Volume 65 Number 29 
      Produced: Sun, 20 Feb 22 12:03:05 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Has Reform Judaism failed?  
    [Irwin Weiss]
Levaya instructions 
    [Joel Rich]
Looking for sources 
    [Ben Katz, M.D.]
Poverty in the haredi sector is not destiny 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Reform Judaism 
    [Stuart Pilichowski]
Thoughts on MO (2)
    [Prof. L. Levine  David Tzohar]
    [Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 17,2022 at 07:17 AM
Subject: Has Reform Judaism failed? 

On this continuing thread (last MJ 65#26), the event of this past Shabbat, where
a person entered a Reform synagogue in Texas, holding hostages during Shabbat
services, emphasizes several things to me.

1) The crazy American media has uniformly said that this was not an
"Anti-Semitic" act.  Really? The assailant here didn't choose a grocery store, a
Walmart, a gas station, a church, a barber shop.  Rather, a small synagogue. 
Coincidence? I think not.

2) Anti-Jewish people lump us all together.  Doesn't matter if we are Torah
observant, Chassidim, Reform, Conservative, Modern Orthodox.  We are all
enemies of them.  This has obvious historical precedent which does not need
to be spoken.

3) We could say, "This happened to these Reform Jews because they were live
streaming their Shabbat services, in clear violation of Shabbat prohibitions". 
Or, we could say, "We are going to love and defend our fellow Jews, irrespective
of the way they practice, how strict they are in their observance of Kashrut or
Shabbat or mitzvot in general". 

I vote for the latter.  I vote for inviting these people to our homes for
Shabbat dinner or lunch, and including them as guests when we have weddings,
B'nei Mitzvah, and so forth.

And, as Leah Gordon said, many Reform Jews do good deeds, support the state of
Israel, and so forth.   (And, some Jews who are careful in their observance of
Kashrut, Shabbat, etc., cheat on their taxes, commit immoral crimes against
innocent youth, and are otherwise engaged in illegal activity - fortunately,
this is a minority of persons).

4) I guess you can call me "one of the Leah Gordons of the list."

Irwin Weiss

Baltimore, MD


From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Wed, Feb 16,2022 at 12:17 AM
Subject: Levaya instructions

Question: My high school Rebbi and major influence, Rabbi L. Dulitz, was
recently niftar. He left specific instructions for his levaya including who
should speak. Is this common practice in different communities? Different
subgroups (e.g. talmidei chachamim, askanim)?

Joel Rich


From: Ben Katz, M.D.<BKatz@...>
Date: Mon, Feb 7,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Looking for sources

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 65#28):

> I"m looking for sources on two questions:
> 1. When the leviim wash the cohanim's hands, I"m told that they do one pour
> versus the two or three used on other occasions. Is this the case and, if so, 
> any sources?

I wouldn't be too concerned about the minutiae of this custom, as it is a
relatively new one.  If you look in the Tur on birchat kohanim, the Beit Yosef
says that he has seen this nice new custom of the Leviim washing the hands of
the kohaniim prior to duchening.   Twenty years later when he writes his
Shulchan Aruch, RY Caro paskens that this is what should be done.   A nice
example of minhag/halachic development, for those of us interested in this topic.


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 20,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Poverty in the haredi sector is not destiny

In a market that rewards education and pays higher wages to those with degrees
in sought-after fields, the haredi education system is a barrier. Haredi
education now accounts for a quarter of Hebrew-language education in Israel, and
here, too, the data speak for themselves.

While in the state and state-religious education systems, 81% of pupils are
eligible for matriculation, the corresponding figure for the haredi system is
just 4%. This gap persists in higher education, as well. Only 4.5% of Israeli
higher education students are haredi, and a quarter of them pursue degrees in
education. A small minority (11%) are enrolled in universities, with an even
smaller minority studying technological or other high-demand subjects.

This harsh reality is not a matter of destiny; nor is it the outcome of any
governmental policy to weaken the haredim. It is the result of many choosing not
to work, and of the haredi leadership's longtime insistence on making non-Torah
studies in primary/secondary school only partly available to women and
completely unavailable to men, thereby blocking their access to higher education
and lucrative employment.

See for more:


IMO it is tragic that the Chareidi community in EY has not embraced the Torah Im
Derech Eretz approach of RSRH. Torah learning is most certainly primary,  but
one needs to also be able to deal with the world and support one's family
properly.  TIDE is how to achieve this.

Let me also add the following:

There is opinion of the GRA that is given by R. Barukh Schick of Shklov in the
introduction to his Hebrew translation of Euclid's book on geometry, Sefer
Uklidos (The Hague, 1780). There he writes:

"When I was in the illustrious city of Vilna in the presence of the Rav, the
light, the great Gaon, my master and teacher, the light of the eyes of the
exile, the renowned pious one [may HaShem protect and save him] Rav Eliyahu, in
the month of Teves 5538 [January 1778], I heard from his holy mouth that
according to what a person is lacking in knowledge of the "other wisdoms",
correspondingly he will be lacking one hundred portions in the wisdom of the
Torah, because the Torah and the "other wisdoms" are inextricably linked
together ..."



for the remarks by R. Yhonason Eybeschutz in Yaaros Devash 2:7 on the importance
of secular studies as related to Torah studies.

I have never understood why the Charedi and Chassidic worlds ignore these



From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Mon, Feb 7,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Reform Judaism

Once upon a time when a child married out - intermarried - the family sat shiva.
(By the way, what's the basis in halacha for such an action?) In my modern
orthodox / dati leumi circles I don't believe that's done anymore. The feeling
being that ostracism may once have worked to keep people from intermarrying, but
in modern times, it only pushes people further away and lessens the chance for
any reconciliation or return to the fold.

I believe the same sociology is at work currently with Modern Orthodox feelings
towards Reform Judaism. While once Reform were taboo and un-touchable, time has
shown this approach isn't at all beneficial or effective other than to simply
distance Jews one from another.

Allowing Reform to worship on their own terms in Israel "even at the Kotel" - is
one manifestation of this phenomenon. Perhaps through a kinder, gentler approach
the results may be a positive and more advantageous to the Jewish people as a whole.

What do others think?

Stuart Pilichowski

Mevaseret Zion, Israel


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 6,2022 at 08:17 PM
Subject: Thoughts on MO

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 65#28):

> It will definitely be interesting to see. I feel that my generation (including
> me) was not successful in creating a MO model that would work in the United
> States.

Before starting a conversation about MO, I think it would be appropriate to
define what MO is and who is considered an MO Jew.

If someone wears a black hat and has a PhD is he MO?  Are women who cover their
hair MO?  If someone has strong adherence to halacha and has a good secular
education and works in the "outside" world, is he MO?

See https://www.torahmusings.com/2011/04/who-is-modern-orthodox/  for much more.

It seems to me that until one clearly defines what is MO, it is not possible to
have a meaningful conversation about it.

Professor Yitzchok Levine

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Tue, Feb 8,2022 at 04:17 AM
Subject: Thoughts on MO

I will repeat something that I have posted many times on Mail Jewish. The whole
concept of Modern Orthodoxy is an oxymoron. Orthodoxy means cleaving as much as
possible to ancient tradition against the challenges of modernity, It is no
surprise that Joel Rich admits that his generation has been unsuccessful in
creating a MO model that would work in the United States.

As to Rav Soloveichic's 14th ani maamin that the whole Torah can be kept in
every place and every era, history has proved this wrong again and again. It was
not true in medieval Spain, not in modern Europe and once again it is not true
in post-modern America.

Brothers, there is only one answer in our generation - Aliya. Only in modern day
Israel can we keep the entire Torah. Hopefully more and more YU graduates and
other American MO will come to this conclusion. Joel Rich himself is here with
us with two of his sons. ken yirbu.

David Yitzchak Tzohar

David Tzohar


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, Jan 13,2022 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Walder

In MJ 65#26, Martin Stern quotes extensively from an article on Arutz 7, "The
scourge of sexual abuse", Rabbi Steven Pruzansky which, Martin says,"analyses
the problems that have arisen from the Walder case."

Before one accords Rabbi Pruzansky any credibility on this or any subject, one
needs to consider the following in the Wikipedia article on Rabbi Pruzanksy,
particularly his views on rape: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Pruzansky


End of Volume 65 Issue 29