Friday, September 16, 2022

Can You Remain Silent About Spiritual Cancer?

Beit Shemesh was on fire yesterdary. In all meanings of the term.

There's a lot of people in this wonderful city who love running - men, women, secular, charedi, dati-leumi. The city organizes an annual race/ marathon which many people join. But some charedi women felt uncomfortable running in such a mixed event, and so, after consulting their rabbonim, they asked the city to make a separate, women-only event. Mayor Aliza Bloch and Deputy Mayor Rena Hollander (pictured here) were glad to comply, and so a religious women-only race was arranged to take place today, on a remote road with no adjoining houses that would be closed to traffic.

Although this was an event requested by charedi women to accommodate their sensitivities, the zealots of the city responded angrily. A pashkevil (flyer) was circulated, condemning the event as pritzus and offensive to charedim. And Rav Elimelech Kornfeld, rabbi of a large Anglo-charedi community (the Gra shul) here in Ramat Beit Shemesh, sent out the following email to the Ramat Beit Shemesh email list:

"Dear friends,

"We have made Israel our home, because we are proud of our Jewish values. Many of us have given up a lot of what we had in Chutz Laaretz so that we can live in an environment that is conducive to these values.

"While the above is vivid and true, we are still faced with numerous spiritual "made in Israel" challenges. Some of them are more blatant, others are subtle. Subtle issues are actually the ones we need to be more aware of their danger. They have a tendency to sneak without notice, plant their hidden roots and then develop from a small malignant cell, into a significant, life-threatening growth.

"Sometimes, allowing a "small" decline in the level of the majestic and refined manner of conduct in terms of the values of modesty and privacy of our women may seem to be minor, but this is truly comparable to the "subtle" changes of the founders of the Reform movement 200 years ago. If it wouldn't be for great people like the Vilna Gaon and the Noda B'yehuda, who recognized the dangerous nature of these changes there would be little left of our glorified Yiddishkeit.

"To this end, we cannot remain silent when our city "boasts" a public women's merutz (marathon) that is aimed also for religious women. Unfortunately, this kind of event is not fitting for our women of valor, running openly in public is in sharp contrast to standards of proper conduct of a royal Bas Yisroel.

"While it is certainly important to take care of one's physical needs, to make a public exposition of it is completely inappropriate. We are just a few days away from Rosh Hashana and are all looking forward to a new year that is full of Hashem's great Chesed Vrachamim. May our Chizzuk in our appreciation of our status as Hashem's beloved nation, bring us a year of good health, bracha and nachas from all our children.

"Byedidus,

"Elimelech Kornfeld and Rabbanai Hakehillos RBS"

Now, I'm also against running marathons, though only for myself. Are women's marathons immodest? Some furiously dismiss this view as being objectively ridiculous. But in my view, they are mistaken. There is no such thing as an objective definition of modesty. Everything is culturally conditioned. Just look at how standards of modesty in the non-Jewish world have changed over the last century! And in the Jewish world, it's no different. There are communities in which wearing a sheitel is considered modest, and there are communities where wearing a sheitel is considered immodest. We have no right to claim that our own standards of modesty are any more correct than anyone else's.

I would also say, contrary to the opinion expressed by many, that Rav Kornfeld is perfectly entitled - even obligated - to tell the women of his community what he expects them to do. They have accepted him as a particular type of rabbinic leader, and this is part of the package. This is no different from the opinion that he publicly expressed a few years ago, that people are not free to choose who to vote for, but must instead vote for whoever "Daas Torah" tells them to vote for. If you accept him as your authority, then this is what you have to do. (And if this sounds odd, wait until you hear his views about how voting must be done even though it doesn't inherently have any effect whatsoever).

But all this cuts both ways.

It's rather odd to make blanket statements about such things being immodest when there are plenty of religious and even charedi rabbonim who are perfectly fine with it. 

Furthermore, to describe the women's race with the metaphor of a "cancerous growth" goes beyond rhetorical flourish to being deeply offensive. 

And to say that it is "truly comparable" to the start of Reform is absurd.

In addition, while writing a letter to one's own community is one thing, the phraseology of this letter was making a statement both to and about the community at large - and the shul sent it to the general Ramat Beit Shemesh email list.

But perhaps the most bothersome part of Rav Kornfeld's letter is his statement about how he "cannot remain silent" in the face of such an event.

There are a number of things that Rav Kornfeld has been unable to be silent about, aside from women running. He signed a public letter against Mishpacha magazine being distributed. He opposed restaurants having seating areas. He fought against an attempt to have a charedi political party that would represent charedim who work.

But do you know what he has been able to be silent about? Religious extremism.

As is well known, Beit Shemesh has long been a focal points of religious extremism that has reached actual physical violence. Now, Rav Kornfeld himself is against such things (I have known him and his family for many years). and none of the Anglos in his community would ever be involved in it. However, he has never spoken out against it. Community activists who tried to get him to sign condemnations against religious violence have never been successful. Why is it that Rav Kornfeld is only unable to keep silent about the city not being as charedi as he would like, but he is able to keep silent about violence?

Meanwhile, religious zealots tried to sabotage the women's race. They scattered thousands of marbles on the road, to create a safety hazard. They shone laser pointers in the eyes of runners. They set fire to nearby fields.

Now, the zealots who did this are not followers of Rav Kornfeld, and nor would they care what he has to say. But, as I wrote in a post titled "Denying Extremism, Dismissing Hooliganism," there is a continuous spectrum ranging from rhetoric to verbal abuse to actual physical violence. Furthermore, while the people at each level do not agree with the level of hostility coming from people to their right, there is near-constant refusal to condemn it. And when people who are horrified by the violence nonetheless produce inflamed rhetoric about those who deviate from their religious ideals, this creates an atmosphere that allows the violence and contributes to it.

I wonder if Rav Kornfeld will be able to remain silent in the face of such zealous violence - a slippery slope which, unlike women running, actually historically led to the destruction of Jerusalem. Or is violence, unlike women running, not a cancerous growth?


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136 comments:

  1. “ They have a tendency to sneak without notice, plant their hidden roots and then develop from a small malignant cell, into a significant, life-threatening growth”
    - indeed this can be said of well-intended initiatives for gender-separation as well.
    Start with mechitzas, continue with swimming, separate seating at weddings, separate sidewalks, separate hours at the post office, busses, separate ambulance crews, end up with separate sections in cemeteries, separate hospitals, perhaps even separate living quarters within nuclear families…and the list goes on ad absurdum.
    This thought process creates hypersexualization of everything for everyone who subscribes to it: quite the opposite of what we want to achieve , no?
    Malignant cell into a large growth. Bingo.

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    Replies
    1. Mixed swimming is a way to avoid sexualization now? There is a reasonable separation that religions and common sense dictate.

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    2. Mixed swimming is a great way to avoid arousal at the post office.

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    3. Peanut Butter & JellySeptember 16, 2022 at 4:56 PM

      Separate swimming?? Next thing I know, you will be bemoaning religious opposition to intimacy with a woman other than one's wife!

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    4. If you’re equating mixed swimming with adultery than you’ve proven my point quite nicely :-)

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    5. Tangent: the issue isn't mixed vs. separate swimming. The issue is doing so with 20th or 21st cent swimming attire. (Or in the gemara's day, when swimming or even laundering at the river also involved at least bare legs ; Eiruin 18b, BB 57b)

      Otherwise, if bathing suits were tzanuah ("tzniusdik") there would be no greater problem swimming than any other mixed social event.

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    6. How did mixed swimming work out for DL. I know that the kibbutz Sde Eliahu used to have it. Something to look into before sending your kids into that system.

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    7. sure enough!: https://www.timesofisrael.com/fake-toes-for-sale-ad-for-orthodox-women-raises-questions-on-modesty-gone-too-far/

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    8. "Mixed swimming is a great way to avoid arousal at the post office."

      Ha! Good one! I have an even better way to desensitize yourself to 'avoid arousal at the post office'! Go to the strip clubs every night!! Halacha is blatantly clear that it is forbidden to look at women who are not properly dressed, and the end game has nothing to do with 'avoiding arousal at the post office', which only someone with ZERO experience in adhering to the issur of histaklus b'nashim would think is the result anyway.

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    9. All this talk exclusively of male sexuality completely ignores the effect the loosening of these societal restrictions have on female sexuality. It is understandable why the rationalist retards here ignore it, or mock it by setting up strawman arguments. Historically, and with good reason, it has always been of far more concern, and not just for its denigrating affect on men.

      As I've mentioned numerous times, I live in a DL yishuv, a stronghold of the ideology even, in some ways.

      I will give over one story, of many that I could relate. A lot of girls, even barely prepubescent girls who have no business doing this at all, sit (and usually move around constantly) with their fathers during Shabbos tefilos. I don't get this, and I shouldn't have to. But it persists, week after week.

      One time, back when the shul had a rabbi, one girl, just under bat mitzvah, was walking around with a spaghetti strap blouse and part of her mid-back exposed. In a place where immodest dress is too common already, this was way over the top. We complained to the rabbi that at the very least this was an unacceptable presence in the men's area.

      He agreed. I heard that when the rabbi contacted the father, he had a practical screaming fit that how dare anyone tell him it's not okay for his daughter to dress like a streetwalker in shul (that's not how he phrased it, obviously, but it's how his objection should have been worded).

      The retards here are like that father, without a doubt. After all, the false dichotomists would say the alternative is the Taliban. But if you want to go there, in the choice between what Western Civilization is today and the Taliban, the Taliban will likely do a better job surviving what's coming. So will the Charedim, who hardly rise to that level. This permissive, individualistic, freedom-obsessed way of life is coming to an end, and the pendulum is going to swing hard the other way.

      a מכרכר בכל עוז is right. Watching too much porn desensitizes the watcher to the point they are incapable of getting aroused by an actual woman. By the retards' own logic, that would be an acceptable way to solve what they think is the problem.

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    10. 'A lot of girls, even barely prepubescent girls who have no business doing this at all, sit (and usually move around constantly) with their fathers during Shabbos tefilos. I don't get this, and I shouldn't have to. But it persists, week after week.'

      This is due to their femenist DL upbringing. They feel that they belong there, should be leading prayers, having aliyos, reading from the Sefer Torah, learning Gemara and serving in the army. The father was arguing with the rabbi about something that is obvious to any charedi person. They are in a very sorry state. Hashem yerachem.

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    11. Kudos to Shimshon for saying it the way it is!
      "Retard" may be denigrative, but slight intellectual deficiency would go a long way in explaining some things being said here.

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    12. Shimshon, and clearly going the other way sensitizes men way too much, to the point that you seem to be hyper-aware about what 11 year old girls wear and what's exposed. And calling little girls "streetwalkers".

      While that may have been mildly inappropriate, far more inappropriate is a grown man callously throwing around the word "retard", something that anyone even mildly enlightened in the year 2022 knows is hurtful to those mentally handicapped or their families. Please work on that first and ask mechilah to everyone for using such language.

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    13. David Staum, you have proved my point in spades. Which point is that? Resorting to “retard” is very useful in short-circuiting pointless discussion with…retards. Once dropped, everything they say is about the word and not about the topic.

      And seriously, you are defending the practice of scantily dressed women running around in the men's portion of the beit knesset?! Even for retards, that is a new low. I was only aware of what she was wearing because she was sitting right in front of me, where she didn't belong. She was not little. Her bat mitzvah was months away. And she was dressed like a hooker.

      I also note that there is zero concern about the overt sexualization of women and girls, to the point of defending streetwalker attire. You retards always make it like the only problem is what men perceive, not how or when women (and girls!) act and dress inappropriately, or the effect it has on them.

      Further, no one would have cared had she strutted her stuff solely in the ezras nashim where she belonged. As it was, mine was the only family that did care, and complained about it. The former rabbi, himself a YU alum and pretty "modern" but honest to himself about poshut halacha, also cared enough to agree and confront a hot-headed and hostile member of the kehilla. And he wasn't even present that Shabbos to see what actually transpired.

      We don't call mentally handicapped people retards any more, retard. Just like we don't use the terms idiot, imbecile, and moron according to their old technical meanings anymore either, moron.

      Ely, more and more of my compatriots, even if they bristle at the usage, have come around to my way of thinking. These retards prove the notion has nothing to do with low IQ.

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    14. I love the way these MODOX guys create their own unsourced version of Judaism based on their feelings and contemporary secular society! Get this! Calling out girls for being half dressed in shul is 'inappropriate' and resultant from 'hyper-awareness' due to adhering to hilchos histaklus b'nashim! Don't you know?? If you'd watch porn you wouldn't have these 'issues' to begin with!

      And far more inappropriate than that is calling people 'retards' for not realizing the absurdity in the above insaneness! Well the gemara calls people lax about this a "rasha", for the MODOX, for some (un)surprising reason, that doesn't pack nearly as powerful of a punch as 'retard' which "even mildly enlightened in the year 2022 knows is hurtful to those mentally handicapped or their families". Go figure.

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    15. "Rasha" has no effect on them, even though by many definitions they are. Some posts back someone brought up Rabbeinu Yonah in order to shame me in some odd way, like I was the inappropriate one. It wasn't hard to find a paragraph in Shaarei Teshuva where he referred to those who are meticulous in observance but otherwise hate those who place a high priority on learning "haters of Hashem." Slifkin embraced this label in the following post, while inaccurately portraying the label as coming from me. Such is the effect of calling them "rasha." It has no effect at all. Lav davka, when their opponents call them this, they embrace it. It's a bit harder to embrace being called a retard.

      Likewise, everyone knows that calling leftists racist never gains traction even though they are the most racist people there are. What works on leftists is calling them by a term they originally coined to describe themselves, but which now has a negative meaning: Social Justice Warrior. They absolutely hate being called SJWs today, because they know deep down they are furthest thing possible from "warrior." Try it if or when you have a chance. You'll see. And no, don't try to change what works, like many suggest. Social Justice Retard doesn't have anything close to the same punch, as once example. They didn't coin it, for one thing.

      Retard is potently effective rhetoric against rationalists because it pierces their self-delusion bubble of being intelligent and rational. They want to ban the word and shame me for using it. Why? It's just a word. They can avert their eyes from it.

      Would the retards here like me to make a browser plugin that will excise that word from the comments here? It shouldn't be that hard. Then, only the non-retards will see it and you can sleep soundly at night, convinced of your lack of retardery.

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    16. I should think that the use of insulting terms like "retard" (as well as Twirler's made up term of MODOX) would get most people banned from posting - or at least warned to keep things civil. Clearly it speaks to how much the baal hablog wants to have an open debate.

      While I chuckle at David Staum's point that the Spewer of Retardation seems to be way focused on the clothing of little girls, Mr. Retardomatic does indeed have a point. Clothing choices for young girls in some circles indeed has gotten beyond inappropriate, and there are people who do not understand why this is so, including the father of this girl, as well as proud parents of girls who dress less modestly than the dress code for her "asserting her independence."

      But one thing Mr. Retard-on-the-Brain says is very peculiar. In a post about tznius - which as I said is in large part agreeable - he says he does not understand why girls come to shul.

      HELLO?!??

      Do you really believe that women have zero place in shul? Does tefillah b'tzibbur not relate to them? My goodness.

      And if you think this is a strawman complaint, I will do you the dan l'kaf zechus and say that you don't know why under bat mitzvah girls are in shul. To this I say don't we have chinuch for everything else? How will she learn the proper respect for a shul, how to daven b'tzibbur, what to say, how to answer, etc. if she only starts coming after she is post-"prepubescent?"

      And just to further bend over backward to show that I am not building strawmen, let's say that your complaint is not that a female is in shul, not that an under-12 is in shul, but that she is in shul on the MENS' side: I wonder now who is oversexualized. Why should a young girl, who is excited enough to come to shul, NOT sit with her father? Should she sit alone in the women's section? If she came with Dad, it is often because Mom isn't ready for shul yet, or is dealing with the younger children. Therefore, you would rather have a child sit alone, unguided in shul protocol and practice, instead of with her father, who can point out that the Aron is open and it's time to stand up, that she should say Amen or Yehei Shmei Rabba, or to help her kiss the Torah?

      If your argument is that they "move around constantly" - and I assume that this is NOT your major argument, because you stuck it in parentheses - I would ask you to please show me a shul full of "prepubescent" BOYS who are not moving around constantly. Maybe they are sitting with their mothers.

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    17. Gotta love the say it as is Shimshon. No beating around the bush. No nicety nice. Pure and undiluted and remarkably articulate. The truth stings, but perhaps it'll be an impetus for some people here with their head in the sand to slowly withdraw, shake off the muck, and wake up to reality.

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    18. Yosef, clearly you are at the least mildly retarded. My point was clearly stated that my beef was with girls who spend lots and lots of time in the actual beit knesset, you know, the "men's area," and not where they belong, in the aptly named ezras nashim. This isn't just cute little girls either. As I emphasized, they are sometimes barely prepubescent, as the scantily-clad example I cited was, being just a few months shy of bat mitzvah. I even said, quite literally, that had she strutted her stuff where she belonged, no one would complain. Not the women, and not the men. You know who called the rabbi to complain? Not me. My wife! And not because of anything I said. She was there and saw what was going on. She would not have done anything if this girl was where she belonged. She's so hyper-sexualized (according to your retarded standards) by scantily-clad barely pre-pubescent girls strutting around the men's area she was scandalized to the point of demanding the rabbi do something. The rabbi agreed with her. Ergo, I am right and you are retarded. It's absolutely retarded how clueless the retards here are about men, women, sexuality, sexualization, and all the rest. How is you marriage, Yosef R?

      I personally think girls don't belong with the men at all, regardless of age. But even if you disagree with that notion, there must be a line well before bat mitzvah. Sadly, these DL retards never seem to think any line should be defined.

      You have set up both a straw man and a false dichotomy. Retard confirmed.

      Further, these girls are not there to daven. They are there to socialize. And play. And eat candy. And read. And sulk about being there. And move around constantly. All that and more. I've seen it all. But literally anything but pray. The serious girls, of whatever age, are in the ezras nashim, where they belong.

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    19. Also, Yosef R, having spent decades in a very Charedi area, and a few years plus in a very DL area, your ivory tower pontifications are just so much hogwash. Manure.

      Charedi women that I encounter are broadly and deeply spiritual, regardless of counter-examples which obviously exist. And they generally are successful in imparting the same in their daughters. Far more so than the DL.

      What I've seen across the board with DL is very shallow ruchniyus, with a few exceptions. There is little deep interest in tefilla like you claim occurs. It's literally the same rationalization extended by the original reformers to dispense with the mechitza. Do you even draw the line somewhere?

      In Charedi areas the line gets pretty firmly drawn by three. Before then, you would occasionally see a girl run in, say, to greet her father during krias hatorah or at the end of tefilla. That kind of thing. After that, not so much.

      You disagree. Where do you put it? It certainly sounds like you have no problem with post-bat mitzvah girls continuing the practice. Why not the wives too?

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    20. Wow, Shimshon! You go, boy! Yosef R, roasted and toasted!

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    21. Woah! And here I was, planning on responding to Yosef R and meekly pointing out that in fact tefillah b'tzibur does NOT relate to women, and their place is NOT in the men's section, rather in the WOMEN'S section (hence the name. Get it?), and MODOX failure to realize such does not stem from piety, rather from conflating 21 century feminism and egalitarianism with religion, and before I can get around to it, Shimshon comes on to the scene with guns blazing and a blistering, skewering attack!!! Shimshon Hagibbor, I still feel the ground shaking beneath me from that one!!

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    22. I gotta give credit where it's due, especially because it irks them so much. I was around at Vox Day's blog back in the oughts and early teens as the insights were made and lessons learned about the odd ways (to us) many of his erstwhile detractors behaved. This led to the formulation of the Three Laws of SJW (of which we are dealing with a subset here), and inspired several excellent books.

      1. SJWs Always Lie.
      2. SJWs Always Double Down.
      3. SJWs Always Project.

      You can read the blog posts over those years to see when and how these laws came to be formulated.

      Or, buy the highly recommended book SJWs Always Lie, which summarizes the history and describes all the behaviors described here and why having a dialectical dialog is not possible, and how to effectively respond to their attacks. Since dialectic doesn't work, that leaves rhetoric. And why, if you engage with them, attack is the only rational response, as there is no common ground, even over what should be undebatable things like appropriate female attire when girls are seated with men in the beit knesset (or their age). They deny gaslighting is gaslighting, pedophilia is pedophilia, evidence is evidence, and so forth. It's all there.

      Consider it a Rules for Radicals for the right, as it has been labeled. Saul Alinksky was evil, but he was on to something about the nature of conflict. Look at how many right wing retards cower in fear on being labeled a racist or homophobe. That's his tactics at work. That's what's going on here with the multiple attempts to shame me into not using the very mild epithet retard. And look at what kind of power it has over them! I may as well be Voldemort and Darth Vader in one package. One commenter even refuses to address or acknowledge me!

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    23. Peanut Butter & JellySeptember 20, 2022 at 3:11 PM

      Shimshon, are you trying to get yourself banned again? RNS does not tolerate alt-right conspiracy theory stuff, only kefira. Keep Vox Day out of rationalist Judaism.

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    24. I'm not sure if I should feel complimented at being called "mildly retarded" rather than very retarded, but let's be like Shimshon and lump everything together. So, opening with an insult. Nice.

      I'm not sure that comparisons to Shimshon HaGibor who lusted after every woman that crossed his path as appropriate in this discussion, but, Twirler, you do you.

      I don't know where you daven Shimshon, but I do not see girls approaching Bat Mitzvah on the men's side.

      I already agreed that there are people and places whose clothing is below standards. This I do not defend.

      You feel that in MO circles there is no "deep connection" to tefillah, yet you would further hamstring that by not allowing the girls to come to shul.

      I am not interested in SJWs.

      Little girls should not be sitting in the ezras nashim alone. If they are elementary school age and actually know some davening, fine, but not someone who needs supervision. But fine, your backtracking to qualify this as referring to "almost Bat-Mitzvah" age was addressed in my first response line.

      You feel that little girls come only to shul to socialize, play and eat candy. Have you seen little boys in shul? Or are you too enamored with your own spirituality to recognize the boys in the hallways running and screaming (I have not been impressed with Shabbos groups in the few "more-to-the-right" shuls I have davened in, but perhaps that is a function of their size, and I admit I do not have an exhaustive sample) and OMG the candy! So... definition of strawman? yes? OK then.

      I never said anything about removing the mechitzah. My wife (yes, my marriage is wonderful, thanks for asking) is indeed the loudest voice for ensuring that there are mechitzos at impromptu minyanim, to ensure proper separation for the women who want to daven (and indeed, should be davening because, you know, chiyuv in Shacharis and Mincha). So, another strawman? Check.

      I'm not sure that insulting and backtracking on his statement and creating more strawmen qualifies as roasting and toasting, Zeh-man, but I'm happy to not eat in your restaurant.

      The largest strawman here - and this goes beyond the issue of little girls sitting with their fathers - is the absolute vitriol dispensed by those who purport to have the Truth. Is there a problem with spirituality in less yeshivish/chareidi circles? Sure, among many. Is there more honesty about it and less shame if one feels this way? Also yes. Are there perhaps less "traditional" paths to being close to HaKadosh Baruch Hu? Definitely yes - some chareidi women might be super spiritual with their emuna peshuta and their being kept out of shul and their exclusion from traditional male learning, but some women find meaning in prayer with a minyan, in deep learning, and in scholarship - and indeed, they DO NOT want to get semicha or be chazzan for the men or otherwise tear down the mechitzos.

      This is not the place, and I admit that I am not the person, to espouse all that is great about Modern Orthodoxy and what it has to offer. All I know is that I grew up looking at more yeshivish communities, thinking that while we were different, we all served the same Creator, and perhaps the yeshivish communities had something that I didn't. Shkoyach to you gentlemen, Twirler, Retardogenic, and all the others, for making me and everyone realize - with every post that you make - that maybe the yeshivish/chareidi/etc way of life and way of teaching isn't so amazing after all. Congratulations on your chillulei Hashem.

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    25. Yosef, I am sorry to say that you are not telling the truth. You claim that "All I know is that I grew up looking at more yeshivish communities, thinking that while we were different, we all served the same Creator, and perhaps the yeshivish communities had something that I didn't." Yet this is belied by the fact that appear to very much enjoy this blog, where 90% of the content is absolute vitriol dispensed against chareidim. And you eagerly participate in the scat-slinging against them. You eagerly participate in a blog where 90% of the content is absolute vitriol dispensed against the chareidim, and then you have the nerve to whine when they hit back in the same way. I do not agree with Shimshon's style, but I must say it is absolutely proportionate to the tone and content of the blog he is commenting on. If you can dish out, you can take it. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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    26. PB&J, how is referring to argumentation strategy and a source for it conspiracy mongering? Again, a retard resorts to the Genetic Fallacy. Even if Vox Day does what you accuse, it has absolutely nothing to do with what I said. And you are not the tone police nor the arbiter of acceptable speech in this saloon. I am quite respectful of the rules, and if I am asked to excise a certain word from my vocabulary by the proprietor, I would obviously take it under advisement. You, I just mock for your pathetic lack of influence.

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    27. "You feel that in MO circles there is no "deep connection" to tefillah, yet you would further hamstring that by not allowing the girls to come to shul."

      What are you, a liar? Or a retard?

      I said girls do not belong in the men's area. I never said, shul. That's either conflation or a false dichotomy, or both.

      I also am referring to the girls I see who habitually appear in the men's section, whether compelled to by their fathers (and there are some) or those who want to. They are not there to daven. Not a one. One the other hand, there are girls who come to shul to daven, but they don't show their face in the area not designated for them.

      I don't think you know what Chillul Hashem means.

      Is defending pedophilia a Chillul Hashem? That actually goes on here.

      "...but some women find meaning in prayer with a minyan, in deep learning, and in scholarship..."

      Strawman after strawman. The specific subject was solely about girls "praying" inappropriately with the men, not with a minyan, nor about an interest in learning. Seriously, what is your IQ? Consider a literacy test. Are you intentionally trolling me or is my vocabulary level too difficult for you to follow? It literally doesn't matter what women (or girls) want, if what they want is inappropriate.

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    28. "Is defending pedophilia a Chillul Hashem? That actually goes on here."

      Huh? Where?

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    29. I think that framing pedophilia in terms of chilul hasheim is itself a chilul hasheim. When someone is doing something that fundamentally damaging, worrying about whether they are also disgracing Hashem's "name" in this world shows just how far frum culture has gotten from actual Torah and Avodas Hashem.

      (Tangent: there is no such thing as "Chillul Hashem". G-d cannot be desecrated. Neither the concept of changing nor or damaging G-d make any sense. Besides, Chazal use the idioms "chillul hasheim" and "qiddush hasheim" before "Hashem" became a monicker for G-d. The concept is "chilul hasheim", desecrating Hashem's name, His reputation in this world. Capitalizing the H means inadvertently writing heresy.)

      Delete
    30. I'm sorry but the 3 or 4 idiots bickering with each other above bring this blog down to the level of a certain other Jewish blog, one which is neither Truth not Steadfastness, just a bunch of bickering babies.

      R Natan, please moderate more stridently

      Delete
  2. As a runner myself this is a great event for women runners. If it could happen in Iran, why not in Israel? But the rabbi has a point because Israel is an aggresive secular state and Judaism is weak in confronting moderninty. So while not discouraging anyone from running, I have my misgivings.

    Incidently, why the DL don't just beat the kanoim whp attack them?

    ReplyDelete
  3. "there is a continuous spectrum ranging from rhetoric to verbal abuse to actual physical violence."

    Correct.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We are glorious
    We are majestic
    We are regal
    (Shh… we are modest)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Did Rabbi Kornfeld really write this?

    Even if he did, in yesteryears, גדולי הפוסקים gave their פסק with a lengthy תשובה with מראה מקומות.

    As we are approaching עשרת ימי תשובה, picture the situation brought in front of the כתב סופר, son of the חתם סופר:

    Next Shabbos is Shabbos Yom Kippur and the King is coming down the main street of our town where our Shul is located. No שאלה yet.

    It is expected that we all leave Shul in the middle of Yom Kippur davening and wait on the street for the King and his entourage to come past. No שאלה yet.

    So what is the שאלה? Well, everyone knows that when the King comes past, we stand there carrying the Sifrei Torah in his honor.

    But the street outside our Shul is a רחוב שאינו מעורבת for which there is an איסור דרבנן to carry on it.

    In a long 5 page תשובה
    אורח חיים סימן ל"ז
    he permits them to carry the Sifrei Torah onto the street on Yom Kippur to greet the King as he comes past.

    I mention this not only to see the כח of a פוסק, but also to reflect on what actions are expected of us living in the UK with a new King.

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    1. With all due respect to my English brethren, but I seriously don't get why you guys give a darn about your 'king'. He is a powerless figurehead, and happens to be quite promiscuous. He also wrote a famous anti Semitic letter in the 80's bemoaning how the Jews control the world. And he's just about as privileged, nasty and stuck up as they come. It ticks me off every time I see you guys so fascinated with this loser.

      Delete
    2. I know King Charles III is maybe too friendly with certain Arab sheikhs, but nonetheless he is better disposed to UK Jewry than the king the Chasam Sofer had to deal with. No need to carry in a carmelis to keep King Charles III sweet.

      In an unconnected point, It irks that there have been more mentions of God Almighty (and similar) by dignitaries and officials of the British State in the last week in their various official proclomations, than the diginitaries and officials of the Jewish State care to mention. The phenomenan is mentioned in nach, when the prophet laments on how the nations around Israel are more faithful to their deities than the Jews are.

      Delete
    3. Very interesting. Does he say whether you can bring back the sefer torah inside afterwards, once the King has moved on? If so, why?

      Delete
    4. To: Anonymous

      Someone asked me the same question this morning.

      I don't have an answer, but do check through the Teshuvoh yourself.

      Delete
    5. To: Reb Yankel

      I don't particularly give a darn.

      But the Ksav Sofer bases his Teshuvoh on the גמרא in ברכות
      דף ט:
      and
      דף י"ט:
      which teaches us the reason for being מכבד מלכי אומות העולם.

      Delete
  6. Agreed, but I think the horse has already left the barn, as it were -- given that we live in a world where some communities see business handshakes between a man and a woman as a quasi-sexual act.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, but realize in our same world there are some communities whose male members can’t avoid being sexually aroused when walking on a mixed-gender pavement (sidewalk for the Yanks) or at the supermarket register. The paradox is very clear. High walls of avoidance create hypersensitized vulnerability.

      Delete
    2. Americans know what pavement is, thank you very much. There's cultural differences and there's ignorance, and they're not the same.

      Delete
  7. "אבל לגבי התנהגות עם הנטורי־קרתא, נראה שאסור ... להתקוטט עמהם, וכל שכן לשנאותם, מהרבה טעמים וכו' וכו'" (בעיות הזמן ע' 35)

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  8. Usage of Internet in general and email in particular is dismissed by all Charedi leading rabbies (at least, I never heard about a leading Charedi rabbi who said email is OK).
    Now, the rabbi contacts his audience by email in order to preach about modesty ... take a balk out of your eye!

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    Replies
    1. "Usage of Internet in general and email in particular is dismissed by all Charedi leading 'rabbies' "

      You haven't the slightest clue what you are talking about. There are many Chareidi 'rabbies' out there and they make up a huge spectrum. Some of those leading 'rabbies' themselves, such as R' Asher Weiss amongst many others, have email and even internet!

      Delete
    2. As one who has used the internet personally and professionally since the early 1990s, my personal observation is that, regardless of the spectrum, the "Charedi street" in Israel in all-Charedi areas by and large hold fairly well to the minimal line on interaction with the internet. I have friends who used to use much more in the past. Even listen to secular music, and in a few cases go to a few movies once or twice. But today, much or all of that has been dispatched with.

      Delete
  9. Rabbi Slifkin - it seems like you answered your own question in the blog. Why doesn't Rabbi Kornfeld condemn religious extremism? "Rav Kornfeld himself is against such things and none of the Anglos in his community would ever be involved in it". He didn't condemn the mixed gender marathon nor did he condemn the missionary activities that take place in Israel and nor did he condemn the gay parade in NY city. When a topic is so far outside of one's weltanschauung there is much less of a need to condemn - because it has nothing to do with you and doesn't threaten you or your community. That being said, I was extremely surprised that Rav Kornfeld would write an open letter to the community about a topic that should clearly be between each individual and their own Rov, since there are clearly many rabbonim that had no problem with it and even went so far as to encourage it! I know him personally and find it very out of character. Since it's Elul I will try to be dan lkaf zchus until I can get more clarity on what might have precipitated this. (Is it possible that it was only meant for his shul and somehow got published in a more public forum than he meant it for) ? I think more clarification is needed on that point.

    What I personally found more disturbing was the historical ignorance of the reform movement (Vilna Gaon and the Noda B'yehuda?? They were both long gone before the reform movement was formed) and by his equating himself with the Vilna Gaon and the Noda B'yehuda in the first place!! In every respectable chareidi justification of why Yom Haatzmaut can't possibly be celebrated is because we aren't on the level of people like the Vilna Gaon and the Noda B'yehuda! - we need gedolim of that caliber to declare a new yomtov....... Yet making a prediction about what type of deviation might lead to another reform movement can be made by just about anyone who has his own opinions on what constitutes modesty :)

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    1. Mendelssohn was a contemporary of the Vilna Gaon and the routes of the Reform movement were being laid in his times. There are stories of the Vilna Gaon's strong opposition to the nascent movement.

      Delete
    2. Give me a break. He isn't comparing himself to the Gra and the NB.

      Delete
    3. In that case I stand corrected (about the historical accuracy which I was unaware of)....... The rest of it stands though :)

      Delete
    4. First shul that could be considered a Reform shul was 1810. Noda BYehuda and Gra both died in the 1790's. Mendelssohn may have begun greater interaction with the Christians of Germany, but he remained fully observant, though his children and grandchildren did not. What the Gaon and the Noda Byehuda both fought vigorously was Chassidus; Anybody still taking up that fight?

      Delete
    5. No, the Vilna Gaon and the Noda B'Yehuda were VERY against Wessley who was very influential in Mendelssohn's circles. I know that there is wholesale obfuscation by the MO to this fact, because Wessley's reforms are very acceptable to them (getting a proper secular education and being more integrated with secular society), and they can't quite get their head around the fact that their lifestyle flies in the face of mesora (and the ones that do know better play dumb).

      There is also an anecdotal story of an early maskil who visited the Vilna Gaon with a long list of questions which the Gaon broke them down into four categories in and offered four answered which he answered them all. Afterwards, the maskil asked him the difference in translation in the שמות הנרדפים of גלה רנה דצה וחדוה אהבה ואחוה ושלום ורעות. The Vilna Gaon offered him a pshat based on Rashi, to which the maskil responded "Rashi is not the simple explanation". The Vilna Gaon decided based on his interaction with the man that he was a kofer and ordered him pilloried in the courtyard of the Vilna and instructed all passing by to spit at him.

      There are those such as Dov Eliach who are still fighting the Vilna Gaon's fight against Chassidus, but the truth is that many of the reasons that the Misnagdim opposed the early Chassidim, such as their disregard for Shmiras Hamitzvos and Limud HaTorah, are no longer applicable. If anything, the MO are the embodiment of these issues.

      Delete
    6. "Just Chilling"

      I agree with you 100% and don't quite get why Slifkin is making a stink. Rabbi Kornfeld, as per Slifkin's admission, is allowed and even obligated to instruct his FOLLOWERS as to what and what's not expected of them. He has no business instructing and imposing himself on those who are not within his community or do not turn to him for guidance. I can imagine that he anticipated that running the marathon is something that some women in his community would entertain, and felt that it was unbecoming of them (the charge that it was intended for people beyond is sphere of influence based on the fact that it was sent out to the general RBS email list and included 'general phraseology' is ridiculous. If he is indeed an influential Anglo rabbi in RBS (never heard of him) it is likely that an influence on some beyond his own shul. If you are not from his adherents, just move on). He did NOT think that anyone in his own community, nor in the general RBS Anglo community would be spilling marbles, shining lasers and burning down fields, and his words of condemnation and rebuke would do absolutely NOTHING to this end, and those participating in such activities would ignore him at best and more likely antagonize him. So why does RNS feel that it is his responsibility to register a 100% futile protest?? Must he also put out a protest in condemnation of the Chinese genocide against the Uighurs?

      Delete
    7. Yes, I've seen that story. It's a bubbe meise, of course, especially the part at the end where the maskil states his admiration for the Gra. Moreover, of course, that means the Gra would have done the same to Rashbam, who writes the same exact thing about his grandfather (and claims that, when he told his grandfather this, Rashi agreed with him).

      Chassidim's "disregard for Shmiras Hamitzvos and Limud HaTorah are no longer applicable"? Oh, brother.

      Delete
    8. Mike S.: Mendelssohn died young; the kids who barely knew him converted, and the ones who did know him didn't. (Their kids did.)

      Tellingly, none of the gedolim who condemned Mendelssohn- sometimes very harshly- in the subsequent century (and, of coure, those who praised him) ever brought that up as a criticism of him, because they knew (often from personal experience) that it didn't reflect on him one way or another. It's only in our "we are perfect" generation that people assume to do so.

      Delete
    9. Nachum: How do you know it's a 'bubbe meise'? Because it doesn't fit with your world view? I believe that it appears in one of the works of one of the Talmidim of the Gaon, although it's been years since I've seen it. I do not recall the part about the maskil stating his admiration for the Gaon at the end. As for your assertion that he would have done the same with the Rashbam, I don't think it was the raw fact that he said those words, I think it was his original questions together with his cavalier attitude towards Rashi that lead the Gaon to feel that way. A good example of this difference is similar to the difference between reading a commentary on Chumash that offers an alternative explanation other than Rashi's, and reading an online blog of a semi-kofer who insinuates that Rashi by and large had know clue what he was talking about, עפ"ל.

      Delete
    10. Because there were barely any maskilim then? Because the Gra didn't have the power to physically punish people? (He wasn't even the rav of Vilna!) Because the story is too perfect?

      Find me a source with first-hand knowledge and we'll talk.

      Delete
    11. "Find me a source with first-hand knowledge and we'll talk"

      True that. Anything less than that has little to zero chance that it happened, or being remotely similar to what is being related.

      Delete
    12. Nachum:

      https://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=29117&st=&pgnum=62

      See footnote לד. Also, according to Betzalel Landau in הגאון החסיד מוילנא (pg. 235), the story was also printed in the Hacarmel newspaper of the Maskilim in the 1870's, although I was unable to find it there.

      Delete
    13. Anon:

      The עליות אליהו that you quoted credits the one who uncovered this story as "the son of R' Tzvi Hirsh Berlin", who was none other than the infamous maskil, Shaul Berlin!!!

      Delete
    14. Yehoshua Heshel Levin, something of a maskil himself, was born over twenty years after the Gra died. He *could* (*very* theoretically) have heard the story from someone who witnessed it- he was a grandson-in-law of Chaim of Volozhin- but tellingly says he saw this story in an old letter.

      1870 was even later.

      Delete
  10. The extremists that are creating danger for the runners are committing chillel Hashem. It am sure my my grandfather and great grandfather esteemed litvak misnaggid Rabbis would severely rebuke the extremists. The extremist are also violating Halacha. What is going on in the Orthodox Jewish Community ? Many in that community are more off the derech than I. ACJA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ACJA 4:10AM

      And that community thinks that you’re thoroughly. more OTD than they are. Thats what you get when you swallow hook, line and sinker an unfalsifiable religious belief system.

      Delete
  11. This is exactly what is wrong with Modern Orthodoxy. Daf Yomi just had the Talmud, which says that if a woman violates daas Yehudis it's grounds for divorce.
    For thousands of years no one ever asked regarding Jewish laws of modesty; where does it say that? Show me inside?
    Simchat Torah has no source in the Talmud, yet no one questions not celebrating Simchat Torah.
    There are certain unspoken guidelines and feelings in Judaism that cannot be articulated.
    Those who trample these sacred ideas and feelings are precisely what is encapsulated by Daas Yehudis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daf Yomi just had the Talmud, which says that if a woman violates daas Yehudis it's grounds for divorce.
      Lol!
      If you read some of the comments here this is easily rectifiable! Just argue with the Talmud because you know better! This way there is no guilty conscience involved.
      They should draw up a revised Talmud draft and edit it every couple years to reflect societies latest depravities.

      Delete
    2. LOL. Simchas Torah was not celebrated in talmudic times in the Palestinian rite; most of its customs first appeared in the medieval Rhine communities, and the way it is celebrated today in Israel is in violation of a Mishna and several talmudic passages, and in opposition to those customs which were only supposed to apply on Yom Tov Sheni, but that is the place you want to bring proof from?

      Delete
    3. @Jew Well

      Yeah, we know that. But you completely missed his point. His point is that although Simchat Torah is not sourced in the Talmud, everyone practices it and no one says "Hey, where did this come from! Why are we practicing it?"

      So too, there are many guidelines and feelings in Judaism that people have just appreciated, even if it was not spelled out explicitly. For example, one could argue that it does not say explicitly anywhere that women may not walk around naked. It does say that men may not gaze at women not dressed properly. But only the MO would say "Hey, it doesn't say I can't go around dressed (or rather undressed) like this! And your prohibition to look at me this way is your business, not mine! So I can do what I want!"

      Delete
    4. Not correct. Plenty has been written about the sources of simchas torah minhogim.

      Delete
    5. I'm saying the customs of Simchas Torah ARE debatable, and the sages of the Talmud would probably be dismayed by them. So it is certainly no proof for 'certain unspoken guidelines and feelings in Judaism that cannot be articulated' or 'encapsulation of Daath Yehudith'.

      Delete
  12. I’m going to give all those millions of Jews over those thousands of years a little more credit and say that the certainty did question from time to time what the sources are for the rules of their day to day lives especially when contrasted with their surroundings. Otherwise it seems like you’re saying that they all led ignorant lives, never asked, never struggled, never thought, did not possess personal agency and always took their customs for granted. In that context of automatic behavior, what is emuna exactly? I don’t think you really mean that.

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  13. They aren't retards. There are many outstanding personalitirs among them. The problem, like I'd said already, is that they view Zionism as the fulfilment of Torah and for our times it's more important rhen the Torah itself. This attidute explains everything that's wrong with them. They took the Jewish National movemrnt and made it into an avodah zorarah and since it's the essence of their ideology, it showes in the children. It's a faith in its own right. A fith removed from tradition, rationalism and common sense.

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    1. "The problem, like I'd said already, is that they view Zionism as the fulfilment of Torah and for our times it's more important rhen the Torah itself."

      That's not retarded?

      Delete
    2. Yakov,
      You're making false claims.

      Delete
    3. https://youtu.be/D8ig2_evuLM

      Why is my claim false?

      Delete
    4. Yakov,
      I don't have to show you're claim is false; you must first prove it's true- or at least some justification or hint that it's true. You've managed to link a youtube clip to prove that "is that they view Zionism... more important than the Torah itself"
      Now, first you need to define what Zionism means in the context of your claim- i.e. the Zionism understood by the "they" of your claim. If such Zionism includes Torah, then your claim weakens considerably. And that's before we examine the youtube clip.

      Onto the clip: The clip is a just an excerpt. Here's a fuller citation from Rav Sherki:
      הוא עושה תשובה פרטית על חשבון התשובה הכללית. למשעה, אדם זה ירד מדרגה. היה באפשרותו להגיע מתוך עבודתו, מתוך התשובה הכללית, אל התפילין ואל התשובה הפרטית, ואז הוא היה יכול לחבר בין התשובה הפרטית שלו לבין התשובה הכללית. (לא כל אחד מבין את זה אבל יש כאלה שהבינו והצליחו).

      So what he's saying is that a בעל תשובה who combines Torah observance with service to the nation is on a higher level that a בעל תשובה who withdraws into himself. The latter has only achieved תשובה פרטים, while the former has achieved both תשובה כללית and תשובה פרטית.
      Nothing there indicates that he believes that Zionism (whatever that means) trumps Torah.

      Delete
    5. What Rav Sherki says is that a combat pilot had already achieved תשובה כללית prior to puting on tefilin and when he started keeping comandments and left the army service finding it incompatible with his new observant lifestyle he went down from תשובה כללית to תשובה פרטית. Conversly, when a Jew abandons Torah and Mitzvos and becomes a combat pilot, he goes up a madregah by achieving תשובה כללית.

      This moshol of the pilot becoming observant is very old. I had heard it in Machon Meir 44 years ago from Rav Avi Shwartz, you can listen to him on the internet to get the vibe.

      A true tsuvah should bring a person to Zionism and self-sacrifice for the nation and the state. Here is an individual that the state had invested resources and many years in training to make into a pilot and now he throws away that investment because he needs to focus on his individual observance? This is a misunderstanding of what תשובה and Judaism are truly about. This is what Rav Avi Shwartz had tought us in Machon Meir.

      למה קדמה שמע לוהיה אם שמוע? כדי שיקבל על עצמו עול מלכות שמים תחילה ואחר-כך עול מצוות. Zionism is kabolas עול מלכות שמים. The galuti form of observance has to be abandoned, the nation has to become chiloni first, do national repentance by establishing a state, then do the individual repentance by returning to putting on tefilin and such.

      Delete
    6. Correction: ואחר-כך עול תורה ומצוות.

      Delete
    7. I appologize, pls delete the correction, it's unecessary

      Delete
    8. "What Rav Sherki says is that a combat pilot had already achieved תשובה כללית "
      No he didn't.
      " העוסק בתשובה כללית, בשיבת ציון - אפילו אם הוא רחוק מהתורה והמצוות"
      Not "achieved", but "involved".

      "finding it incompatible with his new observant lifestyle"
      He didn't say that. You made it up.

      " he went down from תשובה כללית to תשובה פרטית."
      Wrong. He doesn't say that. The ירידה is that he should be involved in both kinds of תשובה.

      " Conversly, when a Jew abandons Torah and Mitzvos and becomes a combat pilot, he goes up a madregah by achieving תשובה כללית."
      He doesn't say this. That's your bad faith misinterpretation.

      "A true tsuvah..."
      That not what he says. It's not "true" of "false' תשובה. You're using the wrong terminology. There are two kinds of תשובה, personal and national. They are both "true".

      Rav Sherki identifies what he considers the ideal:
      "ואז הוא היה יכול לחבר בין התשובה הפרטית שלו לבין התשובה הכללית"

      Try reading the שיעור again. You made several mistakes.
      Here:
      https://ravsherki.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1584:15841584-1584&catid=77&Itemid=100513

      Delete
    9. @Efraim

      Here is the full text:
      למשל, טייס בחיל האוויר הוא אדם העוסק בתשובה כללית, בשיבת ציון - אפילו אם הוא רחוק מהתורה והמצוות. אם יום אחד הטייס הזה מחליט (למשל, בעקבות קלטת או שיעור ששמע) להפסיק לטוס וללכת להניח תפילין, הוא עושה תשובה פרטית על חשבון התשובה הכללית. למשעה, אדם זה ירד מדרגה. היה באפשרותו להגיע מתוך עבודתו, מתוך התשובה הכללית, אל התפילין ואל התשובה הפרטית, ואז הוא היה יכול לחבר בין התשובה הפרטית שלו לבין התשובה הכללית. (לא כל אחד מבין את זה אבל יש כאלה שהבינו והצליחו).

      Now the story of a pilot has been used as an illistration for decdes. I'd heard it 44 years ago and is not an agadata - there were actual pilots who had left the army on becoming baalei teshuva and that realy ticked off the Mercas Harav ideologes.

      למשעה, אדם זה ירד מדרגה.
      This is what he says. What this means is that in his eyes a pilot is on a higher madregah then an avrech in kollel, for example. It's a mashal and isn't really meant to be drilled down to every detail or to make a pilpul. A member of the new zionist faith would combine his newly discovered Torah observance with Zionism and wouldn't leave the army service. This is how this story is told in the DL circles. Rav Sherki isn't mechadesh anything here.

      Otherwise I stand corrected with regard to a few inaccuracies. שכועיח.

      Delete
    10. "What this means"
      All I have in front of me is what he said/wrote. What you divine as "what this means" is not based on the words that are there. It's based on your own biases.

      " isn't really meant...to make a pilpul."
      And it's not meant to be distorted. He does not say " a pilot is on a higher madregah then an avrech in kollel". That's your fabrication.

      Delete
    11. He says ירד מדריגה. At any rate Rav Uri Sherki is an interesting thinker, an intellectual, an erudite and one of the better expounders of the DL ideology. The pilot story has been expounded on by other ideologes of the movement and there is no question as to what they mean.

      https://youtu.be/D8ig2_evuLM

      He himself ckearly days that fir a pilot ti become avrech kollel in Yerushalaim is ירידה מזעזעת! It's all in the clip.

      Delete
    12. Also, the transcript is incomplete. The clip has the full text. Whether you identify with the DL or not, you should know what the ideology holds. The nation abandoned Judaism because of the greatness of its soul and the degradation of the religion. Zionism is the expression of that greatness. A baal tshuvah, who becomes charedi and goes to learn in kollel, is impeeding the process of the Geulah by going back to the galuti approach. Judaism must provide answers to modernity and the only hashkofah that does so is that of Rav Kook.

      https://youtu.be/OCb69WEQheg

      I don't think that Judaism can provide the answers, but will be happy to be proven wrong one day.

      Delete
    13. On the meta-issue... I don't think there is any she'eilah (read: "shaylah") that the person risking their life for the safety of others is on a holier level than someone who learns.

      Hillel doesn't talk about the Torah's core message being "learn more". Rabbi Aqiva and Ben Azzai don't argue about which pasuq about learning is the central rule of the Torah. Rav Simlai doesn't say the Torah begins and ends with study, and when he shows how various nevi'im summarize the 613, it all boils down to "being fair, loving kindness, and walking humbly with G-d" then "the righteous lives with his integrity" -- not learning.

      This business about turning avodas Hashem into "learning and 612 other mitzvos" (Yeshivish) or "davening and 612" (Chassidus) are simply not what Chazal say.

      Hashem's message is bein adam lachaveiro centered.

      Delete
    14. " I don't think there is any she'eilah (read: "shaylah") that the person risking their life for the safety of others is on a holier level than someone who learns...Hashem's message is bein adam lachaveiro centered."

      Sorry, this is absolutely wrong and is a fast track to reform/reconstructionist tikkun olam Judaism. The Torah is centered around BOTH bein adam l'Makom and bein adam lachaveiro, as can be shown from countless pesukim, mitzvos, and divrei Chazal.

      Also, having a powerful army or being wealthy doesn't mean you have any מעלה in bein adam lachaveiro. King Menashe had a powerful Jewish army, and was wealthy. Trump is very wealthy. Putin has a very powerful army. None of them are paragons of bein adam lachaveiro. The Neviim decry the powerful and wealthy people who relied on their wealth and power rather than Hashem.

      About צדיק באמונתו יחיה, I'm sure you found somebody who learns it like you, but it doesn't seem the standard way to learn, rather it is talking about Emunah in Hashem.

      רד"ק
      וצדיק. אבל הצדיק אינו כן כי נפשו שפלה ומפחד תמיד מהאל יתברך לפיכך יחיה באמונתו באל יתברך...

      מצודת דוד
      ואפילו צדיק יחיה הוא במה שמאמין בהאל לחשוב שהכל בא ממנו בחפצו ולא יתלה הדבר בזכות עצמו וכח זרועו...
      very relevant to the fighter pilot

      מלבים
      וצדיק באמונתו יחיה, הצדיק אשר ישרה נפשו בו, לא תעפל נפשו לחשב קצין ולהעמיד חזון, רק יחיה באמונתו ויאמין כי יש יום לה' וידום לה' ויתחולל לו

      אברבנאל
      אמנם הצדיק והוא המאמין שכל דרכי ה' משפט ואין עול והוא מצדיק את דינו באמונתו יחיה מבלי ספקות וחקירות עיוניות,

      מהרש"א מכות כד.
      שבא חבקוק וכו' שנאמר וצדיק באמונתו יחיה שהוא האחד היותר כולל לכל בר ישראל בכל עת והיא האמונה שהיא אנכי מעשיין ולא יהיה לך מלאוין ששמענום מפי הגבורה כמ"ש לעיל ר"ל מפי הגבורה שהוא אחד ומצותיו א' ולא יקבלו המצות רבוי מצדו ית' ב"ה וע"ז רמז דוד בתמני אפי שאמר כל מצותיך אמונה וגו' ר"ל שכל המצות נכללים במצוה הראשונה שהיא אמונה ששמענו מפי הגבורה וכמו שהעמידה חבקוק שנאמר וצדיק באמונתו יחיה וגו':

      About powerful fighter pilots who are mechallel Shabbos, don't put on tefillin, and don't learn Torah, the pasuk says לֹ֤א בִגְבוּרַ֣ת הַסּ֣וּס יֶחְפָּ֑ץ לֹֽא־בְשׁוֹקֵ֖י הָאִ֣ישׁ יִרְצֶֽה. רוֹצֶ֣ה יְ֭הוָה אֶת־יְרֵאָ֑יו אֶת־הַֽמְיַחֲלִ֥ים לְחַסְדּֽוֹ׃

      Delete
    15. @Micha Berger

      He isn't stam a pilot - he is part of the Geulah, when he goes to learn in kollel in Yerushalaim he us meakev the Geulah. מאגרא רמא לבירא עמיקתא נאך דער צו.

      צדיק באמונותו יחיה.
      My own perush for our times - the army maybe important, the secular studies maybe important, the state maybe important but when the association with them brings to עזיבת הדת tzadik doesn't put his children into this dangerous sutuation because the Torah and the Mitzvos are supreme.

      Delete
    16. happygoluckypersonage, here are the opening words of Shaarei Yosher (from the haqdamah), by Rav Shimon haKohein Shkop (my rebbe's rebbe). What you called "absolutely wrong" and a fast track to kefirah.

      יתברך הבורא ויתעלה היוצר שבראנו בצלמו ובדמות תבניתו, וחיי עולם נטע בתוכנו, שיהיה אדיר חפצנו, להיטיב עם זולתנו, ליחיד ולרבים בהוה ובעתיד בדמות הבורא כביכול,

      שכל מה שברא ויצר היה רצונו יתברך רק להיטיב עם הנבראים, כן רצונו ית׳ שנהלך בדרכיו כאמור “והלכת בדרכיו”, היינו שנהיה אנחנו בחירי יצוריו, מגמתנו תמיד להקדיש כוחותינו הגופניים והרוחניים לטובת הרבים, כפי ערכנו,...

      Blessed shall be the Creator, and exalted shall be the Maker, Who created us in His 'Image' and in the likeness of His 'Structure', and planted eternal life within us [i.e. gave us the Torah], so that our greatest desire should be to do good to others, to individuals and to the masses, now and in the future, in imitation of the Creator (as it were).

      For everything He created and formed was according to His Will (may it be blessed), [that is] only to be good to the creations. So too His Will is that we walk in His ways. As it says “and you shall walk in His Ways” (Devarim 28:9) – that we, the select of what He made – should constantly hold as our purpose to sanctify our physical and spiritual powers for the good of the many, according to our abilities.

      -----

      For that matter, the very founder of Yeshivish (although I don't think the pre-War Litvish Yeshiva Movement had the same values as today's reconstruction), R Chaim Volozhiner, taught his son a different value system than yeshivos that only learn the 4th cheileq of Nefesh haChaim. R Yitzchak Volozhiner reported:

      והיה רגיל להוכיח אותי על שראה שאינני משתתף בצערא דאחרינא. וכה היה דברו אלי תמיד שזה כל האדם. לא לעצמו נברא רק להועיל לאחריני ככל אשר ימצא בכחו לעשות.

      ---

      And while you address tzadiq be'emunaso yichyeh, you don't address the previous quote from Mikhah, R Simlai (the same amora) saying the Torah begins and ends with chessed, or any of the tannaim I quoted (and are so well known they're cliché).

      I skipped steps there, and shouldn't have raised the topic. The relationship between emunah and ne'emanus is seen in Yirmiyahu 9:23, the closing of the Moreh Nevuchim, and elsewhere...

      As for the role of bein adam laMaqom, Rav Shimon finds in it derivative value. (Which also relates to the previous paragraph.)

      כשהאדם מישר הליכותיו ושואף שתמיד יהיו דרכי חייו מוקדשים להכלל ,אז כל מה שעושה גם לעצמו להבראת גופו ונפשו הוא מתיחס גם כן אל מצות קדושה, שעל ידי זה יטיב גם לרבים... ועל פי דרך זה ענין מצוה של פרישות הוא תמצית מיסוד מצות קדושה, הנכרת בפועל בדרכי ההנהגה של האדם, אבל ברעיון ושאיפת הרוח מתרחבת מצוה, זו גם על כל מפעליו ומעשיו של האדם גם בינו לבין המקום...
      --

      It shouldn't be either or. And that's the difference with the Tikkun Olam crowd -- they are advocating for one without the other. But there is more qedushah in being a fighter pilot than in being a shomer shabbos who doesn't sacrifice for the kelal.

      Meanwhile, we have members of Chazal who talk about the Torah standing on a First Principle, and every time that principle is bein adam lachaveiro.

      Delete
    17. Rabbi Aqiva and Ben Azzai don't argue about which pasuq about learning is the central rule of the Torah.

      No, they are disagreing on wheather the univeral or national message of the Torah is primary. Does ben odom lehavero apply to humanity diferently then to רעך במצוות. This has nothing to do with weather learning is more important then ben odom lechaveiro.

      Delete
    18. PS: To summarize: I am saying that of the Orthodox movements, Chazal only provide sources for Rav Yisrael Salanter and Mussar. If you think that Mussar's values are un-frum, well, Mussar's last great voice, R Shlomo Wolbe, had the reciprocal opinion of Frumkeit: http://www.aishdas.org/as/frumkeit.pdf

      ... [T]this frumkeit, as in all instinctive urges that occur in man, is inherently egoistic and self-centered. Therefore frumkeit pushes man to do only that which is good for himself. Activities between people and actions which are done without ulterior motivations are not derived from frumkeit. One who bases his service of G-d entirely on frumkeit remains self-centered. Even if a person places many pious restrictions on himself – he will never become a kind person and he will never reach the level of being pure motivated. This is why it is necessary that we base our service of G-d on commonsense (da’as). (Study Sotah 22b lists 7 types of activities which it labels as foolish piety. Each one of them is a manifestation of frumkeit without commonsense). Commonsense has to direct our service of G-d. From the moment we desert commonsense and act only according to frumkeit, our Divine service becomes corrupted. This is true even for a person on the level of a Torah scholar.

      (By the way, all the translations are mine, from Widen Your Tent, Mosaica 2019. Hashmakos from R Kalman Epstein [Yeshivas Shaar HaTorah, R Shimon's great-grandson] and R Aharon Lopiansky [Yeshiva of Greater Washington] available at https://mosaicapress.com/product/widen-your-tent/#tab-haskamot )

      Delete
    19. Yakov, you're again making up your own interpretations. I guess after "tzadiq be'emunaso yichyeh", you can get a freebie. (Although my interpretation is sources, ein kan maqom le'ha'arikh.) But this is a consistent pattern with you.

      The difference between Rabbi Aqiva and Ben Azzai is discussed by acharonim on the daf (Y-mi Demai 9:4, 30b in the Ridbaz's edition) and on the Sifra (Qedoshim 4:12). The nearest to what you say is the Qorban ha'Eidah, who says the machloqes is whether ahavas Yisrael or ahavas haberi'os is primary. Either way, the fighter pilot.

      The Penei Moshe says that both are speaking of all of humanity. (Despite "rei'akha".) Ben Azzai prefers the pasuq that includes motivation -- every person you interact with is a tzelem Elokim!

      R Tov ibn Shem Tov on the medrash says R Aqiva's emphasis is on ahavah, whereas Ben Azzai is focusing on how to become an oheiv. (In Widen, I suggest that Ben Azzai is bothered by R Aqiva reducing the message to something you don't need Torah for.)

      None of which takes the bein adam lachaveiro focus out of either.

      And for that matter, even the inventor of the modern Yeshiva agrees!

      PS; It is worth the effort to learn not to call people "retards". Aside from showing a lack of mentchlachkeit (which is more central to Torah than frumkeit 😀), someone on the forum might have a son with Down Syndrome and find your usage offensive. (Speaking purely hypothetically, of course 😉.)

      Delete
    20. happygoluckypersonage I erred -- there isn't just one difference between Torah and the Tikkun Olam crowd:

      1- What I mentioned already when I said it shouldn't be an either-or, is that they think one can fix the world bein adam lachaveiro without having the relationship with the Borei and with one's own nefesh that one gets from the other mitzvos in the Torah.

      2- Their idea of how to improve life for other people is equally uninformed by the Torah. Their ideas of a just society comes from the Liberal side of Western politics, not from the Shulchan Arukh. (Or Chokhmas Adam or Arukh haShulchan, which are candidate "poseiq acharon" sefarim that cover the relevant Turim.)

      Delete
    21. Micha, thanks for the source. IYH, I will check the Shaarei Yosher. But quoting a few of the achronei acharonim, as great as they may be, is not enough to overturn 3000 years of Torah sources that say the opposite. I don't have time or space here to quote כל התורה כולו. Just one pasuk

      ועתה ישראל מה יהוה אלהיך שאל מעמך כי אם ליראה את יהוה אלהיך ללכת בכל דרכיו ולאהבה אתו ולעבד את יהוה אלהיך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך.

      And quickly, Rabbeinu Bachya ויקרא יב ב
      כי האדם שהוא תכלית הכונה בבריאת העולם להכיר בוראו ולעובדו

      There are hundreds of more sources who say like this. Many pesukim in Neviim castigate both the lack of bein adam l'Makom and that of bein adam l'chaveiro. Should I start quoting the whole Tanach? There is not enough room for that.

      To claim ח"ו, that bein adam l'makom is only "derivative" to bein adam l'chaveiro, is shocking kefira to say the least (I will have to check Shaarei Yosher, but I suspect you are misreading it). To claim that all the mitzvos of bein adam l'Makom are somehow only for the purpose of bein adam l'chaveiro is the height of irrationality and ridiculousness. To claim a mechallel Shabbos soldier has more kedusha than a shomer Shabbos non-soldier is such a perversion of the Torah, I don't even know where to begin. You might as well say that King Menashe had more kedusha than Yirmiyahu (who you quoted). After all, King Menashe was in control of a powerful Jewish army and Yirmiyahu...wasn't. Let us return to the pasuk  לֹ֤א בִגְבוּרַ֣ת הַסּ֣וּס יֶחְפָּ֑ץ לֹֽא־בְשׁוֹקֵ֖י הָאִ֣ישׁ יִרְצֶֽה. רוֹצֶ֣ה יְ֭הוָה אֶת־יְרֵאָ֑יו אֶת־הַֽמְיַחֲלִ֥ים לְחַסְדּֽוֹ׃

      "Meanwhile, we have members of Chazal who talk about the Torah standing on a First Principle, and every time that principle is bein adam lachaveiro."

      על שלשה דברים העולם עומד, על התורה, על העבודה, ועל גמילות חסדים
      Need I say more?

      "It shouldn't be either or"

      This I agree with.

      You should have included in your book the following passage as well "[T]this desire for MODERNITY, as in all instinctive urges that occur in man, is inherently egoistic and self-centered. Therefore desire for MODERNITY pushes man to do only that which is good for himself. Activities between people and actions which are done without ulterior motivations are not derived from MODERNITY. One who bases his life entirely on MODERNITY remains self-centered." 

      I would like to qualify that I don't have anything against the Mussar mehalech, but it can be taken way too far, as you are obviously doing. 

      Delete
    22. @Mich Berger

      Yes, those were my own interpretations and I said so openly. I don't believe there is a problem with that.

      Delete
    23. Ok, after seeing the Shaarei Yosher inside, I see where you are coming from. Nevertheless, whether R' Shimon meant that literally or not, it is absolutely wrong. Notice how he doesn't explain Tefillin, Esrog, Shabbos, Korbanos, ma'acholos assuros, and any of the countless mitzvos bein adam l'Makom according to this shita. It is bizarre in the extreme to say these are all for the purpose of bein adam l'chaveiro. Note that none of the Rishonim who explain the reasons for the mitzvos explain them that way. I don't wonder why- because it makes no sense at all. You cannot build an entire shita based on these words. 

      But, if I had to guess, I would say that שבמצוה זו כלול כל יסוד ושורש מגמת תכלית חיינו שיהיו כל עבודתנו ועמלנו תמיד מוקדשים לטובת הכלל is referring to our olam hazehdike work, not to all the mitzvos in the Torah. He is contrasting our work being for the sake of the klal vs. it being for our own pleasure. So a Shomer Torah fighter pilot should join the airforce for the sake of the klal, not for the sake of advancing his own career. Not that he puts on tefillin for the sake of the klal. But that is just a guess. In any case, you cannot overturn many b'feirush pesukim, ma'amarei Chazal, and Rishonim, based on one strange paragraph from R' Shimon Shkop. Sorry.

      Here are a few quotes from Rishonim concerning the point of the Torah or Creation. They run the gamut from rationalist to mystical. None of them are like this shita you espouse. And there are many, many more like them. And this is without even touching the Rambam or the Ikkarim or the Emunos v'Deios or Chovos Halevavos or the Mesilas Yesharim.

      אבן עזרא על הושע ו׳:ג׳:א
      ונדעה - שנרדפה לדעת את ה',כי זה סוד כל החכמות ובעבור זה לבדו נברא האדם...

      רבנו בחיי, שמות י״ד:ל״א
      ומפני שהאמונה יסוד כל התורה כולה תקנו לנו רז"ל בתפלה ובברכות לענות אמן שהוא נגזר מלשון אמונה ומלשון הודאה שמקבל עליו דברי המברך ומודה בהם...

        רמב"ן על דברים ל״ב:כ״ו
      אבל השם ברא את האדם בתחתונים שיכיר את בוראו ויודה לשמו...  

      רלב"ג על התורה, דברים י״ח:ט׳:יב
      התועלת העשירי הוא בפנות התור' והוא מה שהודיענו כי בזכו' שמירת כל המצוה שהוא מצוה אותנו היום שתכליתה הוא לאהוב השם יתע' וללכת בדרכיו כל הימים...

      Again, I want to reiterate I am not disagreeing with the Mussar mehalech, or your efforts to spread it. I am also not saying that bein adam l'chaveiro is not an ikkar yesod of the Torah. But there is such a thing as taking things too far. And claiming a mechallel Shabbos soldier is more kadosh than a Shomer Shabbos non-soldier is taking things WAY too far. It is solid Reform/Reconstructionist tikkun olam territory, no matter your apologetics.

      PS. Yakov didn't call anybody a retard.

      Delete
    24. הצלחת המדינה תלויה במלחמתה ע"י מה שנמצאים בה תלמידי חכמים העוסקים בתורה שבזכותם המלחמה נוצחת יותר מאנשי החיל הנלחמים.

      אגרות הראי"ה תתי.

      על זה נאמר 'את רבם דקרו' .

      Delete
    25. "PS; It is worth the effort to learn not to call people "retards". Aside from showing a lack of mentchlachkeit (which is more central to Torah than frumkeit 😀), someone on the forum might have a son with Down Syndrome and find your usage offensive. (Speaking purely hypothetically, of course 😉.)"

      The Talmud has no shortage worse insults. I am directing my insults, such as they are, to my erstwhile peers, not Tannaim or Amoraim. Unlike many of the Talmudic insults, mine accurately convey a nugget of truth about the childish and naive behaviors and thought patterns they demonstrate over and over packed with a thermonuclear rhetorical punch.

      The yeshiva gedola my son attends has something like three Down's Syndrome men, mainstreamed to the extent possible given their handicap, living good and meaningful and thoroughly Charedi lives. I've met one of them many times. The story behind them is, they were abandoned at a hospital when the current secretary was working there. She took pity on them adopted them and brought them up like they were her own. If she were to know who I was contending with, I doubt she would care a bit in the use of the word in context. Spare me the faux outrage.

      Delete
    26. "I am directing my insults, such as they are, to my erstwhile peers, not Tannaim or Amoraim."
      You consider retards your peers?

      Delete
    27. Micha, I saw your comment at 11:45 pm and now I don't understand you. Even according to your erroneous view, you must still agree the mechallel Shabbos soldier is not c"v better than the Shomer Shabbos non soldier, because of 1 and 2. Even if you (erroneously) hold the point of ALL the mitzvos is bein adam l'chaveiro, 1. The fighter pilot thinks he can fix the world without keeping Shabbos or the rest of the mitzvos 2. His idea of fixing the world is equally uninformed by the Shulchan Aruch.

      There is also 3, which I mentioned before - being a soldier doesn't at all mean one has better midos. Need I bring examples of soldiers with terrible middos? For recent examples, look what the Russian soldiers were doing to innocent Ukrainian civilians. Or King Menashe, who was in charge of a whole army.

      Delete
    28. "You consider retards your peers?"

      Technically, "erstwhile" means "formerly". So, colloquially, they were my peers until discovered to be retards. Or, alternatively, they are indeed still my peers, and I have retards for peers. Rationalism means never having to make sense, so this should be an acceptable explanation to a rationalist.

      Delete
    29. I am saying that we should strive to not need soldiers, shalom al Yisrael, amein! Assuming Hashem decides we aren't ready for that yet...

      We should strive to be shomerei Torah umitzvos, which includes things like Shabbos, learning as much as one is able, and serving in the army.

      People being real people, not everyone is going to try for all three of Torah, Avodah, and Gemillus Chassadim.

      So, if I need to assess others, and I usually there is no calling for it, I would need to know whether to value the talmid chakham, the oveid and the baal chessed more. And it's a clear unanimous consensus in chazal that Gemillus Chassadim is the ultimate goal. So, I would value it more.

      And so, the chayal is doing the greater mitzvah than the guy learning.

      Interestingly, if it is possible to teach with the same mesiras nefesh as someone who is willing to go to the front to keep other Jews safe, I would not say the same about someone who learns in order to teach -- and teaches that way. But I don't think it is. The greatest rosh yeshiva isn't facing down the fear of death on a regular basis in order להיטיב את הזולת.

      See also Meshekh Chokhmah Devarim 28:61 about the value of learning being in one's ability to teach. Or, for that matter, the Yerushalmi Berakhos 1b.

      (R Meir Simchah haKohein comments on the Y-mi that assesses one who learns just to learn, without connecting it to doing or teaching as "better to have been strangled by their umbilical cord" rather than being born. Because if the goal is to learn, we would do better staying with the mal'akh who taught us before birth! We are in this world for a reason!)

      Delete
    30. "And it's a clear unanimous consensus in chazal that Gemillus Chassadim is the ultimate goal."

      Where do you see this? Especially where do you see a "unanimous consensus"??? Maybe there is such a Chazal, but they also say תלמוד תורה כנגד כולם. מצות ציצית כנגד כולם. שמירת שבת כנגד כולם But even if there was such a consensus, they are certainly NOT saying that more chesed that comes along with abandoning the rest of the Torah is better than less chesed that comes along with keeping the Torah. To the contrary, חסד לאומים חטאת.

      "And so, the chayal is doing the greater mitzvah than the guy learning."

      He is also doing a greater aveirah by being mechallel Shabbos and the countless other aveiros he does, and the countless mitzvos he skips. Even if he got a mitzvah of חסד for what he does. Not worth it. Do you seriously believe R' Chaim Volozhiner recommended his students join the Lithuanian/Russian army and abandon the Torah in order להיטיב את הזולת? Tanach is filled with examples of Jewish armies losing wars because of abandonment of the Torah. Despite the fact that according to you, the army is fulfilling the ultimate goal of Gemillus Chassadim by, uh, acting as an army. Let me repeat yet again לֹ֤א בִגְבוּרַ֣ת הַסּ֣וּס יֶחְפָּ֑ץ לֹֽא־בְשׁוֹקֵ֖י הָאִ֣ישׁ יִרְצֶֽה. רוֹצֶ֣ה יְ֭הוָה אֶת־יְרֵאָ֑יו אֶת־הַֽמְיַחֲלִ֥ים לְחַסְדּֽוֹ׃

      "The greatest rosh yeshiva isn't facing down the fear of death on a regular basis in order להיטיב את הזולת."

      Sorry, most secular/non-Jewish soldiers aren't doing it להיטיב את הזולת either. In voluntary armies, it is usually a career decision. In conscripted armies, they are... conscripted. The Russian Army and the American army are filled with people who are facing down death on a daily basis. This does not make them בעלי חסד. A soldier is not automatically a בעל חסד. A country that defends itself with an army is not doing chessed, it is defending itself. That doesn't mean we shouldn't appreciate what they do, but let's not call things that which they are not. And to repeat, לֹ֤א בִגְבוּרַ֣ת הַסּ֣וּס יֶחְפָּ֑ץ לֹֽא־בְשׁוֹקֵ֖י הָאִ֣ישׁ יִרְצֶֽה. רוֹצֶ֣ה יְ֭הוָה אֶת־יְרֵאָ֑יו אֶת־הַֽמְיַחֲלִ֥ים לְחַסְדּֽוֹ׃

      Delete
    31. I would like to add that in some ways, the mechallel Shabbos soldier is worse than a mechallel Shabbos civilian. And this is because he is כפוי טוב in Hashem who saves him every day on the battlefield, in the line of fire. גדל עונו מנשוא.

      Delete
    32. Again... Hillel, Rabbi Aqiva, Ben Azzai, Rav Simlai... Who says that the Torah's central principle is anything BUT bein adam lachaveiro? Every mention of what the Torah is about in the mishnah, talmuds and midrashim has the same answer.

      I said as much a day and a half ago. I realizing you're only focusing on parts you can rebut, but if you are so sure your derekh is well founded, wouldn't you have wanted to find a single maamar chazal that values Torah or Avodah more than Gemillus Chassadim (using those terms broadly)?

      If they had taught us as boys a little more nevi'im acharonim, this wouldn't be coming as a shock to you.

      Delete
    33. BTW, כנגד כולם doesn't mean "more central" or even "equal in value". It's equal in whatever the context is. Learning gives you equal sekhar to the other things in the list -- because it leads to the other things on the list. (See the aforementioned Y-mi, and the Y-mi on the mishnah in Pei'ah you are citing.)

      Simiarly, wearing a mnemonic to do the other mitzvos, שקולה מצות ציצית כנגד כל המצות כולן.

      Did you really mean to argue that there is a shitah on Shevuos 29b that the whole Torah is about wearing tzitzis? That (for example) we eat kosher in order to be better tzitzis wearers?

      Delete
    34. I am coming from the Neviim acharonim

      ירמיה יז
      וְאִם־לֹ֨א תִשְׁמְע֜וּ אֵלַ֗י לְקַדֵּשׁ֙ אֶת־י֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת וּלְבִלְתִּ֣י ׀ שְׂאֵ֣ת מַשָּׂ֗א וּבֹ֛א בְּשַׁעֲרֵ֥י יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בְּי֣וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֑ת וְהִצַּ֧תִּי אֵ֣שׁ בִּשְׁעָרֶ֗יהָ וְאָֽכְלָ֛ה אַרְמְנ֥וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וְלֹ֥א תִכְבֶּֽה

      יחזקאל כב
      כֹּהֲנֶ֜יהָ חָמְס֣וּ תוֹרָתִי֮ וַיְחַלְּל֣וּ קָדָשַׁי֒ בֵּֽין־קֹ֤דֶשׁ לְחֹל֙ לֹ֣א הִבְדִּ֔ילוּ וּבֵין־הַטָּמֵ֥א לְטָה֖וֹר לֹ֣א הוֹדִ֑יעוּ וּמִשַׁבְּתוֹתַי֙ הֶעְלִ֣ימוּ עֵֽינֵיהֶ֔ם וָאֵחַ֖ל בְּתוֹכָֽם


      "Who says that the Torah's central principle is anything BUT bein adam lachaveiro?"

      You quoted it yourself. צדיק באמונתו יחיה. And every single Rishon on Tanach who I quoted concurs, and many, many more like them. לדעת את ה, להכיר את בוראו, להשיג רצון בוראו. Of course this is impossible without also having the bein adam l'chaveiro והלכת בדרכיו aspect. You are looking at a handful of statements and ignoring the bigger picture. Chazal have lots of statements about the purpose of the Torah, the purpose of the mitzvos, the purpose of life. Here is one of them: לא נתנו המצות אלא לצרף בהם את הבריות

      Says the Ramban רמב"ן על דברים כ״ב:ו׳

      אבל התועלת באדם עצמו למנוע ממנו נזק או אמונה רעה או מדה מגונה או לזכור הנסים ונפלאות הבורא יתברך ולדעת את השם וזהו לצרף בהן שיהיו ככסף צרוף כי הצורף הכסף אין מעשהו בלא טעם אבל להוציא ממנו כל סיג וכן המצות להוציא מלבנו כל אמונה רעה ולהודיענו האמת ולזוכרו תמיד

      Or another one, Shabbos 30b

      ״סוֹף דָּבָר הַכֹּל נִשְׁמָע אֶת הָאֱלֹהִים יְרָא וְאֶת מִצְוֹתָיו שְׁמוֹר כִּי זֶה כׇּל הָאָדָם״. מַאי ״כִּי זֶה כׇּל הָאָדָם״? — אָמַר רַבִּי (אֱלִיעֶזֶר) [אֶלְעָזָר]: כׇּל הָעוֹלָם כּוּלּוֹ לֹא נִבְרָא אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִיל זֶה.

      Rama, quoting the Moreh Nevuchim at the beginning of Orach Chaim
      שויתי ה' לנגדי תמיד הוא כלל גדול בתורה ובמעלות הצדיקים

      Of course, can't forget the first pshat in Rashi on Hillel, חברך is referring to Hashem!

      In general, you should follow Chazal's advice, אין למידין מן הכללות אפילו במקום שנאמר בהן חוץ. You should not ignore the many other sources I brought and the hundreds that I didn't bring because of the כלל of R' Akiva. Rather it must be understood in the context of the rest of the Torah, that it is impossible to be a proper Oved Hashem without having proper bein adam l'chaveiro. Along the lines of דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה. But I'm sorry, a mechallel Shabbos soldier is not even in the ballfield. He is not even within a thousand miles of the ballfield.

      Delete
    35. "Did you really mean to argue that there is a shitah on Shevuos 29b that the whole Torah is about wearing tzitzis? That (for example) we eat kosher in order to be better tzitzis wearers?"

      I mean, if you are willing to say that we put on tefillin or eat kosher in order to become better fighter pilots, then there should be no limit to the absurdity that you would be willing to tolerate.

      But in all seriousness, you are asking a good question. Could it possibly be that שקולה מצות ציצית כנגד כל המצות כולן, such that tzitzis is better than all the other mitzvos combined??? And you are asking this because you know it doesn't make sense, based on the context of the rest of the Torah you learned. So too, the same intuition should inform you that ואהבת לרעך כמוך cannot be the whole point of all the mitzvos. In the context of the many, many mitzvos bein adam l'Makom and the heavy focus on bein adam l'Makom concepts in Tanach and Chazal (and yes, there is also a heavy focus on bein adam l'chaveiro), your common sense intuition should inform you that the point of all the mitzvos is not to become a fighter pilot, or even to help the poor. Certainly these are also important, but there is a LOT more to the Torah and mitzvos!

      And certainly your common sense intuition based on the rest of the Torah should inform you that a mechallel Shabbos who has completely abandoned the rest of the Torah is not even CLOSE to the kedushah of a Shomer Torah u'Mitzvos. And the fact that he is a fighter pilot does not compensate for that. Again, look at my example of all the מלכים שעשו הרע בעיני השם להכעיסו, and tell me if the fact that they had armies and fought wars compensated for that. Tell me if Hashem was willing to spare Yerushalayim because it had lots of soldiers who worshipped A"Z. Or better yet, look at the Christians. What is wrong with being a Christian, the Church has done a lot of chessed? They also fought lots of wars? Why were Jews so reluctant to convert over the centuries, that would have opened up financial pathways to them that would have allowed them to be more productive to society?? What is wrong with working on Shabbos, if one makes more money and contributes more to society???

      Clearly there is a great balance between bein adam l'chaveiro and bein adam l'Makom, and one who is mechallel Shabbos has severely violated that, even if he otherwise has good middos. But he also has bad middos because he is כפוי טובה in Hashem who created him and sustains him as he continues to grievously violate His commandments.

      Delete
    36. I didn't raise a question. I said that just as the Torah's keneged kulam is explained as being equal in value because it is the oly way to do the others right, so too tzitzis.

      Think about it... The point of tzitzis is to remember to do the mitzvos. The point of learning is to know how.

      The shiqul is because today's prep leads to tomorrow's deeds.

      And just as the Torah isn't "tzitzis and 612 other mitzvos", it's also not "learning and 612 other mitzvos".

      And you don't have to take my word for it. R Chaim Volozhiner, the inventor of the modern Yeshiva, founder of the Yeshiva and Mussar Movements (before they split), would repeatedly tell his son that the whole point of life is to be nosei be'ol im chaveiro.

      Which the fighter pilot -- agreed, assuming the right motives -- is. To a far greater extent than a kollelnik sitting in a vinkl not even teaching anyone. And if he is teaching, he still isn't risking his life to do so!

      Delete
    37. "I didn't raise a question..."

      You raised a rhetorical question to make a point. I was also making a rhetorical point, that your own shitta is infinitely more absurd than "the point of Torah is for tzitzis".

      "And you don't have to take my word for it. R Chaim Volozhiner..."

      Like the Christians and Reformers who take isolated statements from the Prophets, you take an isolated statements from the introduction to the Nefesh Hachaim and Shaarei Yosher to try to overturn hundreds of other statements from Torah, Neviim, Kesuvim, Chazal, and Rishonim, some of which I quoted. Including from R' Chaim himself:

      ועל ידי עסק התו''הק. נשלם כוונתו יתב' בבריאה שהיה רק בשביל התורה שיעסקו בה ישראל. 

      And then you take that isolated statement to such absurd lengths, that you are an in-the-flesh example of reductio ad absurdum. I ask you again, did R' Chaim Volozhiner, did R' Shimon Shkop recommend their students join the Lithuanian/Russian army, where they would very likely abandon the Torah, so that they could "put their lives on the line for others"? That is the whole tachlis, right?

      "Which the fighter pilot -- agreed, assuming the right motives -- is. To a far greater extent than a kollelnik sitting in a vinkl not even teaching anyone. And if he is teaching, he still isn't risking his life to do so!"

      You are talking about somebody who is mechallel Shabbos b'farhesia, remember?  Not some idealistic devout hesder soldier. מחלל שבת בפרהסיא הרי הוא כעובד עבודה זרה, ושניהם כגוים לכל דבריהם. But if I am to take you literally, I assume you hold even a non-Jewish soldier in the Russian military is better than the kollel guy (even better than Shmuel Hanavi, the Rambam, and the Rashba also!) since he is "risking his life every day for others"?

      Kesiva v'Chasima Tova

      Delete
    38. You open by responding to me telli gyou I asked a real question by telling me I didn't. Meanwhile, the question remains unanswered. And it will, because you cannot find a maamar Chazal that doesn't exist. Nothing in Mishnah, Tosefta, Yerushalmi, Bavli, or the Medrashei Halkhha or Aggadah ever make a kelal gadol or zu hi kol haTorah or similar statement about a being adam laMaqom.

      As for your comparing someone volunteering to fight to save people with joining the czer's army is about as morally blind and the disgusting tone you have taken with people you disagree with.

      Lemaaseh, you seem to at least capitulated that Chessed is more central to Torah than studying. A lesson quite different than most of use were raised on.

      By the way, Rav Chaim too. Asked that the only things put on his matzeivah were his name, his yahrzeit, and the words "Rav Chessed". The family didn't listen.

      Delete
    39. I cited the statement that you cited yourself, צדיק באמונות יחיה, the the Maharsha explains is referring to bein adam l'Makom. I also cited לא נתנה תורה אלא לצרף את הבריות which Rambam explains is referring to both bein Adam l'Makom and bein Adam l'chaveiro. I also cited Rashi who says מה דסני עליך לחברך לא תעביד is referring to Hashem. I also cited the Rama who brings that שויתי ה לנגדי תמיד is a כלל גדול בתורה. I brought from the many, many Rishonim who said that the point of the Torah is לירא את השם or is להכיר את בוראו.

      You ignored all of these, and then falsely or mistakenly claimed I didn't cite any Chazal to that effect. This does not display your ביקוש האמת, which I'm sure you otherwise have.

      The czar's army was also about protecting people, the people in it were also risking their lives every day to help others. You have not offered any sort of distinction, nor can you.

      What could be more morally blind, what could a be more disgusting tone, than the outrageous claim that a mechallel Shabbos b'Farhesya soldier is better than a Shomer Torah u'Mitzvos kollel guy?!

      I never capitulated to anything.

      R Chaim wrote

      ועל ידי עסק התו''הק. נשלם כוונתו יתב' בבריאה שהיה רק בשביל התורה שיעסקו בה ישראל.

      You know, I really believe you are sincere and mean well. Unlike a certain other blogger. But you have backed up yourself into a corner with this ridiculous claim. And you are being נאה דורש ואינו נאה מקיים. In your writings, you constantly preach the value of Emes. Which is good. But when push comes to shove, you cannot admit a simple mistake. Even to the point of ignoring everything I brought, and falsely claiming I didn't quote anything. I would expect better from you.

      Kesiva v'Chasima Tova.

      Delete
    40. As told by R' Lay (Oro shel Olam, pg. 380):

      A student in the Kol Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem, approached his Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and asked him the question: May I leave my Torah studies in the yeshiva to go [for a short visit] and pray at the graves of tzadikim (righteous people,) in the Galil (Northern Israel?)

      Rav Auerbach answered, “It is better to say in yeshiva, and study Torah”

      The student replied, “Isn’t there a time I could go to visit the graves of tzadikim? Doesn’t Rav Auerbach go and pray by the graves of tzadikim?

      Rav Auerbach answered, “In order to pray at the graves of tzadikim, one doesn’t have to travel up to the Galil. Whenever I feel the need to pray at the graves of tzadikim, I go to Mount Herzl, [the national cemetery for fallen IDF soldiers in Jerusalem], to the graves of the soldiers…who fell “Al Kiddush Hashem” for the sanctification of G-d.

      Delete
    41. The split between the Yeshiva and Mussar movements was whether R Chaim Volozhiner wrote that learning Torah refines middos in-and-of itself (R Chaim), or that the definition of Torah liShmah is learning in a way that refines your middos. (R Itzele Blazer.)

      In that famous maaseh,the talmidim of Volozhin carried R' Itzele Blazer out of the building. Thus, proving his position.

      In any case, what he told his son repeatedly was indeed what I quoted. And if you look again at Nefesh haChaim 4:4-5, you will see that it's not soseir -- Torah study is the means to purifying the soul, and a person accomplishes something even if no Torah is retained. (RCV's mashal: The way a miqvah renders someone tahor even after they are dry.)

      So really, RCV's words are best fulfilled in Yeshivos Hesder and Kiruv Kollelim. Not the Mir or Ponovezh.... And certainly not implemented in this new invention of "kollel for life".

      Delete
    42. And yet RSZ didn't recommend his students join the IDF. Even if the story is true. This is a perfect example of what you do, take one isolated story that you erroneously think backs up your very, very erroneous shita, and ignore the entire context and everything else.

      Also, see this

      https://cross-currents.com/2011/05/08/where-rav-shlomo-zalman-found-kivrei-tzadikim/#comment-393982

      Once we are trading stories, how about the Brisker Rav? The Brisker Rov once said that Hashem can make miracles from snakes and scorpions if that is His will. That does not mean that I invite snakes and scorpions into my house.

      Delete
    43. "Thus, proving his position."

      You don't know what "proof" means. You repeatedly ignored all my sources and falsely and unapologetically accused me of bringing none.

      "In any case, what he told his son repeatedly was indeed what I quoted"

      In any case, what he wrote in his sefer was indeed what I quoted. You are correct it is not soser, but in the wrong direction. לא לעצמו נברא. רק להועיל לאחריני ככל אשר ימצא בכחו doesn't mean the point of life is only to help others. He is contrasting it with לא לעצמו נברא, but to also help others.

      Again, what he actually writes in his sefer is ועל ידי עסק התו''הק. נשלם כוונתו יתב' בבריאה שהיה רק בשביל התורה שיעסקו בה ישראל. This does NOT mean the point of existence is only to do chessed. He does NOT write ועל ידי עסק התו''הק. נשלם כוונתו יתב' בבריאה שהיה רק בשביל לעסוק בגמילת חסדים. The explanation is that when a person is עוסק בתורה, he must do it in a way that helps others. He must learn with others and he must teach.

      "So really, RCV's words are best fulfilled in Yeshivos Hesder and Kiruv Kollelim. Not the Mir or Ponovezh.... And certainly not implemented in this new invention of "kollel for life"."

      See how quickly you go from mechallelei Shabbos b'farhesya to "Yeshivos Hesder and Kiruv Kollelim". Are they the same thing? 🤣🤣🤣

      In any case you are still totally wrong. The level of learning in these places is much lower than Mir or Ponovezh. It is in the Mir and Ponovezh and the kollels you disparage where they are actually mekayem ועל ידי עסק התו''הק. נשלם כוונתו יתב' בבריאה שהיה רק בשביל התורה שיעסקו בה ישראל. And in Mir and Ponovezh, the Rebbeim, Roshei Chabura, and stronger learners help the others understand the holy Torah. And they send Rebbeim, Roshei Kollel, Dayanim, Rabbis, Poskim, Mechabrei Sefarim out into the world to be marbitz Torah. Thus also being mekayem להועיל לאחריני ככל אשר ימצא בכחו.

      Gmar Chasima Tova

      Delete
    44. Sorry, רק doesn't meant "but to also".

      Your intellectual dishonesty is staggering.

      If you just want to argue, and not understand, you don't need me. A handball court wall would serve the same purpose.

      Lemaaseh, you never answered the question I opened with -- who amongst Chazal say that a human's tafqid in life is anything but bein adam lachaveiro?

      As far as we've gotten: Unless you think that there is a shitah that a man's tafqid in life is to wear tzitzis, then we've ruled out כנגד כולם sources.

      So, if every known maamar Chazal says the tafqid is bein adam lachaveiro, and later Litvisher voices like R Dessler (Qunterus haChessed) or R Shimon Shkop say the tafqid is bein adam lachaveiro, why do you have a hard time taking R Yitzchak Volozhiner's testimony at face value?

      By the way, while Nefesh haChaim shaar 4 says that the world wouldn't exist without talmud Torah, shaar 1 says it would be permanently broken without mitzvos maasiyos, and not get shefa without tefillah. If you learn the whole book, your quotes aren't nearly as compelling. Clearly RCV saw profound value in all mitzvos...

      ... as a way to be better nos'im be'ol, apparently.

      Delete
    45. He is not contrasting chessed with Torah. He does not say לא ללמוד תורה ולהתפלל. רק להועיל לאחריני ככל אשר ימצא בכחו. I did not say רק means also. It does mean "only", but contrasting it to a person who is only working for himself.

      "Lemaaseh, you never answered the question I opened with -- who amongst Chazal say that a human's tafqid in life is anything but bein adam lachaveiro?"

      You lie, or suffer from very selective blindness. I repeatedly brought many sources that say a person's tafkid in life is to love Hashem, fear Hashem, recognize Hashem. You IGNORED all of them!! I am not posting them again, go back through the posts if you are interested. If you are able to acknowledge those, then I will bring more sources. If you keep on ignoring what I already brought, what is the point? You talk a lot about intellectual honest....but you cannot walk the walk.

      "So if every known maamar Chazal says the tafqid is bein adam lachaveiro.."

      This is false. You simply ignored all the sources I already brought.

      "By the way, while Nefesh haChaim shaar 4 says that the world wouldn't exist without talmud Torah, shaar 1 says it would be permanently broken without mitzvos maasiyos, and not get shefa without tefillah...."

      I agree. You would do well to follow your own advice, rather than building your whole worldview on one line in the introduction, taken out of context.

      " Clearly RCV saw profound value in all mitzvos... as a way to be better nos'im be'ol, apparently"

      Even you can't believe something so absurd. Tefillin and lulav in order to be nosei be'ol. Maybe say better, RCV saw profound value in being nosei b'ol... as a way to better learn Torah, apparently 🤣.

      Delete
    46. In what language does "raq" not mean "only"?

      He says what he says. RCV believes that we learn Torah, do mitzvos and daven for the sake of other people. Not to fix the world for its own sake or for our own sake -- but to bring Hashem to other people. This is what he taught R Zundel Salanter who taught R Yisrael Salanter. It's even what the "Yeshivah" side of Pulmus HaMussar believed. The Pulmus was over learning vs. direct middah work as the path to sheleimus, not over the ultimate goal. Which is how you find things like Rav Shimon's haqdamah.

      What Yeshivish believes now, in the post-Shoah era, is a new invention. We were meant to be ehrlicher Yidn, not frum ones. See R Wolbe's essay "Frumkeit" (which happens to be what the chaburah in Zelmele's Kloiz is learning tonight).

      Delete
    47. Tefillin and lulav give us the emunah and bitachon necessary to be secure in our own needs. Without which, one isn't ready to share. I thought you saw the haqdamah to Shaarei Yosher... Now a similar idea is "so absurd"?

      R Meir Simcha haKohein quotes the Yerushalmi about the person who learns not al menas lelameid -- better he not be born! But you think it's absurd to think that the point of learning is to have better middos to use bein adam lachaveiro?

      As for "the sources you already brought" -- I didn't ignore them. I showed you from the example of tzitzis that "talmud Torah keneged kulam" does not speak about the central goal of avodas Hashem. You simply ignored my response. You don't really read what I write to see someone else's perspective. You are just looking for points to fisk.

      BTW... when I was a kid, an "Orthodox Jew" was defined as one who kept the idiomatic "Shabbos, Kashrus, and Taharas haMishpachah". In Chazal's words, which mitzvos define observance? Look in Hil' Geirus (Yevamos 47a, Rambam Issurei Bi'ah 14:2)... a geir must be given a general survey of halakhah, and which are the only 4 mitzvos that one must make sure a geir learns? (Hint: they aren't bein adam laMaqom.) For that matter, why do we read Megillas Rus on Shavuos? We today might be habituated to think of Yiddishkeit in terms of "Shabbos, Kashrus, Taharas haMishpachah", but to Chazal the defining mitzvos are: leqet, shikhechah, pei'ah and maaser sheini.

      Delete
    48. "He says what he says. RCV believes that we learn Torah, do mitzvos and daven for the sake of other people. "

      He never said that. You just made that up on the spot. Not very ehrlich of you. He says ועל ידי עסק התו''הק. נשלם כוונתו יתב' בבריאה שהיה רק בשביל התורה שיעסקו בה ישראל. Not to be nosei b'ol, although being nosei b'ol is an important component of Avodas Hashem. The Shaarei Yosher also doesn't talk about the point of Tefillin and Lulav. You made that up as well.

      "As for "the sources you already brought" -- I didn't ignore them."

      You ignored all of them. You only mentioned tzitzis and Talmud Torah k'neged kulam. Which by the way DOES fit with the sources that I DID bring- that the point of creation and the Torah is to know, love, and fear Hashem. Go back and read the sources I brought. I will bring some yet again, even though you will probably ignore them again
      רבינו בחיי יקרא יב ב
      כי האדם שהוא תכלית הכונה בבריאת העולם להכיר בוראו ולעובדו

      רמב"ן על דברים ל״ב:כ״ו
      אבל השם ברא את האדם בתחתונים שיכיר את בוראו ויודה לשמו...

      שבת לא:
      לֹא בָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת עוֹלָמוֹ אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּירְאוּ מִלְּפָנָיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְהָאֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה שֶׁיִּירְאוּ מִלְּפָנָיו״.

      "What Yeshivish believes now, in the post-Shoah era, is a new invention."

      I know you really want to believe you know better than all the Roshei Yeshiva and Gedolim of the past few generations. Only you have discovered the truth, that R' Shimon Shkop really held a mechallel Shabbos b'farhesya soldier is better than anybody learning in Telz. Talk about self-righteousness. This is one yetzer hara you may want to work on.

      " We were meant to be ehrlicher Yidn, not frum ones."

      You seriously think when R' Wolbe is talking about "frumkeit", he means keeping Shabbos? You really think a secular soldier is automatically, or even more likely to be "ehrlich"?? Seriously, where do you get this utter nonsense from?? If anybody is being self-righteous here, it is you, foolishly thinking you know better than all the rabbis the past few generation, and better than all the Rishonim as well. And don't talk to me about ehrlichkeit, with the incredible dishonesty you are displaying in this conversation.

      " Look in Hil' Geirus (Yevamos 47a, Rambam Issurei Bi'ah 14:2)... a geir must be given a general survey of halakhah, and which are the only 4 mitzvos that one must make sure a geir learns? (Hint: they aren't bein adam laMaqom.)"

      Oh really, we don't tell him about bein adam l'Makom? Hmm, let's see what else the Gemara says-

      וּמוֹדִיעִין אוֹתוֹ עׇנְשָׁן שֶׁל מִצְוֹת. אוֹמְרִים לוֹ: הֱוֵי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁעַד שֶׁלֹּא בָּאתָ לְמִדָּה זוֹ, אָכַלְתָּ חֵלֶב — אִי אַתָּה עָנוּשׁ כָּרֵת. חִלַּלְתָּ שַׁבָּת — אִי אַתָּה עָנוּשׁ סְקִילָה. וְעַכְשָׁיו, אָכַלְתָּ חֵלֶב — עָנוּשׁ כָּרֵת, חִלַּלְתָּ שַׁבָּת — עָנוּשׁ סְקִילָה.

      And let's see why we tell him about leqet, shikhechah, pei'ah and maaser sheini- Rashi Yevamos 48

      ומודיעין אותו עון לקט שכחה ופאה - שלא יאמרו עניים הללו הלוקטין פאת שדה גזלנים הם ועומד עליהם והורגם בדיניהם שבני נח הוזהרו על הגזל בסנהדרין (דף נו.) ואזהרתן זו היא מיתתן דלא בעו התראה לפיכך בן נח נהרג על פחות משוה פרוטה דעובד כוכבים קפיד על דבר מועט ולגבי ישראל הויא מחילה:

      I would ordinarily be dan l'kaf zchus that you were just ignorant of the Gemara that you quoted, maybe you copy and pasted from some other website, but given the "ehrlichkeit" you have displayed in the rest of the discussion, I am not so sure.

      Delete
    49. Yes, when I talk about maamarei Chazal and you cited rishonim, I didn't count them. Just like I didn't cite rishonim either.

      I said that we are not obligated to teach a geir any specific mitzvos or their rewards (or oneshim) except those 4. I stand by that.

      However, I cannot spend my life arguing with someone who is only interested in fisking.

      Delete
    50. BTW, this is why the Maharam Shif (end of BQ) still requires teaching geirim about leqet shikhechah and pei'ah in chutz la'aretz during galus.

      You can't just find a Rashi, think you know the sugya, and start throwing around accusations of intellectual dishonesty.

      Delete
    51. "Just like I didn't cite rishonim either."

      Right, you are much smarter than all the Rishonim. You skip from your silly misinterpretation of Chazal straight the introduction to Shaarei Yosher. Plus I quoted several maamarei Chazal. Oh wait, you are smarter than Chazal also.

      "I said that we are not obligated to teach a geir any specific mitzvos or their rewards (or oneshim) except those 4. I stand by that."

      You stand by your ignorant/dishonest false comment. Shkoyach. How very ehrlich of you.

      "You can't just find a Rashi, think you know the sugya, and start throwing around accusations of intellectual dishonesty."

      You clearly were either ignorant of the Gemara, or you intentionally and dishonestly left those parts out. (yes, I know you "stand by" your ignorance/dishonesty 😂). I know you are smarter than Rashi, but please, a little humility would serve you well! Just a little, tiny, whee bit!

      Delete
    52. BTW, it's not "fisking" when the entire substance of your comments is just bombastic and outrageous false statements and corruption of Judaism. If your ideas were in general true, I wouldn't begrudge a misinterpretation here or there. But your position is straight out of Reform/Reconstructionist playbook. You would make Abraham Geiger proud.

      But you have given me a good education about why the Mussar movement faced such opposition - there was too much of a danger of it leading straight to the Haskala, like exactly what you are doing. Even if that's not what (most) Baalei Mussar intended.

      Delete
    53. If you want to know my take on the gemara you believe I am ignorant of, there are a few pages about it in my sefer. (Which is available on Amazon.)

      The book is an exploration of the ideas in the haqdamah to Shaarei Yosher. (Don't worry, you don't have to get used to seeing "q"s for every quf. 😊) So, it's 395 pages of making the argument that the purpose of Torah and Avodah are to build you, give you the strength and centering, to be a better gomel chessed. As R Shimon says in one of the quotes I already shared.

      To go back to where I began:

      And while there are later sources that frame Yahadus differently, there isn't a maamar Chazal to that effect. And it's a repeating theme among the gedolim of Litta. So, why is it so hard to believe that if someone isn't going to be the ideal eved Hashem, the one who risks their life for Kelal Yisrael may be holier than the one who learns in kollel without sharing his Torah with the tzibbur? You don't have to agree with the notion, but to ridicule it, as though you know more Torah than R Sherki?

      As I said, your tone is confrontational and dismissive. I have better uses of my time.

      Delete
    54. I'm sorry that my tone is confrontational and dismissive, but what can I say?- your entire position (as well as your tone) is confrontational and dismissive towards my religion and my community. I guess if you would just straight-out admit you have a different religion than say, Rav Shlomo Miller (just a random example of a contemporary rabbi who is pro-chareidi system pro-kollel), then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Just like I wouldn't start debating and atheist or a Christian. You would go your way, and I mine.

      I will not buy your book at this point, just as I wouldn't buy a book with the arguments of Christians and Reformers. It's precisely the same thing. Don't worry, I am not bothered by the q's, halevai that was your only fault. I did buy Slifkin's The Challenge of Creation, but only for the purposes of דע מה להשיב. And even that was a disappointment, I didn't see anything there more substantive than what was already on the blog.

      I know you know better than all the Rishonim, but there are many maamarei Chazal to that effect. One I just quoted

      שבת לא:
      לֹא בָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת עוֹלָמוֹ אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּירְאוּ מִלְּפָנָיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וְהָאֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה שֶׁיִּירְאוּ מִלְּפָנָיו״.

      -as well as countless mefurash pesukim such as

      אחת שאלתי מאת יהוה אותה אבקש שבתי בבית יהוה כל ימי חיי לחזות בנעם יהוה ולבקר בהיכלו

      (no point in quoting meforshim since you know better than all of them)

      What does this have to do with how much Torah Rav Sherki knows? You dismiss all of the Rishonim, but all of the sudden Rav Sherki is gospel truth? And does he know more than all the Rishonim who said the opposite, as well as all the contemporary rabbis and and rabbis of the past generations who I follow? Should I start following Acher who also knew more Torah than me? Unfortunately we had many great Torah scholars throughout history who became minim and apikorsim.

      Delete
  14. DL haskofah is a spiritual cancer, but not many talk about it. Similar to Chabad and Breslov you have to study these movements to understand the depth of their toxicity and sectarianism but not many do.

    ReplyDelete
  15. When hooligans calling themselves 'kanoim' spit at DL girls leaving the school and cause obstructions to a women's race, it's appropriate for the rabbies to express a disaproval and for the husbands, fathers and brothers to beat up the kanoim. This is a reaction of a normal healthy people, or at least thtat's what I would do. A society that lets its women be subjected to violence and humiliation isn't healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. When hooligans calling themselves 'kanoim' spit at DL girls leaving the school and cause obstructions to a women's race, it's appropriate for the rabbies to express a disaproval and for the husbands, fathers and brothers to beat up the kanoim. This is a reaction of a normal healthy people, or at least thtat's what I would do. A society that lets its women be subjected to violence and humiliation isn't healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. If childish name calling is allowed in this forum, why bother making it moderated???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Micha, I've been wondering for a while what's RNS's metric for deeming a post inappropriate, because to his credit, he definitely allows a wide variety of free speech. Although I do know that I once repeatedly tried posting a comment that referenced the second bracha of birchos hashachar and a part of Yom Tov shemone esrei that starts with the words אתה בחרתנו to make a point, and RNS insisted on censoring it!

      Delete
    2. Micha, the moderation is very much used to defend posts like this:

      http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2022/08/fluffy-spirituality-vs-real-issues.html

      Delete
    3. Lol! Who can hardly blame @micha berger for discontinuing a fight he is being obliterated in. The q at this point is if he himself actually believes what he is saying and sincerely is in a pretty bad place, or hopefully realizes the truth but is too proud to come clean.

      Delete
  18. why do you want to be like gentiles? im pursuing conversion and will never understand why any jew would want to be anything like other nations...truly a tragedy in identity. you are jews so follow the rules.

    ReplyDelete

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