Open Orthodoxy Update, Parshas Tazria-Metzora

You may also like...

92 Responses

  1. dr. bill says:

    let God judge between us: you suggest that Rabbi Yankelowitz “compares” those who oppose the WoW and neo-nazis. i assumed you meant compared and found similar. silly me, he compared and found different. anyone can click and read and reach their own conclusions.

    i can only assume you are running low on sensational material.

    and please leave transgender alone. this painful issue ought to remain the province of rabbinic and professional experts, who can deal with individual cases. the time for generalized public positions will require years more given our yet incomplete understanding.

    • Yaakov Menken says:

      Having perhaps read the source article more carefully, it is clear that Rabbi Rosenthal was correct to say that Yanklowitz finds “those who oppose the WoW and neo-nazis” to display analogous forms of intolerance. Yanklowitz claims that those who oppose WoW are against women (false), as compared to Neo-Nazis’ intolerance towards Jews (which is true): “Several times, parades of Nazis passed our building… Intolerance, of a different kind, has also been curdling in Israel… a group of Jewish women… have been physically and verbally abused…” Yanklowitz specifically compared the concocted alliance between Trump and neo-Nazis (this time, the American one is false) to Netanyahu’s alliance with charedi parties. If you are genuinely “Dr.” Bill, you had to get through the SATs, MCATs, LSATs and/or GREs. I’m quite certain the first and fourth of these contain analogies of precisely this variety, and suspect this to be true of the others; surely you will see what I mean on second reading.

      But perhaps you could better explain your position on the transgender issue. Are you claiming that there is a serious debate among “rabbinic and professional experts” regarding whether a woman should be welcome to sit in the men’s section of a shul, at least while “generalized public positions” are still pending? I think the jury came back on that one before leaving the room.

      • dr. bill says:

        1. just read the article. if you want to put things in quotes, please restrict yourself to exactly what was written. I see the word different and NO comparison. and unlike your mischievous …, it appears in the next paragraph. calling the hoodlums who attack non-orthodox prayer intolerant is an understatement, imho. i have a more descriptive appellation.
        2. i am a ph.d. grand-student of the greatest logician of the 20th century and a student of “the dirty Jew” that Nash envied in “a beautiful mind.”
        3. I do not doubt you think the jury is back on all transgender issues and were able to decide without leaving the room. I assure you, I would never mistake you for a halakhic authority or any other professional in this field. an important part of my tradition is that rabbis (and medical professionals) not decide such cases quickly and generally. i am surprised that even you believe such cases are so trivial.
        4. frankly, every time i go to Israel, which is often, i notice another major step for a growing modern orthodoxy that lives in an environment where they thrive. YCT and the open orthodox movement in the US is an insignificant group compared to a modern, traditional form of religious Judaism that is growing in Israel. people who spend their life attacking them as opposed to some of the chareidi outbursts exhibit clearly their sense of priority.

        • Yaakov Menken says:

          Dr. Bill,

          1. First of all, I quoted accurately. I did not insert “mischievously” or otherwise, neither did I subtract context, and my use of ellipses was both correct and standard. Any reader can read the full article and see for themselves that nothing relevant was added, changed or omitted.

          More to the issue, the claim that he was merely berating “hoodlums who attack non-Orthodox prayer” is worthy of WoW’s own propaganda. WoW comes not to pray, but to make a staged provocation. Until one finds another service where people deliberately sing as loudly as possible, wave prayer books overhead, and blow 10 shofaros in unison, the claim that they are simply coming to “pray” is the province of liars and fools — especially as they say otherwise, themselves. The ones displaying intolerance are WoW, whose stated goal is to interrupt, shock, and change Orthodox prayer, rather than permitting Orthodox women to pray as they wish. This is why Yanklowitz likes them, because they are out to change orthodoxy as he is. And he is no more honest about it than they are.

          So what he does is try to tar anyone who opposes WoW as supporting “hoodlums.” In reality, the leading Orthodox reaction has been to stop isolated idiots from responding to the provocation, instead bringing large groups to simply reinforce those coming to pray — as happened this most recent Rosh Chodesh. So Yanklowitz was being compellingly dishonest, and your backing him up demonstrates that you are no more interested in an objective analysis. This is sad.

          2. If you can’t read an allegory of different things and see their similarity, Goedel would be grievously disappointed. Yanklowitz did not segue from one to the other to highlight their differences, but to tar those who oppose WoW as bigots similar to neo-Nazis — with only the kind of intolerance being different. And this is obvious to any objective reader.

          3. The different briyos called man and woman are not debated by anyone familiar with the first perakim of Bereishis. The count of Halachic authorities who would permit a woman in the men’s section is… 0. It is no different than davening without a mechitzah, i.e. the province of Conservative Judaism.

          4. We don’t publish in Israel. You are absolutely correct that observant Judaism is growing rapidly in all forms. But in America, YCT graduates are still being hired by places that don’t know better. There is no movement endorsing and celebrating “charedi” or other “outbursts,” so this is simply whataboutism. If we don’t want OU and Young Israel institutions teaching Conservative theology, we have a responsibility.

          • Jeff Schwartz says:

            I want to be clear that I share in the general sense of disdain that most readers have here for the Open Orthodox movement. That said, I believe there needs to be some sense of fairness in specific criticisms of the movement and its members. The series of articles on this website reads as an attempt to “pile on” with the primary objective being to malign by identifying the maximum number of anectodes without all that much investigation of each individual anecdote.

            Thus, for example, while it is true that the article in question segued from a discussion of neo-Nazis to ultra-Orthodox reactions to the Women of the Wall, it is also true that the author described the latter as “[I]ntolerance … of a different kind.” To represent this as comparing the two is at least misleading.

            As to transgenders, the Tzitz Eliezer wrote a teshuvah in which he held that post-operative transgenders have the halakhic status of their post-operative gender. While this is definitely a minority opinion, it still is a formidable one. Presumably, the Tzitz Eliezer would have ruled that a post-operative transgender born a female must sit on the men’s side of the mechitzah.

          • Yaakov Menken says:

            I believe you are misreading the Tzitz Eliezer. Here is one case, which people point to, yet is not talking about a person who uses surgery and hormone treatments to attempt to change his or her gender at all:

            Tzitz Eliezer

            R’ Yosef Pilagi passed away in 1896, when no “sex assignment” surgery was contemplated or possible. Rather, “something happened to her, and she changed.” This is not surgery, this means she truly became a male, with functioning male reproductive organs (which no surgery can provide). This is a genetic disorder resulting in delayed development of men’s anatomy, until after the “girl” is 12 and could accept Kiddushin herself, much less her father accepting Kiddushin for her.

            Someone now showed me two additional sections in the Tzitz Elizer, one of which expressly deals with this phenomenon. The entire Kiddushin is a ta’os since she was always a man, it just wasn’t apparent. That is the very opposite of using surgery to destroy what G-d gave and replace it with something else. The other section in the Tzitz Eliezer also says that a woman remains a woman on the inside, unless I am misreading it. As I said above, no surgery can give a person functioning reproductive organs which he or she didn’t have already. Maybe I am missing something, but I don’t see the Tzitz Eliezer saying that surgical reassignment can contradict what remains true “inside.”

            But on the analogy Yanklowitz made, I think you are profoundly mistaken. Take a typical analogy you might find on the SAT: Palette:Painter as Saddle:Jockey. Does this mean a jockey is no different from a painter? Absolutely not. They are different, very different, but comparable. To a painter, a palette is every bit as useful as a saddle is to a jockey. For much of the article, Yanklowitz compares neo-Nazis, hatred of Jews, and Donald Trump, vs. the “ultra-Orthodox,” “intolerance” towards “women,” and Netanyahu. It is a different kind of intolerance, but he regards them as similar, comparable. That is not misleading at all; I would assert that many of his readers not only perceive the comparison but believe it to be apt.

            We have no desire to pile on. In fact there was a “psak” by Ysoscher Katz that, though appalling, was posted in a large “private” Facebook group. By all reasonable Halachic standards, a statement made in front of 500 people no longer has an expectation of privacy, but the rules of that group said nothing can be republished, so I told Rabbi Rosenthal we can’t include it (and thanked the person who brought this to our attention). Some months they will say more, some less, but the sad truth is they are still publishing and still trying to place graduates in Torah-observant shuls.

          • Yossi says:

            I hate to support Dr. Bill on this one because I think he is drastically wrong about Yanklowitz, who has proven himself many times.

            But on the transgender issue- we have a young lady who recently decided she thinks she’s a man and began dressing that way. Our Rov, a black hat charedi, asked two extremely prominent Poskim of the black hat world, although one is slightly more liberal and controversial.

            Both said she can sit in the men’s section. And she now does in a Modern Modern Orthodox shul, and it has nothing to do with OO.

          • Jeff Schwartz says:

            Rabbi Menken: I did not see a “Reply” option to your response to me, so I’m responding to your earlier comment. Later in the same Teshuvah, the Tzitz Eliezer writes

            ו ה ס פ ק האמור בנד׳פכה לאיש אם צריכה גט, יש
            להחילו גם על בלד׳יפך, היכא שהאיש נהפך
            ל^נוה (כפי שנתפרסם מעשה כזה לפני כמה שנים
            שקרד׳ בכזאת במדינה גדולה באירופה),

            http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14509&st=%d7%90%d7%a0%d7%93%d7%a8%d7%95%d7%92%d7%99%d7%a0%d7%95%d7%a1&pgnum=177

            The language in parentheses leads me to believe that he was in fact addressing a case of gender reassignment surgery, specifically the famous case of George/Christine Jorgensen, who underwent a series of surgeries in Denmark in the 1950s.

            I have seen others make the argument you are making about the Tzitz Eliezer, but in my humble opinion, that argument is merely the result of a desire not to believe that the Tzitz Eliezer actually wrote what he wrote. As I wrote earlier, however, this is clearly a minority opinion of the poskim.

          • Yaakov Menken says:

            Thank you for providing this. I had heard about this supposed shitah of the Tzitz Eliezer before, but had not previously looked into it myself. What I was discussing in my previous reply was merely what I had been provided by that point. This passage indeed more precisely “hits the nail on the head,” and thank you for quoting it (and linking to it).

            Having reviewed it, I agree with you entirely that he is quite possibly discussing the case of George Jorgensen, but if so it appears that he did not know what actually transpired. In one of the passages discussed earlier he talked about doing surgery, and how it does not alter what is inside. Here he does not discuss surgery at all, he speaks about the “opposite case” of a girl turning into a man, where a man “נהפך” — is switched — to a woman. Not only does this not imply medical intervention, but in order for it to be the “opposite case” of the genetic disorder that turned girls into young men, it would have to be a natural biological process that turned the man into a woman — complete with working female reproductive organs. There is no indication that the Tzitz Eliezer knew that what happened in Denmark was mere “reassignment surgery.” [I say “mere” because current medical technology is unable to give a man or woman working reproductive organs of the other gender. “Christine” Jorgensen was unable to bear children, and that has yet to change.]

            I recall speaking with a well-known Talmid Chacham 25 years ago, and asking him about certain positions he reportedly favored. He rejected those positions entirely. So I asked him why certain agenda-driven individuals would attribute to him positions he opposed. He explained: “When you’re looking to learn the Halacha, you learn the Halacha. When you’re looking for a place to hang your hat, you find a nail.” I’m not comfortable claiming I really understand what the Tzitz Eliezer is saying here. I would have to study it much more thoroughly, and ideally speak with talmidim of his. But I’m sure we can agree that many of those quoting him were looking for a nail.

        • dr. bill says:

          Yossi, sadly your case is not the only one. because i am aware of real cases as well and those who know me may assume they know why, it is a topic i refuse to discuss halakhically. even sadly, thanks for your support.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Don’t claim that you are not discussing the issue when in fact you are engaged in making the argument that halacha should discuss the issue and reach a PC conclusion.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Show us a teshuvha or view of a Rishon or Acharon or commentary on the Torah that would remotely rend to support what you describe as justifying such behavior or views.

      • dr. bill says:

        sadly, transgender like many medical related topics was not understood until recently. if you do not believe halakha can deal with new circumstances or you believe we do not acknowledge new developments, we disagree. there are new ideas that halakhists incorporate into halakha as they are discovered, some even incorrectly at first until more completely understood. it cuts both ways, le’kula and le’chumrah.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Thiscis predictable. When one cannot find sources in Shas Rishonim and Poskim the argument is trotted out that despite so many sugyos and sefarim like the Minchas Chinuch that discuss andrognous Chazal did not lnow the subject matter.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            You cant change that which is explicit in the Torah and the subject of ma y discusdions by Chazal Rishonim and Poskim ny asserting that Chazal were unaware of the science and the facts on the ground. I doubt that your rebbe would have approved of such an argument.

          • dr. bill says:

            chazal clearly discuss tumtum and androgynous as they also discuss many other topics without the benefit of what is known 2000 years later. sometimes we marvel at what they concluded without knowing what we moderns know; sometimes we have to determine what their principles imply given what is now known. the rav ztl would certainly agree. ask Rav Schechter who says this quite sharply.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Chazal discussed Tumtum and Androgynus in ligjt of their keen awareness that the Torah and Halacha were opposed to Greco Roman hedonism and infatuation with perfecting the body and Christian asceticism. I stand by my reference to Ibn Ezra on this subject.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RHS has stated repeatedly that the definition of the time of death is the cessation of respiratory and circulatory function which was defined by the Gemara in Yuma, as opposed to brain death which was never so defined by Chazal.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Lo Bashamayim Hi. Any reader can read and recognize that Yanklowitz and the causes that he champions deserve to be analyzed and critiqued as to their agenda merit and lack thereof. Political statements and posturing at the Kotel do not translate into Avodah Shebalev.

  2. Raymond says:

    I have a real aversion to falsehood. Probably nothing makes me more angry than injustice. And so I have to tell you, that in reading the above examples of the behavior of the Open Orthodox, that I cannot help but feel a sense of total outrage. The Open Orthodox are making a complete mockery of our Torah tradition, in my mind far worse than the Sin of the Golden Calf. And while some in the Orthodox Jewish community are speaking out against this, such as on this website, to me that is not nearly enough of a response. To my mind at least, these people need to be brought to court and sued for libel, for misrepresenting Judaism. I realize this is a religious matter, and yet I would think that there must be some legal recourse that can be taken to stop these people. Or rather, let them engage in their foolishness, but don’t let them get away with even pretending to represent Judaism. Have them legally change the name of their movement to something Leftist sounding, because at least they will then have less of a chance of fooling those Jews and non-Jews who are ignorant enough to be fooled by what they call themselves.

  3. Steve Brizel says:

    If you read the record of Yanklowitz he is quite open and vocal on his numerous differences with mainstream views on halacha and hashkafa. His views deserve to be analyzed exposed and challenged not rationalized. As far as his views on the LGBT agenda look at Ibn Ezras commentary on this weeks parsha for a starter not junk science

  4. mycroft says:

    “Open Orthodox Rabbi and Maharat begin giving hashgacha”…….
    What is the theroretical problem?
    Is this the problem?
    “We view this certification as a service to the broader Jewish community, and we are not accepting any compensation for our services.”

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Who vouches for their competence in such areas? Who do they consult with any halachic issues including this issue?

      • Mycroft says:

        There is no reason to assume that they are less competent than anyone else. If there are exams similar to what the Israeli CR gives to mashgichim that men have taken to show competence let them take the same exams. If the issue is competence argue that issue rather than woman issue.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Are you saying that the level of competence is equivalent to that of the CR, or the best community vaads, or the gold standard as you defined it? What is the basis for your claim? If you are making that claim, please provide proof.

          • Mycroft says:

            You are the one attacking them. Is the reason that they are woman or that they lack the knowledge. If it is lack of knowledge, list a course, exam that you’d accept and let them take it. Would you accept kashrut, taro ot, part of YD in YU marked without knowing whose exam it is.

          • Mycroft says:

            FWIW, the Israeli Knesset was ordered to open up competition for the position of Chief Kashrut Supervisor for. Women. There are women who have passed tests in kashrut.

        • rkz says:

          Rav Moshe, in his famous teshuvot about women mashgikhot, clearly rules that there is a serara problem with a woman giving the hashgakha (i.e. as the rabbi that signs the kashrut certification etc.). He only allowed a woman as a mashgikha, and even that only because she was a widow and had no parnasa.
          Furthermore, people who have problematic views (and much worse) on the eternity of halakha are not reliable.

          • Mycroft says:

            Chidushei Hadran and the Rav are problematical, Halacha is not eternal , Halachik process is eternal

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Halacha and TBSP are eternal. The application of Halacha to questions that arise in any generation has been the definition of Psak and the occupation of Poskim throughout the ages

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve
            You admit that Halacha changes depending on circumstances. You refer to it as poskim through the ages. FWIW it is Rav Schachter who is one of the most extreme in believing Halacha changes at the will of poskim of each generation

          • Mycroft says:

            if a women can be allowed as a mashgichia because she is a widow and needs the money, she can be allowed as a mashgichia. Preferences to allow because one is sympathetic with SS plight is interesting way to describe how Halacha works.

        • lacosta says:

          when someone is outside the mainstream of halachic judaism , and is humanist to boot, it becomes more iffy as to what heterim they will allow these gentile food establishments.

          the question is better are they more competent than Conservative supervision , that exists in parts of the country?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          You made the assertion and or claim of competence. Show us your proof.

      • dr. bill says:

        ask anyone involved in hashgacha – administrative competence is as if not more important than haalakhic competence. a number of famous chareidi rabbis eat at Hotel A in Israel and not in more heimeshe establishments because of the competence of the mashgiach.

        they can ask either rabbi linzer or katz or others; they probably do not even eat swordfish

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Obviously the issue is the halachic quality and competence. What is your point?

        • Chochom B'mah Nishtaneh says:

          Administrative competence is only as good as the standards used. When the supervising entity has standards that are sorely lacking there is no line that the mashgiach has to hold the establishment to.

          OO has self defined very differently from Hebrew National, they answer not to a higher authority.

          And it is not administrative competence, so much as understanding what is being supervised and the related issues, and how to carry out supervision to mitigate issues. And being strong enough to stand up to someone who is trying to bypass the hashgocha. You have no evidence at all that they even have a scintilla of competence in either administrative matters nor in the practices that make a good mashgiach.

          You don’t know whether Linzer or Katz eat swordfish, but that is irrelevant. You do know that Herzfeld feels that the appropriate place to spend Shavuos is in a gay bar. (wonder if it was vegan?)

          This so called hashgocha has not demonstrated any competence however they have amply demonstrated a lack of classic Halachic fealty.

          • dr. bill says:

            lighten up; the swordfish comment was a joke given recent events.

            my evidence is what they wrote about the halakhic issues. there is a shiur on YU torah that lists the issues with a vegan establishment; read and see if they missed anything.

            be specific not dismissive.

        • Mycroft says:

          It is practical competence that a mashgiach needs. Thus the Rav and Rav Eliezer Silver were involved in solutions to potential problems. They had hands on experience supervising hashgacha, it was not enough to have learned in a shiur or to even answer telephone questions in an office. One must know in practice.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Talk to anyone involved in any reputable hashgacha. It is hardly a job for a desk jockey but one which requires knowledge of halacha and the product or industry in question.

    • Jeff Schwartz says:

      I live in the Philadelphia area, and we have several of these questionable hashgachot given to vegan establishments here. I once sent an email to the head of the kashrut organization asking how they deal with the bishul akum issue given that the restaurants are all open on Shabbat and no Jew can turn on the fire. I never received a response. The DC certification article claims that they rely on Jews turning on the fire where necessary. I would ask them the same question, i.e., what happens on Shabbat?

      • dr. bill says:

        i suspect that jews who eat there on shabbat or pesach or yom tov do not worry about the laws of bishul akum.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Would you agree that most of the customwrs there dont concern thelselves with Hilcos Shabbos and YT as well?

          • Mycroft says:

            Most of customers who buy products based on OU aren’t concerned wth Hilchs Shabbos and YT either. So what does that prove.

        • Jeff Schwartz says:

          Does that make it ok to ignore those laws when certifying an establishment as kosher?

          • Jeff Schwartz says:

            BTW, Bishul Akum does not only affect the food served that Shabbat. It also makes the pots prohibited such that the food cooked in those pots after Shabbat also is assur.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Ask any rav who is involved in kashrus for any community vaad what is involved in supervising a restaurant that is under their supervision. It is a lot more than merely providing a service without receiving compensation.

      • dr. bill says:

        i am treated by one of the world’s leading specialist in my particular neurological disease. i assure you she is paid a great deal more than any rabbi or mashgiach. one morning a week, a clinic serving the indigent, sets up appointments for poor patients in her specialty to examine without payment.

        i admire that and i admire well-compensated rabbis giving of their time for something they also may feel they have already been paid.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Please accept a Birkas Hedyot that you may have a refuah shelemah bkarov.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Imagine if you were a resident in a country where you would have to wait in line before you were deemed to be an acceptable patient for such treatment or where such physicians do not practice due to the restrictions on income and research that are endemic to a socialist state. BH that you live in a country where you have the option and earned the means to seek such treatment.

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve recheck the statistics of life expectancy. US is near the bottom of western world. Of all the OECD countries I believe only Mexico has a lower life expectancy.
            I have a brother who has lived major portions of his life in two countries that are what you call socialistic, his experiences has been that the medical systems are better than US. BTW in US he didn’t live in NY but in a city known for top hospitals and physicians. Plain and simple our system is good for the rich not for the mass of Americans. I hope that the apparent disdain for physical health of the non wealthy does not extend to making financial tests to be part of the Orthodox community.

          • dr. bill says:

            thank you. i thank my incredible medical professionals and especially the One who inspires them and whose work they do.

  5. Chochom B'mah Nishtaneh says:

    “We view this certification as a service to the broader Jewish community, and we are not accepting any compensation for our services.”

    Even at that price, such establishments are seriously over paying.

    The issue is clearly that they are providing a certification without actually doing any service. Remarkably similar to “Uri L’Tzedek”. Their certification seems to be , these establishments call themselves Vegan, accordingly, what could possibly be wrong.

    • simon says:

      Can you describe the research process you went through to derive these conclusions about the supervisory practices? Did you, by any chance, call them and ask them if that was in fact the thinking behind their certifications? If not, then that’s quite the smear, regardless of where you lie on the religio-political spectrum.

      • Chochom b'mahnishtaneh says:

        They had posted it themselves in their first article about their “hashgocha”.

        Don’t you think it is sort of “interesting” that every one of the establishments they declare to be kosher is vegan?

        I find it interesting that you consider the description they themselves provide is a smear on them.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          One should note that many OO affiliated clergymen signed a public statement urging us not to eat meat as part of their so PC antipathy to SM Rubashkin.

          • Mycroft says:

            Don’t make Rubashkin into a saint. Want to argue his sentence was larger than most would have gotten for same convictions. OK a reasonable argument could have been made for 22 years or even 13-14 years which would have been the sentence if one accepted all the assumptions of Lewin’s sentencing memorandum. No problem. But stop attacking those who were opposed to Rubashkin. He caused more chillul Hashem than the Maharats have so far.

          • Yaakov Menken says:

            I don’t think that that is fair at all. There was collusion between the Judge and those serving up the arrest. There is a reason that Alan Dershowitz and a collection of former Attorneys General called the case a horrific miscarriage of justice. The immigration raids brought up absolutely nothing, yet ruined his business. Then the courts refused to allow any Rubashkin to be involved with the company after sale, which further reduced its value and insured he would be unable to pay his debt — for which the court then blamed him. Then Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, refused to meet or even respond to the collection of her predecessors demanding a review of the case. She was apparently too busy meeting Bill Clinton in Phoenix. It was horrific. And then they gave him a sentence longer than that given the CEO of Enron. It doesn’t begin to make sense, and to blame him for the chilul H’ is unreasonable.

          • Mycroft says:

            Rabbi Menken
            It is irrelevant to my point of whether or not there were abuses of the judicial system by prosecutors in the Rubashkin case, want to make a claim in general that prosecutors in US abuse rights I’ll go along with you. Prosecutors abusing rights to win elections has a long and sordid history. See eg Guiliani and his persecution of Reverend Moon on trumped up tax charges where Justice Department career people weren’t even sure if government was right civilly. Rubashkin and his behavior including charges not tried only because once he received the 27 year sentence the government had no interest in piling on. For better or worse US sentencing of white collar criminals is draconian.
            Rubashkin and Postville Iowa behavior did cause a chillul Hashem irrespective of the arguments you made.A lot of the arguments were rejected in appeals.
            I am not stating that I would have imposed a 27 year sentence onbRubashkin but read sentencing memo of Lewin and see that even his analysis shows major crimes by Rubashkin not behavior to be proud of as exemplifying Jewish ethics.

          • dr. bill says:

            and no court bought that “truth.” it required a sentence commutation

        • simon says:

          Chochom b’mahnishtaneh,

          Your claim is that they are not “actually doing any service,” and that they are basing their hashgacha on the fact that the establishments are vegan. Their promotional materials make it quite clear they are not doing this. In fact, they explicitly state not all vegan restaurants are kosher. They write: “individuals should be aware that not all vegan restaurants are kosher. For example, the Rabbi and Maharat looked at one vegan restaurant closely and ultimately did not provide certification because one of their ingredients uses non-kosher grape products. Most people who go into this store have no idea that this product is problematic from the perspective of Jewish law. Thus, vegan does not necessarily equal kosher. By certifying these restaurants our shul is hoping that it will be easier for more people to follow kosher dietary laws.”

          You are not referencing their materials correctly, so yes, what you are saying is a smear. We are responsible to the truth. You are free to mistrust them, but you should do so in the spirit of fairness and honesty.

        • Chochom B'mah Nishtaneh says:

          In the fuller article posted there was a huge focus on the vegan angle and comment that vegans are so scrupulous. So almost all of the reliance is on the fact that these are vegan establishments.

          All his talk about bugs was purely “kosher chazer feesel” talk.

          There is a beltway Vaad that Herzfeld is associated with. They give hashgochas, yet somehow this new “hashgocha” was created to operate outside an existing certifying agency. doesn’t take much to understand why .

          It should be noted that Ms. Friedman herself says that she has not been involved in hashgocha before. Now she is leading a certification? I guess no standards, no knowledge and no experience is what Dr. Bill would consider exemplary administration.

          • Mycroft says:

            Sentence commutation by Trump is no different than Obama playing politics with some of his pardons.
            The reason why Rubashkin received his commutation is that no court accepted the so called logic propounded by some that Rubashkin was not guilty of many crimes.
            For people to refer as US as a medinah shel chesed- does it only mean that when US policy agrees with ones own and ones own heroes are let go despite committing crimes.

          • dr. bill says:

            This is a complex area of halakha, not given to a post conversation. Read Rav Osher Weiss’s Teshuvah on bugs. He is remarkably lenient in a number of areas. I know modern orthodox rabbis who are more stringent. that is the way psak works. i cannot know based on what was published how those giving hashgacha behave; i suspect neither can you. i assume you believe OO rabbis do not deserve the benefit of the doubt and are outside the Torah reading we just heard.

  6. Mycroft says:

    How often does a mashgiach from the most reliable institutions check each product. IIRC I posted a quote from the OU that they supervise over a million products. How often does the gold standard of mashgichim go to check. Each of those products.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Why not ask them? R Belsky ZL travelled all over inspecting plants as do all of thr Field reps for the OU.

      • Mycroft says:

        Steve I did not talk to R Belsky, but I have talked both to mashgichim for OU and shochtim at OU supervised plants. I trust what they told me.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          R Belsky ZL visited plants all over the US had an encyclopedic knowledge of industries under supervision and the halachic issues presented therein. Mentioning that you spoke to a mashgiach or shochet hardly tells us anything about the level of supervision required in a particular industry or for a particular product.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      You could inquire from the unnamed gold standard as to what is required for a particular product to be certifiedcsnd remain certified. Them you can educate us rather than scoff about the issue in mock disbelief.

  7. mb says:

    Don’t like their Hashgacha? Then don’t go there.

    • rkz says:

      The problem is that many people are not knowledgable about kashrut, and they might go to eat in these places based on this “hashgakha”. Therefore, this is a matter of afrushey me-issura

      • dr. bill says:

        and the specific issur you think they would violate is – ??

        • rkz says:

          Giving hashgakha without the neccessary knowledge. There are many issurim that are involved in this behavior, per se (furthermore, as was mentioned before: bishul goyim, tolaim, etc.)

    • lacosta says:

      outside of Israel , parshat kedoshim is read , which includes the admonition to warn your fellow jew of theological danger….

      • dr. bill says:

        the torah in our shul was missing any word that might be translated as “theological.” should we call a sofer? In fact, in the times the various Midrashim were composed, there was no word for theological; that word entered the lexicon much. much later. of course, many have anachronistically read it into various texts. this is an important theological point.

  8. Steve Brizel says:

    I think that if you look on the OU website or email OU Kashrus they will tell you exactly what are the problems with a vegan only restaurant such as described in the linked article.

  9. Bob Miller says:

    If Orthodox Jews really want to prevent the OO consumer fraud from getting traction among Jews, wouldn’t one of the first steps be to create a proper profile of the types of people most likely to be taken in by the fraud? Once that is done, true, persuasive information of the right type and in the right media format could be created, disseminated, and tracked for effect. I doubt that the Cross-Currents readership includes many potential OO recruits or fellow travelers.

    As for the violent zealots now causing serious problems in Israel, that’s a whole other problem that mere information won’t cure. Even without our advice, the state should already be capable of reimposing civil order effectively in all areas in Israel, in a fair manner, no matter who is causing violence. If the shakiness of a ruling coalition prevents this in practice, Israelis need to sort that out.

    • rkz says:

      As an Israeli, I must say that the whole “violent zealot” problem is an invention of the media. There are some violent hooligans pretending to be zealots but they are almost non-existent in almost all of Israel, except a small part of Yerushalayim and Beit Shemesh. A tiny group of lunatics who represent no one but themselves and are ignored by everyone else.

    • Mycroft says:

      I agree that there are few if any believers n certainly the overwhelming changes of OO but that is not an excuse to spend time in an empty push to tear Klal Israel apart. Our enemy is not OO, our enemy is people leaving Yahadus. Is OO a convenient resting stop for some maybe, but nothing is gained by being an attack dog.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The Gemara in MK tells us that we must call out in alram when a Metzora is present so that all of Klal Yisrael can daven for his recovery. Last Sunday I was at Citifield with 2, 0000 other Jews who dedicated their spare time in a day of Talmud Torah. Yes , apathy is an issue, but the vitality of our contemporary communities should be praised. We should not hesitate from saying that departures from normative halacha an hashkafa should be treated as such, especially in areas of Arayos and Maacalos Asuros which form Sefer Kedusha in the Yad.

  10. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested the comment of Ibn Ezra that I alluded to is in Vayikra 18:22.

    • dr. bill says:

      A number of points:
      1) ibn Ezra has an important hashkafic approach to the arayot. nonetheless, ibn Ezra’s views are NOT in complete lockstep/accordance with halakhic interpretation.
      2) a halakhic discussion is restricted to decisors, something ibn Ezra did not claim to be and was not ever viewed that way historically.
      3) to imagine that ibn Ezra is a relevant source for a discussion of transgender issues, based on his comment on 18:22 is shall we say a wee bit of a logical leap. it is more important to establish why ibn Ezra sought to include that comment, something that i think is obvious

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The definition provided by Ibn Ezra IMO has profound hashkafic significance. It borders on intellectual dishonesty to dismiss Ibn Ezra in this context and to use Ibn Ezra as a valued commentator when his views support your POV.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Show us a Rishon or Posek who disagrees.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Show us anywhere in Chazal, Rishonim and Poskim where transgenderism as a desired lifestyle is viewed with approval lchatchilah.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        No academic or literary study can tell us why Arayos or Ma’achalos Assuros are prohibited, or should R”L be permitted. No scientific study can tell us that we must R”L eat Chazir Treife or engage in Arayos.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Showcase one Tana, Amora, Rishon or Posek who viewed transgenderism as normal behavior lchatchilah. Minimization of what Ibn Ezra wrote is what happens when attempts to minimize the importance of the Parsha of Arayos and characterize classical spurces that feminists don’t like as misogynistic in nature. Abraham Lincoln’s comment re: fooling all of the people some of the time strikes me as very relevant.

  11. Steve Brizel says:

    It is fair to maintain that in the absence of any evidence of labor violations by Rubashkin, as opposed to allegations in the secular Jewish press and elsewhere, that an overzealous prosecutor put Rubashkin out of business thanks to the charge of bank fraud. Perhaps all of us can learn something about Emunah, Bitachon and Chovos Halevavos from how Rubashkin acted in prison. I look at it simply. The NYT has won Pulitzer Prizes for its remarkably false descriptions of Communism in the FSU, China, Cuba and Vietnam. Perhaps the editor of Yated deserves the same for his coverage of and championing of Rubashkin’s case.

  12. Steve Brizel says:

    American history is replete with examples of overzealous prosecutors who obtained convictions unfairly which were rubber-stamped by appellate courts.

  13. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “Rubashkin and his behavior including charges not tried only because once he received the 27 year sentence the government had no interest in piling on. For better or worse US sentencing of white collar criminals is draconian.
    Rubashkin and Postville Iowa behavior did cause a chillul Hashem irrespective of the arguments you made.”

    Mycroft, WADR, please note:

    1) No state or federal labor charges , which were prompted by the PETA crowd and aided and abetted by their allies in the YCT/deviastionist world, ever reached the level of anything beyond unproven allegations.
    2)The prosecutor made it impossible for Rubashkin to obtain financing
    3) R Bleich commented that Chillul HaShem is often used today, as opposed to its classical definition, as a way of saying that even iif there is no issur involved, I don’t just don’t like it. Like it or not, Rubashkin was the victim of an overzealous prosecutor and a hostile hanging judge-which was recognized as such by the bipartisan support that the petition for commutation-it is unfortunate that you seem to reject that fact.

  14. Steve Brizel says:

    I recently saw a paperback book that consisted of emails written to and from R YS Rubashkin to a class in a yeshiva ketana in Detroit on the Parsha and Moadim. Halevai that all of us should be such a Baal Bitachon under such circumstances.

Pin It on Pinterest