Volume 65 Number 16 
      Produced: Sat, 27 Nov 21 16:24:51 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Third of Israelis Will Be Ultra-Orthodox by 2050, Forecast Finds  
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Aveil davening on rosh chodesh 
    [Avraham Friedenberg]
Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott (2)
    [Frank Silbermann  Martin Stern]
Discussing the Conservative and Reform movements 
    [Carl Singer]
Pictures of women 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Public Menorah lightings 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
The silent plague of spousal abuse - inflicted by women 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
    [Yisrael Medad]
Urban Renewal (was The Conservative Movement is no more) 
    [Frank Silbermann]


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 23,2021 at 04:17 PM
Subject: A Third of Israelis Will Be Ultra-Orthodox by 2050, Forecast Finds 

According to a population forecast for 2050 in Haaretz:

> One Out of Three Israeli Jews Will Be ultra-Orthodox . The Jewish population of
> the West Bank is expected to more than double by 2050 - the growth could be
> curbed if the government resists political pressure for more construction in
> the territories
> Israel's population will surge by 70 percent, to almost 16 million, by 2050,
> with the ultra-Orthodox accounting for about a quarter of all Israelis,
> according to a new estimate prepared by the National Economic Council.

See for more:


[I have some problems with the arithmetic in this article.  One out of 3 is
one-third not a quarter!]

If these predictions are true,  then this will have huge implications for the
secular population of Israel. The article refers only to the ultra-orthodox, 
Presumably there will also be many Jews who are observant but are not considered

Is it possible that Israel will eventually end up a Torah state?



From: Avraham Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 24,2021 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Aveil davening on rosh chodesh

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 65#15):

Joel Rich asks (MJ 65#14):

>> 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?)
> In my limited experience I have not seen exactly this. At the Young Israel shul
> I davened pre-pandemic (with a black-hat posek rabbi), the aveil would daven
> everything but hallel (and musaf).

Very interesting. At the Young Israel shule on the yishuv where I used to live,
the non-black hat rabbi forbade any aveil from davening for the amud at all over
Rosh Chodesh.

Avraham Friedenberg
Be'er Sheva, Israel


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 24,2021 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott

Leah Gordon (MJ 65#15) gave a very good argument against pulling / failing to
renew Ben & Jerry's hashgacha:

> It weakens the argument that we are OK with reasoned critique of the Israeli
> government as long as there is no argument against the State of Israel per se.

I agree, and with to offer yet another consideration.

Though I quite strongly disagree with a number of Ben & Jerry's political stances,
I believe that rejection of a food as tref on political grounds contradicts the
assertion that we restrict our diet to kosher food because G-d commanded us --
and not because of health or other pragmatic or temporal concerns.

I know that we did, in fact, reject gentile wine because of a pragmatic concern,
namely, intermarriage.  However, I'd like to believe that was a rare exception
due to an issue that posed a particularly dangerous threat to the Jewish people's
continued existence.

(Also, we have a local B&J store whose owner has been very supportive of our small
local Orthodox community and does not share their politics.  We would not wish
him to suffer due to no fault of his own.)

Frank Silbermann
Memphis, Tennessee

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 27,2021 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott

Leah Gordon wrote (MJ 65#15):
> Regarding Ben & Jerry's and the threat to pull hashgacha, I think this is a
> terrible idea for three reasons:
> 1. Many of us religious Zionists say that we are OK with reasoned critique of
> the Israeli government, particularly by Jews, as long as there is no argument
> against the State of Israel per se.  Therefore, it's not internally consistent
> to object when B & J are attempting to do just that. I may not agree with
> their particular decision, but they are not pulling out of Israel, just some
> of the "territories," and they are not generally in favor of BDS or similar
> nonsense.

I think that this would be the attitude of most religious non-Zionists or anyone
else with no fixed prejudged opinion as well. Personally, I would have been
happier if they had acted similarly to Turkey re Northern Cyprus, Morocco re
Western Sahara and China re Xingjiang but I suppose they do not have any
franchises in these countries.
> 2. Kosher certification should be about the food.  Not the mixed dancing, or
> the posters, or the style of the food (Bacos are OK but not Impossible Pork?
> Really?).  The more food is kosher, the more Jews eat kosher food. I know
> plenty of semi-religious Jews who try to pick hechshered food if they have the
> option.

In general I agree with Leah but I could imagine situations where one might
wish to withdraw kosher supervision for not strictly kashrut related
motives. As an extreme case should supervision be given to a snack bar at a
> 3. I think it's a real chillul hashem if the kof-K pulls its certification
> over this.  The rest of the world isn't going to think, "Oh, maybe we were
> wrong and the kof-K is right".  They will (rightly) think reasons (1) and (2)
> above, and they may add a kind of dismissive attitude toward Orthodoxy as a
> whole.

It's not so much a Chillul Hashem as the fact that such a withdrawal will be
generally counterproductive.

Martin Stern


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 24,2021 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Discussing the Conservative and Reform movements

I know / knew individuals who are / were  "devout" members of either
Conservative or Reform Congregations.  To me that's their business.  Kiruv is
not always appropriate. I see nothing to be gained by MJ spending keystrokes
discussing / analyzing either of these movements.     Better we spend our energy
engaged in self examination.

Carl A. Singer


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 25,2021 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Pictures of women

Inna Vernikov won a smashing victory in her run for a NYC Council seat. However,
as far as I know, none of the right-wing Orthodox papers showed her picture
during her campaign.  Instead,  we were treated to a picture of Dov Hikind with
Chaim Deutsch. As you probably know, these papers do not show pictures of women.
(I do not understand why they could not run a picture of Inna wearing a mask!)

If a woman appears in a picture with men, the right-wing Orthodox papers often
photo shop out her face. Let me add that there is also a trend today in some
circles not to include the names of the mothers of the Chasson and Kallah on
wedding invitations. 

If you ask people in right-wing Orthodox circles about the role of religious
women,  they will often tell you that "Our women are on a pedestal".  Yes,  she
may but up there, but she is nameless and faceless there!

Any comments?

Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 24,2021 at 08:17 PM
Subject: Public Menorah lightings

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 65#14):

> In the last few years, it has become quite common for making public Menorah
> lightings in prominent places in cities. It is questionable whether one may
> make a berachah on such lightings with most latter day poskim forbidding it.

WE make a berachah in a shul when we light the Chanukah lights there even though
it does not fulfill anyone's obligation.  The reason given for doing that in a
shul (usually between Mincha and Maariv except for when it is Friday and
Saturday is done because of "pirsumay nisah". This surely applies to these very
public Chanukah lightings. The question would be whether this can be extended
beyond the synagogue service and this lighting in public is a proper ceremonial
Jewish occasion. But, after all, you could daven Minchah or Maariv in the
street. So, can you do only this?

Everyone would agree you could place a Chanukah menorah there - the question is,
can you make a proper ceremony out of it.


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 23,2021 at 10:17 AM
Subject: The silent plague of spousal abuse - inflicted by women

With the media's focus currently on the phenomenon of domestic violence against
women, the head of Shovrot Shivyon (Breaking the Equality), Naama Zarbiv,
presented some very surprising facts regarding violence directed not against the
wife but rather the husband.

In conversation with Israel National News, Zarbiv related the background story
to the facts she provided.


> We were stunned by the statistics, the huge disparity in the figures is
> impossible to ignore. Many of the men in our organization think that the figures
> regarding spousal abuse are symmetrical and present statistics from abroad. When
> I tried to talk about the phenomenon at a Knesset panel discussion, and
> requested statistics from the police so that budgets could be allocated
> accordingly, Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) - who was then standing in as chair of the
> committee - cut me off and muted my microphone, 'explaining' that violent women
> do not exist."

I had a friend who was married at least 6 times who translated Eishes Chayil as
"a militant woman"!

Do other MJ members have any experience of domestic violence (not necessarily
personal) or on the relative frequencies of male and female perpetration? Also
what is their reaction to the 'woke' attitude of MK Tamar Zandberg.



From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 24,2021 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Titanu

Joel Rich asks (MJ 65#15):

> I always wondered what titanu (you let us wander) was doing at the end of the
> vidui. Are we blaming HKB"H for our freely made decisions? ... Thoughts?"

My thought is that the verb is actually in causative form (if that is the proper
grammatical term). We have caused people to go astray, to wander from the Torah.  

Yisrael Medad


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 24,2021 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Urban Renewal (was The Conservative Movement is no more)

Chaim Casper wrote (MJ 65#15):

> My rebbe, may he live long and be well, told me that Rav Moshe Feinstein,
> zt"l, said to him in jest that synagogues in the US should be built on wheels.
> That way, when the local residents move to other communities they can move
> the synagogue to that new community!

I see this happening in South Florida.  Massive new real-estate developments
attract the newly retired who enjoy living with others of roughly the same age
and in the same stage of life.  Then, as they die off, they are not replaced by
new retirees, as the latter go to new developments.

So as age brings their retirement to an end, they are replaced by retirees from
less prosperous ethnic groups (and even by younger families, if it's not a co-op
with a hard minimum age restriction).

I don't know what can be done about this; aging in place is apparently not an
option for retirees in high-cost regions with high state income taxes and high
property taxes. But it would be nice if the phenomenon of migrating centers of
Jewish life was limited to retirement communities (which, even then, can be
tragic for the last old Jews left standing).

A different mechanism is in play when this happens to communities of working
people. During the last third of the 20th century housing was provided for the
poor who would never have been able to finance its construction -- by neglecting
to protect people from crime in neighborhoods whose housing was already financed
and built.  This persuaded the people, whose money drove the construction, to
sell their homes at a great loss (as compared with replacement cost).

As more and more poor people poured into the cities, during the last third of
the 20th century Jews and gentiles alike were turned into "wandering Jews" --
having to repeatedly flee unfettered thefts and robberies.

Crime against property and person seems to have been essential to keeping
neighborhoods affordable for the poor.  When crime in NYC was brought down for a
couple of decades we began to see gentrification pricing the poor out of areas
(from which crime had previously driven us).

Aside from thoughts that this might not be the best way to ensure that decent
housing is available to the poor, I don't like the idea of having to personally
sacrifice my economic security by being forced to sell cheap after buying dear.
 That's why, for the past 27 years I have been a strong defender of citizens
right to bear arms and use them in self-defense. When I began, I was quite the
maverick on this issue, but over the years I see more and more Orthodox people
coming to see things my way.

Frank Silbermann
Memphis, Tennessee


End of Volume 65 Issue 16