Chief Rabbi

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  • #607506

    147
    Participant

    Welcome Rav Ephraim Mirvis to the position of Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth.

    I still recall the awe inspiring days of Sir Israel Brodie ZT’L & of Lord Immanuel Jacobovits ZT’L and keenly look forward to more inspiring days under the guidance of Rav Ephraim Mirvis shlita.

    My family frequently attend your weekly Thursday Chumash Shiur, and we are so excited for your appointment.

    Mazol Tov v’Hatzlocho Rabbo

  • #916380

    ready now
    Participant
  • #916381

    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello ready now,

    What do you mean by “interfaith”? When I hear that word, I tend to think of situations where clergy or leaders of different religious groups come together at public events to offer prayers, blessings, and consolations (e.g., the ceremony that was just held regarding the horrific school shooting). I always find those events so profoundly moving to watch and listen to on the news. I sense that you must be referring to something else?

  • #916382

    ready now
    Participant

    There could be nothing more moving that to pray to Hashem directly and ask of Him peace, life, consolation, and direction in the true path of the Holy Torah including any of our other needs.

  • #916383

    aurora77 – he means that he doesn’t like the idea of such things. I personally agree with what you say, though there is a limit, of course. There is nothing wrong with showing peaceful respect and some cooperation when needed.

    As for the new Chief Rabbi: honestly, the chareidi world really couldn’t care less. In Gateshead, many people don’t even know who the previous one was, or that such a thing exists at all. It’s an MO thing from the United Synagogue, it doesn’t have any impact at all on the frum world.

  • #916384

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The Chief Rabbi is a political position as much as a religious position.

    He is paid by the government and representative of the jewish religion to the government.

    Here is the US we have seperation of church and state so we do not have such a position and many dont exactly understand it , what it entails or the need for it.

  • #916385

    Read Rav Mirvis’s history regarding “interfaith” and especially his contacts with imams and mosques before you get excited. Lord Sacks raised the stature of Judaism in the eyes of the goyim, and he knew to back down after he took a false intellectual premise related to “interfaith” and inadvertently ended up swimming in the cesspool of kfira. He was far from perfect, but most of the time he created only kiddush Hashem. Same for Lord Jacobowitz AH, especially during the time of Margaret Thatcher, who looked to him rather than to notzri clergy for moral leadership.

    Today, with the Muslim mafia in control of most of Londonistan, Khan Manchester and many other parts of the United Caliphate, it is impossible for someone in this position to avoid “interfaith” unless he’d rather face death threats.

    This is a “rav mi-taam” position in any case, and as Gatesheader points out, it is immaterial for the Torah-true world. The dayanim of the London Beis Din tend to be reliable talmidei chachomim (I do not know if Rav Ehrentreu is still the av beis din), and they are quite independent of the “Chief Rabbi.”

  • #916386

    notasheep
    Member

    ready now – I really don’t think that you should be commenting on this since really this is an issue for people who are actually English and live in the UK. Personally, although some things that the previous Chief Rabbi may have said/did rubbed some of the more charedi community the wrong way, on the whole I feel that this is a position that is sorely needed. The Chief Rabbi, previous or present, is an ambassador for ALL of Jewry in the UK, not just the charedim or the modern communities, and as such is a very difficult position to fill and keep people happy. And on the whole, we have been shown to others as mentschlich people who nevertheless uphold our religion properly – a real kiddush Hashem. I hope that the new Chief Rabbi proves to be such an ambassador.

  • #916387

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Is yeshiva Tuition paid for by the government in England?

    How about the Rabbis of Shuls especially larger ones?

  • #916388

    TheGoq
    Participant

    In english is there a feminine form of the word chief or is chief applicable to both genders?

  • #916389

    I do not know if Rav Ehrentreu is still the av beis din

    According to Wikipedia (not the greatest of sources), he retired in 2006.

    P.S. I have gained much respect for Dayan Ehrentreu to stand up for what is Yashar over the past month or two.

  • #916390

    tahini
    Member

    However a number of charedi schools are purely private, not wishing state interference in the school’s curriculum. In the United Synagogue the rabbi salaries are paid for by their congregational membership with no doubt top ups where necessary from the central religious authority heading their movement, eg., United Synagogue.

    Rabbi Mirvis is a superb choice for Chief Rabbi, we have been blessed to have him as our local Rabbi and seen him build our shul into an amazing flagship of Anglo Jewry, Sephardim, Modern Orthodox/Traditional Orthodox have their own services and come together in communal services and celebrations.

  • #916391

    Yes, I also think he is an excellent choice for the post – but expect him to have to deal with “interfaith” because of what the UK has become.

    I also believe Dayan Ehrentreu retired. He has always stood up for what is right, whether it is this issue at present, the eruv…or avoiding unnecessary chumras regarding scotch.

  • #916392

    a feminine form of the word chief:

    yachne, cholere, machsheifa…

  • #916393

    yichusdik
    Participant

    Considering the issues facing Kedassia about how to deal with certain problems that have arisen in the London Chareidi community, they might benefit from some consultation with R’ Mirvis.

    I have always found R’ Sacks inspiring, and I highly recommend his Radical Then, Radical Now to everyone.

    As a citizen of a Commonwealth country, I suppose R’ Mirvis will have some representative capacity for me with the monarchy, but other than coming to speak or spend shabbos with a kehila, R’ Jakobovitz zt’l hadn’t and R’ Sacks hasn’t spent much time in my community, though R Jakobovitz’s brother R’ Shlomo lives here.

  • #916394

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Who knew there were so many YWN users from across the pond

  • #916395

    yichusdik
    Participant

    I’m not across the pond, unless you consider Lake Ontario the pond.

  • #916396

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Is he just the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom or is he the Chief Rabbi of the British COmmonwealth

  • #916397

    Geordie613
    Participant

    The Chassidishe Gatesheader: I don’t know who you are or when you turned up in Ghd, but I am fortunate to have been born there, learned in yeshiva there for 4 years, and then lived there for 7 years. About 10 years ago, Chief Rabbi Sacks paid a visit to Ghd, and when he walked into the Yeshiva Gedola Beis HaMedrash, THE ENTIRE Beis Hamedrash stood up as one to respect him. The Rosh Yeshiva welcomed him warmly and escorted him to sit next to him for Mincha.

    I completely disagree with you that no one in Ghd knows who he is. When the Alter Ghd Rov opposed a statement the Chief Rabbi made in his book, he agreed and reprinted the book without the offending passage.

    When people say that Chief Rabbi is inconsequential for the Chareidi community, they are so mistaken. Who stood up in the Lords to defend Shechita and Bris Milah? Who represents the Jewish community so eloquently to the Queen and Government? We have to have a lot of hakoras hatov to Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and the United synagogue establishment. I don’t say that we (the Chareidi world) have to agree on everything the US do, but we cannot make light of the office of Chief Rabbi, as it achieves a great purpose that we are not in a position to do ourselves.

    Just to clear up a few things.

    1) The London Beth Din is made up of World class Talmidei Chachomim, and is officially the Court of the Chief Rabbi, with the Chief Rabbi officially being Av Beis Din. That is why Dayan Ehrentreu is/was called Rosh Beis Din. In practice he does not get involved in the inner workings of the Beis Din on a day to day basis.

    2) Dayan Ehrentreu is retired, but is very active in the community and still travels Europe extensively for the CER and in other capacities.

    3) The Chief Rabbi’s full title is the “Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth”

    4) There are many YWN users east side of the pond. The world doesn’t end at Maine!

    Let me wish Rabbi Mirvis Shlit”a great hatzlocho and siyatta dishmaya in his huge undertaking, ?????? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ??? ??”?

  • #916398

    yichusdik
    Participant

    The sage and wise Wikipedia says British Empire and the Commonwealth. And Wikipedia is always right.

  • #916399

    ready now
    Participant

    There is alo a little wolf in country that is calling for Jewish people to read “most secular books” which are also forbidden to Jewish people by the Holy One of Israel! Forbidden is a word that means we are happy, truly elated to refrain from that which has been forbidden to us by the Holy One of Israel.

  • #916400

    aurora77
    Participant

    I have really learned a lot on this thread, and it is fascinating. Thank you to those who explained things to me, and I love to hear about Jewish experiences in other countries/types of governments.

    I have a couple questions, related to a couple things you mentioned, ready now. Given what you said about not studying other religions, do any Orthodox Jewish scholars (at universities for instance) study other world religions in the context of writing about or researching world history? It kind of sounds like this kind of thing would not be allowed, but what if the study/writing/research is done with the purpose of better understanding causes and effects in history, especially Jewish history across the millennia?

    For the non-Jewish people who follow the seven Noachide laws, are they allowed to go further and take up some more of the Jewish obligations, for example keeping the Sabbath?

    Regarding weddings, can an Orthodox Jew attend (I don’t mean partake in any of the ritual aspects of, but be present and silent at) an extended family member’s or friend’s wedding if it occurs in a church?

    I understand what you said about there being no one deity who satisfies all of the world’s people’s idea of what a deity is. That being said, when people of different faith backgrounds gather at a vigil, for instance, and a representative of each group speaks in general terms about the love of G-d for people and praying for others’ comfort in times of grief and sorrow, does this kind of event jeopardize the separateness of which you spoke?

    Wow, now I see that I asked a lot of different questions — sorry original poster!! I will either start a new thread, or if anyone who wants to discuss these questions feels so inclined, please feel free to open a new thread, and I’ll be by to chat! 🙂

  • #916401

    147
    Participant

    2) Dayan Ehrentreu is retired, but is very active in the community and still travels Europe extensively for the CER and in other capacities.

    The new Av Beis-Din who took over his position is Dayan Menachem Gelley, albeit already several years ago.

    BTW:- All Jewish marriages & Divorces & conversions in the UK, are registered at the London Beth Din. Even if some Chareidi Rabbi solemnizes a marriage, it shall still end up being registered with the registrar of the London Beth Din.

    When some marriage does not work out, there is no hanky panky about a Get, because the London Beth Din will have the appropriate records.

    Furthermore, when someone gets married, they take down all contact information of every brother of the Chosson, in case of Chas veSholom a Chalitzo becomes necessary.

  • #916402

    Ðash®
    Participant

    Who knew there were so many YWN users from across the pond

    Australia is a member of the British Commonwealth.

  • #916403

    yichusdik
    Participant

    Aurora 77, once again your unfailing patience and politeness are an example for all on these boards to follow. I’ll try to answer some of your questions – addressed to someone else – I’m not as polite as you :).

    Please note that these are my opinions and experiences, and while some may agree or follow similar perspectives, there are many who do not, and I have no interest in telling them they are misguided.

    “Given what you said about not studying other religions, do any Orthodox Jewish scholars (at universities for instance) study other world religions in the context of writing about or researching world history?”

    My answer to this is a bit complex. I will give you two examples of Frum, even chareidi scholars who did study early christianity in the context of their work. Professor Solomon (Zalman) Birnbaum z’l who taught Paleography at the School of Oriental Studies at the University of London many decades ago was one of the foremost scholars of Paleography at the time and he worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this work he encountered and studied texts that were among those sectarian (non rabbinic) writings that some early christians used to formulate their doctrines. He was quite frum, his sons were members of Agudath Israel synagogues, and his grandsons studied at Prominent Yeshivas.

    Another orthodox scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls who has had plenty of exposure to early christian writings is Professor Lawrence Shiffman, longtime scholar at NYU and recently appointed to an administrative position at Yeshiva University. I have and I’ve read a number of his books, and though his focus is on the early history of Rabbinic Judaism, he has clearly referenced his study and knowledge of early christianity in them, as well as broadcast interviews I have seen. He is also a proponent of centrist rather than modern orthodoxy, putting him in the camp of Rabbi Schacter, among others.

    Finally, though I don’t know what stream of orthodoxy he considers himself to be in, Professor Noah Feldman is one of the foremost scholars of Islamic legalism in the world. His reputation is quite impressive, and I’ve heard his analysis owes much to his study of gemara (talmud) and the intricacies of halachic legal codes.

    As a historian myself, I’ve studied Islam and christianity in the context primarily of how they interacted with Judaism and secondarily on how they impacted on Military, Scientific, Economic, Political and Social trends over the last 2000 years.

    ” It kind of sounds like this kind of thing would not be allowed, but what if the study/writing/research is done with the purpose of better understanding causes and effects in history, especially Jewish history across the millennia?”

    One of the things you don’t mention is another of the reasons I studied christianity, and that is to learn how to refute missionaries. I have worked with a few anti-missionary organizations. The Rabbis at Jews for Judaism and Outreach Judaism (all of whom are orthodox), for example, have all studied christianity, have clarified Paul’s perfidious anti Semitism that infected the church, and have developed ways to combat christian missionaries preying on Jews who have no background or affiliation, passing off their “messianic” Judaism as something other than christianity.

    Again, as a historian, One can’t fully understand the history of Judaism in the Diaspora without understanding where christian animosity, and later muslim animosity towards Jews came from

    “For the non-Jewish people who follow the seven Noachide laws, are they allowed to go further and take up some more of the Jewish obligations, for example keeping the Sabbath?”

    I will suggest that you ask this question of your local orthodox Rabbi. For yourself, considering what you have told us about your family history, I would suggest consulting with a Rabbi to determine what your status is.

    “Regarding weddings, can an Orthodox Jew attend (I don’t mean partake in any of the ritual aspects of, but be present and silent at) an extended family member’s or friend’s wedding if it occurs in a church?”

    There are some (few) sources who might permit being in a church building without participating in any ceremonies or being there while they are going on. Apparently Rabbi Sacks found a halachic rationale for attending a royal wedding, but I am not aware of anyone else who permits it. Though I have been invited to christian weddings, I have never been to one, and I don’t expect I would ever go.

    “I understand what you said about there being no one deity who satisfies all of the world’s people’s idea of what a deity is. That being said, when people of different faith backgrounds gather at a vigil, for instance, and a representative of each group speaks in general terms about the love of G-d for people and praying for others’ comfort in times of grief and sorrow, does this kind of event jeopardize the separateness of which you spoke?”

    For me, no. For others here, likely yes.

  • #916404

    147
    Participant

    Who knew there were so many YWN users from across the pond

    YWN and its coffee room, is a forum for all Anglo Saxons across the entire planet of earth, and not just reserved exclusively for New Yorkers.

    In other words:- The sun never sets over this coffee room, just as the sun never sets over the British Empire = the jurisdiction of the Chief Rabbi.

  • #916405

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    One major point of correction: The Chief Rabbi of the UK does not represent all jews in Engalnd. He only represents the United Synagogue. The liberal and reform congregations do not accept him a their representatives.

  • #916406

    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello yichusdik,

    It is good to talk with you again! I so much appreciate the time you take with me, and the kind things you said about me. Thank you for your patience in explaining things to me…I LOVE history and also am always searching to understand (my parents say that I asked “why” so much as a child that they didn’t know what to do!). The areas of historical knowledge that you are speaking of are the exact kinds of things that I was thinking of…I am fascinated by Judaism’s history and where different movements came from, when some broke off completely, etc. Finding ancient texts like the Dead Sea Scrolls fills me with excitement!!! Your work as a historian must be so fulfilling — it is profound that you do the work of uncovering, preserving, and sharing the past with humankind, so we all have the opportunity to learn from our history. Thank you again for sharing even a bit of that knowledge with me 🙂

  • #916407

    Geordie613
    Participant

    147,

    2 corrections:

    1) Dayan Gelley Shlita is NOT Av Beis Din, his title is Senior Dayan.

    2) London Beth Din Is NOT the only authority to register marriages and divorces. The UOHC also register marriages, and in fact the vast majority of ‘chareidi’ weddings are under their auspices. The London Beth Din are the only ones to register conversions.

  • #916408

    yichusdik
    Participant

    Aurora, I wish that I was able to work as a historian! No, at this point it is simply what I studied at university, and what has informed much of my writing, teaching and public speaking over the past 25 years. I have been able to put some of that study and research into practice, and it has and continues to be a passion of mine. One of the outcomes I am most proud of was being able to put a filmmaker friend together with a Historian whose theories on ancient calamities at the time of the Exodus from Egypt I was familiar with. It made for a successful movie, as well as subsequent bestselling books from them working together.

    All that being said, the argument could be made, and would be made by some here, that one can and should live a halachicly observant lifestyle completely immersed in the study of solely Jewish texts with as little connection to the rest of the world as possible. So be it, though that doesn’t work for me. Nor, I suspect, would it work for you.

  • #916409

    Toi
    Member

    I know R’ Ehrentreu personally. He is an amazing talmid chacham and gaon. He also is quite personable.

  • #916410

    147
    Participant

    Toi

    I know R’ Ehrentreu personally. He is an amazing talmid chacham and gaon. He also is quite personable. and a Mohel

  • #916411

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Many Orthodox Jews are involved in interfaith study and dialogue.

    Rabbi Dr. Alan Brill, Rabbi Dr. Alan Goshen Gottstein, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Rabbi Sacks and others promote the Meiri’s vision of religious tolerance and a more universalistic picture for coexistence.

  • #916412

    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello yichusdik,

    You are humbly describing what is clearly your very impressive work in this field, and I am thankful that there are people with that kind of dedication and passion doing what you are doing! A quarter of a century is a lot of experience, the kind of work that takes vision. The film venture sounds like such an amazing way to bring history alive to people through creativity. And I share your view as you expressed it about outside texts…I think it is crucial for the rest of the world to be able to hear the perspectives and points of view of Jewish scholars and people generally in so many areas!

  • #916413

    Just to caste some light upon yechusdik’s Query regarding the Chief Rabbi’s attendance of a royal wedding…..it has long been the position of the office of the Chief Rabbi to attend functions when invited to do so by the Sovereign …such invites are worded “by Royal Command ….” this has been the case historically and all past Chief Rabbi’s have done so. It was considered a chiuv to do so if so “commanded “

  • #916414

    rebdoniel
    Member

    The Chief Rabbinate in the UK has held historically that there is no issur of entering a church for state functions.

  • #916415

    Naysberg
    Member

    By Royal Command, Her Majesty the Queen commands the Chief Rabbi to bow before the cross.

    Little different than commanding him to attend a church for a christian worship service.

  • #916416

    Naysberg
    Member

    rd: You’re incorrect. The previous Chief Rabbi skipped the wedding (i.e. Church service) of Prince Charles and Diana. Unlike R. Sacks.

  • #916417

    147
    Participant

    The previous Chief Rabbi skipped the wedding (i.e. Church service) of Prince Charles and Diana. Unlike R. Sacks.

    We all know that the late Lord Immanuel Jackobovits ZT’L was a Tzadik Gomur & a Yerei Shomayim. That in addition to his steadfast adherence to Toroh Im Derech Eretz.

    I personally know some of his children & siblings as well as his late in-laws, and they are all wonderful & pious people.

    By the way, it is his unbending & non flinching to public pressure, which won him so much favor in the eyes of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher [The Iron Lady] who went onto nominate him to become a Lord. He was the 1st Chief Rabbi ever, to be made into a Lord.

  • #916418

    Sam2
    Member

    Naysberg: It was a Anglican, not Catholic Church. It’s not Avodah Zarah. That’s why he felt it was okay B’di’eved to enter. If it was actually A”Z he wouldn’t have.

  • #916419

    rebdoniel
    Member

    When it comes to entering a church, halakha makes no distinction between the denomination of the church, although it may be less of an issur to enter a Unitarian, Jehovah’s Witness, or Mormon church, since these groups do not believe in a Trinity and do not believe Jesus is divine.

    Anglicans also have statues and whatnot, and the Rabbanut actually sends R’ Shear Yashuv Cohen to important functions in the Vatican.

    The psak is as follows. The Meiri believes that Christianity is not avodah zarah, which is like Tosafot, who say that Trinitarianism is like goyim being mishtateif HaShem and another being, which for them, is not assur, but is assur for Jews. (Tosfos sv Shema, Bechorot 2b).

    Meiri says that Christians, like others “possessed of religion,” are indeed like bnei noach (Beit haBechira, Avodah Zarah 26b).

    Additionally, Hullin 13b says that akum outside Israel really aren’t idolaters, but are merely following customs without understanding what they are doing.

    I have read many responsa on the topic, and honestly, most poskim do not allow entering a church. However, Teshuvot haRosh klak 19, number 17, says that a Jew may take refuge in a church in a time of danger. This may serve as a limud zechut for the Rabbinate’s practice, as we would want to avoid eivah, and it is clear in this teshuva that entering a church to save Jewish life is mutar.

    Historically, we do know that rabbis entered churches. Kerach shel Romi says that R’ Yisrael Moshe Hazan and others entered churches to learn niggunim that would be applied to synaggoue worship, which may be plausible, since much of nusach is pentatonic, much like Gregorian chant.

    R’ Yosef Carlebach, the chief rabbi of Lubeck, often visited cathedrals for the sake of viewing the artwork and whatnot.

    I believe that while it is most likely assur to enter a church, there are cases where it is simply unavoidable, as we need to avoid eivah. Also, in cases where Jews have gentile family members and colleagues, it may be detrimental to avoid attending functions like church weddings, funerals, christenings, etc.

    The British Rabbinical practice of entering Westminster Abbey, like that of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein at Obama’s inauguration, is undertaken for the sake of good relations with our neighbors, which is a religious imperative in and of itself.

  • #916420

    Chulent
    Member

    How is attending an Anglician Church service, with cheese-n-crackers invoked and prayed to in front of a cross, not avoda zora? (Or different than a Catholic Church service, for that matter.)

  • #916421

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    How is attending an Anglician Church service, with cheese-n-crackers invoked and prayed to in front of a cross, not avoda zora? (Or different than a Catholic Church service, for that matter.)

    I am not expert on Christianity, nor do I know the exact difference between the various demonimations, but the “cheese-n-crackers” is part of the catholic mass. Protestants dont do that, nor do many have icons . Also some dont even belive in the trinity (They are called Unitarians).

    Most Halachas related to christianity are based on Catholism which is what was common in places jews lives (and the most common in the North East United states which most jews live)

  • #916422

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Did a quick google and I stand corrected. Anglicans (And its american counerpart Espiscopalians) do go up to the minister , drink the wine and eat the cracker

  • #916423

    Sam2
    Member

    Rebdoniel: Most Achronim don’t read Tosfos as Shittuf being Muttar for a Goy and no one (and I mean no one) Paskens like that Meiri. According to that Meiri even ancient Greeks and Romans (and modern Hindus) aren’t Ovdei Avodah Zarah. The Meiri is not even a Tznif Lehakel. Also, the Meiri’s definition of Notzrim as a Sun Cult claiming to descend from Nevuchadnezzar (which actually existed in Provence from the tenth-15th centuries) is clearly not what the Gemara meant. And that Rosh was not even brought down as an opinion in Shulchan Aruch, if I recall correctly, so it’s hard to Pasken by it. Your quoting about Ovdei Avodah Zarah B’CHU”L is good, but R’ Moshe already pointed out (and this has to be P’shat) that that clearly doesn’t apply to those who are obviously Addukim Bo, such as the ministers, priests, missionaries, etc.

    Naysberg: They believe in 1 G-d. Not a trinity. They are Avodah Zarah just as much as Islam is. And while the Ran (and, L’pele, the Tzitz Eliezer brings this down) Paskens that Islam is not Avodah Zarah, the Olam has been Tofes like the Rambam that Islam is Muttar for Goyim and for Jews to enter their mosques if necessary.

    No, the reason it was Muttar B’sha’as Had’chak for R’ Sacks to attend the wedding was due to it not being Avodah Zarah, and not for any other reason.

  • #916424

    yytz
    Member

    Hi Aurora, I just thought I’d briefly address one of your questions.

    “For the non-Jewish people who follow the seven Noachide laws, are they allowed to go further and take up some more of the Jewish obligations, for example keeping the Sabbath?”

    Yes and no. There are a variety of views on this topic, but I think all agree that it’s inappropriate for Noahides to try to observe the Sabbath in all its many details. However, observing it generally as a day or rest and study and prayer is generally considered to be OK. Some rabbis encourage Noahides to take on Jewish observances beyond the Noahide laws, but I’m not sure which observances they have in mind. Keep in mind that although there are technically seven Noahide laws, each of these laws encompasses a number of more detailed rules. The Noahide movement has been growing a lot lately, and is becoming a full-fledged religion — they even have their own siddur now, which was designed by Orthodox rabbis.

  • #916425

    The New chief Rabbi is from South Africa his father was

    rov as well. The family is very distinguished and very suitable for this position. He is honest to a fault. Behazlocho

  • #916426

    Health
    Participant

    Sam -Long time -no speak.

    “Most Achronim don’t read Tosfos as Shittuf being Muttar for a Goy and no one (and I mean no one) Paskens like that Meiri.”

    The Rema does and that’s good enough for me.

  • #916427

    Naysberg
    Member

    The Noda B’Yehuda paskens that shituf is pure avoda zora even for a goy. Everyone agrees it is avoda zora for a Yid. So, clearly, a Yid cannot go into any church as the shituf they espouse is pure avoda zora for him.

  • #916428

    Naysberg
    Member

    And there was zero “shas hadchak” for R. Sacks. His predecessor as Chief Rabbi skipped the Royal Wedding (and wasn’t beheaded.)

  • #916429

    Naysberg
    Member

    Rambam paskens Christianity is avoda zora for goyim. (Some of the achronim living in European countries couldn’t write this fact, too, since the church censors didn’t allow them to publish it.)

  • #916430

    ZD: High church Anglicans (such as the Church of England) do believe in transubstantiation.

  • #916431

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Christianity is not avodah zarah.

    Otherwise, we wouldn’t allow doing business with them three days before their holidays.

    And, I outlined many poskim who affirm that Christianity is not idolatrous.

    The Bnei Noach movement is a fallacy; Bnei Noach is a halakhic categorization for gentiles who believe in G-d and fall under the Meiri’s category of umot that are dictated by the ways of religion. It is NOT a pseudo-Judaism for gentiles, as Habad and other groups have turned it into.

  • #916432

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “drink the wine and eat the cracker”

    But they leave out the cheese.

  • #916433

    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello yytz,

    Thank you for explaining more to me about the Noachide laws — I am somewhat confused as to where those who follow the Noachide laws fit into Judaism…is it a splinter group of some sort? I see it referenced here on various threads and am puzzled. I hope all is going well with you 🙂

  • #916434

    Sam2
    Member

    Rebdoniel: Wrong again. 3 days only applies in Eretz Yisrael. And most Christians that we see are Protestants, who (almost) everyone agree isn’t Avodah Zarah. See the Rambam Avodah Zarah 5:4 (I think; and the uncensored versions) where he says that you can never do business with Catholics in E”Y because Sunday is a holiday and 3 days before and after means every single day.

  • #916435

    Health
    Participant

    Sam2 – Why are you ignoring the Rema?

  • #916436

    Sam2
    Member

    Health: I’m not ignoring the Rama. He is a member of a minority and some try to read him as well as saying that Ein Hachi Nami it’s Avodah Zarah, but we’re allowed to do business with those that keep this Avodah Zarah. Also, it’s entirely possible that there are censorship issues here. Many editions of the Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chayim 114 (104?), where he calls a cross Avodah Zarah, were censored out. And the Rama doesn’t disagree there.

  • #916437

    benignuman
    Participant

    Whether Christianity is a Avoda Zara for non-Jews is a machlokes Rishonim. The Baalei HaTosafos (and other Ashkenazi Rishonim) held it was not Avoda Zara for non-Jews and the Rambam (who had much less contact with Christians) held it was Avoda Zara. The Meiri who was in between Sephard and Ashkenaz held that it was not Avoda Zara.

    That is not Avoda Zara is the dominant position among Ashkenazim.

  • #916438

    Chulent
    Member

    That is not correct benignuman. The Ashkenazi Rishonim/Achronim lived under Christian rule and thus could not publish their Seforim with it saying Christianity is Avoda Zora, as the censors would not allow it.

  • #916439

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Chulent,

    You take a very academic approach, which is what others accuse me of.

    Jacob Katz wrote extensively on how living in a Christian world heavily influenced the psakim of Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam, Rema, and other Ashkenazi poskim on the status of Christianity.

    Granted that we live in a Christian society, as well, perhaps we should consider these opinions so that we have good relations with our neighbors.

  • #916440

    Milhouse
    Member

    Go look up this Tosfos that allegedly says Xianity is not AZ; you will find that it doesn’t quite say that. At most it’s one option given, and not the final one. The basic position of the Baalei Hatosfos is that it is AZ, but that for one reason or another we’re allowed to do business with them, and to derive benefit from buying and selling their wines, despite this fact.

    All this discussion though is beside the point: rather than explain why going to churches is really muttar, etc., let’s accept what seems pretty clear, that it is assur. <i>However</i> there is a whole area of halacha for shtadlanim, which has very generous heterim. Nor is this some modern mishguas; it goes back all the way to Nechemiah, who was called Hatirshoso because he received a heter to drink goyishe wine! Have you heard of such a thing?! Imagine anyone today daring to drink goyishe wine becuase he’s a shtadlan! And yet Nechemiah did so, and he did it with the permission of the chachomim of his day. Because shtadlonus has its own gedorim and one can’t learn from that to other things.

  • #916441

    Health
    Participant

    Sam2 -“He is a member of a minority and some try to read him as well as saying that Ein Hachi Nami it’s Avodah Zarah, but we’re allowed to do business with those that keep this Avodah Zarah.”

    Can you name these Shittos/Achronim?

    “Also, it’s entirely possible that there are censorship issues here. Many editions of the Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chayim 114 (104?), where he calls a cross Avodah Zarah, were censored out. And the Rama doesn’t disagree there.”

    First of all, a Tzelem (Cross) could be AZ without the religion being one for Goyim. Second of all, I’ve heard this from many people, everytime I mention this Rema -they say the censor. To me anything that doesn’t personally agree with your Shittos -you can wipe away the S’A by just saying the Censor did it.

    Also, if it was the censor – then Achronim wouldn’t Pasken like this Rema. They knew at least as much as people nowadays regarding censorship. I’ve seen at least one Achron Pasken like this Rema Halacha L’meysa!

  • #916442

    yytz
    Member

    Thanks, Aurora — I hope all is well with you too! RebDoniel, Noahidism is not a fallacy. It’s a reality, and a necessity. Many people nowadays become convinced that Orthodox Judaism is true, and other religious are not. Not all of those people can convert, for whatever reason — for example, many do not live near Orthodox communities.

    Some of those people do not want to convert, because they understand that they do not to convert to earn a share in the World to Come (or, more kabbalistically speaking, accomplish their tikkun, their soul correction.) There is a huge difference between following the Noahide laws and being a completely observant Jew, because there are many details of Jewish law — Shabbos, Kashrus, davening, taharas mishpachah, etc. — which are not required of Noahides.

    Now if a Noahide has a strong desire to join the Jewish people and follow all the mitzvos of the Torah, then that person is probably meant to convert. But not all Noahides have that desire. That said, I’ve head that many people active for many years in the Noahide movement become dissatisfied with “merely” being a Noahide and convert.

    The “Aleinu” prayer, which is recited three times a day, looks forward to a time in the future in which all the nations will follow Hashem and cease all idolatry. That doesn’t mean everyone will convert. Most of the world will be Noahides; only a minority will convert. Once the Messianic era begins, converts will no longer be accepted. Presumably, Moshiach will inspire the whole non-Jewish world to become Noahides (perhaps retaining some of their non-Jewish beliefs and practices if they aren’t forbidden to non-Jews).

    Noahidism as a “religion” is only a recent phenomenon because, well, freedom of religion and the dispersion of good information about Judaism through books and the Internet, is a really new thing. In the past, people convinced of the truth of Judaism just converted or forged their own individualistic path. Now, there are enough believers unable or uninterested in conversion for Noahidism to become a viable movement. Even so, it’s a pretty small movement and I’ve never met an actual Noahide.

  • #916443

    rebdoniel
    Member

    There are different opinions on what will happen to non-Jews when the Moshiach comes.

    Some say that they will all convert to Judaism.

    As far as the Noahide movement, I suggest the rabim read the Sefer Yisrael v’ haAmim by the gaon, Rav Eliyahu Benamozegh.

    He was of the shita that those who fall under the Meiri’s shita would automatically be considered Noahides, since world religions generally are ethical and monotheist (even Hindus affirm the concept of a unified Godhead).

  • #916444

    Chulent
    Member

    They will become servants to Jews, after Moshiach.

  • #916445

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Chulent,

    That is an answer which not only rubs me and a lot of people the wrong way, but also is not definitive.

    Sources, please?

  • #916446

    benignuman
    Participant

    Chulent,

    Your rational for discounting the opinion of the Ashkenazi Rishonim is speculation. You are claiming that they were just self-censoring, but you have no evidence that or that in the absence of self-censoring they would have held Christianity to be Avoda Zara.

    Is it not equally plausible that having more contact with Christians and possibly discussing theology with Christians, Ashkenazi Chachomim had a better understanding of Christianity than someone like the Rambam.

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