Open Orthodoxy Update, Parshas Naso

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46 Responses

  1. Ysoscher Katz says:

    Ignoring David Rosenthal’s incessant badgering isn’t evidence of anything. It would be a pleasure to discuss the meaning of “ahistoricity” or debate the complex halakhot pertaining to the LGBT community-kol zman it is done be’darchai noam.

    Allow me to share with you a note I recently sent to David.

    David haYakar,

    it would’ve been lovely to debate those issues with you before you published your book and subsequent writings. You DO sometimes raise valid points. Engaging before running to the whole world would’ve been the mentshlich thing to do, and also what is required al pi halakha, שמוע בין אחיכם. It would’ve also been incredibly meaningful to discuss these complex issues with someone who disagrees with yct so strongly. I have such debates all the time with chaveirim from the אלטע היים. They’re enriching and deeply inspiring.

    Instead you chose the inhuman and assurd’ig path and in the process זיך אונגאנצן צו-נאר געמאכט; ללעג ולקלס, making debating you meaningless and unpleasant. Sadly, you irreparably sabotaged your cause. It could’ve been an amazing experience for all of us. Now, Klal Yisroel is worse off because of the path you chose. Atzuv.

    I hope I don’t embarrass him, but ידידי ומורי ר … would’ve been a great role model for you. He vehemently disagrees with almost everything we say, but does it with such רוך and חן that I’ve come to crave debating him. Every conversation with R. … makes one holier and inspires one to strive for greater heights in yirat shamaim and avodat haShem. Sadly, you chose a different path. Debating you, as a result has, לצערי, become a toxic and unpleasant experience, damaging to one’s avodat haShem. It didn’t have to be this way.”

    ———————

    On the other hand, you, dear chaveirim, please continue sharing your loving rebuke. It might seem to fall on deaf ears, but still …

    As the Kotzker said: והיו הדברים האלה על לבבך. Why על לבבך not בלבבך? Because sometimes the transgressor’s heart is hermetically closed, unable to hear Mussar. The מוכיח, however, should still offer rebuke. The words will stay on top of his/her heart. Then, one day the stiff heart will crack open and all the accumulated mussar will fall in and awaken their deadened neshama.

    Amen, kein yehi ratzon

  2. Steve Brizel says:

    One wonders when those who minimize the damage wrought by OO will have to say in response to the facts on the ground.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    It can’t be easy to keep your eye on such a moving target, really such a set of moving targets. They see their alienation from traditional Judaism as a feature, not a bug. But clearly they also see the use of “orthodox” as a desirable feature for public relations and recruitment. So they combine the two opposites for a public not educated to value consistency. Because consistency is so undervalued in the first place, revelations of inconsistency offend far too few people.

  4. dr. bill says:

    It might be time to move on to a new topic. the horse has left the barn and you are legislating barn door regulations.

    We all agree women do not count for a minyan and cannot formally function as dayanim. That is it. Every other function has been authorized by the OU’s circular obfuscation.

    In a soon to be published book the opinion of a YU RY BEFORE IT WAS PROVABLY EDITED OUT OF A PUBLICATION will explain WHY WOMEN CAN BE RABBIS. Disregarding the author will require some work. Rest-up; real work ahead. MUCH MORE THAN MISREADING will be required.

    BTW, you could line up rishonim and achronim who WROTE the equivalent of the Torah being a-historical. There is no halakhic reason to think otherwise.

  5. mb says:

    In my Shul, some men prefer to be called up using both mother’s and father’s name, including the Rabbi.
    women, especially one, often gives the “sermon” before Mussaf.
    Is it a non-Orthodox Shul?

  6. Ralph Suiskind says:

    Every other day there is a new revelation.. I thought that the standards set at Sinai were eternal and G-d Given. I guess with every new revelation, the Torah standards and its Mesorah are to be recast to reflect societal changes . According to Chazal the written and oral Torah preceded even the very Creation of the world, has G-d in this century had a change of heart ? Are not , chukim and mishpatim the ethical and moral laws as well as the natural law set by G-d forever ? Has man’s basic nature changed so drastically to allow for OO innovative lifestyle ? Last time I checked the media, today’s innovative lifestyle, cultural changes , has caused greater personal grieve and anxiety than ever before. Men spend endless hours in yeshiva and Kollel 12 to 15 hours a day for countless years in order to achieve greatness in Torah before even contemplating a rabbinical position . Now under OO rabbinical leadership, even a women can obtain rabbinical ordination and a leadership position in a matter of 3-4 years. Where does one apply!!!!!

  7. Yossi says:

    Dr. Bill,

    Could you please line up some of those rishonim and acharonim that said it was a-historical? I’m familiar with some of them, but I’d love to hear what you mean.

    Second, even so- so what? This is an obviously old debate about whether you can call someone a heretic if he subscribes to views that some rishonim do, but I’d venture to say that a large part of yiddishkeit and the Mesorah is not creating your own brand of Judaism with your own tailor made set of beliefs, even if they fit with some traditional sources. Of course, in this post-truth era where no one agrees even on basic language, we can argue about what Mesorah is, and what Yiddishkeit is, and what minhagim are, and on and aon.

  8. Yossi says:

    To the second part of Ysoscher Katz’s post-
    If you read what he’s writing, it’s astounding. He’s saying so much there, and maybe he’s letting us know that he’d like to be closer than he actually is, and that he wishes all this musar would penetrate.

    To his first part, I’d answer to him that David Rosenthal can easily make the argument אין טוענין למסית. I’m not saying he is, but I’m not saying he isn’t.

    But here’s my biggest beef of all of this-אם דומה הרב למלאך ה’ צבקות, תבקש תורה מפיהו, ואם לאו, אל תבקשו תורה מפיהו.

    Where does OO see anyone with that level of Yiras Shamayim that they are looking up to? Dov Linzer with his euphemistic “Joy of Text” podcast where he violates אין דורשין and talking about sexual matters with women?

  9. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill an allegation or innuendo to the same effect without proof equals zero.

  10. Raymond says:

    I have a question that may be obvious and yet sometimes those are precisely the kind of questions that most needs to be asked. I see in the above article that Shmuel Yanklowitz’s mother is not Jewish. ummm….time to cite Basic Judaism 101 here, because doesn’t that automatically mean that he is not even Jewish, and therefore does that not automatically disqualify him from being an authentic representative of Judaism? Why is anybody giving him any kind of credibility at all? The man is obviously a fraud, every bit as much as Shabtai Tzvi was in his day and age.

    Secondly, I notice that one of the representatives of the misleadingly named Open Orthodox movement has responded above to Rabbi David Rosenthal’s points not by addressing the actual issues, but rather by resorting to personal attacks, doing so publicly. It is at least conceivable that he is doing this because he is incapable of counteracting Rabbi Rosenthal’s many valid points.

    Thirdly, somebody commented above that we get the point, that Open Orthodoxy is not legitimate, and so why beat a dead horse into the ground? The answer is obvious: because word needs to keep getting out there until nobody takes that movement seriously. Protecting Jewish tradition is absolutely necessary not only for us Jews, but really for the survival of all of mankind.

    And finally, what baffles me about all this, is what is the whole purpose to that movement in the first place. What do they hope to gain? I can understand why somebody would not want to live an Orthodox Jewish life, since it requires extreme amounts of self-discipline, but who is forcing anybody to live such a life? Either do what one can to live such a life, or don’t, but please don’t bring down everybody else with you.

  11. Ysoscher, It is troubling that you still post this, despite being told multiple times that Yeshivat Chovevei Torah was contacted privately about the heretical views of their students. After several years of private and public appeals and nothing being done, there was no option but to publish about these deviations. The fact that you are now attempting to rewrite history is sad. In addition, it is unbecoming for a public figure such as yourself to publicly espouse controversial views, and then complain when they are publicly criticized. In addition, it is wrong of someone who portrays himself as open to discussion to threaten his critics with litigation (“A Communication from Open Orthodoxy, with Reply,” Cross-Currents, Oct. 2015).

    It is especially troubling that while you consistently post the same dishonest comments, you will not say if you believe the Exodus and giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai were historical events. You also have not said if you retract your psak permitting certain homosexual relations.

  12. Ysoscher Katz says:

    Dear Yossi,

    Thanks for your general feedback. I do however take exception to you reference of אין טוענין למסית. It’s a harsh accusation, you shouldn’t throw it out, even only as a suggestion, before establishing that it’s indeed true. Besides, that’s not what it means. אין טוענין למסית doesn’t mean that you can lob the מסית accusation against someone and then be exempt from the normal procedure of establishing facts. Merely calling someone a מסית doesn’t justify Rosenthal’s שפיכת דמים. Although it might seem that way, just because someone identifies as OO doesn’t mean that הותר בשרם.

    אל תהי אכזרי

    Be’yedidut,
    Ysoscher

    • Yaakov Menken says:

      Ysoscher,

      The accusation of שפיכת דמים is, as I am sure you know, an extremely serious one. I’m sure that you would agree that it is inappropriate to mischaracterize criticism of your ideas as something personal, sinister, and even evil. But this would be merely the third example of that misguided approach that comes immediately to mind.

      You once claimed that Rav Avrohom Gordimer was “peeping into people’s bedrooms” for observing a recurring pattern of YCT students (and a YCT rebbe) marrying non-Orthodox clergy. Although this is an entirely public matter, and one which directly impacts the continuity of the Jewish people, you explicitly compared Rav Gordimer to a disgraced rabbi from Washington, DC. I recommend you re-read Reb Harry Maryles’s response, the one entitled “Inexcusable!

      You also previously threatened what the legal community terms a “Strategic lawsuit against public participation,” claiming that Rav Gordimer’s material was “libelous,” — although you claimed that you hoped the “critiques NOT stop” in a public post about the very same material.

      Certainly, you are welcome to debate the particulars of any particular critique of your work; that’s what Open dialogue is all about. But you cannot contest that Rav David Rosenthal is anything but entirely sincere, without the least discernible animus towards you or any member of the YCT community (unrelated to the debate itself, of course). Claiming that a detailed critique of your ideas and approach (why, the very same material necessary to prove that אין טוענין למסית applies to our situation) is akin to שפיכת דמים seems, as I said, to be more of the wrong approach.

      You surely did not join a nascent movement called “Open Orthodoxy,” claiming that revolutionary approaches are consistent with “Orthodox” Judaism, and not anticipate debate. It is something you should be Open to. It is something you should indeed welcome, as you said on Facebook. You should not respond by impugning the motivations of your most sincere critics.

      If you have examples of R David actually writing something intended to malign and embarrass you personally, rather than criticize your ideas, I would certainly reconsider. But in the absence of such material, I would recommend that you instead truly consider the criticisms, and even accept rebuttal and refutation in the model of the great sages whose works we study, rather than trying to find personal animus where none is intended.

  13. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill please identify the author of the book that you hinted at and or provide a link. No book plus no author equals no proof.

  14. Ysoscher Katz says:

    I am rather surprised that the “moderator” is taking so much time to approve my two comments. As a matter of fact, the mentshlich, and perhaps even halkhically correct, thing to do would have been to solicit a response before posting a comment which throws out the horrific מסית accusation. The flippancy is quite shocking, more appropriate for a [….] or Neturei Karta website, not for a mechubedig siite like yours. You are not talking about a bot, you are making claims about human beings. Those people you so carelessly call מסית have spouses, parents, siblings and children, דמם לא הותר. Suggesting someone is a מסית is not a joke.

    • Yaakov Menken says:

      I had to delete the gratuitous reference to a particular Jewish group, as that would have been entirely ad hominem. I felt no such compunction with regards to Neturei Karta because אין טוענין למסית.

  15. mb says:

    Raymond,
    Rabbi Yanklowitz had a halachic conversion. Do not call him a fraud. You may disagree with his opinions, but that does not make you right and him wrong, just different. There are 70 faces of Torah, which this website seems to forget in their obsession with left wing Orthodoxy. When they cut of the left wing, they too will be the left and be cut off. Their “useful idiot” days will be over.
    Also, R.Yanklowitz did an act of sheer kindness, that very few Jews do, that in my cannon, makes him the holiest of Jews. He donated a kidney to a stranger. The stranger was a young Israeli Jew. And you call him a fraud? Think again Raymond.

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    When someone known by dint of their controversial views cries out in alarm that he is being persecuted for his views, that is really synonymous for saying that his or her POV should be beyond critique. Freedom to espouse controversial views does not mean that anyone who espouses the same is exempt or immune from criticism.

  17. Bob Miller says:

    There is no point in using halachic terms or other Hebrew or Yiddish terms to support anti-halachic positions, except to obfuscate. Attempts to shame the actual Orthodox into leaving subversive charlatans alone to do their mischief unchallenged will not work. Regardless of what precise halachic categories the charlatans fall into or what their resumes contain, they are up to no good. It is they who should be ashamed. Relatives and associates of such people should try to straighten them out, for everyone’s benefit. One often hears bitter complaints from sectarians that they’re being delegitimized. They’ve done that to themselves.

  18. dr. bill says:

    steve brizel, asking for proof is a particularly greek influence. halakha tends to operate not on proof but the preponderance of the evidence. we do not concern ourselves with a miut sheaino matsiu. i could tell you some analysis of the mishkanot yaacov’s position and its problematic use in kashrut, but that would clearly identify me.

  19. mycroft says:

    “When someone known by dint of their controversial views cries out in alarm that he is being persecuted for his views, that is really synonymous for saying that his or her POV should be beyond critique. Freedom to espouse controversial views does not mean that anyone who espouses the same is exempt or immune from criticism”
    Th us,I assume you must believe that NO ONE is beyond criticism, and everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  20. Raymond says:

    In response to what somebody above said to comments I made above, the last time I checked the Code of Jewish Law, donating one’s kidney does not make one an expert in Jewish law, nor does validating gay marriage constitute a valid and viable halachic opinion. and so I am not sure why one would tell me to think again. Think again about what, how to twist Judaism beyond recognition?

  21. Steve Brizel says:

    No, in the areas of Halacha and Hashkafa, not everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  22. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill how many sugyos look for either a Pasuk as a source of a halacha or seek to identify which Tanna or statement of a Tanna can be identified with the statement of a Tanna in a Mishnah?

  23. mb says:

    Think again about calling him a fraud. You insinuated he wasn’t Jewish. Look at your first paragraph. And true, donating a kidney does not make one an expert in Jewish law, but it is a holy act, that the vast majority of Jews don’t do. there are exceptions and usually to close relatives, he donated to a stranger and saved a life. (There is a dispute in halacha whether one can donate to a stranger, or even a non-observant Jew, which I find peculiar.)

  24. mycroft says:

    “No, in the areas of Halacha and Hashkafa, not everyone is entitled to an opinion.”
    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Whether they will be accepted or not will be based on vast amount of factors. You choose who to ask your sheilas to,choose who to ask mine. It is perfectly legitimate to choose different people for different sheilas. One is bound to accept the answer of whom one asked

  25. mb says:

    Really Steve? Not everybody is entitled to opinion, in halacha or hashkafa?
    I would become non-religious tomorrow if that were true, but fortunately, it isn’t.
    Freedom choice defines Judaism.

  26. Steve Brizel says:

    http://jewishjournal.com/opinion/234346/my-graduation-was-ambushed/ For those who think that the Klapei Chutz days of the 1950s and that HUC is worth setting foot inside, even with totally Kosher food available take a look at this link.

  27. mycroft says:

    ” mb
    May 29, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Really Steve? Not everybody is entitled to opinion, in halacha or hashkafa?
    I would become non-religious tomorrow if that were true, but fortunately, it isn’t”
    The attempt to say not everyone is entitled to an opinion, rather than criticizing incorrect opinions shows lack of confidence that they are right and could win in the marketplace of ideas. The Rav used to say we have a good product thus should market honestly,sadly,it appears that those stating only they or their teacher are entitled to an opinion do not show that they have confidence in their ideas as being logical and accurate.

  28. mycroft says:

    . “And true, donating a kidney does not make one an expert in Jewish law, but it is a holy act, that the vast majority of Jews don’t do. there are exceptions and usually to close relatives, he donated to a stranger and saved a life. ”
    AGREED

  29. mycroft says:

    “For those who think that the Klapei Chutz days of the 1950s and that HUC is worth setting foot inside, even with totally Kosher food available take a look at this” mah inyan shmittah ezel harsinai.
    Do you state negative about H apoelMizrachi because former head and musmach plead guilt y to fraud concerning nursing homes ,or longest serving chairman of Board of RIETS and a musmach plead guilty to massive insurance fraud .

  30. dr. bill says:

    steve, many times a passuk or the individual associated with a view is of interest. I cannot count. The former occurs in many contexts from an actual derivation to asmachta to another more unique purpose, etc. The reasons for a name are normally undisputed.
    not clear what drove you to ask.

  31. yg says:

    Rabbi Rosenthal is not involved in shefichut damim. The opposite is true, he is involved in hatzalat nefashot.

    In his book, ‘Why OO is not O’, Rabbi Rosenthal has shown definitively that the leaders of YCT/OO hold views, in both hashkafa and halachah, that are not compatible with Orthodox Judaism. He quotes many, many examples. None of which have ever been disproven, or even responded to publicly in a substantive way for that matter, as far as I know. The leaders, Open Orthodox Rabbi Katz among them, present many, many ideas that are the same substantively as C Judaism. This is why OO has been called a neo Conservative movement by many leading Rabbinic figures.

    Unfortunately, and tragically, anyone who attends YCT is therefore suspect of having the same hashkafot presented by the leaders and teachers there, such as OO Rabbi Katz. If a shul hires a YCT Open Orthodox Rabbi, he might lead the shul down the hashkafic path towards rejecting Orthodoxy, as OO Rabbi Katz and others have done. Similarly, their approach to halacha is outside the bounds of anything Orthodox.

    Many shul boards and members may not be aware of these ideas. Rabbis Gordimer and Rosenthal have therefore, reluctantly, led the struggle in bringing to the attention of the public, what is already available publically on facebook pages, and school websites etc….

    There is a clear to’elet of saving the unsuspecting shuls from these problems. Therefore, it is muttar and indeed a mitzvah to expose these ideas. He is saving souls spiritually, literally.

    It is important to note that no one from YCT/OO has pointed out any mistakes in Rabbi Rosenthal’s presentation. No one has written an article with any specific refutation of the chapters in his very strong book. It is unfortunately true that Rabbis Rosenthal and Gordimer’s presentations are indeed accurate. No one is happy about this, But given the reality that OO is not O, it is necessary to expose the mistakes in order to prevent unsuspecting shuls from falling in, as I explained. Indeed, Rabbi Rosenthal himself wrote this quite clearly in his book.

    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.

    Actually, Rabbi Rosenthal and Rabbi Gordimer’s presentations are anything but comprehensive. There are many ideas put forth by the YCT leaders which they have not publicized, as far as I know. For example, OO Rabbi Katz has posted, last year and again this year, an essay about Yom Hashoah. (http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/when-elie-weisel-met-his-maker-a-brief-yom-hashoah-reflection/) In it he suggests that Hashem should attend classes given by Avraham Avinu, as well as Eli Wiesel, in order for Hashem to learn from them about ‘benevolence’ and how to better His ‘human rights’ and how to properly use His ‘retributive fury’. As crazy as it sounds, my presentation is accurate. The only word I can think of to describe this essay is blasphemy. So, I agree that Rabbis Rosenthal and Gordimer have not been ‘fair’ in their presentations of his views. They have not fairly presented his views, rather they have understated the case against him.

    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, as a failed deviant movement. 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 Rabbis Gordimer and Rosnenthal write their articles and books. 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.

  32. dr. bill says:

    yg, the conservative movement had a more attractive name than a modifier on orthodoxy. despite Rav rakeffets’ biases, the conservative movement had prof. kaplan in the 1920’s that rav Rakeffet himself attributes to scuttling a merger with riets back then. by the 40’s their vile siddur emerged followed by their “heter” for driving in the 50’s. my sense is the reform movement went from one of the 19th centuries great geonim to shellfish even faster.

    the neoconservative or whatever such label becomes next on the OO will soon be not just ridiculous but patently ridiculous.

    as i have said many times instead of wasting time on the OO, the future of modern orthodoxy is in Israel where halakhic confrontation with modernity continues. OO now trails Israel in halakhic innovation And thankfully academic Jewish studies are debunking much of the narishkeit, now seen as ikrei he’emunah, that has attached itself to our traditions.

    hopefully, this will lead to a new age of rationalism like the glory days of Andalusian Spain that brought us Rambam, Jewish philosophy and fundamentally new modes to understand our traditions.

    praying for success is more productive than expecting failure. kol haschalot kashot; often initial forays err. but the intent eventually can result in great success.

  33. Yoss says:

    You know, I was reading another piece where Ysoscher Katz was defending Halacha, saying Ethan Tucker has gone too far in some presentation, and I was starting to think maybe I had him wrong, and then he wrote that we “unfortunately” have to follow halacha, and also wrote, Heaven save us, that Hashem is capricious, Rachmana Litzlan. And I say, fool! Do you even remotely think you know?

    Theologically, what he said makes no sense- even traditional believers can understand that the suffering of people hurting each other is Free Will at work. And while that’s not the only way to explain it, רצה הקב״ה לזכות את ישראל
    And as the Rambam explains, the Mitzvos are לטוב לך.

    So now, I don’t care about your beliefs anymore- this is personal, and a מחאה for כבוד התורה ושמים.

    You call my Father In Heaven capricious, and you call the חמדה גנוזה that he gave to us something that we unfortunately have to follow, and I don’t care if your theology is correct or not (and it’s not), I have no reason or interest to continue the conversation.

  34. Steve Brizel says:

    Any and all interested readers should read R Gordimer’s article in this weeks Yated re: RS Farber his organization and his claims.

  35. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft and MB-The Talmud tells us that other than Beis Shanmai and its views being a Cheftza shel Torah that is absolutely worthy of learning and understanding as part of Elu vElu Dirvrei Elokim Chaim, Beis Shammai Bmakom Beis Hillel Eino Mishneh (at least in Olam HaZeh according to many Mkubalim because in Ymos HaMoshiah when Malchus HaShem is complete, the world can function by Midas HaEmes which is associated with Beis Shammai, as opposed to Beis Hillel , who are identified with Midas HaRachamim.. R Zevin ZL in Lor HaHalacha and HaMoadim BHalacha wrote that Beis Hillel is always focused on potential
    [ Poel] while Beis Shammai is only focused on the facts present right now [Ikus].

    Opinions in halacha and hashkafa are not a festchrift of karaoke like presentations but what and who Klal Yisrael has accepted the operative and accepted realms and addresses for Halacha and Hashkafa. Mycroft’s complaint about ethical lapses in the RZ worlds is not irrrelevan but ignores the issue I raised which was the migration of RJ to an agenda that is akin to the progressive agenda and an increasingly tolerance of individuals who openly aid and abet BDS, which is another form of anti Semitism. One cannot cite opinions of wholly rejected opinions or combine a series of rejected shittos into some sort of Tziruf HaShittos to make up one’s own notions of Halacha. You cannot” macht Shabbos far Zicht” in any area of halacha by seeking the guidance of someone whose knowledge is limited, as opposed to seeking answers from someone who is capable of rendering a proper psak .

    Dr Bill-many times the Gemara cites a Pasuk as the source of a complete Drasha of a Din Min haTorah or an Asmachta. In the realm of an Asmachta, the Ritva in RH warns against wholesale of Asmachtos in very strong language, and the Pre Mgadim in the Psicha Kolleles emphasizes that one must be aware of the difference between an Asmachta Chaduva and an Asmachta Balama. When the Gemara cites a view of a Tanna who cites a Pasuk , that is not solely as a means of helping identify similar statements by that Tana in aiding in determining who is the Tanna of the Mishnah under discussion, but rather because that Tanna had a Mesorah as to the meaning of that Pasuk, regardless of whether it is an Asmachata or a Drasha Gmura Min HaTorah.

    In many sugyos, the Gemara spends much time in identifying which Tanna is the author of a Mishnah by citing numerous statements of Tanaaim , investigating and rejecting numerous cases

  36. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill-my most recent posts were in response to this excerpted comment:
    ” asking for proof is a particularly greek influence. halakha tends to operate not on proof.”

  37. Steve Brizel says:

    MB and Mycroft-it should also be noted that one of the greatest of the Tannaim, R Eliezer HaGadol was put in cherem by appealing to extra halachic arguments and is called Shamutu either for being placed or in Cherem or as a talmid of Beis Shammai in numerous places in Shas. Lo Bashamayim means that the the acceptability of any view depends on the basis of the arguments made in support of a position, and not by resorting to extra-halachic arguments. Yet, it is an easy and mistaken premise to state that Halacha as opposed to Hashkafa, is what we turn to for guidance from Chazal. FWIW, Rashi in Pesachim 83b mentions the phrase “Daas Torah” and the Talmud in Pesachim 66a refers to Shamaya vAvtalyon as the two “Gdolei HaDor.” It is thus at least clear from these two sources that the above cited terms were phrases known to Rashi and the Talmud .

  38. Steve Brizel says:

    Mb wrote :
    “freedom defines Judaism”
    I think that if one learns Sefer Shmos the freedom we accepted was to be liberated from being slaves of Pharoah and accepting the mantle of Avodas HaShem at Har Sinai. That mantle is true freedom as opposed to the classical liberal sense of freedom. Whereas contemporary man focuses on rights, our focus and that of the Torah and especially TSBP has always been on what is my obligation and duty.

  39. Steve Brizel says:

    If the founders adherents and supporters of YCT claim fidelity to Halacha, let them affirmatively state that a Kohen cannot marry a Grusha or a Giyores and that conversion courts under their direction and control do not facilitate the conversion of a Giyores to marry a Kohen. ( If you want to see the answer to this query, just conduct your own Google search and you will see the answer together with the comments by the author as to his views as to the many halachos set forth in Parshas Acharei Mos. )

  40. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft wrote in part:

    “The Rav used to say we have a good product thus should market honestly, sadly, it appears that those stating only they or their teacher are entitled to an opinion do not show that they have confidence in their ideas as being logical and accurate.”

    Honesty in marketing by no means includes the notion that any and all positions advanced by those who lack expertise in halacha are accepted automatically, and are entitled to the same sense of legitimacy as other far more mainstream positions voiced by mainstream Poskim. Everyone, regardless of how they learn and observe halacha, has to adhere to the basic notion that there is a hierarchy of authority.

  41. mycroft says:

    “any and all positions advanced by those who lack expertise in halacha are accepted automatically,”
    No positions advanced by those who are even experts in halacha are accepted automatically-one must analyze any ones position. Exception,if I ask a sheila to someone I am bound by his answer.
    “and are entitled to the same sense of legitimacy as other far more mainstream positions voiced by mainstream Poskim.”
    Generally, generally accepted psakim are followed,but one can never follow a psak by anyone that one knows is wrong.

    ” Everyone, regardless of how they learn and observe halacha, has to adhere to the basic notion that there is a hierarchy of authority.”
    There is no formal halacha hierarchy of authority bizman hazeh, we have no Sanhedrin,.I am bound when I ask a sheila to follow the answer. You want to follow Rabbi X you can follow Rabbi X, someone else can follow Rabbi Y, BTW, there are different areas of halacha and there are different people who are experts in different areas. You can follow X but that does not require anyone else to follow X

  42. mycroft says:

    ” Lo Bashamayim means that the the acceptability of any view depends on the basis of the arguments made in support of a position, and not by resorting to extra-halachic arguments. ”

    So what does feminism have to do with the halachik permissibly one way or the other to do with female Rabbis

    “Yet, it is an easy and mistaken premise to state that Halacha as opposed to Hashkafa, is what we turn to for guidance from Chazal.”
    Certainly,we get hashkafa from Chazal,which should be basis for ALL our actions when Halacha is silent.We just don’t pasken hashkafa, thus we all should get hash kafafrom halacha, aggadata, maasei Chazal and certainly behavior of those who are experts in halacha,but that is a decision we all to have face,it is not bound by formal halachik psak

    ” FWIW, Rashi in Pesachim 83b mentions the phrase “Daas Torah” and the Talmud in Pesachim 66a refers to Shamaya vAvtalyon as the two “Gdolei HaDor.” It is thus at least clear from these two sources that the above cited terms were phrases known to Rashi and the Talmud .”
    Term daas Torah was known but not used in terms of post Vatican1 usage after 1870 or so.

  43. mycroft says:

    “and then he wrote that we “unfortunately” have to follow halacha,”
    We have to follow halacha whether we agree with it or not. We are all constrained by halacha. Nothing new, no ones form of justice is served because of the agunah cant marry wo a get -but halacha demands it and we follow halacha,how would you describe it

    “and also wrote, Heaven save us, that Hashem is capricious, Rachmana Litzlan. ”
    There certainly are views within Chazal that some chukim were made just to teach us discipline to obey God,what term would you use. I dont like the connotation of the word and hope that I wouldn’t use it,but essence he is consistent with some views in chazal

  44. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote in relevant part:

    “OO now trails Israel in halakhic innovation And thankfully academic Jewish studies are debunking much of the narishkeit, now seen as ikrei he’emunah, that has attached itself to our traditions.

    hopefully, this will lead to a new age of rationalism like the glory days of Andalusian Spain that brought us Rambam, Jewish philosophy and fundamentally new modes to understand our traditions”

    Look at the issue from this POV. How well did Spanish Jewry, especially those who were entranced with and embraced the MN do when confronted with the forces that led to Gerush Sfarad? New and well edited editions of classical sefarim and new excellent sefarim of Chddiushei Torah and ShuT are always welcome. Academic works that jetison bedrock hashkafa such as Yetzias Mitzrayim, Bchiras Yisrael and Matan Torah as well as import secular disciplines, PC sensitivities and values into both Halacha and the transmission of Halacha and TSBP should be and will always be rejected for what they are.

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