A Chief Rabbi Attends the Coronation in a Church?

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    1) Who made you and me judges over judges? the chief rabbi owes us to show us his internal teshuvos as much as the State of Israel owes us to show how their atom bomb (that they may or may not have) works.
    2) I looked up who is on London B’D. Graduates of Gateshead, Ponevezh, Etz Chaim, former dayan in Lakewood and Monsey. What else matters? How do you not treat them with respect? It is very confusing.


    HaKatan, you have to know how to read and understand things. According to you, an observant Jew who has big problems with anger management renders wine yain nesech by touching it because he is an idol-worshiper.

    Reb Eliezer

    ויהי בימי שפוט השופטים – או לדור ששופטים את שופטיהם The Midrash says on, it was at the days when the judges (were) judged – It is bad for the generations that judge their judges.


    no mesorah:
    1) So you failed to comprehend my multiple clear and lengthy posts? Attending a church ceremony in a church sanctuary was universally condemned and forbidden, going all the way back.

    2) And you seem to be unaware that I don’t want to just copy/paste from other sites. There’s no point in arguing over chashad, maris haAyin, hischabrus, kabbalistic reasons, et al. because all the poskim said absolutely not.

    The point is – ironic, given your screen name – simply mesorah:
    every posek forbade doing so,m as mentioned.

    So, a “Religious Zionist”, in an admittedly Zionist organization – when the above is literal idolatry according to the Torah giants – has (less than) zero chezkas kashrus to overturn the mesorah of klal Yisrael of all the poskim going all the way back who forbade doing so, as mentioned above. Ergo, this church ceremony attendance and its video were a massive chillul Hashem.


    Neville, when a legitimate beis din with rabbonim not known to be maskilim or corrupters of halacha comes out with a psak, I’m not inclined to go against it – with some exceptions.

    But regarding the Brooklyn eruv, a psak was made by the preeminent gadol hador with the support of the overwhelming majority of other gedolim behind him. Those who went against them, even though they were competent rabbonim, i believe were jn the wrong for doing so.

    In England, there are basically two communities, as far as i know. The united synagogue and beis din, and the kadasia/charedi world. I know people from both sides, and they usually get along with each other. I rolled my eyes at what many of the chief rabbis have said and written, and some of it is outright apokorsus. No one’s defending giving LGBT abomination the tolerance that you sometimes hear from such rabbis, or their participation in Limmud together with kofrim, or other things.

    But because I’m not very familiar with the british rabbinic scene, i don’t know the facts on the ground, nor do i know enough to have an opinion about the psak in question, as i would an issue in new york. When haskel lookstein was almost thrown out of the RCA for attending an interfaith ceremony when obama was inaugurated, he defended himself with some teshuva he found, and they decided not to get rid of him. At the time, i dismissed it as just MO nonsense, another casual sin that comes from their intermarriage with secularism.

    But my reaction to an issue that I’m not familiar with is not to get involved until I know all the details, and i still don’t know enough to say that the london beis din was totally wrong in the psak they gave rav jakobovitz, and that he was wrong in doing what he did too. Gedolim respected rav jakobovitz, so I’m not quick to say he was wrong.


    1) You have it backwards. If anyone, all the more so a “Religious Zionist”, so publicly and pompously claims it is his duty as a Rabbi to go against the mesorah of our poskim going all the way back, then they are gravely profaning Hashem’s name unless they provide a valid halachic explanation for the same.

    The Zionists and their weapons are not relevant, of course, as the particular weapons they do or do not have do not impact that they are enemies of Hashem, His Torah and His holy people.

    2) As I wrote in my last post, the particular judges on that B”D are irrelevant. The “Chief Rabbi” specifically noted in his video that he was relying on his predecessors having done this, not on a psak from those Rabbanim.


    1) In addition, I would argue that “viHiyisem nikiyim” would obligate him to publish that teshuva, if it did exist, despite that he noted that his predecessors had also gone to church ceremonies in that church.


    What part of Zionism is literal idolatry did you miss?
    No, he doesn’t mean that it’s kiEelu. He and others wrote that it is. Period.


    Reb Eliezer:
    Very good. Non-idolater/non-Zionist Torah leaders should certainly be respected. Nobody claimed otherwise.


    To reply to Mench 1:
    There is a very big difference between shaking hands with politicians, and being very publicly happy because you were invited to the coronation of a self-admitted adulterer, who’s actions have became public knowledge all over the world.
    Another example of this would be to happily show respect to an lgbtq person who wants recognition of his marriage, such as Pete Buttigieg.
    I would say that a frum person, especially a Rabbi, cannot act this way, as it gives the person legitimacy. That’s the way Yiddishkeit can get diluted, as it did in the past.


    “But regarding the Brooklyn eruv, a psak was made by the preeminent gadol hador with the support of the overwhelming majority of other gedolim behind him.”

    The same could be said here. Every major rabbi ever has asser’d going to church services. If anything, that’s a lot more to being going up against than just Reb Moshe alone.

    “he defended himself with some teshuva he found, and they decided not to get rid of him.”

    This is how the process should work. As you can see from this thread, the pro-church crowd thinks that explaining halachic reasoning is comparable to sharing nuclear secrets (but only when it’s a heter, of course). Occum’s razor is that the reason they aren’t making this whole controversy go away by just sharing their reasons, is that they have no real reasons. I would be happy to be proven wrong.

    “But because I’m not very familiar with the british rabbinic scene”

    From the rest of your post, you seem to be more familiar with the British scene than you are with the American one. The Brooklyn eruv was a project by chassidishe rabbis, including the Nitei Gavriel. Not unlike what you said about Britain, they “get along” with the greater frum tzibbur. However, unlike the case of Britain, they don’t turn around and support the gay agenda. Given your shittos, you would consider the Brooklyn rabbis abjectly more respectable than those in England, yet you’re more willing to criticize them.


    Side note: I am so happy that this is turning into a fight about Zionism. I’m back for less than a week and the glory days are already returning. I guess I was the glue that held together the fabric of the YWN Coffeeroom.


    This is still ridiculous.

    Since we just don’t go into a church regardless of the reasons, the rabbis in question should absolutely not publish a responsa.

    A Royal Coronation is a rare event and only a few Jews will ever be invited to attend one. Why write a precedent that any clergy could freely dispense to their congregants?

    You really have to decide what you want out of the issue before you blah-blah. Even if it’s not your kind of rabbi.


    Dear Avira,

    The situation in England is very different.

    The old reform congregations are much stronger than in the USA.

    The rabid left is much more intelligent and learned than anywhere else.

    And the rabid right is very extreme.

    The Chief Rabbi is constantly making tough calls without giving the full rationale.

    That is the main part of the job. To keep the different factions from killing each other.

    It’s been that way since the Nineteenth Century.

    And it appears to constantly get worse.


    Dear Hakatan,

    1) I have discussed Zionism with you multiple times. You can’t back up your position even a little. For you it comes down to this. If a zionist rabbi does it, then he is wrong because he can not be trusted to have a justification. But if an anti-zionist rabbi does it, than we give him all benefit of the doubt. An interesting wrinkle in hilchos loshon hora. Silly opinions give legitimacy to slander.

    To further make the point. If the Ponevezh RY and the Gerrer Rebbe would do it, than it would be assur for OE or YU to think they did an issur because to them they are great talmidei chachamim who deserve the benefit of the doubt no matter how outrageous the circumstances appear to be. But for Satmar and Brisk, they can judge the matter at face value because they are more anti-zionist than Ponevezh and Ger.

    2) Going into a church is because of one of two very basic reasons. A child could understand them. There are dozens of precedents from all different countries. I’m not going to discuss them, because I don’t want to imply that there is a permissiveness about this issue.

    Your theory of splitting halachah based on ideology, does not have precedent. Oh wait! It happened before. It’s called The Great Schism. Which took place in ………………….a church.


    We mentioned r Elchonon here who followed in footsteps of Chofetz Chaim in evaluating grim reality of 1900s … interestingly, Chofetz Chaim repeats in his letters again and again about danger of sending kids to wrong schools and a need to have at least one kosher cheder in every town. I saw him specifically naming two treif groups: yidiishistes and tarbut, cultural Hebrew school. I don’t see Mizrahi mentioned. Did I miss it?

    Incidentally, his definition of a kosher school: learning chumash with Rashi without skipping any psukim. Double check whether your kids didn’t skip Dina or Tamar or Timna or gemora that doesn’t advise full time learning rashbi style


    “Why write a precedent that any clergy could freely dispense to their congregants?”
    They set a precedent whether they like it or not. If you just search cheif rabbi goes to church, you can already find religious-left sites using it as a justification for interfaith prayer.

    How could they have prevented this? By publishing a psak that makes it very clear that this only applies to this situation and WHY. Otherwise, it’s 100% on them when people misinterpret this.

    For the record, as far as I’m concerned, those religious-left sites are internally correct. If the England rabbanut matirs entering a church, then why shouldn’t other people be able to?


    “yidiishistes and tarbut, cultural Hebrew school. I don’t see Mizrahi mentioned. Did I miss it?”

    Yes you did. Those “cultural Hebrew schools” or Bnei Akiva, etc. were all absorbed into Mizrachi. And, sorry to curb your excitement, but by “Yiddishists” he was also referring to Zionists. The faction of them (eg. YIVO) who wanted Yiddish to be the language for the medina.

    Thanks for the proof to help the anti-Zionist side. Good to see people bringing sources again.


    Please could a Rav give a psak on this issue? Is it permitted to attend a coronation in a church, for darchai sholom, or not? What is the use of continuing to argue this issue back and forth? And in deference to Neville, the issue of Zionism’s legitimacy is a “red herring” here.

    Reb Eliezer

    For this reason Reb Moshe ztz’l did not want his teshuvas translated as most situations discussed only apply in those particular circumstances.


    Dear Neville,

    I didn’t notice anyone here being pro church. (Years ago we had this come up. Maybe someone can find it and link.) From my perspective, nobody is saying that it’s muttar. This not a unique situation. It is a unique Jew. If you don’t reason with that, you are also unique.

    Any published psak can be read several different ways. Come on you know that. (Somebody posted that the Brooklyn Eruv should be used now.)

    As an aside, this has happened before. A similar event recently. This exact situation a hundred twenty years ago. And different situations throughout history. I don’t get your blanket statements at all.

    And all this is just a matter of public instances. In private, urgent matters, who knows how many instances there are?

    hose that are promoting interfaith, would promote it anyway. If Rav Mirvis hadn’t gone, they would say this is why interfaith dialogue is a must.

    Make up your mind.

    is it:
    1) The chillul hashem of this public display.
    2) The slippery slope that will lead to more leniency.
    3) The Chief Rabbi not asking your rabbi.
    4) We must hold like Chacham Ovadia on this issue.
    5) Did I miss something?


    Dear Neville,

    Bnai Akiva in pre war Europe. Are you sure? It started in Palestine in 1929.

    I know about the Zionist groups that the kids used to go to. But they weren’t schools. They were weekend get togethers and the like.

    I’m not taking a side on this. The Chofetz Chaim had more than just Zionism to deal with. It’s hard to tell what he was talking about in each letter.


    Dear Frum,

    That’s not the question here. It is not a matter of permitted or prohibited.

    The question is what should the Office of the Chief Rabbi do about the invitation to the Royal Coronation that is held in a church?

    If your reaction is a so-what-shrug, than you really do not understand the matter at all.

    It’s like a bible critic that only knows the King James Version.

    anonymous Jew

    R Eliezer, nice try but Kol Nidre appeared centuries before the 1492 expulsion


    No Mesorah wrote:
    “Since we just don’t go into a church regardless of the reasons, the rabbis in question should absolutely not publish a responsa.

    A Royal Coronation is a rare event and only a few Jews will ever be invited to attend one. Why write a precedent that any clergy could freely dispense to their congregants?”

    Except that this happened multiple times over the past century and, yes, it was indeed used as a precedent by another “Modern Orthodox” Rabbi in NY. And, as mentioned before, “Vihyisem nikiyim” and the fact that this “Chief Rabbi” very publicly and proudly pronounced that he was going to attend this church ceremony, against the written psak and mesorah of Klal Yisrael going all the way back.

    So, yes, of course he should have justified it – if he could. Instead, he stated that he was doing as did his predecessors.

    Where is the halachic responsum for this supposed heter that is against mesorah and written psak going all the way back?


    Dear No Mesorah:
    You seem to have missed that every gadol forbade Zionism and that many wrote that it is literal idolatry and heresy.

    I gave you one source off-hand from Rav Elchonon HY”D; there are others, too (in Satmar, Brisk and elsewhere). Moreover, anyone who reads the WZO’s official “Jerusalem Program” can see both the A”Z and Kefirah there. It’s not mystical and not mysterious.

    You are falsely claiming that I dislike Zionism and therefore a Rabbi who is Zionist is not to be trusted.

    Once more, and, with this, I think I’ll let you have the last word if you continue to mock and ignore what I write:
    A (Rabbi who is a) Zionist is, by definition, literally worshiping an idol and likely believes in heresy as well. That’s what the gedolim wrote, and we can see how logically sound they were in stating that.

    Whether or not he is a tinok sheNishba in doing so is not my concern. My likes and dislikes are irrelevant.

    So, therefore, because he is a Zionist, his “psak” is automatically suspect. That’s the point here with his church ceremony attendance.


    Dear Hakatan,

    But we debated Zionism on multiple threads and some news items.

    Other than a bunch of quotes, you have no grasp of the actual problems witth Zionism. Yet, you are willing to reconstruct large parts of the Torah to peddle your ideology. In my books, that was Zionism’s original sin.


    Nom, does anyone listen when you often say that the person nust doesn’t know what they’re talking about and proceed to not explain it otherwise with clear logic and proofs?

    You don’t win arguments by grandstanding


    No Mesorah:
    I had no intent to debate Zionism with you. It is not debatable.
    The quotes were intended to address the matter at hand, which is the church ceremony attendance by a “Religious Zionist”.

    Since you asked, though, Zionism was and is intended to be an idolatrous land-based and godless replacement for (and destruction of) Judaism.

    That sounds like a big problem to me. It is, of course. But feel free to continue mocking. I’ll just ignore it BL”N.


    Dear Hakatan,

    I’m not mocking the issue. I’m mocking you acting like a first generation Zionist.


    “That’s not the question here. It is not a matter of permitted or prohibited.”
    If this is seriously your approach to halachah then I think we’re done here.

    “You don’t win arguments by grandstanding”
    Depends on how you define winning. This tactic is probably why the left (political/religious doesn’t matter) dominates every internet forum, because everyone else just gets annoyed with it and leaves.

    If the rabbis giving the heter to go to church don’t have to give real reasons, why should a random guy on the coffeeroom defending the practice? The standards to which you hold this British Beis Din are nonsensically low.

    Avira, I want to know honestly your answer to this hypothetical: let’s say a ton of people started emulating the cheif rabbi and going to church in order to appease goyim in various situations. Groups of major rabbis get together and sign a kol korah saying it must stop. Do you think their message would be “it’s only OK when he does it,” or “it’s never OK and there has never been any real heter?” We both know the reality.


    I was pointing out possible difference between Mizrachi – religious zionists, and other movements. This is in response to a poster who claims any association w/ religious zionism would be condemned by gedolim.

    According to a wiki, there seems to be 4 major school networks in 1920s Poland – Aguda that Chofetz Chaim presumably advocates for, tarbut, yidishist, and mizrachi. I looked further and I see multiple references against the first 2 and none so far against mizrachi. It seems also that more than half of kids went to Polish gymnasiums that are also mentioned but less, maybe this is more about girls, not sure.

    In one letter, he explains what these two schools do – they sound Jewish to parents who do not pay attention, but they tell made-up stories unrelated to what Chumash says exactly, like Lavan having pity to Yaakov and not attacking him.

    I am also seeing now a photo of 1919 mizrachi teachers conference and they are dressed frummer than 1950s Lakewood.


    N0, I think you are right. Modernity is plagued by ideologies, with people creating fake theories to justify what they are doing and both Z and our esteemed poster are doing a similar thing. It is not a surprise at all, in this context, that people bitterly opposing each other, have similar features. Nazis Y’Sh rose as opposition to communists Y’Sh but created a very similar movement.


    Neville, there are things which are allowed for a karov lemalchus – i do not claim to know definitively how far that goes, and i ageee rhat it sounds like a stretch, for a number of reasons: chazal don’t say it about this issur, and the “malchus” isn’t really a malchus, jewish lives aren’t in danger as they were then.

    My rebbeim told me that rav jakobovitz was an ehrlich person and a significant person in halacha; that’s the only reason I’m defending it. It doesn’t seem that r. Mirvis kept that standard, because he did not do something to distinguish himself as a non participant, so i agree that what he personally did was wrong.


    “Neville, there are things which are allowed for a karov lemalchus”

    Name one example of where an real isser (even rebbonon) becomes mutar due to this, with a source, and I’ll stop posting on this thread.

    Reb Eliezer

    The censured gemora in Senhandrin indicates that the אותו האיש was given thirty days for people to report zechus in his defense even though we have a rule אין טוענין למסית because קרוב למלכות היה most probably, for this reason, he was transferred to the Romans.


    Neville that’s easy to find; one of the tannain was allowed to drink stam yeinon(at a time when rov goyim did avodah zara no less) because of the need to deal with the romans.


    Bava kama 83a, chachamim allow violating bechokosayhem lo saylaychu in taking an akum-style haircut.

    Tosefta avodah zara 3 mentions the ability of a karov lemalchus to look at a mirror (an issur of lo yilbash in the times of chazal and rishonin… i don’t remember if it’s derabonon or deoraysoh)

    Yerushalmi Kidushin 4:1, i made a mistake; it wasn’t a tanna, it was Nechemiah, they called him “hatasharsa”(the permitted one). Rashi in kidushin 69 says that this was necessary to show that nobody poisoned the king at his table, since they’re all drinking it too.

    For psak in these issues, the beis yosef in YD 156 “velo” talks about it. I can get achronim and teshuvos if necessary.

    But again, does this extend to attending a ceremony with religious elements and prayers? I don’t know. Does the British monarchy have any relevance to chazals melech? It’s a hard sell for me.


    I should add that i saw a radvaz(siman 27) which says that Nechemiah was unique, because his job was to bring the king his drink (not like how I assumed earlier) plus he was before the gezerah of stam yainon was finalized, though he had accepted it on himself, so it was eaiser to allow


    Not Romans, Assyrians – my mistake


    Dear Avira,

    I had it out with the poster about Zionism many times. He always runs away. It’s one thing to be antizionist. His position is so bizarre and extreme, that he falls apart after a short back and forth.

    Do you get that he is saying that because the Chief Rabbi is a Zionist, all normative hilchos loshon hora don’t apply?



    Your misunderstanding my take on this.

    “it’s only OK when he does it,” or “it’s never OK and there has never been any real heter?”

    I am so much saying the second statement, that I don’t agree with the issue here. If a (major qualified) posek would put out a teshuva permitting going into a church and would use this as precedent, that posek would be creating the precedent. Because this is not a matter of deciding halacha. This is a matter of the function of the Office of the Chief Rabbinate. And while the office is not above halachah, it is an entirely different question. Anybody who goes into a church and says “well Rav Mirvis did” is a fraud.

    I understand that we disagree here. But I’m really confused why you are so vehment about my position.

    I know your screenname. But I’m not familiar with your opinions.


    We worry a great deal about the problem of temple and state. Now what about the temple and G-d? Sometimes there seems to be a greater separation between the temple and G-d than between the temple and state.


    Nechemiah – do you mean Persian king? Note the difference as at the moment Persians are somewhat better than Assyrians towards Jews


    it’s very sad that Americans don’t understand the royal family. maybe its because they don’t have a president who has been normal for the past ten years.


    The only abnormal one was Trump the Shlump.
    But, hey, what’s so normal of a family born into unimaginable riches and has no power whatsoever. In the old days, a king could chop a guy’s head off for any reason – but nowadays? Very abnormal !


    Dear Yechiel,

    You completely missed the significance of this event, as to state “is this rabbi for real”. Anybody who realizes what’s at stake here knew that the chance of the Chief Rabbi not attending was either nil or zero. It’s nothing to do with Rav Mirvis personally.


    “it’s very sad that Americans don’t understand the royal family.”

    No, we’re the ones who DO understand it. You guys have drunk so much of the kool aid that you actually think it’s anything more than a joke.


    Understand the Royals or ignore the Royals doesn’t change the fact that it can’t be looked at as a joke..

    So many people have a real hard time with this fact.


    “So many people have a real hard time with this fact.”

    Because it’s not a fact. It’s the delusional ramblings of someone who wants this outdated tourist trap to be relevant, and is upset that the entire world recognizes that it’s just silly.

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