Is Rabbi Riskin Ordaining Female Rabbis?

You may also like...

216 Responses

  1. David F says:

    Riskins goals are clear. The WIHL’s goals are clear.
    This won’t affect the Charedi world who won’t even allow the publishing of women’s pictures. The only one’s who need to sweat this is the MO world. The RCA clearly sees the problem. The question is whether they’re up to the task of coming out more forcefully, ejecting any synagogue or school which hires any of these women from their membership, denouncing them, and going to battle against them.
    If past results are any gauge of future performance, the future is not a hopeful one. Perhaps they’ll finally realize that push has come to shove and now is the time to discard the softspeak and do what has to be done. I hope and pray that this will be the case.

  2. Steve Brizel says:

    Read the linked JP article, then look at the WIHL’s website and the agenda stated there and then ask yourself whether this crosses the line set forth at prior RCA conventions.

  3. dr. bill says:

    it appears rabbi Riskin was joined by RAL ztl’s choice for chief rabbi. he might explain RAL’s position and his decision coherently. One of his ordained a few years ago is more than a bat hachi; you would rue the day if you would choose to challenge her. Her husband is probably challenging enough.

    Instead of all this repetition, get ready for the release of what a YU RY said on this subject that was thought to be buried out of sight; Chazal reminded us that the walls, we now have even more advanced tools, have ears.

  4. dr. bill says:

    did they constitute a Sanhedrin? do they deserve their words being parsed? what about the OU’s recent obfuscation, which this graduation appears to abide by?

    Find another topic; this one is over. “Violations” of various types will continue before rabbis erect barriers behind real halakhic boundaries like Dayanut. Those will also be challenged in entirely halakhic ways.

    Mesorah and/or minhag does not always hold back legitimate halakhic change for long. A bat mitzvah this Sunday in Passaic that i hope to attend is a good example.

    meanwhile, the resistance is forcing really bright women into the study of academic approaches to Talmud, halakha, and history. Be careful about what you wish for.

  5. Why so mysterious? says:

    “what a YU RY said on this subject that was thought to be buried out of sight”

    Which Rosh Yeshiva? And what did he say?

  6. torlev says:

    “This RCA resolution, including its precise wording, was fully endorsed by major halachic authorities, including Rav Hershel Schachter, Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, and Rav Aharon Lichtenstein.”

    Can you kindly provide verification of the accuracy of this statement specifically regarding Rav Lichtenstein’s alleged endorsement of the 2010 resolution, “including its precise wording”?

  7. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill-I have been to more than a few simchos in Passaic. Enjoy the ambiance of a wonderful Makom Torah,.
    The fact that RAL ZL may have endorsed a candidate for CR is fascinating but illustrates now from his presence at this ceremony how marginalized that endorsement is and where that candidate is today-the far LW of RZ which means that such a candidate has an all but nonexistent chance of being nominated let alone
    designated and elected as CR. We have read your repeated praises of a book authored by two grads of Ohr Torah. I stand by my comments which were based on those of R Bechoffer as to the problematic nature of the book. Perhaps if mesorah and Minhag counted for more in realizing that men and women have equal and vastly different roles, we would not be reading about such meaningless spectacles which only advocates and defenders of the far LW of MO take seriously.
    torlev-look on the RCA website,

  8. Torlev says:

    “torlev-look on the RCA website,”

    Thank you. I do indeed see the resolution on the website. Please educate me as I am sincerely not knowledgeable about this- is the passage of the resolution proof that RAL endorsed it?

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      At the 2010 RCA convention, in which the resolution on women clergy was passed, RAL (who could not attend in person) sent a letter to convention attendees endorsing the resolution, which had been shared with him and the other RCA poskim prior to the resolution being presented at the convention. RCA leadership distributed RAL’s letter of endorsement of the resolution to all present. The letter was specifically reacting to the resolution, although it dealt with female leadership roles in general. The letter was later published here: http://traditiononline.org/pdfs/49.1/0031-0035.pdf (The words of endorsement, found near the end of the letter, are “As
      regards the former, holding the traditional line is, for us, very much in order”.)

  9. Steve Brizel says:

    The OU’s position hardly was a “recent obfuscation.” The OU applauded women’s learning and drew the line at ordination. Anyone who was at Citifield for a day of shiurim and lectures would note the abundance of great lectures and lecturers of both genders which were open to both genders. As always, it warrants inspecting and considering the evidence on the ground before reacting in a way that demonstrates one’s preconceived conclusion. OTOH, one can argue that R Riskin’s latest gesture merely illustrates how far he has marched to the far LW of MO in many ways from his far more mainstream and respected early days as a great and pioneering rav and rebbe.

  10. First of all, no one should be shocked by this. Rabbi Riskin, in a past video, gave Jesus the title of Rabbi so why not these women?
    Second, shouldn’t the feminine of Rabbi be Rabbit?
    Third, who does this affect? Any RWMO institution will not recognize these degrees. No serious rosh yeshiva or community Rav will say “Oh, but Rabbi Riskin did it so I have to accept their authority!” These women, if they pasken, will do so for their own community and that community doesn’t care about halachic boundaries.

  11. torlev says:

    Thank you, Rabbi Gordimer for providing the link to RAL’s remarks. (I was familiar with them- although I was not aware that they related to the 2010 resolution.)
    I believe that it is not an exaggeration to say that no person was ever more precise in choosing his words than RAL. The bottom line, “psak” quotation in the fairly lengthy, nuanced five pages is: “holding the traditional line is, for us, very much in order”. Note that he went out of his way to use the words “for us”. Furthermore, earlier in his remarks, he acknowledges that “Communities differ widely with respect to composition, context
    and location, as well as in internal and broader social dynamics. They differ likewise with respect to more
    definitively spiritual variables – the level of Torah knowledge, of Halakhic commitment, of spiritual aspiration
    and direction, the nature of their desiderata and of the means preferred or required to attain them. They differ, hence, in their relation to their specific mora de-atra and to the world which he represents. Consequently, what is avidly davar ha-nishma in one kehilla may be wholly beyond the pale in another; and vice versa.”

    You mention RAL’s endorsement for the 2010 resolution in helping make your case for strongly criticizing Rabbi Riskin. But does Rabbi Riskin not represent a different community? WADR, is it not possible- indeed probable- that RAL would not wish this issue to be turned into the source of so much strife and contention?

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      My pleasure, Torlev.

      RAL was writing to RCA members from around the globe, inclduing Israeli members, who participate in RCA conventions and various other RCA activities. Please also note that the RCA maintans an Israeli presence and that its members are community leaders throughout the world. It is thus not feasible to state that RAL’s words were only directed to North American communities and that he believed otherwise regarding Israeli communities.

      The issue was one of great contention when RAL penned his letter; he was aware of the rough waters and harsh waves that would possibly ensue. But that did not stop him from writing as he did on this issue.

  12. dr. bill says:

    why so mysterious, i have seen nothing but was told by a hyper-reliable source.

    steve brizel, when rav Stav is called ultra-liberal, it is time to take notice that in Israel the liberal orthodox is all that is left to carry on the tradition; most other MO have entered the chareidi-light right.

  13. lacosta says:

    The OU’s position hardly was a “recent obfuscation.”

    —but one rather expects that in about 30 months , that organization will become rather invertebrate, when the Flagrant Four congregations call the bluff and leave their female Rabbis intact….

  14. mavin says:

    No surprise with Riskin. He was ahead of their deceitful game of watering down Judaism and calling it ‘Orthodox’ – long before the OO cookoo group. The ones who will be the victims are the uninformed who just don’t know the difference, r’l.

  15. Steve Brizel says:

    R Stav ( whose brother IIRC is a RaM in KBY but of decidedly not the same views as the R Stav in OTS) has had LW RZ views and is associated with R Riskin precisely because of those views. One can clearly ask what tradition R Stav stands for based on his prior and present stances.

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr Bill wrote:

    “meanwhile, the resistance is forcing really bright women into the study of academic approaches to Talmud, halakha, and history.”

    If such individuals approach Talmud and Halacha from what is best described as a different set of Ami Maamins and the feminist agenda towards such issues, they will create nothing more than an echo chamber and should be viewed accordingly. The tragedy is that such brilliant women buy into that message which is rooted in disdain for Mesorah and an utter contempt for the conventional Jewish family.

  17. torlev says:

    Rabbi Gordimer-
    “It is thus not feasible to state that RAL’s words were only directed to North American communities and that he believed otherwise regarding Israeli communities.”
    Of course- and I indeed never stated this.
    My belief is that he recognized the reality that there exist varying communities both in Israel and in North America that are subject to the above-quoted truism that “what is avidly davar ha-nishma in one kehilla may be wholly beyond the pale in another.”
    Sounds to me like he was leaving room for accepting and respecting differing paths in avodas hashem (regarding this particular issue) depending on each kehilla’s differing “spiritual variables”.

  18. Raymond says:

    What bothers me far more than the specific issues involved here, is that somebody like Rabbi Riskin is negatively involved in this. Rabbi Riskin was one of the foremost students of the late, great Rav Joseph Soloveitchik. I have been receiving Rabbi Riskin’s weekly Torah commentary in the mail for countless years. I have and have read a published, five-volume work of his Torah commentaries as well. He was a tremendously successful Orthodox Rabbi at the Lincoln Square Synagogue over in New York, and has been instrumental in building up the substantial religious Jewish community in Efrat in Israel. I have heard him speak in person many times both in mainstream, Orthodox shuls as well as at local, annual Orthodox Union conventions.

    A man with such credentials has a moral duty to authentically represent Torah Judaism. If Rabbi Riskin feels compelled to rebel against it by testing its boundaries, he should think of the far-reaching consequences that his words have on the public at large, and should remain silent when he gets into such moods, for if an average Jew like me cannot trust a Rabbi like him, than who can we trust? That is how I feel when I hear of other such Rabbis testing the waters, such as Rabbi Irving Greenberg and, even worse for me personally, Rabbi Nathan Cardozo. These Rabbis need to realize that they are not isolated individuals who are free to do or say whatever they want, but are also symbols of authentic Judaism, and therefore of Absolute Truth, for many of us.

  19. dr. bill says:

    steve brizel, i can give you a set of books by women academics that cover a wide swath of opinions on the issues you glibly co-mingle. many of these women are strictly orthodox but have been exposed to enough to know that some new ikrei Emunah are just that, new beliefs.

    I hope you would commit to reading enough to stop asserting baseless generalities about things you know nothing about. i will give you three authors to start with: books by Elisheva Baumgarten on the medieval period in ashkenaz. a book about yuharah by a nyu Ph.D. of a decade ago. a book by Shana Strauch (forgot her married name) on kavannah from Dr. Elman at Revel.

    if you have not read much of these women’s literature, you might not want to stop commenting from a position of strong bias and total ignorance.

  20. Steve Brizel says:

    Academic works are far less important by eomen are far less important than women who are Shomrei Mitzvos Yirei Shamayim and happily married being the anchor of kedusha in their homes. I do not see works by the authors you cite as necessarily or desirable role mpdels for the overwhelming majority of MO and RZ men or women or need yo realize that their lives should not be spirituaaly mediocre to paraphrase the language of CI.

  21. dr. bill says:

    steve brizel, you make it too easy. you have a power stronger than nevuah to be able to reach conclusions about things you admit knowing nothing about. you might find out that these women lead lives that even you find inspiring. But i assume you prefer to remain ignorant of what they wrote and biased about them. Anyone knowing any of them has proof positive of your reliability.

    how about Rabbi Dr. Prof. Wimpfheimer’s book on the Talmud? it will give you a good introduction to academic Talmud on a sugyah that does not have relevance except to dayanim in complex situations in choshen mishpot. Actually, even his classical lomdus is instructive. and he is MALE or at least appears so.

  22. Steve Brizel says:

    Not interested .Emes Yesh lo Raglayim.Sheker ain lo raglayim

  23. dr. bill says:

    steve, raglayim take you where you want to go. not interested is good enough for me. i will treat your comments appropriately

  24. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    Rabbi Riskin made a revealing comment at a conference on Orthodoxy and feminism in 1998: It should be easier, halachically, to have a woman as a full-fledged rabbi than for the conservative and reform movements where very often , the rabbi also serves as the cantor or Torah reader, and at least at this point, it seems to me to be clearly prohibited. Note the words “at least at this point.” One wonders what he was thinking about for the future.

  25. mycroft says:

    ““what a YU RY said on this subject that was thought to be buried out of sight”

    Which Rosh Yeshiva? And what did he say?”
    I’m not Dr Bill, but the following report from YU Student Newspaper should be of interest reporting different sides of dispute by YURY

    http://yucommentator.org/2015/11/yu-roshei-yeshiva-address-the-topic-of-women-rabbis/

  26. Steve Brizel says:

    Ikarei emunah are not just mere beliefs
    They are immutable and non negotiable ikarim that play a very large role on our observance of mitzvos. Someone who has does not believe in the truth of the nusach of any Birkas Hamitzvah and the nusach Hatefilos on our Siddur and Machzor should not opining as to what they they think are the underlying principles of any Mitzvah Halacha Minhag or Tefilah

  27. dr. bill says:

    Lawrence Reisman, since when is halakhic accuracy a sign of impending danger? Back when the Grash gave his pesak against JTS ordaining women he objected to the fact that JTS semicha at the time authorized musmachim to act as dayanim.

    Being accurate halakhically seems to have gone out of fashion; the creations of ultra-orthodoxy from Hungary in the later part of the 19th century, opposed by the Ktav Sofer and Maharam Schick to name just Two presumably OO rabbis, seems to have overtaken the need to follow halakha.

  28. mycroft says:

    “karei emunah are not just mere beliefs
    They are immutable and non negotiable”
    Whose ikarim,Maimonides?Abarbanel? Crescas?Albo? We don’t pasken whose if any are correct.Our ikkarim are the Torah.

  29. dr. bill says:

    mycroft, i am ashamed of you; it’s steve’s ikarim that are dispositive. Only academics confuse us with facts, occasionally joined by an OO rabbi. telling us about the Greek formulation of ikarim chosen by a Rishon over a more traditional Jewish formulation is not possibly true despite the obvious non-existence of that formulation in any Talmudic or geonic text.

  30. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    Dr. Bill: I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make. Could you please elucidate further? Also, I am most intrigued by your argument that the Ksav Sofer and the Maharam Shick opposed the creations of ultra-Orthodoxy. Can you give some specific examples and sources?

  31. dr. bill says:

    Lawrence Reisman, you need to read about the rise of ultra-orthodoxy in Hungary in the last third of the 19th century. Maharam Schick, Ksav Sofer, Rav E Hildesheimer and many others whose seforim are still read opposed the ultra-orthodox. Read the works of the late Prof. Katz (i think he was related to Maharam Schick) and his students (Silber in particular) among many others. Issues around sermons in the vernacular, level of cooperation wrt community-wide issues, etc. were rampant. i cannot recall, but i believe Maharam Schick, generally acknowledged as the CS’s greatest talmid, has some published teshuvot on this issue.

  32. Bob Miller says:

    If we were better at keeping Jews informed and engaged, unkosher innovations would gain less traction.

  33. Michael Lipkin says:

    This is not really such a big issue in Israel. R. Gordimer’s is merely using it to further his US-based crusade. We don’t have an RCA, OU or “TORA” nor do their pronouncements and predilections carry much weight here. There are no organizations controlling rabbis and shuls seeking to defend their dwindling turf by creating a “monster” to scare people into submission. Women have been ordained here for years and will continue to be. There may be a lone rabbi here or there speaking out, but they carry no weight and have no ability to affect outcomes. The Chareidi establishment is irrelevant to this discussion. And for the record Israel is also the wild west of ordination. Outside the rabbinate’s grueling certification there are no standards and countless men (Charei and not) are ordained every year with far, far less knowledge than these women.

  34. rkz says:

    A. Actually, here in Israel, the idea of “women rabbis” is the exclusive domain of the far-left, which is a very small group and unimportant halakhicly, but very vocal and beloved in the media.
    B. Gedoley haRabbanim have spoken against the lunacies of the far-left (indeed, the rabbis the RAG mentioned are not gedolim at all, but Maranan ve-Rabanan, of all groups, charedi and RZ, have spoken about these issues, and they completely rejected the desires of the far-left)
    C. I must state clearly that when I write “far-left” I am not referring to any individuals, per se, but to their views and actions.

  35. Michael Lipkin says:

    A. Actually, neither rabbis Sperber, Hefter nor Riskin are “far” left IMO. They are talmidei Chachamim who operate totally within the realm of halacha. Calling them far left is, in this forum, a pejorative that adds nothing to the conversation. Of course it’s small now, it’s something new. There are more in the pipeline and there’s no logical reason why it won’t continue to grow. And here in Israel since, for the most part, Judaism operates on a continuum unhindered by organizational labeling there’s really nobody who has the authority to throw these people out of an “orthodoxy” that doesn’t exist. The success of this phenomenon (as really all innovations in religion) will mainly be determined by market forces.

    B. “Gedoley haRabbanim” are a dime a dozen here and the fact that the “left” is flourishing in terms partnership minyanim, increasing involvement of women in various shul rituals, high level learning, etc. shows that their impact is limited. Again, this is being driven by market forces.

  36. rkz says:

    Dr. Bill, wrt to Maharam Schick ztl, IIRC he was the leader of the majority group of Rabbanim, while REH ztl was the leader of one minority group (which was the left of Maharam Schick, so to speak, wrt to the relationship with the Neologim and other related questions), and the Makhane Chaim ztl was the leader of another minority group (which was to the right of Maharam Schick, so to speak. wrt to these issues)
    REH ztl left Hungary for Germany because he did not want to create a major makhloket, and the course of Orthodox Jewry in Hungary was decided by the other two groups of Rabbanim.

  37. Sarah Elias says:

    Why do commenters keep harping on the amount of knowledge these women rabbinical candidates possess? Granted these women know more halacha than many chareidi men. How is that relevant to the question of whether women are permitted to be ordained as rabbis? Bruria, the wife of Rabbi Meir, knew more Torah and halacha than all these rabbis and rabbats combined and still did not receive semicha and wasn’t a rabbi.

  38. mycroft says:

    ” Outside the rabbinate’s grueling certification there are no standards and countless men (Charei and not) are ordained every year with far, far less knowledge than these women.”
    There are those in US who choose to get smicha from one of the private smichas in Israel, easier standards than many US institutions. I have seen of those attack those on the left.

  39. dr. bill says:

    rkz, be careful about what you call small groups that constitute the vast majority of professors where most non-chareidim are educated. (they are not so small – tzohar is not a miut sheaino matzui.) If numbers counted the minuscule number of rabbinites at the times of the churban would not have become dominant over the next 400 + years. Especially compelling is their propensity to produce innovative literature. It will take time for academic talmud and halakha to find simpler ways to educate the younger student effectively; perhaps it like classical learning will remain the domain of the elite like in our past.

  40. mycroft says:

    “If numbers counted the minuscule number of rabbinites at the times of the churban would not have become dominant over the next 400 + years. ”
    You don’t want to go there. There were two minuscule groups at the time of the churban that became much stronger later,one of course the Rabbanan the other has more than a hundred times more adherents today.

  41. mycroft says:

    Why do commenters keep harping on the amount of knowledge these women rabbinical candidates possess? Granted these women know more halacha than many chareidi men. How is that relevant to the question of whether women are permitted to be ordained as rabbis?
    Agreed-using two separate issues ,one is could a woman who knows as much as RMF,or the Rav get smicha? Standards for anyone to get smicha including men.Two separate issues

  42. rkz says:

    A. Dr. Bill, I was not referring to professors, but to rabbis. (Some are also professors, but that is irrelevant to the issue).
    B. BTW, “The vast majority of professors” do not belong to the far-left. (I teach in two religious academic institutes and the vast majority of the faculty are much much closer to my views on these issues than to those of the far-left, while there are quite a few who are to my right on some of the relevant issues)
    C. Indeed, many rabbis belong to Tzohar, but the majority of Tzohar members do not hold far-left views. Tzohar does not hold elections (perfectly legal. It is completely private organization), and the views and actions of RDS do not necessarily represent the views of all Tzohar members, or even the majority of members (btw, one of the Rabbis that RAG mentioned is also a long-time member of Tzohar). Indeed, some (and not a few) Rabbis belong both to Tzohar and to Derekh Emuna (headed by the other Rabbi that RAG mentioned).
    D. AFAIK, the rabbinites (as you called them) where the majority of Jews in Judea before the churban, so I do not understand hat you meant to say wrt to that comparison.
    E. I have no animus to academic Talmud. As I wrote before (on another thread), what counts (for everyone) is yirat shamaim.

  43. rkz says:

    Michael:

    A1. Unfortunately, Rabbis Sperber, Hefter and Riskin are firmly in the far-left group. They are certainly bekiim in halakha and they have many zechuyot. However, the path that they have chosen is incompatible with derekh haTorah. I called them far-left because it is important to know who can speak for halakha and emuna, and who sadly chose to leave the mahakne of Shlomey Emuney Yisrael.
    A2. I am not a navi and neither are you (WADR). I do not know how many women will be “ordained” in the future, rh”l, but it does not matter. Emet is Emet, regardless of numbers. I referred to the far left as a very small group because it seemed from your post that you think they are strong and influential within the RZ Torah world, which is a mistaken description of the reality. If that was not what you meant to say, I apologize.
    A3. I care not about the label “orthodox”‘ but about who can speak for derekh ha-Torah. The far-left can not be considered to be a true representative of derekh ha-Torah, anywhere on the globe. I do not have any institutional authority or power, but the emet is not measured by those parameters.
    A4. I support market forces when it comes to economics. Torah is not an economic “product” and it does not matter how many people “buy” into wrong ideologies and forsake derekh ha-Torah, the emet does not change.
    B1. The identity of “Gedoley haRabbanim” is ell known, and since the Torah is “yekara mi-paz”, it is woth much much more than “a dime a dozen”…
    B2. The “flourishing” of the far left is rather limited (despite all the media hoopla), and market forces are irrelevant wrt derekh ha-Torah.

  44. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-when you daven and recite any Birkas Hamitzvah you are referring to Ikarrei Emunah. When you observe Shabbos YT and mitzvos you are affirming Ikarei Emunah. One need not play rope a dope behind argumengts such as whose philosophical system is more appealing or that hashkafa is not a matter of Psak.

  45. dr. bill says:

    rkz, as i thought about your post, i seem to remember God being cholaik in explaining his choice of a rather small nation. Perhaps you can join the dominant sect that was also relatively small at the times of the churban.

    i am reminded of what my late father ah would say, “a nahr veist min nit kein halbe arbeit.” I told my father that traveling to the SFO airport in the 1990’s I, the nahr, realized how true that was once the airport was fully reconstructed.

  46. Steve Brizel says:

    Michael Lipkin wrote in part:
    “neither rabbis Sperber, Hefter nor Riskin are “far” left IMO. They are talmidei Chachamim who operate totally within the realm of halacha”

    If one reads their writings, public statements and actions, a reasonable observer would clearly disagree and conclude that each has gravitated to the far LW of MO. R D Sperner wrote a a wonderful sefer on Minhagim, but his views on Nusach HaTefilah are way beyond any traditional explanation of Tefila.

    THose of us who recall; R Riskin as a pioneering rav and wonderful rebbe in YU’s JSS see today someone who has adopted the Greenberg-Hartman hashkafic playbook and who , while in the US, consulted with Gdolei Torah such as RYBS, RMF, RYK and the Lubavitcher Rebbe Zicronam Livracha, never sought the advice and Psak from a Gadol after making aliyah in the manner that RAL ZL sought out and had a strong relationship with RSZA ZL. For a while, R RIskin sought out the advice and guiidance of RAL ZL but that became attenuated over the years as well. R Riskin was tolerated by the Yeshiva and Chasidishe worlds in the US because of his success in kiruv and was even honored by Torah UMesorah. IMO, R Riskin underestimated the power of the Charedi world in Israel and failed to seek the approval of a single Gadol for any of his initiatives. The question that a reasonable person can and should ask is how do the graduates of his programs measure up against those who attended either Gush KBY a Shaalvim Michlala, RIETS and similar programs in terms of adherence to Halacha and Mesorah, producing educated and observant Bnei and Bnos Torah, and Talmidei Chachamim. amd their views on Halacha Hashkafa and many other issues in any communal roles either in the US or Israel
    It is sad and tragic that R RIskin who in the US challenged MO to be more mdakdek bmitzvos , to learn more ,advocated kiruv ,and built an educational program at LSS that was the envy of many shuls in the US, and whon would have been a great president of YU if he had stayed in the US and faced down the feminist critique of Halacha as slanderous, which RYBS did, took the long march from those accomplishments to the fringes of the LW MO world so as to advocate a message of pluralism and progressiveness uber alles as opposed to a principled message of adherence to Torah and Mesorah and being a Ben or Bas Torah who views Yiras Shamayim and adherence to Torah and Mitzvos as being transcendent over any challenges presented by modern society.

    R Hefter’s public statements depict someone who has walked away from halacha and bedrock ikarei emunah, and grafted statements from Baalei Chasidus to suit his POV.

  47. rkz says:

    Dr. Bill.
    I see that I was not clear, and therefore you did not understand what I wrote.
    I’ll try to clarify:
    Most Jews in the time of the churban were rabbinic Jews. This is a conclusion based on what we know about that time period. It is not a statement of value or even of proof.

  48. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft-when you daven and recite any Birkas Hamitzvah you are referring to Ikarrei Emunah.”
    I believe one must follow Torah and Halacha.
    “When you observe Shabbos YT and mitzvos you are affirming Ikarei Emunah. ”
    I am doing mitzvot-some some might call Ikrei Emunah but that isnot helpful., ob viously mitzvot of belief.
    “One need not play rope a dope behind argumengts such as whose philosophical system is more appealing”
    I am not the one who repeats mystical challenges to Rambam as following Greek philosophy ,one could easily make charges of non Jewish influences on mystical writings see eg Yehudah Liebes” we have various hashkafic sources,not appropriate to be ones taking sides either for or against Rambam etc ,”or that hashkafa is not a matter of Psak.”
    fundamental idea in Yahadus,we pasken halacha

  49. Bob Miller says:

    Note to lots of people:
    There is such a thing as a bad trend.
    Challenges are thrown our way that call on us to play defense and not just go with the flow.
    Are fundamental principles a Chinese menu? Opening positions for negotiation? Subject to our personal likes and dislikes?

  50. Mycroft says:

    Rkz
    I do not claim to be an expert, but I believe there are historical debates about how continuous Raavinic Jews are from Pharisees, and Tanaitic Jews etc. it is not as clear to me now as it was a couple of decades ago that we are Just.straight continuation of Pharisees

  51. rkz says:

    Mycroft
    I am not an expert either, but from what I read about it, I am sure that there is a complete continuation. From what I see, those who doubt this are usually agenda-driven.

  52. Mycroft says:

    Certainly there are always agendas, those ho maintain that the Tanaaim are a straight continuation of Bayis sheni have one aged a to show that Chazal essentially wer a continuation of 2nd Bayit Yahadus. The more. Read the less sure.
    As Rabb Weider posted OU about Bible study both the Yeshiva and the University have their assumptions, Yeshiva Bible Devine, university man written, all the analysis starts from one assumption or the other. Take your assumptions one has their belief.

  53. dr. bill says:

    rkz, we have very divergent views about the evolution of rabbinical judaism and its connection to the perushim. a blog discussion is not helpful.

    a rather liberal level of retrojection has had the effect of making reconstructing actual history difficult. the very notion of accuracy has undergone a transformation. the miracle of the dominance of rabbinic Judaism was likely not insignificant.

  54. mycroft says:

    “a rather liberal level of retrojection has had the effect of making reconstructing actual history difficult. the very notion of accuracy has undergone a transformation. ”
    AGREED

    “the miracle of the dominance of rabbinic Judaism was likely not insignificant.”Depending on which definition of miracle if “noun: miracle; plural noun: miracles
    If
    “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.”I disagree,success of religion in in probable circumstances does not prove divine blessing,there are others with much greater numerical success.If definition of miracle is “a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences” I agree.

  55. Ben Waxman says:

    ” And less than a year ago, leading Dati Leumi/Religious Zionist Israeli rabbis, including Rav Shlomo Aviner and Rav Baruch Efrati, and the North American TORA Rabbis organization, specifically criticized the WIHL program for its breach of the rule that women may not be clergy.”

    WADR, these two rabbis are on the far right of the Dati Leumi world, even to the right of many Mercaz Harav rabbanim. To cite them as representative of the Dati Leumi world is a complete distortion.

    Secondly, I hope that everyone has noted the silence in Israel over this issue. No calls for expelling Rav Riskin, to calls to declare him “not Orthodox”, no calls to pasul him or his actions in any way. The concerns about Open Orthodox are strictly an American affair, not an Israeli issue.

  56. dr. bill says:

    rkz, i have no agenda. Rabbinic Judaism was built consistent with the practices of the perushim. However, much was newly introduced as well. You do not go through a churban without some reaction; chareidi practice is a change significantly driven by a reaction to the Holocaust. Chazal succeeded in creating a Jewish identity that carried us through 2000 years of exile, a miraculous event of epic proportions; the current chareidi reaction is not, IMHO, even close in its ability to help us survive. They charted that path adhering to ancient religious practice; chareidim invented an imagined past. and created some new practices out of whole cloth.

  57. rkz says:

    Dr. Bill.
    I agree that a blog discussion is not the most helpful venue for this issue.

  58. Shades of Gray says:

    “As Rabb Weider posted OU about Bible study both the Yeshiva and the University have their assumptions…”

    Mycroft,

    Where is the shiur by R. Weider you are referring to ?

  59. Ralph Suiskind says:

    I guess his ego and success has overtaken his commitment to genuine commitment to Torah and Mesorah.

    I may as many others including many great sages past and present disagree with the many of the rulings of chief rabbinate of the State of Israel past and present, but never have the temerity to publicly undermine their authority .

    Our sinful past has lead to this junction in which our rich Jewish tradition is in jeopardy. Even though the Torah and our Sages have on countless occasions given ample praise and recognition to women for their fortitude in preserving us as a holy people, we past and present have shirked our responsibility to them.

    In keeping with their G-d given nature and responsibility were women given the proper Jewish upbringing and education in accordance with Torah Mesorah, these deviant deleterious movements (OO ETC)and such individuals as Riskin would never have arisen. Men would be men and women would be women . Each different but equal fulfilling in their unique G-d ordained role in the world

  60. rkz says:

    A response to Ben Waxman:

    A. AFAIK, all major Dati Leumi Rav (e.g. HaGaon Harav Ya’akov Ariel, HaGaon HaRav Dov Lior) oppose “ordaining” women (and other far-left projects). Since many Rabbanim have already registered their complete opposition to this deviation in the past, they see no reason to waste their time on revisiting this far-left lunacy. (BTW, which Rav in Merkaz Harav is to the left of RBE or the other Rabbi mentioned, wrt to these issues? AFAIK, no one)
    B. The reason for the relative silence in Israel is simple- almost no one views RSR (and other Rabbis who have similar misguided views) as an halakhic authority, and so the Gedolim usually protest new deviations, so that derekh HaTorah will be clear, and do not repeat it again, for lack of to’elet, leaving the day to day work to younger Rabbanim (e.g. RBE)
    C. BTW, IIRC The major reason that RBE re-activated the derekh Emuna organization is to inform the public about the true derekh haTorah .

  61. dr. bill says:

    rkz, the emergence of a chareidi society in Hungary is not a field that i have invested much effort in following. i have read some works by Michael Silber and David Ellefson and some discussion of Maharam Schick by prof. katz. i am led to believe that the radical charedi movement of r. Lichtenstein gave rise to today’s chareidi modes of thinking and was opposed by both the ksav Sofer and Maharam Schick. you are correct that Rav Hildesheimer was part of a small left-wing minority and he left for Germany.

  62. mycroft says:

    “As Rabb Weider posted OU about Bible study both the Yeshiva and the University have their assumptions…”

    Mycroft,

    Where is the shiur by R. Weider you are referring to ?

    I don’t recall parthat he gave warning about university study of Tanach,because of different assumptions.

  63. Bob Miller says:

    I can do without religion-as-politics. Let’s try to focus more on the truth and pedigree of ideas.

  64. rkz says:

    Dr. Bill. I have read quite a lot about that time period in Hungary, since it was very relevant (halakhicly) to some topics in my sefer (esp. wrt the definition and dimension of shilton ha-kehilla). My conclusions were that there were indeed two groups (after REH ztl left Hungary)., but they had a very complex relationship, which uniquely combined extensive co-operation and intense opposition.

  65. Ben Waxman says:

    A response to rkz:
    1) I said that Rav Aviner and Rav Efrati are to right on most DL rabbis and are not representative of the DL world. This statement is particularly true regarding any issue involving women. If there are so many other DL rabbis who oppose Rav Riskin, surely someone more representative could have been chosen.

    2) I don’t even believe that Rav Riskin views himself as a halachic authority. He has no books of piskei halacha. He is a community leader. You say Rav Riskin is ignored but some of the most important DL rabbis have gone out of their way to defend him, even when they state that they disagree with some of his rulings.

    3) Rav Efrati is by any definition, part and parcel of the chardal world. He doesn’t rule or influence more mainline or centerist Jews, any more than rabbanim from Bnei Brak influence these populations. Which is fine – each community has its leadership.

  66. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-like it or not when you observe Shabbos you are giving testimony that Hashem Yisborach created the world and rested on the seventh day . When tou observe the Yamim Noraim and Shlaoah Regalim you are reenacting and reafffirmg why rhose days are special every year.

  67. Steve Brizel says:

    Ben Waxman-unfortunately RRiskin took the long march to the far left on his own.

  68. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft the same Rambam who wrote the MN wrote the Yad and the Perush HaMishnah. It is obvious that they were meant for different readers with the MN intended for those hashkafically challenged by Aristotelian rationalism the Yad as a restatement of Halacha and the Perush HaMishna intended for yet another audience. That is why one finds contrafictions between all three works .Yet even Rambam.in Yesodei HaTorah 8 emphasizes the binding nature of Maamad Har,Sinai and Kabalas HaTorah solely by the numbers therat. Rambans critique at the end of Acharei Mos of a purely rationalist based Emunah has much contemporary relevance for those who arrogantly th8nk that a rationalist approaach can explain that which Moshe Rabbeinu did not receive an answer for.

  69. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft the same Rambam who wrote the MN wrote the Yad and the Perush HaMishnah”
    Agreed
    “It is obvious that they were meant for different readers with the MN intended for those hashkafically challenged by Aristotelian rationalism”
    Not obvious to me at all, I believe that the RAMBAM wanted all readers to reach the stage of understanding philosophy,beginning of MT is essentially philosophy,RAMBAM expected his MT to be read in order .

    ” the Yad as a restatement of Halacha and the Perush HaMishna intended for yet another audience. ”
    YAD intended so people would know everything they needed to know wo having to learn Gemarrah and have time for metaphysics.

    “That is why one finds contrafictions between all three works .”
    Similarities much more important of course requires knowledge of both halacha and philosophy which very few understand. See eg Prof TwerskyZTL in his book on MT where he shows fourteen sections in MT parallel to same number in MN and represent similar ideas
    “t. Rambans critique at the end of Acharei Mos of a purely rationalist based Emunah has much contemporary relevance for those who arrogantly th8nk that a rationalist approaach can explain that which Moshe Rabbeinu did not receive an answer for.”
    One can challenge mystics ideas as having non Jewish sources as easily as one can attack rationalists ideas see Yehudah Liebes on non Jewish influences on leading mystical texts

  70. dr. bill says:

    i do not believe even rabbi riskin considers himself a halakhist. however, it does always require a posek to figure out what is halakhic versus societal. the argument boils down to: does societal behavior establish a minhag that binds a future changed society. i assume he argues it does not. how minhagim of that type are treated is of course argued, hence streimelach and peltz in 90 degree heat 🙂

  71. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft responded as follows to this post:

    ““When you observe Shabbos YT and mitzvos you are affirming Ikarei Emunah. ”
    I am doing mitzvot-some some might call Ikrei Emunah but that isnot helpful., ob viously mitzvot of belief.”

    All of the Mitzvos associated with the positive and negative aspects of the observance of Shabbos ( Zachor vShamor), whether on the weekly observance of Shhabos as well those associated with theyearly observance of the Shalosh Reglaim and the Yamim Noraim involve the reaffirmation of the events,as opposed to merely the beliefs set forth therein, as meaningful to us in 2018 of the Ikarei Emunah stated therein as defined by Chazal and the Rishonim, You call them “mitvos of belief” which IMO attempts to mimimize their importance-The Nusach of the Birkas HaMitzvah tells us that we perform and fulfil them because Asher Kidshanyu Bmitzvosav Vzivanu-we are commanded to perform them as restating that these mitzvos are pat and parcel of the unique and irrevocable covenant between HaShem and His People that we entered into at Har Sinai.

  72. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-All of the Mitzvos associated with the positive and negative aspects of the observance of Shabbos
    ( Zachor vShamor), whether the weekly observance of Shabos as well those associated with the yearly observance of the Shalosh Reglaim and the Yamim Noraim involve the reaffirmation of the events,as opposed to merely the beliefs set forth therein, as meaningful to us in 2018 of the Ikarei Emunah stated therein as defined by Chazal and the Rishonim, That is why we blow the shofar, fast and try to act angelic on YK, eat in a sukkah change our houses over for Pesach, have a Seder and read Aseres HaDibros in a different way in shul on Shavuous than we do during the readig of Parshas Yiosro during the year. You call them “mitvos of belief” which IMO attempts to mimimize their importance as mitzvos of emphasizing those critical events and their importance for every member of Knesses Yisrael-The Nusach of the Birkas HaMitzvah tells us that we perform and fulfil them because Asher Kidshanyu Bmitzvosav Vzivanu-we are commanded to perform them as restating that these mitzvos are part and parcel of the unique and irrevocable covenant between HaShem and His People that we entered into at Har Sinai.

  73. rkz says:

    A response to Ben Waxman:
    1A) You said that RSA and RBE are “even to the right of many Mercaz Harav rabbanim”, and I responded that AFAIK this statement is incorrect.
    1B) As to these 2 Rabbis being “to right on most DL rabbis and are not representative of the DL world”, as you restated now, I do not know, but AFAIK there is no way to arrive at a definitive conclusion. (their view clearly reflects that of the Merkaz world and of the Kav. Wrt to the Gush you are probably correct, and other Battei Midrash I am not sure)
    1C) Other Rabbanim (much greater than the 2 that RAG quoted) spoke and wrote about these issues in the past, so the technical question why RAG chose to quote RSA and RBE, should be answered by RAG. I do not know.
    2a) If RSR agrees that he is not an halachic authority, he should consult a major posek (e.g. HaGaon haRav Ya’akov Ariel), and stop inventing a derekh.
    2b) . You wrote “some of the most important DL rabbis have gone out of their way to defend him, even when they state that they disagree with some of his rulings.” Who? (I know of one, and I do not think that he himself thinks that he is one of “the most important of DL rabbis”, and even that as on a totally different issue. However, it is possible, even probable, that I missed some statements by other Rabbanim.)
    3) You wrote “Rav Efrati is by any definition, part and parcel of the chardal world.” Of course, that is totally true (BTW, some am I), but not relevant. We all have the same Torah and are bound by the same halakha. There are many machlokot within derekh haTorah, but what is out of bounds is out of bounds for all Jews (including “more mainline or centerist Jews”, whatever that means in the current context).

  74. rkz says:

    in point 3 it should read “so am I”

  75. rkz says:

    Dr. Bill, wrt to halakhic vs. societal. I agree that there is such a chiluk, but it is totally irrelevant here, since this is an halakhic issue (and one that has extremely important ramification wrt the eternity of Torah)

  76. mycroft says:

    ” since this is an halakhic issue ”
    What is the halachik issue? What English title you give someone?

  77. rkz says:

    a. serera
    b. chikuy ha-minim
    c. fidelity to the mesorah
    etc.

  78. dr. bill says:

    a) he can not even choose how long to speak on shabbos. serrara is not a function of having semicha, it may derive from personal stature.

    b) minim wear ties and now have female physicians as commonly as white geese.

    c) 614 or larger.

    etc. 615+

    even the GRASH stuck with serrara since conservative semicha of that era included dayanut.

    the horse left the barn. reenforcing the door in new useless tape is a bit late.

  79. mycroft says:

    “a. serera”A Rabbi is employed solong as Congregation desires it, NO SERARA
    b”. chikuy ha-minim” after getting rid of shrubs on Shavuos, tashlich, kapparos, raise the issue again. or read Yehudah Liebes on nonJewish influences in Zohar.
    c. “fidelity to the mesorah” there is no mesorah one way or the other on the issue, women Rabbis were not on the horizon 100 years ago
    etc

  80. Bob Miller says:

    About this gem, above–
    c. “fidelity to the mesorah” there is no mesorah one way or the other on the issue, women Rabbis were not on the horizon 100 years ago

    This means, I guess, that there can be no mesorah about the unthinkable. Think about it.

    By the way, the most critical issue we’re possibly capable of solving here is which spelling to use:
    halachic?
    halachik?
    halakhic?
    halakhik?
    halakhik
    Let’s vote!

  81. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-only 1 of tbe 14 bookd pf the Yad is devoted to what you describe as metaphysics. The rest is what we would call Halacha,Lmaaseh. Ramban merely critiqued use of rationalism as a basis for either pbserving or jettisoning mitzcos. he same Ramban who wrote Milchamos and Chidushei HaRamban also wrote a commentary on Chumash which is not primarily mystical in orientation. AFAIK the Gemara in Brachos quotes at least one Tanna to rhe fact that Moshe Rabbeinu did not receive an answer to the issue of Tzadik.Vra lo Rasha btov lo. One need not be exclusively rationalist or “mystical” as you mislabel Ramban to be aware of that .

  82. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft one can argue quite seriously that Kiddush HaShem Teshuvah and Maamad Har Sinai which are all discused in Yesodei HaTorah are far more than mere metaphysical issues and subjects.

  83. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft -would it be fair to say that you suscribe to no Minhagim that may have sources in Chazal but which are explained also via Zohar? Do you recite Kabalas Shabbos Shalom Aleichem and Eshes Chayil or Zemiros? IMO such minhagim.enhance our observance of Shabbos YT and the Yamim Noraim.

  84. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft we do have traditions as to the roles of men and women that Rashi quotes from.Chazal as well as Chazals own observations within tbe Gemara many of which are codogied within halacha .

  85. Steve Brizel says:

    Learn Chumash with Rashi as well as MSectos Kiddushin kesubos and Gittin .there are definite roles for the genders.

  86. rkz says:

    A response to Dr. Bill and Mycroft:
    I wrote that this is an halakhic issue, and specified 3 of the issurim involved. Both of you objected to the applicability of these issurim. This does not prove that this is not an halakhic issue, as it only shows that there may be some halakhic reasons to allow this practice. Obviously, I disagree (as we probably disagree on other halakhic questions), but that is besides the point. This is still an halakhic discussion. Therefore, it should be decided on halakhic terms. Since this is a question with crucial ramifications, it should be decided by Gedoley Yisrael, and not by RSR (or by me or you). If they will accept your halakhic arguments and permit it (and WADR I do not think that will happen), then it will indeed be mutar
    Now to the specifics:
    a. Serera- there is a p’sak by Maran haGaon Harav Tzvi Pesach Frank and HaGaon harav Isser Zalman Meltzer that a Rav may not be fired. They point out that the common practice in America is different, and they write that this American practice is mistaken and dangerous. Indeed, Maran HaGaon harav Shaul Yisraeli ruled that political office today is not serara because of similar considerations to those that you raised, but he wrote specifically that this is not applicable to rabbanim.
    b. Chikuy ha-minim. The examples you brought (some of which I disagree with you, since I do follow kabbala as a central part of our Mesora, as is the clear postion of the Gaon and almost all of Gedoley Yisrael) are relevant to the questions of darkei ha-emori and chukkot hagoyim, and not to chikuy haminim. (BTW, Liebes is both extremely sloppy in his scholarship and heavily agenda-driven, so he can and should be ignored).
    C. Fidelity to mesora. I fail to understand what Dr. Bill meant, and what Mycroft wrote is exactly a proof to what I wrote. If “ordaining” women was not on the horizon in the past, it is not part of our mesora, and inventing such a practice is a deviation from the mesora.

  87. dr. bill says:

    steve brizel, the fact that minhagim take on a life of their own does not change their status of being just minhagim whose performance is treated that way. The Rav ztl and others who find a phrase in the man-made liturgy of the kabbalists troubling, just change it despite their normal reticence about changing tefillot.

    The intersection of Kabbala in its various iterations with halakha is a complex topic covered very carefully in “Divine Law in Human Hands.” as you are aware, some practices were opposed and some treated as almost Avodah Zarah. Because many became superstitiously attached to the masses they now have religious, albeit never halakhic, significance. Many are performed with great fervor. in one case, i told an offending rabbi that in his zeal to perform some kabbalistic procedure in a rather unfortunate circumstance, he probably violated a number of issurim at a biblical level. otoh, many minhagim enhance the experience of various activities at least for some people. others are practiced religiously with the supporting logic sadly long since forgotten.

  88. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft when yoi write that is no Psak Halacha in Hashkafa which is a point that can be easily.refuted because a Mchalel Shabbos is Pasul LLedus and his Shechita cannot be relied on is that not a polite intellectual and PC way of saying that you dont have to neccessarily believe in anything and just perform mitzvos without acknowledging Who commanded you when and why you do so? Every Birkas HaMitzvah and many tefilos that we recite daily would appear to refute such a proposition.

  89. Mycroft says:

    Bob Miler
    Since no mesorah one way or the other as there was none on electricity a couple of hundred years ago argue against using Halachik sources The way is argue similar to RHS stating analogy to women not being a shochet. Anything other than Halachik arguments show a sign of weakness, eg who has a right to an opinion arguments etc.if so obvious assur by one of the four parts of SA show how it is assur.

  90. mycroft says:

    “write that is no Psak Halacha in Hashkafa which is a point that can be easily.refuted because a Mchalel Shabbos is Pasul LLedus and his Shechita cannot be relied on is that not a polite intellectual and PC way of saying that you dont have to neccessarily believe in anything and just perform mitzvos without acknowledging Who commanded you when and why you do so? Every Birkas HaMitzvah and many tefilos that we recite daily would appear to refute such a proposition”
    There is no psak halacha in hashkafa unless it involves a halachik issue, thus we know what books are in Tanach because of need to know what is mtamei et hayadayim. There are obviously numerous halachot that deal with issues that may well be considered hashkafa,mitzva zechirat mizraim, obviously Torah itself states it mitzvot we pasken which can have hashkafa tied in,but we don’t pasken hashkafic issues without an action tied to it.

  91. mycroft says:

    “The Rav ztl and others who find a phrase in the man-made liturgy of the kabbalists troubling, just change it despite their normal reticence about changing tefillot.”
    Thus FWIW the Rav did not sing zmirot.

  92. mavin says:

    Why is everyone going off topic? The main thing is that in today’s world of utter confusion, it seems many in the Torah world have been pulled into the web of lies. Torah is All Truth, and those who claim to be rabbis, scholars and teachers of Torah but join the chorus of the kofrim have no place in the Torah world where labels (denominations) do not belong. That’s the goyish world. There should be no denominations within Torah Judaism; there is only TORAH. Everything else is pure idolatry. Riskin has and is a rogue ‘rabbi’. Will he ever do teshuvah, who knows? But he has been in this game from the start. No one should pay attention to him and his ilk. If they continue down the course of this modern heresy which has grown, r’l, they should all be ex=communicated from the Jewish people. We need to go back to the time when there were ‘Gedolim’ who truly were connected to H’ and from whom the Jewish people benefitted by their tzdkus and wisdom. How one personally leads his life is his own decision, as we all have to answer to H’, but when it comes to whom we can rely on for Torah truth (its laws, statutes, customs and traditions) we can only rely on our Tzadikim. Because of assimilation, especially in this era of insanity, the majority of Jews have truly lost their way, r’l. When leadership in the Torah world loses its way and joins the ways of the nations, it is imperative to wake up fast before more Jews are lost.

  93. mycroft says:

    “is no Psak Halacha in Hashkafa which is a point that can be easily.refuted because a Mchalel Shabbos is Pasul LLedus and his Shechita cannot be relied on is that not a polite intellectual and PC way of saying that you dont have to neccessarily believe in anything and just perform mitzvos without acknowledging Who commanded you when and why you do so? ”
    I just happen to be in the middle of learning chullin, starting in beginning and learning shechita,a lot are dealing with whose shechita can be relied upon,including Kutim,issue complex,
    re mechallel Shabbos you are , aware that issue is very complex today because it does not necessarily mean treason against Jewish people,halacha lemaaseh beyond my pay grade

  94. mycroft says:

    “there is a p’sak by Maran haGaon Harav Tzvi Pesach Frank and HaGaon harav Isser Zalman Meltzer that a Rav may not be fired. They point out that the common practice in America is different, and they write that this American practice is mistaken and dangerous. Indeed, Maran HaGaon harav Shaul Yisraeli ruled that political office today is not serara because of similar considerations to those that you raised, but he wrote specifically that this is not applicable to rabbanim”
    FWIW I heard RHS state in a shiur that when a shul fires an American Rav all that he is entitled to is the remainder of his usually 3 or 5 year contract,unlike classical Europe where they were entitled to lifetime etc,reason they only hired and agreement was for a number of years

  95. mycroft says:

    “The examples you brought (some of which I disagree with you, since I do follow kabbala as a central part of our Mesora, as is the clear postion of the Gaon and almost all of Gedoley Yisrael) ”
    You assume gdolei Yiosrael know history. Some know some like RHS but most know less history than I know halacha,one may certainly follow them in their area of expertise but how many of them believe obvious mistake of 2nd beishamikdash lasting for 420 years .
    Certainly, there was some sort of mysticism way before the zohar, Saadia Gaon wrote a pirush on Sefer Yizirah certainly a talmudic era book

    are relevant to the questions of darkei ha-emori and chukkot hagoyim, and not to chikuy haminim. (BTW, Liebes is both extremely sloppy in his scholarship and heavily agenda-driven, so he can and should be ignored

  96. dr. bill says:

    rkz, as rabbis with contracts, prove, circumstance changes often result in halakhic changes. thankfully, MO institutions have less of the nepotism that is increasingly overtaking the chareidi world. i assure you that the position of one of my doctors as the head of research in a particular neurological area was not held by women in the not too distant past. instead of celebrating the fact that the wisdom of Torah will grow yet more widely and deeply, somehow this is frightening in some circles.
    if you wish, enjoy red wristbands, keys in your challah, mezinkah dances, praying to angels, leshem yichud, etc. i am tolerant of change, at least up to a point. unfortunately, i have seen kabbalistic derived shtick at funerals where a 95-year-old spouse was subject to sub-zero temperatures for some mindless rabbi drag out a burial. HaShem yerachem.

  97. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft if you learn the Gemara aliba dehilcasa you cannot maintaun that the Shechita of a Mchalel Shabbos is kasher or that a mchalel Shabbod is Kasher ledus

  98. rkz says:

    Mycroft.
    A. I do not know what RHS shlita said in that shiur, but I do know that in his article about “ordaining” women he wrote that it is assur because of serara.
    B. AFAIK, there is no historical proof against the mesora of kabbala dara batar dara from Ma’amad Har Sinai(I write this based on reading a lot on this topic. Almost all that was and is written about this in the academic world is agenda-driven and simply wrong, as I pointed out in the concluding chapter of my PHD).
    C. BTW, I think that Bayit Sheni did stand 420 years, and I teach so (and I know of several ways to deal with the chronological problems).

  99. mycroft says:

    “would it be fair to say that you suscribe to no Minhagim that may have sources in Chazal but which are explained also via Zohar? ”
    Id have to reread Sperber on issue,I certainly goto shul Kabbalas Shabbas which is not a tfila and thus can be lead by anyone even a non bar mitzvah. I
    “Do you recite Kabalas Shabbos Shalom Aleichem and Eshes Chayil or Zemiros?”
    My wife insists that I say eishes chayil soon either darkei shalom or pikuach nefesh grounds I adopted her desire to say it
    ” IMO such minhagim.enhance our observance of Shabbos YT and the Yamim Noraim”
    If they do for you and theological statements don’t bother you tova aleicha bracha

  100. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft we do have traditions as to the roles of men and women that Rashi quotes from.Chazal as well as Chazals own observations within tbe Gemara many of which are codogied within halacha ”
    The question which is way beyond both our pay grades is how much description is descriptive of what was behavior in that time period and how much was prescriptive. One must be aware o f genera l customs in mid east during time period

  101. mycroft says:

    “only 1 of tbe 14 bookd pf the Yad is devoted to what you describe as metaphysics”
    Generally accurate, but it had to be learned first. Remember Rambam wanted Yad read in order.
    . “The rest is what we would call Halacha,Lmaaseh. ” If one includes mikdash time as lemaaseh

  102. Steve Brizel says:

    What you refer to prayers to angels is ovwesimplified. See R Asher Weiss who wxplains why and what is the meaning of Machnisei Rachamim and who views the opppsition to the recitation of Lahem Yi hud and the last verse of Shalom Aleichem as justified. Mizenka tantzen are a wonderful minhag as opppsed to keys in chalah which may have no source whatsoever.tircha dzibura at any event and especially a levaya strikes me as problematic.

    Mycroft one can find mkoros for Kabalas Shabbos in the Gemara. Shabbos meals without Shalom Aleichem.Eshes Chayil and Zemiros as well as a Dvar Torah steikes me as akin to a longer version of Thanksgiving and no emphasis underscored on the Zachor aspect of Shabbos. RD zsperber wrote a wonderful sefer on Minhagei Yisrael but there are other and far more exhaustive works out there. FWIW the Gra also wrote on Srfer Yetzirah and eas of the opinion that he would have travelled on foot to learn with Ramchal.

  103. Steve Brizel says:

    Rkz-could you send me a pdf of your thesis? R Mennken has my email.

  104. dr. bill says:

    mycroft, I do not chas v’shalom want to put your life at risk. However, as interpreted by the Gra, aishet chayil is an ode to the wisdom of Torah, similar to the way some critical scholars think it is based on an ode to (greek) wisdom in general. the Gra’s interpretation is majestic.

    rkz, i know of efforts to reconcile Persian history to a vastly reduced length; i believe i saw one in Megadim. In my mind, a confusion of “could be” with probably is. Not just Persian history, but an even better documented Greek history and sequence of writings must somehow be greatly compressed. Another attempt to make our Mesorah more challenging; Rishonim already realized the issues and some doubted Chazal’s historical accounting.

  105. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft Rambam assumes kidsha lshaatah kisha lasid lavo . That may be bery well why Rambam includes all halachos relating to building Mikdash etc

  106. mycroft says:

    “mycroft, I do not chas v’shalom want to put your life at risk. However, as interpreted by the Gra, aishet chayil is an ode to the wisdom of Torah, similar to the way some critical scholars think it is based on an ode to (greek) wisdom in general. the Gra’s interpretation is majestic”
    Dr Bill:
    Actually I happened to be familiar with what you wrote, traditional approach learned at home growing up, and relationship to Greek relatively lately as part of attempt to learn the truth as much as possible in my remaining years. Emes attah hu rishon, Camp Emes camp song in 50s Maimonides Day Camp.
    I resisted saying eishes chayil for a while after getting married but succumbed because of my wife.

  107. mycroft says:

    “That may be bery well why Rambam includes all halachos relating to building Mikdash etc”
    Read AH Haatid easy way to see that Rambam far from only person to discuss halachot not nogeah bzman hazeh. Worthwhile sefer to have, even I have aset,use itm ostoften around YT-esp YK and Pesach

  108. mycroft says:

    ” i know of efforts to reconcile Persian history to a vastly reduced length; i believe i saw one in Megadim. In my mind, a confusion of “could be” with probably is. Not just Persian history, but an even better documented Greek history and sequence of writings must somehow be greatly compressed. Another attempt to make our Mesorah more challenging; Rishonim already realized the issues and some doubted Chazal’s historical accounting.”
    Agreed,once read a book that basically lists those from Rishonimon who take different positions on 420 year problem. Besides the problemthat period isvery well documented,Tanach describes churban bayit rishon, we know that essentially usually to the day Babylonian Chronicles agree with Tanach-then forgetting anything else ,have churban bayis rishon 586 BCE, 70 years bayis Sheni, we know churbab bayis sheni 70 CE. Thus have 586 years for bayis sheni,if one accepts Tanach which agrees with Babylonian sources.

  109. mycroft says:

    “: Shabbos meals without Shalom Aleichem.Eshes Chayil and Zemiros as well as a Dvar Torah steikes me as akin to a longer version of Thanksgiving and no emphasis underscored on the Zachor aspect of Shabbos”
    Of course, maybe others have a different way to observe Shabbos, I guess you believe that the Ravs shabbas was “akin to a longer version of Thanksgiving”

  110. mycroft says:

    “FWIW the Gra also wrote on Srfer Yetzirah and eas of the opinion that he would have travelled on foot to learn with Ramchal.”
    Saadiah is about 900 years before the GRA.RAMCHAL like the RAMBAM was very clear writer,very precise in language.RAMBAM expert in philosophy,RAMCHAL really pioneer writer in modern Hebrew of secular poems

  111. rkz says:

    Wrt my thesis, I’ll be happy to e-mail it, but I do not know how to contact Rabbi Menken

  112. rkz says:

    Dr. Bill
    “red wristbands, keys in your challah, mezinkah dances, praying to angels” have nothing do do with kabbala, and neither does dragging out of funerals.

  113. rkz says:

    Dr. Bill
    Wrt the chronology of the Persian period, the article in Megadim does not compress it, but rather suggests that many of the events happened when the Persians were a sub-kingdom of Babylonia

  114. Steve Brizel says:

    R Enkin-if you can contact rkz via email, please send him my email

  115. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycrofrt-while RYBS did not recite Zmiros, RYBs definitely emphasized the many halachos and the hashkafic insights contained in Piyutim and Kinos, and viewed the Ashkanazic Machzor for RH and YK far superior to the Sefardic Machzor, notwithstanding Ibn Ezra’s well known complaint about the grammatical issues in Piyutim.

  116. Steve Brizel says:

    RYBS also was very praiseworthy of Chasidus and Chasidim and their approach to Avodas HaShem especially with respect to Tosefes Shabbos both on Erev Shabbos and Motzaei Shabbos which RYBS found lacking in the MO world.

  117. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-Learn Seder Kodshim-Rashi the Baalei HaTosfos Rambam and Nosei Kelim, CI, the CC and the Minchas Chinuch also provide many insights in addition to the AH HaAsid.

  118. mycroft says:

    “A. I do not know what RHS shlita said in that shiur, but I do know that in his article about “ordaining” women he wrote that it is assur because of serara.”
    No one who could last more than a year as a Rabbi in the US would ever dream that a US Rabbi serving an MO community has serara.

  119. mycroft says:

    “Shabbos meals without Shalom Aleichem.Eshes Chayil and Zemiros as well as a Dvar Torah steikes me as akin to a longer version of Thanksgiving and no emphasis underscored on the Zachor aspect of Shabbos. ”

    “Mycrofrt-while RYBS did not recite Zmiros”

  120. dr. bill says:

    rkz, perhaps i should have said kabbalist inspired. i suspect few of these customs are explicitly contained in major texts, but i will never know nor care to. i happen to like Kabbalat Shabbat by a good chazzan; a roite bindle – not so much. mystical shtick at a levayah – not at all.

    putting Persian history into an earlier Babylonian period still compresses the number of years. it the total number of years most conclude Chazal undercounted.

  121. mycroft says:

    “BTW, I think that Bayit Sheni did stand 420 years, and I teach so (and I know of several ways to deal with the chronological problems)”
    I can come close taking away the Herodian period and some other times when BM controlled by non believers in Torah, but that would not give t h eArt Scroll and other people an excuse to deny the dates of non Jewish sources which are consistent with TANACH. Do you believe that churban Bayis Sheni was in 70 CE and thatchurban bayis rishonh was 586 BCE

  122. mycroft says:

    “Riskin has and is a rogue ‘rabbi’.” I first heard him advocate female Rabbis in the early70s UWS LSS Shabbos morning drasha. Then say he was a rogue Rabbi his whole career,including when he taught at YU

  123. mycroft says:

    “not to chikuy haminim”
    Due to censorship in Middle Ages, often meaning of min ,apikores etc hasbeen distorted due to non Jewish censors.

  124. Steve Brizel says:

    Srarah reardless of the wording of any contract remains the halachic basis for a rabbinical position within the Torah community.

  125. mycroft says:

    “Srarah reardless of the wording of any contract remains the halachic basis for a rabbinical position within the Torah community.”
    Anyone who believes and teaches potential Rabbis for North America that they will have serara is doing a great disservice to them and training them to be less effective in attempting to do what we hope is avodas hashem.
    I am not describing whatever the Rabbinate may have been hundreds and thousands of years ago, I am describing it today.
    Of course,in the roughly first millennium of Rabbinic Judaism in general the academy was where Rabbis spent time,they in general did not frequent the synagogues as leaders. There is a lot of Romanticism about the past and how much power Rabbis really ever had compared to laity.

  126. rkz says:

    Mycroft
    A. Churban Bayit Sheni I agree. Churban Bayit Rishon I do not know.
    B. Chikuy Ha-Minim. Censorship was to replace minim with epikorsim.

    Dr. Bill
    A. WADR, that I was clear enough- those things (that I listed out of your list) have nothing to do with kabbala.
    B. WRT to Persian history, IIRC there was no compression in the article.

  127. Ben Waxman says:

    For those of you who are capable of reading Hebrew, have a look at this. A chardal rav (not someone from Beit Hillel) has an approach towards pluralism which is 180 percent different than TORA’s approach. If you can’t read Hebrew, the Google translation suffices.
    https://revivim.yhb.org.il/2018/05/31/2651/

  128. London Gent says:

    RKZ – if you are happy to, I would like to receive a copy of your Phd thesis too. I can be contacted on [email protected]

    If you require more information about me, email me there and I will gladly fill you in.

  129. Ben Waxman says:

    What happened to the page format? It is impossible to see the argument flow, who is responding to what.

  130. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft-Learn Seder Kodshim-Rashi the Baalei HaTosfos Rambam and Nosei Kelim, CI, the CC and the Minchas Chinuch also provide many insights in addition to the AH HaAsid”
    Except for the CI and CC who are recent after AH,IMO the beauty of learning AH hATID isthat one learns the various opinions besides the Rambam, too often IMO people just assume RAMBAM final and only word on such issues learning it my way is an easier way.

  131. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft WADR Chazal tell us that byearning the halacbos of Karbanos it is as considerrd as if one offered a karban and fulgilled thr mitzvah. Why not tell us about your Limud HaTorah Liahmah as opposed to what the latest maskilishe academics think about Chazal?

  132. Mycroft says:

    I just happen to refer to some f my learning leishma going through Chulin, starting wth schechita, it is not appropriate fr anyone to brag, but you are aware that I do attend shiurim, yo even gave me regards via a person who I g to two dfferent shiurim a week. Others I go to also.
    I am familiar with idea expressed, in fact a recent shiur that I attended by dealt with issue, does that mean to be yoetzei that does one have to understand what one is saying more than normal tfilah.
    It is not relevant for blog sessions for it to lower itself to everyone statingTorah they learned. Rabbi Gordimer is perfectly capable of writing divreihem Torah better than myself and the few normal non political hakaros that he has written have been very enlightening, dr Bill has written many complicated Torah thoughts but this is not the place that he conveys that, find it elsewhere.

  133. mycroft says:

    “what the latest maskilishe academics think about Chazal?”
    What Chazal did is very relevant, obviously,Halacha follows halachic precedent but if one is interested in the truth which I hope we all are one looks for chochmah anyplacewe find it. If you aren’t interested fine, but certainly such time spent is no bigger waste of time than anyone following sports.
    It certainly helps to understand TaNach,, it had to be understandable when said or revealed, thus understanding the environment of the time helps understand Tanach.Obviously,one should not ignore perushim such as found in Mikraos Gedolos
    but truth is important we should not be afraid of the truth, we have a good product .

  134. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-a,verse in Mishlei instructs us that Yiras HaShem is the beginning of wisdom. You will find sime Chachmah in some of tboseworks you cite but not Torah

  135. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft i think it is very reasonable that if you learn Tehilim.with Rashi Radak and Metzudos that you will see that Dovid HaMelechs views are set forth on personal and communal matters with no boundaries at all. It is written as if Dovid HaMelech is talking directly to HaShem.about all of his moods and problems as if he were directly in front pf the Rofei Cholei Amo Yisrael. I once heard that RYBS gave shiurim on Tehilim and liked the commentary of RSRH.

  136. mycroft says:

    ” that you will see that Dovid HaMelechs views are set forth on personal and communal matters with no boundaries at all. ”
    A much more controversial figure in Chazal than generally recognized. See eg article by Ephraim Urbach where he shows Chazals attitude to Yoab ben sruria is a proxy for how they treat David Hamelech, very complex because despite his imperfections he is david melech Israel , meshiach will come from him,yet one cant forget Natan hanavion batsheva beyond all our pay grades.

  137. Steve Brizel says:

    Yet Moavi vlo Moaviah and being the author of Tehilim even and especially re Teshuvah are what count with the former as illustrative of our belief in TSBP

  138. mycroft says:

    “our belief in TSBP”
    There are differences in times of Talmud by chazal. Urbach article makes it easy to see range of opinions fromTBSP

  139. rkz says:

    Several assorted comments:
    A .Mycroft, EEU was a very good and impressive scholar on the biographies of the Tosafists, but not on anything else (esp. not Chazal. See what YNE wrote about him, for example).
    B. Wrt, I must clarify that it does not deal with Kabbala, but with halakha. What I wrote about kabbala was a preliminary comment, which has no chance of development in the current unfortunate climate in the academic world.
    C. Ben Waxman, REM shilta is a talmid chacham with many zechuyot, but he is a da’at yachid on these issues.

  140. Ben Waxman says:

    RKZ:

    1) Rav Melamed is more than a talmid chacham but one of the biggest leaders in the dati leumi world. He is a poseik, a rosh yeshiva, and an incredibly humble man. His halacha seifer has become a standard in the DL world. Whatever he has to say in these matters carries more weight than a group of (largely anonymous) American rabbis. When TORA decides to publish their membership list, they will have a bit more credibility.

    2) If RM is indeed a da’at yachid, he will be joining a list of other great rabbanim who went against the stream, including RYBS and Rav Kook.

  141. dr. bill says:

    rkz, Prof. Urbach was held in high esteem by one/some of MO’s great gedolim. Your views are interesting but hardly dispositive. I assume that anyone who shows how halakha develops will not fit your hashkafah.

  142. rkz says:

    Ben Waxman
    1) I know REM shlita for 25 years (I have family in Har Bracha and I have been there many times), I have all of his sefarim and I use them often. I think he is indeed a great talmid chacham and a true mentch. However, all of this does not make him one of the gedolim of the DL world. He has many psikot which the gedolim disagree with (and we follow the gedolim), and just last week I had a long conversation with a young avrech to explain why this is so. His opinion certainly carries more weight than that of many other rabbanim, but much much less than that of the gedolim (and if someone is confused about this chiluk, he is welcome to talk to me about it).
    A little anecdote, last year I spoke to a friend about a certain issue. He told me that REM visited his workplace, and talked to him about this issue and REM offered his clear and well-reasoned p’sak. My friend told him that I (i.e. rkz) disagree with this p’sak, based on my (if I may say so) well reasoned opinion. REM responded that he knows that, and that he respects my opinion.
    2) If every A is a B it does not necessarily mean that every B is a A, i.e. just because some of the greatest of our gedolim throughout the ages went against the stream it does not follow that every rav who has a da’at yachid is one of the gedolim.

  143. rkz says:

    Dr. Bill,
    A) Please re-read the scathing critiques of EEU by many scholars who did not share my hashkafa at all. BTW, I never claimed that my opinion is somehow dispositive.
    B) IMHO (and much more importantly, the opinion of many talmidei chachamim ) EEU views on chazal are indeed kefira. I had the zechut to convince at least one rosh yeshiva to take his books (expect Ba’alei Hatosafot) out of the beit midrash.

  144. Steve Brizel says:

    Professor Urbach Zl was so held but in a post on the Seforim.blog years agohecwas quoted to the effect that he did not rhink that Charedim could publish good editions of seforim untill he was shown the Machon Yerushalayim edition of the Minchas Chinuch at which point he admityed that his view was incorrect.

  145. Steve Brizel says:

    Anyone here at rhe Salute to Israel parade? Having a blast at the parade.

  146. Steve Brizel says:

    Waiting for YU to march by US. Always see more than a few RIETS RY marching

  147. Ben Waxman says:

    RKZ: “He has many psikot which the gedolim disagree with (and we follow the gedolim), ”

    Who exactly are you calling gedolim? I hope that you don’t mean Chareidi rabbanim. (I am not saying that these rabbis are not gedolim, I am saying that “we” don’t follow them.)

  148. mycroft says:

    ” mycroft
    June 1, 2018 at 7:27 am

    ” that you will see that Dovid HaMelechs views are set forth on personal and communal matters with no boundaries at all. ”
    A much more controversial figure in Chazal than generally recognized. See eg article by Ephraim Urbach where he shows Chazals attitude to Yoab ben sruria is a proxy for how they treat David Hamelech, v”
    It is interesting to note reactions to my comment. I simply referred to an article by Ephraim Urbach about chazals comments on Yoab ben sruria. I did not use Prof Urbach as a source for halacha, merely that he is the one who quotes Chazal on the issue and shows how their comments are a proxy for a discussion of David Hamelech. It raised questions of attack and defense of Urbach. It shows another example of how much discussion depends on who did something or stated something. People dont look at the substance of what was said and attack or defend they go directly for or against the opinion action depending on who said it.

    People will attack an action when they believe Rabbi X is behind it and will defend it and change their approach when they find Rabbi Y is also behind it. Thus, not a care about the issue but a fight for honor etc of one person and delegitimize another Rabbi.

  149. rkz says:

    Ben Waxman,
    I wrote before who I am referring to (HaGaon Harav Ya’akov Ariel and HaGaon Harav Dov Lior)

  150. rkz says:

    Mycroft,
    You wrote (in part): ” I did not use Prof Urbach as a source for halacha, merely that he is the one who quotes Chazal on the issue and shows how their comments are a proxy for a discussion of David Hamelech.”
    That is exactly the point. EEU “shows” means his opinion based on his reading of Chazal. I pointed out that his judgement can not be trusted, and therefore anything that he wrote is problematic.

  151. Mycroft says:

    Rez
    Urbach quoted Chazal, if he is quoting. them incorrectly show me where he did that in his article about Yoav Ben Sruria and David hamelech. FWIW at the time I discussed the issue with a musmach who has had arichas yamim who used to back then give shiurim lunchtime where I used to Daven mincha. He did not seemed surprised by Urbach, he said he wouldn’t ask him a Sheila but is a reliable scholar and had even gone to hear Urbach speak. The substance of the article which I discussed with him as to the dispute of chazal as to how to treat David Hamelech was something that he agreed with.

  152. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-during more than one thread, you questioned whether day schools are the only . Take a look at the linked article and its links. //www.thelehrhaus.com/commentary/will-day-school-be-affordable-again/

  153. rkz says:

    Mycroft,
    I did not question the veracity and accuracy of EEU’s quotes, but the conclusions that he derived from the sources.
    Furthermore, even if in some cases he was correct in his specific conclusions, it does not mean that he can be trusted on any other case.
    Indeed, the identity of the person offering an opinion\conclusion\idea is of crucial importance (the Ramabam’s kabel ha’emet me’mi sha’amara does not pertain to discussions within the Torah, halakha and emuna alike)

  154. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft-during more than one thread, you questioned whether day schools are the only . Take a look at the linked article and its links. //www.thelehrhaus.com/commentary/will-day-school-be-affordable-again”
    Thanks for the link. The author does not discuss data of studies of alternatives to day schools. He admits that there is very little room for growth of new students, because 90 per cent of market is already attending. There is no doubt there is a correlation between day school attendance and later religiosity today. The self selection of families choosing day schools those who can afford it and are committed can easily explain the difference. No one has shown me how the median income household income can afford day schools. Thus, demanding day school for all is limiting the market for those to be Orthodox to the above average income. IMO not a moral approach to have economic tests for dvar hashem.

  155. mycroft says:

    “I did not question the veracity and accuracy of EEU’s quotes, but the conclusions that he derived from the sources.”
    I relied on the quotes.

  156. Ben Waxman says:

    “I wrote before who I am referring to (HaGaon Harav Ya’akov Ariel and HaGaon Harav Dov Lior)”

    If were are talking about two rabbis who think one way and one rabbi who thinks a different way, that is hardly a case of “the vast majority of rabbis agree that X is correct and anyone who paskens Y is simply taking an extreme view.”

    For anyone wanting a proper English translation of Rav Melamed’s article, it has been translated.

    https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22250

    The key paragraphs:

    The rabbis of Tzohar represent a large and important community of people from all ethnic groups who keep Torah and mitzvot, and invest their energy and wealth in building religious communities, synagogues, religious schools, yeshivot and midrashot. They strive to combine work, Torah, and science and be faithful to the tradition of the Torah while being open to modernity, out of a clear recognition that this is God’s will. They accept upon themselves rabbis of the type of Tzohar, rabbis who understand them and adhere to their ways. The rabbis of Tzohar are Torah scholars and God-fearing, no less than rabbis in the other religious and ultra-Orthodox circles.

    According to the principles we have learned, it is imperative that rabbis who represent this important circle receive full expression in the entire Torah community as is customary in our times, and since almost every group has a kashrut organization, the Tzohar rabbis should also have one.

    But when groups and institutions try to impose their opinion on members of another circle, and abolish the status of their rabbis (and to boycott them from becoming rabbinical judges and rabbis) we are no longer speaking of a situation where the rabbis of Tzohar should also establish a kashrut organization, but rather a situation in which it is almost obligatory for them to establish one, just like other accepted rabbinic organizations, in order to give halachic and Torah expression to their part in the Torah. If they do not, then they are similar to a prophet who suppresses his prophecy,

  157. rkz says:

    Mycroft,
    I misunderstood what you meant.
    I am hereby apologizing.

  158. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft- the articles dealt with approaches geared at reducing the cost and posited that day schools were far more successful than the Talmud Torahs of prior decades in producing literate and observant Jews.please reread.

  159. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-Avodas HaShem has always included Echad HaMarbeh VEchad HaMamamit and Hidur Mitzvah. There is nothing immoral about either-but one can question the moral priorities of someone who moves to the suburbs, enjoys the full amenities of suburban life ( vacations, car, house, etc) whose kids attend a public school with all of the bells and whistles and whose Jewish education is a Sunday school that ends at Bar and.or Bas Mitzvah. That is the road to assimilation, as opposed to day school education through grade 12 and beyond which presents a positive message about Jewish life and education. FWIW, I was at the parade last Sunday and the MO schools were all were represented and had the largest amount of adolescents and adults, the heterodox groups had small contingents and the secular Zionist groups had slightly larger groups. One cannot blame either the Charedi world or the present government in Israel for the fact that the next generation of American Jews will be primarily Orthodox.

  160. Y Sasson says:

    I mentioned in a comment a few months ago that I discovered a letter from the Rav that was rather supportive of Meir Kahane, and some of the readers here were quite surprised. I have now published that letter, among other interesting things, on the Seforim blog:
    http://seforim.blogspot.com/2018/06/gems-from-rav-herzogs-archive-part-2.html

    This may be of interest to some of the readers here.

  161. rkz says:

    A response to Ben Waxman:

    You wrote: “If were are talking about two rabbis who think one way and one rabbi who thinks a different way, that is hardly a case of “the vast majority of rabbis agree that X is correct and anyone who paskens Y is simply taking an extreme view.”
    Well, WADR we are not talking about that, but about an important talmid chacham who paskens in an issue with wide ranging effects on klal yisrael against the p’sika of Gedoley Yisrael (and the gedolim of the past, including his own rabbanim)

  162. Mycroft says:

    The article about day schools points out correctly that vast majority of day school costs are salaries. Thus, all attempts to cut down costs are comparatively meaningless to basic problem, that we have big salaries and benefits to pay.
    You have never explained how one can make day school mandatory for all when median income after taxes and soc sec by itself will not pay for a family tuitions” o other expenses for family. You have not answered how can Yahadus be affordable if day school is mandatory to those who are not earning salaries of those who have University Chairs or certainly below median income. Everything else is just an attempt to defend the day school establishment and their employees.Give me a proforma budget how one can live an Orthodox life without above median income.

  163. Mycroft says:

    Housing in NYC is in general more expensive than housing in suburbs.

  164. Mycroft says:

    Y Sassoon
    Questions al regel achat. The few letters that I have seen from the Rav were not on YU stationary but on letterhead of home address. To be fair h was at time not living at home at time period nut at his daughters house. Of course, typed at YU during the summer when the Rav even at his peak was not giving shiur there is of interest.
    More important even if genuine, the Rav by 1984 had major health issues to he extent that other RY signed a psak on women’s issues then without the Rav. It is so different even than the Ravs approach a couple of years earlier, insisting that objecting to the killing of Lebanese by Christians under Israeli watch and demanding investigation, or his unease at the bombing of the Iraqi reactor, that even assuming the Rav signed that letter it is questionable how much one can rely on later supposed statements as reflecting Rav or reflecting other viewpoints.

  165. Y Sasson says:

    Mycroft –

    Please feel free to put your comments up on the Seforim blog. I would love for the Seforim blog readers to chime in on this discussion.

  166. Mark says:

    Well, WADR we are not talking about that, but about an important talmid chacham who paskens in an issue with wide ranging effects on klal yisrael against the p’sika of Gedoley Yisrael (and the gedolim of the past, including his own rabbanim)

    I don’t think the Religious Zionists think in those terms. For them, if you’re an Orthodox Rabbi, your opinion is just as valid as the greatest Gadol alive. See Rav E. Melamed’s approach toward Tzohar.

  167. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft property taxes are far less in NYC than Nassau or Bergen County. Houses in the burbs are generally bigger than in NYC. Where do rou find Jews earning less than median income in any American community? Nomajor or even minor Jewish presence ecxept for Riverdale is in the Bronx or in the old immigrant neighborhoods of Brooklyn or if any orher major American city.

  168. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft if Klal Yisrael either communally or individually had ever lived within a budget we would not be Gomlei Chasadim.and Rachamanim Bnei Rachamanim. When you use terms such as tbe “day school establishment”rhat is evidence of an attitude IMO that R Moshe Besdin ZL that mchanchim should be paid peanuts instead of a proper salary for their critically important work in helping transmit the key elements of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim together with parents and the community.

  169. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft most Jewish communities and especially strong Orthodox communities enjpy a growrh spurt as their institutions and necesdities for a Torah observant life develope but then turn economically unaffordable for tbe next generation who in turn move elsewhere. That is simple demographics and it explains why there are very strong MO and Charedi communities in the suburbs and outer urban areas today which did not exist decades ago.

  170. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft property taxes are far less in NYC than Nassau ….”
    True, but NYC has income taxes,most people who can afford houses have income that if taxed at NYC rates and property taxed at NYC rates would be very similar to Nassau Real estate taxes alone

    “Where do rou find Jews earning less than median income in any American community? “Part of the problem in the past 50-75 years non above average income Jews and generally much above 50th percentile are needed to be in a Jewish community,what do you think is the cause, children and grandchildren of Jews do not always earn above median income they are implicitly not welcome .It should not be a point of pride that MO per PEW has median household income above 150K,it is something that requires a cheshbon hanefesh as to how our actions have made dvar hashem only available to the above average. A major part of losing people is affordability,if not welcome if not in day school, can’t afford day school,what happens chutz lemachene. Or maybe doesnt bother you,because they probably didnt have the academic ability to be yodeah sefer, and that is for some an entrance requirement in US to be admitted to follow dvar hashem.

  171. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft if Klal Yisrael either communally or individually had ever lived within a budget we would not be Gomlei Chasadim.and Rachamanim Bnei Rachamanim.”
    Money has to come from somewhere, permanent income hypothesis shows how we spread consumption over a lifetime, certainly as a society money comes from somewhere .Mouthing ideals doesn’t change the idea that all money spent has to come from somewhere

    ” When you use terms such as tbe “day school establishment”rhat is evidence of an attitude IMO that R Moshe Besdin ZL that mchanchim should be paid peanuts” Ecponomics states mechanchim should be paid a market clearing rate, if you believe they don’t earn enough to live on,that would be charity and certainly they should be entitled to the same of charity as any Jew with same equivalent income-no-more no less.

    “instead of a proper salary for their critically important work in helping transmit the key elements of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim together with parents and the community.” they should be paid what halacha permits bittul zman-wjhat their opportunity cost is.

  172. Steve Brizel says:

    MYcroft-if you are discussing the MO schools that have all of the academic bells and whistles, these schools also help out whether in deferring tuition or by other means when economic distress hits families. I challenge the notion of affordability if one lives in any normal American MO community with a house, car and both spouses work. If money was the sole criteria-we would have no yeshivos and day schools at all. I don’t agree with your view of the “market clearing rate” , but rather look at how and what a person contributes to society-those who have unique skills and expertise deserve to be paid accordingly and recognized for the fact that what you consider as down time is often spent as giving Bar Mitzvah classes, being a counsellor in a summer camp ( day or sleepaway) and doing what all too often parents are unable and/or unwilling to do-transmit the key elements of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim. As R Besdin ZL often said, if you pay a mchanech peanuts, the products will be monkeys.

  173. Y Sasson says:

    Mycroft –
    You seem to be insinuating that the Rav’s letter supporting Kahane is not authentic.
    And then this – “that even assuming the Rav signed that letter it is questionable how much one can rely on later supposed statements as reflecting Rav or reflecting other viewpoints.”
    I’m not sure what you mean by “supposed” statements, as there are no “supposed” statements here, but a letter from the Rav. A letter that was not meant for public consumption, but a private, personal letter that remained hidden for 34 years. You are bordering on the absurd with your insinuations that someone would essentially forge a private letter with a position that was not the Rav’s and put the Rav’s name/signature on it.

    Rather than adopting the technique that anything that doesn’t fit your preconceived notions is fake, perhaps your statement directed against Rabbi Rakeffet that “supporting Meir Kahane is an approach at least as opposed to the Ravs approach as anything I can think of ” is incorrect and you don’t understand the Rav or his approach as well as you think. Just a possibility.
    Btw, to refresh your memory of what you wrote:
    https://cross-currents.com/2018/02/22/liberal-rabbis-dont-blame-chief-rabbinate-blame/

  174. mycroft says:

    “MYcroft-if you are discussing the MO schools that have all of the academic bells and whistles, these schools also help out whether in deferring tuition or by other means when economic distress hits families. ”
    You are ignoring the fundamental question, we don’t have median income families and below as part of Modern Orthodoxy to any extent. Reason they can’t afford the lifestyle, I am not including as part of lifestyle, going away for Pesach, sleep away camp etc, I am talking basics living in a neighborhood where there is an Orthodox schul and paying tuition to any day school. It is just not possible.

    “I challenge the notion of affordability if one lives in any normal American MO community with a house, car and both spouses work. If money was the sole criteria-we would have no yeshivos and day schools at all. ”
    We are paying for them by those who use them, they essentially charge tuition to all who wish to enter. They will give discounts often to mechanchim who earn even more than those who they refuse discounts to who are regular non glamorous workers.

    “I don’t agree with your view of the “market clearing rate” , but rather look at how and what a person contributes to society-those who have unique skills and expertise deserve to be paid accordingly ”
    A mechanech does not have unique skills, there is much competition for the job. They are not paid peanuts, I live a couple of doors away from a pseudo chareidi day school, single sex students, the mechanchim are driving decent cars, they work for half a day with summers and chol hamoed and other vacations off. Many have other jobs,plenty of time after 100 to do some other work. Compare mechancims salaries to those of equivalent education, most are doing much better financially than they would have done elsewhere.
    “and recognized for the fact that what you consider as down time is often spent as giving Bar Mitzvah classes, being a counsellor in a summer camp ( day or sleepaway) and doing what all too often parents are unable and/or unwilling to do”
    Just showing examples of how they moonlight and can earn money in their free time. Note they are left with more vacation than normal workers even if they take a job in a sleep away camp. Of course, others moonlight just as examples from some mechanchim that I know as owners of computer businesses, social workers, after all they are working half a day for less than 9 months a year.
    “. As R Besdin ZL often said, if you pay a mchanech peanuts, the products will be monkeys.” No requirement to pay them steaks, if that prevents those who earn less than peanuts being able to enter religious Yahadus in North America.
    The money has to come from somewhere mechanchim’s salary is a tax on the rest of the community.
    I have no problem with day schools, they can be good for the above average verbally skilled child whose family can afford day school. I object to the all or nothing attitude by many that one must be able to send ones child to day school otherwise don’t have children, or at least limit your children to less than a quarter of what mechanchim often have. That attitude is an immoral attitude limiting dvar hashem to the elite financially and academically.

  175. mycroft says:

    ” Y Sasson
    June 8, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Mycroft –
    You seem to be insinuating that the Rav’s letter supporting Kahane is not authentic.
    And then this – “that even assuming the Rav signed that letter it is questionable how much one can rely on later supposed statements as reflecting Rav or reflecting other viewpoints.””
    I raise questions about any document that comes out of the woodwork 34 years after being written. Years ago vI was warned and correctly by someone who has spent decades on Ravs manuscripts to beware of anything that suddenly shows up from the Rav. I am not a handwriting expert thus, I cant compare Ravs signature to what I have seen and have elsewhere, certainly, signatures change with progress of Parkinson’s disease. Even assuming signature authentic and I remind you of the year 1984 where the Rav was already being being bypassed by RIETS RY, others were already taking steps to abuse their access to him by violating confidence one cant nece3ssarily state that a signature of his from that late date proves anything, people can get sick people to sign things by misleading. No secret by 1984 the Ravs decline was very evident.

    “I’m not sure what you mean by “supposed” statements, as there are no “supposed” statements here, but a letter from the Rav. “Even assuming Rav signed it, there is very good reason to question how he signed it.

    “A letter that was not meant for public consumption, but a private, personal letter that remained hidden for 34 years.”
    A separate issue of propriety of releasing private letters. The Rav went through many drafts of all his publications that were made during his prime. Drafts of Ish Halacha were circulated before he published it, certainly well known how the Rav edited and reedited drafts, galleys, page proofs of Confrontation and Lonely Man of Faith.
    “You are bordering on the absurd with your insinuations that someone would essentially forge a private letter with a position that was not the Rav’s and put the Rav’s name/signature on it.”
    Ive been warned quite a while back about supposed letters that mysteriously appear about the Rav after his ptirah, they must be compared to what we know about the Rav from his public actions during the decades of his leadership

    Rather than adopting the technique that anything that doesn’t fit your preconceived notions is fake, perhaps your statement directed against Rabbi Rakeffet that “supporting Meir Kahane is an approach at least as opposed to the Ravs approach as anything I can think of ” is incorrect and you don’t understand the Rav or his approach as well as you think

  176. Y Sasson says:

    “I raise questions about any document that comes out of the woodwork 34 years after being written.”

    Not out of the woodwork. Out of the archives of the State of Israel. Notice the gov.il web address:
    http://www.archives.gov.il/archives/#/Archive/0b071706800399c8/File/0b0717068084c93f/Item/090717068526eb1e

    “A separate issue of propriety of releasing private letters.”
    You can take it up with the government of Israel that put it online 🙂

    “Ive been warned quite a while back about supposed letters that mysteriously appear about the Rav after his ptirah,”

    I’m not sure what’s so mysterious about the Israeli government scanning online the archives of Past President Chaim Herzog and making them available to the public. Your insinuations are absurd.

  177. Mycroft says:

    I am challenging any document that is not consistent with ones general behavior that was supposedly signed by the person after they are clearly sick and have been sadly going down noticeably for over a decade. We have no record of the document, no reaction to it. It is not consistent with the rest. Obviously, I saw the 1984 date stamp, it does not answer any questions as to how this document was written and by whom even assuming arguendo that it has the Ravs 1984 signature. Is there any communication back to the Rav about this letter? Where was it sent?

  178. Y Sasson says:

    “I am challenging any document that is not consistent with ones general behavior that was supposedly signed by the person after they are clearly sick and have been sadly going down noticeably for over a decade.”

    Not sure what is inconsistent. How about you give a source for your claim of the Rav’s “unease at the bombing of the Iraqi reactor”. Seems to be a claim out of the woodwork : )

    “We have no record of the document”
    I have no idea what this even means. We have a record of this letter being sent to President Chaim Herzog.

    “no reaction to it”
    Wrong. The same file contains Chaim Herzog’s response to the Rav.

    “it does not answer any questions as to how this document was written and by whom ”
    You are really digging in to absurd conspiracy theories here. Again, this was not some public pronouncement that someone with an agenda would forge. This was a private letter.

  179. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-No Mechanech that I know lives the proverbial life of Reilly or earns what a high end professional or businessman ends. I think that you respect someone who is being altruisic but for whom you don’t want to or have to support their altruistic way of life. WADR, that is why MO men and women for decades avoided chimuch as a career which is as unique and important profession as any profession.
    What you call moonlighting is what they do above and beyond school hours. There are numerous surveys that point out that summer camp-day or sleepaway camp, reinforces what is learned during the year-that is not a luxury and there are numerous means to enable those who have financial issues and who are not mchancim to send their kid to both school and camp. From the tenor of your remarks, would one be mistaken that you have a problem with affluence in the MO world or affluence in general and don’t understand that the Talmud , Rambam and SA hold Talmidiei Chachamim to higher halachic standards than someone on a lesser level of Avodas HaShem. That is why regardless of one’s family size a day school education is important. If your child has verbal problems, there are tutors and helpers in the school and the community with the expertise to provide assistance. WADR, the notion that any Jewish child in the average MO community today should go to a public school, which you maintain is a viable option, deserves to be rejected out of hand as ignoring the sociological realties whereby any such student in a public school is at a grave risk of assimilating and intermarrying
    I would note with respect to the letter in question from RYBS that was posted elsewhere, that AFAIk, there is no judgment or permanent injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction barring release of any private letters, let alone tapes of RYBS. The sort of logic that you advocate in this regard would mean that any Torah published posthumously by the next of kin of any Gadol is per se suspect-a proposition that is highly problematic in its own right and which would deprive Klal Yisrael of much what is printed in the name of many Rishonim and Acharonim. Your test of barring that which is purportedly “not consistent with ones general behavior that was supposedly signed by the person after they are clearly sick and have been sadly going down noticeably for over a decade” can in all fairness be viewed as an attempt at censorship so that only that which fits your POV is disseminated as opposed to other POVs . Query-do you object to R Helfgot;s book of letters which was also published posthumously as well? If not why not?

  180. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-there are many MO communities all across the US where you have high earners and not so high earners who all send their kids to day schools. This is a non negotiable element of helping transmit Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim to the next generation.

  181. Steve Brizel says:

    I know many who worked as civil.servants and who owned homes who sent their kids to yeshivos.

  182. mycroft says:

    “I know many who worked as civil.servants and who owned homes who sent their kids to yeshivos”
    The upper end of civil servant jobs , with both husband and wife working are enough to afford Yeshiva. That was not rare 30 years ago, today due to affirmative action etc it is much more difficult for a male Jew to get those jobs, exist but very difficult.
    Doesn’t change my point of median income can’t afford yeshivas.I am aware of those who-live about a mile or so from me =I live at the edge of a major Jewish concentration where housing prices a little cheaper, very few Jews , but close enough to walk 25 minutes to a schul but can’t afford day schools. I don’t live far from a middle school and have seen children with yarmulkes walking to and from there from the area of less expensive houses.

  183. mycroft says:

    “. This was a private letter”
    A letter on YU stationery suppposedly signed by the Rav, supposedly only because I am not a handwriting expert and Parkinsons does change signatures but apparently signed a little different not only in writing but in how he signed name in other examples that I rechecked. Assuming arguendo it is his signature question is how did it get there ,what was he told he was signing,who wrote the letter. All legitimate questions for anything the Rav supposedly did in summer of 1984

  184. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft-No Mechanech that I know lives the proverbial life of Reilly or earns what a high end professional or businessman ends.”
    Most mechanchim don’t earn “what a high end professional or businessman ends. Agreed, most and high end,What makes a mechanech their equivalent.BTW,many day school administrators earn what high end people earn.

    “I think that you respect someone who is being altruisic but for whom you don’t want to or have to support their altruistic way of life.”
    Someone who is doing a job even doing it well which maximizes his income does not make him altruistic.

    “WADR, that is why MO men and women for decades avoided chimuch as a career which is as unique and important profession as any profession.”
    There was a non equivalency in job openings for better or worse most MO places would hire chareidi teachers, chareidi or pseudoChareidi schools wouldn’t hire MO teachers.

    “What you call moonlighting is what they do above and beyond school hours.”
    Mostmechanchim work less than 1000 hoursa year at school.

    ” There are numerous surveys that point out that summer camp-day or sleepaway camp, reinforces what is learned during the year-that is not a luxury and there are numerous means to enable those who have financial issues and who are not mchancim to send their kid to both school and camp.”
    Look to those living in non Jewish cheaper sections who walk a mile to schule and repeat your claim,Not reality,

    ” From the tenor of your remarks, would one be mistaken that you have a problem with affluence in the MO world or affluence in general and don’t understand that the Talmud , Rambam and SA hold Talmidiei Chachamim to higher halachic standards than someone on a lesser level of Avodas HaShem.”
    Higher standards doesn’t mean higher income. There were chazal who were carriers of water,and cutters of trees . See what Rambam states about those who take money for Torah.Higher standards are higher responsibilities in behavior.

    “That is why regardless of one’s family size a day school education is important.”
    It is desirable if appropriate for child, at least average verbal abilities.Of course, even if desirable-imeinkemach ein Torah.

    ” If your child has verbal problems, there are tutors and helpers in the school and the community with the expertise to provide assistance. ”
    Not comparable to public schools, but I am not even getting into people who would need help in a public school.I am dealing with a median student in US verbal IQ about 100-they will not succeed in a day school.If they went to a public school,they might even be frum a decade later.I have seen that in my neighborhood I have seen good results from parents who were brave enough to ignore pressure to keep child in day school.

    “WADR, the notion that any Jewish child in the average MO community today should go to a public school, which you maintain is a viable option, deserves to be rejected out of hand as ignoring the sociological realties whereby any such student in a public school is at a grave risk of assimilating and intermarrying”
    A child who is not suited for a day school/Yeshiva is in even more danger of assimilating intermarrying if one forces him to be in a place for which he is not suited. Obviously,first comes bread than philosophy.

  185. mycroft says:

    “I would note with respect to the letter in question from RYBS that was posted elsewhere, that AFAIk, there is no judgment or permanent injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction barring release of any private letters, let alone tapes of RYBS. ”

    What does that have to do with whether or not a document was signed by someone,and even if arguendo was signed, that he wrote the document and was aware of its total contents. It is no secret that by the summer of 1984,the Ravs illness had progressed.

    “The sort of logic that you advocate in this regard would mean that any Torah published posthumously by the next of kin of any Gadol is per se suspect-a proposition that is highly problematic in its own right”
    Certainly,anything published not by the author when counter to other known views is suspect to say the least.
    ” and which would deprive Klal Yisrael of much what is printed in the name of many Rishonim and Acharonim. ”
    Tradeoffs, but certainly,when one has a document even if legitimate-I compared how he signed his name to documents that I have after Shabbos and differences are there, but no proof-thus even if he signed I maintain a lot is not consistent with his constant actions and viewpoints over the years.
    “Your test of barring that which is purportedly “not consistent with ones general behavior that was supposedly signed by the person after they are clearly sick and have been sadly going down noticeably for over a decade” can in all fairness be viewed as an attempt at censorship so that only that which fits your POV is disseminated as opposed to other POVs ”
    Not true for example,I wrote the Rav was opposed to the destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, I was in favor of it.But in discussing the Ravs viewpoints,one can’t say the Rav believed it was a good idea,he didn’t.
    .” Query-do you object to R Helfgot;s book of letters which was also published posthumously as well? If not why not?”
    I have written consistently,not just about the Rav,I do not believe in distributing private letters that the writer didn’t want distributed in his lifetime.
    Reply

  186. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft WADR i reject your notion that Limud HaTorah is limited to the academic elite. We have ao many classical texts available in execellent editions as well as in translation that anyone with a modicum of intellifemce can use the same as an aid in Limud HaTorah. The key is that each of us is maximizing our time and potential in Limud HaTorah and especially in Gemara bacause our covenant with HaShem is predicated upon the Luchos Sheniyos which represent the new reality of Kabalas HATorah and Limud HaTorah aftet the episode of the Golden Calf.

  187. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-Please clarifyDo you approve or reject the Helfgot book and why? What you call tradeoffs would leave the Torah world poorer . Questionning the bonafides of a letter via handwriting anslysis and raising a possible claim that the writer being so ill that the letter cluld not have been written and whether it should be published is censorship especially in the absence of a judgment or permanent injunction barring the same. It is akin to claiming that while RYBS disagreed with other Gdolim.and they disagreed in a wide range of issues that they had no relationships and contact whatsoever .

  188. Steve Brizel says:

    Every Jewish child has the potential to become at his or her maximum.a,Mosge Rabbeinu or Miriam HaNeviah with the combined efforts of yeshiva education proper parenting and the right community. Your claim that day school education is limited by definition to the best and the brightest is at best a self limiting definition which denies the existence of resource rooms programs such as Ptach Chush and Kahal and a wide network of therapeutic resources available for parents and their children. Again Chinuch will remain a second class oprtion in the MO world as long as many view it as less important than any other vocation as you do. Focusing on what exists as opposed to the potential of every Jew,to reach their maximum potential is the hallmark of Beis Shammai as opposed to Neis Hillel.

  189. Steve Brizel says:

    How many Torah observant people live in areas adjacent to major Orthodox communities today which can best be described as slums? Ask yourself whether there is a vestige of a community in Laurelton Easr New York orany other such community?

  190. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft WADR i reject your notion that Limud HaTorah is limited to the academic elite.”
    Depends how you define Torah, first priority is to teach what everyone needs to know halacha lemaaseh-eg bishul, kashrut, hilchot Pesach etc .Knowing halachalemaaseh and how to daven soon can follow and attend schul is crucial. Beiong a yodeah sefer is not realistic for a high percentage of North AmericanJews. To make that a priority before learning halacha lemaaseh is ludicrous.

    “We have ao many classical texts available in execellent editions as well as in translation that anyone with a modicum of intellifemce can use the same as an aid in Limud HaTorah. ”
    First learn what one has to know for acting as a Jew, those advanced certainly should know more about how and why the accepted halacha is it,but first basics are required.We do not limit Yahadus to elites.
    “The key is that each of us is maximizing our time and potential in Limud HaTorah and especially in Gemara bacause our covenant with HaShem is predicated upon the Luchos Sheniyos which represent the new reality of Kabalas HATorah and Limud HaTorah aftet
    the episode of the Golden Calf”
    One can’t ignore Torah shebichtav-when one teaches halacha lemaaseh almost everything is based on Torah shebal peh.

  191. Steve Brizel says:

    When you claim.that others violated their access to RYBS by abusing the confidence placed in them that also was alleged but never proven in any court of competent jurisdiction. That is akin to to the charges rraised against a college soccer team and a now sitting state court judge-mere allegations but never proven. That is another example of would be censorship.

  192. Y sasson says:

    Mycroft
    I am still waiting for you to provide a source that The rav was opposed to bombing The nuclear reactor. I have been told not to trust anything in The name of The rav that mysteriously pops up out of The woodwork, especially not 25 years after his passing.

  193. Steve Brizel says:

    I strongly disagree that posthumously based editted editions of sefarim based on extremely well vetted Kisvei Yad should be deemed a mere tradeoff. We have many of the most works of Rishonim and Acharonim that are far more easier to decipher today precisely because of that process.

  194. mycroft says:

    “Again, this was not some public pronouncement that someone with an agenda would forge. This was a private letter.”
    I am not saying it is forged, but certainly it is of a topic trying to get Israel to treat Kahane as a normal Jew is a motive for a Kahanist to make up the letter.

  195. Mycroft says:

    Sassoon
    Don’t trust me, I heard that statement from someone present when Rav stated it. It is part of his consistent approach of dealing with affairs, see eg demanding investigation if Lebanese massacre, being very concerned of being polite with and respectful with rest of world, spring 68 speech where he attacked Hetar who are not as extreme as Kahane. I don’t care if you believe me or not, people who know me know I don’t disclose sources on this blog.
    I have constantly stated that one has to be very careful about what the Rav supposedly said or wrote near the end of his service. No secret about his illness. In the latter part was taken advantage by many,. The burden on anyone claiming that the Rav was not the person that he was from 1940-1970 and that his actions that he did with organizations that he controlled and lead were not truly the Ravs.
    It is a very sad thing that happened to the Rav. Anyone that has reached the age that he darted to decline naturally checks and worries about any changes, because if it can affect the last over twenty years of the Rav it can affect any of us. No one would try and take advantage of most people’s declining stage to get us to sign letters f our viewpoints, that is the difference.
    Of course, in the beginning of the Ravs decline, it was not so noticeable, first to those closest to the Rav, than by early mid 70 s noticeable to RY at acayahrzeit shiu, but in those DAs, it was occasional, as the yeas went on and crtainly by 1984 his decline was known by all.

  196. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-is it not correct that RYBS supportrd the Vietnam War and fiercely oppoaed Commu ism?

  197. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft every Jew delending on tbeir gender has the potential to be a Moshe Rabbeinu or a Miriam.Neviah on his or her level. There are no shortcuts in terms of the effort but there are numerous tools that aid the process consisting of well edited editions of classical sefarim.and such aids as ArtsScroll Mesivta Otzar Mefarshei Talmud and the Encycopedia Talmudis. Halacha Lmaaaheh is vital vut only one part of the process especially for men who must learn the relevant and the seemingly irrelevant aspects of Torah as well.

  198. mycroft says:

    “Jew delending on tbeir gender has the potential to be a Moshe Rabbeinu or a Miriam.Neviah on his or her level”
    on his or her level makes above statement nicehomiletics but meaningless as a practical guidance
    “There are no shortcuts in terms of the effort but there are numerous tools that aid the process consisting of well edited editions of classical sefarim.and such aids as ArtsScroll Mesivta Otzar Mefarshei Talmud and the Encycopedia Talmudis”
    We are talking past each other, certainly for most if not all people who comment on CC what you say is correct, but unfortunate reality is not what you describe.Not everyone can read or understand Encyclopedia Talmudis, or Talmud no matter what translation or aid.
    “Halacha Lmaaaheh is vital vut only one part of the process especially for men who must learn the relevant and the seemingly irrelevant aspects of Torah as well.” First one must know what one has to know to live as a frumJew,skip that knowledge requirement and attempt to run to Talmud with someone who hast mastered learning in ther Pirkei Avos manner-tafasta mruba lo tafasta

  199. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft-is it not correct that RYBS supportrd the Vietnam War and fiercely oppoaed Commu ism”
    he supported the VietNam war -but did not treat it as a matter that he had special expertise thusdid not treat his views as binding onanyone-thus for example both RAL and RAS who were both very close to the Rav were opposed to the VietNam war.Ican remember the Rav being very open against YU becoming non sectarian, but really dont recall public speeches on Viet Nam war.He did discuss issue but Rav did not treat issue as one that he expected following.That is opposed to his demand in the Spring of 1968 when he spoke publicly in Rubin Schul against Betarnicks who were planning to demonstrate against Lord Carradon if he spoke at YU. Kahanists were far more extreme than Betarnicks who the Rav spoke against.
    I don’t believe one can find any Rav in favor of communism.IIRC Yitzchak Blau in an article once showed how their have been many socialist Rabbonim,many capitalist Rabbonim but no Communist Rabbonim/

  200. mycroft says:

    “How many Torah observant people live in areas adjacent to major Orthodox communities today which can best be described as slums? Ask yourself whether there is a vestige of a community in Laurelton ”
    The other day I was in car with my wifes cousin who had just given a ride to someone who is currently living in Laurelton,does not have money. There are many cheaper areas in suburbs where people wholive who are Jewish who are lost to frum community, we are not concerned with them,they are not klei kodesh or mechanchim,they live on less than mechanchim earn-they live on less than peanuts. Of course,their housing is subject to property taxes. So their less than peanuts is less than many mechanchim by even more.

  201. mycroft says:

    “I strongly disagree that posthumously based editted editions of sefarim based on extremely well vetted Kisvei Yad should be deemed a mere tradeoff. We have many of the most works of Rishonim and Acharonim that are far more easier to decipher today precisely because of that process”
    One does not know if final editions, in case of Rav we have a lot published in his lifetime with him going through many drafts.

  202. Steve Brizel says:

    In retrospect supporting socialism in theory without realizing the havoc that its varieties have caused to human rights and especially religious freedom was catastrophic. See what Rambam says about our individual dury ro strive to be like Moshe Rabbeinu. If one soes no strive one can easily choose to be Yeravam ben Navat. It is well known that RYBS was a staunch opponent of Communism and voiced his horror at the decline of public mores in the US during the 1960s. See tbe relevant volumes of Noroas HaRav.

  203. Steve Brizel says:

    The days when the Jewish community and especially the Orthodox community lived in innner city communities ended as life in tbe inner city became undesirable and the mext generation moved out of the cities into the outer boroughs or the suburbs. Noone lives in the inner city anymore because of tbe richness of Jewish life unless you are a limousine liberal who wants to impose the au courant views of politics and culture upon tbose of us who donot share such so called progressive views.

  204. mycroft says:

    “How many Torah observant people live in areas adjacent to major Orthodox communities today which can best be described as slums? ”
    Areas that you would not prefer living in. Of course, the issue is why is it that Orthodox communities, certainly of MO type do not have at most more than a token amount of non above average incomes.What do you think happens to those who grew up Orthodox, don’t have very wealthy parents supporting them and their children. Explain to me how they have a family and pay tuition, and other additional expenses of being Orthodox.
    Note Israel does not have this problem,it costs relatively little extra to be Orthodox,no day school expense.Schul is probably biggest extra cost , but not in ball park of day school tuition. Thus,one can see jobs that parents in dati leumi have in Israel, that are almost non existent in US, security guard, sanitation worker, retail clerk. What happens to those of our children who earn a living that way. I never saw them in US as parents of children in day schools

  205. Steve Brizel says:

    I think that it is obvious that today’s Orthodox community, as opposed to the immigrant communities that were in many American major cities that today are some of the worst slums in America -view the following non negotiable elements as required for Orthodox living-options ( same gender only or mixed gender, as opposed to only a mixed gender or community school) for education and Torah study from K-adult , options for shuls, shopping for Kosher food, access to Judaica , a mikva and an eruv as well as being safe walking to and from shul.

  206. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft_i can show you numerous references in Noraos HaRav to RYBS’s negative views towards abortion, the “sexual revolution” and the loosening of mores in the 1960s , as well as the waste of time consumed watching television , etc. Those were the statements of a Gadol BaTorah-regardless of whether RYBS said the same was assur-I would find it hard to believe that such views were not what RYBS intended as his view on such subjects to the audience.

  207. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-are you claiming that RYBS’s documented support of efforts to raise money for YTVD and checks written to BMG as well as the Edah Charedis are inconsistent with his stances? As far as your claim re R Rakkafet is concerned,. R Rakkafet merely mentioned that R Kahane HaShem Yimkam Damo, who we know was killed by an Islamoterrorist, was his Bnei Akiva leader back when he was a teen in the Bronx long before he entered RIETS. (While R Kahane’s views were extreme, the critique of secular American Jewry and its establishment that he raised in “Why Be Jewish” remain very viable. )

  208. Steve Brizel says:

    Here are a few examples of Orthodox communities in the US that were once in immigrant communities that deserved to be classified as slums and have remained as such -New York, Boston, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago.

  209. Steve Brizel says:

    Thus,one can see jobs that parents in dati leumi have in Israel, that are almost non existent in US, security guard, sanitation worker, retail clerk

    Why would anyone aspire to such occupations in the US unless you don’t have a high school GED or college or post graduate degree? Yeshivish parents would not want such occupations

  210. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-I knew a court officer who worked in Manhattan and lived in Monsey and sent his large sized family to yeshivos

  211. Steve Brizel says:

    Mycroft-anyone with a college degree who has even a minimal amount of facility with Lashon Hakodesh can read and understand an ArtScroll translation of Talmud. I personally view ArtScroll’s elucidation as a crutch but I can understand and I am impressed and inspired by the same being a way back into the study of Talmud for many who last looked at a Gemara in high school or for anyone beginning to learn as a portal to learning in depth.

  212. Bob Miller says:

    About deteriorating inner cities:
    People—not only Jews— who care for their physical safety would generally prefer to move out. Things can get so bad that they move out even when they can barely afford the costs of moving and living in their new digs. Nowadays, once relocated, they notice how their new neighbors live in higher style. They might not be treated as equals once it’s clear to all that they’re less wealthy. In particular, Jewish educational costs in the ‘burbs can be through the roof, but newcomers who need aid can often sense that they’re second class citizens.

  213. mycroft says:

    “Mycroft-I knew a court officer who worked in Manhattan and lived in Monsey and sent his large sized family to yeshivos”
    Just googled NYS court Officer, basic title automatically goes up to76000 plus 3000 Metro Nyc supplement, it is above median income. Anecdotal stories are interesting,but I have no idea of any individual story,need to know spouse income and assets, parents income and assets.

  214. mycroft says:

    “Nowadays, once relocated, they notice how their new neighbors live in higher style. ”
    Sometimesin some neighborhoods ,including where I live often have houses on opposite sides of street worth more than double houses on the other side of street. Often a few blocks away in cheaper neighborhoods.

    “They might not be treated as equals once it’s clear to all that they’re less wealthy.”
    might not be treated as equals of course not

    ” In particular, Jewish educational costs in the ‘burbs can be through the roof, but newcomers who need aid can often sense that they’re second class citizens.” Even assuming they can get aid,which is unlikely.As second class citizens in psak situations etc one tends to leave where one is not wanted.

Pin It on Pinterest