Tanach in Yeshivos
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November 28, 2021 11:14 am at 11:14 am #2035064
Nomesorah; you find it creepy that a person who feels robbed of yiddishkeit might have a lot to say about the thieves thereof? Perhaps you were raised very frum and are not aware of the communal sinfulness and ignorance that MO has permitted/encouraged. When I was exposed to authentic yiddishkeit(and no i don’t mean only litvishe) the difference was night and day. Do you really think there is “equal ground” between a system which foments institutional heresy and a system, flawed as it may be, which promotes complete uncompromising observance of mitzvos and the primacy of torah? Are there”relevant torah sources” that say that an ideal Jewish boy should go to goyishe rock concerts, have goyishe friends, dress completely like a goy save for a small piece of fabric lost in “blurios* of long hair, eating “only salads” at treif restaurants, violating 5 laavin with each bite, together with his illicit girlfriend, with whom he violates more laavin and worse routinely, his speech laced with nivul peh, on a lazy Sunday devoid of torah learning, finished off with the imbibing of a movie that reinforces his heretical pro-lgbt beliefs? He wakes up, may or may not wash negel vaser, might forget his tzitzis, is maybe reminded to go to minyan, but might not be in the mood.. Everything goes and chas veshalom if he’s made to feel guilty or pressured..
I’m interested to hear what “sources” permit this typical day in the life of an MO non-otd teen.November 28, 2021 11:16 am at 11:16 am #2035066
Also, in a topic that includes the common practice of the mo educational system, it is more than relevant to address the methodology and results of the system as a whole, and where nach fits into that discussion.
Rav yisroel salanter is quoted in ohr yisroel that the mishnah can’t be applied to our time(his time, kal vechomer ours) because on our level, what we call chumash is not really learning chumash, our mishnayos are on the level of chumash in that time, etc etc, that basically everything gets knocked down a levelNovember 28, 2021 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm #2035109
Avira, maybe we go in different circles and this is fine. I don’t see much difference in learning between MO and more traditional Rabbis I was ever learning, despite differences in views. As an experiment, I several times re-packaged a serious thought from a MO Rav to an anti-MO one with appropriate word change, the latter was very much on board with the concepts. I did not test quoting by name. So, to me, when you disparage “MO” attitudes you do it at your own risk of disparaging multiple Talmidei Chachamim. Maybe we just need a better term for the attitudes you dislike.November 28, 2021 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm #2035116
I still maintain that your posts can be flipped to defend the modern while trashing the yeshiva. Your comparing the lower stops of the modern community to the higher rungs of the yeshiva. It sounds like that was your journey. Good for you! But that does not mean that your experience is all that is objective about this matter.November 28, 2021 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #2035198
How exactly can one trash the yeshiva community in terms of torah observance? I’m aware that it can be belittled from a secular perspective, i.e. lack of education, poverty, etc..November 28, 2021 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #2035197
AAQ, I’m sure if you dig through bible commentary of Christian sources, you’ll find tons of things that are in sync with meforshim. If you change the verbiage and repeat them to rabbis, and they accept them, that really isn’t relevant to the issues that separate Christianity from Judaism lehavdil.
MO rabbis in regards to kashrus, gitin vekidushin, niddah, and other Practical halacha are usually within bounds. In YU the mishnah berurah is the default source for halacha, and I’d trust rabbi hershel shachter’s kashrus procedures.
That doesn’t speak to the rotten core of MO in its institutionalized heresy. Rabbi shechter is fine with the idea that a secular state is the lifeblood of the jewish nation, and worthy of the wanton lose of jewish life, not because he learned it in gemara, but because of European Nationalism dressed up in techeles and a kippah. And he’s the frummest they have to offer. It only goes down hill from there, to rabbis who defend untznius dress, abrogation of halacha by teaching women gemara in a classroom setting, mingling of the genders (see the discredited author of bnei bonim for details on that), to full on feminism, LGBT acceptance, allegorizing of tanach, “revisiting” torah in light of modern ethics, de facto acceptance of secular morals, maskilish “parshanut”, rejection of kabalah, the list goes on…. I quoted several MO leaders in the closed thread at length; you can use it for reference. I’m hardly looking at the lowest rungs of MO – puk chazi! Of course the yeshiva community has its dropouts..chasidim do too, but they are a small minority who themselves identify more with an MO crowd.
I mentioned a doable experiment that can show the divide in another thread – go to a MO shul, and I don’t mean the young israel of midwood. Take a poll among the men, ask them what caused the Holocaust. 80% will say the buildup of racism and intolerance, and that we can prevent it by being more liberal and championing social justice. 20% will say it’s from Hashem and we don’t understand it. Then go to a baalabatishe shul; 90% will say it’s from Hashem and we don’t understand it, and 10% will say it’s due to assimilation and haskalah, etc.. then go to a beis medrash, and there it will be 50/50 between the latter two options.November 28, 2021 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #2035278
I would rather not go there? It’s been done many times. All it takes is a concession that we cannot control the truth.November 28, 2021 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #2035289
How the lay people respond to what caused the holocaust, is an experiment in rhetoric. It does not speak to their values, motivational drive, or their spiritual temperament.November 28, 2021 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #2035302
Avira, your bag of grievances varies a lot from objective breaches of halakha to your, or your school, opinions. People who respect State of Israel, look for causes of Holocaust, teach Gemorah to ladies have significant names and arguments behind them. You and I may agree or disagree with that, and it can sometimes have undesirable effects on some people, but that does not take them into category where you can disparage them lightly. If a (great?)grandaughter of R’ Moshe Feinstein is learning Gemora, then you are saying that R Moshe did not educate his daughter well and did not select an appropriate S-I-L. If R’ Moshe did his best but you would blame later YU influence, then R’ Moshe would not remain friends with his cousin R Soloveichik who let all of that happen.November 28, 2021 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #2035364twistedParticipant
“and believe it engenders love of the land”
Avirah, What about כי רצו עבדיך את אבניה ואת עפרה יחננו is ambiguous to you? Thillim 120
What about Rabi Abba kissing the stones of Acco?
and the tale in Sifri parshat Re’e on וירשתם אתה וישבתם בה Three rabanan were travelling to Nitzivin (chu”l) to learn Torah with Rabi Yehuda ben Bethera (alternate vesion–they were going to declare a cherem on chaver who was m’aber shana in chu”l)They reached Peileton and cried (about losing the mizvah kuyumis of dwelling in the land) and returned to their places.
0November 28, 2021 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #2035381
Twisted; i never said one shouldn’t have love for eretz yisroel. We should love all the mitzvos; we should kiss sifrei torah, eretz yisroel, and every other cheftza shel mitzvah. The problem is when you prioritize a certain limud to specifically engender love of one mitzvah over others, particularly when evil doers use that national affection for their nefarious nationalistic efforts.November 28, 2021 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #2035383
AAQ, if we judged people’s grandchildren or sons-in-laws, we’d have quite a lot to explain. Rav henkin was very anti Zionist. His grandson is the bnei bonim zionist/feminist. Rav chaim brisker said zionism is avodah zara; his grandson was rabbi yoshe ber; he also said when his son rav moshe was getting married, that “ich hob farliren a zun”, when the noshim paskened a kashrus shailah on their own at his wedding. Rav shach, who called Israeli democracy “cancer”, had a son who was a zionist.
Rav yochanan ben zakai’s nephew was the head of the baryonim.
Rav Moshe didn’t hold of any of the above deviances from Torah; he writes that women being taught gemara shouldn’t have to even be explained as it’s an open gemara. He also didn’t necessarily “choose” his son in law. He also would have been astonished at the opposition to metzitzah bepeh, and other innovations from his family. Gedolim’s personal family issues are not a proof as to what they hold. We can only go by their actual words and by talmidim who are mamshichei darcham. If you want to know what rav moshe held, you would want to ask rav bluth, rav dovid, rav belsky, rav nissan alpert, and other people who were very close to him.November 28, 2021 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #2035402
Avira, you wrote (parenthetically), “his time, kal vechomer ours“.
I don’t think that would necessarily be the case. I don’t think he was in a great time, or place. There’s a good chance that we are doing much better.
Another thing: I don’t have the insider perspective that you have. However, you must be careful when criticizing Talmidei Chachamim and Yar’ei Shamayim. Somebody who is a Muchzak Talmud Chacham can’t be spoken of with derision, scorn or worse — sarcasm.November 28, 2021 9:57 pm at 9:57 pm #2035410
HaLeiVi: What about Saul Liberman?November 28, 2021 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #2035419
Halevi, it’s axiomatic that every generation is further from sinai and lower than its successor…yeridas hadoros isn’t really a chidushNovember 29, 2021 7:19 am at 7:19 am #2035458
“yeridas hadoros isn’t really a chidush”
It’s a phrase used for certain purposes. But it has its place. No doubt that the Talmidei Chachamim from 200 years ago were greater than the majority of today’s. We’ve read their achievements, and of their Yiras Shamayim. But it doesn’t mean that the generation as a whole looked better.
It is pretty much common knowledge that Torah is more widely learnt today than ever before.November 29, 2021 7:19 am at 7:19 am #2035459
“HaLeiVi: What about Saul Liberman?”
Would you use term, Talmid Chacham?November 29, 2021 8:16 am at 8:16 am #2035515
“Would you use term, Talmid Chacham?”
That term has been applied to him by others.November 29, 2021 8:39 am at 8:39 am #2035528
I politely disagree. There is more Bittul Torah than ever before. The ability to learn and learn endlessly is definitely thriving. The commitment to do so, is not. And the respect for those who attempt it, is withering away.November 29, 2021 8:57 am at 8:57 am #2035537
HaLeiVi: His people call him the “Gra”sh” — Gaon Rabbeinu Shaul.November 29, 2021 10:16 am at 10:16 am #2035559DepressedTalmudistParticipant
In the mid 1800’s Dikduk with a basis of Nach was used too infiltrate the standard education of bochurim when emissaries of the enlightenment movement would pose as Talmudic instructors and prove their superiority and enlightenment too their impressionable prodigious students with the use of dikduk, and then send off their students unbeknown to their parents too universities claiming they were sending them too top yeshivahs of the time, (not too mention Mendelssohn who also infiltrated with his pirush al hatorah…) thus causing many, specifically chasidim too abolish the study of grammar and nach, and with time as chasidim and litvaks have rubbed off on each other for the good and bad the result is it’s struck out of the curriculum…November 29, 2021 11:39 am at 11:39 am #2035585
Nice fairy tale! Can you really find a yeshiva that studied nach two or three centuries ago?November 29, 2021 11:41 am at 11:41 am #2035596yehudis21Participant
Avira… I say to you what I’d say to Julia Haart: No one is invalidating your own experiences. However, don’t paint the whole canvas with the same brush. You’d have to be a fool to think your experiences defines the entire realm of a group of people who, lets be honest, do NOT fit neatly into one category anyway, just as you don’t yourself.November 29, 2021 1:07 pm at 1:07 pm #2035659
Can you find a Yeshiva two hundred years ago?
The ramchal and others who talk about what to learn all mention tanach; those who followed the rambam about being meshalesh definitely did so, and those who didn’t probably didn’t have fornal time spent on nach. Not everything which doesn’t come up in a bar ilan search is false
I think it’s also a nice fairy tale to claim that there’s no mesorah and that until the chasam sofer everyone just thought and did whatever they pleased, had no rebbe, no shimush, and accepted any obscure sefer written by anyone who lived in the times of the rishonim. In this fairy tale, no one is an apikores, no one ever thought that hilchos deos was a halachik issue, and of course no one uses agadeta as a source for daas torah. Come to think of it, in the same fairy tale, there was a Jewish army defending its citizens, democracy and total tolerance for LGBT people. There was also no rashu that says that klal yisroel does nothing without its leaders, and all non-kashrus decisions were made by individuals without consulting the archaic and out of date daas torah. They also used to look at the characters of tanach as being no different than you and me, with no particularly special spiritual levels and attributes, and believed that parts of chumash were added later and compiled by some shadow beis din which has no record.
Did i miss anything?November 29, 2021 1:07 pm at 1:07 pm #2035660
Yehudis, i agree that there are differing levels of observance in MO; some are just shy of the yeshiva world. But the incubation of institutionalized heresy and devaluation of torah precepts is real and it has results. If MO valued torah as a whole the same as they value secular studies, they wouldn’t spend more time on the latter and be satisfied with a trifle superficial amount of the former. They would communally pursue advancement of Torah learning, but rather, the most important thing is higher education and a career. Of all the MO people in the country, one school, YU is the olace where those who have a drop more interest in learning go. Even there, it’s a minority who are talmidim of rabbi shechter and rabbi willig; most are there mainly for the college.November 29, 2021 1:07 pm at 1:07 pm #2035674
“And the respect for those who attempt it, is withering away.”
This is sadly, very true. It is hardly even addressed.November 29, 2021 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #2035713
Avira > some are just shy of the yeshiva world
There are 2 aspects here:
1) philosophy of the movement – here the hierarchy is contested. There is a lovely exploration of decision space. Frankly, we did not yet have a proof that any of the approaches to modernity work: should we totally separate from humanity, should we incorporate capabilities developed by it? what is dangerous? what is useful? we have plenty of opinions, but I don’t think it is settled. Moses Mendelsohn tried one risky approach – and it failed clearly within a generation. Was everything done by his opponents correct? No, otherwise we would not have so many Jews lost to haskalah, it is not just fault of assimilators, it is as well fault of those who led communities. We can’t look down at those generations, of course. They were confronted with a tremendous challenge that we still did not fully understand. Compare this with post-churban-sheni period: R Yohanan Ben Zakkai forcing some of the changes, Rabban Gamliel talking to people who refused to eat meat, etc. There were multiple thoughts initially.
2) community level – there is no question that yeshiva community has more people learning Torah than others. Are they doing it to the right credit (see Israel where people stay “in learning” to not go to the Army), what is the quality of learning, is the approach sustainable – are we trying to follow Rashbi “the way that many tried and failed” – these questions are not answered yet. Many discussions here mention “emergency measures” to allow current social norms. I hope we will settle at some point into non-emergency where learning will be integrated in the normal lifestyle.November 29, 2021 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm #2035720DBSParticipant
As someone who, like you, went to an MO school but is not MO, I’d venture to say that you had a terrible experience. In my experience, MO could be split up into two categories of people:
1) Those who don’t really care about Judaism but want to hold onto ‘tradition’ in some way.
2) Those who are genuine b’nei torah with slightly different hashkafos.
The assertion that “Rabbi shechter is fine with the idea that a secular state is the lifeblood of the jewish nation” is abjectly false. One can be a religious Zionist without minimizing the importance of the rest of the Torah and many MO people do. Again, I say this as someone who is neither MO nor Zionist.
I will further caution you to be careful about what you implicate about Rav Shechter and, through inference, people like Rav Mordechai Willig and Rav Aryeh Lebowitz. You seem to be very close to slandering some pretty big people.
Also this topic has gone completely off the rails from my original question.November 29, 2021 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #2035730ravhamachshilParticipant
the lubavitcher rebbe writes in his work of the HAYOM YOM that the early chassidim would study the entire tanach every three months. These men were truly pious individuals and where people that could be followed as the ultimate role models. its truly unfortunate that we no longer have this practice. see the attached link for hayom yom 19th of adar alef Sorry, no outside linksNovember 29, 2021 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2035740
DBS, that was an exact quote from rabbi shechter’s teshuva during the oslo accords.
*Since Eretz Yisroel is vital to Jewish existence as a nation-state, conquest by a foreign power is considered a lethal blow to the conquered nation. Therefore, just as a doctor may amputate a patient’s limb in order to save the patient’s life, where the life of an entire nation is in danger it is permissible to sacrifice the lives of the few for the purpose of sparing the nation at large”
This is straight European Nationalism. Not Judaism. In judaism, the Torah is the lifeblood of the people, not a secular state built by holocaust collaborating murderers.November 29, 2021 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #2035741
I also would add that there is a lot in between the two categories you mentioned. There are also many members of the non-MO community who don’t care much about yiddishkeit and are going through the motions. But it’s the ones who do care but have heretical hashkofos and sinful behaviors (rhat they try to justify) that are worse. If someone just says “I’m not so religious”, that’s a shame, but it isn’t a threat to Judaism itself.
There definitely are some people who are in the MO world who are just shy of ner yisroel/out of town torah institutions. That’s true in eretz yisroel too, where aside from nationalism, there are bnei Torah who wear kipos serugos who are just as committed (and probably moreso) as i am.
I believe the disinterested people are not nearly as much of a threat as the haskalah influenced ideologues. Rabbis who learn alt but are attempting to undermine torah and perpetuate the sinful standards of the mostly ignorant masses of MO. Rabbis who believe in secular education as an ends to itself, feminism, LGBT rights, bible criticism, evolution, gender theory, and tons of other issues. They might learn day and night, and that’s why they are much more of a threat to Judaism.November 29, 2021 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #2035742
I should also have clarified that my archetype MO teenager description included some things that i personally, thankfully, did not engage in, but it’s what I saw all around me.November 29, 2021 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #2035782
Avira, you have an admirable nack for putting everything in one sentence: science education “by itself” and feminism, a science theory of evolution and gender theory. Some of these are a matter of opinion and others are clearly beyond Jewish norms, of either halakha or hashkofa. At least, you could order or group them. Otherwise, you create an impression that everyone who disagrees with you in slightest is an apikoires.
Same goes for your parsing of a teshuva that at it’s face allows risking soldier life defending Israel. I think it would be fair to say that Melech Dovid paskened the same and this is not a modernishe reading of the Nach.November 29, 2021 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm #2035792DBSParticipant
“Rabbis who believe in secular education as an ends to itself, feminism, LGBT rights, bible criticism, evolution, gender theory, and tons of other issues…are…a threat to Judaism.”
I agree 100%.
Those people, though, find themselves increasingly being pushed away from MO and into the title of ‘open orthodox’ as (real b’nei torah) MO becomes frustrated with those who masquerade as da’as torah.
It is my understanding that Rav Shechter’s goal is to ‘frumify’ the Israeli gov’t. Given this, plus the fact that Israel stands as a an island of Jew support, I think Rav Shechter’s statement, though admittedly a tad more dramatic than I would like, is not the heresy you make it out to be.November 29, 2021 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #2035848
While Avraham was teaching, Shem and Ever had their own yeshiva where Yaakov goes to learn how to live and deal with Lavan. Both types of learning are legitimate.November 30, 2021 9:54 am at 9:54 am #2036051
“While Avraham was teaching, Shem and Ever had their own yeshiva where Yaakov goes to learn how to live and deal with Lavan.”
C’mon, you are going to prove something from what you made up?
“Both types of learning are legitimate.”
This entirely ignores every single one of Avira’s points. As if he complained about practical vs theoretical learning.November 30, 2021 9:56 am at 9:56 am #2036054
“Avira, you have an admirable nack for putting everything in one sentence:…”
To this, I must agree. You ruin your better points when you intertwine them with weak, or questionable, ones. Do realize that several of your complaints are not hard fact. The issues of whether there is or isn’t a place for Jewish nationalism, what its place is, or the importance of retaining Eretz Yisroel as a Mitzva or for keeping people Jewish, are debatable. Even if you feel very strongly that you are correct and you can back it up, it does still remain an opinion. You can’t lump that alongside arguments that are hard & dry facts.
Even the complaint about how they value secular study for its own sake, is after all a Hashkafa issue. You can point to that to show differences but you won’t get anyone on board who hadn’t already agreed with you.November 30, 2021 11:51 am at 11:51 am #2036079
HaLeivi > you are going to prove something from what you made up?
this is from traditional sources, the source I can’t recall or look up right this second
> ignores every single one of Avira’s points
I was addressing the one about traditional learning lifestyle and those who interact with the world. Yaakov goes to Lavan upon the command of both of his parents (each with his own shitah – away from Esav or to get married, but they both think he can make it in a goyishe world) and learns from Ever practical halochos.November 30, 2021 11:51 am at 11:51 am #2036081
HaLeivi > value secular study for its own sake
This was very vague, I am not sure what this even means. When I eat donuts, do I value them for their own sake or because I am hungry, or doing it l’shem?! Is it about parents who teach kids engineering to earn an honest living? Is it about learning science to marvel as Hashem’s world (R Twersky specifically recommends physiology with a caveat – can be done after yeshiva hours at hime)?November 30, 2021 11:53 am at 11:53 am #2036100
HaLeiVi, I disagree. Nationalism/Zionism is just as illegitimate (ie an invalid position) as Tikun Olam promoted by the Reform or the ethical hashgacha promoted by the Conservative. Even though both positions have “Orthodox” rabbi supporters, and in principle isn’t a violation of halacha. Much like the early Reformade innovations that weren’t a direct violation of Halacha but we’re nevertheless denounced by the Rabbonim.November 30, 2021 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #2036175
Nationalism is against open pesukim “hayom hazeh nihiyaysi li le’am” , today you are for me a nation… on the day of matan torah in the desert, not in eretz yisroel. Rav saadia gaon writes explicitly 5hat klal yisroel is a nation only because of its torah. It’s difficult to overlook such things and say it’s debatable, when the proponent of zionism were all influenced by secular studies and philosophers, including rabbi kook. There is chochma by goyim, but not torah, and the definition of our nation is a torah issue, to be understood by torah sources only.November 30, 2021 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm #2036344
AAQ, for its own sake means that instead of a hierarchy in which Torah study is on top, and other things fill in underneath (Parnasa, interests…), you have a system of parallel values. On the top is secular knowledge alongside Torah. That is the charge.November 30, 2021 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #2036409
HaLeivi, what is this “on top”, “in parallel”. If someone uses “secular knowledge” to steal, to waste time, to offend people – then this is against Torah. If someone uses it to earn a living, to understand how Hashem’s world works, how to make life better for people – it is at basic level does not contradict Torah. (I am excluding cases like hiding Sefer Refuah because people did not deserve it).
Gemorah is full of not just medical but technical information about animals, farming, anything else in life. No Amorah would sow in the wrong season expecting Hashem to fix it. So, why would you do anything in our time without having all required knowledge.
Again, at the times of haskala things were different. Going to a university meant abandoning Torah.. It is not so in our days.December 5, 2021 3:30 am at 3:30 am #2037991
But it doesn’t mean that the generation as a whole looked better.
It is pretty much common knowledge that Torah is more widely learnt today than ever before.
HaLeiVi: Whilst it may be the case that there’s more learning today than ever before, that in no way shape or form, for many clear reasons, indicates that the contemporary generation aa whole is in better shape than any of the previous generations — whether comparing to our Zeidas generation or earlier.December 5, 2021 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #2038260
agree with ujm: Esther became Rebbe of Mordechai not because she knew more rishonim, but because she was ready for mesiros nefesh. I don’t think our Torah learnt from seforim equal to the one of the Yidden who lived it.December 7, 2021 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #2039120
I think that there was more or less an agreement that bachurim should learn all of nach. Yeshivos do not mandate it, because they believe that the bachurim can decide how to manage their side limudim on their own. Much like they do not mandate learning halachah. Why more talmidim complete Mishna Berurah than Navi is a fair question.December 8, 2021 1:59 am at 1:59 am #2039308KokoshcakeParticipant
I’m not sure if this is Hashkafically correct.
But logically, it really is a very good answer!
I can deeply explain a Haftora by the shabbos table, so future husband LOOK OUTDecember 8, 2021 9:49 am at 9:49 am #2039443
We can be meshadech MB with KC…December 9, 2021 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #2040124charliehallParticipant
“one doesn’t decide halacha based on Tanach.”
That isn’t true at all. Chazal often cite pesukim from Nach in halachic discussions.December 9, 2021 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #2040132charliehallParticipant
“Rabbi shechter is fine with the idea that a secular state is the lifeblood of the jewish nation, and worthy of the wanton lose of jewish life, not because he learned it in gemara, but because of European Nationalism dressed up in techeles and a kippah.”
You obviously have not studied Rabbi Schachter’s Torah. And you can’t even give him the respect of spelling his name correctly.
There are numerous rabbis of sufficient stature to disagree with him. But they would never insult him the way you have.
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