Time to Rethink Tzni’us? – Think Again

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455 Responses

  1. Ra-anan Elozory says:

    Brilliant, Rabbi Gordimer! It’s hard for me to fathom what Rabbi Angel’s objective was in writing his point of view.

  2. Raymond says:

    I have long had a view on this subject that may or may not precisely be the strictly Orthodox one, yet hopefully captures the spirit of what Jewish law says, without what at least I see as its more extreme elements. More specifically, I can see why Jewish law would require women from their teenage years onward, to wear only dresses or skirts as opposed to pants, when in the presence of men, although even on that score, I think that if the pants she might be wearing are very loose, plus her shirt extends, say, down to her knees, that that should also not be a problem. As for what shirt or blouse she can wear in the presence of men, I agree that it should cover up to at least her collar bone and fairly close to her elbows. Anything beyond that for a woman’s required clothing around men, strikes me as being unnecessary and excessive. I include a woman covering her hair when I say this. As beautiful as a woman’s hair can sometimes be, it is more of an aesthetic phenomenon rather than an erotic one. It is from neck down where the erotic becomes a factor.

    As for a woman’s voice, surely Jewish law cannot possibly demand that Jewish women never talk in public, so perhaps what it refers to is a woman singing. On that subject, while I acknowledge that us men find a woman with a beautiful voice to be quite pleasing to our ears, at the same time, it seems to me that the standards set for Jewish law should be realistically based on human nature. Asking us men to never listen to a woman sing, is just not realistic, at least for those of us men who are not masochists. Perhaps a reasonable compromise might allow for us men to listen to women singing when the singers in question are not physically present, such as on musical CD’s.

    Once the guidelines I have described above have been met, that is really all that it is fair to ask of a woman in all this. At this point, the ones who need to behave modestly are us men, using something called self-control. Such self-control is not as difficult as might at first be imagined. All a man has to do, is to see attractive women in the same way that he might see a beautiful sunset or a magnificent painting. One can admire such things without appropriating them. In other words, you can look momentarily, but don’t touch.

  3. Shades of Gray says:

    While the meaning of modesty has not changed, the way it is taught is evolving.

    A few years back, Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen wrote, “How do we teach kids to take challah? We make a party, with music playing, and bake delicious bread while laughing and having fun. How do we teach tzenius? We clobber our students. We are harsh. We single students out and embarrass them in public. We toss kids out of school for violating a chumrah. We blame communal tragedies on our children’s lack of tzenius.”( “Why Are So Many Kids Today ‘Off the Derech’?”, Jewish Action, Summer 2013).

    There is now a curriculum called “Penimi”, that was developed by a high school teacher in Montreal in conjunction with other Bais Yaakov educators and rabbonim. It is based on dialogue with students at their level, developing inner values,  and avoids the “harshness” mentioned by R.  Kelemen.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      There are many girls schools that run fashion shows that have a theme of designing Tzniusdik and fashionable women’s clothing.

  4. 1) A subtle point: an article has to be evaluated based on the target audience it’s trying to reach. Suffice it to say, Rabbi Angel isn’t aiming for the Cross Currents crowd or even the right wing MO crowd. He’s writing for a group that, as Rav Gordimer himself notes, is lax in many areas of observance despite calling its Orthodox. For this crowd we have the uncomfortable question of which is worse: a short skirt or long, loose fitting pants?
    2) For every action there is a reaction. When UO publications pixelate out the faces of female concentration camp survivors because of the concern of hirhur there is a reaction of disgust from the other side of the fence and a corresponding move in the opposite direction.
    3) And when the crowd on the other side of the fence watches women who are wearing $1000 dresses and $2000 sheitls proudly announcing “Look how tznius we are” the reaction just grows stronger.

    • Bob Miller says:

      Are you advocating for more modest head coverings or is that just an aside? And does any “crowd” get special rules to suit its own particular laxity?

      • 1) I would prefer that all Jews follow appropriate rules for hair covering, guys included for that matter what with the proliferation of those postage stamp kippos in certain corners. However, not every community has the same requirements when it comes to married women and frankly the distinction between Das Moshe and Das Yehudis is often forgotten or ignored when it comes to that.
        2) No, any “crowd” does not get special rule to suit its own particular laxity but as anyone who’s done counselling knows, you get the best results when encouraging baby steps, not giant leaps. A community where folks don’t even know or practice the bare minumum of Das Moshe isn’t going to be receptive to scalp shaving and snoods. If Rabbi Angel can convince a woman currently not covering her hair at all to wear a nice hat when out in public and in shul, isn’t that worth something?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      FWIW, a prominent Orthodox weekly will be including pictures of properly attired women in its social media edition. Two of the free weeklies in my neighborhood already include such pictures.

  5. Mycroft says:

    Unlike many others who you criticize, Rabbi Angel has a long history of being a serious writer on Jewish Halacha and hashkafa. See eg his exchange of about half a century ago with Rabbi Melech Schachter on conversion in Tradition.Did you send him a copy of your critique for response by him before publishing it, if not I suggest offering him space to respond. Then either we will see a response or you can then note that he chose not to respond.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Where was tbe discussion by R Angel about how women are objectified in the secular media and popular culture? Merely because women walk around half undrrssed in tbe summer does not legitimize the same as halachically proper or desirable? Where was the discussion of how halacha ideally views relations between tbe genders?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Simple question to anyone here-would ylu let your children watch MTV or dress in accordance to what they see on MTV?Woild you go to a mixed beach or pool?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Ignoring or seemingly minomizing
      how women inappropriately dress today in tbe secular world as justifying reduced adherence in our communities is IMO the weong approach on this issue. We shpuld be proud of our wives and daughters who dress in a manner that refuses to be dictated to by contemporary notions of less being more.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Are you referring to R Angels arfuments in favor of the view if R Uziel ZL on kabalas ol mitzvos ? That Is a daas yachid at best .

      • Mycroft says:

        You are naturally heavily influenced by the son of Rav Melech Schachter. If you read various discussions of various opinions on gerus in the past couple of hundred years apparently Rav Melech Schachter was on one side of opinions, Rabbi Angel tended to be on the more liberal side. Certainly, RIETS, has followed Rav Melech Schachters opinion. There is a reason why there is much more legitimate debate on gerus than many other issues is that for obvious reasons there was not much gerus for the vast majority of the past two thousand years.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          The Daas Yachid that you mentioned has remained so. One canmot elebaye a Daas Yachid into more than a Daas Yachid.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          One cannot elevate a,decidedly Daas Yachid beyond a Shitta that has mevwr been viewed as anything but a Daas Yachid.

          • Mycroft says:

            Are you saying a Rabbi must follow majority opinion?
            Does that rule apply to the Rav,RMF? RHS. Are you saying they can’t rely on a Daas Yachid?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Please respond to my prior posts of yesterday.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          A Daas Yachid can or should only be considered Bshaas hadchak as opposed to saying such is mutar lchatchilah .

          • dr. bill says:

            like the miraculous release of a million Jews from the former soviet union where religion had been stamped out since the 1920’s under the former Soviet rule. i do not even play a posek on television, but that may be a great shaas hadechak.

            that release added much-needed heft to Israel’s scientific prowess.

          • dr. bill says:

            like the miraculous release of a million Jews from the former soviet union where religion had been stamped out since the 1920’s under the former Soviet rule. i do not even play a posek on television, but that may be a great shaas hadechak.

            that release added much-needed heft to Israel’s scientific prowess.

          • Mycroft says:

            Is Shaas hadchai trying to keep wealthy supporters happy

  6. leah b says:

    If modesty means refusing to print a picture of Rebbetzin Kanievsky along with an article about her life, I want no part of it.
    When “modesty” means magazines refuse to print photos of eighth graders wearing Bais Yakov uniforms…refuse to show Holocaust survivors…refuse to show a photo of the democratic candidate for president in articles about the election (something very unfair to her, by the way — no wonder so many Orthodox people voted for Trump)…yet the same magazines can print ads for $3500 wigs, $5000 a head Pesach hotels, and all kinds of expensive gold jewelry, we have surely lost our way.
    When our four year old girls have to wear long sleeves and long stockings according to the rules of their schools – something the rabbis’ daughters NEVER did in Poland – and there’s lot of photo evidence to prove that – that’s a sign we should be worrying about having lost our minds, not about what some modern Orthodox women wear or don’t wear.
    I think we need to clean our own house first in the mainstream Orthodox community before we criticize those on the left.

    • Yossi says:

      Unfortunately, very well said.

    • Raymond says:

      Other than your support for Crooked Hillary, I agree completely with everything else that you (Leah B) said here.

    • Shades of Gray says:

      “yet the same magazines can print ads…”

      The magazines might agree that luxurious advertisements are in a certain sense inconsistent with modesty. However, without the ads in question, they would have to pass on the higher costs to the subscribers and other advertisers, or close down.

    • rkz says:

      As I wrote before, the best policy wrt to the pictures in magazines is not to have anyone’s (male or female, Yidden and goyim) pictures featured.
      Wrt to the ads, in hakhi nami, it is not tziut and all and should not be published either.

  7. Michael Miller says:

    I thought the article was quite beautiful as it made points many modern Orthodox Jews could and should relate to. The idea that even if you don’t cover your hair and even if you wear short sleeves you still need to avoid clothing that is very tight or revealing is a very appropriate message to many modern Orthodox Jewish women who unfortunately have discarded the entire spirit of tzniut along with the specific rules.

    And while the school example may not be a good choice, please explain the example referenced in the article about modesty dictating that women not leave their house more than 1-2 times a month. DID the Rambam say that? If so, does it apply today? If it does not apply today, why are we certain that other things he wrote about modest behavior and dress DO apply today?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      I have been to more thsn a few MO weddings where the attire simply failed to meet RAngels standards.

      • dr. bill says:

        i have also seen such attire in lakewood, but not as frequently. covering more in tight form fitting dress that highlights a bit much is not an isolated event.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I have been to many chasunos in borh the MO and Yeshivishe worlds. The lack of adherence to Tznius is far more obvious at MO affairs. Your description of attire at Lakewood may be accurate for some but at some MO affairs most fail to meet R Angels standards.

        • rkz says:

          Which means that everyone needs chizuk in tziut.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          I know of more than a few married women in Lakewood who were told that their sheitlach were inappropriate for their jobs as teachers.

  8. lacosta says:

    why actually do we need males teaching females in the haredi setting ? since there was no formal chinuch >100 yr ago , this is not a Mesorah issue –but rather a tznius and anti-sexual abuse prevention issue….

  9. Weaver says:

    “After presenting his main thesis, Rabbi Angel attempts to demonstrate a disconnect between the concept of tzni’us and its application, in an effort to compel the reform of normative practice. In this vein does Rabbi Angel target the practice of women wearing wigs (pe’ah nochris/sheitel):”

    I think Rabbi Angel’s point here is: Hair is an ervah *because* it is sexually arousing. By permitting covering hair with other hair – literally the exact same thing – we are tacitly admitting that hair nowadays is not considered sexual arousing. Otherwise, how would wearing a wig be allowed at all? (Indeed, those who prohibit wigs raise this exact claim.) To my mind, it would be like allowing someone to go around playing loshon hara over a speaker, but forbidding it if they use their own mouths. And so, in the final analysis, hair should no longer considered an ervah nowadays, much like the other modesty strictures from the gemarah that we no longer keep.

    I’m not necessarily agreeing, but this logic does make a certain amount of sense.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      R Angels critique would be correct if there were absolutely no critiques of overly shaitlach .there are many in Lakewood snd elsewhere.

      • dr. bill says:

        why.? excessive shaitlach and various other attire serve a similar purpose. tzniut is not wholly composed of precise strictures; hazneah lechet im elokekha clearly is situational.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Define what you mean by “situational’.

          • dr. bill says:

            varies according to the circumstance. wearing an 18k gold watchband to shachris on monday morning is not the same as wearing it to a black-tie dinner.

  10. Weaver says:

    . . . Another indication of the idiosyncratic nature of the obligation to covering hair is that the ervah only applies to married women. This limitation is not apparent at all from the words of the gemara (“Rabbi Sheshes said a woman’s hair is ervah”), but nonetheless that is how we apply the issur.
    This is not the case with any other ervah.

    • Mycroft says:

      Thus, obviously Ervah as used in sear isha is not used in the same context as other Ervah. An 18 year old single women does not cover her hair, she certainly covers makom Ervah.
      One could look at source af sear isha Ervah, the whole debate was women’s hair Ervah, it went without saying that all other parts of women’s body are forbidden. Thus, it is strange that it is not rare to see women picking up their children from a moderate chareidi school wearing a sheitels but covering little else.
      Of course, anyone with the slightest knowledge of Middle East dress 1400-1900 years ago would know that standard dress was to reveal essentially nothing.

      • Weaver says:

        “Thus, obviously Ervah as used in sear isha is not used in the same context as other Ervah. An 18 year old single women does not cover her hair, she certainly covers makom Ervah.”

        Right – the context is *hair*, to which the concept of ervah applies in unusual and inconsistent ways, as I have demonstrated.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Do you go to R rated movies in which the review tells the reader that pritzus and ervah are present? One can argue that Ervah means any part of the female anatomy that should not be uncovered except to a husband or in a separate swimming pool.

          • dr. bill says:

            one can argue that blue is white as well. not everything one can argue is rational.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Do you go mixed swimming, listen to women’s music and watch videos on MTV? The above post WADR IMO is indicative of what happens when you apply secular knowledge to concepts such as Tznius, Davar Ervah, which is defined by Chazal based on their understanding of Psukim , in addition to lacking an appreciation of the classical meaning of Kedoshim Tihiyu.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        A single woman is certainly not required to keep Hilcos Nidah or cover her hair ( See Rashi in Parshas Naso in the parsha of Sotah why a married woman does) but she is obligated to cover all parts of her body that Chazal call a makom ervah.

        • Mycroft says:

          Or as one who listens to YU Torah in the last couple of months listened to some shiurim on Jiddah, and precisely the reason why single women can’t engage in certain activities is that they are niddah.

    • Weaver says:

      I think you’re all missing my point. It is the simple observation that sear ervah is an oddity in that it is the ONLY “ervah” that is perfectly fine for a single woman, then suddenly turns into an ervah for a married woman. I wasn’t even drawing any conclusions from that observation!
      Thus comments about swimming pools, R-rated movies, and empty rhetoric about “secular knowledge” and “Psukim” are irrelevant.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Such comments and the answers define whether your life is governed by Kedoshim Tihiyu in any meaningful manner.

  11. Avi Levin says:

    This article isn’t “recently posted”. Gil Student already mentioned it in August 2016 and it was originally put in print in 2012.

  12. Rabbi Arnold Samlan says:

    I hadn’t seen Rabbi Angel’s article, but am fascinated by his ideas. Thank you for sharing it and for treating his thoughts in a respectful way, even while disagreeing

  13. mb says:

    Did anybody ever research the wearing of wigs by Jewish women? You’re going to hate this. Well, it began in the ghetto of Venice in the 17th century, the Jewish women copying the fashion of the gentile women!
    R.Angel 1- R,Gordimer 0

    • Rafael Quinoaface says:

      Okay. What about covering hair, in principal? R’ Angel has no problem with doing away with that.

      • mb says:

        No he doesn’t. Read what he said again. Besides, married women should cover their hair. Whether this d’orayta, Rabbanan, or societal, is a matter of dispute. When, where and by how much, is also a dispute.

        • dr. bill says:

          it is well known that the wife of a famous RY (not the rav ztl) only covered her hair when it was falling out.

          • Mycroft says:

            I don’t know if we are referring to the same person but I am aware of a wife of a famous RY not the Rav , who founded a major yeshiva whose wife did not cover her hair when they came to America.
            Ravs family is just a big obvious example, Ravs wife , one of his sisters did not cover their hair. The daughter of the Rav who didn’t cover her hair even had a mother in law who covered her hair. Of interest, the daughter and sister were the houses where the Rav spent most time in Boston after his wife passed away. Mostly his daughter, but did go to that sisters house too.

          • dr. bill says:

            almost 50% of orthodox married women in lita before the war, did not cover their hair. You cannot COVER that up. 🙂

  14. Bob Miller says:

    The problem that this proposed reform seems to address is our distinctive Jewish character. The real problem may be that we fit in too much, here in our comfy exile. There seems to be a perverse competition to devise clever ways to undo as many of our time-honored, Torah-consistent limits on behavior as possible without being bounced out of Orthodoxy. By giving some of the perpetrators years to straighten out, the OU has unwittingly encouraged this sorry trend.

  15. Steve Brizel says:

    Why is it that tbose perceive a slide to the right within MO criticize sheitlach and invariably offer a misreading of the AS and talk about a Daas Yachid on Kabalas ol mitzvos as normative halacha?

    • Mycroft says:

      The so called slid to the right in MO, is a really a change in RIETS. For well over thirty years essentially RIETS has not graduated MO musmachim. Very few if any believe in MO,the Ravs viewpoints have been ignored and thus there is no MO essentially in North America. In Israel there are many vibrant sections of committed MO. I personally believe it is an indirect result of RALs Aliyah,in North America it left an opening to change the message of the Rav, and to some extent the Rav has become more popular in Israel the past couple of decades.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Been there done that, discussed this issue ad nauseum. Still looking for your definition of MO in theory and practice. Missed you at Citifield

        • Mycroft says:

          I missed you in Israel.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            You missed RHS, RM W, R Y Sacks ( Lander/Passaic) , R E Muskin and another speaker ( possibly R Genack) whose name I forget discuss various aspects of the teachings of RYBS. You also missed R YT Rimon on the search for the three boys in 2014 and R D A Steinberg on quality of life issues. A wonderful and inexpensive day of Harbatzas Torah with many other speakers of both genders.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The notion that RIETS is in any way shape or form remotely a Charedi yeshiva IMO lacks any factual basis. For another view on RAL ZL and his aliyah read the comments of Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein at Lehrhaus. Please define what you mean by “many vibrant sections of committed MO” in israel. If you take a drive in the greater NY area or fly anywhere in North America you will see many strongly committed MO communities.

        • dr. bill says:

          in israel: hesder yeshivot like gush and maale gilboa. most jewish professors at major universities and their communities. many neighborhoods in south j Jerusalem, modiim, chashmonaim, rannana. i care about counting scholars of world-class caliber. they far outshine the US for complex reasons i do not care to discuss.

          if you understand modern spoken hebrew there is a serious talk by a famous professor who jokingly says half of his minyan (an exaggeration) are academics who have torn apart every passuk in the torah. i can attest many have a talit covering their heads for SE and kedusha. you can attack them all day long; they make yct look like a chareidi outpost, philosophically, at least publically. 🙂

          • Steve Brizel says:

            if the RY of Gush and Maale Gilboa a far LW RZ institution and “scholars: rock your boat that is your privilege,.

          • Mycroft says:

            Gush a far LW institution?

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft, wait another ten years; it is too soon after RAL’s petirah for God’s appointed angels of that watch the boundaries to turn on gush. unlike the rav ztl, where it took less time than shivah, gush has a significant left-wing element that behaves without fear of what others might say. you are correct not far-left but respectful of some who are. RML and certainly Rav Gigi show up in places that are not frequented by those to their right. in any case, far left is too strong a term; you are correct.
            steve, intellectual rigor, brilliance and a commitment to deal with the facts as we discover them rock my boat. in Jerusalem, i have heard many shiurim and lectures that are unavailable anywhere else. ki mi’tzion taytzai Torah survives an apt reality again.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Great academic scholars regardless of their garb in shul work from a separate and distinct set of operating principles or Ani Maamins about TSBP and have little impact except on those interested in their work. The shiurim and sefarim of great Talmidei Chahcamim are accorded the Yirah and Kavod attached to their works because of their great Lomdus, Dikduk Bmitzvos and Yiras Shamayim.

          • dr. bill says:

            there is a book i am reading by a yu musmach, who then became an academic, barry wimpheimer. it is a shortish but hard book about the Talmud written as a biography. the author takes a sugya, a very complex one at that – how to characterize aish – the famous machloket R. Yochanan and Resh Lakish, and i suspect he will dissect it as classical Rishonim / achronim do and then as a source sensitive academic. it appears his academic rabbeim are David halivni and Shamma friedman, who largely invented how we know see the talmud’s composition. (there is strong evidence that some key Rishonim saw things similarly.) i may be wrong but despite requiring some sitz fleish, it will let those who only criticize academics a chance to understand what they do. you may still criticize but meaningless/ trivial/untrue accusations should hopefully fall away.

          • rkz says:

            Dr. Bill.
            A. There are some frum brilliant academic scholars who have added greatly to our understanding of Torah. There are some academic scholars who are am-haretzi, gemurim (some frum some not). there are academic scholars who use academic methodology and skills to attack Derekh haTorah ans increase kefira. everyone should be judged on his own merits.
            B. The Gush (and kal va’chomer MG) is the LW of the RZ yeshivot. Thus, the LW of the gush is the far left of the aggregate.
            C. Shamma Friedman is an innovative scholar (during my MA, I took a seminar with him). However, is shitta is not universally accepted even in the academic world in Israel.

          • dr. bill says:

            rkz, a) as with rabbis and RY and all professions. i also find that many have a rather limited expertise where most of us expect much broader knowledge from Talmudists. b) i tend to agree, but there remains a reason no one writing for this blog has yet to include them in the lists of sins of LWMO. c) i agree as well. i tend to view the positions of Profs. Weiss and Friedman as frummer than those who do not agree. the insights derived by them and their great teachers seem valuable, although possibly slightly inaccurate. it influences how i dissect a sugyah at times. and on occasion, i find prof. friedman a bit much, too much to read for the value derived. but so are some of the hyper-conceptual brisker.

        • Mycroft says:

          Anywhere in North America? One can go to locations where there are no Orthodox synagogues but day schools exist. Many areas with NO Orthodoxy

          • Steve Brizel says:

            I said where such communities exist. Flyover country where they dont exist isnt part of the discussion

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Maalei Gilboa is far to the left of Gush.
            R Brodsky wrote that Herzogs courses were closely watched by RAL for problematic content.

          • dr. bill says:

            i am talking about first-rate shiurim that you only get in the US by visiting professors of Talmud, halakha, history, bible, etc. some rarely visit.

            lectures like by prof. simon or prof. brody and others are not usually available in the US. in israel, i am rarely unable to find fabulous shiurim regardless when i visit.

          • mycroft says:

            ” Flyover country where they dont exist isnt part of the discussion”
            I discuss Jews,I don’t limit myself to KGH and similar communities

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    What IMO R Angel missed is that merely because Manhattan and similar locales have the appearance of a beach on the street and in offices should not be viewed as a rationale for a Bas Torah to do so but rather to dress properly. The facts are that there is a halacha on the books that a married woman should cover her hair out of the house. Unless you follow either the CS or ROY, it is accepted that a married woman may wear a sheitel to do so, especially when the alternatives won’t work in a professional or even a social setting, and a woman feels more comfortable in doing so in a sheitel. Suggesting that Tznius is dictated by the mores of the street will not help a Bas Yisrael in realizing that Kedoshim Tihiyu for a married woman requires that she take steps that demonstrate that she is off limits socially and emotionally to all but her husband. If one lacks this sense of Kedoshim Tihiyu and does not realize that the street and secular media are in conflict with the demands of Kedoshim tihiyu both genders will seek heterim and rationales of all kinds not to adhere to Tznius.

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    Myrcrft wrote:

    “People should read the original exchange between Rabbis Angel and Melech Schachter. It wouldn’t surprise me that one who follows a loyal son of a bar luggage would criticize one of the disputants..
    Or are you accusing my citing of the Rav as a Daas Yachid or is it Rabbi Uzziel.”

    We have been thru all of these issues before. I see no reason to rehash them here. I stand by my post in its entirety.

  18. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in relevant part:

    “The Ravs worry that a Reform conversing could be a valid gerus is precisely based on what minimal acceptance is required to be a ger”

    WADR, that psak was predicated on the possibility of a marriage performed by a R clergyman being viewed somehow as having the elements of Kiddushin. The overwhelming majority of Poskim viewed such a ceremony as lacking the elements of Kiddushin by the participants, and therefore at least bdieved not requiring a get.

    • Mycroft says:

      Clearly you are being misled as to what overwhelming poskim believed. Why is beyond me.nore just read a 1959 review by R Melech Schachter on space age Halacha where in a paragraph he refers to issue and states majority believe a civil wedding require a get.
      It is very convenient as part of polemics to take a Daas yachid from the time RMF who treated Non Orthodox rabbis as reshayim not mistaken .
      What did R Y Kamenetzky , R Hutner m R A Kotler believe on whether or not a get was required.cin case of marriages bybJews in non Orthodox manner.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        This was previously discussed and your reading eas seriously challenged if not wholly refuted.

        • mycroft says:

          Never refuted. Show me that “R Y Kamenetzky , R Hutner m R A Kotler believe on whether or not a get was required.” which I was told by an early 60s BMG musmach who married a descendant of Rav Yacov is wrong

        • Mycroft says:

          Long post is a rehash of last years nonsense. I stand by my comments on the factual incident involving the Rav. I have discussed it in private emails with some of the people who taught gerus n YU Torah. All BTW substantially younger than us, from a generation Asher lo yada et Yoseph. They explained to me how that story which they heard of has been used in current RIETS to note make the bracha on someone who was converted previously by heterodox clergymen. I explained to them how the bracha is not the issue of the Sheila. It is no objection to me that someone wants to honestly differ with the Rav and say he’ll follow RMF but for their talmidim not to be even told of the Ravs position IMO is shocking.
          The case involved no marriage wo a get. It was not concerned with bracha. The Rav knew what he was talking about.
          I specifically have not stood by what I was told about R Kotler, R Hutner and R Kamenetzky by the BMG musmach who BTW was originally from the lower east side but stated during that time period RMFs heter was not generally accepted. If someone can show that is wrong show it. The Maaseh of the Rav I know well.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            You were refuted last year. Younjust dont accept the fact.

          • Mycroft says:

            I have never been refuted about the story about the Rav and the Reform gerus because it is impossible for me to be refuted about tha individual case
            As far as what was the prevailing belief at that time of whether RMFs heter was accepted in the 50s and 60 s . I personally believe based on what I was told by various people thatin the US RMFs heter back then was not the general accepted psak back then, I am willing to be corrected by showing documented statements by Rav Kotler, Rav Hutner abs Rav Kamenetzky. But as far as what the Rav believed on this issue I am familiar with the facts. I have not been refuted. No one will be able to challenge my info on the Ravs psak, that is all that I am claiming, the other inf secondary evidence I believe the paragraph by Rav Melech Schachter stating that generally accepted view was to require a get is evidence of general opinion, but I could be shown wrong, I am waiting for someone to show from the. 50s and 60 s that I am wrong about the others, but the Maaseh about the Rav and what the issue was abou all th bus cation in the world o try and attack anyone who shows changes to the Ravs positions will not take away from that emes

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve
            The dispute is about what the Rav said, no one can dispute the story whch I have told about the Ravs psak.that persons invective tries to dispute what the generally accepted practice was in the. 50s and 60 s . He himself says perhaps under the influence of Rav Henkin during that period RMF was not necessarily followed. Why things apparently have changed I can give a good sociological reason for popularity of RMFs psak, but that s irrelevant. It is only a secondary point that I was told by a Rav who was head for decades of a local community kollel that RHtner, Kamenetzky, Kotler did not agree with RMFs psak. But as far as the Ravs psak not only do I know it directly, the basic psak was known even by most of the RIETS teachers on the Gerim issue After all it is much more remarkable that the Rav was choshesh that a Reform conversion migh make the person Jewish, it is not remarkable that in ishut the Rav paskened like others not like RMF. My Maaseh quoted in general terms is known.Stop claiming falsely that I have been refuted. I have noted that RHS does not follow the Rav in the matter of ishut but R F. I never stated that anyon must follow the Rav, just stop attacks on those who you feel don’t follow the Rav in other issues. Just as RHS has a right to decides, other Rabbonim are not bound by the Rav. Consistency.

    • mycroft says:

      Explain the logic if 1959 R Melech Schachter wrote that majority viewpoint is that even civil marriages require a get,a Reform marriage which also qualifies as a civil marriage certainly should require a get

      • Mycroft says:

        That long post did not disprove anything I said. I will copy you and start responding to harrangues against anyone who dares questions a leadin RY . Me it makes no difference to I am not involved in the Jewish world professionally but the hardball false accusations have their impact. I know someone who has been a Rav for more than forty years. I once asked him why doesn’t he respond to the revisionism being expressed by some in the blogosphere. His response, if he did revenge would be taken against his baale batim. I can take your abuse and from others because I have no professional need for anything from the Jewish community. Am a giver not a taker. IIRC some of the worst attacks on me have been when I pointed out the falsehood that any current RY in RIETS even has the bekius of the Rav.
        Revisionism especially since 1984 is devastating to our mesorah. Say you disagree with the previous generation including one whose shiur you were a very good student in, but don’t claim to be following ones teacher.
        Being a good manhig requires a lot.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          RHS has publicly stated that it is a mistake to say that RYBS should be followed blindly, especially in cases either whether the statement claimed in the name of RYBS never took place, was inaccurately quoted and is a MIlsa HaTumua LaRabim. RHS said that that in this regard RYBS is not like a Greek oracle. That is completely consistent with many sugyas in Shas where the reconciliation to differing views in the sugya is that a talmid subscribes to a different view of the sugya than his rebbe. What you incorrectly define as following RYBS means in all cases-even if the same are patently inaccurate against Rv Poskim and a Milsa HaTamuaah LRabim.

          • Mycroft says:

            II am saying that I know what happened in the case where we are arguing about. RHS obviously doesn’t follow the Rav “blindly” he has a right to not follow the Rav, want to say don’t follow the Rav like a Greek oracle fine. I have never stated that anyone is doing something wrong by not following the Rav. But just don’t be hypocritical attacking other people for not following the Rav in issue a or issue B,
            We disagree about what Rov poskim, but that is not the issue inam discussing, I am discussing integrity why is it that people insist on changing what the Rav believed rather than simply saying I am a person and I DJT have to follow thexRav. Don’t attack others who don’t follow the Rav OO etc. aArgue the issue, but don’t attack people wh arecfamiliar with the case with what the Rav paskened. Call him a Daas ac hid, I disagree but that is irrelevant. I am not paskening I am being accurate to what he ruled. Why he ruled one way and Rav Moshe another way I can guess but that is my guess. It is irrelevant to the gals charges that are made against anyone who is taking a position that might indicate a certain RY is different than the AV. I have never stated that he must follow the Rav or anyone must follow the Rav or anyone.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Disagreements based on reading of sources and what is the view of Rov Poskim us not abuse.

          • Mycroft says:

            Your line, whenever you don’t like the truth. Who started this whole debate . I referred in one sentence in response to Rabbi Gordimer that Rabbi Angel was a serious person and noted that half a century ah
            Go he had a debate with Rav Melech Schachter on gerus. That led to you attacking Rabbi Angel in the manner that if anyone would ever criticize RHS in the same manner they would be subject to hatred on the web by defenders of any treatment of RHS that does not accord with him being the Supreme authority on anything Jewish.
            I have said repeatedly toga Rav Schachter maybe the most knowledgeable person in knowing Lita Torah of anyone in North America

    • mycroft says:

      The unique part of that psak was the potential that Reform conversion that satisfied requirements of mila and tvila might be a proper gerus. Also that Rav was not willing to mistareph possibility of gerus not being good with possibility that wedding not valid.That the Rav disagreed with RMF on gittin in a normal case of born Jews and heterodox wedding is no real chidush

  19. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-that Psak by RYBS had nothing to do with Kabalas Ol mitzvos for a Ger Tzedek but rather what constitutes a Maasseh Kiddushin that would warrant a get to avoid mamzerus in the case of a susbequent marriage .

    • Mycroft says:

      If the gerus was clearly not good there could not have been a kiddushin. The psak has everything to do with both what constitutes gerus and what constitutes kiddushin. If there is no possibility that the Reform conversion could be good no possibility of kiddushin. A non Jew does not require a get.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Again the issue is whether such a ceremony has any of the elements of Daas Kiddushin. Try to understand the view of the view of the overwhelming majority of Rov Poskim. The inability or seeming refusal to understand someone eleses point of view is particularly problematic during Sefiras HaOmer.

        • Mycroft says:

          I am not getting involved in what ROv poskim state. I have represented two things what the Rav paskened in a situation. The Maaseh kiddushin is not the big issue. As you are well aware there is historically great worry about what is required to be kiddushin, see eg cases of mock weddings by just post bar mitzvah children, even writing on napkin the Harry at and signed by two past bar mitzvah witnesses. The issue of kiddushin being valid was not the major chiddush of the Rav. The major chiddush in that case is that the Rav was worried that the Reform conversion might have enough of Kaplas mitzvot in a general way and if Rabbi is am haaretz might not be a rasha and gerus by a he’d tot would be acceptable. In ishut the only real chiddush is that the Rav was not willing to mistareph the potential of the gerus not being good to allow a new marriage based on RMFs heter.
          In fact I recognize that there are multiple viewpoints on a broad range of hashkafat permitted. I am not the one who wrote many posts attacking Rabbi Angel on this blog.

  20. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycrcoft-by your own admission you have never spoken to RHS which anyone who attends any of his shiurim can do. You have made up your own mind on the subject. Your comments on BDS are a trolling of your prior comments and I see no constructive purpose in responding to the same.

  21. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft -Gerus Lshem Ishus has been discussed by many Acharonim most notably RCOG. What is your point?

    • Mycroft says:

      Does RIETS teach that one is permitted to convert in order to get married. Not as a secondary reason. If so, they are being consistent, of course read GPS guidelines. If gerus is allowed when a women is doing it because it is a condition of getting married that should be the rule for all gerus not just Trumps. I see no indication that is general policy. I am not behind those who challenged gerus not for marriage left and right and reverse chazaka rules. I am not the one who has engaged in wholesale onaas hager.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Who says that Gerus Lshem Ishus was invented in the 20th Century? Great Poskim discuss the issue. OTOH, it is wrong to teach that a Kohen can marry a divorcee and/or a convert and to preside at such a forbidden marriage, and to applaud publically a same gender ceremony.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Mycroft-have you ever spoken to anyone involved in the BDA ( the dayanim, etc) about GPS and its application? Reading the GPS standards on Gerus Lshem Ishus is helpful but I find it hard to believe that you don’t know and realize that Gerus Lshem Ishus has far different halachic elements and considerations that that of a Ger Tzedek.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Have you ever listened to any of the shiurim on YU Torah about Hilcos Gerus or attended a live shiur on the subject given on the subject?

        • mycroft says:

          Inthe past you referred me to some.I have listened to others,in fact with some Ive had private email exchanges on theirstatements and I have shown where their understanding did not reflect total reality.There is much more that can be discussed in this areaby private emails than blogging.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            IOW, their POV did not conform with what you thought was the halacha based on decidedly a Daas Yachid . Yesterday, a reader again posted a long link and showed where your interpretation of the article by R MS ZL was mistaken.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            I think that the RY and Dayanim who teach Hilcos Gerus are wonderful Talmidei Chachamim and who know far more about Hilcos Gerus and the so-called “total reality” than you think. They are accessible and amazing individuals who work far harder on the preservation of Klal Yisrael than anyone blogs here.

          • Mycroft says:

            I don’t dispute that certainly most RY know more hilchos gerus than most who blog here. Irrelevant to my point, there maybe specific points in mesorah that individuals may know that is unknown by people who know something else. I stand by my knowledge of the facts that I relate. You want to follow RHS I have no problem, someone else wants to follow somebody else they have a right to.
            Steve read the paragraph that RMS wrote in 1959 without your prejudice just for the limited case what does RMS believe is state of practice in 1959. I submit that you won’t automatically keep repeating canards. I repeat I am not paskening, I am recording what specific people believed or didn’t more than fifty years ago.
            Why Halacha apparently is different than the Rav and Rov poskim in America 50-75 years ago would be an interesting discussion. Maybe Dr Bill would try, but not my point.

          • dr. bill says:

            70 years ago sons of RY were taking jobs in conservative shuls and fear of the conservative movement played a significant role. today other currents play a role. then as now, how much weight these realities deserve was argued. imho, that more than the SA impacted the differences between first-rate poskim

          • Mycroft says:

            Dr Bill
            Re your May 13 450pm post. Image that other factors impacted various gdolim approaches not merely reading of SA. Among factors, maybe being are of other girsas, may include how one treats Conservative Reform movements in general as mistaken or evil.
            IIRC it was RAL who once said that nothing is gained by treating deviant movements as evil, first of all they may generally be mistaken, even if they are intentionally bad one does not increase ones chances of being listened to by attacking those who you disagree with on a personal level. My recollection of his idea, you would have a better knowledge than I FWIW in general the Rav took such an approach regarding polemics against non Orthodox movements,watch the language not to be too harsh in tone.

  22. MK says:

    Whereas the issue of photos of women has occupied most of the discussion, with all Orthodox commenters on the subject accepting the basic parameters of tzni’us, while debating how they should be reflected in media publications and in the world at large, Rabbi Marc Angel has now taken the discussion in a radical new direction.

    In a recently published article, A Modesty Proposal: Rethinking Tseniut, Rabbi Angel comprehensively rejects the contemporary applicability of long-established tzni’us practices, as he advocates for a general exercise of modesty without the traditional manifestations.

    I agree with almost all of the article with the exception of the first two paragraphs.
    All in the pictures of women debate do not agree on the parameters of tznius.
    The no picture policy expands the paramaters of tznius to a point unheard of until very recently. Rabbi Engel is not the only one to reject “long established tznius practices”.
    Rejection of our mesorah can be in both directions. Practices such as women not being able to see hakafos, the kallah not coming into the men’s section during dancing are a rejection of our mesorah and are an affront to the Gedolim of the last generation who did not dream of instituting these changes!

  23. Leah B says:

    How about the new thing where the Kallah wears a veil at a Mitzva Tantz???
    Look at old videos…the Satmar Rebbe, the Bobover Rebbe, the Klausenberger…ALL danced in front of a bride and she never covered her face. But now we are crazier…ai mean holier….than they were. But nobody dares to say it is WRONG. Ia mesora important, or not?

    • Rafael Quinoaface says:

      I have seen plently of recent pictures from rebbishe mitzvah tantzes recently and I have not seen any veiled kallahs. Maybe some started doing this, but this is not across the board.

    • dr. bill says:

      you haven’t heard; what previous generations of gedolai Yisroel did or permitted was an accommodation to the reality back then. now we can be more frum.

      one of the things i admire about the Chatham sofer was his honesty. personally, he was machmir like the Noda be’Yehudan, the CI years later concerned that modern day eggs being half the size of eggs be’yemai Chazal. however, when some wanted to passul etrogim that were very, very small, less than the shiur he kept for ke’beitzah, he said chadosh assur min HaTorah, and was matir the etrogim, behaving as you implied.

      as we now know, the satmar rabbi had a role in the failed attempt to censor a psak of the chatam sofer. see the lectures of prof. leiman and shapiro. a mesorah for kulot is always suspect and subject to revision.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Are you referring to a teshuvah of the CS on MBP? There is an old dispute over whether same was meant to be published well before the SR was born. The CS also upon becoming rav of Pressburg waited a while before improving the eruv of Pressburg even though it did not meet his own standards because of the klal of Kdaii R Shimon Lsmich alav. Isn’t Koach Dheretera Adif a major argument in Shas?

        • rkz says:

          Koach de’hetetira adif is not a factor of p’sak but of presentation.
          BTW, the censorship I heard of was about z’man RT

          • dr. bill says:

            correct. but no one alive today would recognize it as the shittah of RT. anymore said, then everyone might know my real identity 🙂

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Thanks!

          • Mycroft says:

            Everyone who knows a little of Torah knows your real identity. Your writings even for a non talmid chacham like myself are worthwhile to read.

        • dr. bill says:

          no. those who have read prof. katz zl’s writing on the chatam sofer wrt MBP know better. prof. katz comes across as a chareidi apologist though he is just stating his learned conclusions. i said what i was talking about – etrogim. a note i cannot recall in detail by prof. steiner made the point years ago.

          • Yossi says:

            I know a little Torah. What’s your real identity?

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Dr Bill-do you blog as Emes LAmito on another blog? Would I be correct in asking if you have had articles published on YU Torah?

          • dr. bill says:

            i have been called dr. bill, first as a joke, since the mid 90’s, a name i was given by someone who introduced me. i really rarely watch television, not for frumkeit, but i waste time differently, but i was told it was a take-off on mr. bill, on some famous TV show. that happened at a convention of my old employer’s 4000 largest customers where i spoke yearly for over a decade. the name stuck.

            i neither confirm or deny my other identities or real name. 🙂

      • Mycroft says:

        The Rav BTW did not expect other people to follow his personal chumrros . See eg he personally waited more than double the tine after sunset motzaei Shabbos to do Melacha than Maimonides schul, his SIL schul early on als waited like Shitas Hagra for after Shabbos. Boston was very heavily Lita.

    • Bob Miller says:

      They were not crazy in any sense and you should watch your language.

  24. tzippi says:

    In light of my agreement with Alexandra Fleksher on another thread, I’m not sure if I have any credibility by confessing to following this one. But I have to react to a few comments:
    – I must track down Rabbi Kelemen’s article. The quote on how tznius is taught is very through-provoking. B”H, this is one more reason I consider the school my kids went to as real partners in chinuch.
    – Did Mrs. Clinton really lose votes in the frum community because of the absence of pictures? I’m glad I finished my coffee before reading that one.
    – Rabbi Nosson Scherman, speaking at a convention (Agudah? Don’t remember) some 20 years ago said that it’s not enough to not be as bad as the world around us. We have to be good on an objective level, by doing what is expected of us, not just staying above the lowest common denominator. So as tznius norms sink, we still must remember that there are halachic bottom lines to maintain. That there are different interpretations, or community norms, are important points. But it’s incumbent on all, or anyone who has any integrity, to find out what the moreh halacha of their community transmits, and stick with it.
    – Another reason I’m uncomfortable with following this thread is: how necessary is motzi shem ra and outright lashon hara about other communities? At least it should be voiced with pain, not finger-pointing.

  25. mk says:

    If a community’s moreh halacha transmits that it is contrary to tznius for the kallah to come to the men’s side for dancing?
    He is doing exactly what Rabbi Angel is doing. He is rethinling tznius!

    • tzippi says:

      I’m not ignoring you, just don’t have anything to say on this phenomenon. I don’t stay past the first round of dancing at every wedding I go to, but while I have seen this, not at every wedding I’ve been to recently. (All fairly yeshivish.)

      And the tznius extremes, in whichever direction, are generally neither healthy nor correct. But I still can’t totally equate the two.

      • lacosta says:

        one way modern orthodoxy works is [at least in post-WW2 era ] is that the RW either lechatchila acts or bedieved re-acts [to some thing occuring leftward ] in a chumradig direction , sometimes significantly so. while it often creates an uproar, the natural reaction is that those to the [non far-] left move a bit rightward.

        the prior points that horribly pritzusdige era mandates takkanot lechumra . but there are limits—even though the RMBM’s mehalech for women would be the proper way to go [burkas and isolation from the outside ], there’s no one ready to make that jump yet. but we can certainly imagine certain communities make the jump at least to the burka life…

      • MK says:

        I didn’t think you were ignoring me. I figured my comments were overwhelmed by all the talk about geirus!
        I agree that objectively, Rabbi Angel is a greater departure form mesorah and even halacha. However, I don’t he think he is that influential that his ideas will direct the modern Orthodox world. The move in the other direction from our mesorah is dangerous because it sets the tone and creates reaities that are foreign to our mesorah,

  26. yg says:

     Mycroft
    May 8, 2018 at 1:07 am
    Re Ivanka Trump – her gerus shows a perfect example of tribalism, there were those who when they thought that Rabbi Lookstein was the sole person behind the gerus, attacked it repeatedly, showing her behavior right after gerus, when they found out RHS iwas involved they became biggest defenders of gerus. What is unique of Ivanka that due to her being a known person the reasons for gerus were publicly known that wedding was being held up by Kushners until she accepted to become Jewish. Thus, despite any recitals of reasons that she might have given at time of gerus her real reasons were known because they were Known and publicly
    Available.


     Mycroft
    May 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    Don’t accuse me of onaas hager. You are well aware of my comments attacking the wholesale onaas hager made by bloggers attacking gerus for decades when gerim followed RCA procedures. I am not the one who routinely spreads lashon Hara about gerim claiming that their previous gerus can’t be trusted because of supposed problems in BD and problems with Rabbis. All of a sudden because a certain RY became a member of a BD that is Onaas hager..
    Google you and I and Gerim independently and compare who was attacking Gerim from the mid late 00s for years.

    I am accusing you of terrible onaas hager.
    There is a problem here. Mycroft is in direct violation of onaas hager. Assuming you believe the geirus was good, which you do, then you violated onaas hager. Just because Mycroft is concerned about the broad onaas hager that you think was done in the past, that in no way allows for this.

    You mentioned Ivanka [Yael] (Trump) Kushner by NAME!! (THAT WAS NOT DONE IN THE CASES YOU ARE REFERRING TO. AND IF IT WAS, THAT IS ALSO A PROBLEM.) She is Jewish, and you are commenting on how questionable her geirus was, her continuing going to Dec. 25th parties…. How can you do that?!? Do the CC readers need to know these details? You don’t think she would be hurt reading this?! It is definitely ossur. I am actually surprised cross-currents is leaving these posts up.
    You want to make a debating point about ‘tribalism’ (which I don’t know what it is), and you want to point out an alleged mistake RHS made, and you violate issurim? Get a hold of yourself.
    Criticizing leaders of the new conservative movement is obviously different. There is a to’elses in having others not fall in to Conservative Judaism by mistake.
    But what did Ivanka do that she deserves her personal life discussed by you on a blog?! Did you ask a shayla?
    Let’s say you or dr. bill are criticized. So what. The cc readers don’t know who you are. But Yael (Trump) Kushner is Jewish and you called her out by NAME!!!!

  27. yg says:


    o Mycroft
    May 8, 2018 at 10:56 pm
    Clearly you are being misled as to what overwhelming poskim believed. Why is beyond me.nore just read a 1959 review by R Melech Schachter on space age Halacha where in a paragraph he refers to issue and states majority believe a civil wedding require a get.
    It is very convenient as part of polemics to take a Daas yachid from the time RMF who treated Non Orthodox rabbis as reshayim not mistaken .
    What did R Y Kamenetzky , R Hutner m R A Kotler believe on whether or not a get was required.cin case of marriages bybJews in non Orthodox manner.


     mycroft
    February 23, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    “Don’t be dismissive of the overwhelming majority of Poskim who as R Asher Weiss noted disagree with the view of the Rogatchover ZL who RYBS relied on to claim that in an instance of a woman who ” converted” with a Reform conversion, married in a Reform ceremony required a get.”
    Rav Melech Schachter wrote in1959 review article that the majority of poskim ruled that even a civil marriage required a get. Explain how a reform marriage requires a get less than a civil marriage

    I posted this response a while ago, but Mycroft continues to repost this ‘fake news’. So here it is again.

    Rav Zvi Ferber wrote a sefer on civil marriage in the 1930s, titled ‘Birur Halacha’. In it he quotes the views of many, many batei din and poskim from Europe and across the world. Nearly all the poskim agreed civil marriages do not require a get and children are not mamzerim. (Obviously, everyone says it is best to try to obtain a get.) The only 2 he quotes who disagreed are Rav Henkin and the Rogatchiver. It is not Rav Henkin against Rav Moshe. It is Rav Henkin against everyone else, including Rav Moshe. Obviously, everyone agrees lechatchila we try to have the woman receive a get, but almost all poskim say that the child is not a mamzer.
    According to Rav Ahron Soloveitchik, even Rav Henkin would not have paskened lemaaseh the child is a mamzer. (oral psak quoted by Rabbi Baruch Simon).
    Therefore, I was surprised to read from Mycroft that Rav Melech Schachter zt”l wrote in an article that the consensus was/is to require a get, since this goes against the reality at the time and goes against the sefer Birur Halacha I cited earlier.
    I looked up the article. He wrote no such thing.
    Rav M. Schachter was writing a book review of the first two editions of Noam. He discusses a few topics in detail. Then in the 4th section of his article he writes as follows (the parts in italics are a complete direct quote. Nowhere else does he discuss civil marriage in that book review article):

    p.160
    The following account of all the other problems and solutions, extremely abbreviated, eloquently speaks for the timeliness and utilitarian aspects of the Noam series.

    There are many short paragraphs each briefly describing the topics and arguments discussed. The following is one of those paragraphs.
    pp. 161-2
    Civil Marriages:
    Does a couple married civilly require a get in order to dissolve their marital bond?- i.e., is a civil marriage regarded as religiously valid de facto?

    On the basis of the established rule that no man wishes to consider his continuous sexual relationship with a woman promiscuous, the marital bond is strong enough to warrant a get for its dissolution. There are some who differ with this viewpoint. They hold that one who does not care for a religious ceremony is not presumed to be troubled by the change that he is living promiscuously all his life-time.

    That is it. No discussion of the consensus. Certainly, certainly no discussion of the ‘consensus’ in the US. I looked up the Noam volumes. There is nothing groundbreaking, just a discussion of the shittos. One article argues that CM requires a get. One article argues it doesn’t. One article suggests the Rabbanut should establish exact guidelines. RMS presents the discussions accurately. (There is another essay by Rav Henkin where he is discussing kiddushin al tnai and there he refers to his position that CM requires a get.)
    (It is quite possible that during the 60s, the more standard psak in the US was to require a get even bedieved (not to make mamzerus but to require a get), but that is because Rav Henkin was the Posek Hador in the US at that time! So, of course his minority position took hold here. However, when RMF came along, he straightened that wobble, and the US custom reverted back to the large consensus around the world of the previous generation as shown in Birur Halacha. So there was never a consensus in the US supporting R Henkin. He was the biggest posek so his position was followed. There was a consensus around the world that civil marriage did not require a get, as proven from Birur Halacha. RMF’s psak brought the US back in line with the normative psak. And there is no evidence the Rav would have poskened the children were mamzerim bedieved. )
    The Civil Marriage issue is a machlokes in psak where the Rav is clearly in the minority position, and it is a big, big shaas hadchak, and the psak fits into all klalei hapsak.
    Most of the time, the shayla is asked regarding the children from the second marriage, where it is already completely bedieved. And there is no record that the Rav would have poskened that the child is lemaaseh a mamzer. Even Rav Henkin, according to RAS, would not have said that.
    The Rav allowed his talmidim to rely on RMF’s psak when it wasn’t possible to obtain a get, and he allowed the children from the second marriage to marry.
    I wrote this piece several years ago in response to Mycroft’s claim. I am assuming he forgot the exchange. If he remembers it and ignored it, that is a much more serious problem of intellectual dishonesty.

    • mycroft says:

      I am specifically quoting a talmid of the Rav who wrote publicly about the sheila he asked the Rav. The answer was NOT to rely on Rav Moshes heter. One falsehood is enough for me to respondf.I qam talking about the Rav and majority opinion in the 50s and 60s.
      The case I am citing was a case where a get was required by the Rav before a second marriage could be allowed. Even in this case. i AM NOT THE ONE ENGAGED IN REVISIONISM.
      The sheila was asked the Rav and has been publicly written about. Stop the FALSEHOODS And stop the dishonesty to make the Rav agree with RMF. The Rav disagreed lemaaseh with himon many cases. This is just one of them. The Rav did not pasken that way simply that in a new gerus no bracha should be made. Why he paskened the way her did is a fair argument but stop propogating falsehoods.There are many areas where they disagreed. Here the Rav paskened lemaaseh and it was written about years ago.
      So far I have seen no ones how me where where Rabbis Kotler,Kamenetzky and Hurtner agreedwith RMF on t h i sissue.That I just heard from a Rav now in upper 70s

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Let’s face facts and reality-the view that you passionately argue was a minority view and remains the same today. You just can’t accept the fact that on a level of bdieved, not lchatchilah, that RYBS told his talmiidim to rely on the view of RMF whose views reflected that of Rov Poskim on the subject and that your reading of RMS ZL is incorrect.

        • Mycroft says:

          I have never said what the Rav would have ruled in the case where a couple were married by RMFs opinion and children were born should one treat the child as a mamzer. I don’t speculate, because that was not the question asked. The question asked by the Rabbi can he officiate at a wedding of a women converted by a Reform Rabbi, Reform marriage, civil divorce no get.issue was not a second conversion by women, and not the issue which I have been told RIETS currently uses my story for limited use of safek gerus non Orhodox conversion, no bracha on second gerus misafek by RIETS RY. Thus, my story’s facts are accepted by RIETS , they just chose to follow other position of RMF on marriage. Fine but stop attacking people who are quoting the Rav and his psak.. Reread the paragraph from 1959 Tradition wo reading the gloss of the attacker of me who repeated his attack from last year and see my secondary analysis about evidence what was the accepted psak. That should not be a big issue for you, because you certainly follow opinion the Rav is not a Greek Oracle.
          I know what the Rav paskened to an individual a talmid on a specific case,clearly contrary to what you claim the Rav paskened to other individuals. Iff any of them are alive it might help to have them state what the Rav specifically paskened to them. It is strange your statement to me, because you are awRe my case is more than half a century ago.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The 1959 Tradition article contains no such article. Please provide a link to the article in question

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Please provide a copy of the teshuvah and response

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Curiously, the Fall 1959 Tradition is not available at Tradition’s archives. Why don’t you provide a link or scan and send it to CC?

          • Mycroft says:

            It is Fall 59 edition. If I find the hard copy I’d ask my wife who is expert in those things and I’d email it to you. NYPL Judaica section would have old Traditions. I have vast majority of Traditions published but in a an easy searchable order. The person who claimed I was misinterpreting RMS must have access to a copy. I had reread it in hard copy a few years ago

          • mycroft says:

            Steve:
            The following quote is from ygs attack on me.
            Civil Marriages:
            Does a couple married civilly require a get in order to dissolve their marital bond?- i.e., is a civil marriage regarded as religiously valid de facto?

            “On the basis of the established rule that no man wishes to consider his continuous sexual relationship with a woman promiscuous, the marital bond is strong enough to warrant a get for its dissolution. There are some who differ with this viewpoint. They hold that one who does not care for a religious ceremony is not presumed to be troubled by the change that he is living promiscuously all his life-time.”
            He states that this is from RMS Tradition review. It appears to me that it is consistent with a belief that majority opinion was consistent with requiring a get after a civil marriage.

        • Mycroft says:

          Do you have a case where lemaaseh the Rav told his students in response to a specific Sheila that a woman who was married in a non Orthodox ceremony could get remarried wo a get.
          Don’t give me some supposed chakiras the Rav said in shiur give a Halacha lemaaseh response to a sheila

          • Steve Brizel says:

            If and when you email the article in question, send it here so as to ensure that we can all read it.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Mycroft-please note the following in the above reading of the article that you mentioned”

        “Rav Zvi Ferber wrote a sefer on civil marriage in the 1930s, titled ‘Birur Halacha’. In it he quotes the views of many, many batei din and poskim from Europe and across the world. Nearly all the poskim agreed civil marriages do not require a get and children are not mamzerim. (Obviously, everyone says it is best to try to obtain a get.) The only 2 he quotes who disagreed are Rav Henkin and the Rogatchiver. It is not Rav Henkin against Rav Moshe. It is Rav Henkin against everyone else, including Rav Moshe. Obviously, everyone agrees lechatchila we try to have the woman receive a get, but almost all poskim say that the child is not a mamzer.

        (It is quite possible that during the 60s, the more standard psak in the US was to require a get even bedieved (not to make mamzerus but to require a get), but that is because Rav Henkin was the Posek Hador in the US at that time! So, of course his minority position took hold here. However, when RMF came along, he straightened that wobble, and the US custom reverted back to the large consensus around the world of the previous generation as shown in Birur Halacha. So there was never a consensus in the US supporting R Henkin. He was the biggest posek so his position was followed. There was a consensus around the world that civil marriage did not require a get, as proven from Birur Halacha. RMF’s psak brought the US back in line with the normative psak.”

        Merely asserting that RYBS held like R Henkin ZL and the Rogoatchover ZL does not begin to answer the question whether the same was in line with Rov Poskim

        • Mycroft says:

          I am simply reporting a psak that was given by the Rav , unfortunately the Rav is buried in West Roxbury Mass-a section of Boston. The person who wrote about the psak is now in Olam haemes. But it is easily found by Google searching.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            If you have a written copy of it and it is purportedly in support of your POV, can you scan and send CC a copy-the particular circumstances such as the inquiring rav, the exact facts of the case and the year of the response are important details that are important in this discussion. We look forward to your response.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Please provide a link and a copy of the written query and response.

  28. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested, please see Sefer HaChinuch 338 linked https://www.sefaria.org/Sefer_HaChinukh.338?lang=bi

  29. Gavriel M says:

    The permissibility of a sheitel is disputed by poskim (v. Remo in Orach Chaim 75:2, from Hagahos Alfasi, with Mogen Avrohom, Ateres Zekeinim, et al), and Rabbi Angel is certainly entitled to his opinion.

    The Rema says not one word about the permissibilty of a adult woman wearing a wig in public. He quotes the opinion that one may say the Shema in front of a woman wearing a wig. That’s it.

    . But the issue in truth relates to the delineation between tzni’us and ervah

    No it doesn’t. In the SA, the obligation for a woman to cover her hair in public is discussed in a completely different section from the laws of ervah. The SA is clear: all adult women must cover their hair in public. Obviously, wearing a wig doesn’t count. The SA was aware of the lone opinion to the contrary and saw no reason to mention it, nor does the Rema (except in the totally separate context of ervah where it is reasonable if not demonstrative).

    The actual problem with Rabbi Angel is that he states that ‘Few today would agree that women are or must be subservient to men…’. Wrong.

    The problem is that MO has completely abandoned the Torah’s teaching about gender roles along with most areas of social ethics and has no interest in doing teshuvah, while Haredim have decided to collectively violate their ketubahs and send their women to work to support their lunatic and explicitly forbidden kollel project and have no interest in doing teshuvah. Obviously a religion where people can state in public that a married woman can discharge her responsibility to dress modestly by wearing a wig that looks better than her real hair without everyone bursting out laughing has gone seriously off the deep end, but it’s a symptom not the disease.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      I think that your comment may be applicable to some within the far LW of MO but the Charedi world in the US should never be confused with the Charedi world in Israel because most Yeshivishe and Chasdishe families in the US are learners-earners with both spouses working. . There is no mitzvah for any marrried woman to dresss like a shmatte

  30. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote:

    “almost 50% of orthodox married women in lita before the war, did not cover their hair. You cannot COVER that up.”

    You can’t cover up the fact that the appeal of Haskala, secular Zionism and Communism also was rampant as well. Pre war Warsaw had a very significant intermarriage rate as well. The good old days were hardly as good as you claim they were.

    • dr. bill says:

      i said orthodox including wives and married daughters of gedolai olam.

      i never claimed they were; Slabodka produced a higher percentage of apikorsim than YCT 🙂

      • Steve Brizel says:

        There were numerous apikorsim in Volozhin.as well. I merely pointed out that the good old days were nowhere as good as thos who yearn for them today maintain. One cannot deny the serious inroads caused by Haskala Communism.and secular Zionism in pre war Europe. It is a nes that given these factors all of which were aided ny grinding poverty that any observant Jews would have survived in the absence of a Holocaust and have risen as a community like a phoenix with problems that noone wver dreamed of pre 1948.

        Ok

        • Mycroft says:

          There were Jews of all different economic classes in Europe.there are Jews in America of all different economic classes, sadly American Orthodoxy has developed a means test to enter

          • Steve Brizel says:

            No.. we all.start out equal and we all are commanded to be gomleu chasadim but therevis no free lunch.

          • Mycroft says:

            We don’t all start out equal, we are born with different advantages and disadvantages.
            No free lunch. Fair enough. But you can’t it have it both ways. One can’t say that ones children must attend a day school. One then can’t simultaneously say that if one can’t afford day school don’t produce children if one can’t afford day school..
            Yahadus is not only for highly paid RY wig many children.
            Can’t have it both ways.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Mycroft wrote:

            “We don’t all start out equal, we are born with different advantages and disadvantages.
            No free lunch. Fair enough. But you can’t it have it both ways. One can’t say that ones children must attend a day school. One then can’t simultaneously say that if one can’t afford day school don’t produce children if one can’t afford day school..
            Yahadus is not only for highly paid RY wig many children.
            Can’t have it both ways.”

            We are all born Btzelem Elokim and given the choice of being like Moshe Rabbeinu or Yeravam regardless of our station in life. That being said, we have different expectations for different people but there is a universal communal and individual obligation on the education of one’s children, regardless of whether one has a small family or a large family or even a smaller size family that is halachically dictated by one’s economic station in life. We expect Talmidie Chachamim to live different lives and to have different standards because of their status as such as noted by Rambam in Hilcos Deos and Rabbeinu Nissim to Nedarim 20b for a start. The real issue is forcing a child into a school that a parent views as hashkaficaly in line with the views of the parents but which may be wrong for the child. That being said, I know of too many parents whose chinuch for at least one child foundered because the parents were adamant that the school be hashkafically in line with their own POV. Anyone who lives in a suburban community in the US with all of its accoutrements can probably afford a day school tuition providing they learn and realize that the education of their child in such a setting takes precedence over almost everything else in life in contrast. That means the entire family works together because they all value its importance and the critical nature of Jewish literacy as a critical means of passing on the heritage called Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim to the next generation as fully and enthusiastically as possible.

            Yes, we may have gvirim, but their devotion to causes such as Tonchei Shabbos and Chesed and especially paying tuitions when it can’t be met strikes me as a far more positive message than such decisions that if one’s child is on scholarship, then that child must stay home for the summer. Such an attitude ignores the fact the summer programs are the means for implementing in real time what is taught in the classroom.

          • Mycroft says:

            It might surprise you but it costs less to buy a single family house in much of suburban NY than it does to buy an attached house in many parts of Queens and Brooklyn, not even in same ballpark.

        • dr. bill says:

          i had heard that. it is said that George Cantor went to volozhin. in a brilliant book on lithuanian yeshivot by prof. stampfler, he does not report that. i heard about slabodka from a very reliable RY, who is not given to exaggeration. of course, among Slaboka’s greatest students were some of the most famous traditional academic Talmudists. i suspect that slabodka was more selective than volozhin and if want to produce gedolim you must encourage the ability to think broadly. ve’hamaivin yavin

          • mycroft says:

            Of course relevant to US Prof Harry Wolfson teacher of RD I Twersky ZT’L was from Slabodka to Harvard

          • dr. bill says:

            something i hope that is one day discovered is any interaction the Rav ztl had with Wolfson and a variety of other scholars with whom Prof. Twersky ztl had varying levels of relationship.

          • Mycroft says:

            As a native Bostonian there are some very interesting tidbits that involve relationships Wolfsb had positively and negatively that Harry A Wolfson had with various people. Remember it was Prof Twersky who had the brainstorm in specializing in medieval period. Thus , writing a thesis about Ravad of Posquiere does not really have conflicts between academe and traditional Yahadus.
            There is a lot of relationships and connections from 75 or so years ago on. Impacts many people who both stayed in Boston and those who moved elsewhere.

      • Mycroft says:

        Probably true for Volozhin,although no book called fromFrom Volozhin to Berlin .volozhin had a high percentage of those who went OTD

  31. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote:
    “like the miraculous release of a million Jews from the former soviet union where religion had been stamped out since the 1920’s under the former Soviet rule. i do not even play a posek on television, but that may be a great shaas hadechak”

    Why would that be a shaas Hadchak? Many lack any means whatsoever of proving their Jewish identity and act in a decidedly not Jewish manner with no desire of converting.

    • Mycroft says:

      sonSteve is it your opinion that a gadol can do anything for financial reasons either his or mosdos that he supports as a Shaas hadchat but doing something to enable Klal Isael to survive as a people in Israel is not Shaas hadchak? I sspecifically not necessarily agreeing what the result should be with Israel and Soviet immigrants but certainly a better case than Shaas hadchai is anything a gadol believes it is. Especially gadol usually defined as someone in my machene

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Mycroft wrote:
        “Especially gadol usually defined as someone in my machene”

        I was never taught nor do I employ such a definition. Gdolei Talmidei Chachamim have always been those Talmidei Chacamim in every age to whom Klal Yisrael turns to and relies on for their halachic and hashkafic guidance and who have not just Siyata Shmaya but have an appreciation for the Neshama in the halacha , the Ratzon HaTorah and the white space between the lines-regardless of their Hashlafic views on any one issue that some of us might disagree with.

    • dr. bill says:

      as i said, i do not even play a posek on television. if the exodus from the former soviet union does not create more of a shaat hadechak than hefsed merubah, we are missing, in my biased opinion. an ethical compass and any trace of one of the characteristics of Jewish ancestry. if the rav ztl were alive he might have added a knock to which we must respond.

      i am not talking about those who have no desire to convert. i am talking about the converts that Rav Druckman or Rav Rabinovitch and others made or are making. those who suggest that their paternal ancestry be recognized as a reason to rely on more lenient opinions need to be respected. hopefully, new genetic markers of those having maternal Jewish ancestry, currently receiving both biological and rabbinic attention, will make a sizeable dent.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        This requires adherence to basic definitions of kabalas ol mitzvos but solely relying on a claim.rooted in patrolinear descent which is rejected by the Gemara should not IMO be viewed as a substitute.

        • dr. bill says:

          please read carefully. I NEVER SAID THAT. i said what many poskim have said previously, having clear patrilinear descent is a tzaad le’hakeil in geirut. if you want to learn about patrilinear descent in ancient times, there was a recent volume of the Orthodox forum at YU and Gentile Impurities, both well worth reading.

          • mycroft says:

            Read The Origins of the Jews by Steven Weitzman.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            It may be a rzad lhakei but never a definition of Jewish identity. What was the definition in ancient times is relevant for historians but not as halacha lmaaseh.

          • Mycroft says:

            one asks a Halachik Sheila to Halachik experts. If one wants to know history and non Halachik reality often the answer is found outside Halacha. Even the Rav stated he had no special expertise in non Halachik matters.

      • rkz says:

        IIRC, Rav Druckman wrote that he insists on complete kabbalat mitzvot. Regardless of paternal ancestry.
        WRT to the genetic maternal markers, AFAIK no posek rejected the use of this knoweldge to determine Judaism. B’ezrat Hashem it will help the situation.

  32. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “I discuss Jews,I don’t limit myself to KGH and similar communities”

    That is what demographers do when they want to ignore the existence of today’s Orthodox communities and the strength of the same.

    • Mycroft says:

      You are the one who doesn’t trust demographers and statistics always citing facts on the ground as you perceive them. I agree look for numbers, and show me objective studies on schools, youth groups etc showing what their success. Even the one that was done by RLookstens sister on NCSY had the honesty to state reasons why study may not be accurate reflection of reality.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Demographic studies are all too often sponsored and paid for by those whose knowledge of Orthodoxy either is limited or ideologically hostile. They never look at indicia such as family size ,class size, classes per grade, the presence and importance today of k-kollel education, the learner-earner population, number of shuls, restaurants, mikvaos, shopping, eruvin and chesed within the Orthodox community. These are the undeniable facts on the ground that demographers either are ignorant or hostile to in their misplaced focus on numbers.OTOH if you read Dr Jack Wertheimer’s trip to Lakewoodtps://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/what-you-dont-know-about-the-ultra-orthodox/ and spend time in today’s Orthodox communities where you meet everyone from RY and rabbonim to Baale Batim, women and children you might see why the communities are thriving.

        One of my cousins who will be assuming the presidency of a fairly sizeable MO shul in MJ told me that when he goes to UJA meetings, his counterparts from R and C bemoan the fact that their youth are walking away in droves. Yet, when he mentions in a nice and not triumphalistic way about what works in the Orhodox world, he is met with a jealous silence. Another family member attended USY amd Ramah and almost all of her friends are intermarried and their kids are now Goyim Gmurim. It is absolutely wrong to place any blame on either the Charedi or MO worlds for assimilationist tendencies that shifts by R and C as to Jewish identity and how to get to shul on Shabbos and Kashrus aided and abetted.

        • Mycroft says:

          Anecdotes. Look at data. How many? How many day school grads intermarry, how many go to learn in a Yeshiva for ten Years? All data

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Demographics by their nature do not look at communities or why someone intermarries or the factors that make up a community.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The suprastructure ofba community and the vitality of the same can only ne observed by what you see and here not what you count. The vitality of Klal Yisrael will durvice dystopic demographers their agenda and refusal to look at the facts.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Restaurants shopping educational institutions from K to Kollel that are packed mikvaos eruvin and a wide variety of shuls and young grandparents and lots of of simchas happening every day are the signs of a vital community. We have problems but noone dreamed that todays problems would be a reality in 1948.

        • mycroft says:

          “, his counterparts from R and C bemoan the fact that their youth are walking away in droves. Yet, when he mentions in a nice and not triumphalistic way about what works in the Orhodox world, he is met with a jealous silence.”
          We lose plenty ourselves,stop the triumphalism, Get out of the self applauding circle. We have stopped treating outreach and inreach dealing with existent Jews who go to schul as important.Perhaps if the Rav were still around as one who had communal responsibility that would be taken more seriously,

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Perhaps you should see how and why the OU and NCSY, as well as many others in the Orthodox world, emphasize both Chizuk and Kiruv and enabling all of us to transmit our heritage to the next generation.

          • Mycroft says:

            Perhaps one should examine the cost per success that those in the kiruv claim. ONe could easily make the argument that far more Jews would be forum if one simply took the money used on kiruv and use it to lower the costs of being Orthodox in general, school costs, schul costs etc. We have no idea where. kashrut dollars are going to. One has to look at cost benefit analysis of all uses of communal funds.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        I left out one critical factor-summer camps in the Charedi and MO world today are necessary compliments to a yeshiva education. The analogy I read as stated by a young man ZL who tragically died in a car accident is that camps are like Shabbos and school is the six days of work. Summer camps represent the unique opportunity to implement Midos and grow in Avodas HaShem. that are emphasized in the classroom.

        • Mycroft says:

          No one would have dreamt of the US intermarriage today in 1948, especially the intermarriage rate of those who spent 12 years in Orthodox Day Schools. The panacea according to the Day School establishment for all problems.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Show us thecsurvey and for what years please. The notion thast a Tallmud Torah education wirh nothing else enables one to transmit the legacy of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim to sucessive benerations IMO borders on the ludicrous.

          • mycroft says:

            Read the survey of Survey by Zvi Grumet available online.IIRC 24% of day school grads would date non Jews. Consistent with prior surveys of Jewish population of roughly 2000 where approx 10percent IIRC were intermarried. Grumets survey available online use search engine,about IIRC 70 pages

        • mycroft says:

          “I left out one critical factor-summer camps in the Charedi and MO world today are necessary compliments to a yeshiva education.”
          Not only day school essential but now summer camps. What percent of American population can afford what you are requiring. I thought that only gerim had to be wealthy to be welcomed. Now born Jews need wealth.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The combination of both yeshiva and a summer environment that implements what is learned during the year is an optimal educational goal that can be managed financially. I know many who were out of work who asked for and received financial assistance and breaks so that their children could do so with no questions asked.

        • mycroft says:

          “. We have problems but no one dreamed that today’s problems would be a reality in 1948”
          In 1948 we still had a Talmud Torah system which enabled non above average income people to be part of Orthodoxy in US. Not aware back then of financial tests for gerim.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The Gemara in Yevamos in the sugya of gerus explicitly requires that a would be ger be informed of the new financial burdens imposed by Leket and Peah. See Rashi on the sugya who explains why we do so.

          • Mycroft says:

            Showcme where gerus is allowed if the potential ger is a multimillionaire or least father has claimed to be a billionaire and would not be allowed with same Kabbalas hamitzvotvif potential was a heter of water.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            That system did not work in 1948 and hasnt been viable for decades.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The Gemara explicitly states,that we tell a would ger of tbe cost entailed by Leket Shicha and Maaser Ani .

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The aurvival of Klal Yisrael never has been nor should it ever be seen as a matter of numbers only. What counts are the communal and individual facts on tbe ground.

        • mycroft says:

          “Communal facts “may be delusions if numbers don’t match the communal facts. One can state how great communal kollelX or Y is, but the question is the results and what percentage of the community is reached by the kollel.
          My assumption is that YAHDUS IS INTENDED FOR ALL JEWS NOT JUST FOR THOSE INTELLECTUAL AND FINANCIAL ELITE . Data please as to numbers reached, cost of reaching them,results of being reached.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            We are commandex to be amelim BaTorah regardless of tbe results.Yahadus is not a cost benefit exercise

          • Mycroft says:

            Costs come into play no more than a chomesh on a Mitzvat assei. Certainly costs come into play.bthere are those who have told people better not to produce children if one can’t afford day school for them.
            Apparently, some here defend a financial test to become Jewish.

  33. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote :
    “Is Shaas hadchai trying to keep wealthy supporters happy”

    A Shaas HaDchak ( and whether it is a Shaas Hadchak Gadol Meod or Shaas Hadchak Bdieved Dami) is determined by a Gadol’s assessment of the circumstances presented.

    • Mycroft says:

      So you believ once a person is a gadol he can act in any way for any purpose merely because he is knowledgeable in Talmud and Halacha?
      Do you believe that Shaas hadchai for a gadol could include financial considerations of either the gadol or financial considerations of the mosdos
      Do you really believe that a gadol has the right to rule in an immoral purpose.
      I don’t and hope that no gadol would act in sch a way. You give total power to a gadol to act in any way hat he desires even if immoral or against Halacha. How can you attack OO they don’t even claim that right for themselves

      • Steve Brizel says:

        I don’t think that any of us have the right to make such accusations against a Gadol and his Psak in any case. There are many, many comments of the MB alone in the Biur Halacha about when a particular act is permitted or prohibited Bshaas Hadchak. Being Chosheid BKesherim and or even raising the spectre of such conduct is IMO an inappropriate way to act and write and borders on a lack of Kavod for Talmidei Chahcamim who we are taught are Sod HaShem Lireav and have a great deal of Siyata DShmaya in their Piiskei Halacha. What you do have is a right to discuss how and under what halachic principles are implicated and even question based on how other great Poskim in the past and present have approached the issue. That has nothing to do with OO’s well documented departures from halacha and hashkafa which includes allowing kohanim to marry divorcees and converts.

        • Mycroft says:

          choshed basher im is precisely what those who are attacking the legitimacy of Gerim for decades since the mid 00s

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Discussions of halachic competence when SA was not complied with respect to HIlcos Edus and other psulim that are makev even bdieved is not being Choshed Bksherim,

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Neither R Uzziel’s perspective on Kabalas Ol Mitzvos mor R Angel’s advocacy of the same have ever been seen as anything more than a Shitta Dchyua or Daas Yachid.

          • Mycroft says:

            You make charges in general with no proof that SA was not complied with, insinuating with no proof that Edus rules were not generally complied with which BTW is unlikely. It is unlikely because easy to comply with. Much different than genus leshem ishut where due to even then fame of couple it was publicly known for the true reason of gerus. There are a whole lot of MO Rabbis who wouldn’t have done such a gerus. Obvious, big name brought in to kasher the gerus. So here there is specific knowledge of to say the least looseness of allowing a gerus which gets defended by attacks that I’m guilty of onaas hager, yet no problem in making general attacks of the quality of the edit previously. Please explain how those unnamed Rabbonim have less credibility than gerus done by a known sinner during a period when he was known to be a sinner see eg Freundel. There is one answer and res ipsa politics. Politics is an immoral way to handle people’s lives. One Halacha for the wealthy one for the rest.

        • dr. bill says:

          There are a few sugyot where the hesitance to criticize gedolai Yisroel has had an unfortunate effect. Siyattah d’shemaya in pesak does not necessarily extend to sevarah.

          What RMF ztl paskened, addressed to one moving to BB, and Chazal’s Yiftach be’doro…. particularly as the Rav ztl delimited and explained is more than enough to digest.

          No more from me on this very complex topic.

          • Mycroft says:

            Obviously psak can be mistaken,if a bes din Hagadol can be mistaken see meseches Horayiot obviously any modern Arabbi including any one who are. Treated by some as gedolim can be wrong

        • Mycroft says:

          i. See you have a passion against attacking Rabbis who some call a Gadol. Of course, you have no qualms against attacking Rabbis who disagree with anything that your favorite Rabbi states. For a blogger to disagree in any issue with him is in your eyes cursing Hashem. There is no requirement bizman hazeh to accept any Rabbi. You refer or quote a current famous Rabbi as referring to the Rav as a he is not a Greek oracle not exactly polite language . But to criticize actions you say no right to criticize.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            That is a gross oversimplification. I merely said that insinuating that noone has the right to claim.rhat Psak was bought by the person asking the inquiry. There are many Gdolim.throughout history have voiced stances and opinions that in retrospect one could question. Such POVs do not detractbfrom.the status of any such Gadol as a Gadol.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            We are all obligated to respect the views of great Talmidei Chachamim in our generation even if we never lrarned a word from them.because if their stature as Gdolei Talmidei Chachamim

          • Steve Brizel says:

            You cannot macht Shabbos far zicht based on the premise tbat you think you know more than any Posek in any area of halacha and that you have no.need for a rebbe in how to learn live and kerp mitzvos.

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve
            Obviously, one can’t pasken from oneself. I am influenced by those who not only wouldn’t pasken for themselves but for anyone that they might be nogeah badavar. Not only in choshed Mishpat but issur vheter

  34. Steve Brizel says:

    Those who fret about demographics , Jews and the the future of the Jewish People
    might find this article fascinating https://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2018/05/israels-demographic-miracle/

    • Mycroft says:

      Jewish population in US has essentially been flat for a hundred years.
      In 1900 Islamic Jewish ratio was about 15-1 in population, now close to 100-1. Both facts are immortal T in understanding current affairs. One from Salo Baron IIRC there were more aJewish in Europe in 1200 than in 1096. Very important in truly understanding impact of Crusades. Relying on kibush to understand history may give misleading impressions. Obviously, Kinos gives us important hashkafa

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The linked article focused on Israeli demographics and policies that favored the growth of families. Imagine if the US had such policies and tuition tax credits

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The article in question had zero to do with Kibush.

        • Mycroft says:

          What stated Kibush should have been kinos. Unfortunately unlike some other blogs, CC does not give writer of post ability to edit after posting.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        https://mosaicmagazine.com/response/2018/05/what-others-can-learn-from-israel-about-having-children/ A fascinating article on why a belief in the importance of raising a family is one of the keys to reversing trends in the US that have been influenced by the false god of the dystopic future known as ZPG ( which is junk science writ large) and by the fact that the liberal left with the encouragement of the traditional Jewish defense agencies views the wall between church and state , which was only meant to avoid a Church of England scenario, as more important than free exercise of religion.

  35. yg says:


     Steve Brizel
    May 8, 2018 at 6:07 pm
    if the RY of Gush and Maale Gilboa a far LW RZ institution and “scholars: rock your boat that is your privilege,.
     Mycroft
    May 9, 2018 at 1:40 am
    Gush a far LW institution?
     dr. bill
    May 9, 2018 at 10:37 am
    mycroft, wait another ten years; it is too soon after RAL’s petirah for God’s appointed angels of that watch the boundaries to turn on gush. unlike the rav ztl, where it took less time than shivah, gush has a significant left-wing element that behaves without fear of what others might say. you are correct not far-left but respectful of some who are. RML and certainly Rav Gigi show up in places that are not frequented by those to their right. in any case, far left is too strong a term; you are correct.
    steve, intellectual rigor, brilliance and a commitment to deal with the facts as we discover them rock my boat. in Jerusalem, i have heard many shiurim and lectures that are unavailable anywhere else. ki mi’tzion taytzai Torah survives an apt reality again.

    The Gush question is complicated. It is a davar yadua that there is a ‘left’ element at Gush.

    There has developed a relationship between YCT/OO and Gush. R Asher Lopatin gave an interview. Towards the end he was asked about the future of YCT. He said YCT is doing well and he said, matter of factly that- I hope it [YCT] grows, and that it draws students ‘from the Gush and Hakotel and Maaleh Gilboa…” and Hapardes. (He explained his point of including Hapardes was that YCT attracts students from both O and non O institutions.)
    [Here is the link to the interview.
    https://jewishcoffeehouse.com/episode-2-interview-with-rabbi-asher-lopatin-president-of-yeshivat-chovevei-torah/
    34:49-35:20 feel free to listen and check the context. I don’t see a date on the site for the interview. I am pretty sure it was within the last year.]

    Now, he did not mention KBY. He did not mention Shalvim. He did not mention Netiv. He did not mention Shraga. He did not mantion OJ… He mentioned only Hakotel and Gush. Why?
    That is a fair question.

    Given that one agrees with RHS, Rav Rakeffet (his name is very important in this discussion. he is not knows as a right winger hashkafically, and is often cited as a good presenter of the Rav’s hashkaot), Maryles’ blog, and ALL of the rabbonim to the right of them, that OO is a new C movement, then Lopatin’s quote should set off alarm bells for the Gush staff, as well as for parents of prospective students going to Gush.

    Now it is possible that the rabbonim at Gush speak openly against YCT/OO/Yeshivat Maharat. It is possible they heard about the interview and openly rejected/disavowed being linked so matter of factly to YCT/OO. I don’t know. If they have, I would be very happy to hear it and I would ask CC to remove this post or put up the response.

    But, the ‘fact on the ground’, as Mycroft would put it, of Lopatin’s matter of fact comment, certainly raises serious questions.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      R D Brofsky wrote in response to an article about RA ZL rejected academic Talmud noted that RAL ZL was not happy with talmidim who defected to Hartman and similar locales and was very critical of R Shagar ZL and his hashkafa which RAL ZL characterized as narcissim . R Brofsky also wrote that RAL ZL kept a firm hand on Herzog College to ensure that the school did not become a school that taught Bible crit with teachers who wore Kipot srugot and a haven for teachers of Academic Talmud.

      • dr. bill says:

        yet, at Herzog today…. and one of RAL ztl’s sons…. RAL was traditional in a unique way; he did not wear techelet, but ……. Enough said, this is not the venue to discuss his derech hachaim.

    • Mycroft says:

      Rakeffet is a great writer on Rabbis Revel and Silver re the Rav, start by reading Shalom Carmys review of the Rav from around 2000 in First Things about Rakeffets book on the Rav. Also look online at some of criticisms of Rakeffet by Jeffrey Woolff.
      CertainlybRakeffet differs from the Rav in hashkafa concerning Kahane. He is very much worth reading and is a good source but one must compare HS version with facts,
      I have recommended his other works, frankly his book on Rav Silver certainly benefited by cooperation with Silver family. Once was invited for Shabbos lunch by one of R Silvers grandchildren and discussed cooperation involved. Revel he certainly knows details of relatives who he interviewed , sadly Revel has n descendants. I don’t want to disparage Akeffet, but he is no bore accurate than Dr Bill and others about the Rav

      • dr. bill says:

        again thank you. accurately quoting the Rav ztl is one thing; implying it is relevant to a changed circumstance or generation is quite another. I admire rav rakeffet’s shiurim on a number of topics and suggest them to many. the historical facts he uncovers are often fascinating. He like many, many others had a long association with the Rav and he collected a good set of anecdotes, talks, etc. However, my classmates Carmy and Shatz, and Rav Rakeffet’s classmates, prof. Bildstein and even dr. Hartmann, and my late philosophy professor dr. Wurzberger ztl, of a yet earlier generation and certainly RAL ztl, my rebbe before the Rav shiur, are more authoritative sources on the Rav thinking.

        • mycroft says:

          “accurately quoting the Rav ztl is one thing; implying it is relevant to a changed circumstance or generation is quite another.” “I admire rav rakeffet’s shiurim on a number of topics and suggest them to many. the historical facts he uncovers are often fascinating”.
          The Rav did continue to be active in communal affairs after the event of the schochtim and slaughterhouse in Boston, the Ravs wife did know about the rAV SITTING SHIVA FOR the Ravs wife. He may well be correct on best students but not so obvious , he may list someone different than who received the Talmud prize at he Ravs choice as bnest student. In one case both students of the Rav from the same year said other was greater student.
          I agree with you-certainly on Carmy and Shatz who although i am not in their league but have spoken to bot over a period of half a century
          I believe in facts must be accurate a necessary condition. To predict what the Rav would have said in the future at least a few of those I have heard stating repeatedly they are not sure what the Rav would do on basis of facts. They are not sure and yet bloggers who are on constant attack mode and some other writers are sure what the Rav would have said and are attacking others. BTW the Rav was much more nuance than all the current attackers.

          • dr. bill says:

            winning the Talmud prize is not an indicator; i did. 🙂

            It is impossible for one lacking a broader education in philosophy to fully understand the Rav ztl. of course i am biased having gotten a Ph.D. from a student of the greatest logician of the 20th century.

          • Mycroft says:

            May not be an indicator, but don’t know when you won, but certainly in earlier times Rav essentially picked the winner of prize. Tough to say a better more knowledgeable of Talmud is someone who the Rav did not chose as best student.

            BTW a good source of background to Modern Orthodoxy is listening to Alan Brill on Modern Orthodoxy, essentially a semester of classes frm YU a decade or so ago available on YU Torah.

          • dr. bill says:

            i do not think the Rav ztl was the one who decided in my day around 50 years ago. i don’t know who did. There were two winners in my year; the other is a YU RY much, much closer to the Rav than I. Frankly, i always sat in fear, but learned be’chavrusah with 2 people who were able to interact with the Rav in a way that appeared almost casual. They both denied that, but they both knew the Rav well before they were in his shiur.

          • mycroft says:

            “i do not think the Rav ztl was the one who decided in my day around 50 years ago. i don’t know who did.” no real contradiction to almost 30 years earlier “but don’t know when you won, but certainly in earlier times Rav essentially picked the winner of prize. “

    • dr. bill says:

      as the rabbis said – ikkar choser min ha’sefer. in fact much more – words like “there is a left element” and ‘has developed” might not be consistent with the fact that founding RY, Rav Amital ztl, was on one of the YCT boards. that history cannot be simply erased.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        True. R Amital was a great RY and talmid chacham but his rush to.condemn all of RZ after the Rabin assasination struck me IMO as PC.

        • Mycroft says:

          Rav Anital and RAL deserve praise for openly stating that Goldstein caused a great chillul Hashem, and a great chillul Hashem was caused by even giving Goldstein a hesped CDs vain.
          Of course we are almost exactly ten years from when a leading RY had to leave Israel quickly after being caught on tape advocating shooting an Israeli PM.
          Talmeidei chacham in hizharu bdivreihem

          • Steve Brizel says:

            The same RY wad accused falsely of dimilar comments about the Rabin assassination. The PM you referred to was not only personally corrupt but a disaster as PM.

          • rkz says:

            A. RAL and RYA were certainly correct in their reaction if what they knew about the Dr. Goldstein issue were correct. However, this is not the case. Therefore, their reaction was honest and sincere but sadly mistaken (and they were certainly not alone on both counts).
            B. I think Steve Brizel referred to the Rabin issue, not to Dr. Goldstein.

          • Mycroft says:

            Irrelevant , one does not excuse in any way assassinations or advocacy of assassinations of people one disagrees with. Not even getting into question of Americans living in NY challenging Israeli authorities for their decisions.

          • Mycroft says:

            Goldstein went to Maarat Hamachpela and murdered many people. That is all one needs to know to condemn that dastardly act.

        • dr. bill says:

          you should visit his kever and ask mechilah. to even weakly associate PC with Rav Amital ztl, is beyond chutzpah. btw, if you knew the Rav ztl’s views of what he feared was emerging in RZ a decade and one-half earlier in the late 70’s, you might label him similarly. deeply halakhic men are not driven by external trends; to them, Torah must be applied to evaluate trends.

          • mycroft says:

            I believe after the 6 day war the Rav began to get fearful of certain trends RZ and gradually got worse by early to mid 70s.By late 70s early 80s it was very obvious.

          • tzippi says:

            Dr. Bill writes: deeply halakhic men are not driven by external trends; to them, Torah must be applied to evaluate trends.

            Something I hope we all value, across the board, and that might be the crux of the matter here.

          • dr. bill says:

            mycroft tzippi – full agreement. tzippi, halevi

          • Steve Brizel says:

            I thought that R Amital and RAl ZL both rushed to condemn all of RZ with blame where the facts showed otherwise that tne terrible crome wad that of a madman.

          • rkz says:

            The central part of the RZ Torah world was always lead by “deeply halakhic men” and barukh Hashem it continues to be lead in this manner.
            Maran Harav Avraham Yitzhak Hakohen Kook, his disciple Maran Harav Yaakov Moshe Charlap, Rabbenu Harav Tzvi Yehuda Hakohen Kook, Maran Hav Shaul Yisraeli, Maran Harav Avraham Elkana Shapira. All of them ztl
            Today: Hagaon Harav Dov Lior and haGaon Harav Yaakov Ariel.

          • Mycroft says:

            Not enough has been written about the major differences in hashkafa between the Rav and Some current RIETS RY. RZ is a difference compare Dr Bills description f fear of emerging RZ with current RY who was caught on tape suggesting an Israeli PM would have to be taken care of. Had to leave Isael quickly then.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Mrs Rabins conduct in welcoming.an arch terrorist and refusumg to allow even R Risk8n to be mnachel.avel and the worship of the false god of Oslo by the Israeli left where even today we see no real partner for peace and yet appeasement of evil remain issues for the left snd its apologists to confront and offer a cheshbon hamefesh. Wishful thinking sbout messiamic as opposed to realistic ideals within RZ should be replaces as to concern about the growth of what RAL ZL called narcissism within RZ today.

          • rkz says:

            Of course, I should have added Maran HaGaon Harav Mordechai Eliyahu ztl (I did not mention him before because he had many non-rz talmidim, but then I decided to mention him because he was very influential in leading the RZ Torah world)

          • Steve Brizel says:

            If and when Gush decides to buold in pre 1967 borders let us know.

    • rkz says:

      Here in Eretz Yisrael, the Gush is certainly considered to be the LW of the RZ world, and the far LW is self-associated with the Gush, although RAL ztl diavowed some of the more extreme people in the FLW

      • dr. bill says:

        one of the most famous sheailot RAL ztl asked RSZA ztl had to do with talmidim, to the left btw, who did things of which he did not approve. the gadlus of RSZA in his answer would put most of what appears on this and other blogs, out of business. since RAL printed his response somewhere, i do not want to quote it from memory. but it is the way halakhic men, RSZA, RAL and the Rav ztl behaved. chaval al deavdin

        • rkz says:

          There is a big difference between the way a RY should treat talmidim currently learning in his yeshiva and public comments by self-associated alumni.
          Rav Shlomo Zalman was a RY and a posek, and the difference wrt to this issue, was very clear.
          RAL ztl publicly disavowed R. Dr. BL (as an example)

      • Mycroft says:

        Not enough has been written about the major differences in hashkafa between the Rav and Some current RIETS RY. RZ is a difference compare Dr Bills description f fear of emerging RZ with current RY who was caught on tape suggesting an Israeli PM would have to be taken care of. Had to leave Isael quickly then.

      • Mycroft says:

        groups are responsible for having an environment that encourages violence. How society treats its murderrs. RAL was correct in attacking much of RZ community for treating mass murderer Goldstein as a hero. Giving a hesped as a normal hero was scandalous, even yahrzeit memorials for Goldstein are scandalous.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          When Gush withdraws and or relocates to a location within pre 1967 borders let us known. The idea that RZ created an environment that led to the tragedies that happened is nice drush.

          • dr. bill says:

            even Abbas knows there will be land swaps and an area drenched in the blood of kedoshim is not being returned.

            that drush, as you put it, was shagur be’piv to both the Rav ztl and the late Prof. Jacob Katz. the person who traveled to Israel to present the Rav’s view as his representative is BH still alive and well. RHS admits that his views do not align with his rebbe; he is closer to the viewpoint of RAS ztl.

          • mycroft says:

            “the person who traveled to Israel to present the Rav’s view as his representative is BH still alive and well. ”
            The Ravs views on this matter were never a secret, he was very capable of using the telephone. The person involved was certainly one of the most loyal people to the Rav and given his multitude of communal`positions certainly one of the most effective advocates for the Rav.
            RHS admits that his views do not align with his rebbe; he is closer to the viewpoint of RAS ztl.

          • dr. bill says:

            some things required secrecy; others required specifics of how the rav ztl might respond. i do not know much more than that, other than some snippets and what mycroft correctly characterizes as public remarks

        • rkz says:

          Please see my comment about this above

  36. Steve Brizel says:

    For those who don’t understand or don’t realize the consequences of Lashon Hara about Gdolei Torah and Talmidei Chachamim seethe very compelling and all too contemporary comments Rashi on Vayikra26:15 and Rambam at the very end of Hilcos Tumaas Tzaaras.

    • Mycroft says:

      Rav Anital and RAL deserve praise for openly stating that Goldstein caused a great chillul Hashem, and a great chillul Hashem was caused by even giving Goldstein a hesped CDs vain.
      Of course we are almost exactly ten years from when a leading RY had to leave Israel quickly after being caught on tape advocating shooting an Israeli PM.
      Talmeidei chacham in hizharu bdivreihem

  37. tzippi says:

    Shades of Gray, thanks for the link to Rabbi Keleman’s article.
    Lacosta, insularity is an interesting thing. There’s no chance we need to edit our exposure: even in the outside world thinking people are doing the same. The question is, how do we edit, how do we insulate, in a sustainable way. There are some takanos that the tzibur can’t handle, and shouldn’t have been enacted to begin with. We have to be realistic, healthy, and live with integrity. It’s a challenge and it’s most doable in a kehilla, i.e. with like-minded people, and with real leadership, on a communal level. As I am wont to say, I’m blessed to be living out of town.

    MK, you bring up an interesting word: Mesorah. I wonder if that’s a “Niagara Falls” trigger in some circles.

    And Steve Brizel’s Lopatin quote, if it plays out as written, is sad, disconcerting, but not surprising.

  38. Steve Brizel says:

    If anyone has the ability to post the article from the Fall 1959 Tradition by R MSZL please do so. More than a few readers including myself would like to read the article and get ot the bottom of this issue-regardless of the fact that R Asher Weiss in Minchas Asher in Vols I and III of his ShuT states that the view of R Henkin ZL and the Rogatchover ZL was considered a distinctly minority view. FWIW, R Angel’s article in which he advocates the use of R Uzziel’s Shitta for conversion without any kabalas ol mitzvos is here for anyone interested.http://traditionarchive.org/news/originals/Volume%2012/No.%203/Another%20Halakhic%20Approach.pdf One cannot seriously maintain that the approach advocated by R Uzziel represents anything more than a Shitta Dchua or Daas Yachid which even R Angel is a vastly different approach than that of Rov Poskim as summarized by RMS ZL in an article cited by R Angel.

  39. mycroft says:

    Paragraph from YG quoting paragraph in contention.Maybe he can post whole article
    “Civil Marriages:
    Does a couple married civilly require a get in order to dissolve their marital bond?- i.e., is a civil marriage regarded as religiously valid de facto?

    On the basis of the established rule that no man wishes to consider his continuous sexual relationship with a woman promiscuous, the marital bond is strong enough to warrant a get for its dissolution. There are some who differ with this viewpoint. They hold that one who does not care for a religious ceremony is not presumed to be troubled by the change that he is living promiscuously all his life-time.”

    • Steve Brizel says:

      This is rhe wssence of the discussion. What was the view of Rov Poskim? Rav Asher Weiss contends very strongly and really proves that the view of R Henkin and the Eogatchover which was what RYBS relied on was a shaas hadchak as oposed ro the vew of the overwhelming number of Poskim prior to and most notably RMF to the contrary precisely because the elements of Daas Kiddushin were lacking and the ceremony was a joke. Thus bdieved no get would would becrewuiref in such a situation. The ralmid chacham.who cited this reviewcstated that RYBS and RMF disagreed whether lchatchilah a get was required but not on thevlevel of bdieved. That is hardly an uncommon means of explaining a machlokes in Shas Rishonim and Poskim.

      • mycroft says:

        “pp. 161-2
        Civil Marriages:
        Does a couple married civilly require a get in order to dissolve their marital bond?- i.e., is a civil marriage regarded as religiously valid de facto?

        On the basis of the established rule that no man wishes to consider his continuous sexual relationship with a woman promiscuous, the marital bond is strong enough to warrant a get for its dissolution. There are some who differ with this viewpoint. They hold that one who does not care for a religious ceremony is not presumed to be troubled by the change that he is living .
        promiscuously all his life-time.”
        I believe a plain reading is that the generally accepted viewpoint was that civil divorces required a get while a minority viewpoint was “There are some who differ with this viewpoint. ” Check was it only the Rav and Rav Henkin, there must be readers who are familiar with the other gedolim in the US during that time period besides RMF.I was told by this Rosh Kollel that the other gedolim mentioned opposed RMFs heter,is that true or not. All of which has nothing to do with my statement of the Ravs position in a halacha lemaaseh case.

      • mycroft says:

        I have asked around even talmidim of RMF have told me that if a get could be procured in the case of heterodox clergy weddings a get should be gotten. The issue is obviously bdieved. Do you really think a talmid would ask a sheila of the Rav if a get could have been procured.
        What shaas hadchak is the Rav relying on to make an issur to get married?

        • Steve Brizel says:

          And if a get could not be procurred tben neither RYBS nor RMF would require a get.

          • Mycroft says:

            not true. At least for the psak that. Am referring to which was rotten about in print, the Rav instructed the person who asked the Sheila that no marriage could be preformed wo at least a get misafek. A clear rejection of what RMF said. Especially clear because of the combining of the issue of at least safek the women was not even Jewish at time of wedding. Remember facts she was converted by Reform conversion. This is not a chakirah from shiur this is a psak no get no marriage.
            Did anyone else receive a psak frm the Rav for an actual situation, not a chakirah that he might have said in shiur.

      • mycroft says:

        “Rav Asher Weiss contends very strongly and really proves that the view of R Henkin and the Eogatchover which was what RYBS relied on was a shaas hadchak as oposed ro the vew of the overwhelming number of ”
        To try and justify any difference that curr ent RY has from the Rav youll go to any extent “shaas hadchak” what shaas hadchak to make an issur of a woman marrying.Shaas Hadchak goes the other way asin Dr Bill and Russian immigration.
        Aproof by anyone on someone elses viewpoint is highly suspect.

  40. yg says:

    dr. bill May 11, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    as the rabbis said – ikkar choser min ha’sefer. in fact much more – words like “there is a left element” and ‘has developed” might not be consistent with the fact that founding RY, Rav Amital ztl, was on one of the YCT boards. that history cannot be simply erased.

    You are correct. The connection between Gush and YCT indeed goes way back. I did not mean to imply otherwise. When YCT began, it was not immediately clear it would end up being part of a new CJ. Now, that has unfortunately become clear (as I wrote before from RHS, Rabbi Rakeffet, Harry Maryles, Rabbi Rosenthal’s book, and many others).

    My point is that presently, there is a relationship, in that Gush alumni go to YCT. I don’t know the numbers. But I pointed out that R Lopatin said matter of factly that YCT draws students from ‘Maaleh Giboa,Hakotel, Gush, and Pardes’. Even now, after a broad consensus in the O world has shown and declared OO/YCT to be not O, this relationship exists. This raises the question I raised before about what the response of the staff is and also that parents should be aware of this apparent relationship. That is more significant than the fact that Rav Amital zt”l was a board member.

    I would be happy to be corrected about the extent of the present relationship. Maybe Lopatin was not being precise…

    • dr. bill says:

      AFAIK Rav Amital ztl was still on the board when the attacks began. some of Gush’s best and brightest have attended YCT in the past; i do not know much about the last five or so years. my POV is reflected in what i noted above about a sheailah from RAL ztl to RSZA ztl. enough said

  41. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-Please discuss thevissue without raising the issues of onaas ger adhering
    to psak of Gdolei Torah and assuming GPS operates on politics. Refusing to face facts re lack of compliance with Hilcos Edus and the psul of krovim.as witnesses among others does not aid your position

  42. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft-Please discuss thevissue without raising the issues of onaas ger adhering
    to psak of Gdolei Torah and assuming GPS operates on politics.”
    To assume politics doesn’t apply is ludicrous> How else to explain that RCA stands behind gerus by a known sinner Freundel but does not stand behind gerus of Rabbis who followed RCA procedures and never had anything negative known about them and are in the olam haemet unable to defend their gerus done decades before.

    ” Refusing to face facts re lack of compliance with Hilcos Edus and the psul of krovim.as witnesses among others does not aid your position”
    You heard of supposed something that might have happened I’ll give you reality -most bes dins were composed of local Rabbonim. I am aware of those who as a matter of principle refused to accept any money from potential gerim believing it is improper.I would wager that actual cases of krovim were few and far between, no need tocut corners I would not wager so much that finances for some was not a majorissue,that a wealthy ger would be accepted when someone poorer would not. Your wholesale charge of attacking prior gerus because of edus problems is attacking whole generations of gerim with no proof. Much more likely based on publicly available evidence including behavior right after gerus ona specific geruis. You have noproof and see the names that are not being backed.

  43. Steve Brizel says:

    I stand by my comments and refuse to discuss your accusations or comments that are nas3d on halachic considerations and accusations of the acveptance of shochad any further.

  44. yg says:

    I am unable to find the case which Mycroft refers to about the Rav being machmir to require a get before the remarriage. Please provide a link to where it can be found online. I would like to read the story.

    • mycroft says:

      type “Reform conversions that were accompanied by circumcision and immersion in a mikvah had to be treated as a safek giyur.Accordingly, a get would be required”
      in a search engine
      try variations of such a search.Worthwhile being exposed to discussion

  45. Mycroft says:

    Of course, make charges against Gerim with nothing that you know about specific cases. Yet it is not permissible to point out apparent specific cases where people have been accepted as gerus against publicly stated standards.. Especially when gerus was a rarity because the courtship was public record and female was told no conversion no marriage when resistance to gerus, especially when no secret vast amount of money was what both families had. You continue to state accusations about krovim and Edison when it is ridiculous tha would be a standard problem. Mor frequent problem was that local Ravbis would feel pressured because of finances, nothing more illustrates that than conversion of someone where people with vast amount of money pushing it.

  46. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft- I have sern tbe Grumet survey. What about the 76% who dont intermarry? Blaming day schools for that requires a separate study.

  47. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft- I have sern tbe Grumet survey. What about the 76% who dont intermarry? Blaming day schools for that requires a separate study”
    You can’t have it both ways state how important day schools are and necessary to be frum . Then when surveys show that unfortunate high percentage of day school grads have no problem having relationships with non Jews say well dont blame dayschools. At least let those who bytheir own admission are ashirim should . stop saying dont have children if cant afford day schools

    • Steve Brizel says:

      76% is a far greater number tban 24% . That is simple arithmetic.24% is at best a significant minority. If you rhink schools are the reason for intermarriage you are mistaken. Other factors such as family and community are of equal importance.

  48. yg says:

    o dr. bill
    May 13, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    AFAIK Rav Amital ztl was still on the board when the attacks began. some of Gush’s best and brightest have attended YCT in the past; i do not know much about the last five or so years. my POV is reflected in what i noted above about a sheailah from RAL ztl to RSZA ztl. enough said

    The facts provided in your post only make the questions I raised that much stronger. I am working under the assumption (I am aware you and Mycroft disagree) that OO/YCT/Yeshivat Maharat is not O. Either it is C, or neo C, or just not O. That is the view of RHS, Rav Rakeffet, all the Rabbonim to the right of them, R’ Harry Maryles’ blog, etc… (That is also proven by the overwhelming evidence in Rabbi Rosenthal’s book. It is a very well written book. And things have only become worse since his book was published.)

    Therefore, given that at some point “Gush’s best and the brightest have attended YCT”, and given that Open Orthodox Rabbi Lopatin matter of factly says they are attending and will continue to attend, then one really needs to ask what the Rabbonim in Gush are presently saying about OO/YCT/Yeshivat Maharat. And parents should certainly consider what is Gush’s approach to OO when deciding about a yeshiva for their children.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The fact that such talmidim who could easily find a,Gush like shiur in RMR providing that they were willing to spend tbe time preparing and instead opt for YCT is tragic but the RIETS Beis Medrash wil survive just as it survived defections to JTS.

      • dr. bill says:

        ask RMR about some of his best talmidim; some are very halakhic OO rabbis and jewish studies / talmud academics. they did not go instead but AFTER.

  49. mycroft says:

    “that OO/YCT/Yeshivat Maharat is not O. Either it is C, or neo C, or just not O. That is the view of RHS, Rav Rakeffet, all the Rabbonim to the right of them, R’ Harry Maryles’ blog, etc…”
    To the right of them eliminates a lot of people.
    “Gush’s best and the brightest have attended YCT”, and given that Open Orthodox Rabbi Lopatin matter of factly says they are attending and will continue to attend, then one really needs to ask what the Rabbonim in Gush are presently saying about OO/YCT/Yeshivat Maharat. ”
    If true the best recommendation of OO that I have ever seen.

  50. yg says:

    o mycroft
    May 10, 2018 at 7:44 am
    I am specifically quoting a talmid of the Rav who wrote publicly about the sheila he asked the Rav. The answer was NOT to rely on Rav Moshes heter. One falsehood is enough for me to respondf.I qam talking about the Rav and majority opinion in the 50s and 60s.
    The case I am citing was a case where a get was required by the Rav before a second marriage could be allowed. Even in this case. i AM NOT THE ONE ENGAGED IN REVISIONISM.
    The sheila was asked the Rav and has been publicly written about. Stop the FALSEHOODS And stop the dishonesty to make the Rav agree with RMF. The Rav disagreed lemaaseh with himon many cases. This is just one of them. The Rav did not pasken that way simply that in a new gerus no bracha should be made. Why he paskened the way her did is a fair argument but stop propogating falsehoods.There are many areas where they disagreed. Here the Rav paskened lemaaseh and it was written about years ago.
    So far I have seen no ones how me where where Rabbis Kotler,Kamenetzky and Hurtner agreedwith RMF on t h i sissue.That I just heard from a Rav now in upper 70s

    I never claimed the Rav agreed with Rav Moshe on this issue. I, and no one, ever said they agree on all issues. You raised a straw man argument to deflect the criticism of your mistaken citation of the 1959 article.

    Before responding, a little background. To quote from Rabbi Rosenthal’s boo, ‘Why OO is not O’ pp. 33-34.

    This is what is so insidious about OO. When the R Movement came onto the scene in the 19th century, it was clear from its name exactly what it was…By claiming to be O, OO has duped many people into believing that its views are representative of O Judaism. While they have the legal right to preach their beliefs under any name, they do not have the moral right to call themselves what they are not.

    The obvious danger is that a synagogue may hire and OO Rabbi, Rabba, or Maharat thinking that they are O. Many congregations may be seeking to hire an O rabbi but lack the background to differentiate between authentic O and dangerous imitations. Since YCT is ostensibly an “Orthodox” institution, a synagogue may unwittingly hire one of its graduates for its pulpit…. He may mislead his flock right into the abyss into which the multitudes of C and R Jews have disappeared.

    Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that many OO rabbis serve as teachers in high schools and on college campuses. In such positions, they have the potential to teach a non Orthodox version of Torah to the next generation.

    My goal is the same as Rabbi Rosenthal’s- to help Jews avoid falling into OO. I have no interest in winning (or losing) debating points with Mycroft. My goal is to help keep O Jews Orthodox. That is a specific to’eles, and that is why it is muttar for RHS and R Rakeffet and R Harry Maryles’ blog and Rabbi Gordimer and Rabbi Rosenthal and others to point out and publicize that OO is C.

    Now to respond fully.
    Mycroft has 3 agendas in his comments on CC concerning YCT/OO and lehavdil RHS/RIETS RY.
    1) To put forth the idea that the RIETS RY, led by RHS, have in the past, and continue to be involved in extreme revisionism of the Rav’s hashkafa, approach to halacha, etc… He does this, often, by referring to the years 1984-85, when it started, that coincides with RHS’s psak about women’s minyanim. He does this by referring to Lawrence Kaplan’s article and Dr. Lichtenstein’s article together. I used the word ‘extreme’ precisely. If you read his comments, he uses phrases like ‘many in the Riets staff’ and ‘much of the Rav’s….

    2) To put forth the idea that given that revisionism, then the following is true. When Rav Gordimer and others point out how YCT/OO are not Orthodox in that they have moved way to the left of the Rav’s hashkafa and psak, they are being hypocritical, because the RIETS RY, led by RHS, also don’t always agree with the Rav. That is the thrust of the argument.

    I responded at length to these points previously. I will be reposting here (in the post following) for the following reason. I have heard from friends that points from my long posts have been used in argument / debates about YCT/OO. That is gratifying. Indeed, if anyone is convinced that OO is C due to those points, then that becomes a great zechut for me.

    (
    3) A third agenda seems to be that for some reason, he has decided to post attacks against RHS shlit”a quite often. (Steve Brizel is correct in quoting the Rambam at the end of hilchos tzaraas about this issue.) This is certainly an aveirah, actually a serious aveirah. This includes the places where he mentions RHS’s name as well as the many, many places he refers to things RHS has said or done, by saying a ‘leading RY’ or the like. The most chilling sentence (for an observant Jew) is when Mycroft writes “I don’t need to ask him…” and then goes on his rants full of hozaat shem ra against RHS. For any person with a shred of yirat shamayim, that is a terrifying sentence. I will not be responding to those posts directly. I made a few phone calls about the geirus issue. There are reasonable responses to the questions raised. I will not repeat them here. My purpose in writing this paragraph is that CC readers should not think what Mycroft does in those posts is permissible. It is not. Trying to win debating points does not allow for hotzaat shem ra. This goes together with my post about the onaas hager about Yael Trump, which I posted a few days ago.)

    Now to the specific issue of Rav Melech Schachter’s article.

    Here Mycroft focuses specifically on the question of Reform conversion/civil marriage as an example of the revisionism. His point was that one example of the revisionism of the Rav is that RHS and RIETS RY don’t follow the Rav regarding Reform conversion/civil marriage. Others responded that they don’t fully follow the Rav on this because the consensus is against the Rav but rather with RMF. The RIETS RY are choosing to follow the consensus. Certainly they try to obtain a get first, but push comes to shove, bshaas hadchak, they are willing to follow RMF. Mycroft responded by saying that the consensus is WITH the Rav, based on Rav Melech Schachter’s review from 1959, which he was quoting from memory. And he emphasized that due to that review, the RIETS RY are involved in a major revisionism by leaving the Rav and going against the consensus to follow RMF.

    I did the research and found that RMS did not write that. And that indeed the consensus was, and is, as Rav Asher Weiss also pointed out, that civil marriage is not kiddushin. Again, certainly, everyone agrees one should try to obtain a get, but fundamentally it is not valid. That is, and was the consensus. That is what Rav Ferber wrote in the first half of the 20th century. That is what Rav Asher Weiss writes now.

    Furthermore, I have heard from talmidim of the Rav that he allowed them to follow RMF beshaas hadchak when it was impossible to obtain a get. (That is not a setirah to what Mycroft says. Maybe there were circumstances that affected the pask in the different cases.)

    The fact that (at least) one time the Rav was machmir to obtain a get first doesn’t change the argument. The issue is, does the fact that the RIETS RY, if after not being able to obtain a get at all, despite working hard for it, are willing to follow RMF which is the consensus opinion, is that called ‘major revisionism’ of the Rav’s approach? Well, the answer is obviously no.
    The issue is not whether Mycroft is quoting the psak and story accurately. (See further.) Let’s assume he is. The issue, for me, is only the revisionist angle, which fits into Mycroft’s broader attack against RHS and his talmidim criticizing OO, and clearly it is not that at all.

    Now regarding the actual case Mycroft cites. . I did the google search as Mycroft suggested. What came up was Rav Wurtzberger zt”l’s essay in Tradition. Here is what the paragraph says. (I wasn’t able to copy and paste, so I typed it out. Feel free to check the original.)

    The Rav’s opposition to moves which threatened the unity of the jewish community also manifested itself in his attitudes towards non-Orthodox groups. He counseled against denying C or R Rabbis the right to use communal mikva’ot for conversions. Moreover, he once instructed me that R conversions that were accompanied by circumcision and immersion in a mikveh had to be treated as a safek giyur. (Accordingly, a get would be required to dissolve a marriage in which one of the partners previously underwent a C or R conversion which conformed to the requirement of milah and tevilah.)

    This particular paragraph is well known. RHS refers to it in Divrei HaRav p. 200. It is very striking that there is no mention of Reform marriage (or civil marriage). When he writes ‘to dissolve a marriage’ he certainly might mean a regular O ceremony where one of the partners was converted in a R conversion.
    Furthermore, ‘required a get’ could certainly mean lechatchila because if the safek giyur. We don’t have evidence of what he would say bshaas hadchak. Furthermore, it is not clear at all from the parenthetical comment whether there was actually a case of a remarriage where the Rav required Rav Wurtzberger to obtain a get. Maybe Rav Wurtzberger is just further explaining what the Rav told him about the giyur. Maybe Mycroft has a torah shebe’al peh to show that the case was also a Refom/Conservative wedding ceremony and that the Rav demanded a get, even bedieved beshaas hadchak gadol. But from the printed word, we have no such evidence.

    This last paragraph is not my main point. I think Mycroft’s argument regarding revisionism and civil marriage has been disproven, even if his version of what happened in Rav Wurtzberger’s case is accurate. But, the fact is the printed word does not back up his presentation even of that case. Maybe Mycroft heard more from Rav Wirtzberger zt”l himself.

    I have no interest in a debate about that case which Mycroft cites. I will allow others to do that. Again, my goal is to save Jews from falling in to OO, as Rabbi Rosenthal explains so well. And whether Mycroft is presenting even that case accurately has no relevance to the crucial issue of OO being a new form of C Judaism.

  51. yg says:


    o Mycroft
    May 8, 2018 at 11:04 am
    The so called slid to the right in MO, is a really a change in RIETS. For well over thirty years essentially RIETS has not graduated MO musmachim. Very few if any believe in MO,the Ravs viewpoints have been ignored and thus there is no MO essentially in North America. In Israel there are many vibrant sections of committed MO. I personally believe it is an indirect result of RALs Aliyah,in North America it left an opening to change the message of the Rav, and to some extent the Rav has become more popular in Israel the past couple of decades

    I have responded lengthy responses before, but Mycroft continues to post this type of item. So I will be posting a very lengthy response again. Also, I have heard that others have picked up my ideas and used them in helping to fight the new Consevative movement, which is gratifying to me. So for that reason as well, I am reposting this.

    IMO, Rabbi Schachter is the person doing the most to directly continue the legacy of the Rav, at least here in the US. The Rav brought the idea of Torah study, mesorah, proper interaction with the outside world, and more, of course to the US Orthodox world. His following ended up being mostly the non yeshivish Orthodox world. A major part of his struggle was to fight against the non orthodox movements which at the time were strong. He wrote and spoke against the issue of the mechitza, invoking memories of the holocaust. Feminism was starting during his active lifetime, and he spoke against it. See the articles of Rav Mayer Twersky on Torah web.

    Starting in the early and mid 1980s the feminist movement within Orthodoxy made a radical left turn. (This radical left turn ultimately led to the formation of JIOFA in the 90’s) Part of the agenda was changing the mesorah as we know it. Rav Schachter, through his teshuva on women’s minyanim, and through his many, many shiurim has been at the forefront of continuing the Rav’s legacy, in clarifying what is not acceptable within Orthdoxy. Just as the Rav wrote and spoke with razor like precision against the feminist push, Rav Schachter continues in response to the more radical breaches from the mesorah, which had not occurred yet (within Orthodoxy) during the Rav’s lifetime- partnership minyanim, women rabbis, women receiving aliyot, women reading the megillah for men (the Rav was even against women reading for women, see Rabbi Twersky’s article), women wearing tefillin, challenging the absolute truth of the prohibition of homosexuality, OO, YCT, and there are more. It goes without saying the Rav would have strongly opposed these, as Rav Schachter does. The non yeshivish Orthodox world has to stay true to the mesorah in general and true to the Rav’s mesorah, or it will end up as another Conservative movement. That is exactly what is happening in YCT and OO, where they have rejected the Rav’s approach to halacha, mesorah, bible criticism, and many other areas as well. Rabbi Rakeffet and many other of the Rav’s talmidim have referred to PORAT and the like as Conservative.

    Rabbi Schachter is being aided by, among others, Rabbi Mayer Twersky and in the last few years Rabbi Gordimer. Rabbi Twersky in his articles continues the Rav’s tradition of the razor like precision, in demonstrating the deviation from our mesorah found in these movements. Rabbi Gordimer does the research to bring to everyone’s attention just exactly how far the deviations have gone. It is actually quite frightening how far and how quickly things have gone. The slippery slope is steep and slick as ice. I don’t think his goal is to change the minds of those who already sympathize with OO, YCT, and PORAT. His goal is kiruv kerovim, That people who are mainstream, non yeshivish should be aware of what is acceptable within Orthodoxy and what is not, and should be aware of what is actually being produced by many of the leaders and leading graduates within YCT and OO, so they can make informed decisions for themselves. People who are involved in starting shuls and finding Rabbis, should know what they are getting into (and know that they are leaving Orthodoxy) with OO and YCT.

    As a case in point, a shul, which would be described as MO, in the Washington area was looking for a new Rabbi several years ago. In the early discussions, the possibility of considering a YCT graduate was raised. Several members of the board brought to the table many of the arguments found in Rabbi Gordimer’s various articles. And in the end, all the candidates were taken from RIETS, and one of them was chosen. That is a victory for the Rav , Rabbi Schachter, Rabbi Twersky, and a vindication for Rabbi Gordimer’s writings. Of course it is also a victory for the mesorah and Torah true Judaism as well.

    Mycroft consistently links together Dr. Lichtenstein’s article about the Rabbeim at RIETS, former and present, who have turned their backs on the Rav’s hashkafa, together with the fact that the Rav did not sign the 1984 psak/teshuva from Rav Schachter and the other Roshei Yeshiva at RIETS. The impression given is that a) Rav Schachter is part of the group who have turned away from the Rav and b)the Rav was against the psak and the psak was the ‘launch’ of the RIETS Roshei Yeshiva leaving the Rav’s mesorah.

    IMO, the teshuva reflected exactly the opposite. As mentioned the Rav was quite sick at the time. IMO, Rav Schachter saw the Rav being weaker, and he saw the new radical inroads of feminism beginning to strengthen within MO communities. And the teshuva was the beginning of RHS asserting himself as continuing the Rav’s mesorah to fight the deviant movements. And it has continued the last 30+ years. Since then, RHS, with the help of others, has continued to maintain the Rav’s mesorah. It is because of him that the Rav’s true legacy in the US is more clearly defined. His authoritative presentations of the Rav’s views on mesorah and the like over the past 30 years have helped define the parameters of MO. And therefore, it is easier to discern the clear breaches being done by OO and YCT. It is largely because of RHS’s leadership that OO and YCT are beginning to be referred to as Conservative in a variety of circles (including for example, R Maryles’ blog). Rabbi Twersky, in a completely authoritative way, showed the Rav agreed with the thrust of the teshuva, even if he may have argued on some of the details.

    It’s quite common that close talmidim of a rebbe sometimes pasken in different ways on some issues. The Rav allowed one who shaves everyday to shave during sefira, every day or every other day, whenever he reaches the level of go’arin bo. Rav Schachter explains the lomdus behind the psak in his sefarim and regularly in shiurim, most recently in a shiur on Minhagei Sefirah available now in YUTorah. He would pasken this way lemaaseh for those that ask, (and I think he relied on this himself before he had a beard.) That can be checked out. RAL, on the other hand, was uncomfortable with that psak. He would pasken to shave only lekavod Shabbat, and that is what he did himself (I think). That doesn’t mean RAL was less of a talmid, obviously.
    RHS continues the Rav’s mesorah regarding the medinah and regarding a college education as a given (for nearly everyone) for parnassah to’ live in dignity’, as Rabbi Rakeffet says. RHS sometimes also discusses the advantages beyond parnassah of a secular education. This is not his emphasis, but he does discuss it. See for example his press conference at the Gush, available on YUtorah. (http://classic.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/765735/Rabbi_Hershel_Schachter/Press_Conference_part_2-_Mesorah_in_changing_times,_women_learning_gemara,_getting_close_to_Hashem_through_limmud_Torah_)

    The present RY at RIETS do not deny the Rav’s very positive approach to secular studies as some talmidim not at RIETS have done. But there is certainly less of a focus on secular studies for more than parnassah. However, IMO that is largely a function of the preferences of the student body. The trend in general in college education has been towards making money (Sy Syms school of Business)and away from the humanities.

    RHS does speak against English literature, as it is largely filled with inyanei avoda zara and arayos, which is problematic. In this he differs from RAL. RAL explains his view at length in various essays. However we have no evidence that the Rav would have supported that the average college age student needs to read English literature and use it as part of his religious development, which seems to be RAL’s approach. I assume the Rav’s position was somewhere between RHS and RAL. Certainly, involvement in Eng. Literature was not a core, primary value in the Rav’s weltanshaung. He did not speak about it with the same frequency as RAL and he certainly did not write about it in a significant way. (I am not sure he wrote about it at all.)

    Regarding interaction with non Orthodox movements where the Rav clearly differed from many of the other Gedolim, the issue has become largely mute. The Orthodox have their own strong advocacy groups (OU and Agudah among others) and it has become much less crucial than it was 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.
    YU/RIETS has changed in the last 20-30 years. There is much more learning and more emphasis on dikduk behalacha among the talmidim. Nights seder is much more well attended. This is due to the influence of the Rav’s talmidim all over the world who are inspiring the younger MO crowd, and due largely to the year in Israel. Are these developments a break from the Rav’s mesorah?!?

    Regarding teaching Talmud to women, Stern has a program which many of the RY support publicly. There is no rejection of the Rav there.

    Regarding the RZ in Israel, I agree with Larry, Dr.Bill and others who mention that it is flourishing, which it is. There is a strong hashkafa and strong Torah learning as well. However, I would add the following. Part of the RZ world has begun giving in to the feminist push. RZ leaders will have to decide where they stand on this issue. For example, when R’ Herzl Heftr ordained women and wrote an article defending the propriety of this clear break from the mesorah, he was responded to by RAG and others. I am not aware that Tzohar or Beit Hillel publicly rejected his approach (I don’t know). R’ Riskin seems to have also moved to ordaining women as rabbis. (He may have suggested it years ago, but he never acted upon it until very recently.) It goes without saying that women rabbis has been a primary symbol of Conservative judaism for the last 30ish years. IMO, there is a potential for a slippery slope where parts of the RZ world will end up close to YCT/OO. That would be tragic. (A young RZ Rav named Efrati has been writing articles criticizing R Riskin from within RZ.)

    It is crucial to note that RHS always mentions if he is saying something different than the Rav.

    JOFA/OO/YCT are all a part of ‘Orthodoxy’ which has fundamentally taken the position of the New York Times on egalitarianism and tried to cover it with token Orthodox language. This is exactly how the Conservative movement began.

    The issue is does one accept the Absolute truth of the Torah that men and women are different and play different roles or not? Does one accept the complete authority of Chazal as defining our mesorah? Does one view halacha as binding and a goal to follow carefully or as a burden of obstacles that we need to deal with as we try to live a religious life on our own (not Hashem’s) terms? Read RMT’s articles. He articulates the issues much more precisely and eloquently. The C took down the mechitza and the Rav fought them, the (radical) feminist push made its way into Orthodoxy and started with women’s minyanim and eventually all the other deviations (women receiving aliyot, women leading the service for kabbalat Shabbat and pesukei dezimra, removing shelo asani isha from the siddur, referring to Hashem as the Godhead as opposed to Him, partnership minyanim, women reading megillah for men, the Rav opposed even reading for other women, women rabbis, the list goes on and on and on, r”l etc…) and RHS is leading the fight against them. It is exactly the same struggle.

    Mycroft points out that RHS differs from the Rav in the level of stridency in his teshuvot. Agreed! The Rav was much more strident and extreme in his language.

    It is striking how strident and extreme the Rav was in his own written and oral word against the deviations from our mesorah. He referred to the Holocaust and the gas chambers on several occasions. He referred to destroying yahadus and setting fire to the beis yisrael in his famous speech on hafkaat kiddushin. He regularly referred to yehareig v’al yaavor in connection with the new deviant movements.
    “If the ethical norm of thus shalt not kill has not lost validity during the days of extermination camps and gas chambers… then every halachic maxim assumes greater import in times of widespread disregard….(from the Rav’s psak abut a shul without mechitza)”

    The Rav publicized these words way before the Conservatives ordained women, basically rejected the prohibition of Homosexual behavior, began to consider allowing their clergy to officiate at homosexual ‘marriages’, and everything else that happened in JTS in the last 40 years. We all know there is basically nothing left of the C early token fealty to the halacha. It is basically another version of Reform. Do we think the Rav’s strident tone and reference to the gas chambers could have led to these further deiviations?!?
    “Let me ask you a question — ribono shel olam, G-d Almighty, if you should start modifying and reassessing the chazakos upon which a multitude of halachos rest, you will destroy yehadus. So instead of philosophizing, let us rather light a match and set fire to the beis yisrael, and get rid of our problems. (from the famous speech abut hafkaat kiddushin)”
    (I seem to remember the Rav referring to the Holocaust also in one of his strong rejections of hafkaat kiddushin, but I can’t find the reference right now. He does refer to ‘destroying yahaudus and setting fire to the beis midrash.)

    RHS is less strident in his language than the Rav was. He does not invoke the gas chambers in his remarks as the Rav did on the major issues of public deviations from our mesorah. I have never heard him refer to burning the beis midrash in reference to YCT/OO. I have heard many, many of RHS’s shiurim. I don’t remember him referring to the holocaust, gas chambers, and burning of the beis midrash in his periodical comments on YCT/OO.

    Mycroft refers to the Rav’s private letters to Conservative rabbis where he writes politely. That is irrelevant to our discussion. In his public writings and speeches, he is much more radical than RHS.

    RHS does indeed use strong language in his teshuvot. There he is just quoting the Rav and applying his ideas to new deviant (Conservative) movements that had not fully blossomed yet during the Rav’s active lifetime. When one rereads RHS’s teshuva from 1984 it is incredible how prescient he was. On p.34, he writes how the outside world has impacted on the Jewish way of thinking. And the feminist movement has already led the ‘Conservatives to be metzareif women to a minyan, give women aliyot, give women semicha, etc…’ And R Schachter was writing the teshuva partially because that is where he saw women’s minyanim were heading.

    Those three things are exactly what have been happening in the OO/YCT world, r”l. They haven’t quite yet actually been metzareif women to a minyan, but they are definitely heading in that direction.
    Let us not forget R Rakeffet’s deeply insightful comment. “JTS was started by well meaning Orthodox Rabbis.” The leaders of YCT/OO would do well to read and reread that comment. Ten years ago I would have said ‘history has started to repeat to itself.’ Now I think it is clear ‘history has repeated itself’, r”l.
    RHS in his teshuva in 1984 was ahead of the game, and saw things clearly already then.

    MYCROFT
    For an interesting comments on the revisionism of RIETS and the Rav and importance of how women are treated in Yahadus see Prof Waxman’s 2 footnotes
    “…This may, in part, help explain the perception of the “move to the right.” It may well be that Modern Orthodox rabbis, including those ordained at RIETS in the latter part of the twentieth century, were considerably more to the right than were their predecessors. In other words, the move to the right may have been within the RIETS semikhah (ordination) program, under the influence of a revisionist approach to the thinking of its revered head, the late Rabbi JosephB. Soloveitchik (“the Rav”), rather than within Orthodoxy as a whole, but is so glaring because rabbis are much more visible than the laity. On revisionism with respect to the Rav, see Lawrence Kaplan, “Revisionism and the Rav: The Struggle for the Soul of Modern Orthodoxy,” Judaism 48,3 (Summer 1999): 290-311.

    IMO, the move to the right of RIETS is not at all due to the present RY leaving the Rav’s mesorah or something like that. Indeed there has been a move to the right which I described in an earlier post. I think there are many factors which combined to give the (mis)impression that this move to the right happening at RIETS somehow is a move away from the Rav’s hashkafa. People have misinterpreted it as such. In fact, it is a direct continuation.

    1. During the 60s and 70s the main struggle in YU and the main struggle for the Rav himself was to continue the fight against the Conservatives. There weren’t too many times when the Rav needed to criticize other Orthodox rabbis. (except for the time he felt forced to respond to the hafkaat kiddushin (and as I said above he was very, very strident, much more than RHS.) The more serious breaches of LW Orthodoxy were just starting.
    At the same time, the general atmosphere in YU reflected the atmosphere in the University world in general, where there was a lot of interest in the humanities.
    So the overall tone in YU was pro humanities and not anti left wing Orthodox.

    2. During the 80’s and into the 90’s, both of these changed. As I said earlier, the feminist movement’s inroads into O began to grow. And therefore, the RIETS RY, as a hemscech of the Rav, needed to sometimes be critical of other O rabbis. This created a perception of being different than the Rav, but indeed, it was a direct hemshech.

    Also, there was a general movement away from the humanities and towards business/making money. Therefore, the atmosphere in YU/RIETS became less focused on philosophy and the like. This created a perception of moving away from the Rav. This was not led by the RY. The RY focused on teaching Torah, yiras shamayim, etc… and secular studies for parnassah mostly. They did not speak against SS for more than parnassah. Sometimes the idea of SS of more than parnassah was discussed. It just wasn’t very relevant for the vast majority of talmidim anymore. That is where the talmidim were holding. The move away from SS for more than parnassah came from below, not from above.

    As I mentioned above, there was a general growth in more learning at night seder and a greater dikduk in halacha, due primarily to the year in Israel and to the influence of the Rav’s talmidim.

    The combined impact and impression of these three points was a more RW atmosphere, which included some criticism of LWO, which was uncommon when the Rav was active, for reasons I explained. None of that in anyway reflected moving away from the Rav. Just the opposite, as I wrote earlier in the post, more learning at night seder is not something the Rav would have objected to, obviously.

    There were some RY who indeed did speak against TU’M and who denied the Rav’s strong involvement in philosophy and the like (this includes the direct quotes cited by Dr. Lichtenstein). Those RY have since left RIETS for many years already. But their presence, combined with the 3 factors above created an impression of the ‘RIETS RY’ moving away from the Rav. Again, the present RY in RIETS were just not a part of that. Anyone (objective) who attended YU during that time can attest to this.

    (I don’t now Mycroft’s background, but it seems clear he did not attend YU in the 80s-90s. What I am describing is poshut to anyone there at that time, when, after the Rav stopped being active, and the new deviations started, Rav Schachter began to assert himself as the Rav’s direct hemshech on the US scene.)

    The comments of these RY, who have since left RIETS, have led some to misinterpret that many of the Rav’s talmidim were saying these things in RIETS. However, that is not historically accurate.

    5. Rabbi Dr. Lamm published his book about TU”M. Some of the RIETS RY did not agree with some of his radical formulations, especially the part where he suggests the possibility of saying birchos HaTorah on some secular studies. Most did not respond publicly or at most responded minimally that RL went ‘too far’. They mostly ignored his book. This could be perceived as moving away from the Rav by not supporting TUM. However, IMO that is incorrect. RL has some radical formulations, and there is no evidence that the Rav would have agreed. Indeed, RAL himself disagreed in print with RL’s assertion that I mentioned above. I am not aware that RHS ever was critical of RL’s book in print (or for that matter in shiur. I don’t know if it was discussed). The RIETS RY always spoke (and wrote, see the introductions to their sefarim) of RL with kavod. They were sincere, but disagreed with some of RL’s comments about TUM. But again, the non support of his radical formulations added to the perception of a move to the right. But again, RL presented things which seem to be to the left of the Rav, and the RY stayed with the Rav (without disagreeing in print, except for RAL.)

    There is one area where there was a major change to the right in RIETS caused directly by the RY, especially RHS. YU had(s?) a program called the MBAT’s (mishna brurah achievement tests). RHS took them very seriously. He taught the M”B inside for all of shiur for several days straight every year of the MBATS. In this way, he instilled into the atmosphere in RIETS a major emphasis on halacha lemaaseh. His shiur in those years was very large and his influence spread and took hold. By the 90’s in YU, there was a much stronger feeling of focusing on nitty gritty halacha lemaasseh than had existed in the 70’s. As I wrote above, does that reflect moving away from the Rav’s legacy?!

    (I am aware that some may claim, when they hear the M”B, things like ‘chumras’ or ‘the Aruch haschulchan was more meikel’, etc… Therefore, I can see someone claiming that RHS focusing on the M”B means he moved lechumra away from the Rav. That is inaccurate. The Rav was machmir in many areas much more than the M”B. and teaching the M”B often meant being more meykel. All long time students of RHS are aware of many many examples of this. Just to name a few- the Rav was machmir to stand with feet together during chazras hashatz, the M”B does not require this. The Rav was machmir to avoid answering amen to the bracha of the chazzan before hallel by starting the bracha before the chazan finished the bracha, the M”B does not mention this. The Rav was machmir regarding details of tekias shofar beyond the m”b’s requirements. There are areas of course where the Rav was more meikel than the M”B, but focusing on the m”b in no way meant leaving the Rav’s legacy. Also, when RHS teaches M”B, he always mentions the Rav’s approach where relevant.)

    However, due to RHS’s focus on the MBAT’s (among other things. In general, he focused on halacha a lot, the MBAT’s stand out. The other RY also focused a lot on halacha, especially Rav Willig who also had a large shiur during those years), a strong focus on keeping the nitty gritty of halacha developed in YU, not chumras v. kulas, as I proved, but more of a focus on the nitty gritty.

    (The Rav did teach Orach Chaim and Yorah Deah, much more than other RY in RW yeshivas, however the focus was not on the nitty gritty details, but rather on the lomdus. Anyone who attended YU in the mid to late 80s and early 90s is aware of this new focus.)

    The combination of these 6 factors led some to misinterpret that the move to the right in RIETS was somehow led by the present RY as a move away from the Rav’s legacy. It had nothing at all to do with ‘leaving the Rav’s legacy’, (except for the RY mentioned above who said things which Dr. Lichtenstein quotes which are prima facia different than what the Rav stood for. And those RY have since left YU. By the way, I don’t mean to be critical of those RY. They were presenting their view of the Rav, which is quite similar to Rav Meiselman’s. I assume they could defend themselves. However, the focus in this thread is RHS and his influence in RIETS and beyond.)

    So I don’t accept the opinion of Prof. Heilman. There has been a move to the right in RIETS, as I described, over the last few decades and I think it reflects a hemshech of the Rav’s legacy, not a departure from it. (There were other things that added to the perception of a move to the right as well.)

    As I mentioned earlier, the present RY by and large are supportive of the medinah similar to the Rav. They certainly support as a given that young men should go to college to get a parnassah ‘to live in dignity’ (Rav Rakeffet’s term, from the Rav I think). Regarding the Rav’s view of interacting with non Orthodox, I explained in an earlier why IMO that has become largely moot.

    Again, as I explained in an earlier post, the present RY support the notion, for those that want it and if done with the correct hashkafic approach etc…, of learning SS and the like for more than parnassah purposes. They do not emphasize it, but then again IMO neither did the Rav emphasize it (it=studying sec. studies for more than parnassah purposes) in print or in his public lectures.

    IMO, it is not emphasized largely because that is where the students are holding. The focus in colleges all over the country now, is much more on parnassah than the humanities. YU has followed that trend.

    As mentioned earlier, the area of sec. studies where RHS is openly critical is in regard to Eng. Lit. And as I explained earlier, there is no evidence that the Rav fully agreed with RAL in this issue either. IMO, the Rav was in between RHS and RAL on this issue. Even if the Rav was in full agreement with RAL, that does not mean RHS has left the Rav’s legacy or revised it. He may argue on this point, as many talmidim may argue with a rebbe. (But again, it is an open question whether the Rav fully agreed with RAL’s views on studying Eng. Literature.)

    MYCROFT
    You essentially claim that Rav Schachter is essentially following in the footsteps of the Ravs hashkafa-claims by reliable sources countering that viewpoint are relevant. A lot of the attacks on CC appear to rely on Rav Schachters viewpoints as representing the Rav. If the viewpoints would rely on their own svara or just Rav Schachter not claiming he is following through on the Rav I would agree with you.
    Prof Kaplan although he has smicha and while a grad student taught at Maimonides, and for many years led a secondary minyan in a schul in Montreal does not claim the title Rabbi in his articles-thus he is not holding himself out as a posek-he holds himself as a expert on 20th Century Halacha-show how his writings are factually false. As far as I am aware Prof Kaplan is the only one who translated with cooperation of the Rav during the Ravs lifetime Ish Hahalacha.

    IMO, the question of Prof. Kaplan’s specific claims of revisionism </em>are not relevant to your comments about the criticisms on CC emanating from RHS’s talmidim. The issues facing O today are the deviations of YCT/OO mostly revolving around radical feminism, rejection of the complete authority of chazal, and ultimately heresy (depending on your definition), as has been very, very carefully documented by RAG. There is nothing in LK’s alleged revisions which relate to the Rav’s legacy in those areas.

    It is 100% clear that the views of RHS, (Rav Mayer Twersky) RMT, as well as RAG exactly represent the Rav’s approach to these issues. This is what the struggle is about. Take an average US non-yeshivish O shul. Would the Rav want the Rabbi of that shul to believe in or promote the following (take a deep breath):
    Women rabbis, partnership minyanim, women wearing tefillin, women reading megillah for men, women leading kabbalat shabat, women ‘saving’ their birchot hatorah so they can say a ’birchat hatorah’ at an aliyah, Avraham failed!! the akeidah because he should have told (or at least asked) Hashem ‘no, this is not moral’, Hashem not being ‘perfect’ because of His internal hashkafic contradictions, having publicly available podcasts discussing the most private of Jewish inyanei kedusha in the most public way, promotion of the LBGQT agenda, claims of the Rabbis of the Talmud adjusted the Torah shebichsav to be more moral and fit with the times (specifically regarding Sotah), the feminization of the siddur, women reading megillah in public for men (the Rav was against women reading for other women), referring to Hashem as ‘she’ or as Godself as opposed to He, rejecting in one form or another the mitzvah of mechiyas amalek because it is ‘immoral’, not saying shelo asani isha, davening maariv in a mosque to show solidarity with Moslems, having a non-Jewish choir perform in the shul’s sanctuary to show solidarity with Martin Luther King supporters, accepting and/or defending views that Torah is not MiSinai, alegng that Chazal were misogynists, the list goes on and on and on. Unfortunately, and this is written with sadness, this list is far from comprehensive if one reads RAG’s articles carefully.
    All of these deviations and many more have been carefully documented on this site by RAG. Here, RHS, RMT, and RAG are leading the struggle to save that ‘average’ non yeshivish O shul from falling into the very slippery slope leading to Conservative Judaism. That is what is happening in some presently O shuls unfortunately, and that is exactly what the struggle is about. There is no question at all what the Rav’s legacy is on those issues, none whatsoever. As mentioned earlier, Rav Rakefet has also already referred to OO/YCT as Conservative. The facts in the previous paragraph do not reflect Orthodoxy. Rather, they describe a new form of Conservative movement.

    I would encourage the CC readers to read or reread RMT’s articles presenting the Rav’s approach to the feminist issues, as well his own application of the Rav’s approach to the new deviations. There is no space at all between RMT and RHS in these issues. Note the following opening footnote to RMT”s article about women wearing tefillin.
    “1] Rav Schachter shlit”a has authoritatively dealt with this question in his recent responsum. This essay, disseminated with his approbation, merely seeks to expound and expand upon some of the relevant, seminal issues in a popular forum.”
    Just one more quote from a 1999 article by RMT that is especially relevant:

    Accordingly, if, God forbid, halakha were to discriminate against women in the realm of tefilla, it would eo ipso suppress their religious experience and stifle their spiritual aspirations. Such a religious handicap would relegate them to spiritual mediocrity.
    This false, egregious conclusion replete with potentially tragic ramifications is dictated by women’s tefilla groups. These groups are predicated upon the mistaken notion that the experience of tefilla is enhanced by assuming active roles and conversely is stunted when such roles are off-limits. And yet women’s tefilla groups, conducted with even minimal technical allegiance to the particulars of halakha, cannot provide their participants with the same or even equivalent active roles to those that are available to men praying with a quorum. Within such groups it is impossible to recite devarim she-bi-kdusha as such, fulfill the mitsva of keriat haTorah, etc. And thus, according to the mistaken premise of the tefilla groups, women’s religious life remains muted even within such groups.
    The participants in women’s tefilla groups will, within the present generation, become intellectually and existentially aware of the failure of such groups and the concomitant false yet inevitable conclusion regarding women’s standing within Yahadut. We must recognize that the possible ramifications of this falsehood are especially frightening and particularly tragic. Propelled by negative momentum and misguided by erroneous teachings, some women, God forbid, could reject all remaining halakhic constraints in an unrestrained attempt to enhance their (inauthentic) tefilla experience in particular and religious experience in general. Needless to say, this development would be especially tragic.

    Unfortunately, this tragic ‘prediction’ from the turn of the century has come true. It is the same as RHS’s prediction in his teshuva.
    That is very important to remember. RHS and RMT take the Rav’s ideas and apply them to the newer deviations. They have different writing styles, but the thrust is the same. As mentioned in an earlier post, they do differ from the Rav in their slightly more moderate tone. They don’t, as far as I know, refer to the ‘gas chambers’ or ‘So instead of philosophizing, let us rather light a match and set fire to the beis yisrael, and get rid of our problems.’ If RHS has referred to the Holocasut or ‘setting fire to the beis midrash’ in his discussions of OO/YCT, I will stand corrected. As far as I remember, his most extreme comments are generally him quoting the Rav and applying his ideas to the newer deviations.
    It is clear that when the Rav thought the Mesorah was in danger, he wrote/spoke very, very strongly against those deviations. RHS and the other RY have not spoken that strongly. It is incorrect to say that the tone has become more strident.

    MYCROFT
    It has been 17 years since the publication of Prof Kaplan’s article-I have not seen his articles facts disputed-that does not mean it hasn’t been done. I would appreciate a cite to any article/comment etc that disputes his examples

    IMO, there are good reasons why RHS and his talmidim don’t feel a need to respond to Prof. Kaplan’s claims. And again I don’t think this forum is the place to discuss the alleged revisions.
    I will mention one since it somewhat relates to the feminist issues- the Rav’s stance on women learning TSHBP. It is important to note that RHS repeatedly has paskened that women may learn gemara (if done for the right reasons). He has spoken about this publicly. See the press conference at Gush I mentioned earlier. He does this as a hemshech of the Rav’s psak. For years, there was a gemara shiur in Manhattan for women, given under the direction of RHS, RMW, RMT, and RMR. RHS mentions it in the above press conference. The shiur was given for several years by Rav David Hirsch, a talmid of RHS. RHS sanctioned the shiur. Stern has a new program for women learning advanced TSHBP which was started with the support, as far as I know, of RMW and RHS. (I don’t know of the status now.) RHS does not hide the Rav’s support for women learning TSHBP.

    IMO, his approach is the same as RMT’s presentation of the topic in his article on the Rav in Tradition, ‘A Glimpse of the Rav’. There RMT explained that the Rav’s approach to women learning gemara was in no way a response to a feminist push. Rather it was the same yesod as the Chofetz Chaim allowing TSHBP for women (albeit not gemara obviously) applied in a more far reaching way. But the goal was to maintain the mesorah, not changing it. That is the crucial point.
    This is the crucial, crucial point. The Rav’s support of women learning advanced TSHBP was not in response to outside pressure. It was his way of maintaining the mesorah. The Conservative deviations listed above all stem from the response to the feminist push.

    For sake of disclosure, RHS has spoken against the emphasis on gemara learning at the HS level, for both young women and young men. He thinks it is much better for them to learn halacha, navi, chumash, ikarei emuanh etc… However, this is not at all based on some rejection of the Rav’s pro feminist stance. A) as I explained the Rav’s stance was not pro feminism, and b) RHS maintains this view for educational purposes. He says the same thing for the young men as well. He has said that instead of changing the women’s curriculum to be more like the men, we should be changing the men’s curriculum to be more like the women’s curriculum
    of old! Young men leave MO HS nowadays knowing very little navi, halacha, and basic Torah hashkafa. He thinks we should be focused on changing that.

    Does that make less of a talmid?! He doesn’t hide the Rav’s view. He discusses it when relevant. On a psak level, he supports it, despite criticism for the Right about this position.
    Earlier, I mentioned some points where RAL differed from the Rav. Does that make him less of a talmid?! Rav
    Rakeffet differs with the Rav on the very fundamental issue of land for peace in Israel, which is an issue of nefashos. The Rav was more of a dove on that issue (like RAL), and RR is much more of hawk. Does that make him less of a talmid?! Of course not. Every talmid has his agreements and disagreements with his rebbe.

    Mycroft is (correctly) challenged, actually very challenged, by Rav Mayer Twersky’s role. There is no space between RMT and RHS in presenting the Rav’s views on the issues relating to YCT/OO. RMT is known for being extraordinarily careful with his words and very, very precise in his writing. And, as mentioned, RMT presents the Rav’s approach to the present day extreme expressions of feminism exactly as Rav Schachter. There is no space between them. So, Mycroft, as part of presenting RHS as not reflecting the Rav on these issues, is forced to writes things like (not a direct quote) that ‘most of what he writes he didn’t hear directly because he as too young, and the like. This is an example of grasping at (weak, non existent) straws. RMT is a family insider. He would write things only of he knew them to be defintively true. Nearly all of what he writes is directly based on the Rav’s printed words and printed speeches. Wherever he doesn’t have an explicit source, he writes very compellingly. The fact is that RHS with RMT, as well as Rav Gordimer as their well written spokesman, are presenting the authentic views of the Rav regarding this new Conservative movement.

    Therefore, IMO the criticisms of OO/YCT on these pages, which are based on RHS’s ideas as a hemshech of the Rav are fully appropriate and accurately reflect the Rav’s views as explained by RHS and RMT and others.

    In conclusion, I have shown that he following comment of Mycroft is inaccurate, to say the very, very least.

    mycroft says:

    March 6, 2017 at 1:09 pm
    “Another way to say it-many excellent students of the Rav rejected much of his hashkafa. Many of those are found in RIETS today.”
    “Much? of his hahkafa” Many? of those are found in RIETS today”
    Those extreme words are not even found in the quote from Dr. Lichtenstein you cite frequently. It is just not true that ‘many’ talmidim who reject ‘much’ of the Rav’s hashkafa are found in RIETS today.
    Finally, again I repeat the very insightful words of Rav Rakeffet, “JTS was started by well meaning Orthodox rabbis.” That is what the struggle is about. We are witnessing the rise of a new Conservative movement. There is no question the Rav would have been against, stridently against, their many, many deviations.
    (Mycroft (and dr. bill) are, correctly, very challenged by Rabbi Rakeffet’s remarks.
    In a recent post, Mycroft and dr. bill questioned whether even R Rakeffet presents the Rav’s approach accurately!?!? (Obviously he differs from the Rav on a few things- Rav KAhane, dove/hawk). But when he quotes the Rav regarding mesorah and ikkarei haemunah it is obviously accurate. To even discuss this is a joke.)

    • mycroft says:

      I never knew that what I write is such a big challenge to my revisionism comments on much of current RIETS that what I have commented on prior years is repeated with same responses.
      Mycroft
      “May 8, 2018 at 11:04 am
      The so called slid to the right in MO, is a really a change in RIETS. For well over thirty years essentially RIETS has not graduated MO musmachim. Very few if any believe in MO,the Ravs viewpoints have been ignored and thus there is no MO essentially in North America. In Israel there are many vibrant sections of committed MO. I personally believe it is an indirect result of RALs Aliyah,in North America it left an opening to change the message of the Rav, and to some extent the Rav has become more popular in Israel the past couple of decades”
      “For an interesting comments on the revisionism of RIETS and the Rav and importance of how women are treated in Yahadus see Prof Waxman’s 2 footnotes
      “…This may, in part, help explain the perception of the “move to the right.” It may well be that Modern Orthodox rabbis, including those ordained at RIETS in the latter part of the twentieth century, were considerably more to the right than were their predecessors. In other words, the move to the right may have been within the RIETS semikhah (ordination) program, under the influence of a revisionist approach to the thinking of its revered head, the late Rabbi JosephB. Soloveitchik (“the Rav”), rather than within Orthodoxy as a whole, but is so glaring because rabbis are much more visible than the laity. On revisionism with respect to the Rav, see Lawrence Kaplan, “Revisionism and the Rav: The Struggle for the Soul of Modern Orthodoxy,” Judaism 48,3 (Summer 1999): 290-311.”
      One can argue if it is good or bad but there is no doubt that the day schools that RIETS alumni are sending their children to are much more to the right now than 40-70 years ago. BTW an issue that has to be considered MO has trouble keeping their young because they are not likely to have mechanchim/Rabbis who believe in MO.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        RIETS alumni like all parents who seek a yeshiva education for their children have every right to seek the chinuch whereby their children will become Bnei and Bnos Torah, regardless of their own chinuch, See Sanhredin 104.

        • Mycroft says:

          parents have a right to seek what education they want for their children. It does not follow that someone who makes a living from teaching or Rabbanus can decide to ruin his message to either students or congregants by sending ones children to a school whose ideology is inconsistent with what they have agreed to teach. They may in their eyes get a better education for their children at the cost of showing to many students that they don’t believe in the message that they are teaching.nstudents will naturally say a plague on both your houses and reject MO. It wouldn’t be so bad if they became more chareidi but they are much more likely to say Au reovirus to Yahadus and take the superhighway away. Major issue in MO Chinuch teachers who don’t believe in product they are getting paid to teach

    • mycroft says:

      “Finally, again I repeat the very insightful words of Rav Rakeffet, “JTS was started by well meaning Orthodox rabbis.”
      from wikipedia for balance
      Rabbi Bernard Drachman, a key Frankel student and one of the founders of the American JTS, was himself Orthodox, and claims that the Breslau seminary was completely Orthodox.[3] Others disagree, citing the published viewpoint of Frankel. In his magnum opus Darkhei HaMishnah (Ways of the Mishnah), Frankel amassed scholarly support which showed that Jewish law was not static, but rather had always developed in response to changing conditions. He called his approach towards Judaism ‘Positive-Historical’, which meant that one should accept Jewish law and tradition as normative, yet one must be open to changing and developing the law in the same historical fashion that Judaism has always historically developed…Morais and Mendes were soon joined by Alexander Kohut and Bernard Drachman, both of whom had received semicha (rabbinic ordination) at Rabbi Frankel’s Breslau seminary. They shaped the curriculum and philosophy of the new school after Rabbi Frankel’s seminary. The first graduate to be ordained was Morris Mandel who went to lead Adas Israel congregation (Washington, D.C.)…Solomon Schechter was recruited from Great Britain. His religious approach seemed compatible with JTS’s, and he assumed the presidency, as well as serving as Professor of Jewish theology.[4] In a series of papers he articulated an ideology for the nascent movement of Conservative Judaism.
      From the beginning JTS had an approach inconsistent in basic ideology with traditional Orthodoxy

    • Steve Brizel says:

      YG-Thanks fior reposting your excellent survey of RIETS. We are all in great debt to the wonderful RY of RIETs who are wonderful Talmidei Chachamim, great writers , wonderful Baalei Masbir who each have their own nuances of teaching and who are great Baalei Midos as well. That being said, it must and be reiterated that the Beis Medrash of RIETS and the Torah that is taught by the RY is second to none. Last Sunday nite, on the way back home from NJ after having supper I davened Mincha in the old Beis Medrash, which many talmidim in RIETS and many high school talmidim use as well. BH it was packed. MO can rest assured that Talmidei Chahcamim will continue to emerge from its walls.

  52. Steve Brizel says:

    While i have agreed to disagree with Mycroft your comments are excellent and important.

    • Mycroft says:

      Meanwhile my open request to all readers if they have proof that Rabbis Kotler, Hutner and Kamentzky ever disagreed with my source who told me that the Rav was not unique in rejecting RMFs heter. Recycling material does not disprove my source. No one has been able to show that the wedding of the convert was not an Orthodox one. sevara for one should be enough no orthodox Rabbi would have married a person whose only cnversion was a Reform one.
      No one disputes in general that pictures in Rakeffets Rav are accurate, but that does not mean that selection can be misleading certainly Rav was not a follower of Kahane. Certainly Rav had dfferent hashkafot than R Kotler. I am aware of Rav being involved in Chinuch Atzmai, Rav unlike some others did not look to attack other Jews, looked to help them

  53. Mycroft says:

    Revisionism about the fifties and sixties. Not me. Has anyone shown that the accepted custom then was to follow RMF. Assuming that I was told accurately by the locall BMG musmach Thant neither Rav zkotler, Rav Hutner nor Rav Kaminetzky accepted RMFs heter.
    To argue about OO shows how exaggerating hurts and causes machlokes. I personally disagree with about 90. Per cent of OO, but that does not equate them to a group that has permitted chillul Shabbos for decades.
    BTW Svara, what Orthodox Rabbi would ever marry anyone whose conversion was based on Reform conversion. They would have demanded a proper gerus at least lechumra. But your desire to attack me takes away from the obvious fact that would be obvious to anyone. The issue of the get being required is the issue even if me safek.
    I am not the source of Revisionism by RHS – prof Kaplan has written extensively about the issue. Dr T Lichtenstein has written publicly about the issue.
    Real joke about whole situation that lemaaseh I ask sheilas to a student of RHS and would not dream of asking mine to anyone associated with YCT but that does not make them Conservative. Show the positive news of Yahadus and stop attacking other people.
    It is demeaning , the constant attacks on other Jews and trying to use the Rav as ones source when one doesn’t always follow the Rav are what is wrong. As I have written it has been half a century since I first heard RHS giving hilchos Shabbas between Kiddush and lunch. There is no doubt that he is a great explainer and talmid chacham. However, that does not mean that anyone else must follow him or follow the Rav for that matter. Argue without saying xyz are wrong. Claiming that the Rav didn’t believe in what he did and was only a horaas shaah is repulsive. Most offensive are insinuations about the Ravs family dynamics that people such as his wife did not do what the Rav wanted. There are just plainly a lot of disingenuous reinterpretations.
    In the case at the bar, tell me how someone could have had a Orthodox marriage wo a proper gerus?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      I am not responding to the above comment except to note that the same contains IMO improperly confuses Shaas Hadchak with Horaas Shah. IF one is familiar with the idea that Psak woks on various levels from Shas HaDchak to Midas Chasidus with Lchatchilah and Yotezei Lchol HaDeos somewhere in between, one can see that in certain situations, a Shas Hadchak may be Mutar. Horaas Shaah means that the facts on the ground dictate a certain leniency, as opposed to being the desired more stringent approach.

      • dr. bill says:

        i take it you also do not play a posek even on television. your classification into a linear order – shas hadechak, lchatchilah, yotzeih le’chol hadeyot, midas chasidus is a reasonable approximation but imprecise in detail. Poskim also use a much broader vocabulary (hefsed merubah, tzorech rabbim, bemakom mitzvah, etc.) and surprise, surprise not uniformly. As well, a horaat shaah covers multiple situations that are not easily classified. Life in the real world is not that easily classifiable. Some of us study abstruse subjects in kodshim to escape the burdensome reality of OH. 🙂 It is often very enjoyable to let your mind freely conceptualize and innovate, but this issue is not where things are often that easy to classify.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Denying that YCT is CJ in thought and practice is denial of the facts on tbe ground.

      • dr. bill says:

        YCT thinks it is a heavenly abode on earth; why drag them down to the ground, encumbered by what you see as facts?? 🙂

        And calling something CJ is as precisely descriptive as calling someone a Democrat or Republican; they come in many different flavors that have changed over time. I think there is a fair amount of space between Profs. Weiss-haLivni, S. Friedman, Golinken, etc. and the late Rabbi Kaplan. Eventually, i see a realignment among the traditional Jewish streams. the term conservative is probably the worst (and most meaningfree) ever created

  54. Weaver says:

    All in favor of Steve Brizel and Mycroft keeping their extremely lengthy and off-topic feuds out of the comments section say “aye” . . . : )

    • Bob Miller says:

      What we need from them is a lengthy paper, or two such papers, laying out their positions and supporting evidence in an organized way. As an outsider to their inside-baseball discussions, I find the frequent outbreaks of tit-for-tat argumentation mystifying.
      What we have here in these exchanges. as a kind of analogue to Adam I and Adam II. are Rav I and Rav II, two persona hard to recognize as one person. Is there no unified picture of the Rav, his system, his legacy and his relationships with other Gedolim, past and present, that brings all the strands together truly and cohesively? There should be!

      • Mycroft says:

        Agreed, but there has not been such a study. I agree that there should be a study similar to Marc Shapiros on RYYW but there hasn’t been.if one only has a few hours sadly the most objective wrk fr a beginner on the Rav is the film. The filmmaker was a filmmaker not trying to place the Rav in an area of Yahadus that he was trying to place him. Al regel achat read everything on the Rav by everyone both those whose hashkafa you agree and those you don’t. Easily available are various articles in Tradtions Memorak volume n the Rav, easy reading just the hespedim of the Rav, read what the Rav wrote in his lifetime. Read secondary works not so much what the Rav said in shiur, they may not reflect his personal belief, quoting someone who sat shiva for the Rav about some comment on supposed Halachik practice of the Rav ” don’t know what chakiras he may have said in shiur but that is not what he did…”
        Read Farbers book on Maimnides school, it shows what the Rav did halachah lemaaseh. Read what the Toras Harav foundation put out, reliable just behind what the Rav published in his lifetime. Read ahelgotts book and learn rom his letters, read them carefully, unlike some modern RY the Rav was very careful in his language.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          As far as what Mycroft wrote with respect to the admonition to ” read everything on the Rav by everyone both those whose hashkafa you agree and those you don’t”, I would trust that his omission of the volumes of Shiurim LZN Mari Avi and Noroas HaRav was inadvertent. Noone has disputed the accuracy of the transmission and transcription of any of the aforementioned volumes. Hareie Kedem is also an outstanding sefer which regardless of the critiques larged by those who see it as too yeshivish. RYBS’s shiurim can be listened to or obtained-you should try to do so as well. Your list focuses far too much on hashkafa and mimizes the role of RYBS as a masterful Gadoll, Magid Shiur, Baal Mchasdesh and defender of the Mesorah. Why you omitted the same escapes me.

          • Mycroft says:

            Agreed, they are worthwhile in understanding part of the Rav his great skill in transmitting Torah, I was responding to understanding the Rav as a total manhig and thinker but certainly agree those sources are worthwhile

    • Mycroft says:

      How about blogs keep away from criticizing or complimenting any Rabbis by name. Just argue the issues. No attacks on RHS, no attacks on RM Angei, no attacks on OO Rabbis, no attacks n RY. How about discussing issues wo mentioning names of living people

      • Steve Brizel says:

        I only argue issues not personalities.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Attacking tbe stances taken by any Gadol is obviously part of Milchamta shel Torah. Claiming that all views of all rabbis are entitled to equally treated is simply Orwellian with respect to their views and is the rquivalent of saying that those loyal to democracy and its opponents are entitled to equal treatment. Your POV is vwry similar to those on college campuses who actively suppress opposing views.

        • Mycroft says:

          I am not the one who states only certain people are entitled to an opinion – yet no problem in accusing me of being similar to actively suppress opposing views.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Yes-in any profession-only those with the requisite expertise are entitled to an opinion. The study of Torah and the determination of psak is not a karaoke exercise or a function akin to one’s discussion of the pluses and minuses of a sports team or celebrity.

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve specifically disagree . IN science show your study and argument and it will be challenged, replicated etc. no one tells a person making an argument you don’t have the right to an opinion. What does happen if the argument is nonsense people will show that is nonsense. I have no objection and in fact would expect those who believe OO are wrong to show by classical sources that they are wrong. An example is the reasoning of that Rsma says we don’t women become a shochet. But it is not appropriate to say don’t listen to X or y because he has no right to an opinion, show where he is wrong.

          • Mycroft says:

            Steve specifically disagree . IN science show your study and argument and it will be challenged, replicated etc. no one tells a person making an argument you don’t have the right to an opinion. What does happen if the argument is nonsense people will show that is nonsense. I have no objection and in fact would expect those who believe OO are wrong to show by classical sources that they are wrong. An example is the reasoning of that Rsma says we don’t women become a shochet. But it is not appropriate to say don’t listen to X or y because he has no right to an opinion, show where he is wrong.

      • Bob Miller says:

        The sefer Chofetz Chaim singles out apikorsim for special treatment.

      • lacosta says:

        that would be like saying ‘a restaurant that did xyz is problematic’ , without naming the restaurant.
        if the goal is keeping chazer-treif out of ones mouth , clarity needed

        this akin to LR on why in Shemini ‘ tamei ‘ is used in re non kosher , as opposed to the circumlocutory expression in Noach….

  55. Steve Brizel says:

    If anyone thinks that Abbas and Hamas are seriously interested in a “two state solution” that would somehow allow Israel to keep those lands that are “paved with blood”, they are IMO seriously mistaken. Oslo I and II should have long ago been consigned to the dump heap of diplomatic disasters such as Verailles and Kellog Briand. Winners don’t surrender strategic and tactical gains-They dictate peace terms to losers.

    • dr. bill says:

      Steve, Abbas is not the Ba’al davar. No one and i repeat no one, thinks the area around gush is up for discussion. claiming otherwise is pure ignorance.

      Those of who are committed to a Jewish and democratic state do not view Israel as even wanting to dictate terms that will not move towards a peace that furthers a state on those terms.

      yg, i enjoy Rav Rakeffet’s shiurim. i have never ever heard him repeat anything that might be considered as the Rav ztl’s deeper philosophical views. The Rav knew who he was normally addressing; his philosophical works are extremely limited in number. I have heard few discussion of ethical man, halakhic mind, u’ve’vekashtem, etc. beyond the trivial except by the few.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Dont delude yourself about Abbas bybany of his public statements. He is a Soviet trained Holocaust denier.

      • Mycroft says:

        Probably the area of gush is not open for discussion but that appears much to the surprise of most of those who engaged in settlements, Israel would have to pay for any territory beyond the green line with land swaps.
        A side comment I am far from a Gush Emunim person, although I was an end at the wedding of the couple in the first nine pages discussed in the first nine pages of City on a Hilltop. I have been to Yonas grave a few times whenever I have been at cemetery where buried. Often cemetary part of Hebron tours.nevertheless I am amused at those who state of course we can compromise with Palestinians but obviously not Efrat or Gush. II RC RAL once said he give up Gush for peace. The Rav said he’d give up the Kotel to save one Jewish life

        • rkz says:

          WADR, that is exactly one the major points of disagreement between RYBS ztl and RAL ztl on one side and the Merkaz side.
          Indeed, that is the main reason the Gush as and iks considered to be the LW of RZ.
          Actually, in the RZ world there is very strong correlation of RW-LW cleavage wrt to Eretz Yisrael and the LW-RW cleavage wrt to feminism and other similar ideologies etc.

          • Mycroft says:

            Actual I agree that the Rav and RAL do not follow the messianic view of RZ that got new impetus in 67 from Mossad Harav. This fundamental difference between the Rav who was consistent with bulk of pre 67 RZ see eg Warhaftig Mizrachi rep in 67 Cabinet last to approve going to war and more intriguing last to approve capture of old City of Jerusalem . He was afraid of impact on Jews if they had to give it back. No Ikkar emuna says even today that won’t happen.
            BTW in this matter RHS is much closer to current majority view of RZ than the Rav is. Not arguing policy but just another example of where RHS differs in major hashkafa with the Rav

          • Steve Brizel says:

            One needs to realize that Israel was on its own in 1967. No help to help break the blockade of the Gulf of Aquaba or other aid was promised regardless of the facts that the Eqyptians aided by their Jordanian and Syrian allies were mobilized for war. It helps to read Orens book and the discussions in the Israeli cabinet that clearly set forth that Israel had no choice but to launch a preventive first strike. Wahrhagtug was clearly wrong in his assessment of tbe strategic and tactical needs in 1967. As far as the present is concerned name an Arab natjon that is willing fo die for the cause of the Palestinians and tbeir Iranian backers. We live in times of a coalition composed of tbe US tbe Saudis Wvyptians and Israelis who all have a common enemy namy Iran. When you need to raise money to build in the Auschwitz pre 1867 borders let us know.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Let us know when Gush rebuilds or seeks tzedaka to help it rebuild within the Green Line. So far, the comments of RYBS and RAL ZL remain at best theoretical at best-especially in the absence of a true partner for peace and the unwillingness of Israel as the winners of the Six Day War to dictate terms to the losers-the Arabs who fled at the direction of their own leaders and media in 1948. Winners dictate the terms of peace. Losers dictate when they can resume fighting and by what means.

          • Mycroft says:

            Name post 45 cases where countries took over territories by force, cases where Soviet Union involved they always had some puppet regime invite them in. On West Bank no puppet regime was possible

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Where is tbe comparison? The FSU wad granted hegemony of Eastern Europe at Yalta in 1945. Communismmprevauled by might not right in Easrtern Europe and Asia and remains tbe best proof available of the failure of socialism in practice.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Name any democracy that did not dictate terms. The Civil War and WW2 both endef with the victor dictating terms.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The Civil War and WW2 both resulted in democracies dictating the terms of surrender.

  56. yg says:

    Mycroft wrote:

    “I am not the source of Revisionism by RHS – prof Kaplan has written extensively about the issue. Dr T Lichtenstein has written publicly about the issue.”

    Dr. Lichtenstein never mentions RHS by name. We dont know to whom she was referring. I have shown that the RIETS RY in practice continue to follow the Ravs approach to things. The examples I brought are clear.

    dr bill wrote
    yg, i enjoy Rav Rakeffet’s shiurim. i have never ever heard him repeat anything that might be considered as the Rav ztl’s deeper philosophical views. The Rav knew who he was normally addressing; his philosophical works are extremely limited in number. I have heard few discussion of ethical man, halakhic mind, u’ve’vekashtem, etc. beyond the trivial except by the few.

    R Rakeffet does discuss the Ravs philosophical writings. But its not relevant to our discussion. The Ravs ‘deeper philosophical views’ have nothing to do with the fact that YCT/OO/Yeshivat Maharat is part of a new C Movement.

    • mycroft says:

      Argue that position, neither the Rav nor RHS are part of YCT. Argue OO is part of a new Conservative movement by logic and facts

  57. David z says:

    I think it might be worth noting if you have read Marc Angel on the Bible etc he doesn’t appear to be frum. So don’t worry overly much.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Try reading R Moshe Lichtenstein’s great book on Moshe Rabbeinu and the essay at the end of the book on the methodology of Parshanut and then read R D Chaim Angel’s review in R Angel’s book which openly dismisses R Lichtenstein’s book as a Sicha for Talmidim. Perhaps the issue remains -what inspirational and emotional lesson does one take away from learning Chumash and Tanach without being informed by Chazal and the Gdolei Mefarshim?

  58. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-the Torah and Chazal tell us why we are the Am Ha Nivchar the Am Segulah Nd a Mamleches Kohanim not historical theses.

  59. yg says:

    Mycroft wrote
    “Rabbi Bernard Drachman, a key Frankel student and one of the founders of the American JTS, was himself Orthodox, and claims that the Breslau seminary was completely Orthodox.[3] Others disagree, citing the published viewpoint of Frankel. In his magnum opus Darkhei HaMishnah (Ways of the Mishnah), Frankel amassed scholarly support which showed that Jewish law was not static, but rather had always developed in response to changing conditions. He called his approach towards Judaism ‘Positive-Historical’, which meant that one should accept Jewish law and tradition as normative, yet one must be open to changing and developing the law in the same historical fashion that Judaism has always historically developed…Morais and Mendes were soon joined by Alexander Kohut and Bernard Drachman, both of whom had received semicha (rabbinic ordination) at Rabbi Frankel’s Breslau seminary. They shaped the curriculum and philosophy of the new school after Rabbi Frankel’s seminary. The first graduate to be ordained was Morris Mandel who went to lead Adas Israel congregation (Washington, D.C.)…Solomon Schechter was recruited from Great Britain. His religious approach seemed compatible with JTS’s, and he assumed the presidency, as well as serving as Professor of Jewish theology.[4] In a series of papers he articulated an ideology for the nascent movement of Conservative Judaism.”

    From the beginning JTS had an approach inconsistent in basic ideology with traditional Orthodoxy

    The last sentence is Mycroft’s, not from Wikipedia.

    Rav Rakeffet certainly does not need my, or anyone else’s, backing on a question of Torah history. He gave many shiurim on JTS and the rise of C Judaism.
    The founders were O. Obviously, they had non-traditional leanings. That’s why they didn’t open a regular O institution. (YCT wasn’t a regular O institution in the beginning either. RHS and others immediately declared the dangers, and their view was later proved correct. But at the time, it wasn’t fully clear what it was, exactly like JTS.) When Schechter came in, many of the O founders left. (That is on the Wikipedia site a few lines after Mycroft’s citation.) Others stayed and ended up becoming part of a full blown C institution. So Mycroft’s citation from Wikipedia becomes an exact precedent for what happened with YCT/OO as well. Started by O rabbis (obviously with left, not fully traditional leanings) and quickly ending up as C.

    Take for example the views of Open Orthodox Rabbi Avi Weiss. In his 1997 manifesto about OO, he specifically mentions ‘acceptance of homosexuality’ as an example of where he differs from R and C. A decade later, as societal attiudes had changed, his views on homosexuality had changed drastically as well. All of this is documented quite thoroughly in Rabbi Rosenthal’s book.

    It is a very, very good book.

  60. dr. bill says:

    what you (and i suspect most others) call philosophical, i call hashkafic or Midrashic. the Rav ztl would on very rare occasion include a philosophic side-comment, parenthetically, in a public lecture. the only ones i remember vividly were humorous, but i cannot imagine i would catch everyone. my favorite was his remark on “am Mordechai”

    what this has to do with your views about what is or is not a ” new C Movement” is beyond my comprehension or interest.

    your comment to mycroft marks a new twist; revisionism wrt people who are still BH functioning, very well in fact.

  61. Steve Brizel says:

    I plead innocent to exploring tbe foibles of the MO left . That part of the MO world has long suffered from intellectual imperialism and viewing otself as the not so innocent victim of persecution by the right. MO has long needed those who view it as the equivalent of limousine liberalism to use the all so apt observation of Tom Wolfe and being PC so as to embrace its ideological enemies when they should be forcefully rejected.

  62. mycroft says:

    Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein “And yet, there are former students,
    notable among them a number of faculty members or former faculty
    members at RIETS, who have not only turned their backs on the complex
    worldview the Rov espoused but are anxious to claim that the Rov himself
    turned his back on this view.” In 2012 this was published.She is referring to RIETS currently.
    From L Kaplan
    “R. Schachter has chosen to blur or glide over an innovative or daring aspect of the Rav’s teaching”

  63. yg says:

    o mycroft
    May 16, 2018 at 8:32 am
    Argue that position, neither the Rav nor RHS are part of YCT. Argue OO is part of a new Conservative movement by logic and facts

    I have done that already in long posts. No need to repeat it all here. Rabbi Rosenthal’s book presents overwhelming evidence. I really suggest you read the book. I think it is quite possible it would change your mind.

    Take for example the following paragraph. There are many, many facts here. You choose in your posts to declare your own bar/standard for what makes something C Judaism. The Rabbonim I referred to, and anyone who is objective abut what is basic O hashkafa, differ. For any objective reader (you are not because you are stubbornly trying to maintain your position), who understands even a little bit about basic Torah hashkafa, there is no connection living or dead between Orthodox Judaism and the examples in the following paragraph. The actual list, based on Rabbi Rosenthal’s writings and Rabbi Gordimer’s writings is much, much longer.

    This is what the struggle is about. Take an average US non-yeshivish O shul. Would the Rav want the Rabbi of that shul to believe in or promote the following (take a deep breath):
    Women rabbis, partnership minyanim, women wearing tefillin, women reading megillah for men, women leading kabbalat shabat, women ‘saving’ their birchot hatorah so they can say a ’birchat hatorah’ at an aliyah, Avraham failed!! the akeidah because he should have told (or at least asked) Hashem ‘no, this is not moral’, Hashem not being ‘perfect’ because of His internal hashkafic contradictions, having publicly available podcasts discussing the most private of Jewish inyanei kedusha in the most public way, promotion of the LBGQT agenda, claims of the Rabbis of the Talmud adjusted the Torah shebichsav to be more moral and fit with the times (specifically regarding Sotah), the feminization of the siddur, women reading megillah in public for men (the Rav was against women reading for other women), referring to Hashem as ‘she’ or as Godself as opposed to He, rejecting in one form or another the mitzvah of mechiyas amalek because it is ‘immoral’, not saying shelo asani isha, davening maariv in a mosque to show solidarity with Moslems, having a non-Jewish choir perform in the shul’s sanctuary to show solidarity with Martin Luther King supporters, accepting and/or defending views that Torah is not MiSinai, alleging that Chazal were misogynists, suggesting intermarriage is not that bad, suggesting removing Shefoch Chamascha from the Haggadah, writing that Vashti!! is a hero of the megillah, suggesting we do not need to yearn for moshiach because he is within us (whatever that means), the list goes on and on and on. Unfortunately, and this is written with sadness, this list is far from comprehensive if one reads Rabbi Rosenthal’s book and RAG’s articles carefully.”

  64. Steve Brizel says:

    Merely repeating the above critiques, which others have pointed out, need not be responded to nor may be wholly accurate, does not mean that the same are accurate.

    • Mycroft says:

      Similarly, my not responding to whole paragraphs copied essentially from previous years does not mean I agree or concede to the point. I am not afraid to write agreed to you or other critics of mine when I agree.OTOH I don’t always respond to comments I disagree or believe are factually wrong.

  65. dr. bill says:

    yg, you can argue that the Rav ztl’s daughters have as women in general “frivolous minds,” do not understand their father, are criticizing some of his most famous students who understood him better, whatever you wish. how you choose to present yourself is also entirely your choice. but please, do not claim to assume you can decide how the Rav would react to every particular person or event 20+ years after his petirah. you may be correct about some; you may be incorrect about others.

    one thing you might consider. RAL ztl disagreed with the Rav about one particularly critical issue – coeducation. you ought to listen to how he responded to one asking if he ever questioned the Rav’s position. i do not know for sure, but i would make a large bet that you do not favor coeducational classes in HS!!

    • Mycroft says:

      Agreed that No one Can predict not only 20 years later what the Rav would have said about a new issue but am aware that students including many of those who you listed as being more authoritative than Rakeffet on the Rav would state likewise, they would be able to tell what exactly the Rav said about a particular issue and caveats etc, but change one fact they might not be sure wha the Rav would have said. The Rav has stopped being a manhig over 30 years ago. Unfortunately, his illness years before his ptirah took away years of leadership.
      Re RAL and the Rav, certainly RAL would have been the Ravs talmid muvhak even if he never became the Ravs SIL, but the two are far from identical, RAL had other major influences RHutner, RAS , thus clear they are not identical hashkafot, but I am not aware of anyone ever claiming that RAL would be misleading about the Rav, or was not treating him with respect, doubtvRAL would have ever said the Rav was absent minded, or at a shloshim that the Rav was not a baki in Shabbos.
      There is no doubt the Rav was in favor of coeducation. There myths about the Rav , that are often propagated, I once heard a YU Torah lecture by a RY,not RHS where he stated that when the Rav came to Boston there were only six shomer Shabbos families, laughable on its face, he supposedly stated that three of those became his BILs. Laughable on it’s face, add three more families, the Bostoner Rebbe in Boston before, the Krinskys, the Twerskys,there were a whole bunch of families shomer Shabbos back then that I could name and I wasn’t even alive then. Not including Rabbonim,there were those who were proctor end all Shabbos to take SATs motzaei Shabbos.
      Coeducation was an issue where the Rav differed from most other RY and probably many bloggers. In Maimonides clearly not RMFs facts for heter they usually had two classes per grade. There is an attempt to make the Rav merely as a standard RY, but for better or worse he is the one responsible for the active MO that existed during his prime.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Alvin Schiff wrote that Boston was hardly a mecca for Shomer Shabbos Jews. TAKING SATs on Sunday became easy as early as tbe late 1969s if not earlier. All you needed was a rabbis note.

  66. Steve Brizel says:

    This is the maaseh rav that Mycroft is referring to:
    “Moreover, he once instructed me that Reform conversions that were accompanied by circumcision and immersion in a mikve had to be treated as a safek giyur, (Accordingly, a get would be required to dissolve a marriage in which one of the partners previously underwent a Conservative or Reform conversion which conformed to the requirement of mila and tevila).https://www.lookstein.org/professional-dev/rav-joseph-b-soloveitchik-posek-post-modern-orthodoxy/

    Obviously the assumption of conformance to milah or tevila cannot be assumed today to be followed by all R and C as a uniform matter of practice. I have met and am sure that we have met people who suddenly decide for whatever reason that they want to be Jewish, visit a R clergyman and walk out with a document saying that they are Jewish without milah or tevila.

    • Mycroft says:

      The Rav back then was clear needed Mila and tvila. Wo both one can’t even consider what Kabbalas Hamitzvot occurred..

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The Gemara often answers such observations with answers that times have changed. Let’s tackle these queries which the above quoted masseh rav raises with respect to its applicability at the present:
        1) who performed the milah-male or female , mohel or doctor
        2) who was present at the tevilah as edim
        3) was the milah performed at the right time ( not Shabbos or YT)
        4) do R Conversions today all require milah and tevilah-the case that I cited clearly indicates otherwise. that no milah or tevilah was required whatsoever

        The case which was presented to RYBS during the 1950s and 1960s depicted a view of RJ that even though was detached from any pretense of halahca, had some cognizance and awareness of the same. That rationale may have been present in the 1950s and 1960s with some but not all R clergy some of whom were certainly nowhere as detached from halachic norms as the average R clergy member is today in the 21st Century.

        FWIW, even such a Milah in the case of a Ger Tzedek would probably require at least according to CI, nothing more than Hatafas Dam Bris or a pinprick .

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Yes-but the maaseh rav relates ” he once instructed me”- does that mean the same was Psak given any and all who asked or merely a one time occasion, which would easily be recognized as Bdieved or shaas Hadchak bdieved dami ?

        • Mycroft says:

          Cmon how many times would any Rabbi have a case of Reform conversion, reform wedding, civil divorce, now wanting to marry Orthodox different man

  67. yg says:

    1. dr. bill
    May 16, 2018 at 11:52 am
    yg, you can argue that the Rav ztl’s daughters have as women in general “frivolous minds,” do not understand their father, are criticizing some of his most famous students who understood him better,

    I never said or implied “that the Rav zt”l’s daughters have as women in general frivolous minds” or “do not understand their father”. Nor did I ever imply that the “famous students understood him better”. You are putting straw man ideas in my words to discredit my posts. If you have the time, (a few hours) reread my posts and you will see.

    I said that Dr. Lichtenstein’s critique fits well for some former RIETS RY. However, the reality on the ground in RIETS, as I described in great length for the present RY, does not fit the sentence where she writes ‘who have not only turned their backs on the complex
    worldview the Rov espoused but are anxious to claim that the Rov himself
    turned his back on this view…’

    One can obviously disagree with my assessment, but there is nothing in that argument living or dead which is similar to the claims you made about my posts.

    I will soon be posting something similar in response to Mycroft.

    • Mycroft says:

      You disagree with Dr Lichtenstein she specifically included current RY at the time that she was writing. Just a few years ago. I am not aware of there being a change in RIETS of RY who were trained by her father who are no longer there since 2012.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Was not RMR trained and a Talmid Muvhak of RAL ( although RMR also was a talmid of RYBS as well)?

        • Mycroft says:

          A simple story, I sometimes attend a Hashkama minyan in Jerusalem where one one of the gabbaim is a Prof at Hebrew U 2nd temple period expertise. He was once leading a shul meeting concerning an issue, Rabbi more liberal than many congregants. Someone raised a point wasn’t practice in bayis sheni this way. His answer, irrelevant, we follow SA and Nosei Kelim what actually happened is irrelevant.
          I agree with your formulation.

    • dr. bill says:

      if you think Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein is not talking about certain current RY at YU, just ask her. unlike her father ztl, she does not bite off your head for asking silly questions. 🙂

  68. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycrfoft- No Maamin should be challenged by non-halachic and historical questions to halachic issues such as who is a Jew and bedrock hashkafic issues such as Bris Avos,

    • dr. bill says:

      A maamin is not required to check his rationality at the door. we are bound by halakha as it developed; that is what “lo ba’shamayim hi” means. We might chuckle at the Rabbis choice to quote a passuk with their unique (midrashic) reading to bolster their authority. It is brilliantly circular and there are probably clearer choices, but we still follow it.

      • Mycroft says:

        A simple story, I sometimes attend a Hashkama minyan in Jerusalem where one one of the gabbaim is a Prof at Hebrew U 2nd temple period expertise. He was once leading a shul meeting concerning an issue, Rabbi more liberal than many congregants. Someone raised a point wasn’t practice in bayis sheni this way. His answer, irrelevant, we follow SA and Nosei Kelim what actually happened is irrelevant.
        I agree with your formulation.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        See cimments of Ramban at end pf Parshas Acharei Mos re destructive influence of Aristoe and a faith rooted only in rationalism.

  69. yg says:

    1. Steve Brizel
    May 16, 2018 at 11:37 am
    Merely repeating the above critiques, which others have pointed out, need not be responded to nor may be wholly accurate, does not mean that the same are accurate.

    Agreed.
    However, I reposted that paragraph only to respond to Mycroft’s challenge that I should argue with ‘facts’, after I had already presented dozens of facts. There are dozens more available in Rabbi Rosenthal’s book as well as in his posts here on cross-currents.

  70. Mycroft says:

    I am not aware ofvYCT advocating driving on Shabbat. Conservative movement permitted driving on Shabat. Give me an equivalent. Exaggeration does not do anyone any good.Does YCT produce a Chumash like Conservative movement that denies there were Jews in Egypt and yizat Mizraim. Show me official statements where they reject any sort of revelation from God.

    • rkz says:

      Mishkav zachur
      denial of ikkarai emuna (e.g. ge’ula)

      • Mycroft says:

        Who permits mishkan zachar? That is totally unacceptable as distinguished from saying that fact that one sins in one area doesn’t mean one is completely Chutz lemachene.i have no problem if they treat mishkvei zachar the way we treat mechallei shabbiest bizman hazeh. Clearly assur but encourage them to become part of our community.
        Who denies revelation, Gods providence, and reward and punishment more universally held ikreinemunah emunah. We don’t pasken the Rambam or anyone else for emunah issues. There were Rishnim who believed God was corporeal.

        • Steve Brizel says:

          Name a Rishon who said that Yetzias Mitzratim is a myth scar vand denies tbat matan torah scar vaonesh and hashgacha pratis as ikarei emu ah.

        • rkz says:

          Mishkav zacur- I was referring to R. Dr. BL and to RSR (that is the simple and clear explanation to what they wrote).
          Emuna- no one ever denied the ge’ula until the R, then the C and now some OO (R. Hillel in the gemara only said there will be a ge’ula without mashiach, and even that shitta as rejected by everyone)

        • Steve Brizel says:

          OO and its founder seek legitimizing mishkav zachor and same gender ceremonies.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Read R Fsrbers comments on Chumash. Far more controversial to use a generous tetm than R Weider or R Spero.

      • Mycroft says:

        I have read Rabbis Spero and Weider because both are very knowledgeable, I don’t spend time reading things written like RabbiWolpe on Exodus he doesn’t accept yeziat Mizraim like I do. Both Rabbis Weider and Spero are much more knowledgeable than probably any blogger or writer on Cc. I don’t know RFsrbers .

    • Steve Brizel says:

      YCT affiliated or sympathetic individuals all have written atticles in this vein.

      • Mycroft says:

        Irrelevant RIETS musmach R D Hartman has written much beyond the pale of Orthodoxy. Prof Feldman writing about the two major religious movements that arose in the first century from scratch Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity was a professor at YU for decades. Could go on, affiliated With YTC is no reason to passul an

    • Steve Brizel says:

      YCT affiliated or sympathetic individuals all have written atticles in this vein.

  71. yg says:

    1. mycroft
    May 16, 2018 at 8:28 am
    Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein “And yet, there are former students,
    notable among them a number of faculty members or former faculty
    members at RIETS, who have not only turned their backs on the complex
    worldview the Rov espoused but are anxious to claim that the Rov himself
    turned his back on this view.” In 2012 this was published. She is referring to RIETS currently.

    First of all, as I wrote correctly, Dr. Lichtenstein does not mention RHS by name.
    Second, as I also showed definitively in my long post, the present RIETS RY, including and led by RHS, have continued the Rov’s approach in many, many ways. So, without more details, we don’t know what she is referring to.

    My point is this. Clearly, the present RIETS RY are continuing the Rov’s hashkafa and psak and approach in many, many areas. We don’t have examples where they “turned their backs on the complex worldview the Rov espoused”, and we certainly, certainly don’t have any examples where they (the present RIETS RY) also “claim that the Rov himself turned his back on this view.” In the few times when a RIETS RY happens to disagree with something the Rov said or holds, he says so and explains why.

    For example, both Rav Rakeffet and RHS, two of the Rav’s closest talmidim, althoug very supportive, like the Rav, of the medinah and RZ generally, approach RZ differently than the Rav. But they say so openly.

    • Mycroft says:

      Rav Rakeffet was probably not even the closest to the Rav of those like hi who taught a 9th grade MTA class when they were both there.

    • dr. bill says:

      what? Putting rav Rakeffet in the same league as RHS as close talmidim? i do not know who you are, but your knowledge of the Rav ztl cries out with the lack of familiarity. RHS was among the Rav’s best talmidim in shiur; but anyone in shiur can tell you that you can count on one hand the number of times the Rav said anything political or philosophical in shiur. Those who knew most about his views klapei chutz are those with whom he discussed such matters. In every case that i know, they were individuals who brought a perspective that the Rav wanted to hear and integrate into his thought process. He decidedly did not believe his insights alone were sufficient, as the popular daas toirehniks declare. Philosophic issues were discussed with a yet smaller group who the Rav felt had the keilim with which to engage in such a conversation.

      People have opinions; people had varying levels of interaction with Rav in diverse areas. Assuming the opinions reflected the interactions, is an assumption, and not a very good one at that. Assuming the Rav discussed different types of topics uniformly with all is sheer nonsense. Even what he might say publically (and certainly privately) and how he would act in a particular situation requires insight into how he thought that i do not believe all but a very few have the right to even speculate. One thing i know from speaking to the few people that were close to the Rav, they are not as outspoken or certain they can reflect how he might react. i am reminded of Xenophanes comment about a horse’s conception of God.

      • Mycroft says:

        I agree , remember once speaking after the Rav passed away to a person who dealt with the Rav on some of the issues that you probably refer. Stated that it is really difficult to tell what the Rav would do in any issue, there were many factors and to guess which one he’d consider most important in any particular case is almost impossible to know. Of course, that hasn’t stopped many with much less knowledge of the Rav from attacking others for not following the Rav

      • Mycroft says:

        And even being a best talmid in shirt is less relevant to understanding lemaaseh than practically anything else. Money quote “I don’t know what chakiras the Rav may have said in shiur but I know what he did”

  72. yg says:

    mycroft wrote
    May 16, 2018 at 8:28 am
    From L Kaplan
    “R. Schachter has chosen to blur or glide over an innovative or daring aspect of the Rav’s teaching”

    In that comment, Prof. Kaplan is referring to RHS and women learning Talmud. I showed at great length that he openly supported that, in the name of the Rav for many years, decades even. Kaplan, in his zeal to find revisionism, searched for a few things he could hang in to, and chose to ignore 40 years of RHS’s public shiurm and pesakim (talk about revisionism!!). I showed all of this in my long post. RHS certainly has not “chosen to blur or glide over…”. Of all of Kaplan’s claims, he makes only three or four about RHS, which can all be refuted, this one is the most ridiculous.

    Methodologically, it is very, very difficult to bring proofs and build a thesis based in what was NOT included in a sefer. I made a few phone calls and sent a few emails, which Prof. Kaplan could easily have done, and received two very reasonable responses to Kaplan’s point. There are many, many things not found in Nefesh haRav. It is interesting, within the right wing part of the talmidei RIETS, there are some who feel Nefesh HaRav is too left!! For example, RHS did not include the Rav’s strong, strong attack against the tefillah chagigit on Yom Haatzmaut. Should we claim that given that such opposition would not sit well within RZ, and that RHS wanted to make sure we viewed the Rav as supportive of RZ, so he chose “to blur or glide over an innovative or daring aspect of the Rav’s teaching” by leaving it out. Ridiculous. There are many other similar examples. (Maybe someone should encourage Prof. Kaplan to write an article accusing RHS of revisionism in creating a left wing version of the Rav…)

    Why did he leave it out? Ask him! or a close talmid what his criteria were. But to build a whole attack, which flies in the face of DECADES of public shiurim and publicly stated views, based on a diyuk by omission, (which has a reasonable explanation) is methodologically unsound, to say the very least.

    The Rav’s approach to women learning advanced TSHB”P is a chiddush and a decidedly minority view. Yet, RHS has ‘chosen’ to spend decades discussing it and supporting it. Not only that, he publicly ‘chose’ to put his name behind a Talmud shiur for women and ‘chose’ to encourage a talmid to give the shiur, despite receiving a lot of flack from the Right over this. So indeed in shiur and in public policy, RHS has definitely not “chosen to blur or glide over an innovative or daring aspect of the Rav’s teaching.” He has chose to promote it because he felt, at the time (I don’t know where things are holding now), it would be good for promoting Orthodoxy. That is the crucial question, what is good for keeping more people O, more people with Torah true hashkafos, leading Torah true lives.

    One can safely assume that 100 years from now, (probably and hopefully less) Torah true Jews will be discussing OO the way we discuss C Judaism nowadays. Sheker never lasts. Around 10 years ago, Rav Rakeffet described a meeting he had with Open Orthodox Rabbi Lopatin (it may have been the previous head of the school I am not sure), who invited to come speak at YCT. RR responded, as only he can, “Yes, I will be happy to come to speak in 50 years, … assuming your school is still Orthodox!” Starting several years ago, however, he openly refers to YCT/OO as neo Conservative.

    The only question is, and this is the crucial question, how many congregations and individuals will fall in as well. It is out of concern for those Jews that RHS writes his Hebrew teshuvos, and encourages RMT to respond regarding the new approach to Homosexuality and write his authoritative articles presenting the Rav’s approach to these crucial questions, as well all the other chizuk he gives to people involved in the struggle against OO.

    Just as his Rebbe led a successful fight against C in the 40s and 50s, so too he continues, exactly in his Rebbe’s footsteps, following his Rebbe’s hashkaofs, along with Rav Rakeffet, (another very, very close talmid of the Rav), and others, in the present struggle. We only hope that due to their efforts, that as opposed to C which had several decades of ascendancy in the US and many, many fell in, r”l, we hope that the true colors of YCT/OO will be made more and more clear, and fewer will fall in than fell in to CJ in the 20th Century.

    I will not be responding further. I have made my positions quite clear.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Excellent response! I fully share your views on this and all other issues on this thread.

    • Mycroft says:

      The Rav was furious against a tfilah changing it on Yom Haatzmaut , he was opposed to saying Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut. Certainly in a non Israeli setting. One must not try and kasher someone to make them more acceptable the Rav was the Rav. Certainly the Rav was the person who made the issue of mixed pews the major divide. It was not against CJ it was against any deviation from Halacha. OTOH the Rav made clear that polemics against CJ and others must be done with polite language, reading the tone of attacks that he was concerned about is interesting because CC bloggers and many writers use a much more negative tone than the Rav was not happy with 55-60 years ago. People became more nuanced because of the Rav.
      One must read in Helfgotts book the letter to the President of Rabbi Shubows synagogue while he states he won’t go to the dinner because he can’t be seen as approving of mixed pews, compliments the President and the Rabbi to helping bring Judaism to a new section of Boston, things are not black and white.
      There is no dispute that RHS is a great talmid chacham, but he just doesn’t follow the Rav, no problem the Rav differs greatly from Rav Chaim..
      BTW it is obvious that RHS follows the Rav more than many such as Rav Willig

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Once again you place mispaced emphasis on the compliments as opposed to the actual halachic position taken. Show us how R Willig fails to meet your criteria .

      • Steve Brizel says:

        What is the situation in R Shubow’s synagogue today? How many members? How many children and grandchildren on an average Shabbos? What kind of Jewish education is present today-as opposed to when RYBS wrote the letter in question?

        • mycroft says:

          We don’t have that info. No data on success or lack of essentially everything.
          Anecdotes when I was younger davened in minyan daily with people whose grandchildren do not identify as Jewish and probably halachikally not. Grad school turned down for roommate a descendant of very famous gedolim family-not shomer Shabbos.
          In Boston remember davening at some Orthodox schuls that have ceased to exist. Look at V Gellers statistics showing huge decrease in number of schuls by decade

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Google R Shubow. His shul is not exactly a mecca of a committed CJ laiety. We lost shuls as Jewish population moved to suburbs and lost people as they chose to enphasize other factors in their lives over even a MO committment. We don’t have surveys but if you talk with anyone in chinuch they can and will tell you how many senior high school males put on Tefilin and daven every day and the baseline knowledge and awareness of halacha in many everyday areas of halacha. From my conversations both on line and in person, we all have to keep working on making Kiddush and Havdala.

  73. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “Steve specifically disagree . IN science show your study and argument and it will be challenged, replicated etc. no one tells a person making an argument you don’t have the right to an opinion”

    The Gemara is replete with such cases and arguments. The study of Gemara and its application to who is entitled to an opinion is completely on par from not seeking the opinion on any technical scientific or any other area of expertise from someone who lacks the requisite knowledge. You have to have the requisite knowledge before you can offer a study and present arguments as to the validity of a test.

    • Mycroft says:

      We have no smicha, see the quality of any analysis to determine if the person has the knowledge to comment

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Look at tbe quality or lack tbereof in their arguments and their personal behavior in adhering to halacha and Tzidkus Lomdus and Yashrus. A kohen who aerves as msader middushin cor his son to a grusha and supports same gender ceremonies is entitled to zero ability to comment on halacha.

        • mycroft says:

          Would you say that one who engages in money laundering or even accepts his mosdos doing it “is entitled to zero ability to comment on halacha.”

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Define “money laundering” or “even accepts his mosdos doing it”.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            RHS once described a scene of a certain individual who was a defendant in the food stamps scandals who was supposed to be a witness ( Ed Kiddushin ) at a chasunah where both RHS and RSK were present as declining that very important role because of his involvement in the scandals.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Name one prominent Gadol or Posek who engages in the above.

  74. Steve Brizel says:

    Alvin Schiff wrote that Boston was hardly a mecca for Shomer Shabbos Jews. TAKING SATs on Sunday became easy as early as tbe late 1969s if not earlier. All you needed was a rabbis note.

    • Mycroft says:

      There are very few communities as a proportion of the USwhich are Meccas for shomer Shabbos Jews. KGH, Passaic, Monsey , Lakewood are a few. Most of Us percentage of shower Shabbat Jews is very small.
      Boston even in the 80 s was a city where the mikvah was not open during the week unless they knew someone needed it. Nothing strange, how many people used the UWS mikvah in the 80 s, I remember from budget figures, there was no women’s UES mikvah.with all the day school education sadly except for some communities things haven’t changed, except that outreach as part of normal congregational activities is gone. I can think of many who attended YU who came to that life from attending a Talmud Torah, now that option is gone

      • Steve Brizel says:

        There are sizeable numbets of Shomer Shabbos Jews in many major commu ities together with the communal superstructure that you see in such communities.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        JSS still attracts many who have had a minimal Jewish education

        • Mycroft says:

          They even reorganized JSS a few times in past few decades, have nowhere near the makeup of 50 years ago

      • Steve Brizel says:

        I have relatives who moved to a MO community who asked about the location of a mikva and were looked at as if they had landed from a foreign planet. They and a few other couples spent a lot of time and effort building a mikva in their community. I would suspect that since many committed young men and women have had far better chasan and kallah classes that IMO owe their impetus to the shiurim given by R M T Tendler and R M Fulda as well as an excellent book published by YU by R T Sobolofksy, as well as the role of the Yoatzot in being resources so that women neither are scared off from the mitvca due to the verbal assaults of feminists or the view that there are far too chumras ( which there are not ) that we will see a substantial uptick in mikvah observance during the week, Shabbos and YT, when those nights are Leilei Tvilah.

        There are many cities in the US that have shuls, yeshivos shopping, restaurants and an eruv and growing Shomer Shabbos communities. Just look at an Ezras Torah calendar in any shul and you will see communities in the Midwest and South that have major communities, all of whom go under the radar of the dystopic demograohers. Looking forward to a book on today’s Orthodox world-Charedi and MO-not the world of the 1940s and 1950s that really does not exist anymore.

        • Mycroft says:

          I am aware that thank god both Rabbis Fulda and Tendler have had arichas yamim, but there were always books attempting to convince taharas hamishpacha even one of the most liberal Rabbis Rabbi Norman Lamm wrote a then popular book on it.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            R Lamm’s book on Taharas HaMishpacha was a great book. I regret very much that during one ofour annual summer trips to the Catskills to go to Kever Avos that I saw Baalei HaNefesh of the Ravad in a sefarim store with the admonition that only married men should buy it . I have always felt that any chasan shiur should include Baalei HaNefesh and Igeres HaKodesh ( auhored either by Ramban or Raavad) as part of the required readings. R T H Weinreb called both works the Torah equivalent of a Masters and Johnson work on the subject.

            R Fulda last year received an award at the YU graduation. R Tendler is still active as a RY in RIETS. R Fulda who was our Msader Kiddushin gave his talmidim an annual shiur on such issues and for years taught a great shiur on Taharas HaMishpacha at YU”s late and lamented no longer existing TIW.

            JSS has been restructured but it still draws students. It is important to note that JSS is a victim of demographic changes in the sense that Israel is the first stop for anyone learning either in the gap year programs or as a BT. The gap year programs work best for the serious student and know that they are not a panacea for kids who arrive with emotional issues. The best students in the gap year programs go to YU and SCW. Some go to other yeshivos but many gap year programs are strong feeders to YU and SCW. The kiruv world in Israel is Charedi oriented and dominated-many who would have fit into the JSS of my time would not attend YU (even RIETS) . JSS would flourish (and did so under R Besdin Z) when it was provided a venue to learn it and not about it and get a college education within the YU world and allow you to develop to the point where an entering JSS freshman with a very minimal Jewish educational background could enter RIETS and eventually get smicha.

        • Mycroft says:

          The world of the 1940s and 1950s was a period where Orthodoxy not just professional kiruv but essentially tried to reach people. You always try to make big successes but ignore the fact that those who left Orthodxy then usually stayed within Jewish community. Today, much more leave entirely, having no problems with relationships with non Jews. After all when one raises the bar many will leave completely.
          BTW of interest, my area is known for supposedly younger people moving in they attend on Shabbos and ca dress with black hats , but us older people find it strange am inyan a quarter century and iknow heavily sAmerica people. Shiur attendance very much by older people. Very interesting dynamic in my non MO schul.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            I would not blame Orthodoxy as a movement for people who leave Orthodoxy completely. Family community and educational expectations and what adolescents see as hypocritical behavior play no small role. OTOH, some who spend K-12 in a day school setting and then walk away even after a year in Israel don’t generally do so because of intellectual challenges, but rather because of the social milieu. Those who wish to maintain their commitment will do so even at a high cost and those who view their comfort level and desire to party without being overly burdened or being burdened at all in their hearts eyes and minds by the dictates of halacha will do so-regardless of whether their is a strong Jewish presence on campus or not.

          • Steve Brizel says:

            Chizuk and Kiruv whether by the methods and means of the 1940s and 1950s as opposed to professional chizuk and kiruv which function in many different manners always focus on the original and what will attract a person to Yahadus. That is because Teshuvah is a highly i ndividualistic mitzvah which the Orthodox world recognizes has no one approach that works for everyone. Limud HaTorah, of which shiur attendance is one means, has many formats as well ranging from weekly shiurim DY shiurim in one’s spare time whether on Shabbos YT and legal holidays to chavusas and chaburos that exist under the radar. The real issue is willpower-with all of the high quality sefarim and serviceable translations ranging from Mesivta to ArtScroll and excellent editions ofShas Rishonim and Acharonim and high quality works such as the ET and excellent sefarim in Lashon HaKodesh available, there is no excuse for not learning every day to the best of one’s abilities.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Here is a small list of sizeable Shomer Shabbos communities in the US-Boston, Waterbury, West Hartford, Riverdale, KGH, Flatbush Boro ParkTeaneck,. Bergenfield. Engelwood, Passaic, Monsey, West Orange, Spingfield, Livingston, Edison, Kiryas Yoel, Monsey, Lakewood,. West Hempstead, Baltimore, Silver Spring, Richmond, Norfolk, Atlanta, Memphis, Boca, Miami Dallas Houston Kansas City, St Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis/St Paul, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Las Vegas, LA ( Hancock Park, Pico/Robertson and the Valley) , and Seattle. AFAIK, most if not all have many of the the elements that are required to attract families and grow as communities. Demographers and sociologists would be advised to study these communities as to the number of kids per grade, number of classes per grade and the importance placed on transmitting the tradition of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim to the next generation in these communities as opposed to what is billed as R and C but which really is the progressive agenda with the patina of Tikun Olam.

  75. Mycroft says:

    I took the SATs on a Sunday earlier than 1969, my mother AH when she took the SATs had to spend all Shabbos in the proctors house and take the exam motzaei Shabbos from around 9 pm to some early AM time. The SATs go way back. She wa not the only one who did the same thing,

  76. Steve Brizel says:

    What your mother did was ancient history. At least since the 1960s all yoh needed was a,rabbis note.

    • dr. bill says:

      mycroft and might be old, but our parents are not ancient. 🙂

      • dr. bill says:

        mussing I after the first and

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Times have changed simce Mycrofts .othet took the SATs. I took the SATs in the early 1970s on a SUNDy merely by sending the College Board a rabbis note. The days of taking tbe test as Mycroft mother did were over a long time ago .

    • Mycroft says:

      You are referring to Alvin Schiff, my mother was a native Bostonian- -BTW one of many families shomer Shabbos before the Rav came..certainly a falsehood perpetrated by some RY not RHS who stated before the Rav only six shomer Shabbos families in Boston. There were many.Remember the Rav was brought to Boston by the ChevraChevra Shas.

    • Mycroft says:

      Ancient history? Are you kidding. For someone who advocates following mesorah, treating events of about eight decades ago as ancient history is strange to say the least

      • dr. bill says:

        They cannot get 5 years ago or 80 years ago correct and believe they know exactly what happened millennia ago. Unfortunately few appreciate how our knowledge of the (in)ability to accurately describe events has increased. The term narrative is an important one. Prof. Hayes once remarked that her entire thought process was turned around sitting in her first class with Prof. Isadore Twersky, ztl. He started by noting that the class will cover a particular period, but unlike other such classes, it will be narrated from a Jewish perspective. Same events, different vantage point, different account.

        We now know how to better evaluate supposedly historical accounts and subject them to various tests. A trivial example, close to one of my fields of interest, is Shakespeare’s (anachronistic) reference to a clock in Julius Ceasar.

        my pre-Shavuot question: What sefer contains the first reference to a clock in a halakhic context? winner gets a piece of cheesecake 🙂 I will buy you a whole cake if you can cogently tell us how the clock operated!

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Do we think communicate and live our lives in the same way as people did 80 years ago? Do we rely on the technology and scientific assumptions of 80 years ago? RHs quoted an observation from the CI that Ain Chadash Tachas HaShemesh that all scientific advances are dependent on their being developed and that we apply Torah to the same-In the worlds of science and technology and even politics and communication-we certainly live in a different world-BUT Toras HaShem Temimah and we follow great Talmideii Chachamim in applying halacha to these changes around us.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        80 years ago, if you left your job Erev Shabbos, you would be looking for a new job the next week. That is a circumstance that doesn’t exist anymore if you are a reliable employee. You definitely do not take the SATs in the same arduous way your mother ZL took them

  77. Mycroft says:

    Dr Bill
    You raise a very important point. If one sees examples where so called mesorah has been distorted in our lifetimes, why should people trust what the same people stated happened thousands of years ago. That is why it is crucial that what people believed, stated be reported accurately wo trying to add limitations that the people didn’t believe what they said or did. For a religion, which BTW is probably using Christian thought process to describe Yahadus, that is totally dependent on integrity of mesorah, we don’t believe Torah shebichtav can be read wo gloss of Torah Shebealpeh any intention distortion even assuming attempt to kasher the person and make him more acceptable could be disastorous. First, there can be n distortions of what the person de or said. One can argue about the applicability of what the person said for future years , but first one must report accurately what happened.

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