Volume 14 Number 44
                       Produced: Sun Jul 24 23:52:44 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dr. Nathan Birnbaum's Proposals
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Emulating Moshe Rabbeinu
         [Saul Djanogly]
Framing the Yeshiva/ Chareidi Controversy on mail.jewish
         [Arnold Lustiger]
Rabbi Kaganoff - shiurim tapes
         [Hillel Eli Markowitz]
The Charedi Community / Acts Of Kindness.
         [Immanuel O'Levy]


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 1994 16:47:52 -0400
Subject: Dr. Nathan Birnbaum's Proposals

Some sixty years ago the renowned Western European Ba'al Teshuva, Dr.
Nathan Birnbaum attempted to found a movement, "HaOlim" ("The
Ascenders"), to bring the derachim of avoda and hisorerus of Eastern
Europe to the West. His efforts were cut short by the Churban of Europe.
I would like to quote from his plans (from Reb Moshe Prager's L'Or
HaNetzach pp. 441-443):

"There should arise a small army of pioneers in kedusha, an example for
Am Yisroel, similar to the great army of pioneers that the entire nation
should become in its task as a model for the entire world . .
  These pioneers must gather to take counsel and create societal tools
that will teach: a) How to deepen our awareness and love of Hashem; b)
How to love our fellow human beings; c) How to pursue the modesty that
is the glory of our Godliness.  "...This avoda naturally precludes
bureaucracies . . . and, besides the oversight of Torah sages, any form
of hierarchy.  "...The cold of intellectualism has penetrated our
relationship with Hashem . . .  Olim must not remain at ease with this
cold. They must toil in their respective societies until all develop
Divine hislahavus (fervor) and inner spiritual feeling.  "As means of
achieving aliya in awareness of Hashem I propose: a) The study of Torah
in a more profound manner . . . b) Festive gatherings for spiritual
purposes (a la the Eastern European shalosh seudos).  c) Special
instruction in the development of hislahavus and deveykus.  d) Requiring
every Oleh to refrain from any excess or immodesty in speech, clothing,
and deed . . . e) Freeing the architecture of our shuls and the nature
of our music from influences of other religions and societies.  "As
means of achieving aliya in bein adam l'chaveiro I propose: a) Increased
study in this area, guidance in practical applications, and the
development of a sense of society.  b) Self assessment through a weekly
Cheshbon HaNefesh.  c) An outright ban on certain occupations.  d)
Subtantive and apolitical common counsel concerning the resolution of
Jewish societal problems in the spirit of our Torah and Mesorah . . .
"Even if the image of life we currently convey does not manifest our
glory as the Chosen Nation, Olim cannot allow the status quo to
continue, but must attempt to rectify as much as possible. As means of
achieving aliya in this area I propose: a) Instruction in the definition
of glory (tiferes) in the spirit of Torah and Judaism, its relation to
religion and mussar, and guidance in practical applications of these
principles.  b) The development of a unique independent Jewish society.
c) The development of arts, especially architecture, music and poetry,
rooted in the spirit of Mesorah . . . d) The previously mentioned ban on
excesses.  "...Young men and women should be educated according to the
ideals of HaOlim . . "

I propose that talented people who are familiar with machashava, avoda and
hisorerus undertake a similar task in our time and place.


From: <saul@...> (Saul Djanogly)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 1994 06:11:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Emulating Moshe Rabbeinu

> Ari Kurtz by way of an aside asserted that in Heaven we will be asked 
> 'Why weren't you yourself,not why weren't you Moshe Rabbeinu' 

The Rambam in Hil. Teshuva 5.2 states that every human being has the potential
to be a Tzadik like Moshe Rabbeinu.So maybe we'll be asked
'Why weren't you yourself,a Tzadik like Moshe Rabeinu?'
My point is that most of us are unaware of our own vast spiritual potential
but we should be and should never settle for less.

saul djanogly


From: <alustig@...> (Arnold Lustiger)
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 1994 13:31:42 -0400
Subject: Framing the Yeshiva/ Chareidi Controversy on mail.jewish

To me, there is a disturbing trend in this ongoing controversy. The
symptoms of this trend can be seen between the lines of R. Adlerstein's
latest post, and more explicitly in some others:

>By that time, other readers have already responded to what initially
>made your blood boil.  I thank the many contributors who have by now
>made my task much easier by their excellent critique of Arnie
>Lustiger's last volley

>I have two chief charges to level against Arnie

The implication here is that we are engaged in some type of grand 
chareidi-centrist battle in mail .jewish due to... 

>what seemed to me to be an unfair trashing of the entire yeshiva world.

I now realize that it was the strong wording in my original post that
gave this perception. This was not my intention at all. Different
threads have come out of this discussion where the "chareidi bashing"
has unfortunately become quite explicit, and only tangentially related
to the points made in the original set of posts. For this I apologize.

For the record, in my opinion the commitment to Torah lishma one finds
in "right-wing" Yeshivos is what preserves Orthodoxy in America. As far
as Torah infrastructure, just as one small example, Daf Yomi is a
fixture in most shuls today only because of the efforts of the Yeshiva
community and Agudath Israel. In addition, as Chaya Gurwitz pointed out,
the chesed which stems from the Yeshiva/ Chassidishe community through
e.g. bikur cholim, Tomchei Shabbos, etc. is impossible to overemphasize.
The centrist community is not even close to developing such a chesed

However, having said this, I feel that it is going too far to state:

>The value system of centrist Judaism, with its open invitation to taste
>the best of both worlds, will never produce masses of people (with many
>notable individual exceptions) so passionately in love with Torah that
>they will drop aspirations of wealth and security and teach Torah in
>the classroom.  Only haredim can do that.  Centrism doesn't inspire
>passion for Torah.

Just as it would be unfair to imply that a bunch of rampaging chassidim
in Bnei Brak attacking a car on Shabbos typify the chareidi community,
generalizations such as this are unhelpful. (Incidentally, if I am not
mistaken, at the YU campus there are three full time kollels whose goal
in part is precisely to produce such teachers.)

If in light of the foregoing I would like to continue this debate, it is
because the responses that I have seen places these various issues in
clearer focus for me. I don't know if we will ever reach middle ground,
but because I feel so strongly about these issues, I would like to
submit this latest contribution.

R. Adlerstein writes:

>Many readers have already thoroughly demonstrated that more professionals
>will hardly produce more Zevuluns...
>As many pointed out,
>the only professionals who have enough $$$ to be Zevuluns are the ones
>who left for the world of business.  So how do we criticize the yeshivos
>for skipping the step that won't work anyway...

As was pointed out in the post appearing previous to R. Adlerstein, this
point is still not so "pashut". But even assuming that frum
professionals cannot at all afford to support Yeshivos (just don't tell
my tax accountant), most professionals do indeed pay full tuition for at
least the first 3-4 kids in Yeshiva, totaling $15-25K/ year; a burden
that Kollel families generally do not share. Tuition constitutes the
bulk of support for virtually any Yeshiva in America today (with the
probable exception of the Lakewood Cheder School). As far as a Yeshiva
balance sheet is concerned, tuition money is equivalent to contributed

>2) I stand by my contention that yeshiva grads who enter the professions
>do not harbor a sense of anomie towards their alma maters.  Perhaps I'm
>spoiled by living in LA; more likely, Arnie is looking at Lakewood
>alone.  I believe that what I am talking about is true in lots of
>places: Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit. 

I suppose it is difficult to generalize one way or another: the
situation changes in various communities and with various Roshei
Yeshiva. The more important question that I have deals with the

> Again, most students know that the yeshiva MUST push for
>complete adherence to the Torah-only approach, 

Sorry to raise this old point again, but if Zevulun is considered
equivalent to Yissachar, why is the search for parnassa degraded in
Yeshivos? Is it because of R. Dessler's teshuva that the single goal of
Yeshivos is to produce gedolim?

As a symptom of this situation, there has been a severe degradation in
the quality of secular studies in right wing Yeshivos over the last 20
years.  The local right wing Yeshiva where I live has essentially
eliminated twelfth grade (partly because graduating "early" allows the
Yeshiva to collect government Pell grants for those learning full time).
The further decrease in quality of secular studies will soon preclude
the ability for a graduate to pursue a professional degree, even
assuming that his Roshei Yeshiva tacitly agree that he is allowed to

Finally, and most importantly:

> I do share his concerns about prevailing attitudes towards
>parnasa, although not for his reasons.  I believe it to be untrue to
>Torah circles to degrade the seeking of parnasa, and to try to force all
>people into one mold.  I understand where it is coming from.  We needed
>a hora'as sha'ah [emergency edict] to put all our energies into Torah
>growth, to rebuild Torah from the ashes of the Holocaust.  Such
>artificial devices, for all they accomplish, can take a terrible toll on
>the lives of individuals and communities.  We await the considered
>judgment of Gedolei Yisroel to determine when to get back to "reality."

Perhaps we can reach a middle ground!  We can continue to hold varying
opinions whether or not examples of institutional Chillul Hashem result
from the denigration of parnassa in the Yeshiva world. However, we do
agree that the individual and social implications of the current
situation takes a terible toll. Finally agreeing on this point was the
primary reason for my post.

The question, of course, is whether the Gedolei Yisroel consider the
current situation to be normative or indeed, only a hora'as sha'ah. Is
there any suggestion at all in any teshuvos that this situation is

Arnie Lustiger


From: <HEM@...> (Hillel Eli Markowitz)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 1994 09:34:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rabbi Kaganoff - shiurim tapes

This is NOT a commercial advertisement and I believe it fits within the
guidelines.  Rabbi Yirmiyahu Kaganoff of Baltimore is making available
about 30 tapes he has made on various subjects.  Anyone who gets a copy
of these tapes is free to make copies and distribute them.  To quote
him, "I would be very appreciative if these shiurim could be spread".
It does cost him money to make copies he sends out, so if someone wants
one he should send something to cover his cost.  The tapes can be
obtained from Rabbi Yirmiyahu Kaganof, 3227 Shelburne Road, Baltimore,
MD 21208.  His phone number is (410) 358-5351.

I have heard a number of these shiurim and they are good.

Again, this is NOT a commercial advertisement and the only prohibition
is that someone is not supposed to make money distributing the tapes.
Anyone is free to make as many copies as they like.

 Subjects are:

Alos Hashachar, Anger, Bishul Akum, Business (how to run one according to 
halacha), Chinuch, Chometz: mitzvas tashbisu,Civil and non-halachic 
marriage (does it need a get), how to be a frum customer, doing teshuva 
positively, Glatt Kosher, Chanuka, Heter Iska, Hagolas Keilim, Halachic 
responsibility vs. Commercial acceptability, Korbonos (can it be done 
today), Kinos Tisha B'Av (several tapes), Kisnin ("mezonos" rolls), 
Language/Loshon (when is English allowed - side 1 is Plag Hamincha), 
Mazkir shel shabbos bimotzay shabbos (does one say retzay after shalosh 
seudos in birkas hamazon if it is after the zman), Mezuza 9some odd 
applications of the halacha), Mikvaos (advanced level shiur), Plag 
Hamincha (other sid is shiur on language), Positive self esteem, Pruzbul, 
Rodef, Sales, Schach mats, Sheva Brochos, Tumah (halachos regarding a 
kohen), Vegetables, Wills, Yishuv Eretz Yisroel, Yibum, Yotzo Motzi (when 
can someone be motzi another person).

|  Hillel Eli Markowitz    |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|  <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


From: <imo@...> (Immanuel O'Levy)
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 1994 06:57:02 -0400
Subject: The Charedi Community / Acts Of Kindness.

I've noted that there has been mention in this discussion thread about
the Charedi community of the numerous acts of Chesed (kindness) that
they perform.  I don't dispute this, and in fact this work is very
praiseworthy and meritorious.  However, this doesn't justify the sorts
of incidents that have been highlighted.

Being Jewish isn't just a matter of wearing a kippa or sheitel - it's
not the wearing of the uniform that makes the officer.  It is well known
that for an animal to be kosher it has to have cloven hooves and has to
chew the cud.  One of these signs is external and visible for all to
see, whereas the other sign is internal and not so easily apparent.
Similarly, one has to be inwardly Jewish aswell as outwardly Jewish -
being "culturally Jewish" falls short of the mark.

I am left with the question, though, of how to reverse the damage done
by the publicising of negative stories about the Charedim, and the lack
of publicity that their positive acts receive.  Does anyone have any

Immanuel M. O'Levy,                             JANET: <imo@...>
Dept. of Medical Physics,                      BITNET: <imo@...>
University College London,                   INTERNET: <imo@...> 
11-20 Capper St, LONDON WC1E 6JA, Great Britain.  Tel: +44 71-380-9700


End of Volume 14 Issue 44