Volume 65 Number 17 
      Produced: Mon, 29 Nov 21 04:03:57 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Post Corona Wedding Redo 
    [Martin Stern]
A Third of Israelis Will Be Ultra-Orthodox by 2050, Forecast Finds (3)
    [Dr. William Gewirtz  Martin Stern  Irwin Weiss]
Agudah Convention Holds Incredible Shidduch Crisis Panel 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott (2)
    [Michael Poppers  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Pictures of women (2)
    [Martin Stern  Irwin Weiss]
Public Menorah lightings 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2021 at 06:17 AM
Subject: A Post Corona Wedding Redo

Rabbi Yair Hoffman wrote on VIN news (28 Nov. '21):

> All her life, the Kallah was looking forward to her wedding.  We can well
> imagine what was in her head:  the Kaballas Panim with the stunningly
> decorated floral backdrop and the wide assortment of food stations, the sushi
> station in the Asian Food section, the omelet and hamburger stations in the
> American food section, the mid-east food section, the outdoor chuppah with the
> carefully manicured lawn and white gloved waiters giving out mints and perhaps
> candy-bags with a wide assortment of chocolates, the procession of family
> members walking down the aisle accompanied with the music from that very
> popular singer accompanied with a five piece band, the breaking of the glass
> preceded by a dramatic rendition of Im eshkachaich, the post-chuppah
> dancing, the stunning assortments of food placed in the yichud room just for
> her and her chosson, the first dance, the second dance at the lavish meal with
> white on white linen in that magnificent ulam with columns and exquisite
> carvings on the mahogany, and, of course  all of those people present
> throughout the entire affair.
> Alas, instead, she had a small Corona-era backyard wedding with two people on
> watch to ensure that the modest festivities not be broken up by the police, or
> the Department of Health.  All of her siblings had enjoyed lavish and
> stunningly magnificent weddings.
> True, she had had a child in the interim, but still.  Could she possibly have
> another wedding?  A redo, so to speak?
> She asked her parents.  Her parents were very wealthy gvirim. They responded
> to her question as follows, If you receive permission from a Posaik to allow
> it we will do it.
> The question was then posed to Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein shlita.
> Rav Zilberstein responded (Vavei HaAmudim 97 siman 2) that it was not
> worthwhile to do for three reasons:
> 1. They already have a child and the holding of a wedding replete with
> pictures and memories could, Heaven forbid, cast aspersions on the child that
> he was born out of wedlock. Rav Zilberstein points to a very similar concern
> in Rashi explaining Beis Hillel's position regarding a certain type of Get in
> Gittin 79b.
> 2. It is not worthwhile to make light of venerable customs in Klal Yisroel.
> 3. There are remarkable brachos that are given and reserved for those who
> conduct small and modest weddings. It is not worthwhile to forego these
> blessings.   

For further details, see:


I was appalled that anyone should have even considered making such a rerun,
which would have had no halachic validity (and might have involved making
berachot levatalah r"l) and would have involved an exhibition of conspicuous
waste. It is bad enough that some people feel it necessary or appropriate to
flaunt their wealth (hopefully not borrowed from public funds) in this way
even for a genuine wedding.

Any thoughts?

Martin Stern


From: Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 27,2021 at 10:17 PM
Subject: A Third of Israelis Will Be Ultra-Orthodox by 2050, Forecast Finds

Prof. L. Levine wrote (MJ 65#16) about a forecast that found a third of Israelis
Will Be Ultra-Orthodox by 2050.

The weakness of linear projections coupled with the reader's usual assumption
that identifications of groups, be they haredi, traditional, Zionist, etc. will
not change limits reliance on predictions of this sort.

The Haredi population faces two critical challenges one internal, "abject
poverty", and one external, "willingness of the remainder of the Israeli
population to provide continued support". Predicted growth will have dramatic
feedback whose results are not at all obvious and certainly not something that
can be resolutely predicted.

The 1/3rd versus 1/4th of the population depends on the denominator. Counting
all citizens,including Arabs, Bedouin, Druze, etc., the percentage is 1/4th.
Counting only the Jewish population the percentage is 1/3rd. Not errors, but
only less than clear exposition.

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2021 at 06:17 AM
Subject: A Third of Israelis Will Be Ultra-Orthodox by 2050, Forecast Finds

Prof. Levine wrote (MJ 65#16):

> 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 ultra-Orthodox.
> Is it possible that Israel will eventually end up a Torah state?


Martin Stern

From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2021 at 11:17 AM
Subject: A Third of Israelis Will Be Ultra-Orthodox by 2050, Forecast Finds

Professor L. Levine (MJ 65#16) notes the story in Ha'aretz with regard to the above

I can't predict, but I hope this does not turn out to be the case.  I would be
concerned that there would not be enough persons in the IDF to protect the state
from its enemies.

Irwin Weiss

Baltimore, MD



From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2021 at 07:17 AM
Subject: Agudah Convention Holds Incredible Shidduch Crisis Panel

Rabbi Yair Hoffman wrote


In a virtual panel discussion on the Shidduch Crisis, Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel,
the Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva in South Fallsburg, adamantly stated that the
current system of Shidduchim was not working.

> The panelists presented some very shocking statistics.  Almost 1 out of 7
> young ladies age 29 and up are not married and 1 out of 4 young ladies age 24
> are not married.  There are a number of 21 year old girls that have not even
> had a date.

I would like to see similar statistics for young men. What is the story with
them regarding marriage?

> The solution that Reb Gershon [Barnett] discussed with Rav Wachtfogel is to
> lower the age gap and have young men start dating a full year earlier.  Reb
> Gershon stated that he went with Reb Malkiel to Rav Chaim Kanievsky who fully
> backed the idea.

I fail to see how this will help young ladies aged 29 and up who are not
married. I also fail to see how this will help the 1 out of 4 young ladies aged
24 who are not married.

Furthermore, many Bais Yaakov graduates who pursue advance degrees so that they
can help support their families after marriage will most probably not complete
their studies before age 21.

Let me add,  that I see no mention or "training" for marriage for young men and
young women in this proposal. Also,  who will support the couples with a husband
21 and a wife presumably somewhat younger?

Any thoughts?



From: Michael Poppers <the65pops@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 27,2021 at 09:17 PM
Subject: Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott

Leah Gordon wrote (MJ 65#15):

> 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'm sorry, but calling any area "Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)" means
siding with the UN's definition.  Any Zionist, religious or not, who believes
that the UN is impartial in defining the status of the "West Bank (including
East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip" has not been paying attention to the actions
of its bodies, including but not limited to principal organs like the Int'l
Court of Justice and subsidiary organs like the Human Rights Council and the
Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (a/k/a/
UNRWA), over the course of many decades. 'nuf said.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 27,2021 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott

Frank Silbermann wrote (MJ 65#16):

> 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 wish 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.)

The point is that they do not intend to declare the product as tref. They are
saying that even though the product is kosher, they will not deal with the
company becauses political stance against the state of Israel.

It would be like refusing to deal with a group of Arab terrorist whether or not
the food that they produce is or is not kosher. The question is, could the
certifying agency be allowed to just refuse to sign up to begin with or not.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2021 at 05:17 PM

I just saw this report on Vinnews:


> Five members of the South African Jewish community who flew to Israel to offer
> consolation to the family of Eli Kay HyD, who was murdered in the terror attack
> last Sunday, were detained at Ben Gurion airport. A new directive prevents
> foreigners from "red" countries including South Africa from entering Israel. 
> Ilana Smith, who had specially made the long journey from South Africa to
> console her close friend Devorah, the mother of Eli, landed last night in South
> Africa. After Shabbat Smith said that "they treated us like criminals. They
> asked questions and told us to be quiet. I told them that I cannot desecrate
> the Sabbath and they replied that they would arrest me if I did not get on the
> plane. I didn't eat for more than 24 hours and for the first time in my life I
> desecrated the Shabbos. In Dubai they were nicer, at least they explained to us
> what was happening and why it happened...

Apparently the "Jewish" State is not very concerned about Judaism in some cases.
Note that the Arabs in Dubai were more considerate of the Torah values of these




From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2021 at 06:17 AM
Subject: Pictures of women

Professor Yitzchok Levine wrote (MJ 65#16):

> ... As you probably know, these [right-wing Orthodox] 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. ...

This is nur halbe tzores [only half the problem]. In many simchah sheets, even
the kallah's name is omitted, she only being identified as "the daughter of so
and so".

Martin Stern

From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2021 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Pictures of women

Prof. L. Levine (MJ 65#16), notes the "trend" toward omitting the mother's name
from a wedding invitation, all the while proclaiming that we hold women on a

Though I am not a woman, I find this type of trend to be quite offensive.  I
imagine that women do also.  For no halachically based reason, people go out of
their way to ignore and insult other people just because of their gender. It is
pretty hard to imagine a more offensive "trend".  What is the basis of doing
this?  Why would one adopt such a rule?  

Should our women  dress like the Shiite women in Iran, with black garments
wrapped around them, showing nothing but eyes. 

If a man is aroused by a black and white photo of a political candidate in a
newspaper, there is something truly wrong with the man. 

Irwin Weiss

Baltimore, MD


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2021 at 06:17 AM
Subject: Public Menorah lightings

Sammy Finkelman wrote (MJ 65#16):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 65#15):
>> 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?

There is a problem even with saying a berachah on lighting Chanukah lights in
shul though the prevailing custom is to do so in the evening (but not in the
morning) if it is a place where regular tefillos are held with a minyan, but it
is highly doubtful whether this can be extended to other public displays, as is
discussed in the article I cited:


Martin Stern


End of Volume 65 Issue 17