Volume 57 Number 64 
      Produced: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 02:20:11 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Chareidi Internet (3)
    [Stuart Wise  Batya Medad  Martin Stern]
Looking for "Iyun B'Lomdus" book by Rav Itzchak Adler 
    [Daniel Cohn]
Prayer Concerning Women Murdered by Their Spouses 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
Spousal Abuse 
    [Russell J Hendel]
The failure of our Torah leadership 
    [Mordechai Horowitz]
THIS Jordan? 
    [Martin Stern]
Where "Chareidi Judaism" goes wrong 
    [Sammy Finkelman]


From: Stuart Wise <smwise3@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 24,2009 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Chareidi Internet

Akiva Miller writes:
> I see no  evidence that they are trying to make it "go away". What they are
> trying to  do is to protect the people in their communities from being 
> affected
> by  it.

I think that is your interpretation. What I read elsewhere is that they  
didn't like some of the topics being raised there, such as relations between  
husbands and wives, child abuse, etc, topics traditionally swept under the 
rug  in the frum community. And all this, apparently, without having 
experienced it  first hand. This reminds me of the psak to cancel the Lipa 
Schmeltzer concert  despite the fact that there were separate entrances and
separate seating, all at  a cost to the people putting it on. Your explanation
of why you continue to use  the Internet despite this psak is most interesting, 
but if you respected the  psak as much as you defend it, you'd be outta here.
Stuart Wise

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 25,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Chareidi Internet

The mishne, Pirkei Avot tells us each to "choose a rabbi," right?  That
means that we're not obligated to pay attention to every rabbi's
bombastic (yes, bombastic) demands.  No rabbi, regardless of his
headcoverings and costumes has the right to make general demands on the
Jewish public.
A psak to a specific rabbi's followers isn't applicable to all Jews.
We are supposed to follow our own rabbi, in the singular, not all and
every rabbi's opinions.  Most disagree with each other; that's why we're
supposed to choose just one, at least one in each subject.
This is an internet/email group, so obviously it would be pretty
peculiar for any of us to be followers of the rabbis who forbid
internet.  So, discussing that as serious psak doesn't make sense.  If
you follow those sorts of rabbis, your discussion should be with them,
or you're getting into serious Loshen Haraa problems.

Batya   http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 25,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Chareidi Internet

> Mordechai Horowitz wrote: 
>> The internet is a tool we can use for good or evil. Its
>> no different than any other tool.  It won't go away no
>> matter how much the extremists in the haredi world want
>> it to.

Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> wrote:
> I see no evidence that they are trying to make it "go away". What they are
> trying to do is to protect the people in their communities from being affected
> by it.

On the contrary, as far as I am aware, the use of the internet for business
purposes has not been banned nor the use of email which can be done
independently of internet access.

Labelling those who decry the possible dangers inherent in unlimited access
as 'extremists in the haredi world' is hardly a rational argument. Whether
one agrees with a blanket ban or not, the problems that it can cause are
real and must be addressed.

Martin Stern


From: Daniel Cohn <4danielcohn@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 24,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Looking for "Iyun B'Lomdus" book by Rav Itzchak Adler

Does anyone have an idea where I could find (buy or copy if no longer
available for buying) the book called  "Iyun B'Lomdus" by Rav Itzchak Adler?


Ra'anana, Israel


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 25,2009 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Prayer Concerning Women Murdered by Their Spouses

>From Yael Levine:
> Contrary to what Jacobson wrote, the fact is that many Gedolei Yisrael wrote
> "Tefillot Reshut". Some of them are compiled in the monumental volumes "Otzar
> Tefillot Yisrael". The Ramchal, the Shlah, and many others wrote such 
> tefillot.
> Rav Kook wrote such tefillot, and I devoted an extensive article to them. 
> Additionally and most important to note is that the Besht composed prayers as
> well R. Nachman of Breslov, as well his foremost disciple R. Nathan 
> Sternhartz.

This discussion has brought back disturbing memories of a discussion on this
list in March, 2007 about Yael's mi sheberach for agunot. In brief (the thread
went on for weeks), Lisa Liel posted, on the list, a rough translation of the
prayer to show what she thought its problems were, Yael accused Lisa of
copyright infringement, and I incurred Yael's wrath by questioning the claim and
her halachic right to assert it. I also questioned whether others who composed
accepted prayers--in which I included the tunes of R. Shlomo Carlebach,
z'l--would have ever asserted copyright rights to them.

Yael is, of course, correct--gedolim on occasion write prayers. All of our
piyutim are composed prayers, and piyutim continue to be written to this day;
for example, the Rosenfeld kinot contains a kina written by him commemorating
the holocaust (as well as Nachem, rewritten after our capture of the Old City
during th 6-day War--has anyone on the list ever seen it recited?), and I have
seen equivalent kinot recited in M.O. shuls here an in Israel. Unlike some who
have posted to this list, I am not opposed to reciting a prayer in shul simply
because it has been written in the last hundred years; in our shul we recite,
each shabbat, prayers for Israel and the IDF, and also one composed recently by,
I think, the RCA for U.S. soldiers. But these are not narrowly focused prayers,
or prayers designed to convey a political agenda. I put Yael's prayers in the
same category as one for Jonathan Pollard (even though I firmly believe that he
should have been released years ago) or, for that matter, Gilad Shalit, and so
view them as inappropriate.

But there is a bigger problem. Prayers by gedolim are accepted in large part
because these gedolim are thought of not only great scholars but also as people
of great humility. Did the Besht think that he was in the category of, say, the
Besht? Vehamevin yavin.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 24,2009 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

Meir Shinar in v57#63 states "Divorces can't be forced" Of course he
quickly qualifies this "(Current) courts do not have the authority to
impose divorces"

I think current practice is very important. But just to set the record
straight I cite Rambam Beeah, 14:10 "A women who refused to have
relations with her husband because she finds him repulsive and can't
willful submit to relations - we **force** him to divorce immediately

Pretty strong language. In the Talmudic times if a woman wanted a divorce
for personal reasons the courts DID FORCE it. (She doesn't get a divorce
settlement since the sole purpose of the divorce settlement (Ketubah) is
to discourage divorce which she wants....she has minimal rights on
property as outlined in the above sources).

I think this law important. It clearly states WHY we have agunah and
spousal abuse problems today: We have lost our court authority to free
"captives in marriage" from their marriage. 

It seems to me BESIDES praying we should be pushing for remedies to these
legal deficiencies. For example the pre-nuptial agreement is a remedy to
the inability of the modern court (outside Israel) to force a divorce

I believe this warrants discussion
Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 24,2009 at 11:01 PM
Subject: The failure of our Torah leadership

Mordechai Horowitz wrote:
> > Obviously by virtue of still using the internet we all
> > reject this 'psak'

> Not "all" of us. Yes, I obviously do use the internet. But I do not "reject"
> that psak. I respectfully listen to their point of view, and I thank 
> them for pointing out those dangers, and then, even when I am using the 
> internet, I remind myself of its dangers.

The psak is you are not responsible enough to remind yourself of the 
dangers while using the internet.  The psak is you can only use it for 
work at work.  Mail Jewish is strictly prohibited

You are making my argument which is the internet is a tool with 
potential drawbacks we need to avoid but can make positive use of and 
regardless of any psak by 90 year old rabbis in Bnei Brak will make use of.

Akiva wrote:
> Foolishness is in the eyes of the beholder.

Yep and like 95% of frum Jews I see these old men who call themselves 
gedolim as fools. Even the people who mouth respect from them ignore 
their extremist rulings like this with impunity because they are just 
silly. We make excuses for them, they didn't mean it its only for people 
in Israel, some advisor lied to them and thats why they signed the 
letter and best of all they didn't really sign the letter condemning x 
that is being hung all over Jerusalem but they don't want to embarrass x 
by denouncing it.

We are seeing this time and  time again.  Sometimes they make themselves 
look like fools with rulings their tiny communities do follow like 
putting women in the back of the buses.  How much a a genius would it 
take to see how a chillul Hashem that turned into.  Are we really 
surprised by the tznius yeshiva student who hits a woman for sitting 
where he wants to sit rather than get up and move himself away from her? 
  Then why should these gedolim be surprised?

Locally I just called about a problem, a friends brother has cancer and 
he is raising money to help support him. 2 shuls are helping through 
donations made to the Rabbis discretionary fund, the one with the MO 
Rabbi is giving 100% of any donations for him right to him.  The one 
with the haredi Rabbi is insisting on keeping a 10% cut for itself. Am I 
wrong to be disgusted with this Rabbi looking to turn a tragedy into a 

We have a crisis of leadership in the Torah community. Its not everyone. 
  And much as I would prefer to point fingers and say its them the 
charedim, and not us the MO I know better.  All parts of the Torah 
community does not have a respectable leadership that inspires, as my 
wife keeps reminding me we are frum in spite of the Rabbis not because 
of them.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 25,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: THIS Jordan?

Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...> wrote:
> Where else do see hayarden hazeh?

Gen. 13.10, 13.11; Deut. 3.27, 31.2; Josh. 1.2, 1.11

Martin Stern


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 22,2009 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Where "Chareidi Judaism" goes wrong

>From Jeanette Friedman:

JF> It is only since the Holocaust that Jews have been commanded by their
JF> rabbis stop taking achrayus for their own actions

I think somebody needs to document (for younger generations
especially) that this is in fact the case.

That there are things that are being taught since World War II that
are new - or were only said by a few people for not all that long a
period of time  (and that are wrong) is something that needs a book to
prove it.

Now in this case the justification is the words in Pirkei Avos "Asay
L'cheh Rav" plus a misunderstanding of what kind of Rabbis can issue

The Iggeres of Rav Sherira Gaon makes clear that all of that (Horoeh)
stopped with the last of the Amoraim and since then Rabbis (even with
"real semichah") have not been able to make takanahs - and that's why
Rabbeini Gershom issued only Cherems and he did not make any

Everything that is wrong can in fact be chalked up to something they
know about and refer to:

Yeridos HaDoros.

The problem is they don't apply it to themselves..

JF> It is clear that with these chumros, the "leaders" of the Jewish
people don't trust
JF> the "learning" which they instill in their students.

Yes, exactly.  The learning has been completely separated from
"Halachah L'Maseh"

Now this is completely contrary to what traditional Jewish sources said:

Here is just one thing I ran across:

"...The task of the Torah teacher is to render his services unnecessary.
His task is not to keep the laity forever dependant on him.."

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in his commentary to Exodus 26:20 - the first
Posuk in Parshas Tetzaveh - to the words "L'ha'alos ner" (before tamid),
as translated by Gertude Hirschler. This is not his whole commentary,
but excerpts
were published by Judaica Press in 1986. It was edited by Ephraim Oratz.

The book is known as Terumas Tzvi. This is on page 320 of the 1986 Judaica
Press one volume edition. My copy once belonged to the Fifth Avenue
Synagogue. It was sold, for $10, outside of Pinter Seforim, on 14th Avenue
in Boro  Park Brooklyn  on Sunday, October 26, 2008, the 27th day of Tishrei.

Rabbi Hirsch compared the kindling of the flame to the teaching of Torah,
or maybe it is vice versa. This thing is, eventually it is supposed to
burn by itself. He wants to assert a comparison here between the act of kindling
 a wick, and that of teaching Torah.

Now when he says unnecesary, that is kind of like an ultimate goal.

JF> and that the rabbinate  has been laying one chumrah after another
on them, passing them JF> off as minhagim and halacha, demanding that
it's their way..or the highway.

Compare this to:

"It should be noted that, as in all questions of halacha, the issues must
be studied with a sincere attempt to justify common practice. Even a cursory
scan of Rabbinic literature confirms that Poskim have, throughout the ages,
endeavored to justify and support the custom of the time within the framework
of accepted halacha. Seeking out problems and creating difficulties certainly
has no place in sincere halachic study."

- article entitled Mezonos Bread - Convenience or Misnomer - in Volume
XIX (19) (Spring or Pesach 1990) of the Journal of Halacha and
Contemporary Society published by the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School in
Staten Island, pages 35-36.  The article was gleaned from a book
"The Laws of B'rachos" by Rabbi Binyomin Frost and was originally
written using the Ashkenazic pronunciation but words were changed to
Sefardit to conform with other articles in the magazine. It doesn't
affect this quote I think, as the word "Poskim" would be the same in
either case.

This journal can be obtained at the Soy Seforim sale at Yeshiva
University where old copies of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary
Society are sold year after year. Besides it is probably in the book.

I think I made a list of exactly where some people may be going
seriously wrong in Hashkofah:

There are people who place Maamar Chazal over the Torah

1) ..who think the only thing worth doing is Mitzvos - or possibly Massim Tovim.

Instead of Devorim 10:12 they take something from Pirkei Avos: V'chol
Maasecheh yihyeh beshem shomayim - and misunderstand that.

2) And they say that that Learning Torah - and in the case of girls -
chessed - is the only
Mitzvah worth doing.   (Talmud Torah Knegged Kulim)

But it says in Pirkei Avos we don't know the value of a mitzvah!

3) And that the only form of learning worth doing is Gemorah

Now the value of gemorah is that people could pasken on their own - on new
things - and yet they want people to avoid doing that on even old things.

And to ask a Rabbi about everything.

They are indeed asking Jews to do what they never did, nor can they be
expected to.

What did people in prevbious times ask a Rabbi about or relied on a Rabbi for?:

1) General questions of Halacha  - what are the laws of Pesach etc?

The Rabbi tried to teach.

2) Disputes between people

3) Questions where they don't feel qualified to answer themselves  -
which could be - is a chicken kosher or milk got mixed in cooking - or
interpreting spots for a woman regarding Niddah.

They ignore the idea of not using Torah as a spade. Ignore what it
says about not learning a trade - well, there's actually a drashah
about that thatgoes back to the a Yshiva before the year 1900. It is
dealing with the Gemorah wheer it says some followed the advice of
shimon ben Yochai and did not succeed. I'm sorry I cannot pinpoint it
any further right now.


End of Volume 57 Issue 64