Volume 65 Number 14 
      Produced: Sat, 20 Nov 21 16:17:39 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Aveil davening on rosh chodesh  
    [Joel Rich]
Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott (2)
    [Michael Poppers  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Restraining Order Issued Against NY Gur School 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Shidduch Problems Past and Present 
    [Sholom Parnes]
The Conservative Movement is no more - it has turned Reform 
    [Chaim Casper]
What's Behind the TYH Nation Movement?  
    [Prof. L. Levine]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 17,2021 at 02:17 AM
Subject: Aveil davening on rosh chodesh 

How widespread is the practice of having an aveil daven on rosh chodesh up to,
but not including, yishtabach? What is halachically gained by this practice?
(During a regular shacharit as well?)

Joel Rich


From: Michael Poppers <the65pops@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2021 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott

Prof. L. Levine wrote (MJ 62#12):

> "We have told Ben & Jerry's that we do not know if we will be able to renew our
> contract," Rabbi Daniel Senter, chief operating officer of the American-based
> Kof-K that provides Kosher international certification, told The Jerusalem Post.
> ...
> Personally, I sincerely hope that the company loses its certification. What do
> others think?

I know (or, to be honest, I knew) Rabbi Senter; and not that he needs my
support, but I appreciate his willingness to consider losing business in support
of an issue that is larger than any one company's certification or lack thereof.
To him and all like him, I say, "Yiyshar kochachem!"

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 17,2021 at 01:17 AM
Subject: Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott

Chaim Caspar wrote (MJ 65#13) in response to Prof. L Levine (MJ 65#12):

> Is this any different from the case of Ben and Jerry's? The Kof-K is being paid
> to certify the ice cream is kosher. Are they being paid to be the moral arbiter
> of B&J? I suppose the readers of this post will have many varied answers.

The Chof-K is not cancelling the current certification. They have stated that
when the current contract expires they will not automatically renew it. This
means that they will not continue to deal with an anti-semitic company that is
attacking Jews.

They are not stating that the ice cream is not kosher, just that they will not
deal with the company.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 17,2021 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Restraining Order Issued Against NY Gur School

The Supreme Court of New York State issued a restraining order in favor of the
parents of children from the Bais Yaakov D'Chassidei Gur whose children were
suspended from the school after their fathers attended the tish of Rabbi Shaul
Alter in Brooklyn last week [Rabbi Shaul Alter is forming a breakaway Gerer
Chassidus - ED]. The temporary restraining order, which is in effect for the
next month, requires the school to refrain from:

  *   Suspending or expelling girls from Bais Yaakov D'Chassidei Gur because of
their religious practices;

  *   Sequestering girls to a segregated room because of their religious practices;

  *   Harassing the infant plaintiff because of her religious practices.

  *   Taking any action against the infant plaintiff because of her religious

See for more:


I have long maintained that machlokes is generic to Yahadus. I have come to this
conclusion based on Jewish history. Is this yet another example of machlokes or
is there more involved? What do other MJ members think?



From: Sholom Parnes <sholomjparnes@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 17,2021 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Shidduch Problems Past and Present

On a lighter note, Rabbi David Orlofsky of Jerusalem talks about topics in the
Orthodox Jewish world.

He mentions "fleishigphobia" . *People will not eat meat products for fear that
they will be unable to eat dairy products for the prescribed time after meat.
(who knows when someone might offer you a piece of cheesecake or some ice cream?)

He then segues into shidduchim and says it is no wonder that there are so many
older singles in our community. People don't want to commit for six hours and
you expect them to commit for life!

Sholom J. Parnes


From: Chaim Casper <info@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2021 at 11:17 PM
Subject: The Conservative Movement is no more - it has turned Reform

Prof L Levine said a number of things about the Orthodox, Conservative and
Reform communities (MJ 65#12).  I wish to comment on a number of those points.

1) The marriage of two Conservative rabbis who both happened to be lesbians
really is a non-issue.    Way back in high school in the 1960s, I heard that
Conservatism is merely 5-10 years behind the Reform.   We all saw this coming. 

2) "What is called 'Conservative Judaism' today is 'Reform Judaism'. It is not
what it once was and it never will go back. It no longer has any anchor or
mooring to the Torah or to Tradition. It also has almost no followers in the USA."

In my humble opinion, this is also nothing new.   Back in the 1980s, I heard in
the name of Albert Vorspan, who at the time was the executive vice-president of
the UAHC (the Reform synagogue umbrella organization), that he could put JTS
(the Jewish Theological Seminary, aka the Conservative Rabbinic school) out of
business by simply putting yarmulkas on the heads of the graduates of Hebrew
Union College (the Reform Rabbinic school).  He understood that the Conservative
mantra of Conservatism being the center between the extremes of the left and the
right (i.e. Reform and Orthodoxy) was false and non-existent.

3) Yes, half the membership in Reform synagogues are intermarried.  They have in
effect become social clubs, places where non-observant Jews can go to have a
drop of Jewish tradition in their lives.   It is virtually the same as the basis
of Conservatism as noted by sociologist Marshall Sklare in his books,
"Conservative Judaism" and "The Lakeville Studies".   Again, Conservatism tried
to sell the public that they were the middle between Reform and Orthodox.   Yet
Sklare showed in his research that most people who identified as Conservative
really only wanted a place to go where they could encounter a drop of the Jewish
tradition they remember growing up. 

4) Finally. we in the Orthodox community love to pat ourselves on the back and
say we are the future of American Judaism.   Yet the first statistic I heard
about the number of Orthodox Jews in the US back in the 1960s was that there
were 500,000 Orthodox Jews in the US.   Today in 2021 there are (surprise!)
500,000 Orthodox Jews in the US.

Yes, we have Habad and Aish HaTorah and the National Jewish Outreach Program etc
etc etc, all bringing non-observant Jews back to a Torah way of life and the
Orthodox have, by and large, large families.

But there are two factors working against our community.   One is the number of
Jews who make aliyah every year, a disproportionate number of whom are Orthodox.
The other fact is the number of Jews who give up being observant, who go OTD
(off the derekh).

Footsteps is perhaps the best known organization that guides people who want to
leave the Hasidic and Haredi communities.   Every year there are best selling
books that detail someone's exit from the Orthodox community.  True, Project
Makom wants to offer them other alternatives to being Orthodox.   But they have
limited success.   The truth is we lose just as many people as we gain.   [By
the way, this is not solely a contemporary experience.   Gershom Scholem in "The
Messianic Idea in Judaism" identified numerous Jews who gave up being Orthodox
after the Shabbtai Tzvi and Jacob Frank debacles of the 17th and 18th centuries.
  They were symbolic of a number of their contemporaries who stopped
being Jewish for a variety of reasons.]   

Regarding this final point: Back in 1976 or 1977, I came across the work of the
Harvard Center for Population Study.  They said that within 100 years, the
American Jewish population would shrink from 6 million down to 10,000-100,000,
all due to assimilation and aliyah.  The only Jews left in this country would be
the non-Zionist Hasidim.

With 45 years of hindsight, I can disgree with the HCPS and say it will be way
more than 100,000 but not as many as six million.   Why?   First there are
numerous Israelis who leave Israel in search of a more secure and financially
successful future.   I've seen figures saying that there are anywhere from
100,000 to 500,000 yordim here in the US.   True, many will intermarry as they
have no religious upbringing to keep them in the Jewish community but a good
number will stay Jewish.  The other reason is that many of the children whose
American parents made aliyah will use their American citizenship to return here
in search of a more financially successful life.   

B'virkat Torah
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 19,2021 at 11:09 AM
Subject: What's Behind the TYH Nation Movement? 

Thank you Hashem! - A beautiful concept, and a way to live - An attitude of
gratitude, as the phrase coined by some clever person describes it. 

When I first saw their music video, https://youtu.be/Byo7t9hJXG4, I was quite
impressed. They seemed to be doing good work, spreading a great message.

But then, over time, I saw more of what they were putting out, and started
wondering more and more where they were coming from. Gradually, it dawned upon
me, and I discovered more and more evidence to that effect, that it was another
neo-Chasidus endeavor from the Five Towns area of NY, that hotbed of the movement.

A few illustrations.

1) In a recent video, https://youtu.be/rXScExgdjFI?t=50, a member of the family
which started the TYH nation movement admits openly that it is about spreading

2) The singer Joey Newcomb, who is quite involved with them, is heavily involved
with neo-Chasidus under his Rabbi, neo-Hasidic leader R. Yussi Zakutinsky,
himself a talmid muvhak of senior neo-Hasidic leader Rebbe Moshe Weinberger of

3) A while ago they put out a song, https://youtu.be/Tx9CVt0Mw9k, promoting the
Chabad-Lubavitch doctrine that 'every Yid is a Chelek Eloka mimaal mamash', a
doctrine that is outside of mainstream Orthodox theology, frequently
misunderstood, and bordering on (if not outright) apikorsus R"L 

For more on this important inyan, see this discussion online a while back:


4) Just a few days ago, they released a new music video "Every Yid's a Big
Tzadik", https://youtu.be/81gcr4dq1iE, based on a song and teaching of a
Chasidic fellow from Brooklyn, NY, who is a Pre-1A Rebbe in a yeshiva there for
many years, who some people call 'the Nikelsburger Rebbe'. The problem is, that
it just ain't so, and is dangerously naive and misleading (it also goes against
the Chabad-Lubavitch sefer Tanya, which says (AIUI) that most people are beinonim).

Anyway, based on the above, it is clear, that despite some cute songs and swag,
caution is warranted and advised with regard to the TYH nation movement,    ,
people concerned about their souls should keep a distance.

There is no question that today Chassidus has a huge following.  In addition,
IMO, the non-chassidic yeshiva world has become Chassidized in many ways.  Some
may think that this is fine.  However,  those who belong to the non-chassidic
camp are not at all pleased with this.

Has anyone any further observations?



End of Volume 65 Issue 14