, nyu, columbia, etc. in areas in which a derasha might be interesting at least to some

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Thats nice.but yku are conflating academic Jewish studies with Rorah Lishmah wgich women are and will always be exempt crom.no matter how hard anyone or in what manner of apolohetics one states otherwise

        • mycroft says:

          Truth comes from various sources, I have listened to many shiurim by RHS, but truth was also found in MOOC by Dr Nilli Samet of Bar Illan on Bible

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Toras Emes is the province of those obligated to learn and transmit it.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Listening to any shiur whether on YU Torah or live , which or a course at MOOC , the former of which is certainly a passive exercise, is no substitute for actually having been a talmid in a live shiur where you read and wrestle with the text and there is actual shakla vtaryah as well as give and take with a rebbe.

          • dr. bill says:

            i find your assertions vile to the extreme. now you have topped yourself: “Toras Emes is the province of those obligated to learn and transmit it.” may come close to heading the list of inanities. Tell nechama lebowitz or elisheva baumgarten just to name two of recent years. btw, your headline piece of am haratzes about HLMMS still awaits the name of a YU RY who agrees with your distortion of the rav ztl’s yartzeit shiur, imho and that of anyone who heard or read the shiur.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RHS in his shiurim.always engages in dialogue with and responds seriously to any question posed even if unrelated to the subject matter of the shiur.

        • dr. bill says:

          as i point out in my real life giving shiurim, Rav Yaacov Kaminetsky ztl regretted that Rav E. Kaplan ztl died in his early thirties. given that he was the illui of Slabodka, RYK predicted he would have singlehandedly changed the derech halimmud. unlike the Grash ztl, whose academic methodology was much too difficult for most good talmidim, Rav Kaplan like RDTH ztl had an easier derech halimmud that more than a few yechudai segulah could follow (including even me.) BH, in the best batai midrash in academic circles, some of that is coming back. i could give you names, but i doubt you would read their seforim to recognize.

          i will give you one example. an academic finding a particular chiddush mentioned by two or three gedolai yisroel for the first time in the era of the Rishonim, by individuals who had no interaction with each other, during the same 50 year period, would not only look into Talmudic literature to find out why. those insights are critically important.

          i get it that you think academic talmud is a bad idea; that idea is not held by all. and like other things you oppose, it is BH flourishing in Israel.

          • Shades of Gray says:

            “RYK predicted he would have singlehandedly changed the derech halimmud”

            I heard from a YTV talmid in R. Yaakov’s shiur that R. Yaakov said to the effect that RAEK could have written a commentary that would compete with Rashi. I found a similar quote in an article by R. Bechhofer linked below:

            “Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l once remarked that Reb Avrohom Elya possessed such remarkable powers that had he lived longer (he died at the age of 34), he would have restructured the entire derech halimud in the yeshivos with his proposed new commentary on Shas (Reb Yaakov p. 85).

            http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/elul.htm

          • rkz says:

            WADR, academic Talmud torah should be judged on the yirat shamaim of the individual teacher involved, on the merits of each chidush, and on the emet of the methodology.
            When academic studies are used as a tool against halakha and the accepted darkei emuna, they should be rejected. When they are used as a tool to understand halakha and\or iyyun etc., with true yirat shamaim and deference to our Mesora, they are a real brakha to our limud torah.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            I am sure that you know ( by heart and in your sleep) how RYBS quoting RCS differeniated between Sipur and Zecer LTzias Mitzrayim. I saw the same chiluk in the name of RCS in Emek Bracha( R Aryeh Pomeranchik ZL ) as well. Anyone know whether EYBS ever learned with R Aryeh Pomeranchik ZL before leaving Europe?

          • mycroft says:

            “Listening to any shiur whether on YU Torah or live , which or a course at MOOC , the former of which is certainly a passive exercise, is no substitute for actually having been a talmid in a live shiur where you read and wrestle with the text and there is actual shakla vtaryah as well as give and take with a rebbe”
            Many shiurim in YU Torah are tapes of live shiurim. Many of which have little or no interaction between Rebbe and talmid. Divide number of people in shiur by interaction little or nothing per student per hour.

          • dr. bill says:

            shades o gray, i had not heard the comment about rashi. i do believe his goal was like RAE ztl’s son a one-man ET.

          • Shades of Gray says:

            R. Bechhofer has another article online, “In the Footsteps of Rabbi Avraham Eliyahu Kaplan zt”l” which in Section III lists eleven areas of the proposed commentary.

    • JS says:

      Oddly no, this is talking about at the Yeshiva College/RIETS campus.
      I share your confusion.

  13. Leah B says:

    Rav Gordimer
    Please address the issue of how innapropriate it is to have men teaching in women’s schools
    We wouldn’t hire a woman to teach in a boys’ yes give high school, why is it ok for a man to teach in a girls high school?

    • Shades of Gray says:

      Maybe the difference has to do whether the male is addressing the class or is in the audience, ie, when the boys are the audience, its easier for them to focus inappropriately than for a man publicly speaking in front of a class, since he needs to focus all his concentration on delivering the lesson. Also, men teaching in women’s schools could be seen as an extension of a rabbi’s role(I did hear a speaker a few years ago suggesting more women teachers for women students after a seminary scandal).

    • rkz says:

      Who says it is appropriate? Actually, AFAIK here in Israel the goal is to have only women teach girls, as a very important tzniut issue, and we are getting closer to achieving it, barukh Hashem.

  14. Leah B says:

    *boys yeshiva high school

  15. rkz says:

    A few years ago, HaRav Yaakov Ariel ruled that a woman may not give a Dvar Torah during tefilla (such as before kabbalat Shabbat or before mussaf or after everyday shaharit etc.) and he reffered to it as hillul hakodesh, and he also ruled that if such a thing happens, one should look for a different shul for future tefillot.
    I obviously do not imply that his ruling is automatically binding everywhere (if a posek of similar stature disagrees, his talmidim might be allowed to follow his psika, vein ze hamakom lehaarikh), but it is a very important fact to consider.

    • mb says:

      That’s the point, RKZ, there’s different opinions.
      Don’t like something, go elsewhere, but not because it’s not permitted.
      My mantra:Somebody has stolen my religion, I want it back.

      • rkz says:

        There are many different opinions on many different issues. However, for an opinion to be relevant as a valid opinion it must be an opinion of someone who is bar hakhi. Very few are bar hakhi to disagree with Harav Yaakov Ariel in psikat halakha lemaase, and as AFAIK they do not disagree with him on this issue.

  16. mycroft says:

    There are obviously people who disagree.

    • rkz says:

      Are they bar hakhi to disagree ?

      • mycroft says:

        Who determines? We don’t hve central authority-no Sanhedrin

        • rkz says:

          That we have no Sanhedrin is true, which is why we say three times a day :Hashiva shofteinu ke-varishona”. However, the halakhic world is not hefker, there a different levels of talmidei chachamim, and there are very few gedolim in each generation. I wrote an article about it a few years ago, with many sources backing this up.

          • mycroft says:

            How halacha operates is very complex. Thus, there are many times where customs have been accepted by Klal Israel, that were not the preference of the leading halachik experts of each generation. In a couple of hundred years we will know the answer and even then practice changes. Thirty years ago essentially no one from Chutz learetz visiting Israel kept one day yom tov. In a matter of a few decades it has reached the level that many only keep one day.

          • rkz says:

            True, but WADR irrelevant. Practices that are halakhicly wrong wil not become a “custom”‘ e.g. women not covering their hair in many places in the past.

          • mycroft says:

            “True, but WADR irrelevant. Practices that are halakhicly wrong wil not become a “custom”‘ e.g. women not covering their hair in many places in the past.”
            Exactly where the Rav differed in approach. It is no secret that the Ravs wife, a daughter, and a sister did not cover their hair.
            Someone close to the Rav was asked about the Ravs sevara to permit women not covering their hair. The Rav said I don’t need a sevara, gdolei Lita permitted it, then he couldn’t consider assuring it. Forgetting the issue involved for a second it shows the Rav like Baalei Tosafot and his family having a lot of respect for precedent.

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft. You wrote: “Someone close to the Rav was asked about the Ravs sevara to permit women not covering their hair. The Rav said I don’t need a sevara, gdolei Lita permitted it, then he couldn’t consider assuring it. ”
            AFAIK, not one of gedolei Lita permitted it, ever. What some of the gedolim permitted was to marry a woman that will not cover her hair, because otherwise it was next to impossible to find a kallah. Again, an et laasot psika, and even that was a makhloket. Also, there is no need for anyone to “assur” this, as it is a clear halakha.
            Therefore, I find it extremely unlikely that RYBS ztl said what you wrote, and I tend to think that the person who told you the story made a mistake in transmission.

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-Noraos HaRav are verbatim transcriptions of shiurim .and drashos.

    • mycroft says:

      Agreed, almost verbatim and he adds various clarifying explanations, great source. I’ve used them. Shows what a non Talmid can do to . Mr Schreiber has done yeoman work. I am aware that he is a musmach not from YU but since earns livelihood from law does not call himself Rabbi.Since, they are essentially reading a complete shiur with clarifying footnotes his books to the best of my recollection are not subject to controversy.
      He is not relying on his memory , he is relying on records and IIRC tapes. Extremely worthwhile. Very important I do not think there is any agenda in his selection of what shiurim to write up.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        My point exactly. R D . Schreiber is a wonderful Talmid Chacham who demonstrates that you didn’t have to be in RYBSs shiur to set forth a completely faithful transmission of the shiur or drasha in question. R D Schreiber refers to which tapes he is transcribing in the hakdama of each volume.

        • mycroft says:

          Agreed. IHis footnotes and explanations add to the understanding of the shiur. Often wondered why not at least have YU Torah transcribe the shiurim that were given at YU. Would prefer all of the Ravs shiurim but prudence may limit to those that YU has clear ownership rights to.

    • dr. bill says:

      i assume you never saw the Rav ztl’s notes/text for his yartzeit shiurim; why would anybody show them to you?? anyone who knows the first thing about the Rav knows how he wants things written, versus how he delivers a shiur, is not close to the same thing. i was zocheh to see a few shiurim and having heard the shiurim and remembered them well, got to comment on very rare occasions.
      all these tapes and written records are a good thing but not what one with access to the Rav would have written.

      • mycroft says:

        Agreed. It is well known how many drafts the Rav went through for each published article. Page proofs, galleys etc.
        One could make the argument that to a great extent what the Rav wanted to publish he did. One can’t compare the authority of his writings that were published in his lifetime versus everything else.
        I am thankful to the Torah Harav Foundation and Schreiber for Neoros Harav, but they don’t compare in authority to what the Rav wrote in his lifetime

        • dr. bill says:

          Agreed. beyond that the Rav ztl wanted a different order and emphasis in what was written versus what he said. reminding the Rav of his recorded “exact” words was not the issue. his changes on changes and trying to figure out his final edit, even with a tape, was arduous work.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          The Noraos are verbatim.transcriptions of taped shiurim. Show us a document where and when RYBS ever imposed any such limits on rhe dissemination of his taped shiurim.

          • mycroft says:

            A story about the Rav from the early 40s. He was taking a train and sat next to Rav Ruderman. Rav Ruderman tells him impressed by dvar Torah he heard said by the Rav. Rav said he never stated that. The Rav back in shiur was angry at shiur and stated who gave you permission to say to others what I said in shiur.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          One could also state that there is a vast amount of material that has not been published and that with careful editing can and should be published. There are many sefarim written by Talmidim based on the Torah of their Rebbes which were published posthumously and which are utilized in every Beis Medrash and by anyone who opens a sefer.

          • dr. bill says:

            and they contain the opinion of X about what Y said. woe to the individual in the rav ztl’s shiur who relied on the meiri for the view of ramban.

            seforim by talmidim are excellent sources of insight, based on a rebbe’s derech. of his precise POV – not as much.

            the rav had certain pedagogical habits that he might not use in a published sefer.

          • ycroft says:

            “dr. bill March 22, 2018 at 8:45 pm
            and they contain the opinion of X about what Y said. woe to the individual in the rav ztl’s shiur who relied on the meiri for the view of ramban”
            The Rav on Meiri is worth a discussion, certainly the Rav at times was not exactly the biggest backer of the Meiri yet in matters concerning our dealings with the major religion in the US it is clear by the Ravs actions that they only make sense for a person who follows halacha as the Rav did is that he followed the Meiris viewpoint on that religion..

            “seforim by talmidim are excellent sources of insight, based on a rebbe’s derech. of his precise POV – not as much.”
            Agreed, books by talmidim are at best tertiary sources to understanding the Rav. He was complex and depending on the exact words of the question one could get apparently different explanations
            . Look to what he did and said publicly in his lifetime

            “the rav had certain pedagogical habits that he might not use in a published “sefer
            Agreed

    • mycroft says:

      “Mycroft. You wrote: “Someone close to the Rav was asked about the Ravs sevara to permit women not covering their hair. The Rav said I don’t need a sevara, gdolei Lita permitted it, then he couldn’t consider assuring it. ”
      AFAIK, not one of gedolei Lita permitted it, ever. What some of the gedolim permitted was to marry a woman that will not cover her hair, because otherwise it was next to impossible to find a kallah. Again, an et laasot psika, and even that was a makhloket. Also, there is no need for anyone to “assur” this, as it is a clear halakha.
      Therefore, I find it extremely unlikely that RYBS ztl said what you wrote, and I tend to think that the person who told you the story made a mistake in transmission.”
      I heard it when someone in a conversation asked the person that question. Since person never wrote it publicly, I will not cite the name. A few years ago I told this story to someone who knew some of the daughters of the questioner. You choose not to believe me fine. I am not aware of anyone on both sides of the LR divide on the Rav attacking the persons credibility on the Rav. Was not an OO person by a longshot.
      Of course, the three women relatives closest to Rav did not cover their hair.
      Note , the Rav specifically said he had no sevara, thus, if he stopped there as he might have elsewhere in other reports it shows how different people can give different responses to same issue depending on exact question and caveats to response.

      • rkz says:

        I did not write that I don’t believe you, or the person who told you the story. I said that I think he is mistaken, for the reasons that I wrote.

        • mycroft says:

          The person was quoting a discussion with the Rav ,that he only brought up in response to a specific question, To the best of my knowledge he never wrote about it

          • rkz says:

            I sill think that he made a mistake and that he did not understand what RYBS ztl meant

          • mycroft says:

            “I sill think that he made a mistake and that he did not understand what RYBS ztl meant”
            Doubt the person made a mistake about the Rav. FWIW was not advocating women go with hair uncovered, suggested in same conversation which had to be within a few years of Ravs ptirah that if it became standard znius dress for women may be required under those rules, but an entirely different question to the one we are discussing. If znius requirement not ervah IMO than look around.
            Merely discussing the Ravs opinion, I am not advocating what people should do now. I believe that trying to place people in more traditional molds when it did not reflect them is a big challenge to integrity of mesorah. It is the same problem with the Rav, SRH, Rav Kook. Note the made up horas shaah for SRH and the Rav

      • Truth says:

        Can you actually name any one of the Gedolei Lita that permitted it?

  18. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in relevant part:

    “You are advocating that essentially every generation of ones favored Rabbonim start from scratch. Thus, you -actually your guides dont like certain aspects of the Rav due to new circumstances, others such as OO don’t like other aspects of the Rav. No difference. Both sides are picking and choosing which parts of the Rav to accept.”

    We don’t fight today’s battles with obsolete tools. That which have may have been asur decades ago may be mutar today and vice versa. That is the very nature of the transmission of not just Psak but of TSBP . So many sugyos turn on what was a Mishnah Rishonah and Mishnah Acharonah . We assume that the Chachmei HaTorah not just tell how us how to fulfil a Torah obligation that nay differ either from Pshuto Shel Mikra but also in ways that differed from how a mitzvah was previously fulfilled as well. The Kiyum HaMitzva of many mitzvos based on the dynamic of TSBP being subject to chidushim kulos and chumros is not necessarily ala KSA or how previously fulfilled but rather how determined by Chachmei HaTorah today.

    • mycroft says:

      Thus, if yesterdays tools, dont quote the Rav, Rav Moshe, Rav Kotler. They all are yesterday. why quote Ravinsh v Rav Ashi.
      There are fewer people eating kosher meat than decades ago, much fewer schuls in US than existed decades ago. There is much greater intermarriage than decades ago. Who says your current leadership is better than previous leadership.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The Torah is on obviously eternal but the metzuys as to which it is applied dictate that which was assur may be mutar and vice versa in different generatuins based on the views of the Poskim.if that generatuin for theur communities.you mentioned YT Sheni today jn Usrael. That may have well evolved as more people todayown and or real estate in israel rhan in past generations.

        • mycroft says:

          Should be completely irrelevant, halachik test is where one lives.BTW very few people own property in Israel, various 99 year leases. Issue was ignored, for much of Israel KKL assume release, but Jerusalem much of area is church land.
          If evolving of halacha is permitted, why not have women have aliyot? The real reason is that we don’t reopen halacha. If you believe restarting issues from scratch is what counts, then everything is hefker, you follow who you choose to in his changes others follow other peoples changes.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            There are probably far more halachic issues arising out of YT Sgheni because there are far more people who go to Israel today and own or lease land in Israel-which has consequences both from halachic ( Kbias mzuzah bdikas chametz etc) and secular legal considerations. The question of whether one follows solely where one lives is an old Machlokes HaPoskim, which RSZA discusses at length and is far more prevalent today than in the days of the Chacham Tzvi who advocated the position that a resident of the Golah kept one day in Israel and a a resident of EY kept two days in Galus. There are numerous shitos as to what a chutznik in Israel does on YT Sheni ranging from full adherence of YT Sheni to only one day and middle grounds such as keeping one day and some but not aspects of YT Sheni.

            The question is not the evolution of halacha but rather applying the immutable and eternal Torah including TSBP to the changing metzius . That is a far cry from saying everything is hefker or that hashkafic approaches and methods of chinuch which may have worked previously should not be reconsidered in light of whether they are working today.

      • Bob Miller says:

        This trend attests to the greater material lures of today’s general society vs. yesterday’s.

        The discussions here about the positions and intentions of Rav Soloveitchik ZT”L, as applied to today’s special concerns, are endless and inconclusive. We need today’s greatest rabbis in each group to pick up the ball.

        • mycroft says:

          “from halachic ( Kbias mzuzah bdikas chametz etc) and secular legal considerations. The question of whether one follows solely where one lives is an old Machlokes HaPoskim, which RSZA discusses at length and is far more prevalent today than in the days of the Chacham Tzvi who advocated the position that a resident of the Golah kept one day in Israel and a a resident of EY kept two days in Galus. There are numerous shitos as to what a chutznik in Israel does on YT Sheni ranging from full adherence of YT Sheni to only one day and middle grounds such as keeping one day and some but not aspects of YT Sheni.

          The question is not the evolution of halacha but rather applying the immutable and eternal Torah including TSBP to the changing metzius . That is a far cry from saying everything is hefker or that hashkafic approaches and methods of chinuch which may have worked previously should not be reconsidered in light of whether they are working toda”
          There is no doubt that to paraphrase someone Rov Poskim for at least hundreds of years held that a person going to Israel from chutz learetz for YT must keep two days. There have been different shitos, but the accepted psak has been two days. I remember being in Israel a few decades ago for YT and two days was not an issue.
          It is my impression that the non two day movement has its strength lemaaseh in the Chardal RY in US. But certainly to reopen halacha in this clear matter shows an ability to change.
          FWIW there has been a standard halacha for observing two days, one way or the other there is no mesorah on whether females can do most of the duties that modern day Rabbis do-issue never arose.
          I actually discussed this with a talmid of RHS and he agreed . He naturally agrees with RHS on female Rabbis because of the shochtim analogy but that is following a gadols extension. One day in Israel for diaspora Jews is counter to standard psak of at least centuries.

          • lacosta says:

            what dati leumi yeshiva is there in chu’l [you wrote chardal RY in US ]?

          • mycroft says:

            “what dati leumi yeshiva is there in chu’l [you wrote chardal RY in US ]?”
            I was referring to RY who are not MO but are big religious zionists in US.
            Of course, how someone can be a zionist living in US is a question.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RSZA has ben cited as viewing the arguments of Chacham Tzvi on YT Sheni as very convincing even if not accepted by Rov Poskim.

          • mycroft says:

            RSZA has ben cited as viewing the arguments of Chacham Tzvi on YT Sheni as very convincing even if not accepted by Rov Poskim
            Argument irrelevant, certainly for one who always states we follow Rov Poskim. We don’t reopen accepted halacha. If we could one could make an argument for women aliyot and women still sitting on womens side of mechitzah. But we don’t because accepted practice for hundreds of years is no women aliyot. End of story.

  19. Steve Brizel says:

    MB wrote in relevant part
    “Great, I’ll tell my wife she only has to drink 3 cups or say shechyianu when lighting the yom tov candles”

    Who says that women are only obligated to drink three cups recite the Haggadah , participate in all aspects of the seder or not obligated to eat matzah? The question is whether and by what means are they obligated-because anyone included in the issur of chametz is included in the mitzvah of eating matzah, and to what level af hein hayi boso hanes works-which is a savara that does not work according to many Rishonim on a Tprah level . Where and when a women recites shechayanu depends on how one views the bracha which on YT may have nothing to do with lighting candles but rather the Mitzvos HaYom.

  20. Leah says:

    R’ Gordimer, in the past you have written against the women who complain that women’s pictures are excluded from magazines…after all, why wouldn’t women support modesty, why would they want men to see women’s photos? In this piece it seems the underlying rationale for not allowing women to give a dvar Torah in shul is also modesty. I am curious to know if you think men teaching women Torah classes is OK. As far as I understood, the tradition- based on Rashi- was that Moshe taught the men and Miriam taught the women- am I wrong? Do you support the bais yakov movement? Would love to hear what you think as you have been a defender of tradition in recent years.

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      Leah: Efforts are made in seminaries to ideally have only female teachers. Having male teachers is not the preferred protocol. I think this is the correct approach. That said, and please do not take this the wrong way: Human nature is that men are more focused and distracted by the appearance of women than are women distracted by the appearance of men. It may not seem fair, but that is how people are wired. This dictates comportment in a religious setting, resulting in less public prominence for women before men in Torah praxis.

      I fully support the Bais Yaakov movement; it is one of the most wonderful things ever to occur in Judaism. Those who oppose it are asking for real trouble.

  21. Bob Miller says:

    If YU knuckles under to this type of pressure, we need a substitute.

    • dr. bill says:

      there is one.

      • Bob Miller says:

        Which is?

        • dr. bill says:

          really? Landers advertises itself as a yeshivah and college under the RY’s control. they do not allow what the Rav ztl explicitly did.

          • mycroft says:

            Just an interesting footnote that Landers appeals to a demographic that a lot of the leading positions of Rabbi Dr Bernard Lander AH would not appeal to, By the mid 40s he was NY Mayors Unity Commission which became office of Human Rights, one of organizers of Orthodox participation in March on Washington led by MLK in 1963.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Are you equaring Yeshivas Ohr HaChaim whose RY was a talmid of RYBS and Lander College wbich is a completely different entity whose RY is R Y Sacks a former RIETS RY Nd whose faculty includes R SMarcus a wonderful talmid chacham rav amd einekel of RAS ZL?

          • mycroft says:

            ” R SMarcus a wonderful talmid chacham rav amd einekel of RAS ZL?”
            Don’t know him but knew his late father Raphael through knowing his uncle Jay. But it has been close to half a century. I don’t care who his grandfather was. I don’t care who his father was, I care that you say he is a talmid chacham.

  22. JS says:

    Dr. Bill wrote
    “there is one well-known individual who represented the Rav ztl in such matters;
    he often traveled often to present the Rav ztl’s opinion. it would be wise to discuss the overall context with him. I imagine he might be helpful.”

    Who are you referring to?

    • dr. bill says:

      i prefer not to publically name people. if the editors would give you my email, i would call you and give you the name. i hope to see him wed. tonight or at the latest over shabbat and bring the matter up.

    • mycroft says:

      The person who I believe Dr Bill is referring to was one of the closest people to the Rav. There were others. By the nature of things since it is over 30 years since the Rav was engaged in leadership many of those people are in yeshiva shel maalah.
      BTW-IIRC RIETS RY certainly post 1971 were not among those people.

      • dr. bill says:

        Not in terms of pesak or lomdus, but the Rav ztl believed unlike many on this blog, that on a variety of major issues which the Rav addressed, a learned layman was able to best represent his POV and engage in a discussion reflecting his position. That some now believe that only his students who became RY can accurately reflect his viewpoint is just right-wing trash talk.

        I don’t have to argue, just walk into his house and the Rav’s view is clearly visible. ve’Hamaivin Yavin. just about to call him; we are both in Yerushalayim.

        • mycroft says:

          that on a variety of major issues which the Rav addressed, a learned layman was able to best represent his POV and engage in a discussion reflecting his position. That some now believe that only his students who became RY can accurately reflect his viewpoint is just right-wing trash talk.
          Essentially agree, but even those who were musmachim, I would wager the vast majority of those who the Rav dealt with to represent his POV lemaaseh were NOT RY.
          A RY might more accurately even if reporting accurately words may be reporting chakiras from shiur or discussions rather than the Ravs halachah lemaaseh positions

          • Steve Brizel says:

            No proof in writing but anonymous sources equals no evidence.

          • mycroft says:

            “No proof in writing but anonymous sources equals no evidence”
            There is no proof in writing for almost anything. How do you know who is a gadol? Leading talmid chacham. IIRC Dr Bill a few months ago listed a lot of names of those non RY who dealt lemaaseh. One might quibble relative importance, but certainly IIRC most were not RY

  23. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-ig as you ma8ntain the Baalei HaTosfos were asvocatesvof precedent why on al.ost every daf in Shas do they didagree sometimes veey sharply wurh Rashi and why did Chasidei Ashkenaz advocate fullfulling all views as a sign of Ahavas HaShem?

    • rkz says:

      Although I am not Mycroft, I’ll venture my answer (which probably is not Mycroft’s answer).
      A. Chasidei Ashkenaz are commonly described in academic research as opposed to Baalei HaTosafot (I think differently, as a wrote in my doctoral thesis).
      B. Rashi is lav davka the precedent, some macklokot Rashi-Tosafot are based on Tosafot following the Geonim on some point (or chachmei Ashkenaz before Gezerot Tatnu). In many other cases, Tosafot indeed follow an innovative chidush of Rabbenu Tam or RI, because they do not rely on precedent per se, but on limmud hasugyot as the understood them according to their sechel shel Torah.
      C. Many academy scholars are fond of viewing Tosafot as followers of the common customs, who utilized dialectics to defend Franco-German practice against pashtei hasugyot. I think that this description is both highly exaggerated and agenda-driven.

      • mycroft says:

        Not that my opinion means anything I am no Urbach on Tosafot or Brody on Geonim, but in general terms my impression is that Chseidei Ashkenaz do not necessarily follow baalei tosafot.
        Tosafot have great respect for common customs.
        Not in halachik mode but essentially what Lockshin writes about Rashbam is probably my impression of Tosafot in general-they write when they differ, explain, etc Rashi.

  24. mycroft says:

    Tosafot were very big on following practice. BTW, so was the family started by R Chaim Volozhin

  25. mycroft says:

    Tosafot were very big on following practice. BTW, so was the family started by R Chaim Volozhin

  26. Leah says:

    Please explain why it is OK for a man who is wired to be attracted to women to teach Torah classes to women with no mechitza, as happens in many OU type shuls…

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      I think that is far fron ideal. But it is somewhat different when a man addresses an audience of women, in which case he is not typically focused on any one person, than the case of solitary woman speaker with a crowd of men focused on her.

    • Shades of Gray says:

      I don’t think it’s only OU shuls. So long as there is no Maharat type figure and a parallel yeshivah, men will have an expertise, and its not always possible for the male lecturer to be behind a mechitzah. What’s different in the OU at least in some cases, is that women can also address men, which reflects the general society, such as a college classroom or boardroom where people are used to such interactions.

  27. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote in relevant part:

    “i find your assertions vile to the extreme. now you have topped yourself: “Toras Emes is the province of those obligated to learn and transmit it.” may come close to heading the list of inanities. Tell nechama lebowitz or elisheva baumgarten just to name two of recent years”

    Nechama Lebowitz ZL wrote wonderful books and gave great lectures on Tanach. Eliesheva Baumgatren is an eminent social historian-neither would be considered a RY or Posek.

    • dr. bill says:

      FLASH: a noted blogger has determined that only a RY or Posek can speak Toras Emes. This further restricts his previous view that only males can speak Toras Emes when he declared “Toras Emes is the province of those obligated to learn and transmit it.” i predict he will deny changing his mind and tell us the restriction to RY and posekim was always intended.

  28. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote in part:

    “rkz, you are both correct and incorrect. in their view, those women are rebelling against elements of jewish custom that reflect misogyny, not halakha. …”

    Please provide some examples

    • dr. bill says:

      if you need someone to provide examples, you might be a thoroughbred misogynist. think harder; i am sure some may come to mind.

  29. mycroft says:

    . in their view, those women are rebelling against elements of jewish custom that reflect misogyny
    Note the in their view, whether correct or incorrect there is no doubt that there are women who perceive there are elements of Jewish custom that reflect misogny.
    Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, …patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, …

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Provide examples as described by Dr Bill. Resorting to a textbook definition does not further the discussion.

      • dr. bill says:

        rather than examples, let me suggest a partial methodology for you to be able to find some on your own.

        1) a non-halakhic basis for a women’s exclusion

        2) a comparison of women to……

        3) a historical-like story told centuries after the event.

        some may be viewed as misogynic ass those in other categories.

  30. mycroft says:

    A sad classic example of how request for specificity boomerangs. I simply wrote “Note the in their view, whether correct or incorrect there is no doubt that there are women who perceive there are elements of Jewish custom that reflect misogny” “their view” whether correct or incorrect.
    Male privilege-we believe Torah is crucial to understanding God’s will for us. Certainly, most women have been excluded on the bases of sex from attending advanced shiurim with men. FWIW, someone who is not OO still alive and active in Jewish community told me that the Rav invited into the summer shiur that he gave for his smicha students in Boston, a Boston women of roughly end teenager age. She sat in other side of room for shiurim for the summer. That is the exception, usually most people won’t invite women into shiurim meant primarily for smicha. If question is that Maharats know less than Rabbis why not invite women to attend smicha shiurim and take same exams. Have them sit in different part of room. Why not?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Still not responsive to.my request for examples. Very sad that you view Torah thru the contemporary prism of gender theory and politics.

      • ycroft says:

        Sad that it appears by your comments that one advocating Torah be taught to both sexes is accused of following “gender theory and politics” rather than giving all Jews regardless of gender the ability to come closer to Gods word.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Like it or not Halacha recognizes dpirirual equality but the absence of role differentiation between the genders. Your posr illustrates what happens when gender politics dictates your biew of how Orthodoxy should respond to modernity

      • mycroft says:

        Gender politics? What is the issur in teaching women Torah and Gods will?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Look at who is ovligated to study Torah Lishmah-men only necause of their spiritual deficiencies. Ypur approach is solel ased in gender politics rooted considerations.

          • mycroft says:

            it is important to delineate where RAL stood on the
            proper role for women in Judaism. He advocated for full equality for
            women in the realm of Torah learning.
            There are many women who I know with a real desire to serve
            God, to learn Torah in depth…. To our daughters, to our students,
            what should we give them if we don’t give them Torah? Should
            they read magazines for women? This is not enough, this is not serious
            or desirable.21
            And in contrast to the opinions of most religious authorities, even
            from the national-religious world, this includes teaching Talmud to
            women at the highest level, which he has done in the Women’s Beit
            Midrash in Migdal Oz affiliated with Yeshivat Har Etzion. Migdal Oz
            with RAL’s blessing and active support teaches Talmud using the same
            methodology as done in any men’s yeshiva which teaches the Brisker
            derech. This attitude supporting advanced Talmudic study for women
            can be traced directly back to the positions of his great teacher Rabbi
            Soloveitchik. Central to the Rav’s and RAL’s religious experience is the learning of Torah, and it is simply inconceivable to them that women
            should be excluded from this encounter with the Almighty.
            Regarding women’s ordination RAL writes:
            I do not know what the halakhic decisors will rule in another thirty
            years regarding the question of woman’s ordination and other similar
            questions. I simply do not know. I cannot forecast the future. I
            am not convinced… that woman will ever receive formal ordination.
            The position of Rambam based on the Sifrei against the appointment
            of woman is well known but there are poskim who disagreed
            with this. What will be in the future I do not know. But
            what I certainly do know is that today it is important that women
            know Torah and that they cleave to Torah.22
            This formulation is important because unlike the RCA he does not
            see the issue of women’s ordination as an affront to the “sacred continuity”
            of the Jewish tradition. In another context, he has written:
            As for myself, I presume that, with respect to both the women’s issues,
            specifically, and the fear of the slippery slope, generally, I find
            myself somewhere in the middle—enthusiastically supportive of
            some changes, resistant to others, and ambivalent about many.2 from
            http://www.hakirah.org/Vol22Jotkowitz.pdf

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The summer shiurim as were the teshuva drashos open to anyone. IiRC one or two women attended RHS shihr in Forest Hills also on an occasional basis. I think that one can argue beey convingly that the mitzvah of the transmission of TSBP was always from.rebbe to talmid and for men only becauae they are obligated in its study. That may well be one reason why tbe Gemara discusses issues in many masectos that you should not be discussed in mixed company. What you are suggesting is the demoition of the roles of the genders and intellectial transgenderism in Yahadus. By the way who r3cites Kiddush in your house and perfotms all Mitzvos Aseh Shehazman Grama-you or Mrs Mycroft

      • mycroft says:

        Bli eyan ra I do. It is certainly possible that there may reach a time that she will be able to say kiddush and I won’t and then I’ll be yotzei with hers. Of course, she lights the candles. There could come a time when I might have to. One can never know the future.
        A women can’t be yotze a man in a davar shebekedusha, thus you are making false charges. I just don’t add to requirements of differences that the halacha doesn’t require.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Like it or not men and women are spiritually equal but have vastly different roles going back to the dawn of our people precisely because men are spiritually inferior and need daily time bound obligations to remind rhem of their responsibilities as Ovdei HaShem. That is immutable and no amount of apologetics for it and lack of pride in that can or should ever change that fact. I tbink that ylu are uncomfortable to say the least with that and all gender based differences despite your protests to the contrary.

          • mycroft says:

            Nonsense apologetics, if men are spiritually inferior why more Torah and mitzvot obligations. Non Jews have less mitzvot obligations than Jews, does that mean Jews are spiritually inferior and need more Mitzvot.
            We don’t know the reasons, so leave it as mesorah.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Daat Emet is a secular think tank. You can read the articles there which do not appear to have been authored by or in consultation by any of the academics listed there with any talmidei chachamim. They are hardly the last word on the subject.

  31. Shlomo says:

    Regarding RHS’s comments in Nefesh HaaRav about Maimonides being coed, he is quoting a conversation with Rav Yitzchak Twersky z”l. In recorded shiurim, he gives the exact background of where and when the conversation took place.

    He would regularly recount this conversation when Rav Twersky was still alive.

  32. mycroft says:

    Are you referring to the conversation that supposedly R Isadore Twersky ZT”L stated that in order to attract Rebbeim who would not come to Maimonides because of coed he was considering advocating becoming single sex?.
    For a discussion of Maimonides and coed see http://myobiterdicta.blogspot.com/2009/12/rav-soloveitchik-on-coeducation.html
    “As far as Shaul Schiff’s article (which is no longer on line), since I don’t know who he asked, there’s no way of knowing how reliable his sources were. I can only repeat what I know from close family members (as reported by Seth Farber here). The Rav and Rebbetzin never considered co-education an halakhic issue. For them it was an educational question. They were convinced that separate classes would deprive the girls of the same level of Torah and academic excellence as the boys. Therefore, co-educational classes, ipse facto, were self-justifying.”
    “Mordechai Y. Scher said…
    For what little it is worth, when I taught at Maimonides there were people there who had learned and worked with Rav Soloveitchik. They were quite clear that the form of the school was what the Rav wanted and intended. Ab initio.”

  33. mycroft says:

    “what dati leumi yeshiva is there in chu’l [you wrote chardal RY in US ]?”
    I was referring to RY who are not MO but are big religious zionists in US.
    Of course, how someone can be a zionist living in US is a question.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      What is questionnable about supporting Israel and living in the US? Didnt know tgar the American Council for Judaism or those who were silent during the Holocaust for the dake of having access to FDR were praiseworthy POVS?

  34. mycroft says:

    Nothing bad about being in favor of Israel even living in Diaspora, but if Israel was really important to someone they would be there. Anyone can leave the US, there are no shortage of flights there.
    It is not appropriate to attack certain types of Jews for lack of actions during Holocaust, no group had a particularly good record. The Rav used to make that point. Note how the Rav switched during Holocaust from being leading Agudah person giving hesped at Agudah convention in memory of RCOZG ZT”L to being in Mizrachi.
    BTW there were demonstrations by Jews in US, Rabbis march on White House , at least a few that filled MSG.
    One must always try and determine effectiveness, yelling and demonstrations often get bigger press than silent diplomacy which often works better.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      And silent diplomacy worked during the 1940s?! The Avnei Mezer writes that successful aliyahdepends on a successful klitah. Aliyah is wonderful when undertaken with that goal and realizing that the Charedi DL divide in Israel is very polarized in a,eay far more so thsn here and that as RAL ssid it is better to live in the US and think of living in israel rhan vice versa. These are some of the real world reasons why more Americans sont make aliyah.

  35. mycroft says:

    It is a myth propagated that in general activism is much more successful than silent action. It is usually made by professional activists. In the Civil Rights movement long before MLK Thurgood Marshall and NAACP Legal Defense Fund had gone most of the way to eliminating official discrimination , He had won I think 28 out of 32 US Supreme Court Cases.
    I don’t live in Israel , and can’t tell anyone else to but clearly if one took living in Israel seriously we’d be there.
    Real world reasons why Americans and other people with relative economic success don’t return is that since Babylonian exile quality of life has meant more than following basic tenets of Yahadus. See Ezra punishing Levites for not returning. Nothing new.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Look at it this way. I think there are a number of reasons, some more valid than others why Americans don’t make aliyah in large numbers . This is a mall list:

      1) The Charedi world hereis far more appreciative of the learner-earner as a lchatchilah
      2) Families do best when their kids have not reached school age and don’t have close friends in their schools and communities, or when your kids are already living in Israel.
      3) Many professsionals are deterred by the cost and time of taking exams and retraining in professions where they alreasdy completed the same and would be have to suffer financial losses to make aliyah
      4) If you think that Charedim and MO have problems discussing hashkafic isssues in the US, those difficulties are magnified and far more intense in Israel.
      5) If you think that you will grow more learning and Avodas HaShem by learning by a certain RY in a certain Yeshiva in ChuL you need not live in EY.

      As the Avnei Nezer stressed having a klitah tovah is the key to an aliyah tovah.

      • mycroft says:

        All a smokescreen for living an easier life. I live in US, but reality is living outside of Israel makes a mockery of much of our davening. No one is forcing me not to leave.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Facts on tbe ground are facts on the ground. I admire and identify with anyone Charedi or MO who has made or is making aliyah. Bowever for msny of us the Shor Shebisah keeps is from making aliyah.

          • mycroft says:

            Facts on the ground that as much as swe pay lip service to yahadus, what is essentially accurate for us is first bread then philosophy-pof courde bread means much more than bread. I live in US charge can be made against me as well.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Mockery of much of our davening? Ease explain.

          • mycroft says:

            How many times a day do we pray for return to Israel/Jerusalem and we all have the ability to go there. I doubt there are any exit restrictions of leaving the country to anyone who is reading this blog.
            I am adapting Kuzaris point to modern day Western world.

  36. Steve Brizel says:

    The litigation for civil rights worked but especiallly when coupled with rhe passage of and enforcement of the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. All of the above was aided by vocally public support

  37. Shlomo says:

    mycroft

     March 22, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Are you referring to the conversation that supposedly R Isadore Twersky ZT”L stated that in order to attract Rebbeim who would not come to Maimonides because of coed he was considering advocating becoming single sex?.
    For a discussion of Maimonides and coed see

    No. I am referring to what RHS wrote in Nefesh Harav. RHS’s comment in print and in public about the Rav’s view of Maimonides being coed comes directly from the family, as close as anyone to the Rav. RHS is very careful to give the source for what he says, especially on a sensitive issue such as this.

    • mycroft says:

      Reread when interstate busing, racial covenants, integration of schools, separate but equal revoked-all before Montgomery Bus boycott mid 50s.

  38. mycroft says:

    Is RHS quoting anyone who sat shiva for the Rav who ever lived in Boston? They are as close family members as could be. The Ravs children are still alive. His sisters are both in the olam haemet.
    The Rav has a daughter who was head of the school committee for decades, has she ever stated what was quoted.Family is a broad term and includes nephews like Rav Moshe Meiselman who is certainly different than some others who were at as closely related R Meiselman who have different viewpoints.

  39. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft Men need more mitzvos because they are spiritually inferior. The Torah and Chazal tell us that men almost assimilated in Egypt built the Egel Hazav and joined Korachs revolt while the women stood fast loyally.The last Mishnah in Makos and the Perush HaRambam explains why men are obligated in so many positive time bound mitzvos as a zcus for them.and Klal Yizrael. R Akiva in Avos 3:18 streses that while all if mankind was and is created Btzelem Elokim only Am Yisrael are referred to as Banim LaMakom because HaShem gabe us the Torah. Thats why we were given 613 Mitzvos and TSBP a decidedly far greater responsibility than even assumed by a Ger Toshav.

    • mycroft says:

      Selective citing of sources-
      One must differentiate between halacha and societal judgements about women. Above my paygrade, but I do know enough to see how much of what many consider basic requirement for womens behavior is almost exactly similar to those of then surrounding society.
      You naturally avoid many equally authoritative quotations which would not show women in a positive light-since the Internet and search engines no reason to increase chillul hashem.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Let;s face reality here-many MO including yourself are uncomfortable with the particularistic mitzvos and the spiritual equality and division of roles between the genders in the Torah and Chazal. No amount of apologetics in defense of f feminism or advancing of the rationale and critique of Halacha will ever change or render the views of the Torah and Chazal as requiring such apologetics.

  40. Steve Brizel says:

    We look to the Torah and Chazal without engaging in apologetics to abyone in any generation for the definition of the universal and particularistic mitzvos that formulate Taryag Mitzvos that define why the Am HaNivchar .

  41. mycroft says:

    Following extracted from my 317 pm post
    Central to the Rav’s and RAL’s religious experience is the learning of Torah, and it is simply inconceivable to them that women should be excluded from this encounter with the Almighty. Regarding women’s ordination RAL writes:
    I do not know what the halakhic decisors will rule in another thirty years regarding the question of woman’s ordination and other similar questions. I simply do not know. I cannot forecast the future. I
    am not convinced… that woman will ever receive formal ordination. The position of Rambam based on the Sifrei against the appointment of woman is well known but there are poskim who disagreed
    with this. What will be in the future I do not know. But what I certainly do know is that today it is important that women know Torah and that they cleave to Torah. This formulation is important because unlike the RCA he does not see the issue of women’s ordination as an affront to the “sacred continuity”
    of the Jewish tradition. In another context, he has written: As for myself, I presume that, with respect to both the women’s issues, specifically, and the fear of the slippery slope, generally, I find
    myself somewhere in the middle

  42. Steve Brizel says:

    Obviously a fair readung of the above article is rhat RAL ZL was not not enamored with womens ordination.

  43. mycroft says:

    Not the issue. The issue is that RAL states there are poskim who believe appointment of women, may not be prohibited. He does not look at issue of womens ordination as a yehareg val yaavor. The exaggeration of the import of the issue is causing much sinat chinam.More important counter to all those who believe women should not be taught the same as man” Central to the Rav’s and RAL’s religious experience is the learning of Torah, and it is simply inconceivable to them that women should be excluded from this encounter with the Almighty”
    I do not advocate womens ordination, but am firmly opposed to the way that some anti women people are attacking those who disagree with them. Treat them as politely as you would wish those who disagree with RHS and RM Willig treat them

    • rkz says:

      As I already wrote a few times, this is not a regular halakhic issue, because the goal of semicha to women is to dismantle the derekh haTorah and is is a rebellion against retzon Hashem. Some well meaning, sincere and honest yidden (both men and women) made a mistaken decision to follow feminism (and similar far left ideological lunacies) because they were unaware of the ultimate goal of the feminist project.

  44. mycroft says:

    “As I already wrote a few times, this is not a regular halakhic issue, because the goal of semicha to women is to dismantle the derekh haTorah and is is a rebellion against retzon Hashem”
    What is your basis for stating that? Of course, there is no real smicha bizman hazeh. How is it really different than yoetzet halachot? A yoetzet halacha answers important halachik questions.

    • rkz says:

      1) I am not a big fan of the yoetzet halachot project (or of any similar ideas which lead to psikat halakha by women). I strongly prefer the traditional way of women asking the mara de-atra (and Baruch Hashem we have no yoatzot in our area). Therefore, I hope we will see the end of this entire yh trend.
      2) However, the yh at least has the advantage of somewhat preserving the differentiation (at least on the declarative level, which is also important) between men’s and women’s roles in avodat Hashem. Otoh, ordaining women is a declaration of adherence to extreme far left egalitarianism, which is a rebellion against the entire derekh haTorah and retzon Hashem. (When I was in living in the US and studied in JEC, we had to memorize some of the American declaration of independence in 9th grade. I remember that we told this to our rebbi, and he said that the whole “all men were created equal” is against the Torah. All that I learnt about this issue since has proven that he was completely correct) .
      3) Again, I agree that we do not have real semikha bazman hazeh, but that is not the issue, as Rav Moshe ztl wrote in his teshuva about feminism.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      No yoetzet acts as a posek. They facilitate adherence to Hilcos Nidah properly as opposed to allowing nonobservance or reliance on c humros

    • Steve Brizel says:

      In today’s age,IMO a husband and wife both have to work to support living in today’s Jewish community as Torah committed and observant Jews. ( as opposed to unique cases such as the CI and CC where their wives worked so that their husbands could become the CI and CC), but one can argue that just as sitting and learning forever without a long term goal is wrong, so too is extended singlehood, as well as deliberately having children as a single parent and that early marriage should be seen as the ideal whereby both spouses work or in the yeshiva world, a wife works while her husband learns full time for a number of years, a wife works at a job where she is able to return home every night and be the Akeres Habayis for her family, There is much to be praised for any woman who returns to the workplace only after her children are in school and who recognizes that while work is important, her primary avocation is to be a Jewish wife and mother who sets the tone of Kedusha for the entire family. As I stated previously, classical feminist ideologues such as Friedan viewed the conventional family as a comfortable concentration camp, and that the real assault by feminism was against the Jewish family as led by such individuals, which began with the innocuous demand of teaching Talmud to women for which the acquiesnce to was a co-opting of the same but which then led to feminism infiltrating the MO world ala a Trojan horse via WTGs, demands for women’s ordiination, viewing TSBP thru the prism of gender and the like. MO needs more role models like a Rebbitzen Kanievsky and Rebbitrzen Machlis and less feminists who think that they can abolish all halachos and minhagim rooted in gender. If you look hard in most MO communities many such role models do exist but their quiet and amazing contributions tend to be overshadowed by the noise of the feminist choir and their apologists.

  45. mycroft says:

    I have no problems with people taking consistent stands thus if you oppose consistently the yoetzet halachot it is consistent. It is then not an issue of who is behind each.
    Not the place, but clearly it would be interesting to compare viewpoints of RMF and RYBS on many issues. THey differ -different hashkafot, no problem you want to rely on RMF for his attitudes on many issues fine. I do mind when people selectively quote other gdolim on issues.
    Re your 9th grade Rebbe and US Declaration of Independence-whose blood is redder.

    • rkz says:

      AFAIK, he meant that no one is equal to any one. Every person is different, and has different abilities, different challenges, different roles etc.
      (If we explain that the dec. of ind. to mean only equality before the law, there is a fascinating article by Dr. I. Breur (RSRH’s grandson) from 1910 that explains why in halakha there is no equality of different groups, because we have a duty-based law, not a rights-based law)

  46. mycroft says:

    RKZ
    Since I don’t read German I can’t read my copy of Weltwende, but if you tell me the English title and if found in my Concepts of Judaism by Isaac Breuer I will( re) read the article . I don’t claim to be a follower of Breuer or SRH but have some basic connection and some limited knowledge of them.
    In general certainly the basic concept of duty based versus rights is obvious. We believe under Gods rule and must follow his will. But that basis need not follow to the other issues we have disagreed on.

  47. mycroft says:

    RKZ
    I don’t know your intersts, but since you quoted Isaac Breuer , if you haven’t read The Politics of Torah by Alam Mittleman-it might be an interesting read.In the book he discusses and contrasts the different approaches of Breuer and Rosenheim

    • rkz says:

      That book sounds very interesting. I quoted Breuer’s sefarim in my book about Jewish political economy.

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