[email protected] and the Essence of Judaism

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241 Responses

  1. Mycroft says:

    Don’t underestimate importance of legalisms. RIETS has been an affiliate institution for more than 45 years. Yeshiva University is a non sectarian institution- they receive government aid based on that. I don’t understand push comes to shove, how YU can prevent student groups from using rooms for whatever prayer services they desire. Thus, decision is one legally of a Dean of Students not of theological institution.

  2. Steve Brizel says:

    That logic assumes that YU could force RIES RY to publicly support political positions and social trends that are obviously contrary to halacha. That would constitute a possible free exercise claim since RIETS is treated as an affiliate of YU with its own administration faculty and fund raising

    • mycroft says:

      N o RIETS RY can express their own viewpoints,but YU a separate non sectarian institution has to from its property allow students to practice what they believe even if different from what RIETS RY believe. No one is preventing RIETS RY from expressing their viewpoint-the issue is students many of whom are not even enrolled in RIETS being discriminated against by a non sectarian university on the basis of their religious beliefs.

  3. Steve Brizel says:

    The Commentator and Observervhave weitten about YC and SCW faculty whose personal libes clearly contradict halachic norms. None were terminated by YU . You seem to overlook the fact that despite being a secular university as you mentioned all undergraduate students must take Judaic studies courses.All yeshivos run otices of non discrimination byt the whole world knpes what talmidim.are learning and it isnt Academic Talmud or Bible.One can question what authority legal or otherwise a Dean of Students in deeming a minyan on campus under his bailiwick supervision direction and control as ipposed to RIETS and its RY.

  4. Raymond says:

    When it came to the issue of female Rabbis, I could see problems with it. Halachic decisions are best made by men, plus the amount of time and devotion that the Rabbinical profession requires, would take away the time and attention that children need from their mothers.

    Having said that, I just do not see what would be so wrong about a woman giving over a Dvar Torah to a mixed religious Jewish audience. There are plenty of very Orthodox Jewish woman who are already teachers of Torah. Admittedly, often this is in the younger grades in school, or exclusively to other females, but there comes a point at which females have made enough sacrifices and enough emphasis on modesty, and maybe it is time for us men to at least try to have as much goodwill on our part, starting with something called good, old-fashioned self-control. If a man cannot listen to a woman give over words of Torah without him losing himself in a state of total erotic arousal, maybe such a man has issues that are best worked on outside of that study hall. That will then leave room for some women to give over their thoughts on the subject at hand, namely the Torah.

    • dr. bill says:

      your assertion about halakhic decisions being best made by men has to tempered by the comments attributed to beuriah in the talmud, who bested both her husband and another tanna, going to the modern day, you should read the teshuvot of rabbanit anat novoselsky and see if that impacts your viewpoint.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Bruriah was the exception to the rule. Perhaps, the issue that neither Bruriah nor Rachel, the self sacrificing wife of R Akiva represent appropriate role models for most young women. IIRC, the book of teshuvos that you referenced was reviewed years ago by R Y Bechoffer who concluded that it was heavy on feminist and gender theory and quite light on halachic analysis. OTOH, if you were referring to the works of Necham Leibowitz ZL or another lecturer on Tanach whose name escapes me, as opposed to authors whose feminist POV is reflected throighout their works ala Dr T Ross, who RAL ZL strongly criticized, your point as to women’s scholarship would have a great deal of merit.

      • dr. bill says:

        blatantly false as usual. read rabbi bechoffer essay and tell me you find one word about rabbanit novoselsky. you know not what you are talking about; his criticism was limited to other teshuvot, not by her. tell you what, if you cannot find a reference to rabbanit novoselsky by rabbi bechoffer, apologize and curtail your blogging until shavuot.

        and for your edification, in talmudic as well as more secular arenas, exceptions prove the weakness of a rule.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Reread the review . R Bechiffer obviously wrote a critical review wbich raised wuestions as to the qualifications of tbe author to write such a work.

          • dr. bill says:

            You can tilt at windmills and challenge rabbanit novoselsky’s ability to write teshuvot; do not ascribe such inanity to rabbi bechoffer. You are wrong again. You still owe us the name of any RY who agrees with your misreading of the rav ztl’s shiur.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          R Bechoffer quoted the following excerpt:

          “In the aforementioned responsum, Rabbanit Bartov – naturally enough – deals with the issues presented by the prophetess Devorah. The Tanach states very explicitly that she judged the Jewish people. Many great authorities through the ages – from major Rishonim to major Acharonim – have dealt with the question of why the law that normally women cannot serve as judges does not contradict Scripture.

          Rabbanit Bartov cites these explanations, but then adds:

          I will note in a personal tone, that it is difficult to read such variegated exegesis, the entire purpose of which is the distortion of explicit verses in Tanach, in order to find an asmachta (a “support”) for a ruling that contradicts the simple meaning of Scripture.

          One is dismayed to see such disparaging lines written about the greatest authorities of the ages. This begs the question: If one lacks appropriate respect for, and deference to, the system and its authorities, how can one issue rulings in the framework of that system?”

          I stand by my previous post that R Bechoffer in his review found the above excerpted quote evidence of a gender driven agenda. If you have a problem with the comment of R Bechoffer write to R Bechoffer.

          • SAT says:

            let me try to make it yet simpler. i wrote about rabbanit novoselsky. who did you quote rabbi bechoffer and write about?

          • dr. bill says:

            SAT is mysteriously me. SAT is dr.bill, bartov however is not novoselsky

    • Steve Brizel says:

      You mentioned Bruriiah-what about the comments of Rashi as to the cause of her demise ? If the Torah and Chazal emphasize that Kedoshim Tihiyu and avoiding Arayos, as one of the three cardinal aveiros and Avizufahu of Arayos and having a proper attitude and atmosphere for Ameilus BaTorah and Yoras Shamayim- who are we to suggest that Torah should and can be learned as if chavrusos were mere lab partners of the opposite gender?

      • dr. bill says:

        the youngest student of the grash ztl, an odd scholar to say the least, an admirer of the late satmer rebbe, a feminist, a bds member among other odd behavior, covers this topic in depth in his seminal work – carnal israel. it is rumored the grash refused to give him semichah. i find him rather detestable, but daniel boyarin is a great scholar. the legends surrounding beruriah, speak about attitudes as well as history.

  5. mycroft says:

    “You seem to overlook the fact that despite being a secular university as you mentioned all undergraduate students must take Judaic studies courses.”
    Irrelevant-studying Judaic courses does not equate to a requirement to accept the religious beliefs of teachers.

    “All yeshivos run otices of non discrimination byt the whole world knpes what talmidim.are learning and it isnt Academic Talmud or Bible”
    The yeshivas have not been challenged with students willing to dothe requirements who reject the viewpoint of RY. YU clearly is facing that.
    `
    “.One can question what authority legal or otherwise a Dean of Students in deeming a minyan on campus under his bailiwick supervision direction and contro”
    Of course, it is under his control check the 990s and see how many assets each institution controls.
    ” as ipposed to RIETS and its RY.” RIETS does not control vast majority of Yeshiva. Obvious reason want overhead on grants .

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Again RIETS raises its own funds has its pwn faculty standards for admission and faculty.

      • mycroft says:

        Correct, but to attend YU it is not required to attend RIETS. RIETS can do what it wants with its institution it can’t order around affiliate institutions.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Mycroft wrote:

      ” Irrelevant-studying Judaic courses does not equate to a requirement to accept the religious beliefs of teachers
      he yeshivas have not been challenged with students willing to dothe requirements who reject the viewpoint of RY. YU clearly is facing that.
      `Of course, it is under his control check the 990s and see how many assets each institution controls

      YU has always had undergraduate students whose committment to Shemiras HaMitzvos was problematic. Their POV can often be found in the Commie, not the Beis Medrash. No dean can compel any RY or talmid in RIETS to accomodate or refrain from criticizing any organization or attitude that is not conducive to or hostile to what the Braisa in Kinyan Torah describes the 48 means of how one becomes a talmid chacham. No Melech evyon regardless of what a 990 says can do so.

      • mycroft says:

        “No Melech evyon regardless of what a 990 says can do so.”
        If a nonsectarian institution wants to receive government money theymust act in a non sectarian manner

  6. mycroft says:

    FromYU website
    “The Robert M. Beren Department of Jewish Studies serves two main sets of stakeholders: the general Yeshiva College student population and majors in the department. Its mission to all Yeshiva College students is to educate them regarding Jewish civilization from biblical times through the present, to develop their knowledge of and appreciation for the Hebrew language as a vehicle for Jewish culture throughout the ages, and to develop their appreciation for the contexts in which Judaism arose and developed. For majors, its mission is to develop their facility with primary and secondary sources and their independent research skills, and thus prepare them to pursue graduate-level degrees in Jewish Studies.
    Student learning goals:

    Students will be broadly familiar with the sweep of Jewish history.
    Students will be able to value context as relevant to studying Jewish texts and cultures.
    Students will be able to appreciate the validity and value of modern academic approaches to Jewish civilization alongside traditional Jewish approaches to the same subjects.
    Students will have basic facility with the Hebrew language, especially in its classical form in biblical and rabbinic texts”
    Certainly no indication that students are expected to obey and follow religious dictates of RY

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Translated from YUspeak into English and tbe real world that means Gemara Navi Halacha and Chumash not Haskala.

      • mycroft says:

        “Students will be able to appreciate the validity and value of modern academic approaches to Jewish civilization alongside traditional Jewish approaches to the same subjects.”
        “to develop their appreciation for the contexts in which Judaism arose and developed
        No9t language of a classical Yeshiva.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Translated from YUspeak that means Jewish history and haskalah- the latter of which RYBS spoke often against from the 1940s thru the 1070s. It is well known that many older talmidim and some RY advise their talmidim who they should take in both Jewish history and similar courses .

  7. mycroft says:

    From Yeshiva College Core Requirements webpage
    “You will also take courses in academic Jewish Studies.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Translated imto English from YUspeak that means Jewish history and Bible not Academic Talmud.

      • mycroft says:

        If you are correct YU is engaging in misleading language. Academic Jewish studies means treating texts as an academic not as one who must treat texts as divinely revealed and can’t analyze as objective. It may not be what YU wants, but I suspect this is what YU intends to convey to government authorities.Problemis one then must treat students with rights that they promise. They are not rights that RY desire.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Of course it is YUspeak and students either appreciate the uniqueness of what YU has to offer of head for points to the right or left . This is an old story.

          • mycroft says:

            “YUspeak”
            If one lies to receive government money it is fraud. I suspect they hope that people won’t be interested in learning the requirements if they are not interested in following the religion as interpreted the affiliate organization.As affiliate organization makes more demands that many Orthodox disagree with chances of “problems” with trying to be a non- sectarian sectarian increase

        • Steve Brizel says:

          YU has always had a noisy LW which is manifested in the Commie and Observer, an apathetic majority that does not appreciate moving to extremes and RW that wishes that YU’s core message should be that one can be a Ben or Bas Torah , and even possibly blossom into a Lamdan or a Talmid Chacham , and get a college education.

          • mycroft says:

            “t YU’s core message should be that one can be a Ben or Bas Torah , and even possibly blossom into a Lamdan or a Talmid Chacham , and get a college education.”
            How is YU different than attending Ner Israel while simultaneously attending a different college?Why support YU?

          • Mycroft says:

            For a fascinating report on Yeshiva HS graduates see
            https://drive.google.com/file/d/11R6pphFdZLHY0e1hURtZwV3kCI16wc92/view

            Survey of Yeshiva HS graduates by Zvi Gurmet-For those who will be free in Jerusalem area April 26 it will be discussed at Begin Center that evening

      • dr. bill says:

        Alas, you have things exactly backward. The academic study of Bible is most challenging and as taught at the Hebrew University or Yale it is entirely absent from the yeshiva college curriculum. Academic Jewish history, challenging the accuracy of seder olam and various other rabbinic texts is challenging to those who insist the Rabbis were historians. Academic Talmud as an alternative to classical Talmudic study is widely opposed. However, history has shown the fears of previous generations are largely unfounded. understanding afikomen, kofin et hamittah, an amah, etc. are edifying not threatening to historic Jewish practice. As dr. grach testified, his father ztl, whose 25th yartzeit we are observing, was familiar in detail with academic Talmud, but looked askance at using it in shiur. in fact, almost all great academic Talmudist, minus a few unique geniuses, studied classical Talmud before embarking on an academic career. It may have kept almost all from becoming chareidi, but that is a good thing, imho.

        • mycroft says:

          “The academic study of Bible is most challenging and as taught at the Hebrew University or Yale it is entirely absent from the yeshiva college curriculum. ”
          There are at least two MOOCs available for free that would be of interest-one by Dr Nilli Samet of Bar Illan(English) and the other by Professors Avigdor Shinan and Professor Yair Zakovitch on Moshe Rabbeinu (Hebrew).
          Dr Samet who was educated at Herzog among other places clearly dresses like a frum married lady. One of the Hebrew UProfs wears a yarmulke.
          I took both and were of interest.

        • Mycroft says:

          Not only academic Talmudists, it appears many of leading scholars in Jewish studies dealing with pre modern period, dealing with either Talmud, Kabballah even if clearly reject Yahadus as represented by CC clearly have learned at one time in a classic Yeshiva setting.

          • rkz says:

            Absolutely true. however, what they say must be judged by the yirat shamaim of the specific scholar.

          • mycroft says:

            “Absolutely true. however, what they say must be judged by the yirat shamaim of the specific scholar.”
            One does not know the yiras shamayim of anyone, one knows a separate issue their attitude towards the halachik process

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, absolutely correct. a bible scholar kind of labeled by agudah as apikores of the year is one of the most religiously / halakhically minded individuals.

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft, yirat shamaim can be known by: dikduk ha-halakha, kavod haTorah and overall attitude towards chazal, rishonim ve-acharonim

          • mycroft says:

            “Mycroft, yirat shamaim can be known by: dikduk ha-halakha, kavod haTorah and overall attitude towards chazal, rishonim ve-acharonim”
            Noticeably absent is any requirement to be honest,ethical. Note IIRC the Rav on rak ein yirat elokim bamakom hazeh-one can be most medakdek in mitzvot but if one is not afraid of God we have nothing.
            None of us have any real idea about how ethical or not anyone was

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, apparently rkz forgot that the galach is frum, a yid darf zein ehrliche. he and a number of others are God’s self-appointed who define derech ha’torah. that torah and the one moderneshe traditional jews venerate may have some minimal connection. 🙂

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft, dikduk be’halakha is also in bein adam lechavero. An unethical person can not be called a medakdek be-halakha

          • mycroft says:

            “Mycroft, dikduk be’halakha is also in bein adam lechavero. An unethical person can not be called a medakdek be-halakha”
            Agreed, but not the way the world operates.One can have leading talmeidei chachamim engaging in such activities but no one cares .

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft, I am much more interested in how we should act and in how we should view the world, and not in how some (or many) people actually act.
            Dr. Bill, WADR to the Yiddish proverb that you quoted (that proverb I know), derekh haTorah is to be both frum and ehrliche. (BTW, I am not one of “God’s self-appointed who define derech ha’torah”. Barukh hashem, derekh hatorah is not defined by someone like me, nut rather it is what chazal, rishonim and akhronim taught k’lal Yisrael)

          • mycroft says:

            “I am much more interested in how we should act and in how we should view the world, and not in how some (or many) people actually act”
            If hypothetically people fornicate while preaching chastity, or encourage money laundering while preaching dina demalchulta dina they are not worthy of following

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft, obviously true, but there is no contradiction between the absolutely correct comment that you made now and my comment above.

  8. dr. bill says:

    as i assumed previously, at cross-currents, the OU position is important for what it does not allow; for what it does allow, not so much. women’s learning and teaching are subject to continuous regulation to ensure it is restricted as much as possible. rabbis are the ultimate arbiters of the size of the cholent pot and the number of beans contained within. what the halakha allows is subject to an amorphous spirit of halakha regulation. when it comes to ehrlichkeit the letter of the law reigns supreme; when it comes to frumkeit the spirit of the law as i see it and my misogynist belief system is to be accorded the final say.

    separate but equal is reborn to live another day. what is mine is mine; what is yours needs to be examined more carefully.

    • Reb Yid says:

      Excellent and cogent analysis.

      To reject a female giving a non controversial Dvar Torah at the conclusion of tefillot might be par for the course in reactionary segments of Orthodoxy. Any institutional or rabbinic response to the contrary puts oneself outside the bounds of modern Orthodoxy.

      Chag Sameach.

      • rkz says:

        If so, I am happy to be called reactionary. Any public address by a woman to a group which includes man is very problematic, and in a shul it is even more problematic. When it is based on an left-wing-feminist agenda, it is completely assur.

        • mycroft says:

          “When it is based on an left-wing-feminist agenda, it is completely assur”
          Are you bachen kliyot valev. Object halachikally state halachik argument-which I can respect. Mouthing political statements means when one has the halacha one quotes the halacha otherwise mouth political statements

          • rkz says:

            Nothing to do with politics. I was referring to an halakhic issue. I wrote an article about this (the general issue, not the specific example) and linked to it in other thread. IIRC, you wrote in that thread that read my article. Obviously, you do not have to agree with my analysis, but this is an halakhic issue and not a political question.

          • mycroft says:

            but this is an halakhic issue and not a political question.

            I can see it as an halachik issue if they state that women can’t say a dvar Torah in front of men. Not the position publicized in OU psak. It is a political position if it applies to minyanim that are geographically close to their place of employment only.

          • rkz says:

            As I wrote before, I Understand the OU psak differently.

        • mycroft says:

          “rkz
          April 4, 2018 at 2:55 am

          As I wrote before, I Understand the OU psak differently”

          From OU psak
          “we believe that it is appropriate for women to assume the following non-exhaustive list of professional roles within the synagogue setting37 in a non-clergy capacity (as defined above):
          n-residen1. Roles women are currently assuming:
          a. Teaching ongoing classes and shiurim, and delivering lectures.
          b. Serving as a visiting scholar-in-residence

          • rkz says:

            a -b. can be women-only classes and shiurim (very very common here in Israel)

          • dr. bill says:

            anyone who could imagine this was allowed in only a same-sex scenario is disqualified from interpreting anything above the level of a pre-school comic book; i apologize to any four-year-olds i offended.

          • rkz says:

            a – b. can be referring to women-only classes and shiurim (very very common here in Israel)

          • dr. bill says:

            i realize you may not believe in the academic methodologies you must have learned. reading a text as you do is unfortunate but vaguely understandable. assuming that interpretation in light of overall circumstances/ context is not even remotely understandable.

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill, you are probably correct that you know the overall cultural-sociological context much better that I do, and therefore I hereby agree that my explanation is wrong. However, from a purely textual angle, my interpretation is as plausible as yours.
            To the actual issue, I must say that the OU psak should be re-issued and be re-worded so that it will be clear that a woman should not teach a group that includes man, esp. not in a shul.

          • dr. bill says:

            the OU is an American organization. its words are clear to any intended reader.

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill, if you are referring to the context, I already agreed that I was wrong.
            If you are referring to the textual angle, I disagree, since there is no compelling internal textual reason to accept your explanation (but it is a waste of time to argue about it, since the context supports your point)
            however, if you are referring to what should be, I do not see how your comment is relevant to the point I made.

  9. David z says:

    First to respond to someone above. When a girl appears at the podium, the first thought is she’s cute or she’s not. Don’t lie to others and certainly not to yourself. And these guys are all single and contemporaries. But back to the statement, the SOY leadership was always much less religiously serious than the student body because it requires someone who thinks spending the time running for election to student government is more important than learning or whatever else he could be doing. This is still surprising because it’s so out of sync with YP guys. All I can hope is there’s enough backlash they run someone decent against this guy.

    • mycroft says:

      “the SOY leadership was always much less religiously serious than the student body ”
      always Not always true,in my day SOY leadership were more traditional than student body.YCSC in general was to the left of student body, SOY to the right. Many SOY leaders became leading Rabbonim.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      When I was in YU, and prior thereto, many SOY officers were wonderful Bnei Torah. In fact, one Charedi RY whose FIL was a RY iin RIETS was an SOY president.

    • Raymond says:

      Of course I realize that the first thought that male students have upon seeing a female teacher is how pretty she is. After all, I myself am a man, and so of course I notice how attractive many women are, thank G-d. My only point, however, is that there comes a point where us men have to take responsibility for our own thoughts, and not always depend on our women to do what is necessary to keep such feelings in check. As it is, women dress modestly, speak modestly, treat their husbands and children as if they are more important than herself, sacrificing personal ambitions for their sake…can’t men make any sacrifices at all? All I am saying here is that men need to have self-control, and if they are simply incapable of controlling their lustful thoughts, that maybe they need to work on their character more before entering any religious Jewish institution in the first place.

      Oh, and btw, in response to what somebody else on here said regarding Bruria, I am reminded of Devorah, whom my understanding is, was both a judge in the Sanhedrin, as well as the leader of her generation. Again according to my understanding (please correct me if I am wrong), this was only because there were no men available who were equally as worthy. In other words, having men have such public roles is the default position, while women are resorted to only in the extreme case where no good men are available. Again, though, while I can see this when it comes to being a Rabbi, I just do not agree with such a policy when it comes to somebody giving over an occasional Dvar Torah.

      • rkz says:

        Men are supposed to control themselves. However, the existence of a mixed setting is highly problematic even in a very improbable case that no man will have any thoughts.

  10. Mycroft says:

    I am not sure about the reasons for the RIETS RY objections. If it is because a women would make some men unhappy, they are plenty of minyanim on campus where women don’t speak. If the reason is that they feel it is wrong for women to speak a Dvar Torah in front of willing men- how do they equate that position with the way most of us have read the OU psak. Do those who signed the OU psak really believe that women should not be doing those activities but they merely listed those to make their Rabbi fight appear more reasonable. Unlike Dr Bill, I don’t see this as a CC issue I see this as a RIETS issue.

    • dr. bill says:

      i did not investigate the opinions of the Riets RY on this issue; you may be correct. but with a new uber-sheriff running the town, i think some of the RY will find that Chazal were correct when they advised – lo matzasi la’guf tov mi’shitikh. sitting with his brother earlier this week i told him he looks almost presidential :). chag kosher ve’sameach.

      • mycroft says:

        BTW-the Rav was big on advising not to comment on everything. A big compliment by him about a Rav would be he knows when to fight and when not to fight

    • Steve Brizel says:

      That’s easy-a yeshiva and beis medradh is not a shul. and operates under rules and an MO that warrants a higher level of Kedusha. Yeshivas even and especially RIETS are venues where Bnei Torah are created and trained to have a higher and hopefully lifelong strong sense of Kvias itim LaTorah, as opposed to being smicha granting factories to rabbanim and an enhanced sense of commitment to Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim. Batei Knesios also have a level of kedusha as places for Tefilah Btzibur Talmud Torah and Chesed, but the Talmud and Poskim clearly recognize that a yeshiva has a higher level of kedusha.

      • dr. bill says:

        in the words of RAL ztl, a distinction without a difference. why would that be a basis to forbid a woman from speaking? making such halakhic leaps has a defining term, …….. svarah. in the more modern context, we might call it misogyny.

  11. Leah B says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that women across the religious spectrum are angry and sick of being told “mesora” to justify everything from no pictures of women in magazines to horrible women’s sections in shuI to being treated like garbage as shidduch candidates to being told not to feel awkward discussing details about their periods with men.
    This is not to assign blame for shidduch issues and of course I realize that not every shul built 50 years ago expected to have women attending. My argument is that many women do not feel valued and appreciated in our Orthodox community, from left to right. Aguna issues which Rav Dovid Cohen said can be solved halachically do not get solved etc etc.
    I think people would listen to reasonable voices more if the same people writing these opinion pieces ever came out and said they think it is WRONG that women’s pictures are not in women’s Jewish magazines and that the kotel plaza is divided so unfairly -even when there are equal numbers of men and women, the women’s section is smaller and crowded.
    After years of failing to improve things for women in the community, you can expext a backlash/the loud feminist voices to resonate louder than everyone else’s voices…

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Re ” Aguna issues which Rav Dovid Cohen said can be solved halachically do not get solved”, ever hear of the RCA PNA which was authored by R M Willig and approved of by such Gdolim as R OY ZL and Yivadlienu Lchaim R ZN Goldberg, R Asher Weiss? FWIW, I fully concur in your views re the facts that ” women across the religious spectrum are angry and sick of being told “mesora” to justify everything from no pictures of women in magazines to horrible women’s sections in shuI to being treated like garbage as shidduch candidates to being told not to feel awkward discussing details about their periods with men.”

      • Junjun says:

        Yes. Enough is enough. There are too many men who jump up and shout when women “overstep their boundaries” when it comes to the mesorah. There are too many men who stay silent when the boundary overstepping is done to overly restrict women. It’s time to sit down and listen to women for once.

      • Junjun says:

        Steve, when Rav Gordimer was supporting the erasure of women from publications, you were nearly silent in your support of women, and only offered one lukewarm comment. Contrast that with this post, when you passionately accuse women of giving divrei Torah in mixed settings as misguided and overly feminist. Where was your passion when you supposedly fully concluded with Leah b’s views about the erasure of women?
        https://cross-currents.com/2015/08/19/double-take-of-a-photo-op-pictures-of-women-in-orthodox-publications/

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Photographs of women who are modestly dresssed were discussed by RHS somewhere on line and IIRC RHS saw no basis for banning the same. Teaching Torah may be guided by different considerations depending when and where. An OU event or a shiur in a shul is not the same locus as a Beis Medrash in a yeshiva.

          • Junjun says:

            You’ve not addressed my comment In the slightest. You protest when women present divrei Torah to mixed crowds but don’t defend women when their rights are wrongly infringed, against Halacha and mesorah.

    • rkz says:

      Regarding pictures in magazines, IMHO the best policy is not to have anyone’s picture, men and women alike.

    • Raymond says:

      To Leah B, all I can think of say in response to what you have said here, is that I find myself in 100% agreement with you. In fact, I actually feel sad that you and apparently other women feel the way you do, that things have gone too far for so long, that women have even come to think of themselves as somehow being less important than men are. I do sometimes wonder why so many religious Jewish biographies are written about men than women, although that may be a by-product of men generally having a more public, and therefor more visible, role in Jewish life. I think that all of us, when thinking about the relative importance of men and women, should keep in mind how Adam and Chava were created not only simultaneously, but side-by-side, to show us that we are on equal footing with one another. And let is not forget the very key roles that our Torah mothers, such as Sarah, Rivka, Leah, Rachel, and Tzipporah played in the formation and development of our Jewish people.

  12. Noah Marlowe says:

    Rabbi Gordimer:
    As one of the student leaders that, unfortunately, was not described as “principled and menorah-minded,” I would like to make the following comment: It is by no means untraditional or non-menorah-minded for laymen to make non-pesak-related decisions in a Beit Kenesset. Furthermore, [email protected], from inception, was conceptualized as a community minyan – not a yeshiva minyan. Yes, with the permission of RIETS we use the Klein Beit Midrash. Yet, it is completely legitimate, as a student-led community minyan, to make decision on minyan policies, of course within the fabric of halakha. We are students that believe in avodat ha-shem and following in the footsteps of our educational leaders and rabbiem. Many of our rabbeim approve of co-educational religious forums (NCSY, Bnei Akiva, Yachad, to name a few). Here, too, we do not abandon our mesorah and rabbiem. Additionally, like most batei kenesset, ba’al ha-ba’atim – and in our case students – make shul decisions. If you cannot separate the idea of maintaining a non-yeshiva (community) minyan in a beit midrash, I understand, it’s complex. Rav Lichtenstein zt”l,a pillar of our mesorah, believed in complexity, as do we, the students of Yeshiva, too. I do not wish to critique your article, but merely to share with you the other side of the discussion. For if we are to understand each other (myself included), and believe in machloket le-shem shamayim, we must be able to listen and hear other individuals’ voices. Chag Kasher ve-Sameach

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      Noah: My use of the term “principled and mesorah-minded” was not intended to slight you or others, but to commend the letter writer for taking an exceptionally courageous stand.

      I agree that things are complex and nuanced; however, determining who speaks at the conclusion of davening is indeed a religious issue when it relates to a gender consideration, which hence needs direction from our rebbeim.

      Wishing you a good Shabbos and a chag kasher v’sameach,
      Avrohom Gordimer

    • Steve Brizel says:

      One can argue that what is mandatory in Kiruv and Chizkuk and viewed as acceptable in the MO world at the elementary school level but necessarily so at the high school level is inappropriate on the campus of a yeshiva

      • mycroft says:

        One can argue that. Of course, the reason why YU can’t argue that is that students are students of a non-sectarian university. There are costs to taking the stepsYU did in early 70sthat the Rav opposed and YU administration is in favor of.
        If that is the reason RIETS faculty want to give there may be some logical way to explain it your way why.Problem is RIETS does not control policy of YU

  13. mycroft says:

    who speaks at the conclusion of davening is indeed a religious issue when it relates to a gender consideration”
    If objection is a religious issue -I have no problem, but such objections would be inconsistent with OU psak on female Rabbis. If no halachik objection it is not the place of Rabbis to determine who gives a dvar Torah-it is who is meruza lekahal

    • rkz says:

      I do not speak for anyone else, but AFAIK if the OU psak is understood to permit a dvar torah by a woman to a group that includes men (kal vachomer in a shul) then there is a problem in the wording of the psak, and it should be re-issued with a clarification that such a situation is assur.

      • mycroft says:

        From OU Psak
        “As articulated by the Rabbinic Panel, women can and should teach Torah, including at advanced and sophisticated levels; give shiurim and divrei torah; assume communally significant roles in pastoral counseling, in bikkur cholim, in community outreach to the affiliated and unaffiliated”

        • rkz says:

          I thought that they meant “give shiurim and divrei torah” to other women, davar halamed me-inyano from the other items in this section of the psak.
          Avraham megayer (i.e. teaches) ha-anashim ve-Sara megayeret et ha-nashim.

          • Mycroft says:

            If they intended to put a limitation on they should have put on a limitation. BTW are you taking the position that men should not teach Torah to women?

          • Reb Yid says:

            If you want this in your shul to have women only give to other women, that’s one thing.

            But to say that this should be a blanket rule for the entirety of YU, RIETS or the entirety of modern Orthodoxy is out of bounds.

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft, I think that women should teach women, and that men should not teach women (unless there is no woman available and there is an et laasot issue). Wrt the OU psak, it was obvious to me that they meant what I wrote, and until you wrote otherwise I never even had an hava amina to think so.
            Reb Yid, why do you think that what I wrote is out of bounds?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Note the absence of any discussion ax to whether a yeshiva and beis medrash are proper venues for the same

        • lacosta says:

          would have to agree w mycroft that the OU is NOT intending to ban women to speaking when men are present. that most likely is the haredi standard. not consistent with MO. maybe the OU will devolve like Young Israel —which is essentially two branches: Young [agudat] Israel , the majority of tristate YI’s populated by haredi non zionists, and Young [MO/DL] Israel, mainly in the hinterlands and in non-haredi barrios….

          • Reb Yid says:

            In any event, this kind of nonsense is why YCT and progressive Orthodoxy are a needed corrective, a breath of fresh air, and have staying power.

            The haredi influence on so-called modern Orthodoxy has perverted it.

          • rkz says:

            WADR, halakha is decided by sociology or by opinion polls. What is assur in the charedi world is also assur in the MO world. There may be different customs or practices le-chumra, but shurat ha-din is binding and general.

          • rkz says:

            I made a typing mistake. Here is the corrected version:
            WADR, halakha is not decided by sociology or by opinion polls. What is assur in the charedi world is also assur in the MO world. There may be different customs or practices le-chumra, but shurat ha-din is binding and general.

          • dr. bill says:

            more importantly, these issues are passe in eretz yisroel, despite denials but those who refuse to observe what is happening. when a granddaughter of the rav ztl, spoke under the chuppah, i must have missed the protest.

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill, I was not present at the chuppa, and therefore did not protest. (That was a joke, of course. I do not know any Rabbis who wil protest at a chuppa.)
            However, I must say clearly that there are protests of such practices. I wrote an article protesting it halakhicly (linked to it in another thread. I assume that you read it) AFAIK, many leading rabbanim (and I am not a leading rabbi) protested it publicly. I think that the demographic makeup of the chuppa that you attended probably was tilted in direction of the Gush. How many rabbanim from Merkaz and its derekh were there? (Not to mention rabbanim from the Kav)
            BTW, I have close family that are Gushnikim, but we agree on somethings and disagree on other things. this does not change the fact that what is assur stays assur.

          • dr. bill says:

            as you noted, you are an Israeli. you may not realize that RAL ztl has not been gone long enough to be redrawn in the RW image. He and his family and yeshiva are still off-limits to the American cross-currents crowd.

            i suspect we will not have to wait too long for RAL’s transformation to be underway.

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill, I do not understand how your comment is a response to my comment. Please explain what you mean.

          • dr. bill says:

            rkz, i meant that your pov, regardless of its validity, is never expressed by the cross-currents crowd. it would be like tovail vesheretz beyado, holding on to the rav ztl while attacking RAL ztl, his children, and Gush.

            my prediction is that in time RAL will be redefined and the rest declared treif.

            wh

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill, I still don’t understand what you mean, and who you refer to by “the cross-currents”, but I will leave it at that.

  14. rkz says:

    Yasher Koach Rabbi Gordimer for continuing the struggle against deviations from Derekh haTorah!

    • Junjun says:

      Like this one, where it’s ok not to show pictures of women? That’s derech hatorah?
      https://cross-currents.com/2015/08/19/double-take-of-a-photo-op-pictures-of-women-in-orthodox-publications/

      • rkz says:

        Indeed, I agree with that post. However, as I wrote in this thread, I think that pictures of men should not be shown either.

        • Junjun says:

          Well you are wrong. That is not Halacha or mesorah, that is a deviation from derech hatorah and a perversion. You applaud Rav Gordidimer for continuing the struggle against deviations from derech hatorah but you support him in this inconsistency that erases women. Inconsistencies like yours and Rav Gordimer’s are what further and further alienate women from halachik Judaism and prevent them from having a voice in Orthodoxy, as Leah b stated above.

          • rkz says:

            Please provide sources. AFAIK, before the invention of photography, the minhag was not to show pictures at all.
            Halakhicly, there is an issur to cause hirhurim.
            If this alienates some women, it is certainly regrettable, but zot haTorah lo teha mukhlefet.

          • Junjun says:

            It is not the responsibility of women to prevent hirhurim some perverted men might have from a modest picture. If hirhurim happen from a picture of a modestly dressed woman, that is the man’s fault. You should provide sources to show that it’s mesorah, as the position that wants to increase alienation.

          • rkz says:

            I provided the source before. Shulkhan Arukh Even haEzer 21:1

  15. Nachum says:

    Starting a minyan at 9:00- i.e., missing zman kriat shema almost every week- is a lot more problematic halachically than having a woman speak after davening, which is fairly unremarkable to almost any MO Jew, including very traditional ones, as the administration statement makes clear, and which many MO gedolim, like R’ Lichtenstein, see little problem with.

    But there was always a contingent of people at YU who deliberately acted like they were (in the letter writer’s words) at “any other yeshiva” and avoided the larger community as much as they could. Poorer people they.

    Finally, the interpretation of why peple don’t like to daven etc. is very generous, and thus doesn’t prove the point. Often it’s just laziness.

    • rkz says:

      A woman addressing a group that includes men is a major tziut issue that has a connection to avizaryahu de-giluy arayot, and therefore it is more problematic than not saying kriat shma on time. (I do agree that it is very very improper to have a minyan at 9 a.m.)
      I will add that the desire that a woman will say a dvar torah to men in this setting is based on left-wing feminism, and therefore assur per se, as I explained before.

      • Mycroft says:

        Are you stating that women should not speak to men? Can a women give a Dvar Torah. When men are present. There are many from the non left who have.

        • rkz says:

          There should be a minimum of personal contact between men and women (SA Even HaEzer 21:1)
          It is certainly a tzniut problem that a woman will give a dvar Torah to men. (It was very common in my teenage years in the US, and even back then I thought it is problematic, but when I learnt the halakhot I saw that it is much more problematic than I thought before)

          • lacosta says:

            when we define MO [vs haredism ], this is an area of shulchan oruch that clearly is not followed, nor will be….

          • mycroft says:

            Outlaw mixed smorgasbords `much more personal contact than listening behind mechitza. FWIW the Rav was onceinvited with his wife to a wedding.When he was told separate seating.He sits with his wife and if not he’ll leave.

          • rkz says:

            Lacosta, the halakha binds every Jew, and if a certain community is overly lax in a certain halakha it should do teshuva (as all of us have to wrt to our averot)
            Mycroft, obviously a “mixed smorgasbords ” is worse than a dvar torah by a woman behind a mechitza. Both are assur but mixed socializing is much much worse. (The story about RYBS ztl is nice, but WADR his shitta on this issue was clearly a data miut, which I must say that I do not understand at all (and neither did or do any of the talmidei chachamim I spoke to about this issue over the years). However, it can be used a a snif lekula bi-shat ha-dchak

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Do you spend your spare time chatting or talking to your friends’ wives or daughters other than answering a telephone call?

          • mycroft says:

            ” (The story about RYBS ztl is nice, but WADR his shitta on this issue was clearly a data miut, which I must say that I do not understand at all (and neither did or do any of the talmidei chachamim I spoke to about this issue over the years). ”
            I am aware that many talmeidei chachamim differ with the Rav.My objection is to those who pretend they are following him but differ from him and turn their backs on him.

      • dr. bill says:

        thank God you are not a posek for me or any of my friends. you are what i would label, sadly, as a misogynist.

        men who are sexually aroused in any way by women, modestly dressed, giving a dvar torah, are in need of therapy; i would be nervous if they lived anywhere near my grandaughters.

        • Reb Yid says:

          Reactionary.

          And did you actually see the Dvar Torah in question? Hardly the work of a raging lefty.

          • rkz says:

            We already agreed that I am a reactionary, didn’t we?
            The contents of the dvar Torah are completely irrelevant, since the problem is the very act of a woman giving a dvar torah to a group that includes men.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I guess Avizurahu de Arayos iis if minor importance to you and your POV.

          • rkz says:

            What do you mean?

          • lacosta says:

            while this is mainstream MO practice, the RWMO , which is closer to haredi anyways, will eventually revert to the latter –in doxy, praxy and cultural practices…
            and it need be said that one needn’t be LWMO or OO to buy into this cultural practice–it seems it’s the mainstream in MO….

            maybe 100 years from now, all of MO will due to egalitarianism need to leave O –call it OO or whatever. but the haredi community will likewise quash these rabble rousing women , and evolve into an even more Taliban like cultural ethic…

            ohr lagoyim, no….

          • dr. bill says:

            closer to lo tosif, perhaps

          • Reb Yid says:

            “Right Wing Modern Orthodox”?

            Thanks for the April 1st chuckle.

          • rkz says:

            Lacosta, halakha is not determined by the culture of the goyim, or of yidden who unfortunately (based on misguided foreign ideologies) decided to follow them.
            If this is “the mainstream practice” in the MO world (which indeed is what I also remember from my teenage years in the US), then the MO world is sadly mistaken and should change the “common practice” so that it will conform to the halakha. As I wrote above, halakha binds us all.
            Dr. Bill, there is no bal tosif issue here, as this is the shurat hadin

          • dr. bill says:

            rkz, i know it is not lo tosif formally just like it is not avizrayu unless the torah was given to sexual perverts.

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill, I provided a source in Shulhan Arukh. In fact, AFAIK this is the shitta of rov gadol meod of poskim throughout the generations (Please see Rav Shmuel Haber’s sefer, Ve’et Tzuim Chokhma)

          • dr. bill says:

            as you know the devil has been known to quote scripture as well. 🙂

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill. I assume you meant to make a joke, because what you wrote negates any possibility of having a source-based halakhic discussion.

        • ROBERT LEBOVITS says:

          How do you understand the concept ” Ayn geder l’arayos”?

  16. mycroft says:

    How is listening to Torah spoken by a women closer toArayos than taking a NYC Subway during the summer.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Actually RMF paskened that you could take the subway but IIRC may have also been against coed classes in yeshivos.

      • mycroft says:

        Facts on ground,women work and would have no other way to get to work. Dress today is less zniut than when RMF was at his peak.

        • rkz says:

          True. However, taking the subway is leika darka akhrina (and indeed if it can be avoided it should be avoided), while a dvar torah by a woman (and kal va-chomer social contacts) is ika darka akhrina,

        • Steve Brizel says:

          if you have no choice but to ride the subways to get to and from work, then train yourself to keep your eyes on what is appropriate. Shemiras Einayim is not just a midas chasidus.

          • mycroft says:

            If one is not aware of ones surroundings in a subway one is guilty of violating ushmartem meod es nafhshotechem

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Mycroft wrote in part:

          “If one is not aware of ones surroundings in a subway one is guilty of violating ushmartem meod es nafhshotechem”
          You can fulfil both shemiras einayim and vnishmatem meod es nafsoseicem on the subways quite easily.

      • Mycroft says:

        RMF was opposed to coed classes-was willing to give a heter where otherwise day school not possible,RYBS held differently certainly through HS was in favor of coed classes if educationally desire able. The Rav refused to take a position either way when Dr Belkin considered moving Stern to Washington Heights- would have saved a lot of money. Other YU RY wanted him to come out against plan, Dr Belkin wanted him to come out in favor. The Rav turned both sides down and took no position.
        The Rav had no problem having women attend advanced Shiurim of his,

        • rkz says:

          As I wrote a few times already, WADR the shitta that permits any co-ed schooling (not in a clear et laasot situation as Rav Moshe clearly wrote, and even then at the lower grades in elemantry school) is a data yachid (or a data miut katan), and is not the accepted halakha.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      In fact, you can listen to a shiur with an open sefer on the subway and cover a lot of ground in learning if that is how you commute. Most chasunas that have separate seating, except at certain halls that tell you in the contract that the entire affair must be separate, have mixed smorgasboards. Even with a mechitza, which has diferent formats depending on the caterer, you can always walk over to the womens section and plan your time of departure with your wife. The question at many MO chasunas even with a mechitza is whether the chasan and kallah want any mixed dancing that begins with a mitzah tantze and which all too often after the iobligatory chasunah separate dancing degenerates into mixed dancing. Some bands are OK with it others aren’t . Like t or not halachos such as negiah, kol isha, separate swimming and modest clothing are all rooted in avizurahu de arayos and appear to be viewed as objectionable or oppressive to women or encouraging men’s basest instincts when in fact Arayos and Maccalos Asuros form Sefer Kedusha of the Rambam. Halevai that there was no need for camps to have counselors designated for “bush patrol.”

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote in part:

    “As I was taught by my rabbeim, truth is never tragic. you are unable to maintain even a semblance of cogency”

    I guess the elementary distinction between the level of Kedusha between a Shul and a yeshiva was something that you were not taught by your rebbeim.

    • dr. bill says:

      a free lesson – if a and b are different, it DOES NOT MEAN they differ in every regard. having greater kedusha, DOES NOT MEAN in every regard. kapish.

      now get back to finding the RY at YU who disagrees with my assertion about the Rav ztl’s yartzeit shiur.

      if you want to beg for mechilah i can give you the email for dr. and rabbanit novoselsky.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        If a Beis Medrash and Beis Haknesses were identical there would be no differences in Kedusha -which there are obviously are. I stand by R Bechoffer’s own words in the review and see no reason to ask for let alone beg for mechilah.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Rabbanit Novoselsky was a co-author of the book , which R Bechoffeer reviewed. I stand by the his review. You obviously view any critical critique of any work written by a feminist or a woman scholar as uncalled for. Your comments should be directed to R Bechoffer.

        • dr. bill says:

          when in a hole, stop digging. imprecise and misleading. co-authors are jointly responsible for what they write. authors whose articles appear together ARE NOT CO_AUTHORS.

          God forbid i would be called your co-author since our comments appear on the same page, a more apt analogy than calling separate teshuvot co-authored.

          your attempt at obfuscation earns a big goose egg.

          go back to finding me that RY

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The author and/or authors of any book are responsible for its contents. Anything that is in their jointly published work is their responsibility and reflects their POV, analysis and conclusions. Again, R Bechoffer’s words are very instructive in this regard:

            “Another way in which we assess an Halachic work is by attempting to identify any bias that may inappropriately affect the author’s perspective. Of course, even the most agenda-driven author will take pains to – at the very least – conceal such bias. Which makes an editorial comment by Rabbanit Bartov all the more surprising.

            In the aforementioned responsum, Rabbanit Bartov – naturally enough – deals with the issues presented by the prophetess Devorah. The Tanach states very explicitly that she judged the Jewish people. Many great authorities through the ages – from major Rishonim to major Acharonim – have dealt with the question of why the law that normally women cannot serve as judges does not contradict Scripture.

            Rabbanit Bartov cites these explanations, but then adds:

            I will note in a personal tone, that it is difficult to read such variegated exegesis, the entire purpose of which is the distortion of explicit verses in Tanach, in order to find an asmachta (a “support”) for a ruling that contradicts the simple meaning of Scripture
            More egregiously, when approaching the complex sub-issue of whether a woman, even if she is not a Niddah, may ascend the Mount within 72 hours of having had marital relations with her husband, the author flippantly dismisses the issue. Her first piece of “evidence” is a rhetorical question: “Would one entertain the possibility that a woman would refrain from partaking of the Korban Pesach on account of the ‘chumrah’ of waiting 72 hours, and be put in danger of the penalty of karet?”

            This line of reasoning is Halachically flawed on several counts, but particularly because the Rambam (Hil. Terumot 7:7) rules, in fact, that within 72 hours of marital relations a woman may not partake of terumah on account of its sanctity. The Rambam makes it quite clear that this is not a stringency but the letter of the law. One is forced to assume that this would be the case across the Halachic board, and a heavy burden of proof rests upon the shoulders of anyone arguing for leniency.

            Moreover, in the following paragraph Rabbanit Bartov suggests that any such issue can be remedied by the woman in question douching after relations before going to the mikvah. Yet the great authority Rabbi Moshe Isserles, the Rema (Yoreh Deah 196:13), writes that we are not sufficiently adept at this procedure and may not rely on it in our day and age. Addressing this point, Rabbanit Bartov makes the following astonishing statement:

            And even if your family custom is to follow the rulings of the Rema, in this deed [i.e., douching within 72 hours and relying on it to go to the mikvah], there is no issue of forsaking the family custom, since the Rema did not address the issue of ascending the Temple Mount, but ruled for the Jews of the European diaspora [my emphasis] only in connection with marital laws [as opposed to the laws of tumah and taharah – ritual purity].

            Anyone who has learned tractate Niddah knows that Halacha is more stringent in regards to the laws of ritual purity than in regard to marital law – in contradiction of the author’s assumption. Yet even more stunning is the flippant dismissal of a ruling of one the great pillars of Halacha.

            We must close by reiterating that we have striven to approach the work independently of the novelty of its authors’ gender. Therefore, this brief critique of the work is, in essence, a critique of the derech that Midreshet Lindenbaum has inculcated in its students. Such critique is gender-blind, and applies to any and all of the instructors who have trained their students to approach issues in the questionable ways that we have touched upon. It behooves the leadership of the institution to note these issues – issues that will very likely bar the works that emerge from their Beit Midrash from taking a place in the mainstream of the Halachic world.”

            For those interested in , the following essay is must reading why it is imperative that one have a solid command of “it” as my rebbe R M Besdin ZL repeated constantly before one even dreams and thinks that he or she can write “about it” , whether in academia, let alone one’s own chiddushim and responsa, which begins by mastering Shas and Rishonim when one begins the study of the same in one’s youth and breaking one’s head for as long as it takes to descipher “what is the shitta of Tosfos” as elucidated and explained by other Rishonim and especially the methodology or what in yeshivas call “what is the shitta of Tosfos” or any other Rishon. The essay contains a trreasure trove of information about the transmission of TSBP in general from Chasimas HaShas through the era of the Gaonim , and fascinating insights into how Rabbeinu Tam viewed the role of Midrashiim in understanding Halacha . The following essay , which followed a review which is only available by paying for it at the Jewish Review of Bools, but which sums up the reviewer’s objections to a book published by an academic press which won a national book award,but which the reviewer found clearly lacked a basic understanding of how to comprehend the Baalei Tosfos as well as the major Rishonim who discuss and elaborate on the views of the Baalei Tosfos and their own Chiddushim. http://haymsoloveitchik.org/downloads/ReplytoProfessorFishman-with-Sources.pdf

          • dr. bill says:

            you can write forever about rabbanit bartov; but not a word about rabbanit novoselsky. and what dr. grach’s review of prof. fishman has to do with this, is well beyond my pay grade.

            i assume even you can differentiate between different types of books. i suggest you read up on the difference between co-authoring and articles BY DIFFERENT AUTHORS appearing in the same publication. please tell me you understand.

            you OWE ME A NAME OF A RY that agrees with your view of the Rav ztl’s yartzeit shiur on HLMMS and A REQUEST for MECHILAH from rabbanit novoselsky.

            stop wasting time and get to work.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            You make the claim. Please provide proof in the form of links.

          • dr. bill says:

            not what you want but relevant to your unfounded and inappropriate attacks on rabbanit novoselsky

            https://ots.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Mah-She-elatech-Review-Essay.pdf

    • mycroft says:

      Can you eat in a schul? Can you eat in a BM?
      Historical fact, during time of Talmud Chazal were involved in batei midrashim, Th e Rabbis only really started to control schul activities from around 1000

      • rkz says:

        Mycroft, what are the sources for this “historical fact”?

        • mycroft says:

          I’ve read a lot of history of Judaism during the period from late bayis sheni to Rishonim and read similar info a few times.
          Retired has given me opportunities to learn much more truth about our past. A major reason is to understand who I am. Seeing recent revisionism about SRH and RYBS isa major factor. Seeing whatever is accepted by a gadol treated as accepted history has also driven me to try and learn the truth .
          A simple example R Yonathan Eyebschitz is either a great zaddik or a meses umeidiach, No one knows, disputes during his lifetime and an area that one can’t pasken.
          If one limits oneself to what people in one mesorah say one will not find the truth .

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Nice to see that you have such fascinating interests. Yet, one should always remember that Asher Bachar Banu Mikal HaAmim vNasan Lanu Es Toraso and Asher Nasan Lanu Toras Emes vchayei Olam Nota Bsocienu . The Emden-Eibsehitz dispute, which the CS wrote caused a major dispute among the Gdolei Acharonim is one of those issues which will always remain fertile ground for historians . That being said, the Torah of R Yonsaan Eibsehitz and R Yaakov Emden, Zicronam Livracha both are Divrei Elokim Chaim,just as are the words of the Gra and the Baal HaTanya. When a Tana or Amora quotes a Passuk in support of a halachic position, it is their understanding that their understanding of the same is one of the many meanings but that which has halachic content even if the same is different from and even contradicts Pshuto Shel Mikra. If Rabbeinu Tam emphatically emphasized that Midrashim are especially important in knowing Halacha if a Medrash does not contradict the talmud, who are we to say that such and such a concept was unknown either to Chazal or their understanding of the lives of the Avos, Imahos Moseh Rabbeinu Aharon HaKohen and the eternal Torah which we wlll be receiving together with TSBP on Shavuos?

          • dr. bill says:

            i think you deserve an honorary degree in naivete. when an achron mistakenly backed shabtsai tzvi was that also covered under eilu ve’eilu? when an achron makes a fundamental logic era is that also eilu ve’eilu? as one interested in academics, i do try to locate what might have misled a great achron; but i don’t view his error as eilu ve’eilu.

          • mycroft says:

            “That being said, the Torah of R Yonsaan Eibsehitz and R Yaakov Emden, Zicronam Livracha both are Divrei Elokim Chaim,just as are the words of the Gra and the Baal HaTanya”
            If R Yonasan Eibschitz was a mesis umeidiach how could you treat his words be Divrei Elokim Chaim?
            BTW that was the title of a book that I read afew years ago about Eibschitz-IIRC by a Rav fromHaifa

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The Emden-Eibsehitz dispute remains a subject for historical inquiry, but show me any Acharon who says that we don’t learn from the Torah of R Yonasan Eibshitz.

          • mycroft says:

            “The Emden-Eibsehitz dispute remains a subject for historical inquiry, but show me any Acharon who says that we don’t learn from the Torah of R Yonasan Eibshitz.”
            Are you implying then that Achronim do not care if a talmid chacham has heretical beliefs

          • rkz says:

            regarding, Rabbenu Yonatan Eibshitz, the accepted psak of the akharonim is that he was a great tzaddik, and that Rabbenu Yaakov Emden was mistaken in his accusation.
            The concept of psak in historical issues is much vaguer than a psak in halakhic issues, but it exists.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The Talmud tells us about differences based on Psukim in Tanach. How “rabbis rally started to control schul activities” is a nice historical footnote but not relevant to the level of Kedusha in each .

        • mycroft says:

          May well be relevant as to how Rabbis thought about two different institutions-one in which they controlled one where their opinions were not followed.
          BTW-very relevant info to those who believe Yahadus developed solely by what Rabbis believed should happen.
          It is natural that people believe what they are good at is important basic psychology.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Many times the Talmud reconciles seemingly contradictory views of a Tanna or Amora as reported by his talmidim by saying that is what the rebbe held, but that is not what the talmid held ( “Hah ribe, hah didie).

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Are you stating that we do not follow the views of the Perushim Tanaim Amoraim Gaonim RIshonim and Acharonim and that we follow the views of the Tzadukim as opposed to acknowledging the critical roles of the Tanaim and Amoraim especiallly insuring that TSBP was rendered portablle and transmitted from and to successive generations? Please explain. If not-do you use a blech on Shabbos and reheat food and when did you start counting Sefiras HaOmer?

          • dr. bill says:

            i wonder if you are aware of the tzedduki time to begin sefirat ha’omer? i don’t believe it is given precisely in the rabbinic literature, but I might be wrong. afaik, most assume incorrectly, they started on Sunday as we did this year.

            it requires that you understand their calendar; academics can explain a sugyah or two knowing their calendar that would be very difficult to explain otherwise.

          • mycroft says:

            “Tanna or Amora as reported by his talmidim by saying that is what the rebbe held, but that is not what the talmid held (”
            Don’t attack people then who do not follow “mesorah” talmid holds differently than Rebbe. If one talmid can do it, so can others. That you may agree with one talmid ,others can disagree with him and follow their knowledge of same Rebbe.

        • mycroft says:

          Neither the Beis Midrash nor the schul were developed in times of Tanach

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Chazal talk about both and use Psukim to discuss their levels of Kedusha.

          • Mycroft says:

            Every Shabbos drasha uses pesukim to prove something. Neither the beis Medrash nor the beis Knesset existed during times of Tanach. Thus, using Biblical verses as part of a drasha does NOT mean that was the intent of verses..
            A Biblical verse had to make sense to those who heard it. Thus, context is crucial.
            Thus, one can’t ignore for example the information that Bnai Israel knew when the Eternal Torah was given around 1300 or so BCE. Eternal had to be Eternal back then.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Rashi iin Parshas Vayigash tells us that Yaakov Avinu sent Yehudah to Mitzrayim to develope and establish a Beis Horaah for the numerous changes in life in the Shevatim that would emerge as a result from leaving ET and beginning the exile in Egypt.

          • mycroft says:

            “Rashi iin Parshas Vayigash tells us that Yaakov Avinu sent Yehudah to Mitzrayim to develope and establish a Beis Horaah for the numerous changes in life in the Shevatim that would emerge as a result from leaving ET and beginning the exile in Egypt”
            Thats your evidence that there were schuls and BateiMidrashim in Tanach time period? Before the gerus of matan Torah?

          • dr. bill says:

            steve brizel, for reasons beyond the scope of a blog comment, chazal retroject their present to the biblical past. if you do not acknowledge that, you have another reason to continue attending the annual dinner for the yeshivah of shem ve’ever. 🙂

        • mycroft says:

          “Rabbenu Yonatan Eibshitz, the accepted psak of the akharonim is that he was a great tzaddik, and that Rabbenu Yaakov Emden was mistaken in his accusation.”
          There can’t be a psak on the issue, they may decides to accept his writings based on their understanding, but if they are wrong -they are no more relevant to truth than those who believed that the sun goes under the earth at night and thus water in ground warmer than at surface.
          The concept of psak in historical issues is much vaguer than a psak in halakhic issues, but it exists-of course there is basic belief thast Torah was revealed by God during Exodus from Egypt-both historical facts evidence is belief. There is no requirement to believe R Yonatan Eibschitz was a believer more than belief of anyone else,one wouldgo by historical evidence.

          • rkz says:

            AFAIK, there is no ironclad historical proof on this issue (as there is in astronomy and similar fields), and therefore the accepted hakhra’a of the akhronim is amita shel torah on this question.

          • mycroft says:

            “AFAIK, there is no ironclad historical proof on this issue (as there is in astronomy and similar fields), and therefore the accepted hakhra’a of the akhronim is amita shel torah on this question”
            It is an issue that leading cvontemporary achronim of his time did not believe the gadol. There is no indication how much research current gedolim have donbe on the issue. Have they even read the literature on the issue,The issue is not one of Torah it is an issue of history and believeability.Gedolim are not ranked for their ability to determine historical facts . Read the literature on the issue. There is a lot.

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft, I read a lot of literature on this issue (both primary sources and academic research), and that is the reason that I wrote my comment above.
            However, as your comment makes clear, I should clarify my point: The han’haga of k’lal yisrael is based on detailed hashgakha pratit. Hashem is the ruler of history and history (particularly the history of k’lal Yisrael) is one of major areas in which we can see Yad Hashem in the world. Since Rabbenu Yonatan Eibshitz was accepted as a great tzaddik by the gedolim of the generations, we see that this Retzon Hashem, and therefore this is the psak of the gedolim, which is khotam of Yad hashem in history.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        You can eat in a social hall in a shul, but not where you daven. If you want to ignore how the Talmud defines the kedusha of both, that is your prerogative.

        • mycroft says:

          You can see lechaims in back of bateri midrashim, I have see Shela Shudas eaten there.One can’t eat in a Bes Knesses.

        • mycroft says:

          “The han’haga of k’lal yisrael is based on detailed hashgakha pratit. “How much practical hashgachat pratit God normally does is a major hashkafic argument eg Rambam AND CHASSIDIC/MYSTICAL WORLDS have drastically different views.
          “Hashem is the ruler of history and history (particularly the history of k’lal Yisrael) is one of major areas in which we can see Yad Hashem in the world.”
          You believe it is hashgachat pratit that changed klal Israel froma group that the vast majority accepted Torah to one that may be twenty % does -or that from being dominant religion in Israel 1950 years ago,another minor sect has close to 200 times our believers.
          ” Since Rabbenu Yonatan Eibshitz was accepted as a great tzaddik by the gedolim of the generations, we see that this Retzon Hashem”
          Sanhedrin c a n make mistakes see Horayiot gedolim certainly can

          • rkz says:

            A. The makhloket about hashgakha pratit revolves around the individual. not k’lal Yirael. We must also remember that k’lal Yisrael follows the mekubalim on this issue (and most others). BTW, this is lav davka a Chassidic pov, as the Ari and the Gaon wrote that there is hashgacha pratit on everything.
            B. Obviously it was hashgakha pratit (please re-read much of what Maran harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Jook ztl wrote about all of this in Orot, Ma’amar ha-Dor, and many other places)
            C. Ramban wrote that all of parshiyat Par He-elem Davar is not le’maaseh, since Bet Hadin hagadol can not be mistaken. However, this is a da’at yachid. As to the complex issue of ta’ut shel gedolim, please see my article in Hakhi Itmar vol. 2 (can be found on otzar hachochma database)
            D. Hashgacha pratit is also on the mistakes of the gedolim. Please see the perushim on agadot hakhurban regarding Meshiv Chakhamim Akhor

          • mycroft says:

            “The makhloket about hashgakha pratit revolves around the individual. not k’lal Yirael. We must also remember that k’lal Yisrael follows the mekubalim on this issue (and most others). ”
            Most klal Israel doesn’t accept anything close to what any of us believe. Most sadly don’t believe anything from God.
            So are you saying that correct hashkafa depends on when one lives, thus God acts differently depending if people believe in a mystical religion or they believe in a rational religion?

        • rkz says:

          Mycroft.
          A. When I wrote K’lal Yisrael I meant those who are neweman la’Torah. Yidden who do not follow the Torah, both in halakha and emuna, are not counted. There are part of k’lal Yisrael both halakhicly and as part of the kahal, but their opinions are not part of Yahadut. (Please re-read Eder Ha-Yakar)
          B. Han’hagat Hashem ba-olam is indeed determined by the hakhra’a of k’lal Yisrael. (Nefesh HaChaim sha’ar 1).
          C. BTW, AFAIK shittat HaRambam wrt to hashgakha was a da’at miut in his generation and afterwards (and please see also Ma’amrei haRe’aya, pp. 105-117, which deals with the issues raised in our exchange of comments and much more)

          • mycroft says:

            “When I wrote K’lal Yisrael I meant those who are neweman la’Torah. Yidden who do not follow the Torah, both in halakha and emuna, are not counted. There are part of k’lal Yisrael both halakhicly and as part of the kahal, but their opinions are not part of Yahadut. ”
            If one defines Yahadut by those who accept Torah and mitzvot I can agree, If one defines Judaism by what Jews believe obviously incorrect.
            “AFAIK shittat HaRambam wrt to hashgakha was a da’at miut in his generation and afterwards ”
            Irrelevant, we don’t pasken hashkafa, the only reason Talmud paskens what is inTanach is because we have to know what is metameh et hayadayim
            please see early TUM journals with exchanges that involved among others Rabbis Carmy and Parness which deals with the issues raised in our exchange .

          • rkz says:

            Mycroft. Yasher Koach for the mar’ei mekomt, and I hope to read these articles soon, b”h.
            Regarding p’sak in emuna, there is a brilliant article by Prof. David Henshke. Here is a link to the mar’e makom (I do not have a link to the article itself):
            http://forum.otzar.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=15406&p=304782&hilit=%D7%94%D7%A0%D7%A9%D7%A7%D7%94#p304782

      • Steve Brizel says:

        See SA OC 153:22-0ne may transform a Beis HaKnesses into a Beis Medrash but not the contrary.

        • mycroft says:

          See 150 that can force people to pay to build a Bes Knesses.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            True. But we follow a halacha of Maalin BKedusha-therefore, a Beis HaKnesses can be transformed into a Beis Medrash but not the oppposite.

      • Bob Miller says:

        Please tell us about shul activities before that time.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The Tur and SA OC 153 based on the statement of the Talmud in Megilah 26b and 27a clearly state that a Beis Haknessrs may be transformed and transferred into a Beis Medrash but not the opposite. Please ser especially the comments of thr Bach Beis Yosef Magen Avraham Pri Megadim and MB. This increased level of lesusha has nothing to do with any heter acilah but rather the functions served by each.

        • mycroft says:

          Note SA 150 where one can be forced to contribute to building a Beis Knesses.Apparently,that is considered essential for a Jewish community.
          Note that I learned in Yeshiva that schuls are not built anymore as Batei Knesses they are built as BM due to the greater flexibility of use

        • mycroft says:

          One can force residents of a town topay for a Bes Knesses via mandatory taxation-that certainly shows importance of Bes Knesses.OTOH there were certainly some of Chazal who would not enter a BK but would daven where learning at home. RElevance as to what they saw as important full time learners would believe learning important,people who were defending klal Israel believed what they were doing was important.What else is new?

  18. Nachum says:

    Like I said, there have always been those at YU who pretend that they don’t know (or are proud to ignore) what goes on in most of the university. The university runs co-ed events- in fact, they are mandated by the Student Council charters. There are co-ed Shabbatonim at Stern at which women, of course, give divrei torah in front of men. (Maybe not in shul, but what difference does it make?) YU is YU, and the community it produces- as this statement puts it so nicely- is what it is. The problem is that many at the school think it’s a positive to ignore that.

    • rkz says:

      So you think that because there are issur activities there is no reason to try to prevent more issurim?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Take a look at YU Connects, YU’s dating site. There are numerous classifications there as to what many MO, YU and SCW students are looking for. What goes at a YCSC Shabbaton does not exist at certain YU Connects events depending on the level of observance of the participants

  19. Shades of Gray says:

    “if the OU psak is understood to permit a dvar torah by a woman to a group that includes men (kal vachomer in a shul) then there is a problem in the wording of the psak…”

    The OU 2017 Torah in the City event a few weeks before the original psak had some women speakers addressing men, and presumably the upcoming 2018 event will feature the same. I don’t think every OU synagogue follows this lenient standard, but Dr. Chaim Nissel was therefore contrasting at least “YU communities across the world” ( and therefore also a “YU community minyan”) with “yeshiva minyanim”, or “palterin shel Melech”, in R. Gordimer’s words.

    It’s possible that the original OU psak avoided taking a position on the above issue, just as regarding yoatzot halacha.

    R. Tzvi Hirsch Weinreb said in an Ami interview with R. Yitzchok Frankfuter this January that “ The psak is both clear and complex at the same time, because it unambiguously prohibits women from serving in a rabbinical capacity with a rabbinical title, but it also emphasizes that they applaud women being active in educational settings and the like. But I don’t know exactly what that means, because I know many traditional rabbanim who spend most of their time doing counseling of one sort of another. They’re not paskening sh’eilos of basar b’chalav.”

    R. Elli Fischer argued on the Lerhaus blog last February that “it seems to me that this obfuscation is not a bug, but a feature. The purpose of the document is to articulate a position without drawing a bright line between those who are “in” and those who are “out.” Similarly, R. Shaul Robinson of the Lincoln Square Synagogue wrote on the Lerhaus blog last February that “I find important parts of the document puzzling and in need of clarification”.

    I suppose time will tell how certain details of the psak will be worked out.

    • dr. bill says:

      the pesak was intentionally ambiguous allowing everyone to claim victory without much changing. there is enough ambiguity to drive a bus through; by some cosmetic changes in title, women can serve in all current capacities. similarly, rabbi gordimer can pounce on anything. a perfect solution except for those who do not believe that their are multiple legitimate paths.

  20. mycroft says:

    So psak was a political document with intention of satisfying all-everyone can do what they desire.Of course,since Congregations really do not need OU membership there is no need for debates about what it means.

  21. Dr. E says:

    This is clearly a grey area. There are many RIETS educated Rabbanim in whose shuls a Bat Mitzvah girl is allowed to address the congregation from the pulpit after davening (perhaps after the insistence that the men first take off their Talleisim to signify that it’s no longer b’tzuras hatefillah—if you wish). Or an NCSY/Yachad participant doing the same.
    Yes, YU is a serious Yeshiva. But it need not necessarily conform with all that has evolved as normative in other Yeshivos (specifically relating to women). In that respect, YU can still remain nuanced which is what makes it unique. There are various Battei Midrash and minyanim from which to choose, which all conform to normative Halacha. In “mainstream Yeshivos” it would not be acceptable for young women to be within restraining-order distance of the Beis Medrish. At YU, the Library sees its share of women walking in and out of the adjacent entrance and Glueck. So, pok chazi what the facts on the ground are. IMHO, one can make the case of having a young woman (not in a position of clergy) speak after davening as being thoroughly consistent with the OU guidelines as well as the aforementioned common practice inside of OU shuls for decades. It would be a hard sell to draw the distinction between an OU shul in Ohio and a shul on either the Wilf or Beren campus. Hilchos Beis Hakenesses apply equally in any of those locations which should be adhered to in accordance with the Shulchan Aruch.
    Rabbi Gordimer, would you be OK if the same Dvar Torah was deferred by 5 minutes and given at the Kiddush in the back of the same room or one next door? While you are usually articulate in defining red lines, I don’t think that one has been crossed here that is worth calling anyone out.

    • Bob Miller says:

      It’s not so easy for a university to invoke a standard it has already allowed to erode, either because it doesn’t fully embrace that standard, because it got distracted, or because many of its students and their parents reject the standard.

      How does a university stay thoroughly Orthodox when it professes and practices non-sectarianism to qualify for taxpayer support?

      • mycroft says:

        It can’t force religion if one accepts government support as non sectarian

        • Bob Miller says:

          This may be the one way proper around this (from Hillsdale College’s web site):

          For more than 170 years, Hillsdale College has promoted “the diffusion of sound learning” as the best means of preserving “the blessings of civil and religious liberty and intellectual piety.” Your support is essential to the College. To maintain our independence in every regard, Hillsdale does not accept one penny of state or federal taxpayer funding—even indirectly in the form of student grants and loans.

      • Bob Miller says:

        Financial support of students at Hillsdale:

        To maintain our institutional independence, we accept no state or federal funding—even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. All of our financial aid packages are made possible by the gifts of hundreds of thousands of generous donors nationwide. Most of these supporters are neither alumni nor parents of graduates; they give because they believe in the need to teach the principles of liberty and independence that Hillsdale has taught and exemplified since its founding.

        You still have to fill out a form, but many families find that our Hillsdale College Confidential Family Financial Statement (CFFS) is far simpler to fill out and less invasive than the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. And we’ll work closely with you to tailor a package to fit your family’s situation.

  22. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote in relevant part:

    “i assume even you can differentiate between different types of books. i suggest you read up on the difference between co-authoring and articles BY DIFFERENT AUTHORS appearing in the same publication. please tell me you understand.”

    I fully understand what you have maintained throughout this thread-I fully reject the notion that two co-authors of any book do not have some sort of litmus test for what will pass muster with the public. Show me the acknowledgements page of the book in question with a statement that neither author approved of what each other wrote and that really proves R Be3choffer’s case that the work of the authors failed to meet the standard for halachic works as well as the documented feminist agenda in the teshuvot that R Bechoffer critiqued. I mentioned the link to DR CS’s response because his response also critiqued a book that did not meet the basic elements of knowledge on the subject of the book.

    FWIW, how the Tzidukim calculated Sefiras HaOmer remains a nice subject for both understanding why we don’t follow their arguments and for historians and those interested in the same.

    • dr. bill says:

      i assume you have not seen the work in question. i am sorry but i assumed people read what they are commenting on.

      as to the tzuddikim, i will bet you have no clue how they practiced and sugyot where that is relevant.

      and the RY who agrees with your reading of rav ztl’s shiur?? get to work!!!

      • rkz says:

        I am not Steve Brizel’s spokesman, but I must say that from what chazal say about the luach, it clearly appears that the tzudkim had a calendar similar (perhaps even identical) to the later karaite calendar.
        From the DS scrolls we know that there were sects in bayit sheni that had a solar calendar, and some scholars speculated that this was also the opinion of the tzudikim. However, this is an issue which can not be proven conclusively and it is very much a matter of different scholarly opinions.

        • dr. bill says:

          we know a bit more. what we can only speculate on is how they intercalculated (a week.) chazal knew how compelling their calculation of sefirah might appear and never hinted at it.

          additionally, shavuot would not fall in close proximity to the 6th of sivan, ever.

          both rav mordechai breuer ztl and james kugel have written on this topic.

          • rkz says:

            I saw what RMB ztl wrote, but AFAIK there is no way to know to which exact sect chazal referred to wrt to sefira

      • Steve Brizel says:

        There are numerous sugtos where it is clear Chazal interpteted Psukim so as to clearly demonstrate that based on Mesorah the halacha is not in accordance with the Tzedukim. SAfiras HaOmer and the Avodah of YK are two classic examples.

  23. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote in relevant part

    “when an achron makes a fundamental logic era ( sic logical error?) is that also eilu ve’eilu?:”

    First of all, if there is no firm resulution to the Eineshitz Emden debate, then one must tread carefully before alleging that R Yonasan Eibsehitz ZL erred, There are many other Gdolei Acharonim whose views on Hashkafa and especially Zionism were quite anti Zionist and are used in any Beis Medrash. I would doubt that R Chaim Hirschenson ZL’s sefarim , which Rabbanit Bartiov relied on, are so utilized.

    • mycroft says:

      ” then one must tread carefully before alleging that R Yonasan Eibsehitz ZL erred, ”
      One does not know if Eibshitz was either a great zaddik or a meiseis umeidiach. Neither,you or Ior anyone knows the answer to that question.
      If he was a follower of Shabtai Zvi you use the word “erred.
      I hope you should be as polite to those in OO who you believe are mistaken too. OO is not on the level of a Shabbtai Zvi follower close to a hundred years after he converted to Islam.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        WADR, one can argue that the departures from normative halacha and hashkafa advocated by OO are very problematic without them being a mesis and meidach. The Emden/Eibesshitz remains an unsolved issue of great interest , and as of this date, the sefarim of R Yonsasan Eibsehitz ZL remain for sale in any sefarim store and on the shelves of many shuls, yeshivos and layment. There are many great sefarim as opposed to Besamin Rosh, whose authors have very controversial views on a wide range of halachic and hashkafic views and whose sefarim are staples in any serious Beis Medrash and library of the average Ben Torah as well.

        I would also add that the Gra is reputed to state that he would have walked on foot to learn with the Ramchal, who was also suspected of such views.

        • mycroft says:

          Ramchal is entirely different case. Accusations of messianism,mysticism, but I am not aware of his writing amulets that contain Sabbatean views.
          BTW,Ramchal and Rambam are probably the most proficient in exact use of Hebrew of anyone in the past 1000 years/ Ramchal’s secular Hebrew writing ability was admired by Haskalah

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Great Gdolim were on both sides of the Emden/Eibshitz dispute. It is difficult to argue that those who supported R Yonasan Eibshitz were R”L followers of Shabtai Tzvi.

        • mycroft says:

          I didn’t say that those who supported Eibschitz were follower of Shabtai Zvi. There certainly greats on both sides of dispute. Certainly,many at time closest to situation thought he was a closet Sabbatean. Thus, certainly it is at least possible that he was a Sabbatean. We just don’t know, but it is ludicrous to state that he clearly was not a Sabbatean. There is clearly a lot of smoke consistent with that hypothesis.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        If after all of the historical inqjuiry, the issue remains unresolved, noone has the right to conclude to the contrary in the case of R Yonasan Ribeshitz ZL

        • mycroft says:

          Thus,you would rely on someone who is likely to have been a meisis umeideach. One has as much right to assume that he was not a true believer in Yahadus than that he wasn’t. There is a lot of smoke indicating that he was a closet Sabbatean.
          I haven’t read that much recently,but a few decades ago-I spent a decent amount of time in Judaica room of NYPL reading a lot of their material on the issue. I do not have a belief Beyond Any Doubt that he was a Sabbatean but that is irrelevant to what most people outside the Yeshivaworld believe about the issue

    • dr. bill says:

      i asked a question about a logical error, not about something else! kapish. if in all your learning you have not discovered even one logical error, get a refund from your rabbeim.

  24. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill-thanks for the link which summarized the contents but it did not answer my query as to the editorial responsibilities of each of the co-authors. The acknowledgement page of any book in any sefer or learned treatise tells the reader that the author or authors are responsible for the contents and welcome any queries in respect thereto.

    • dr. bill says:

      when beis yitchok publishes a volume is every author responsible for the entire content? not any harder

  25. mycroft says:

    Agreed,and even editors of many magazines do not necessarily agree with what every author writes

  26. Dov S. says:

    Women giving divrei torah after davening – as if this is a threat to Yiddishkeit. One might also have asked about having to “seek and submit to the words of rabbinic authorities” regarding: Zionism, response to Nazi Germany, attitudes towards the disabled, relations with the non-Orthodox, GET refusal, child abuse & so on. Take your pick on what the “essence of our faith” is, indeed. It is so disheartening to have to wait for rabbinic catching-up to occur. I shudder at the thought of having Ben Gurion asking for a rabbinic opinion regarding declaring the State of Israel (oh, excuse me – Eretz Yisroel) on 4 IYAR, 5008. One cringes at the inconsistent logic / method used by Rabbi G. Relying on a supposed statement by the Rav which was not published either as a responsum or statement in his lifetime, is not the way to make a halachic point. (Did the Rav even use the phrase “this is in violation of our entire mesorah” ever in his writings?) Please, listen to the those who strive to serve G-d with sincerity & emunah rather than worrying about satisfying those on the right wing. Rabbi G. ought to be inspired more by the example of the Vilna Gaon.

    • rkz says:

      A. There were (and are) different shittot bein Gedoley Yisrael on some issues that you raised (I don’t know exactly what you refer to when you write “attitudes towards the disabled, relations with the non-Orthodox, GET refusal, child abuse”. On some of the sub-issues under these general categories there were also legitimate machlokot bein Gedoley Yisrael). However, there is no Gadol who permitted submitting to the dictates of feminism and similar foreign ideologies.
      B. Many (perhaps most, it is difficult to give a definitive and complete historical answers) Gedoley Yisrael supported the founding of Medinat Yisrael.
      C. Sometimes “those who strive to serve G-d with sincerity & emunah” are mistaken and misguided. It is the obligation of talmidei chachamim to point this out.
      D. How is the Gaon relevant to the issues the Rabbi Gordimer discussed in his articles?

      • dr. bill says:

        the rav ztl in giving the hesped for RCOG ztl in America, endorsed a notion of daat torah talking about the tzitz and hoshen. he later changed his view based on his assessment of rabbinic foresight wrt WWII. had rabbis promoted aliyah to the fledgling yishuv between the wars, history would have been different.

        • mycroft says:

          There is no doubt that if the Rav ever had a view of daat Torah based on his hesped of RCOG ZTL it is clear that he did not have that viewpoint after WWII. One can argue the hesped either way-there were those who have argued that the Rav spoke that way about RCOG because he not only was a Rav but was the clear communal leader of LitaJewry. According to that viewpoint of the Rav the Rav would not have said the same thing about a RY or talmid chacham who was not also a communal manhig.
          I was not around during WWII thus I am not in a position to state my viewpoint. With the passing in the past few years of both Rabbis A Zuroff and M.Wohlgerlenter I am not aware of surviving students of the Rav from the time period of WWII who could discuss this crucial period of the Rav

          • dr. bill says:

            while you may be correct logically, i believe this is stated explicitly by RAL ztl. too lazy to look 🙂 .

          • mycroft says:

            ” dr. bill
            April 10, 2018 at 6:20 am

            while you may be correct logically, i believe this is stated explicitly by RAL ztl. too lazy to look”
            Your opinion is consistent with that of Julius Berman in
            https://jewishaction.com/opinion/daat-torah-missing-chapter-shulchan-aruch/
            “Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt”l, in his eulogy for Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, the foremost halachic authority of the first half of the twentieth century, extolled the intuition and insight of the Torah giant in all areas. While Rav Soloveitchik later modified his view of da’at Torah significantly, I cannot dismiss someone who follows the early Soloveitchikian approach to da’at Torah”
            It is certainly clear that the Rav by the time Julius Berman did not accept daat Torah-the Rav certainly would state he has no special expertise in non halachik matters. I believe that one has to consider the aspect of roles that RCOG filled vs the CI. Difference in requirement to listen based not on who was a greater talmid chacham but the roles they played in Jewish life.
            One can’t underplay the differences. I am raising a historical question only-it is clear one way or the other that post WWII the Rav did not accept a classical daat Torah aspect. I am not aware of survivors of those who were talmidim of the Rav during early parts of WWII-certainly when we were in Yeshiva they were around. I recall clearly the dissatisfaction with how all the Jewish community dealing with the Holocaust impacting the Rav-certainly as to how to deal with non religious Jews and organizations of them. However, I don’t believe one can find the pre 1940 Rav stating that daat Torah as used in following their non halachik guidance applies to talmeidei chachamim who are not communal leaders. If I can be corrected as to my facts I’d appreciate it.

        • mycroft says:

          Re the time period-it is certainly likely that the Rav was likely turning away from Agudah to Mizrachi during WWII. By 1944 according to Farber’s book on Maimonides school the Rav was involved in trying to establish an other school in the Boston area Rashi school -affiliated with Mizrachi in Milton Mass-only a few miles from Maimonides . Farber cites sources,he is my sole source of knowledge on this matter.

        • rkz says:

          Maran Harav Avraham Yitzhak haKohen Kook promoted Aliya and banyan ha’aretz
          Wrt to da’at Torah, how is this very important issue relevant to my comment?(I think I understand what you meant, but I am not sure, and I would be happy to see your explanation)

  27. mycroft says:

    “Relying on a supposed statement by the Rav which was not published either as a responsum or statement in his lifetime, is not the way to make a halachic point. ”
    One must be very suspicious on statements that are quoted in the name of the Rav that were not quoted in his lifetime.Why were they not quoted during his lifetime? Even assuming arguendo the words are quoted accurately unless one has a word for word transcript for the whole context one can be very misleading quoting the Rav.
    Especially people quoting what the Rav stated in shiur can be very misleading. Even assuming quoted accurately,but far from a certainty -I am not aware of anyone quoting being a stenographer we are dealing with notes taken which by their very nature must be a summary made by the note taker . Even assuming sentence is accurate,it still could reflect a chakira the Rav gave in shiur not reflect the Ravs lemaaseh position.

    • dr. bill says:

      i agree. poskim even discount a brilliant position of a Rishon not found in Rambam or the Tur or SA.

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