Sunday, January 3, 2021

Something To Have By Your Door

Following the argument that I had at the door with a collector, I decided to prepare some Torah material to give at the door to those seeking to be supported in learning rather than working. (Which, remember, almost always also means that they are raising their children without the tools or desire to work for a living.) It's an extract from Sefer HaBris, which you can download as a PDF at this link. I recommend printing it double-sided and having a stack by your door - or printing thousands of them and distributing them! (Note: I do not mean that this should be given in exclusion to a modest donation.)

Sefer HaBris, by Rabbi Pinchas Eliyahu Horowitz of Vilna (1765-1821), was a popular work which received approbations from numerous important rabbonim. R. Hurwitz has a very long chapter about the importance of training for a profession, including some extremely sharp mussar addressed at people who only teach Torah to their children. Note that the people whom he is rebuking are only against professional training for children; they are not against their children going into business, or being storekeepers. Thus, they are already in a better place than many Charedim today; yet he still condemns them for going against Chazal. Here is an extract in English translation:

"And behold, what I have determined to be correct: For any person who desires to be scrupulous in establishing as a cornerstone and basis for all G-d’s commandments that he wishes to fulfill, that they be fulfilled purely for the sake of His great Name, it would be advisable that such a person have a trade with which he can support himself through his own efforts, and thus he will not need to rely on others, nor sustain himself from sustenance received from others. The result would then be that all that he does in terms of the commandments of G-d, he will do solely for the sake of His Name, and his performance of the commandments will not be adulterated with the hope of gaining from others – he will not attempt to appeal to others, neither will he flatter them, nor will he fear them.

"Also, such a person can be confident that he will not miss even a single day of his service of G-d, since his means of support is always at hand, and his sustenance is available in his dwelling and his own city. He will not lie down at night without having eaten, because a tradesman is never without sustenance, nor will he need to travel to faraway places in other lands to seek his sustenance. For when traveling, by necessity a person must be neglectful of the service of G-d, as is well known; there is no way to turn aside and focus on Torah and prayer with concentration when one is away from his place and has set out on the road.

"Thus for this reason, a person is obligated to teach his child a trade, to do some type of work with which he can support himself, as our holy sages of blessed memory and the wise men have said “Just as one is obligated to teach his son Torah, so too is he obligated to teach him a craft.”

"And as far as I am concerned, the current generation’s practice and custom, which is grounded in haughtiness, is evil; which is that most of the members of our nation do not want to teach a craft to their children, saying – with haughtiness and pride – “A trade is a great embarrassment to us.” Only involvement with business and sales, like shopkeepers, is honorable and becoming in their hearts. But ultimately, when they are unsuccessful in business due to misfortune – because there is a concept of fate among the Jewish people as I mentioned above — at that point they have no food, and transgress many sins, as the sages said “R’ Yehuda says: He who does not teach his son a trade, it is as though he has taught him the ways of robbery.” In other words, according to R’ Yehuda, even if he teaches him business – that is buying and selling goods - it is also as though he has taught him the ways of robbery. This is because sometimes he will not have any business to engage in, and he will then set himself up and engage in thievery – real work, making use of clever hands. Some of them engage in flattery of others and prostrate themselves for a cheap coin or loaf of bread; some openly steal and become thieves in the literal sense; some steal on the sly from Jews and non-Jews; some desecrate the Name of G-d amongst the gentiles due to the greatly disgusting acts in which they engage which damage the nations. This results in the gentiles saying “These are G-d’s people who have come out from his land; there is no disgusting behavior in which they are not well schooled, neither is there any trickery in which they are not expert, nor any forgery of which they lack knowledge”. This reaches the point that the gentiles say that the Talmud that the Jews teach their children is nothing but cleverness and slick ways to trick people.

"However, if these individuals would have a trade with which to support themselves, they would not do all of the aforementioned, as our sages of blessed memory have said “Poverty leads a man to transgress the will of his Creator.” And the fault lies with the parents of these individuals in that they did not teach them a skill when they were yet young. Why should the gentiles say that Jews are swindlers who behave disgustingly? And why do they curse G-d’s Torah? All because you have looked upon the work of your hands as contemptible and disparaged those who engage in a craft.

"And even more so do I feel anger towards those Torah scholars who do not want to teach their children a trade, and instead only Torah. They rely on the presumption that their children will be Rabbis or Judges, but ultimately many do not become learned enough in Torah to the point of becoming Halachic decisors among the Jews, and they end up “neither here nor there,” becoming schoolteachers. And as the number of those who hold of this approach increases, there end up being more schoolteachers than students, and as a result, these “schoolteachers” cannot even bring in enough for half of their household expenses, their households lack basic food and clothing, and consequently they cannot even engage in their holy work faithfully.

"Some of these individuals engage with one another in some sort of side business, some serve as tutors giving lessons in private homes, and some venture off to study with students in far off lands, away from their wives, in order to earn their sustenance. As a result, their own children end up being boors, because they grow up without a father, and their wives must live with worry. Some of them, upon arriving at these far off lands, do not find any students, and their wives and children die of hunger. Some wander far and wide in distant lands, some become preachers focusing on speeches chastising their audiences, others prepare themselves to engage in homiletics, and they travel on long journeys giving lectures to the Jewish people, yet others travel to distant lands to collect handouts and they collect from the Jewish people. Others commit their words to writing and they publish these books and seek to sell them. Yet others wander off to all the far cities in search of sustenance – not chastising, not lecturing, not doing anything other than begging for sustenance for their household – that is, the individual’s own wife and children and their need for money. And all of these individuals are dependant on others, and are seeking sustenance. And this calamity is all the fault of the fathers who refused to teach them a trade when they were yet young.

"Now indeed the fathers felt that they acted thusly for the sake of Heaven, relying on the opinion of R’ Naharai who stated “I set aside all trades in the world and I teach my son only Torah”. They do not understand that this is the method of the Evil Inclination, as is his typical way, to dress up and conceal things which are not good in the garb of piety, covering up all sins with love of G-d and fear of G-d and giving them an appearance of something that is for the sake of Heaven. And they do not know that this is not at all the true opinion of R’ Naharai, as the MaHarSha of blessed memory writes:

“R’ Naharai’s opinion is not that one should set aside teaching his son any craft other than Torah, for it has been stated in the first Chapter that every father is obligated to teach his son a trade, and there is no dissenting opinion. Furthermore, we have learned “Any Torah learning that is not accompanied by labor will not last and leads to sin.”

Rather, this is what R’ Naharai meant: ‘I set aside the study of all trades on a steady basis, and I teach him Torah on a steady basis and a trade on a sporadic basis.’ And that is what is meant that a trade only stands by a person when he is young, for then he has it in his power to perform a difficult job on a consistent basis. But when he reaches old age or gets sick he can no longer work enough to support himself. The Torah on the other hand, is not like that, for through the merit of his Torah learning he will be blessed with pleasant easy work which he can perform even in old age and he will attain achievements in both [work and Torah learning] areas, like the “early pious ones mentioned in Tractate Berachos.”
"Furthermore, one who makes use of his Torah knowledge in connection with earning his livelihood, will never become rich through it; rather it will cause him to be taken from this world as the Sages of blessed memory have said “He who makes use of the crown [of Torah] shall perish”; thus you see that he who profits from Torah learning removes himself from existence in this world.

"My brother, be shaken at this very great evil. For how long we will not direct our hearts to our hands, to encourage them to work? There is no doubt that anyone who transgresses the words of our Sages in this matter, and does not teach his child a profession, is destined to be held accountable for this before the Heavenly court, and will surely be punished. There will also be a punishment for the righteous person, who did this to his children out of noble intentions…"

- Sefer HaBris 2:12:10 (2:13:2 in the DBS version).

 Download as a PDF at this link


61 comments:

  1. You may wish to turn comments on dropbox off

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  2. Fascinating. This appears to be a case of a cloistered rabbi who was unacquainted with the basic facts on the ground. He writes "...a person have a trade with which he can support himself through his own efforts, and thus he will not need to rely on others"-but everybody who has had a job knows how much he is reliant on the goodwill of his boss, coworkers, HR department, or even the economy in general.
    "...he will not attempt to appeal to others, neither will he flatter them, nor will he fear them." - says somebody who never applied for a job, never wrote a resume, never sat through interviews, never spent endless time getting advice from friends or online how to flatter potential employers, and never feared for his job security.

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    1. A job and a trade are two quite different things.

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    2. I think that the author of Sefer HaBris is referring to the kinds of trades that can be done as self-employed contractors, rather than as employees.
      And those who are self-employed also may develop a greater level of bitachon in Hashem, as the ultimate provider of all one's clients.

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    3. Perhaps. But a self employed contractor is basically the same as a business, very reliant on the goodwill of customers, very reliant on the general economy. It seems to be the fantasy of a cloistered rabbi that a somebody with a trade, either a job or self-employed, can make money without relying on others or attempting to appeal to them. Can't think of any trade like this, except maybe public school teachers, who can never be fired no matter how horrible they are.

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    4. Okay, and one who does not have some sort of skill cannot even get to the level of job applications and writing resumes. There are always factors which can affect parnassah such as economic downturns, harsh decrees, plague, etc. Clearly the point is to be sufficiently prepared to earn money in normal circumstances and not rely on handouts.

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    5. @Happy, Being reliant on a boss, politician, police force etc,. in a non-monetary sense, sure. We cant really control that kind of reliance. Dependency on others of some level is unavoidable in a modern society. However, voluntarily running a society on the philosophy of (virtually) complete financial dependence without any effort to the contrary is quite a different issue as you well know. Your devils-advocacy is ignoring the point.

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    6. I think trades are better than jobs. Don't send your kid to college to make someone else rich. Colleges are liberal hellholes anyway. Teach your kid a trade and they will never depend on others and be self-sufficient. Trades are more useful, too. Everyone needs someone to fix the air conditioner. Meanwhile, graduates can barely find a job. If Haredi must find work, don't give them a job but a trade.

      Maimonides said, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” It is so with a trade.

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    7. TH, really, Maimonides said that? :)

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  3. Seems somewhat mean... it's not like anyone's gonna change their lifestyle based on a pdf printout from a random guy...

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    1. I guess the goal here is not to change, but help tilt one's opinion slightly more in favor of sending kids to a real school. In some communities, doing so is almost unthinkable, and people would be very surprised to hear that you can be frum and hold that opinion. They may over time become less reluctant about considering an active life a possible option.

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  4. What qualifies as a trade? I'm pretty good at business, but it's true that if that dries up, I a'int capable of layin' brick! I'd be in trouble.

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  5. One could argue that money collecting a trade as well as studying. While I agree with Rabbi Slifkin and others...any argument, no matter how well reasoned it is and no matter what so and so wrote, etc...the collector will go on to the next apt or whatever and get money. As long as there is no enforcement, a person can just ignore what one Rabbi says and follow another one if it suits them(so they are similar to the Reform movement, but that is another discussion). Also since there is no Sanhedrin it is just one persons opinion vs anothers. The other matter about collectors is the percentage they take when they collect. Many people tell me is that it is around 49% of the take. They also tell that their Rabbi tells them this, but are unwilling to give you the name of the Rabbi and where he got this figure from.

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  6. Even granting that you are correct, this is a change that needs to be made at a societal level, or even on an individual level IN OTHER CONTEXTS. When a person is suffering to the degree that they humiliate themselves by going door to door, the need rachmanus, not a lesson in hashkafa. If it is against your principles to give them money, then don't. If you want to give them money, then do. Either way, give them a smile and offer them a drink of water. Save your printouts for other places. Print them out by the thousands and put them in chareidi shuls. Buy full-page ads in Mishpacha magazine and put them there. But not this, not this.

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    1. Good point. Though the person that came to me last week was not at all humiliated. He felt that *he* was doing *me* the favor!

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    2. You don't know how he felt. He needed to save face and he tried to spin the positions. But I can assure you that deep down he feels humiliated and his experiences at your door did not help matters.
      For your own olam haba, I would suggest you find that person and really mollify him.

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    3. @zichron devorim, you said RNS doesn't know what he felt and then proclaim what he felt anyway.

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  7. What about the p'sak of the Mishnah Berurah?

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  8. I'm very curious about the contextual usage of the words "shopkeeper" and "Tradesman".

    The words have changed meaning somewhat, and people viewed Tradesmen & Professionals as people with hard earned skills. Tradesmen being those who learned their skill through apprenticeship, and professionals through education; both were carried a level of prestige in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    "Shopkeepers" and "Teachers" being neither, I'm wondering what the popular view of them was. And what was the "stability" of their income. A person of rare talent always had something rare to provide, but "Shopkeeper" or "Teacher" not so much. (in context, I realize teachers impart value, as do shopkeeps, I'm wondering what the popular view was then)


    http://www.somegreymatter.com/professional.htm

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  9. The accepted spelling of R’ Pinchas Eliyahu’s last name is Hurwitz (a variant of the original Horowitz). Here is a good review of the book:

    https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/2274/the-angel-and-the-covenant/


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  10. What's the point? Do you think anyone is going to change their worldview because some random person gives them a sheet of paper decrying it?

    Seems to me that the only purpose here is to give them a donation and then rub their face in it.

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    1. I might be naive, but I do think that material sometimes does influence people.

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  11. Amazing - the Shl"a literally nailed every aspect of today's problem.

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  12. If it was possible to have a job and learn all day like the tannaim you often quote i assume more ppl will do it. Just look how many avreichim also sell Amazon or do real estate etc

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  13. Such disdain for schoolteachers!

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  14. As much as I agree with your position, I can't imagine this strategy making any headway whatsoever. It is relatively straightforward to find any great rabbi from history to support virtually any position within Judaism, let alone an obscure rabbi from over 200 years ago who you have to give the background of. Any charedi worth their salt will offer you a patronising shkoyach and nod of the head, read the paragraph as an interesting mareh mokom, and go about their merry way safe in the knowledge that literally hundreds if not thousands of great rabonim from recent generations support their position despite knowing the positions you quote.

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  15. A simple refutation: Dvarim 17:9-12. In each generation the conditions are different and may require different approach. That's why the Torah explicitly commands to obey the judges of OUR time.

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  16. The Chareidi Gedolim acknowledge that Kollel is not the ideal system but they are also aware that if we do not have people learning in Kollel, there will not be many great talmidei chachamim. This is because nowadays it is almost impossible to have a job and become a great talmid chochom. The people who support those learning in Kollel are also aware of this and are happy to enable the development of great Torah scholars.

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    1. The Chareidi Gedolim acknowledge that Kollel is not the ideal system
      That is a pretty bold statement to make (where is your source?) and the fact that there are (community) kollelim all over the globe s(supported by their community, although one could argue that these kinds of kollelim provide a community service) suggests otherwise.

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    2. We are oversimplfying this discussion. There are many different stripes of Kollelim - YU community kollel's, Mizrachi kollel's, Lakewood out of town community kollel's, and the more "closed off" ones in EY. They are all different but many of the ones I first mentioned actually provide a service to the community in that the guys give shiurim, learn b'chavrusa, plan programs, etc etc Some are supported by the community with auction-style fundraisers. These kinds of kollelim pay for themselves. So we have to evaluate each kollel individually.

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    3. I think that the most authoritative source on this whole topic is Igros Moshe YD 2:116. Rav Moshe brings the Shach and Maharshal, who state that even if we say that ideally one should work and learn, it has become necessary nowadays for people to learn for pay. To even think otherwise, says Rav Moshe, is the work of the yetzer hara. So to reiterate, the Kollel system is necessary NOWADAYS. Otherwise Torah will be lost from Klal Yisrael.

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    4. R. Moshe's primary sources are referring to Torah teachers, not Torah students. And he admits that his license may well be based upon emergency measures, rather than expressing the original laws and priorities. And one cannot necessarily extrapolate from the state of Torah-emergency in 1964 to the situation in the twenty-first century, when there are tens of thousands of people in kollel. See http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2013/05/is-it-better-to-be-supported-in.html

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    5. (Also, he is referring to kollel students receiving money, not going out and begging for it.)

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    6. RNS do you consider the Rema a primary source? He says ויש מקילין עוד לומר דמותר לחכס ולתלמידיו לקבל הספקות מן הנותנים כדי להחזיק ידי לומדי תורה. I think he is getting this from the Tashbetz. Also, where do you see Rav Moshe admitting that his license may be an emergency measure? I don't see him saying any such thing.

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    7. I respectfully disagree that Rav Moshe is referring mainly to teachers. Here is the first line of the teshuva which is clearly speaking to people learning purely to become great in Torah הנה בדבר ת"ח הרוצים להתעסק בתורה ולהחכים בה בידיעת התורה בכמותה ואיכותה ונהנים לפרנסתם ממה שנוטלים פרס בכוללים and then he adds teachers et al.

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    8. Read my comment again. I did not say that Rav Moshe was referring to teachers. I said that the sources he is quoting are referring to teachers.

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    9. Happy - since when does it become a lechatchilah to follow an extreme lenient view?

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    10. When does it become a lechatchilah to follow an extreme lenient view?
      All the time, just off the top of my head- Listening to music, not standing for parents, walking in front of a mispallel, aveilim not doing atifah, numerous hilchos yichud, borrowing and lending to banks with Jewish ownership (=mortgage), doing business with non-jews, doing business with things that are chayei nefesh, not getting married at 18, printing Torah pamphlets and newspapers that get thrown out, eating before krias shema shel arvis, coffee before davening, I won't say carrying in an eruv or yoshon as many are indeed machmir.

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    11. @Rationalist Rabbi,

      Jews always valued a Jewish education. Simon the Just (Pirkei Avot 1:2) says that the Torah is the first of three pillars on which the world was founded. The first is the Jewish school system, academies (beginning around 300 BCE), the second was secondary schools for adolescents, and lastly free elementary schools for youngsters (64 CE). Unlike other cultures where only the priest was learned, like Brahmins in the caste system, for example, Judaism encouraged all Jews to be educated, even women. The fact that the laws of the high priest are transparent throughout the Torah shows that the common layperson missed nothing.

      The word Rabbi means teacher. Pirkei Avot 1:6 Yehoshua ben Perachya says עשה לך רב, or "providing yourself with a teacher." Rav Avraham Galanti (Z'chus Avos): Make yourself into a great rabbi. Also, it says, "he who does not increase his knowledge decreases it (Pirke Avot 1:13)."

      Hassidic Jews come up with the concept of posek haDor, rabbis who decide what is right per generation. They call these rabbis rebbes, who they consider all-wise in every possible topic. Rather than use the modern Hebrew daat, they prefer the out-of-date Ashkenazi pronunciation daas Torah. They say they are teaching "the truth of the Torah." They say they alone may decide on Jewish law. They worship halakha, not G-d. But the innovation is contrary to Jewish history. Rabbis are humans who completed a coursed study. Many of their secular knowledge is limited. And each rebbe differs in intellect, life experiences, and education. It is like choosing a physician. We should choose our rabbis as we do physicians. Since no one could possibly know everything, you can only be an expert in one field of study. As my rabbi says, "It sometimes pays to get a second opinion."

      Thus, one rabbi's opinion about relying on charity is no better than another's who feels that Jews should learn a trade for a living. I agree with the latter and so should you.

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    12. I also want to add, in addition to the previous article that I wrote, that it is a huge problem that hareidi Jews do not participate in the defense of their country in the military (IDF).

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    13. Turk Hill - do you have any source to your claim that Chassidim invented it? Because I don't believe it has anything to do with Chassidim. It is many years before Chassidim that certain people have been considered authorities, more than other Rabbis. Rabbeinu Tam comes to mind.
      The Noda BiYehuda, no Chassid, writes quite sharply to a young Rav who takes it into his hands to decide matters above his paygrade.

      And the idea that Ashkenazic accented Hebrew is somehow out of date is head scratching nonsense. Some people changed their accents, some didn't. How is it 'out of date'? I personally have hardly ever heard Israeli accented Hebrew outside of conversations, never during davening or Kerias Hatorah.

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    14. @ZD Thank you for your comments. The strange practice of following the opinion of some rabbis but not others began sometime during the eighteenth century when Hassidic Jews developed the idea to rely on rabbis, or as they were called rebbes. Many Jews, even non-Hassidic, Orthodox Jews accept this practice today without realizing the many implications involved.

      When did the practice begin? The answer is simple. These rebbes have no authority, but enough Jews complied and their ruling turned into law. My rabbi used sacrifices as an example. When the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE many Jews wanted to continue the practice of their ancestors and resume the sacrificial system despite the absence of a temple, but the rabbis said that sacrifices would no longer take place since G-d does not want or needs them. Why did this ruling overturn the sacrificial system? Simply because enough Jews agreed with them, and nothing more.

      Similarly, today, when a certain rabbi makes a ruling it becomes mandatory even if the accepted idea differs from other rabbis (since rabbis are only human).

      With regards to your last comment. The Ashkenazi pronunciation of daas is out-of-date since the daat is considered modern Hebrew. Some people prefer to speak an ancient language, some do not. For example, the English word for tea during the great vowel shift (1350-1700) was 'tay.' Very few today would prefer to keep the old accent for tay. Do you still call tea tay?

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    15. Your history is imaginary. Rebbes were rarely Rabbis, and there always were halachic authorities. Rabbeinu Tam was an authority, people did not argue with him too easily.
      And nobody has supreme authority nowadays over people's private lives. Reb Chaim Kaniyevsky categorically prohibits men wearing wrist watches, yet most Charedim do not care for that. It is only regarding public issues that an individual is enjoined from taking matters into his own hands, and quite correctly. A car cannot have two drivers.

      'Is considered', by whom? Who gets to decided Hebrew? People continued to use the same pronunciation for generations, and no valid reason has been given to convince us to suddenly change.
      English changed organically, that is not the same thing as this.

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    16. @ZD The concept of daas Torah extends to all aspects of life. To who should you marry, jobs, and if one should settle in Israel. Chaim Kaniyevsky's ruling which prohibits wrist watches proves my point.

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    17. Turk Hill - your ignorance never fails to astonish. Wristwatches is a halachic issue, that Rabbi Kaniyevsky believes to be forbidden. It is not Da'as Torah, it is halacha. Yet nobody listens. According to the harangues of you and your ilk, every Charedi should be yelling at his neighbor for wearing a wristwatch. Yet, just like in history, nobody acts like that, people understand that he is not the final word in halacha. It is your bigoted view of the Charedi world as being run by Da'as Torah that is completely wrong.

      And no Da'as Torah tells somebody whom to marry, it is just not true. People marry whom they want.

      The leaders are just that. They lead. When matters are relevant to the public, it would be foolish for everyone to have the right to do what they want. It must be left to the leaders, and that is how every society is run. A Torah society places Torah scholars at the leadership, for the public issues.

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    18. @ZD, They lead wrongly when they say "covid does not exist" or, that the "Torah protects." Wristwatches, fine. Worse, the Charedi burqa sect doesn't follow daas Torah or even halakha but Islamic Shari’a law! Men can wear what they want while women are told to dress in an ugly fashion. They still see women as second-class citizens in these Charedi communities. Charedi and Yeshivish magazines refuse to print pictures of women for whatever reasons. This is quite emotionally harmful. You wouldn't call that bigoted?

      As Rabbi Slifkin put it: “Charedi women are indoctrinated and forced to work as hard as possible, while raising as many children as possible, to support husbands that are going against their traditional, Torah-prescribed duty to support their families, and they are still treated like second-class citizens.”

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  17. it struck me that both the content and the tone of the quote from sefer habris are extremely typical of how maskilim in that era wrote (particularly the acceptance of the anti semitic narrative of jews behaving in a manner that was inferior to their non jewish counterparts, and that being the cause of them being held in disdain).
    so i'm curious, was Rabbi Pinchas Eliyahu Hurowitz considered a maskil by his contemporaries, or the generations that followed? i know that he was a mekubal and was very religious, but in the early days of the haskala there were people like that. i tried doing some minor research on line, and apparently he is discussed by academics who study the haskala, but i couldn't find anything regarding how he was seen by the jewish world at that time.
    NS, are you able to find out anything regarding that question? does anyone else on this venue have any info?

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    1. @Duh,
      See below a interesting essay on the Sefer Habris:
      https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/2274/the-angel-and-the-covenant/

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    2. Kudos to Talmid for citing the article. Here's an excerpt which addresses Duh's concern:
      Hurwitz perceived himself as a kanai... whose aim was to defend.. rabbinic culture. Thus... he launches a fascinating attack on the study of philosophy (mainly, metaphysics), which he associates with heresy....Hurwitz’s ideal Jew is the rabbinic scholar who is also knowledgeable about, and open to, modern science, and yet he was very far from Moses Mendelssohn or any other Haskalah figure. He was, rather, what could be called an exponent of the Jewish counter-enlightenment. That is to say that he adopted (and occasionally even radicalizes) some elements from the Haskalah’s world view while essentially defending traditional talmudism.

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  18. A Jewish education that does not teach the child a trade or other form of parnassa IS NOT A JEWISH EDUCATION

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    1. @Bruce, I agree entirely. See my comments (above).

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  19. Rabbi Slifkn,
    I suggest that you don’t print up too many of Rav Hurwitz’s objections to Kollel indolence.
    You’ll get a reputation as a skinflint who refuses to give tzedaka which will actually inure to your benefit when these schnorrers bypass your home as they engage in the only occupation they know — schnorring.

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  20. After my experiences with Chabad, I only have a simple finger gesture to offer religious solicitors. I'll never trust any of them again, regardless of their religion or their sect.

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    1. I hope the gesture isn't the middle finger. That would be rude.

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  21. I would like to flatter myself that Rav Slifkin got the idea for printing up the extract from Sefer HaBris from my comment on the previous post. The texts on my business cards are shorter and more authoratitive (רמב"ם ושלחן ערוך). Anyone want some business cards? email me at rosenthal.avi0@gmail.com

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  22. Few days before the biden regime takes power.

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  23. Although I agree with this in principle, I do not see it being very productive. Many of them have been indoctrinated their whole life that this is the holiest way to live. Its wishful thinking that they will suddenly see the light after readinng this pamphlet. Furthermore, their Rabbanim probably have their own counterarguments to it.

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  24. R' Natan -

    I'm thrilled you quoted Sefer Habrit. I've been slowly reading it this past year, with incredible delight and fascination. Besides the brilliant writing style and refreshing, common-sense factual approach to Torah and science - and in the name of supporting the mystical, Ar"i-based worldview, no less! - it is also an intriguing snapshot of the scientific, philosophic and Torah state-of-the-art 200+ years ago.

    In that vein, I just reached his amazing pro-vaccination sermon, in which he details all the scientific background of Jenner's work (including some anecdotal points that I wonder if modern historians have taken into account), the vaccination rationale, process and prognosis, and then unequivocally calls for everyone to vaccinate (claiming that this is the consensus Torah opinion, as well). He even invokes against any anti-vaxxers the Shl"a's call of Divine justice against those who refuse to take precautions against smallpox!

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