Volume 65 Number 35 
      Produced: Wed, 04 May 22 06:03:22 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Rabbinic Scholar and History 
    [Chaim Casper]
Are the Yeshivas Spoiling the Seder? 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
    [Joel Rich]
    [Joel Rich]
Libi Omer Li 
    [Chaim Casper]
Mission statement 
    [Joel Rich]
Nearly One in Four Jews Will Be ultra-Orthodox by 2040, New Study Says 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
The Pitfalls of Frumkeit 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Zevadyah - why, who, what is this angel? 
    [Shlomo Di Veroli]


From: Chaim Casper <info@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 10,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: A Rabbinic Scholar and History

Professor Levine (MJ 65#34) quoted a passage in the name of Rav Yaakov Emden,
zt"l, from the book Mavericks, Mystics, & False Messiahs by Pini Dunner. He then
concludes with a question: How many rabbinic scholars do you know who are
knowledgeable about history and changing times?

Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkopf writes in his biography of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph D
Soloveitchik, zt"l, that the Rav used to read five (5) newspapers every day. (I
suppose that is one of many differences the Rav had with his peers in the haredi
world). And during World War II, he maintained a map of Europe with the last
known positions of all troops and that he would predict what the next moves of
the Allies would be.

To answer Professor Levine: One could say the Rav was knowledgeable about
history and changing times.

B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL
Neve Mikhael, Israel


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 11,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Are the Yeshivas Spoiling the Seder?

The following is from the Sefer Rav Schwab on Prayer:

> I must point out that the present-day practice in which all the children read
> from their prepared sheets which they received in school is not exactly in
> accordance with the mitzvah of and you shall tell to your children, etc.
> (Shemos 13:8) The children have started a new mitzvah of you shall teach your
> father and mother, which makes it extremely difficult to reach the mitzvah of
> achilas matzah - and certainly the afikoman - before chatzos.

Let me add that to me it is clear from the Gemara in Pesachim that at that time
the child did not know anything about the Seder. Hence, s/he asked many
questions.  Today, this is not the case. For example, my (favorite) 6-year-old
grandson told me they are making a "beautiful" Hagadah in his pre-1a class, and
he knows all about the Seder!

Dare one suggest that the yeshivas are indeed spoiling the Seder?



From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 28,2022 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Hespedim?

R Safran wrote:

> Is it any wonder then that those who request that no eulogies be delivered
> after their passing are looked upon kindly. By making that choice, they may
> very well be doing their rabbi and themselves a great favor.

Common practice (or why not)?

> KT
> Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 13,2022 at 12:17 AM
Subject: Kaddish

R YB Soloveitchik wrote in 1958: 

> Only in this generation, with our skewed priorities, are exhortations regarding
> basic spiritual necessities necessary. Regarding kaddish over a deceased
> parent, a relatively minor custom is considered more important than Shabbos and
> Jewish education. 
When will they ever learn (HT-Pete Seger)

I wonder how much has changed in the jewish world in general


Joel Rich


From: Chaim Casper <info@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 10,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Libi Omer Li

Joel Rich asks (MJ 65#33) our thoughts on someone ruling a halakhic position
which is not based on concrete sources.

I remember learning when I was a student at Hebrew U some 50 years ago that
Rabbenu Tam would pasken (rule) a question at times based on intuition.   He
would later go and look up the sources to back up his position.

His brother, the RaShBa"M, would never rule without first checking the sources -
He did not rely on his intuition.  

B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL
Neve Mikhael, Israel


From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 13,2022 at 12:17 AM
Subject: Mission statement

> As part of our commitment to Torat Tziyon, Yeshiva University is excited to
> announce several pilot academic programs in Israel for qualifying undergraduate
> and graduate students, beginning fall 2022, along with expanded Torat Tziyon
> summer programs. These pilot programs will continue to strengthen our
> connections with Israel by providing students, especially those interested in
> pursuing careers in Israel or making aliyah, the full YU experience in Israel.

I"d love to see a description of the full YU experience. Similarly, a definition
of the mission/role of YU or the OU in Israel. (or for any stream of orthodoxy)


Joel Rich


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Tue, May 3,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Nearly One in Four Jews Will Be ultra-Orthodox by 2040, New Study Says

Since I feel it is most important, and this web page is not accessible to
everyone, I am taking the liberty of posting an entire article, Nearly One in
Four Jews Will Be ultra-Orthodox by 2040, New Study Says, that is at



One out of every seven Jews in the world today is ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi,
according to a first-of-its kind study published Tuesday by the London-based
Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

If current trends continue, the study predicted that nearly one out of every
four Jews in the world will be Haredi by 2040.

The study estimated the number of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the world today at 2.1
million, 14 percent of the total world Jewish population. This represents the
first ever attempt to calculate the global size of this specific community.

The survey found that more than 90 percent of Haredi Jews live in either Israel
or the United States, the world's two largest Jewish population centers. It also
found that as much as 80 percent of the growth in the world Jewish population in
recent years can be attributed to this community.

High fertility rates among the ultra-Orthodox population is one of the reasons
the Haredi population is expected to double over the next 20 years, but it's not
the only one.

The study revealed that Haredi Jews also enjoy considerable longevity. In fact,
it found that ultra-Orthodox Jews tend to have a higher-than-average life
expectancy, despite the relatively high rates of poverty within the community.

Another factor contributing to the population boom is the high level of
lifestyle retention in the community: most Jews who are born into the Haredi
world stay in the Haredi world. Indeed, according to the survey, the percentage
of ultra-Orthodox Jews who leave the fold is so marginal as to have little
impact on the overall demographic outlook for the community.

In defining the Haredi population, the study relied on a variety of indicators,
including self-identification in previously conducted social surveys, as well as
community and school records. Up until quite recently, it noted, there had not
been sufficient data available worldwide to compile estimates of its size.

Commenting on the findings, Jewish Policy Research Executive Director, Jonathan
Boyd, said: The rapid growth of the Haredi population is changing the nature of
the Jewish world. It has significant implications for how Jewishness is
understood and seen going forward by both Jews and others, and it has to be
understood fully to ensure that the needs of the growing Haredi community are
met in terms of housing, education and other community services.

Community leaders need to pay much more attention to these demographic dynamics,
and start preparing for what is likely to be a very different future, he added.

With 35 percent of its Jewish population defined as Haredi, Belgium has the
highest concentration of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the world. Given current trends,
the survey noted, the percentage of Haredi Jews in the United Kingdom could top
that figure in 20 years.

Here are some of the main findings of Haredi Jews Around the World: Population
Trends and Estimates. The survey was conducted by Dr. Daniel Staetsky, a senior
research fellow at Jewish Policy Research and director of its European Jewish
Demography Unit.

While the world Jewish population has been growing at about 0.7 percent per year
over the past decade, the ultra-Orthodox population has been growing by about
3.5 percent to 4 percent annually. At these rates, the Haredi community can be
expected to double itself every 18 to 20 years; for the non-Haredi population to
do the same, it would take 350 years. Given these trends, Haredi Jews will
account for 23 percent of the total world Jewish population by the year 2040.

Haredi women have six to seven children, on average. That compares with 1.6 per
woman in Europe, 1.8 in the United States and 3 in Israel. There have been no
signs so far that would suggest that Haredi fertility will drop significantly,
at least in the short to medium term, according to the study.

The average life expectancy for Haredi men is 83 years and for Haredi women 86
years. That compares with 76 years for American and European men, and 82 years
for American and European women on average.

Based on data gathered in Israel and the United Kingdom, about 20 percent of all
those Jews born into Haredi families are expected to identify as non-Haredi in
adulthood. But a significant majority of them, some 60 to 70 percent, will
remain observant or traditional even after giving up the Haredi label.

Religious switching among Haredi Jews has been quite well documented and the
trend is not powerful enough to change the conclusions regarding Haredi growth
over the next 20 years or so, the study concludes. At most, the study estimates,
these switchers could push the share of Haredi Jews down from 23 percent to 21
percent of the total by 2040.

About 92 percent of all Haredi Jews live in either Israel or the United States.
Given that 85 percent of world Jewry live in these two countries, that means the
concentration of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel and the United States is higher
than most other places. According to the study, a total of 1.2 million Haredim
live in Israel, where they account for 17 percent of the Jewish population (and
13 percent of the total population), and 700,000 live in the United States,
where they account for 12 percent of the Jewish population.

Outside of Israel and the United States, the two largest Haredi communities are
located in the United Kingdom and Canada. A total of 75,500 Haredim live in the
United Kingdom, where they account for 25 percent of the Jewish population. Some
30,000 live in Canada, where they account for 8 percent of the Jewish population.

If current trends continue, the study predicted that in 2040, one out of every
four Jews in Israel and one out of every five Jews in the United States will be
Haredi. The American Jewish population will resemble today's European Jewish
populations with a very high proportion of Haredim, such as the United Kingdom
and Austria, the study noted. It predicted that by 2040, about 40 percent of
British Jews will be ultra-Orthodox. In that case, the United Kingdom could
overtake Belgium as the country with the largest concentration of Haredim in the
world, according to the study.


Truth be told there is no future for the descendants of non-observant Jews
outside of Israel. Their grandchildren will not be Jewish. See


My conclusion is that there is no Jewish future for Jews who affiliate with the
Reform and Conservative movements.

Yitzchok Levine


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 28,2022 at 08:17 AM
Subject: The Pitfalls of Frumkeit

One hears people say (with admiration): "He is so frum". "She is so frum". "That
family is very frum".  Is Frumkeit really a positive trait when it comes to
authentic Torah Judaism? It seems that it is not! As the saying has it "Frum is
a galach [Catholic priest who has a tonsure (shaven head)]- ehrlich is a Yid!"

The following is excerpts from Chapter 4 "Frumkeit" translated by R' Ezra
Goldschmiedt, Beit Midrash Zichron Dov (Published in Toronto Torah vol 3 num 8,
copied with permission of both translator and publishing kollel.)


> On the narrow path that leads to truth in the service of G-d, there is a
> stumbling block called "frumkeit". There is no suitable Hebrew (or English)
> translation for this term.
> Frumkeit is a natural, instinctive urge to connect to the Creator. This
> instinct is also found in animals. King David said "The young lions roar
> after their prey, and seek their food from G-d." (Psalms 104:21). "He gives
> to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry." (Psalms 147:9)
> There is no need to understand these verses as [mere] figures of speech -
> animals have an instinctive sense that there exists One who is concerned
> about their sustenance. This instinct [also] operates in man - on a higher
> level, of course. This natural frumkeit [instinct] assists us in our service
> of G-d, and without this natural assistance our service would would be
> extremely heavy upon us. However, frumkeit, like any other instinctive urge
> that operates within man, is naturally egotistical and self-centered.
> Accordingly, frumkeit drives a person to do only that which is good for
> himself - [in contrast, positive] actions between man and his fellow man, as
> well as wholehearted actions between man and G-d are not fueled by frumkeit.
> One who bases his service on it alone remains egocentric. Even if he were to
> impose many stringencies upon himself, he would not become a man of kindness,
> and he would not reach [the level of] altruistic service. This is what
> necessitates that we base our service specifically on intellect...
> Intellect must guide our service. The moment we abandon intellect and act
> from frumkeit alone, our service becomes twisted. This exists even in the
> levels of Torah scholars. Let us try to explain:
> An important part of the service is occupied by the commandments between man
> and his fellow man. Most of the work of perfecting character traits involves
> these commandments. A large portion of the ethical works are dedicated to
> them. Now, frumkeit, as we have said, does not drive a person towards these
> commandments, unless some personal interest becomes gratified in their
> fulfillment. Our master, Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Finkel, the Alter of Slabodka,
> said, "'And you shall love your fellow like yourself' (Leviticus, 19:18) -
> that you should love your fellow as you love yourself. You don't love
> yourself for the sake of any commandment, but rather [out of] a simple love,
> and that is how you need to love your fellow man." This approach is
> completely foreign to frumkeit.

Yitzchok Levine


From: Shlomo Di Veroli <shlomodiveroli@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 20,2022 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Zevadyah - why, who, what is this angel?

In the Chabad nusach haAri after the completion of Hallel for Rosh Chodesh is
written that one ought to read "May Zevadyah protect me and grant me life". 

I asked the rabbi of the kehilla what it meant. He had no idea. After Yom Tov, I
looked into it somewhat and found very little information except that it is an
angel and also the personal name of some biblical individuals. According to the
Chabad tradition you merely read it and not utter it. When did this originate?
Who introduced it? Why is the request directed to an angel and not Hashem?

Shlomo Di Veroli


End of Volume 65 Issue 35