Still Fuming At Rabbi Belsky And Mishpacha
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- This topic has 270 replies, 36 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 6 months ago by Will Hill.
September 4, 2008 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #621595marinerMember
squek, he is saying that it is english, and you are saying it is german, so you proved my point. though the j isnt really a y sound in german either, its more from the top of the mouth then the back oof the teeth sound, but thats neither here nor there. teh letter j in german is our y. just as torah is topah in russian, are you now going to say that aron is speeled apon. because according to the same logic you are using to defend rabbiofberlin, it would seem so.
again i will explain, the name matisyahu is a TRANSLITERATED name (for all you people who dont know what that is, it is not a translation (moses, aaron, joseph, david), but a spelling out phonetically of the hebraic word, (moshe, ahron, yosef(ph) dovid). it CANNOT be spelled with a j. that is a fact! it is a “y” sound, and “j” in englsh never sounds that way. yes, in other countries and cultures it is possible, but here in america, where we use the english phonetic alphabet, it is with a “y”.September 4, 2008 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #621596
rabbiofberlin, you made the initial contention that German Jewry survived in greater numbers. So I ask of you to please provide any source for that. “As far as I know” doesn’t cut it. The Jewish citizens of Germany who left Germany prior to ’39 mostly went to neighboring European countries, and were affected by the subsequent German invasion of those areas. In fact, according to (Jewish) holocaust historian Lucy Dawidowicz in “The War Against the Jews” (Bantam, 1986), 90% of German and Austrian Jewry were murdered by the Nazis ym’s.September 4, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #621597mdlevineMember
This whole commentary has gone completely off topic.
I have tried to avoid commentating on the dominate theme of: who knew, when did they know it, and what they could/should have done.
Now, with this understanding, even if they believed fully what they heard (which they may not have) and they wanted to fight back, how were they going to do that? Even if they wanted to run, where was there to run to? They were surrounded on all sides with no friends outside to go to. America was closed. Canada was closed. England was closed (and she closed off Eretz Yisrael. Even after the war, England was capturing boats heading towards Israel and detaining the passengers in DP camps). Sea voyage to other points unknown was not practical with a) nowhere to go, b) getting to a coastal region was not simple and c) if they did get a place to go and made it to the coast; they would need to outrun the u-boats that were seeking to sink war, cargo and passenger ships.September 5, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am #621598
cantoresq, BTW the larger problem with Wise was his sabotaging the European Jewry rescue efforts, i.e. his opposition to the Rabbonim’s march in Washington (amongst other examples.)
Did Brand defend Kastner? I recall Brand was bitter about the sabotaging of the rescue efforts by his fellow zionists.September 5, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am #621599
MDLevine, when you say that the original letter writer was not allowed to call into question the opinion of a gadol batorah, are you referring to the chabad shliach who wrote the letter? Are you saying that the chabad shliach has no right to follow his own godol and Rov, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and must instead listen to Rabbi Belsky who disagrees with Chabad??? Are you saying that the shliach had no right to defend his viewpoint from Rabbi Belsky’s attack? Did the shliach attack Rabbi Belsky or his haskafah in any way? All he did was to defend the good work of chabad from R. Belsky’s attack. What in the world is wrong with that? You can’t be serious, can you?September 5, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am #621600
MDlevine, having reread the original letter now, the letter writer expresses the greatest possible derech eretz to Rav Belsky. All he does is defend chabad which is the chinuch and hadracha he received from his own Godol, the Rebbe ZT”L. What in the world is wrong with what he wrote? Halevai others who disagree with some position on any other matter would write with such derech eretz and respect as the shliach did. He had every right to do so. What is the hava amina that his own rebbe was less of a godol than Rav Belsky?September 5, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm #621601cantoresqMember
Regarding Wise, I never read anything substantial about him, so my information is tangential. I think he was a product of his times and his enviornment. Wise, a Reform rabbi, functioned in a highly structured world, a very firm class system. Jewish philanthropy and activism in those days in his community was very much “trickle down.” A group of powerful magnates formed a committe, poured money into it and the rest of the world was supposed to gratefully accept the beneficence. It was this attitude and the resentment other Jews felt for the German “Yahudim” and other Jews’ desire to be part of the leadership that led the demise of the greatest attempt to unify the entire New York Jewish community under one broad umbrella in what has come to be known as the “Kehilla Project” spearheaded by Judah Mages, the then rabbi of Temple Emmanu El, and later first Presidence of the Hebrew University.
Stephen wise lived in that enviorment. The model I described above worked during WWI and Jewish leadership saw no reason to depart from what they thought they kinew to be a succesful model. That model, based on the old European system of the “Hoff Jude” or court Jew/Stadlan meant a centralized body speaking (often behind the scenes and very obsquiously) on behalf of the Jewish commnuity. That body was supposed to be the only representative of Jewry in the portals of power. Additionall euqally important to helping Jews was the absolute necesity of not provoking anti-Semitism anywhere. Additionally these people did try to curry personal favor with the people they lobbied. This was not merely about ego or personal gain however. These Jews (Sulzberger, Wise, Rosenmann etc.) genuninely believed they were the sole stewards of Jewish survival. If people liked them personally, Jews stood to benefit. What Wise and company failed to understand was: a) the greater Jewish community would no longer accept such a system b) circumstances were radically different than thirty or forty years before. It was this failure to adapt that led to internecine squabbling to the detriment of Klal Yisrael. On balance, I think these people meant well. Tragically they were so entrenched in a rarified system of Jewish leadership, they failed to see the forest for the trees.September 5, 2008 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #621602
Mdlevine…..Your long posting made sense…till the last paragraph!! Pashute Yid has already skewered your argument pretty well but allow me to add another twist…WHY can’t I question a godol on his opinions?? Remember, this is not a Psak halocho that you ask for and should accept. These are OPINIONS ON GENERAL MATTERS!! (including Rav Belsky’s opinion on Chabad). I have argued till I am blue in the face that it is fully legitimate to question a godol’s OPINIOn on genral matters! My continuing back and forth with joseph has been on that detail….I do not believe that “emunas chachomim” has anything to do with matters of general interest and that “daas torah”, with its intimation of no dissent, is a modern invention.
Allow me to quote a gemoro (in berochos) that said that when Dovid Hamelech wanted to go to war , he consulted the Sanhedrin, then his advisers and lastly ,teh Urim Vetumim.
If emunas chachomim and daas torah are so infallible, why didn’t he just ask the sanhedrin and nothing else1 After all, they were the last word on everything, according to you, and their word could not be questioned. The answer is that their opinion was not the last word, juts an opinion.
I fail to see why this has changed. You may call me an “apikoros” for not believeng in “daas torah” as you call it, but I have never seen any legitimate basis for leaving my own intelligence at the door when talking to a godol.September 5, 2008 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #621603mdlevineMember
“…the letter writer expresses the greatest possible derech eretz to Rav Belsky.” please go back and read the letter again a 3rd and 4th time or more, if needed.
the letter writer wrote his opinion that:
facts on the table:
1) Rav Belsky is a world recognized Torah authority -someone the letter writer claims to respect
2) He knows Rav Belsky from earlier days and from more recent times also.
3) the original article that appeared was in a weekly magazine, not YWN
4) He reffered to Rav Belsky as one who made libelous statements, Sheker and motzi shem ra
if the letter writer takes exception with what Rav Belsky stated, the way of derech eretz would been to call the Rosh Yeshiva and ask him why he said it, perhaps even to explain the Chabbad point of view and maybe even ask the Rosh Yeshiva to reconsider what he said and retract what he said. If the letter writer tried this and Rav Belsky would either not talk to him or not step away from his comments, the letter writer could have then sent a letter to the periodical that published the original article, not an alternative news site.
the letter writer wrote: “…But especially during these days when Klal Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel is facing an existential threat, it is irresponsible to direct such inflammatory and divisive remarks against a world-wide kehilla of people…” and “It is because of my great respect for Rabbi Belsky that I find his words all the more painful. Rabbi Belsky and Mishpacha Magazine owe the world-wide Lubavitch community an apology.”
I do not see any level of respect in the words or in the vehicle used to state his opinion. To use some of the language of the letter writer it is irresponsible to direct such inflammatory and divisive remarks against a world recognized Torah authority.
The letter writer owes Rav Beksky and the YWN readership an apology.September 7, 2008 1:19 am at 1:19 am #621604
MdLevine, I reread the article, and found the phrases you mention which were indeed a bit stronger than I remembered the tone to be, but still totally disagree with you. Rav Belsky initiated an attack on Chabad saying they deify the Rebbe. A representative of Chabad with kids in their schools responds by saying that he has never encountered such a thing in any Chabad institution. If that is true, he has every right to say that it is sheker, and by implication, motzee shem ra. I am totally confused why you think a person has no right to defend himself or his movement against an accusation that he believes is totally false. Especially, since the movement was headed by someone who was at least as big a godol as Rav Belsky.
If Rav Belsky accused you of stealing a thousand dollars from your shul, I guarantee you would use the same words in your defense. “I never did such a thing, the evidence is totally false, whoever told you that is being motzee shem ra on me, etc. etc. etc.” And you would have every right to do so.
I can see your point about what is the proper venue for his complaint, but Rav Belsky made a public accusation, and therefore the writer felt a need for a public defense. Why he chose YW instead of the original publication I don’t know, and possibly he should have and maybe did try to contact Rav Belsky directly. Nevertheless, a public accusation certainly invites a public defense.September 7, 2008 3:10 am at 3:10 am #621605
P.Yid said “since the movement was headed by someone who was at least as big a godol as Rav Belsky.”
What is your logic to make that claim that Rav Belsky is, if anything, a smaller Gadol? I’d say Rav Belsky is “at least as big a godol.”September 7, 2008 3:38 am at 3:38 am #621606
joseph…I checked some statistics on the Holocaust. It comes from Wikipedia but it is buttressed by many studies. It says that in Poland, 90% of the jews were killed ( I knew that too). In Germany, many emigatred before the war and, although most moved to Czhecoslovakia and Holland and France, a quarter of the pre-war jews in germany and Austria survived. The ones who moved to the above named countries did go to their death in the same proportion as the others. In Hungary, over 50% were killed.
One sentence we can both agree upon” “Hashem jenokem domom”September 7, 2008 4:13 am at 4:13 am #621607
So Hungary had a greater survival rate than did Germany.
Yes, no one will disagree with your last sentence.September 7, 2008 4:43 am at 4:43 am #621608
Re: woman cannot learn Gemorah, please see Maseches Sotah Daf 21b on top, and Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 246 sif 6.September 7, 2008 4:48 am at 4:48 am #621609
shu”a: “tzivu chaza”l shelo yilmad adam es bito torah mipnei sherov hanashim ein da’atan michuvanos l’hislamed u’motzios divrei torah l’divrei havai l’phi anius da’atan,amru chaza”l kol hamilamed es bito torah k’ilu milamda tiflus (now pay attention to this part,please) bameh divorim amurim torah she’bal peh aval torah she’bicsav…”.
And as attested to by the Gr”a (sham,os 24) and Chid”a in Birkei Yosef (sham,os 7) we pasken like R’Eliezer [and R’Yehoshua] as stated in the Ramba”m (hilchos talmud torah perek 1 halacha 13) and the Tur.September 7, 2008 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #621610
And some final discussions that I found on this issue in response to BERLIN who (on page 5 of this thread) flatly stated:
“Matisjohus words are the worst and the most ignorant. One example- he flatly denies the right to women/girls to learn gemoro. OK, can you give the mekor for this????”
“You issue declarations that you cannot suport, like saying (Matisjohu) “a woman/girl is not allowed to learn gemoro”. OK= PROVE IT! show me the source for that (false) assumption.”
There is a dispute in the Mishna Sotah 20a whether one is even allowed to teach Torah to women at all. The argument against the teaching of Torah to women states that if one does so, it is like teaching them Tiflut. Rashi comments that Tiflut means lechery, meaning the study of Torah will lead women to immoral sexual acts. Rashi then cites the famous story of Bruriah, one of the greatest female scholars in Jewish history to prove his point. One day, Bruriah ridiculed the Gemara (in Kidushin 80b) which states that that women are lightheaded. Rabbi Meir, her husband, ordered his student to test Bruriah’s strength and try to seduce his wife. Bruriah caved in and when she realized what she had done, she hung herself.
Thus Rashi’s argument is that women’s minds are not meant for serious Torah learning. The Rambam agrees with Rashi’s take. Rambam also adds that when the chachamim had said, “He who teaches his daughter Torah, is as if he taught his daughter tiflut,”only applies to the oral law. The Rambam says that a man should not teach his daughters written law but if he does , it is not considered tiflut. The Shulchan Urach follows this approach of Rambam.
Women Learning Gemara – THE PROHIBITION:
The Mishnah (Sotah 20a) quotes R. Eliezer who states that one who teaches his daughter Torah is as if he had taught her tiflus (I’ll leave that untranslated and we can just assume that it is a bad thing). The Shulhan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah 246:6) quotes this law and states that this applies only to the Oral Torah but one should still not teach women the Written Torah either. However, the Rema points out that women need to learn the basic laws that they must fulfill and the Taz (ad loc., 4) argues that women are also allowed to learn the simple meaning of the Written Torah.
The conclusion is that there are four areas within this law:
1. Women may not learn the Oral Torah
2. Women may learn the simple meaning of the Written Torah
3. Women may not learn the Written Torah in depth
4. Women must learn the laws that apply to them
The poskim assume that included within “the laws that apply to them” is mussar that keep women them within the bounds of halachah. Even the Satmar Raebbe who as we shall see was very strict on these rules, permits women to learn mussar (Va-Yo’el Moshe, Ma’amar Lashon Ha-Kodesh ch. 33). He does not, however, permit women to study even Rashi on the Torah because it contains Oral Torah.
Note that the suggestion that this prohibition emanates from some sort of misogynist rabbinic bias or historical circumstance is insulting and bordering on heresy.
Much more can be found in the 3rd part of Vayoel Moshe – “Maamar
Loshon Hakodesh” – which is actually based on a teshuva that the SR z’l
wrote to Rav Pinchos Hirshprung zt’l of Montreal.
Okay BERLIN, there you have it. You said “OK, can you give the mekor for this????” I hope the Gemora itself, Shulchan Orach, the Gr”a, Child”a, Rambam, the Tur and other meforshim suffice for a mekor “for that false assumption.”
Now what have you BERLIN? (Some “YESHIVA UNIVERSITY source” that argues on the above Gemora, Shulcahn Orach, Rambam, etc? Please share the laugh with the rest of us who are not members of your FLAT-EARTH SOCIETY.)September 7, 2008 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #621611
Zalman, at least YOU went back to the mekoros. If nothing else, I made you go and look it up. GOOD. All I wanted from the “posters” is KNOWLEDGE. Matisjohu did not know these mekoros and blithely spouted soem words. YOU, at least , brought down the mekoros from the gemoro and the rambam. For that, I compliment you. I wil IY”H respond to your posting later.September 7, 2008 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #621612marinerMember
rabbiofberlin: feel free, when responding, to respond to the smacl at YU!September 8, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am #621613
Ahhh rabbiofberlin, you were caught with your pants down this time. Its happened before, but you always try to wiggle yourself out. And it is so obvious and blatant that you have long lost any shred of remaining credibility.
You were INDIGENT and ADAMANT throughout this long thread, repeating at least 4 or 5 times that saying that women cannot learn Gemora is a “false assumption” (in your own words) and that saying so is an example of Matisyahu being “ignorant” and something he cannot “support.” And since unlike you Matusyahu isn’t on the internet 24/6 and didn’t immediately respond to your demands, since he is likely in the Beis Medrash using his time productively, you berate him.
And now that you are proven imbecilicly wrong – you insinuated there was no mekor, well you got a boatful of mekoros from the Gemora, Rashi, Rambam, Shulchan Orach, etc. and the best you can muster is “Matisjohu did not know these mekoros and blithely spouted soem words.” You who insisted “you issue declarations that you cannot support”, “false assumptions”, and “ignorant” about dare challenging the 20th century feminist ideals and (gasp) saying that women have vastly different roles in life than men and that there are things a woman is halachicly prohibited from doing!
Now we know who the ignorant one is. Take your pretty time to “respond to your posting later”, like you have promised with empty words previously when caught cheating, since you’ll need it. The best you’ll be able to muster will perhaps be some YU “Godol” who “paskened” that the aforementioned Shulchan Orach, Rambam, Gemora, etc. are no longer relevant to our “modern day and age” and were merely applicable for “a bygone era.”September 8, 2008 1:07 am at 1:07 am #621614cantoresqMember
Now what have you BERLIN? (Some “YESHIVA UNIVERSITY source” that argues on the above Gemora, Shulcahn Orach, Rambam, etc? Please share the laugh with the rest of us who are not members of your FLAT-EARTH SOCIETY.)
Zalman when was the lest time you learned in RIETS, the Mazur Yeshiva program or any of the other learning tracks which comprise Torah learning at Yeshiva College? Allow me to make you aware of certain realities which may temper your smug condescending attitude toward Yeshiva University and those who learn(ed) there. You are no doubt aware that the school is populated by many young men who chose to forego sttending the finest universities in this country (i.e. Harvard, Yale, University of Pennsylvania etc. personally I gave up the chance to go to the University of Michigan, a fine school) in order to spend their undergraduate years in a Torah atmosphere, learning Torah on a daily basis. When I was a student there (and I know it to be the same today), my day began with Shacharit at 7;30, followed by a quick breakfast. I was in the Beit Midrash at 9:00 and learend morning seder until 12:30. Shiur was every day from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. At 3:00 began the first college course, which for those of us in the Yeshiva program usually was a Bible class (yes indeed those apikorsim/amei ha’Aretz spend an hour a day actually studying the Chumash or other sifrei Tanach in depth far beyond anything done in any chareidi yeshiva). Classes generally ended at 7:00 p.m. and most of us had a night seder for between one to three hours a night. I and my colleagues and the students there now started our homework at 10:00. Rarely did I get to bed before midnight or 1:00 a.m. Might I remind you that many of those students who learn for between six and eight or nine hours a day also carry a full college courseload. Some of them are pre-med, pre-law, in the business school etc. Interestingly it is generally a boy in the highest shiur who is also the valedictorian or salutorian of his class. They are moser nefesh for limud haTorah in ways you and your ilk can never fathom. And they do so with the simchas hachayim that only limud Torah can bring to one’s soul. I daresay that even the outstanding bochurim in the chareidi yeshivot could not pull off that lifestyle with anything near the grace and elegance and actual accomplishment of his YU counterpart; if they could manage it at all. I defy you and your snide cohorts to ever do what I and they have done and continue to do. It’s easy to sneer and insult; especially when you no nothing about what it is you deride.September 8, 2008 4:07 am at 4:07 am #621617Will HillParticipant
cantoresq: Mind sharing what your age is?
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