Volume 7 Number 19

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brisk Method of Learning
         [Eli Turkel]
Modern Orthodox
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Publication "Iturei Kohanim"
         [Yisrael Medad]
Rav Publications (2)
         [Meshulum Laks, Anthony Fiorino]
Rav Publications & a Personal Note
         [Yisrael Medad]
The Rov and the Right Wing
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Vilna Gaon redeeming himself
         [Mike Gerver]


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 6 May 93 10:33:34 +0300
Subject: Brisk Method of Learning

    An excellent summary of the way of learning developed by R. Chaim
Soloveitchik and called the "brisker" way appears in Ishim ve-Shittot by
R. Zevin.

Eli Turkel


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Wed, 5 May 93 10:57:33 -0700
Subject: Modern Orthodox

	>is also a lesson to be learned in evaluating exactly how certain
	>segments of the Orthodox community view/viewed ... and "modern

The above comment awakened a pet peeve I have, which I would like to
share with the net, and hear other people's opinions. Note that my
comments are not directed toward any groups or individuals whatsoever -
they should only be viewed in a theoretical sense.

I vehemently am opposed to the grammatical (sp?) term "Modern Orthodox".
Either you are Orthodox or you are not.  There is one Torah, and one
Torah only, and only one Shulchan Oruch. Those who choose to follow it
are Orthodox, those who don't are not Orthodox. Period. Yes or No -- but
there is no middle ground.

It's as simple as that - there should be no adjectives or other terms
applied to our adherence to the Torah.  These adjectives serve nothing
more then diluting the meaning of the term Orthodox.

Furthermore, the term 'Modern Orthodoxy' implies that there are 2
Orthodoxies (G-d forbid) -- a modern one and an old fashioned one.  This
statement, I submit to you, borders on heresy.

While modern life may dictate a different lifestyle then did our
"old-fashioned" ancestors, our adherence to Halacha and Torah hashkafa
should be identical to those of our ancestors who stood at the foot of
Mt. Sinai some 3000 years ago. And if it is, then it is not *modern*
Orthodoxy, but the same "old-fashioned" Orthodoxy that G-d gave Moses at
Sinai.  Any deviations from this hashkafa represents a deviation from
the definition of Orthodoxy.

Once again, my comments are not directed towards any groups or
individuals whatsoever. They are only targeted towards "modern" usage of
what-I-claim is an inappropriate adjective applied to a noun.

Hayim Hendeles


From: OZER_BLUM%<YARDEN.DECNET@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Mon, 3 May 93 06:03:56 -0400
Subject: Publication "Iturei Kohanim"

     Following up the discussion on "Conquest", et. al, Issue No. 99 of
"Iturei Kohnaim" of the Ateret Kohanim Yeshiva just came out.
     It includes an article by Rav Shlomo Aviner of Residency in Yesha
and the Golan and several Halachic comments on the Three Vows and the
question of Conquest of Eretz-Yisrael.
	Can be obtained by writing to POB 1076 Jerusalem.
	The relevant point Aviner makes to the discussion is that the
commandment of "Yishuv HaAretz" (residing in the Land) divides into
three: a) every Jew must resdie in the Land of Israel and there is no
excuse for living in Exile; b) we cannot leave it as is but must build
it up; c) it is prohibited that the Land be under non-Jewish rule.  From
this he draws the conclusion that since it is in the areas of Yesha and
the Golan where the danger to Jewish sovereignty is greatest, so those
are the places where Jews must go to live now.



From: Meshulum Laks <LAKS@...>
Date: Wed, 5 May 93 01:08 EST
Subject: Rav Publications

Just a note. There is another publication of the rav not mentioned in
the list. Seder Avodat Yom Hakippurim which was published in israel as
well as a book published in israel and which immediately vanished from
the market called mebeit medrasho shel harav -1978 jerusalem, no
publisher listed shiurim on keriyat shemah , tzizit and tefillin

meshulum laks

From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 5 May 93 15:58:21 -0400
Subject: Rav Publications

Another English article by the Rav is:

The Synagogue as an Institution and Idea (a lecture given at Kehilat
Jeshurun in Dec, 1972; printed in the Joseph H. Lookstein Memorial Volume;
ktav 1980)

Ktav (hoboken,nj) recently published a book entitled Confrontation, by
Zvi Kalisch (I may have the last name wrong).  He was a student of the
Rav, and his book is an analysis of the existential nature of the Rav's

Eitan Fiorino


From: OZER_BLUM%<CARMEL.DECNET@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Wed, 5 May 93 09:32:36 -0400
Subject: Rav Publications & a Personal Note

	Regarding the various input on the Rav's publications, please
take note that for as long as I can remember (maybe 10-15-20 years), the
HaTzofeh newspaper of the NRP published every Rosh Hashana, Kippur,
Succot, Pesach & Shavu'ot, more or less, a Hebrew language article by
the Rav.  Some may have been reprinted and others translated but I am
sure there is a lot of stuff there.

	As for a personal note, in the Fall of 1968, the YU student
council invited Lord Caradon, the British Ambassador to the UN, to
speak.  Besides being the former Hugh Foot (brother of Malcolm Foot a
Philo-Semite) who was previously a British Mandatory Governor of Samaria
during the 1936-39 riots, he had also just a few months earlier stated
that East Jerusalem does noppt belong to Israel.  I and two other Betar
members started up a petition to withdraw the invitation.  To make a
long story short, the Rav was informed of the rumblings on campus,
called us in to persuade us to stop our activity which could damage YU's
reputation.  When we entered, the Shiur boys laughed at the "poor boys
going in for the slaughter".  We, in turn, persuaded the Rav that YU
should not provide Caradon with a stage to lambast Israel.  He agreed;
the invitation was somehow withdrawn but then he went on air on the
campus radio and there made his famous declaration that as in medicine
we go to a doctor, in security we go to a military commander.

Yisrael Medad (then Winkelman)


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 5 May 93 03:08:26 -0400
Subject: The Rov and the Right Wing

     I do not know if I can express my thought accurately, but I shall
nonetheless try. I would probably be classified as a member of the
"Black hat Yeshiva world," and I do feel a sense of great loss at the
death of the Rov, not just because of his Geonus, but because I
personally experienced it, having spent, in, I believe 1980, a summer in
the Boston YU Kollel. It is true that I do not find the Brisker Derech
in either Lomdus or Machshava to speak to me, being closer in spirit to
Reb Shimon Shkop and Reb Tzadok HaKohen, but true Gadlus transcends
specific Derachim.
     I would therefore, had I been in NY, probably attended the Hesped
in YU. I have been to YU many times both to visit and hear shiurim, have
a brother in law there in Kollel, and a wife who is a SCW alumna.
Nonetheless, I would have been uncomfortable at the Hesped. I believe
that YU utilizes the Rov, and has utilized the Rov for many years, to
lend an aura of legitimacy to activities conducted in the alleged name
of Torah U'Mada, which are foreign to the nature of a Yeshiva
specifically, and to the cause of Avodas Hashem in general. I was much
disturbed by the nature of Rabbi Lamm's Hesped, brilliant as it may have
been, for this very reason.  The theory of Torah U'Mada embraced by the
Rov was not carte blanche.
 The Rov's opposition, for instance, to the divorce of RIETS from YC is
well known and documented. I remember the one time I came to hear the
Rov at YU, noting the notice on the wall behind him about some upcoming
judo tournament, and wondering at the jarring contrast.  Some on this
board may argue that the Rov was in fact for the synthesis of even such
disparate elements as a shiur (then) in Mesechta Shevuos and Judo.
Perhaps, but I doubt it highly. Even so, those of us who cannot accept
the _institutionalized_ value of such synthesis are therefore
uncomfortable at the possibility of lending credence to the claim to the
legitimacy thereof. Had the Azkara been held somewhere else, with
speakers (perhaps the latter two?)  who would be not be suspect of
setting themselves up as the Arbiters of the Rov's legacy, to use now to
justify and rationalize the ways of YU which other Yeshivos do not want
to be seen as condoning, I believe the demographics would have been
     BTW, I have heard that Reb Malkiel Kotler was menachem avel Reb
Chaim Soloveichik in Riverdale. Perhaps other such instances have been


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 5 May 1993 1:54:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Vilna Gaon redeeming himself

In a comment on David Isaacs' query about pidyon ha-ben, Avi says:

>[It is told over that the Vilna Gaon used to redeem himself to every new
>Cohen that he met, as he felt that no one was a 'vadai cohen' i.e. known
>positively to be a cohen, so he was always in a state of safek - doubt
>as to whether he had been properly redeemed. This would indicate that he
>considered it a Biblical rather than Rabbinic Mitsvah. Mod.]

This story appears in "Eidut Ne'emanah", page 65 (samekh-he), in "Sefer
Ruach Eliyahu," edited by Rabbi Eliahu Moshe Bloch (Balshon Printing and
Linotyping, Brooklyn, 1953-54). It goes on to say that the Vilna Gaon
eventually did meet someone whom he considered to be a 'vadai kohen,'
a Rappoport who was descended from the Ba"ch, who had a sefer yachsin
[pedigree] showing his direct descent from Aharon. Although this sefer
yachsin had already been lost by the time of the Vilna Gaon, he considered
the fact that the Ba"ch [in the 15th century, I think] said he had it, to
be sufficient proof that he [and anyone who could prove descent from him]
was a vadai kohen. After redeeming himself to this Rappoport, the Vilna
Gaon no longer felt he had to redeem himself to every new kohen whom he

Since there are many Rappoports living today from this line of descent
(although not all Rappoports are), it would be most interesting to see
whether DNA mapping of their Y chromosomes is consistent with the
hypothesis that they, and a significant percentage of ordinary kohanim,
had a common male ancestor about 3300 years ago. It would probably take
a few million dollars to get good enough statistics, but the price should
be rapidly decreasing as the human genome project gets underway. Before
trying anything like this, of course, one would have to very carefully
consider the ethical issues, in particular what you do if you find someone
whose Y chromosome does not match other members of his father's family.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


End of Volume 7 Issue 19